Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Back to School Update for 8-17-18

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Hi all!

Since the school year begins in less than 5 days, we thought we’d share some “Back to School” information in this week’s update. We are so excited for the coming year, and wish you and your family success, health and happiness as school ramps up.

 

Anchorage School District Calendar

Our office uses this calendar, distributed by ASD, to find out what days are In Service, when holiday breaks occur, and when other events of note are going on! This can be a great item to print out and keep on your fridge, or to save in your phone for future reference.

 

 

Safe Driving = Safer Kids!

Once school begins, there will be more students and parents out in our neighborhoods walking to and from class, practices and activities. As drivers, it is imperative that we are vigilant in watching for increased pedestrians, bikers and young drivers. Here are a few helpful tips from the National Safety Council for back-to-school driving:

DROPPING OFF:

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

-Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles

-Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school

-Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

 

SHARING THE ROAD WITH YOUNG PEDESTRIANS:

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

-Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic

-In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection

-Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign

-Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas

-Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way

-Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

-Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

 

SHARING THE ROAD WITH SCHOOL BUSES:

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

 

SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLISTS:

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

-When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist

-When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass

-If you’re turning right and a bicyclist is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals

-Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially tend to do this

-Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods

-Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars

-Check side mirrors before opening your door

 

 

Cheer on our Students!

 

With the beginning of the school year comes the start of some awesome sports programs! Some sports, like football, cheerleading, cross-country running and more have already started to practice and play, but many others are still to come! Our office feels so grateful to be able to watch and cheer on these amazing student athletes, and we’re really looking forward to all the fun games and meets to come.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the sports programs at your child’s school, you can visit:

 

High School: https://www.asdk12.org/Page/5458

Middle School: https://www.asdk12.org/Page/5459

Or you can chat with the administrators at your child’s Elementary School to find out what awesome opportunities the school and volunteers have to offer!

 

 

School Bus Update

 

Will your student be riding the bus to or from school this year? ASD has a great page with information on bus routes, safety, and policies: https://www.asdk12.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=5419

 

You can also look up the best way to transport your student or find a route by visiting http://busroutes.asdk12.org/Students/BasicTransBoundarySearch.aspx

 

Thank you to all our bus drivers in the district for their hard work to keep our kids safe and to get them to school on time!

 

 

Once again, we wish you and your family a wonderful school year, and want to express our gratitude and well wishes for all of our hard working teachers, administrators and support staff. We will be cheering you on and look forward to bumping into folks at schools and PTA’s throughout the fall!

 

 

Enjoy your weekend!

District 25 Friday Update: Session Conclusion & Graduation

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Good afternoon,

Early Sunday morning, the Legislature adjourned the 2018 session. For our office, this session was marked by both accomplishments and work still to be done. However, we are certainly glad to be returning home to see friends and neighbors around District 25!

Budgets

Earlier this session, we were proud to support an early budget for education funding. By passing this bill before school districts finalized their budgets, we were able to avert confusion and anxiety about classroom funding and staffing levels for the coming year. Additionally, we supported adding funding to districts – $50 million over two years – to help them keep up with inflation and further assist in providing a quality education for our students.

Outside of education however, the state’s budget growth reached a level this year that our office continues to believe is unsustainable. We advocated for and presented over $200 million in cuts to government that did not affect public education, public safety or public health. Unfortunately these targeted budget reductions were rejected by the House Majority. While we are disappointed the Majority decided to grow the budget during a time of slim revenues, we do believe the proposed cuts we offered can provide for a future framework for budget reductions.

Public Safety

This year, unfortunately, there was not sufficient support to implement a full repeal of Senate Bill 91 and overhaul our broken criminal justice laws. However, strides were made to improve specific areas of failure in our justice system. The “catch and release” policy that allowed dangerous offenders to immediately leave jail after  being arrested has been repealed, and sentences were increased for certain felony offenders. We criminalized dangerous new “designer drugs” and gave authorities the ability to better respond to assaults and violent crimes.

Thanks to an outpouring of public support we were also able to secure nearly $200,000 of funding in the Capital Budget for Community Patrols! This funding will enable our Community Patrols, supported by courageous, engaged and caring neighbors, to provide greater support and presence on our streets as they assist our heroic police officers and Troopers in keeping our city and state safe.

