Random Thoughts – effects of blizzards of 2010

**** In the Saturday, February 13, 2010 edition of The Washington Post, Michelle Boorstein wrote an article discussing the effect of the two blizzards on churches.  I found the following paragraph particularly interesting:

On a more pragmatic note, the storms have a financial impact for houses of worship that collect offerings, or tithes, each week.  This is primarily a practice of Christian churches; many churches have switched to seeking annual fundraising commitments and others get their weekly offerings via automatic online giving.

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I’ve missed church because of the blizzards.  But I have two envelopes addressed to my church containing my weekly contribution (they will be mailed on Tuesday).  I don’t want to pay online (not sure if my church offers such a service) because the “credit card companies” take a cut off the top.

****The blizzards have been really tough on farmers who sell their produce at the local farmers’ market.   I braved the cold to shop at the farmers’ market (Takoma Park, Maryland) today.  I thanked each farmer for coming to the market.  One farmer remarked, he has never experienced so many occasions when his company, Twin Springs Fruit Farm of Orrtannna, PA, could not appear at a scheduled farmers’  market (Twin Springs Fruit Farm sells produces at several farmers’ markets in the Washington DC metropolitan area).  I can say from experience these  farmers are rather “hardy” and have sold their produce in bitter cold, rainy, windy or uncomfortably hot conditions.  So, the blizzards were obviously severe.  But, things are beginning to return to normal with the return of the farmers’ market.

****The local and state governments must re-think their approach to snow removal.  The focus, and only focus, is getting the roads passable for motor vehicles.  There is no thought given to pedestrians or to individuals taking public transportation.   Yes, there was a lot of snow.  From my observations of Northeast D.C. and Southern Prince George’s County, the only thing the plow trucks did with the snow was push it as close to the curb as possible.  I saw snow banks of 6 feet or more.  I saw bus stops but no place for pedestrians to stand safely to wait for the bus.  I do my part for the environment by taking public transportation.  I also save money because my employer provides a transit subsidy (which I was unaware of when I first started taking public transportation).  However, thinking about those tall snow banks and no space to stand safely at the bus stop, I am forced to drive to work this upcoming week.   I know I won’t be the only one.  And with the derailment on the Red Line on Friday – another in a series of safety lapses at Metro – more individuals will opt to drive.   So, with snow piled high and some lanes still covered by snow and or ice, I expect traffic to be slow and messy this week.

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