Archive for the ‘Service High School’ Category

Update for November 3, 2017

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Special Session Update

Here in Juneau, the focus has been on continued work on Senate Bill 54 (SB 54), the crime bill. Last night, the House Finance Committee finished their amendment process, and included in the new draft of the bill provisions to increase sentencing and monitoring of sex offenders, lower the felony theft threshold (now thefts of over $750 become felonies), add caseload caps for probation and parole officers, and more. This weekend, all members of the House will have opportunities to discuss and offer further changes to the bill on the House floor.

As SB 54 is debated on the floor, I will be working to see that recommendations by our law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners are brought to the forefront, and discussed by the House. When our police and prosecutors are telling us that they need more tools to keep our communities safe, you know that our law must change.

I am glad to see the direction that amendments have taken so far, but to further deter crime and bolster law enforcement during this period of increasing instability, more work still needs to be done. Areas of focus for me will be rolling back dramatic sentencing reductions made in SB 91, ensuring that only those who truly present no threat to society are released from jail, further strengthening laws related to crime, and ensuring that our justice system is communicating and working effectively. We also need to be working as a Legislature to further establish the safety nets our communities need to turn around the lives of those with substance abuse issues.

There is another item on the Governor’s special session agenda outside of crime: his new tax plan. The Senate has been holding hearings on this bill. I suspect the House will return to reviewing it once work on the crime bill is completed. During the evaluation of this new income tax, I will be asking for information on its impacts on Alaskan households, businesses, and our overall economy. Nothing we do as a Legislature should adversely impact our already struggling economy, and I will be fighting to make sure that Alaskans have a voice in this process.

Our office will be keeping you posted as this special session continues. Please keep reaching out to our office with all your questions, ideas and concerns!

 

PTA Meetings Galore

Next week is an incredibly busy time for our schools! Four different schools are having their PTA meetings during the first half of next week. Abbott Loop parents and teachers will gather on Monday the 6th at 3:45 p.m. in the Library. On Tuesday we find a full slate of meetings. Dedicated parents will meet up at 3:45 p.m. in the Trailside Library. At 4:00 p.m. parents from Polaris K-12 will convene at the school, followed by Hanshew’s PTA meeting at 6:00 p.m. in their Library.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters

On November 9th, at 5:30 p.m. Big Brothers Big Sisters is inviting the public to attend a live, as well as silent, art auction featuring local artists, with all proceeds going to benefit the youth in our community.

Their event, “Dream Big Anchorage,” is going to be at the Fox Hollow Chalet (11801 Fox Hollow Chalet Anchorage, AK 99516). More information about this wonderful event and organization can be found at their website here!

 

End of Season Gathering!

Our tough and hard-working Service High School football team is throwing an end of season celebration! The event will be at the school on November 13th at 6:00 p.m. See below for details about the event! Go Cougars!

Honoring Veterans Day through Music

The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra has put together an amazing looking event to honor our veterans. On November 11th at the Atwood Concert Hall they will be paying tribute to the incredible men and women who have served our nation. Through symphonic photo-choreography, the Anchorage Symphony and others will commemorate the 100th and 75th anniversaries of WWI and WWII respectively. To learn more about this event click here. 

 

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 you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just click on the links below. We are listening.
Warmly,

Update for October 27, 2017

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Special Session Update

This Monday, the Legislature gaveled in to special session, with two pieces of legislation to consider: Senate Bill 54 and House Bill 4001. Hearings on both bills are occurring in the House, and we wanted to be sure you received an update as we progress through the session.

Senate Bill 54:

Senate Bill 54 makes specific changes to our current criminal law, which was overhauled in 2016 by Senate Bill 91. As introduced, Senate Bill 54 makes changes including increased sentences for Class C felonies, increased sentences for violating release conditions and protections for victims of sex trafficking. While these changes give more tools back to law enforcement and prosecutors, those same groups are also asking for additional amendments to better protect the public. In the House Judiciary Committee, our office succeeded at gaining support for a few changes including:

–          Sober Law: requires that an intoxicated person who is arrested must sober-up before they are released (or have a sober caretaker).

–          Repeal of Administrative Parole: requires that those seeking parole must have a hearing before the parole board before their release, not just an automatic release.

