Archive for the ‘Anchorage Schools’ Category

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.


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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


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:

Talk Now, Talk Often:

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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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:

Talk Now, Talk Often:

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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

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:

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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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 ( 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.


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.

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,, 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:
  • 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:



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:


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:

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 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.

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,