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Kathryn B. Brown

We are entering a time of great upheaval as we come out of the pandemic, and we all face much uncertainty due to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. How this will affect our day-to-day lives and the world order is yet to be seen.

By many measures, the economy is booming, but rising gas prices, interest rates and inflation are unnerving.

Here in Eastern Oregon, I am seeing evidence of upheaval all around me. Friends and colleagues are changing jobs and moving from one side of the state to the other. I’m meeting newcomers to Pendleton who have moved from urban areas, appreciating the ease of working remotely, getting around and getting involved.

Every quarter I send The Other Oregon’s mailing list to our printer, then receive a spreadsheet with address changes that have been submitted to the U.S. Postal Service, so I can update our list. Since the magazine launched in 2018, there have been an average of 59 address changes each quarter. This time, there were 161. People are on the move.

Many businesses and organizations are struggling to find workers and are having to modify business models yet again as we come out of the pandemic.

There is growing enthusiasm in the business community in Pendleton to help build a nonprofit child care center, as it becomes clear that the child care shortage is a major impediment to growing the local workforce. This is a project I have worked on for years. It seems the child care crisis had to get worse before it could get better.

For many rural Oregonians who frequently traveled long distances to Salem to be in touch with legislators and state officials, the ability to connect virtually — saving hours of travel time and expense — has been a blessing. We hope that this connectivity translates to better communication and understanding throughout Oregon.

— Kathryn B. Brown

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