Man and family grateful to emergency room staff

Robert Morandi and his family would like to express how deeply grateful we all are to the emergency room staff at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. On January 13 Robert suffered a major heart attack and without the care and expert knowledge of the ER staff he would not have survived. They knew exactly what to do, they were extremely professional, caring and compassionate. We will never forget how well they treated us in this very stressful situation and will forever be grateful to them for being the wonderful people they are. Thanks to them Robert is alive and recovering. Words cannot express how deeply thankful we are. May God Bless each and every one of them.

ROBERT MORANDI

AND FAMILY

Bennington

Vote for Keane

I encourage my fellow residents of Bennington, North Bennington and Old Bennington to vote for Michael A. Keane in the coming Select Board election.

Serving on the Bennington Select Board in our time of economic uncertainty requires an open mind and a clear vision of how our citizens, government, and businesses can work together to benefit everyone in our community, to provide the resources to care for those who are vulnerable or less fortunate, and to help the increasing number of our elderly Bennington residents whose needs grow only greater.

That's why I'm voting for Michael A. Keane.


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Michael brings a positive, fresh perspective backed by skills and accomplishments, an understanding of the big picture, and an impressive record of helping organizations improve their performance. His civic involvement in our town and state has demonstrated his ability to work productively with others. Most importantly, he listens. Those are qualities that a candidate must have in order to be an effective Select Board member.

I often see Michael in town, talking to Bennington residents, to merchants and visitors, just "stopping in" to see how things are going, to listen to what people need. That's what I want in a Select Board member.

Please join me in voting for Michael A. Keane.

DAVID SHAFFE

Shaffe's Mens Shop

Bennington

Student concerned about environmental toxins

I am a student at the University of Vermont and I am concerned about toxins in my environment. Recently, I attended VPIRG's Toxic-Free Families Day in the State House. It was the most heartwarming and moving event that I have ever experienced in the State House thus far.

In the State House, community members and senators passionate about the Toxic Reform in Vermont surrounded me. After meeting with parents, nurses and firefighters who stress daily about the toxins they and their families are exposed to, I realized the magnitude and importance of the toxic issue.

Some parents even brought their children to show legislators just who these toxins are affecting the most, and how strongly they care about this issue.

One parent who spoke, Abigail Mnookin, talked about how she tries her hardest every day to protect her young daughter from toxic exposure from things as simple as toys, diapers, and clothing. The time commitment alone to do this appeared difficult, with all the research and planning that it involves to find out if your daughter's toy duck is poisoning her. She brought up the point that people should not have to worry if their child's toy is exposing him or her to endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins, but instead there should not be these harmful chemicals in products in the first place.

Overall, this event was extremely positive and I left with a feeling of pride to be a part of something that so many people care about. With 80,000 untested synthetic chemicals on the market in the United States, it should not be up to parents to allow their children to be the guinea pigs for the safety of the chemicals. I hope that Vermont will make the right choice in regulating toxic chemicals, because no one deserves to be exposed to toxic chemicals from their every day products.

CAROLINE VILLANOVA

Burlington

Support Keane

I am writing in support of Michael Keane who is running for a seat on the Bennington Select Board. He is passionate about making Bennington thrive for everyone. He is accessible, has an open mind, and he does what he says he's going to do.

Having worked with Michael on the boards of Oldcastle Theatre and Second Chance Animal Center, as well as on the Bennington County Democratic Committee, I can vouch for his energy and his direct approach to solving problems. His management skills and financial knowledge will be a critical asset on the Select Board. Added to this is a wonderful sense of humor and ability to work with people. I urge you to cast your vote for Michael Keane on March 4.

JUDY MURPHY

Bennington

Cancer Center Community Crusaders appreciate support

I would like to take the time to say how grateful the newly formed Cancer Center Community Crusaders and the crews are of the support we have received from the community and the area businesses. Our mission is to provide financial, physical and emotional support to the members of the communities served by Southwestern Vermont Health care and their families as they strive to obtain the best cancer care and treatment possible.

The organization allocates a portion of the funds it raises to support local and regional research efforts to end cancer.

Our first annual event will be a Day of Community Remembrance and a CupCake Crusade on May 31 on the hospital grounds. There will be music, food, children's activities, a crew cupcake contest and more, from 2 p.m. until dusk. The day will end with a special candle lighting ceremony. This event will be open to all.

This past month has been a difficult one for our committee as we lost a dear friend and committee member -- Gail Harwood. Her energy and passion are an inspiration to us all and we will be "Standing Strong Together" to honor her.

Please consider joining or organizing your own Crew. Our next meeting will be March 11 at 5:30 p.m. Please contact myself at 802-442-2432 or Joanne Holden at 802-442-6106 for more information. We are proud of all our Crews and hope that you will support their efforts as they hold their fundraisers.

ERICA ROGERS

JOANNE HOLDEN, LYNN LEIBE

Cancer Center Community Crusader co-chairs

Bennington

I vote yes for Fields

For several years I have worked beside Rachael, providing care for our Veterans. Throughout the years I have watched her go above and beyond to unsure the Veterans are well cared for and receive the best possible. Seeing such compassion and this drive from her is so inspiring. I truly feel Rachael has so much to offer and improve Bennington, making it a better place for my son to grow up in. Rachael is an overall great person and strives to do what's right in all aspects. I think Bennington needs strong leadership moving forward to see positive changes and Rachael is the person to make it happen.

