Posted in: Anchorage Issues, Anchorage Schools, Budget, Education, Fiscal Plan, Hanshew Middle School, Kasuun Elementary School, Press Releases, Service High School, Trailside Elementary School | Comments (0)
Fiscal Plan for our Future
This week, colleagues and I introduced a comprehensive fiscal plan, House Bill 192. With low oil prices, and an economy in a recession, now is the time to be creative with our assets, and find a path forward. We’ve been working with experts and listening to constituents about what they believe would be a fair way to fill our fiscal gap. What we’ve heard is that to re-claim a strong economy, we need to ensure that we’re not taking money from Alaskans or lowering incomes.
Our fiscal plan does not impose an income tax, and it does not cap the amount of the PFD. This plan calls for a spending cap, phased cuts over four years, and the use of Permanent Fund earnings within a sustainable and structured framework that protects and grows the Fund. Many of the plans out there rely heavily on taxes to balance the budget, but our priority is lifting this state out of an economic recession, and holding Alaskans harmless.
Check out this link for a bit more information about this fiscal plan: http://alaskahouserepublicans.org/press/long-term-fiscal-plan-protect-economy-preserve-pfds/.
The House continued to debate the state’s operating budget this week, and took a vote on whether or not to support its passage. I voted no on passing the budget in its current form. The House Majority’s budget represents an increase in spending, resulting in a huge, unstructured bite out of our reserves. We need to be very careful about how we proceed in this current economy, and no one committee or committee chair should decide how to close our budget gap.
Moving forward, we will all continue to work on this budget and I hope that progress will be made in reducing government’s footprint, so that we can have a sustainable budget into the future.
School Happenings in District 25!
There are lots of interesting activities coming up at the schools in our district:
HANSHEW MIDDLE SCHOOL: This school year Hanshew Middle School began offering Pre-AP classes for 8th grade students interested in learning strategies that will help prepare them for Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes in high school. Students who enter the Pre-AP program take a Pre-AP 8th Grade Language Arts class and a Pre-AP 8th Grade Social Studies class.
Students in these classes learn how to use Pre-AP strategies to analyze complex fiction and nonfiction texts, as well as how to use evidence to support their claims in both formal essays and shorter pieces of writing. They also learn Pre-AP strategies for identifying an author’s purpose in a piece of writing or a visual document such as a political cartoon. In addition, students learn strong study skills and how to work collaboratively with their peers. Hanshew’s Pre-AP program instructors collaborate extensively throughout the year. They are focused on helping students prepare to take challenging academic classes in high school. Students who are proficient in reading and writing and have a strong academic record are invited into this rigorous program.
SERVICE HIGH SCHOOL: Do you have a Service student getting ready to think about what to do after high school? This Saturday, from 9AM to 12PM in the Service High Library, there will be a “College Workshop”, featuring three college prep sessions: “Finding the Right Fit”, “College Assessments”, and “College Athletics 101”. Check it out and help your student look forward to their future!
TRAILSIDE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Trailside Timberwolves are getting excited about STEM learning at their annual Math and Science Night, coming up on March 30th from 6PM to 8PM. Students will get to see the inner-workings of machines, learn from local math and science experts, and show off their science projects. Looks like it will be a lot of fun!
KASUUN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Family movie night is coming up next week on March 31st! Join PTA members, students and staff from 6:30PM to 8:30PM to kick back and enjoy a movie. Thank you so much to our Knights for putting on these great community-building events.
We’ll keep our ears open for more fun goings-on in our great schools!
Absentee Voting in City Elections
The deadline for applying for your absentee ballot for this April’s municipal elections is quickly approaching! If you’re going to be out of town on Election Day and need to mail in an absentee ballot, consider applying today. By March 28th, the Clerk’s Office needs to have received your vote-by-mail application. Participating in our local elections is critical to creating a great, engaged community!
Find out more here: https://www.muni.org/Departments/Assembly/Clerk/Elections/Pages/VoterInfo.aspx
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this update! We really appreciate your engagement.
admin @ March 24, 2017
Good Afternoon Everyone,
The session is moving so quickly right now. This week, we were so proud to see legislation protecting the health and welfare of families left behind following the death of a public safety officer unanimously pass the house. Meanwhile, the House Republican Caucus was stymied in its mission to address the state’s multibillion dollar budget gap with smart, targeted reductions to the operating budget.
