Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Snow wimps are we? I don't think so

 

January 30, 2012



It must have been a really slow news day in Los Angeles last Wednesday when one LA Times writer stated, “Call Seattle clueless” and “The snowstorm had been forecast to be the worst to hit the Puget Sound region in 30 years, an ominous warning that scared easily scareable Seattleites.”

(To read the entire article go here: latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/01/seattle-snow-storm.html)

Was there really nothing else to write about in the City of Angels? No celebrity break-ups to cover, no over-exposed sunbathers, not even a Lindsay Lohan sighting to share with the world?

News was so scarce that the Times writer had to attack those of us muddling through one of the worst winter storms in our memories?

I will admit that when I first moved to Western Washington from the snowy Salt Lake Valley almost 15 years ago, I too was skeptical of the store closures when snow started touching the ground.

Going to a half-opened mall at 1 o’clock in the afternoon with less than an inch of snow on the ground did seem a little over dramatic at the time. However, when I picked up the heavy, icy snow in my hand, even I could tell there was a difference.

I grew up with light and fluffy, powdery snow that fell to the ground consistently and softly. Beautiful white, flaky snow. Utah often brags that it has “The Greatest Snow on Earth” just check out their license plates.

But I also grew up where there was an abundance of snowplows, de-icers and heavily trained drivers to take care of the snowy winter roads.

Local governments have to pick and choose where their money will be spent and in a place where snow rarely touches the ground, it doesn’t seem wise to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars it takes to keep a fleet of snowplows and drivers at the ready.

There are also dozens of private companies who specialize in pushing snow and ensuring that sidewalks and parking lots are safe to drive and walk on. That doesn’t happen here.

Companies that rely on heavy snows to butter their bread will fail quickly here in our neck of the woods.

On those same lines, my husband grew up in Los Angeles county and can only remember a handful of times that they even saw snow on the ground. Try as he might, he can’t remember ever seeing a snowplow or snow blower or even a snow shovel until he visited other states.

And guess what, when they got snow, even the smallest portion that barely covered the grass, their world shut down. Sound familiar?

I’m sure that this L.A. Times writer has been criticized by many and I hope that she soon realizes that you can’t call Seattleites clueless or wimps when it comes to snow—it’s just not true. We do the best we can with what we’ve got.

I would hate to see what would happen in L.A. if they saw as much snow as we did last week.

 

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