“Don’t touch my junk.” Not the best rallying cry, but so far it’s working. The TSA has been under fire since the beginning of the holiday season as the x-ray machines in use at airports turn a little more X X X-ray. Adding some bad publicity to the situation, saved photos were (potentially) leaked to online tech site Gizmodo, who published them. TSA says that the machines at the airport come with no ability to save photos, but privacy advocates say there’s no way to guarantee that. Those passengers choosing to opt out of the new x-ray machines are instead patted down. If dinner doesn’t come before junk-touching, then the terrorists have already won.

The Marion-Polk Food Share recently released a State of Hunger report for 2010. The organization says that there is a “glimmer of hope” that the emergency food box needs are beginning to drop for the first quarter of 2010-11. The Collins Foundation is currently offering to match new monthly donations for the first three months of a MPFS’s “Imagine No Hunger” campaign. The goal is to increase MPFS’s donor base to 3,000. For more information, visit their website at marionpolkfoodshare.org and also check out the next issue of Salem Weekly (December 18) where we’ll be diving into the issue of hunger in Salem.

Four Loko, no more! Capitalizing on the popularity of the magical combination of Red Bull and vodka, manufacturers began making their own caffeine-fueled alcoholic beverages. The new concoction is being criticized across the country because apparently the caffeine masks the effects of alcohol. Oregon has moved forward with a ban similar to surrounding states. On a federal level, the FDA is attempting to ban the “black out in a can” product. Back to Red Bull and vodka, caffeinated drunks.

Last week, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) blocked the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) from passing through the full Senate. The bill would allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to effectively shut down domestic websites that may be hosting copyright infringing material. It’d also allow the DOJ to order Internet providers to redirect customer traffic away from the alleged evil-doing website. During a hearing, Wyden said the bill was a “bunker-busting cluster bomb, when what you need is a precision-guided missile.”

The CANDO neighborhood association has begun partnering with local businesses to aid in sidewalk cleaning efforts. The project will provide a broom and dustpan to participating businesses. In turn, the businesses will offer something special to customers that use the broom. The neighborhood association began their project at Clockworks Cafe. They will soon expand to Coffee House Cafe with plans to expand to other businesses in the works.