If you have any time available in your busy schedule to volunteer or can make a donation to help Alaskans struggling to provide a proper holiday meal for their families, here are a few good resources.
Bean’s Café plans to serve 1,000 to 1,200 people on Thanksgiving Day. Urgently needed items include: turkeys, hams, stuffing cubes, apples, oranges, coffee, whipped cream in cans, pies (store-bought), rolls, canned corn and canned green beans. Hats, gloves and socks are also needed. Drop items off at 1101 E. Third Ave.; Tastee Freez, 3901 Raspberry Road; or SoYo Frozen Yogurt Shop, 1330 Huffman Road, or make financial donations online. Contact Bean’s Café at 274-9595.
Food Bank of Alaska
The Food Bank of Alaska welcomes financial donations: $15 will purchase a turkey, $45 a family meal. Funds can be donated online.
The Salvation Army welcomes financial donations to help provide meals, community dinners and food boxes in many communities throughout Alaska. Visit online or call 349-0613.
Anchorage Downtown Soup Kitchen
While the Downtown Soup Kitchen isn’t serving a Thanksgiving meal, it’s still in need of other food items including: jelly, peanut butter, beans (pinto, garbanzo and black), ham, eggs, pasta (not spaghetti) and powdered lemonade. The organization is preparing to open a women’s nighttime shelter Nov. 30 and is in need of breakfast items like oatmeal, breakfast bars, coffee and snacks. It’s at 240 E. Third Ave., 277-4302.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone,
admin @ November 25, 2015
Can you believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away! Like many of you, our families are also busy preparing for the holiday. Here is some details on how to improve the lives of disabled Alaskans, how you can get involved in education and a special edition of our Constituent Spotlight.
The Food Bank of Alaska and its partners are completing preparations to distribute groceries for Thanksgiving feasts to thousands of needy Anchorage families. The annual Thanksgiving Blessing is Monday, November 23, 3pm-8pm, at six sites around town.
This event is an amazing community-wide effort between churches and charitable organizations staffed by volunteers who do everything from donate food to delivering meals.
Volunteers can go to one of several sites and each site is assigned certain zip codes. Our district will be served by the first location:
- Crosspoint Church (Dimond and Minnesota, in the Burlington Coat Factory mall): 99507, 99511, 99515, 99516, 99518, 99522, 99523, 99540, 99587
- New Season Christian Center at Spenard Recreation Center (2020 West 48th): 99502, 99517, 99519
- Central Lutheran Church (Cordova and 15th): 99501, 99503, 99510, 99512, 99513, 99520, 99524
- St. Patrick’s Church (2111 Muldoon Road): 99504, 99509, 99521
- Joy Lutheran Church (10111 E. Eagle River Loop Road): 99505, 99506, 99567, 99577
- Mt. View Community Center (315 N. Price, off of Mt. View Drive): 99508, 99514.
All sites open at 12:00 p.m. Check out the flyer for more details.
Constituent Spotlight: Little Italy
This week we take a different approach by shining the spotlight on a local business that has become an Abbott Loop institution. Little Italy Restaurant opened its doors on East 88th Avenue 31 years ago this week.
Loved by their loyal customers for its delicious mix of Italian and Greek cuisine, owners PJ and Spiro Gialopsos and their two daughters, Anastasia and Emily, think of their customers as both neighbors and friends because most of them live in the surrounding neighborhoods. They also own 88th Street Pizza and 88th Street Liquor Boutique, located in the same building.
You may remember how the restaurant made headlines earlier this month when PJ fired a customer who called one of her delivery driver’s ugly names and accused him of being on drugs because the driver accidently gave him the wrong container of food. Their daughter Emily tried explaining to the angry customer (to no avail) that the young man, who is autistic and has a speech impediment, was not on drugs but just made an honest mistake.
PJ and Spiro stood by their loyal employee and against intolerance and ignorance by instructing their staff not to take any more orders from the customer in question – because he was fired! PJ went a step farther by posting the incident on the restaurant’s Facebook page. She wanted everyone to know that not only was the customer canned, but that one of Little Italy’s core values is compassion and understanding for people with developmental disabilities. The post was a social media sensation! It garnered more than ten thousand likes and an outpouring of support.
