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LT. GOVERNOR'S REPORT

Loren Leman
State of Alaska Lt. Governor

Juneau, AK
Mar. 2, 2006

STRYKER LOSS:
Army Specialist Joshua Pearce was killed and three of his fellow soldiers wounded during patrol operations in Mosul, Iraq on Sunday. All four soldiers are from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, assembled and trained at Fort Wainwright. Spc. Pearce, 21, from Guymon, Oklahoma, was a fire support specialist who joined the Army in August 2003. Carolyn and I offer our condolences to his family and friends and are again reminded of the price of freedom. The 172nd Stryker Brigade has suffered numerous casualties recently and our thoughts and prayers are with these brave soldiers from Fort Wainwright. They have served with great distinction while deployed in Iraq.

PROTECTING OUR HIGH SEAS:
If the Olympic Games bring out the competitive spirit of nations, illegal fishing brings out the spirit of cooperation. This week the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) held its Enforcement Symposium in Juneau. This meeting gave Enforcement Committee members from Canada, Japan, Korea, Russia and the U.S. an opportunity to discuss the challenges of enforcement in the North Pacific. On Tuesday morning, I welcomed the Commission to Juneau and discussed Alaska’s fishery management history.

INDEPENDENT INTEREST:
Oil companies, including several so-called independents, showed their enthusiasm yesterday with more than $31 million generated from areawide lease sales on Alaska's North Slope and nearshore waters of the Beaufort Sea. This is good news for Alaska, because it shows we continue to be competitive in attracting oil and gas investment. This sale is particularly gratifying to me because I worked hard, along with Rep. Norman Rokeberg and other legislators, to allow for areawide leasing when I was in the Legislature.

SALUTE TO THE MILITARY:
An annual highlight for Carolyn and me is the Salute to the Military dinner in Anchorage. Last Friday’s event, attended by a packed house of 700 people, included remarks by Air Force Chief of Staff General Michael Moseley and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, and recognition of high-achieving service men and women from all branches of our military. Special thanks to the Armed Services YMCA which organized the dinner; this year’s chairman, former Representative Eldon Mulder; the many generous sponsors; and, of course, the fine men and women of our military.

UFFDA FOR UFA:
I met with the United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) Board of Directors in Juneau yesterday to discuss health of fish stocks, State management, marketing of new and improved seafood products, improvements to transportation to reach markets and the adverse effects of fish farming. UFA President Bob Thorstenson, Jr. introduced me and moderated a question and answer session following my opening comments. Ensuring that Alaska fishermen continue to have opportunities is one of my highest priorities.

APPLAUDING HERITAGE:
February was Black History Month and Fairview Elementary School in Anchorage celebrated America's rich heritage by studying great historical leaders, including Alaska Native leaders, and inviting speakers to visit with their student body. I spoke to their 6th grade classes about community service and gave them advice on how to continue on the path to success. They were an insightful and bright group and I believe future community and State leaders will come from their school.

ACTING ON FAITH:
On Wednesday I met with the Faith-Based & Community Initiatives Advisory Council in Juneau. We heard by teleconference from Stanley Carlson-Thies, of the Center for Public Justice; and Jen Sullivan, representing the White House Office of FBCI. Both acknowledged that Alaska is a leader in the effort to engage our faith and other volunteer communities collaboratively with government to meet the needs of people. The Advisory Council also discussed proposed legislation and budget action that affect Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, reviewed the annual report and worked on plans for a second statewide conference in April.

FAREWELL BRENDAN SMART:
Tragedy struck close to home on Tuesday when Anchorage resident Brendan Smart, 24, was buried by an avalanche while snowboarding on Marmot Mountain in Hatcher Pass. Brendan, a 1999 graduate of the Alaska Military Youth Academy, recently completed four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served in Japan and more recently in Iraq. Carolyn and I are thankful for his service to our country and have offered our support to his mother, Brenda Smart, a good friend.

FAREWELL JIM ARNESS:
I joined many friends and family at Kenai’s Merit Inn on Monday to honor the life of longtime Alaskan James V. “Jim” Arness. From running a supply boat in the Aleutians during World War II, building Arness Terminal at Nikiski, supporting youth athletics, serving on the Borough Assembly, to fishing in Cook Inlet, Jim Arness was a doer. The Arness and Leman families have been longtime friends. Carolyn and I join my parents, Nick and Marian Leman, in offering condolences to his widow Peggy, sons Jim and Joe, and their extended family.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
I will be participating in the Iditarod race banquet and its start activities; an 11th Air Force award ceremony; a MathCounts statewide competition; and numerous events for the Arctic Winter Games on the Kenai Peninsula during the next several days.


Please share this report with interested friends and family. To subscribe or unsubscribe please visit the subscription page . If you have questions or comments please email me at Lt_Governor@gov.state.ak.us You can also reach me at (907) 465-3520 or 269-7460, or write to: Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman, PO Box 110015, Juneau, AK 99811-0015. Visit my web site: ltgov.state.ak.us.

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