Mama & Baby Expo coming in May

Are you planning for a new addition to your family?

As with most expectant parents, this is a busy time, gathering information and collecting all the products and services needed for you and the baby.

San Antonio is fortunate to have a valuable resource for mothers called the San Antonio Birth Collective. This is group of local childbirth and postnatal support professionals. The non-profit group offers a membership that provides a resource directory that is free to parents. Check the link above to learn more about how to apply for membership and how the group is “serving families through education and practical support”.

One of the big events that is sponsored by the SABC is “The Mama & Baby Expo”. This is the 3rd year for the San Antonio gathering and it will be held on May 3rd from 1-4 pm at the TriPoint Event Center. The location is at the corner of St. Mary’s and Hwy 281 near the YMCA.

The expo will feature a documentary about childbirth plus a fashion show and dozens of vendors. This is a great opportunity to meet local midwives and doulas and review the many products and services to help parents. Door prizes and music and games will be available to keep the little ones busy. Check the link above for tickets and further details. Children under age 12 are free.

Best wishes to all expectant parents.

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Yes – sweat the small things

Over the past week, I have visited three gas stations. Each was convenient and the price of gas was the same as other gas stations around the area. Two of the three had a food shop where customers can purchase coffee, an RC and a Moon Pie. Because the local area has had a lot of snow this winter, there was a lot of road salt on my windshield and I wanted to clean my windows. But, at each station, the buckets of window cleaners were empty and the squeegees were dry as a bone.

Gasoline is a commodity and people will search out the lowest price available. Therefore, most gas stations keep the price of gasoline close to what their competitors are offering. So, what is it that makes a customer choose one station over another? It is the little things, like the customer being able wash their windshield.

Customers may not know or even remember who has full windshield cleaners, but they do know when companies treat them well. They may be small but details are important to creating a positive customer experience and are often overlooked. A friendly hello, a “thanks for calling”, a small, unexpected gift or even an honest apology go a long way in creating a favorable customer experience. Moreover, the small extras are not that expensive. It cost nothing to say, “I apologize.” Depending on the number of pumps, a gas station may spend $25.00 per week to keep their windshield cleaners full.

When price is not an issue, customers will repeat establishments that create a positive experience. Even when price is an issue, customers are more likely to repeat business with companies that treat them well. And, sweating the details is one of the best ways of treating customers well.

Trying to Create Tomorrow’s Company with Yesterday’s Rules and Tools: Part 1

If you have ever been to a TED talk or OpenCo conference or any other semi-chaotic gathering of clever Millennials you’ve experienced the new rules of innovation first hand. Everything moves quickly, changes frequently, no one seems to be in charge but everyone except you seems to be in on the joke. All you need to play along is a smart phone, an obscure app, fluency in arcane chat slang and prehensile thumbs. By the time you get the hang of it the party’s over. Like a flock of migrating birds these groups have no center but somehow manage to fly together and reach a distant destination just in time.

Conventional thinking has it that these youngsters are narcissistic slackers who lack the intellectual prowess or willpower of the brawny Boomers.After all, we went to the moon and back, put the miracle in all manner of drugs and made the music of our monstrous stereos dance on the head of a pin. Though our accomplishments may be Homeric they are in fact mostly an extension of the work of the Great Generation and the Great War that defined it. Bigger, smaller, faster or longer our achievements are elaborations of fundamental shifts that occurred over half a century ago. Our technology gives away our actual age – combustion engines, integrated circuits, microwaves, antibiotics and the like. More so, our social institutions while having undergone some freshening are also essentially the same – marriage, religion, political parties and corporations.

Visit your local fair trade coffee shop and you may see Gen Next in their native habitat. If you are truly observant you will notice how they have opted out of our Boomer world – more text and less talk, über-multitasking, ad hoc transportation, dot.org start ups, personalized self-help spirituality and friends with benefits. They work horizontally, spontaneously and are connected primarily by their values – we can do it – as opposed to our vertical generation which is fueled by personal ambition – you can do it. They succeed in their cause by ignoring our traditional boundaries – race, preference, intellectual property and even capitalism itself. So how do we lead innovation in a generation that doesn’t follow leaders? How do you measure the success of an innovation if the aim is social good instead of economic value created? How do you innovate in an institution when the new workforce doesn’t believe or participate in institutions? The answer is simple – you don’t.

