There ought to be a law…

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Dateline — Greenwich, Conn. As I write this, a winter storm is raging.

The aftermath of a December snow storm in Greenwich, Conn. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic
“Just Another Snow Storm.” Greenwich, Conn., December 2010. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Howling wind. Freezing rain. Sleet. Ice. Snow. You name it, we’ve got it. Or we’re going to get it before the day is over.  And then I will spend my birthday cleaning up the mess.

For now I am safe and warm and dry. In fact, I am tucked up on the couch with my favorite fuzzy green blanket and laptop for warmth. The TV is on in the background, providing me with the details from the third Premier League football match of the day. Across the Pond, West Ham is leading Manchester City, 2-1, but I’m hardly invested in the outcome. I’ve got other stuff on my mind.

It suddenly dawned on me while channel surfing between games that there ought to be a law on days like this. Make that several. First of all, there ought to be a law against extensive TV storm coverage. We get it. It’s snowing. It’s windy. It’s cold. Newsflash: it’s winter.

There ought to be a law against any politicians commenting on a storm. What in God’s name do you have to say that we don’t already know? Personally, if I want to know about the weather, I can look out the window. Peering through the glass, I can also tell if the roads have been plowed, or if my neighborhood has been affected by a power outage. Based on personal observation, I can also make an educated guess about storm impacts on local, regional and national transportation. Believe it or not, I can rely on common sense to decide whether or not it’s safe to travel.

Black and white photograph of New York Police Department barriers taken by Alexandra Bogdanovic
NYPD barriers. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

There ought to be a law against snowplows shoving all the ice, sleet, slush and snow into private driveways. I don’t care where you put it. If you can’t think of an alternate location, I’ve got a few suggestions…

There ought to be a law against idiots in sports utility vehicles, or any 4-wheel drive vehicles for that matter. Just because you’ve allegedly got better traction doesn’t mean you can stop on a dime in slippery conditions. In case you haven’t figured it out, the  added height of most SUVs equals a higher center of gravity. Turn that steering wheel abruptly at an unsafe speed and I guarantee you will flip your SUV or end up in a ditch.

There ought to be a law against rude and inconsiderate behavior. Calm down. Relax. It’s just another winter storm. It is not the end of the world. Or is it?


Baby, it’s cold outside!

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

Newsflash: it’s winter, it’s cold and it might snow.

Dateline — Greenwich, Conn. As I write this, the East Coast is bracing for a weekend snow storm. And if the media is to be believed, this will be a storm of epic proportions – especially in the mid-Atlantic states.

Here in the greater New York City suburbs, some meteorologists are actually showing some restraint. They say we will only get 4 to 7 inches where I live and more further to the south and west. I’ll take it — but I must confess that I’ll be much happier if this nor’easter is a total dud. I’d really rather not spend my birthday shoveling snow, especially since I’ll officially be one step closer to the big “5-0.”

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

But all joking aside, the arrival of winter and all of the unpleasantness that it entails raises serious concerns for pet owners, animal lovers and those of us who are also interested in the law as it relates to the health and safety of dogs and cats.

To that end, local and national news outlets publish tons of stories about caring for companion animals during this time of year. One article that recently caught my attention was about a proposed change to existing rules in Ohio. According to the article on, state lawmakers are considering proposed legislation requiring pet owners to bring their dogs inside in “extreme weather conditions.” Under current laws, people are allowed to leave healthy dogs outdoors as long as they provide adequate shelter.

Connecticut law also mandates that animals have access to acceptable “protection from the weather.” Anyone who fails to provide it may be charged with cruelty to animals. The penalty upon conviction is a maximum fine of $250, up to one year in jail, or both.

In New York, there are comprehensive rules about what constitutes appropriate shelter for “dogs left outdoors” and the penalties for failing to provide it. Perpetrators face fines ranging from $50 to $100 for the first offense, and $100 to $250 for the second and each ensuing offense. Under the law, violators have a set period of time to bring the standard to acceptable standards. Failure to take necessary action within that period can result in another violation.

Personally, I think it boils down to compassion and common sense. Please use both.