Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, March 17

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: corn snow fence, helping the hungry, gas meter tips, clueless customer, snowfall heroes

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Making Highway 29 safer

Thumbs Up: A reader in Carlos made an observation that merits a thumbs up. On Highway 29, south of Carlos Corners, a farmer on the west side of the road has left 10 or 12 rows of corn standing unharvested, close to the ditch. “That standing corn has acted as a snow fence and has stopped the snow from blowing onto Highway 29, therefore leaving the road a whole lot safer for motorists in a notoriously bad stretch of road for winter drivers when the wind blows from the northwest,” the Carlos man said. “It appears to me that the corn was left there for that very purpose, which deserves a thumbs up.”

Exceeding a goal to help the hungry

Thumbs Up: We have an update on First Lutheran Church in Alexandria “Feeding the 5,000.” The church set out to collect $5,000 and ,5000 pounds for the Outreach Community Food Shelf. “The miracles continue,” said Pastor PJ Malin. “We collected 5,893 pounds of food and $19,679! We invited the director of the food shelf to worship to receive the gift. $1 provides five meals, so the money alone will provide $100,000 meals.”

Timely tips from CenterPoint

Thumbs Up: CenterPoint Energy offers these tips to protect the natural gas meter: 1. Don’t pile snow on or near the natural gas meter. Keep a clear path to the meter to allow access in an emergency. 2. Note the location of the meter. If it's near a sidewalk or driveway, make sure whoever removes snow from your property is aware of its location. Consider marking the location with a safety flag or pole. 3. Use care when clearing snow on and around the meter. Carefully shovel around the meter and move snow away from it. Use a broom or brush to gently clear snow or ice from the top of the meter and piping. 4. Never kick or hit the gas meter or its piping with a shovel, hammer or any hard object to break away built-up snow or ice. Remove large icicles hanging over a meter, pipe or appliance vents to prevent damage. 5. If you suspect a natural gas leak, or the meter has been damaged, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to do the same. When safely away, report it by calling 911 and CenterPoint Energy’s emergency hotline at 800-296-9815.

Clueless customer

Thumbs Down: A reader who was shopping at Endless Treasure, a second hand store in Alexandria, said she recently witnessed some rude behavior from a customer, who called herself a grad student. The student bought a TV but insisted she’d be returning it if it didn't work – even though several signs are posted in the store that say, “No returns.” The reader pointed out that the husband and wife owners of the store are good people who donate proceeds from the store within the community. The Multiple Sclerosis Society is their main donation point. The reader said the owners didn’t deserve to be treated that way.

Working through the snow storms

Thumbs Up: An Alexandria reader wants to credit snow plow drivers who go out in all kinds of bad weather to clear the roads, making them safe for all those who have to drive. She also gives a thumbs up to the school bus drivers who transport children and the mail carriers who drive or walk in town so residents can receive mail every day.


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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