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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

Things to do with this snow…

Good morning, Netizens...

With over 60 inches of snow already on the ground and a healthy storm slated to hit the Inland Northwest in time for the morning commute on Monday, it goes unsaid we are having a record-breaking snowfall this winter. Aside from the incredible gaffes being foisted upon its citizens by the City of Spokane's Public Works Department in charge of snow removal, we are being faced with a series of problems much closer to home.

Even if you have the good fortune to have a snow blower, or a friendly neighbor with snow blower in hand, as the snow berms have crept higher and higher, the question is rapidly becoming what do you do with all this crappy snow? A snow blower can only throw snow so high, and then you either need a more-powerful machine or a snow shovel.

Never let it be said that those of us sitting snug, warm and snow-free in the Virtual Ballroom are totally devoid of sympathy for those suffering from living in snow tunnels created by snow blowers, and no place left to throw the stuff. We feel your pain, which is why this morning, with the thermometer warming up zero degrees in preparation for the next storm, we have some warm (some may say irreverent) ideas of what to do with the snow now that most snow blowers have reached their height limits.

Once upon a time when my life was much simpler, I owned a kerosene-powered space heater that I used to warm my shop during long, frigid winters in the outback of Stevens County. Now that I have looked fondly back on those days, a bright light came on in my head. Not everyone has one of these handy devices, but I'd wager a used snow shovel that everyone has at least one electric hair blow drier. A few extension cords later, and we have a battalion of citizens armed with their blow driers marching up the sidewalk. Those who have kerosene heaters can, of course, with only minor modifications, clear the streets. Problem solved. Of course, I am told that it is illegal for citizens to remove snow from the public thoroughfares, a minor infraction of the law I was not aware of until just last evening. But, we're not removing snow, we're melting snow, and thus in the eyes of Queen Mary's pinheaded snow gendarmes we have committed no sin.

Currently all the snow our stellar Public Works Department shoves from one side of the street to the other before being inconveniently piled on our sidewalks, driveways and cars. Borrowing from an idea submitted to me by someone who shall remain nameless coupled with the manner in which they removed the snow from the downtown berms, haul the snow away in city trucks! Take it to a vacant lot somewhere, piling it as high as can be using dozers, graders, whatever equipment needed to make a mountain out of a snow hill. Then charge admission to the general public to Spokane's first snow park and downhill ski slope. The admission fees would be used, of course, to pay for snow removal. Awards will be given for the person who makes the best Queen Mary snow woman.

Do you have any other really good irreverent or functional ideas?


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