We really respect the courage and commitment the Gialopsos family have for helping Alaskans with disabilities to be productive and hardworking members of society. The delivery driver is also working towards a degree at UAA. PJ tells us her family often hires high school and university students at the restaurant, many of whom also live nearby, because they make great employees.
Looking back, PJ acknowledges her family took a big risk opening a restaurant in South Anchorage 31 years ago, but would do it again because Abbott Loop is the “greatest little community ever.”
If you have not dined at Little Italy stop in and support a locally owned business and meet your new friends, the Gialopsos family. Check out their website at: http://www.littleitalyalaska.com/
Speak Up on Disability Issues
The Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education is preparing a new five-year plan on developmental disabilities and needs to hear from Alaskans, like you, about how services for disabled Alaskans can be improved.
A community forum will be held Wednesday, December 9, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Hope Community Resources Auditorium, 540 W International Road. The council is looking for your opinion on the spectrum of services provided to disabled Alaskans to find out what works and what does not work.
Everyone who participates also gets a free emergency preparedness kit. So mark your calendar and bring your ideas on how to assist disabled Alaskans be even more independent. Click here to read the flyer.
Here is a list of the December PTA meetings in our district. All meetings take place in the school library unless otherwise noted.
Polaris School PTO – Wednesday, December 2 at 4:30 p.m.
Kasuun Elementary PTA – Thursday, December 3 at 4:00 p.m.
Trailside Elementary PTA – Thursday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Hanshew Middle School PTA – Monday, December 7 at 4:30 p.m.
Service High PTA – Tuesday, December 15 at 6:00 p.m. (room C 101)
Kasuun Elementary School just released its November newsletter. Read about the latest happenings at the school by clicking on this link.
Abused and neglected children that enter the state court system need a compassionate and caring adult to represent their best interests. The Alaska Office of Public Advocacy is recruiting for Court Appointed Special Volunteers (CASA).
An informational meeting will be held Monday, November 23 at the Office of Public Advocacy, 900 West 5th Avenue, 5th floor at 6:15 p.m. RSVP to: AnchorageCASA@alaska.gov and for more details about the CASA program go to: http://alaskacasa.org/VolunteerAnchorage.aspx
The Anchorage Assembly holds its final November meeting on Tuesday the 24th at the Loussac Library. Here are some highlights from the agenda.
- An ordinance authorizing the purchase of Waldron Lake Park at 1470 Cache Drive for no more than $3,920,000. This is to prevent the construction of new condominiums at the site
- A resolution appropriating $368,234 from a U.S. Department of Justice grant for updating the Anchorage Police Department’s Mobile Data Computer Laptops
- Another resolution appropriating $1,819,400 for Dimond Center pedestrian and transit improvements
The full agenda can be viewed here. http://publicdocs.muni.org/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=982&doctype=agenda
Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to read out weekly blog post and have a great weekend.
admin @ November 20, 2015
Hello friends and neighbors,
We hope you and your family had a great week. Here is some information about how you can voice your opinion on the proposed AKLNG project, our Constituent Spotlight and a few more items.
Constituent Spotlight: Deanna McCreary
We always encourage people to get involved in education, but there are some people who set an example for all of us to follow.
Deanna McCreary is a fixture in our schools as a volunteer, PTA member and all around great parent! She participates in every school her children attend from Kasuun Elementary, to Hanshew Middle School to Service High School. Today she serves on the Service PTA and manages the school store, the Cougar Cache.
Deanna and her family love the Abbott Loop area and they have called it home for many years. She tells us she will remain involved for many more years because her three-year-old daughter will start attending Kasuun before long. Kudos to Deanna for her sincere commitment to education.
Get Involved in Education
By the way, Deanna also says the Cougar Cache at Service High School needs volunteers. The Cougar Cache is the official school store selling all kinds of school spirit items like t-shirts, sweatshirts and more.
Volunteers keep the overhead to a minimum and all profits go to the Service PTA. For more information on volunteering send Deanna an email at Deanna_McCreary@yahoo.com
The Anchorage School Board will conduct its regular meeting on Monday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at ASD Headquarters, 5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd.
