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 staff of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library for going above and beyond the call of duty this week, while the library was closed for major repairs to its plumbing.
In order to ensure that people who have placed a hold on a book or other materials can pick up their items in a timely manner, the library this week has set up a tent with a heater in the north parking lot. People with pending holds go to the tent to speak to a library staff member, who in turn radios the information to another staff member, who collects the held item and ferries it outside to the waiting library patron. The tent has been staffed this week, with the exception of Wednesday, when staff members were in a training session.
So, yes, that means on Tuesday, the library staff coped with the snow and chilly conditions.
Now, you may be wondering, as we did: Why bother with this extra effort? If the library is closed, why not just have everybody wait to pick up their holds?
Well, the library staff just isn't hard-wired that way. And, as library director Ashlee Chavez noted, the library deals with such a big number of holds that it didn't make sense to clog up that pipeline just because the library's pipes needed work. On Monday, for example, the library handled 500 or so hold requests. Over the course of a year, Chavez said, the library deals with some 300,000 hold requests, many of them likely from people who are waiting for us to finish Ron Chernow's "Grant" audiobook.
The really good news here, Chavez said, is that the work on the library has gone well, and it's set to reopen on schedule on Saturday.
Speaking of the library, we'll see you Saturday night at the Whiteside Theatre for the fifth annual "Sip & Spell," the spelling bee for adults.
• ROSES to Brenna Mollerstrom, a child protective service worker for the state Department of Human Services' office in Corvallis. Last week, Mollerstrom was honored with the department's Tom Moan Memorial Award for Excellence in Child Welfare Casework Practice, which recognizes a caseworker who has demonstrated excellence in and an outstanding commitment to child welfare casework.
Honorees earn an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Conference of the Child Welfare League of America, but Mollerstrom may already feel that she's won big: She didn't find out about the award until a surprise presentation during a meeting last Friday. And the presentation included a special visitor: her father, Jim.
The story gets better: Jim Mollerstrom himself is a previous winner of the Tom Moan Memorial Award. It marks the first time in the 33-year history of the award that a child of a previous winner has won.
As for why Brenna Mollerstrom won the award, consider this excerpt from one of the letters nominating her: "Her sense of humor, and joy, that she can bring to a team of workers, kids and families, who are usually in throes of trauma, is awesome." Now, that's how you use the word "awesome."
• ROSES to organizers of Portland's Worst Day of the Year Ride for ignoring the irony of the situation and electing to postpone the ride, which had been scheduled for this Sunday. The reason: The weather on Sunday likely will be too bad to guarantee safe conditions for bicycling. "We can do cold and wet," the organizers said on the event's website. "We cannot do ice." The event now is scheduled for Feb. 24.
But we must deliver RASPBERRIES to the name of the event: It can no longer be called the Worst Day of the Year Ride. May we suggest "Second Worst Day of the Year Ride?"
• RASPBERRIES to the Gazette-Times, for an error of omission in Wednesday's editorial, about a proposal to create a primary for nonaffiliated voters. The editorial listed as many Oregon political parties as possible — but, of course, missed one.
We failed to include the Oregon Progressive Party, which a reader tells us has enjoyed the fastest growth in percentage terms of any state party over the last two years. We apologize for the omission. (mm)