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LT. GOVERNOR'S REPORT

Loren Leman
State of Alaska Lt. Governor

Juneau, AK
Apr. 6, 2006

HOSTING CANADIAN FRIENDS:
On Tuesday I welcomed a Canadian trade mission, including Consul to Alaska Karen Matthias, Minister Brendan Bell and members of the Legislative Assembly from the Northwest Territories at a luncheon in Anchorage. We discussed the recently completed Arctic Winter Games and the Northwest Territories' turn to host in 2008 in Yellowknife. We also talked about gold and diamond mining and the common difficulties we have of providing services to areas with low populations. The delegation was in Juneau on Monday and toured the Kenai Peninsula and North Slope later in the week to observe oil and gas development in Alaska, and its impact on Alaska Native corporations.

MAKING ALASKA SAFER:
On Wednesday afternoon I joined Governor Murkowski and members of the Legislature on the steps of the Capitol in support of SB 218. This bill, sponsored by Senators Con Bunde and Gretchen Guess, toughens penalties on sexual assault - particularly assaults against children. Alaska has an alarmingly high rate of sexual assault, and yet some of our courts have been unusually lenient with sentencing.

REAL HEROES:
Congratulations to nominees for this year’s Red Cross Real Heroes Awards presented Tuesday morning in Anchorage. I was pleased to greet many of the winners, including Jerry Ahmaogak, Albert “AJ” Driggs, and Benjamin Tagarook. These young men from Wainwright saved the life of elder Reverend Gregg Tagarook Sr. with their quick thinking in a search and rescue operation on October 31, 2005. Here is a link to this compelling story of bravery and right thinking.

WINGS OVER ALASKA:
The Alaska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol serves our State by conducting search & rescue missions, drug reduction programs, aerospace education and cadet training. The Alaska Wing was involved in 70% of all Rescue Coordination Center search & rescue missions last year. On Wednesday I met with Major Ken Nestler of the Juneau CAP to discuss their accomplishments and proposed budget. The CAP is a great investment for Alaska and I thank the many volunteers who give of their time and personal resources to help others.

THANK YOU, VOLUNTEERS!:
The Kenai Peninsula Arctic Winter Games last month were a wonderful success. On Tuesday evening I thanked those whose participation helped make it possible – the volunteers. 2800 of them worked the Games, and more than 1000 gathered at the Soldotna Sports Center to enjoy a great barbecue, delicious ice cream and short speeches – just a little thank you for a job well-done!

GONE CAMPING:
The Echo Ranch Bible Camp, located 40 miles north of downtown Juneau, offers a wonderful opportunity for youth from Southeast Alaska. On Wednesday evening I toured these facilities, assisted by Camp Director Rick Shaner and joined a statewide camping organization meeting there for dinner. I discussed how their camping services help Alaska meet some of its social service obligations to children.

ANCHORAGE ELECTION RESULTS:
Most cities and boroughs in Alaska hold their elections in October - but not Anchorage. This municipality held its election on Tuesday - and decided on a mayor, school board members and several propositions. Congratulations to all who ran. Running for office is a lot of work and we all win when ideas are thoroughly debated during a campaign.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN:
On Saturday, Great Alaskan Holidays held a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony at its new motor home location on Old Seward Highway in Anchorage. I toured this beautiful new facility before giving brief comments. This expanded Alaska-owned business is good news for visitors, Alaska residents who like to drive RVs and the employees. Thank you, owners Daryl and Elaine Bennett, for your confidence in the Alaska economy.

FAITH AND VOLUNTEERS:
The Faith-Based & Community Initiatives Advisory Council and the Alaska State Community Services Commission are teaming up to host another statewide forum on April 24, 25 in Anchorage. Exemplary volunteers will be honored, and training classes will help teach volunteers how to be more effective as well as address opportunities for people from our faith communities to participate in government grants. You can register online if you would like to attend this conference. I will be there!

BEING PREPARED II:
Last week I mentioned the importance of emergency preparedness. A helpful reader sent this additional link that is useful, www.ready.gov. It’s a federal preparedness site that provides tips on how to prepare a kit, make a plan and get further information.

FAREWELL, TOM DAHL:
Longtime Alaskan Tom Dahl, 67, died March 30, from a construction accident in Moss Point, Mississippi. A pastor, he had helped to raise funds and organize a group of volunteers from Southeast Alaska to assist in rebuilding homes damaged by last fall’s hurricanes. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Juneau. I first met Tom when he was an attorney in private practice and I was a much younger engineer - we worked in the same office building. Carolyn and I offer our condolences to Tom's wife, Gail, their children and grandchildren.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
On Sunday I will be joining the Juneau community for a welcome home ceremony for members of the Alaska Army National Guard. Visit my website for RSVP information.


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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