Two stories really stand out as we publish the May issue: “Alaska’s Ports, Harbors, and Docks: Integral to commerce and travel” (page 42) and “New and Improved Airport Runways: A key lifeline for rural Alaskans” (page 51). Both have the elements of transportation and construction at the forefront. Both get the point across that aviation and marine facilities are crucial to the movement of goods and people across Alaska, and although there are 4,900 miles of paved roads in the state, less than 20 percent of the communities in the state are connected by roads.
Though it’s hard to know if winter is really over this time of year, at least it’s light out, and that tells me spring is here, and with it is our annual Corporate 100 special section.
This month’s coverage of the Pacific Northwest-Alaska Connection is just the tip of the iceberg. We are going to spend the next year gathering stories to tell about this topic in the 2015 special section. I’m thinking of little vignettes, spotlights on companies that have been here for years, like Odom, Osborne, and Oles, Morrison, Rinker, and Baker. Connections with communities like Bainbridge, Bellingham, and Blaine. Investments by companies headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as well as Seattle and Portland. We’ll try to identify, locate, and quantify the goods and services, the give and take.
Right out of the gate, 2014 is looking to be a better year than 2013. Not that I’m superstitious; I’m not (usually). However, the only traffic violation I ever received, and that was more than twenty years ago, was for going thirteen miles over the speed limit, thirteen minutes after midnight, on the thirteenth of the month. Bad luck with the number thirteen? You be the judge.
I am a coal miner’s daughter and I am a coal miner’s granddaughter. I still have that in my genetic code, though by the time I was born my grandfather had gotten out of the mines and into farming and my father had served in the US Navy, gone to college, and started working for the Federal Aviation Administration. I believe my dad’s work in the mining industry is responsible for my sense of fearless adventure—his coal mining job involved dynamite and blasting caps.
The latest viral iteration of information technology is taking shape across the world—people are going mobile. Mobile is the new way of computing, condensing, connecting, and doing business. People are keeping their mobile devices near and dear, and the trend for increased use is growing at an accelerated pace. Phone calls, texts, browsing, social media, and mobile commerce all come into play through the constant use of mobile technology.
The kids went back to school in August. I looked forward to the blessed event beginning in early June, a couple of weeks after school let out for the summer. Finally, I am back on schedule and, with one kid in junior high and one kid in high school, I can just imagine the fun they are going to have and all the wonderful things they are going to learn.
We’ve had a lot of extra summer arrivals this year, and not just mosquitoes, either. People are flowing into Alaska from the rest of the United States, and the world, for that matter, like it is the place to be.
My phone died a week into May. I knew it would happen, expected its demise last August under the unwritten rule of planned obsolescence when my two-year contract was up. I started checking out all the new phones when I started getting all the notices that I was eligible for a phone upgrade, and those started coming before my contract expired, in fact.