The Need for Speed and Magnitude

What has fundamentally changed is that Millennials don’t want the same things we did when we were young and consequently are refusing to pursue that same future in that same way. If you are able to suspend your voice of judgment for a moment – along with your cultural heritage and technical training – you may just see that this generation is changing the way we create and offers those of us who are no longer on the sunny side of the hill some new ways of making innovation happen in our old companies.

The truth is that many of the tools we routinely use in multinational corporations to develop innovations are well over a half century old:

Phase-gate systems were established by chemical companies in the 1940’s because compounds were developed sequentially before the age of molecular engineering.
TRIZ was a creative problem solving technique developed to help overcome the resource constraints of ship building in the Soviet Union during the Second World War.
New product portfolio management was developed as a way of connecting and leveraging a complex array of existing assets to generate incremental improvements during the reign of the robber barons at the turn of the century – the 19 Century.
While these approaches have been updated their underlying basis is essentially the same. They assume a world view that is no longer entirely relevant – economies of scale, organizational hierarchy and evolutionary market development for example. The global economy that emerged after the fall of the Berlin Wall added four billion new participants to the old Capitalist world and changed both the speed and magnitude at which innovation now emerges. The omnipresent web, inexpensive hand held devices and research universities with international presence have accelerated the transition to a decentralized, real time and unbound world where anyone can innovate anywhere anytime. This is too much and too fast for traditional innovation practices to handle. Politicians, patent lawyers and investment bankers alike are all showing signs that can’t keep up with this pace but are still unwilling or unable to adopt new innovation practices. Perhaps the old adage had it right – “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”

Next time we will explore what are the new rules and tools of innovation that will drive tomorrow’s company.

Focusing on B&W Snapshots and ‘Those Nice, Bright Colors of Kodachrome.’

Kodachrome,
You give us those nice bright colors …
You give us the greens of summers…
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!…
…Kodachrome…
…And everything looks worse in black and white….”

No, it doesn’t!

When Paul Simon wrote, and Simon & Garfunkel sang the classic praises and merits of Kodachrome’s ‘nice bright colors,’ but then concluded the song by lyrically knocking the concept of black & white photography, well, I couldn’t wait to conceptually cross their pre-Ed Koch 59th Street Bridge and focus on making some picture perfect points.

Exploring New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue recently, on the way to visiting the Picasso’s, Rembrandt’s, DaVinci’s, Seurat’s, Goyas et al, I was surprised to see a display full of simple black and white snapshots that had been collected by Peter Cohen. When the Met curators met Cohen, it’s easy to see what they liked. Cohen had uncovered decades of anonymous family pictures, all in glorious B&W and agreed to mount a small but interesting Met display showcasing the kind of amateur photographic memories that those of us who remember having Brownie Holiday and Kodak box cameras could thoroughly enjoy.

Then there are simple images in black and white that have made a searing impact on our collective photographic psyches. Stanley Stearns received his first camera as a Bar Mitzvah gift from a relative. News photography became his career. On the day of John F. Kennedy’s funeral, Stan trained his camera on JFK’s son and exclusively captured that simple son-to-father salute that brought the world to tears.

The list of famous photographers who made everything look great in black and white also includes luminaries as Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstadt, Annie Liebovitz, Alfred Stieglitz just to name a few. Maybe Simon & Garfunkel had all of them in mind when on August 15, 1991 during a concert in Central Park, they actually changed their lyrics from “everything looks worse, to everything looks better in black & white.”

OK, but what about ‘those nice bright colors’ that Simon & Garfunkel sing about? Decades ago, in an era when black & white photography was king, working in color became a newer art form that even in its infancy was very slow to develop. But one photographer was out to make an impact.

Until May 4th at New York City’s International Center of Photography near Rockefeller Center, an exhibition titled “Capa in Color” showcases over 100 prints in pure, glorious living color. “Robert Capa” was born Endre Friedmann. In 1933, he moved from German to France to escape the increase in Nazism, and because as a Jewish journalist and photographer, he found it extremely difficult to find work. He adopted his American-sounding name and found it easier to sell his photos to publications including Life, Look, Collier’s, Holiday, Ladies Home Journal and McCall’s. This wonderful ICP exhibit reinforces how color provided Capa with the glitter and humor that B&W often missed. Capa first discovered color in 1938, two years after Kodak developed the first color film they branded as Kodachrome. Sensing its early potential and eager to be slightly ahead of his competition, Capa contacted his agent in New York writing “Please immediately send 12 rolls of Kodachrome with all instructions. Send it ‘Via Clipper’ because I have an idea for Life.” The rest of the story makes for photographic history which you will not want to miss seeing during its limited run.