As the session continues, please keep in touch on the budget or anything else important to you and your family.
This week amendments to the House’s version of the State Budget were debated on the floor. There were a multitude of amendments from our House Republicans to reduce the size of government, totaling over $100 million. There were more important budget reductions, and opportunities for common ground awaiting discussion, but the House Democrats cut off debate today, leaving many ideas in the dark. Some of the proposed cuts included reductions to slush-funds, premium pay, and empty positions. Unfortunately, House Democrats chose to reject every cost-savings opportunity, and instead voted to grow the budget this year.
There is a substantial need for action on our financial situation this year, and the Governor and Legislature alike have acknowledged that a fiscal plan must include a reduction to our current unsustainable state spending. Our budget does not reflect our revenue constraints, and still includes spending that could be reduced without negatively impacting Alaskans. We sincerely hope that as the budget continues to move through the legislative process, our need to down-size is taken seriously, and a firmer grip is found on our state spending.
Honoring our Fallen Heroes
We were so proud to see House Bill 23 unanimously pass the Alaska State House on Monday. The legislation provides health benefits for surviving families of fallen public safety officers. Those who make the ultimate sacrifice protecting our families should know that their families will also be cared for.
This bill was the product of substantial time and effort, and over six years of hard work by many stakeholders and representatives. Brandy Johnson, the wife of fallen Sgt. Scott Johnson, who was brutally murdered while serving Alaskans, has been the ultimate advocate for this critical coverage, not only for her family, but for all current and future public safety officers and their families. Alaskans truly owe Brandy a debt of gratitude, as does our office for all of her help and support while working on this important legislation. Thank you to all who have dedicated so much time and effort to see this bill through the House.
The March meeting of the Abbott Loop Community Council will be held next Thursday, March 30 at Abbott Loop Elementary School. Here is the agenda. On Tuesday, the Anchorage Assembly will hold a regular meeting starting at 5:00 p.m.
The high school soccer season kicks off next weekend with the boys and girls teams visiting Colony High in Palmer on Saturday the 25th, the ladies take the field at noon and the boys’ team at 4:00 p.m.
It was a tough season for the Lady Cougars basketball squad but they played every game with pride and poise. The boy’s team, led by leading scorers Nathan Fromm and Dominic Norman finished third in the Cook Inlet Conference Championships last week. Congratulations to both teams for their hard work.
We also want to give a big congratulations to Service High graduate and District 25 constituent Jeff Overbaugh. Jeff signed a contract with the Denver Broncos football team and will compete for the position of long snapper once training camp begins later this year.
March 31 is coming fast! It is the deadline to apply for your 2017 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend. If you have any questions about the application process call the Anchorage PFD office at 269-0370, or check out the FAQ webpage at http://pfd.alaska.gov/FAQ
That is all for now, but we will be back next week with much more from Juneau and please remember to reach out to us anytime with your thoughts, concerns and ideas.
Our toll free number is 888-269-3879. We are listening.
admin @ March 17, 2017
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is Friday and that means our weekly constituent newsletter is ready for everyone. We believe it is important to share with all of you information on what we are doing to prevent the spread of deadly synthetic drugs, how our caucus is working to bring state spending under control and the special recognition awarded to three of our community’s amazing athletes! We really appreciate everyone taking a few minutes to stay in touch with us through this newsletter.
The House Finance Committee considered over 200 amendments that would have reduced the size of government this week. Brought forward by House Republican members of the Finance Committee, amendments were offered to cut premium pay, duplicated spending, funding for deleted positions and non-critical programs, such as trade advertising. Unfortunately, nearly all of these reductions were declined by the House Majority, who chose instead to increase the budget by over $200 Million.
When our state is facing an over $2 Billion deficit, we can’t keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. Especially when the House Majority is looking to tax Alaskans, government needs to take action to cut its costs and better reflect its revenue. Growing the budget during a fiscal crisis and then asking Alaskans to pick up the tab is unrealistic and ignores the recessionary effect of this downturn on families’ pocketbooks.
The budget will now head to the House floor, where we will continue to work to convince colleagues of the serious need to right-size government and to offer amendments to that effect. We will keep you posted as this budget process continues!
