Friday, February 13, 2015

Caution: Shoveling Snow Without A Permit in Bound Brook, New Jersey May Be Illegal

Oh what a winter! Bitter cold, followed by yet another blizzard racing into the Northeast. Boston’s already 7 feet deep, and another 15-18 inches may dump on it over the weekend. Central Park averages 25” of snow per winter. It already has 56.6 inches. Only residents of the Big Apple who cross country sky thrive in the snow. There’s nothing so classic as seeing a garbage truck with a snowplow barreling down Fifth Avenue. Priority goes to the Mayor’s Park Slope, Brooklyn residence. The past three storms have not only closed the airports, but also shut down the subways an Amtrak, paralyzing the East. New Jersey, home of Tony Soprano, permanently stuck between New York City and Philadelphia, is permanently conflicted. Yet, the snow is a bonanza for small entrepreneurs on the East Coast. The snow brings out the greatness in Americans, the good old Yankee Ingenuity, which built this great nation. Men stick snowplows on front of their pickups and SUV’s and charge neighbors and communities to plow their streets and driveways. Men lacking these vehicles pull out their rusty snow blowers to clear sidewalks. Then we have the young, healthy teenagers who walk house to house carrying snow shovels offering to dig out residents for unreported, untaxed pocket money, and performing the public service of sparing senior citizens from the risks of heart attacks. A few simple rules apply to the snow shovelers. First, that cannot toss the snow into the street because that would defeat the herculean efforts of the snow plows. Second, cities, such as Boston, require residents to shovel their sidewalks. Thus, Secretary of State John Kerry was fined for having an unshoveled sidewalk after the first storm. He was not saved by claiming to be in Europe at the time. Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf, two 18 year olds, were carrying out the hallowed tradition in Bound Brook, New Jersey with an updated marketing approach. They went door to door, handing out flyers in advance of the impending snow. They were signing up clients in advance. Bound Brook’s finest were unimpressed. They informed the two young enterprising entrepreneurs that they could not solicit business without a $450 permit from the local government. Police Chief Michael Jannone said “We don’t make the laws, but we have to uphold them.” Police exercise discretion all the time in enforcing laws. The Bound Brook police follow the precedence of Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, and the Neanderthal communities which require the corner lemonade stand to be licensed in a misguided and economically perverse attempt to nickel and dime the public. Matt and Eric learnt a modern lesson in America: The Nanny State.

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