Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/17/2002 01:15 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 299-ALASKA PLACE NAMES                                                                                                     
[Contains discussion of HJR 32, the companion resolution]                                                                       
CO-CHAIR  SCALZI announced  the  first order  of business,  HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO.  299, "An Act providing  for the naming and  renaming of                                                               
Alaska geographic features."                                                                                                    
Number 0089                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER,  following  a request  by  the  sponsor,                                                               
moved  to adopt  [Version F,  22-LS1193\F, Kurtz,  4/11/02, as  a                                                               
work draft].                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SCALZI announced that Version F was adopted.                                                                           
Number 0110                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE FRED  DYSON, Alaska State Legislature,  sponsor of                                                               
HB 299,  explained that  many Alaska places  have been  named for                                                               
people who have  never been in the state.   Suggesting many names                                                               
are inappropriate, he cited an  example of an 1880s expedition in                                                               
Southeast Alaska that named a  river after a person's high school                                                               
drafting teacher;  furthermore, members of the  Harriman [Alaska]                                                               
Expedition had reportedly sat on  the ship in what became College                                                               
Fiord and  argued about  whose alma mater  the glaciers  would be                                                               
named  after, whereas  local people  [whose  ancestors] had  been                                                               
there  for thousands  of  years,  and others  who  had lived  and                                                               
worked in the area, had far  more valid names for these features.                                                               
He  offered  further  examples,   including  his  own  experience                                                               
involving "Bainbridge  Passage."   He then  said the  bill allows                                                               
the   naming  commission,   when  commission   members  deem   it                                                               
appropriate  under   their  policy,  to  rename   features  after                                                               
traditional  or local  Alaska names  - "hopefully,  mostly Native                                                               
names" - or after geographical features that are descriptive.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON  reported that  he'd  met  with the  naming                                                               
commission and that  several members would like  the authority to                                                               
do  this  but  are  concerned about  not  having  the  resources.                                                               
Therefore,  page 3,  line 14,  contains a  change such  that [the                                                               
commission]  is no  longer required  to go  out and  research the                                                               
names  that  were  applied  inappropriately,   "at  least  by  my                                                               
criteria and theirs."  Instead,  it now says [the commission] can                                                               
review a  request for changes;  people in  an area who  have what                                                               
they believe  is a more  appropriate name  can propose it  to the                                                               
naming  commission,  which "can  take  that  up  as a  course  of                                                               
business,  according to  the  priorities that  they  set and  the                                                               
criteria that they set."  He added:                                                                                             
     I  think this  alleviates some  of their  concern about                                                                    
     being overwhelmed  by work.   And if you all  choose, I                                                                    
     will ask you to zero out  the fiscal note at the end of                                                                    
     this,  because  they  will just,  under  the  committee                                                                    
     substitute, be responding to  requests for changes, ...                                                                    
     not having to search the  entire name base in Alaska to                                                                    
      do it.  And that still leaves all the flexibility I                                                                       
     think we need for local folks to propose changes.                                                                          
Number 0460                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON  explained  that [HJR  32],  his  companion                                                               
resolution, asks the USGS  [U.S. Geological Survey, specifically,                                                               
the United  States Board on  Geographic Names] to  give deference                                                               
to  the  names proposed  by  the  naming commission  [the  Alaska                                                               
Historical Commission].                                                                                                         
Number 0500                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  inquired  about  Representative  Dyson's                                                               
desire to  zero out the fiscal  note, asking how the  public will                                                               
know  to  weigh   in,  and  how  the  commission   will  put  out                                                               
information and then alert people as to the changes.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON indicated  that when  someone wants  a name                                                               
now, there are procedures for  new or commemorative ones, and the                                                               
commission notifies  people through its "existing  channels."  He                                                               
remarked,  "Folks  that are  paying  attention  know about  these                                                               
things."  He suggested perhaps  someone from the commission could                                                               
advise members  about publicizing locally  when there is to  be a                                                               
name  change.   He  added,  "I  hope  ...  you'll work  with  me,                                                               
Representative Kapsner,  to get  out lots  of publicity  to folks                                                               
and get ... people out there  actively working on it - elders and                                                               
historians -  to work  on it."   Acknowledging the  difficulty of                                                               
getting  money for  new things,  he stated  his intention  in the                                                               
next budget cycle of getting  some resources to [the commission],                                                               
which doesn't have the resources to do the work it does already.                                                                
Number 0618                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  inquired  about  any  potential  private                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON  said he  hadn't thought of  it, but  it's a                                                               
