Archive for the ‘Service High School’ Category

End of Session Update 4/17/2017

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Friendly Faces!

It was wonderful seeing my cousin, Lisa Anderson, and students from the Bristol Bay region who were in Juneau to talk about education. 

   Service High School Principal Hauser stopped by for a visit! Go Cougars!

90 Days Come and Gone

It is now Day 91 of the 2017 Legislative Session. To my dismay, the Legislature has been unable to complete its work in the timeframe set forth by the people of Alaska. The people voted for a 90 day session, though our State Constitution allows the Legislature to continue working for a full 120 days. Throughout the session my 17 Republican colleagues and I, who make up the House Minority, urged the Democrat-led Majority to work weekends, hold longer floor sessions and focus committee work on only major fiscal issues. Sadly, our requests went mostly ignored. We now we find ourselves locked in gridlock and in extended session for the foreseeable future.

Major issues such as the budget, fiscal plan proposals, oil tax credit reform, and implementing a legitimate spending cap have not yet been completed and passed by both bodies. Completing the budget, and determining how to fund it, is the most important task remaining on our plate. I remain optimistic that through calm, rational deliberation we will reach a solution that secures a bright future for our state. I am hopeful that the House Majority joins me in that sentiment.

Fiscal Plan Update

On Wednesday the 12th, the Democrat House Majority passed Senate Bill 26 on a party line vote. Senate Bill 26 would have significantly addressed our budget deficit. I liked portions of the bill, though not all aspects of it. However, SB 26 was grossly amended by the House Majority in the Finance Committee. The $4.1 billion spending cap and $1.2 billion “revenue draw limit” were both removed. Furthermore, “poison pill” conditional language was inserted into the bill calling for the imposition of an income tax and higher oil taxes in order for SB 26 to become law. I along with my 18-member Republican Caucus voted against this bill the dangerous conditional language.

Then on Saturday, April 15, which ironically happened to be federal tax day, the House Majority passed HB 115, which I like to call the “Tax Working Alaskans Act.” Should HB 115 pass the Senate, it would impose the first income tax in Alaska since 1980. All members of the House Republican Minority voted against it. We stood resolutely against the taking of $670+ million from working Alaskans to prop up government. HB 115 is unlikely to pass the Senate, however, it’s highly concerning to see the House Majority disregard our struggling private sector economy by pushing for an income tax. Likewise, Governor Walker issued a press release praising the House Majority’s passage of an income tax.

Opioid Crisis Update

Last month, House Bill 24, my bill that criminalizes the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “Pink”, overwhelmingly passed the Alaska State House. On Monday, April 3rd, HB 24 unanimously passed the Alaska State Senate! It empowers state and local law enforcement to put dealers behind bars and save the lives of Alaskans caught in the downward spiral of opioid addiction.

We are now waiting for the House Majority to bring forth HB 24 so that we can accept the changes made to it by the Senate. Once that action occurs, HB 24 will be sent to Gov. Walker.

Our legislation is one component of Alaska’s comprehensive statewide plan to fight opioid addiction, a menace to our society destroying lives, families and communities. We hope swift action will be taken by Governor Walker to sign this legislation into law once it reaches his desk.

Seward Highway Project Update

Construction season is beginning to heat up in town! The Seward Highway Dimond to Dowling project is a major construction project slated to run two full seasons. Here is the most recent information on the project from DOT:

ROAD CLOSURE: Homer Drive is now 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 now 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 email updates about this project, email: SewardDowlingDimond@spawnak.com

 

 

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,

State Budget Update, March 17th

Friday, March 17th, 2017

District 25 constituents and friends Tonya Dipo and Britteny Howell came by the Juneau office to advocate for Alaskans with disabilities as part of the Key Coalition.

Good Afternoon Everyone,

The session is moving so quickly right now. This week, we were so proud to see legislation protecting the health and welfare of families left behind following the death of a public safety officer unanimously pass the house. Meanwhile, the House Republican Caucus was stymied in its mission to address the state’s multibillion dollar budget gap with smart, targeted reductions to the operating budget.

As the session continues, please keep in touch on the budget or anything else important to you and your family.

Budget Update

This week amendments to the House’s version of the State Budget were debated on the floor. There were a multitude of amendments from our House Republicans to reduce the size of government, totaling over $100 million. There were more important budget reductions, and opportunities for common ground awaiting discussion, but the House Democrats cut off debate today, leaving many ideas in the dark. Some of the proposed cuts included reductions to slush-funds, premium pay, and empty positions. Unfortunately, House Democrats chose to reject every cost-savings opportunity, and instead voted to grow the budget this year.

