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January 17, 2008


Snow Removal

This is an interesting article. Before the city thinks about fining homeowners for lack of snow removal, they need to look at the sidewalks around City Hall. In fact, how about looking at some city-owned building. Have you ever tried to get into the Traffic and Parking Building if you're disabled? Why does noone go after the stores, restaurants, and bars which are not accessible to the disabled? That would be a better issue to focus on, because it's a long term issue. Requiring homeowners to shovel the sidewalk in front of their homes is a non-issue because it's unenforceable.
'“We need to make it clear, if it's your sidewalk, it's your responsibility,” she said.'
The sidewalk is the property of the city. Most homeowners or residents will shovel a path for their own safety and convenience, but you cannot require a homeowner to clear city property. It's bad enough that I have to shovel the street everytime a plow drops its' load of snow in my driveway cut! If I were fined for not shovelling, or not shovelling well enough, I would go to Court, probably armed with pictures of sidewalks in front of city-owned buildings. By the way, have you ever been on the bike path after a snowstorm? Cleared to the pavement as soon as the last flake falls, with enough salt to melt Mt. Everestt! What does that tell you???

Ron Newman

What it probably says is that the bike path is wide enough that a standard snowplow truck can drive down it and clear it easily.

I agree that the city needs to do a better job plowing sidewalks on its own property, though at least this time I didn't have to harass my alderman regarding the Day-Herbert parking lot sidewalk.

Floormaster Squeeze

I walk a lot around Somerville and most homeowners and businesses are pretty conscientious about shoveling. There are a few exceptions (in my experience its usually rental properties who don't have explicit rules about snow removal).

Anyway, the city property issue is a pet peeve. It is maddening to see firefighters sitting around while the sidewalks on their property go unshoveled (their driveways are of course clear). The station on Somerville Ave. must have some really lazy people working there as their sidewalks are seldom cleared (and it is a high traffic pedestrian route).

Snow Removal

Why should firefighters clear 'their' sidewalks? Do police officers? Do teachers? Do clerks at City Hall? I don't think so. And as far as 'sitting around' goes, since the teachers are the only ones in the city who don't work when it snows, I guess they're just 'sitting around' too. Why aren't they out there shoveling?


Snow Removal. Wow, don't like teachers much huh? Without them you wouldn't have been able to write your post. I'm not a teacher, just hate how often they're disrespected. Perhaps if a teacher said this to you then you'd have a right to say what you said. However, you don't know who said it. Teachers probably clear their sidewalks when they are home from work on a snow day right? I know many that do. So when you're not working you should clear your sidewalk. Amazing logic huh? No one is asking you to clear the sidewalks of the teachers' homes, just the station. A snow day is called because teachers and students can't get to the school. So how would you expect them to clear the school sidewalks when they're home. On the other hand, when you're not working, the pile of snow is right in front of you! Look, I think what firefighers do is great, amazing, and courageous. But come it's just common courtesy to help out when you've got the time. Do your part. Don't be a jerk. No one likes a jerk.

Floormaster Squeezef

I don't usually respond to the typical misanthropic vitriol by the trolls here but if you spend half a second thinking about your supposed "argument" even you (SnowRemoval) can see the obvious flaw. Come on, use your brain for half a second. Do yourself a favor.


This letter is in response to Floormaster Squeeze's comment about the lack of shoveling the sidewalks at the Lowell St fire station.
As the captain of this station, I find it interesting that floormaster squeeze would make such a ludicrous comment about "lazy firemen" standing around and not shoveling the sidewalks. I happened to be on duty during all the snow emergencies this winter. I can assure you,when we were not responding to wires down on the street and moving them so you can travel easily on the streets,water breaks from frozen pipes that we shut down (and in one case squegied all the water out of a house,tended to a woman who hurt herself moving an over-sized armoire up a flight of stairs (us lazy firemen even tried to move the armoire upstairs while EMT'S tended to the woman, we were shoveling the sidewalks in front of our station. When you need medical assistance, or your pipes are leaking, or you locked yourself out of your house, we respond. And yes,when your house is on fire, we respond. Floormaster squeeze, I resent your accusations. Next time you have a comment about lazy firemen, please remember the text of this comment and if you need our assistance, even though you feel we are lazy, we will respond to your needs, because that's what we do.

Snow Removal

To JK: My comment was not a dig on teachers, but a response to your dig toward firefighters. I wondered why you chose to disparage firefighters for not shoveling when no other city employee does (except for those for whom it's their job).
" No one is asking you to clear the sidewalks of the teachers' homes, just the station." - I mentioned the teachers clearing the walks around the school, not at their homes. I have heard many teachers complain about how difficult it is to get into their school because of sidewalks not cleared. And by the way, I have many relatives who are teachers so I certainly don't 'hate' teachers. You, however, seem to 'hate' firefighters!

Latino, but not dumb

I walk every day on Somerville Av, in front of that Fire Station. A few things are worth mentioning. When there is ice or snow, it is impossible to walk there. Not only the lazy firefigthers, but also the lazy homeowners on that corner with Belmont St NEVER clean the sidewalk. They should be heavily fined, since I cannot see how older people can walk there at all. They could fall and get injured. Or get run over if the walk on Somerville Av.
In the evening, I always see the busy firefighters watching their big TV, in the room on the left of where the vehicles are. Watching baseball games and whatnot. I've even seen them playing baseball inside the station.
Perhaps they are just stressed out and need to relax, don't know.
But they could clean the sidewalk outside the station.
Regarding teachers. The entire system is messed up. It's messed up because of the entrenched seniority system where it does not matter how good you are, only how old you are. Good teachers are squashed because the old folks feel threatened. This is the truth. I know. I am a teacher myself.

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