Thumbs Up and Down – Views by the Echo Press February 24Thumbs Up: The customer service at Eddy’s Interlachen Inn in Alexandria impressed a local woman who was dining there on a busy Valentine’s Day evening.
Thumbs Up: Words can’t convey the depth of the tragedies that happened on local roads Monday when six young lives were lost in three separate crashes. This is a time when everyone in the community has to come together and convey their support, prayers and sympathies to the families who are dealing with the sudden loss of a loved one. Lost behind the headlines of the story is the work of our local emergency response workers – rescue crews, law enforcement, ambulance personnel, fire departments, dispatchers and others. They again faced a horrific series of events in their line of duty. We should be grateful for all the work they do in extremely stressful and gut-wrenching situations. They respond to these emergency calls at all times of day and night with nothing to prepare them for exactly what they’ll encounter at the scene. In the face of such tragedy, they work together as a team, restoring, as best they can, a sense of calmness in the chaos. We realize they’re not looking for praise or recognition for doing what they do but they deserve it. They were a bright spot in a very dark day.
Courtesy to visually impaired
Thumbs Up: Josie Heegaard of Alexandria gives a “thumbs up” to those who extend courtesy to the visually impaired. “Minnesota law requires drivers to yield right-of-way when they see a white cane,” Heegaard noted. “Only blind people may legally carry a white cane. I can’t see you. I have to trust you to see me and grant me a safe crossing.”
Arts and entertainment supporters
Thumbs Up: The community was once again treated to a top-notch performance, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, at the Alexandria Area Arts Association Theatre. “How lucky we are,” said a theater-goer from Carlos. “The actors did a great job, as did everyone else connected to the play. It was wonderful.” The community, she said, is also fortunate to have Mikko Cowdery, who helped bring internationally renowned entertainer David Francey of Canada into Alexandria for a quickly put-together performance last Wednesday at Carlson’s Music. Ron Carlson of Carlson’s Music and Bruce Kelly also helped make it happen.
Wrong way to turn
Thumbs Down: Here’s one that grates on our nerves: Drivers who, while turning onto a four-lane divided highway, immediately go into the far lane instead of the closest lane. A motorist recently asked State Trooper Jesse Grabow about the legality of such driving. His response: A driver must turn into the closest lane initially. For some reason, many drivers simply don’t understand this, Grabow said in his “Ask a Trooper” column. While there are some limited exceptions, Grabow said that drivers should turn into the closest lane of roadways with two or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. “If you fail to do so, you could be violating the ‘illegal or an unsafe change of course’ statute,” Grabow said. “When you turn out immediately into that far lane, you are risking a crash. You are possibly preventing someone from making a turn into that lane as well.” The correct way to do it is to turn into the closest lane, then signal and move over into the farther lane when it is safe and clear to do so.
Valentine’s Day brightener
Thumbs Up: The customer service at Eddy’s Interlachen Inn in Alexandria impressed a local woman who was dining there on a busy Valentine’s Day evening. “A couple came in with a gift certificate from another restaurant and said that the place that had given them the certificate had sold out of the prime rib that they had wanted,” the woman said. “Gayle Haanan, the owner of Interlachen, didn’t even blink. The place was busy, and she made a table available for them without asking a question. If you’re hurting for business, I understand bending over, but these kids came in to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and Gayle made it happen on a busy night. I was born and raised in L.A., and this is why I live in Alexandria. People take care of one another up here.”
Woodland lunch team
Thumbs Up: An Alexandria mom gives a “thumbs up” to the lunch team at Woodland Elementary School. “Every time I have lunch there with my child, I’m impressed,” she said. “The assortment of fresh fruits and veggies is second to none. And my kids love it too. Thank you for putting our kids’ nutrition top of mind, Woodland.”
The birthday lady
Thumbs Up: A reader sent a thumbs up to Bev Bales who has been recognizing people on their birthdays and anniversaries on KXRA Radio each morning five days a week. While in the hospitality business, she began calling in the names of her customers in the 1970s. When she sold her business in 2000, she tried to stop calling in but her phone rang off the hook from people wanting her back on the air and she decided to keep calling the station. Birthdays, Bales said, have always been important to her. From a family of 10 children, her late mother asked the children to send a card or a note to each other on their birthdays so they’d know where everyone was located. Bales says her biggest challenge is keeping the list of more than 1,300 names current. By subscribing to several newspapers, she tries to keep track of those who have passed away. When folks move away, or have other changes in their lives, Bales said she’d appreciate being notified. Her phone number is (320) 852-7335 or send e-mail to email@example.com.