Thursday, February 12, 2015


Unintended consequences: Borepatch, Lissa and I are sitting back watching the absolute screaming debacle in MA re: snow unfold...

Boston-area transit system head resigns after snow delays
The head of the Boston-area public transit system resigned Wednesday amid commuter frustration over service disruptions during a spate of recent snowstorms that have pounded the region.

Beverly Scott gave no specific reason for her surprise decision to step down effective April 11, seven months before her contract with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was to expire. She announced her resignation in a letter to John Jenkins, chairman of the board that oversees the MBTA, sent just hours after the board gave her a unanimous vote of confidence.
This is Massachusetts, where public trough hacks are typically taken out of office in chains or on a stretcher. There's more than meets the eye here. While the MBTA didn't exactly cover itself in glory here, it's also not like there's protocol for dealing with the amount of snow that has fallen. Right now, there's more snow on the ground than feel during the week-long Blizzard of '78, and it seems like every couple of days there's another storm.

For the director to just up and quit makes me wonder what else is going on - or whatever other shoe is going to drop.

(story courtesy of the BBLN)

Sorry, Boston: Two More Major Storms On the Way
New England is locked in to a weather pattern for the ages. Don’t expect it to change anytime soon.

Shovelers mourned the latest onslaught of wintry misery on Monday, as nearly 2 feet of additional snow fell in Boston since Saturday. The city has recorded its snowiest 30-day stretch in history in just 17 days, breaking the record by more than a foot. A full Gronk of snow (6 feet, 6 inches) is now in sight for Boston, and will likely be exceeded by the end of the week.
Things have gotten so bad that they're just straight out dumping snow into Boston Harbor. They've tried to avoid doing this, because of the chemicals used to treat the roads, but there's simply so much snow on the ground and coming that they cannot get rid of it fast enough. The storms have been so frequent, and the weather so cold that no melting has occurred, that it's just too much snow to do anything with except dump it in the ocean.

(story courtesy of Stretch)

I've got friends and family back in the northeast, so I am watching this with more than a touch of concern (along with a healthy dose of schadenfreude). I'm still part of a Facebook page that centers on my old town, and people I've known for years are struggling - not to mention that my folks, sister, and in-laws are all still up there and trying to dig out as best they can. I survived more than a couple hellacious winters, and I remember what it's like to just not be able to keep up.

There's a couple of larger points, though. Here Boston is, poised to host the Olympics in under a decade, and a handful of snowstorms has brought the city to its knees. Public transportation has been kneecapped, the DPW is working overtime and barely keeping above water, the system is overwhelmed and sinking.

Now imagine another half a million plus visitors added to this mess. That's approximately how many people attended the 2012 Olympics in London. Add in several thousand athletes, trainers, etc. - plus all the gear and transportation needed - and I'm glad that I'm going to be 500+ miles away from Massachusetts when this all goes down.

Massachusetts is a great place to visit... or be from.

That is all.


ASM826 said...

I am always amused when they say that snow shouldn't be dumped in harbors, bays, or rivers.

Just exactly where do they think the runoff goes when the snow melts in the spring?

ASM826 said...

Also, here's the story on Beverly Scott --->

Ted said...

....... Another shinning example of the Patrick Adminstations stellar hireing practices. She was a "two-fer". -- gender and race. The fact that she was about to be run out of town from her previous job in Atlanta was completely ignored.

I'm sure that there are more like her so we are all just waiting for the next Department / agency to implode.

........ As for the Olympics. I'm just hoping that Obama throws his support our way. He did such a great job bringing the Olympics to Chicago. And after all we can handle big projects on time and under budget. The Big Dig proved that!!!!

libertyman said...

Her PhD is in Political Science, specializing in Public Administration, just the kind of experience that one would need to run a railroad.

The private sector will snap her right up, correct?

Or not.

B said...

What is the difference between dumping snow in the harbor and melting it (or waiting for it to melt)? Don't the storm sewers end up in the harbor anyway?

Ted said...

The storm sewer water is now routed thru a Bizzilon $$$ water treatment plant. It no longer just dumps straight into the harbor.

ProudHillbilly said...

Once we get Globull Worming under control there will be no more blizzards in New England. In the Winter.

Anonymous said...

I heard on a news story that garbage pickups have been delayed for days due to the weather, and now people don't know when to put out garbage for pickup; so it's being left out in snowbanks all over the city. Some is being spilled, hit by plows or cars. Just to add to the misery!

mrs doubletrouble

doubletrouble said...

Note that Mrs. DT is still alive even after living at the end of 'The Road'.
One snowy, long, road.

PJS said...

Flamethrowers. We need flamethrowers.

lelnet said...

I'm wondering what the hell they're putting on the roads over there. I mean, 'round here, we use salt. Salt plus snow will eventually become salty water...which presumably even a government environmental official isn't going to think is a novel introduction to a harbor with connectivity to the ocean.

And even with whatever traces of other stray chemicals might get picked up from the very bottom scrapings by snow plows, it seems rather unlikely that the resulting mounds of snow will be anything other than a net improvement to the quality of a _notoriously_ polluted body of water like Boston Harbor.

notDilbert said...

Road "salt" is not the same thing as Sea Salt.

Thanks to Our favorite drunks - Tip O'Neil and "uncle Ted", ( along with several Bizillion $ of your Tax dollars) Boston Harbor has been clean enough to saftly swim in for a number of years. The Deer Island Treatment Plant no only cleans the water but the Outflow is miles out to sea and no where near the Harbor.

Now the only thing left to clean up is all the Politian's.

Borepatch said...

Also, my property taxes are a quarter what they were up there.