Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

02/06/2020 01:30 PM House TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
Moved HB 186 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Failed to Move Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
          HB 208-RENAMING COLLEGE RD AS ALAN BORAAS RD                                                                      
1:56:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 208, "An Act  renaming College Road in Soldotna as                                                               
Alan Boraas Road."                                                                                                              
1:56:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARY KNOPP,  Alaska State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor of HB  208, opened by bringing  the committee's awareness                                                               
to the  fact that  [Alan Boraas,  PhD] has done  so much  for the                                                               
[Kenai] community and that naming  after influential members is a                                                               
longstanding practice; the highway  [College Road] is named after                                                               
Peter Kalifornsky.                                                                                                              
1:57:47 PM                                                                                                                    
INTIMAYO  HARBISON,  Staff,  Representative  Gary  Knopp,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  on  behalf of  Representative  Knopp,  prime                                                               
sponsor  of HB  208, began  by  letting the  committee know  that                                                               
College Road connects  Kalifornsky Beach Road to  East Poppy Lane                                                               
and terminates at  Kenai Peninsula College (KPC).   He also noted                                                               
that the stretch of road does  not contain any structures, so the                                                               
changing of  addresses would not  be necessary.  He  informed the                                                               
committee that  the request to change  the name of the  road came                                                               
from members  of the University  of Alaska  (UA) as well  as from                                                               
the local  community.   He imparted that  Dr. Boraas  is credited                                                               
with helping to locate numerous  Dena'ina heritage and historical                                                               
sites along what is currently known  as College Road, that he was                                                               
a  major  proponent  in  the preservation  and  teaching  of  the                                                               
Dena'ina language,  and that he  was awarded  honorary membership                                                               
in the Kenaitze Indian Tribe for  his work.  Changing the name to                                                               
Alan Boraas Road is  a way to honor the impact  Dr. Boraas had on                                                               
the Kenai Peninsula as well as on the state of Alaska.                                                                          
1:59:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES opened public testimony on HB 208.                                                                                 
1:59:13 PM                                                                                                                    
DANIEL  BALDWIN  spoke in  support  of  honoring Dr.  Boraas  but                                                               
suggested  changing the  word  "road"  in the  road  sign to  the                                                               
Dena'ina  word  "tinitun," meaning  "path"  or  "road."   As  Dr.                                                               
Boraas was  a Dena'ina speaker  and a Dena'ina  language teacher,                                                               
Mr. Baldwin  expressed his  opinion that it  would be  fitting to                                                               
use the Dena'ina word to honor him.                                                                                             
2:00:38 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  TURNER, Director,  Kenai Peninsula  College,  spoke to  the                                                               
life of Dr. Boraas, who was  known across the state and world for                                                               
his  groundbreaking  work  with Native  language  revitalization,                                                               
cultural  research  in  Southcentral and  Southwest  Alaska,  and                                                               
numerous archeological digs.  Dr.  Boraas served as a KPC faculty                                                               
member for  46 years.   Mr.  Turner told  the committee  that KPC                                                               
sits on  309 acres on the  Kenai River, all of  which is Dena'ina                                                               
land.   Mr.  Turner  elaborated  on Dr.  Boraas'  findings:   the                                                               
latter located  numerous underground  storage pits  where ancient                                                               
Dena'ina stored  salmon; he also  located six  prehistoric houses                                                               
and  took hundreds  of students  and community  members on  field                                                               
trips through the Dena'ina land  which the road in question cuts,                                                               
explaining the significance of the  Dena'ina and of the salmon to                                                               
the particular area.  As  Dr. Boraas was recently named Professor                                                               
Emeritus   posthumously,  his   family  was   presented  with   a                                                               
resolution from the UA Board of  Regents.  The celebration of his                                                               
life was  attended by more  than 250 people and  was livestreamed                                                               
to hundreds more.                                                                                                               
2:03:18 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY asked  Mr.  Turner  his thoughts  regarding                                                               
changing  'road'  to  the  Dena'ina word  for  "pathway"  as  Mr.                                                               
Baldwin had suggested.                                                                                                          
2:03:37 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. TURNER  said that  it would be  okay as far  as he  knew, but                                                               
that he would  be curious as to the  Department of Transportation                                                               
&  Public Facilities  requirements.   He  suggested the  possible                                                               
allowance as something to be looked at by the committee.                                                                        
2:04:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY,  also speaking  on  behalf  of the  Alaska                                                               
Native  Language  Preservation  and Advisory  Council,  said  she                                                               
would like to  see more use of original language,  and asked what                                                               
the borough and the sponsor thought.                                                                                            
2:05:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP said  that he had not discussed  it with the                                                               
borough and  personally would not  support the change.   He added                                                               
that, after speaking with members  of the community, his idea was                                                               
to honor the  man who spent his lifetime  preserving the heritage                                                               
of the Kenaitze and Dena'ina, and  that very few people can read,                                                               
much  less  speak, Dena'ina,  and  implied  that very  few  would                                                               
2:06:40 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES introduced  the next testifier, whom  she said could                                                               
potentially make  the committee aware of  the specific parameters                                                               
regarding signage.                                                                                                              
2:07:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE LESMANN,  Legislative Liaison, Department  of Transportation                                                               
& Public Facilities (DOTPF), made  the committee aware of DOTPF's                                                               
