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A sweeper called OSCAR

New equipment takes name from citizen contest


by: VERN UYETAKE - The city's newest street sweeper now has a name: Oscar.Lake Oswego’s newest piece of heavy-duty public works equipment will be called Oscar — short for “Oswego Sweeper Car.” The new sweeper’s older siblings will now be known as Roovis and Bert.

That’s according to the city, which sponsored a contest for citizens to name the new sweeper, allowing runners-up to name its other two street-sweeping machines.

Officials said the idea was to give the sweepers a “voice” and some personality. They also hoped to open a window into the public services the vehicles’ giant brooms and vacuums provide.

“Street sweepers and our public works staff do such important work for this community and the environment,” said Christine Kirk, Lake Oswego’s public affairs manager. “It was wonderful to see such participation and creativity to support the sweepers and staff. We hope that when people see Oscar driving by, that citizens will now have a better understanding of the hard work and importance of keeping our streets and water clean.”

The sweepers travel 6,000 miles over the year to remove slippery leaves from the roads, keeping them from being too slick for drivers and tidier looking overall. In addition, the city’s stormwater management permit requires public works crews to sweep most streets at least four times each year. That helps Lake Oswego meet government standards aiming to keep pollutants from being funneled into streams, rivers and lakes via rainwater that picks up debris as it runs over the streets.

Winning names for the heavy-duty machines were selected from among 320 entries, according to the city.

Oscar, the moniker of the newest member of the city’s three-sweeper fleet, was suggested by Wendy Morean and Ray Gragg.

Roovis, now the name of one of the older models, stands for “Rapid Oscillating Oswego Vehicle of Intense Sanitation,” and came from Cathie Recker. Bert’s name, submitted by Rebecca Duncan, is a nod to the street sweeper in “Mary Poppins.”

Officials have also named winners of the associated street sweeper coloring contest.

Lizzy Greenwood took top honors in the preschool category, and Max Greenwood, a first-grader, won the K-2 division. Chloe Ryan, a third-grader, came in first among third- through fifth-graders. Second-grader Kyla Zhang took the honor of the judges’ choice award.

Oscar will be on display on opening day at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market May 18.




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