• 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 Oregon State University track legend Dick Fosbury, who invented the high-jump technique that now bears his name. This year marks the 50th anniversary of when Fosbury won a gold medal at the Olympics with what was then a unique and unproven backward-jumping technique.
The "Fosbury flop," of course, is standard technique for today's high jumpers. And OSU honored the guy who got it all started last week by unveiling a striking sculpture by Eugene artist Ellen Tykeson. The work depicts Fosbury's Olympic record-setting jump of 7 feet, 4¼ inches. It also features two basalt columns of different heights, meant to represent the break from tradition represented by Fosbury's historic jump.
Fosbury, who was on hand for last week's dedication, was impressed by the sculpture. So are we — but we also remain impressed by Fosbury's feat of 50 years ago.
• RASPBERRIES to the person (or persons) who deliberately glued a kitten's paws to a busy road near Silverton.
An Oregon man, Chuck Hawley, found the 5-week-old kitten, with some sort of glue on its paws, neck and tail, on the road. A veterinarian said it was clear that the glue had been placed there intentionally.
Hawley said it was a miracle that no vehicle hit the kitten, even though he saw several cars drive over it before he could rescue it.
We can't even imagine what would prompt anyone to pursue this sort of sadistic, cruel behavior. If Hawley files a crime report, the Marion County Sheriff's Office will investigate the case. It's a long shot, but it's worth the effort to find the perpetrator, before he tries a similar stunt.
In the meantime, ROSES to Hawley, who said he and his wife will adopt the kitten. They've named it Sticky.
• ROSES to the Benton Community Foundation, for its role in making a big splash for Philomath: The foundation announced last week a $734,000 donation that will keep the Clemens Community Pool open.
The gift not only will keep the pool open for at another 10 years, it will allow the community some vital breathing room to consider its options for the future of a local pool.
The 58-year-old Philomath High School facility faces serious maintenance issues, and school officials had been worried that they might be forced to close it at some point. This gift, apparently the largest in the Community Foundation's 65-year history, puts those worries to rest for a decade.
Another point is worth making here, and that's about the power of giving: The Clemens pool opened in the first place thanks to a donation from Rex and Ethel Clemens. The money that was used to make last week's gift came from another donation: In 1994, Leonard Nitka donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to create an endowment with the intent of preserving and supporting the pool. That money was transferred to the Community Foundation.
Over the years, that fund grew to about $1.2 million; the $734,000 gift does not wipe out the endowment, but just returns it to the amount of the original donation. It is, in the words of Philomath School District Superintendent Melissa Goff, "a really great story about giving and what a difference it can make."
And speaking of community:
• ROSES to everyone in the community of Jefferson who turned out Saturday to move all the materials in its library to its new location, about a block away.
The original plan was to set up a human chain between the two locations, with participants moving the materials along the chain. That would have been fun, but not enough people showed up to complete the chain over the required distance.
So, instead, organizers went to Plan B, which was pretty complicated: Participants went into the old library, grabbed books and other materials and then lugged them over to the new location. Some sophisticated types enlisted hand trucks. Elegant it was not. But it was effective.
Jefferson citizens, to their credit, have been working for much of the decade to build a new library, and those efforts are about to bear fruit: The new library is scheduled to open next week. (mm)