Weather Beaten

Posted on January 1, 2011


Snowflake. Small microscope kept outdoors. Sna...

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Perhaps no human opponent is as formidable as the weather. Blizzards and other extreme weather events test the mettle of our politicians and civil servants. The infamous blizzard of 1969 ruined John Lindsay‘s reelection prospects as mayor of New York City.

History repeated itself this year in New York City with Mayor Bloomberg’s feckless response. In the Daily News of January 30, the headline was

Blizzard of 2010: Forecasts were fuzzy, buses were bungled, plows were pathetic & mayor was missing

Soundbites show that Bloomberg lauded the city’s response before he came to realize its failure. So Lynn and Darren Cyr’s experience with this snowstorm is nothing out of the ordinary.

But do we want to live in a city where the snow police are lying in wait to fine even the most innocent of trespassers? In the January 30th Boston Globe a chilling picture emerged of one such scenario. In Pile it There and Pay the Price, reporter Megan Woolhouse follows handcuff carrying Boston Code Enforcement Officers as they watch from afar residents shovelling themselves out.

Officer Dan Donovan spied one unlucky couple as they pushed snow off their car and read them the snow act.

“The couple … froze in shock. They wanted to know what they had done wrong. They said they had no idea about the law. The woman began crying. Donavan replied coolly that they should have stacked the snow at the front or back-end of the car, not in the street. “It’s illegal to throw snow in a city street,” he said before handing them a $50 ticket.”

Another officer, Ed Tankle, makes several men clean up a pile of snow they may not have been responsible for; he doesn’t actually see them in the act. “Clean this up or you’ll get a $200 ticket,” he tells them.

So this is how its going to be under the new regime. Clear your sidewalks to a width of 42 inches within 6 hours of a snowfall or pay the price. Even if the city doesn’t get to the sidewalk in front of Fraser Field before you do yours. Call your boss,and tell him or her that you’ll be late.

Posted in: local government