Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, May 12

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: downtown flower baskets, farm-related crashes, courteous student, responsible pet owner, flags, ignoring stop signs.

The Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is seeking donations for its flower basket effort that offers a colorful touch to Broadway.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

Adding a beautiful touch downtown

Thumbs Up: The Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is seeking support from local business owners and others to put up and maintain the flower baskets on Broadway. Beautifying downtown Alexandria for the summer is important to the community. "With a donation of $20, $30, $50 or $100, your business can sponsor a basket to help make downtown Alexandria come alive," the association said. "Our beautiful flower baskets are a summertime staple in Downtown Alexandria, and we are already getting excited for their return!" If you would like to help beautify downtown, go to the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Assocation's Facebook page and send a copy of the coupon to: Downtown Merchants Association, Attn: Flower Baskets, P.O. Box 344, Alexandria, MN 56308.

Too many crashes during spring planting

Thumbs Down: Let’s increase our safe driving skills to prevent bad crashes with large farm equipment during spring planting season. This happens more often than many people think. Since 2020, there were 391 crashes involving farm equipment in Minnesota, resulting in six deaths and 143 injuries. Inattentive driving and speed were the biggest contributing factors in those crashes, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. “Farmers need our highways to access fields statewide, so motorists should prepare to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles; especially on rural, two-lane roads,” said Brian Sorenson, state traffic engineer. Motorists should: 1. Slow down and use caution when approaching farm equipment. 2. Watch for debris dropped by farm equipment. 3. Drive with headlights on at all times. 4. Wait for a safe place to pass. Farm equipment operators should: 1. Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible. 2. Use slow-moving vehicle emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph. 3. Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.

Student helps couple into restaurant

Thumbs Up: It’s those very simple acts of kindness that stick with people sometimes. It happened on a recent Sunday when Ken and Mary Volk went to eat at Taco Bell in Alexandria. It can be difficult to get in the restaurant, especially if you have Parkinson’s. A high school student with the name, “Donaldson,” on the back of his Alexandria track and field shirt came right away to help the couple get in. Mary called the paper to give the student a thumbs up for his unexpected help.

A responsible pet owner

Thumbs Up: Terry Rode of Alexandria gives his dog-walking neighbor, Tonya, a thumbs for not only cleaning up after her dog but also carrying a garbage bag to pick up any trash she sees. “Most days this bag is very full,” Rode said. “Thank you, Tonya, for not only being a responsible pet owner, but also helping to make Alexandria a beautiful place to live.”

Taking care of Old Glory

Thumbs Up: The Ace Hardware store in Alexandria received a thumbs up from Marcine Floding for providing a place for people to drop off their torn or worn-out flags. “How respectful for all of us to be able to drop our used flags off,” she said.


Raising the flag in freezing conditions

Thumbs Up: Owners at the Galaxy Condominiums in Alexandria want to give a thumbs up to Dan Quiggle, an employee at Widseth in Alexandria. He volunteered to coordinate the raising of the flag after he found it following a freezing rain last month. Staff at Innovative Builders let him use their lift to reconnect the flag along with new pulleys and clamps.

Blowing through stop signs

Thumbs Down: A frustrated driver shared these thoughts: "It seems like in the city of Alexandria, stop signs mean maybe slow down, but do NOT stop. All over the city, people are blowing right through stop signs, stop lights and right turns on red lights. I have even noticed parents leaving local schools with their children in the vehicle going right through stop signs. One place where it is really bad is the intersection of Highway 29 North and McKay Ave. If you get a green light on McKay, you best wait two seconds to let the red-light busters going very fast to get through the intersection before you move. There is going to be a terrible accident at that site! Also when you come out on Highway 29 North, the speed limit is 30 mph, not 60 before you pass McDonald's. Let’s all slow down and live to talk about it."

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.

The Alexandria Echo Press Editorial Board consists of Editor Al Edenloff and Publisher Diane Drew.
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