Thumbs Up/Down - July 27, 2012Thumbs Down: Another bad driving habit is popping up more and more on County Road 22 at the Central Lakes Trail crossing
Heat over mug shots
Thumbs Down: The newspaper has taken some heat for printing the mug shots of two stabbing suspects who happened to be black. Because we put the mugs on the front page of the paper, we were accused, in a story printed Wednesday, of “feeding the stereotype.” We disagree. We treat everyone the same. This was a serious incident that resulted in a victim being taken to the hospital. This story would have been placed on the front page with mug shots of the suspects if they were black, white or orange. In fact, the story was already on the front page before the mug shots were sent to us by the sheriff’s office. We understand how sensitive race issues can be and we’ve printed stories trying to dispel the prejudices and stereotypes that some people hold toward others. Not running mug shots of black suspects or “hiding” the photos in a less visible spot in the newspaper would have been inconsistent with how we’ve treated other crimes and suspects in the past, a disservice to our readers, and most importantly, a shirking of the newspaper’s responsibility to present the facts in a fair, honest, straightforward light.
Blowing off the yield sign
Thumbs Down: A local resident sent a “thumbs down” to drivers who do not even so much as acknowledge the yield sign where Nokomis Street and Highway 29 North meet. “The drivers coming off of Nokomis just assume that they have the right of way regardless of what vehicle is traveling toward them from Highway 29,” she said. “I have come into Alexandria driving a large rig – a full-size pickup with large and loaded horse trailer – only to have them butt out in front of me without so much as a head check. Driving this kind of rig can prove to be a tricky ordeal and stopping takes a great deal longer, let alone when flat-out rude drivers cut you off. I’ve got the welfare of my passengers and the animals I’m hauling to think about and those inconsiderate drivers make that very difficult to maintain.” She added that semi-truck drivers, with even bigger rigs, have experienced this as well. She added, “Courtesy goes a long way on the roads not only because it’s right but because it’s safe!”
Unexpected stops on CR 22
Thumbs Down: Another bad driving habit is popping up more and more on County Road 22 at the Central Lakes Trail crossing. Drivers think they are being courteous and helpful by coming to a stop and allowing the trail users – joggers, bicyclists, walkers – to cross the road and continue on the trail. That’s not how it is supposed to work, however. Even if one driver stops, another one may not, which increases the chance of a crash. Those on the trail have to stop for those on the road and wait until it’s clear from both directions before proceeding. That’s the safest thing to do.
Thumbs Down: Our “thumbs down” to the culprit who stole a beautiful blood red flower from an Alexandria woman’s garden brought similar stories from a couple of other readers. One woman had two big pots of tomatoes and peppers picked clean while she was staying at an Osakis assisted living home. She’s now living at a hme in Alexandria and knows of a couple who had their tomatoes stolen as well. “What kind of person steals produce from the elderly in walkers?” she asked. “How low can you go? It takes all kinds but please don’t pick my marigolds. You can’t eat them and they don’t smell good. They’re just pretty.”