Archive for the ‘Anchorage Schools’ Category

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“catch and release” policy that allowed dangerous offenders to immediately leave jail after  being arrested has been repealed, and sentences were increased for certain felony offenders.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. 

 

 

Friday Update for March 23, 2018

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Welcome to our weekly update for wonderful District 25!

Community Council

The best Community Council in Anchorage will be meeting next week! On Thursday March 29th at 6:30 p.m. the Abbott Loop Community Council will gather for their monthly meeting. You’ll find their agenda for the meeting here! Like usual, their meetings occur at Abbott Loop Elementary.

 

Newsletter

Keep your eyes out for our annual Legislative newsletter as they should be hitting mailboxes sometime next week! We’ve provided updates on legislation, District events, the budget and more. As always, if you have questions or issues you’d like us to work on please reach out to our office!

 

Service Sports

Our Cougars have officially moved into the spring sports season! Next week the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams each play one game.

Boys Soccer: On Tuesday March 27th at 6:30 p.m. the boys face off against Chugiak High. The game will be at The Dome, located at 6501 Changepoint Dr., Anchorage, AK 99518

Girls Soccer: Also, on Tuesday March 27th, the girls play Chugiak High at The Dome, however, the girls game begins at 4:40 p.m.

 

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 brief rundown of meetings.

Monday

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., Capital budget contingent on payroll tax

Tuesday

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Operating budget public testimony
  • House State Affairs at 3:15 p.m., Various presentations on the Permanent Fund and fiscal plans

Wednesday

  • House Judiciary at 1 p.m., House Bill 367 Alaska Native Corporation contaminated lands
  • Senate Finance at 1:30 p.m., Operating budget public testimony (Anchorage from 3 – 4 p.m.)

Thursday

  • House State Affairs at 3:15 p.m., SJR 17 naming April 2018 sexual assault awareness month

Friday

  • House Resources at 1 p.m., various oil tax proposals

 

Anchorage Election

Voting is underway for the Anchorage Municipal election! Voted ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day, April 3, 2018. To vote by mail simply choose one of these three options:

  1. Once you receive your ballot, mark your choices by filling in the ovals and then, place your ballot into the enclosed envelopes.
  2. Sign the declaration on the back of the ballot return envelope.
  3. Return your ballot by mailing it through the U.S. Postal Service, placing it in a Secure Drop Box, or returning it to an Accessible Vote Center.

For more information on how the vote by mail process works, or if you need to vote absentee, click here.

 

We hope you have a wonderful week! Please stay in touch!

 

Blog Post for February 23, 2018

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Constituent Meeting on Saturday the 24th!

Tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. our office will be hosting a Meet & Greet back in Anchorage! We will have donuts, coffee and an update on what’s been happening down here in Juneau! We’ll be gathering at Little Italy (2300 E. 88th Ave., Anchorage, AK 99507).

Please bring your questions, thoughts and ideas on how we can move our state forward, improve our community and finish our work in 90 days!

We hope to see you there!

 

Community Council

Our office wanted to take a minute to thank our Abbott Loop Community Council for letting us call in and provide a brief legislative update! We appreciate all you do for our community, and look forward to talking to you all again next month!

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.

Monday

  • Joint Session at 11 a.m., Annual Address by Senator Dan Sullivan
  • House Resources at 1 p.m., Presentation on House Bill 367 Native Corp. Liability for Corporation

Tuesday

  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., Operating Budget Subcommittee reports and amendments
  • House State Affairs at 3:15 p.m., HCR 22 April 2018 Sexual Assault Awareness Month and other bills

Wednesday

  • Senate Education at 8 a.m., House Bill 214 Bree’s Law
  • House Resources at 1 p.m., Presentation Alaska Minerals Commission

Thursday

  • House Health & Social Services at 3 p.m., House Bill 336 Supportive Decision-Making Agreements

Friday

  • House Finance at 9 a.m., Public Testimony on Operating Budget

 

Service Sports

Coming off a busy week our Service teams have a relatively low-key week ahead.

Boys Basketball: On Monday the 26th the Boys will square off against Eagle River High (at Eagle River, 8701 Yosemite Dr., Eagle River, AK 99577) from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Then on Wednesday we face West High on our home court from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Girls Basketball: Our Girls face the same teams, Eagle River and West, on the same days and at the same locations as the Boys, but start both of their games at 6 p.m.

In Honor of Jim Balamaci

Today I gave a special order of business on the House Floor to honor the incredible life of Jim Balamaci, former President of Alaska Special Olympics. You can view that speech by clicking on the picture of Jim below.

Jim Balamaci, former President of Alaska Special Olympics, who recently passed away

Public Testimony on the Budget

Next week the operating budget will be before the House Finance Committee. From Thursday through Saturday the Finance Committee will be taking public testimony from Alaskans on the state’s budget that will be in place from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. For residents of District 25, your opportunity to testify on the budget will be on Saturday March 3rd from 10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

You can provide testimony by calling: 907-563-9085 or send in written testimony to housefinance@akleg.gov

 

February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Continued awareness and dialogue concerning issues of teen dating violence is so critical. As we begin a new month next week, let’s not forget to have those difficult but critically important discussions with our loved ones. Dating violence, no matter the age, is utterly unacceptable and as a society we must not tolerate it.