very good idea.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER asked who else  supports this, such as the                                                               
Alaska Historical Society or regional entities.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON offered  his sense  that the  commission is                                                               
overwhelmed with  its current work.   He  said no one  had argued                                                               
against it, and that every Native  person he'd talked to about it                                                               
was excited  about it.   He mentioned  the difficulty  of getting                                                               
the work done,  plus the philosophical problem in  that the USGS,                                                               
which is the  "depositor and the arbiter of  names," doesn't like                                                               
this kind of process because  of not wanting duplication of names                                                               
on  maps,   coastal  pilot  [navigational  books],   and  similar                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON  explained  that  the  bill  anticipates  a                                                               
transition period  of perhaps 20  years; the next  time documents                                                               
and  maps  are  published,  they'll  have  two  names  [for  each                                                               
renamed]  feature.   He offered  his belief  that the  process is                                                               
underway for  the [change from  Mount McKinley to  Mount Denali],                                                               
for  example.   He said  he  finds most  of the  Native names  in                                                               
Alaska "charmingly  descriptive" and  that although he'd  be glad                                                               
for the  name to be "in  the Native pronunciation," he'd  like to                                                               
have a translation in parentheses.                                                                                              
Number 0855                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER brought  attention to  page 4, subsection                                                               
(c), where new proposed language read:                                                                                          
     The commission  shall establish a policy  regarding the                                                                
     use of  English translations  of non-English  words and                                                                
     whether   translations,  where   included,  should   be                                                                
     considered  a part  of  the official  name.   When  the                                                                
     official  name  under  this section  differs  from  the                                                                
     official  federal name,  both official  names shall  be                                                                
     used, with the federal name in parentheses.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  said that, to her,  the foregoing implies                                                               
not wanting  a Native  name.   She remarked  that she  likes [the                                                               
bill]  in concept,  but worries  about  the details.   She  asked                                                               
whether Representative Dyson  intends for the Native  words to be                                                               
on the map.                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   DYSON  answered   yes,  but   suggested  perhaps                                                               
modifying the  bill to make that  clear.  He added  that he wants                                                               
to  give deference  to the  commission  and not  to "dictate  the                                                               
details exactly."   He  expressed hope  that the  commission will                                                               
[develop]  a policy  that makes  sense.   He specified,  "I never                                                               
intended to not use the Native words."                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER highlighted  the  importance of  honoring                                                               
the Native villages in her region that go by Native names.                                                                      
Number 1005                                                                                                                     
JUDY BITTNER,  Chief/State Historic Preservation  Officer, Office                                                               
of   History  and   Archeology,  Alaska   Historical  Commission,                                                               
Division  of Parks  & Outdoor  Recreation, Department  of Natural                                                               
Resources  (DNR), testified  via  teleconference.   She began  by                                                               
thanking  Representative  Dyson  for   meeting  with  the  Alaska                                                               
Historical  Commission in  Juneau;  she said  the commission  had                                                               
discussed this in  detail.  Noting that the  commission serves as                                                               
the state review board to  the [United States Board on Geographic                                                               
Names  under  the  USGS],  she  said that  whenever  there  is  a                                                               
proposal for a  name change or a name for  an unnamed feature, it                                                               
goes  before  the  commission,  which  applies  "the  USGS  board                                                               
guidelines as  well as  the other  guidelines that  they proposed                                                               
and adopted in 1998."                                                                                                           
MS.  BITTNER  told  the committee  that  the  commission  doesn't                                                               
support the  bill.   The commission believes  it can  address the                                                               
interests and concerns about use  of local and Native names under                                                               
the   existing    process,   which   contains    guidelines   for                                                               
[commemorative], descriptive,  and Native names.   The commission                                                               
believes  this bill  isn't necessary  and  that it  unnecessarily                                                               
complicates the  process and  will lead to  duplicate maps.   Ms.                                                               
Bittner noted that another process  in place allows for appeal of                                                               
Number 1141                                                                                                                     
MS.  BITTNER  explained  that  the   commission  was  given  this                                                               
responsibility in 1993 through an  executive order.  At that time                                                               
there was a  backlog of about 70 place names;  the commission was                                                               
able to  bring those up  to date and  to review 257  place names.                                                               
There  have  only been  disagreements  on  7 of  those  decisions                                                               
between  the  state  board  and  the  United  States  board,  she                                                               
reported;  she doesn't  believe, as  the bill  implies, "that  we                                                               
have  ongoing   conflict  between  the  state   and  the  federal                                                               
government in terms of mapping and place names."  She explained:                                                                
     At  the  time we  received  this  program in  1993,  we                                                                    
