LCPF cleans up area
THUMBS UP: Well done, Lyon County Pheasants Forever. The local chapter worked at the end of April to clean up a Wildlife Management Area east of Marshall. The group removed more than 30 rolls of barbed wire, wire fencing, metal, cans and even an empty 55-gallon drum. Marshall and Lyon County are proud of their hunting areas and continues to promote them at the state level while receiving national attention as well. Hunting and fishing are part of what makes us who we are and all Minnesotans should continue to do their part in cleaning up the countryside - not just WMAs used for hunting purposes, but for the overall betterment of the area as well. It's good to know pride in ownership still carries plenty of meaning in these parts.
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: Let's not make too much of this week's redistricting news. First off, Monday's GOP-backed proposal is just that - a proposal. Secondly, there's a good chance it will get vetoed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat. And finally, these things have a history of going to the courts, and there's nothing to say it won't happen again this time around. It's good that a proposal was put forward, but with lawmakers making little tangible progress on fixing the state's $5 billion deficit and with so many issues on the table at the state Capitol, this one could easily get pushed under it and left there until 2012. District 7 Democratic Congressman Collin Peterson has already said the new map is guaranteed to wind up in the court's hands.
SIDEWAYS THUMBS: You might have noticed a strange voice in downtown Marshall - don't worry, you're not hearing things and you're not being followed. The crosswalks downtown have been upgraded with new technology that tells pedestrians when they can and can't cross the street. The crosswalks now offer an audio 10-second countdown to signal it is safe to cross a particular street. The new ramp angles and signals are up to the standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act and have features like audio signals and vibrating surfaces to help the vision or hearing impaired navigate an intersection. The upgrades are part of a state project that includes Lyon and Renville counties; the city of Marshall is not on the hook for the upgrades. Why a sideways thumbs? The downside of the project is the intersection at Main and College - the busiest one downtown traffic-wise - didn't get the full upgrade, because when the downtown was redeveloped in 2007, project engineers tied into the pre-existing electronic system at that corner, and installing the new technology would've meant the whole system there would've needed to be replaced - work that went beyond MnDOT's plans for Marshall. A city official said this week that if College Drive were to be redone in the future the crosswalks at those corners would be upgraded.
DNR cracks down
THUMBS UP: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources isn't messing around anymore when it comes to invasive species. With the walleye opener coming Saturday, we remind all of you anglers out there with boats that if you're caught launching a boat with zebra mussels or invasive aquatic plants on it you will be fined $500. And don't be surprised if you someday this summer find yourself at a DNR checkpoint. Anglers need to make checking their boats and trailers after fishing as routine as brushing their teeth in the morning. Remember to take a few minutes after coming ashore to inspect that boat and trailer, pull that drain plug and clean off anything that has made contact with the water. It's not just for your own good, but for the water you fish in as well.