guide  for traffic  signs and  all traffic  control devices,  the                                                               
Manual on  Uniform Traffic Control Devices  (MUTCD), developed by                                                             
the  American Association  of  State  Highway and  Transportation                                                               
Officials (AASHTO), in  which he said the answer would  lie.  Mr.                                                               
Lesmann introduced the  next testifier in hopes he  would be able                                                               
to address the question in greater detail.                                                                                      
2:08:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT WALKER, Engineer, Division  of Statewide Design and Engineer                                                               
Services,  Department  of   Transportation  &  Public  Facilities                                                               
(DOTPF), answered  that the MUTCD  does limit use to  English for                                                               
commonly  used words  such as  "road" and  "street."   He posited                                                               
that if the  name of a place  was in a Native  language that that                                                               
may be  able to be used,  but for street signs  the language must                                                               
be uniform across the traffic system.                                                                                           
2:09:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  looked to  clarify Mr. Walker's  answer by                                                               
asking if he could name a  street "Agua Street" instead of "Water                                                               
Street. "                                                                                                                       
2:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  WALKER said  he thought  that would  be fine  since "street"                                                               
would still be in English.                                                                                                      
2:11:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked  Mr. Walker a follow-up  question:  if                                                               
the sponsor did  want to include the language,  since Dr. Boraas'                                                               
life's  work was  language,  he would  say  "Alan Boraas  Tinutin                                                               
Road," and it would have to be a long sign.                                                                                     
2:11:24 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALKER said  he believed that was correct, but  that he would                                                               
also  need to  confer with  the  Alaska division  of the  Federal                                                               
Highway Administration (FHWA).                                                                                                  
2:11:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STUTES thanked  Mr. Walker  and moved  on with  additional                                                               
invited testimony.                                                                                                              
2:12:00 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA PARKER serves on the  University of Alaska Board of Regents,                                                               
which recently  passed a resolution  in recognition of  the life,                                                               
career, and accomplishments  of Dr. Boraas.  She  also noted that                                                               
the  Kenai  Peninsula  Borough   Assembly  unanimously  passed  a                                                               
resolution  supporting HB  208.   Ms.  Parker informed  committee                                                               
members that she met Dr. Boraas  when she worked for former state                                                               
Senator and borough Mayor Donald  E. Gilman and was approached by                                                               
the  former  regarding the  obtainment  of  a trail  easement  on                                                               
borough land.   Ms.  Parker went  on to  impart that  Dr. Boraas'                                                               
engagement with  the community was far-reaching,  especially with                                                               
regard  to his  work in  cultural, historical,  and archeological                                                               
preservation  of  the  Cook  Inlet  Region  and  preservation  of                                                               
Dena'ina  language.   Ms. Parker  urged committee  members to  be                                                               
mindful  of the  other bridges  and roads  that were  named after                                                               
those who are part of Alaska's history.                                                                                         
2:15:00 PM                                                                                                                    
JOEL ISAAK told  the committee that the Dena'ina  language is one                                                               
of the  most well-documented languages  in the world in  part due                                                               
to  the  work of  Dr.  Boraas,  whose  work was  contingent  upon                                                               
working with  elders.   Mr. Isaak  echoed others'  comments about                                                               
Dr. Boraas' deep  connection to place and his  deep commitment to                                                               
not only  the preservation of  language, but also the  ability to                                                               
use it  in perpetuity.  He  also let committee members  know that                                                               
Dr. Boraas'  name translates to  "the one who is  breaking trail"                                                               
or  "trailbreaker," and  related  Dr. Boraas'  having been  given                                                               
honorary membership  to the  tribe as not  something to  be taken                                                               
lightly as  it doesn't happen  often in  the Kenaitze or  even in                                                               
the United States.                                                                                                              
2:19:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked whether  there was  another Kenaitze                                                               
word which could  be added to the sign that  would dispel some of                                                               
the confusing discussion over the redundancy of "road."                                                                         
2:19:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. ISAAK suggested "Ti'qutsex,"  which would "integrate the noun                                                               
information of trail into the verb."                                                                                            
2:20:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked whether "Ti'qutsex" is  the name Dr.                                                               
Boraas was given.                                                                                                               
2:20:48 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. TURNER confirmed that "Ti'qutsex"  is the name Dr. Boraas was                                                               
given by the tribe.                                                                                                             
2:20:59 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN TOLLACKSON, Elder Member,  Kenaitze Indian Tribe, testified                                                               
in support of renaming the road  after Dr. Boraas and agreed with                                                               
Mr.  Isaak that  including the  name he  was given  by the  tribe                                                               
seemed  fitting, so  that the  sign would  read Alan  (Ti'qutsex)                                                               
Boraas Road.                                                                                                                    
2:22:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SHARON  ISAAK, an  Elder  Member of  the  Kenaitze Indian  Tribe,                                                               
stated  that she  lives off  Community College  Drive, so  having                                                               
counted those  letters, knows  "we can make  signs longer."   Ms.                                                               
Isaak echoed  what others have  said and mentioned that  it would                                                               
be "more than fitting" to honor  Dr. Boraas' legacy with the name                                                               
which was given to him by the Kenaitze Indian Tribe.                                                                            
2:24:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES closed public testimony on HB 208.                                                                                 
