Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, July 1

Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board. Topics: sloppy driving, potholes fixed, mowing grass onto roads, help after a crash, students helping seniors, fireworks.

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Sloppy driving when traffic lights go down

Thumbs Down: We’ve been noticing a lot of sloppy driving in Alexandria in the last couple weeks, especially when traffic lights malfunction and are blinking red in all directions. Some drivers don’t have a clue as to how to drive through an intersection when this happens. We saw one driver who just sat there. And sat there some more, apparently waiting for the entire intersection to clear before they took their turn. Then there are the “piggy-backers,” those who tail right behind the driver in front of them and go through the intersection without considering other drivers who have been waiting there much longer. Sometimes that string of piggy-backers involves three or four drivers blindly following those ahead of them without stopping or slowing down. Remember, if a traffic light is flashing red, treat it as a stop sign and come to a complete stop. Look carefully in all directions before proceeding. If the light is flashing yellow, proceed cautiously through the intersection. You should also slow down and observe cross streets to determine if it is safe to proceed. If the traffic signal is completely inoperable, treat it as a four-way stop.

Pothole problem repaired

Thumbs Up: The Douglas County Library Board wants to thank the Douglas County. Commissioners and Tim Erickson from Public Works for an “awesome” parking lot redo. “No more potholes!” said a grateful library board member.

Mowing grass onto a road

Thumbs Down: Here’s good advice from a Harley Davidson rider: Don’t mow your grass into a street or road. “I’ve noticed a lot of people doing this in Douglas County and it can be dangerous for motorcycles because it’s easier to lose control.” Don’t believe it? Do some research. Grass on the road has been called a “hidden risk” motorcycles face. According to the website, yourgreenpal , the main reason that grass is so dangerous is that it can reduce the traction a bike’s tires have on the roadway. Just like sand, gravel, dirt or oil in the roadway, grass is an obstacle that needs to be avoided by motorcyclists, the website says.

Help during a crash

Thumbs Up: Barb and Steve Nordstog from Thompson, North Dakota sent a “thumbs up” to several people who helped them after they were injured when their vehicle left the road and rolled into Lake Louise northwest of Alexandria on Friday, June 10. “We would like to thank all the Good Samaritans, law enforcement, and medical personnel that stopped to help us,” the couple said in an email to the newspaper. “Also, we would like to thank the emergency room personnel for their care. We were lucky it wasn’t much worse.”

Students help senior center

Thumbs Up: Eight students from Discovery Middle School, along with Lynn Ransom (retired teacher), made a big difference to the Alexandria Senior Center during the Day of Caring on May 20. The students washed all of the windows inside and out, cleaned out the gardens along the north side of the parking lot and wiped down all of the tables and chairs in the dining room. “This was all accomplished in just one hour!” said Shelli-Kae S. Foster, executive director of the center. “We are grateful for the student’s quick and thorough work.”


Good advice for the Fourth

Thumbs Up: If you are going to light legal fireworks for the Fourth of July, please do it safely. There have been some bad accidents that have happened in and around Douglas County involving fireworks. Heed this advice from the National Safety Council: Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use them only under close adult supervision. Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear. Never hold lit fireworks in your hands. Never light them indoors. Never point or throw them at another person. Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting. Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby. Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Never use illegal fireworks.

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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