Thumbs Up/Down - March 15, 2013You’ve probably had it happen to you: You’re driving along when someone parked on the side of the road ahead of you suddenly opens their car door and you have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.
BARB GROVER’S NEW BOOK
Thumbs Up: For an absorbing read that contains fascinating insights into local history, pick up a copy of Barb Grover’s book, Alexandria. It’s the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. The book is filled with more than 200 vintage images of Alexandria’s past. The neat thing about history is that it never goes out of date. Just this week, the Alexandria City Council and Douglas County Board were approached to breathe new life into the old Carnegie Library Building. If you wanted to learn more about the building’s history, you could find it in Grover’s book. An entry about it noted that the building was constructed with a $12,000 donation from Andrew Carnegie and that it opened on October 14, 1904. Coincidentally, Grover wrote about the building in the book’s introduction: “The historic Carnegie Building sits empty in the heart of downtown, just waiting for the right person with a vision to bring it to life.” Grover, a former director of the Douglas County Historical Society, is an impeccable researcher who captured Alexandria’s beginnings as a settlement to what it is today. The book is available at local retailers, online bookstores or at www.arcadiapublishing.com (1-888-313-2665). Grover will be at Cherry Street Books for a book signing on Saturday, March 23 from noon to 2 p.m.
KINDNESS AT A CAFÉ
Thumbs Up: Leona Schneider of Alexandria came across some unexpected kindness at the Northwoods Café on 3rd Avenue East. She and her husband decided it would be a good idea to go grocery shopping before last week’s storm hit, so they thought they’d have lunch first (never shop on an empty stomach). When it came time to pay, they tried to use a debit card but were told they were not taken there. They also realized their checkbook was in a purse left at home. “Needless to say, I was a little embarrassed,” Leona said, “but I told the waitress I would run home and come right back to pay her but she insisted she would take care of it and we were not to worry about it. I said, ‘Oh no, I’ll come back and pay you’ but she insisted that it would be taken care of and for us to have a nice day. This put my faith back in my fellow man.”
A DOOR TO DANGER
Thumbs Down: You’ve probably had it happen to you: You’re driving along when someone parked on the side of the road ahead of you suddenly opens their car door and you have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them. Opening a car door into traffic is not only a bad idea, but it’s also against the law. Sergeant Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol recently addressed the problem in his “Ask a Trooper” column. He quoted Minnesota State Statute 169.315: “No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic.” Grabow added that the law goes on to say, “No person shall allow any door on the side of a vehicle adjacent to moving traffic to remain open for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.” Grabow also sent words of advice to drivers: “We need to slow down and be especially observant when driving in an area that has cars stopping or parking with people getting in and out of their vehicles. Safety is our number one goal no matter what the situation is, including hitting someone’s car doors!”
HAWKES CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Thumbs Up: Former Alexandrian John Hawkes continues to draw accolades for his amazing acting abilities. He was named Best Male Lead at the Spirit Awards for independent film making on February 23 for his portrayal of a man in an iron lung in the critically acclaimed movie, The Sessions. Hawkes, the son of Pat Perkins of Alexandria, has a long list of acting accomplishments, including his role as Teardrop in Winter’s Bone, which earned him a Spirit Award win and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, along with nominations from the Screen Actors Guild and several film critic groups. More recently, he landed a part in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and also appears on the HBO TV comedy series, Eastbound and Down.
SNOW REMOVAL CREWS
Thumbs Up: Here’s a shout-out to Alexandria’s street department for their untiring work in clearing away all the snow we’ve been getting. “No matter where you go in town, there is always someone complaining about the weather, but you never hear anyone thank the snow plow drivers,” said an Alexandria woman. “So I would like to thank all the men and women who worked hard this winter to make sure we could get out and about. The residents of Alexandria are pretty lucky that we have such a great snow removal crew. I work in another town where it takes days to remove just a little bit of snow off the roads.”