Originally published Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 09:37p.m.

The Friday Catchall:

• SNOW! — This week I was left wondering whether a lot of people have moved to the Prescott area — and are not used to the method of snow removal here (main streets then side streets) — or if we have become a magnet for people who cannot drive in the white stuff.

The latter is certainly true (sorry, folks). However, I did begin to think that our local governments — Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Yavapai County — could have done a better job.

First, let’s look at the driving: Dozens of people spinning out, including 4-wheel-drive vehicles (no number of “driving” wheels will help in slick snow or ice!); and, for example, Prescott Police worked 35 crashes that they knew of.

I guess I should flip my statement to include “parking,” because tens of dozens of people just left their cars where they could go no farther. I get it, I do. Still, moving it to the side of the road is always best — considering the plows have to dodge the parked cars.

There, your tongue-lashing is complete. Now for the governments, such as the county that reported “vacations” as a factor in a slow response. You mean time off? The New Year’s Eve storm was forecast days in advance, which should have brought about the Plan B. (Was there a Plan B?)

The Courier has been buried in comments, such as: “A 16-year-old with a 2-wheel drive pickup could have done a better job.”

How about this from “Colleen,” who is from Prescott Valley: the town had “12 plows and six cinder vehicles (out) during the storm (?) I was out every day since and only have seen one Town of PV snowplow and no cinder trucks this whole week.”

Then there was “Joan,” who wrote: “Where the devil were the snowplows? At noon I left Williamson Valley … for a dentist appointment in Chino Valley. Got back about 2:45 ... still no plows anywhere.”

Truth be told, Chino Valley officials admitted they have no plows, and everyone suffered from what Prescott Street Maintenance Superintendent Bobbie King described in our article:

King speculated that the storm was especially problematic because the streets were already cold, and the snow began accumulating almost immediately.

“Normally, we get a thermal gain, where the roads absorb the heat from the sun, and the snow melts right away,” King said.

As the snow accumulated, traffic packed it down — creating slick conditions on well-traveled routes.

That makes perfect sense. So are we getting a snow job, or are we too impatient or too critical? You be the judge.

• GIVE A PUSH — A lot of people I know witnessed many Good Samaritans at work during the storm.

“Larry” reports: “Thanks sooo much to the two strong working men who pushed our small pickup up the grade on Pioneer Parkway about 9:30 Monday morning. … They pushed several cars. I hope someone helped them. We thought we’d get home before the snow. Should have bought that 4-wheel drive!”

Kudos too for the woman my wife saw who stopped, got out to help a fellow driver with a push, but fell to the asphalt instead.

Seriously. Be safe and go slow out there, everyone.

• GASOLINE — I heard back from the AAA spokeswoman, Michelle Donati-Grayman, who had this to say about our sky-high gas prices:

“Other than retail changes, we are not seeing any external factors that would be driving prices higher in the Prescott area. It is very likely that individual stations in the area are moving prices higher. Gas stations set their own prices so they have freedom to adjust prices in response to competition or to meet demand. A few stations could be skewing prices higher.”

So it’s greed, huh?! Nice.

• PICK OF THE WEEK — (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): The Prescott Valley Polar Bear Splash at Mountain Valley Park. What could be more fun than watching people jump into a 42-degree swimming pool? The fun starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.

(Reminds me of my first assignment working in Lake Havasu City: New Year’s Day 1991 — a Polar Bear waterskiing event! “Crazy” is all I have for you on this!)

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.