There is a substantial need for action on our financial situation this year, and the Governor and Legislature alike have acknowledged that a fiscal plan must include a reduction to our current unsustainable state spending. Our budget does not reflect our revenue constraints, and still includes spending that could be reduced without negatively impacting Alaskans. We sincerely hope that as the budget continues to move through the legislative process, our need to down-size is taken seriously, and a firmer grip is found on our state spending.

Rep. Millett sat down with the children at Abbott Loop Elementary School to read the book “If I were President” and talk about what it means to be an elected official.

Honoring our Fallen Heroes

We were so proud to see House Bill 23 unanimously pass the Alaska State House on Monday. The legislation provides health benefits for surviving families of fallen public safety officers. Those who make the ultimate sacrifice protecting our families should know that their families will also be cared for.

This bill was the product of substantial time and effort, and over six years of hard work by many stakeholders and representatives. Brandy Johnson, the wife of fallen Sgt. Scott Johnson, who was brutally murdered while serving Alaskans, has been the ultimate advocate for this critical coverage, not only for her family, but for all current and future public safety officers and their families. Alaskans truly owe Brandy a debt of gratitude, as does our office for all of her help and support while working on this important legislation. Thank you to all who have dedicated so much time and effort to see this bill through the House.

Community Meetings

The March meeting of the Abbott Loop Community Council will be held next Thursday, March 30 at Abbott Loop Elementary School. Here is the agenda. On Tuesday, the Anchorage Assembly will hold a regular meeting starting at 5:00 p.m.

Cougar News

The high school soccer season kicks off next weekend with the boys and girls teams visiting Colony High in Palmer on Saturday the 25th, the ladies take the field at noon and the boys’ team at 4:00 p.m.

It was a tough season for the Lady Cougars basketball squad but they played every game with pride and poise. The boy’s team, led by leading scorers Nathan Fromm and Dominic Norman finished third in the Cook Inlet Conference Championships last week. Congratulations to both teams for their hard work.

We also want to give a big congratulations to Service High graduate and District 25 constituent Jeff Overbaugh. Jeff signed a contract with the Denver Broncos football team and will compete for the position of long snapper once training camp begins later this year.

Apply Now!

 

March 31 is coming fast! It is the deadline to apply for your 2017 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend. If you have any questions about the application process call the Anchorage PFD office at 269-0370, or check out the FAQ webpage at http://pfd.alaska.gov/FAQ

 

That is all for now, but we will be back next week with much more from Juneau and please remember to reach out to us anytime with your thoughts, concerns and ideas.

 

Our toll free number is 888-269-3879. We are listening.

 

Warmly,


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update for March 10th

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Rep. Millett had some great discussions and heard many good ideas from her constituents at the Anchorage Caucus meeting on February 25.

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is Friday and that means our weekly constituent newsletter is ready for everyone. We believe it is important to share with all of you information on what we are doing to prevent the spread of deadly synthetic drugs, how our caucus is working to bring state spending under control and the special recognition awarded to three of our community’s amazing athletes! We really appreciate everyone taking a few minutes to stay in touch with us through this newsletter.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and the women of the 30th Alaska Legislature gathered for a group photo after her annual speech to the Alaska Legislature.

Budget Update

The House Finance Committee considered over 200 amendments that would have reduced the size of government this week. Brought forward by House Republican members of the Finance Committee, amendments were offered to cut premium pay, duplicated spending, funding for deleted positions and non-critical programs, such as trade advertising. Unfortunately, nearly all of these reductions were declined by the House Majority, who chose instead to increase the budget by over $200 Million.

When our state is facing an over $2 Billion deficit, we can’t keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. Especially when the House Majority is looking to tax Alaskans, government needs to take action to cut its costs and better reflect its revenue. Growing the budget during a fiscal crisis and then asking Alaskans to pick up the tab is unrealistic and ignores the recessionary effect of this downturn on families’ pocketbooks.

The budget will now head to the House floor, where we will continue to work to convince colleagues of the serious need to right-size government and to offer amendments to that effect. We will keep you posted as this budget process continues!

Fighting Opioid Abuse

On Monday, legislation, House Bill 24, that criminalizes the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “Pink”, was overwhelmingly passed by the Alaska State House. It empowers state and local law enforcement to put dealers behind bars and save the lives of Alaskans caught in the downward spiral of opioid addiction.

