Monthly Archive for July, 2004

A response to my letter to the editor

From the July 23 Watertown TAB. Debra J. Vincuilla wrote to the editor:.

Hiring others to shovel not a solution

I am responding to Glen Mohr, “Shoveling ordinance will make town
safer” [letters, June 25]. Mr. Mohr states that the town does not have
enough funds to shovel the sidewalks and suggest I could hire a student
to shovel for me. It is very difficult to find a student who would
shovel each time it snows. Most students are not interested in this
type of work. Also, even if I could find a student to shovel for me, I
don't have extra income to be incurring this additional expense. Then
comes the question of liability; if someone slips and falls on the
sidewalk outside my home, am I now responsible? When we have record
snow fall, will I have to take a day off from work just to shovel? Do I
go to work to make money, or stay home and shovel so I won't be fined?
Too many problems arise by putting such an ordinance in effect. I
suggest the town plows the sidewalk on the main road and leave the secondary road alone.

Broadcast Builder

“The ultimate idea is that you should get the information you want when you want it,” – Bill Gates. What is Broadcast Builder? Broadcast Builder allows you to create RSS (Really Simple Syndication [or Rich Site Summary, whichever you prefer]) channels & weblogs (blogs) quickly and easily. You can build a channel from scratch or import an existing one from either your own local computer or from a remote resource, and then edit that channel. Broadcast Builder will parse, export, and save the channel for you.

Videos for Propagate

Propagate Networks has an amazing product, AutoCell, that radically improves the performance of wireless networks by eliminating interference. The Otter Group has been working with Propagate on product videos, the WiFinally weblog, and currently, their web site.

Here's a link to the “Before and After” product demo video I wrote and produced for them with the production team of Sunny Lake and Noah Brookoff. Propagate distributed the video and had it playing on all the hotel monitors at the NetWorld+Interop conference in May and then shipped it on CD to potential partners apparently with great results.

Play the Before and After video

I also wrote and produced their original product demo video (with the same team) last year:

Play the Product Demo

Snow Shoveling

I've been trying to get a residential snow shoveling ordinance passed since January of 2003. Here's the text of my letter to the editor published last week in the Watertown Tab.

My wife and I moved to Watertown because we could walk to just about everything (including the East Branch Library, but that's another issue). For five years that has not been the case for much of the year because of neighbors who refuse to shovel their walks.
When the residential snow shoveling ordinance was proposed over a year ago, councilors Marilyn Petitto Devaney and Frederick Pugliese on the ordinance subcommittee refused to even consider it. Devaney said she wouldn't pass ordinances that couldn't be enforced and Pugliese thought it would infringe on residents' right not to shovel. Fortunately the Town Council president referred it back to the subcommittee with the instructions that the committee members should consider how neighboring towns have handled this problem.
With the change in subcommittee membership the proposed ordinance has now made it to a vote. The most recent objections concern the piles that snowplows push onto corners. It seems only common sense that our police officers will use their discretion and not cite people for refusing to shovel through a huge embankment, but I suppose even common sense needs to be codified.
To respond to Ms. Vincuilla “Shoveling sidewalks should be town's responsibility” (June 4), I don't believe the town budget can handle a snow shoveling crew and would prefer not to see taxes increased to cover that. The ordinance does include exemptions for “elderly and handicapped persons who are unable to effect the removal of snow and ice due to their own physical condition and insufficient financial resources.” If she doesn't meet those criteria perhaps she can find a local student (I saw a sign for “Helping Hands 617-926-2725″ on the bulletin board at the Police Station).
This ordinance should encourage able-bodied residents (and country clubs in residential districts) who have no problem clearing their driveways and a path from their door to their car, to act with consideration for their neighbors or risk a penalty. It will make the town safer for everyone who walks. I sincerely hope it passes.


Ilyse is doing Grease at Reagle Players in Waltham. Show opens Friday July 15.

Link to Ilyse's blog:

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