Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Veterans Day Update

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Honoring Our Veterans

This week’s update is short and simply focused on those men and women who have sacrificed, sometimes it all, for us as Americans. Saturday, November 11, 2017, marks the 63rd anniversary of Veterans Day. However, before the day was called Veterans Day, November 11th in the U.S. was recognized as Armistice Day – which formally recognized the end of World War I.

As Alaskans, we have a deep and special appreciation for the men and women of our Armed Forces. Veterans make up slightly more than 10% of Alaska’s total population, which allows our state to proudly boast the title of having the most veterans per capita of any state.

This weekend our office encourages you to sincerely thank the veterans of our country. Thank them for their tremendous sacrifice. Thank them for being willing to face unimaginable dangers so we don’t have to. Thank them for defending our precious freedoms from enemies who seek to take them away. Especially thank our disabled veterans and their families for having incredible courage and strength to live vibrant lives while battling injuries that many times stay with them forever.

If you are looking to attend events that further honor our veterans, below are two that might be of interest to you and your family.

 

 

Special Session Update

Look for an update early next week regarding the 4th Special Session and changes made by the House to Senate Bill 54!

 

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

Our toll free number is 888-269-3879, and you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Send me an email at rep.charisse.millett@akleg.gov if you have any questions or concerns!

Kindly,

Update for October 20, 2017

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Special Session Begins Monday

As you probably know at this point, the Governor has called the Legislature into a 4th Special Session to consider his new tax bill and Senate Bill 54, which makes a few changes to the criminal justice overhaul (Senate Bill 91) passed last year. The Special Session will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, and hearings on those bills will start thereafter. Here is the schedule that we have so far:

  • House State Affairs Committee: Senate Bill 54 Oct. 23 at 12:30 p.m.
  • House Judiciary Committee: Senate Bill 54 Oct. 23 at 1 p.m.
  • House Judiciary Committee: Senate Bill 54 Oct. 24 at 9 a.m.
  • Senate Finance, Judiciary Joint Committee: Crime and Justice Policy Review Oct. 23 at 3 p.m.
  • Senate Finance, Judiciary Joint Committee: Crime and Justice Policy Review Oct. 24 at 10:30 a.m..
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 24 at 1:00 p.m.
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 25 at 1:00 p.m.
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 26 at 1:00 p.m.
  • House Finance Committee: To Be Announced Oct. 27 at 1:00 p.m.

If you’d like to watch or listen to any of these hearings, you can visit akleg.gov and click on the “Live Now” tab. We will keep you posted as the Special Session moves forward.

 

Anchorage Homelessness Survey

As part of the Anchorage Community Plan to End Homelessness, several organizations working to address homelessness (e.g. Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, United Way of Anchorage, Municipality of Anchorage) have developed a survey to understand the Anchorage community’s impressions of homelessness and to gauge the willingness of people surveyed to tackle the issue.

You can help by taking this survey – 10 minutes of your time will provide invaluable information. This information will be used to determine how we can work together to make homelessness as rare and brief as possible.

All information will remain confidential.

Also, if you want to share this through your personal networks, social media pages, etc., please do so – and take it yourself. It’s open through Nov. 3rd.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/plantoendhomelessness

 

Keeping Your Vehicle Safe

We’ve officially entered that time of the year where it’s become necessary to start our cars early in the morning to warm up! However, leaving your car running and unlocked with the keys in it makes it a prime target for thieves. Given the substantial increase in car thefts, and the compounding issue of winter closing in, our office wants to make sure you take the right steps to keep your vehicle from being stolen.

One of the best options to ensure your vehicle heats up and remains safe while running without you in it is to have an auto start/remote start installed. For those who don’t know, an auto start or remote start is a “a radio-controlled device, which is installed in a vehicle by the factory or an aftermarket installer to preheat or cool the vehicle before the owner gets into it. Once activated, by pushing a button on a special keychain remote, it starts the vehicle automatically for a predetermined time.”

The great benefit of an auto start is that your vehicle can start and run, and remain locked at the same time. Furthermore, most auto starts shut your car off if someone gets in and taps the breaks without having the keys in the ignition – hence stopping a thief who breaks in thinking they can get away with your running vehicle.

In Anchorage, a considerable number of businesses exist that install auto start devices for reasonable fares. An entry level auto start will run you anywhere from $200 to 275, while auto starts that are operated from your smart phone likely cost $500 or more.