Our legislation is one component of Alaska’s comprehensive statewide plan to fight opioid addiction, a menace to our society destroying lives, families and communities. House Bill 24 is now up for consideration in the Senate where we hope swift action will be taken.

Cougar Basketball

Congratulations to three Service basketball players, Katie Pearce, Dominic Norman and Nathan Fromm for making the 2016-2017 All Cook Inlet Conference Girls and Boys Basketball Teams. Katie was a star throughout the 14 game regular season while Nathan and Dominic were real sharpshooters on the hardwood, frequently posting the highest individual scores each game. In fact, Dominic and Nathan scored a combined 47 of the team’s 81 points in Wednesday’s Cook Inlet Conference playoff victory against Bartlett. The win advances the boys team to tonight’s semi-final matchup against East at 5:00 p.m. at the West High gym.

Friend and Dist. 25 constituent Kristin Luby with the American Heart Association was joined by Kelly Larson from the Alaska State Fair and Mike Bridges with First National Bank of Alaska for a discussion about smoke free workplaces and ending tobacco use.

Free Smoke Detectors

Home fires have tragically claimed the lives of several Alaskans this winter so we are proud to see the American Red Cross of Alaska and Chugach Electric teaming up to provide free smoke detectors. Just visit the lobby at Chugach Electric headquarters next Friday, March 17 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.to sign up for the free lifesaving detectors. For more details check out this Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/1245527548896602/

Before we go… The Hanshew Middle School PTA needs to fill out the executive board for the 2017-2018 school year. Interested parents can learn out more by sending an email to PTA President Bright Nygard at HanshewPTA@gmail.com Nominations will be voted at the April PTA meeting – and let’s not forget the school newsletters from Service High and Trailside Elementary.

Cool temperatures and sunny skies are forecast for this weekend so enjoy the last few weeks of winter.

We are here to serve you, your family and our community.

 

Warmly,

 

Update for February 24th

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Rep. Millett testifying before the House Finance Committee on House Bill 24 on Wednesday.

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

 

Welcome to our constituent newsletter! We are committed to providing all of you with the latest news and information on legislation, the budget, school events and community news each week from the state capitol. Today we want to tell you about our efforts to stop the scourge of opioid addiction that is destroying Alaskans caught in the trap of drug abuse, their families and our communities. We also have the schedule for March PTA meetings and lots more.

Fighting Opioid Addiction

This week our legislation, House Bill 24, which would criminalize the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous opioid U-47700, was passed out of the House Finance Committee. If passed, this bill would give our law enforcement the tools to get more of this deadly drug off of our streets, and the ability to further punish those who continue to deal opioids. A key measure in solving the addiction crisis in our state is removing dangerous substances from our communities and giving people the opportunity to wrench themselves from their demons. House Bill 24 now heads to the House floor for a vote.

Budget Update

House Budget Subcommittees are wrapping up their process this year, and their recommendations are heading to the full Finance Committee for review. The new process established by the Finance Committee Chairs this year has been very limited and has mainly included high-level overviews of departments, instead of actual budget numbers and department evaluation. In spite of this obstacle, the House Republican Caucus has brought forward, and will continue to propose, reductions to our budget that draw down non-critical government spending. For example, within the Legislature’s budget our office brought forward cuts that would eliminate the Legislative Lounge and eliminate per diem for legislators who reside in Juneau during session. Both of these amendments were rejected by the subcommittee chair, and will unfortunately not be cut this year.

Our state can’t expect to get itself back on a stable path without limiting our expenditures, and cuts need to be made this year. We will keep you posted with more of our budget cutting amendments and how they fare in this budget.

 March PTA Meetings

  •  Trailside Elementary PTA – Wednesday, March 1 @ 4:00 p.m.
  • Abbott Loop Elementary PTO – Monday, March 6 @ 5:30 p.m.
  • Hanshew PTA – Monday, March 6 @ 6:00 p.m.
  • Kasuun Elementary PTA – Thursday, March 2 @ 4:30 p.m.
  • Service High PTA – Tuesday, March 2 @ 6:00 p.m.

The Service High and Trailside Elementary PTA executive boards are actively recruiting new board members for the 2017-2018 school year. Serving on an executive board requires commitment and dedication to improving the educational experience for students with fundraisers and afterschool events while supporting and encouraging the hard work teachers, administrators and staff put in each and every school day. Please send an email to Service PTA President Mary Rosenfield at serviceptsa@gmail.com or Trailside PTA President Jessica Maves at trailsideptapresident@gmail.com if you can help.

