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An Expat Talks about Living in Sutton , Alaska

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Sutton

How long have you lived there?

20+ years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Being retired it is a little harder to meet people now, especially because we spend winters in Costa Rica. However there is a wonderful garden club in Wasilla that meets once a month. Sutton is very small and rural. The air is fresh, the summers are warmer than Anchorage (60 miles SW of us) and the winters are 10 degrees colder. There are about 500 people in the Sutton area. Over the years I have thanked my lucky stars many times for this beautiful place. If you are political in nature, Alaska is a place where you can make a difference.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

There is an Alaskan Native community here. They have "special movie" nights now and then and encourage everybody to attend. A nice social evening. We have a church and small retirement home, next to the church. Our Municipal and National elections take place in the retirement home.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Many many years ago there was an active coal mine here. As long as we have been here, there has been talk of it reopening. We have a post office, library, two small grocery/restaurants, a bar, a grade school and a fire department. High School students are bussed to Palmer 20 miles away.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

We are primarily country folk, some trappers, many people drive 20 miles or more to work. It is a wonderful place to raise children. The kids learn to improvise. They know it is better to miss the school bus than try passing by a moose on their way to the bus. Some of us are environmentalists, some are not. We all love nature and natural wilderness.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Be prepared for winter. Always have an alternative energy source for heat. Neighbors will all pitch in if the power goes off, but you need to be self reliant here. It is 19 miles to the nearest town with major serviecs.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Jul 27, 2011 07:50

It has been many years since I lived in Alaska, but it remains one of the favorite places I have ever lived. Those who enjoy it most are independent, enjoy the outdoors and wildlife, and are not afraid of hard work. In exchange you can still find areas where you live off the land, enjoy the expereince of others, and can forget about what is going on in the world at large. Nothing better than winter time when the skies come alive with the Northern Lights

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