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LT. GOVERNOR'S REPORT

Loren Leman
State of Alaska Lt. Governor

Juneau, AK
Feb. 2, 2006

ALASKANS MOURN:
Memorials were held this past weekend for airmen and soldiers killed while serving in Iraq. On Friday, Technical Sergeant Jason Norton and Staff Sergeant Brian McElroy were remembered at a service on Elmendorf AFB and also in Iraq. Sunday, mourners gathered at the Performing Arts Center to pay tribute to First Lieutenant Jaime Campbell, Chief Warrant Officer Four Chester Troxel, Specialist Michael Edwards and Specialist Jacob Melson. Both services were certainly emotional and heartbreaking, but they were also uplifting. These patriots served our country proudly. It was an honor to meet their families and to share in their memories.

HISTORIC AUTHORS:
Monday, February 6, marks 50 years since the Alaska Constitutional Convention adjourned. The delegates had a vision for Alaska and worked diligently and efficiently to make it a reality. The result is a vibrant document. Alaska voters have amended the Constitution 28 times. I believe the most important principle in our Constitution is Article I, Section 2: “All political power is inherent in the people. All government originates with the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the people as a whole.” Beginning tomorrow, the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be hosting several events to commemorate this milestone in our State’s history. Be sure to visit Creating Alaska for much more information on the quest for Statehood.

ALITO IS IN:
Judge Samuel Alito was sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice on Tuesday. Earlier in the day the Senate confirmed him by a vote of 58-42. Alito became the 110th member of the Supreme Court, replacing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. President Bush said, "Sam Alito is a brilliant and fair-minded judge who strictly interprets the Constitution and laws and does not legislate from the bench. He is a man of deep character and integrity, and he will make all Americans proud as a justice on our highest court." I applaud President Bush for this fine appointment and both of our Senators for voting to confirm him.

CELEBRATE AND REMEMBER:
February is Black History Month – a time to reflect on the contributions of African-Americans and celebrate all of our history. This year we also remember the life of Coretta Scott King, who died on Monday, at age 78. King was a civil rights activist and the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She showed determination and resolve in the face of bigotry and hatred – never wavering from her vision of equality for all. America has lost a cherished citizen.

SEEING STARS:
Every year the Alaska Hotel and Lodging Association recognizes employees, properties and businesses that best symbolize the highest quality service of their industry. The Stars of the Industry Awards highlight outstanding or unusual service to the property, guests, customers or community. On Saturday evening I joined Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development Commissioner Bill Noll in presenting awards to the “Stars” at the downtown Anchorage Marriott Hotel. Congratulations to all the nominees and best wishes for your continued success!

FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE:
Pastor Mark Ainsworth welcomed more than 100 participants to the annual Church of God Statewide Youth Conference in Anchorage last weekend. On Sunday I had the opportunity to speak to these young people who traveled from all over Alaska. The Conference offers these youth the chance to discuss their futures while addressing the challenges of the present. I talked with them about personal decisions – committing to being more than a spectator of life – being full-time citizens.

A CAREER OF CARING:
Saturday night Bert McQueen was honored for 25 years of service as a Police and Fire Chaplain in the State of Alaska. He was given a vision for this program in the early 1980's and through his dedication and service to God he has helped to facilitate a tremendous program ministering to thousands of Alaskans in some of their most anguished moments. I commend him for his service.

HEALTHY HEARTS:
February is also American Heart Month – reminding us that “cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation's No. 1 killer.” Heart disease is also the number one killer of women, and tomorrow is Go Red for Women Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association. Show support for the women in your life and wear something red tomorrow.

CROWNED IN COURT:
Carolyn and I enjoyed watching our youngest daughter, Nicole, debut as her school’s freshman class Homecoming Princess last weekend. The entire Homecoming Court was decked out superbly. It seems like just yesterday when Nicole was sitting in my lap as I read stories to her. Like many parents, I wonder where the time has gone!

SUPER SEAHAWKS:
Alaskans who are fans of professional football have never had a team to call their own. Many have chosen the closest team geographically, the Seattle Seahawks. This has been an exciting year for the Seahawks! Sunday’s Super Bowl game has been a long time coming. Please be careful on the roadways this weekend and don’t drink and drive. The Alaska State Troopers say that officers with the Anchorage, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau, Kenai, Kodiak, Palmer, Sitka, and Wasilla police departments, as well as troopers throughout Alaska will have additional DUI patrols that afternoon.


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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