OK, who can name the state microbe? Anyone? Anyone?
I heard last week that our state legislators are thinking about making another state symbol, which would be a microbe. Was my leg being pulled? I think I heard it on April 1 (April Fool's Day). What are some of the other state symbols?
— Tom M., Medford
Yep, the Oregon Legislature is looking at a submission by state Rep. Mark Johnson of Hood River, who wants to see brewer's yeast be named the state microbe.
In fact, the House Rules Committee has approved the resolution drafted by Johnson to create the state microbe.
It seems that Hood River is known for its breweries. But Johnson is quick to observe that brewer's yeast is now responsible for a $2.4 billion industry across the state, something a lot of folks would like to drink to, Tom.
If selected, the yeast would join the beaver as the state animal, the pear as the state fruit, the hazelnut as the state nut, the thunder egg as the state rock, Douglas fir as the state tree and, our favorite, the hairty triton as the state shell.
If the folks in Salem are looking for a state river system, we would suggest the Rogue and its tributaries.
Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.