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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: frontline workers, caucuses, jaywalkers, snow-filled sidewalks, kind neighbors.

Support for frontline workers

Thumbs Up: Frontline workers are being stretched to the limit by COVID, and deserve a big thumbs up for the work they continue to do. According to a presentation given at a "Listen and Learn" event last month, Alomere Health has seen a 67% increase in COVID-related hospitalizations and nearly 80% of them have been unvaccinated people. One local woman who identified herself only as Maxine, said now would be a good time for local citizens and businesses to show their appreciation for those workers by giving them something in the way of a thank you, either through sending cards or bringing them treats. "If we just show some small token of appreciation, it would go a long way," she said.

Doing a civic duty

Thumbs Up: We give an advance “thumbs up” to all those who take a little time to participate in the political process at its most local level – caucuses on Tuesday, Feb. 1. Republicans from all precincts in Douglas County are invited to caucus at the Alexandria Area High School. Proceedings will begin at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Attendees are encouraged to arrive as early as 6:30 p.m. Douglas County DFLers, meanwhile, will caucus at Discovery Middle School, 510 McKay Ave. N, Alexandria. Registration will start at 6:30 p.m. Those attending will help their party pass resolutions that could become part of the official party platform. They’ll also select delegates, endorse candidates and handle other party interests. The effectiveness of our political system rests with the people and the people have the opportunity to contribute to it on Feb. 1.

Jaywalkers on Broadway

Thumbs Down: Is walking an extra half of a block worth putting your life at risk? Jaywalkers seem to think so and we’ve been spotting more and more of them lately. They’ll try to cross Broadway in the middle of a block instead of taking a few extra steps to the signal lights. One of our reporters saw a woman with three small children in tow walking boldly across Broadway, waving her hands, expecting all other drivers to yield to her. Jaywalkers fail to realize that even if they make it safely across, they’ve interrupted the traffic flow and increased the chances of rear-end collisions as traffic comes to a halt. Like it or not, in the last few decades, Alexandria has grown to become a much larger city with heavier traffic, especially on Broadway, Third Avenue and other busy streets. Gone are the days when a pedestrian could saunter across the street with no worries about getting hit. Please, walk those few extra steps to a signalized intersection. It’s worth it.

Snow-filled sidewalks

Thumbs Down: Maybe street plows are doing too good of a job? An Alexandria woman who lives on Voyager Drive gives a thumbs down to the snowplow driver who she said came through at least three times after a snowfall and snow ended up all over the sidewalk. “The first two times were understandable,” she said. “By the third time, the sun had melted much of the snow on the sidewalk and it was looking good. After the plow came through again, there was more snow left on the sidewalk than before. Every time the snowplow comes, it leaves a ridge of snow, sometimes in large amounts, on plowed, shoveled and cleaned off driveways.” She added that many of the affected homes on Voyager Drive are owned by elderly persons in their 70s and 80s who have already paid for a snowplow service to plow their driveways. “They are now negatively impacted over and over again by the sidewalk plow,” she said.

The kindness of neighbors

Thumbs Up: And speaking of snowfalls, we know there are a lot of Good Samaritans out there who have shoveled off driveways and sidewalks for others. One reader left us a note saying, “Thumbs up to great neighbors helping with snow removal for two other neighbors recovering from surgery. Thanks to the awesome neighbors on Lake Park Drive.” We also know of a very helpful neighbor on Meadow Lane who has come to the rescue on many occasions by clearing driveways for others.

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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.

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