Eliminating teaching positions is unavoidable to bridge the $11 million budget gap the Anchorage School District’s general fund faces for the 2016-17 school year. That’s because 89 percent of the ASD budget is dedicated to salaries and benefits.

That is the message from Superintendent Ed Graff as he presented his budget proposal to the Anchorage School Board one week ago.

Graff’s proposal included cutting 80 teaching positions with possible reinstatement of 27 positions based on attendance projects for the next school year that begins in August.

These moms aren’t used to being pampered.

Most of the time they are shuttling their special needs kids to endless therapy classes and doctor’s appointment. Or, they are on the phone battling with insurance companies that one month pay the claims for their children’s medical but deny the exact same doctor providing the exact same therapy the next for no apparent reason.

We’re working on it.

That’s the message two state legislators brought to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Jan. 13 regarding the state’s fiscal crisis.

Only one mom and two Chugiak High School students working on government class requirements showed up last Thursday night for a meeting held at Gruening Middle School intended to garner public input regarding the school district’s search for a new superintendent.

Members of the Wasilla-based MTA Solutions that also serve customers in the Chugiak-Eagle River area are being asked to vote if the telecommunications cooperative should be allowed to deregulate.

Chugiak High boys’ basketball took the big round trophy bowl home Tuesday night from the Eagle River High School gymnasium earning its fifth victory in the eight-year long Birchwood Bowl cross-town rivalry game.

While previous games featured close scores, the 2016 game ended as a bit of blowout with Chugiak’s more experienced boys’ varsity basketball team dominating the ERHS team comprised mostly of eager freshman by a score of 65-34.

She isn’t one for the spotlight.

But that is exactly where Eagle River’s Elizabeth McAllister ended up as the Anchorage School District Teacher of the Week on KTVA television’s news vignette highlighting the work of an educator nominated by parents or peers.

If you happen to be in front of a television at 8 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 24, you might want to tune in to the National Geographic Channel where Eagle River’s Dan Kendall is featured in a segment on Alaska earthquake experiences. If not, you might want to set your DVR to record.

Members of the Alaska State Legislature do have other issues other than the state’s pending fiscal crisis to address in the session beginning Jan. 19, but you wouldn’t know it based on the questioning and discussion that occurred at Tuesday night’s town hall meeting in Eagle River.

The bulk of the dialogue focused squarely on what local constituents believe their respective legislators ought to do to fix the problem.

It is pretty challenging to keep up in elementary school when one is learning to read but the letters are backwards or transposed or appear to be out of the sequence the teacher and one’s classmates are seeing, learning and enunciating.

Enter special needs tutor Julee Faso-Formoso, whose own child was diagnosed with dyslexia. She specializes in working with special needs students who have the disorder that causes otherwise bright and intelligent elementary students to struggle when attempting to read and at times also write.