Flags Lowered to Honor Alaska’s First Native Superior Court Judge

Governor Walker orders flags lowered for former Kodiak Judge Roy Madsen


Click here for a very interesting obituary and documentation of Judge Madsen’s life which on the Leisnoi Incorporated website..Maggie



State flags are flying at half-staff this week to honor the first Alaska Native to become a superior court judge.

Former Kodiak judge Roy Madsen passed away Dec. 26 at the age of 94.

Alaska is a better state because of Madsen’s service, said Governor Bill Walker in a press release. The judge led a life of service, leadership and honor, Walker said.

Madsen was born in Kanatak on the Alaska Peninsula in 1923, and his family moved to Kodiak when he was four.

Madsen served as superior court judge 15 years in the Kodiak. The court house was named in his honor in 2013.

He received degrees from Oregon State College and Lewis and Clark University and worked in the district attorney’s office in Clackamas County, Oregon.

Madsen was an active and popular Native Elder in the Kodiak community. His contributions to the state included being a member of the University of Alaska Board of as well as the first president of the Kodiak community college, which he helped establish, and where he taught business law.

Judge Madsen also worked on the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Judge Madsen held many jobs before joining the bench, including working in his father’s bear hunting camp, serving in the Navy on a Patrol Torpedo boat in World War II, as well as commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.

A community celebration of Madsen’s life is planned for this summer.



First Alaska Legislators Trekked Long Way to Juneau

Click on Link below to DOWNLOAD  The Daily Radio Show for Wed. Jan 17, 2018

TLHR First Legislators Trek to Juneau 1 of 2

Alaska legislators and staff often brag about their trip to Juneau. You know, driving at 20 below and not seeing another car all day. Or running into a stretch of whiteout where they don’t see anything past the windshield wipers.

Alaska’s First Territorial Legislature 1913. Photo courtesy Alaska Digital Archives.

But that’s nothing compared to what Alaska’s first territorial legislators went through to get to Juneau.

The first territorial legislature met in 1913. It’s said that the hardest part of the session was the trek from outlying areas to Juneau. The average lawmaker traveling more than 2500 miles round trip. While in 1913 EVERYONE would have had trouble getting into Juneau, think of the poor guys from, say, Nome who had to first get to Fairbanks, then to Anchorage, then on to Juneau.

The website akhistorycourse.org, which is a site owned by the Alaska Humanities Forum, explains it this way…

Three of the legislators-to-be left Nome by dog team in early January. They crossed Norton Sound to Unalakleet and traveled the Yukon River and then the Tanana River to Fairbanks. They covered 700 to 900 miles just to reach Fairbanks. One senator walked from roadhouse to roadhouse along the winter trail to Fairbanks. From there they went 360 miles by horse-drawn sleigh to Valdez, a journey that took a week, and caught a steamer to Juneau. They arrived the day before the Legislature began.

As you can imagine, the first legislative session didn’t begin in mid-January as it does now.

They began their work on March 3, 1913, meeting in the Elks Building. The next day, 3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as the 27th president of the United States.

Thanks to akhistorycourse.org for today’s information. It’s a great site to visit, with lots of interesting bits of Alaska trivia.




Alaska History and Cultural Studies (akhistorycourse.org) has scads of interesting information about Alaska’s history and early days of state government.


VILDA is the repository for the Alaska’s digital archives. If you go to the site, plan to be there a long time, as there are countless interesting photos, videos and mp3 audio selections.



September is Emergency Preparedness Month Are you prepared?

September is Emergency Preparedness Month Are you prepared?


September is National Emergency Preparedness Month…so here’s the question…are you and your family prepared?


That is the sound of an earthquake that I got off one of the FEMA websites.

Natural disasters tend to be big, powerful, and life changing. Sometimes, unfortunately, disasters take lives. Whether it’s an earthquake, a big storm off the Bering Sea, erosion or even a kitchen fire that leaves you out of the house for a few weeks, now is a good time to think ahead and make plans.

Let’s all work together this week as The LegHead Reports focuses on emergency preparedness to take a few minutes each day and get your family thinking about and gathering up all the items you’d need or want to have on hand should a disaster strike.

Even if all you did was grab a piece of paper and a pen or type a few notes on the computer each time you hear one of the programs this week, you’ll be that much farther along and more mentally prepared for The Big One.

Audio from Ready.gov

That snippet comes from ready.gov but you don’t need to go there as the state’s website includes a lot of great information, including a chart guiding you through assembling your family’s seven-day survival kit.


Make a Plan for Yourself, Family and Friends


Alaska’s Emergency Preparedness Page for Personal and Family Planning  Has all kinds of information. Bookmark it. Read it and get ready!

New 7 Day Supply Kit from Alaska’s Emerg Prep Page.


Senate Passes Fiscal Plan That Taps Permanent Fund

SB26 Keeps PFD at $1,000, limits state spending, takes money for budget out of Permanent Fund earnings


The LegHead Report for Monday March 21, 2017


The Alaska Senate on last week (March 15) passed what it says is a major component of the solution to solving Alaska’s funding woes.

The measure, Senate Bill 26, draws from the Permanent Fund to pay state bills and would continue Permanent Fund Dividend checks at the amount of $1,000.

There’s a cap on state spending, and there’s a limit of the amount that can be drawn from the Permanent Fund.

Senate President Pete Kelly explained the funding plan in a video posted on the Senate Majority’s website… [Listen to mp3 above for more details.]


Related Links and More Information:

Press release from Senate Majority on passage of SB26


Summary of what SB26 does


More budget information from Senate Majority’s website




State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

State boards and commissions are great way to get involved in making changes in Alaska

PHOTO: Chena Ridge from the Division of Forestry’s website. The Alaska Board of Forestry helps manage and determine policy for Alaska’s forest lands.


You don’t need to run for public office to have a real impact on life in Alaska and in the way the state does business.

Why not stick your name in for a state board or commission?

Monday January 6, 2014 Edition of The LegHead Report


RESOURCES: Here are some useful links to help you get info and apply for a board or commission position.

Governor’s Office of Boards and Commission

List of Active Boards and Commissions — includes a ton of info on each board, what they do, who’s on it, etc.

List of Vacancies on Alaska Boards and Commissions–These are the ones to target if you’re ready to take the leap and apply for an open spot.  (Opens as a pdf.)

How to Apply for an Alaska Board or Commission Position