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LT. GOVERNOR'S REPORT

Loren Leman
State of Alaska Lt. Governor

Juneau, AK
Mar. 30, 2006

ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS:
The 2006 Pacific Rim Forum is underway this week in Juneau on the University of Southeast Alaska campus. The Forum features a diverse group of speakers to discuss energy and environmental trends, past and present. The title of my speech today was A Reasoned Response to Environmental Challenges. I believe each environmental concern can be met through consideration of alternatives, good design and rigorous enforcement of Alaska’s tough environmental standards.

PRESERVING OUR HISTORY:
“A nation that forgets its past has no future.” -- Winston Churchill. The Alaska Historical Commission, which I chair, is meeting in Juneau today and tomorrow. Among the items we are considering are review of proposed names for geographic features and nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. Last Thursday, I attended a meeting of the Friends of the Jesse Lee Home in Anchorage. This group project is seeking to restore the building that housed the orphanage in Seward where Benny Benson, the designer of Alaska’s flag, lived.

CANADIAN NEIGHBORS:
On Tuesday, members of a Canadian delegation were in Anchorage to discuss cross-border relationships for major projects. I met with Governor Murkowski, Premier Ralph Klein of Alberta, Premier Dennis Fentie of the Yukon Territory and others to discuss gas and transportation projects. We agreed that continued collaboration is essential.

NEWS FOR VOTERS:
The Municipality of Anchorage election is Tuesday, April 4. If you are a registered voter in Anchorage, I encourage you to participate. Early voting stations are available. Call the Municipal Clerk at 343-4311 if you need further information.

The State Division of Elections, using Help America Vote Act federal funds to improve voter outreach, has opened satellite offices in Kenai and Wasilla. These offices will serve Alaska’s voters in the fastest growing areas of the State and will function as the current regional offices do – registering Alaskans to vote, accepting petitions, accepting candidacy filings and helping voters become registrars. For more information contact the Kenai office at 283-3805, or the Wasilla office at 373-8952.

The State of Louisiana is seeking help contacting their residents displaced by hurricanes. If you know someone who has temporarily relocated to Alaska, please suggest they contact the Louisiana Secretary of State to participate in the upcoming Orleans Parish elections. Elections postponed in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will be held April 22 and May 20. Further information can be found on my website.

SALUTING A LEGEND:
On Tuesday, a bust of Robert B. Atwood was unveiled in the lobby of the Anchorage office building named for him. Atwood was Publisher of the Anchorage Times for more than fifty years. Bob Atwood and his wife, Evangeline, were huge contributors to Alaska. I first met Bob when I was a senior in high school and we became friends during his later years. He was a fascinating and brilliant man. Located at 550 West Seventh Avenue in Anchorage, the Robert B. Atwood building is home to numerous State offices and other organizations.

THE LAST LAUGH:
On Monday the State observed Seward’s Day, in honor of Secretary of State William Henry Seward’s role in the purchase of Russia’s interest in Alaska. After discussing it for several years, on March 30, 1867 the United States finally sealed the deal for $7.2 million, two cents an acre. Critics of the purchase underestimated the tenacity of Alaskans. From hardy indigenous Alaskans, Russian promyshlenniki and gold miners to today’s fishermen, construction workers and oil rig operators, Alaska’s call of the wild has never grown thin.

BEING PREPARED:
Monday also marked the anniversary of the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964 – a devastating and historic event that changed parts of Alaska forever. The State continues to test its own warning system and response capabilities. However, local people are always on the front line of any response. The tsunami warning test sent statewide yesterday was another reminder to check our own emergency preparedness.

MORE HOOPS:
The State high school basketball tournaments wrapped up last week and as usual the games were highly entertaining and competitive. The Gold Medal basketball tournament in Juneau this week brings together players and families from all over Southeast Alaska for what amounts to a huge reunion interspersed with highly competitive basketball.


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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