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.



Houses passes bill to allow VPSO to carry guns

HB 199 would allow Village Public Safety Officers to carry guns while on duty

  • Supporters say it’s a vital safety issue
  • Opponents say VPSOs are not Alaska State Troopers, and don’t go through same tough hiring and training process


A measure to allow Village Public Safety Officers to carry firearms in the line of duty took a big step forward on Monday when it was passed by the Alaska House.

The controversial measure would allow VPSOs who meet training standards to carry firearms while on duty.

  • Supporters say the measure is an important element in allowing the remote law enforcement officers to protect themselves.
  • Opponents argue that VPSOs are not Alaska State Troopers but are hired by the over-seeing area Native association and do not receive the same employment screening and training standards that troopers do.

House Bill 199 will now be forwarded to the Senate for consideration.


BASIS listing — Which shows all activity related to HB 199 by the Alaska Legislature

Good comments in summary of meeting on HB199. Lots of good comments from both sides of the issue. Worth ready through to get an overview of different perspectives from testimony and comments during informational hearing. Will open PDF document.

Sponsor Statement by Rep. Bryce Edgmon for HB 199.

Facebook page set up by Tom Madole’s widow. Madole was killed in the line of duty.

(Note: Sad photos of children at funeral. Regardless of a person’s stand on the guns and VPSOs issue, it is heartbreaking to see those who dedicate themselves to protecting us be shot down. Especially sad to think of family left behind–Maggie.)

VPSOs are not Troopers — Editorial in Fairbanks Daily News Miner

Article by Alaska Dispatch on HB 199

Newsletter from Rep. Bryce Edmon to constituents — See Page 6 for info on HB 199. Will open in PDF document.

BASIS listing — Which shows all activity related to HB 199 by the Alaska Legislature

Sponsor Statement by Rep. Bryce Edgmon for HB 199.


Know someone who would be interested in these materials? Be sure to “Share” it with them.


A week of Statehood History

June 30 is anniversary of the passage

of the Alaska Statehood Act

TLHR June 24 Mon 49th Star Statehood Commission

            Sunday June 30 marks the anniversary of an important date here in Alaska. It’s the day in 1958 when the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Act which authorized the Territory of Alaska to take its place among the other 48 states in the Union.

            If you’re a history buff, or would just like to look at some cool old photos, be sure to check out the Alaska Statehood Commission’s website.

            It was created several years ago to mark the 50 Anniversary of statehood, but is just a relevant today in that it’s always fun to read about how Alaska became a state and to glance at funky old photos and videos.

            Including this one about Alaska’s 49th Star…

Flag Day Trivia

TLHR June 14 Fri Flag Day


Display U.S. Flag in center of a flag group. From Wikihow.com

How to Display the Flag — Including videos on folding and flag etiquette.

Flag Day Trivia … Big Flag…Flag at North Pole…Wearing Flags Patcheson the Shoulder

  • The world’s largest flag. In 1983, the world’s largest flag was displayed in Washington, D.C. The flag, which measured 411 feet by 210 feet, weighed 7 tons! Each star measured 13 feet across!
  • It’s generally considered disrespectful to mutilate the flag, but one famous person cut the flag into pieces and parceled them out in this place…and was honored for doing so…Explorer Robert Peary, who left pieces of the flag scattered at the North Pole.
  • You ever notice that the military often wear the flags looking a bit odd on their shoulder patches?  There’s a reason for that…It depends on which side you are looking at…the left shoulder patch appears “normal” it’s the right patch that often gives people a start.
  • Think of a flag flying in the breeze as the person moves forward. The one side of the flag is on the left shoulder, the other side is in the right shoulder. The left side would look the way we are accustomed to seeing the flag fly. The right side looks the way we would see a flag flying if we stood on the right side of it. While it seems wrong at first glance, the stars at the front is the correct position. The appropriate name for the right shoulder’s flag is the ‘reverse side flag’.”
  • The flag works a similar way with planes and vehicles. The flag should like as if it is flying in the breeze.  One way to make sure you get this correct is to keep the starts on the side closest to the front. That gives you the same left/right orientation that a soldier has on his shoulders. And gives the impression of the flag flying in the wind created by the forward movement of the plane or vehicle.
  • And finally, speaking of flags flying in unusual positions, is it ever correct to fly the flag upside down? Yes. While the flag should fly upright and proud, the upside down flag indicates an emergency and signals help.


Get out your flags Flag Day June 14th

4th of July,American,flags,holidays,Memorial Day,Old Glory,special occasions,Stars and Stripes,United States,US,Veteran's Day

 OK folks, haul out your flags because Friday is Flag Day in the United States. If you are like me you probably have a flag—somewhere—and mean to hang it on the appropriate days, but just don’t.

There are probably a million and one reasons you don’t get the flag out, but let’s work together on this and see how many flags we can fly for Flag Day 2013.

You have a day’s notice. Get with it.

There are probably a million and one reasons you don’t get the flag out, but let’s work together on this and see how many flags we can fly for Flag Day 2013.

As for me—I need to go to town this afternoon and get some flag hanging hardware. And actually, I don’t really have a flag—it’s more of a non-flag that has the Statue of Liberty on it with a flag flying around it.

We are looking for progress in this flag hanging project, so let’s go with what we’ve got and forget perfection. So, find whatever flag or patriotic thing you have and display it on Friday, June 14th which is Flag Day.

Now don’t put that flag away too soon. We’ve got lots of flag hanging occasions coming up. Not the least of which is 4th of July.

But there are some interesting Alaska related dates coming up that might prompt you to go out and buy an Alaska flag to post for the occasions.

First up is June 30th, which is the anniversary of the day in 1958 when the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Statehood Bill which brought Alaska into the Union.

We're In Alaska Statehood passed by U.S. Senate

You, no doubt, have seen the photo of the big “We’re In” headline on the Anchorage paper of the time. That special edition paper was printed on June 30th, 1958.

And if you were listening to The LegHead Report the other day you know that enabling legislation often has a much-delayed effective date. We wouldn’t actually become a state until January of 1959. You can only begin to imagine the confusion that would be caused if the Alaska Territory instantly became a state.

Another Alaska Flag hanging day is appropriately called Alaska Flag Day which is July 9. It established to pay tribute to our favorite flag designer and his two-colored flag. It celebrates the first time Alaska’s flag was unfurled over the Jesse Lee Home in Seward.

An interesting aspect of the Benny Benson flag story is that he was living in the Jess Lee Home for orphans when he designed the stars of gold on a field of blue as part of a state-wide contest for school children.

Benny Benson and Bob Bartlett. Alaska Digital Archives. Alaska Statehood. Alaska State Flag.

Benny Benson and Bob Bartlett. Alaska Digital Archives.

Alaska Flag Day also is a day to ponder the importance of the flag as a symbol of the state.


History of Flag Day

Great source of Alaska Statehood history: Alaska Statehood Celebration Commission (50 Year Anniversary of Statehood)

Alaska Statehood Celebration June 30, 1958

Alaska Statehood Celebration. Alaska Digital Archives.