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Summertime Blues

Who says there’s no cure for the summertime blues? If you’re bored and tired of the gray skies and fickle weather, feast your eyes on this month’s issue of Alaska Business Monthly. There are plenty of stories to keep you reading and informed all month. We’re introducing a new special section this month: Energy & Power. (Begins on page 30.) We’ve included articles on the business of clean energy, a pilot project for efficiency and conservation, an ambitious hydro project in Southwest Alaska, rural energy solutions some communities off the road system are developing, and a look at the four new power plants being built on the Railbelt.

Also, back this year is the mid-year economic outlook. Associate Editor Mari Gallion has compiled comments from more than a dozen industry leaders about their most significant focus through the remainder of the year. (See page 92.)

To mix things up a bit, we’ve repositioned our Telecom and Technology special section from December to July and brought you half a dozen interesting stories along with a directory of firms engaged in the industry. You’ll find an insightful explanation of industrial IT and telecommunications, an update on TERRA Southwest, an inspiring article about SimplySocial and the multinational entrepreneurs who founded it, the FCC’s narrowbanding mandate, successful emerging high-tech entertainment developers, and a brief on working with Wi-Fi from the Alaskan who built the world’s first Wi-Fi network. The Conventions, Meetings and Corporate Travel special section will appear in December this year, but we’ve included two articles about the visitor industry this month. One is particularly revealing about international travelers (see page 74), the other addresses how local economies benefit from conventions and meetings (see page 80).

We’ve also got some nice articles about the oil and gas industry, interior gold mines, banking insights for small businesses, and new ventures for Alaska Native Corporations, along with our regular departments and features. With busy summer schedules and vacation downtime it might take you all month to read everything!

If a little reading doesn’t cure your summertime blues, then take a trip. There is the sourdough saying that if you wait for the weather you’ll never do anything in Alaska, so get out and visit all Alaska has to offer. Often, people who don’t live here make it a once in a lifetime trip to come and see the sights. We Alaskans have the opportunity to continuously explore the Great Land. Do it.

I know it is almost sacrilege to leave Alaska in the summer, but if you’ve had all the lousy weather you can handle and absolutely must have a hot, sunny break, this might be the year to do it. Book a flight and just go. In a few hours you can be somewhere far away. Alaska Airlines, of course, goes about everywhere you want to be. Then there is Condor if you want to leave the Western hemisphere and be in Germany in less time than you spend at work in a typical day. There is also JetBlue if you want a quick trip to Long Beach in sunny Southern California—five hours in the air, and in less time than it takes to get from one end of Anchorage to the other in the winter or during construction season, you could be checking out the Queen Mary, Catalina Island, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Disneyland or any of the many arts, music and dining experiences nearby. More about JetBlue in an upcoming issue exploring how this seasonal air carrier would like to be here year-round, in the meantime, enjoy July and enjoy another really great issue of Alaska Business Monthly.

—Susan Harrington, Managing Editor

This article first appeared in the July 2012 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.

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