Go Cougars!

The big news this weekend is the 2017 ASAA Nordic Ski State Championships underway today and Saturday at Kincaid Park. The Cougars have a great team and skied really well at the Cook Inlet Conference Championships last weekend. We also want to extend a special congratulations to Gus Schumacher for winning the title of “Skimeister,” for clocking the fastest times among all the young men at the two day event.

Here is the weekly schedule for the basketball teams. The regular season is coming to a close so catch a game and support our young athletes. Home games are in CAPS.

Boys Schedule:

Friday, February 24 (TONIGHT) – SOUTH VS. SERVICE @ 7:30 p.m.

Monday, February 27 – Service vs. East @ 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 1 – EAGLE RIVER VS. SERVICE @ 7:30 P.M.

Girls Schedule:

Friday, February 24 (TONIGHT) – SOUTH VS. SERVICE @ 6:00 P.M.

Monday, February 27 – Service vs. East @ 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 1 – EAGLE RIVER VS. SERVICE @ 6:00 P.M.

Living with Cancer

If you or a loved one are living with cancer there are many programs and services available from patient lodging, to classes to emotional support. The American Cancer Society offers these services, and much more, even for patient’s families. The information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.cancer.org or call 1-800-227-2345.

Stay in touch with us all session long and remember to write down our toll free number, 888-269-3879 for our constituents, friends and neighbors back home.

Last but not least, Fur Rondy kicks off this weekend, check out the schedule at http://www.furrondy.net/ and go have some fun this weekend.

 

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 February 3rd

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Rep. Millett, AK State Trooper Sgt. Doug Massie and House Republican Press Secretary Mallory Walser discussed public safety legislation last week.

 

Friends and neighbors,

We are back with another edition of our blog where we reach out to all of you back home about our efforts to formulate a state budget plan that protects vital services with the least possible financial impact on your family. This week we proudly moved legislation to fight the scourge of opioid drug addiction and an update on our multiyear effort to assist the families of fallen public safety officers.

Testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about House Bill 24. A bill to outlaw U-47700, a deadly form of synthetic heroin.

 

Preventing Opioid Addiction

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed House Bill 24 on Wednesday. It outlaws U-47700, a new and deadly form of synthetic heroin that is more commonly known by the street name “pink.” The bill adds it to the state’s list of schedule 1A drugs, substances that have no legitimate medical use, are addictive and pose an immediate public threat.

To call U-47700 deadly is an understatement. It can be up to 800 percent more potent than traditional heroin so even touching it can be fatal. It was a factor in the deaths of three Alaskans and at least 46 people are known to have died from it in the Lower 48. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration believes it is made in overseas labs under conditions that make using it extremely dangerous.            

HB 24 has broad support from medical, law enforcement, legal and substance abuse treatment organizations. It now goes to the House Finance Committee for its consideration.

Critical Benefits for the Families of Fallen Officers

Our hearts were full this week after hearing over an hour of passionate testimony in the House Finance Committee on the incredible need for health coverage for the families of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty, House Bill 23. The plan before the Legislature currently would allow surviving dependents of fallen officers to retain their health coverage and continue to receive care until a “change of status” occurs. In the heartfelt testimony, families of fallen troopers, as well as active officers and their families reminded the committee that t is the least our state can do for those who put their lives on the line, to allow them to focus on their job and their duty, instead of worrying about whether they really want to enter a dangerous situation – whether their family will be taken care of were the worst to occur.

This piece of legislation will be brought before the House Finance Committee again this coming week, and we will keep you posted as it moves through the process.

Our House Republican Caucus webpage is now live. My colleagues and I post our legislation, photos, biographical information and much more. Check back often because we are always updating it. Go to: http://alaskahouserepublicans.org/  

Go Cougars!

Based on the number of high school students playing basketball, it is Alaska’s number one prep sport. The Cougar basketball teams are in the final few weeks of the regular season with some great matchups still on the schedule. Home teams are in bold.

Boys schedule:

February 3 (TONIGHT) – West vs Service @ 7:30 p.m.

February 7 – East vs. Service @ 7:30 p.m.

Girls schedule:

February 3 (TONIGHT) – West vs. Service @ 6:00 p.m.

February 7 – East vs. Service @ 6:00 p.m.

The Classic Relay event on Saturday, February 11 sends the Service cross country ski team to Russian Jack Park for races against the other seven Cook Inlet Conference teams. Last but not least, the Service Debate, Drama and Forensics team is preparing for the state event February 23 and 24 at East High School.

