Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Alaska - Siberia WWII Memorial

“I believe, in the future, he who holds Alaska will hold the world and I think it is the most strategic place in the world.�
Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell

Yuri Ushakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation spoke of the significance of Alaska's role in the lend lease program.

Governor Murkowski, Legislators, and Mayors looking on at the dedication ceremony.

L to R: Unknown Russian Dignitary, Karen Matthias (Consulate of Cananda), Yuri Ushakov (Ambassador of the Russian Federation), Governor of Alaka, Frank Murkowski, John Binkley, Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor - Jim Whitaker, City of Fairbanks Mayor - Steve Thompson laying the ceremonial stones at the memorial site in the Golden Heart Plaza.

During WW II Alaska played a crucial role in the allied victory. Over 8,000 U.S. warplanes were delivered to Russia through Alaska between 1942 and 1945. Fairbanks was chosen as the site that the planes were handed over to Russian pilots. The Memorial site will be in the Golden Heart Plaza and was dedicated on August 19th. For more information go to:

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Governor Jay Hammond - Tribute to a Great Alaskan

Former Governor Jay Hammond’s humor, poetry, and insight will be missed by Alaskans who were fortunate to watch him evolve from a New York minister’s son, to a Marine pilot in WWII, to an adventurer setting out for Alaska where he had trap line in the winter, and checked the traps by dog team.

He attended the University of Alaska and went to work as a government hunter for U.S. Fish and Wildlife. He left government service in 1956 and flew charter fly-ins, gave flying lessons, became a guide’s assistant, then a commercial fisherman. He was elected to the first Alaska State Legislature in 1959. He served in both the House and the Senate before becoming Governor in 1974.

When serving in the legislature, Hammond and a few other legislators, along with then Governor Keith Miller promoted the idea of investing the oil wealth money and spending only the interest to pay for government. As governor, Hammond championed the cause. Then with the help of Clem Tillion, Hammond promoted the Permanent Fund Dividend concept, got it passed through both houses of the legislature, and signed it into law.

In his autobiography, Tales of Alaska’s Bush Rat Governor, Hammond speculated, “Neither background, aspirations not concept of marl turpitude suggested I’d go into politics. As a young boy growing up in an urban parsonage, I never dreamed my trail would wend its way from a remote cabin in Alaska to the governor’s mansion.�

On August 2, 2005 Alaska lost a great man. It was an honor to know him - A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, August 20th at 2:00 P.M. at the Alaska Performing Arts Center, in Anchorage. A public reception will be held from 3:30-4:00 P.M. in the Atwood Hall.

Community Meeting - Kendall Park

This meeting is a follow up to the one held last Saturday regarding the burglaries that have been going on in the Badger Road area.
The meeting will be held at Kendall Park at 7:00 p.m., Friday, August 19th. If you have a burglary, attempted burglary, or vandalism or know of one in your neighborhood please call Joy Cook at 488-0488.


Family is a blessing and I have blessed with a wonderful wife, three grown children and three beautiful grandchildren. I wanted to share a few pictures of my twin grandsons - Alexander and Joseph.

Alexander is in blue. Joseph is in yellow.

The boys had just spent the day at the Tanana Valley State Fair and were getting sugared up on kettle corn:)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Birthday Party

On Monday evening friends gathered and threw me a birthday party. This is a picture of my wife of 30 years, Luann and me. Thankfully the interior smoke cleared just in time for the party. I had a great time and was the recipient of some wonderful gifts. For those of you that came to help me celebrate turning 55 in 2005 - Thanks!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Thieves in the Community

Approximately 50 people attended the Thief Alert Meeting held on Saturday. Captain Barrick, Commander of D Detachment headquarted in Fairbanks, and Captain John Papasodora, the Director of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation, discussed the burglary and vandalism problems of the area.

The group discussed similarities in incidences and concerns about protecting their property. There are some clues to identifying the culprits and the group will meet this Friday to further discuss forming a local branch of Volunteers in Policing, initiating a Neighborhood Watch program, and create a phone and email tree.

The meeting will be held at Kendall Park at 7:00 p.m., Friday, August 19th. If you have a burglary, attempted burglary, or vandalism or know of one in your neighborhood please call Joy Cook at 488-0488.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Meeting Boris Yeltsin

Last Tuesday I was priviledged to meet Boris Yeltsin and his wife Nadia. They were guests of Governor Frank Murkowski and a reception was held in thier honor. This is the first time that a head of state (former or present) of Russia has been in Alaska since Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Community Meeting

Due to the increased vandalism and burglaries that have occurred in the Badger Road area this summer, local activist, Joy Cook, is holding a community meeting Saturday, August 13th 2:00 P.M. at her home at 1853 Kendall Street off Badger Road (west of Garrett’s Automotive formerly Community Hardware). Representatives from the Alaska State Troopers, Senator Therriault’s Office, and my office will be there to discuss the problem. Joy hopes to get enough people to participate and provide information about their personal experiences to identify and stop those who are committing these crimes. Call Joy at 488-0488 for more information.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

North Pole Soccer

Natalie, Anita and Panika just stopped by my office - they are gathering support to try out for the olympic development team for soccer. I wish them well in their endeavors. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 08, 2005

July Constituent Meeting

The constituent meeting was a success. Around 50 people stopped by. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves. Many thanks to those of you that helped with the set up and take down of the tent. Below are a few pictures of the event.