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Snow triggers active times in Lake Oswego

by: Vern Uyetake, Dennis Winslow, owner of Archie’s Pub in downtown Lake Oswego, team up on building a snowman with Lila Jane Clary Tuesday afternoon in front of the A Avenue tavern.

LAKE OSWEGO - Early morning decisions by school officials let loose 6,738 children Tuesday and Wednesday on a pair of snow days from the school district, sending snowballs flying and sleds sliding throughout Lake Oswego.

As wintery weather kept snow falling and temperatures freezing Tuesday and Wednesday, even businesses took a break.

Dennis Winslow, the owner of Archie's Tavern stepped outside of his A Avenue bar and built a snowman to greet customers.

City business, too, ground to a halt.

Public meetings were canceled for two days, including the mayor's state of the city speech on Wednesday. The Lake Oswego Public Library and Adult Community Center also closed as locals hunkered down.

On the slippery side, bad road conditions closed a number of roads throughout town on Tuesday. McVey Avenue, Cervantes Circle, Kruse Way at the I-5 interchange and Bryant Road at Lakeview Boulevard were all closed at times.

On McVey, 'People would stop there at that bit of an incline and then couldn't get going again,' said Capt. Don Forman of the Lake Oswego Police.

'Because of that incident at McVey at the hill there was a backup into West Linn,' Forman said.

By Wednesday, Bryant Road was still closed near Lakeview Boulevard but problems in other areas were cleared. On McVey, only Erickson Road remained closed for problems.

No major accidents or injuries were reported but numerous fender benders occurred throughout town.

Two chain-free TriMet buses were marooned, one at the intersection of Fourth Street and A Avenue and another on State Street at McVey. Reports indicate a third bus also had problems on McVey.

City crews applied sand in problem areas as motorists continued to report sliding and icy conditions.

While kids made the most of their snow days, some Lake Oswegans made the most of 9-1-1 in customary local fashion.

On Tuesday, police received eight calls about snowball throwing, including one reporting city workers trying to clear roads as the target of snow-fisted children.

Kids who broke out with sleds on Peters Road drew three calls to police, as well as a snowboarding duo on Kerr Parkway. A child-towing truck also prompted a call on Longfellow Avenue.

Forman said there were no major problems involving sledding or snowballs but cautioned parents not to let children mix snowplay with cars.

Sleds should be kept off the road, he said, and towing children behind cars is an illegal and dangerous practice that killed a Clark County girl on Tuesday. Children on sleds should also steer clear of fence posts, curbs and other obstacles that can cause injuries, he said.

Overall, however, Forman said play was safe and fun these last couple days.

'Some of our police went out and got into some snowball fights,' he said. 'One officer was actually doing quite a bit of it and he told the kids this is the only day they can throw something at him.'

Mostly, emergency personnel tended to auto accidents and stranded cars, unable to budge in icy conditions. Eighteen cars were reported stuck in various places around town. Ten car accidents were also reported but none resulted in injuries.

For Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Bill Korach, the decision to cancel school Tuesday was tough.

'I'd rather see the snow on the ground and know the conditions and make a judgement on that,' he said. 'You had to make a decision based on what you thought was going to happen, not what you saw … I knew it was coming.'

The decision for Wednesday's cancellation was easier, given the weather situation.