THE ELECTION IS OVER. FINALLY:
Congratulations to President Bush, Senator Murkowski, Congressman Young, their opponents and the candidates in all of the legislative races. Thank you for being part of something special by exercising your right to vote. Living in a representative democracy, we can all proclaim ourselves winners, regardless of whose candidate or issue won. We voted, results were announced and civility prevailed. Here in Alaska several voting records were set and the election was conducted smoothly. Our Division of Elections and the 3,500 people who helped conduct the election deserve our appreciation.
I’d like to hear about your voting experience. How long was your wait? Were the poll workers friendly and efficient? I visited some of the polling places, but obviously could not get to all 439 on Election Day! Please email me a note and in the message tell me where you voted.
CAMAI TO AFN CONVENTION:
Last week I spoke twice to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage. At the opening session I followed a beautiful invocation by 96-year old Dr. Walter Soboleff of Tenakee Springs and comments by Governor Murkowski when I spoke on the importance of “Voting Our Values.” On Saturday morning Jeff Staser and I briefed the Convention on the mission of the Denali Commission and an update on projects. Later that evening Carolyn and I attended the closing banquet and enjoyed one of the best Native song and dance troupes we have ever seen, Ergyron from Chukotna, Russia.
During the Convention Governor Murkowski announced how the State will join with regional Native corporations on projects to lower the cost of energy and build sustainable infrastructure in rural Alaska. These will provide economic opportunities for residents. The Denali Commission has been working on these types of projects for some time and will be an important part of this initiative.
On Saturday I took a few minutes off from election arrangements and other events to toss the coin before the start of the annual Shriners’ North-South football game. This game featured all-stars from the recently completed season. Also attending was my friend and predecessor, former Lieutenant Governor, Senator and Alaska Constitutional Convention delegate Jack Coghill of Nenana. Jack is a constitutional “purist” and we had a good discussion.
Yesterday I taped a one-hour program with Mary Hughes, host of the radio program, Profile Alaska. This will air on KBYR (AM 700) on Friday and Saturday mornings. We discussed how the election was conducted in Alaska—and results from it. Listen in if you have a chance. Mary is an entertaining and thoughtful host.
SENTINELS OF SAFETY:
Congratulations to Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska for winning the 2003 “Sentinels of Safety” Award from the U.S. Department of Labor for being the safest underground mine in the country. My chief of staff Annette Kreitzer delivered my congratulations at their celebration of this award in Juneau last Sunday.
IN OTHER MINING NEWS:
I met old friends and made new ones at the Alaska Miners Association annual meeting today. Guests and speakers came from as far away as Australia. In a follow-up meeting I participated in a discussion on recruiting and preparing Alaskans for jobs in the mining industry. I also met today with Northern Dynasty, the developers of the proposed Pebble Mine project near Iliamna.
Alaska State Troopers wrapped up their special October bootlegging interdiction program last week. "We consider the program to have been a success," said Sgt. Tony April, supervisor of WAANT (Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team). During the program, timed during release of Permanent Fund Dividends on October 13, Troopers seized nearly $87,000 worth of drugs and alcohol bound for local option areas. Drugs and alcohol moving in and out of Nome, Bethel and Kotzebue were targeted by this year's campaign.
This evening I speak to the Associated Builders and Contractors annual meeting at the 4th Avenue Theater in Anchorage on election results and their impact on Alaska. Tomorrow I will be in White Mountain and Golovin for the opening of their new health clinics. I will also visit the Division of Elections office in Nome, which was flooded during recent storms. On Saturday Carolyn and I will honor the Marine Corps, visit with the Associated General Contractors, attend a Boy Scout auction, and recognize Alaska’s Emergency Medical Services personnel at their awards banquet. On Sunday I will attend the memorial service in Juneau for former Senator Bob Palmer. Next Wednesday I will be in Fairbanks to speak to the Alaska Municipal League and on Thursday will attend Veterans’ Day events at Fort Richardson.
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.