Parents should know that the Anchorage School District will be administering the 2017 School Climate and Connectedness Survey to all staff and students in grades 3-12 from February 13 to the 24. The survey seeks to learn what students think about school safety, student involvement and other issues. The survey is confidential, voluntary and anonymous. It does not ask students any questions about their family. Check out a sample survey at this link:     http://www.asdk12.org/ae/surveys/schoolclimateandconnectednesssurvey/   if you wish to opt your child out of the survey notify her or his school in writing.

Community Meetings

 On Monday the Anchorage School Board will hold its regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. at ASD Headquarters, 5530 E Northern Lights Blvd. Read the agenda for details of the meeting.

 Have a Heart

Someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 40 seconds, making it the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. The most current estimates for both heart disease and stroke put the cost for health care and lost productivity at a staggering $312.6 billion. To promote a heart healthy lifestyle the American Heart Association recognizes every February as National Heart Month to educate and promote lifestyle changes that lower the risk of developing heart disease.  The association strongly recommends everyone who has not done so to take a CPR class, and if it has been years since your last training a refresher course is highly recommended. Many organizations and businesses offer CPR training in the Anchorage area and can be found by an online search for a class near you.

For more information on preventing heart disease, go to the American Heart Association web site at: www.heart.org

Alaska ABLE Plan

The Alaska Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) plan allows Alaskans with disabilities and their families the ability to open investment accounts and save money for their disability related expenses. Patterned after 529 college savings programs, money can be saved without losing eligibility for certain public assistance programs. The ABLE program was created by the legislature last year to ease the financial burdensdisabled Alaskans and their families face every day. Click here and here to read the flyer and go to the website at https://savewithable.com/ak/home.html  to sign up.

 

Before we go, watch for our annual session newsletter hitting mailboxes later this month with more news from Juneau.

 

Lots of sun is forecast this weekend so get out and enjoy it!

 

Sincerely,

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 20th

Friday, January 20th, 2017

The House Republican Caucus gathered for a group photo on the steps of the capitol building this week.

 

Greetings from Juneau. The 2017 legislative session is underway and we are working hard to represent you, your family, our schools and neighborhoods. This week we have lots to share with you so let’s get started.

Session Update

We are now wrapping up the first week of session! This week committees have formally organized and heard overviews from the Governor’s administrative departments, early-filed bills were introduced, and members moved into their offices. The Governor also delivered his State of the State address, which echoed what we have heard from Alaskans and one another, which is that we all have a stake in putting our state on a stable fiscal path. While the House Republican caucus may not share his path forward, and would like to see government right-sized before taking money from Alaskans’ pockets, we too believe action must be taken this year. Next week will bring increasingly busy schedules, filled with budget presentations, floor sessions and committee meetings, but we will keep you posted all along the way!

BASIS

BASIS is the Alaska Legislature’s webpage for accessing bills, committee schedules and other important information so the public can stay informed on what we are doing in Juneau. It contains some powerful tools. For example, get automatic alerts when a bill is scheduled for a hearing or public testimony. The BASIS link is http://www.akleg.gov/basis/Home/BillsandLaws Look for the link titled “Bill Tracking Management Facility” about halfway down the page.

Watch committee hearings on Gavel-to-Gavel at www.360north or through “Live Now” tab at the bottom of the BASIS home page.

Representatives Pruitt, Johnston, Birch and Millett took the oath of office on Tuesday, the first day of the 2017 session.

 

Community Meetings

As a community service we like to provide a list of meetings for the coming week.

The Anchorage School Board meets on Monday evening at 5:30 at its headquarters on Boniface Parkway. Here is a link to the agenda:

http://www.boarddocs.com/ak/asdk12/board.nsf/Public#

On Tuesday evening the Anchorage Assembly gathers at the Loussac Library for a regular meeting at 5:00. Click on this link to view the agenda. http://publicdocs.muni.org/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=1223&doctype=agenda

Our Abbott Loop Community Council holds its monthly meeting on Thursday the 26th beginning at 6:30 at Abbott Loop Elementary School. It is the best place to learn what is happening in our neighborhood from new development to neighborhood crime and safety issues. The agenda is posted here:

http://communitycouncils.org/servlet/viewfolder?id=88

 

Go Cougars!

