Tuesday, January 04, 2011

NYC Snow Response Investigations Ramp Up

Federal investigators are now looking into the putrid New York City snow removal response. Brooklyn and Queens District Attorneys are also investigating malfeasance by Sanitation Department workers.

Every day brings another new revelation about Sanitation Department foul ups. The latest includes Sanitation Department workers apparently piling snow up at or along Washington Cemetery to the point of tipping over nearly two dozen gravestones.
Sanit crews dumped tons of dirty snow from the Christmas weekend blizzard into the city’s biggest Jewish cemetery, toppling 21 gravestones and wrecking an iron fence.

"It’s jarring, and it’s an emotional thing," said Yana Zhuravel, a lawyer whose grandparents’ headstones in Washington Cemetery in Midwood, Brooklyn, were among those knocked over.

"Clearly, nobody came with the intention of doing this, I’m sure," said Zhuravel.

"But when an accident happens of this caliber, you expect some form of accountability."

"We were devastated," said cemetery manager Marisa Tarantino.

Workers believe the snow was dumped sometime over the New Year’s holiday, Tarantino said.
Union officials keep saying that the poor sanitation response can be traced back to poor funding, but that ignores the stupidity witnessed on videos showing Sanitation Department drivers turning SUVs into pinatas, and videos showing Sanitation plows driving on snowbound streets with their plows in an upright position - doing anything but clearing the snow.
“We have some video of sanitation trucks not plowing streets despite being on plow routes. Some units were sitting at Dunkin Donuts for 7,8, 9, 10 hours,” Halloran said.

Additional footage showed a V-shaped plow on East 24th Street and Quentin Road in the Madison section of Brooklyn that appears to have been set at the wrong angle because while it moved some snow, it also left much of the white stuff on the road behind it.

All of the pictures raise new questions about what some sanitation workers were doing during the blizzard.

“If there were many trucks that did not have their plows down somebody gave them the order and we have to find out who that was,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told Kramer.
The Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty says that his workers did a tremendous job considering the difficult task of removing snow from thousands of miles of streets, but even Mayor Bloomberg concedes that the city failed in its essential obligations to clear the streets to make them passable.

No comments: