Gov. Sean Parnell announced appointees to state boards today that include two Juneau residents, Wayne Jensen and Jill Burkert.
Wayne Jensen, a partner in the architectural firm Jensen Yorba Lott, will serve on the Alaska Historical Commission. The commission advises the governor and legislature on Alaska’s history, oversees the state historic preservation plan and performs other functions related to historical sites. Jensen’s seat is reserved for an architect.
Parnell also appointed Jill Burkert to the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education. The council serves as a planning and coordinating agency of the state departments of Health and Social Services, Education and Early Development and others that provide services or special education to people with disabilities.
Burkert is an associate professor and special education program director at the University of Alaska Southeast. She has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction in special education from the University of South Florida. She travels to schools throughout Alaska teaching others how to become special education teachers and advocates. Burkert’s seat is reserved for a non-governmental organization.
- Heli-skiing has long been a controversial topic in Haines. The interests of the industry often clash with people who live near heliports and don’t want the noise disturbing their peace and quiet. But there’s another group that’s impacted by helicopter noise: mountain goats.
- In the Northwest Arctic, caribou hunting has been contentious for years. Alaska’s largest herd continues to decline while tensions have emerged between rural subsistence users and outside hunters.
- From the Aleutian island of Akutan to the arctic village of Kiana, 13 communities have been crowned champions of a rural energy competition. The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that it will help these communities cut their energy use by 15 percent by training local utility providers.