The big sports news out of Service High School is this weekend’s 2017 Cougar Tip Off Tournament at the school gym. The format is a round robin style tournament and the visiting teams are ACS and Wasilla. The action gets underway tonight at 7:00 p.m. when Service plays the ACS Lions followed by a second game Saturday at 4:00 p.m. against the Warriors.

The team won a hard fought game earlier this week against the Chugiak Mustangs and Cougar sharpshooter Nathan Fromm scored 26 of his team’s 49 points! This team is loaded with talent and that promises to make every game fun to watch so let’s have a great turnout this weekend.

On Tuesday the ladies team plays the visiting Dimond Lynx at 6:00 p.m. The Lady Cougars are struggling a little this season but that just means a little extra fan support is needed. Both teams have Facebook pages so you can stay up to date throughout the season.

The varsity hockey team has two games starting on Tuesday against West and South on Friday, the puck drops for both games at 6:30 at Ben Boeke Ice Arena.

Congratulations, Ian!

This week, KTUU News published story recognizing the great work of Alaskans across the state in increasing the employment of people of working age, ages 21-to-64, with a disability. Alaska has nearly double the national average of employment of people with disabilities, and one of those amazing members of our workforce is District 25 resident, Ian Miner. We first met Ian at his place of employment, the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and have admired his ethic and drive ever since. Ian is mission-critical to the success of the council and helps our office coordinate meetings with council staff and members. He is a joy to work with, and we hope his success serves as an inspiration to Alaskans from all walks of life. Thank you for sharing your story, Ian, and congratulations on your career accomplishments!

To read and watch the story, you can follow this link: http://bit.ly/2jZDcyR

Before we go, Anchorage is experiencing the coldest temperatures in years so as you remember to plug in the car and make sure the kids are properly dressed before heading out to school in the morning, make sure to protect the four legged members of your family. Cats and almost all dogs will suffer frostbite or worse if left out in sub-zero weather. Just like children, pets depend on us to protect them. That information and many more cold weather tips can be found at the Red Cross of Alaska’s blog page: https://redcrossalaska.wordpress.com/

Write down this toll free number (888-269-3879) so you can reach us in Juneau. Our constituents are our number one priority.

 

Stay warm,


 

 

Update for January 13th

Friday, January 13th, 2017

Dear friends and neighbors,

 

It is our pleasure to share with you the latest news from the state capitol and our neighborhood schools. If you have any submissions or ideas please let us know and we will gladly include them in the next post.

Back in Juneau

 

We have moved into our office in the Capitol, and are eagerly awaiting and preparing for the start of session. Our office is now Room 404, on the fourth floor of the Capitol, and we’d love for you to stop by and visit us if you’re ever in town! As we ramp up for the beginning of session, there will be a strong focus on evaluating the Governor’s budget, starting to vet new pieces of legislation, and constant communication with those we represent. Throughout 2016, we heard from our neighbors that they want to see Alaska’s government reflect its fiscal reality, and as your voice in Juneau, we will continue to bring government’s footprint down to the size we can afford. Our office is also working hard to pass legislation that we have long worked on to get the necessary benefits to the families of our public safety officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Our community’s safety is paramount, and we owe it to those who have given their lives to protect us to help keep their families afloat.

Please stay in touch as session progresses! Your calls, emails, testimony, and visits help guide every decision down here in Juneau, and we appreciate any and all input you have to offer. Thank you very much for your engagement and interest!

Go Cougars!

 

A full slate of Cougar sporting events are scheduled for this weekend and the following week. The ladies basketball team visits Chugiak on Wednesday for a match that begins at 6:00 p.m. The next day the team heads south to the Kenai Peninsula to participate in the 2017 Nikiski High Tip Off Tournament for games against the host team and Valdez on January 19 and 20.

The boys host the Chugiak Mustangs next Tuesday, and the Anchorage Christian School Lions on Friday. Tip off time for both games is 7:30 at the Service High School gym.

Moving from the hardwood to the ice, the boys’ hockey team plays the East Thunderbirds, 4:30 tomorrow at Ben Boeke, the Eagle River Wolves on Tuesday night at the Harry MacDonald Center before traveling north for games against North Pole and Lathrop.

Did you know the Cougars have a bowling team? It is true, and the next match is this Thursday at 3:15 at Center Bowl, 3717 Minnesota Drive. Cougar sporting events are not just for parents, students and staff. So put on your green and gold and support the Cougars all school year.

 

The temperatures are going to plunge next week so if your vehicle is outside at night be sure to plug it in and buddle up before going outside.

Have a great weekend everyone,