Short takes for June 28

‘Lived in Oregon where drivers do yield’

THUMBS UP: The grassroots effort to improve pedestrian safety in Marshall received a good amount of feedback thanks to the recent public forum held on the topic. More than two dozen intersections were reported as being insufficient when it comes to pedestrian safety. The intersection of East Main and A streets received nine votes for the city’s most dangerous intersection for walkers and bikers, while the intersection of East College and West Lyon got five votes. “Anywhere on Saratoga” received three votes, as did East Main and C Street, South 4th and Country Club Drive with its “very short” walk light and Bruce and East College. The “difficult crossings” section was one of the questions offered to those who attended the pedestrian safety rally. For Question 2, which touched on driver attention, five voters said signs in the middle of the road is the way to go to improve safety. Three voters suggested enforcing the laws better and running a full page ad in the Independent before school starts that states the state law concerning rules at intersections. One respondent wrote that they lived in Oregon where drivers yield, “it can be done,” it said. It’s all constructive feedback. Now the city must take steps to improve safety, either on its own or in conjunction with the state.

Man on the run

THUMBS DOWN: We find it ironic that as much as the federal government touts its surveillance programs, it still can’t locate NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. It seems Snowden, aside from getting his 15 minutes of fame, is making a mockery of the U.S. government by eluding authorities for so long (perhaps that’s one of his goals). If the all-powerful feds really want to bring him in we would think they would be able to track him down and do it, but on the loose he remains. And when the government asked Hong Kong for Snowden’s provisional arrest, the Chinese city responded by saying the U.S. government got his middle name wrong. It’s not as if we’re on the hunt for some faceless fugitive here. As one law professor from Hong Kong University put it, “The whole world knows what he looks like.” Even with that, the U.S. can’t find a way to bring this asylum-seeking secret leaker in and is having a hard time getting other countries to cooperate in the effort. What a bizarre and somewhat embarrassing tale.