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Region of Wimps

An inch of snow shouldn't cause panic. But it does in the DC area.

The way the DC area reacts to snow is just ridiculous.

And I was born in DC and grew up in Rockville, so this isn’t one of those rants that people from Buffalo or Minneapolis go on about our region.

My memory goes back to the blizzard of 1966, where I got stuck in a snow drift in the backyard. Or 1979, when I lost a week of my senior year of high school to the George Washington Birthday storm. And of course, the three storms we got in the winter of 2009-10. I had really hoped those three storms would remind us of what real snow is, and we wouldn’t overreact to piddly little snowfalls.

But this winter has proved that we are just genetically incapable as a region not to go full panic at the mention of snow. Last week, we had school closures for two separate one-inch snowfalls. It is not necessary, it is not about safety, it is just pathetic. It sends a message to children that snow cannot be dealt with, the only answer is to close and run away. It presumes that there is a parent patiently waiting at home at all times for their child to return, instead of acknowledging that we live in an era (and have for a while) of two working parents or single parent households. So we get the quotes that in “an abundance of caution” schools need to close. If we always wanted to show an abundance of caution, we would never put children in school buses or have teens driving or have teachers driving long distances to get to work.

When a serious storm comes or when ice is involved, as it was today, it’s a different matter. But when we have a snow advisory for less than a few inches of snow, life should just go on.

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Ian Brett Cooper February 01, 2013 at 06:18 PM
People die on bright sunny days too due to glare. Transportation has an element of risk.
Online addict February 01, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Baed on your "My daughter and I" story, I wonder wny you don't home school your child. You would no longer need to blame county services for not accommodating your schedule. School and government planning must take into account the myriad schedules of teachers, bus drivers, plow drivers, etc. The two hour delay for schools, frees up the road for commuters and allows a little extra space for the plows. As to the wimpiness factor, please realize the vast array of residents come from a wide range of environments. On our roads are diplomats from over 150 different countries, not to mention folks from Hawaii to Minnesota, to the flat lands of Kansas and those from sunny Florida. Assuming the issue on the roads is caused by locals is quite a narrow-minded view.
Online addict February 01, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Hey Joe, think you could reconsider your placement of anger. Do you know where the teachers in this area have to come from to teach in our country? Let me tell, very few can afford locations anywhere near the schools. And how about those "overpaid" bus drivers? Schools are making difficult calls and they have "grown a pair" and made wise decisions. And then they have to listen to bellyachers and whiners who can't deal with the inconvenience.
Online addict February 01, 2013 at 06:56 PM
And for those from winter climates, the Washington area sits on a freeze\melt weather map. Unlike Boston, Detroit, Minnesota, where when it snows the temperatures stay in the teens and lower for weeks at a time. Here it snows and the temps go into the 50s during the day and back to freezing at night. Much more difficult conditions to clean up. Those areas also have much more equipment available to treat roads and remove snow. It is not cost effective for us to invest in equipment that would not get as much use. Enjoy the free time, stay off the roads for two hours, read a book, spend time with your kids.
Craig February 13, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Great article. Great points. Nobody wimps out like Washington DC and MoCo. Nobody quits faster, ducks "toughness" sooner or avoids a little pain. Think I am kidding? Name ONE issue in local society and government where the government has taken on truly tough, structural reforms. Where it tries to inform citizens but not coddle. A shortfall in MoCo's budget? Just tax some more. Never examine why or where the money is spent. Baltimore is going bankrupt and their mayor finally, finally has the audacity to propose a move to a 401K pension. AMAZING. The snow issue is a micro-cosm of our politicians and local community. Everyone whines. Everyone "rationalizes" or comes up with reasons for NOT doing something. Very few are willing to suck it up, go to work and get 'er done.

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