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Starting to shovel and sand our way into the holiday season

Posted by Nichole Davis  December 12, 2013 02:54 PM

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Ahhh, winter. You have arrived. Not quite to this extent -- this photo from the Boston Globe archives from 1936 shows getting rid of the white stuff has never exactly been easy... but we're at the point where salt's caking our cars and roads, the parking spot savers are making a reappearance and it's time to put the French Toast alert on full power.

(Check out this article for more historical storm photos around the city of Boston.)

Each city and town, of course, has their own plan in place to take care of the roads, and it's generally advised that you shovel your own sidewalks. We'll talk a little bit more about that in the next week, but something caught my eye tonight about an issue that not a lot of people tend to think about -- what about taking care of snow removal for those who have trouble doing it? Say, the elderly or the disabled?

A group in the city of Somerville called ResiStat is getting together tonight (Thursday) to brainstorm how they can make this happen more efficiently for their neighbors who need a little extra assistance. Apparently, in years past, according to the site:

... we had numerous seniors and persons with disabilities sign up for [the city's] youth shoveling program, where teenagers shovel at reduced rates for those in need of assistance. The program encountered several problems. Far more persons needing help signed up than teens and efforts to recruit more teens were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, some persons in need of help don't have funds to pay even the programs low fees...

The group says the city is facing a similar issue this year, and they're trying to get ahead of the problem before winter hits too hard. ResiStat also says they believe it's up to citizens to come up with more effective ideas, as the city is bound by legal issues even if they have the best of intentions to get the work done.

If you want to get involved in the discussion tonight, or learn more, click here. The meeting will take place tonight at 6:30 at City Hall, but you can also call in or Skype in. Details on how to do so are behind the cut.

How do you tend to tackle this issue in your neighborhood? Do you and your neighbors come together to help those out that can't?
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As we all know, the holiday season is upon us ... and if you've been wondering how you can get involved, the MBTA is offering one option. All this week, they've been running a toy drive across the Greater Boston area to benefit the Commonwealth Tenants Association and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

The drive is running through tomorrow (Friday, December 13th), where you can donate at:

Highway District 6 Office, 185 Kneeland Street, Boston 9:00 - 10:00 AM
Boston RMV, 630 Washington Street, Boston 10:15 - 11:15 AM
State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Cabot Bus Garage, 275 Dorchester Avenue, Boston 1:30 - 3:30 PM

The T says they're looking for all sorts of toys for kids from infants to teens. The list includes Scooters, XBox and Playstation games, board games, dolls, sporting equipment, developmental toys, jewelry kids, and art supplies. They also suggest gift cards for movies, iTunes, restaurants or clothes. Winter weather accessories are also encouraged, along with electronics accessories like headphones and mini speakers.
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Also, for those of us who are fans of one of the most popular Christmas movies out there, this seems apropos to post about. Yes, this is traffic related. Stick with me...

The comedy group "Improv Everywhere" is making a series of Youtube videos called "Movies in Real Life" - one of which being "A Christmas Story". Remember that most unfortunate scene where Flick decides not to back down from a triple dog dare? This group's made it come to life again -- except on transit! Check it out here.
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Whether your commute's a couple minute walk down the street, or a two hour journey spanning multiple forms of public transit, there's familiar sights you see each and every day you head out. NPR's "The Picture Show" put together a fascinating Instagram compilation of their listeners' commutes from subways in New York to ski gondolas in Telluride, Colorado. Makes you wonder about the little things you appreciate about the sights you see to and from your job, even if the commute itself could be easier.

(My favorites, for what it's worth, are the shot of the window of the New York City subway train and the Seattle highway shot.)

What do you like about your commute? Do you have any photos to share of sights you've seen? What would you change about your commute if you could?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Nichole Davis is a Boston-based traffic reporter and news anchor. She’s been seen and heard on television and radio airwaves across New England since 2003, providing commuters with all the More »

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