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Life and Work

Porter, Conarroe defend Firecracker 4-Miler titles

Jason Porter of Bedford, N.H., and Heather Conarroe of Greenwich, Conn., successfully defended their titles on July 4 in the Bill Powers Memorial Firecracker 4-Miler in Brattleboro.

Porter, 42, was pressed hard at the end of the race by Brattleboro’s Jacob Ellis, but Porter prevailed in 22 minutes, 13 seconds, just one second faster than the 18-year-old Ellis. Rob Lind, 26, of Brattleboro was third in 22:39.

Conarroe, 24, placed 15th overall and was the top female finisher in 26:04. Angela Slowinski of Colrain, Mass., took second in the female class. She was 30th overall in 28:46. Maddie Rollins, 17, of Dummerston, a standout in hockey and lacrosse for the Colonels, was the third place finisher, 45th overall, in 30:07.

There were 129 finishers in the race, which is sponsored by the Red Clover Rovers running club. It was the largest number of competitors the race had ever seen.

Post 5 roundup

• During the high school baseball season this year, the Brattleboro Colonels at times had trouble scoring runs. Most of the time, it didn’t matter because the starting pitching for the Colonels usually shut down opponents.

Most of the players from the team are playing for Brattleboro Post 5 in American Legion baseball and the style of play hasn’t changed much.

Against Bennington Post 13 on July 3, it looked like Post 5 would pull out another close game as starter Sawyer Olson held Post 13 to a single run over the first five innings. Instead, Post 5 ended up with a frustrating 5-2 loss at Tenney Field.

Everything unraveled in the sixth inning. Post 13 starting pitcher Cody LaFlamme opened the inning with a triple. Matt Parmenter was hit by a pitch and stole second to put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with no outs. Tyler Kunzmann then got them home with a single that was misplayed into a bases-clearing hit. Kunzmann scored on the play to give Post 13 a 4-2 lead. Russell Krebs added an insurance run in the seventh when he scored on a double steal.

Brattleboro got both its runs in the second. They loaded the bases without getting the ball out of the infield on an infield hit by Olson and bunts by Kevin Tao and Elliot Gragen. Ross Meyer was hit by a pitch to force in a run, and Tommy Heydinger got another one in on a fielder’s choice.

LaFlamme struck out eight batters to get the win, and benefited from some baserunning gaffes by Post 5 that short-circuited potential big innings.

Post 5 had better luck against Windsor/Woodstock on Thursday as pitcher Drew Barnum was brilliant in a 10-0 win in a five-inning game cut short by the 10-run rule. Barnum allowed no hits and walked no one. Meanwhile, Brattleboro scored six runs in the first inning and four more in the fifth. Gerald Roberge led the hit parade with three hits, while Evan Parro had two hits and drove in two runs.

Post 5 finished up June with a 12-2 rout of Hartford on the 28th and a 9-1 win over South Royalton on the 29th. They started July with a doubleheader split with Rutland on the 1st. Brattleboro entered the second week of July with an 8-4 record.

Softball roundup

• With a month left to go in the regular season of the Brattleboro Area Men’s Softball League, the Brattleboro Elks (9-3) are still in first place in Division 1, but Fletcher’s Auto (8-3) is within a half-game of first. The Moose remain in third at 6-5, while Sportsmen’s Lounge/Hotel Pharmacy (1-10) are still in last place.

Roadhouse Bar & Billiards still leads Division 2 with a 9-4 record, and In Pursuit 365 (7-6) moved past Zooters/Green Mountain Creamery (5-6) into second place at 5-5. Westmoreland Auto remains in last at 2-8.

In Division 3, Hescock Lawn Care (11-1) remains in first, but second-place Newton Business (10-4) is starting to close in. VFW (9-5) has a half-game lead over GSP Coatings (8-5) for third place. Aerodyne (7-5) is now in fifth, followed by Marina/DMI (5-7), GS Precision (5-6), MT3/DJ’s/Goodenough (4-8), W & B Maintenance (2-9) and Stark Outdoors (2-11).

Falvey Pools leads Division 4 with a 11-1 record, while Twin State Auto (10-4) surged into second. Mocha Joe’s (8-4) fell to third, followed by Frankie’s Pizza/McNeill’s Brewery (6-5), Tony Farnum Construction (4-5), the Firefighters (5-7), UNFI (5-8), Chelsea Royal improved to (4-8) and Brattleboro Family Health Care (1-12).

Komen woes hurt local race

• One of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is its annual Vermont Race for the Cure at Hildene Meadows in Manchester. But for this year’s race, scheduled for July 28, individual entries are down 50 percent.

Affiliate President Debbie Peretz puts the blame squarely on what she called “Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle back in February,” when the national organization pulled its funding from Planned Parenthood and created a public relations disaster that it has yet to recover from.

“The fallout was almost immediate,” Peretz said in a recent news release. “We lost $8,000 in donations the week the news broke. People were angry, and they clearly still are. The problem is that they’re directing their anger to the wrong place.”

Peretz said that none of the funds her organization raises locally goes to Komen’s national operation, while 75 percent of what gets raised stays in Vermont and New Hampshire in the form of grants to breast cancer programs. The rest goes to breast cancer research.

“That’s what we here in Vermont and New Hampshire are all about,” said race director and 21-year breast cancer survivor Carri Rubinstein. “We’re not about politics. We’re about helping local women and men fight this disease, and finding a cure for breast cancer. Period.”

Rubinstein suggests those who may still be angry at the national Komen organization in Dallas call or write them, and “tell them what you think. Give them hell if you want, and then please register for the Vermont Race at komenvtnh.org. Local lives really do depend on it.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #160 (Wednesday, July 11, 2012).

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