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Editorial: Roses and raspberries (July 11)

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Harrisburg Fourth21

Harrisburg celebrates the Fourth of July

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.

ROSES to Fourth of July celebrations in the mid-Willamette Valley, including parades in Harrisburg and Corvallis and fireworks lighting up the sky in Lebanon and Brownsville.

For many residents, the holiday marked something of a return to normalcy. Harrisburg, after all, had a reverse parade last year and the Corvallis parade was cancelled for the first time in more than three decades.

It was fun to see these traditions return, and to see residents expressing their patriotism and love of the United States — and showing some hometown pride.

ROSES to David Dowrie, a true public servant who volunteered his time for the Linn Benton Lincoln Educational Service District, the Benton County Budget Committee, the Benton County Planning Commission, 4-H and more.

While serving on public boards, Dowrie, who had a career background in information technology, thoroughly scrutinized issues and documents such as budgets. He asked tough questions, but in a polite manner, as he was a pleasant personality who was willing to listen.

Overall, Dowrie was a gentleman who made our communities better.

RASPBERRIES to heat wave deaths. As of Friday, the Oregon State Medical Examiner listed two Linn County deaths from the scorching temperatures that hit the Pacific Northwest in late June. Figures could change.

One of those deaths was from the 97322 ZIP code in the Albany area, while the other was in the 97358 ZIP code near Lyons. 

In total, Oregon's heat wave death toll stood at 83 people, as of Friday.

We’ll repeat a point from this space last week. The temperatures that hit this area and the deaths were shocking, but extreme weather will impact Oregon more regularly in the future, according to scientists. As so our leaders, and residents themselves, must prepare for these hotter summers.

ROSES to baseball, and the return of the Corvallis Knights. Plenty of youngsters are watching these summer league games and imagining playing for the hometown team — whether that’s the Knights or Oregon State University.

But we’d like to draw your attention to someone who was having those same dreams half the world away, over in Australia.

As a child growing up in Sydney, Travis Bazzana dreamed of playing college ball for the Beavers.

At an international tournament in Arizona in 2019, the Aussie caught the eye of OSU’s coaching staff with his hustle and leadership on the diamond.

Now he’s playing shortstop, second base and the outfield for the Knights while leading the team at the plate. And then he’ll be joining OSU’s squad.

“I never even thought it would be possible to come here,” Bazzana told sports reporter Jarrid Denney. “It’s just everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’m just trying to take it in and make the most of every day.”

This all sounds like some Hollywood movie. But Bazzana’s summer could be a prelude to much bigger things. The Knights have churned out plenty of major league talent over the years, including players who also starred for the Beavers. Who knows what could happen?

ROSES to amazing high school sports teams and the conclusion of an unusual season that featured winter sports in the spring.

The mid-Willamette Valley had three particularly dominant teams who should get banners hanging from the rafters.

First off, there was the historic performance by the Crescent Valley wrestling squad, which had a whopping 10 individual champions out of 14 weight classes in the 5A state meet. That was a record. So were the points scored by the Raiders, who had 365.4, obliterating the previous record of 303.

This was the third straight 5A title for Crescent Valley’s grapplers, who have become one of the most dominant forces on Oregon’s prep sports scene.

We should also congratulate Sweet Home’s wrestling team, who won yet another state championship at the 4A level with four state champs and 12 overall placers.

Next up, we shine a spotlight on the Corvallis High School girls basketball team, who went 15-0 to cap what is believed to be the program’s first undefeated season since at least 1976. There was no state tournament this season due to the pandemic’s impact on prep sports schedules, but this is still a noteworthy achievement for the Spartans.


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Related to this story

Raspberries to the unprecedented heat wave and climate change. Roses to cooling shelters that opened up last weekend, and to those stashing away their fireworks until New Year's Eve.

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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