Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Juneau Update for May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Special Session in Juneau

After butting up against the Constitutionally-mandated 121-day deadline, the Legislature was called by the Governor into a special session in Juneau.

These are the items Governor Walker would like to see passed this special session:

  • Broad-based tax, like an income tax
  • Motor fuels tax
  • Permanent Fund Restructure
  • Oil and gas tax credit reform
  • Operating, Capital and Mental Health Budgets
  • A bill related to the prescription and monitoring of opioids

This has been a particularly frustrating legislative session, filled with gridlock and lack of compromise. However, I view this special session as an opportunity to set aside our differences and tackle the issues on which there is agreement. I am hopeful this special session results in meaningful progress towards fiscal solutions for Alaska, a sustainable budget, changes to our tax credit system, and a cap on future government growth. We will keep you posted as the session moves forward!

Office Changes

My office, going into the summer and fall, will be undergoing some changes. In light of budget constraints facing our state, I will be reducing my staff by 1/3. Grace Abbott and Hans Rodvik in my office will be staying on and will continue to work hard to help us get our work done, answer your questions, and brainstorm ideas to help our community and Alaska. They are ready and willing to pick up a little extra slack, as many of us are doing right now, and are just as enthusiastic of public servants as ever. Stop by the office and introduce yourself, or give us a shout at 465-3879!

Ridesharing for Alaska

Before the end of the extended regular session, I was incredibly proud to vote in favor of bringing transportation network companies, like Lyft and Uber, to our state. Both residents and visitors have been asking the Legislature to bring Alaska into the 21st century and allow these companies to operate here. Our state faces any number of transportation obstacles, and we can use all the help we can get in improving access to rides. Thank you to everyone who wrote us in support of this job-creating policy – we received more letters, emails and calls in support from constituents on ridesharing than any other issue this year! I am excited to see the increased transportation opportunities that this bill will bring to Alaska, as well as the new employment opportunities. Start downloading your favorite ridesharing app today!

Education Funding

Many of you, both in District 25 and outside, have been asking the Legislature to pass a budget that funds education to at least last year’s level. I can tell you that personally, I agree. While our budget climate requires reductions and changes be made to the way our state spends, a successful future depends on our providing for education. I believe if we ensure some stability for districts this year, educators and administrators will be better enabled to produce efficiencies and improvements in education delivery. Without the stress of reducing their workforce this summer, districts can focus more on addressing budget challenges and innovating to reduce the effects of reduced revenue on classrooms.

In no way do I believe that those who would like to see our education budget reduced this year want to diminish outcomes or depreciate our public schools. We have a budget crisis on our hands, and looking through our school districts’ budgets, there appear to be more ways that spending could be scaled back or duplication reduced. It is simply my personal belief that if we hold school funding as harmless as possible this year, our results will be better down the road. I will be advocating for this position both in my caucus, and to my colleagues in the House and Senate. Please reach out with any questions or ideas on how we can improve our students’ experiences.

Abbott Loop Community Council

This Thursday, the 26th at 6:30pm the Abbott Loop Community Council is holding its May meeting. The meeting will take place at Abbott Loop Elementary, which is located 8427 Lake Otis Parkway. Community Council meetings are a great way to meet more of your neighbors, and get to know what is going on in your local area! I encourage you to go and look forward to seeing you at the next meeting when I’m home from Juneau!

School Is Out!

The last day of school for all Anchorage School District schools, is this Wednesday May 24th! I hope everyone has a safe, fun and productive summer! Congratulations to all the students who had another successful year!

Update for May 15, 2017

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Update on Alaska’s Fiscal Options

The past few days have seen a lot of movement on some important issues here in Juneau. Perhaps most importantly, we have finally seen the beginning of the budget negotiation process. The House and Senate met on Monday to organize the Conference Committee on the budget, which will be the group that will reconcile differences and come up with budget solutions that can garner enough support to fund government. I continue to believe there are many smart reductions and efficiencies to be found in our current administration, but will also be focused on reducing the effects of this downturn on our public safety and schools. It is our one constitutional obligation to pass a budget, and while I’m disappointed that this has taken so long to begin, I’m encouraged that movement is taking place.

