Friday, January 19, 2007

Snowplowing or Lack Thereof

Photo courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Department of Energy; by David Parsons.

One of the major subjects of discussion in Santa Fe the past few weeks has been the poor performance of the city in handling the 25 plus inches of snow we received in late December. It's good for some lively conversation with anyone you meet in the city, and dominated the letters to the editor section in the Santa Fe New Mexican for several weeks.

The letters seemed to be of two types.

The first set were from citizens who felt the city had not handled things well. Many made the mistake of comparing the city's snow handling to that which occurred in the city they moved here from (which was usually in a snowier area). While their complaints were, in my opinion, valid, these letters created a backlash from....

...the citizens who felt that the first group should go back to where they came from if they didn't like it here. They pointed out that Santa Fe is referred to as "The City Different" (which apparently includes shoddy snow handling among the many otherwise charming features that gave rise to this nickname). One writer said that since nobody died as a result of the snow, this meant that the city had done a good job. And one writer said that the complainers (see above) were only suffering from "ego-driven inconvenience".

Wow! In the meantime, the city of Santa Fe has doubled their snowplow inventory (from 6 to 12) and has 20 more plows on order. We are expecting more snow tonight, and the local citizenry are out buying snow shovels again. This from a story on KOAT-TV today:

Ace Hardware in Rio Rancho got a new shipment of 100 shovels Thursday morning. But, managers said they were gone in just an hour.

Before this winter, the store had only sold 12 shovels in the past three years. A manager told Action 7 News they've sold more than 500 since January 1.

Some people around the state have found it is easier to find snow shovels sold online.

We'll talk about the problems with mail delivery in a future post!

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