Editor’s Word - March is the month we stay by the fire...

3-4 2010 Slovo redakce English
obálka čísla

... So says an old Czech folk saying. And April shall be the same. This year it sure looks like it. Our winter now, in the middle of March has been with us for much too long and was much too severe. On top of the financial crisis, there now has been added a winter crisis. There are arguments about who is actually supposed to clean the sidewalks. A new law has come into effect stating that the owners of a property such as the municipality are responsible for clearing the sidewalks.

Previously, it was the duty of the property owners adjoining the sidewalks to do the clearing. For example elderly ladies living alone in old houses, young couples paying off a mortgage and hurrying off to work, or my uncle Karel, an excellent physician, who instead of being useful in the hospital had to grab a snow shovel and clear the sidewalk. As the snow continued to fall, they had to continue shoveling since they were responsible for any injury that happened to take place on those sidewalks.

So finally a law has been passed, that revoked that nonsense very similar to the historical corvee. At the end, it became evident, that it could work.

The municipal office bought snowplows, and was able to clear a large area within an hour, while that little old lady at the same time would have swept just the sidewalk in front of her fence.. Of course there was some discontent, since there were tons and tons of snow and the machinery was not able to cope with the problem in time. However, in essence, it did and owners of the surrounding properties and shops did their best and helped to keep the sidewalks clean. I must say that it was our shaggy dog Béďa, who loved the cold weather the most. Having no cares, he rolled around happily in the snow.

There’s supposed to be a crisis and so neither the International Czech Club nor the Czech Dialogue got any kind of subsidy either this year or the last.

In Kamenicky Šenov there exists the oldest glassworks school in the world. Out of it come real professionals who are able to create the most gorgeous crystal chandeliers. One of our benefactors, Raymond Snokhous bought one of those last fall for the Museum of Czech heritage and culture in Texas. However, the school is being threatened with a closing. They are short of about a million crowns to cover administration for the next year. The local representative is doing nothing about it, but it surely bothers me, especially when I see how during the alleged crisis horrendous amounts of (our) money are being thrown away on totally immoral projects. Enough had been said about the so-called Open Card. Mayor Bem, who is usually away climbing one of the world’s highest mountains at a time when a scandal breaks out, and thus is unreachable, spent a billion having them made by an affiliated firm. Then when it became evident that no good came out of it, he spent another 4 million on audits, just to find out that there were mistakes made. Any homeless tramp would have known better for free and the city could have saved the millions. The affair is allegedly being investigated

Then there are the ladies in the new “charity”. (See page 7). I don’t even feel like writing about it since it could make me sick.

I’ll try to end as usually optimistically and joyfully. After all, spring is only a few days away!

Eva Střížovská

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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