Kudos to kids cleaning up

Thumbs Up: An Alexandria reader sent an email to the newspaper saying that the community can be proud of its schools and students for many reasons and Day of Caring, a partnership between Discovery Middle School and United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties, provides a great example. “This group from Discovery school – teacher Susie Hamilton and aide Linda Koep – helped with garden and flower bed clean-outs, trimming, digging, and sprucing up for us,” the reader said. “They did a great job and even had time for a quick game of pick-up football in our backyard before the bus came to take them back to school. Kudos to all those hard workers and a big personal thanks for all the help! A small token of appreciation to each was a crocheted hat for when the weather gets cold again.”

Alert and aware drivers

Thumbs Up: Here’s an example, for once, of good driving in Alexandria. Last Thursday at about 3 p.m., an Alexandria woman said she was driving north on Broadway when she encountered several police cars with their sirens and lights on. She quickly pulled over and soon realized she wasn’t the only one. All the traffic – and there was a lot of it – immediately moved over to the side of the street and stopped, giving the police vehicles a clear, safe path to respond to the call. (It turned out to be a hold-up alarm that was accidentally pushed at a bank.) The woman was impressed with all the alert drivers who did what they were supposed to do. “It was Minnesota nice and it was Alexandria nice,” she said.

Profane political signs

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Thumbs Down: A reader sends a thumbs down to people who live on Lake Street in Osakis who feel they need to include profanity – the “F bomb,” she said – on a political banner in their yard. “Guess what? Children can read!” she said in an email to the newspaper. “So embarrassing and a disgrace to the people of Osakis.”

Parking way too long

Thumbs Down: Some vehicle owners in Alexandria think they can park anywhere they want for as long as they want. Not so. They could be violating the city’s parking ordinances, especially when there are signs indicating parking time limits, such as 24 hours along a street. A reader noticed it happens frequently and includes boats, campers, trucks and cars. “When people leave them on the side of the road in the hot days for a long period of time it creates indents in the asphalt,” the reader said. The city doesn’t spend a lot of time enforcing the parking ordinances – they have bigger matters to tend to – but if residents notice a vehicle that’s been parked along the street for too long of a time, they should contact police and report it. Consider this a reminder.

Support for small-town newspapers

Thumbs Up: Here’s good news for anyone who likes to read news from their local hometown newspaper or radio station. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and three other U.S. lawmakers have reintroduced the Future of Local News Act, legislation that would help the local news industry. In a news release, Klobuchar noted that local news organizations play a vital role in American democracy, but an industry-wide transition to digital media and the pandemic’s impacts on the economy has led to big challenges for community newspapers and radio stations. The legislation would create a committee to study the state of local journalism and offer recommendations to Congress on the actions it can take to support local news organizations. “As thousands of media outlets have been forced out of business, too many small towns and rural communities have become ‘news deserts’ without access to local news,” said Senator Klobuchar. “As the daughter of a newspaperman, I understand that a free press is vital to our system of government. The Future of Local News Act would help ensure that we preserve the newspapers, radio stations, and broadcasters that keep their communities informed.”

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