     received  no  funding  and  no  staff  or  anything  to                                                                    
     administer  it. ...  We  have a  minimum  program.   We                                                                    
     respond to  the proposals that  come in.  We  write the                                                                    
     letters   to   the   local  governments,   ...   Native                                                                    
     corporations, the  landowners, and  other organizations                                                                    
     that have  brought ... to  our attention that  they are                                                                    
     interested   in    name   proposals,   such    as   the                                                                    
     mountaineering groups.  We do  not have ... the funding                                                                    
     or ability to  hold public hearings or  publish, in any                                                                    
      way, the names once they are finished, other than on                                                                      
     our web site.                                                                                                              
MS. BITTNER said  the commission doesn't think  it is appropriate                                                               
for the  state to "decide and  go around ... the  state to change                                                               
the names."  She  said it's a long history, and  how the U.S. has                                                               
established names  over time has  changed, through  policy; names                                                               
in the  state reflect that.   She emphasized  that if there  is a                                                               
change [desired] by  local residents in any area,  it is possible                                                               
under existing guidelines  to change that name.   "Just arbitrary                                                               
changes  are  not supported,  and  I  don't  think will  make  it                                                               
through the federal board," she added.                                                                                          
Number 1311                                                                                                                     
MS. BITTNER also expressed concern  about ending up with two sets                                                               
of maps:   one  state map  and one federal  map.   She questioned                                                               
whether the federal government would  put either state or federal                                                               
names in  parentheses, and  said it isn't  the federal  policy to                                                               
put  phrases on  maps, "just  because of  the map  clutter."   If                                                               
there are two sets of maps,  it will be confusing for search-and-                                                               
rescue  personnel,  scientists,  and people  doing  business  and                                                               
conducting  research in  Alaska.   Furthermore, there  will be  a                                                               
fiscal note for  DNR to set up these separate  [sets] of maps and                                                               
make those  available, as well  as for  having a staff  person on                                                               
the  commission staff  to handle  all the  requirements of  these                                                               
name-change proposals.                                                                                                          
MS. BITTNER  closed by  reiterating that there  is a  process and                                                               
procedure in place.  "We have  dealt with a number of Native name                                                               
proposals,"  she  said,  mentioning   recent  proposals  for  the                                                               
Pribilof Islands for  which the Native names  were considered and                                                               
adopted by the state  board.  "So I do not think  that we need in                                                               
statute a  directive to use  translations, ... or  otherwise, ...                                                               
what kind  of names," she  said.  "I think  it's best left  up to                                                               
the ...  guidelines and  policy, which  were developed  through a                                                               
public process by the ... commission."                                                                                          
Number 1446                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  asked  what  the policy  is  now,  with                                                               
regard to  which language is used,  if there is a  Native Alaskan                                                               
MS. BITTNER  answered that  stated in  the policy  is that  for a                                                               
Native  American name,  the commission  will consider  it if  the                                                               
name is in  "common local usage and that use  is documented; that                                                               
the name  is pronounceable without considerable  difficulty; that                                                               
the name  is linguistically appropriate  to the area in  which it                                                               
is to be applied; and the  landowner, if on Native land, supports                                                               
the proposed name in writing."                                                                                                  
Number 1526                                                                                                                     
MS.  BITTNER,  in  response to  a  question  from  Representative                                                               
Kerttula about  where the bill  addresses "phrases,"  referred to                                                               
page  4,   subsection  (c),  which  says   the  commission  shall                                                               
establish a  policy regarding  English translations  and [whether                                                               
translations],  where included,  should be  part of  the official                                                               
name.  She said that "part  of the official name" and translation                                                               
would be part  of the proposal and how it  goes forward, and then                                                               
would become part  of the name.  She interpreted  that section to                                                               
say, "We  are to request  that the phrase  be part of  the name."                                                               
She added, "And  just in terms of maps and  map clutter that's on                                                               
the map itself, ... it's just not practical and would not work."                                                                
MS.  BITTNER encouraged  having  place-name  studies and  funding                                                               
"the Alaska Native  language center and some of  the other groups                                                               
that are actively pursuing place-name  studies."  She highlighted                                                               
the  importance of  having  a  way to  get  at that  information,                                                               
particularly  as  elders in  the  Native  communities pass  away,                                                               
taking with them the language and  language use.  She pointed out                                                               
that  it is  in  place-name  books that  one  can  find out  that                                                               
information;  it doesn't  have to  be  on the  official state  or                                                               
federal map.                                                                                                                    
