US Snow shoveled downtown? An immigrant probably cleared it.
Welcome snow slows California's plunge back to drought
Welcome drifts of fresh snow await California's water managers on their late-winter survey of the vital Sierra Nevada snowpack Monday after a massive winter storm slowed the state's plunge back into drought. The storm piled snow by the foot in the mountains, forcing Department of Water Resources officials to postpone the measurement for a few days.
In the middle of a blizzard, shoveling snow is a Sisyphean task.
As soon as a sidewalk is somewhat clear, another layer coats the concrete and the act is repeated over and over again.
But it’s a job, one that Jose Aguilar, 44, and other Central and South American immigrants do willingly winter after winter. In the midst of Tuesday’s storm, much of downtown Boston looked deserted — except for armies of seasonal workers shoveling snow, squeegeeing slush, and occasionally ducking into a warm space to escape the biting winds. Not all who do this work are immigrants, but many are.
Falling snow kills mother, 7-year-old son in freak accident in Northern California
<p>In what officials are calling a freak accident, a mother and her 7-year-old son were fatally buried in Northern California on Sunday by a falling chunk of snow the size of a trailer.</p>The massive block of snow fell from a roof and blanketed the two just steps from the front door of their mountain condo, authorities said.
“Someone’s got to do it,” Aguilar said in Spanish with a shrug while working Tuesday at the corner of State and Congress streets. The East Boston resident, originally from El Salvador, said he has shoveled nearly every winter for the past nine years. The job isn’t difficult, he admits, but you have to wear the right clothes.
The crews could be found at the base of most high-rises around the Financial District, their neon yellow jumpsuits and orange gloves a stark contrast to the blowing white snow.
Many started working at 4 a.m., others just after sunrise. Some said they were picked up at 1 a.m. in Lynn and transported to their work site to begin once the snow started to fall. Some hoisted shovels, scooping and clearing the same small area, while others pushed loud contraptions that it brushed the snow away. The workers said they would be there until the snow stopped falling. Depending on the agency that hired them, most expected to make between $20 and $29 an hour. Some also work full time in the buildings where they shoveled Tuesday.
Snow sculptor becomes first Kazakh Paralympic winner
A professional snow sculptor on Wednesday became Kazakhstan's first ever gold medallist in the Winter Paralympics after storming to victory in cross-country skiing. Alexandr Kolyadin comes from a small town in the vast Central Asian country, and when he's not racing over snow in skiing competitions, he's crafting models out of it.Kolyadin, who lost his right leg in a car accident, makes up to 10 sculptures a week, from models of trains to animals and even Winnie the Pooh.They are displayed around his hometown in public places, such as the town square and post office.
“My kids think I’m very strong,” Elizabeth Gonzalez said in Spanish, smiling. “I’m out here showing that women can also do this job.”
Face red from the cold, the 30-year-old mother of three has shoveled snow for 10 winters after arriving from El Salvador 14 years ago. During the summer, she cleans houses.
Gonzalez is in the country with Temporary Protected Status, an immigration program the Trump administration will end in 2019 for an estimated 200,000 Salvadorans. TPS allows immigrants who cannot be safely repatriated to their countries because of civil disruptions or natural disasters to live and work in the United States legally.
Gonzalez said she’s somewhat concerned, but tries not to worry about the future. Right now, she just needs to work and support her family. She’s adapted to the uncertainty and welcomes the work.
“People need to know we didn’t come here to steal jobs,” Gonzalez said. “We came here to progress.”
Calif. couple dies in crash after fleeing from immigration agents
A California couple died in a car crash Tuesday after fleeing from immigration officials, police said. Santo Garcia, 35, and Marcelina Profecto, 33, died at the scene in rural Kern County after their speeding SUV crashed into a power pole and overturned , Delano police said.Police determined the couple was fleeing from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who tried to stop their vehicle.The driver pulled over, but then began speeding after the agents flashed their emergency lights and got out of their vehicle, police said.
Immigration statuses vary among the workers. Some, like David A., 18, are in the country illegally. He’s shoveled in downtown Boston for years, including every storm this winter, to send money back to his mother in El Salvador. Others, like Cristian Melo, are US citizens.
“And yet here I am,” Melo said in Spanish, laughing and looking around at the corner of Tremont and Court Streets. “Doing this. We do this work because they don’t want to. Anyone would choose to work in an office over this.”
The Dorchester resident moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic in the 1980s. He has worked as a maintenance man for years, and work is work, he says. When you have four kids, including one in college, you do whatever it takes, he said.
“I tell my kids to go to school so you won’t have to do work like this,” Melo said. “Fifty percent of what I make goes to them, and I’ll work for as long as God gives me the strength.”
Jonathan Novaes, 16, and Paulo Lopes, 18, admittedly have less urgent reasons for shoveling snow.
Both want to get tattoos on their shoulders. Novaes has his eyes set on a crucifix, while Lopes is leaning toward Christ’s face.
Immigrant activist says deportation action is political
SEATTLE — An immigration judge Thursday gave the government until early next month to respond to the allegations of an immigrant-rights advocate who says she's been targeted for deportation because of her political activism.Dozens of supporters greeted Maru Mora-Villalpando, 47, as she arrived outside a downtown Seattle building for her first deportation hearing.A Mexico City native who overstayed a visa issued in 1996, Mora-Villalpando says she has had no convictions or contacts with police that might normally trigger deportation proceedings. But in December, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent her a notice to appear in immigration court.
Each came from Brazil legally two years ago to live with family. Novaes is a sophomore at Malden High School, while Lopes dropped out of school, but wants to work in construction like his father. Their parents encouraged them to take the seasonal work. They miss Brazil, but love living in the United States. Despite hailing from a tropical climate, neither really minds the snow.
“It’s not that hard,” Novaes said. “You just get used to it.”
Bruno Rodriguez, 19, has aspirations beyond shoveling snow. He’d like to be an engineer someday. But sending $300 back to his family every month leaves him just enough money for rent and food. There’s no time to study, Rodriguez said. If he were back in El Salvador he might be helping his mother by doing dishes. Outside it would be 70 degrees.
But there would be no work, and his brother who is still there makes the equivalent of $5 a day.
“I don’t know what this country would do without Latinos,” Rodriguez said in Spanish as he smoked a cigarette on a break. “We do roofing, plumbing, construction. We do everything.”
4 deaths blamed on fourth nor'easter in three weeks .
At least four people have died in this nor'easter that brought snow, poor visibility and slippery conditions to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.The death toll from the fourth nor'easter in three weeks to slam the Northeast stood at four Thursday as millions of Americans dug out and returned to work.
Hamilton: the musical (Animatic version)
So, I basically selected my favourites animatics for each song of Hamilton and I made this video, I really hope you'll all enjoy. Credits are in the description and in the video (the credits...
Klondike Alaska: A Rail History
For most people, railroads in Alaska and the Yukon are synonymous with the Alaska Railroad and the White Pass and Yukon Railroad whose passenger cars provide tourists with vistas of awe-inspiring...
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