Fighting Opioid Abuse
On Monday, legislation, House Bill 24, that criminalizes the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “Pink”, was overwhelmingly passed by the Alaska State House. It empowers state and local law enforcement to put dealers behind bars and save the lives of Alaskans caught in the downward spiral of opioid addiction.
Our legislation is one component of Alaska’s comprehensive statewide plan to fight opioid addiction, a menace to our society destroying lives, families and communities. House Bill 24 is now up for consideration in the Senate where we hope swift action will be taken.
Congratulations to three Service basketball players, Katie Pearce, Dominic Norman and Nathan Fromm for making the 2016-2017 All Cook Inlet Conference Girls and Boys Basketball Teams. Katie was a star throughout the 14 game regular season while Nathan and Dominic were real sharpshooters on the hardwood, frequently posting the highest individual scores each game. In fact, Dominic and Nathan scored a combined 47 of the team’s 81 points in Wednesday’s Cook Inlet Conference playoff victory against Bartlett. The win advances the boys team to tonight’s semi-final matchup against East at 5:00 p.m. at the West High gym.
Free Smoke Detectors
Home fires have tragically claimed the lives of several Alaskans this winter so we are proud to see the American Red Cross of Alaska and Chugach Electric teaming up to provide free smoke detectors. Just visit the lobby at Chugach Electric headquarters next Friday, March 17 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.to sign up for the free lifesaving detectors. For more details check out this Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/1245527548896602/
Before we go… The Hanshew Middle School PTA needs to fill out the executive board for the 2017-2018 school year. Interested parents can learn out more by sending an email to PTA President Bright Nygard at HanshewPTA@gmail.com Nominations will be voted at the April PTA meeting – and let’s not forget the school newsletters from Service High and Trailside Elementary.
Cool temperatures and sunny skies are forecast for this weekend so enjoy the last few weeks of winter.
We are here to serve you, your family and our community.
admin @ March 10, 2017
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Today is day 46 of the 90 day regular session – our half way point – and this week has been has been filled with meetings on the budget, oil and gas taxes, healthcare, and many other issues important to Alaskans. Our office has also been incredibly lucky to have many visits from District 25 constituents this week – all advocating for issues important to them and to our community. If you find yourself in the Capitol City this session with an advocacy group or you simply want to stop by and say hello, please come by our office, Room 404!
This week the House Democratic Majority introduced their edited version of the state budget. We were disappointed to see that despite the over $3 Billion deficit, their budget increases state spending by hundreds of millions of dollars and expands non-essential state programs. Along with a rise in spending, the Majority’s budget eliminated a proposal to use some of our state’s budget reserve, and instead took a large and risky draw from the Permanent Fund’s earning reserve. While smart uses of our state’s assets can benefit the state, such a hefty draw from our earnings reserves in one year can serve to erode the value of that account and the corpus of the Permanent Fund itself.
What’s next? Public testimony on the budget began yesterday and will continue today, and we will be listening to how Alaskans react to this late-in-the-game surprise as well as hear from residents about their take on the size of our government. Do you want to weigh in? Anchorage is having public testimony from 1:00 p. to 3:00 p.m. today at the Anchorage LIO (website: http://anchorage.akleg.gov/ ) We will also be working with colleagues to introduce amendments in the Finance Committee to reduce the duplicative, non-critical spending that our budget still includes.
Criminal Justice Update
Our office has been working closely with state prosecutors, victims’ advocates, the Anchorage Police Department, state troopers, and many others in law enforcement to find potential fixes to the dangerous omnibus criminal justice overhaul passed last year, Senate Bill 91. This bill risked the safety of our communities by reducing and changing many of the penalties for criminal offenders without sufficient safety nets and accountability measures to ensure that outcomes would improve. It needs a whole lot of work, and our office is partnering with others across the state to get the input of our constituents on how we can make them feel safer in their homes and regions. If you are interested in sending your ideas for ways we can improve our community and state’s safety, please reach out to our office! We have all witnessed the truly upsetting rate of violent and non-violent crime in Anchorage, and can all do more to prevent that rate from growing.
Strength. Resilience. Justice.
