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Two schoolgirls win contest to name two new ferries

first_imgThe winners of Alaska’s “Name The New Ferry” contest didn’t know about it until they got a call from Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Mallot congratulate ferry-naming winners via Skype (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Transportation)Tuesday’s announcement revealed that one would be the Tazlina and the other the Hubbard.Download AudioMost classrooms don’t get this kind of call:“I’m Gov. Bill Walker and I’m Byron Mallott, Lt. Gov. And we have an important announcement today that we wanted to share with you. And we’re looking for a young lady named Malea Voran. Is she there?”Malea Voran was there, at the school in Port Alsworth on Lake Clark.During the Skype video call, Walker explained that her essay about the Tazlina Glacier was a winner in a statewide competition.“You did a very nice job, a very nice report,” Walker said. “And we have selected you as the recipient of one of the two names for the two ships.”All ferries are named after glaciers. In an interview with KDLG in Dillingham, the seventh-grader read the first paragraph of her essay.“The Tazlina … I will be riding on the Tazlina,” Voran said.The name means “swift river’ in Ahtna Athabaskan.The other winner is 10th grader Taylor Thompson of Eagle River, who proposed the name Hubbard. That glacier is near Yakutat, Mallott’s home town. It’s famous for advancing, often rapidly, while most other glaciers are retreating.She also got a call from the governor.“I was looking at the list of all the glaciers in Alaska and there’s a lot,” Thompson said. “That one was a really nice name. I started looking at the glacier and decided it was really nice, so I decided to write my essay about it.”That essay said the glacier, quote, “surpasses all others in its beauty and magnificence. A ferry named after it would surely do the same.”The governor said the name represents growth, and his administration is trying to grow Alaska’s economy. The lieutenant governor noted the Hubbard is the world’s largest non-polar tidewater glacier, which ties into Alaska’s size.The two essays were chosen from about 450 submitted by Alaska students.Ferry system spokesman Jeremy Woodrow was one of the judges. He said it was a hard choice.“The name was part of the consideration,” Woodrow said. “But you really had to put the best and most well-written essays forward.”He says one of the more popular names suggested was Margerie, in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.The two new state ferries are under construction at the Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan. They’re due to be completed in 2018.They’re slated to sail Northern Lynn Canal, between Juneau, Haines and Skagway.last_img read more