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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down: Views by the Echo Press

CHURCHES GIVE BACK Thumbs Up: Our thumbs item calling for debate on whether churches should be exempt from paying property taxes when they purchase new land for expansions or parking lots drew a few follow-up responses, most of them critical in putting property off the tax rolls. One Evansville reader, however, raised a point well worth considering: “Every church in the community that I’m aware of, puts more back into the community than what is relieved by tax relief. Check with the food shelves and Someplace Safe and organizations of those types to see what they get from local churches. You’d be amazed.”

NO SIGNALS Thumbs Down: Several readers said they agreed wholeheartedly with our December 6 “thumbs down” to drivers who follow much too closely behind other vehicles in bad driving conditions. One reader added this: “If you want to make a turn or change lanes, use your turning signals! When all we see is your brake lights, we have no idea if you’re stopping or turning. As for the turning signal, we’d at least like to have an idea which way you’re going.”

CLOGGED SIDEWALKS Thumbs Down: If you’re not clearing the sidewalks and curb cuts after a significant snowfall, remember that you could be making life especially difficult for people with disabilities. The Minnesota State Council on Disability reminds everyone to please keep their sidewalks clear. “Sidewalks and walkways are the lifeline for many people with disabilities and our senior community,” the council noted. “When they are not cleared off, this can present difficulties with trying to get to work, the grocery store, or medical appointments. Basic health and safety issues can be affected as well.” In most communities there are local ordinances that require snow removal on public sidewalks within a given period of time. Fines may result if residences and business owners do not abide by those ordinances. The council urges people to do the right thing and shovel sidewalks as soon as possible. Don’t just wait for the snow to melt.


Thumbs Up: The Radiothon to End Child Abuse, put on by KIKV-FM, COOL 94.3 and Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota, was another big success. It raised $40,735 to help in the education of parents, teachers and anyone who comes in contact with children. “Through education, we hope to put an end to child abuse and neglect,” said Dave Vagle, general manager of the radio stations. He credited the success to volunteers from Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Todd counties, those who pledged and those who donated auction items. He gave a special mention to Pete’s County Market for allowing the stations to hold the event at the grocery store. “We’d also like to thank All State Wireless, Century Link and American Solutions for Business for their incredible generosity,” Vagle said.

BLOTTER FEEDBACK Thumbs Up: Readers seem to appreciate the return of the sheriff and police blotter that is now being printed in the Echo Press. “Thank you for bringing back the blotter! Thumbs up!” wrote one reader. “I really like to know what is happening in the area.” The Alexandria Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office are fully cooperating with the newspaper’s request to provide readers with this information and deserve a thumbs up for their efforts. Each day, they send us a complete list of all the calls they respond to – the serious, the sad, the comical, the strange and everything in between. It’s been a challenge selecting which of the hundreds of calls to include but the goal has been to give readers a better idea of the wide variety of calls their local law enforcement agencies handle on a daily basis.

PICTURE PERFECT SERVICE Thumps Up: The folks at Photo Magic in Alexandria received a thumbs up from a reader. She called to let us know that the staff went above-and-beyond in accommodating her requests to get her Christmas card photos just right. “They were so totally friendly, resizing pictures and moving them around,” she said. “They were smiling the whole time even though they are really busy this time of year. One of them told me she worked until 12:30 in the morning on Christmas cards.”