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Benton Center Groundbreaking32-my

LBCC Regional Director Jeff Davis, left, Mayor Biff Traber, LBCC President Greg Hamann and LBCC Board Chairman Jim Merryman pose in front of an excavator at the site.

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 Linn-Benton Community College's Benton Center, for a milestone long in the making this week.

On Thursday, LBCC officials and others gathered for the so-called groundbreaking on its project to expand the college's Benton Center in Corvallis.

We say "so-called" groundbreaking, because the event featured none of the golden shovels or other equipment that you typically see at groundbreakings. What you had instead was an excavator, which came into play at the event when it bashed in a wall and some windows on what had been the First Student bus barn. The project will use pieces of that 12,000-square-foot warehouse and its surrounding 2.5-acre property to accommodate a two-story, 20,000-square-foot classroom building and much-needed additional parking.

The classroom building is important, to be sure, but perhaps the biggest applause during Thursday's ceremony came when officials noted that the expansion will more than double the available parking at the Benton Center. Anyone who's hunted for a parking spot at the center between the hours of, oh, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. knows how parking is at a premium there.

This project, and other LBCC projects, was made possible because voters in 2014 approved a $34 million bond measure. It's been great to see LBCC put that money to use in projects throughout the mid-valley. We can hardly wait until this Benton Center project is finished and dedicated, sometime in early 2021. 

• ROSES (again) to the Corvallis Knights, the city's collegiate summer baseball team. We gave a bouquet last week to the team for simply being such a class act, season in and season out.

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Since then, two events have occurred: First, the team won another West Coast League championship, its fourth consecutive title. That's excellent news, and you've probably heard about that.

But the Knights also drew another honor this past week: Perfect Game USA, the world's largest baseball scouting service,, selected the Knights as the Summer Collegiate Baseball Team of the Year. It's the first time the Knights have won that honor; in fact, it's the first time that a team from the West Coast League has been so honored.

"These guys are doing something right," Perfect Game wrote in its story about the award, and that's true, but incomplete: The team's management includes a number of women. 

In any event, the award is well-deserved. Congratulations to the Knights' staff, coaches, players and fans.

• ROSES, again, to a timely break in the weather this week, with Wednesday's rain. We heard a number of you complaining about how the rain broke up a string of warm and sunny days, and we are here to tell you that your complaining was misguided. We expect better of you.

It's possible that our two rainy days this month have helped hold at bay our wildfire season, but we're not out of the woods with that, and won't be for weeks. So you still need to be careful every time you head out to our wildlands; one stray spark can lead to catastrophe.

• RASPBERRIES to a study about buying a home in Oregon that possibly suffered from some design flaws: An organization called UnitedStatesZipCodes.org has determined that Chemult, an unincorporated community of about 300 in Klamath County, is the best place in all of Oregon to buy a house. The organization said the rankings were determined by calculating the price-to-rent ratio — the median home value divided by the median annual rent. A ratio under 15 indicates that it's likely more affordable to buy; Chemult's ratio was 1.6. The next best ratio (in White City) was 16.1, a gap which possibly could have signaled to the folks behind the study that they had an issue with the numbers. (Albany, by the way, came in at No. 5, with a ratio of 19.6.)

At least the numbers on the other side of the scale — the top five worst places in Oregon to buy — seemed like they might be at least be in the correct ballpark. No. 1 on that list was downtown Portland, with a whopping 63.4 ratio. In fact, Portland ZIP codes accounted for three of the top five worst places to buy. (mm)

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