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Editorial: Roses and raspberries (Nov. 15)

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Jennifer McGhan of Lebanon gives a hug to Mercy House's Sharon "Annie" Enger after receiving a car from the nonprofit assistance organization.

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 the return of Pac-12 college football, even if Oregon State University lost its opener. On social media, we saw charming photos of small groups of Beavers and Ducks tailgating in driveways and on back patios, as well as makeshift living rooms set up outside to celebrate the annual fall tradition.

Yes, we realize college football can be taken away from us in an instant if the COVID-19 situation worsens on the West Coast. But for a few hours last weekend, there was a sense of normalcy. We could forget much of the drama of 2020, the pandemic, the presidential election and such, and focus a little bit more on the family we love.

RASPBERRIES to OSU’s continued delays in its quest to create its own armed police force. Again, we believe that armed law enforcement officers are necessary on the Corvallis campus in part because of the research nuclear reactor there, and in part because of the violent crimes that occur there, rare though they may be. But it’s almost as if the university didn’t realize how difficult it would be to create a police force from scratch.

The global pandemic and protests regarding racial injustice certainly have complicated matters, and the university is trying to take some innovative steps, such as increasing crisis management resources for incidents where an armed officer might not be necessary. But these delays put OSU in a precarious position.

OSU has less than two months until its deadline to establish its own police force, and it has no chief for the department. The Oregon State Police has already extended its agreement to patrol the campus once, as troopers initially were scheduled to leave in July. And the agency did so despite the fact that it had been slammed by then-university President Ed Ray, students and the community in the wake of the troubling arrest of a Black bicyclist. Will OSP be willing to grant another extension to OSU?

ROSES to OSU’s enrollment, which soared past 33,000 despite the novel coronavirus pandemic. The increase of about 600 students represented a climb of nearly 2%. Much of that growth was fueled by the Ecampus program, which gained roughly 1,800 students for a jump of 18.4%.

OSU’s stats buck a national trend — colleges and universities are typically seeing about a 3% decrease due to COVID-19. The rise in enrollment for OSU is a tribute to the university’s well-established online learning infrastructure. OSU was able to adapt easier to the pandemic than many of its peers thanks to the work of Ray and other leaders.

ROSES to the Mercy House car giveaway program. Mercy House, an Albany-based nonprofit, helps women experiencing homelessness or domestic violence situations. This organization helps with everything from rent payments to clothing, but its newest effort is to provide transportation.

Donated vehicles are tuned up, checked for safety and given to women who otherwise wouldn’t be able to finance or buy a much-needed car.

So far, Mercy House has given away a dozen vehicles. The organization is on the lookout for more automobiles it can use to help out our communities. Those with an older and much-loved but gently used car should consider giving to this charity. For more information or to donate, contact 1st Hand Seconds, the fundraising arm for Mercy House, at 541-928-6909.

RASPBERRIES to misinformation about the election. There have been oodles and oodles of straight-up false narratives pushed on social media since Election Day, and some of that apparently has originated from foreign governments and other agents seeking to destabilize our democracy. Much of this misinformation appears to be shared unwittingly by Americans who are a bit too eager to believe these obvious whoppers. And, yes, many of these claims can be easily debunked with a quick online search. Take a moment and think before you post that video, and do a quick background check with credible news sources and websites.


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Related to this story

Raspberries to an absolutely vile use of profanity at a Corvallis City Council meeting, and to COVID-19's continued spread. Roses to removing those election signs and to Mayor Sharon Konopa of Albany.

President Donald Trump should be voted out of office because he is a menace to public health, a danger to our economy, a threat to democracy and a corrosive force on bedrock values that define the United States.

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