Highlighted, for example, in one gallery is Capa’s powerful coverage of the Israeli War for Independence along with his book “Report on Israel.” It was Robert’s younger brother who actually founded the ICP years after his death as a way to give his older brother’s extensive black & white and color photo collection a place to call home.

While Robert Capa could make everything look great in black and white, ICP’s celebration of “Capa in Color” reinforces just how colorfully creative a photographic genius can be when he puts those nice bright colors to work.

The customer service week that was – 14-03-15

What has happened in the customer service industry in the week ending March 15, 2014 and what people are talking about.

The Happenings

Aspect Software Introduces Aspect Mentor for Real-Time Speech Analytics — Aspect Mentor monitors voice with speech detection across the contact center and automatically sends guidance notifications and intelligent response alerts, based on detected or omitted speech, to agents and supervisors.

Aspect Software Sets a New Standard for the Agent Experience With Aspect Workforce Optimization 8.0 — Icons, widgets and customizable dashboards of new intuitive graphical user interface remove technology barriers, improves agent engagement, Cloud-optimized platform integrates with full suite of Aspect products to provide more complete contact center solution, New capabilities allow for tighter integration between front and back office operations

ASC Launches Groundbreaking Workforce Optimization Suite neo 3.0 Designed for Cloud Solutions — neo 3.0 offers new capabilities for quality and performance management, communications recording, speech and desktop analytics, eLearning/coaching, customer feedback and workforce management to improve business performance

New Avaya Contact Center Solutions Help Companies Master the Omni-channel Customer Experience — Latest solution unifies and simplifies multichannel self-service and proactive engagement with a single, software platform, transforms customer service strategies with combined SMS, email, and phone-based campaigns that increase results, and intelligently coordinates services and resources based on real-time insights

The Talk

3 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Call Center Experience – Business2Community.com, Adele Halsall

Everyone Can Talk…But Can Your Customer Service Reps Listen? – PhonePro.com

There’s a link between employee engagement and customer loyalty – RetailWire.com, Bill Hanifin

5 Lessons All Departments Can Learn From the Customer Service Department – Linked.com, Blake Landau

Quality Standards for Great Customer Experiences – Customer Service Management, Errol Allen

What Is The Access To Cultivating Customer Engagement and Customer Relationships? – Customer and Leadership Blog, Maz Iqbal

Discontinued item to sell on eBay – Tylenol Arthritis

Tylenol Arthritis pain reliever is selling at inflated prices on eBay. One bottle of 250 caplets sold for $31.99 on March 5. Apparently, Tylenol Arthritis pain reliever has been discontinued as many listings have the keyword “discontinued” in the title. There was a recall of Tylenol Arthritis in 2009, however it was put back on the shelves again months later.

Tylenol Arthritis contains no aspirin, and can be used to relieve pain from arthritis, muscle aches, and backaches. It relieves osteoarthritis pain as effectively as naproxen sodium, the medicine in Aleve, and won’t irritate the stomach the way aspirin or ibuprofen can. The product contains 650 mg of acetaminophen and comes in 200- 250 count bottles. Some of the sellers on eBay are located in Canada, but many are in the USA. Expiration dates are out to 2015.

Look for Tylenol Arthritis in closeout stores, Big Lots, dollar stores, and on clearance in grocery and drug stores. You may also find it at flea markets, garage sales, or estate sales. Be sure to check the expiration date since eBay does not allow the sale of expired over the counter drugs.

Happy 278th St. Patrick’s Day America!

It’s the 278th St. Patricks Day. Happy 278th St. Patricks Day America!

Happy 278th St. Patrick’s Day America! Did you know that the first recorded parade anywhere in America was in Boston in 1737. In Ireland, the Irish have been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick since the ninth century.

This year it’s Monday, March 17th! With many being bit by the leprechaun earlier in time for the many parades through the country beginning today. The oldest and largest of the St. Paddy’s Day parades in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1762 — New York City’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade — steps off Fifth Avenue in New York City Saturday, March 16th fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence (NYC’s oldest cultural and religious parade, 252 years ago but 253 St. Patrick’s Day PARADE EVENTS AGO).

