Thumbs Up and Down – Views by the Echo Press December 16Thumbs Up: We’ve been hearing some glowing comments about the good customer service holiday shoppers have been receiving from the smaller stores in the area.
Battling ballast water
Thumbs Up: Here’s a bit of good news on the battlefront against zebra mussels. The Environmental Protection Agency has formally proposed stricter requirements for cleaner ballast water on ships, which should help keep aquatic invasive species out of the Great Lakes. The new rules would require commercial vessels to install technology strong enough to kill at least some of the fish, mussels and even microorganisms that are in ballast water before it is dumped into harbors after the ships arrive in port. More than 180 exotic species – including zebra mussels – have invaded the Great Lakes, about two-thirds of them are believed to have been carried in ballast water. The new rules, although they could have been stronger, are at least a small step in the right direction.
Blowing through intersections
Thumbs Down: Here’s another reminder to slow down and be prepared to stop at four-way intersections that don’t have lights or four-way stops. Too many drivers are cruising right through the uncontrolled intersections, wrongly assuming that if they’re moving, they must have the right of way and to heck with everyone else. A driver reported an incident the other day on Hawthorne Street that could have caused a wreck. Someone, ironically behind the wheel of a “student driver” vehicle, blew right through the intersection where another vehicle, luckily, was stopped. We hope the student driver learned a lesson.
Giving a gift that can open again
Thumbs Up: Individuals and organizations in the Alexandria area either donated actual books or gave money to purchase children’s books for the 22nd year of Project Bookshelf. “This year, 919 area children received a book appropriate to their age level within the Jingle Bells distribution,” noted Mary Lou Thunselle, vice president of finance with the American Association of University Women (AAUW). “A ‘thumbs up’ to our community from AAUW and Community Education. A book is a gift you can open again and again.”
An angel in Alexandria
Thumbs Up: Are there angels in Alexandria? The Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf says it has found one in Gladys Jobe: “Gladys brought in five Christmas quilts and one twin size quilt to the food shelf to give to the clients at the food shelf. The food shelf had a drawing last week and six lucky people won. Yes, there certainly is one angel in Alexandria. God bless you, Gladys.”
Forgetting the flag on December 7
Thumbs Down: A reader called in to give a “thumbs down” to businesses that did not fly the American flag at half-mast on December 7, the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. More than 2,400 Americans died that day and more than 1,100 were wounded. The surprise attack sank four battleships and damaged four others. The “day of infamy” should never be forgotten.
Thumbs Up: Thank you, New Testament Church, for presenting, The Gospel According to Scrooge. The production was top-notch, from the sets to the singing to the acting – all parts, large and small. More importantly, it delivered a powerful uplifting message about God’s love and the opportunity of second chances. What a wonderful way to start the Christmas season!
Small store service
Thumbs Up: We’ve been hearing some glowing comments about the good customer service holiday shoppers have been receiving from the smaller stores in the area. Merchants in Osakis were very friendly to a shopper by saying “thank you” – and meaning it – by making eye contact and by helping her find just what she needed. “I felt appreciated,” the shopper said. Another resident had a pleasant experience at The Scandinavian Gift Shop in Alexandria. The store was serving customers ethnic treats, cider, cocoa and employees were dressed in Scandinavian-styled robes. We encourage holiday shoppers to give these smaller, local stores a visit. They have a personal touch and charm the big box stores can’t match.