Number 1614                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked what  was on the map Representative                                                               
Dyson had used for Bainbridge Passage.   She said it sounds as if                                                               
there already are maps that have both names.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON   clarified  that  another   guidebook  had                                                               
contained the  local name and  its translation; it wasn't  on the                                                               
Number 1653                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER asked  Ms.  Bittner, with  regard to  the                                                               
criteria   she  had   listed,  what   the   guidelines  are   for                                                               
"pronounceable."   She  said  half  of the  villages  in her  own                                                               
region arguably  could be called unpronounceable,  and yet people                                                               
still use them.  She also  cited Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School in                                                               
Juneau  as  an example  where  there  had been  controversy  over                                                               
giving  it  that  Tlingit  name  because  many  people  found  it                                                               
unpronounceable.  She cited a further example.                                                                                  
MS. BITTNER answered that it  reflects "guidance from the federal                                                               
guidelines,  and because  of all  those examples  you just  gave,                                                               
just about anything is pronounceable."   She added, "As we worked                                                               
through  the  Pribilof  names  and worked  with  ...  the  Native                                                               
corporation,  ...  proposers  there,   we  think  that  people  -                                                               
particularly in that  area and the use area -  can and will learn                                                               
the ... names,  particularly if it's in local use."   She said it                                                               
isn't a very high bar.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER remarked  that she thought it  would be an                                                               
"easy out" if someone wanted one.                                                                                               
MS.  BITTNER replied  that it  would  be, but  the commission  is                                                               
[composed  of] citizen  members from  around the  state who  take                                                               
this very seriously;  they are very knowledgeable  and have spent                                                               
a lot of  time in Alaska.   "I think it is a  really good citizen                                                               
sounding board,  and ... represents  lots of different  points of                                                               
view," she said,  adding that she is comfortable that  there is a                                                               
citizens' commission, rather than just  a state office that makes                                                               
these decisions.   She suggested  it ensures that many  points of                                                               
view  in the  public  are  brought forward.    "And they're  very                                                               
sensitive to ... the Native place names," she added.                                                                            
Number 1781                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   KAPSNER  asked   whether  Ms.   Bittner  thought                                                               
Representative  Dyson's idea  of a  transition period  might help                                                               
with her concerns, or whether it just isn't enough.                                                                             
MS. BITTNER replied:                                                                                                            
     No,  I do  find this  confusing.   I do  not support  a                                                                    
     separate set  of names on  state maps.  I  think Alaska                                                                    
     has used  the USGS maps ...  for kind of the  basis for                                                                    
     their commerce  and science and  research, and  I think                                                                    
     it's used  ... for  navigation, search  and rescue.   I                                                                    
     don't see it  [as] necessary, and I  think that there's                                                                    
     so  few times  when there  is a  difference of  opinion                                                                    
     between  the  state  and the  federal  government  that                                                                    
     requiring  this kind  of separate  set of  maps is  not                                                                    
     necessary.    And  even  this  transitional  time  will                                                                    
     transition to two  sets of maps, and I think  we end up                                                                    
     in a place we don't want to be.                                                                                            
Number 1846                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER asked  whether  the USGS  map would  just                                                               
supersede an Alaska map and take precedence, however.                                                                           
MS. BITTNER answered that she  believed it would create confusion                                                               
within the  state.  She  reiterated her preference that  there be                                                               
place-name studies so that people  would know the different names                                                               
used by  different people, including different  groups of Natives                                                               
that  might use  different names  for one  place.   She mentioned                                                               
perhaps  documenting  them  on   maps,  but  not  necessarily  on                                                               
official state maps.                                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR SCALZI  called an at-ease  at 1:42  p.m.  He  called the                                                               
meeting back to order at 1:45 p.m.                                                                                              
Number 1932                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE   asked  Representative  Dyson   whether  he                                                               
believes this  bill would require two  [sets] of maps.   He asked                                                               
about  "deleting  the   possibility  of  two  maps   and  have  a                                                               
transition period."                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON replied that  he'd never intended that there                                                               
be  duplicate  documents  or  maps.    He  noted  that  the  last                                                               
[sentence] of the  bill says, "When the official  name under this                                                           
section  differs from  the official  federal name,  both official                                                           
names shall be  used, with the federal name in  parentheses."  He                                                           
indicated  the  bill drafter  had  added  the phrase,  "with  the                                                           
federal name in parentheses."  Representative Dyson said:                                                                   
     If  we  need to  have  the  state name  in  parentheses                                                                    