We also saw significant progress this weekend on a plan to help our economy recover from its current recession. For months, there has been close evaluation and discussion of implementing an income tax to help pay for government. We’ve heard testimony from experts and from Alaskans on how taxing income during a recession would affect our state. After this lengthy debate, the income tax bill was voted on by both the House and Senate, and was unable to get enough support to pass this year. I remain focused on working to implement a sustainable plan to provide essential safety, health and education services this year. However, we have been told that an income tax would have burdened working Alaskans too heavily during a time where incomes are dropping and unemployment is at a high, and am thus glad to be able to move past this policy and onto better solutions. It is time to focus on other policy discussions that can unite us, rather than divide.

We are quickly approaching Wednesday’s constitutional deadline for this legislative session, and I am hopeful that my colleagues in the Majority will allow for a laser focus on the issues that are most pressing to Alaskans. We need to get our work done and find that common ground that Alaskans have been asking for these past 117 days.

Graduation and Final Weeks of School!

Today, Service High Seniors get to walk across the stage at the Sullivan Arena and accept their Diplomas! Congratulations to all of the hard-working graduates who have made it thus far in their educational pursuits! I know you will all do well during the next step of your journey, and hope that you know that you have a team of cheerleaders in our community who will be there to support you as you continue to work towards achieving your dreams.

The last day of classes for all ASD schools is May 24.

Over at Kasuun Elementary it’s a busy time as well. The 6th grade band and orchestra are having their final concert of the year on Thursday, May 18, at 9:30am. The school talent show is taking place on Friday, May 19, at 1:30pm. Field Day is the following Monday – with grades 4-6 in the morning, and K-3 in the afternoon! Looking ahead to next year, 1st grade will start at the same time as grades 2-12 on August 21, 2017 while preschool and Kindergarten kick off one week later on August 28th.

Construction Continues Along Seward Highway

The Alaska Department of Transportation sent out its weekly update for the Seward Highway Dimond to Dowling road project. Below is the DOT’s update from May 10th:

“ROAD CLOSURE: Homer Drive is CLOSED to all traffic, from Dimond Boulevard to 68th Avenue. 68th Avenue will remain open during this time to traffic, and the Old Seward Highway will act as a main business access and DETOUR route.

Brayton Drive is CLOSED to all traffic, from Dimond Boulevard to 68th Avenue. Residents can access the northbound Seward Highway by using Sandlewood Place and Lore Road as an alternate DETOUR route. In addition, Sandlewood Place, Meadow Street and 68th Avenue should be used as a Brayton Drive business access DETOUR route.

Please note that no side road access will be permitted to and from the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads during construction.

Beginning the evening of Saturday, May 20, southbound Seward Highway traffic will be shifted from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which will now act as the southbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45MPH throughout the construction zone.

Beginning Saturday, June 10, northbound Seward Highway traffic will be shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which will now act as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45MPH throughout the construction zone.

Work will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through mid-October, in order to expedite the construction process.”

Drive safely everyone and slowdown in construction zones this summer!

Update for May 8, 2017

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Cougar Crossover Ceremony!

Last Friday was a special day at Service High! The annual tradition of Crossover Day, when the entire student body gathers to transition or “crossover” into the following grade year, took place. Each class of students sits in the bleachers until seniors move to the gym floor, juniors take the seniors place and so on. The ceremony is a time of great fun, special recognition, reflection and celebration. My staff member, Hans, presented legislative citations to a large number of Service High School students & athletes for their outstanding accomplishments! Pictured are members of the Varsity football team selected to the Cook Inlet Conference team, and some selected to the All-State team!

These are truly amazing kids with incredibly bright futures! Wish I could have been there!

Go Cougars!!

 

Construction Continues Along Seward Highway

The Alaska Department of Transportation provided its weekly Seward Highway Dimond to Dowling project update on May 3rd. The update was as follows:

ROAD CLOSURE: Homer Drive is CLOSED to all traffic, from Dimond Boulevard to 68th Avenue. 68th Avenue will remain open during this time to traffic, and the Old Seward Highway will act as a main business access and DETOUR route.

