HUMPDAY NEWS ROUNDUP: City Seats, Alcohol, Texas, and Oregon’s Song

The latest recap of the news you may have missed… we’re assuming by accident.    

It’s All About That Bus Fare(less)  

This month marked the tenth anniversary of Corvallis buses being free. Whether you’re a student without a car or just someone who cares about the planet, the past ten years without fares have helped. So, hop on board and take a spin around town – just remember your mask because they’re mandatory.  

Who Wants to Get Their Plan On?  

The city needs volunteers to sit on Commissions. Five seats on the Planning Commission and the Historic Resources Commission have opened up, and to paraphrase Uncle Sam, “We Need You… to sit on them for your city.” Okay, that wasn’t a great paraphrase, but you can find the applications here and the deadline is April 2.   

Smokes Impact on Whiskey  

Oregon State University’s Dustin Herb, who studied how the ground in which the barley grows impacts the beer made, was corralled by the Irish to determine if the same rang true for whiskey. Turns out it does.   

In Other Alcohol-Related News…  

OSU worked with the Department of Agriculture to study the hop genome – both for brewing and for medicine. For the brewers in the crowd, knowing the genome means you can develop fancy new flavors. For those in medical research, hop flavonoids might help in researching and treating cancer and metabolic syndrome. Let’s all raise a glass to this one.  

Colorado City, TX Mayor Resigns Over Facebook  

Amid one of the worst storms in recent history, with large swathes of the state of Texas without electricity and many relying on electric heat, the mayor of Colorado City, TX thought his constituents should know that he doesn’t give a damn about their survival. Tim Boyd’s Facebook post included, “No one owes you are (sic) your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this!” Boyd has since resigned. In other news, Tim Boyd’s wife was fired.  

In Other Texas News…  

While mayors were busy complaining about citizens wanting to not die, volunteers were working to keep thousands of sea turtles alive. Sea Turtle Inc. has taken in over 4,000 of the not-that-little guys, keeping them safe and warm.  

In Even More Texas News…  

While Texas froze, Texas Senator Ted Cruz decided to hightail it down to Mexico. After learning that the entire state was using his picture for dartboards (just a guess on our part), he came back and made the excuse that he packed his suitcase and sunscreen just to fly his family down there and come immediately back. Cruz dug himself in deeper by blaming his children for the idea of leaving town. Now his wife’s messages have surfaced and it’s not looking good for this face of the GOP.   

WHO Disagrees with Everyone Else  

The World Health Organization recommends against wearing masks during vigorous exercise. If you’re worried that we got that wrong, read the report here. Don’t worry. We’ll wait.  

China Surpassed America…  

in sheer number of overweight adults. They had us beat in population hands down – 1.4 billion to 328.24 million – and as of Dec. 25, 2020, it was reported that more than half (50.7% to be exact) of the adults in China are considered overweight. In 2002, only 29.9% of Chinese adults fit that category, and in 2014, the number was 42%. America isn’t doing great in the race, as 74% of American adults are overweight as of December of 2020 – a higher percentage, but we have fewer folks to include in the count.   

Fauci Becomes a Verb  

Let’s say you met someone. They’re cute. You, of course, are cute. And you’ve been talking over Zoom every day. They want to meet in person. You’re quarantining like a pro. They’re insistent, have to meet you, please please please let’s meet in person because I want to kiss you. You need to Fauci that person. Yes, you read that right, according to Urban Dictionary, Fauci-ing means “Declining to date someone because you don’t feel they’re taking COVID-19 seriously enough.” Kind of like how America Fauci-ed Trump in November. 

 Let the Green-Eyed Monsters Out  

If you are one of those people who think that other states always get the good stuff, you were right. Washington got castles. Castles! Sure, some of them are falling-down-ish and one is “technically” a high school, but castles? Come on!  

Donut Workers Unite  

The workers at Voodoo Donuts – located in Eugene, Milwaukie, and Portland, as well as Colorado, Texas, Florida and California – want to unionize. They are giving the company until noon on Thursday, Feb. 25 to recognize their union or they will call for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. Remember when they were just a cute little thing that took over the Church of Elvis? Some businesses grow up so fast.  

Oregon Republicans Choose New Leader  

After gaining national attention for raising a middle finger toward Washington, D.C. over the Jan. 6 insurrection, the GOP in Oregon went on a hunt for new leadership. They found Roseburg’s Sen. Dallas Heard, who is described by the Oregonian as “far-right” and as having “rebelled against coronavirus restrictions.” Heard will now have a hand in shaping the Republican Party for Oregon. Then again, maybe Heard is the shape of the party these days.  

In Other Political News…  

State Senator Diego Hernandez of Portland resigned before the rest of the Senate could expel him. He had been investigated for harassing two female employees and creating a hostile work place after each woman ended a romantic relationship with him. Some people just don’t handle rejection well.  

Norway Concludes Edvard Munch May Have Been Odd  

After looking into it and fretting over it and determining that the artist himself wrote it and wondering if the artist meant to write it and worrying over the artist’s mental well-being when he wrote it, it was decided in Norway that Edvard Munch was troubled when he painted “The Scream,” which led him to write “can only have been painted by a madman” on the top, left-hand corner of Norway’s National Museum’s version of the painting. And yes, there is more than one version of the painting.  

Portlanders Replace Harvey Scott with York  

Most people have never heard of York. He was the enslaved man that William Clark brought with him on his trip to Oregon – you know, the trip that got so famous they named a trail after Clark and his fellow explorer Meriwether Lewis, but not so much after the one guy who didn’t really want to go? An unknown artist replaced the toppled statue of Harvey Scott with a bust of York in Mt. Tabor Park. The city has decided to leave York there provided it’s “determined safe for public viewing.”  

Oregon’s State Song Coming Under Scrutiny  

Created through a competition in 1920, “Oregon, My Oregon” seemed to be the best of the 200 entries that came in. A century later and after a year of Black Lives Matter protests, a song that includes “Conquered and held by free men” and “Blest by the blood of martyrs” seems a little oppressive and more than a bit out of touch with what life is like today. Several Oregonians – Alok Prakash, Amy Shapiro, Rep. Sheri Schouten, and Rep. Andrea Salinas – agree that it’s time to change that song, and a bill is being introduced to do so.   

Biden Wants State Testing to Resume  

Remember how much you hated standardized testing in school? Well, the pandemic took it away… but only for 2020. The Biden Administration insists that all states restart the testing this year. How that’s going to be managed awaits to be seen.  

500,000+ Dead from COVID-19  

You’ve probably seen this in the news, but it bears repeating. Over half a million people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. This is more Americans than died in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. The fact that fewer than 3,000 of those people lived in Oregon is due to our local government taking this seriously early on. The fact that only 16 people in Benton County have died so far is astonishing. We urge everyone to stay home, socially distance yourselves, and wear masks.  

By Sally K Lehman