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THUMBS UP/THUMBS DOWN

Pausing along the shore of Lake Agnes, veterans walking in the Alexandria Memorial Day parade stand at attention and listen to "Taps" as a two wreaths were thrown in the water. (Celeste Edenloff / Echo Press) 1 / 2
Alexandria Electric came through for the Red Willow Arts Coalition, contributing to the summer concerts on the courthouse lawn. (Contributed)2 / 2

A stirring tribute

Thumbs Up: The Memorial Day parade and ceremony in Alexandria was a stirring reminder that freedom is never free. Dale and Judy Flemming gave a big thumbs up to all those who took part. "Once again they provided our community with a fitting tribute to our fallen heroes, and it was great to see all the families lined up along Broadway and at Kinkead Cemetery for the program," the Flemmings said. "Alexandria done itself proud!"

Running for office

Thumbs Up: It was good to see some candidates filing for local offices. Soon after the filing period opened on May 22, two candidates filed for county commissioner in District 2 — incumbent Jim Stratton and challenger Tim Kalina. Two other board seats, District 4 and 5, are also up for election this year, along with county offices, Alexandria City Council and Alexandria School Board. There's still time to throw your hat in the ring. The filing period runs until 5 p.m. on June 5.

Tax helpers

Thumbs Up: An Alexandria woman sends a thumbs up to all the "well informed and dedicated volunteers" at the Alexandria Senior Center who spent hours, helping seniors prepare their tax forms. "Most of us do not have computers, email, Facebook or even cell phones, or the financial means to hire someone to help us," said the woman. She was glad that the center provided a quiet, comfortable area where people needing tax help could spread out pertinent information. "This part takes time," she said, "but in the end, it saves time to have everything itemized and in order before you enter the room and you are able to watch the accountant print out all the information for you to sign. The thing I noticed was that everyone was so patient, warm and friendly."

Little Free Libraries

Thumbs Up: Have you been noticing all the "Little Free Library" sites that have been popping up in the area? The little boxes are filled with books; people can take a book to read or leave one for others to enjoy. Right now, there are more than 20 Little Free Library sites in the Alexandria area alone, and more than 50,000 worldwide. One of the most recent ones was installed on Sumac Drive near Lake Geneva Resort. "As we were putting it up and painting it, several of the neighbors came by and were really excited to have this in their neighborhood!" said Janet Hammer, whose mother, Daisy Stahlberg, is a retired Reading Recovery teacher and loves books, reading and teaching. "I love seeing young kids ride up on their bikes, stopping and checking out the books. Also, some people take/borrow a book, some drop them off. It's really a great trend." To learn more about the Little Free Library program, go to the website, www.littlefreelibrary.org.

Driving mistakes

Thumbs Down: A local resident doesn't like what he is seeing on Alexandria streets. "Local driving needs help!" he said. "People don't do complete stops at stop signs. They're cutting corners, speeding and tailgating. Help make our community safe by putting your driving in check. Don't forget to buckle up!"

Alexandria Electric supports concerts

Thumbs Up: This past winter, the Red Willow Arts Coalition was approved to make updates to the electrical connections at the Douglas County Courthouse for its summer concerts on the lawn. It acquired estimates that the work would cost more than $3,000. A contractor, Alexandria Electric, stepped in and offered to donate all the costs and services for the concerts. "Tim (Imdieke) and his crew believe in the positive community impact of the free concerts and felt strongly about seeing them continue safely and efficiently," said coalition members.

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If you have a suggestion for a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, email it to aedenloff@echopress.com or mail it to Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

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