Brayton Drive is CLOSED to all traffic, from Dimond Boulevard to 68th Avenue. Residents can access the northbound Seward Highway by using Sandlewood Place and Lore Road as an alternate DETOUR route. In addition, Sandlewood Place, Meadow Street and 68th Avenue should be used as a Brayton Drive business access DETOUR route.

Please note that no side road access will be permitted to and from the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads during construction.

Later this season, Seward Highway traffic will be rerouted to the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads. Work will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through mid-October, in order to expedite the construction process.”

To receive these weekly updates related to this major project click here to subscribe.

 

Our Deepest Thanks

We in our office just wanted to take a minute to thank the wonderful, capable and super-human Mary Rosenfield for her service to the PTSA at Service High. Mary has gone above and beyond during her time as President, juggling her life, family, PTSA duties and Lady Cougar Volleyball responsibilities with true professionalism and heart. We are going to sincerely miss her leadership and could not be more grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Mary. She will be missed by anyone and everyone who had the chance to work with her, and we wish her all the best. We’re now very excited to have Sharron Johnson step up and take the reins!

Likewise, Principal Michael Day of Kasuun Elementary has announced his resignation after nine tremendous years of humble and steady leadership. Mr. Day has been an honest and competent Principal over his near decade of service to our community. We are truly going to miss him, and wish him and his family the absolute best on their new endeavor with the Yukon-Kuskokwim School District. The people of Koyukuk are truly blessed to be gaining such a reputable educator! Best of luck Mr. Day! To read Mr. Day’s farewell letter click here. For parents with children at Kasuun, here is the new Principal advisory process developed by ASD.

 

Update for March 24th

Friday, March 24th, 2017

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/.

 

Rep. Millett speaking to her concerns with the size of the state budget.

 

 

Budget Update

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.

Our toll free number is 888-269-3879 and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just click on the links below. We are listening.
Warmly,

Update for March 3rd

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

 

 

 

District 25 constituent Gillian Dezzutto visited the Juneau office this week.

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!

Budget Update

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.

 

Majors Jeff Laughlin and Bernard Chastain with the Alaska State Troopers met with Rep. Millett this week.

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.

 

Go Cougars!

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.

Community Meetings

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.

 

Warmly,


 

 

Update for February 10th

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Rep. Millett was joined by Brandy Johnson and members of the Alaska State Troopers for a committee hearing on legislation to provide health coverage to the families of public safety officers who died while on duty.

Hello everyone,

It has been another fast paced week here in Juneau where we are working every day to represent our constituents’ in House District 25.

Session Update

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!

Community Meetings

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:

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

Courtesy: Service High Partners Club

Go Cougars!

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.

Girls schedule:

February 13 – Service vs. Bartlett @ 6:00 p.m.

February 16 – Service vs. Chugiak @ 6:00 p.m.

Boys schedule:

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,

 

Update for Friday, January 27th

Friday, January 27th, 2017

 

The House Republican Caucus holds a news conference each Thursday at 9:00 a.m. Tune into Gavel to Gavel to watch. Rep. Millett and other caucus members take turns chairing the meeting.

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.

Budget Work

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!

Rep. Millett discussed the legislative session last week with public radio reporter Andrew Kitchenman.

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.

Community Meetings

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.

Go Cougars!

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 rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov

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.

 

Happy Friday,


 

 

Update for January 6th

Friday, January 6th, 2017

 

Happy New Year everyone. This week we want to kick things off by inviting you and your family to our pre-session constituent meeting, this Monday, January 9 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Little Italy Restaurant, 2300 East 88th Avenue. We will have a preview of the upcoming session and fill you in on the details of what we are working on to protect our economy and families in 2017. Questions are encouraged! Please speak up and let me know your ideas on how we can move our state forward because your opinion guides my decision-making process during the session. Food and soft drinks will be provided so mark your calendar and we will see you Monday evening.

Regarding the upcoming session, I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to serve as the House Minority Leader for the 30th Alaska Legislature. Leading a coalition of 17 legislators during these challenging times will be a tremendous responsibility but one that I truly look forward to.

