Beavers Beyond the Classroom Linn Co 03 (copy)

Oregon State center Marie Gulich signs autographs after the Beaver basketball game on Wednesday.

Andy Cripe, Gazette-Times

• 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 Beavers Beyond the Classroom, the annual event at Oregon State University that brings thousands of schoolchildren to campus to cheer on the OSU women's basketball team.

This year's edition was held on Wednesday at Gill Coliseum, and it attracted more than 8,000 spectators from throughout the region. They cheered as the Beavers thumped this year's opponent, Savannah State University from Georgia; the opposing players probably were warned that the arena would be loud, but nothing can really prepare you for the sound of thousands of kids yelling full-throttle.

We loved the quote from a fifth-grade teacher at Philomath Elementary School: "I'm already deaf, and it's the second quarter."

This year's edition of Beavers Beyond the Classroom attracted the third-largest crowd ever to watch a woman's basketball game at OSU. Thousands of kids got a nice day away from the classroom, and some got a chance to take a closer look at the OSU campus. Thanks to everyone who worked hard to put on this year's event.

• ROSES to a welcome expansion of the state's "Move Over" law, which requires vehicles to slow down or move over when an emergency or official vehicle is stopped on or next to the roadway with emergency or warning lights. The law is intended to give an added measure of safety to an officer or first responders on the scene.

Beginning Jan. 1, the law will be expanded to require drivers to extend the same courtesy to civilian vehicles displaying hazard lights. Again, the idea is to protect drivers or passengers who might be outside the vehicle, changing a flat tire or dealing with some other emergency. 

And while we're on this general topic, would it kill you to actually pull over when you spy an official vehicle behind you with its lights on, in the middle of a call to respond to an emergency? It would not. And yet officers tell us that it's not uncommon to see thoughtless (or clueless) drivers pay no heed to emergency vehicles. Show some respect, not just for the first responders, but for the people on the other end of the emergency, waiting for help to arrive.

• ROSES to the Mid-Valley Lions Club, whose members every holiday season sell See's Candy to raise money for various worthy causes — eyeglasses for needy children, or hearing aids for people who can't afford them, for example.

For nearly two decades, the club has sold its candy from a vacant storefront in the Kings Circle Shopping Center, just doors away from Gazette-Times world headquarters. This year, however, no vacant storefronts were available, so the club moved the candy sale to the Elks Lodge at Ninth and Grant streets.

The crowds have not followed. (A woman did come into the G-T newsroom this week looking for the candy sale;  we mistakenly assigned her to cover a Planning Commission meeting. She has yet to return. We fear the worst.)

In any event, with less than two weeks to go before Christmas, the club is still sitting on nearly 1,000 pounds of unsold candy.

You can help. Swing by the Elks Lodge during the sale hours, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Your money is going to a good cause. 

And if you don't actually want the candy, we can take care of that here at G-T world headquarters. 

• RASPBERRIES to the stagnant air that the mid-valley has labored under now for more than a week. We expected that the air stagnation advisory issued last week by National Weather Service forecasters would expire on Thursday afternoon, but no such luck: Late in the day, the advisory was extended to 10 a.m. Friday.

Essentially, a mass of cold air has settled over the region, limiting the normal ventilation that sweeps away pollution. The cold air also has contributed to the very worst thing about chilly weather: scraping ice off your windshield. But you have to do it — and while you're at, scrape it all off: It's not a good driving practice to scrape off just a little rectangle of ice and then peer through the slit as if you were driving a tank. Tank drivers don't need to worry about other traffic. You do. (mm)

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