–          Criminalization of “Pink,” a deadly opiate with no medical use

–          Increased sentences for a Class A felony committed against a law enforcement officer or first responder

This bill now heads to the Finance Committee, where it will be further considered. Our office is continuing to push for changes requested during hours of public testimony, and requested by those in law enforcement. We have many more amendments to this bill, which we will fight for on the House floor.

House Bill 4001:

House Bill 4001 is the Governor’s new “employment tax,” which is a tax of 1.5% on wages and self-employment income. This bill has received one hearing in the House Finance Committee, and will continue to be evaluated by that committee through the session.

You can find more information on the Governor’s tax here.

It has been a busy week here in Juneau, and we’ll keep you posted as things keep moving.

 

Public Testimony on Crime

Tomorrow and Monday there are opportunities for you to share your thoughts and experiences with crime in Alaska. Here are the details:

WHAT: Public Testimony on Senate Bill 54 in House Finance Committee

WHEN: Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Monday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

WHERE: Anchorage LIO or by phone at (907) 563-9085

We want to hear from you!

 

Service Student Shines in Gifted Mentorship Program!

This week we have the incredible honor to share a wonderful story of a Service High Senior by the name of Jayci VanDehey! Jayci has been participating in the ASD’s Gifted Mentorship Program, studying technical aspects of musical theatre with the crew of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella team.

To read more about Jayci’s success and experience with the Gifted Mentorship Program click here!

Board of Game Meeting

In a few weeks Alaskans will be afforded an opportunity to participate in the process of crafting regulations regarding all aspects of hunting throughout our state.

From November 10-17 the Alaska Board of Game will hold its Statewide Regulations Meeting at the Lakefront Anchorage Hotel, in the Redington Ballroom (4800 Spenard Road Anchorage, AK 99517). The Board will entertain proposals to change regulations related to the use and taking of game, along with a variety of public recommendations concerning permits, licenses, transportation, hunt conditions, fees, and customary and traditional uses of game populations.

As noted on their website, “the proposed regulation changes are available on the Board of Game website at www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.meetinginfo&date=11-10-2017&meeting=anchorage, or from the ADF&G Boards Support Section Office at (907) 465-4110. Additional meeting information will be added to the website as it becomes available.”

Comments on the different proposals can be submitted online at: www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov or by fax to (907) 465-6094, or emailed to dfg.bog.comments@alaska.gov (PDF format only). Alaskans will also be able give oral testimony (three to five minutes) on the proposals at the meeting.

Construction Wrap Up

The hardworking men and women of DOT and contracting crews from Quality Asphalt Paving (QAP) have set up a new traffic pattern along the Seward Highway that will remain in effect till spring. See their latest announcement below:

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has transitioned onto the newly constructed southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic is now on the newly constructed northbound Seward Highway. Note that this traffic configuration is temporary and only in effect through the winter. Additional work to complete the project will occur next year.

For more information, please call DOT at 770-2612, QAP at 522-2211 or visit http://AlaskaNavigator.org

Meetings Next Week

A variety of great community events are occurring next week. On Wednesday November 1st Kasuun Elementary is having its PTA meeting. Parents and teachers will gather in the school Library at 4 p.m. to plan future events and gathers for the kids!

Then on Thursday the 2nd the Home and Landowners Organization for the Anchorage Hillside (or HALO) has their regular Board meeting at 7 p.m. HALO meets at the Holy Spirit Retreat Center on the Corner of Hillside and O’Malley.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update! Please don’t hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns.

