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May: A Month of Great Change!


Happy month of May, the time of year when Persephone, spring goddess of Greek mythology, has managed to hike up from the southern climes to bless our land. This is the month when the Alaska landscape (finally) heralds the promise of spring with the scent of cottonwood buds and the fast transition of the birch trees from bare to light green, exhibiting their full foliage by month’s end. A month of such great change! Sun’s up, school’s out, central heating is turned down or completely off, and the dogs are grilling on the barbecue. Welcome spring!

But as long-term Alaskans will tell you, we are advised not to plant our annuals until Memorial Day—that is, if you don’t have out of town plans like most Alaskans do. Many of us try to sneak those things in the ground the weekend before and cross our fingers. After all, the promise of spring does not include the promise that the temperatures won’t dip below freezing—or that it will not snow.

But it does include the promise of our annual Small Business special section—and this year we salute Doug Coon and Justin Herrin, SBA’s Alaska Small Business Persons of the Year and co-owners of Anchorage-based Young’s Gear. Join us in congratulating these gentlemen for their drive and ambition—and drivetrains!

We also salute the oil and gas industry in our annual Oil & Gas special section—with several articles of interest, including reminding everyone the 12 billionth barrel of oil went down the trans-Alaska oil pipeline a few short months ago. We went to press not knowing the outcome of the first session of the 28th Legislature, but there was change in the air at the Capitol in early April.

This issue, we have articles about the changing face of a gravel pit, new ways to change bad habits, and changes in the devices used to do business. Like we said earlier: A month of such great change! Next month we’re changing our style. Readers might notice in June a change in our editing when we stop using the ever-changing AP Style Manual and start using the more literary Chicago Manual of Style. Let us know what you think.

This month, don’t forget your fuchsias at the greenhouse; and on Memorial Day, remember those who died in the service of our country—fly the Flag, display flowers, decorate the graves of soldiers, and observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time that day, wherever you are. Don’t know what that is? Join in the collective consciousness of the United States for the minute beginning at 3 p.m., and remember the men and women in service to the U.S. who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom and peace. That is what Memorial Day is all about.

Many people want Congress to change the observance of Memorial Day back to May 30, the date of the original 1868 General Order No. 11 proclaimed by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, when the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers were decorated with flowers at Arlington National Cemetery. Keeping the three-day weekend, Congress instead promised to make people more aware of the true meaning with a commission and a moment. Spread the word.

Alas, if only those promises of Zeus (god of politics, amongst other things) and Hermes (god of business, as well as the technology that relays messages) were as reliable as Persephone’s annual release from the underworld, there would be little to talk about, wouldn’t there? Enjoy the May issue, the team has put together another really great magazine.


—Susan Harrington, Managing Editor

This originally appeared in the May 2013 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.
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