Individuals and organizations that assist crime victims seeking justice in the judicial system while helping them to put their lives back together deserve special recognition. Victims for Justice, an advocacy group dedicated to representing victims of crime, is seeking nominations for its annual awards banquet at the Egan Center April 8. The four awards are an integral part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 2-8 and the theme this year is Strength. Resilience. Justice. To nominate an individual or organization, fill out the online nomination form at https://victimsforjustice.ejoinme.org/nomination The deadline for nominations is March 15.
Gus Schumacher did it again! The Service Senior captured the Skimeister title last weekend at the ASAA Nordic Ski State Championships by posting the fastest individual times at the three day event, and he did it just days after winning the Skimeister title at the Cook Inlet Conference Championships. Congratulations to Gus for amazing back to back performances and to the entire team and coach Jan Buron for a successful season on the ski trails.
Practice sessions are underway for the Cougar soccer and track and field teams. Due to the collapse of The Dome earlier this winter, the season opener has been tentatively scheduled for March 31, of course we will have more details as they become available. Schedules for the soccer teams are still being worked out and will be released soon.
Members of the Anchorage Assembly and Anchorage School Board will gather a joint meeting on Tuesday, April 7 at City Hall in the eighth floor conference room beginning at 10:00 a.m. A review of the 2017-2018 ASD budget and its six year capital improvement plan are on the table for discussion. The Anchorage Assembly will hold a regular meeting that evening at the Loussac Library.
Agendas for both meetings can be found at the municipal meetings webpage. http://www.muni.org/Residents/Pages/MuniMeetings.aspx
Car Seat Checkups
The Anchorage Fire Department is offering free car seat and booster seat checkups on March 8, 9 and 10 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at downtown Fire Station #1, located at 100 East 4th Avenue. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect seats and booster seats to check for proper installation and educate parents about the safe use of car seats.
For more information, please call Safe Kids Alaska at 907-212-3194.
Do 1 Thing
Shelter. It is one of the essential needs anyone caught in a disaster must have to survive and assist others injured and in need of care. Do 1 Thing is a non-profit organization that works to prepare communities for an emergency or disaster. Each month it brings attention to one thing families and communities can do to be disaster resilient. March is about the steps necessary to locate safe, secure and habitable shelter. Go to the Do 1 Thing at: http://do1thing.com/topics/sheltering for all the details.
We are here for you and your family, so please keep in touch. Our toll free number is 888-269-3879.
admin @ March 3, 2017
admin @ February 28, 2017
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to our constituent newsletter! We are committed to providing all of you with the latest news and information on legislation, the budget, school events and community news each week from the state capitol. Today we want to tell you about our efforts to stop the scourge of opioid addiction that is destroying Alaskans caught in the trap of drug abuse, their families and our communities. We also have the schedule for March PTA meetings and lots more.
Fighting Opioid Addiction
This week our legislation, House Bill 24, which would criminalize the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous opioid U-47700, was passed out of the House Finance Committee. If passed, this bill would give our law enforcement the tools to get more of this deadly drug off of our streets, and the ability to further punish those who continue to deal opioids. A key measure in solving the addiction crisis in our state is removing dangerous substances from our communities and giving people the opportunity to wrench themselves from their demons. House Bill 24 now heads to the House floor for a vote.
House Budget Subcommittees are wrapping up their process this year, and their recommendations are heading to the full Finance Committee for review. The new process established by the Finance Committee Chairs this year has been very limited and has mainly included high-level overviews of departments, instead of actual budget numbers and department evaluation. In spite of this obstacle, the House Republican Caucus has brought forward, and will continue to propose, reductions to our budget that draw down non-critical government spending. For example, within the Legislature’s budget our office brought forward cuts that would eliminate the Legislative Lounge and eliminate per diem for legislators who reside in Juneau during session. Both of these amendments were rejected by the subcommittee chair, and will unfortunately not be cut this year.
Our state can’t expect to get itself back on a stable path without limiting our expenditures, and cuts need to be made this year. We will keep you posted with more of our budget cutting amendments and how they fare in this budget.
March PTA Meetings
- Trailside Elementary PTA – Wednesday, March 1 @ 4:00 p.m.
- Abbott Loop Elementary PTO – Monday, March 6 @ 5:30 p.m.
- Hanshew PTA – Monday, March 6 @ 6:00 p.m.
- Kasuun Elementary PTA – Thursday, March 2 @ 4:30 p.m.
