In northern towns where 6 inches of snow falling overnight is a regular occurrence, the spring thaw of icy rivers and crusted drifts is called “the break-up.” It is mostly celebrated by people who live in these places — the end of freezing cold, the start of warmer days. There is also an unease about it. Near rivers, giant ice drifts cause blockages and flooding. The retreat of the icy snow drifts reveals lost items, piles of trash and, worse, evidence of crimes and various misdeeds against nature and humanity.
Seattle, it seems, is going through a similar thaw. Where the snow was good fun and an unusual opportunity to play, it also overwhelmed many services — and our streets and sidewalks. Today, we are left looking at the lost items, the trash and, worse, evidence of crimes and various misdeeds against nature and humanity.
There are many categories to discuss:
- The roads and sidewalks
- Snowplows, salt, sand
- The mayor, the county exec, the governor, etc.
Is it possible to make digging through the break-up’s detritus a productive conversation? There will likely be “town halls” scheduled soon in neighborhoods around Seattle. It is worth doing even if you don’t give a crap about the snow. The best element of the “town halls” can be the opportunity for citizens to have their stories recorded — think of it as evidence in understanding how the Hill survived a gnarled transportation and limited government services. The worst element can be the representatives from government and services dominating the microphone. A lot of great comments are scattered across CHS — and, no, not all of it is bitching. Should we push for a Capitol Hill forum? Or just collect the stories here?