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.

We hereby deliver:

ROSES - and more power - to everyone who has embrace a new resolve to be healthier, more active, more involved and otherwise more engaged in life for the new year and the new decade.

We're speaking specifically of Oregon State University students, faculty and staff, who on Thursday launched a 19-week health and wellness event called the "Power Up Challenge" to promote healthy living in all its aspects. (It officially goes from Jan. 11 to May 23, and participants will blog about the experience. (Check out their profiles at

From nutrition to fitness, to sustainability, to financial responsibility, they're focused on improvement.

Although we realize (from personal experience) that a misstep in the new direction can send people stumbling back into old habits, we encourage everyone else who has new memberships to a gym, a plan to take courses or who is boldly embarking on a new career.

Yes, we realize it's just an arbitrary turn of the calendar; with courage, a plan and determination, anyone can make such changes, anytime. But there's no time like now, and we salute the folks at OSU who embark on this event. They're an inspiration.

• • •

ROSES to what sounds like a yummy event for a good cause. This weekend, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, volunteers from the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Dept. are inviting the public to "Say Cheese" with such a simple, thrifty fundraiser that we're surprised nobody else has done this:

Volunteers will grill up toasty, melty grilled cheese sandwiches to serve with coffee, hot chocolate and maybe (we're hoping) tomato soup.

The $1 for the drinks (and maybe soup) will benefit the Jackson Street Youth Shelter for young people in crisis. The grilled cheese sandwiches are free, but a donation is suggested, and we suggest donating generously.

As officials in law enforcement are always telling us, few resources exist for young people who are in crisis. And how often is it possible to eat a grilled cheese sandwich (which goes great with tomato soup) and feel that all those calories and cholesterol are totally worth it?

The sandwiches are being flipped, grilled and served up in the Albertsons Parking lot on Northeast Circle Boulevard.

• • •

RASPBERRIES to young lives that sounded more like something out of a Cohen Brothers movie (think "Raising Arizona") than a good start at an early age.

This week, we reported on how four young men, ages 18 to 21, were sentenced to 13 months in prison for attacking a man in October after luring him to a meeting with the promise that they would repay what they owed him.

(We pause to state the obvious: If someone asks you to show up at a remote location for money, they aren't going to pay you. What they actually have in mind, you probably don't want to know.) Another tragi-comic aspect of their stunningly unsuccessful crime spree was when they planned to rob a pizza delivery man, only to find themselves in a quandary when he turned out to be someone they knew. They didn't rob him but did take the pizza.

The story exemplifies how some people just can't make a success of a life of crime. Few can.

On behalf of those people who care about them, we hope they will find the courage and strength to make a fresh, wholesome start.

• • •

ROSES to starting the new year in Oregon without traffic fatalities for the second time since 2003 - and only the second time since 1970.

We're not sure if it was the bad weather or that people just didn't have a lot of money this year to go out and blow on pub crawls and parties, but it was nice not to have such grim details to report.

• • •

• ROSES to the line of good Samaritans who reunited Amie Leland with her $4,200 diamond ring. The ring was too big for her finger, and Leland discovered it missing the weekend of Dec. 12-13.

Caitlin Westerfield of Albany found the ring in the parking lot of the Heritage Mall and returned it to mall security. When he got back from vacation, mall security chief Robert Dryer turned it in to police.

In the meantime, after turning her house upside down to no avail, Leland reported the loss on Dec. 20 to police. They called her Dec. 23 to say she could pick up the ring.

If Amie is reading this, we hope that in early December, she'll send us her first-person account of that story when we begin asking readers to share their favorite Christmas stories.

That one's just great.


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