Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, May 26

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: finding money, new band concert, dairy bill, Lasco Bars, smooth trail, military retirees.

What would you if you found money?

Thumbs Up: We’re happy to report two incidents that show how honest people can be in our community. Three old friends enjoyed a Friday night out at the Fired Up Bar and Grill in Alexandria on May 12 but when they left, they forgot to take an envelope with them that contained $700 in cash to help pay a tax bill. As they were walking back to their cars, a waitress ran out to them waving the envelope. All the money was still there – much to their relief. “That was so kind of her,” one of the friends said. “She could have pocketed the cash and we wouldn’t have been the wiser. Thank goodness she took the high road.” The other “thumbs up” came from an Alexandria resident who misplaced a billfold. “Here’s to the kind, honest person who found my lost billfold and took it to the police station and to the policeman who delivered it to my home,” the resident said. “So grateful!”

A noteworthy band concert

Thumbs Up: The Alexandria Public Schools began “A New Tradition” with an end of the year all-district band concert that’s worthy of a thumbs up, said a resident. All bands, grades 7-12, showed off their talent in the first- ever event. “It was an awesome evening with tunes ranging from Disney Blockbusters to eclectic selections,” the resident said. “The high school gym was packed with people and students enjoying a great evening of music! The students looked sharp in their concert attire, their attention to the conductors, and their expressiveness in playing the songs. The combined bands of hundreds of kids ended the evening by leading the audience in the school song. It was a fantastic concert and just another way Alexandria shines with the fine arts! Bravo and a standing ovation to everyone in the APS Band program!”

Legislation helps dairy farmers

Thumbs Up: Here’s good news for dairy farmers. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, introduced the Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act – bipartisan legislation that will increase access to nutritious dairy products for SNAP participants and support dairy farmers across the country. The Dairy Nutrition Incentives Program Act would allow SNAP participants to purchase more milk, cheese, and yogurt with their benefits, expanding access to affordable and nutritious options. In a news release, Klobuchar said, “Making sure more Americans have better access to nutritious foods like yogurt and cheese while also supporting our dairy farmers is a win-win. Our bipartisan legislation will help support a healthy diet and make sure families are able to bring home more of the foods they love.”

Do you remember Lasco Bars?

Thumbs Up: This isn’t really a thumbs up; it's more like a call-out to help solve a culinary mini-mystery. An Alexandria woman who attended Lincoln Elementary School in the late 1980s remembers a dessert called a "Lasco Bar" that appeared regularly on the school lunch menu. “It was some sort of creamy chocolate with crispy rice bits in it,” she said. “I cannot find any such bar in internet searches, but I thought perhaps there remains a ‘lunch lady’ from the 1980s in our community who remembers how these bars were made and they might be willing to share a recipe with me (and a few others) who recall this wonderful treat from our childhood.” Those who can shed more light on Lasco Bars can send an email to or send a note to the Echo Press, 1920 Turning Leaf Lane SW, Suite 12, Alexandria, MN 56308.

A smoother ride along the trail

Thumbs Up: A reader sends a thumbs up to the crew that recently filled in the many gaps and cracks in the Central Lakes Trail through the Alexandria area: “They have provided a much smoother ride for bikers, roller bladers, skateboarders, moms and dads pushing strollers and anyone who enjoys our wonderful paved trail. Kudos to them!”


A friendly state for military retirees

Thumbs Up: A new report from the personal-finance website, WalletHub, shows that Minnesota does a pretty good job of taking care of its veterans. The report, which was prepared as part of Military Appreciation Month, shows that Minnesota is the fourth best state for military retirees, based on 28 indicators of retirement-friendliness toward veterans. The data set ranges from job opportunities for veterans to housing affordability to quality of VA hospitals. Here’s how Minnesota stacks up among the 50 states (1 is the best, 25 is average): 15th – percent of homeless veterans; 9th – veteran job opportunities; 18th – housing affordability, 1st – quality of VA hospitals; and 3rd – physicians per capita. There’s still work to be done in improving those numbers. Our veterans deserve 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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