Help fix homebrewing legislation in Oregon

I’m cross-posting this with The Brew Site because it’s a hugely important issue for homebrewers in Oregon. This is an email from the Brewers Association that’s been hitting the inboxes of Oregon homebrewers over the past week, and it’s for a good cause: supporting Oregon Senate Bill 444 which seeks to amend the 30-year-old law regarding homebrewed beer which was reinterpreted last year.

Many of you are likely aware that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission determined last year that under existing Oregon law, homebrew cannot be consumed outside the home where the beer was produced.

The American Homebrewers Association is supporting an effort by the Oregon Home Brewers Alliance (OHBA) to resolve this issue. The OHBA has been working with Senator Floyd Prozanski, a homebrewer, on Senate Bill 444 along with the already filed amendments to SB 444. While there are other bills addressing homebrewing, the OHBA and the AHA support SB 444 as the most comprehensive of these in restoring to legality all of the activities homebrewers participated in prior to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s revision of their interpretation of homebrew law last year, including entering homebrew competitions and sharing homebrew at club meetings.

How Can You Help?
Senate Bill 444 is being scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee Thursday, February 10. We ask you to take a few minutes to call or email the members of the committee and politely urge them to support the passage of SB 444 along with Senator Prozanski’s amendments to the bill. The committee members need to hear from you if this bill is to succeed. Contacting legislators is quick and easy, and every contact they get from homebrewers will help ensure our success.

Senate Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee Contact Information:

Sen. Lee Beyer, Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1706

Sen. Jason Atkinson, Vice-Chair
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
District Phone: 541-282-6502

Sen. Ginny Burdick
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1718

Sen. Chris Edwards
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1707

Sen. Fred Girod
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1709
District Phone: 503-769-4321

Sen. Bruce Starr
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715
District Phone: 503-352-0922

Thank you for your support of homebrewers, your action could make the difference in whether or not this legislation becomes law. Please forward this message on to any other Oregon residents that you feel would be interested in supporting this bill.

The country’s safest places to live

According to this list from MSNBC/Forbes, seven of the 10 safest places to live in this country are in the Pacific Northwest. Central Oregon didn’t make the list, presumably because of the Sisters bulge and our general proximity to volcanoes.

I’m a little surprised to see Medford/Ashland make the list, though; part of the selection criteria was taking account of extreme weather, which they define as “abundant rain or snowfall or days that are below freezing or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit,” and Medford is routinely hotter than most parts of the state during the summer—easily over the “extreme” 90 degree mark.

Even more surprising though is Honolulu, Hawaii, as the nation’s safest place to live. Who’d’a thunk it?

Via LifeHacker.

Win a café in Eastern Oregon

You can win a café in Eastern Oregon by entering Ma & Pa’s Café Essay Contest. Really! It’s a diner located in Imbler, Oregon, about 12 miles northeast of La Grande. All you have to do is submit a 500-word essay and $150 entry fee by August 1st, and you have a chance to win the café and $50,000 in start-up cash.

It’s a prototypical old-school diner in a tiny agricultural town (Imbler only has about 380 people); check out their pictures. Not only would you have to have a burning desire to run such a place, but you’d also have to commit to living in rural northeast Oregon (largest cities are Pendleten and La Grande, at about 16,000 and 13,000, repsectively). It’s certainly an intruiging notion, I’d be tempted to enter just to see, though I think that’d be a tough sell to my family :).

Still, I notice that there’s no obligation or limit to what the winner can do with the place, and there also appears to be a scarcity of microbreweries in eastern Oregon… that would be an interesting thought. has a write-up on this, too, with a detailed interview of the couple “selling” the café.

Bandage Man

A bit of Oregon esoterica for everyone this Friday morning, and it’s a ghost story to boot: The Bandage Man of Cannon Beach.

The Bandage Man is a phantom of a man completely wrapped in bandages that haunts this small community. The bloody figure, who smells of rotting flesh, jumps into vehicles passing on a road outside of town, notably pickup trucks or open-topped cars, but also sedans, station wagons, and even sports cars. Sometimes the mummy breaks windows or leaves behind bits of bloody or foul-smelling bandages. One legend has it that he is the ghost of a dead logger cut to pieces in a sawmill accident.

