It has been said that “no man stands alone,” and that is the case when it comes to getting things done in the Alaska State Legislature. Over the past 12 years, while representing the Chugiak, Peters Creek and Eklutna areas, I have had the privilege of working with a good team of legislators from the Chugiak-Eagle River area, this year was no different.
As we enter into a contentious political season, campaign advertising will do its best to be persistent and persuasive. It will be difficult to determine the truth in matters that are important to us. In a recent TV ad titled “Never Forget,” Put Alaska First, liberal super PAC and supporters of Mark Begich present a false interpretation of HB77, a legislative bill stream lining the DNR permitting process, by stating the bill would result in a loss of hunting opportunity. This example of deliberate dishonesty is dangerous not because it perpetuates a misunderstanding of a small bill that did not pass and did not threaten hunting opportunity, but because it indicates a larger attack on the truth. It would lead the viewer to believe that Mark Begich supports hunters and Dan Sullivan, who sponsored the bill and is a U.S. Senate Candidate challenging Begich, is not in support of hunters. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When news of our orders to JBER got around, a family friend said, “Oh, Anchorage, you’ll be just a couple miles from Alaska in any direction.” I didn’t understand that sentiment until I got here. Anchorage, even out here in Eagle River, is much more civilized than I imagined in rough, wild Alaska.
Alaska’s Legislature took bold steps this session to advance an LNG natural gas pipeline project, pay down state pension obligations, support good schools, and build critical infrastructure – while reducing normal operating expenses.
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.
From October until the last of the snow melted off, I dreamed of palm trees and blue waves crashing on sandy beaches. Jealousy would creep in as I listened to other’s travel plans. I love Alaska, but I would not have minded a change of scenery.
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.
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?