We hereby bestow: ROSES on voters who did their part for democracy and cast a vote in this week's election in Benton County and Alsea.

ROSES on Assisteen, a service-oriented group for teen-agers that is an auxiliary to the Assistance League of Corvallis. Among other things, the local middle school and high school students have been conducting a clothing drive to help others.

ROSES on the Philomath High School boys basketball team, which earned the 3A state championship by besting Central High School in the title game last Saturday at Gill Coliseum.

ROSES on the Oregon State University women's basketball team, which qualified for the Women's National Invitation Tournament and hosted a first-round game Thursday against Hawaii.

ROSES on area businesses that earned spots on Oregon Business magazine's top-100 list of best businesses to work for. This year's list included Nypro, Tekmax Inc., Platt Electric Supply, First Consumers National Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, First American Title Insurance, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Umpqua Bank.

ROSES on Peter Caday, an eighth-grader at Santiam Christian School, who finished third in the state MathCounts competition at OSU. He qualified to compete at the national contest in June in Chicago.

ROSES on those who operated the Al-Senior Center in Alsea, which has closed. For 16 years, the center gave seniors a good home in a rural setting. The closing raises questions about the state's need for such centers, and the possibility of subsidies or other non-traditional approaches to keep them open.

ROSES on Zonta, the service group that delivered roses on International Women's Day to honor local men and women who have worked to improve the lives of others.

ROSES on Rod Holter, a dedicated and popular mailman who retired last week after 38 years with the U.S. Postal Service.

ROSES on Ray Harris and the OSU volleyball team who planted three dozen trees to spruce up Country Club Drive in southwest Corvallis. ROSES to Pacific Power and Buena Vista Arbor Care who also helped with the tree replacement project.

ROSES on an intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado that has adopted the name "The Fighting Whities" to raise awareness of cultural stereotypes. The team, made up of American Indian, Anglo and Hispanic players, is protesting a nearby high school's team name, "The Fightin' Reds," along with the Indian caricature that is the high school team's mascot.

ROSES on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland which has begun another season and demonstrates its continued commitment to diversity by defying typecasting in order to portray all aspects of humanity.

RASPBERRIES on a new state law that imposes a $30 additional vehicle registration fee on hybrid-powered cars. Legislators approved the measure last year saying drivers of these energy-efficient vehicles were not paying their fair share of taxes for road repairs because they use less fuel. So much for encouraging environmentally friendly practices.

RASPBERRIES on the Immigration and Naturalization Service which somehow managed to approve and send out student visas for Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, two of the men who died in planes that crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and are suspected of participating in the terrorist strike.

RASPBERRIES on the U.S. Senate, automakers and auto industry and other lobbyists who successfully defeated a plan to boost vehicle gas mileage standards. And to think, the measure they voted against wouldn't even have taken full effect until 2015!

RASPBERRIES on Associated Students of OSU, which distributed a poster depicting Corvallis police with a gun sight set on college students. The ill-conceived poster promoted a forum titled "Know Your Rights, " a gathering to learn more about local laws and underage drinking. The poster also instructed students: "You can run, but you can't hide." As if the poster wasn't bad enough, the forum didn't bother to include law enforcement officers to discuss the issues.

RASPBERRIES on hundreds of military offi

cers who have walked away from debts run up on government-issued credit cards. The government says 46,000 Department of Defense employees have defaulted on $62 million in credit card purchases. One Navy employee who charged thousands was even promoted to the office that oversees Army finances.

ROSE (roz) n. One of the most beautiful of all flowers, a symbol of fragrance and loveliness. Often given as a sign of appreciation.

RASPBERRY (raz'ber'e) n. A sharp, scornful comment, criticism, or rebuke; a derisive, splatting noise, often called the Bronx cheer.

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