Have a great weekend,

Update for September 29, 2017

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Our office has been busy this week talking with neighbors and walking the streets of the district! You may have seen us out and about with our yellow fliers, but if not, that means we’ll probably catch you next week! Read below to hear more about our week.
Community Crime Meeting
On Monday, we were so grateful to see so many friends and neighbors at Abbott Loop Elementary School to discuss the devastating crime we’ve all been experiencing in Anchorage. Thank you so much to those who came and shared their experiences and ideas – your perspective is invaluable as our office heads to Juneau to try to make major changes to our criminal laws.
Here are a few of the takeaways we had from the community meeting:
-Sentencing reductions made by Senate Bill 91 need to be repealed
-More needs to be done to prevent and prosecute theft
-Alaska needs to expand their treatment capabilities
-Offenders need real monitoring/jail time before their trial
There were so many other constructive criticisms and insights offered, and we hope you know we were listening, taking notes, and we will be bringing your voices to Juneau for special session. If you weren’t able to make it on Monday, or didn’t get a chance to share your thoughts, please get in touch with us by calling or emailing!
Our office will be drafting and offering many amendments to repeal the dangerous changes made to our criminal laws and will keep you posted all along the way.
Safety Information to a Door Near You!
This week our office has been out going door-to-door in our neighborhoods, talking to neighbors and distributing safety information cards. Keep an eye out for our yellow cards on your door, and flag us down when you see us! We are out here to talk to you and hear what you’d like to see improved in our area.
Construction Update
As we near the end of the construction season, and beginning of the darker time of the year, we encourage everyone to be aware of the hardworking Alaskans working along our roads and thoroughfares.
DOT has provided another update on the major efforts and work occurring along the Seward Highway and Dowling this week. Please be advised of these road closure alerts.
From the DOT:
Road Closure
  • FUTURE ROAD CLOSURE: Beginning 8:00pm Friday, September 29, the roundabouts along Dowling Road near the Seward Highway (as well as the Seward Highway exit ramps) will be CLOSED through 5:30am Monday, October 2. Please plan to follow DETOUR routes via Tudor Road and Dimond Boulevard/Abbott Road.
What You Need to Know
  • Be alert to daily LANE CLOSURES and DELAYS from 9:00am to 3:30pm and from 8:00pm to 5:30am along Dowling Road and its roundabouts.

 

Cougar Football Tonight!

Our Service Football Team will be out tonight – on what looks like it will be a gorgeous fall evening – playing against the Eagles at West High School. This will just be our Varsity boys, and will start at 4:30PM.
Join us to cheer on our Cougars!
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 you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just click on the links below. We are listening.

Update for September 1, 2017

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Good afternoon and happy September everyone! We hope you have some fun plans in store for what is shaping up to be a great Labor Day weekend! Moose and caribou hunting seasons are now open in many areas of Alaska, the State Fair is in high gear and there are still Silvers to be caught down on the Kenai!

 

Kenai River Classic

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in the 25th Annual Kenai River Classic fishing event put on by the Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA). Many great Alaskans, including business executives, policy shapers, and government officials attended the excellent event, which late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens helped co-found.

We were able to catch some world famous Kenai River silver salmon, and help raise funds for habitat restoration and fisheries education programs. A huge thank you is owed to the entire KRSA Board of Directors, staff, and countless volunteers who helped make this event a “splashing” success!

 

Construction Update

Contractor and DOT crews are still hard at work on the Seward Highway project between Dowling and Dimond. If you are having trouble accessing side roads or with directions in the project corridor, please feel free to give my office a call! We are here to help you out!

See the weekly project update from the Alaska Department of Transportation below:

Wednesday, August 30

Weekly Update

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts the southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which now acts as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

Please note that no side road access will be permitted to and from the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads during construction. Work will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through mid-October, in order to expedite the construction process.

 

Game Time!

Our Service High boy’s football team is gearing up for a big game against hillside rival South High. Tomorrow evening, at 5pm, the Varsity boys will be playing the Wolverines at South High (13400 Elmore Rd, Anchorage, Alaska 99516).

Likewise, the girls’ varsity flag football team is playing against East tomorrow morning at 11:30am. They will be taking on the Thunderbirds at East High School (4025 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99508).

If the weather forecast holds, it should be a spectacular day for some fall football!

Get out there and cheer on our Cougars!

 

Special Session in October

The news hit yesterday that Governor Walker intends to call the Legislature back into a fourth special session of the year, to deal specifically with measures to raise taxes. We expect the Governor to call us into special session on Monday, October 23, 2017.

As of today, we don’t know the particulars about the type of tax (or taxes) the Governor will propose. However, by the end of September we should have an understanding of what he envisions.

Stay tuned on this developing situation. My office will certainly want to hear how you feel about the tax proposals when they are unveiled.

 

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Thank you so much for your interest and engagement! We hope you stay in touch via phone, email or social media!

 

All my best,

 

Update for August 25, 2017

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Communication with the Police Department

The Anchorage Police Department is working to bolster opportunities for community connection with their new Community Relations Unit. According to the department, the new team’s main mission is to better connect APD with Anchorage residents and organizations. My office encourages you to take advantage of this new tool by emailing Communications Director, MJ Thim, mthim@muni.org, with questions or requests from your organization or yourself.