We encourage you to research and find an auto start that best meets your needs and budget. If an auto start is not attainable the next best thing would be to lock your vehicle while it warms up, and have a second set of keys handy to unlock it when you’re ready to head to work!

 

New Route Along the Seward Highway!

Working in conjunction with contractor QAP, the Alaska Department of Transportation is working diligently to complete as much work along the Seward Highway and impacted access roads before the snow hits. DOT’s weekly update of the large project is below with new information regarding traffic patterns.

Road Closure

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN: Southbound Seward Highway traffic has transitioned onto the newly constructed southbound Seward Highway. Northbound Seward Highway traffic is now on the newly constructed northbound Seward Highway. Note that this traffic configuration is temporary and only in effect through the winter. Additional work to complete the project will occur next year.

What You Need to Know

  • To receive email updates about this project, email SewardDowlingDimond@spawnak.com 

Special Accommodations Contact:

Those people who reside in construction zones and may require special accommodations should call the DOT Highway Construction Engineer at 907-269-0450 (TTY 907-269-0473).

Update for October 13, 2017

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Happy Friday the Thirteenth! We hope you’ve had a lovely week, and are looking forward to a restful and relaxing weekend.

Senate Bill 91 Testimony and Survey!

As you most likely are aware, over the past two months Anchorage has been full of opportunities for residents to share and discuss experiences and solutions regarding crime. One of the most prevalent topics of discussion is whether to repeal, change or maintain Senate Bill 91 (SB 91). Our office has been so grateful to attend and participate in many of these community dialogues, and to have heard from so many in Anchorage. Most recently, we attended the Anchorage Assembly’s public testimony meeting regarding SB 91, and listened to over 100 people from across the city.

However, we want to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak up and share their thoughts. Therefore, we have created a very brief survey on SB 91. Please take a minute to respond to the 2 quick questions on the survey, and if you’d like to share more, give us a call or send us an email!

 

Tip-A-Cop

 

Burgers, bottomless French fries and the opportunity to support Special Olympics Alaska? Now that sounds like my kind of lunch/dinner!

Join Special Olympics Alaska and Red Robin for Tip-A-Cop on Thursday, October 19 at BOTH Red Robin locations in Anchorage (Dimond & Tikatnu) for lunch or dinner (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.).

Local law enforcement personnel and athletes will be serving and raising money for Special Olympics Alaska athletes statewide. Come thank them for their service and give ’em a tip! 100% of the donations will benefit Special Olympics Alaska athletes statewide!

 

Securing Your Property

As our office was walking the District again this week we noticed many trailers, motorcycles, plows, boats, ATVS, campers and snow machines without locks or chains, and sitting in driveways or yards totally unsecured. Unfortunately, given the rash of vehicle and large ticket item thefts in town, it is no longer wise nor safe to leave your property (especially expensive pieces of cherished equipment) unsecured.

We want to help you prevent having your Alaskan toys, which you worked hard for, stolen and trashed. Hence, we strongly encourage everyone who has a trailer, ATVS, snow machines, boat or any other large expensive piece of equipment stored at their home to immediately get heavy duty locks and chains to prevent its theft.

Below are some different examples of locks/theft prevention systems you and your neighbors should employ to protect your property.

 

Farmer’s Markets Wrapping Up

This weekend, take a break from your pre-winter chores and check out the final harvest from our great local farms! Most farmer’s markets in Anchorage will be wrapping up this Saturday, but still have amazing veggies, meats and other delicious offerings to share. For a list of, and information about the markets around town, check out this recent article:

https://www.adn.com/alaska-life/food-drink/2017/10/03/dont-miss-the-last-weekend-of-the-year-for-several-popular-farmers-markets/

Identifying Nuisance Properties

For those of you dealing with consistent crime in your neighborhood, specifically crime activity located at individual properties, we want to share with you a tactic described to us by a man who attended our crime townhall. After witnessing countless drug deals, cars coming at all hours of the night, people passing out in vehicles in front of the home, stolen property always circulating around, and trash and junk accumulating at a house across the street from him, this man began to call APD continuously and report the criminal activity at this property.

After the 8th call and response to a property, APD can begin assessing $500 fines (per visit) against the homeowner. This strategy helped motivate the landlord of said “problem property” to evict the current tenants and clean up the place. This type of similar occurrence has been reported on.