The Bandage Man is sometimes said to eat dogs and may have murdered several people. He appears on the short approach road connecting US Highway 101 to Cannon Beach, between the town and where Highway 26 intersects with 101. The phantom always vanishes just before reaching town.

I first came across the story of Bandage Man in the book Ghosts, Critters & Sacred Places of Washington and Oregon, and it stood out because it’s not the typical “sounds and thumps in the night” type of ghost story that fills books like these.

Not surprisingly, there’s not much on the web about Bandage Man; digging around only reveals a handful of sites, with pretty much the same one or two paragraph description. However, I did find this post on the MysteryPlanet MSN Group that sheds light on the origin of the legend:

I was googling on the chance that I might find some mention somewhere of the Bandage Man. I have been aware of this story for over forty years. For I was a child in the community where it got it’s start. I knew some of the family of the kid that first encountered the Bandage Man. There is an old road, that for all the years I was growing up was known as “Bandage Man Road”. It was just an old section of Highway 101 that had been bypassed when a new section put in place, but it was still accessible and wasn’t very long-just a short loop off of the highway-the whole thing from end to end could be driven in maybe five minutes or so.


This loop of road was a popular place for local kids to go park and makeout.


That is where the story started. One night, two of the local kids were up there doing just what teenaged boys and girls do when they are parked on dark lonely roads. The boy had an old chevy pickup and his girl and he were sitting in the cab. All off a sudden they felt the truck sort of lean, like something was moving around in the bed of the truck. They turned to look out the rear window and there looking back was a bandaged face, with only some wierd looking eyes showing through eyeholes in the bandages. The bandaged figure started beating on the glass, and the top of the cab. The kid started his engine, got it gear and tore out of there-his girlfriend screaming in terror as the man in the back continued his pounding. Any of you who’ve been to Bandage Man road, or Cannon Beach, know how curvey the roads are and to drive them at highspeed is dangerous. On they went-after what seemed an eternity they made it to downtown Cannon Beach, where the boy’s family owned a service station that they lived next door to in green house. Once they got there, they looked in the back and the Bandaged figure was no where to be seen.


I first heard this story back in 1960-61. And it’s the original version. Some of the family of the kid still lives around here too, I know two of his brothers.


I have never heard of a repeat appearance by the Bandage Man.

I guess you’d better watch out if you’re driving around Cannon Beach, if you believe that sort of thing…

ORblogs growth

I’m amazed every week at how much growth ORblogs keeps showing; as of right now, there are 605 blogs in the directory, and 18 were added over the past seven days alone. (Check the ORblogs Recent Additions page to keep up to date on new ones.) Oregon bloggers, we’re a growing bunch. And kudos to Paul, who developed and runs the site. Excellent work!

Oregon’s birthday

Hey, I almost forgot: in addition to Valentine’s Day, today is also Oregon’s birthday: it was admitted into the Union on February 14, 1859, the 33rd state. Just random facts. Move along.

Oregon tsunamis

This article on is interesting, about the occurence (and likelihood of) tsunamis off the coast of Oregon.

Some time between 9 and 10 p.m. on Jan. 26, 1700, a similar great earthquake, with the same estimated magnitude as the one in Asia, struck the Northwest, rocking the region with strong shaking for several minutes. The specific time can be told through a variety of evidence closely studied by scientists in recent years, such as land levels, sand deposits, the rings of ancient trees and historic records….


Geological evidence indicates that mega-quakes have occurred in the zone at least seven times over the past 3,500 years, meaning they happen, on average, every 400 to 600 years.

With a little digging, I found out this was the Cascadia Earthquake (thank you, Wikipedia), a magnitude 9 megathrust earthquake that slammed the Pacific Northwest. I also found this page which has a somewhat more consequential description:

The earthquake collapsed houses of the Cowichan people on Vancouver Island and caused numerous landslides. The shaking was so violent that people could not stand and so prolonged that it made them sick. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, the tsunami destroyed the winter village of the Pachena Bay people, leaving no survivors. These events are recorded in the oral traditions of the First Nations people on Vancouver Island.

Freaky. I knew the area was geologically active—volcanoes and such—but I had no idea it was this active.