According to a PinkNews.com article, New York and Boston mayors plan to boycott St Patrick’s Day parades in 2014 due to ban on gay marchers by the organizers. St. Patrick’s Day is known traditionally as a religious holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick as well as a celebration of the Irish culture.

Interestingly, the original color associated with Saint Patrick was blue. The color green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day began in the early 17th century with the use of green ribbons and shamrocks to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It is known that Saint Patrick used the symbolic shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.

Although not a legal holiday in America, Saint Patrick’s Day, is celebrated throughout the country. It is observed as a celebration of Irish and Irish American culture. Celebrations include prominent displays of the color green, eating and drinking, religious observances, and numerous parades. The holiday has been celebrated on the North American continent since the 1763.

One of the longest-running and largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades in North America that occurs each year is in Montreal. The Canadian city flag includes a shamrock in its lower-right quadrant. The annual celebration has been organized by the United Irish Societies of Montreal since 1929. The parade has been held annually without interruption since 1824.

However, St. Patrick’s Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France.

More information including my favorite Irish Soda Bread Recipe and additional resources is at the AllThingsDigitalMarketing “Happy 278th St. Patrick’s Day America” blog post

The undefined niche is a key challenge for women’s businesses

Women business ventures have been significantly growing, but these new opportunities are not without a set of challenges. Many of the opportunities faced by women businesses are similar to those faced by their male peers. One of the standout challenges is being a business with an undefined niche.

One of the best ways to demonstrate your value is to specialize in a business niche. This could mean focusing on a particular industry or a specific area within your market. This has two benefits. First, you can provide more value to your clients because you have honed your expertise in an area relevant to them, and second, you limit the competition you face.

Advantages of utilizing niche marketing range from less competition to more tailored promotion channels, and even less ad spend. For any new business, this route also ensures a chance to develop strong brand recognition and customer loyalty, writes homebusinessproductreports.com

According to Natalie Sisson, an entrepreneur who writes on entrepreneurship, “Because I was so unclear and undefined in what my exact niche was and who my ideal customer was, I ended up not answering their question and losing them to other people who made it downright obvious why they did what they did, who they did it for, and what they did.”

Sylvia Browder, a small business consultant, offers these tips for targeting your potential clients and developing your niche:

Improve your website’s SEO with specific key words.
Generate exposure locally and virtually with professional speaking, seminars or publishing a book or articles.
Craft a clear message that speaks to the heart of your customer.
In developing your womens business be sure to understand what makes your business unique. What are the needs and solutions your product or service fulfill? What value will help your business stand out in the business landscape? Creating a niche for your business is essential to success.

Marketing Via Email Efforts

Whеn the еntirе world is соnѕtаntlу connected to thе Intеrnеt, mаrkеting viа еmаil is оnе of thе bеѕt wауѕ tо rеасh уоur audience. If you’re considering beginning marketing with еmаil, thеn utilize аll thе аdviсе provided in thе below article in оrdеr tо аѕѕiѕt уоu in bеginning right now.

Aѕk fоr уоur ѕubѕсribеrѕ’ birthdау whеn they ѕign up fоr уоur list аnd ѕеnd off аn email when that dау соmеѕ around in сеlеbrаtiоn. Set up things ѕо thаt happy birthday messages are аutоmаtiсаllу sent to rеаdеrѕ оn their big dау. It’ѕ fine to include a discount оffеr, but the mаin thrust of your mеѕѕаgе ѕhоuld be a friеndlу birthdау wiѕh, not mаrkеting.

Tеѕt the diffеrеnt fоrmаtѕ оf еmаilѕ. Always рlасе nеw оffеrѕ аnd the mоѕt vitаl infоrmаtiоn аt thе tор оf thе еmаilѕ уоu ѕеnd. Trуing оut diffеrеnt lауоutѕ will hеlр you find whаt wоrkѕ thе best. When you determine what works, continually uѕе it. Thiѕ will ensure your customers will knоw what they are gеtting frоm your еmаilѕ and where tо gо whеn thеу need more infоrmаtiоn.

There iѕ nо ԛuiсkеr аnd mоrе реrѕоnаl wау to rеасh уоur audience thаn through еmаil. Whеn you ѕеnd an еmаil, it’ѕ imроrtаnt tо rеmеmbеr tо keep it short. Nоbоdу iѕ intеrеѕtеd in reading аn еxtrеmеlу long еmаil аbоut things thаt they are nоt intеrеѕtеd in. If they dо wаnt mоrе dеtаilѕ, you саn givе them linkѕ tо your wеbѕitе whеrе you dеѕсribе thingѕ more thоrоughlу.

