As race director for the 2014 Dion Snowshoes U.S. National snowshoe championships, I would like to express my thanks to the many hard working volunteers who made this event possible. The event was held on March 1 and 2 at Prospect Mountain ski area in Woodford.

The race was the largest in the national association’s history, and involved over 400 competitors. I hope that the weekend was a good one for our local motels, restaurants and merchants. We appreciated the discounts that were offered to our guests by these many businesses.

I would like to recognize a few local businesses that made significant contributions: Jerome Construction, EZ Way Rental, Paradise Inn, Bennington Potters, D.T. Mance and Associates, A-1 Septic and Paraco Gas. We also had generous support from the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

I feel the success of this event showcases the value of the Bennington area as a winter outdoor recreation destination.

DAVID NEWELL

Shaftsbury In appreciation of those who volunteered at snowshoe event

Kudos to the volunteers who helped at the U.S. National Snowshoe Championships at Prospect Mountain Ski Center last weekend. There was an army of unsung heros behind the scenes who helped make this three day event a huge success. I can’t mention names and risk leaving some one out but just one look at that parking lot, filled to the brim, would have given you some idea of the work that went into this event.

RONALD VAN ORDEN

Bennington

Support Senate Bill S. 40

This haiku is a trail marker pointing to Senate bill S.40: The chance slips away, yet remains: Vermont students need our help today.

S.40 calls for a search light, an effort to rediscover a disused, earlier path that led to greater prosperity. It was visible in 1980, when our state funded 51 percent of VSC costs, compared to less than 20 percent today. Those were days before Vermonters graduated college with more student debt than their peers in other states, days when we knew investing in public higher education was investing in Vermont, days before we overburdened students, before we allowed tuition to become prohibitive for the least wealthy among us.

Those who have spent time out on the trail know: Sometimes the only way forward is to find our way back to that fork where we got off the path.

That’s what I told the Sargent at Arms when I called 802-828-2228 to ask my legislator to support S.40. It was easy. All I had to do was say "Help secure Vermont’s tomorrow by supporting S.40 today."

BRENDAN LALOR, Ph.D.

Assistant professor of philosophy
Castleton State College

Rutland