• 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 to one of the mid-valley’s signature summertime arts events, the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival. The festival kicks off its 16th season tonight, with the first of a series of five concerts that will stretch out over the next two weeks. This year’s festival, “the sweet sixteenth,” in the words of Erik Peterson, the festival’s artistic director, is driven in part by a worthy idea: Some of the concerts will feature its musicians revisiting some of the original works that the festival has commissioned in the past. First, of course, it’s a good thing that the festival commissions composers to create new music — it would be easy to program nothing but popular chamber music warhorses, but these new pieces expand the repertoire. But it’s an inspired touch to reach back into the festival’s past to perform some of these commissions again — it’s too easy, as Peterson said, to play these works once and then put them on the shelf. Chintimini could be the only time that audiences get to hear some of these pieces.
• ROSES, while we’re thinking of the festival, to all of the Chintimini board members and volunteers who have made this festival a going concern for nearly two decades. And why stop there? You can make the case that Corvallis has a richer and more vibrant chamber music scene than any city its size in the country, and that’s because of the hard work of the volunteers who help set up concerts — and, of course, the fact that the community has an extraordinarily large number of gifted and hard-working musicians.
• One final batch of arts-themed ROSES to the Albany artist Lynn Powers, who died suddenly and unexpectedly earlier this year, and her family and friends who have been active in organizing a pair of Powers retrospective exhibits, now on view in Albany. Powers was well-known throughout the valley for her watercolors and graphic design work, including a variety of posters for the city of Albany’s summertime River Rhythms concert series. Now, her work is on display at Albany’s Gallery Calapooia and at Albany City Hall (which actually turns out to be a good location for an art exhibit). Saturday night, both locations will hold receptions centered on Powers and her art. It’s a well-earned tribute, and we offer thanks to the people who have worked hard to pull it off.
• RASPBERRIES to the Gazette-Times, which in this coming Sunday’s paper will answer a question that we had hoped never would have been asked: What would the Sunday comics look like if the inside pages were in black-and-white instead of full color? Because of continuing maintenance work on our press (which eventually will improve our color reproduction), we will all discover the answer this coming Sunday. So, no, it won’t be a mistake when you see Sunday’s comics. And, yes, here’s hoping that this Sunday will be the last time we have to do this.
• ROSES to all of the volunteers, on the Oregon State University campus and elsewhere, who helped this spring to get the word out to students that they had options other than just hauling that old couch out to the curb and letting it mildew in the rain after they moved out of their rentals. ROSES to those landlords and property managers in town who are making an effort to deal with those couches (and other home furnishings) when they do wind up on the lawn. And a particularly nice bouquet of ROSES to Christine Dashiell, a Japanese translator who also works in reuse and recycling efforts, for her efforts to reach out to OSU fraternities and sororities to encourage them to recycle items instead of just throwing them away. A couple of years ago, Dashiell tried to make a similar point by rummaging through dumpsters and digging out items that could be reused. The problem is, dumpster diving is illegal; as soon as materials hit the dumpster or trash cart, they belong to the waste-management company that owns the dumpster, in this case, Republic Services. Undaunted, Dashiell and friends this year came up with the idea of reaching out to the fraternities and sororities; sororities turned out to be generally more receptive to the project this year, but that just leaves a challenge for next year.
• Despite all that, RASPBERRIES to everyone who somehow didn’t get the message this year about all the reuse and recycling resources available in Corvallis. The Gazette-Times’ intrepid Couch Patrol team went out this week on an exploratory mission, and had little trouble finding plenty of abandoned home furnishings out in the open, including (but not limited to) an oversized armchair, a wicker chair, a cracked mirror, an abandoned mattress, two dead barbecues, firewood, candles, a machine used to make Snow Cones, four wooden dining chairs, a filing cabinet, a television set and — had the team gotten the green light to keep searching – eventually would have found a partridge in a pear tree. Look, the fact that perhaps someone had the foresight to scribble “FREE” on a homemade sign and prop it on top of a pile of discarded items doesn’t change the fact that, at that point, it’s essentially garbage. A little bit of planning and just a little bit of additional effort could have made the difference. The Gazette-Times plans to keep sending the Couch Patrol out until the message finally gets across to everyone; right now, it looks as if the patrol members need to stock up on the fruit-flavored Mentos that are their favorite snack.