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LT. GOVERNOR'S REPORT
State of Alaska Lt. Governor
Mar. 9, 2006
GAMES RELEASE SPIRIT:
After three years of planning, fundraising,
construction and coordination, the Kenai Peninsula Arctic Winter Games
began on Sunday with a spectacular opening ceremony, capped by the
lighting of the cauldron by Alaskan Olympic bronze medalist Rosie
Fletcher. I am proud of our Kenai Peninsula hosts as well as the 380
athletes who comprise Team Alaska. My family and I watched volleyball,
basketball, badminton, table tennis and snowshoe racing between my
Monday morning meeting with government leaders and an evening awards
presentation by the AWG International Committee. The Games are a great
display of international cooperation, living up to their 2006 theme:
Release the Spirit Within.
GOING TO THE DOGS:
The dogs stayed outside and mushers were the
celebrities at the Iditarod kick-off banquet last Thursday evening at
the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Carolyn and I sat with longtime
friend and AOGCC Commissioner John Norman, who honored artist Bill
Devine with the Founders Award. Saturday morning, Carolyn, our
daughters and I were on a packed 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage for
the ceremonial start of this year’s race. You can get race updates at
A CHALLENGE MET:
97 graduates of the Alaska Military Youth Academy
tossed their hats Thursday at the conclusion of graduation at Buckner
Physical Fitness Center on Fort Richardson. More than five months of
training in a rigorous military environment had a positive effect on
these at-risk students. I enjoyed congratulating and encouraging the
graduates, who heard inspiring messages from Brig. Gen. (ret.) George
Cannelos and Adj. Gen. Craig Campbell. The United Service
Organizations (USO) recently recognized the Academy for helping develop
BY THE NUMBERS:
At the MATHCOUNTS statewide competition at Romig
Middle School in Anchorage on Saturday, students put their math and
reasoning skills to the test. I tried matching wits with some of the
brightest 6th to 8th graders in our State in the final challenge
rounds! Before distributing awards I shared a few words with the
competitors, encouraging them to keep math fun and be role models for
other students. Congratulations to Romig, Goldenview, Dzantik’i Heeni,
and Gruening Middle Schools for finishing first through fourth.
CARING FOR KIDS:
We have tremendous challenges in Alaska, as
elsewhere, with young adults who believe no one cares for them. Young
Life is an organization working to help these young people by bringing
caring adults into their world. Carolyn and I heard an update on their
activities in Alaska at a banquet Tuesday evening. It was a great
opportunity for me to encourage them in their mentoring of young
adults. This effort is another example of how we can together
encourage and support young people through sometimes difficult years.
BEST OF THE BLUE:
The best and the brightest of the 11th Air Force
were in the spotlight at an awards ceremony last Friday night on
Elmendorf AFB. The Airman of the Year is SrA Jenny Tull; NCO of the
Year is SSgt Dana Brossard; SNCO of the Year is MSgt Michael Bridges;
1Sgt of the Year is MSgt George Walsh; and CGO of the Year is Cpt Adam
Roberts. Congratulations to all 15 nominees!
Voters’ personal information will be better protected
thanks to a new law requiring absentee ballot request forms to be
pre-approved and returned directly to the Division of Elections when
completed. I suggested these changes to fix a problem that surfaced in
the 2004 election. Senator Gene Therriault sponsored the legislation,
and on Monday, Governor Murkowski signed Senate Bill 36 into law.
TAKING THE INITIATIVE:
On Monday I certified two initiatives that met
the requirements for signatures. The first is a 90-day session limit;
and the second a gas reserves tax. Both will appear on the General
Election ballot in November unless the Legislature enacts laws that are
The deadline for applying for your PFD is the end
of this month! Apply online.
FAREWELL VI REDINGTON:
A woman some have called “the mother of the
Iditarod” succumbed to cancer and died on Saturday while watching the
ceremonial start of the race she loved. Joe and Vi Redington will
always be known for their support of the Iditarod and love of Alaska.
They were a joy to know.
The Arctic Winter Games continue through Saturday in
Homer, Kenai, Soldotna, Seward and Girdwood. On Saturday morning I
will be joining Governor Murkowski at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast,
held at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. Call 566-1916 if you need
tickets. Next week I will be in Fairbanks and Juneau.
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.