Remember back to Septembers of grade school past, when you were tasked to write the inevitable “What I did last summer” essay? Well, 82-year old Wally Funk has a whopper of a tale to tell this year. On the morning of July 20 ,Wally and her fellow crew of intrepid space travelers – billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen took off on the flight of a lifetime. Wally, an “honored guest” on the trip, trained to be an astronaut in the 1960s, but was turned down for a space flight because she was a woman. With this trip, she not only broke through that glass ceiling but became the oldest person to fly into space – and Oliver became the youngest. Bookends for a whole new chapter in the ongoing saga of the wild blue yonder.
Pioneers in their own right, the men and women who launched skyward aboard the Blue Origin New Shepard, and those on Sir Richard Branson’s six-person July 11 Virgin Galactic Unity excursion, were excited beyond words. A journey undertaken with indominable heart, mind, and spirit. Talk about a blue sky moment!
In this month’s Power Question, we asked a sampling of executives for their impressions of those ‘tourist’ flights and whether they’d be buying a ticket to space in the future. Their perspectives are both fun and fascinating.
But there is also much to be said for our own fabulous earthbound destinations… as you’ll discover in this month’s edition of Business View Civil & Municipal. We travel to 15 communities throughout Canada and the U.S. that highlight exactly what is it to take charge of your own destiny and make the world around you a better place.
In Niagara Falls, New York, the famous water feature is just one aspect of the city’s popularity, and the Towns of Riverhead and Ballston are creating their own special draws to the Empire State. Kansas City, Kansas is organizing a large-scale transformation that includes new housing, added jobs, and an overhaul of the way the city handles its workforce.
Economic development is definitely looking up in the oasis that is Maricopa, Arizona, as it is in Deming and Sunland Park New Mexico – where the sun is always shining. Independence County (Arkansas) and Harrison County (Ohio) are banking on strong, well-planned growth, while Kalamazoo, Michigan emphasizes all things education to drive its future. And Thibodaux, Louisiana never fails to charm with its welcoming southern hospitality.
North of the border, Canada extends its own welcome mat to industry and new residents. Starting out west in beautiful Cypress County, we travel east through the friendly Rural Municipality of St. Andrews, Manitoba, and on to tour two of Ontario’s treasures – Peterborough and Brockton. No matter the geographic locale, it’s the determination and spirit of the people that are the true wealth of all these communities.
Everywhere, there is much good news on the horizon, my friends… enjoy the read!