There is much more work to be done to make our communities safer. We will keep working this summer to find further ways to support our law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges as they strive to hold offenders accountable and prevent future crime.

Congratulations Class of 2018!

Our office wants to extend a hearty congratulations to the graduates from Service and Polaris High School! Graduating from high school is a memorable and wonderful achievement. Our office is certainly proud of the many talented individuals who, with diplomas in hand and beaming smiles, walked proudly across those stages. Whether you are going on to a trade school, college (we hope in Alaska!), are enlisting in the armed forces, want to start your own business or are simply looking forward to working a good summer job we wish you all the very best! As you enter this new phase of adulthood we encourage you to take each day as an opportunity and blessing to make our state and country a better place! Congratulations again Class of 2018!

Legislative Success

Over the last two years our office has worked diligently on a variety of bills to improve public safety, strengthen the private sector, reduce the footprint of government, better our schools and help the most vulnerable in our society.

At the end of the 30th Alaska Legislature we saw a number of our bills pass or get rolled into other bills that eventually passed. Those bills are as follows:

House Bill 24 – which listed the dangerous synthetic opioid U-477, also known as Pink, as a schedule 1A controlled substance

House Bill 5/House Bill 23 – which ensured that families whose loved one dies in the line of duty, receive health insurance coverage and benefits

House Bill 367/Senate Bill 202 – which provided relief for Alaska Native Corporations from liability for damages and costs resulting from pre-contaminated lands conveyed to them through the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA)

House Bill 336 – which created a new alternative to guardianship for elderly Alaskans and those experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities

House Concurrent Resolution 22/Senate Concurrent Resolution 17 – which proclaimed April 2018 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

As always, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns that you would like our office to address!

Kindly,

Friday Update for May 4, 2018

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Service Sports

Boys Soccer

Our boys play a couple of games this week. The first is on Monday May 7th, at 5 p.m., against South High at South. Their second game will be against Dimond High at 7 p.m. on Wednesday May 9th, at Dimond High.

Girls Soccer

Like the boys, the girls play two games as well this week. Their first game takes place on Monday May 7th, at 7 p.m., against the Wolverines at South’s field. Then, on Wednesday May 9th, the girls face Dimond at 5 p.m., at Dimond High.

Boys Baseball

On Monday May 7th, the team will play West High down at Mulcahy Stadium beginning at 6:30 p.m. On Friday May 11th, the guys take on the Dimond High Lynx, again playing at Mulcahy Stadium at 4:30 p.m.

Girls Softball

The ladies have a double header on Wednesday May 9th! Their first game is against Bartlett High from 5:45 p.m. and will be played at the Albrecht Field #1. For that game the Cougars will be considered the home team. Then, at 7:30 p.m. they will play Dimond High on the same field, but this time will be treated as the away team.

Choir 

The talented singers of the Service High Choir will be belting their hearts out at the annual concert on Monday May 7th, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Service High.

Band 

The big band will play loudly on Tuesday May 8th, from 7 to 8 p.m. for its annual concert, also held at Service High.

Orchestra

The orchestra wraps up the three day musical showcase with its annual concert on Wednesday May 9th, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Service.

Track

Our track team has an event dubbed “The Last Chance” happening on Wednesday May 9th. The event will be held from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., at West High. Run like the wind Cougars!

Education Funding Update

Yesterday, I was pleased to join the Governor and other legislators at Harborview Elementary School here in Juneau for the signing of House Bill 287, which provides funding for our school districts for the coming year. One of my priorities coming into session was to ensure that districts, schools and teachers did not have to go through another round of pink slips, and that everyone could plan for a successful 2018-2019 school year. House Bill 287 achieves this goal, and gives extra stability and certainty for schools by outlining funding plans for next year (fiscal year 2020) as well.

The focus of our schools and teachers should be providing our students with a quality education and improving outcomes, not worrying about looming pink slips. We were able to recognize some of the great work happening in our schools by seeing happy Juneau elementary school-ers, chatting with them and sharing in their performances. I am glad the staff and parents at the bill signing yesterday had some of their worries alleviated and got to witness what cooperation in our Legislature can result in. House Bill 287 is now state law.

Here is a great video from the event yesterday, which culminated with the signing of House Bill 287!

 

Seward Highway Project

2018 marks the second full construction season of this significant project. We will be following this project and its impacts on our community through its projected completion in the summer of 2019. A 55 MPH speed zone has been established and traffic patters will be changing constantly throughout the summer. Please be aware of workers along the road and all traffic signs.

For more information on the project click here. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the project that you’d like our office to look into please give us a call (907-465-3879) or shoot us as email (Rep.Charisse.Millett@akleg.gov)!

 

PTAs

Nearly all of our parents, teachers and staff are wrapping up or have wrapped up their final PTA meetings of the school year. Our office would like to take a moment and share our appreciation for the countless parent volunteers and teachers who participate in their school’s PTA. Our schools would not be nearly as effective without the dedication and humble service these great Alaskans put towards our kids. From the Millett office, we thank you. Congratulations to all the new board members for the 2018-2019 school year, and great work to those who have and continue to serve. 

 

 

Blog Post for February 2, 2018

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Session Update

This week has brought about a lot of work on the budget and other bills here in the Capitol. One of the major pieces of legislation on the move is a bill to separate funding for the Department of Education from the rest of the budget. This bill provides a stable level of funding for municipalities and districts to distribute to schools and allows communities to plan out their education spending for the coming fiscal year. While some debate exists over what account should be used to pay for the bill, general agreement exists that it will move through the process expediently.

Budget subcommittees, the small groups charged with taking the first look at each department’s budget, have been meeting for the past few weeks, and are hearing from the Executive Branch regarding successes and obstacles from the past year. Their goal is to send an updated draft of the budget by the middle of February, at which point the House Finance Committee will take a deeper dive into the budget’s details.

Our office will continue to keep you posted as important issues make their way through the legislative process. We hope you’ll continue to share your thoughts and ideas with us!

With our constituent Jennifer Aiste, who was in Juneau with the Alaska Pediatric Partnership!

Key Meetings Next Week

As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we are including this section into our weekly blog.

Week of February 5-10th

Monday

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., bills on Worker’s Compensation and APOC Registration Fees on Lobbyists

Tuesday

  • Legislative Council at 7 a.m., Sexual and Other Workplace Harassment Subcommittee and Policy
  • House Fisheries at 11 a.m., Presentation on Permitting Process by ADF&G

Wednesday

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m., Presentation on Alaska’s Debt
  • Joint Session at 11 a.m., State of the Judiciary, Address by Chief Justice Craig Stowers

Thursday

  • Legislative Council at 7 a.m., Sexual and Other Workplace Harassment Subcommittee and Policy Review
  • House Community and Regional Affairs at 8 a.m., HB 269 Distillery Licensees and Service on Premise

Friday

  • Senate Finance 9 a.m., Operating Budget and Supplemental Budget for FY19

 

Hanshew Teacher Wins Prestigious Award!

Our office wishes to congratulate Leah Meyring for her incredible accomplishment! We have some amazing professionals and educators teaching our kids!

 

Visit our Schools Month

Did you know that every Tuesday in February our Anchorage School District neighborhood schools open their doors for public tours? Community members, businesses and parents are invited to visit any ASD school during the month of February to learn more about the community’s public schools. While schools welcome members of the public year-round, this coordinated effort provides parents and community members an opportunity to learn more about the many educational opportunities available. This is a great opportunity to check out what our amazing staff and students are up to!

For more information, visit www.asdk12.org

 

PTA Meetings!

Many of our PTAs are gearing up for their monthly meetings in the next week or two. See below for where and when they are gathering!

Abbott Loop Elementary: February 13th at 3:45 p.m. at the school

Polaris K-12: February 6th at 5:30 p.m., at the school

Trailside Elementary: February 6th at 3:45 p.m., in the library

Hanshew Middle School: February 6th at 6 p.m., in the library

Kasuun Elementary: February 14th at 4 p.m., in the library

 

Service Sports

Our Cougars have some big games and meets this week!

