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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 John Hawkins of Corvallis, an active member of the Service Employees International Union Local 503 for nearly a half-century, who was honored this week with the Garner Poole Distinguished Lifetime Service Award by the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Central Labor Council.

Hawkins collected the award during a surprise presentation Wednesday night at the Steelworkers Union Hall in Albany. His wife, Ann, was among the people who paid tribute.

Hawkins worked for 14 years in the state Children's Services Division in Linn County and then worked another nine as a juvenile probation officer there before retiring in 2003. He joined SEIU in 1970 and has served in a variety of leadership roles.

It's a well-deserved honor, and it couldn't go a nicer guy. 

• ROSES to the Corvallis-OSU Symphony Orchestra, for hitting on a nifty way to pay tribute to the many Oregon State University students who perform in the ensemble. 

Marlan Carlson, the orchestra's musical director and conductor, has long bragged about the quality of students who play in the orchestra. The orchestra's Sunday afternoon concert, "Stars of the Orchestra," will allow 13 of those students to grab the spotlight. Many of them will perform as soloists with the orchestra accompanying.  Other students will perform the first movement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. The students earned the chance to perform Sunday through an open audition last fall.

Not all of these students will go on to professional music careers. But chances seem good that many of them will become patrons of the arts in the communities where they live, and those people are vital for building and maintaining the infrastructure that allows the arts to flourish. It's an exceptionally nice touch that the symphony is giving some of them their shots at the front of the stage.    

• RASPBERRIES, as always, to poachers, who give legitimate hunters a bad name and lay waste to Oregon's wildlife. Authorities are searching for information regarding a poaching incident that occurred Tuesday in the Scio area: A cow elk was illegally shot off of Larwood Drive.

There is an authorized cow elk hunt going on now, but this elk was shot on private property. In addition, a large amount of meat was left to waste: The front shoulders and neck meat were not taken.

If you have any information that could help apprehend suspects in this case, feel free to call Oregon State Police Dispatch at 1-800-442-0776 or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 and leave information for Senior Trooper Jim Andrews. Information that helps lead to a conviction could result in a cash reward. And while cash is nice, there's satisfaction in seeing a poacher brought to justice — in part because of the message it sends to these crooks: You can get caught.

• ROSES to you, if you're willing to engage in a little bit of Oscar prognosticating. Sunday's "Think Too Much" column will predict the winners in all 24 Academy Award categories, from best picture all the way down to the categories that actually determine who wins the Oscar pool, such as live-action short. ("Marguerite" is favored, but "Skin" could close the gap.)

In a typical year, the column might get anywhere from 17 to 20 categories correct. But maybe you can do better than that. Email your Oscar picks to mike.mcinally@lee.net. (Entries must be emailed by 5 p.m. Sunday, when the ceremony begins, but you can wait to examine our picks when the column is posted online at about 5:15 a.m. Sunday.)

At the end of the ceremony, we'll look for entries that beat the column in predicting the winners. We'll randomly pick one of those entries to win a $25 gift certificate to the movie house of the winner's choice.

You don't need to make a pick in all 24 categories, of course, but doing so gives you a better chance of beating the column. So give it your best shot. Here are a couple of tips: "Shallow" will win best song. "Bohemian Rhapsody" will not win best movie.

Finally, this confidential note to the producers of Sunday's Academy Awards: We would have been happy to host, but we have to work on Sunday. (mm)

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