MICHELLE HUNT

Bennington

‘Roses' to Bennington Museum

I would like to offer my personal "Roses" to the Bennington Museum for their just-opened exhibit, "Faces of Bennington, 1972-1978: Photographs by John Hubbard." Anyone who lived in Bennington during this all-too-short period of John's career will enjoy seeing these beautifully displayed black and white photographs of area people. What memories! And they came rushing back all at once.

As the statistician for the Mt. Anthony basketball team during his first four years here, I got to know John quite well. I was an immediate fan of his work. It was he, as well as working in Ted Bird's store after high school, that ignited my interest and love of photography, especially informal portraits of people. John even showed me the basics in the Banner darkroom (Gee, do they still even have a darkroom in this digital age?!) on more than one occasion so that I could develop my own film and make prints from the negatives. This carried over into college when I spent way too much time in the darkroom and writing for my journalism class, which was just an elective.

Just before he left town in August of 1978, John stopped into Bird's one afternoon while I was working. Under his arm he had a package. I jokingly asked if it was a present for me, and then I was embarrassed when he handed it to me and said, "Yes, but don't open it until I leave." When he left the shop, I removed the wrapping, which, appropriately, was that day's issue of the Banner. Inside was a photographer's handbook, in which he had written an inscription. Part of it read, "Continue to work, to grow and, most of all, to look for only through looking will you come to see." Most appropriate words to a young man just beginning his life's journey.

John, you were not here long enough, neither in Bennington nor on this earth, but thank you for touching my life with your photographs and with your friendship. And thank you to the good folks at the museum for making it seem like 35 years ago was only yesterday.

So please, stop at the Bennington Museum and view this exhibit. Maybe you'll see an old friend, someone you'd forgotten about or maybe even yourself. Hopefully this can become a permanent exhibit and other photographs from John's extensive collection can be displayed.

TAD DOWNING

Bennington

Auxiliary celebrates education

Members of Bennington Unit 13 American Legion Auxiliary believe that a solid educational foundation is the cornerstone of American Freedom. At this time we would like to thank all teachers, educators, and schools staff. We realize that your professionalism and compassion are molding the leaders of the future and we salute your efforts.

As part of our educational programs every year we sponsor "Girls State," a non-partisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country. Any girl who has completed their junior year is eligible to apply for a week's in June an educational and fun time, working together as self-governing citizens. For more information call Neva LaCroix at 802-442-5534.

Every year Unit 13 awards a monetary scholarship and supports students in their desire to continue to their education beyond high school. Graduating seniors, male or female, will find applications in personal offices at local schools or contact our education chairperson Elaine Coonradt at 802-442-3479.

So if you meet a teacher, educator or staff person take a moment to say thank you. They need all the support we can give them.

For God and Country.

NEVA LACROIX

American Legion Auxiliary

Bennington

Thanks to the North Bennington Fire Company

We would like to extend our profound and heartfelt thanks to the North Bennington Fire Company for their very prompt, efficient and professional quelling of a very nasty chimney fire at our home on January 27. After an experience like this, it is hard to find words that adequately convey the importance of their presence in our community.

NATHAN WALLACE-SENFT

North Bennington

All that's free and open to public at Mark Skinner Library

As a public library, all of the programs hosted by the Mark Skinner Library are free and open to the public. During our annual Well-Being Day, we offer lectures, an exercise component, and a healthy lunch. All of the presenters donate their time and the lunch menu is created from locally sourced food, which is also donated. The Mark Skinner Library Board of Trustees and staff extend a world of thanks to the following individuals and businesses for making our recent Well-Being Day a success:

Presenters Scout Proft, Carson Lake, and Pauline Gardner donated their time to share their considerable knowledge of organic farming/the locavore movement, reflexology, and Zumba, respectively.

Fresh, local, and organic ingredients for the healthy lunch were provided courtesy of Earth Sky Time Community Farm and Someday Farm.

The Avanyu Spa at the Equinox Resort, Carson Lake Reflexology, Earth Sky Time Community Farm, and New Morning Natural Foods donated a wonderful array of raffle prizes.

The generosity of these individuals and businesses supports Mark Skinner Library's mission: To serve the life-long journey of learning by providing information and opportunities for personal enrichment and enjoyment to people of all ages in our community. For that, we thank them!

CINDY WATERS

Adult Programming

Coordinator

Mark Skinner Library

Manchester

Yes on S. 316

I have been a home based child care provider in Bennington for several years. I feel it is imperative for home based providers to have a say in the decisions that directly impact our work. I care for, nurture and educated not only the children in my care but their families as well. Very often, I am the first place a family goes when they need assistance or have questions. I often find myself navigating a system where I am not fully acknowledged as the professional I am. That mind-set needs to change. Just because I choose to offer child care in my home does not mean I am not a professional. I, and others like me, continuously support the children and families in our care. I am glad Vermont Early Educators United is working on this effort. I want Vermont's legislators and the Early Education system in Vermont to support us by giving us a legal say in the decision making process. Allow Early Educators to organize and claim their rightful place in the process. Vote yes on S.316. You can find more information at www.kidscountonme.org.

JOAN CALICCHIA

Bennington