Boys Basketball: On Monday at 7:30 p.m., the boys’ varsity team faces off against rival South High on our home court!

Girls Basketball: Like the boys, the girls’ varsity team will face South High at home, but the game begins at 6:00 p.m.

Cross Country Skiing: The Ski Classic Relay is happening at Russian Jack Park on Saturday the 10th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Our office is open and ready for you to share your questions, ideas and concerns! Please stay in touch this session and come visit us if you find yourself in Juneau. We are here to serve you!

Update for January 19, 2018

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Return of Friday Blog!

With constituent Arianna Cocallas

 

Happy to be in Juneau

Serving you is our office’s great honor. As we complete the first week of the 2nd Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature we want to let you know how grateful we are for your trust to represent your collective interests and vision for our great state. Though the last few years have been rather challenging for our entire state, we are truly optimistic and encouraged about what 2018 has in store.

Oil prices continue to rise – boosting state revenues and making projects more economical daily. Production through the Trans Alaska Pipeline System has increased two years in a row, and is set for a record third year of increase. Billions of barrels of new oil have been discovered on the North Slope, and many companies are planning extensive exploration programs this winter. The recession hopefully seems to be levelling off – with fewer jobs projected to be lost this year than in the previous two years. Our tourism industry smashed visitor records in 2017, and 2018 is projected to be even better. Mineral prices are up and the future for mining is shining bright like the many precious metals we have in Alaska. Fisherman from South East to Dutch Harbor are enjoying higher prices for their catch, and in Bristol Bay record numbers of wild sockeye salmon are returning.

However, not everything is bright and rosy. As too many of you have experienced first-hand, crime is out of control and a destructive opioid epidemic is sweeping across Alaska. State government still faces a multi-billion-dollar deficit, and our traditional savings accounts have been depleted as a result of our decrease in revenue.

For these reasons we are focused on increasing tools and support for our public safety and law enforcement community. Wise use of our state’s incredible assets, combined with targeted reductions in state government, will enable us to close the budget deficit this year and provide stability for the economy for years to come.

 

Key Meetings Next Week

As part of our efforts to keep you informed and abreast of what is happening in Juneau, we will be incorporating a new section into our weekly blog focused on key meetings occurring the following week.

Week of January 22-26th

              Monday

Senate Finance at 9 a.m., 2017 Fall Revenue Forecast Presentation

House Resources at 1 p.m., House Bill 288 – new oil tax legislation

              Tuesday           

Senate Finance at 9.m., Permanent Fund Corporation Overview

House Finance at 1:30 p.m., House Bill 286/285 – budget overview by Legislative Finance

              Wednesday

House Education and Early Development at 8 a.m., K-12 education budget overview and funding for school districts

House Resources at 1 p.m., Alaska Gasline Development Corporation overview of the AKLNG Project

              Thursday

House Education at 12 p.m., Workforce Readiness Presentation by Microsoft

Senate Labor and Commerce at 1:30 p.m., How do we best train Alaskans for jobs – presentation by various industries

             Friday

House Education and Early Development at 8 a.m., K-12 funding and K-12 support services

Senate Resources at 3:30 p.m., Alaska’s oil production forecast

 

Community Council

Next week our favorite community council in Anchorage, the Abbott Loop Community Council, is hosting its monthly meeting! On Thursday the 25th the community will gather at Abbott Loop Elementary School from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. An update from community leaders, along with a discussion of the proposed area wide solution to our roads, trails and drainage issues as described in the Hillside District Plan will occur.

If you need more information, or can’t make the meeting but want to review what occurred we suggest you contact Bruce Roberts (brucearoberts@hotmail.com) the President of the Council, or check out their website found here!

