The Second Session of the 28th Alaska Legislature has come to a close and I am pleased to be back home in our beautiful community! I am honored to represent Eagle River and to stand up for the many important issues affecting our community and the State of Alaska. Among these my focus has been on fiscal responsibility, education reform, responsible resource development, supporting our military and meaningful regulatory reform.
I am pleased to provide you this update after the adjournment of the 28th Alaska Legislature. As you may have heard, we went five days over the standard 90-day session, but accomplished great things during our extended time in Juneau.
Mother’s Day is this weekend. I have already received my present for this year. I am the proud owner of a new grill. Last week our toilet was leaking. To tell the truth it had been leaking for a bit, but with a new baby in the house a leaky toilet was not on the top of the priority list. That was until the leak went from a small, slow leak to water-visibly-coming-out-of-the-tank leak.
On March 24, I got my favorite Alaskan souvenir. Miss Aurora Spears was born. Similar to other military families we have a child for every state we have lived in for at least 12 months. After three kids we were not planning on continuing the trend, but then we moved to Alaska. I’m not sure what changed my mind. Maybe with four years since the birth of my youngest my reasons for wanting to stop with her were getting hazy. Was it that nearly every woman I knew was having a baby? Could it have been that, in Alaska, three or four children seem more normal than elsewhere? Perhaps it was the desire to be able to use a cool Alaska themed name. Whatever the reason, my family decided that we would go for a “made in Alaska” baby.
Back in 1964 before the earthquake hit, before anyone envisioned that Good Friday would go down in history not so much as a religious holiday as a destructive, deadly reminder of the earth’s fickleness, Ethel Breese was living in Anchorage, on the outskirts of the city around where Lake Otis Parkway and Tudor Road area exists today.
The newspaper notice was published some weeks after the earthquake, saying that the road to the Kenai Peninsula from points north would open— but travel would be by convoy only. The first group of cars had to be on the Seward Highway past Indian by early evening to take advantage of the low tide. Bridges along the route were now—like the quake—history. They had crossed rivers whose snowmelt waters were gushing fro the mountains to meet this tidal arm of the sea. They had washed out when Turnagain Arm had been shaken during the upheaval, a misnomer, since the area had dropped considerably. So how were we to cross when the land was lower than it had been, and with the bridges out, too?
A little over three years ago, the Department of Natural Resources recognized that the status quo for permitting wasn’t working. More than 2,600 of our permits and authorizations were backlogged, to the detriment of many businesses and individual Alaskans seeking to access state lands and resources, and to the detriment of our economy.
William “Top” Dill is an extraordinary human being who selfishly pours himself into every student within the NJROTC program at Chugiak High School. He has been a Naval Science Instructor there since 1992, which has resulted in dramatically impacting the lives of over 5000 students.
Growing up, no one I knew played hockey. We were farm people and knowing our way around horses was valued. Skating across an icy pond, not so much. There were no ice rinks in our depressed agricultural community and those of us lucky enough to have skates received them from S & H Green Stamps or from the J.C. Penney Christmas catalog.
Your right to know what’s happening in your local government and in your community is at risk. And while it’s in a holding pattern today, that risk still is there. First the context.