I am very happy to respond to your recent invitation for letters of review about your newspaper.

I may be a little biased, since I was born in Bennington and raised in Arlington, but I have traveled quite a lot around our great country, and have had a chance to travel into other parts of the world.

I am retired now, and part of my morning routine is reading The Bennington Banner; a part that is very enjoyable for me! Your newspaper is wonderful, keep up the good work! I receive local and national news, and I like the format of your paper.

The Bennington Banner will always be a very special part of my day. I live in the South now (Very nice!), but my roots are in the Northeast.

Thank you for producing a great newspaper!

BRUCE MEARS, DVM

Johnston, S.C.

Stop the deporations

Nearly 10 years ago, I witnessed my community come together in defense of a family that had been torn apart. A migrant farm worker had been detained and deported to El Salvador, leaving his wife and three children behind, the youngest only six months old.

Our community came together because these people were not ‘illegals’ or ‘trespassers’ -- they were our neighbors, our community members and most importantly, our friends. Their kids went to school with me and my brothers, and they worked for businesses that supported our local economy.

Today, I join 1,500 women from all over the country in a fast to urge Congress and President Obama to end the millions of deportations that are tearing families apart. They have the power to advance immigration reform, yet they stand by idly, accepting no responsibility or accountability for turning the lives of millions upside-down.

Vermont is home to over 1,500 migrant workers and their families, and not a single one of them should have to live in fear of being taken away from their loved ones. As a community, we should be insisting that our local law enforcement comply with Vermont’s Bias Free Policing Law, instead of helping immigration enforcement take caregivers and mothers away from their children. Today, I am fasting to show Congress and the President that I am not afraid to stand up for what’s right. Maybe then, they will find the courage to do the same.

KELSY HENNEBARROWS

Burlington

Recognize and celebrate our many good citizens

Last week we had a good customer come in with her twin 3 year-old sons. She is a loyal "shop locally" Benningtonian who values small businesses. Her boys played, she shopped and checked out, and because of being distracted by two young children, walked out of the store with her bag of goodies as well as another item in her arm that she had not paid for. My husband happened to step out of the store right after she left. She frantically got his attention to give back the item, which my husband retrieved so she would not have to get the boys out of the car.

With the bombardment of negative news these days we thought it would be nice to pass on this simple story of complete honesty. Yes, there are still lots of good, responsible people with integrity -- we just don’t hear about them. So lets all recognize and celebrate the good citizens that surround us all!

JAYNE OUTWATER

Knapps

Bennington