Archive for the ‘Trailside Elementary School’ 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!

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 December 8, 2017

Friday, December 8th, 2017

We hope you’ve had a great week, and are staying safe on these icy roads. Take some time this weekend to spread some salt or gravel and tread carefully on slick and dangerous paths. Let’s all hope for some more temperate weather!

 

Lower Hillside Town Hall Meeting

As we all start thinking about what we want to see change and improve in the coming year, our office, along with Senator Kevin Meyer and Representative Chris Birch, is hosting a town hall meeting.

WHERE: Hanshew Middle School

WHEN: Saturday, December 16th at 9:30am

We want to hear your ideas for the upcoming legislative session, as well as your priorities for our community, city and state. Your input is critical as we all work towards a healthier and happier Alaska, and we hope you’ll stop by!

Can’t make it? We still want to add your voice to the conversation! Give our office a call or email with your thoughts.

 

Timberwolves Lending a Hand

At Trailside Elementary School, holiday spirit is running high, along with a passion for giving to others. We are so proud of the Trailside Student Council, who have been leading the effort to collect new and unwrapped presents for children in need in our community as a part of their “Lend a Helping Hand” drive. Last year they collected over 300 gifts, and this year we can already see the incredible altruism that this school exemplifies continuing.

If you are interested in bringing in a gift and participating in Lend a Helping Hand, they are accepting donations until December 12th! Thank you so much to these generous students, families and faculty!

 

Workplace Harassment Subcommittee

This November, the Legislative Council formed a subcommittee tasked with establishing an improved set of policies for ensuring safety and best practices in our workplace, particularly focusing on Workplace Harassment. We know that harassment can take place in every workplace, regardless of industry or sector, and we want to make sure that all Alaskans know that their Legislature is protecting citizens and employees at all levels who interact with their government. Our office is glad to be able to serve on this subcommittee.

Yesterday, the subcommittee held its first meeting where our organization was established and the Legislature’s current policies were reviewed. Our goal is to have recommendations for policy improvements by January. Do you have ideas or best practices to share from your workplace? We’d love to hear from you! We know that this conversation should be continuous, and that no one’s work is ever done in making improvements to safety procedures and workplace culture. We need to all look out for one another and make sure that it is clear that we will not tolerate abuse of anyone in any space.

We will be sure to share progress made by this subcommittee as our work continues.

 

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

 

Next year, three amazing and talented Alaskan athletes will be inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. Established in 2006, the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization founded on the belief that Alaskans need an institution that shines a light on all that is positive about sports in Alaska.

The Class of 2018 will now include:

  • Holly Brooks, a talented skier and inspirational coach, who has participated in both the World Cup and Winter Olympics with incredible success.
  • Dolly LeFever, who made mountaineering history in 1993 when she reached the top of Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko to become the first American woman and third woman ever to conquer the famed Seven Summits.
  • Virgil Hooe, a record-setting volleyball coach and the founder of the Midnight Sun Volleyball club team.

We are so incredibly proud of these athletes, and are grateful for their ongoing commitment to helping our community and next generation maintain a passion for athletics and a healthy life. We can’t wait to celebrate with them in the coming year.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this update! We really appreciate your engagement.

Our office number in Anchorage is 907-269-0222, and you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We are listening.

Warmly,

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 4th

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Happy Friday to you from Anchorage! We hope school registration this week went well for you and your family!

Over the next few weeks a great number of events are happening throughout the District and around Anchorage. We hope to see you at some of them – as there is nothing better than interacting with the community we all love.

 

Anchorage Greek Festival

The 23rd annual Alaska Greek festival is right around the corner! The festival, which is always a favorite of ours to attend, will be happening August 18th through August 20th. All the festivities will be occurring at The Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church located at 2800 O’Malley Road in Anchorage. Come enjoy the great food, fun and people all for free!

For more details of the event click here. Opa!

 

Grown Local, Shop Local!

The South Anchorage Farmers Market (SAFM) is still going strong for another few months as we continue to have good weather. There are endless amounts of delicious, fresh and economical produce and seafood at the market for your choosing!

If you’ve got time on Wednesdays, stop on by anytime from 10am – 4pm behind the Dimond Center/in front of the Dimond Center Hotel to get your fill. Likewise, for a more family oriented outing we recommend heading over to the Subway/Cellular One Sports Center (on the corner of O’Malley & Old Seward) on Saturdays from 9am – 2pm. For more info, or to take a look at all the amazing Alaskan vendors at the market click here!

 

Back to School Nights

During the final week before school kicks back up, both Kasuun Elementary PTA and Trailside Elementary PTA are hosting back to school gatherings at their respective schools. On August 17th from 4:30pm – 5:30pm at Trailside Elementary, the PTA is hosting a back to school night. Students and parents will be able to find out which teacher they have been assigned starting at 3:30pm, and then get to meet their teachers out on the playground at 4:30pm.

