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The Bloomberg Blizzard.

December 28, 2010

I finally made it into work today after spending most of yesterday endlessly shoveling  in snow that was taller than me. I apparently didn’t pay much attention to the news and thought, hey how bad can it be? Well look whose face was smacked by mother nature because she just showed me who was boss. On Sunday I spent quite a good amount of time racing the other patrons at Stop and Shop to get the last-minute essentials. Bread, lactaid, cat food and eggs. I’m fancy. The last time I remember a storm like this was the blizzard of 1996, and being 13 it was great. I just played and loved not having to go to school. Fast forward to this years blizzard and I’m singing to a different tune. My concerns have changed from how big can my snowman be and the best way to sneak attack my brother to how am I getting to work and why aren’t the streets plowed?

It seems the biggest issue with this blizzard of 2010 are the unplowed streets and crippled MTA systems. On my bus ride into work today (arriving 30 minutes late FYI) I saw countless streets in both Staten Island and Brooklyn that had yet to be plowed. I saw cars totally abandoned in the middle of the roads. People were walking in the streets because sidewalks were barricaded with mountains of snow. Facebook and Twitter are littered with people complaining, When will my street be clear?! Let’s just keep in mind that the DSNY is short 400 sanitation workers courtesy of Mayor Bloomberg. The fact that people are trying to drive in unplowed roads and having to abandon their vehicles doesn’t help either.

The New York Times just dedicated an entire page to the blizzard 2010 horror stories sharing news about people who spent countless hours stranded in cold trains and buses. Where was their assistance you ask? Well emergency vehicles were unable to reach them because they too were getting stuck in the snow. Pretty messed up right. Makes you think if we had those 400 extra sanitation workers back, how much better would our roads be? How many people wouldn’t have been stuck for hours in freezing temperatures and dangerous conditions?

I read in an article today where Mayor Bloomberg was quoted as saying, “The world has not come to an end. The city’s going on. Many people are taking a day off. Most stores are open. There’s no reason for anybody to panic.” Really Mayor? Perhaps on Gracie Mansion everything is fine but back on the mainland, people are swimming to get where they need to go. As far as stores being open, almost everything near me was closed.  For those sanitation workers and police officers and everyday citizens who had to spend a night in their cars, that’s cause for panic. For the people stranded on a train or bus without access to a bathroom, no food or water for up to 15 hours, that’s cause for panic. Councilmen David G. Greenfield said it best, “The bottom line is that we owe a debt of gratitude to the outstanding men and women of the Sanitation Department, NYPD, NYFD and OEM.  They selflessly left their families to serve their communities in incredibly dangerous conditions.  Unfortunately, their superiors were woefully unprepared for this storm, leaving all New Yorker’s in a ditch.”

At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we hope everyone is safe on their travels, and remember as your neighborhood tax and bookkeeping friends, you won’t have to travel far! Come in and warm up with some tea or Dunkin Donuts coffee (Yum!) or call us at 212-979-6830 to set up an appointment Don’t forget it’s that time of year when we offer year-end tax reviews (for free!). Plus our office is snow free!

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