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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 19, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Seattle’s botched response to snow

Suspicions confirmed

Courtney Blethen/The Seattle Times

Denny Street on Capitol Hill going down towards I-5, was closed all for days due to the December snow and ice. Sledders took over the hill

Editor, The Times:

Thank you for the page-one story [“Staff botched snow response,” March 19] that confirms what any Seattleite who was paying attention during the December 2008 snow event already knew: [Mayor Greg Nickels] and other public officials had no problem standing in front of cameras claiming that the response was worth an exemplary grade because they only saw evidence of a job well done during their commutes between home and downtown offices.

A photo accompanying a newspaper story during the last week of December showed a woman digging her street-parked car out of the snow that had been piled against it by a passing plow. I thought at the time that she must live near the mayor if her street had been plowed.

I live in the Phinney/Greenwood neighborhood and observed that no streets were ever plowed. If Phinney and Greenwood avenues and 80th and 85th streets are not on the city’s list of arterials that require attention during snow events, what streets are, other than the mayor’s route to his office?

— Brian Rasmussen, Seattle

Out of the loop

I live in Laurelhurst and want to know exactly which “loop of streets in Laurelhurst” was plowed during the December snow debacle.

We were stranded in our home for at least a week and were able to get groceries and other supplies only by walking more than a mile in accumulated snow and slippery conditions up and down a very steep hill. At no time during this period did I ever see a city truck scraping, sanding or in any other way clearing streets in our neighborhood.

If a loop of streets in Laurelhurst was in fact cleared, I would like to know why that loop was chosen over the major streets in the neighborhood that were not cleared.

— Betty Ravenholt, Seattle

Heckuva job, Greg

Mayor Greg Nickels response to the snowstorm reminded me a bit of President Bush saying after Hurricane Katrina, “You’re doin’ a heckuva job, Brownie.” It’s one thing to not see the incompetence around you; it’s quite another to praise it.

Just like then-president Bush, Mayor Nickels managed to do both. And yet he is planning on re-election. Really?

The man we entrusted with the safety of our city let us down, made poor decisions in staffing departments, and has proved he has overstayed his own level of competence.

— Thomas Erdmann, Seattle

Lame excuses

Thank you, Seattle Times, for exposing the truth behind the lame excuses for the city of Seattle’s abysmal response to December’s snowfall.

Yes, snow is a force of nature. However, the response to that was the chaotic, business-as-usual Seattle response. Mayor Nickels said we are not Buffalo or Cleveland, but we could take a page from their preparedness policies, instead of the laissez faire attitude taken.

Let’s not forget transportation chief Grace Crunican, who opted to leave town during the snow crisis. Is this how we want our government run? I am personally glad I don’t pay taxes in Seattle.

— Rosetta Max, Bellevue

Comments | More in Seattle, weather

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