     during a five- or  fifty-year transition period, that's                                                                    
     fine with me.  I just  want both names recorded, and to                                                                    
     begin the process of giving  deference to Alaska names,                                                                    
     instead of  hundreds of people  who never  even thought                                                                    
     about this  place being commemorated and  cast in stone                                                                    
     in our names.                                                                                                              
Number 1998                                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR SCALZI requested confirmation that  the bill is just for                                                               
nominations  through   the  commission  process,   which  already                                                               
occurs,  but that  it  would  mandate [action]  if  there were  a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON  conveyed a high  degree of respect  for Ms.                                                               
Bittner  and the  job  she  has done,  adding  that  much of  her                                                               
concern is  well justified.   He indicated his intent  of getting                                                               
started [with renaming].  He offered  his reading of the law that                                                               
[the  commission]  isn't  authorized  to  begin  the  process  of                                                               
renaming,  but will  consider a  change  if the  current name  is                                                               
derogatory  [towards]  a  racial, ethnic,  gender,  or  religious                                                               
group; if  the current name  is duplicative or  causes confusion;                                                               
or  if evidence  of extensive  local support  by authorities  and                                                               
residents is provided.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON  said he wants  to put in statute  that [the                                                               
commission] has authority to consider  name changes "because they                                                               
are inappropriate,  because they don't reflect  Alaskan character                                                               
and people  who've made an investment  in Alaska and so  on."  He                                                               
added,  "I think  Ms.  Bittner is  right that  they  do ...  have                                                               
authority if it has ...  extensive local support, and I'm wanting                                                               
to   strengthen  their   case   ...   in  commemorating   Alaskan                                                               
contributions and local usage."                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON told  members that  the federal  government                                                               
believes it is  "the czar of all names," and  believes that if it                                                               
has a particular  name on its documents, the  name should remain.                                                               
Representative Dyson said he wants  to start a transition period,                                                               
and  that  the  accompanying resolution  encourages  the  federal                                                               
government,  in  contrast to  its  longstanding  policy, to  give                                                               
deference to the Alaska naming commission's recommendations.                                                                    
Number 2183                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  McGUIRE commended  Representative Dyson  for even                                                               
challenging  the  legislature  to  consider  this  issue  and  to                                                               
consider the honor that names bring.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON  mentioned what  he called the  arrogance of                                                               
explorers  in renaming  features  that local  people had  already                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE  remarked that there already  is confusion                                                               
over names because of local  names or nicknames for features that                                                               
have official names on maps.                                                                                                    
Number 2359                                                                                                                     
JOAN ANTONSON, Alaska Historical  Commission, Division of Parks &                                                               
Outdoor  Recreation, Department  of Natural  Resources, testified                                                               
via teleconference.   She suggested that  private mapmakers might                                                               
be willing to put in  names and their translations in parentheses                                                               
in order to help  build a case for a reason  to change names used                                                               
by both the state and federal  governments.  She said the federal                                                               
government adheres to six principles;  the most difficult for the                                                               
state  is  the  recognition  of  only one  official  name  for  a                                                               
CO-CHAIR  SCALZI thanked  Ms. Antonson,  noting  that the  charts                                                               
from NOAA  [National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration] are                                                               
federal ones.                                                                                                                   
Number 2454                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  asked  whether  Mount  Denali  is  still                                                               
officially Mount McKinley.                                                                                                      
MS. BITTNER answered in the affirmative.                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR SCALZI asked whether this bill would help change that.                                                                 
MS. BITTNER  said it would make  no difference.  She  added, "The                                                               
Ohio delegation  introduces a  bill in Congress  at the  start of                                                               
every legislative  session to keep  the names.  And  when there's                                                               
legislation  pending, the  U.S.  board will  not  consider ...  a                                                               
proposed name change."                                                                                                          
Number 2498                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked how  often Native Alaskan names are                                                               
proposed and then either accepted or rejected.                                                                                  
MS. BITTNER  replied that  last year two  Tlingit place  names in                                                               
the  Glacier Bay  area, for  Glacier Bay  and the  Inian Islands,                                                               
were forwarded  and are  under consideration  at the  U.S. board.                                                               
In addition, she said, "We were  working with folks in the Chevak                                                               
area, but they  chose to withdraw ... the proposals  for about 54                                                               
names and  do some  more grassroots work  for agreement  with the                                                               
neighboring communities  on names, and for  agreement even within                                                               
the  village."   Ms. Bittner  reported that  she also  has worked                                                               
