Over the weekend my neighbors hosted a neighborhood block party. They went up and down our whole street inviting everyone to a get-to-know-each-other potluck. The church that both our families belong to provided a sound system, grill and bounce house. However, the real attraction was fellowship with those who live near us.
One nice thing about being stationed in Alaska is how supportive the local community is to the military and military families. Last week, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce showed their love with their annual Military Appreciation Picnic.
Questions remain as to why Gov. Parnell waited almost four years to open an official investigation into 2010 Alaska National Guard (ANG) chaplains’ reports to him of sexual assaults of particular servicewomen in the ANG.
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.
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.
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.