With this winter giving us days of above freezing and followed in less than 24 hours, temps that are 30, 40, and even 50 degrees colder, our thoroughfares are even more hazardous than normal; and especially not good for elderly people walking around outside. It causes very slippery ice; especially when it can’t be seen under a light dusting of snow. I don’t even want to think about how many people have been badly hurt already this winter due to these conditions. Being nearly considered a “native” to the downtown during all four of our seasons, I can say I have tried nearly everything available to keep outside steps and sidewalks more safe. Unless you’ve raised chickens, you likely wouldn’t know what quartzite or granite grit is. It has been sold for years as an aid in helping chickens and turkeys digest food more easily when passing thru their gizzards. It’s sort of a gizzard denture for our toothless chickens. I finally emptied a 50 pound bag of it today which I purchase about four years ago at Hardware Hank. I ran out today, so one of my errands was to go purchase another bag of it. I keep thinking it more expensive than it is. It was only a little over $6.00 for a 50 pound bag. I’ve tried sand in years past but it is too light and doesn’t want to stick to the icy areas, I’ve tried snow melt and it just makes a watery mess and stains the sidewalks and office floors, and other man-made materials sold over the years. What I realized to my chagrin this past year was when downtown business people use the snowmelt on their walks and in time gets shoveled into the new flowerbeds, it wrecks havoc with the perennials that are supposed to be dormant during winter. One flowerbed was nearly void of flowers this past Spring due to a business owner using that stuff. Another thing I like about it is that since it’s darker in color, it absorbs the sunlight and warms up enough to cause the granules to embed themselves in the ice. Yeah! Less tracking into the office. We all really must take good care about keeping our sidewalks safe as well as our environment chemical free. If it doesn’t kill chickens, then it certainly shouldn’t kill us. I consider my safety net for icy sidewalks, “sprinkles for safety”.