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 and traveling mercies to Ginger McCall, the state of Oregon's first public records advocate. As you might have heard, McCall is resigning effective today because of what she termed undue interference from the governor's office that undermined the independence of the advocate's position.
But McCall has performed well in her 18 months on the job and has helped cast a spotlight on areas of the state's public records laws that require continued attention from the rest of us and for her successor.
And she's leaving us with a gift: Her final report, issued this week, offers a path forward for everyone in the state who's concerned about public access to public records — and that should include every Oregon citizen. (It also seems to us that McCall has paved the way for the next public records advocate to enjoy an increased amount of independence, a very good thing.)
We'll have some additional reflections on McCall's report in an editorial next week. But in the meantime, we are grateful for the work she did in Oregon during her time here. There's still plenty of work to be done to ensure that Oregonians have access to public records, but McCall has done much to help with that effort.
• ROSES to a piece in the online edition of Forbes magazine, for casting a culinary spotlight in an unexpected direction.
The Forbes website on Oct. 4 posted a piece by writer Tamara Gane that sang the praises of Philomath. The headline on the story read "The Tiny Town of Philomath, Oregon is a Culinary Paradise." (The online version of today's Roses and Raspberries includes a link to the story.)
"You can be forgiven if you've never heard of Philomath, Oregon," Gane wrote. "It's one of those blink-and-you-miss-it towns outside Corvallis."
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But if you blink, Gane wrote, you run the risk of missing the locations that Gane singled out: Lumos Wine, Cardwell Hill Cellars, Harris Bridge Vineyard, The Dizzy Hen and Gathering Together Farm.
• RASPBERRIES to this week's harvest of useless facts, courtesy of companies clogging our email inbox with (apparently successful) attempts at clickbait. There's a Halloween theme this week:
Our friends at YourLocalSecurity.com have combed through internet data to determine which phobia is most frequently searched for in each state. The winner in Oregon: aquaphobia, fear of water, which makes some sense. We did learn about a phobia we previously had not heard about: trypophobia, fear of holes.
Meanwhile, the researchers at the website Bid-on-Equipment.com, not to be outdone, are reporting that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the most popular Halloween candy in Oregon.
• RASPBERRIES to organizers of the snake-bit Portland Marathon, for a marking mistake that ended up adding an estimated 2 miles to the 26.2-mile course for about 15 of the race's elite runners.
To be fair, Sunday's marathon went off without a hitch for the vast majority of runners. But a poorly marked course and a case of mistaken identity ended up luring some of the top racers off the course and onto an unexpected detour.
The Oregonian explained how it happened: Between Mile 9 and Mile 10, a police escort was guiding the lead runner onto a ramp that led him off Southwest Naito Parkway, south past the Ross Island Bridge and onto Southwest Macadam Avenue. But there was enough of a gap between the lead runner and the runners behind him that they didn't see which way the lead runner went. There were no signs marking the turnoff, and the runners thought they should follow a cyclist who was pedaling next to them. But she wasn't an official volunteer.
The CEO of the company that took over management of the marathon this year personally apologized to each of the affected runners. And he said the company would learn from its mistakes next year.
This miscue aside, it's nice to see the marathon return to the Rose City. Back in the day, we ran some marathons, but we weren't exactly speedy: These elite runners would have crossed the finish line well before us, even if they had to cover an extra 2 miles. (mm)