Northeasterners trudging through snow and slush on their way to work this morning, have hope: Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow—or the (allegedly) deathly hands of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

You'll remember that one year ago today, de Blasio, during his first Groundhog Day ceremony as mayor, dropped Charlotte, the critter who played the role of "Staten Island Chuck." She died days later of "acute internal injuries." Charlotte death truthers will point to the extensive "cover up" job perpetrated by the Staten Island Zoo. This year, Chuck was kept far away from de Blasio. From the Staten Island Advance:

Instead of the more "hands-on" approach of years past, Chuck was held underneath a spacious glass enclosure until it was time to make the prediction. He was then lifted into the enclosure via a "Chuck-a-vator." The small elevator remained above ground as Chuck explored his surroundings, no shadow in sight.

"This new approach will be safer for both species," de Blasio "joked" to reporters at the ceremony.

I bet.

[Image via Shutterstock]