VIP: Conversation with Eastern Oregon activist Laura Pryor

| Print |  Email
Archives - July 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007

LauraPryor0707ViP

LAURA PRYOR

Eastern Oregon activist

Tall and regal with deep blue eyes and abundant silver hair, Laura Pryor is a commanding presence used to commanding jobs. For almost two decades she was the elected judge for Gilliam County, spending those years and many more fighting and working for Eastern Oregon.

On this day several months after her retirement as the top county administrator, she sits in a Salem restaurant, having just found out the Office of Rural Policy, which she helped birth three years ago, is once again threatened. Pryor is deeply stung by this, doubly so because it comes at a time when rural counties are struggling with the impact of losing millions of dollars in federal timber payments.

“No one starts out to say, ‘Let’s murder rural Oregon,’” she says, looking long and hard out the window at the torrential rain, “It’s just unintended consequences.”

But this is a woman who doesn’t lose hope, so there’s no looking back, only turning to face new challenges. Pryor is helping set up a study with Oregon State University that will chart the impact of the timber-money loss, continuing to prod and nurture the Eastern Oregon Rural Alliance, and keeping her presence felt in Salem as she battles for her beloved eastern home. Even though she feels as if she’s starting from scratch again, she’s not willing to concede the fight.

If this doesn’t sound like retirement, then you’ve got it right. The 69-year-old Pryor laughs and says she retired from the county, but not from life.

“The urban-rural divide is real,” she says, and it’s her mission to try to bridge that. “How do we keep rural society alive and vital? I’m going to try to figure out how to do that.”

There are more meetings and many more hours to put in, so she heads out, braving the rain, face forward into the storm she sees gathering over rural Oregon.

— Robin Doussard


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA WESTON

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


Read more...

Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Read more...

The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS