It is an understatement to say that Rachel Bristol is passionate about her work. Vigor, pride and frustration are Bristol’s constant companions after twenty years as chief executive officer for the Oregon Food Bank. Her deep concern for the people of Oregon who struggle to feed themselves and their families is palpable and her enthusiasm to bring change is contagious.
In February 2006, Governor Kulongoski called for 25 percent of all Oregon’s energy to come from renewable resources by 2025. Since the governor’s Action Plan For Energy, the state has courted and installed energy projects in solar, geothermal, wave and wind. In October 2009, Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy filed an application as Antelope Ridge Wind Power Project for a 300-megawatt facility on private grazing lands ten miles southeast of La Grande.
John Callahan, a white boy from Connecticut, was an oddball choice to be named the literary executor of an African-American great novelist who becamce known for his one racially themed novel, Invisible Man. Yet Ralph Ellison’s wife chose a kindred soul in Callahan, whose own writings are interested in race and ethnicity.
Bill Stoller never pictured himself settling down in his hometown of Dayton, Oregon, but an interest in wine and a passion for farming brought the multimillion dollar business owner back to his roots. “You can take the boy out of the country,” Stoller says, “but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”
Over the past three years, the U.S. economy flew off the tracks and along with it Oregon. There was the housing crisis in which no one could say definitively who owned their mortgage; the credit crunch in which banks were given free money but would not lend it; the overt failure of the financial system in which Wall Street once again reminded us that it cares for none but its own and owns Washington; the once-a-decade failure of credit rating agencies, building on their Enron and Worldcom successes and still well compensated by the businesses they objectively scrutinize.
The gubernatorial candidates for Oregon face a state with an uncertain economy, a wall of debt, declining revenues and an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, a full percentage point more than the national average. 1859 Oregon’s Magazine caught up with John Kitzhaber, the Democratic candidate and Chris Dudley, the Republican hopeful, to ask them, what they see as the greatest challenge facing Oregon.