At Kasuun, the PTA is putting on a back to school ice cream social on August 18th. The social will be from 3pm – 5pm at the school. Similar to the way Trailside is conducting their social, students and teachers get to see their class list, mingle with PTA board members and have some tasty ice cream!

 

Construction Update

The Seward Highway project from Dowling to Dimond remains underway. This week DOT provided another overview of traffic patterns and ongoing work.

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.

 

Thank you so much for your engagement, and we hope you’ll stay in touch!

 

All my best,

Charisse

Update for May 8, 2017

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Cougar Crossover Ceremony!

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

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

Go Cougars!!

 

Construction Continues Along Seward Highway

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Our Deepest Thanks

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

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

 

Update for April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Go Cougars!

A little soccer spotlight this week! District 25’ers should be celebrating our Service Lady Cougar Soccer Team, finishing last week’s games with a 10-1 win over Bartlett, a 4-1 win over East, and a tie-game with Dimond. We are beyond proud of these talented, motivated student athletes, and have a lot of hope for their continued success. They also have a great Twitter page, which you can use to stay up to date on games and schedules – follow @SHS_WSOC. Good luck ladies!

 

Budget Update

Here in Juneau, we are still waiting on the House Majority to name their conference committee members to begin the budget negotiation process. If you aren’t familiar with conference committees, they are committees comprised of members from the House and Senate that meet to go over differences and strike compromise when the two bodies have passed different versions of a certain bill.

In this case, the House and Senate both passed different budgets, and thus will have to work together to find common ground that both bodies can agree upon. For a conference committee on the budget to begin, House leadership must name their members. For 13 days we have been waiting for the House Majority to appoint representatives, and are hopeful action will be taken soon. Passing a budget is the Legislature’s one constitutionally mandated duty, and Alaskans are relying on us to provide essential services to protect safety and health.

 

Public Testimony on Income Taxes

The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee is holding public testimony on House Bill 115 – the income tax bill supported by the House Majority and Governor. Public testimony is slated for 5:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Below is the information on how to make your voice heard!

Senate LABOR & COMMERCE Committee  

Apr 25, 26, 27 at 5:00 PM

HB 115 INCOME TAX; PFD PAYMENT/CREDIT

Statewide Public Testimony —   — Public Testimony Limited to 2 Minutes   

  Please Sign-in at Your Local LIO No Later Than 6:30pm

Contact by Phone: 907-465-4968

From my perspective, implementing an income tax is premature and unnecessary when we know the budget can be balanced and a stable revenue stream can be used without taxing Alaskans and hurting our already struggling economy. As policymakers, we have been told time and time again that tipping the scale too much and implementing too many changes this year could drive our state further into a recession. I believe we need to have a thoughtful approach – balanced spending reductions, asset restructuring and a tighter spending cap. An income tax is just too heavy a burden on Alaskans and businesses this year.

 

House Bill 111 – Oil Taxes and Credits

Last week, the Senate Resources Committee held public testimony for the first time on the version of HB 111 that passed the House. Alaskans spoke loud and clear: they do not want taxes changed or raised on our state’s most vital industry that has been in a downturn since 2015 due to low oil prices. 47 Alaskans spoke against HB 111, while 11 spoke in favor of it. Many commented on the fact that SB 21 is clearly working (even with low prices): if trends hold – production through TAPS will have increased two years in a row (something that hasn’t happened since the 1980s), new fields have been discovered, and major investments have occurred since 2013. The picture below is from ConocoPhillips, showing the activities that company has engaged in following the passage of SB 21.

Consultants testified that raising taxes at low prices – a large piece of HB 111 – would negatively impact investment levels, production and jobs for Alaskans. Oil from new fields, such as those discovered by Caelus, ConocoPhillips and Repsol costs $10-20 more per barrel to develop, than oil from legacy fields like Prudhoe Bay. Increasing government take (which accounts for all taxes/royalties a company pays) as HB 111 envisions at all prices between $50- 110 per barrel, will only make it harder for companies to bring new production online.

Projects like Smith Bay, Pikka, Willow and Nuna would increase production by hundreds of thousands of barrels, create thousands of high paying jobs, and generate billions of dollars in new revenue for the State. SB 21 has helped make these projects viable, while HB 111 threatens to undercut or outright stop them. I believe Alaska should keep our competitive tax structure in place, and do all we can to increase production – not focus on short term cash grabs by changing our tax regime again.

 

School Happenings

This week, students from both Trailside and Kasuun Elementary will be participating in spring cleanup days. The Knights will be tackling their campus clean up on Friday, while the Timberwolves will be coming in on Saturday to spiff up their school. It’s great to hear about active, engaged and thoughtful students who care about the well-being of their schools!

Also, at Trailside it’s Staff Appreciation Week! Our deepest gratitude goes out to the hard working teachers, support staff and administrators who make Trailside the great school it is. You all do an amazing job and make our district a wonderful place. Go Timberwolves!

 

The DEA is coordinating this effort to safely dispose of your prescription medications!

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.

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Warmly,