Saturday July 6, 2013

THORNS to state law enforcement agencies who may be targeting African Americans for drug arrests in Vermont, according to the ACLU report "Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests." The report, which examined state and county marijuana arrest rates nationally by race showed that in Vermont, African Americans are 4.4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. In Windham County it’s 10 times more likely, and in Rutland County it’s 17 times more likely that African Americans will be arrested than whites for drugs, stated the report. ROSES to the new owners of Bennington’s Cinema 7, Bennington Cinema Partners, who purchased the Phyllis Lane property for $635,000 recently and plan to make upgrades that will introduce rocker recliner seats and new digital sound systems. The new owners say they plan to lower ticket prices "across the board" and offer discount packages as well.

ROSES to Jim Barnes, owner of the Heritage Inn and Haystack Ski Area, who has purchased the Mount Snow Airport in Dover, and plans to renovate and expand the facility to accommodate private jets and bring more visitors to the region. Once renovated, the airport will attract more traffic from second-home owners and travelers to the Deerfield Valley.

ROSES to the organizers of the "Moonlight in Vermont" Midnight Road Race and Community Ramble, which is slated to be held on the night of July 20. The nighttime four-mile road race, now in its 14th year, gives runners and walkers the chance to compete under the light of a full moon. Named for the unofficial state song, the race is held on the Saturday night in July nearest to the full moon. Organized by the Batten Kill Valley Runners and Pownal residents, the race benefits the Pownal Valley Fire Department. It kicks off at midnight and is followed by a competitive two-mile Community Ramble at 12:05 a.m. Learn more at www.bkvr.org.

ROSES to Bennington Tennis Center and Bennington College for coming to an agreement that will allow more area residents to play outside on the college’s tennis courts. The tennis center has agreed to manage the college’s outdoor courts and provide a program for students, staff and faculty. In exchange, center members, their guests and the public now have access to the college courts for outdoor fair weather play. A healthy collaboration.

ROSES to the Hoosick Armory Youth Center and Community Coalition, which is a contender for a national award from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America. The award recognizes a coalition for implementing strategies to achieve targeted substance abuse programs. HAYC3 applied for the award in October and will learn if it has won next month.

ROSES to the organizers of Bennington’s First Friday events July 5 which showcased our downtown. The well-attended evening was full of entertainment and cultural activities including a gallery tour, carriage rides, a chalk art project, The Chris Dukes Band, the Photovoice Bennington County art exhibit and the Vermont Arts Exchange Drum Circle.

ROSES to a local group of knitters that is raising money to help offset the cost of cancer treatment for Bennington resident Carol Adinolfi, who has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Adinolfi is scheduled to have a stem cell transplant at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston this month alongside her sister Nina, who is a perfect donor match. The group has organized a yarn-bombing project to help offset the costs of Adinolfi’s life-saving procedure.

~Michelle Karas