Please consider reviewing these valuable resources for more information on the issue of teen dating violence:

Bree’s Law: www.BreesLaw.org

Talk Now, Talk Often: http://www.tntoak.org/

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!

Blog Post for February 16, 2018

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Happy Elizabeth Peratrovich Day! What an amazing opportunity to reflect on the work and words of such an important leader in our state. We truly believe that hers is a legacy of fighting for what is right, even when it’s not convenient. We should all strive to live out her legacy each day.

 

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.

Monday February 19

  • House Resources at 1 p.m., Presentations and Testimony on Proposed Pebble Mine

Tuesday

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m., Bills on PFD Contributions to Tribes and General Fund
  • House & Senate Transportation at 12 p.m., Update from Jim Szczesniak, new Manager for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Wednesday

  • Legislative Council Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment at 7 a.m., Draft policy review
  • House Labor and Commerce at 3:15 p.m., Presentation on Economic Trends and Entrepreneurship in Alaska

Thursday

  • Join Session of House and Senate at 11 a.m., Annual Address by Senator Lisa Murkowski
  • House Finance & Resources at 1 p.m., Presentation on China, LNG, & the AK Gas Pipeline by Dr. Wenran Jiang, PhD

Friday

  • Legislative Council Subcommittee on Sexual Harassment at 7 a.m., Draft policy review
  • House Finance at 1 p.m., Operating Budget (HB 286) and review of subcommittee recommendations

Community Council Meeting

Our favorite community council in Anchorage will be meeting next week! Abbott Loop Community Council will gather at Abbott Loop Elementary from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Our office will be calling in to provide a legislative update!

Likewise, the Home and Landowners Organization for the Anchorage Hillside (HALO) is hosting a municipal Candidate Forum prior to the April 2018 election. On March 1st, HALO will be meeting at O’Malley’s on the Green (3651 O’Malley Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507) from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

We encourage you to attend both events!

Correcting SB 91’s New Risk Assessment Tool

A recent story and event in Anchorage caught our eye, and likely yours. The full story can be found here.  A California woman who was arrested after getting into a shootout at the Northway Mall was released the next day because the state’s new pretrial risk assessment tool (created under SB 91) gave her a risk score of 0. This woman recently moved to Alaska from California and had no criminal record here in state, but an extensive criminal background (including a felony) in California. She has now missed two scheduled court appearances since being mandatorily released.

Efforts are underway to correct this loophole created by SB 91. Our office has introduced House Bill 335, which would allow a judge to consider the risk assessment score in their decision-making process but does not mandate they only use the score to determine whether or not a defendant should be released. Likewise, Governor Walker has introduced House Bill 295, which mandates that a defendant’s out of state criminal history be factored into the risk assessment score.

We will keep you abreast of the progress these bills make throughout the session.

April Election

The Municipality of Anchorage’s regular election will be on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. This year marks a significant shift in how the voting process will be conducted. Instead of the traditional voting process at your local voting station, the Municipality has switched over to a Vote by Mail election process.

Registered voters will be mailed a ballot package roughly three weeks before Election Day. For more information on the process and how to properly return your ballot please check out this link.

Service Sports

Our Cougars have a busy week, even with Presidents Day and an In-Service on Friday. We hope they are successful and triumphant in all their endeavors!

Boys Basketball: The boys have two games this week. On Wednesday the 21st, the boys will face East High on their home court at Service High from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. On Friday the 23rd Lathrop High will travel south to face our Cougars at Service High from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

            Girls Basketball: The girls team will face East High on Wednesday the 21st at home, from 6-7 p.m. Their second game of the week is against Lathrop High, also at home from 6 -7 p.m. on the 23rd.

            Cross-Country Skiing: The Cross-country team will be headed to Fairbanks for three days, to participate in the Cross-country ski skate at Birch Hill Recreation Area (101 Wilderness Dr, Fairbanks, AK 99712). The event takes place on Thursday the 22nd, from 12 – 5 p.m., on Friday the 23rd from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and lastly on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stay warm up there!

            Drama, Debate & Forensics (DDF): The DDF State championships will take place at East High (E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99508) over the course of three days. On Thursday it runs from 1:30 – 10 p.m.  Then on Friday the tournament continues from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. On Saturday it goes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

            JROTC: The State JROTC Drill Meet is occurring next Saturday the 24th from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. To our future military officers in preparation, we salute you!

February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month Reminder

As a reminder, February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month in Alaska. Please check out these valuable resources concerning this vitally important topic.

Bree’s Law: www.BreesLaw.org

Talk Now, Talk Often: http://www.tntoak.org/

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!

