Saturday May 25, 2013

ROSES to the artists involved with and the organizers of the Catamount Prowl 2013. This large-scale community street art project of the Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce brings together area businesses (who sponsor the catamounts), artists in the community (who execute creative designs on the large statues), and area residents (who are able to stroll the town and enjoy the 35 unique pieces of artwork as well as spread the word to friends, and visitors to town (who have even more reason to stop and stay awhile in Bennington). Many catamounts are already on display at area businesses, with the "Prowl" continuing through the end of October. An auction Oct. 26 will determine the future homes of these majestic cats and will raise money for the chamber, the artists and other community entities.

ROSES to Burr and Burton Academy junior Morgan Bazyk for not letting two torn anterior cruciate ligaments keep her from playing lacrosse (for long). Bazyk suffered the debilitating knee injuries as a freshman and sophomore, endured the surgeries and recovery and is now enjoying her time representing the Manchester school. Female athletes are prone to ACL tears, and the recovery from such injuries can be brutal. Kudos for Bazyk for doing the work that was needed to make a comeback on the playing field.

THORNS to registered Bennington voters who didn't make an effort get out to the polls for Tuesday's special election. About 1,000 people cast votes to regarding the future of the Bennington School District budget, but more votes would have made the final tally more decisive. With 473 voting for the budget and 524 against, the budget failed to pass by a slim 51-vote margin.

ROSES to the nearly 200 Mount Anthony Union High School juniors who signed a pledge to not drive drunk or distracted at a recent educational awareness program at the school. The "Arrive Alive" program allowed students to experience driving while wearing a simulator that mimicked potential consequences of poor decision-making while driving. This program was especially important in light of the fact that drivers under age 20 make up the greatest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

THORNS to the unknown assailant wielding a handgun who robbed the Bennington CVS of an unknown quantity of narcotics on Tuesday. The male suspect was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and a black face mask and gloves and fled on foot. Bennington police are seeking information about the late-night robbery. Anyone with information should call Detective Anthony Silvestro at 802-442-1030.

ROSES to Emily Cross, a junior lacrosse player at Mount Anthony Union Senior High School, who tied the school record of most number of goals at nine on Friday. MAU defeated Pittsfield 18-7.

ROSES to the vendors and businesses participating in today's Mayfest in downtown Bennington. The rain-or-shine event, which may end up being more rain than shine, runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Grab your umbrella, rain slicker and a reusable bag for your purchases and visit this Bennington rite of spring.

ROSES to Merchants Bank for donating its historic North Bennington building, appraised at $350,000, to two area nonprofits. The Fund for North Bennington and the Preservation Trust of Vermont are the beneficiaries.

~Michelle Karas