HIT: Alcohol is involved in at least 50% of the sexual assaults that occur on college and university campuses, according to the American Addiction Centers, and the fear of being punished for underage drinking or drug use can lead some victims of sexual assault to decide they’d be better off keeping quiet than reporting the assault to authorities. Legislation signed July 8 by Gov. Tom Wolf will remove some of the fear students might experience by granting immunity from campus drug and alcohol policies in Pennsylvania if a student reports a sexual assault. Wolf also signed a bill mandating that colleges and universities in the commonwealth offer ways for students to report sexual assault online and anonymously. State Sen. Judy Schwank, a Democrat from Berks County, explained that the new law does not minimize the harmful effects of underage drinking or using illegal drugs, but “given the physical and emotional implications of surviving assault or domestic violence, the well-being and security of students has to take precedence.”
HIT: There’s not much good news coming out of Britain lately, thanks to the fiasco that is Brexit and the chaos it has precipitated, but an announcement Monday stirred some hope that all decency has not yet vanished from the queen’s realm. The Bank of England let the world know that Alan Turing, a World War II codebreaker and a pioneer in computer science, will be the new face on its 50-pound note. Turing’s accomplishments were considerable, but he was vilified in his lifetime for being gay, and was chemically castrated by authorities two years before his death in 1954, when he was just 42 years old. The British government has since apologized for its horrendous treatment of Turing, and Queen Elizabeth handed down a pardon in 2013. In 2014, Turing’s exploits were the subject of the Oscar-nominated biopic, “The Imitation Game.” Mark Carney, a governor of the Bank of England, explained that “Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.” Thanks to his place on Britain’s currency, his status as a giant has, at last, been recognized.
MISS: Just what we needed? Hardly. According to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, two casinos in Pennsylvania, one in Bucks County and the other in Dauphin County, have begun testing of systems that will allow people to play slots, blackjack and other games online. A casino in Philadelphia is set to follow them. Despite some concerns, we have never been anti-gambling, but do we really need to make it easier for people to part with their money, including some who might not have that money to spare? At what point does enough become enough?
HIT: The fixes may still be a bit down the road, so to speak, but it was good to read in the O-R the other day that efforts are coming together to create additional safety measures at an accident-prone railroad crossing in Centerville where a truck hauling hydrochloric accident collided with a train last year. The crossing, at the intersection of Route 88 and Maple Glenn Road, has been the scene of nearly a half-dozen similar crashes since 1990. One proposal is to bar tractor-trailers from making left-hand turns off Route 88 onto Maple Glenn. Also, Norfolk Southern has agreed to place a 30-foot cantilever with an electronic bell at the site, with financial support from PennDOT. We hope these measures and others will prevent a repeat of the wrecks that have occurred there over the years.