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Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, Oct. 21

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: Support for Veterans Memorial Park, ignoring stop signs, traffic light timing, catching dangerous drivers, Sertoma membership drive.

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People waited at the new Veteran's Memorial Park in Alexandria for the Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 31, 2021. The park recently received donations from the Alexandria Elks Lodge and the Colorful Seasons Garden Center.
Echo Press file photo
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Veterans Memorial Park support

Thumbs Up: The Veterans Memorial Park Committee thanks the Alexandria Elks Lodge for an unexpected gift of $1,915. The committee noted that unfortunately, many veterans parks are enthusiastically established in communities across the nation but with little forethought given to maintenance and longevity once dedicated. The committee said that the Alexandria VMP is in good hands, having been integrated into the City of Alexandria park system in 2020. “We are all very fortunate to have our Veterans Memorial Park located in ‘our city’ thereby making it one of the finer veterans memorial parks in Minnesota, if not our country,” the committee said. "Most importantly, because we view our memorial as a 'living memorial,' we continue to add new veterans' names to the VMP in Alexandria each year and dedicate these names on Memorial Day." The contribution will be used for expenses related to the procurement and engraving of new veteran names on the black granite monoliths. The committee also thanks Colorful Seasons Garden Center for once again donating the flowers, planters, shrubs and bushes at the park in 2022.

Blowing though stop signs

Thumbs Down: “People need to obey stop signs!” a concerned reader said in an email. He said on Thursday, Oct. 13 he experienced two incidents of drivers not stopping at stop signs. The first happened when a gray SUV ran the stop sign on Voyager Drive and County Road 22. The second incident, he said, could have been fatal when a white dump truck blew through the stop sign on Latoka Drive and crossed 45 right in front of him. “Thank God for good brakes and giving us the reflexes to apply them because our vehicle was just about 4 feet from crashing into the side of the dump truck. Is life so valueless that people cannot take a couple seconds to stop at posted intersections?”

Waiting at lights to get on Broadway

Thumbs Down: A reader isn’t happy about the timing of the traffic lights on Broadway, which was recently changed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “It is now very easy to travel north/south, and speed, through downtown Alexandria,” the reader said in an email to the newspaper. “Not ideal for the benefit of Alexandria's downtown businesses or safety. Waiting at lights regulating eastbound/westbound traffic can seem interminable. If you agree, you can share feedback with MnDOT's District 4 Traffic Engineer Trudy Kordosk ( trudy.kordosky@state.mn.us ).”

Cracking down on dangerous drivers

Thumbs Up: An enforcement effort by the Minnesota State Patrol helped stop thousands of dangerous drivers. During the effort, called Project 20(22), troopers Made 3,742 stops over six weekends, from May through September. The initiative was launched to stop the deadliest traffic violations – excessive speeding, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving and driving while impaired (alcohol or drugs). It follows a “horrific spike” in fatal crashes involving excessive speeds over the past two years, the state patrol noted. Troopers worked in teams and with local law enforcement to have a visible presence and protect motorists during busy times on the road. The results: stops – 3,742, speed enforcement – 2,773, seat belt enforcement – 144, distracted driving enforcement – 137, impaired driving arrests – 61, other arrests: 38. “You do not have to drive our roads for very long to realize the driving behavior exhibited by many motorists is unsafe and unacceptable,” said Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol. “The goal of Project 20(22) was to make a difference and it did. I am proud of our troopers and allied agencies who worked hard during this project and who work hard each day to make our roads safer.”

Sertoma seeks members

Thumbs Up: The Alexandria Sertoma Club is looking for more members. It’s holding a “Rock ‘N with Sertoma” membership drive on Thursday, Oct. 27 at Broadway Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. It will include hors d’oeuvres, the chance to win free dues and musical performances by Matt Hagstrom, Mickey Larson and Chris Pinatiello. The club meets every Wednesday at noon and has been active in many activities throughout the Alexandria community – purchasing audiometers for the School District 206, helping conduct hearing screenings for the school, providing a new looped hearing system at the Alexandria Area High School as well as the Andria Theatre. In addition to their mission to help those with hearing loss, the local Sertomans have supported other causes, including Adopt a Highway Ditch Pick, United Way of Douglas and Pope Counties, Habitat for Humanity, Art in the Park, YMCA, Someplace Safe, UCAN and more. The community is fortunate to have such a positive force that’s making a difference and you can become part of that effort.

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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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