The road less salted

A parting blow over the failure to salt the snow, this one on behalf of retailers.
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Where's the snow when you need it?

A parting blow over the failure to salt the snow, this one on behalf of retailers.

Freaksnow '08 is costing Seattle a reported $1 million and counting even though the city's response, by anybody's reasonable measure, was severely inadequate, no matter what Mayor Greg Nickels says in a press conference. In fact, the mayor's sugar-snow-coating of the truth really didn't sit well with the Facebook group Save Outr Streets (Note to Facebook: Please allow groups to correct their typos), which is calling him an outright liar, comparing him to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (a bit of a stretch), and asking people to call the city to "DEMAND that he speak honestly about the situation in Seattle."

The snow is melting, but the ire hasn't quite dissipated.

My garbage and recycling, which have been sitting at the curb since Monday, December 22, won't be picked up until today, Monday, December 29. I'm on a minor arterial, a street that was on the snow plow route from the beginning (not that the street was ever cleared), a street with two lanes, a bike path, and a center turn lane. Not sure why there's been no garbage pick-up for an entire week now. I pay more for trash and recycling services here than I've paid anywhere else.

Speaking honestly about the situation, I still think the city should be held accountable for its poor planning and response. The results sure don't justify the expenditure in this case. Besides, it was a slap in the face to businesses that were counting on Christmas week to make up for a bad economy. People tend to downplay this point because they don't really get it; while they're taking vacation, their retail brethren are working overtime. A friend of mine manages a retail store, and her mall closed down in the middle of the afternoon on one of the biggest days of the year. She typically sells about $100 every five minutes on days like that one. Her store garners 40 to 60 percent of its earnings for the year in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The city's response, and then the mayor's spin, make the ire justified.


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