- Service High PTA – Tuesday, March 2 @ 6:00 p.m.
The Service High and Trailside Elementary PTA executive boards are actively recruiting new board members for the 2017-2018 school year. Serving on an executive board requires commitment and dedication to improving the educational experience for students with fundraisers and afterschool events while supporting and encouraging the hard work teachers, administrators and staff put in each and every school day. Please send an email to Service PTA President Mary Rosenfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or Trailside PTA President Jessica Maves at email@example.com if you can help.
The big news this weekend is the 2017 ASAA Nordic Ski State Championships underway today and Saturday at Kincaid Park. The Cougars have a great team and skied really well at the Cook Inlet Conference Championships last weekend. We also want to extend a special congratulations to Gus Schumacher for winning the title of “Skimeister,” for clocking the fastest times among all the young men at the two day event.
Here is the weekly schedule for the basketball teams. The regular season is coming to a close so catch a game and support our young athletes. Home games are in CAPS.
Friday, February 24 (TONIGHT) – SOUTH VS. SERVICE @ 7:30 p.m.
Monday, February 27 – Service vs. East @ 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1 – EAGLE RIVER VS. SERVICE @ 7:30 P.M.
Friday, February 24 (TONIGHT) – SOUTH VS. SERVICE @ 6:00 P.M.
Monday, February 27 – Service vs. East @ 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1 – EAGLE RIVER VS. SERVICE @ 6:00 P.M.
Living with Cancer
If you or a loved one are living with cancer there are many programs and services available from patient lodging, to classes to emotional support. The American Cancer Society offers these services, and much more, even for patient’s families. The information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.
Stay in touch with us all session long and remember to write down our toll free number, 888-269-3879 for our constituents, friends and neighbors back home.
Last but not least, Fur Rondy kicks off this weekend, check out the schedule at http://www.furrondy.net/ and go have some fun this weekend.
admin @ February 24, 2017
Good afternoon everyone,
We are now about a month into this Legislative session, and our office is working hard on evaluating the state’s budget and the bills before the Legislature. There are many large issues moving through the process, and we will keep you posted as to opportunities for you to weigh in on matters important to you.
Opioid Disaster Declaration
This week the Walker Administration took the important and necessary step of issuing a disaster declaration for the opioid epidemic. Opioid addiction and overdose are ravaging our state and risking the future of our next generation. Silence will not end this cycle of drug abuse – treatment, prevention, and emergency response capabilities are needed in our state to stop this epidemic in its tracks. The declaration allows the formation of an Overdose Response Program, which can distribute naloxone, a drug that saves opioid users from a fatal overdose.
Critical to assisting in stemming the growth of opioid related deaths is giving law enforcement the tools it needs to halt the spread of dangerous new synthetic drugs. In order to further that goal, our office has brought forward House Bill 24, legislation outlawing a dangerous new form of synthetic heroin called U-47700, or more commonly known by its street name “pink.” The bill will add U-47700 to the state’s list of schedule 1A drugs, a list that includes heroin and LSD, drugs with a high potential for abuse and lack any legitimate medical use. Without this listing, U-47700, which is up to 800% more potent than regular heroin, will remain perfectly legal under state law. We also want to thank Alaska’s law enforcement, substance treatment organizations and Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth for supporting House Bill 24.
Alaska’s Education Challenge
Delivering a quality education to every student in Alaska comes with challenges that are truly unique to our state. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and the State Board of Education have launched a comprehensive effort to improve our education system called “Alaska’s Education Challenge.” It starts with gathering public input, ideas from you and your neighbors, on how to make the education system more efficient and effective under the current fiscal situation. Once the initial public input process is completed, committees will be formed to make policy recommendations on five priorities already identified by the State Board of Education.
This flyer contains more information on how you can participate and links for additional information.
288,400 of your fellow Alaskans have already filed. Have you? The deadline to apply for the 2017 Permanent Fund Dividend is March 31. The most efficient way to apply is online and we have the link right here: http://pfd.alaska.gov/ The PFD division’s webpage also contains an explanation of the eligibility requirements and complete instructions if you need to file for a child or another adult. Dividends will be distributed in early October.
Attention all aspiring high school artists! The ASAA All-State Art Online Competition participation forms are due February 27. Here is the flyer with details on how to enter.