2:25:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. WALKER  said in response  to Ms. Isaak's counting  of letters                                                               
on her  street that it is  still something that would  need to be                                                               
2:25:50 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP stated that,  having had no calls requesting                                                               
a name change,  he must stand his  position on HB 208.   He asked                                                               
callers  in support  of a  name  change to  petition the  borough                                                               
assembly.  He said that proceeding  with HB 208 as it stood would                                                               
be his preference.                                                                                                              
2:27:11 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  looked to confirm  that if it  does happen                                                               
the  committee's preference  is to  have Representative  Knopp go                                                               
back and  communicate with  folks in  his community  to determine                                                               
their perspective on  adding the name Dr. Boraas  was given, that                                                               
Representative  Knopp would have no problem doing that.                                                                         
2:27:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KNOPP pointed  out that  due to  time constraints                                                               
and how  much is involved, there  is 'a good chance'  it wouldn't                                                               
happen this year, but that if  that is the committee's desire, he                                                               
would be glad to do so. He  then added that he would be reluctant                                                               
to not move HB 208 forward.                                                                                                     
2:28:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN   expressed  that,   when  he   hears  the                                                               
difficulties that  Alaska communities  have in  preserving Native                                                               
languages and how those are  disappearing, while he hears DOTPF's                                                               
concern   and  understands   the  interest   of  time,   he  also                                                               
acknowledges the interest of getting it  right.  He added that he                                                               
would like  to hear the community  so affected by Dr.  Boraas say                                                               
"It took them a little longer, but they got it right."                                                                          
2:29:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   KNOPP  said   that  the   goal  never   was  the                                                               
preservation of the language, but  instead honoring a man who did                                                               
spend his life  doing so.  He  added that Dr. Boraas  is known as                                                               
Alan  Boraas and  not  by his  Kenaitze name,  by  90-95% of  the                                                               
2:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STORY asked, if HB  208 is moved out of committee,                                                               
and then the  community desired to amend the  name, whether there                                                               
would be a place to do that.                                                                                                    
2:30:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KNOPP said the first  step would be to confer with                                                               
DOTPF and determine  the maximum size of the sign  to find out if                                                               
it were doable before reaching out to the community.                                                                            
2:30:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STUTES stated  that  she would  go with  the  will of  the                                                               
committee but  that she personally  had no problem moving  HB 208                                                               
out because there would be opportunity to amend.                                                                                
2:31:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN said  he would  prefer to  hear back  from                                                               
DOTPF, and as bills are often  heard twice, that he saw no reason                                                               
to push HB 208 through.                                                                                                         
2:31:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES  said that if  it was the  will of the  committee to                                                               
hold HB 208, it would be held.                                                                                                  
2:31:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO  said he would  like to move the  bill as                                                               
there "might be a window of  opportunity to check on that, and we                                                               
do have the ability to amend."                                                                                                  
2:32:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES said she presumed  that Representative Claman had an                                                               
2:32:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN confirmed that  he did object and responded                                                               
to Representative  Talerico's comments that when  something is on                                                               
the [House] floor with amendments it  is often asked why the work                                                               
wasn't done  in the committee.   He  continued by noting  that it                                                               
was still  early in the session  and there was plenty  of time to                                                               
get the answers.                                                                                                                
2:32:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES asked for a motion.                                                                                                
2:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TALERICO moved  to report HB 208  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
2:33:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN objected.                                                                                                 
2:33:38 PM                                                                                                                    
A roll call vote was  taken.  Representatives Talerico and Stutes                                                               
voted in  favor of the motion  to report HB 208  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.    Representatives  Story,   Drummond,  and  Claman  voted                                                               
against it.   Therefore, HB 208 failed to be  reported out of the                                                               
House Transportation Standing Committee by a vote of 2-3.                                                                       
2:34:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STUTES said that HB 208 would be held, and that the                                                                       
committee would be happy to hear HB 208 after Representative                                                                    
Knopp did his "legwork."                                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 186 v.M 02.05.2020.PDF HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 186
HB 186 Sponsor Statement v.M 02.03.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 186
HB 186 Map of Bridge 406, Scott Glacier 6 1.31.2020.jpg HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 186
HB 186 Fiscal Note DOT 02.04.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 186
HB 186 Cordova Resolution Supporting naming a CRH Bridge for irene Webber 1.31.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 186
HB 186 Native Village of Eyak Resolution in Support 02.05.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 186
HB 208 v.A 02.04.2020.PDF HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HTRA 2/13/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 208
HB 208 Sponsor Statement 1.31.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HTRA 2/13/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 208
HB 208 Map 1.31.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HTRA 2/13/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 208
HB 208 Fiscal Note DOT 02.05.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HTRA 2/13/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 208
HB 208 KPB Resolution 02.05.2020.pdf HTRA 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
HTRA 2/13/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 208