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Editorial: Roses and raspberries (May 23)

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Harry Lagerstedt sponsored a horse in memory of his wife. Lagerstedt, who lived several years in Corvallis now resides in North Albany.

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.

Pharmacists from Boots have come together to help dispel the most common myths about the Covid-19 vaccine.

We hereby deliver:

• ROSES to Harry Lagerstedt and his trusty horse, Buck. Lagerstedt, a 95-year-old Navy vet and frequent participant in Albany’s Veterans Day Parade, is the sponsor of Buck, a wooden steed destined for service in the Albany Historic Carousel, and is one of several volunteers who have participated in carving the animal. Named for a cutting horse on his late wife’s former father-in-law’s ranch, Buck is designed with a number of personal details, including a quilt for a saddle blanket (Lagerstedt’s late wife, Carol Vellon, was a quilter) and a hollow space where Lagerstedt plans to stow a book of family mementos. Like any labor of love, carving Buck has been a time-consuming process – 10 years and counting. We hope it won’t take too much longer: Lagerstedt’s 96th birthday is coming up Aug. 2.

• ROSES to Oregon’s Bounty, a program of the Oregon Farm Bureau to help consumers purchase fresh veggies and other agricultural products directly from the producer by connecting them with farm stands, U-pick operations or on-farm events throughout the state. There are two ways to use Oregon’s Bounty – as an online database or a printed booklet. The database contains a directory of 260 family farms and ranches that sell food, plants and flowers directly to the public. It also allows you to do keyword searches for specific products such as blueberries, cucumbers and honey or search for producers in a particular part of the state. You’ll find the database at, and you can request a free printed version by emailing the bureau’s communications director, Anne Marie Moss, at

• ROSEBERRIES to the cancellation of the Benton County Fair & Rodeo for the second straight year. Even though vaccination rates in the county are high and the COVID-19 pandemic is showing signs of winding down at long last, we still think pulling the plug was probably the right call. Despite the fact that the event is still a few months away, it's too soon to say it could be held safely. We’ll miss the tribute bands, bucking horses, carnival rides and gloriously unhealthy fair food, but it would be a mistake to let down our guard against the virus just yet. On the other hand, we applaud the decision by Lynne McKee, director of natural areas, parks and events for Benton County, to move ahead with a modified version of the fair’s 4-H animal programs with COVID-19 protections in place. The fairgrounds staff will work with the Oregon State University Extension Service on ways to hold the 4-H animal events safely, including modified in-person shows and the culminating Lee Allen Memorial Youth Livestock Auction on Aug. 7.

• RASPBERRIES to the Linn County Board of Commissioners for putting up barriers for teens who want to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Pfizer vaccine has now been approved for use in children as young as 12. But based on a decision by the three-person board, the county pulled out of plans by Greater Albany Public Schools to host a series of after-school vaccination clinics and has now begun requiring anyone under 18 to have parental permission before getting the shot at county-sponsored clinics. Aside from certain medical conditions or religious objections, we can’t imagine why any parent wouldn’t want their child to get a vaccine that offers high levels of protection against COVID. More to the point, Oregon law expressly states that anyone 15 or older has the right to medical treatment, including vaccination, without asking for their parents’ approval. In order to move into the state’s lowest risk category (and qualify for the lowest level of COVID restrictions), counties must vaccinate at least 65% of their population age 16 or older. Benton County has already reached that goal. Linn still needs to vaccinate more than 16,000 residents to hit its target. You do the math.


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