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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down: Views by the Echo Press

Students who helped take down flower baskets in downtown Alexandria included (shown in the photo, left to right) Carl Sandelman, Ben Tollefson, Shawn Nelson and Paul Meland.


Thumbs Up: Young people often don’t get enough recognition for all the good work they do in the community. Here’s but one small example: A group of students at Jefferson High School recently helped take down the flower baskets in downtown Alexandria.

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Thumbs Up: Kudos to U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and John Thune, R-South Dakota, for introducing legislation to prevent ammunition and fishing tackle from unnecessary EPA regulation. The Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act excludes ammunition and fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act, leaving regulations up to state fish and game agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that currently regulate ammo and tackle. As noted by Klobuchar, hunting and fishing are a critical part of Minnesota’s economy and heritage. The legislation helps ensure that Minnesota sportsmen and sportswomen can continue to enjoy these outdoor activities without unnecessary regulation that would increase costs. The legislation is also supported by The National Rifle Association, Safari Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Wildlife Forever, and other hunting and fishing groups.


Thumbs Down: Is the hype over the threat of Asian carp invading Minnesota lakes going too far? One expert thinks so. Judy DesHarnais, deputy for programs and project management in the St. Paul District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, addressed the issue in an editorial counterpoint printed in the Star Tribune. She debunked claims that Minnesota’s water-based recreational economy and some 240,000 jobs are threatened by Asian carp accessing the state’s waters from the main stem of the Mississippi River. She said that lakes around our part of the state are safe. “The implication that Asian carp can swim into central and northern heartland lakes and the Mississippi River headwaters is incorrect,” DesHarnais wrote. “Misstating the direct threat to these areas is a disservice to the residents, businesses and visitors who enjoy the environmental and recreational opportunities found there.” She noted that a series of dams between the Twin Cities and Brainerd protect the lakes, and that other recreational waters, such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Detroit Lakes area in the Red River system are not connected to the Upper Mississippi River watershed.


Thumbs Down: Here’s a not-so-bright motorcycling maneuver we saw on Voyager Drive recently. The rider was coming off a side street and barely slowed as he approached the main road, Voyager Drive (formerly County Road 44). Instead of stopping, he cruised onto the right shoulder of the road, passing a vehicle before eventually moving over onto the road. There have been too many motorcycle crashes this summer and fall. Stunts like that only increase the risk.