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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 26, 2008 at 6:10 PM

Nickels gives Seattle a “B”

I give him a “G”

Editor, The Times:

So Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels gives Seattle a “B” for its handling of the snow emergency [“Mayor Nickels gives city ‘B’ grade for snow response,” Times, News, Dec. 24].

How nice of him to admit the obvious — that Seattle had three snowstorms, and maybe they should take a look at the “salt-free” decision that was made.

I’m sure all of the citizens who were stranded will weigh in and render their own grade for Nickels on his leadership, or lack thereof.

How about an “F” as in failure? Or is that shooting too high?

— Denny Andrews, Bellevue

Show us the money

So, Mayor Greg Nickels thinks the city did pretty well? I must disagree strongly with his grade. He seems to have plenty of money to harass legal gun owners, and put solar panels on a stadium roof, but not enough to keep the roads safe for those of us who pay taxes.

I hope the people of Seattle will wake up.

— Larry Clemens, Poulsbo

Not just for garbage

The mayor may have issued Seattle a “B” but I give the planners and engineers an “F.”

This was not a case in which we needed more plows; Seattle needs removable plow blades.

And on what vehicles do we mount them you ask? Garbage Trucks.

Heavy bumpers, dual wheels and experienced drivers are a practical, cost-effective solution to our lack of snow plows. The refuse collectors are idle when there is a snowstorm, so let’s put them to work.

If a grunt soldier can up-armor a Humvee in a war zone using scraps from a junk heap, then we can certainly modify the chassis assemblies on a garbage truck to accept a plow blade in our modern, heated, well-equipped maintenance shops.

— Craig Parsley, Seattle

Should have done it

I am very disappointed with the city’s planning and response to this snow. No one except those with very well-equipped vehicles, or the insane or desperate, can drive to work, school, the doctor’s office or grocery store.

Bus routes are shut down and unavailable to the rest of us. This has resulted in what will be at least two weeks of lost productivity to businesses, lost income to many workers and, especially bad this holiday season, lost revenues to retailers, who were counting on end-of-year sales to cushion some of the effects of the recession. Lost jobs will be an inevitable result.

If snow weather of this magnitude is a once-in-a-decade event, perhaps we can afford a once-in-a-decade salting. And if all of the income and productivity lost were added up, surely it would pay for real snowplows.

— Michele Kellett, Seattle

More marbles, please

If Mayor Greg Nickels grades Seattle’s response to the snow a “B,” I ask: What is an “F”?

Perhaps the streets disappearing, not in snow, but a nuclear war waged directly over Seattle.

Get Nickles a new pack of marbles because he has obviously lost those he had.

— Bill Kyle, Seattle

Go somewhere else

Wednesday’s Seattle Times quoted Mayor Greg Nickels as giving the city a grade “B” for the city’s response to snow. Having previously lived in regions with far greater snow challenges, I have personally witnessed Seattle’s response to its relatively modest snows for 20 years now.

It has always been poor, but I have never before seen a response as shockingly inept as it was for this most recent storm.

Nickels, it is difficult to know if you are really this ignorant or simply politicking. If the latter, I understand. If the former, please, may I suggest that you take a winter vacation somewhere else — anywhere else — and get yourself a clue?

If you don’t want to blow the city’s budget on our “rare” snow storms, that’s fine, but learn to accept your “F” when your occasional reality check finally come.

— Jeremy Seigel, Seattle

A win win

If Mayor Greg Nickels showed the same vigor for having the streets plowed that he has for having homeless camps bulldozed, the streets would have been cleared of snow days ago.

Let’s let people have a place to live and employ those bulldozers to clear the snow.

— Greta Hassakis, Seattle

Is this cumulative?

So if a mayor who’s flunking out gives the city a “B” for snow and ice response, what grade is the city really getting?

Is there such a thing as F-minus-minus?

— Jef Jaisun, Seattle

What’s more important?

Hearing that Mayor Greg Nickels gives the city of Seattle a “B” for its response to the recent weather makes me chuckle.

Driving downtown the other night from Bellevue for a play, I am surprised we made it back without our car getting hit when sliding down a hill. The city’s response in regard to taking care of the ice deserves an “F.”

The roads are not safe, and it is the city’s job to make them that way. Saying that salt is bad for the environment is a pathetic response to not take care of the roads.

At a time when holiday shopping is coming to an end and more people are on the roads, the city needed to realize the safety and lives of those on the roads is far more important than the environment.

— Robby Bernicchi, Bellevue

What’s that smell?

As long as you are ranting about Mayor Ecology, don’t forget there is solid waste that hasn’t been collected for two-plus weeks.

Not only are they unable to get to side streets, they can’t even make it to flat “secondary arterials.” Even the recorded messages are hours late. Way to go, Mayor Greg Nickels.

— Mike Wayte, Seattle

So 30 years ago

Amid all of the snow and ice and the many opinions from letter writers, it appears that there is an issue about putting salt on the streets to melt the ice.

One issue that comes up quite often is that salt will ruin the cars. This is always based on the writer’s experience “back East.” I am also from back East, having spent over half of my life there and they do use salt on the roads.

Before the mid-1970s, the cars took it pretty hard, and were often a heap of rusted junk in a few years. But about the mid 70s, the car manufacturers changed their metal-plating processes.

Today, there is simply not an issue with rust on cars in locales where they use salt. So Seattle should get with it and do what is safe and economical by using salt on those occasions where ice and snow are an issue.

— Richard Gidner, Renton

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