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Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 12/30/2010

Oh, snow, Mayor Bloomberg!

By Jonathan Capehart

Dangit, Mayor Bloomberg! I'm watching with despair as you and New York City continue to struggle to dig out from the day-after-Christmas blizzard. It's not supposed to be this way. When Washington found itself in the same situation after last February's snowpocalypse, I dripped with Big Apple's-better-than-y'all indignation.

Since moving to Washington from New York -- three years ago this week -- I have marveled at how just the mention of the word "snow" can paralyze this place. Schools close whether the white stuff shows up or not. And when actual snow hits, fuhgeddaboudit. Washington is a mess, literally. Streets go unplowed. Sidewalks often glisten with snow and ice until the sun does the job for ne'erdowell property owners. Those who do do their civic duty, more often than not, leave a trench as wide as their shovel will make. And don't get me started on the pliƩs I have to do to clear every corner.

Now, I'm hanging my head in shame in snowless Washington.

Bloomberg deserves a version of the slam MSNBC's Chris Matthews leveled at Washington's government. "Why can't a government town do a government job?," Matthews said. "We had the weather of Buffalo and the snowplowing capability of Miami." At least Bloomberg recognizes he messed up. "We did not do as good a job as we wanted to do or the city has come to expect," he said Wednesday.

Good. As we all know, the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem -- and getting those streets plowed.

By Jonathan Capehart  | December 30, 2010; 12:24 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

It really isn't all that bad here.

True, the outer borough side streets always take a couple three days to plow out, and that is unacceptable, whether or not there are abandoned vehicles stuck on them. And it does seem that the city might be running a bit further behind in this storm than is usual.

But most everything has been up and running since Monday night, so I think the news media just need something to get all worked up about.

Trust me, I'm no fan of the Mayor and would be the first to point fingers if I thought there was anything to point at.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 30, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

If CBS report that union workers were told to "slow down" in retaliation for earlier lay-offs, etc...that's extremely serious.
In a crisis like this, cities should be allowed to use private contractors for snow removal., do whatever it takes to clean the streets so emergency vehicles can get through. Public safety Must come before Unions!
This is exactly the reason we Don't want Unions involved in our airports.
Everyone has seen examples where unions retaliate when there are lay-offs and this
is extremely serious and dangerous to public safety and general operation.
We don't want to become Greece or France, either.

Posted by: ohioan | December 30, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The snow problems are a massive natural force that simply oevrwhelms the community. This storm was akin to the huge wind driven wild fire events in Southern California a few years ago. Until the wind and snow quit what can some one do to start to remediate the problems? Then the aftermath is massive. How do you justify keeping a staff and special equipment to cope with a 100 year event?

Posted by: npsilver | December 31, 2010 12:08 AM | Report abuse

While Bloomberg is ultimately responsible for the poor removal effort,I am not so sure he has used his position as mayor to the advantage of the city. His concern for matters that impact the people of the city in a negative,and at times,dangerous manor,have been evident of just another politician pushing his own agenda. Bloomberg has also has forgotten that NYC has FIVE boroughs,not just one. That is where the snow removal efforts has fallen far below reasonable expectations. Folks who live in those boroughs also have jobs and places that they need to be.Maybe Bloomberg has worn out his welcome. Bring back Rudy. Happy and safe New Year to all.

Posted by: Hilltopper722 | December 31, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I admire Mayor Bloomberg. I think he's smart and capable. However, I'm a Chicagoan and have seen very capable city fathers go down in flames because of failed snow removal. Voters will forgive a lot of things, but you'd better plow the side streets or look for another job.

Posted by: jpawlik1 | December 31, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The problem is definitely abandoned cars. Everyone has a different theory as to why there are so many in this storm, when it was never a problem before, but there you have it.

Posted by: gbock | January 1, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

During the week and after church today, I polled my friends from Queens. People whose streets were not plowed all had abandoned vehicles stuck in them.

Residents who had to get out just shoveled the street or tramped down the snow and drove over it until the City came around late in the week, dug out the stuck vehicles, towed them away and finished clearing the street.

I guess these vehicles' owners were all too embarrassed to retrieve them before they were towed away. They'd rather pay to claim what's left of them from the impound lot (or, more likely, file an insurance claim) than face the wrath of their neighbors.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 2, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

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