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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down: Views by the Echo Press


Thumbs Up/Down: Here’s one we want readers to weigh in on: Is Alexandria a “loud” city for its size? Does it have an over-abundance of loud trucks, motorcycles and engine-revving drivers? One reader is convinced it does. “I’ve always liked the Alex area and retired here four years ago,” he said. “It’s a beautiful city and has friendly people but it’s a very noisy place. Have you ever had a poll on people’s opinion on motorcycles and the way too numerous BIG and LOUD trucks? By August, I’m ready for winter so I don’t have to listen to it. It would be fun to see what people think about it.” So send us your thoughts. Are your ears ringing?


Thumbs Down: A reader sent us a warning about an online-only company that ripped her off. She ordered flowers for her wedding, which was only a month away, paid an extra $54 to get them in two days but the flowers never came. She tried emailing and calling but couldn’t reach anyone. Also, the listed address was to a place that didn’t exist. “They took about $300 from us,” she said. “The site looks very real and they offer a lot of products. Things to pay attention to on sites are the phone number and address. Call around to make sure it’s real…Just wanted to put some warning out there. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.” The best way to avoid such a scam: Shop local if you can.


Thumbs Up: An anonymous group of women has been delivering handmade quilts to veterans in Douglas County as a thank you for their service. The veterans have more than appreciated their generosity and thoughtfulness, with one saying it brought him to tears. Thank you, quilt-makers and thank you, veterans.


Thumbs Down: A driver in a white pickup did something awful on County Road 82, between Brandon and Evansville on July 18. A witness said it appeared he deliberately sped up, swerved into a family of geese, killing some of them, and then kept right on going. Thankfully, a deputy later pulled the driver over. At first, he denied doing anything wrong, but later admitted that he was on the Internet on his phone and didn’t see the geese. Not sure which was worse – the dangerous distracted driving or hitting the geese. Either way, there’s a lesson to learn.


Thumbs Down: Pay attention to whom you do business. A resident near 13th Avenue and Birch Street in Alexandria had a big tree down on his property and someone from a company he’d never heard of came to his door offering to remove it. He first estimated the cost at $900 but then backed down to $400 if the resident kept the wood. The resident was smart enough to check with local tree removal companies and found one who did the job for $150 and threw in some extra trimming work to boot.


Thumbs Up: With the dog days of summer upon us, it makes sense – and cents – to lower your electric bill as much as possible. Runestone Electric Association offers these five cool tips: 1. Replace your old central air conditioner with a high-efficiency model and receive rebates from $50 to $630. Contact a certified HVAC dealer for details. 2. Join REA’s Cycled Central Air Conditioner Program and receive a $10 gift card, plus a $7.50 credit on your monthly summer bill. 3. Get a tune-up for your central air conditioner or heat pump and receive a $25 rebate. 4. Replace old appliances with Energy Star rated appliances, which use 10 to 50 percent less energy. 5. Get rid of energy hogs, like standard dehumidifiers that can use between $30 and $45 of electricity per month.


Thumbs Up: What’s better than family fun and a free ice cream cone? The Alexandria Area Tennis Association sends a “thumbs up” to Doug Thompson of Lakeland Management. Burger King donated free ice cream cone coupons for youth attending the Golden “K” Tennis Camp and the Alexandria Area Tennis Association Family Fun Nights. This is another fine example of the community’s businesses supporting Alexandria youth.


Thumbs Up: An Alexandria resident appreciated the courtesy she experienced at the post office. A man waiting in a very long line left his spot to help an elderly woman out the door. “He also let another woman go ahead of him when it was his turn to be waited on,” she said. “I don’t know who he is – I was too surprised, but it was very nice of him.”