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Shannahan a great ambassador for Bennington

To the Editor: Five years ago, when I was visiting Bennington to look at homes, John Shannahan was the first person I met when I was deciding if this is where Jennifer Jasper, myself and my small business would relocate from Seattle.

Obviously, he’s a great ambassador for Bennington, because here we are 4.5 years later. I served on the Bennington Area Arts Council board with him and he’s a tireless advocate for the arts. I want to publicly thank John for everything he has done to welcome Jennifer and me to Bennington over the last few years.

When I saw that John was stepping down from BBC, my heart sank a little bit. His absence over the last few weeks has been noticeable. John has been my go-to guy for questions about doing business here: getting help with promotional opportunities for Bennington Performing Arts Center, where I’m the marketing and communications manager; talking about the opportunities the Putnam Block re-development has presented; and discussing the growing excitement about the downtown revitalization. He will be sorely missed as the head of BBC.

The board has very big shoes to fill in finding a new director. I wish John nothing but happiness going forward.

Kate Whitehall


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Save room for the Pledge

To the Editor: I beg the Bennington Select Board: Do not turn your back on America. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance takes only 15 seconds.

I served our community for over 40 years in many capacities including my terms on the Select Board when we reinstituted opening meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance. Recently someone pointed out that our Select Board is one of the only local entities which has begun our public meetings with the Pledge. We are small-town America and freedom has sprung from our roots.

Is it too much for the board to continue taking 15 precious seconds to acknowledge America has given us our freedom to meet publicly and to freely speak or not to speak? America is filled with different opinions, yet we remain one nation and one of the greatest in the world. Please continue to acknowledge this by opening Select Board meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance.

John A. Zink



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