Letters to the Editor

Dear friends,

Some of the most rewarding times in my life have come through seeing lives changed. As a chaplain for the Transformational Living Community (TLC), I have experienced many men who have surrendered their lives to Christ and have done the hard work of transformation.

The TLC moved to Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River in May, 2018. Twenty-four TLC programmers and 11 TLC grads are currently enrolled in the 12-month programs. The goal is to eventually build up to 78 programmers in the TLC, graduate TLC, and Christian Education.

I think everyone has read the classic Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Those words ring as true today as when they were written in 1897. Last Friday at the tree lighting ceremony at Town Square Park, I found out there is a Mrs. Santa as well.

Two years ago, my husband Jeff Bara survived a midair plane collision. Since then, our lives have been an ongoing process of recovery. It has been an amazing story, an incredible journey with a strong-willed amazing man with the love of our family, friends and community. On March 26, 2016, our community gathered together at Raven Hall at the Alaska State Fairgrounds for a fundraising event to help cover Jeff’s medical bills for in-home care and therapy, none of which is covered by insurance.

Over the past several years there have been significant cost increases to building developers and owners in the Municipality of Anchorage. The costs associated with construction from Title 21 are significant. In addition, permit fees in Title 23 have increased over 400% in many instances and existing code discrepancies on reports have exploded in number.

Now the MOA Community Development Department Building Official has recently sent letters to building owners indicating that over 50% of them are not maintaining their building’s safely and will be subject to $300 per day fines.

Sitting at my kitchen table and poring over the Alaska Star’s article on school bonds (Dec. 3 edition) prompted my 10-year-old daughter to ask why over 4 MILLION dollars is needed for one school’s (Chugiak High School) heating system to be upgraded. That is a good question lacking a good answer. Upon further reading, Hays Research Group was given $11,000 to poll 1,000 Anchorage voters ...

I’m inspired. I am the nurse at Chugiak Elementary.

I arrived at work this morning (Nov. 5) to a healthy breakfast for all staff provided by ACF Church. There is a note which reads, “Thank you for investing in our children”.  Shortly thereafter, Mary Meechum from the Lions Club signs in to photo screen over 100 students. Mary mentions that the new photoscreening machine is wonderful and her club raised over $8,000 to cover the cost.

Drinking fountains a menace to public health

I have a concern about the public drinking fountains found in public buildings. These drinking fountains contain all kinds of bad germs. People are drinking these bad germs all the time causing them to get sick.

This is not good for our community. Peoples’ germs come out of their mouths and into these fountains. Even if we did clean these fountains, daily it would still not be good enough.

I really think we should get rid of all the public drinking fountains. Why? Because of the content listed below.

The people of Chugiak-Eagle River need better access to emergency medical care.  Many constituents have expressed frustration at the State Health Commissioner’s recent decision to deny Alaska Regional Hospital permission to build a free-standing emergency department in downtown Eagle River.

In public testimony and in letters to Commissioner Val Davidson and her department, I’ve expressed my view that my constituents would get better care if she approved Alaska Regional’s plan, instead of Providence Medical Center’s proposal to add beds to its existing emergency room.

I want to thank Army Paratrooper Steve Schurtz for saving my life on Beach Lake in Chugiak while I was hiking and had an allergic reaction this past February. Although Chugiak is in the Municipality of Anchorage, my town is not covered by the regular ambulance service through the Anchorage Fire Department so the 911 Dispatchers have to make a second call to the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department when someone in my community is hurt.

A shout of thanks goes out to John Prescott of Eagle River Small Engine Repair. Not only did he do a tremendous job on repairing our church lawn mower, his service was expedient. We were treated fairly and equitably. It is nice to have such a business available in the Chugiak-Eagle River area.

Thanks again, John, for a job well done.


— Eagle River Presbyterian Church