There are other ways to stay in touch with our city’s police department, including:

  • NIXLE: A text and email alert system updated by Anchorage public safety. Alerts come in quickly regarding fires, crimes, missing persons, major road closures, public safety incidents and what your police department is up to. Sign up for Nixle today!
  • Crime Mapping System: The online crime mapping system is a great way to know about reported crime in your area. Community Crime Map allows you to see what kinds of crimes are occurring in your community. To check out the online APD Crime Mapping site visit: http://communitycrimemap.com/
  • Non-emergency Line: If you have information to share with the police department that doesn’t require an immediate officer response, APD has a non-emergency line: 907-786-8900, press “0” to speak with a dispatcher.

My office is here to help find further ways to increase safety in our community. If you see ways that we can better work together to keep our roads and neighborhoods more secure, I want to hear them! Please stay in touch.

 

Safety Around Schools

As parents, students and just about all of us already know, Anchorage schools are back in session! This means that as we drive along our roads, there are kiddos making their way to and from school, and our awareness of our surroundings needs to increase. School buses are picking up their charges, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, and harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

It’s critically important for drivers to slow down (especially in school zones with flashing yellow lights) and pay attention before and after school.

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

  • Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children
  • If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop
  • The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus
  • Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Have a great semester and stay safe!

 

Seward Highway Update

Construction should continue, weather dependent, along the Seward Highway for roughly another month and a half. Crews are expected to be working 7 days per week, 24 hours a day, so please be aware of the construction zone speed limits. Alaska DOT’s most recent update of the large project, is below. We thank DOT for their ongoing outreach.

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts as the southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which now acts as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

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

By the end of 2017, the necessary bridge, walls, box culverts and storm structures will be constructed to reopen the Seward Highway to motorists. The 2018 construction season will focus on the 76th Avenue/Lore Road connection, as well as improvements to the frontage roads and ramps. This project is expected to be complete in June 2019.

 

Spotlight on Cougar Volleyball!

Today and tomorrow our Lady Cougar Volleyball teams will be competing in Chugiak in their first meets of the season! We are consistently in awe of these strong, smart student athletes and their commitment to their sport and to their community. We look forward to their Spike Out Breast Cancer event every year, which raises money for breast cancer research and support. Look out for these upcoming meets:

Aug. 25-26: Chugiak Invitational

Aug. 29: Service at Chugiak

Sep. 5: West at Service

Sep. 8: East at Service

Sep. 9: C-1 and C-2 Tournaments

Sep. 9: JV Tournament

Go Cougars!

 

State Fair!

Corn dogs, cotton candy, giant pumpkins, concerts, lumberjack shows and roller coasters – it must be State Fair time! Yesterday kicked off the annual State Fair held at the Palmer State Fairgrounds. As always, the nearly two-week long fair boasts an incredible line up of food, exhibits, concerts, entertainment and fun for the whole family. My office looks forward to making our way out there to enjoy some of the amazing Alaskan grown products our farmers have produced! To see the whole line up of events and fun check out the State Fair’s website here: http://www.alaskastatefair.org/site/#alaska-state-fair

 

 

Update for August 18, 2017

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Happy Friday! We hope you’ve had a great week and have been staying dry and warm during all of this bleary weather. Should we believe the forecasts that Saturday will be sunny? Here’s hoping!

 

First Day of School!

This is the last weekend of summer for our ASD kids! The official start to the 2017-2018 school year is Monday August 21st for all grades except Kindergarten, which starts the following Monday August, 28th.

We hope everyone has a wonderful final weekend of summer vacation and that the beginning this new school year goes well. To our amazing ASD teachers we wish you all the best!

 

APD Ride Along

Our office was truly grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in a ride-along with the Anchorage Police Department and Officer Marcos Weinrick this week. Riding in a patrol car during the 3PM to 1AM shift, our staff member, Hans, was able to get a first-hand look at some of the duties, responsibilities and experiences our APD officers face every day. Not only was Officer Weinrick an amazing educator, explaining the day-to-day of an officer patrolling our community, but is also an exemplary public servant, keeping our city safe. Our office has participated in these ride-alongs nearly every year, and we consistently gain incredible insight into the challenges and successes of our police force. One of the constants this year has been the requests from law enforcement for reform to Senate Bill 91, the recent criminal justice overhaul bill. Our officers need more tools, not fewer, to assist victims and hold offenders accountable – especially those they witness offending over and over again. Our office is committed to working on ways to make their jobs easier and our community safer, and look forward to future ride-alongs – including Rep. Millett’s next week!