If you are experiencing such an issue in your neighborhood, don’t give up and think that nothing can be done! Give this strategy a whirl, and as always stay safe and report crimes to APD.

If it is not an emergency, call 907-786-8900 and press “0.” If it is an emergency call 911.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our update! Please don’t hesitate to call or email with questions or concerns.

Have a great weekend,

 

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 June 7, 2017

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Hello from Juneau on the 21st day of Special Session. Apologies for the gap between our updates, but as you may have read or heard in the news, there has not been very much movement here in the Capitol. This has honestly been a very frustrating time, and tensions are certainly very high. However, I do remain hopeful that compromise can be found and that we can avoid a government shutdown.

Constituent Coffee: Thank You!

Thank you so much to the 35 people who were able to make it to my constituent coffee over Memorial Day Weekend! It was so wonderful to sit down and talk with friends and neighbors about some of the issues we’re faced with here in Juneau. I enjoyed hearing updates from our community on what’s been happening in Anchorage this spring. It was additionally helpful to witness firsthand the construction work along on Brayton and surrounding areas. I heard from many of you that the signage and directions offered by the Department of Transportation’s team has been helpful. Please keep me posted if improvements still need to be made.

If you weren’t able to make it, I hope you’ll stay in touch about ideas and concerns you might have. My office is here for you!

Special Session Update

Like I said before, there has not been very much action here in the Capitol. This week we have had one meeting of the Conference Committee on the budget, and expect to have at least one more before Friday. These meetings will hopefully settle the budgets for 4 out of 18 departments, which chips away at the outstanding items for a full budget to be passed. This progress makes me hopeful, but still leaves a lot of work to accomplish before the special session is over.

Outside of the budget, the only committee action has been a solely informational House Finance meeting (held today) on the differences between the House and Senate’s oil tax legislation. During this time, many legislators have chosen to be home while they wait for progress. One of the questions I’ve been asked a fair amount is whether my colleagues and I are taking per diem while we are not in Juneau. I, for one, have not taken per diem while I’ve been away from the Capitol, and will continue not taking any per diem when not working in Juneau.

Governor’s Proposal

I appreciate the Governor putting forward a plan that he and his team knew would not be embraced with open arms. I don’t agree with everything in his package, nor does anyone in the Legislature at this point. Though I do think he demonstrated to many in this building that compromising means having tough conversations that might not get you everything you want. As evidenced by responses from some after his plan was presented, there are still legislators who believe a “win-win” is them getting exactly what they want, and never having to give. Is the Governor’s plan going to be accepted whole-cloth? Probably not. But what it does prove is that it is possible, if hard work is done, to come up with a settlement.

From Service to the Moon!

NASA recently announced the selection of 11 new astronaut candidates for the class of 2017, out of a record 18,300 applicants. Among those 18,300 was long-time Alaskan Robb Kulin, a graduate of Service High School in 2001! To read the full story about this exciting news for Robb and his family, click here!

Way to go Robb! You make Alaska incredibly proud and we know you’ll succeed in your future trainings and missions!

Hanshew Teaching Duo Shines!

Principal Nancy Brain of Hanshew Middle School recently provided my office this news alert regarding two outstanding teachers in our community:

Great news – a Hanshew teaching duo are 2017 Denali Award Recipients. The award is the highest District honor given to employees.

Individually they are great teachers, but together they are like lightning in a bottle. That’s how Hanshew Middle School Principal Nancy Brain describes teachers Katie Weidemaier and Leah Dubber.

Weidemaier and Dubber took the initiative to start two new eighth-grade pre-AP courses at Hanshew. Working together, they wrote a course curriculum infusing AP strategies into eighth-grade language arts and social studies. The content focuses on high-level reading, writing, research, and text analysis.

Weidemaier is described as a visionary language arts teacher who continually seeks new ways to engage her students and expand their learning. She works closely with multiple state and community organizations to further educational opportunities at her school. She has been instrumental in developing the middle school debate program at Hanshew and across the District.

Dubber continually takes advantage of learning opportunities to engage and challenge her students. Each year, her students compete in the “We the People” Middle School Invitational. This program provides an avenue for students to learn the historical and philosophical foundations of our country’s ideas about the creation of the Constitution.

A parent said, “At a time when schools are being asked to do more with less, these two astonishing teachers engage, inspire, and stir passion for knowledge.”