Today and tomorrow the Cougars compete in the Region IV Cross Country Ski Championships at Kincaid Park. Check out the team’s website for more details: http://servicecrosscountry.com/index.html
Here is the schedule for the basketball teams. Home games are in CAPS. The public is always welcome at Service High athletic events.
Saturday, February 18 – BARTLETT VS. SERVICE @ 6:00 P.M.
Wednesday, February 22 – Service vs. Dimond @ 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 23 – WEST VALLEY VS. SERVICE @ 7:30 P.M.
Saturday, February 18 – BARTLETT VS. SERVICE @ 7:30 P.M.
Wednesday, February 22 – Service vs. Dimond @ 7:30 p.m.
Before we go… the next generation of Cougars at Kasuun Elementary just released this month’s Kasuun newsletter.
Thank you for reading our weekly blog post. If there is anything we can do for you, please give us a call toll free at 888-269-3879.
admin @ February 18, 2017
It has been another fast paced week here in Juneau where we are working every day to represent our constituents’ in House District 25.
This week, the House passed a bill that will allow public safety and Alaskans with disabilities to communicate more effectively and prevent negative outcomes. By improving training for officers, updating the DMV’s driving manual, and allowing Alaskans to put a designated emblem on their licenses, those with non-apparent disabilities can be recognized and in the event of an interaction with an officer, can best explain their situation. This bill passed the House unanimously, and now heads to the Senate for their consideration.
In addition to work on legislation, budget subcommittees have been meeting every day to dig into the details of our state’s current spending. While still in its early stages, it is becoming more apparent in this budget process that there are opportunities for our state to scale back its spending on non-essential services. There are also some clear examples of ways that we can work smarter, and employ cost-saving measures to bring down spending, while maintaining the same level of service to Alaskans. We will continue to keep you posted as we move through this budget process!
The Anchorage Assembly gathers for a meeting this Tuesday evening at 5:00 p.m. One look at the agenda tells us it will be a busy night, and two weeks from now, the Abbott Loop Community Council holds its February 23rd meeting at Abbott Loop Elementary School. Left Click here to see the agenda.
Dating Violence Awareness
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and we have far too many examples here in Alaska of ways that our young people can be hurt or lose their lives at the hands of a harmful or violent partner. During this time, please talk to the young people around you and make sure they know they have a safe, supportive person to come to. Teens experience some of the highest rates of intimate partner violence, and often have the least understanding of the ways that they can prevent negative relationships and protect themselves.
These can be incredibly sensitive or difficult topics to bring up, even in the best of situations. Here are a few resources to help:
- Love is Respect website: http://www.loveisrespect.org/
- Alaska Careline: 1-877-266-4357
- National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474
- Stand Up Speak Up Alaska: http://www.standupspeakupalaska.org/
- Talk Now Talk Often: http://www.tntoak.org
Additionally, you can empower young people to protect each other and help their friends and loved ones steer away from violent and abusive situations. Green Dot helps us to discover lots of options for intervening when we see signs of violence (Reactive Green Dots) as well as easy ways to begin to change our culture (Proactive Green Dots). Learn more here: http://dps.alaska.gov/cdvsa/Prevention-GREEN-DOT-AK.html
We want to recognize the Service High School Partners Club for receiving the 2017 Inclusive Practices Award by the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education. The club brings together students and special education students for all kinds of activities inside and outside the school campus. Kudos to everyone involved with the club.
Congratulations are also in order to Cougars Tyler Millar and Ryan Reid named to the 2016-2017 All-Cook Inlet Conference Boys Hockey Team. Only 20 players make the team and that speaks volumes about how well they played throughout the entire season.
Here is our weekly basketball team schedule. The home team is in bold.
February 13 – Service vs. Bartlett @ 6:00 p.m.
February 16 – Service vs. Chugiak @ 6:00 p.m.
February 10 (tonight) – Service vs. Colony @ 7:00 p.m.
February 13 – Service vs. Bartlett @ 7:30 p.m.
The abundance of snow this winter sets the stage perfectly for next weekend’s Region IV Cross Country Ski Championships, February 17 and 18 at Kincaid Park. The action begins at noon next Friday and at 11:00 on Saturday. Everyone is welcome to come out and watch the races.
