Johnson crafts official microbe proposal for Brewer’s yeast

Small but potent is the “bug” that could become the Oregon State Microbe, the first designation of its kind in the U.S.

Rep. Mark Johnson of Hood River has introduced legislation to give the honor to Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, aka Brewer’s Yeast and Baker’s Yeast.

“It’s something to have a little fun, but also to pay tribute to the success of craft brewing as an industry in Oregon that has grown exponentially in recent years, during a time of overall economic recession in Oregon,” said Johnson, who introduced the legislation Wednesday with brewers from Rogue Ales in Newport and start-up craft brewery Santiam Brewery of Salem at his side.

The organism has been used for centuries as leavening for bread and as a fermenter of alcoholic beverages.

“Where would we be if we didn’t have this stuff?” asked Lou Gehrig of Odell, a craft baker celebrating 30 years in business this year with his wife, Anne.

“Celebrating the yeast that makes fermentation possible is such a wonderful acknowledgement of what Oregon breweries, wineries and bakeries bring to the state not just in economic impact and job creation but also in tourism and quality of life,” said Irene Firmat, Full Sail Brewery CEO and founder.

Johnson said the bill will proceed to the House floor next week and should proceed to the Senate for consideration.

“I think we’ve got a clear path on this,” Johnson said, evidenced, he said, by repeated high-fives from other lawmakers from around the state.

Hood River County has the highest number of craft breweries (six) per capita in the United States, and is also home to Wy’east Laboratories, one of the world’s main purveyors of yeast products.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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