Leah and Katie are two of the most creative, hardworking, student-centered teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

Nancy Brain

Principal, Hanshew Middle School

Way to go Katie and Leah! You make District 25, and our community proud!

Seward Highway Progress

Below is the weekly update provided by the Alaska Department of Transportation on the Seward Highway Dimond to Dowling project.

ROAD CLOSURE: 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.

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

FUTURE TRAFFIC PATTERN: Beginning Friday, June 9, northbound Seward Highway traffic will be shifted from the Seward Highway to Brayton Drive, which will now act as the northbound Seward Highway. Be alert to a reduced speed limit of 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.
  • To receive email updates about this project, email SewardDowlingDimond@spawnak.com.

 

Update for April 7, 2017

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Fiscal Plan Update

We are now at day 81 of 90 of the Legislative Session. While many of us went into this session filled with a lot of optimism about solving our fiscal crisis, it has been disappointing to see the House Democratic Majority stall every piece of legislation that could solve our state’s enormous fiscal deficit. Thus far, the Democrat Majority has failed to gain enough votes to advance their two major pieces of legislation: HB 115 (income tax and Permanent Fund POMV plan) and HB 111 (oil and gas taxes/credits). Both bills remain stuck in the House Finance Committee, and legislators have no idea when they might be ready for primetime. This stalling represents a huge setback in getting Alaska’s budget under control and helping our struggling economy.

House Republicans have continued to advance ideas that would close the budget deficit, provide fiscal certainty to businesses, and avoid imposing taxes on Alaskan families. A major component of our fiscal plan, House Bill 192, has not even received a hearing. My caucus and I are dedicated to completing our work on time and in 90 days. Unfortunately, multiple critical hearings have been canceled and House Floor votes have yet to occur despite our having less than two weeks to go.

 

Tax Bills Update

This year we have seen nine different tax proposals introduced, and none of them have advanced to a vote on the House Floor. These bills, most of which were introduced by the House Democratic Majority, increase the cost of running small businesses, reduce Alaskans income, tax essential commodities, and hurt our state’s biggest employers. None of these bills close the fiscal gap, but they will all grow the cost of living for Alaskan families.

Alaska is in the midst of a serious recession, and I am generally not comfortable with new or higher taxes on our struggling economy. Our government must be creative with its resources, and find new innovative ways to live within its means before turning to taxes on Alaskans. I will be tracking all of these tax proposals as they move through the process, and will keep you posted as to their different financial implications for our communities and families.

 

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Alaska. Now is a good time to reflect on the ways we can work to prevent assault and support survivors. By working together and pooling our resources during the month of April, we can highlight sexual violence as a significant public health, human rights and social justice issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts. Standing Together Against Rape, a non-profit serving victims and encouraging prevention of sexual violence in Alaska, has many events planned during the month of April including:

Trusted Adult Superhero Day: 2nd Week of April, throughout Anchorage

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: Saturday, April 29th, 11:30 a.m., University Center Mall

International Denim Day: Wednesday, April 26th, All Day, throughout Anchorage

To find out more or see ways you can help, visit: http://www.staralaska.com/sexual-assault-awareness-month.html

Opioid Crisis

Last month, House Bill 24, my bill that criminalizes the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “Pink”, overwhelmingly passed the Alaska State House. On Monday, April 3rd, HB 24 unanimously passed the Alaska State Senate! It empowers state and local law enforcement to put dealers behind bars and save the lives of Alaskans caught in the downward spiral of opioid addiction.

Our legislation is one component of Alaska’s comprehensive statewide plan to fight opioid addiction, a menace to our society destroying lives, families and communities. House Bill 24 now heads to Governor Bill Walker’s desk, where we hope swift action will be taken to sign this legislation into law.

Seward Highway Project Update

Following the recent snowfall, the project has resumed its normal pace of work. For a full project overview from the Alaska Department of Transportation, click here. DOT put out the following statement regarding Brayton Drive:

Beginning Monday, April 10 at 8:00pm, Brayton Drive will be 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 email updates about this project, email: SewardDowlingDimond@spawnak.com

 

Update for March 31, 2017

Friday, March 31st, 2017

 

Hannah Fjeld and Janelle Solbos, two Pharmacy School students from District 25 came by to visit this week! Seeing smart, driven young students makes you hopeful for our state’s future.