Here are a few highlights:
- Resolution in Support of Principal Appreciation Day
- Resolution in Recognition of American Education Week for All Employees
- Addition to School Board Policy: #366 Conduct of Graduation Ceremonies (First Reading)
- Awarding a contract for student transportation services
- ASD Personnel Report
Here is a link if you wish to see the entire agenda: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/asdk12/board.nsf/Public#
Special Education Service Agency
If you have a child, or know a child with a disability, there is a place to go for information and advice about early intervention and education.
The Special Education Service Agency (SESA) provides assistance to school districts statewide with early intervention programs for disabled children. It also has a library with educational materials, including assistive devices, available to anyone in Alaska.
AKLNG Hearing next Thursday
Before we go, a quick reminder to attend the public hearing on Thursday, November 19, 6:00 p.m., at the Dena’ina Center on the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas pipeline project. The hearing is hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its purpose is to gather comments on the potential environmental impact of the gas liquefaction plant and marine terminal.
Expect a big crowd at the Dena’ina Center. So get there a little early and sign up to testify.
For more details go to http://www.ferc.gov/
That is all for now. It is going to be a COLD weekend with temperatures dipping into the single digits so bundle up!
admin @ November 13, 2015
Good afternoon everyone,
The special session concluded last week and we are now home with our families. We want to share with you how to give back to the community and our weekly Constituent Spotlight.
Special Session Comes to a Close:
Last Thursday, the third special session officially came to a close, and the Legislature agreed to fund the Governor’s previous decision to end the state’s partnership with the pipeline development company, TransCanada. As a result, the state is able to buy out will have a full 25% share of the AK LNG project, and a seat at the table during critical votes.
Quite a few issues arose during the session regarding the lack of organization and pace of the Governor’s gas team and their work on the state’s share of the gasline project. In response to these concerns, both the House and Senate held numerous hearings and passed resolutions to urge the Governor’s team to establish a clear organization and to move the project forward without continuing to obstruct our industry partners’ work. It is our sincere hope that the Governor heeds this recommendation to treat our role in this massive project like a business, and get the best deal and most economic project for our state.
Alaskans should be encouraged, however, that this project is keeping a record pace. There is buy-in from our partners like we’ve never seen before – spending over $1 million per day, investing in massive amounts of infrastructure and field work, and pausing other projects to put their full support behind AK LNG. Their expertise and stake at this stage gives us hope that this project is worthy of Alaska’s support and investment.
The next milestone in the project’s timeline will be December 4th, when all four partners, including the state, will decide whether to approve AK LNG’s 2016 work plan and budget and keep the project moving full steam ahead. The Legislature has impressed upon the Governor and his team that it is of the utmost importance to us and all Alaskans that the state continues to work through next year, and votes to further support the AK LNG project.
Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, and commented during the special session. As always, we really appreciate your input and guidance.
Constituent Spotlight: Jim Fischer
Jim Fischer hit the ground running when he became PTA President at Trailside Elementary last summer. This is his first time serving on a PTA and says the school is making great progress with lots of activities lined up for students and teachers.
“If you are not at the table, you are on the plate,” is how Jim sums up his decision to participate in education. He wants to make sure his two daughters receive the best education possible at Trailside.
Jim made a two year commitment to run the PTA but says he might remain on the board longer because he is having a great time and would like to create even more opportunities for students to join in physical activities. Jim is a pharmacist at Providence Hospital, so he understands how important it is to foster a healthy lifestyle in children.
We commend Jim and the entire Trailside PTA for a job well done and we look forward to working with him on educational issues for years to come.
Get Involved in Education
The Service High PTA meets this Tuesday, November 10 in the library at 6:00 p.m. This is a big and busy PTA working hard to enrich the school experience for a student body of 1,800 plus teachers, administrators and support staff.
Get involved in education by joining the Service PTA, or any PTA, and remember that you do not have to have a child attending the school. The annual membership fee is $10 and the money goes to fund programs and educational supplies at the school.
A meeting of the Anchorage Assembly is set for tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10 at 5:00 p.m.
