Thumbs Up/Down - December 7, 2012Festive downtown lights Thumbs Up: On the topic of LEDs, you have to admire the beautiful Christmas lights that adorn downtown Alexandria.
Thumbs Up: A resident came across some holiday kindness in the Alexandria Walmart parking lot recently. After shopping at the store at night, the resident went to her car and discovered that the battery was dead. The Walmart customer service department immediately got an employee to charge up for free and a helpful woman who was parked in front of the resident asked if she could leave her lights on to help see while the battery was being charged. “We need to hear about all the good helping people out there,” said the resident.
Energy saving tip
Thumbs Up: If you’re fighting the trend to replace the traditional bulbs on your Christmas tree with LEDs, you may want to consider this information from the Stearns Electric Association. LEDs are now on par with traditional bulbs in providing warm, inviting colors in a variety of light beam patterns and dimming speeds. LEDs last longer than traditional lights, having an operational life span of about 20,000 hours, enough to last for 40 holiday seasons. Also, LEDs don’t have glass or filaments, which make them durable and resistant to breaking. LEDs use less energy. Running LED lights on one six-foot Christmas tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days can save 90 percent or more energy when compared to traditional incandescent lights, according to the association. Because they use less energy, LEDs make it safer to connect multiple strands end-to-end without overloading the wall socket. Also, LEDs are cool to the touch, reducing the risk of fire.
Epilepsy Foundation clears the air
Thumbs Up: Minnesota Golden Gophers football coach Jerry Kill is back in the news after he had a seizure a couple of weekends ago and there’s been speculation about whether he should keep his job. There’s a lot of misinformation about epilepsy floating around and the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota sent out the following information to help clear the air: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Epilepsy is considered a disability that is protected by this law and Title I of the ADA requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees. Epilepsy is an individualized condition, with varying types of seizure severity, postictal state recovery times and different seizure triggers. No one case is the same and in 70 percent of cases, the cause is unknown. While stress can be a seizure trigger, there are many others: fatigue, missed medication, hormonal fluctuation etc. Because epilepsy is so different in each person, triggers and seizure types vary widely. Many successful people with epilepsy hold high-profile jobs: Chief Justice John Roberts, the musician Prince, Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling and more. Teddy Roosevelt, George Gershwin, Harriet Tubman and Charles Dickens are also among a long list of successful people with epilepsy.
Drive-through disaster averted
Thumbs Up: Melissa Ashbaugh of Eagle Bend sent a thumbs up after an incident at the Bremer Bank drive-through in Alexandria. She accidentally left her debit card and license inside the tube and didn’t realize it until hours later, after the bank had closed. The next day, the bank confirmed that the card and ID had not been turned in. In a panic, she called the bank’s 800 number to freeze any use of the card and also contacted the police but she was still worried. Then, a couple days later, she was relieved to find the card and license in her mail. “Whomever came through after me in the drive-through had decided to wrap my cards up with a nice anonymous note saying, ‘Found at Bremer Bank, Happy Thanksgiving.’ No return address,” Ashbaugh said. “I wish to thank this person and tell them it truly restored my faith that there are good, honest people out there.”
Festive downtown lights
Thumbs Up: On the topic of LEDs, you have to admire the beautiful Christmas lights that adorn downtown Alexandria. Those lights are also LEDs and the bursts of colors they provide add a festive touch to the holidays. The crews that put up the lights all over town deserve something extra in their stockings for their work, year after year, in keeping the display shiny and bright. The Runestone Museum also deserves some limelight for organizing its free “Christmas in the Fort” celebration that officially opens the holiday season in the city with Christmas carols, appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus, treats and other family friendly activities.