Views by the Echo Press Editorial Board: Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
Honoring military service
Thumbs Up: Members of the Douglas County-Alexandria Beyond the Yellow Ribbon have done a lot over the years to help families of military members who are serving overseas. And now they've hit upon a new way of making military families more aware of the resources that are available to them. This past spring, the group's steering committee honored juniors and graduating seniors from Alexandria Area High School and Minnewaska Area High School who are pursuing careers in the military. At a special welcoming program, the students received an information packet about Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and a "challenge coin" thanking them for their service to their country, according to Milton Libaire, chair of the committee.The committee also recognized those students at Honors Night and Scholarship Night by giving them red, white and blue graduation cap tassels and certificates of appreciation. The students who are joining the military include Josh Otis, Kelby Olson-Rodel, McKinley Danielson, Tyler Scott, Anthony McKay, Cody Capouch, Dawson Holder, Derek Schweich, Joshua Oviedo, Joe Brezina, Krystyna Lebrun, Alisha Vigil, Josh Troen, Lance Miller and Seth Ross.
Car show helps hungry
Thumbs Up: The Vintage Car Club of Alexandria hosted another successful car show on June 25 — and helped a good cause. Owners of show cars were admitted without charge and were asked to donate non-perishable items to the Douglas County Outreach Food Shelf. About 200 participants donated 400 pounds of food, along with cash donations. The 29th annual show, which again took place on the last Sunday of June, was very well attended and organizers said they appreciated the support from the community and local businesses. The club, formed in 1970, has more than 100 members and continues to support many local non-profit groups in the Alexandria area. Plans are already being made for the 30th annual show. For more information or to become a member, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (320) 763-7409.
Restoring calm after storms
Thumbs Up: Electrical crews who worked around the clock to restore power after the two severe thunderstorms tore through the area in the past week deserve a big thumbs up. Kathy Midtvedt on South Darling Drive was one of several residents who was impressed with how quickly Alexandria Light and Power restored power. "We had two trees down and the power line fall across the road," she said. "By mid-morning, the pole was replaced and the power restored. I was quite impressed at how quickly they worked. In addition, LaGrand township had the tree removal guys out in the wee hours of the morning opening up roads and clearing trees/limbs from lawns and ditches. All involved need to be given a pat on the back for jobs well done."
Running stop signs
Thumbs Down: A frustrated Alexandria resident gives a thumbs down to motorists who turn off Nokomis Street at Eighth Ave. East and speed across Oak, Park, Quincy and Roosevelt Streets before racing east back to McKay Ave. "They speed through the uncontrolled intersections, not glancing in either direction," he said. "They continually run the stop signs at Roosevelt and Victor Streets. Remember, all these streets have heavy pedestrian traffic as well; and there are no sidewalks east of Nokomis Street. I realize people are frustrated with the McKay closure; we all are. However, this doesn't give them the right to speed recklessly and put others in harm's way."
Not tipping at buffets
Thumbs Down: A reader sent us a pet peeve: Those who don't leave a tip at buffets. "I feel sad for the bussers when they aren't left a tip," he said. Every person eating from a buffet should leave at least $1 for the waitress to share with the bussers, he said. "They clean our plates several times during the meal and refill our drinks," he said. He added that he knows a busser at Pizza Ranch and one day the parking lot was overflowing with business but the busser didn't receive any tips.
God and Walmart
Thumbs Up: An Alexandria resident shared a lesson he learned: It pays to be honest, especially with God and Walmart. About six months ago, he found a $20 bill on the floor at Walmart. He struggled with what to do until three thoughts struck his mind: "This may belong to some person who doesn't have a lot of money and they will need it. The money does not belong to me. God would want me to turn it in." So he turned it in and felt good about it. A few days ago, he was at Walmart to get his father's groceries and other items and kept that money separate from his own. Somewhere along the way, the money — $400 — fell out of his pocket. He began to think about the $20 from six months ago and asked for God's help. Sure enough, an area manager found the money and turned it all in. "Several people from my church work at Walmart and they are good, honest, hard-working people," the resident said. "I believe that some others would have done the right thing too, but let's face it — $400 is a lot of money and I think a lot of people would have just kept it. ... Thank you to those who rescued me at Walmart. You are my heroes!"