Archive for the ‘Public Safety’ Category

Update for August 25, 2017

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Communication with the Police Department

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

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

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

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

 

Safety Around Schools

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

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

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

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

Have a great semester and stay safe!

 

Seward Highway Update

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

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

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

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

 

Spotlight on Cougar Volleyball!

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

Aug. 25-26: Chugiak Invitational

Aug. 29: Service at Chugiak

Sep. 5: West at Service

Sep. 8: East at Service

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

Sep. 9: JV Tournament

Go Cougars!

 

State Fair!

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

 

 

Update for August 18, 2017

Friday, August 18th, 2017

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

 

First Day of School!

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

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

 

APD Ride Along

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

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

 

 

Sports in Full Swing

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

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

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

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

 

 

Weekly Seward Highway Update

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

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

 

 

Late Summer Events

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

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

 

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

 

All my best,

 

Update for August 11, 2017

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Celebrating Peak-Baggers

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

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

 

Anchorage Crime Stoppers

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

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

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

Nextdoor

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

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

 

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

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

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

Go Cougars!!

 

Community Council

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

 

Continued Construction

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

Wednesday, August 9

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

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

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 March 3rd

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

 

 

 

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

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

 

Today is day 46 of the 90 day regular session – our half way point – and this week has been has been filled with meetings on the budget, oil and gas taxes, healthcare, and many other issues important to Alaskans. Our office has also been incredibly lucky to have many visits from District 25 constituents this week – all advocating for issues important to them and to our community. If you find yourself in the Capitol City this session with an advocacy group or you simply want to stop by and say hello, please come by our office, Room 404!

Budget Update

This week the House Democratic Majority introduced their edited version of the state budget. We were disappointed to see that despite the over $3 Billion deficit, their budget increases state spending by hundreds of millions of dollars and expands non-essential state programs. Along with a rise in spending, the Majority’s budget eliminated a proposal to use some of our state’s budget reserve, and instead took a large and risky draw from the Permanent Fund’s earning reserve. While smart uses of our state’s assets can benefit the state, such a hefty draw from our earnings reserves in one year can serve to erode the value of that account and the corpus of the Permanent Fund itself.

 

What’s next? Public testimony on the budget began yesterday and will continue today, and we will be listening to how Alaskans react to this late-in-the-game surprise as well as hear from residents about their take on the size of our government. Do you want to weigh in? Anchorage is having public testimony from 1:00 p. to 3:00 p.m. today at the Anchorage LIO (website: http://anchorage.akleg.gov/ ) We will also be working with colleagues to introduce amendments in the Finance Committee to reduce the duplicative, non-critical spending that our budget still includes.

 

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

Criminal Justice Update

 Our office has been working closely with state prosecutors, victims’ advocates, the Anchorage Police Department, state troopers, and many others in law enforcement to find potential fixes to the dangerous omnibus criminal justice overhaul passed last year, Senate Bill 91. This bill risked the safety of our communities by reducing and changing many of the penalties for criminal offenders without sufficient safety nets and accountability measures to ensure that outcomes would improve. It needs a whole lot of work, and our office is partnering with others across the state to get the input of our constituents on how we can make them feel safer in their homes and regions. If you are interested in sending your ideas for ways we can improve our community and state’s safety, please reach out to our office! We have all witnessed the truly upsetting rate of violent and non-violent crime in Anchorage, and can all do more to prevent that rate from growing.

Strength. Resilience. Justice.

Individuals and organizations that assist crime victims seeking justice in the judicial system while helping them to put their lives back together deserve special recognition. Victims for Justice, an advocacy group dedicated to representing victims of crime, is seeking nominations for its annual awards banquet at the Egan Center April 8. The four awards are an integral part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 2-8 and the theme this year is Strength. Resilience. Justice. To nominate an individual or organization, fill out the online nomination form at https://victimsforjustice.ejoinme.org/nomination The deadline for nominations is March 15.

 

Go Cougars!

Gus Schumacher did it again! The Service Senior captured the Skimeister title last weekend at the ASAA Nordic Ski State Championships by posting the fastest individual times at the three day event, and he did it just days after winning the Skimeister title at the Cook Inlet Conference Championships. Congratulations to Gus for amazing back to back performances and to the entire team and coach Jan Buron for a successful season on the ski trails.

Practice sessions are underway for the Cougar soccer and track and field teams. Due to the collapse of The Dome earlier this winter, the season opener has been tentatively scheduled for March 31, of course we will have more details as they become available. Schedules for the soccer teams are still being worked out and will be released soon.

Community Meetings

Members of the Anchorage Assembly and Anchorage School Board will gather a joint meeting on Tuesday, April 7 at City Hall in the eighth floor conference room beginning at 10:00 a.m. A review of the 2017-2018 ASD budget and its six year capital improvement plan are on the table for discussion. The Anchorage Assembly will hold a regular meeting that evening at the Loussac Library.

Agendas for both meetings can be found at the municipal meetings webpage. http://www.muni.org/Residents/Pages/MuniMeetings.aspx

 

Car Seat Checkups

The Anchorage Fire Department is offering free car seat and booster seat checkups on March 8, 9 and 10 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at downtown Fire Station #1, located at 100 East 4th Avenue. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect seats and booster seats to check for proper installation and educate parents about the safe use of car seats.

For more information, please call Safe Kids Alaska at 907-212-3194.

Do 1 Thing

Shelter. It is one of the essential needs anyone caught in a disaster must have to survive and assist others injured and in need of care. Do 1 Thing is a non-profit organization that works to prepare communities for an emergency or disaster. Each month it brings attention to one thing families and communities can do to be disaster resilient. March is about the steps necessary to locate safe, secure and habitable shelter. Go to the Do 1 Thing at: http://do1thing.com/topics/sheltering  for all the details.

 

We are here for you and your family, so please keep in touch. Our toll free number is 888-269-3879.

 

Warmly,


 

 

Update for February 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,