Here is a sample of what the 11 assembly members will consider that evening:
- An ordinance establishing penalties for driving a motor vehicle with a screen device operating
- An omnibus ordinance amending municipal code for existing fees and to include additional, fees, fines and penalties
- A resolution recognizing and celebrating November 15, 2015 as Anchorage Recycles Day
- An ordinance to continue and reenact the Youth Advisory Commission
- Approving the purchase of new vehicles for the Anchorage Police Department
Click here to read the entire agenda: http://www.muni.org/Residents/Pages/MuniMeetings.aspx Meetings are held in the assembly chambers at the Loussac Library.
Public Policy Fellowships
The First Alaskans Institute is accepting applications for fellowships for the 2016 Legislative session. Four Alaska Natives or rural Alaskans will go to Juneau to work in a legislative office for 14 weeks and learn political and leadership skills and the issues facing rural regions of the state.
The fellowship includes a salary, a housing stipend, and a round trip ticket to Juneau. Applications are due November 13, 2015. Go to the First Alaskans website to access the application forms. http://firstalaskans.org/
Holiday Volunteer Opportunities
With the holidays fast approaching social service agencies can always use an extra pair of hands to assist them with their good work.
If you have some time to spare, here are some hyperlinks for agencies in need of volunteers this holiday season:
Beans Cafe – http://www.beanscafe.org/volunteer.html
Salvation Army – http://salvationarmyalaska.org/alaska/volunteer
Catholic Social Services – http://www.cssalaska.org/html/volunteer.php
Lutheran Social Services of Alaska – http://www.lssalaska.org/#!get_involved/c8k2
That is all for now! Have a great week.
admin @ November 9, 2015
Happy Halloween everyone,
The Legislature is meeting now in Juneau, and it is Day Six of the special session. We have an update on how legislative events are unfolding here in the capitol building and some really good community news to share with all of you.
Special Session Update:
As the Legislature continues to meet down in Juneau, we’ll hear from more members of the Governor’s “Gasline Team”, consultants, and our producer partners regarding the state of the AK LNG project and the Governor’s proposals.
There have been many arguments made both for the retention and dissolution of our partnership with pipeline services company, TransCanada, and we’re keeping ourselves open to whatever appears to make the most business sense. In addition to hearings regarding the gasline, legislators have taken advantage of being together in the Capital to hold meetings of the House Health and Social Services Committee, Resources Committee, and soon the Judiciary Committee.
Our office has really appreciated all of the messages and ideas we have received from constituents thus far. Please keep them coming! Your input is critical in helping to guiding our decisions moving forward.
Constituent Spotlight: Andy Clary
This week we want to tell you about longtime District 25 constituent Andy Clary. Andy and his wife Stephanie have lived in the Abbott Loop area for 12 years and share their home with three foster children, two of which they are preparing to adopt.
In Andy’s professional life he is Manager of Application Development at Southcentral Foundation and still makes time in his busy schedule to contribute back to the community. He was just appointed to the Board of Directors at Akeela Inc. The organization is most known for operating Akeela House, a residential treatment program for Alaskans struggling with substance abuse. Akeela Inc. also provides a range of other social services from domestic violence prevention training to stopping young people from using tobacco.
We applaud Andy for his commitment to assisting Alaskans caught in the downward spiral of addiction, preventing domestic violence and other social ills, and his generosity and willingness to care for children in need of a safe and caring home.
Get Involved in Education
Enriching our schools to provide a better experience for our kids is everyone’s responsibility. Here are a couple of ideas on how you can get involved.
Four PTA meetings are scheduled next week and you do not have to have a child attending the school to join in.
Wednesday, November 4:
- Polaris School Parent Teacher Organization, 4:30 p.m., in the library
Thursday, November 5:
- Trailside Elementary School PTA, 3:45 p.m., in the library
- Kasuun Elementary School PTA, 6:30 p.m., in the library
- Abbott Loop Elementary School PTA, 6:00 p.m., room 10
Attend the Anchorage School Board meeting this Monday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Here are a few highlights from the agenda:
- Resolution in Support of Alaska Native/American Indian Heritage Month
- Acceptance of Grant Awards: 2016 McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Grant, Verizon Foundation Grant to Central Middle School of Science, Good Sports Donation to Mears Middle School
- Awarding a contract for student transportation services
- Superintendent’s Report: Student Nutrition Update
Board meetings are held at ASD Headquarters, 5530 East Northern Lights Blvd. For the entire agenda click here: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/asdk12/board.nsf/Public
Freezin’ for a Reason!