Thank you to APD for letting us participate and for your continued service and sacrifice. A special good luck to Officer Weinrick as he recovers from his knee injury and pursuit of joining the K-9 Unit!

 

 

Sports in Full Swing

Our Service Cougar sports teams are really beginning to heat up! On Saturday a variety of meets and games happening that are sure to be full of action, competition and celebration.

Football: The C & JV game will kick-off at 1pm, while the Varsity game starts at 4pm.

Swimming: At 10am, the entire swim team is headed over to Bartlett High for the Big 8 Invitation.

Cross Country: Our amazing runners will be venturing down to Soldotna to participate in the Tsalteshi Invite at Skyview High. The race is expected to get underway at 12pm.

 

 

Weekly Seward Highway Update

The Department of Transportation has some new information on the progress of the ongoing construction on the Seward Highway:

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts the southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which now acts as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.
Please note that no side road access will be permitted to and from the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads during construction.
Work will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through mid-October, in order to expedite the construction process.

 

 

Late Summer Events

The website Visit Anchorage has an incredible amount of fantastic events located all throughout our city. Follow the link below to see a sample of what is taking place over the next week in town – click here!

Art exhibits! Brewery tours! Exploring a fish hatchery! Food trucks! Get out there and have some fun!

 

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Thank you so much for your interest and engagement! We hope you stay in touch via phone, email or social media!

 

All my best,

 

Update for August 11, 2017

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Celebrating Peak-Baggers

We are so proud of Service-grad and neighbor Peter Mamrol and his climbing partner Lars Arneson! On July 22, 2017, the two Anchorage-born climbers set a new record for crossing the Front Link-up of the Chugach Mountain Range, clocking in at 18 hours and 10 minutes. The first to do so in under 22 hours, Lars and Peter were able to traverse 44 miles, top 12 peaks, and climb a total of 20,800 feet.

Alaskans through and through, Lars and Peter both grew up as outdoorsmen, running and skiing their whole lives, including during their college careers. Both had summited various peaks in the Front Range previously, though neither had completed the range until their record-setting adventure. Along with the beauty of our mountain ranges that all Alaskans enjoy, our state is proud to celebrate those who have the perseverance and initiative to master these peaks. Congratulations to these young men, who inspire us to push beyond our limits and revel in our great Alaskan playground.

 

Anchorage Crime Stoppers

Are you familiar with Anchorage Crime Stoppers? We have all seen the signs around our city, but few know the resources at their disposal to help keep us all safe. Crime Stoppers relies on cooperation between the police, the media, and the general community to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals. If you have information about a crime you witness, see on the news, hear about from neighbors, or see in a Nixle alert, you can provide a tip on the phone or online.

Crime Stoppers encourages members of the community to assist local law enforcement agencies in the fight against crime by overcoming the two key elements that inhibit community involvement: fear and apathy. Crime Stoppers provides a telephone number and web tips to encourage citizens to provide vital information to law enforcement agencies to fight against crime. This site is NOT monitored 24-hours a day. If the tip you are providing is life threatening, call the Anchorage Police Department immediately, dial 911. 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.  A tipster’s initial call or web tip must be made to Crime Stoppers to be eligible for the reward. Tipsters working directly with police are not eligible for a reward through Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers relies on volunteer directors and tax deductible contributions from the public in order to operate the program.

For more information, visit: http://www.anchoragecrimestoppers.com/sitemenu.aspx?P=howitworks&ID=124

Nextdoor

Another great tool for staying aware of what is happening in your neighborhood is the app/website Nextdoor. Essentially, Nextdoor is a private social network for people to connect with those who live close to them. In our office we love using Nextdoor to learn of fun events happening in the neighborhood, staying abreast of criminal activity, recommend services and good to our neighbors and help track down lost pets!

This piece of technology is a great way to become more engaged with your surroundings, watch out for your neighbors and likely make some new friends! We encourage you to download the app and sign up for this great tool!

 

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

It’s that time of year again when the leaves began to change colors, the air gets a little cooler and our beloved Service Cougar Football players hit the field! This is opening weekend for our boys in gold & green. We couldn’t be more excited for them to get back on the gridiron and secure their first victory! Both the JV and Varsity teams play this Saturday, August 12th, against Colony High. We’ve got home field advantage to start off the season, with the JV game beginning at 1pm and the Varsity game kicking off by 4pm.