 

Service Sports

Cougar athletes have a busy week ahead of them! From basketball to hockey it is going to be an exciting week! Here’s the schedule for our Varsity teams:

Boys Hockey:

Thursday at 6:30 p.m. vs West High, located at Ben Boeke Indoor Ice Arenas, 534 E 16th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

Boys Basketball:

Monday at 7:30 p.m. vs Dimond High, located at Dimond High School, 2909 W 88th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99502

Girls Basketball:

Monday at 6 p.m. vs Dimond High, located at Dimond High School, 2909 W 88th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99502

Cross Country Skiing:

Saturday at 11 a.m., Skiathlon Relay, located at Kincaid Park, 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502

 

With Girdwood born, Canadian Olympic Figure Skater, Keegan Messing

 

As we mentioned in our brief update earlier this week, our office is open and ready for you to share your questions, ideas and concerns! Please stay in touch this session, and come visit us if you find yourself in Juneau. We are here to serve you!

Update for December 1, 2017

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Happy Friday! Our office sincerely hopes you and your family had a wonderful and memorable Thanksgiving!

PTA Meetings

As our schools begin to wind down for 2017, we hope that students do well on their final exams, and that parents and teachers will soon be relaxing! Next week, however, will be a busy week for the hardworking parents and teachers involved in various Parent Teacher Associations.

Abbott Loop PTA: meeting on Monday December 4th, at 3:45 p.m. in the school Library.

Polaris K-12 PTA: gathering at 4:00 p.m. in the Library, on Tuesday December 5th.

Trailside Elementary PTA: will hold their meeting also at 4:00 p.m. on December 5th.

Hanshew Middle School PTA: begins their meeting at 6:00 p.m., likewise on December 5th.

Kassoon Elementary PTA: the PTA will meet at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday the 6th in the school Library

Alaska Youth Advocates Annual Warm Hearts Silent Auction

Alaska Youth Advocates (AYA), are hosting their 3rd Annual Warm Hearts Silent Auction on December 7th, 2017 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the 49th State Brewing Co. (717 W. 3rd Avenue).

AYA is an excellent organization with a vision that Alaska is a place where all youth have access to basic needs and the resources to successfully navigate the path to adulthood.  Their mission is to advocate and foster the well-being of at-risk youth, so they may lead productive lives.

AYA offers the chance for a healthier life to young people who have little or no family support, often are no longer in school, may suffer from abuse or addiction, or have no place to go but the streets.

To learn more about AYA and the work they do click here! 

Proposed Aircraft Registration and Fee

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has proposed the creation of a state mandated aircraft registration and associated fee. Currently, the State does not require aircraft owners to register (and pay registration fees) their aircraft with the state. Personal and commercial aircraft owners register their aircraft with the FAA, and pay associated fees. DOT&PF is proposing a yearly registration fee of $150 for non-commercial aircraft, and $250 for a commercial aircraft.

Our office received the following from DOT&PF concerning the proposal:

“The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is proposing new regulations to implement Aircraft Registration and related fees, and has published a “Supplemental Notice” regarding an additional Public Hearing to be held on December 9, 2017 in Anchorage. 

DOT&PF is having an extended comment period of 60 days instead of the required minimum of 30 days, and are taking written comments until January 5, 2018.  To date there have been three public hearings to take oral testimony and written comments in Juneau on November 9th, Fairbanks on November 14th, and Anchorage on November 20th.”

Our office encourages those affected to attend the Anchorage meeting on December 9th to voice their opinions and learn more about the proposed regulations.

If you are unable to attend that meeting, you may submit written comments to DOT&PF. To submit comments or contact DOT&PF regarding this matter click here.

 

Community Messiah Performance

For those looking for events or performances to attend this weekend, our office recommends the following performance by the Anchorage Concert Chorus!

2017 marks the 71st year the Anchorage Concert Chorus has performed George Frideric Handel’s famous Messiah. The performance is an incredible display of musical and vocal talent, and is always well attended. Tickets are purchased at the door for cash or check.

 

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.

Warmly,

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 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,

 

Juneau Update for May 22, 2017

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Special Session in Juneau

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

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

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

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

Office Changes

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

Ridesharing for Alaska

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

Education Funding

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

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

Abbott Loop Community Council

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

School Is Out!

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

Update for May 15, 2017

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Update on Alaska’s Fiscal Options

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

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

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

Graduation and Final Weeks of School!

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

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

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

Construction Continues Along Seward Highway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drive safely everyone and slowdown in construction zones this summer!