Is the street partly or completely closed?

Published 10:11 am Thursday, September 19, 2013

Column: A Happy Medium, by Erin Murtaugh

An old saying goes: There are two seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction season.

Albert Lea has seen much construction this year. The highway has been refinished. Bridge Avenue is getting a makeover for the arrival of a new Kwik Trip store. Many residential neighborhood roads are being resurfaced. One of those neighborhoods happens to be my own, Shoreland Heights.

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Almost every road in my neighborhood is marked with a “Road Closed to Thru Traffic” sign. So, unless I see a different sign, I take a road marked as such to get to my house. Nearly every day since school has started, I’ve been headed on my usual route home.

I reach one part of a road that is completely blocked off by machinery or workers. Nowhere to be seen is a sign stating the road is completely closed.

Road workers, if you are going to completely block off a road or intersection, please make it clear to drivers well before the area that it is closed. It is inconvenient and hard to turn around when the road is torn up.


Homecoming spirit

Homecoming Week at Albert Lea High School is here again. I am truly amazed by the amount of school spirit I have seen so far this week. From the dress-up days, to a staff flash mob, everyone is putting in effort to show their Tiger Pride this week.

I want to recognize a group that is so actively involved in the high school’s spirit. The Quarterback Club, aka the football team’s booster club, is a parent-run group that meets on a weekly basis. They organize a lot of what goes into Friday night’s Homecoming game. These parents care so much about the school spirit at football games that they take time out of their busy lives to make locker signs, organize raffle prizes and much, much more. Hats off to these parents.

There is one thing that has been bothering me the past few years about Homecoming, though. I strongly believe that one of the reasons school spirit has been lower lately is because faculty at ALHS discourages class cheers.

The cheer begins: “Seniors (or any other grade level) say that they’ve got spirit, so come on now and let’s hear it.”

Then, the grade level that is called upon chants their year. So seniors would chant: “One-four, one-four, one, one, one, one-four.”

This cheer has been discouraged because at times it encourages booing between grade levels. It is viewed by students as a chance to show other grades just how much school spirit they have.

Teachers, administrators and other school staff members, please don’t wipe out a tradition that has gone on for many years because of booing. Encourage school spirit and student pride in their class. If our spirit privileges are cut any shorter, we may lose the school spirit we have.

Until next week, one four!


Albert Lea resident Erin Murtaugh is a senior at Albert Lea High School.