Roses and Thorns

Saturday March 9, 2013

ROSES to the multitude of volunteers who worked the polls on Tuesday to help make Town Meeting Day, a proud Vermont tradition, a success. Also, ROSES to all those area residents who made an effort to vote. THORNS to the Village School of North Bennington for allowing a father and son, Don and Brian McKenna, and a husband and wife, David Monks and Rachel Shumacher, to serve at the same time on its board of trustees. Don McKenna, Monks and Shumacher were appointed to the board this week. Brian McKenna was already a trustee. While we acknowledge it's difficult to find and retain suitable board members, we see some obvious conflicts of interest here.

ROSES to Second Chance Animal Center's humane education program, which encourages empathy, compassion and respect for all animals and teaches the responsibilities of pet ownership. The program, led by the shelter's education director Dane Meunier, reaches approximately 600 Bennington County elementary students monthly. "You take a lot of kids who might be shy with people or have a rough time at home, but the presence of an animal in the classroom and the opportunity to meet them and learn about them can help to open them up," Meunier told The Banner.

ROSES to the Mount Anthony Union High School cheerleading team for winning its second state championship and first since 1987 on March 2. It was program's first podium-finish since taking second in 2002. "They wanted it and they worked at it for a while," said coach Tiffany Hall.

THORNS to the Sequester, for forcing $85 billion in cuts to programs across the country, in every state including Vermont. The cuts include a $125,000 reduction in funding to Brattleboro's Head Start program.

~Michelle Karas


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