Anchorage School District Update

This week, we had the privilege of meeting with Dr. Deena Paramo, the new superintendent of the Anchorage School District, to talk about priorities for the upcoming session and to share the thoughts and ideas we discussed during our recent visits to District 25’s neighborhood schools. Dr. Paramo brings substantial experience to our district and had encouraging ideas to improve student and staff outcomes and experiences. Most exciting perhaps were her concepts for expanding opportunities for college-level courses for high school students and a reinvigoration of the current programs for vocational and professional education.

We shared with her the concerns and ideas brought to our office regarding integration of Mt. Iliamna students into Kasuun Elementary classrooms, and needed upgrades to Abbott Loop Elementary. We also heard about the more global needs of ASD, and their hope to use existing resources to prevent the need for budget increases. Dr. Paramo has proven to be an efficient manager, both of personnel and finances, and we were so encouraged by her goal to better use the resources that ASD currently has, and practice budgeting restraint.

Community Meetings

Our PTA’s are ready to continue working to make our schools the best they can possibly be.

Hanshew Middle School PTA – Monday, January 9 at 6:00 p.m.

Service High PTA – Tuesday, January 10 at 6:00 p.m.

Trailside Elementary PTA – Thursday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Kasuun Elementary PTA – Thursday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Abbott Loop Elementary PTA – Monday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m.

The Abbott Loop Community Council meeting will be held Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Abbott Loop Elementary School.

City Leaders will gather for an Anchorage Assembly meeting on Tuesday, January 10 at 5:00 p.m. at the Loussac Library. Here is a link to the agenda. http://publicdocs.muni.org/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=1222&doctype=agenda

 

Go Cougars!

Service High athletics resume next week with both basketball teams and the hockey team getting back into action. The boy’s hockey team has back to back games next Friday and Saturday at Ben Boeke Arena against Juneau on Friday and the east High T-Birds on Saturday. The puck drops for both games at 4:30.

Meanwhile, the boys and girls basketball teams visit the West High Eagles. The ladies play Monday night at 6:00 and the boys games tips off on Tuesday night at 7:30. We will keep you up to date on as many Cougar teams as possible each week. If you have any information about the teams please email us at rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov

Ride Along with Alaska State Troopers

An incredibly generous team of Alaska State Troopers invited our office to participate in a ride-along this week. To best represent those who serve our community, it is important to truly understand what a “day in the life” looks like, and to hear from our boots on the ground about their ideas and concerns. We will share our experience and thoughts next week!

Crime Reporting Guide

The Municipality of Anchorage and the Anchorage Police Department released a guide for Anchorage residents on how to properly report a crime. This is really informative and we appreciate Community Liaison Jared James for making this available.

APD wants to hear from you. Residents reporting crimes, small or large, help us track what is happening in our city and enhance public safety.

To ensure our dispatchers can prioritize emergency calls, there are multiple ways to report crime and suspicious activity to the department.

911:

Call 911 in an emergency, if your or someone else’s life is in danger, if there is a crime in progress, if someone needs serious medical attention, or if there is a fire.

Non-Emergency Line (907-786-8900 press 0):

The non-emergency line can be used when a crime has been committed but the suspect is no longer on the scene, if a person needs non-life threatening medical attention, or any situation where you believe an officer should respond but it is not an emergency. The non-emergency line is answered by 911 dispatchers, but it make take a little longer to get through while they are handling 911 calls. Please be patient.

Online Report:

For crimes where an officer will not be able to respond, but the department still wants to know the information, use the online reporting tool. Incidents eligible for online reporting are: suspected drug activity, fraud or identity theft, harassing phone calls, liquor violation, lost property, suspicious activity, shoplifts (for businesses only) IF there is no suspect information, theft (not including a theft of a firearm or vehicle), theft from vehicle, vandalism, and vehicle tampering. The online report forms can be found at www.muni.org/police.

