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LETTERS: June 8th Issue

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Re.: Our Beer Reviewers’ Pontification for Marco-Beers

Charles is entirely correct! Craft brewers have wandered away from beer fundamentals and exploded their brand ranges. Even vaunted pioneers like Sierra Nevada yielded to this siren song and locals such as Caldera illustrate a special brand of madness in their 40+ named beers. What, after all, is “a beer?” It is a beverage of relatively low alcohol (4 percent range) to be enjoyed in quantity over time in what is called a “session,” preferably with friends. Caldera’s Jim Mills’ early flagship Ashland Amber is a perfect example as is Ross Litton’s Walkabout Workers Pale Ale. Recently, Common Block of Medford rolled out a delectable pale ale which nails the traditional standard.  What, Fischman seems to ask, is it all about? Well, it’s partly about youthful enthusiasm. Local brewers would do well to visit England and Europe and get a feel for the classics—beers which have stood the test of time because they are, quite simply, good. It’s also about youthful testosterone—a drive to one-up the competition but a drive which often leaves the thirsty drinker behind the eight-ball.  The dust will eventually settle and perhaps it’s time for that to start?
Hubert Smith
National Beer Judge
Founding Brewer “Wild River”


Re.: Climate Change

I have been studying the effects of climate change on our earth. One of the effects is rising temperature that increases our chances of suffering an insect-born pandemic. How will you feel if you lose a loved one?

Southern Oregonians are seeing and feeling increasing temperatures, reducing snowpack, and reducing river flow in late summer and fall. These trends pose threats to our health, our agriculture, our forestry, and the natural systems we enjoy.  Our experiences are shared throughout Congressional District 2.  Increased fire risk is but one consequence of these trends.  If humans do not address the underlying cause of these trends, the projections tell us they will continue to deteriorate with a temperature rise throughout CD2 approaching 10 degrees F by 2100.  

Since Greg Walden is a leader in the U.S. Congress, he can make our nation a global leader in solving this problem. Instead, we have a House Committee on Science and Technology that insanely rejects science and votes to suppress research that would elucidate the problem. While this committee does not represent the views of the people of the U.S., it does represent those who would sacrifice our children and grand-children for greed.

Bruce Bauer



Hey Messenger:
What is proper etiquette for food foraging in public parks?

Anonymous: It depends on the rules of the park and some of it is up to the judgment of the park ranger, since there can be many grey areas. Sometimes foraging is completely allowed, sometimes you need a permit, and sometimes it is limited to specific items, such as berries. Oregon in particular seems to encourage this–though I do not know if you are writing from Oregon. We actually have guided tours that show people what is safe to eat and what is not. I found a lot of useful information on this blog on foraging, which is centered on the Pacific Northwest: http://arcadianabe.blogspot.com/2012/03/rules-for-foraging-on-public-land.html.

Hey Messenger: What is the best thing to eat for dinner?

J.B.: Personally, I eat according to my mood. I have this thing in my brain that absolutely disallows me from eating something I don’t feel like eating. Suffice to say I don’t end up snacking very often because it’s rare the exact right thing I want, will be in my house. It’s probably the only reason why I still wear a smaller clothing size, despite eating way too many sugary treats. Case in point: Last night, ice cream was the “best thing to eat for dinner,” mint chip to be exact. Tonight, the best thing to eat for dinner was a Blue Apron asparagus and arugula pizza. Speaking of Blue Apron, it is a pretty awesome service. You sign up, mark your preferences, and the company sends you a box of ingredients for three different recipes, and the recipes of course. The great thing about Blue Apron is that it eliminates the middleman. Each food item comes straight from farmers and producers, and then right to your table. It’s also mostly organic and GMO-free, if you are into that kind of thing. The company supports sustainable and regenerative farming practices. Due to the unique food system itself, food waste is practically eliminated because every portion is carefully measured and every item shipped to you is part of a specific recipe. I don’t know how this answer turned into a giant advertisement for Blue Apron, but whatever. Try it out, hey?


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