 

 

 

 

Update on Fiscal Plans

This week, we were grateful for the outpouring of public testimony on the House Democrats’ proposed income tax, House Bill 115. Not only did the House Finance Committee hear the voices of Alaskans, but legislators throughout the building were watching, and paying attention to the thoughts of their constituents. Of the 127 testifiers across the state, the majority of testifiers called to show their deep opposition to House Bill 115 and reinstituting an income tax in this economy. This sentiment reflects what we have heard in our office from those who have called and emailed. While most Alaskans believe a fiscal plan must be accomplished this year, they continue to demonstrate firm opposition to an income tax due to the incredibly damaging affect it would have on businesses during this recession.

 
As we mentioned last week, the House Republicans have introduced a comprehensive fiscal plan that doesn’t rely on taxes to sustain essential services. House Bill 192 caps state spending, makes phased reductions to the budget, and uses our states’ assets in a more efficient manner. An important part of this plan is that it enables the PFD to grow with the overall Permanent Funds, and keeps money circulating in the hands of private citizens, thereby, helping Alaska slide further into the recession.

One of the most dedicated and passionate advocates for our children, Trevor Storrs, also happens to be a great constituent! Thanks for the visit!

Income Tax Facts

Alaska hasn’t had a state income tax since 1980 when it was repealed. HB 115, being championed by the House Majority, would reinstitute that tax. All types of income (including retirement, earnings from trusts, ANSCA shareholder dividends etc.) earned in Alaska would be taxed, with both residents and non-residents having to.

The income tax would take $680 million from Alaskans, and give it to state government. 60 new state employees will be hired to administer the tax. The bill would establish a progressive income tax with six different brackets. The highest marginal rate, of 7%, imposed under HB 115 would be the 12th highest in the country for single filers.

Currently, there are seven states with no income tax in the U.S., Alaska being one of them. I want Alaska to remain amongst those seven states.

Happy to meet with the Alaska Banker’s Association to talk fiscal plans this week!

Seward Highway Dowling to Dimond Project

On Wednesday, our office sent out a special update on the upcoming project to expand the Seward Highway, and its effect on the Dowling-Dimond corridor. We have been working overtime to make sure the concerns of community members, schools and businesses in the area are brought to the Department of Transportation’s attention. Little work was done by the Department to ensure that stakeholders in the area were engaged and given adequate notification of the upcoming road closures.

To find out more about the project, you can read our Wednesday Update here: https://charissemillett.com/?p=2149

 

Awesome meeting with members of Safari Club International, and a special visit from constituent, Bethany Marcum! Thank you to the club for advocating for our outdoor heritage!

Municipal Election Next Week

Tuesday, April 4th is Anchorage’s Municipal Election Day! Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM, and you can look up your polling place here: http://www.muni.org/Departments/Assembly/Clerk/Elections/2017%20Election%20Documents/NoticeofPollingPlaces.pdf

On the ballot are candidates for Assembly Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, School Board seats C and D, service areas, a ballot proposition, and many bond proposals. Our city works best when our residents are engaged and share their thoughts about how we can improve and grow. Let your voice be heard on April 4th!

 

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 follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just click on the links below. We are listening.
Warmly,

Special Seward Highway Project Update

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Last Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) held a public forum, which I attended, about their project to expand the Seward Highway from Dimond Boulevard to Dowling Road. I know it was short notice, so thanks to all who were able to take the time out of their day to attend!

Construction has already begun on the Brayton side of the Seward Highway, with work connecting Sandlewood Place to Lore Road underway. Homer and Brayton Drive (the frontage roads for the Seward Highway) will be closed beginning March 31, and April 7th respectively at 8pm. According to DOT, the Seward Highway will be shut down in May and re-open in November of this year. The full project will last until June 2019.

Here is an overview of the affected areas:

Multiple businesses along the frontage roads were given exceptionally short notice that their points of ingress/egress would either be closed off or significantly impacted. To my knowledge DOT has not done an economic impact analysis concerning the frontage road closures and the impacts it will have on local businesses. I will be asking DOT Commissioner Luiken why this has not yet occurred.

I am working closely with DOT, local businesses and other community members to provide the most up to date and accurate information regarding this project.

Working in conjunction with community members, I hope to hold an informational meeting in coming days, at which constituents may ask DOT questions or raise concerns they might have about the project. As always, I’ll try to provide the most accurate and up to date information surrounding this issue. At this site you’ll find general project information, and a traffic-flow graphic DOT intends to upload shortly.

