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LT. GOVERNOR'S REPORT

Loren Leman
State of Alaska Lt. Governor

Juneau, AK
Feb. 9. 2006

FALLEN SOLDIERS:
Three Fort Wainwright soldiers serving with the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Iraq were killed and another seriously injured this week in separate attacks involving improvised explosive devices. Sgt. Jeremiah Boehmer, 22, of Parkston, SD, and Staff Sgt. Christopher Morningstar, 27, of San Antonio, TX, were killed Sunday in Al Husayniyah, Iraq. Both soldiers were combat engineers assigned to the 562nd Engineer Company at Fort Wainwright. Spc. Patrick Herried, 29, of Sioux Falls, SD, died Monday near Rawah. He was a fire support specialist assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment. The name of the soldier who was injured has not yet been released. Carolyn and I offer our condolences to the family and friends of these soldiers.

I’LL SECOND THAT:
I have been with fellow Lieutenant Governors in Washington, DC this week for National Lieutenant Governor's Association meetings. We met with top advisors to President Bush on Monday and were briefed on homeland security scenarios as well as preparations for a potential avian flu pandemic. Other discussion topics have included trends in energy, steel manufacturing and the automobile industries. I have promoted Alaska’s oil and gas resources - and the projects we are working on to bring additional resources to the U.S. market. I enjoyed my visits with Senator Murkowski, and staff to Senator Stevens and Congressman Young at their offices on Tuesday.

ALASKA’S EDGE:
If we are to improve and maintain our competitive edge, and fill jobs in engineering, aviation, space and other technologies, we must do a better job preparing and recruiting young people. Yesterday I convened a hearing of the Aerospace States Association in Washington, joined by four other Lieutenant Governors. We heard from experts on the NASA budget and on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for K-12 students. In Alaska we have the Kodiak Launch Facility, National Military Defense at Fort Greely and the Challenger Learning Center program in Kenai – all key elements in moving young Alaskans from learning to being the competitive edge. Other hearing participants included specialists and experts from the fields of science and education. I was pleased to hear President Bush talk about the importance of regaining US leadership in science and technology in his State of the Union address.

VOWING TO STRENGTHEN:
An issue I care strongly about was the subject of a panel discussion yesterday in Washington. The Family Research Council, a pro-family think tank and support organization hosted the discussion of an initiative to strengthen marriages. Distinguished panelists identified the societal cost from broken families and what will be done with a federal appropriation signed today by President Bush. Kenai Peninsula churches are already piloting a Marriage Savers project—and additional funds to Alaska will allow expansion to other areas, an exciting prospect. Divorce rates have dropped measurably where Marriage Savers projects have been established. That is good news for Alaska families.

PRAYING WITH THE PRESIDENT:
Keynote speaker for the National Prayer Breakfast was Bono, lead singer for the band U-2. More than 5,500 of us attended, including members of Congress, foreign diplomats, leaders of many religious faiths and a king. Bono talked about his spiritual journey and shared his passion for helping underprivileged people, especially those in Africa, saying, “Where you live should not determine whether you live.” President Bush talked about the importance of praying, saying, “[it] is a gift that allows us to come before our Maker with heartfelt requests and our deepest hopes….In America, we do not prescribe any prayer. We welcome all prayer.” King Abdullah of Jordan talked about the importance of Christians, Jews and Muslims working together for peace. He condemned destructive violence by radical Muslims, which he said is inconsistent with Islam.

LEADERS AND LEGENDS:
Monday, February 6, marked the birthdays of Ernest Gruening, known as the “Father of Alaska Statehood,” and Ronald Reagan, 40th President, widely known as “The Great Communicator.” I met Senator Gruening in Washington, D.C. as a high school senior and later he visited my high school in Ninilchik. A doctor, soldier, diplomat, Governor, Senator and more, his impact can be measured by the fact that February 6 is enshrined in Alaska law as “Ernest Gruening Day.” President Reagan left a legacy of freedom, increased military investment and greater optimism. He not only led a refocus of priorities in our country, but also helped free millions in other countries from the yoke of Communist oppression.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
I will be participating in several community events in Juneau, Anchorage, Wasilla, Kenai and Cordova during the next week.


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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