To keep us from slip-sliding … – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

To keep us from slip-sliding …

Written December 21st, 2017 by Hasso Hering

This stuff keeps ice from forming on these freezing mornings. This was on Bryant Drive on Dec. 13.

What are these stripes we see on our roads and parking lots on frosty mornings? Nothing fancy, just a salt solution that’s supposed to prevent the pavement from getting slick with ice. And it seems to work.

Actually it “works really good,” Chuck Knoll of the Linn County Road Department told me when I asked him about this last week. The county uses a solution of magnesium chloride or similar salt. The stuff, concentrated salt water, has a lower freezing point than water and keeps ice crystals from forming when the thermometer dips below 32 degrees F.

At least it does when there’s no rain on cold mornings. When it does rain, the solution would wash off without effect, obviously.

A word to readers: Lame as it may be, this is the first item on this site since Dec. 16. I’ve been off the beat because of illness, and it may take a little while to get back up to speed, if “speed” is the right word for what passes as the pace of this blog. Thanks for your kindness in hanging in there with me. (hh)


Posted in: Commentary
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28 responses to “To keep us from slip-sliding …”

  1. Delfina Herrera Hoxie says:

    Hope you feel like yourself soon, Merry Christmas and thanks for the great articles.

  2. John Marble says:

    Golly Hasso, think how much more painful your slothfulness would be if you were actually being paid for this work. Enjoy the freedom to be sick, but get better soon.

  3. Mary B rock says:

    I wondered where you were. Get well soon.

  4. Mitalene says:

    You were missed! Praying for your complete healing Hasso!

  5. Myles Breadner says:

    Get well soon Hasso.

  6. Bill Coburn says:

    Best morning since the 16th. Hope you are feeling better and merry Christmas !

  7. John Hartman says:


    Even though some say there’s a war on it, Merry Christmas to you and we hope you’re feeling better. Am expecting some sort of Hering Exposé on illicit Santa sitings from your desk soon after the holidays.

  8. Martha says:

    Hasso, everyone gets sick now and then, especially the young and the old(me). Take the time to get well and know that we will wait patiently for you, we’re not going anywhere. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  9. DaleS says:

    Get well, Hasso. We’ve missed you. It was nice to read a new post this morning.

  10. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Welcome back… I think many of us presumed you were taking a well-deserved vacation… -)

    The “salt” issue. Is this a thin-entering wedge to start using salt all over — which is a serious bane to vehicles? (Think of cars in any state that are real rust-buckets due to the regular & heavy use of salt in the winter…)

    • John Hartman says:

      Ray is right as rain. It is far better to lose traction, slide into a gaping ditch, flip your vehicle on its roof and have one’s neck snapped rather than suffer rust. Like Neil Young once opined; rust never sleeps.

  11. David Ballard says:

    Hasso, get well and enjoy Christmas and New Year.

  12. centrist says:

    Figured you were on a road trip or some other pleasant diversion.
    Gather your energy an get well soon. The blog is a nicety, not an imperative.

  13. Jennifer Stuart says:

    Icy streets and sidewalks are treacherous, and something new to me since I moved here, at least in the mass quantities I observed last winter. I have been putting magnesium and sodium salts on the driveway and front walk but I worry about the plants and the run off to the river from the storm drains.
    I hope for you a speedy recovery, Hasso.

  14. Tony White says:

    Be well again soon, Hasso. You’re a far better reporter of local affairs than anybody on the Albany edition of the Corvallis Garbage & Trash (also known as the “Albany” Democrat-Herald). Thanks and Happy Christmas.

  15. Sidney Cooper says:

    Zum wohl and Froeliche Weihnachten! From a long time reader and admirer of your observations. Keep ’em coming. Recovering myself.

  16. russell TRIPP says:


    • hj.anony1 says:

      Nice CAPS! Long strange one, eh… TRIPP? No, would be the answer on your Mark ?

      It would be fun to read a multi edition post on what exactly happened at MTM.

      Welcome back HH! Please keep me reading.

    • centrist says:

      Haven’t been in town as long as your family, so I son’t presume to know much.
      What I understand is that MTM sold to a fellow who now lives locally.. GM bought back the Buick franchise. At some point, there will be new signs on Santiam.

  17. Curious Citizen says:

    Wishes for your good health and happy times.
    (I hoped you were on vacation and not ill.)
    Like centrist said, “The blog is a nicety, not an imperative.”

  18. Andrea S says:

    I’ve missed your posts and am glad you’re back. Take it easy, and enjoy the holidays!

  19. Grace Peterson says:

    I’ve wondered about those lines. It’s comforting to see a modern solution to this winter problem. … I hope you’re feeling better soon. Merry Christmas.

  20. Rhea Graham says:

    Glad you are on the mend. Did you get a flu shot?


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