Crime Stoppers:

Residents can call or email anonymous crime tips through Anchorage Crime Stoppers. Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward if the information given leads to the arrest of a wanted felon or solves a felony crime. To report a tip call 561-7867 or go online to anchoragecrimestoppers.com

Homeless Camps:

The Anchorage Police Department takes reports of illegal camps in the Anchorage area. Find a camp reporting link on the muni.org homepage, the APD homepage, or through ANCWorks. A resident can report a camp anonymously and request status notifications. When reporting a camp, residents can drop a pin on a map, take a photo, or use their exact location. That report is placed on the APD Community Action Policing team’s workflow system to start to the cleanup process.

How Not To Report:

For a report to be official, it needs to be given to dispatch or reported online through the APD website www.muni.org/police  The Anchorage Police Department cannot take reports of crime through social media channels such as, NextDoor, Facebook, Facebook messages, Twitter, and the ask APD email account. These channels are not monitored 24/7 and dispatchers cannot send an officer to respond unless something is properly reported.

Additional public safety information can be found at the APD website:https://www.muni.org/Departments/police/Pages/default.aspx

Upcoming Legislation

We have pre-filed three pieces of legislation for the upcoming session. While the session is still a few weeks away, we’ll be having conversations with stakeholders and colleagues, and gathering back-up information to get the bills ready for hearings this spring.

Public Safety Survivor Benefits: This bill has been an important piece of legislation that our office has worked on for many years now, along with families of fallen public safety officers and community advocates. We have worked hard to address concerns brought up in previous hearings, and believe the current draft of the bill will provide the best care for the families of those who have sacrificed everything to keep us safe. We will keep you posted as progress is made on this critical policy.

Dangerous Opioid Prevention: In an effort to help stem the tide of the opioid epidemic in Alaska, prosecutors have asked help in addressing the prevalence of an incredibly dangerous drug, U-47700, by adding it to our criminal schedule. The drug has nearly 8 times the potency of morphine, and when abused can cause serious overdose and death. While drugs and their chemistry are ever-changing and incredibly difficult to keep up with, this measure would be a tool available to those prosecuting and keeping dangerous dealers off of our streets.

“Blue Lives Matter” Bill: To help prevent the heinous murders of those who serve and protect our state, this bill would make the murder of public safety officers an automatic “Murder I” sentence, essentially an automatic life sentence. As a community, we need to show support to those we ask to run into danger, and show those who seek to cause them harm that there are no second chances. This will hopefully serve as a powerful agent of deterrence.

Ravens Roost Visit

If you’re looking for a warm, motivated, community-oriented neighborhood to join, you have to check out Raven’s Roost in District 25! Mary Miner and some of her fellow founders gave our office a tour of their growing community off of Abbott Road this week. They explained their philosophy of growing a tight-knit family of neighbors in the heart of South Anchorage, and showed us their modern units. Putting together an innovative development of this kind is no small feat, and we want to congratulate Mary and her team on their hard work and dedication! They’ve really created something special.

That is all for this week. Our Juneau office will be open on Monday so if you need to reach us for any reason just call our toll-free number at 888-269-3879. Our mailing address is 120 4th Street, Room 402, Juneau, AK 99801.

 

Warmly,

 

 

Update for December 30th

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Happy New Year!

We would like to wish you a truly Happy New Year! 2016 has brought about a lot of changes, and we here in the Millett office are very optimistic about the progress that we can achieve as Alaskans in 2017. Our state continues to face many challenges, both financially and socially, but our communities across Alaska continue to be some of the most generous, enthusiastic, and caring. We have so much faith in the kind of action that Alaskans will take in the coming year, and encourage everyone to stay engaged and help others where they can. This is the most amazing place to call home and we all deserve to enjoy the many gifts that this state has to offer.

2016 Highlights

This year has been filled with obstacles and challenges, but we have much to be thankful for and many accomplishments of which to be proud. Alaskans came together this year to discuss and brainstorm ideas to address our fiscal downturn in ways that we have never seen before. Across the state, diverse advocates and experts emerged for nearly every possible solution to our challenges, and enormous progress was made in evaluating each idea. Despite our financial concerns, our state also set record amounts of charitable donations through our PFD Pick Click Give Program, individual donations, and foundation giving. There is no truer sign of community engagement than taking the time and finding the generosity to give to those less fortunate during times of fiscal stress.