Get out there and cheer on the home team! To keep up on their season, follow the team on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ServiceCougarFootball/

Go Cougars!!

 

Community Council

The Abbott Loop Community Council will be hosting its August meeting at the end of the month. On August 31st at Abbott Loop Elementary the Council will gather from 6:30-8:30pm and discuss pressing matters such as road construction, Municipal issues, and other neighborhood concerns. For additional information contact: Bruce Roberts, President brucearoberts@hotmail.com or 907-952-9969.

 

Continued Construction

Our favorite road project keeps plugging along. It appears DOT and the contractor, Quality Asphalt Paving, will be continuing to work 24/7 into mid-October – or until the snow comes! Below is their weekly update:

Wednesday, August 9

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts the southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which now acts as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

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

Update for July 28, 2017

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Good afternoon and happy Friday! It’s been a few weeks since our last update, so we hope that you and your family have been able to catch some fish and enjoy this beautiful Alaskan summer!

As we head into this weekend, Alaskans can be relieved to know that the Legislature has completed the capital budget.

Capital Budget Passage

Yesterday, the House and Senate convened in Juneau for the 3rd Special Session of the year to pass a Capital Budget, SB 23. Passing this budget was essential to continue work on critical road and safety projects, along with meeting other infrastructure needs. The capital budget, like any bill that passed the Legislature this year, is a product of compromise. Many left many feeling they did not get everything they wanted. However, to receive federal funds and continue maintenance and construction projects, passage of this bill was necessary.

Here are a few highlights of this year’s Capital Budget:

  • Funding for the Community Assistance Program, for a total distribution of $38 million
  • Funding for the Public and Community Transportation State Match
  • Funding for domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs and shelters
  • Funding for increased public safety patrol of the Seward Highway between Anchorage and Girdwood
  • Funding for deferred maintenance projects 

Road Safety

As we enter August, and the slowdown to summer construction season we all must remain aware of the construction zones throughout our city and state. DOT has provided us with another update to the ongoing project along the Seward Highway. Here’s what they had to say this week:

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted     from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts the southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which now acts as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

  • Please note that no side road access will be permitted to and from the Homer Drive and Brayton Drive frontage roads during construction.
  • Work will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through mid-October, in order to expedite the construction process

School Registration

The upcoming 2017-2018 ASD school year is right around the corner (sorry kids!) and you know what that means: registration! In person registration for our schools is as follows:

  • Service High: August 1st through 3rd, 8am – 11am & 12pm – 3pm
  • Hanshew Middle: August 1st through 3rd, 8am – 11am & 12pm – 3pm
  • Kasuun Elementary: August 1st through 3rd, 9am – 3pm each day. Likewise, click here for the full school supply list for all grades!
  • Abbott Loop and Trailside are both August 1st through August 3rd, however they don’t have times set yet though we assume they will likely be similar to Kasuun. Abbott Loop does have its supply list up!

Fast and Female!

We are so blessed in Alaska to have so many strong, smart, accomplished Alaskan women in sports to inspire our young athletes. We are additionally lucky to have such amazing influencers and athletes committed to helping young women stay confident in their participation in sports through the Fast and Female program. Born out of the idea that girls drop out of sports at 6x the rate of boys in their early teens, and the top reason for their mass exodus from physical activity is the experience of a lack of social belonging, Fast and Female provides programming designed to keep girls healthy, happy and active in sports through their teens. This past Thursday, Fast and Female USA President Kikkan Randall hosted fellow athletic inspirations at the Alaska Rock Gym and led girls in instructive and fun activities to help show them that they have a place in sports. The day looked absolutely fabulous, and the girls looked enthusiastic and thoroughly engaged.

Thank you so much Kikkan for leading this program and inspiring kids and adults alike! To learn more about Fast and Female, and help the young gals in your life get involved, visit www.fastandfemale.com

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this update, and for staying engaged as we work through the issues facing our state. Please continue to reach out with your questions, ideas and concerns. We’re here to serve you!

All my best,

Update for June 7, 2017

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Hello from Juneau on the 21st day of Special Session. Apologies for the gap between our updates, but as you may have read or heard in the news, there has not been very much movement here in the Capitol. This has honestly been a very frustrating time, and tensions are certainly very high. However, I do remain hopeful that compromise can be found and that we can avoid a government shutdown.

