This week, I interviewed the four major candidates for mayor (see story, “How to solve a problem like Anchorage,” page 4). And over the past two weeks, I attended three of the candidates’ Chugiak-Eagle River area meet-and-greet events, plus one for school board candidate Elisa Snelling.
I took a solemn oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States and Alaska. My responsibility is to those sacred documents and to the people of Alaska, particularly all of you, my constituents in Eagle River. Those bonds are stronger than any I shared with the caucus here in Juneau. If there is ever a conflict between my oath to the Constitution and promises I made to my constituents, versus the caucus here in Juneau, I will choose my oath to constitution and my promises to the people.
It wasn’t there. I checked, Xavier checked, and then I double checked. It had been there every week for more than 52 weeks. As I looked one last time, I chided myself for not picking it up long ago; why had I waited until the last minute? I sighed, ready to give up and move on. Then Austin enthusiastically announced that he had found it.
The writer cuts a romantic figure in popular imagination. Virginia Woolf once wrote, “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.” John Steinbeck said, “In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.”
Reporters are supposed to be objective about the stories they write. But this week, my editorial is also my public disclosure. Because our education reporter was out sick last week, I ended up writing the In Our Schools story, about a peer-to-peer suicide prevention program at Eagle River High School called Question, Persuade, Respond (Page 4, “High school students take lead in suicide prevention”). It helps teens reach out to peers who struggle with depression, low self esteem, or thoughts of self-harm. Then, teens trained in the program connect troubled youth with trusted adults who could refer them to mental health services.
“Mom, Austin’s annoyin’ me.” As a mother of four, laments like this are often heard from the back of the van. There is something about the close quarters and limited entertainment of a vehicle that causes enmity between siblings.
In this issue, Amy Armstrong reports on the BioTAPP program (“Students conduct DNA research at Chugiak High School,” page 6), that’s training the next generation of our community’s homegrown biotech researchers and lab technicians.
In this issue, we have a guest column by Kim Mahoney (“Mirror Lake music program to host fundraiser,” this page) and, as always, recognition of community members’ achievements in our community pages. We welcome submission of columns for consideration, as well as items for our events calendar, achievements and People We Know sections, and letters to the editor. These could be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
The public comment period is open until March 20 for the Eagle River Traffic Mitigation project draft design study. The report encompasses design planning that would see road upgrades around downtown Eagle River, including main upgrades for the intersections of Eagle River and Artillery Roads, and Business Boulevard and Old Glenn Highway. The project team is seeking comment on its three development alternatives, detailed in the report.
This year, the band and orchestra students of Mirror Lake Middle School (MLMS) are traveling to San Francisco to compete at the Heritage Music Festival. Led by Travis Harrington and Jean Lenoir, these young musicians will represent their school and our community. Since 2006, the students at MLMS have competed at Anaheim, Boston, San Diego and Orlando, and have consistently received top honors.