with people in  the North Slope Borough who are  working on place                                                               
names  and   trying  to  resolve  differences   in  spelling  and                                                               
pronunciation among  some of the  different groups in  that area.                                                               
She said,  "If they do ever  finish their work, we  may see 1,200                                                               
Native-name  proposals."   With regard  to the  Pribilof Islands,                                                               
she indicated  the commission  is working on  about 70  names for                                                               
that area.  She explained:                                                                                                      
     The  federal  government  has  never  done  large-scale                                                                    
     maps,  like 1:25,000-scale  maps, in  great detail  for                                                                    
     the islands.  And since  they were, they wanted to work                                                                    
     with  the  community and  with  the  state and  federal                                                                    
     boards on  recognizing locally  used and  locally known                                                                    
     names, many  of which are  Native names that  have been                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SCALZI  asked whether anyone  in the audience  wished to                                                               
testify on the bill; there was no response.                                                                                     
Number 2600                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON  informed  Ms.  Bittner  that  [Version  F]                                                               
removes the  requirement [that the commission]  search out names,                                                               
and puts it  in the position of just responding  to those brought                                                               
before the  commission, in deference  to her valid  concern about                                                               
the workload and  so forth.  He said he  sees the legislation now                                                               
as doing  two things:   the resolution  [HJR 32]  "hopefully will                                                               
start  something   that  might   spread  that  would   give  more                                                               
flexibility in making  name changes"; in addition,  this would be                                                               
a  policy statement  that Alaskans  want to  move towards  having                                                               
geographic  names that  honor Alaskans,  rather  than being  "the                                                               
sometimes  somewhat arrogant  imposition of  kind of  an invading                                                               
culture that was  very insensitive."  He said he  sees it more as                                                               
a policy  statement "strengthening your  ability to come  up with                                                               
your own policy and regulations  for making name changes when you                                                               
all believe  it's appropriate."   He asked,  "Does that  give you                                                               
any comfort?"                                                                                                                   
MS. BITTNER  replied, "I  think we  have those  authorities right                                                               
now  and that  our  policies  address that  ...  as it  currently                                                               
stands.   I think  ... Section  3, directing us  to use  names in                                                               
parentheses, ... should be removed."                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR SCALZI closed public testimony.                                                                                        
Number 2764                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  offered conceptual Amendment 1,  on page                                                               
4 [beginning  at line 4  of subsection  (c)]:  "something  in the                                                               
nature of  'the commission  shall use  the original  language for                                                               
chosen  names', and  then maybe  allow them  to set  a policy  on                                                               
using the  English translations  along with  it."   She indicated                                                               
the  need to  perhaps  check  with Ms.  Bittner  for more  proper                                                               
wording, noting that  the statutes say things  like "using Native                                                               
language writing  systems that are  accepted by  the university."                                                               
She  also indicated  the theory  behind her  amendment is  to use                                                               
"the original Native language".                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER suggested not using "original".                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA corrected the  amendment to say, "use the                                                               
Native  language   for  chosen   names."    She   then  clarified                                                               
conceptual Amendment 1 as she had just amended it:                                                                              
     It  would  be, "The  commission  shall  use the  Native                                                                    
     language for chosen names and";  then it would continue                                                                    
     as  it  is; then,  "The  commission  shall establish  a                                                                    
     policy regarding  the use of the  English translation",                                                                    
     ... and it  would continue on.  So they  would have the                                                                    
     Native  language, but  they could  set  a policy  about                                                                    
     using translations.                                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR SCALZI  offered his understanding,  then, that  it could                                                               
be the  original Native language,  it could be a  translation, or                                                               
it could remain as it is.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  replied,  "Actually, it  would  be  the                                                               
Native  language for  sure.   And  then maybe  there  would be  a                                                               
translation included, probably in parentheses."                                                                                 
Number 2913                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON spoke  to  conceptual Amendment  1 and  his                                                               
intention  with the  legislation.   He  said  he'd thought  about                                                               
these issues, and  wants to give as much  flexibility as possible                                                               
to  the  commission,  its  policies,  and  regulations,  "because                                                               
they're really  experienced."   For example,  he doesn't  want to                                                               
force the renaming of Juneau  if someone proposes the Native name                                                               
and its  use has been  documented.  [Not  on the tape,  but taken                                                               
from the Gavel  to Gavel recording, is that unless  there is good                                                               
cause, his  intention is  to have  the default  be the  Native or                                                               