Blog Post for February 9, 2018

Friday, February 9th, 2018

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.

Monday

  • Senate Education at 8 a.m., Child Abuse, Training Programs, Bree’s Law
  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m., Presentation on Credit Rating & Debt Analysis

Tuesday

  • Senate Finance at 9 a.m., Presentation: FY19 Operating Budget & Deferred Maintenance regarding University of Alaska
  • House & Senate Resources at 12 p.m., Update on Alaska’s Mining Industry & Projects

Wednesday

  • Senate Health & Social Services at 1:30 p.m., Presentation on Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact
  • Lunch & Learn at 12 p.m., Alaska Air Carriers Association

Thursday

  • House Fisheries at 11 a.m., Presentation on Permitting Process by DNR
  • House Transportation at 1:15 p.m., Presentation on the Alaska Marine Highway System Reform Initiative

Friday

  • House Resources at 1 p.m., Presentation on Pebble Mine Update
  • House Finance at 1:30 p.m., Budget Amendments by Governor’s Office

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention

Last week, our office joined Butch and Cindy Moore to see the Governor sign a proclamation declaring February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Alaska’s young people all deserve to live healthy, safe lives and we as adults have a role in helping them develop respectful relationships and a knowledge of how to treat others. After losing their young daughter, Bree, to dating violence, the Moore Family has dedicated their lives and her legacy to saving and changing the lives of teens in Alaska. They have put together a bevy of resources for teens and adults to help prevent future violence, which can be found at www.BreesLaw.org

We know it isn’t always easy to breach these important topics. A statewide group of parents and caregivers have also compiled easy and effective ways to start important conversations about relationships with teens in a project called Talk Now, Talk Often, which can be found here: http://www.tntoak.org/

Take this month, and every month, to make sure that the young people in your life are safe and successful in all their relationships.

Public Safety Update

There are many pieces of legislation being considered by the Legislature this session to address the state’s ongoing public safety crisis. We wanted to give you an update on the policy discussions we’re having right now:

–        House Bill 335: This bill, brought forward by our office, puts bail and release decisions back in the hands of judges. Senate Bill 91 created a system by which a defendant, after their arrest, could be released without a judge’s discretion if they received a certain “score” from a state-created algorithm. It makes many Alaskans feel unsafe knowing that a computer’s score is deciding whether someone is safe to release back into the community before their trial. We have a system of judges for a reason, and they should be given the opportunity to evaluate all the information in front of them before letting an offender out of jail.

–        House Bill 295: Our state’s prosecutors brought forward this bill which allows a judge to consider an offender’s out-of-state criminal history before deciding whether they can be released on bail. Senate Bill 91 failed to take into account that an offender’s criminal history extends beyond Alaska’s borders when it set up a new scheme for bail decisions.

–        House Bill 292: This bill addresses a problem that unfortunately plagues our state: drug trafficking. When a person is caught with a large amount of drugs and is clearly intending to deal, HB 292 would allow prosecutors to charge them with our highest level of felony. This would also allow for an increased ability to track the sources of drugs coming in from out of state.

–        House Bill 291: Another bill from our state prosecutors, this would allow the state to better respond to the ever-changing chemistry of designer drugs on the market. The Attorney General would be permitted to add new kinds of dangerous and illegal drugs to the schedule that is used to prosecute dealers, instead of waiting through a lengthy process to pass individual legislation as new mixtures come to light.

–        House Bill 311: This bill, sponsored by our member from Palmer and co-sponsored by our office, works to unwind the changes made to criminal laws by Senate Bill 91. As the state tries to end this public safety crisis, prosecutors, judges and police officers need as many tools as possible to address crime and get dangerous people off the streets.

We hope all these bills will be heard and discussed in our public committee process, but thus far none have made it on the schedules of the House or Senate Judiciary Committees. If you’re interested in contacting those committees or learning more about their process, you can contact:

House Judiciary Committee
Senate Judiciary Committee

Service Sports

Our favorite sports teams in Alaska are gearing up for a big week! We want to keep you posted on their games so that you and the family can attend.

Boys Basketball: On Tuesday the 13th, at 7:30 p.m. the boys will face off against Chugiak High at Chugiak (Chugiak High School, 16525 S Birchwood Loop Rd, Chugiak, AK 99567). Then, come Thursday the 15th at 7:30 p.m., the boys will play at home against Bartlett! Topping off their week the boys will go up against Dimond High, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, on their home court.

Girls Basketball: Also, on Tuesday the 13th, at 6 p.m., the girls will face Chugiak in Chugiak. Like the boys, the girls will face Bartlett High on our home court (Service High School, 5577 Abbott Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507). Finishing the week, the girls will host Dimond High at 6 p.m. Saturday, the 17th on their home court.

Cross Country Skiing: On Friday the 16th, the Ski team will participate in the Region IV Freestyle from 12 – 5 p.m. at Kincaid Park (Kincaid Park, 9401 Raspberry Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502). The team will continue the meet on Saturday the 17th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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,