Free-Range Kids

Teens Shoveling Snow? Without Licenses?? Quick, Call the Cops

Despite government interference, the teens lined up five jobs.

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Ski
Anders Carlsson / Flickr

What could be more suspicious than two thugs skulking around a suburban neighborhood at night under cloak of snow?

That's apparently what some red-alert citizen of Bound Brook, New Jersey, thought when he or she called the police to investigate this danger… that turned out to be two high school seniors handing out fliers for their snow-shoveling enterprise.

You'd think that would be the end of that, but no. As MyCentralJersey.com reports, the two kids were then pulled over by a cop and told to stop:

The story was shared on a popular Bound Brook Facebook group by a resident who saw [teenager Eric] Schnepf being questioned by police after coming to his door.

"Are you kidding me? Our generation does nothing but complain about his generation being lazy and not working for their money," he wrote on Bound Brook NJ Events' page. "Here's a couple kids who take the time to print up flyers, walk door to door in the snow, and then shovel snow for some spending money. And someone calls the cops and they're told to stop?"

The officer claimed he wasn't bothering the teens for running an unlicensed business, but rather, because of the hazardous weather conditions. Philly.com reports:

Police Chief Michael Jannone… says the officer told the teens it wasn't safe to be out after a state of emergency was declared. The chief says the officer's concern was about their safety and not that they weren't licensed to solicit business.

That actually makes some sense, except that if the weather got too terrible, my guess is the young men in their own neighborhood would simply pack it in and go home. Still, writes MCJ reporter Sergio Bichao:

The teens took the incident in stride and said that police told them that they only needed permission to go door to door, but were still allowed to shovel walkways if residents called them.

"The cops were nice about it. They weren't jerks. They were trying to make sure everything is OK," [Matt] Molinari said Tuesday.

free-range-kids

And it was: Despite government interference, the teens lined up five jobs.

As the mom of a strapping young man who spent yesterday frolicking in the park rather than doing homework for college, I salute them! 

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  1. Not seeing how police have the power to prohibit individuals from visiting houses, cold and snow or no. I’d ask those cops which specific laws they felt I was violating.

    1. That would get you arrested for resisting arrest.

    2. The FYTW clause, of course.

    3. disobeying an officer of the LAW!

  2. You mean a snowstorm doesn’t automatically invoke martial law?

  3. Don’t they have robots for that? Also, why don’t they just wait until the next day, when the front has passed and it’s 70 degrees and sunny outside?

    1. I would seriously look into some type of thermal sidewalk underlay that wouldn’t let ice/snow form were I to live in an area where it happened.

      1. Yes, why not warm the ground so that snow can find no purchase? Using a giant fusion reactor?

        1. nah, just like they do for heated flooring in your house. An altered application of something like this : http://thd.co/1v5ZeEC

          I would, of course, have to make my own and make it better- but you underestimate the level of my laziness when it comes to such tasks as shoveling snow.

          1. I guess, but we have a free fusion reactor here, that passes by in the sky every day. Must be some NASA technology or something.

            1. I guess, but we have a free fusion reactor here, that passes by in the sky every day

              Wait until your local government officials here about this ‘free’ resource.

          2. The only problem is that when the cold overwhelms your system, you get an ice slick rather than a snow bank. I would prefer 2 feet of snow over an inch of ice any day.

            1. well, to use Niel Degrasse Tyson logic a la sony hack, build an un-overwhelm-able system. 😉

            2. Even when it’s not overwhelmed, there’s the flooding problem when all the non heated land around your heated driveway is covered with snow.

              1. why are you killing my dream!

          3. Are . . . are you rich?
            I mean live arsewipe with hundred dollar bills rich?

            Because that’s why people don’t have heated underlays to keep the snow off.

            Electricity is cheap, but the amounts needed add up real quick.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H901KdXgHs4

            Somewhere in this video it talk about how much power it takes to melt snow.

            1. I live in central Maine. We looked at a house for my in-laws that had a heated patio for snow removal. The house had a System 2000 boiler and I believe it was a hot water coil system for that.

              Dunno how well it works on 16 inches (what the Noreaster just gave us).

              I’d also worry about the line freezing and breaking (unless they typically use an anti-freeze percent product). I design water mains and we typically bury them at least five feet due to frost/freezing.

              I concur with the sentiment from above – snow isn’t too bad. Ice sucks.

      2. They have heated driveway systems to do that already. The problem is they’re generally not cost effective so you only see them on “I use $100 bills as toilet paper” homes.

        1. what kind of home do you think I’m running here? Of course we use that type of toilet paper. Doesn’t every libertarian?

        2. Don’t you? With my Koch payments I can even afford 2 ply $100 bill T.P.

  4. In a just world, their 6A rights would get the name of the nosy neighbor who sicced the police on them revealed and said neighbor would be publicly shamed.

    1. snitches get stitches, bitches.

  5. …if the weather got too terrible, my guess is the young men in their own neighborhood would simply pack it in and go home.

    Substitute their own judgment for that of the state?

  6. As the mom of a strapping young man who spent yesterday frolicking in the park rather than doing homework for college…

    That’s, what is ‘Reasons why China has surpassed the United States of America as an economic power’?, Alex.

    1. He was doing homework for Gaia Studies

    2. What is, “Shit that’s was said about Japan in the ’80s that isn’t any more true now than it was then?”

      China must have surpassed us one of those times that fusion was right around the corner or the last time Voyager left the solar system.

  7. That actually makes some sense

    Love you Lenore, but no it doesn’t. A snow storm is a great time to go play outside. What in the serious fuck has happened in the last 10 years that has made people so scared of…everything? They cancel school and institute travel bans *before* it even starts to snow now! I’m only 31, I’m too old to be complaining about this, and yet here we are.