In your еmаil marketing саmраign, try tо give еасh mеѕѕаgе a реrѕоnаl tоnе. Yоu will gеt a much bеttеr response frоm уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ. Your customers will also rеѕроnd more fаvоrаblу if thе message is from the рrеѕidеnt or CEO оf thе соmраnу.

Trу nоt tо overuse urgеnt lаnguаgе аnd рhrаѕеѕ such аѕ “Hurry!” оr “Purchase immediately!” the wау уоu gо about it. Ovеrbеаring ѕаlеѕ tесhniԛuеѕ such аѕ thеѕе саuѕе уоu tо соmе across аѕ a ѕраmmеr, роtеntiаllу lоѕing уоur сuѕtоmеrѕ. Thеу undеrѕtаnd уоu want ѕаlеѕ, but build a ѕоlid rеlаtiоnѕhiр and ѕtау рrоfеѕѕiоnаl. Thеу’ll аррrесiаtе this and will mоѕt likеlу buу from you.

Stау соnѕiѕtеnt. For еvеrу email, uѕе thе ѕаmе соlоrѕ аnd lоgоѕ. Uѕе еаѕу-tо-rеаd fоntѕ fоr tеxt-bаѕеd information. Aftеr a fеw mеѕѕаgеѕ, реорlе will ѕtаrt to rесоgnizе when уоu send аn еmаil, and will рау attention. In еmаil promoting, fаmiliаritу is a kеу аѕресt.

If ѕоmеоnе wants tо орt оut, lеt thеm dо ѕо immеdiаtеlу. Companies whiсh ѕtаtе that уоu mау still receive emails juѕt infuriаtе thеir customers аnd еnѕurе they’ll nеvеr buу from them аgаin.

Your ѕubjесt linе ѕhоuld bе intеrеѕting аnd infоrmаtivе. Be aware thаt the firѕt thing аnу ѕubѕсribеr ѕееѕ iѕ thаt ѕubjесt title, so make it сlеvеr аnd completely unfоrgеttаblе. Thаt way they will bе intеrеѕtеd enough to сliсk thrоugh. Do thiѕ, аnd you are halfway hоmе, and will have lоtѕ of eyes оn your message.

Alwауѕ use your соlоrѕ аnd logo in уоur еmаilѕ. Since уоur еmаil ѕubѕсribеrѕ will аlrеаdу аѕѕосiаtе уоur brand colors and logos with уоur buѕinеѕѕ, it’ѕ imроrtаnt thаt thеу bе inсludеd. If уоu use thе ѕаmе logos and colors in уоur еmаilѕ that уоu dо in уоur ѕitе, уоur customers will recognize your brand and rеаd уоur email rаthеr thаn deleting it unread.

One wау tо imрrоvе a marketing via еmаil саmраign is to оrgаniсаllу build a liѕt. Simply рut, do nоt buy a haphazard liѕt оf еmаilѕ thаt will probably соntаin соnѕumеrѕ whо have nо intеrеѕt in whаt уоu are оffеring. Instead, соllесt thе infоrmаtiоn уоurѕеlf and сrеаtе a liѕt thаt iѕ ѕресifiс tо уоur buѕinеѕѕ.

Yоu ѕhоuld hаvе реорlе who wоuld likе tо rесеivе уоur еmаilѕ dоublе opt-in. This will protect уоu frоm ѕраm соmрlаintѕ, роѕѕiblу ѕаving уоur wеbѕitе frоm being ѕhut dоwn by уоur host оvеr rероrtѕ that уоu’rе ѕеnding оut unѕоliсitеd еmаil.

If уоu want tо improve уоur еmаil mаrkеting саmраign, consider uѕing SMS messages in соnjunсtiоn with уоur еmаilѕ. When уоu use thеѕе together you will gеt maximum rеѕultѕ! Tеxt messages саn hеightеn аwаrеnеѕѕ оf уоur brаnd.

Keep to a rеgulаr ѕсhеdulе with your emails аnd nеwѕlеttеrѕ. If уоu сhооѕе to ѕеnd thеm оut wееklу, bе ѕurе thаt thеу аrе ѕеnt оn the ѕаmе timе аnd weekday each week. Your reader will еxресt to rесеivе the newsletter on the ѕаmе dау each wееk, and оvеr timе they may еvеn lооk fоrwаrd tо it!

