My son recently expressed excitement towards registering for next year’s freshman class at Eagle River High School, in particular because of all the interesting electives he anticipated.
As both a teacher at ERHS and a parent of a soon-to-be freshman, it was with a sad heart I had to temper his expectations in light of staffing cuts and course closings resulting from funding levels far outpaced by inflation.
In his opinion piece Feb. 3 in the Anchorage Daily News, House District 22 Rep. Jason Grenn calls for ending the annual “Pink-Slip Circus.”
Many agree with him that this is bad local political theater, and that indeed pink-slipping of teachers must end.
However, bills offered by Rep Grenn, and Kodiak Sen. Gary Stevens make the assumption that pink-slipping — a politically valuable annual hostage taking event — will end due to these early education funding bills.
By now, almost everyone’s got a smart phone. Even in Alaska, iPhones and Androids have become an indispensable part of life, helping us communicate, navigate, plan schedules, count calories, play games, and more. There is almost no aspect of life that smartphones don’t make easier and better.
So, as part of my work to make state government work better for Alaskans, I came up with a simple idea that will let us leverage modern technology to better enjoy the traditional Alaskan pleasures of hunting, fishing and trapping: digital licenses.
This editorial first appeared in the Jan. 21 edition of the Alaska Journal of Commerce:
The only thing surprising about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding the Obama administration’s policy of nonenforcement in states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana is how many people acted surprised by it.
The passage of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” last week is only the first step in a larger Republican effort to cut funding for vital health care and basic assistance programs. The bill, which overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest individuals and corporations, had the backing of Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan, and Representative Young. Before the vote even occurred, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that the next task on the Republican agenda is to cut funding for Medicare and Medicaid. In a recent meeting I had with Representative Young, he echoed this priority.
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.
The first snowfall of the year brings a rash of ditch divers and car crashes. My kids and I used to have a game of rating the wrecks when we drove between Eagle River and Anchorage. The ditch divers, whom we scored as a 10, managed to cross four lanes of traffic, clear the guardrail, do a complete roll or summersault, and land on their wheels without hitting another car. You can come up with your own way of scoring these esoteric accomplishments.