Editorial

Walk Like a Penguin

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I do not know about you, but I am sure glad to see the sun.

It seems like since before Christmas, we have been bomb-barded with cold temperatures, cold winds, rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow. I am thinking we need to get the Ground Hog, Jack Frost and Mr. Freeze and place them all in a locked down cell and through away the keys. Better yet, just have Superman melt them with his heat rays!

I have had to learn to walk all over again.

Back with I first moved to the flatlands from the Ozark Foothills of Wayne County, I first had to straighten out my stride, so used to walking on hills, created a little limp. My wife would know when I was homesick and would take me over to the levy and in New Madrid and kept driving the levy loop, I ask her why she kept on doing that, and said, "This is our only hill!"

This winter, I am reminded of two other television characters. Remember of the Carol Burnett Show and Tim Conway would act like an old man and would walk sliding his feet one inch at a time? do you remember the late Burges Merideth as he played The Penguin in the old Batman series? You put those to together and that is how I had to walk during the ice and snow storms. Especially if i was gong to a from news racks with a bundle of papers. My hips would be sore!

One day while I was making a bundle delivery, I almost the the ground, but thanks to my "quickness" i managed to stay up. The lady at the bank who saw the whole thing, did not know I was an Ice skater!

I could just see her now, making a little chuckle. If I had fallen, I know for sure what she would have done. After about 15 minutes of laughing and pointing out my demise to her co-workers, then she wold come and check on me, only to ask me if I was okay! Thankfully, I did not fall, and she did not have to come and see about me. No doubt that would have been posted all over Facebook!

Spring is now days away. On March 20th, spring begins with the vernal equinox. This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. -See chart.

The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning "equal night." Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west.

At the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth's axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (However, the tilt of Earth relative to its plane of orbit, called the ecliptic plane, is always about 23.5 degrees.)

Another interesting note, I had often that with snow removal, you may be better off not doing anything at all, because if you do not do a good job and do a half-way job and some one falls, you could be more liable than if you did not do anything.

I call two attorneys about this and this what I found out.

Portageville City Attorney Terry McVey says, "There is no statute regarding snow removal. Case law generally holds that if an attempt is made to clean off the snow and ice and it is done negligently, then there could be some liability to the landowner if someone falls and injures themselves. If the landowner does nothing to attempt to remove the snow, there is generally no liability if someone injures themselves because the person is assumed to know the risk of walking on snow and ice. Portageville has no ordinance which addresses snow removal.

Missouri Press Legal Council Jean Maneke, also of Maneke Law Group in Kansas City says, "Yes, if it is a natural event (ie: snowfall) and someone falls, you are not liable.

If you remove snow, it is important that you not create a more dangerous situation. So, I guess if you remove the snow but leave visible ice and do not treat it, then you might make something more dangerous and create more liability. But if you put down salt and it melts, then refreezes overnight, that's a natural occurrence and you should not be creating liability for yourself.

It's important to realize that there may be a city ordinance mandating that you clear your sidewalks and failure to do so may put you in position for a city fine if you do not clear your sidewalk.

So folks, for the most part, use good common sence.