What do you get when you combine swim wear, an ice covered lake and a worthy cause? The 2015 Polar Plunge Drive for Special Olympics Alaska!
On Saturday, December 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Alaskans will line up at Goose Lake and “take the plunge” into freezing water and raise money for Special Olympics athlete training and competitive events.
Everyone who signs up is guaranteed to have a memorable experience and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping out a great non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of disabled Alaskans through athletic competition.
For more information and sign up forms go to: http://specialolympicsalaska.org/polar-plunge/
Before we go, tomorrow is Halloween, so be on the lookout for hordes of little ghosts and ghouls if you are driving in and around neighborhood streets. If you have a little goblin of your own, temperatures are expected to dip well below freezing so make sure they are dressed for the weather.
Have a warm and safe Halloween!
admin @ October 30, 2015
While our office is busy preparing for the start of the special session we wanted to bring you up to date on our schools and some really important community events.
Legislators are getting ready for the special session to convene down in Juneau this Saturday, and with that comes settling back into offices (at least the ones not under major construction), and readying ourselves to evaluate proposals regarding the AK LNG Project. While we have not yet received any concrete legislation from the Governor, the Legislature has announced hearings beginning right after gaveling in on Saturday. We will hold hearings in both the Finance and Resources Committees in the House and Senate seven days a week as we continue through this special session.
Just as during regular session, you can follow our work on the Legislature’s website, www.akleg.gov or by tuning into 360 North on television.
FERC Hearing for AK LNG
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is coming to Alaska to hold 12 public hearings over the next few weeks on the proposed Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas pipeline project. The commissioners are interested in what you think about the pipeline and LNG plant’s potential environmental effects. Keep in mind that the more specific your comments are, the more useful they will be.
The Anchorage hearing will be held on Thursday, November 19, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Dena’ina Convention Center. Public testimony will be taken until everyone has had the opportunity to speak or until 9:00 p.m., whichever comes first. FERC staff will be available to answer questions an hour before the hearing begins.
This is a very important meeting and a big crowd is expected, so if you wish to testify in person, arrive early and get your name on the public testimony list. Written comments can be mailed to Kimberly D. Rose, Secretary; Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First St., NE, Room 1A; Washington, DC 20426.
For more information go to the FERC website at www.ferc.gov or call 202-502-8258.
Constituent Spotlight: Marjie Wegg
Running a PTA board means committing many hours a week preparing for monthly meetings, organizing volunteers for school events and attending statewide PTA forums. For that reason, we really like to shine our constituent spotlight on the men and women who selflessly volunteer their time to make our schools better by taking charge of a PTA.
Abbott Loop Elementary started the school year without a functioning PTA – that is until Marjie Wegg heard the school needed help and became PTA President for the 2015-2016 school year. She told us that someone needed to step up for the school and get the board back up and running. Marjie says she has no plans of leaving anytime soon and will remain on the PTA board for the next few years to vigorously recruit new members.
We join the students, parents, teachers and administration at Abbott Loop in thanking Marjie for her commitment to public education because she is a great example of a parent getting involved when it matters most.
The Service High Flag Football Team placed eight players on the 2015 All-Cook Inlet Conference Team! Julia Miknich, quarterback; Tavie Parker, running back; Autumn Straub, wide receiver; Carolyn Kinzie, defensive back; Courtney LaPointe, wide receiver; Alexandria Parran, wide receiver; Alyssa Leon, defensive back and Trysten Bailey, defensive back, earned top honors for their outstanding level of play throughout the season.
Joining the lady cougars on the All-CIC team is Will Fomai, named Assistant Coach of the Year for his awesome leadership and mentoring skills. Let’s all congratulate Coach Fomai and his players for another memorable season.
Kasuun Knights Newsletter
Kasuun Elementary School produces a monthly newsletter for anyone who wants to be up to date on what the Knights are up to. Click Here to read the October Issue.