Below is more information on the project’s timeframe and scope.

Update for March 10th

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Rep. Millett had some great discussions and heard many good ideas from her constituents at the Anchorage Caucus meeting on February 25.

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is Friday and that means our weekly constituent newsletter is ready for everyone. We believe it is important to share with all of you information on what we are doing to prevent the spread of deadly synthetic drugs, how our caucus is working to bring state spending under control and the special recognition awarded to three of our community’s amazing athletes! We really appreciate everyone taking a few minutes to stay in touch with us through this newsletter.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and the women of the 30th Alaska Legislature gathered for a group photo after her annual speech to the Alaska Legislature.

Budget Update

The House Finance Committee considered over 200 amendments that would have reduced the size of government this week. Brought forward by House Republican members of the Finance Committee, amendments were offered to cut premium pay, duplicated spending, funding for deleted positions and non-critical programs, such as trade advertising. Unfortunately, nearly all of these reductions were declined by the House Majority, who chose instead to increase the budget by over $200 Million.

When our state is facing an over $2 Billion deficit, we can’t keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper in debt. Especially when the House Majority is looking to tax Alaskans, government needs to take action to cut its costs and better reflect its revenue. Growing the budget during a fiscal crisis and then asking Alaskans to pick up the tab is unrealistic and ignores the recessionary effect of this downturn on families’ pocketbooks.

The budget will now head to the House floor, where we will continue to work to convince colleagues of the serious need to right-size government and to offer amendments to that effect. We will keep you posted as this budget process continues!

Fighting Opioid Abuse

On Monday, legislation, House Bill 24, that criminalizes the possession and sale of the incredibly dangerous synthetic opioid U-47700, also known as “Pink”, was overwhelmingly passed by the Alaska State House. It empowers state and local law enforcement to put dealers behind bars and save the lives of Alaskans caught in the downward spiral of opioid addiction.

Our legislation is one component of Alaska’s comprehensive statewide plan to fight opioid addiction, a menace to our society destroying lives, families and communities. House Bill 24 is now up for consideration in the Senate where we hope swift action will be taken.

Cougar Basketball

Congratulations to three Service basketball players, Katie Pearce, Dominic Norman and Nathan Fromm for making the 2016-2017 All Cook Inlet Conference Girls and Boys Basketball Teams. Katie was a star throughout the 14 game regular season while Nathan and Dominic were real sharpshooters on the hardwood, frequently posting the highest individual scores each game. In fact, Dominic and Nathan scored a combined 47 of the team’s 81 points in Wednesday’s Cook Inlet Conference playoff victory against Bartlett. The win advances the boys team to tonight’s semi-final matchup against East at 5:00 p.m. at the West High gym.

Friend and Dist. 25 constituent Kristin Luby with the American Heart Association was joined by Kelly Larson from the Alaska State Fair and Mike Bridges with First National Bank of Alaska for a discussion about smoke free workplaces and ending tobacco use.

Free Smoke Detectors

Home fires have tragically claimed the lives of several Alaskans this winter so we are proud to see the American Red Cross of Alaska and Chugach Electric teaming up to provide free smoke detectors. Just visit the lobby at Chugach Electric headquarters next Friday, March 17 between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.to sign up for the free lifesaving detectors. For more details check out this Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/events/1245527548896602/

Before we go… The Hanshew Middle School PTA needs to fill out the executive board for the 2017-2018 school year. Interested parents can learn out more by sending an email to PTA President Bright Nygard at HanshewPTA@gmail.com Nominations will be voted at the April PTA meeting – and let’s not forget the school newsletters from Service High and Trailside Elementary.

Cool temperatures and sunny skies are forecast for this weekend so enjoy the last few weeks of winter.

We are here to serve you, your family and our community.

 

Warmly,

 

Please Participate in Our House District 25 Constituent Survey

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Thank you so much to those who came to the Anchorage Caucus meeting last Saturday! Seeing so many friends and neighbors reach out to share their thoughts and ideas really was inspiring and encouraging. If you didn’t get a chance to join us in person (or even if you did) and want to share your opinions about some of the issues before the Legislature this year, please take a minute to fill out our online Constituent Survey: https://repmillett.checkboxonline.com/Survey.aspx?s=e84175f351f04a039f7da5ecdd52c38e., It is so important to have the input of District 25 when evaluating the different fiscal options with which we are faced. Thank you again!

Sincerely,