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Editorial: Roses and raspberries (May 30)

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Beaver Classic 01

Students make a batch of gochu cheddar at the Oregon State University Creamery. OSU's cheese, beef jerky, honey and other products are part of a rebranding effort by the OSU College of Agriculture.

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 some outstanding mid-valley young people. Like the residents of mythical Lake Woebegone, we like to think that around here all our children are above average (and who’s to say we’re wrong?). In any case, some recent stories in our newspapers have highlighted several area youths who are actively making the world a better place. Consider Suraj Kulkarni, a Corvallis High School senior who recently won a Prudential Spirit of Community Award — one of 10 presented nationally — for his extensive volunteer work. Bullied in his early days in school, he started a geography club to spread cultural awareness. More recently, he launched a nonprofit to help minority students deal with stereotypes, called Only Being You, that now has a presence in 60 countries. He also organized an Awareness and Acceptance Week in Corvallis and put together a Teen Team to help make and deliver face masks in the early days of the pandemic. His principal wonders when he finds time to sleep. Then there’s Abby Jernejcic, who’s graduating from Sweet Home High. She was just named state Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oregon after winning the local competition at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Santiam. The award honors her service to her home club, where she works as a youth development professional. She plans to study early childhood education in college and become a teacher, and she credits her experience with helping younger kids at the Sweet Home Boys & Girls Club with putting her on that path. “It taught me how to be helpful, it taught me confidence, it let me grow out of my shell.” And how about Kevin Dai, a senior at Crescent Valley High in Corvallis? He was president of his freshman class, captain of the tennis team and president of his National Honor Society chapter, all while donating 250 hours of volunteer time to local nonprofits such as Stine Soup. Now he’s been named a finalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Award. These are just three examples, but there are countless more great kids all over the mid-valley. The future of our region is in good hands.

ROSES to the relaunch of Beaver Classic, a line of food products created on the Oregon State University campus by students and faculty at the College of Agricultural Sciences. About 10 years ago, OSU reopened its dormant creamery and began producing cheese, with a current lineup that includes regular cheddar, dill garlic cheddar and gochu cheddar, flavored with a type of Korean chili pepper. Creating these products not only gives OSU students hands-on experience in their field of study, they get the satisfaction of seeing their products on the shelves at area retail outlets such as Market of Choice and the First Alternative Co-op. Agribusiness students are getting in on the act as well: Starting this fall, they’ll pitch in with branding, marketing, sales and distribution of the cheeses and other OSU-made products such as jerky and honey. You can find Beaver Classic goods for sale online at https://bit.ly/3hMk1tv. It’s a great way to support a terrific OSU program while enjoying some of our state’s agricultural bounty.

ROSES to John Burright, a mid-valley native who was paralyzed nearly 20 years ago in a tragic traffic incident that killed two of his colleagues. Burright was a sergeant with the Oregon State Police in September 2001 when he and two other law enforcement personnel, OSP Senior Trooper Maria Mignano and Albany Police Officer Jason Hoerauf, stopped to help a family whose van had broken down on Interstate 5 about 10 miles north of Albany. A 19-year-old Salem man driving a station wagon nodded off behind the wheel and went off the road, plowing into the three officers. Hoerauf and Mignano were killed instantly. Burright survived but was left unable to walk or care for himself. He died May 4 at the age of 61. Family and friends remembered him as a loving husband and father of three, a sports fanatic, an athlete and a man who was dedicated to his profession. We mourn his passing and offer our condolences to his loved ones.

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Roses to Juneteenth, to graduation season, and to volunteers at mass vaccination clinics here in the mid-Willamette Valley. We give the Bronx cheer to a few members of OSU's Board of Trustees.

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