Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, Nov. 4

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: hunting accidents, high school building/landscaping, admission fees at tournaments, customer service, blood donors.

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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

Hunters who are careless

Thumbs Down: “There’s no such thing as a successful hunt if it isn’t safe.” That’s the message the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is giving with many hunting seasons underway and about 400,000 hunters set to converge on the state’s fields and woods for the Nov. 5 firearms deer opener. Accidents involving tree stands are the leading cause of injury among hunters. According to national data, as many as one in three hunters who hunt from an elevated stand will fall and sustain a serious injury. Tips from the DNR: Practice climbing into and out of tree stands before the season starts. Brush up on the key tenets of safe firearms handling before hitting the field. Wear blaze clothing to ensure visibility to other hunters. Inspect tree stand safety harnesses thoroughly and use them when in the stand and when climbing in and out. Maintain three points of contact with the steps or ladder at all times. Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded. Always control the muzzle. Be sure of the target and what’s beyond it. Only put your finger on the trigger when ready to shoot.

Beautiful high school/landscaping falls short

Thumbs Up/Down: A reader is impressed with how beautiful the Alexandria Area High School building is. “A wonderfully designed building that speaks well of our educational facility,” the reader said. But he gives a thumbs down to the landscaping areas in the school’s parking lot. “Much of the landscaping bark is absent, as well as the plastic or weed barrier visible. Looks like it doesn’t belong near a school that looks like a multi-million dollar facility. Can the powers that be clean up the lot to match their beautiful school?”

High admission fees

Thumbs Down: A local sports fan isn’t happy with the admission fees that were charged at Alexandria Area High School section events. He said they are much higher than the fees for regular season events. “I assume the admission fees are set by a committee, but it doesn’t cost any more for those section tournaments vs. the season games,” the fan said. “Don’t parents and grandparents pay enough for their students to participate?” He added that many families in today’s economy can’t afford the cost and the fees should be the same as the regular season.

A-plus customer service

Thumbs Up: Customer service makes a lasting impact. A visitor who was recently passing through Alexandria late at night stopped to stay at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites. She stopped at the Chamber of Commerce the next day to say how incredible the customer service was. “She said their service was ‘A+’ and they are ‘100% focused’ on doing the best job they can,” said Tara Bitzan at the Chamber. The visitor added this: "There are great people who do work that many do not even notice but these are the people who make what Alexandria has to offer top-notch.”

Extra incentives for blood donors

Thumbs Up: All those who take the time to give blood deserve a thumbs up. More first-time donors are needed. The American Red Cross is asking blood donors to give soon to keep the blood supply from dropping ahead of the busy holiday season. People of all blood types are needed, and this is a great time for new donors to make an appointment. Book now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). As a thank-you for taking the time to give this fall, all who come to give Nov.1-22 will receive a $10 e-gift card by email to a merchant of choice. Details are available at Another way to support the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at blood drives. Ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience. Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for a either position, contact or visit .


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.

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