Visit our Schools Month
February is also Visit our Schools Month. All ASD schools are offering guided public tours for the every Tuesday this month at 9:30 a.m. The 28th has been set aside for evening tours at 6:00 p.m. It is not necessary to have school aged children, the district wants everyone to learn more about their neighborhood schools and the great learning environment our children have each school day.
And finally… The little Timberwolves at Trailside Elementary send us their February newsletter.
Enjoy the snow this weekend! Please remember… we answer to you,
admin @ February 10, 2017
Friends and neighbors,
We are back with another edition of our blog where we reach out to all of you back home about our efforts to formulate a state budget plan that protects vital services with the least possible financial impact on your family. This week we proudly moved legislation to fight the scourge of opioid drug addiction and an update on our multiyear effort to assist the families of fallen public safety officers.
Preventing Opioid Addiction
The House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed House Bill 24 on Wednesday. It outlaws U-47700, a new and deadly form of synthetic heroin that is more commonly known by the street name “pink.” The bill adds it to the state’s list of schedule 1A drugs, substances that have no legitimate medical use, are addictive and pose an immediate public threat.
To call U-47700 deadly is an understatement. It can be up to 800 percent more potent than traditional heroin so even touching it can be fatal. It was a factor in the deaths of three Alaskans and at least 46 people are known to have died from it in the Lower 48. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration believes it is made in overseas labs under conditions that make using it extremely dangerous.
HB 24 has broad support from medical, law enforcement, legal and substance abuse treatment organizations. It now goes to the House Finance Committee for its consideration.
Critical Benefits for the Families of Fallen Officers
Our hearts were full this week after hearing over an hour of passionate testimony in the House Finance Committee on the incredible need for health coverage for the families of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty, House Bill 23. The plan before the Legislature currently would allow surviving dependents of fallen officers to retain their health coverage and continue to receive care until a “change of status” occurs. In the heartfelt testimony, families of fallen troopers, as well as active officers and their families reminded the committee that t is the least our state can do for those who put their lives on the line, to allow them to focus on their job and their duty, instead of worrying about whether they really want to enter a dangerous situation – whether their family will be taken care of were the worst to occur.
This piece of legislation will be brought before the House Finance Committee again this coming week, and we will keep you posted as it moves through the process.
Our House Republican Caucus webpage is now live. My colleagues and I post our legislation, photos, biographical information and much more. Check back often because we are always updating it. Go to: http://alaskahouserepublicans.org/
Based on the number of high school students playing basketball, it is Alaska’s number one prep sport. The Cougar basketball teams are in the final few weeks of the regular season with some great matchups still on the schedule. Home teams are in bold.
February 3 (TONIGHT) – West vs Service @ 7:30 p.m.
February 7 – East vs. Service @ 7:30 p.m.
February 3 (TONIGHT) – West vs. Service @ 6:00 p.m.
February 7 – East vs. Service @ 6:00 p.m.
The Classic Relay event on Saturday, February 11 sends the Service cross country ski team to Russian Jack Park for races against the other seven Cook Inlet Conference teams. Last but not least, the Service Debate, Drama and Forensics team is preparing for the state event February 23 and 24 at East High School.
Parents should know that the Anchorage School District will be administering the 2017 School Climate and Connectedness Survey to all staff and students in grades 3-12 from February 13 to the 24. The survey seeks to learn what students think about school safety, student involvement and other issues. The survey is confidential, voluntary and anonymous. It does not ask students any questions about their family. Check out a sample survey at this link: http://www.asdk12.org/ae/surveys/schoolclimateandconnectednesssurvey/ if you wish to opt your child out of the survey notify her or his school in writing.
On Monday the Anchorage School Board will hold its regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at ASD Headquarters, 5530 E Northern Lights Blvd. Read the agenda for details of the meeting.
Have a Heart
Someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 40 seconds, making it the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. The most current estimates for both heart disease and stroke put the cost for health care and lost productivity at a staggering $312.6 billion. To promote a heart healthy lifestyle the American Heart Association recognizes every February as National Heart Month to educate and promote lifestyle changes that lower the risk of developing heart disease. The association strongly recommends everyone who has not done so to take a CPR class, and if it has been years since your last training a refresher course is highly recommended. Many organizations and businesses offer CPR training in the Anchorage area and can be found by an online search for a class near you.
