City Desk

Shovel Patrol: Eleanor Holmes Norton

Washington City Paper embarked yesterday afternoon upon an SUV-assisted inspection of various notable persons' sidewalks. Did they comply with their civic duty to clear walkways for pedestrians within eight daylight hours after the snowfall ended? Here's what we found.


Eleanor Holmes Norton

Position: delegate, U.S. Congress

Address: 10 9th St. SE (Capitol Hill)

Observations: When LL visited the Norton residence Sunday, he happened upon a gentleman, shovel in hand, clearing the driveway. LL knocked and inquired with Norton, 72, who said she was quite aware of the responsibility of property owners to clear their walks in a timely fashion and had engaged the shovel-wielding gentleman to do just that. Said gentleman did a fine job, completely clearing a wide path on the bricked walk. He had yet to free Norton's Toyota Camry, however—which might be just fine given all we now know about Toyotas.

Grade: A-, with only slight demerits for hiring out the job

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  • Joan

    uh - isn't she like, in her 70's?

  • Skipper

    The following demerits are hereby issued to DeBonis for being a dumbass:

    * for expecting a 72-year old woman to shovel more than a foot of snow along her entire sidewalk; and
    * for snarking about a person employing another person to shovel said snow, thereby putting money in that other person's pockets.

  • Lionel Webb

    You claim you inspected "various notable persons' sidewalks." Was this the only sidewalk you visited or is this the worst thing you could find?

    Leave E.H.N alone! Jeeeze

  • Mike DeBonis

    You're right, you're right--but some other folks surveyed shoveled themselves. If LL had given Eleanor an A or A+, he would not have been able to properly reward the self-shovelers. We're talking a grade-inflation quandary here.

  • cr

    No inflation. Done is done. This is a pass/fail course.

  • Matt the Bat Master

    Wonder how many staff members it took.

  • DK

    Loving E.H.N., as usual!

  • Harry

    Fun article and a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree that the city's leaders should be able to get around during the storm which means their streets will be more plowed than average.

    However, you're using a different standard in your ratings than some of your readers. You value that the owner shovels by zirself. I don't - I only care that the sidwalks are cleared and safe - and it seems that Skipper doesn't either. There is an economic benefit to hiring someone else to do the job. For example, I could do it myself, leaving my children inside by themselves while I did so. Or I could hire an ex-juvvie of my acquaintance who has turned his life around but, in this economy, can't find a steady job.