Skip to comments.2 Die in Howard County Shoveling Snow
Posted on 02/18/2014 3:39:52 AM PST by sodpoodle
COLUMBIA, Md. Two men in Howard County have died after suffering medical emergencies while shoveling snow, and a third died when he collapsed outside in the snow.
(Excerpt) Read more at washington.cbslocal.com ...
This is deep, heavy snow, and I implore everyone to take it easy. Please dont over-exert yourself. Clear a little at a time. Or ask a neighbor to help, he said. ---------------------------------------------------------- Probably felt compelled to follow a County ordinance that mandates homeowners clean sidewalks adjacent to their (private) property for which they pay taxes. Counties should be required to clear sidewalks - same as the roads. How do the local dictators expect seniors and disabled home-owners to venture out in these deplorable conditions and clear "their" sidewalks. Who is using them?????
As a youth I bought a lot of cool stuff by shoveling old folks snow. Actually rooting for bad weather then.
Scratches head, thinking OK you're asking your neighbor to have a heart attack for you. I guess that makes as much sense as anything government comes up with.
Probably felt compelled to follow a County ordinance that mandates homeowners clean sidewalks adjacent to their (private) property for which they pay taxes
One can only hope that those who died voted for the jerks who passed that ordinance
If the neighborhood has teens with shovels and the seniors can afford to pay them - that works great.
My complaint is with the regulations that counties impose on property owners who are burdened with fines for not clearing sidewalks within certain time limits. Especially stressful when there are multiple snow events.
My neighbor was intimidated by the police stopping at his home and warning him to clear his property - he had just moved in and was unaware there was a “law”. Stroke time!!!
I believe that rule is pretty common throughout the ‘snow’ States.
What bedevils me is that the “sidewalk” is public property - so how come any private citizen is responsible to ‘keep it clean’???????
Can’t find a kid to do the job. I have a disability and a heart condition so I can’t shovel snow. I have to pay a guy $35 to shovel. He’s made some serious money this winter.
Clearing sidewalks of snow and cutting grass are two pretty standard requirements in snowbelt cities and towns. Since this can be determined before one moves there, where’s the complaint?
There are many organizations and individuals who will help out if one is unable or can’t afford to do snow removal.
Are you required to clear a sidewalk under penalty of law? Or is this shoveling to free your car and driveway?
Most old folks are ‘hunkered” down and why should they be forced to shovel ANY snow for ANY reason - or pay for it???
Pedestrians are not even using the “cleared” sidewalks in my neighborhood, they are walking in the street.!!!! Must be scared of the tree limbs;)
That would be a public access easement on private property.
Ask the ones who died from a heart attack.
The complaint is the threat of punishment or fines for non-compliance.
What happens if you are stranded at an airport? Hospitalized? And how do you contact all those charitable organizations if you are new to the community???
Why are some citizens forced to clear sidewalks or pay to have it done and others are not. How is that legal?
Property taxes should cover costs of a County clean-up.
In Howard and Montgomery County, the law is you must clear the sidewalks within a limited period of time after a snow storm. Each county has different time periods for the removal. If, for example, a person is on a trip when the snow storm occurs, they have to have sub-contracted with a snow removal service or have a contract with someone to remove the snow. What annoys me about this is the county will demand it BUT the county doesn’t remove snow obstructing the walk to bus stops. About ten years ago, our neighborhood’s civic association tried to get sidewalks installed. Many of the residents fought the sidewalk initiative for this very reason (and won). “How is that legal?” Answer: It’s Maryland. The greater good, don’t you know.
I didn’t see a single teen looking to help out or make a little money this year.
****the law is you must clear the sidewalks within a limited period of time after a snow storm****
I will put the Cochran Firm on speed dial;)
Snow shoveling is God’s way of telling me that I’m getting old!
Heart attacks from snow shoveling are much, much more common than most people think. Cold weather in general sees a much higher rate of heart attacks.
A healthy older guy I knew died while using his snow blower on his neighbors’ driveway.
Anyone living in or owning property in areas that get snow knows the drill.
There are some things a society does to benefit others. Shoveling the walk benefits people from having to walk on the street. Where I live I own the property from my house to the side walk. The green between the sidewalk and the street is not my own yet I cut it to be a good neighbor. How much would it cost to have the surrounding govt come by just to shovel your walk? Can you imagine the regulations they’d crush you with if they were, in fact, in charge of shoveling your walk? No bush or flower pots within 10’, no cars nearby, maybe no shoveling your driveway until the sidewalk’s been done first, it just goes on and on...
Knowing the ‘drill’ and accepting it are what prompted this discussion.
It is not established that the 2 deaths were a result of forced shoveling - but many people who are compelled to comply with ‘the drill’ might very well be putting their lives in danger. Men and women, young and old, neighbors and volunteers. Using snow blowing equipment also has risks, as well as using shovels.