local name.]                                                                                                                    
TAPE 02-32, SIDE B                                                                                                              
Number 2967                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA   said  she  understood   the  sponsor's                                                               
concern.   She noted that the  language had been changed  so that                                                               
the commission  would review requests  and that  [changes] aren't                                                               
mandatory;  that protection  therefore is  still in  the statute.                                                               
She  also said  she  wasn't positive  whether  the section  being                                                               
amended was  only for  new names  or was  for renamings  as well.                                                               
She  added  that she  felt  comfortable  with [the  commission's]                                                               
having  flexibility for  reviewing the  requests, and  that there                                                               
isn't  a  mandate  [to  change   a  name];  therefore,  she  felt                                                               
comfortable with the amendment.   In response to Co-Chair Scalzi,                                                               
she  reiterated her  amendment,  clarifying that  the name  would                                                               
have to  be a  Native name, but  it would be  for a  chosen name.                                                               
"They  don't have  to choose  this  name and,  moreover, ...  the                                                               
commission's just reviewing the request for changes," she added.                                                                
Number 2860                                                                                                                     
MS.  BITTNER  brought  attention  to Section  2,  subsection  (b)                                                               
[page 3],  which says  [beginning  on line  18], "The  commission                                                           
shall  consider using  Alaska Native  place names  for geographic                                                               
features in  the state  [THAT HAVE  NOT PREVIOUSLY  BEEN NAMED]".                                                               
She asked  whether that  covers it,  since it  already is  in the                                                               
existing [statutory] language.                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR SCALZI said it probably does.                                                                                          
MS. BITTNER noted  that that subsection goes on  about the Native                                                               
writing systems.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  said it  is  permissive,  since it  says                                                               
"shall consider",  whereas [conceptual  Amendment 1,  as amended]                                                               
says "shall use" the Native language.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  CHENAULT  pointed out  that  line  13 under  that                                                               
subsection  says  "shall  select   names"  [that  have  a  direct                                                           
connection with Alaska or Alaska's peoples].                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA   said  there   are  only   about  three                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  concurred  that  there  are  only  three                                                               
standards now.                                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR SCALZI  called an at-ease  at 2:09  p.m.  He  called the                                                               
meeting back to order at 2:11 p.m.                                                                                              
Number 2797                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA withdrew  conceptual Amendment  1.   She                                                               
said she doesn't think it actually belongs in that section.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   KERTTULA  moved   to  adopt   Amendment  2   for                                                               
discussion purposes, acknowledging that  the sponsor didn't agree                                                               
with it.  She told members:                                                                                                     
     I don't think  that this section that we had  it in was                                                                    
     the right place.  I do  think - and it was Ms. Bittner,                                                                    
     as she points  out - on page 3, at  line 18 [Section 2,                                                                    
     subsection   (b)],   the   language  says   now,   "The                                                                
     commission  shall consider  using  Alaska Native  place                                                                
     names   [specifically,  "names   that  have   a  direct                                                                
     connection with  Alaska or  Alaska's peoples"],  and if                                                                
     we  wanted to  make it  mandatory, we  would say,  "The                                                                    
     commission shall use Alaska Native place names".                                                                           
Number 2760                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CHENAULT objected for discussion purposes.                                                                       
CO-CHAIR SCALZI  also objected, saying  it restricts  the ability                                                               
of the  commission to also  consider names of early  pioneers who                                                               
may  not  be Native.    He  said  he  didn't believe  it  allowed                                                               
latitude.   Requesting a  roll call vote,  he specified  that the                                                               
conceptual  amendment   would  change   line  18  to   say,  "The                                                               
commission shall use Alaska Native place names".                                                                                
A  roll  call  vote  was  taken.    Representatives  Kapsner  and                                                               
Kerttula  voted  for  conceptual Amendment  2.    Representatives                                                               
Fate, Chenault,  and Scalzi voted  against it.   [Representatives                                                               
Masek,  Green, Stevens,  and McGuire  were  absent.]   Therefore,                                                               
conceptual Amendment 2 failed by a vote of 2-3.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER offered Amendment  3, relating to language                                                               
in Section 2, page 3, [beginning on] line 14, that read:                                                                        
     The  commission shall  review requests  for changes  to                                                                
     existing  official  names  of  geographic  features  to                                                                
     identify  the   names  that  do   not  have   a  direct                                                                
     connection  with  Alaska  or Alaska's  peoples,  review                                                                
     alternative names  that have been used  for the places,                                                                
     and rename  the places  with names  that have  a direct                                                                
     connection with Alaska or Alaska's peoples.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  expressed concern  that without  a fiscal                                                               
note, she wasn't sure how  the Alaska Historical Commission would                                                               
find  the manpower  or resources  to  do this.   [Therefore,  she                                                               