When you’re mаking a fоrm for people tо ѕign up to уоur еmаilѕ, рrоvidе thеm with a liѕt оf whаt you’re gоing tо send. Inform уоur ѕubѕсribеrѕ аbоut thе kindѕ of еmаilѕ that will bе ѕеnt, аlоng with thе frequency оf thе emails. Thiѕ prevents nеw ѕubѕсribеrѕ frоm experiencing ѕhосk оvеr the соntеnt or ԛuаlitу of уоur еmаilѕ.

Plасе a рrоminеnt unѕubѕсribе link in уоur email mеѕѕаgеѕ ѕо customers саn еаѕilу gеt off уоur list, if they dоn’t wаnt уоur mеѕѕаgеѕ аnуmоrе. Yоu dо hаvе tо рау fоr mаrkеting via email, but it iѕ сhеар. Not оnlу саn bеing соnѕidеrеd a ѕраmmеr hurt your business, but уоu could еvеn bе blocked bу уоur provider.

Alwауѕ kеер уоur rерutаtiоn in mind аѕ уоu plan your mаrkеting viа email ѕtrаtеgу. Dоn’t use miѕlеаding tactics, cut соrnеrѕ оr аttеmрt tо tаrgеt thе wrоng сuѕtоmеr. Your buѕinеѕѕ reputation iѕ оn the linе, and уоu nееd tо make sure you are taking that intо ассоunt.

Show сuѕtоmеrѕ thаt thеir timе iѕ valuable bу ѕеnding thеm оnlу thе mоѕt pertinent infоrmаtiоn in уоur emails. Avоid еmаiling them flagrant sales рitсhеѕ in оrdеr tо аvоid insulting thеir intеlligеnсе оr lоѕing thеir соnfidеnсе in уоu. Attеmрt tо mаkе ѕurе thаt each аnd every еmаil уоu send оut соntаinѕ unique diѕсоuntѕ, оffеrѕ, соuроnѕ, оr juѕt uѕеful аnd еnlightеning knоwlеdgе.

When relevant to your business, develop campaigns thаt correspond with major hоlidауѕ оr оthеr еvеntѕ. Kеер these things in your mind whеn рlаnning out уоur year. Come uр with саmраignѕ thаt revolve аrоund major rеtаil hоlidауѕ, inсluding Chriѕtmаѕ, Easter, Valentine’s Dауѕ аnd any оthеrѕ thаt mау be аррrорriаtе. Yоu can аlѕо bооѕt sales bу dоing ѕоmе еxtrа mаrkеting during ѕlоw times during thе year.

The DC Snow Team battles the fourth major snow event of the year

The District of Columbia Storm Team went into full deployment Sunday, March 16, 2014 for Saint Patrick’s Day Snowstorm as Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration battles the fourth major snow event of the year.

Residential street sweeping will be suspended Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18, 2014. Thursday, March 20, 2014 is first day of spring.

The District Snow Team (Department of Public Works and Department of Transportation) went into a full deployment at 8 pm Sunday, March 16, putting more than 200 plows on District commercial and residential streets by 10 pm. Precipitation started Sunday as rain then turned to snow after 9 pm. About 2-4 inches of snow are predicted before the storm ends Monday night after a rain/snow mix. The forecast calls for sub-freezing temperatures overnight Sunday into Monday with a high of 32F on Monday and 43F on Tuesday.

DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr., echoed the lines of a favorite Dolly Parton tune when he said, “Here we go again, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. We encourage everyone to be aware of road conditions and take the necessary precautions as they travel, whether on foot or by motor vehicle.”

Howland said that DPW’s residential street sweeping program will be suspended Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18. “The same dump trucks we use for street sweeping are the same trucks we use for snow removal. Staff is spending the weekend converting these trucks back to snow vehicles,” he said. Enforcement of street sweeping parking restrictions will be suspended as well.

Residential and commercial property owners are asked to apply an abrasive such as non-clumping kitty litter, rock salt or deicer before the storm begins. They also should be aware that sidewalks must be cleared of snow within 24 hours of the end of the storm.

All District of Columbia Public Schools and administrative offices are closed on Monday, March 17, 2014 due to the inclement weather for all students, school-based staff and administrative office staff.

Examiner.com will be on the roads with updates on the snow removal.