Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, during a House floor session, March 1, 2017. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)Yesterday, new legislation was passed that named Oct 25th as African American Soldiers’ Contribution to Building the Alaska Highway Day.All 19 senators who were present and 39 of the 40 House members voted for the bill.Listen nowWasilla Republican Representative David Eastman was the only lawmaker to vote no on Wednesday. He said the state shouldn’t single out black soldiers.“To create a new state law before there’s been an opportunity to recognize all Alaskan veterans who gave their lives building the highway – I think it’s premature,” Eastman said.Researchers found that many black soldiers helped build the highway in 1942, six years before the military was integrated.Historian Lael Morgan said the 10,000 U.S. soldiers who built the Alaska Highway included about 3,500 African-American troops, who mainly worked from Alaska southward into Canada. (Photo: U.S. Army/University of Alaska archives)Palmer Republican Representative DeLena Johnson said the bill recognizes that African Americans were singled out for unfair treatment.“We should recognize mistakes that we’ve made in the past and to ignore them would be a mistake,” Johnson said.Johnson noted that many black soldiers who wanted to fight in World War II weren’t allowed to do so. She added that those who built the highway contributed to Alaska’s history.“The racial division was already made,” Johnson said. “The government made that racial division.”Of the bill, Eastman said two wrongs don’t make a right. He replied to a question from a reporter about his views on race by citing his service in the Army and Army Reserve.“I wore a green uniform for 12 years and green was what we looked at,” Eastman said. “And the rest we didn’t, and it worked very well.”The bill now heads to Governor Bill Walker’s desk for his signature.
Park Hyatt Sydney is honoured to be the recipient of the Virtuoso “Best of the Best” hotel award for Best Achievement in Design at the prestigious award ceremony held during the 2012 Virtuoso Travel Week conference in Las Vegas on 17 August 2012.A leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso introduced the “Best of the Best” Hotel Awards six years ago as a means of recognising properties and individuals that best exemplify Virtuoso’s commitment to delivering exceptional experiences. The awards drew a record crowd of 1,450 people including some of the biggest names in hospitality as well as the travel agency community. With a portfolio of 975 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats in 90 countries, Virtuoso has continuously set new standards within the luxury travel industry; and those recognised with a “Best of the Best” award represent the finest hotels and professionals who truly define the highest level of luxury hospitality. Nominated alongside some of the world’s best hotels, Park Hyatt Sydney was named the winner of the Best Achievement in Design award, an award that recognises the significance of outstanding architecture and design of a hotel. Led by Melbourne-based design firm BARstudio, Park Hyatt Sydney’s accolade comes after a dramatic 11-month transformation that witnessed a complete rebuild of the hotel into a luxurious harbourfront residence with unrivalled views of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The hotel’s architect of record for the renovation was Hassell, an Australian architectural design practise.The hotel’s new redesign unveiled an intimate and stylish residential-style hotel with architecture, design and art that reflects the Australian landscape. With three new luxury rooftop suites including the luxurious Sydney Suite, Park Hyatt Sydney brings a new level of contemporary luxury to the edge of Sydney harbour with a coveted waterfront location between the world-famous Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.The hotel’s interior features an art gallery of interior pieces including indigenous artefacts, books and artworks in all 155 guestrooms and throughout the hotel. Blending the hotel’s indoor-outdoor living experience are floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto spacious private balconies, custom-designed lighting and furnishings of warm, neutral hues. Most importantly, the hotel’s new redesign honours its Australian heritage ensuring original Sydney sandstone and local timber were incorporated in the rebuild. The hotel has also commissioned a number of Australian artists including sculptors, painters and photographers to create artworks designed to provide guests with a quintessentially Sydney experience.“We are pleased to receive this prestigious award. The recognition of receiving a Virtuoso “Best of the Best” hotel award places Park Hyatt Sydney amongst the finest hotels in the world. The team at Park Hyatt Sydney has worked incredibly hard throughout our 11-month closure and this win is a big recognition to the team for an excellent job done,” said general manager Andrew Mensforth.Park Hyatt Sydney has received its five awards since re-opening in February 2012, including the 2012 Tourism Accommodation Australia (NSW) Awards for Excellence Deluxe Hotel Accommodation of the Year and Travel + Leisure magazine’s IT List: The Best New Hotels 2012. Park Hyatt Sydney – Exterior Source = Park Hyatt Sydney