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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down: Views by the Echo Press


Thumbs Up/Down: Spring has revealed an ugly problem: littering. A resident sent us a note listing three reasons why people litter: They don’t know any better, which typically applies to children who haven’t been taught about taking responsibility; they think their little piece of trash won’t make a difference; or they do it out of defiance. According to a Minnesota Department of Transportation survey, it’s estimated that about half of the litter is thrown out deliberately. The most common items are fast food packaging, plastic and glass containers, aluminum cans and cigarette wrappers. “The folks who lack pride in our community also don’t care that someone else must pick up what they threw down,” said the resident. “A big thumbs down to them.” The resident said that a significant amount of the litter in Alexandria is “accidental.” It falls from trucks or gusting winds blow it from vehicles, Dumpsters, garbage cans, grocery carts and mailboxes. “Most of this problem could be eliminated if folks would take more precautions,” the resident noted. There is a bright side to the problem: The many, willing and able-bodied residents who clean up our roadsides as part of MnDOT’s Adopt A Highway program, and the many people who just take the time to pick up recyclables and trash because they want to be proud of where they live. “A big thumbs up to the folks who pick up while walking for exercise; pick up near their parked car; pick up near their home and place of business; pick up because they believe in recycling; or simply pick up because it’s something a good citizen can do.”


Thumbs Down: On the topic of littering, here’s a thumbs down to the giant litterbugs who put furniture and other junk along streets and alleys. “Some leave it there for months, through snow and rain,” said a concerned resident. “Why would anyone want to pick it up even for free in that condition? Let’s keep our neighborhoods and city looking neat.”


Thumbs Up: A few weeks ago, Jim Conn of Alexandria noticed an airboat maneuvering on top of the ice in front of his place on Lake Ida in the rain and cold. He watched them break through the ice, get back on solid ice, then break through again when their engine suddenly stopped. He thought that they were marooned in the middle of the lake, so he called 911 only to learn that a couple of officers were training to use the airboat for lake rescues in potentially life-threatening conditions. “I was thoroughly impressed to see our local first responders practicing in these inclement conditions,” Conn said.


Thumbs Up: Those living at The Village Cooperative of Alexandria give a “thumbs up” to Deb Shea who presented good information on Douglas County Senior Services on April 28. “She was very informative and pleasant with her presentation and we appreciate knowing she is available when we have questions concerning our health care coverage,” said a resident.


Thumbs Up: Donna Korkowski of Brandon wanted to do a good thing but ran into a glitch that a local company helped her out of. She wanted to donate her wedding dress to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) Helping Hands organization. It makes “angel gowns” for babies who don’t survive. The organization accepts any wedding gowns but prefers them to be cleaned, if possible. Korkowski called American Cleaners and Launderers in Alexandria to find out the cost. She was told $120. “I hung up disappointed because I really wanted it cleaned,” she said. “I decided to call back and talked to Nathan, the owner, and explained the situation…He said since I was donating the dress for this, he could clean it for $25…My thanks goes out to Nathan at the American Cleaners for being so generous to help out this cause.”


Thumbs Up: Melrose Moloy sends a thumbs up to Glen and others at the Alexandria Senior Center for the time and effort they put in while helping seniors with their taxes. “All of you give so generously of your time,” Moloy said. “The only complaint I heard was that some of the computers at the center couldn’t download fast enough to process the information that was being fed to them. So thanks again!”


Thumbs Up: The Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf gives a “thumbs up” to everyone who helped make March Food Share Month a success. “We had 45,220 pounds of food donated and $57,834,” said Mary Anderson, board member. “This means we can help residents of Douglas County because of your generosity.”