The 11 members of the Anchorage Assembly will hold a regular meeting Tuesday night (10/27) at 5:00 p.m.
Here are a few highlights from the agenda:
- Memorandum to approve the appointment of Christopher G. Tolley, Anchorage Police Chief
- A resolution recognizing the month of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- An omnibus ordinance to modify existing, and include additional, fees, fines and penalties
- An ordinance repealing and re-enacting Anchorage Municipal Code Section 8.35.500, illicit synthetic drugs, including substantial changes to the penalty section, and amending the minor offense fine schedule and misdemeanor penalty reference table. This ordinance is intended to reduce the alarming number of spice related overdoses in Anchorage
For the entire agenda click here: http://www.muni.org/Residents/Pages/MuniMeetings.aspx
Meetings are held at the Loussac Library, 3600 Denali Street. Questions can be answered by the Municipal Clerk’s Office at 343-4311.
That is all for this week. We hope you and yours are happy and safe!
admin @ October 23, 2015
Good afternoon everyone,
This has been a busy week with activities related to AFN, the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Task Force’s first meeting, and many other community events. Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to read up on our legislative and district happenings.
This week we want to recognize my friend and longtime District 25 constituent, Trevor Storrs, who was named Chairman of the Alaska Safe Children’s Task Force at our first meeting on Tuesday. The task force was created by the Alaska Safe Children’s Act or House Bill 44 passed this last session, and will oversee the creation of curriculum regarding child sexual abuse, teen dating violence, suicide and FASD prevention.
Trevor says being named chairman is an honor. “I am excited to have the conversation started and when House Bill 44 is implemented, it will be part of keeping children safe and families strong.”
Trevor currently serves as the Executive Director of the Alaska Children’s Trust and volunteers his time as a member of the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness. Trevor deserves our appreciation and gratitude for his commitment to ensuring our children are safe and empowered. Thank you Trevor for all you do!
Anchorage School Board Update
Speaking of children, the Anchorage School Board will hold its regular meeting this Monday, October 19.
Here are a few highlights from the agenda:
- Three memorandums are before the board. Recognizing Chinook Elementary Principal Anita Stevens, Alaska Distinguished Principal of the Year, approving a contract with United Way for the Community PLUS Schools Partnership and accepting a grant from BP for the Gifted Mentorship Program
- End of Year Suspension Report FY 2014-15
- Superintendent Contract update
To view the entire agenda for Monday’s meeting click here: http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/asdk12/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=8Z6T6F75D3F8
School board meetings are held at ASD Headquarters, 5530 E. Northern Lights Blvd. If you cannot make it to the meeting tune into GCI cable channel 14 for live coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month here in Alaska and the Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis organization (AWAIC) has lots of events planned all through the month to educate Alaskans on how to foster healthy relationships free from all forms of abuse. Here are a couple of events.
October 22nd—In Her Shoes Interactive Training: An educational and interactive training to connect participants to the day-to-day reality for women experiencing violence, also to deepen our empathy and compel us to take ACTION. Please RSVP to Heidi at email@example.com
October 27th— Green Dot Bystander Training You don’t have to wait for violence to occur! This free training will show you some things you can start doing today to prevent violence and will clue you in to the popular Green Dot bystander program that has been popping up all over Alaska. RSVP to Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more events here is a link to the Domestic Violence Awareness Calendar.
http://www.awaic.org/events/DVAM%20Calendar%202015%20-%20Final.pdf Call 279-9581 for additional information.
Remembering Jim Garrigues
Before we go we want to extend our condolences to the family of longtime Abbott Loop resident Jim Garrigues, who we are sad to say, died earlier this month. Jim was a navy veteran, public school teacher, served on the Borough of Anchorage Assembly and the first Anchorage Charter Commission. He had a lifetime interest in public policy and could be found on the last Thursday evening of each month at the at Abbott Loop Community Council meeting. Jim had a hand in shaping our great state and city throughout his life. In other words, he was a true Alaskan.
Jim’s family asks that you make a donation in his memory to the Boys Scouts of America or the local library of your choice.
Do you know of a community event that can use some spotlighting? Just send us the details and we will be happy to add it in our weekly blog update and post it to our social media accounts.
