Host Families 2 (copy)

Corvallis Knights infielder Tracye Tammaro presents Cheri Galvin with flowers as the players' host families were honored before a recent game. 

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 Corvallis Knights, the city's collegiate summer baseball team. As we wrote this edition of Roses and Raspberries, we did not know the results of Thursday's decisive West Coast League divisional series against the Walla Walla Sweets, so it's possible as you read this that the Knights' season is over. 

Win or lose, though, the Knights remain the class of the league: Year in and year out, the team posts impressive records, a consistency that is particularly impressive in that the team's coaches start each season with essentially a brand new crop of players. That says something good about the quality of the Knights' coaches and its staff in the front office.

There's another ingredient that contributes to the team's success: Every summer, Corvallis residents open their homes to a new batch of Knights. It's an essential piece of the puzzle for the Knights: Without those host families, the operation just wouldn't be feasible.

The host families don't get any monetary compensation, other than a pair of season tickets. But many of those families say they've forged lifelong friendships with players. And the players get a little touch of home for the summer.

• RASPBERRIES to "The" Ohio State University, which has made news by filing for a trademark on the word "The," according to a report on CNN. (Patent lawyer Josh Gerben discovered the application and publicized it.)  

The university apparently intends to market clothing featuring the word "The." Gerben told CNN he doesn't think that's a strong enough case to win approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but that Ohio State officials might be able to patch the holes in the application.

To be fair, Ohio State has had its eyes on the definitive article since 1878, when it officially became "The Ohio State University." No word yet on whether this other OSU has plans for the indefinite article. 

It's not the only silly trademark application that's pending before the office: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has filed to trademark the phrase "Tom Terrific," much to the irritation of New York Mets fans, who say the only Tom who deserves that title is their Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver.

• RASPBERRIES, as always, to scammers. It seems like it's been a busy summer, with fresh scams emerging every week, but here's an older one making the rounds that you need to be on guard against: The Oregon Department of Revenue says it's seen a spike in callers fraudulently identifying themselves themselves as Social Security representatives. The callers threaten their potential victims with deactivation of their Social Security numbers or accounts because of suspicious activity. Of course, it's a ruse: The scammers are hoping to gain personal information and bank account information.

Don't be fooled, by the way, just because your caller ID indicates it's a call from the Social Security Administration; scammers have tools to make their calls appear legitimate.

If you suspect a call is a scam, follow the advice of the Social Security Administration: Hang up and call the administration at 1-800-772-1213. Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you, and that also goes for your bank account or credit card number.

• ROSES to the Corvallis School District, for an ingenious way to ensure students are involved in the projects that are being financed by the district's $200 million facilities bond. Design work is underway on many of the projects, and we'll get a sense of how far that $200 million will go when the big-ticket items go out for bids. But in the meantime, architects and contractors working for the district have been employing students as interns this summer and a new round of internships with some of the construction contractors is planned for this fall.

And, to top it off, the Wenaha Group, the district's project management firm, has been developing curriculum for teachers to use school construction as a way to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematical concepts. It's a nifty way to show students how those concepts intersect with the real-life activity going on all around them. (mm)

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