Thumbs Up/Down - July 13, 2012Thumbs Up: George and LaVerne Dyrstad of Alexandria were treated to a wonderful surprise from a couple they happened to sit across from while they were dining at Chet’s Lakeside Inn near Miltona.
Thumbs Up: Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management received a “thumbs up” from a resident for launching a pilot project for accepting plastics labeled as numbers 3-6, in addition to its previous acceptance of numbers 1 and 2. “This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for recycling customers like myself,” she said. “Where previously I was limited to pop bottles, etc., they now accept just about any kind of plastic I could think of.”
How to donate furniture
Thumbs Up: We received some helpful responses to an item in the last Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down about an elderly woman who was having trouble finding a place that would come and take her couch, which was in good condition. One reader suggested she call the KXRA Radio Swap Shop program. Several other readers suggested St. Mary Church’s Caring and Sharing Room in the 700 Cedar Building. It provides gently used household items, including certain types of furniture, to the needy. Those in the Sentenced to Serve program pick up the items for the church. “They picked up my dining room set and said they had already found someone who was very happy to receive it,” said a reader. “It’s so nice to see people helping people!” Some items are not accepted, such as oversized furniture, sofa beds, baby cribs, TVs, computers and large appliances. For more information, go to the website, www.stmaryalexandria.org. More than 100 volunteers are involved in The Sharing and Caring Room, which is open by appointment for donation drop-offs on Thursday mornings. Scheduled pick-up of larger items can be arranged by calling (320) 760-8084.
Thumbs Down: Two years ago, an Alexandria woman planted part of her garden in wildflowers. This year, a gorgeous blood red flower came up. It was the only one of its kind there. Now, all that’s left is an empty hole. Someone stole it. “Do I now have to contend with human predators as well as animal ones?” the woman asked. “A young family gardens on this site too and depends on the produce for feeding themselves — do we now have to worry about food being stolen? How about personal safety? This is more than discouraging. What caliber of person(s) would do this? I hope the plant dies in its new home.”
Beetles step up to plate
Thumbs Up: They’re more than baseball players. They’re part of the community and they help others. The Alexandria Beetles stepped up to the plate again this week by donating some of their ticket proceeds to flood victims in Duluth. A few weeks ago, the team partnered with ITW Heartland employees in packaging food for the Kids Against Hunger effort.
Thumbs Down: Have you had your tax refund unexpectedly intercepted? The Minnesota Department of Revenue calls this “revenue recapture” and it allows certain agencies to collect money that is owed to them. The agencies, however, sometimes overstep their authority. It happened to an Alexandria woman. She told us that the Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), which manages properties for private landlords in the area, tried to intercept her refund, believing that she owed money to her landlord. “Thankfully, I called an attorney,” the woman said. “The Department of Revenue confirmed that the HRA could not take my tax refund for a debt owed to a private landlord. When my attorney explained this to the HRA, they immediately released their claim on my refund. My concern is that this is happening to others.”
Thumbs Up: George and LaVerne Dyrstad of Alexandria were treated to a wonderful surprise from a couple they happened to sit across from while they were dining at Chet’s Lakeside Inn near Miltona. The Dyrstads, who were celebrating their 64th wedding anniversary, talked briefly to the couple but didn’t know them by name. “When we were ready to leave, the waitress came to our table and said that our bill was paid for by that couple,” the Dystads said. “What a nice surprise. Pay it forward, I guess. I hope we can do that soon to someone like them.”