Thanks again for all your support and have a great weekend.
admin @ October 16, 2015
“Every day Alaskans are reminded how real the epidemics of suicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, and substance abuse are in our state,” said Task force member and HB 44 sponsor Rep. Charisse Millett. “I am encouraged after this first gathering that we are meeting the challenges posed by these epidemics head on, and working toward finding best practices in prevention and education.”
Representative Millett also expressed her thanks to the now-chair Trevor Storrs. “We owe a massive amount of thanks to Trevor Storrs, the Executive Director of the Alaska Children’s Trust. I am incredibly confident in his leadership of this Task force, and am truly grateful for his willingness to step up for the safety and education of our children.”
“This meeting is especially impactful having been held during AFN’s Youth and Elder’s Conference,” said Task force member Representative Bryce Edgmon, “AFN’s conference serves to remind us that as community members and Alaskans, we have the ultimate responsibility for teaching our younger generation and keeping them safe. I believe this Task force’s recommendations will move us forward as a state in achieving those goals.” “
Having spent most of my career working to improve our staggering statistics, I can attest to the power of breaking down silos, and having Alaskans from both government and stakeholder backgrounds sit down at the table to address the many social ills facing our state,” said Task force member Senator Anna MacKinnon. “We all have a decidedly vested interest in changing our state’s story and ending this rampant victimization.”
Additional thanks were given to the work put forth by Commissioner Mike Hanley and his staff at the Department of Education, the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Anchorage School District, the Alaska Suicide Prevention Council, and the Department of Health and Social Services.
For more information on House Bill 44 visit: http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Bill/Detail/29?Root=HB%20%2044 Or, Contact Grace Abbott in Rep. Millett’s Office at 269-0222.
admin @ October 14, 2015
Good Afternoon Everyone,
The weather is really cooling off and like you, we are preparing for winter as we watch the termination dust slowly work its way down the Chugach Range. Before you start your weekend here is the latest legislative and community news.
Alaska Safe Children’s Act Task Force
The first meeting of the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Task Force will be Tuesday, October 13 at 9 am in the Anchorage Legislative Information Office, 716 W 4th Avenue. Created as part of the legislation carried by our office last session, Alaska Safe Children’s Act (HB 44), the task force will help in the facilitation of curriculum to address our state’s domestic violence, sexual assault and suicide epidemics. The curriculum drafted will be offered to school districts, at no cost, to help them teach our students about how to improve their safety and mental well-being.
Constituent Spotlight – Bright Nygard
Starting today, we will highlight a constituent, business or organization in District 25 making a difference in the quality of our community, schools and neighborhoods. A lot of our neighbors have volunteered countless hours and deserve a little recognition and thanks from all of us.
Bright Nygard is a PTA super hero! She is serving a third term as Hanshew Middle School PTA President and before that was Trailside Elementary PTA President for another eight years. Bright has no plans of slowing down. She expects to lead the Service PTA for the 2016-2017 school year and she also finds time to be involved in Girl Scouts of Alaska. Let’s all thank Bright for her remarkable commitment to improving the educational experience in our community. Keep up the good work, Bright!
Service High Athletics
We have three Cougars competing in this weekend’s 2015 Alaska State High School Tennis Championships. Junior Nicolai Benko plays in the singles tournament and Aden Moon and Dylan Bruce compete in Doubles matches. The team is led by Head Coach Mike Hinkle. The tournament starts today and runs through Saturday at the Alaska Club East, 5201 East Tudor Road.
Let’s give a big round of applause to the five members on the boys football team named to the 2015 All Cook Inlet Conference Team. Austin Atos, outside linebacker; Cole Phelps, offensive tackle; Hunter Fanning, inside linebacker; Nathan Fromm, wide receiver and Dominik Norman, running back played with skill and precision and deserve being named among the best of the best.
Anchorage Assembly Update
Starting this week we will also provide some highlights for upcoming Anchorage Assembly meetings.
