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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down: Views by the Echo Press


Thumbs Down: It’s understandable to be concerned about recent crimes in the area – two armed robberies and a burglary connected to an officer-involved shooting that ended in murder-suicide. But the incidents shouldn’t spur overblown reactions of panic, fear or claims that our area is going to heck in a hand-basket. Instead, the crimes should unite the community to be on the lookout for crime and to help law enforcement by providing tips and reporting suspicious behavior. It’s also constructive to realize that most criminal behavior is fueled by drug or alcohol abuse and preventing those addictions from taking root are a key part of addressing crime. Now is not the time to cower in fear, give up, lose faith or distrust any stranger you see. Let’s stay focused, vigilant and do everything we can to help law enforcement do their job.


Thumbs Up/Down: An item in the last Thumbs Up/Down, “Why not use the bus?” triggered a good response from readers who explained why they use their own vehicles to transport their children to and from schools. One parent told us that her children live less than six blocks away from St. Mary’s School. “For them to take the bus each morning/afternoon, they would be on the bus for more than two hours each day,” she said. “They can get extra sleep in the morning and get school work done after school with the amount of time spent on the bus…Yes, we are paying to transport our kids through school taxes and also paying for gas for our vehicles, but that is our choice.” Another parent agreed with the person who submitted the thumbs down. Her three children have been riding the school buses for the last 17 years. “When the two oldest could drive they did, but only because of after-school activities or work obligations,” she said. “Otherwise, they rode the bus and were almost always the only older students to do so. They were aware that riding the bus reduced our family carbon footprint and helped reduce our monthly gas bill.” A grandmother with a Buick defended picking up her grandson after school, three days a week. “I live in town and he lives seven miles out of town, so it makes sense,” she said. “He spends quality time with me after school at my home…His mother brings him to school in the morning on her way to work, therefore more quality time spent with mom instead of one and a half hours on the bus. That makes sense to me too. I’m not against school buses. My husband drove one for three and a half years. I like the option of being able to choose.”


Thumbs Down: An Alexandria woman received a mailing that had scam written all over it, starting with the envelope. It contained five foreign stamps sloppily placed in the lower left corner. Inside was a check from “TS Mart Stores,” typed out in her name, for $1,997.50. It was accompanied by an official-looking “acceptance letter,” informing her that based on a previous survey by Consumer Survey and Quality Control Specialists, she had indicated an interest in earning extra income on a part-time basis by participating in a “Quality Control Program.” The woman, of course, had never taken any such survey. It was a detailed pitch, explaining how she could go to a website to “activate” her check and receive her “survey assignments” to shop at big-name retail stores. She was told she could even keep any items she bought as a bonus. It’s all baloney, of course, an attempt to get personalized banking information and real money in place of the bogus check. The woman was smart enough not to fall for it. You shouldn’t either. And check to make sure your elderly relatives aren’t being targeted.