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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

The lighter side of yesterday…

Five feet and climbing... (Dave Laird / The Spokesman-Review)
Five feet and climbing... (Dave Laird / The Spokesman-Review)

Good morning, Netizens...

After well over two weeks of near-desperation caused by record-breaking snowfalls mixed with equal amounts of administrative ineptitude in City Hall, I feel obligated to find at least a tiny spot of levity in this entire situation. I admit when I look outside, with a series of six foot deep snow berms caused by the plows and graders, the streets covered with a dense packed snow atop ice and still no end in sight to winter's depredation, it is difficult to find something funny, or even remotely humorous about life in Spokane these days.

Perhaps the most-enduring funny moment did not take place either in City Hall or even outside, but on two of our three local TV stations yesterday during the height of the storm. Despite the fact at that time we had already seen over five inches of new-fallen snow, with two inches per hour falling from the sky, I was startled when two of our “experienced TV meteorologists” stood deadpan before the cameras and made the prediction that we would get four inches or less of snow from the storm. They persevered with this forecast through the news at noon, and nobody apparently thought to look outside, much less the NEXRAD radar. For what it's worth, we received nearly 12 inches of snow, followed by a nifty sleet storm, in North Spokane, but nary a snow plow was seen. Now that's not funny, I know.

Another humorous moment fell on my ears when a real rah-rah supporter of Mayor Mary Verner, who was present during the city's press conference yesterday, was heard to opine that Queen Mary would probably be yet another in a long string of one-term mayors if the snow keeps falling. I have absolutely no idea where our beloved Mayor came up with the idea of plowing only a handful of streets, but it did demonstrate that City Hall is dangerously out-of-touch with where the taxpayers live in Spokane. What made it humorous is how all three TV stations bought the story, hook, line and sinker that plowing a handful of streets, rather than all major thoroughfares, was a good idea.

I've heard a few fundamentally good ideas of how Spokane could improve its snow removal operations over the last few days. One was particularly good, of using giant snow-throwers similar in function to those smaller units we have used with such good effect on our sidewalks and parking spots, combined with a series of trucks to haul the snow away to various dump sites. I've seen this work before, in bigger cities in the Snow Belt. It does away with those ridiculous berms thus restoring some semblance of sanity to our lives. When someone asked an associate what to do with truck loads of snow, he immediately responded with, “Dump it anywhere but on my street.”

The not-in-my-back-yard philosophy never seemed quite so applicable before.

Another reader's question that bears some introspection was how many babies will be born next August due to families being snowbound this winter? While I'll submit that is a very interesting question, our Virtual Statistician who normally tracks such things is busy with other affairs, such as trying to locate his automobile that disappeared in a Manito Park snow berm shortly after the previous storm.

How many snow plows and road graders in the private sector made their payments on time this winter?



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.