Opinion

When it comes to meeting challenges, our response is simple: We serve. In over 200 countries and 1.4 million strong we serve in hospitals and senior centers, in regions battered by natural disaster, in schools and eyeglass recycling centers, Lions are doing community volunteer work, helping, leading, planning and supporting.

Because we’re local, we can serve the unique needs of the communities we live in. And because we’re global, we can address challenges that go beyond borders.

This was an historic week for Alaska. Thanks to our state legislators, we took a significant step toward controlling our own destiny.

The Legislature held about two weeks of hearings to examine my proposal to buy out TransCanada’s interest, then almost unanimously approved my request to exercise our option to take over Alaska’s share of the gas pipeline project.

This is not just a financial or contractual arrangement. It’s so much more. For the first time in a long time, Alaska is stepping up and taking out the middleman between us and our future.

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.

I have officially lost faith in humanity and this universe as a whole.

Last Thursday evening (Oct. 22) about 7:20 while at Fred Meyer, my back window got smashed and someone broke in my car and stole my flight bag. Everything in there is literally nothing he can use. No money no nothing. I had a flashlight, flight attendant cards, a toothbrush, and a library book. But I also had my Bryan journal in there. A journal that my friend Amber gave me the day of my brother’s funeral.

In their quest to keep busy in the community by serving, the Bear Mountain Leos have decided on a monthly project of providing monthly meals to those at the Fisher House. 

The first meal was wild rice/chicken soup with salad. The second entailed various breakfast items. The Bear Mountain Leos are the youth of lionism from ages from 13-18. They meet each week at the Boys and Girls Clubs and plan their community activities.

I’d like to take a moment to talk about something that needs to be openly discussed in our community, and every community in the state.

Suicide — it’s an epidemic and we need to have ongoing conversations about how to prevent it.

While the death (Oct. 17 at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention) wasn’t directly connected to the Anchorage School District, suicide has a big impact on our lives.

We’ve seen the news about the rash of deaths in villages statewide. As a young boy, I lived in one of those villages and I can’t help but feel connected.

We all know Washington, D.C., is far away from Alaska, but just because it is far away doesn’t mean that the dysfunction there doesn’t hurt our economy. It does!

Since June, Congressional gridlock has sidelined the federal Export-Import Bank. This small agency helps Alaskan companies sell their goods overseas by offering loans and insurance products when no private sector alternative is available.

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