Showing their citizenship

Thumbs Up: It was great to see a big group of Alexandria Boy Scouts from Troop 412 attend Monday night’s Alexandria City Council meeting. They did it to earn their “Citizenship in the Community” merit badge. They listened well and paid attention. Boy Scouts have visited the council chambers many times over the years and the mayor and council members always welcome them warmly for taking the time to experience local government in action. This time, the Alexandria Police Department gave each Scout a police department patch to go along with their well-earned badges.

Drive-through rudeness

Thumbs Down: Ever feel frustrated while waiting in a fast food drive-through because the drivers ahead of you are not paying attention or clogging up the process? You’re not alone. “It would be nice if people stayed off their cell phones and also if they paid attention while in the drive-through to see when it’s their turn to drive forward,” a reader told us in an email. “And even better would be to not block traffic! When someone blocks the area so you can’t get out after getting your food, it makes the situation even worse and it’s very annoying. Be courteous people, please!”

Polluting the planet

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Thumbs Down: Another Earth Day, April 22, has come and gone but people should not shirk their responsibilities of keeping the planet clean and protecting the environment for generations to come. An Alexandria woman sent us a note saying she remembers the first Earth Day in 1970. “What they predicted was going to happen to our Earth was booed, hissed at, called ridiculous and amounted to fear tactics,” she said. “Well, guess what? Not only were they right, but the destruction is happening even faster than they predicted. So wake up! If we don’t quit being so foolishly in denial, greedy, extremely wasteful and selfish, what’s going to be left for us (if we live longer than the average) our children’s lives, and our children’s children? We, this planet, is either going to end up like Mars or the Moon. Is this really what we want as a legacy for the future?”

The widening political divide

Thumbs Down: The political divide, of course, has been with us ever since people started comparing their own thoughts against those held by others. But lately, finding any kind of common ground seems impossible. Here’s one example: We received two “news releases” issued at the same minute, 3:45 p.m., on April 28, related to President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. From the Liberty Council: “Biden Administration’s 100 Days of Death.” “WASHINGTON, D.C. – When Joe Biden ran for president, he made repeated promises to expand abortion and undo many of the pro-life measures implemented under the Trump administration. In the short time Biden has been in the White House, he has quickly worked to ensure what will be a legacy of death.” And from the Minnesota DFL Party: “Biden Created More Jobs in First Two Months Than Any President in History.” “ST. PAUL, MN – When President Biden took office, he did so in an economic recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and Donald Trump’s horrendous mismanagement of it. Thanks to his strong vaccination program and investment in the American people President Biden and his administration created more new jobs in the first two months than any president in history.” That’s quite a chasm.

Letting AIS invade our lakes

Thumbs Down: This is more of a plea than a thumbs, but it’s so important as another fishing season opens. Please, anglers, do all you can to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. It’s fairly easy to do. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources boils it down to this: “Clean, drain, dispose every time.” That means cleaning aquatic plants and debris from watercraft, draining lake or river water and keeping drain plugs out during transport, and disposing of unwanted bait in the trash, not in the water. Let’s not make it easy for these lake invaders to ruin our precious resources. More information is available at

If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.