For more information on preventing heart disease, go to the American Heart Association web site at: www.heart.org
Alaska ABLE Plan
The Alaska Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) plan allows Alaskans with disabilities and their families the ability to open investment accounts and save money for their disability related expenses. Patterned after 529 college savings programs, money can be saved without losing eligibility for certain public assistance programs. The ABLE program was created by the legislature last year to ease the financial burdensdisabled Alaskans and their families face every day. Click here and here to read the flyer and go to the website at https://savewithable.com/ak/home.html to sign up.
Before we go, watch for our annual session newsletter hitting mailboxes later this month with more news from Juneau.
Lots of sun is forecast this weekend so get out and enjoy it!
admin @ February 3, 2017
Today marks day 11 of the 2017 session and my colleagues and I are very busy doing the people’s business here in the capitol building. Of course, the main focus is on the budget and how we can accomplish aligning state spending with available revenues. My job is to protect your PFD and keep the government out of your pocketbook to the greatest extent possible.
The House’s Budget Subcommittees have begun their hearings, and members are digging into the functions of each department in the Executive Branch. House Republicans’ focus will continue to be protecting essential services – roads, public safety, education – and finding ways to eliminate programs that are not working, or are duplicated in the private sector. The budget should reflect our priorities as a state – we should not be scrimp on troopers to pay for industry marketing, nor should we forgo plowing roads to pay for redundant mail services. The subcommittees will continue to meet until the end of February, at which point House Finance Committee members will work their way through the subcommittee’s recommendations. Our office will keep you posted throughout the process!
Survivor Benefits Hearing
After years of hard work by the last two Governors, public safety officers and their families, and our office, it was encouraging to have the House Finance Committee hear an innovative plan to provide critical benefits to the families of fallen police and firefighters. The State of Alaska asks their public safety employees to provide for the protection and safety of our communities. It is only right that when our employees give their lives in the service of the state that we continue to serve the family they have left behind. We as a state owe a debt of gratitude to the brave families of fallen Sgt. Scott Johnson, Trooper Gabe Rich, and Trooper Tage Toll for their tireless advocacy on behalf of all survivors of those who have died in the line of duty. They are the reason that this plan is before the Legislature now, and have shown true courage in telling their stories and explaining how important coverage like this is for their families.
There will be public testimony on this bill on Wednesday, February 1st at 1:30pm in the House Finance Committee. You can call in using (907) 465-4648 to share your thoughts on this important coverage (HB 23). This is a great opportunity for advocacy, and your voice will be heard across the Legislature.
We have the slate of February PTA meetings and information about the state’s annual transportation fair. Please call the school if you have any questions about a PTA meeting, meetings are not restricted to parents with children attending the school.
Abbott Loop Elementary PTO – Monday, February 6 at 5:30 p.m.
Kasuun Elementary PTA – Thursday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m.
(Click here to read Kasuun’s January newsletter)
Trailside Elementary PTA – Thursday, February 2 at 4:00 p.m.
Hanshew Middle School PTA – Monday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m.
Service High PTA – Tuesday, February 7 at 6:00 p.m.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the Municipality of Anchorage invite everyone to the 2017 Anchorage Transportation Fair on Wednesday, February 15 at the UAA Alaska Airlines Center Auxiliary. This is a showcase of walking, biking, and driving projects and plans in Anchorage. The fair and parking are free. Go to http://anchoragetranspofair.blogspot.com/ for details.
The boys hockey team plays its final regular season game tonight at 6:45 against hillside rival South High at Ben Boeke Arena. The Cook Inlet Conference playoffs begin next week. The cross country ski teams compete tomorrow in the Kincaid Cross Country Skiathlon Relay at 11:00 a.m. where the Cougars and eight other schools will race for best team and individual titles.
The basketball teams have two games coming up on Monday, the boys and girls varsity squads travel to South High, the girls play at 6:00 and the boys at 7:30.
Our blog page is a forum for the entire Abbott Loop community, so if you have information about a special event or meeting that may be of interest to your friends and neighbors, please send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Before we go, please try to keep your vehicles out of the street so snow plow operators can clear out the foot of snow that blanketed Anchorage. Your cooperation will make your street safer for everyone.
admin @ January 27, 2017