Finding Alaska’s Villages: And Connecting Them
Fascinating new book by Alex Hills
"Finding Alaska’s Villages: And Connecting Them," is the new book by Alex Hills about his days working in Alaska's remote places, dealing with extreme weather and rough terrain to bring communication services to small villages across our big state. It's not a technology book. It's all about the great people, some of them real characters, he knew in those days.
Courtesy of the Author
In Finding Alaska’s Villages: And Connecting Them Alex Hills tells how he traveled Alaska by bush plane and snow machine, braving extreme weather and rough terrain to bring telephone service to small villages across the big state. Alex worked in villages from Port Alexander in southeast Alaska to Kivalina and Noatak in the northwest, providing modern communication services as he went. He fell into the rhythm of life in the villages, and he met Yup’ik and Inupiaq elders, learning about their strongly held values.
Alex and his team battled the wind at Little Diomede and used some creative thinking to bring phone service to that remote village. He arrived at Little Diomede at the same time that some Inupiaq Russians appeared on the sea ice nearby.
Alex later took charge of KOTZ, Kotzebue’s new public radio station, which he shaped into a valuable information resource for the people of Alaska’s huge northwest region. At each step along the way, Alex made friends with Alaska’s village people and developed a deep respect for them.
In Finding Alaska’s Villages Alex also describes how he helped the state’s telecom pioneers bring about an innovation that would forever change rural Alaska. It took some creative technical work — and some convincing of government officials and corporate executives — to make it happen. Soon the needed telecommunication services — two-way medical communication, a phone in every house and business, and radio and television programs — were available in Alaska’s villages.
It’s a fascinating story, and it’s all in Alex’s new book, Finding Alaska’s Villages: And Connecting Them.
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