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 a pair of long-running Corvallis cultural institutions — not just to celebrate their accomplishments in the past but also to take notice of their future potential.

The Chintimini Chamber Music Festival is scheduled to kick off its 15th season in Corvallis with concerts starting Friday night and continuing for the next week and a half. The festival has long been one of the highlights of the mid-valley’s summer, and we have delighted to watch its steady growth over the years. This year, though, festival officials are taking some big steps to expand, including increasing the number of free children’s concerts on the program and offering, for the first time, a pair of concerts in Salem.

And the festival’s artistic director, Erik Peterson, has unveiled a long-range dream: Building a new 500-seat concert hall that will serve as a permanent home for the festival. Now, expansion is risky, and dreaming big comes with its own set of risks as well. But Chintimini has reached the point, with consistent artistic leadership and a long-serving, hard-working board, where it can start to entertain those thoughts.

For all intents and purposes, the idea for the Chintimini festival was hatched when a bunch of native Corvallis musicians, gathered for a music festival in Bellingham, Washington, raised this question during an informal gathering: If Bellingham can have a music festival, why not Corvallis? A lot of hard work has taken place since then, but the end result is a summertime artistic oasis featuring some of the greatest music ever written. Thanks to everyone who’s made this happen. And to those mid-valley natives who are returning to play in the Chintimini concerts, welcome home.

• ROSES as well to the Majestic Theatre, which appears to be on the comeback trail now that the city of Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department has taken over its management. You can count us among those who had serious doubts as to whether the theater could survive a long stretch of management and budgetary woes. But now, after just six months under city management, we’re seeing welcome signs of life from the downtown Corvallis landmark.

The vast majority of credit for that goes to Jimbo Ivy, the theater’s new supervisor, who has worked hard to reach out to all sorts of different stakeholders, with excellent results so far. One big vote of confidence came from Corvallis Community Theatre, which has reformed as the Majestic Community Theatre.

We’re under no illusions that the Majestic is out of the woods yet — there are some big issues that need to be worked out to ensure the theater will remain a vital part of the community’s arts scene for generations to come. But we didn’t expect these kinds of results this soon, and so this recent blast of good news from the Majestic is very welcome.

• RASPBERRIES to mid-valley residents who have a hard time getting their heads around the notion that the risk of wildfire already is high — and it’s just going to get higher as the summer progresses.

In just the past week, we’ve had a brush fire apparently started by a resident who was attempting to build up coals with wood to cook with a Dutch oven. Some of the material used to start the fire got caught by the wind and spread into nearby brush, where it burned about a quarter-acre (with flames roaring 50 feet or so up a tree) before firefighters extinguished it. The resident tried to put out a blaze with a garden hose, but did not call firefighters; they were summoned only after an off-duty firefighter noticed the smoke.

Fire officials say they’re already responding to the type of brush fires they typically don’t see until August of most years. It’s going to be a rough year for wildfire. Don’t make matters worse through some sort of thoughtless action.

• Speaking of fires, ROSES to the residents of Pioneer Village, about two miles south of Philomath, for some thoughtful work that could save precious time (not to mention lives) when wildfires threaten. Over the weekend, the Pioneer Village Safety Committee met to go over a newly formed evacuation route.

Pioneer Village is one of those developments that wouldn’t get approval from government planners today, for this simple reason: It has just one way in and out. If fire closes or threatens that route, the development’s residents could be in big trouble.

Hence the work to develop the alternative evacuation route, created with the help of a variety of government agencies and private entities such as Starker Forests. The process took six years, but the route is ready for use.

The work of the Pioneer Village residents should serve as a reminder for the rest of us, not that any additional reminders should be needed: We’re already in the heart of wildfire season. What’s your plan in the event fire comes calling near your residence? A little thought now could stave off tragedy in the weeks to come.

• And, finally today, speaking of seasonal hazards: ROSES to the deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office who came to the rescue of a struggling swimmer last weekend on the Willamette River. As temperatures rise, more of us will seek refuge in the area’s rivers and lakes. Be sure that you take all the necessary safety steps — including wearing personal flotation devices — while recreating this summer, lest you get involved in a story that doesn’t have such a happy ending.


Managing Editor

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