    1. The cynical answer used to be liability. I think we’ve passed the point where that excuse makes sense.

    2. I was out in the Halloween snowstorm in Minneapolis, which was 31 inches in one day. Fucking loved it, and I’m a Floridian.

      1. The ’91 blizzard? I was trick or treating. I remember my friend’s costume was a tropical bird, which I thought was kind of funny in the circumstances.

        1. Yep. One of my first snowstorms.

    3. You want to risk a visit from Child Protective Services?

    4. Depends on the associated weather. Here in Maine, we had single digit temperatures with the +/- 30 mph winds. I was out in it for two hours and had to come in until the next morning. But I didn’t need the state to tell me/make me come in and neither do teenagers.

  8. Did they have the proper licenses? Did they offer themselves health insurance plans including birth control and pregnancy treatment? Did they acknowledge that they would be nothing without government investment? Did they perform work that passed the minimum standards for Clearance of Solidified Dihydrogen Monoxide, as codified on Form 1168439-A(b)(iii)? Were they undercutting the business of a local plowing company whose owner is friends with the chief of police?

    1. They hadn’t filled out a Certificate of Need so the local Commisariat could determine if the locality could support an additional snow removal business.

  9. but rather, because of the hazardous weather conditions

    I’m more than a little surprised that kids have been riding their sleds down the hills in my community the last few days and none of the busy bodies around here have called the cops, yet. And you know for certain which ones it will be who call the cops. The ones with an Obama/Biden sticker on their Prius.

  10. You’d think that would be the end of that, but no. As MyCentralJersey.com reports, the two kids were then pulled over by a cop and told to stop:

    Why does this not surprise me?

    1. I like New Jersey, because it allows me to feel good about living in Maryland.

      1. When I lived in MD, my friends and I got a lot of shit walking around in the ice storm of 1994. It was like 30 degrees out…

        1. I remember that. It shut-down DC for nearly a week. IIRC it was like 2-3″ of ice on top of a foot or so of snow. “Walking” was painful. We went sledding on what became dubbed “suicide hill.” It was my first real exposure to being completely out of control.

          And it was all gone, except for some huge piles in parking lots, by the next Friday.

  11. “police told them that they only needed permission to go door to door, but were still allowed to shovel walkways if residents called them.”

    How do the residents know which teens to call, if they don’t first go door to door to advertise? Should they have taken out an ad in the yellow pages?

    “Police Chief Michael Jannone… says the officer told the teens it wasn’t safe to be out after a state of emergency was declared.”

    Well, isn’t an emergency when people are needed to assist in the recovery? The only time I ever paid to have snow removed from my driveway is when we got the 30 inch snowpocalypse a few years back. I walked up the street, saw two pre-teens with a snow blower, and offered them $20. My wife said I was cheap and gave them another $30.

    1. It’s never too early for these kids to learn that freedom means asking permission and obeying orders.

  12. “The cops were nice about it. They weren’t jerks. “

    No, they absolutely were jerks.

  13. Police Chief Michael Jannone… says the officer told the teens it wasn’t safe to be out after a state of emergency was declared. The chief says the officer’s concern was about their safety

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. That’s even dumber than busting them for Shoveling Without a Lah-saunce.

    1. Exactly. They were still allowed to shovel (out in the same conditions) if they were contacted first.

  14. PERMISSION to knock on a door?

    We’re completely fucked as a culture.

    1. “If the law isn’t on the books, it should be.”
      /every busybody of every stripe in the history of the world.

    2. They might have a local non-soliciting law prohibiting door to door sales, and especially roving evangelsists

  15. I get it, some nosy fuckhead calls the cops, so they send a car out… so the conversation should go….
    “hey kid whatcha doin?”
    “handing out flyers to see if people would pay us to shovel their driveway”
    “oh, good for you! don”t freeze to death” drives off…
    I remember those days wipes tear…

  16. Those of us about to die salute you!

  17. looks like this town only got a few inches of snow. And it was a state of emergency.

  18. my best friend’s aunt makes $83 /hr on the internet . She has been unemployed for 5 months but last month her income was $21952 just working on the internet for a few hours. look at more info…………………………

    http://www.Jobsyelp.com

    1. She’d do better with a snow-blower and the proper permits!

  19. They were high school seniors in what was presumably a semi-civilized area and they would not have been able to handle a little snow?

  20. I would be out too. I would never give up my rights over some one’s idea of a state of emergency. We are becoming a country of Dear Leaders and stool pigeons.

  21. True story – One night I got together in a public park during winter late at night with some friends for some snowboarding fun. We brought our snowboards, a few snow shovels, some industrial lights, and a few video cameras. We were shoveling snow ramps and doing snowboard tricks when the police show up. They claimed they had been called by a “concerned citizen” who reported that our group was burying bodies in the park. We laughed with the officers about this and they told us all to have fun. Those two weren’t bad guys.

    1. Now that the limitation period is up, just whose body were you burying?

      😛

  22. The goal posts have been shifted. Five years ago, these cops would have been publicly chastised to the point they would have needed to go to the boys’ houses and apologize. But now, any police contact you walk away from is a win. Serfdom in Russia took several generations of those in power taking rights.

  23. “You’d think that would be the end of that,”

    You would?

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  25. Hah, just saw your appearance on Nightline, maam, well done. I’m rooting for you to lessen the stupid that infests the dolts that make stupid rules.

    Even the dolts at abc gave you a few minutes….you go madam,(trying to avoid a pc moniker).

    I admire your work, the pusification of the body politic is disturbing and yo0u seem to be a tonic. Well done.

  26. I only wish there were some in my neighborhood that would do such work. I could use the help and would gladly pay for it.

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