Constituent Coffee: Thank You!

Thank you so much to the 35 people who were able to make it to my constituent coffee over Memorial Day Weekend! It was so wonderful to sit down and talk with friends and neighbors about some of the issues we’re faced with here in Juneau. I enjoyed hearing updates from our community on what’s been happening in Anchorage this spring. It was additionally helpful to witness firsthand the construction work along on Brayton and surrounding areas. I heard from many of you that the signage and directions offered by the Department of Transportation’s team has been helpful. Please keep me posted if improvements still need to be made.

If you weren’t able to make it, I hope you’ll stay in touch about ideas and concerns you might have. My office is here for you!

Special Session Update

Like I said before, there has not been very much action here in the Capitol. This week we have had one meeting of the Conference Committee on the budget, and expect to have at least one more before Friday. These meetings will hopefully settle the budgets for 4 out of 18 departments, which chips away at the outstanding items for a full budget to be passed. This progress makes me hopeful, but still leaves a lot of work to accomplish before the special session is over.

Outside of the budget, the only committee action has been a solely informational House Finance meeting (held today) on the differences between the House and Senate’s oil tax legislation. During this time, many legislators have chosen to be home while they wait for progress. One of the questions I’ve been asked a fair amount is whether my colleagues and I are taking per diem while we are not in Juneau. I, for one, have not taken per diem while I’ve been away from the Capitol, and will continue not taking any per diem when not working in Juneau.

Governor’s Proposal

I appreciate the Governor putting forward a plan that he and his team knew would not be embraced with open arms. I don’t agree with everything in his package, nor does anyone in the Legislature at this point. Though I do think he demonstrated to many in this building that compromising means having tough conversations that might not get you everything you want. As evidenced by responses from some after his plan was presented, there are still legislators who believe a “win-win” is them getting exactly what they want, and never having to give. Is the Governor’s plan going to be accepted whole-cloth? Probably not. But what it does prove is that it is possible, if hard work is done, to come up with a settlement.

From Service to the Moon!

NASA recently announced the selection of 11 new astronaut candidates for the class of 2017, out of a record 18,300 applicants. Among those 18,300 was long-time Alaskan Robb Kulin, a graduate of Service High School in 2001! To read the full story about this exciting news for Robb and his family, click here!

Way to go Robb! You make Alaska incredibly proud and we know you’ll succeed in your future trainings and missions!

Hanshew Teaching Duo Shines!

Principal Nancy Brain of Hanshew Middle School recently provided my office this news alert regarding two outstanding teachers in our community:

Great news – a Hanshew teaching duo are 2017 Denali Award Recipients. The award is the highest District honor given to employees.

Individually they are great teachers, but together they are like lightning in a bottle. That’s how Hanshew Middle School Principal Nancy Brain describes teachers Katie Weidemaier and Leah Dubber.

Weidemaier and Dubber took the initiative to start two new eighth-grade pre-AP courses at Hanshew. Working together, they wrote a course curriculum infusing AP strategies into eighth-grade language arts and social studies. The content focuses on high-level reading, writing, research, and text analysis.

Weidemaier is described as a visionary language arts teacher who continually seeks new ways to engage her students and expand their learning. She works closely with multiple state and community organizations to further educational opportunities at her school. She has been instrumental in developing the middle school debate program at Hanshew and across the District.

Dubber continually takes advantage of learning opportunities to engage and challenge her students. Each year, her students compete in the “We the People” Middle School Invitational. This program provides an avenue for students to learn the historical and philosophical foundations of our country’s ideas about the creation of the Constitution.

A parent said, “At a time when schools are being asked to do more with less, these two astonishing teachers engage, inspire, and stir passion for knowledge.”

Leah and Katie are two of the most creative, hardworking, student-centered teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

Nancy Brain

Principal, Hanshew Middle School

Way to go Katie and Leah! You make District 25, and our community proud!

Seward Highway Progress

Below is the weekly update provided by the Alaska Department of Transportation on the Seward Highway Dimond to Dowling project.

ROAD CLOSURE: 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.

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has shifted from the Seward Highway to Homer Drive, which now acts the southbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

FUTURE TRAFFIC PATTERN: Beginning Friday, June 9, 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 45 MPH throughout the construction zone.

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

  • 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 email updates about this project, email SewardDowlingDimond@spawnak.com.

 

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!