Here are a few of the issues to look for at Tuesday night’s meeting:
- A resolution recognizing October 2015 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
- Alcohol dispensary licenses for downtown restaurants
- Purchasing new vehicles for the Anchorage Police Department
- A new quarterly code enforcement report on towing companies
- Ordinances to adopt and appropriate funds for the 2016 municipal operating and capital budgets
- An ordinance for voters residing in the Girdwood Valley Service Area (GVSA) to vote by mail on a ballot proposition regarding police protection at the sole expense of the GVSA through a mill rate increase
For more details and the entire agenda check out the Municipality of Anchorage meetings webpage: http://www.muni.org/Residents/Pages/MuniMeetings.aspx
It looks like we can count on some nice sunny weather this weekend so get out and make the most of it before the snow flies!
admin @ October 9, 2015
We hope you all had a great week. Here is an update on what we are working on and events in our community.
Special Session Update
As you may have read, Governor Walker has called the Legislature into a special session beginning on October 24th. While the Governor has provided no bills to evaluate at this point, we know we will be discussing two issues related to the ongoing AK LNG gasline project: the buyout of our current partner in AK LNG and expert pipeline construction company, TransCanada, and the Governor’s proposed gas reserves tax.
Both of these issues give many legislators much pause, as we have received very little information from the administration on either proposal, and we are eager to begin their study and evaluation. Our goal, as always, is to keep the momentum going on this gas line project and make the best business decisions for the state.
The Governor called for this special session to be held in Juneau, and so we will be traveling down there for all floor sessions and hearings. As always, we encourage you to follow our proceedings on the Legislature’s website akleg.gov for live streams of hearings and up to date information.
2015 PFD Check Deductions
The 2015 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend is the highest payout in the 23 year history of the program. Some of you may not be aware of this, but this year’s record dividend is actually a net dividend. Look carefully at your PFD paperwork and you will notice this year’s dividend is actually $2,148.28 – before $76.28 in deductions were made.
Here is the breakdown of where your money is going:
$34.66 –is for inmates who would have been eligible for dividends if they weren’t incarcerated. The money goes to the Alaska Department of Corrections to pay for some of the costs of inmate health care. This deduction was created in 1988 when the legislature passed House Bill 245 during the state’s economic recession.
$27.50 – Is used to pay for Medicaid and public assistance services for people who would lose their benefits by getting a PFD, because the PFD is considered taxable income. The money goes to the Dept. of Health and Social Services for what is known as “hold harmless payments”.
The legislation creating this deduction from your PFD, Senate Bill 56, passed back in 1985. Up until that time the money for hold harmless payments came from the state’s general fund.
$12.79 – Is used to pay for the operational costs of the Permanent Fund Dividend Division, the state agency that processes PFD applications and distributes the payments each October.
$1.33 – is used to pay for prior year dividends that are being paid this year.
These deductions are made each and every year. We brought this to your attention so you know where your share of the state’s oil wealth is going and what it is used for. We want all our constituents to be as informed as possible about the state’s current fiscal situation.
Lady Cougar Volleyball Works to “Spike Out Breast Cancer”
The Lady Cougar Volleyball program will be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this Saturday at 11 am on the Delaney Park Strip. Lady Cougars will be wearing bright pink Spike Out Cancer sweatshirts that they designed.
Their annual “Pink Night” match will be held in the Service gym on Wednesday, 10/7 at the West/Service volleyball match. They will be selling the Spike Out Cancer shirts and the volleyball players will all wear pink. There are matches starting at 5 pm and going until easily 8 pm.
The Spike Out Cancer match will be held at South this year on 10/27, around 6:45 pm. Both teams have been fundraising all season and the gym will be decked out in pink.
Service High Boys Football
Let’s cheer on our Service High Boys Football Team as it plays the last regular season game tomorrow (Saturday, 10/3) against hillside rival South High. The game also marks the grand opening for the new South High School Sports Stadium.
The Cougars may have had a tough year on the gridiron this season but they also played every down with grit and determination. Bring the family and throw your support behind the team so they can end the season on a winning note. Tickets are five dollars and you will be entered for a chance to win two roundtrip tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies.
The ribbon cutting takes place at 1:30 p.m. and the game kicks off at 2:00 p.m. South High is located at 13400 Elmore Road.
We hope you have a safe and relaxing weekend. If there is anything we can do for you please give us a call.
admin @ October 2, 2015