Any service the government provides costs 10 times more than if it were purchased from the free market. Just hang on a bit more. The robots are coming! The robots are coming!
Why should they? Manual labor builds the sort of character that leads to gainful employment, which we all know leads to "job lock" and other bad things.
Cold weather in general puts most people at much higher risk. That’s one of the reasons to move south for retirement, or least to a condo. Believe it or not, a lot of people would rather die of a heart attack shoveling snow at their own home rather than among strangers at a ‘retirement home’.
In the old days, kids would go door to door offering to shovel to pick up spending money, or the parents would order them to shovel older neighbors’ sidewalks and driveways.
***Any service the government provides .....***
And any compulsory (unpaid)labor is slavery;)
In our municipality, builders are required to install sidewalks only on one side of the street — and they must be cleared of snow by the homeowner. When we went looking for a home here, about 30 years ago, I specifically instructed the real estate agent to show me only houses on the non-sidewalk side of the street. (I pity those poor souls who live on corner properties.)
That was prescient;)
I believe the fines for non-compliance are $50. Not sure if that would be applicable for each snow event - like consecutive speeding tickets.
Seems like a warning would be the first reprimand. Law enforcement must have more important things to do.
“Are you required to clear a sidewalk under penalty of law? Or is this shoveling to free your car and driveway?”
There is a municipal ordinance, but since I live among the “free stuff” crowd, the law is rarely enforced. However, there is a clause in my homeowners insurance to the effect that I must maintain the sidewalk. Not doing so could jeopardize payment by the insurance company should someone slip and fall. I might be on the hook for any claim.
When the weather gets bad, I don’t go out, so for myself snow shoveling is not essential. The only person who comes to the house is the mailman. He’s a nice guy, so I wouldn’t want him falling and getting hurt.
When I first moved into my house in 1989, there was a youngster who came to the door the first 2 years offering to shovel. He was so small, the shovel was bigger than he was. He didn’t do a good job, but it was entertaining watching him push this huge shovel around. I gave him $5 and you would have thought I had given him a fortune. He was so happy.
Haven’t seen him around since those first couple of years, so I suppose he moved away. Since then, there haven’t been any children offering to shovel snow. It’s just too much work for this younger generation.
After shoveling my parents, god-parents and the elderly couple across the street for free, I used to make a lot of money shoveling the neighborhood sidewalks and driveways. Once I made $108 in one day and that was in the 60s. Big bucks then. I remember the amount because there was a telescope that I wanted and did buy. :)
I did a quick calculation of labor costs etc., for clearing the sidewalk - neighbor(1) helping neighbor(2).
1. snow plow repair $100
1. labor 4 hours @ $10 per hour $40
1. gas for blower $5.00
2. travel to site gas $10
2. snow blower gas $5.00
2. labor 4 hours @ $10 per hour $40
3. 2nd worker 4 hours @ $10 per hour $40
4. salt de-icer $15.00
County saved $255.00 minimum
No, sidewalks are located within a street right-of-way, not on private property. Normally, sidewalks are located one foot from the property line.
You were raised with a work ethic. Unfortunately, so many young people don’t know what real work is. They want a job, but they don’t want to actually work. Today it seems people expect something for nothing. And they are raising their children that way.
Give all those on welfare shovels. In order to get their bennies they must shovel. When there is no snow, give them brooms or rakes.
Why not get a walk behind self propelled snow blower. They last forever?
You forgot the taxes and health insurance!
Today’s yoots would be having the heart attacks; the poor, overweight flab buckets!
What they each got from me was a brand new snow shovel!
I just got one this season.
It’s a LOT of work to keep that thing going straight, even when it is pulling.
I get CHAINS for it next year!
I wish I had that kind of money!
My 20HP 40 year old AC620, with a 4’ blade, died in front of the house right after I’d graded the snow off the drive from the first fall.
Wife says, “You SURE you don’t want to get a blower?”
Thank GOD I took her up on it!!!
What kind did you get?
I don’t have that much property. Short driveway and sidewalk.
Besides, thanks to a fragile heart, I can’t be out in the cold for more than a few minutes.
Otherwise, a snow blower would be helpful.
Can't do that anymore. It's cruel to the poor, doncha know.
A white one to look at the moon since we (USA) were planning on going there. LOL! I don’t remember but it had a motor to account for the rotation of the earth etc.
I love it!
As a young man; I lusted about a Questar: they had the neatest ads in Scientific American (may it rest in peace) and the coolest tube I'd ever seen!
Twenty years later, I finally got a 4" Meade (Black - 'cause I was gonna use it at night ;^) Schmidt-Cassegrain with motor drive.