HOLDING COURT IN HOMER:
Last Friday morning I joined Supreme Court Chief Justice Alex Bryner, State Troopers Director Col. Julia Grimes and Homer Mayor Jim Hornaday at the State Youth Court Conference at Homer High School. I enjoyed teaching a workshop on Executive Branch powers and responsibilities. Many young Alaskans are participating in this worthy program to help the Department of Health & Social Services cope with juvenile crime and in so doing help redirect their peers toward a better future.
Later on Friday I traveled to Cordova for the 11th annual Sobriety Celebration, organized by Belen and Joe Cook of the Native Village of Eyak. The program included beautiful Native dancing, testimonials, encouraging words from people who have overcome the bondage and devastation of alcohol abuse, and reading of a proclamation from the Governor.
HELP IS ON THE WAY:
On Tuesday Governor Murkowski announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had approved Alaska’s request for federal disaster funds to help Western and Northwest Alaska clean up and rebuild after October’s severe storms. I recently toured sites in and near Nome that were damaged by the storms. In some areas, full roadway sections have been destroyed and must be temporarily rebuilt before the full onset of winter.
Congratulations to Jean Ward, a kindergarten teacher at Chugach Optional School in Anchorage, on being selected for a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. One hundred teachers from around the United States are selected for the award each year. In addition to a $25,000 award, recipients receive opportunities for professional development and a trip to a national education conference. Congratulations also to Ronnie Stanford, a music teacher from Barrow who was recently named as Alaska’s Teacher-of-the-Year. Mr. Stanford will represent Alaska in the national competition in April 2005. In 1995 Alaska’s entry, Elaine Griffin from Kodiak, was selected as National Teacher-of-the-Year.
I brought greetings and provided Alaska resource information at the awards ceremony of the annual conference of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) on Saturday evening at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. More than 1700 people from Alaska and many other states participated in this conference. Richard Glenn from Barrow was presented with the prestigious Professional of the Year Award, and several Alaska Native students were recognized for their superior achievements. I also note that President Bush has proclaimed November “National American Indian Heritage Month.”
On Monday I chaired the meeting of the Alaska Historical Commission at which we recommended naming Mt. Jimmy Dolittle near Cordova and Nolfi Cove in Big Lake; added several nominated sites to the National Register of Historic Places, including X’unáxi, a traditional cultural property in the Juneau vicinity; and allocated Certified Local Government grant awards to assist in the preservation of historic properties. Additionally, the Commission reaffirmed its support for the proposed regulatory change by the State Board of Education to require the teaching of one semester of Alaska history and cultural studies for high school students. I learned about Alaska’s history from Emma McCune, one of my best high school teachers in Ninilchik, and have long supported teaching it to Alaska’s students.
Today I joined DNR Commissioner Tom Irwin at the Resource Development Council annual meeting in Anchorage to discuss our Administration’s resource initiatives. Opportunities in several economic sectors look very promising, especially in oil & gas and mining.
GROWING OUR OWN:
On Wednesday I participated in our statewide meeting as a member of the Alaska Workforce Investment Board. This board helps coordinate workforce development programs and grants, primarily through the Department of Labor & Workforce Development and the Denali Commission. I was especially impressed by the presentations on the Youth Opportunity Programs in several communities in Alaska. Welcome to AWIB's new executive director, Mona McAleese, and new Board members M.J. Longley, Don Brandon, Mayfield Evans, and DCCED designee Michael Black.
I will join UAA students as their keynote speaker for their Golden Key Club induction ceremony Saturday. Then on Sunday, I will be in Fairbanks for Top of the World basketball tournament awards and to cheer on local favorite UAF. I also plan to attend some of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage next week with my family. I wish you a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
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.