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Thursday evening, 15 women will be inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Anchorage. The recognition of women’s contributions to the state started in 2008 during the 50th anniversary of statehood.
Former Anchorage Assembly chair and prior year inductee Jane Angvik is on the steering committee. She says women from several service organizations decided the statehood celebration was a good time to honor great Alaskan women.
“How do we make sure that we find the women who have made a difference in Alaska in any field, in any community activities or who made a difference statewide or impacted the nation, from Alaska,” Angvik said.
This is the fifth year of recognizing those contributions. There are 15 women being inducted Thursday evening bringing the total to 110. One of the inductees is Judge Karen Hunt. Judge Hunt was the first female superior court judge appointed in Anchorage in 1984. She was a teacher in Los Angeles schools but decided to go to law school in the 60s. She says things have changed dramatically from the time when the big issue was whether women could work in a private firm.
“Pretty much the federal government was hiring, the state government was hiring and so the entry for many women into the practice of law was in government agencies. But trying to get a job in a private firm, in which you would face the responsibility of meeting face to face with clients was a hurdle that women lawyers were having trouble getting over,” Hunt said.
Judge Hunt was appointed by Governor Bill Sheffield. After years of being a trial attorney, she says the first day she entered court as a judge and everyone stood up. She turned around to see who was behind her and then, embarrassed, realized she was the reason they were standing. She says being inducted into the hall of fame is humbling.
“I have a little trouble thinking that I belong in that group, but I have to tell you that I’m extraordinarily pleased to have been considered and included. It’s, it’s quite humbling,” Hunt said.
Marie Nash is another inductee this year. She is of Aleut and Japanese descent and was born in a Japanese internment camp during World War Two. After college, Nash first worked for Alaska Congressman Howard Pollack. She went on to spend 20 years working for Senator Ted Stevens.
Nash also served on the Bristol Bay Native Association board for more than a decade. From her early beginnings as an American whose rights were stripped because of her heritage to working for a powerful U.S. Senator, Marie Nash is happy to be inducted.
“Well I was surprised and like Judge Hunt, very humbled,” Nash said.
The Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Thursday evening at 6 p.m., at the Wilda Marston Theater, in the Loussac Library in Anchorage.
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Broadcaster: Margaret Friedenauer
More wolves in the area this year?; West Creek surveys due Thursday; the Empty Chair Project.
Local News for Feb. 27, 2013
New Lynn Canal shuttle ferries to be built in Ketchikan will be 280 feet long, seat about 300 passengers and operate no more than 12 hours a day.
Part, but not all, of the car deck may be open. And the ships will have no staterooms or crew quarters.
That’s according to a draft design-concept report prepared for the Alaska Marine Highway System by Anchorage-based Coastwise Corporation. The state plans to have Ketchikan’s Alaska Ship and Drydock build the vessels, though another facility could be selected.
Officials say it’s one of several steps in the design process for what’s being called the Day Boat-Alaska Class Ferry. The shuttle plan replaces an earlier Alaska Class design that called for a larger vessel that could sail longer routes.
Deputy Transportation Commissioner Reuben Yost says amenities will be limited, including food service.
“What we envision at this point of time is vending machines. So it would be similar to what we have on the fast ferries, in terms of amenities. So there won’t be a cafeteria, there won’t be cooked for but there will be food in machines and drinks in machines most likely,” Yost says.
Hulls and decks will be configured so vehicles can drive in one end and out the other, for quicker loading and unloading.
Yost says the ships could carry 53 large vehicles, but not all would be under cover.
“Essentially the vehicle space for the last 15 vehicles, if the car deck was full, would be in an area that we’re saying potentially could have an open roof,” he says.
Yost says high walls and other design elements will protect against ocean spray. He also says the vehicle deck is usually not full in winter months when wind and waves are at their worst.
Marine Highway General Manager John Falvey says the ships will be designed for Lynn Canal’s harsh conditions. For example, they’ll lack sponsons, which project from the side of the hull.
“It will not have the sponsons forward, which eliminates a lot of the slamming and potentially a very flared … bow which will deflect the spray. We feel that a vessel of these characteristics will have very good sea-keeping ability,” Falvey says.
They would be built to sail at an average speed of 15-and-a-half knots. That’s about the same as other ships in the fleet, except the fast ferries.
The design document estimates the final design could be completed by next November. And officials hope to keep costs within the $117 million put aside by the state.
Falvey says plans are to build two identical vessels.
“The shipyard is, in essence, lofted up and tooled up as far as their particular class of vessel that they’re building. You can throw a lessons learned and experience factor into the second vessel. There are actually many savings we will be able to see on the second vessel if we are able to sign a two-ship contract with the shipyard,” he says.
The draft plan was presented to the Marine Transportation Advisory Board Wednesday, Feb. 27, and will go before the House and Senate Transportation Committees Thursday, Feb. 28.
Opportunities for public comment will come later in the process.
Calling it a “cookie-cutter” approach that is “stifling the Southeast Alaska economy,” Alaska’s two senators are co-sponsoring legislation to repeal the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
The Tongass National Forest for a time was exempt from the rule, but a 2011 federal court ruling threw out that exemption.
In a recent news release, Alaska’s Democratic Sen. Mark Begich says that Southeast Alaska needs options to strengthen the region’s economy through resource development. That includes potential mining projects on Prince of Wales Island, and timber sales.
The Roadless Rule prohibits new roads and timber harvest in inventoried roadless areas of national forests, including Alaska’s Tongass and Chugach forests. There are limited exceptions to the rule.
Earlier this year, Alaska’s Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced a different bill that would allow roads specifically for the two proposed Prince of Wales mines.
Broadcaster: Margaret Friedenauer
The state unveils its plan for the new shuttle ferries; an interview with Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins.
Local News for Feb. 26, 2013
Broadcaster: Margaret Friedenauer
Local News for Feb. 25, 2013