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Re: [OM] Inside, Looking Out

Subject: Re: [OM] Inside, Looking Out
From: Rob Harrison <robhar54@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2008 20:19:40 -0800
On Dec 27, 2008, at 3:51 PM, Chris Crawford wrote:

> In Santa Fe, the city didn't bother to ever plow the
> streets. People paid groups of Mexican men with shovels to dig out  
> their
> driveways and the part of the street that goes past the house. It  
> cost $25
> and took the men about 15 minutes to do it...they were very hard  
> workers but
> made good money from it. Usually 4-5 guys worked together and could  
> do 3-4
> houses an hour. 20-25 dollars an hour for each man. Considering that  
> it
> snows in Santa Fe every winter and has done so for the last 400  
> years, you'd
> think the city would have a more technologically advanced snow removal
> method than "Immigrants with shovels". You know, like trucks with  
> plows!

Actually, I think that is a *brilliant* solution that would work well  
here in Seattle and probably many other cities. We have a big  
snowstorm once every oh, seven or eight years, and when we do, there's  
a segment of the population that can't find anything more productive  
to do than to whine about how the city isn't prepared for snow, how we  
should salt the roads, have snowplows running down every side street,  
and so on. (Forgetting the cost of acquiring and maintaining all this  
carbon-spewing and/or nasty for Puget Sound stuff for the periods in  
between snow events.) I also like the idea that you're not only  
responsible for the sidewalk, but the street in front of your house.  
"Immigrants with shovels" is a low-tech, low-cost, distributed  
solution that is profitable for the workers, and (ultimately) solar  
powered. (Human energy is, after all, a form of solar energy.) We need  
more of that in the US.

Rob in Seattle
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