Our office was proud to see government reform measures and spending reductions passed in Juneau in 2016, along with bills to protect children and provide for families in need. There’s more work to do this year, but this past session certainly helped to move the needle.

Abbott Loop Community Meetings

Here is a list of the first PTA meetings for the new year and the upcoming Abbott Loop Community Council meeting.

Hanshew Middle School PTA – Monday, January 9 at 6:00 p.m.

Service High PTA – Tuesday, January 10 at 6:00 p.m.

Trailside Elementary PTA – Thursday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Kasuun Elementary PTA – Thursday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Abbott Loop Elementary PTA – Monday, January 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Abbott Loop Community Council – The meeting will be held Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Abbott Loop Elementary School.

Heading to Juneau

In a few weeks we will be packing up our office and heading back to Juneau where our number one priority will be keeping Alaska’s economy intact and providing a sustainable future for our children. Our state government has to continue to reduce its spending if we hope to maintain a strong, healthy economy. While reductions have been made in previous years, this year has shown us that oil prices are too low to sustain the size of government we have today, and tough reductions must be made to ensure we have a legacy to pass along to the next generation. We will also be prioritizing ongoing reforms to services that government currently provides and protections for the essential services that provide for our life, health and safety.

While in Juneau, we want to continue to encourage you to reach out with your ideas, questions and concerns. We are but a phone call, email, or visit away, and are truly interested in your perspective on the diverse set of challenges we have before us as a state and will be working hard to make sure our community’s voices are heard in the Legislature. We will also continue to have updates on this blog page and on social media – Facebook and Twitter – as to work being done in Juneau and community events of note. Let us know if you have any events or topics you’d like us to highlight!

Our session contact information:

120 4th Street, Room 402

Juneau, AK 99801

Toll Free: 888-269-3879

rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov

Our door is always open to our friends and neighbors, so if you find yourself in Juneau during session make sure to stop by and say hello. We are never too busy for our constituents.

 

Enjoy the snow,


Happy Holidays

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

 

My office and I want to take a minute to express how grateful we are to live in this wonderful community. We are so appreciative of the engagement, support and generosity that exists here in Anchorage and our state. We wish you the most rich, wonderful holiday season. If you need anything in the coming year, please reach out to us. We are here to serve you!

School Visits

 This week we had the most amazing pleasure to meet with and re-tour our wonderful schools in District 25. The schools in our district are Abbott Loop, Trailside and Kasuun Elementary Schools; Hanshew Middle School; and Service High School. We toured the schools, met with principals and staff, watched students perform at concerts, and observed best practices. We could not have been more blown away by the dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism that was exhibited at all five schools.

A few programs were truly stand-out as we toured the schools this week – Hanshew’s pre-AP program, Abbott Loop’s Foundations program, and Service High School’s commitment to CIT students.

By encouraging middle school students to push themselves and learn how to meet the high bar of advanced placement classes that will meet them in high school, the pre-AP program at Hanshew helps students prepare themselves for the rigor to come in later classes. Principal Brain lauded the accomplishments of teachers, students and parents in creating a creative and intellectual environment for advanced learning. Their enrollment in pre-AP classes has been high, and all of us should be encouraged by the high level of learning and accomplishment occurring in these amazing classrooms.

The Foundations program has been an amazing example of the achievements possible when democracy is able to take hold in our schools. When teachers and administrators are able to work together to shape policies and the environment around them, true progress is possible and all voices can be heard. That is the astounding progress we were able to observe in Abbott Loop Elementary School.

One last note to round out our school visits: we have to recognize the truly astounding charity that both students and adults in our schools are capable of. The Parent Student Teacher Association (PTSA) at Service High School has been a tremendous supporter of our students who are in need (CIT) by providing necessities this holiday season and throughout the year. Thank you so much to those who work towards a better future and community.

Thank you again to our schools for opening themselves up to us, and for championing our students every day of the year.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Millett Office!

 

Warmly,

Charisse Signature bold