ROSES to all who participate in Tuesday's Primary. Bennington has some heated competition in local bids for nominations for House seats. Get out there and support the candidates who speak to/for you. Voting is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bennington Fire Facility on River Street. ROSES also to all the poll volunteers who work a long day to make sure early and late voters have a chance to fill out a ballot.

ROSES and congratulations to Bennington resident Lisa Sloan, who has been named the commander of Disabled American Veterans for the state of Vermont. Sloan, a former commander of the DAV's Bennington chapter, is the first female commander for the state DAV in more than 50 years.

ROSES to the Southwestern Vermont Health Care's recent Magnet Community Group Backpack Drive, which collected bag and supply donations to fill and donate 280 backpacks to 18 area elementary schools. The school supply drive has been an annual endeavor since 2006, collecting items including healthy snacks, toothbrushes and other health care items in addition to the backpacks and school supplies.

THORNS to the murder of journalist and New Hampshire native James Foley, who this week was slain in Syria while working in pursuit of his passion -- reporting the news. We are so humbled and saddened by his sacrifice. We pray for Steven Sotloff, another American journalist who is being held by an Islamic State extremist group.


Advertisement

ROSES to Rensselaer County (N.Y.)'s Heroes at Home and the Mental Health Project Inc. for launching the "Patriot Ruckmarch," a 26-mile march from Postenkill to Grafton, N.Y., to raise awareness of the needs of veterans and their families. The public is encouraged to go to the Postenkill or Grafton VFW and along the route on the day of the march, Saturday, Sept. 20, to show support. Contact John Holmes at 518-545-6781 or email john.holmes@heroesathomerensco.com to register, donate or become a sponsor.

ROSES to Amber Cottrell, Mount Anthony Union High School's new varsity field hockey coach. Cottrell, 25, a 2007 Hoosick Falls Central School graduate, replaces Laura Paro, who stepped down last year after 17 seasons at MAU. Support Cottrell and The field hockey team at its first game of the season at home on Sept. 2 against Brattleboro.

ROSES to the life and career of former Vermont U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords who died Monday at the age of 80. He is remembered for, among other things, tipping control of the Senate in 2001 when he left the Republican Party to become an Independent. Jeffords was "A Vermonter through and through, drawn to political life to make a difference for our state and nation," according to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

~Michelle Karas