later specified that her amendment  would change "shall" to "may"                                                               
on line 14.]                                                                                                                    
Number 2641                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE DYSON  responded that it is  a legitimate problem,                                                               
but that  the commission has  very limited  staff now, and  is in                                                               
the business  of responding  to names that  come before  them for                                                               
changes,  for commemorative  purposes, and  so forth.   Surmising                                                               
that there  would be more requests  for name changes if  the bill                                                               
passes, he  stated his intention  of trying to get  another staff                                                               
position  [for the  commission]  next year,  in  the next  budget                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER inquired  about changing  the "shall"  to                                                               
"may" in light  of that, on line  14 [so that it  would read "may                                                           
review requests"] or having a  delayed effective date.  She asked                                                           
what the  sponsor envisioned as  the timeline for  the commission                                                               
to complete this work.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON  answered  that  the  work  will  never  be                                                               
completed.  This process will go on  for a long, long time; it is                                                               
just a  process that  the legislature  would be  authorizing [the                                                               
commission] to give  more attention to.  He said  he would choose                                                               
to leave it  "shall".  He explained, "[If] some  group proposes a                                                               
name that's  more appropriate than  an existing name, ...  I want                                                               
[the  commission] at  some  point, in  the  priorities that  they                                                               
decide within  their own policy, to  consider that.  And  I trust                                                               
them to use a good sense of priorities."                                                                                        
Number 2555                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER withdrew  [Amendment 3],  specifying that                                                               
it was  to change "shall"  to "may" in  light of the  zero fiscal                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER asked  Ms. Bittner  what would  happen if                                                               
the bill passed without appropriate funding.                                                                                    
MS.  BITTNER replied  that  she'd  have to  discuss  it with  the                                                               
commission and  incorporate the directives and  mandates into the                                                               
policy; there  would have to be  public review of the  policy, as                                                               
well as  alerting those  affected - such  as [the  Department of]                                                               
Public Safety - that this is coming.   She added, "We will do the                                                               
best  we can,  since  we don't  have staff  and  it's never  been                                                               
funded.   We can't be very  active at it,  but it will be  on the                                                               
books, and  when we do  get proposals, we  will have to  take the                                                               
direction that is in this law."                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  DYSON  nonetheless  encouraged the  committee  to                                                               
zero the existing fiscal note out.                                                                                              
Number 2465                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  FATE  moved  to  report  CSHB  299  [version  22-                                                               
LS1193\F,  Kurtz,  4/11/02]  out  of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and "the suggested zero fiscal note."                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  objected, specifying that it  was because                                                               
of the zero fiscal note.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  clarified that she supports  the idea of                                                               
the  legislation,  but  having  heard  Ms.  Bittner's  testimony,                                                               
believes the commission deserves funds to carry it out.                                                                         
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Fate, Chenault, and                                                               
Scalzi voted  to move the  bill from committee.   Representatives                                                               
Kapsner and  Kerttula voted against it.   [Representatives Green,                                                               
McGuire, Stevens, and  Masek were absent.]   Therefore [because a                                                               
majority  of  the  members  did   not  vote  to  report  it  from                                                               
committee]  CSHB  299(RES)  failed  to  move  out  of  the  House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee by a vote of 3-2.                                                                                  
[The  committee's action  in  failing  to move  the  bill out  of                                                               
committee was rescinded later in the meeting.]                                                                                  
HB 299-ALASKA PLACE NAMES                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR  SCALZI again  brought before  the committee  HOUSE BILL                                                               
NO. 299, "An Act providing for  the naming and renaming of Alaska                                                               
geographic features."                                                                                                           
Number 2203                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  moved to rescind the  committee's action                                                               
that day  in failing  to move  out of  committee [Version  F, 22-                                                               
LS1193\F, Kurtz,  4/11/02, with a  zeroed-out fiscal note].   She                                                               
explained   her   belief    that   everyone   wants   appropriate                                                               
[geographical place names], but that  it is more complicated than                                                               
expected.   With regard  to the fiscal  note, she  expressed hope                                                               
that  some  middle   ground  could  be  found.     She  suggested                                                               
rescinding the action, holding the  bill over, and talking to Ms.                                                               
Bittner to try to reach a compromise.                                                                                           
A roll call  vote was taken.   Representatives Kapsner, Kerttula,                                                               
Fate,  Chenault,  and Scalzi  voted  to  rescind the  committee's                                                               
action  in failing  to move  Version F  from committee.   No  one                                                               
voted against it.   Therefore, the committee's  action in failing                                                               
to move Version F from committee  was rescinded by a vote of 5-0.                                                               
[HB 299 was held over.]                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects