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Editorial: Roses and raspberries (Nov. 14)

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Veterans Day 10

Eight-year-old Bryden Kramer of Albany pops out of a hatch on one of the Linn County Sheriff's Office's armored vehicles at the reverse parade at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center on Thursday.

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.

• ROSES to the Veterans Day reverse parade in Albany that was held on Thursday.

We realize this pales in comparison to the normal Veterans Day Parade, but organizers did the best they could this year under the unusual circumstances. And veterans still received recognition for their service.

Still, we can’t wait for the parade to return to its typical form and all its glory. For years, this has been the biggest day of the year in Albany, and it will be great to see thousands of people lining the streets downtown once again.

• ROSEBERRIES to a recent article about an 80-year-old woman who got lost near Alsea Falls while hunting for mushrooms and spent the night in the woods. We’re obviously glad that the story had a happy ending.

Valerie Lake, who is experienced in the outdoors, kept her calm and made some right choices out in the forest, including moving her body to keep warm and finding water from leaves and lichens.

But she also made some rookie mistakes to get herself into trouble, and it’s fortunate this isn’t more of a cautionary tale.

Here are some basic safety tips for enjoying Oregon’s natural wonders.

First off, let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return.

When you’re hiking or out enjoying the outdoors, don’t separate from your partner or group.

Bring a daypack with water, snacks, a first aid kit, extra layers of clothing (including a waterproof jacket since this is Oregon) and a safety whistle. Heck, you might even want to bring a water filter since those are so small and inexpensive nowadays. The basic idea is to be self-sufficient and ready for any extreme weather — or be ready to spend the night if you get lost.

Also bring a compass and a map. Sometimes this requires some extra online research beforehand, but you can often simply use your cell phone to snap a photo of maps displayed at trailheads.

Oregon’s magnificent outdoors are a blessing for those who live in the state and those who visit here. But nature is wild and unforgiving, too, so it’s best to be prepared.

• ROSES to Oregon State superfan Merritt Jensen, who recently died at the age of 103.

Jensen moved to Corvallis in 1990 and adopted the women’s basketball and volleyball teams at OSU because he could sit on the floor at Gill Coliseum and watch practices. And he showed up dressed from head to toe in orange and black.

This was a nice guy who was super informed about the teams and cared. In a small but real way, he made things better.

Coaches and players adored Jensen. Need proof? The 2016 women’s basketball team that made the Final Four had a play called “the Merritt.”

• RASPBERRIES to those who make anti-trans statements and insults. Those sort of comments are simply not acceptable.

Anti-trans slurs were reportedly yelled at the accuser in a bias crime assault in Corvallis that allegedly occurred in late October. The accusations in the probable cause affidavit, to be frank, are shocking, and the injuries to the resident were significant.

But the court paperwork also isn’t entirely surprising in our area given what some people are willing to post on social media, including comments that we’ve scrubbed from our Facebook pages.

Look, there’s no doubt that Linn and Benton counties are far better off in terms of social justice than they were even 25 years ago. Outright open racism isn’t as prevalent here as it once was, for example.

The topic of gay marriage no longer seems to be a hot-button issue nowadays, either, and many mid-valley residents seem to have developed a bit of a libertarian perspective on the matter. As long as you’re not bothering me, I’m not going to bother you, so live the life you love.

But prejudice still remains, and we regularly see problematic viewpoints regarding trans and nonbinary individuals. That needs to change.

The United States has lofty ideas such as liberty, justice for all, and the pursuit of happiness. Those all-American values should apply to everyone.

• More mid-valley editorials

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