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'Midwesterners, New Englanders and former residents of Siberia may dispute the severity of this week's storm and whether it truly was unsafe to drive.

'But we'd like to support the decisions of school officials, meeting organizers and business owners everywhere who opted to steer clear of the streets. For those who did need to venture out to get to work, many made the wise decision to carpool in vehicles with chains or four-wheel traction devices, walk or take public transit.

'It was refreshing to see numerous instances of perfect strangers helping folks in need, offering rides to strangers walking or running along windswept, icy streets or helping push cars from the clutches of a snow bank.

'Considering the combined hazards of temperatures in the teens Ñ wind chill down to zero, snow, sleet and freezing rain Ñ we can see why people barely ventured out of bed. To borrow an economic phrase from the 1970s, the misery index was off the charts.

'For those folks who did need to get work and did so with common sense, thank you. Your diligence, particularly the efforts of public safety, utility and road crew workers, helped many remain safe and warm.'

Ñ From a Jan. 8 editorial in the Beaverton Valley Times