Editor's Letter

Is it possible that we've forgotten how to enjoy the summer the way we did when we were kids? We certainly hope not. This month, we provide the ultimate how-to guide, just in case (“How to Have the Perfect Summer,” page 86). Among other things, we've sought out experts to remind (or teach) you how to dig for clams, build a championship sandcastle, make the perfect summer drink, survive a road trip with the kids, catch (and cook) a striped bass, and find a last-minute weekend rental. We'll also guide you to the best of a classic summer treat (“Ice Cream,” page 78), and show you an architect's dream house, built on a budget (“Modern Life,” page 104).

Sportscaster Bob Lobel is a Boston icon — one who has had his highly publicized personal troubles of late, including an extramarital affair. This month, Lobel tells his side of the story (“Head Games,” page 73). The multibillion-dollar overruns on the Big Dig, now crawling to completion, are well known. But one question has, surprisingly, been largely unaddressed: Where did all that money actually go (“Highway Robbery,” page 57)?

Our list of Boston's 100 most influential people (May) caused a stir, mainly because 99 of them were white. Then, days after the issue appeared, the black interim chancellor of UMass-Boston was passed over for the permanent job in favor of a well-connected white guy. This month, Cleve Killingsworth Jr. takes charge at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the first black CEO in memory to lead a major Boston corporation. That's a milestone that was achieved in other American cities decades ago. Suddenly race is back at the top of the local agenda.

We believe our power list was an accurate representation of who runs this town; even if you add the black nominees proposed by some of our critics, the lineup of Boston's most powerful people remains overwhelmingly white. “I'm angry about your list,” one black business owner told us, “and the reason I'm angry is that I think it's right.” This month we explore this topic with a thought-provoking story about what has caused — and what perpetuates — such a situation in a city that is, after all, more than 50 percent nonwhite (“The Minority Report,” page 49).

You can sign up at any time for “The Agenda,” our free weekly e-newsletter of cultural and sports events, at bostonmagazine.com. And starting now, you can subscribe for free to a second e-newsletter, “Shop Talk,” our list of retail openings, sales, and events, e-mailed every Friday — just in time for weekend shopping. — Jon Marcus, editor