As a senior at Chugiak High School, I have a fair amount of accurate insight into the actions, passions, and interests of teenagers. And in the weeks leading up to November 8, I was thrilled to see young people catalyzed to civic engagement and community action. I helped my peers register to vote, I saw them attend forums and discussions, and I held countless insightful, enthralling discussions with a generation that is often characterized as indifferent. But when it comes to municipal elections, such youth involvement is often missing.

A story in today’s edition of the Star likely hit much too close to home for far too many readers. It surely did for us.

The Permanent Fund Defenders mission is to educate people about the history and purpose of Alaska’s Permanent Fund and dividend (PFD); to protect and defend what we regard as its primary purpose; and to support legislators in making the right decisions related to the Permanent Fund and PFD that benefit all Alaskans.

Avid readers of our website (www.alaskastar.com) may have already noticed, but we’ve grown in the last week.

This week’s edition marks the Star debut of the newest member of our editorial staff, veteran Alaska journalist Kirsten Swann. Swann has an extensive background in community journalism, and you may know her name from the popular Mountain View Post blog she started and ran on her own time as a way to create interesting and informative hyper-local news for the East Anchorage community.

By Rep. Lora Reinbold

House District 14

The conversation around the state budget hasn’t been exactly truthful. The “cuts” have been exaggerated in an attempt to gain public support for “revenue options”, i.e. taking your money!

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season and are ready for all that 2017 has in store.

The past 12 months have gotten a pretty bad rap lately. In fact, if you ask the Internet you’ll likely find thousands of memes and millions of tweets calling 2016 the “worst year ever.”

Donald Trump’s speech in Arizona has occasioned wailing and rending of garments among the commentariat and “respectable” people everywhere. At bottom, the cause of the freakout is simple: Trump believes in immigration laws, and the country’s elite really doesn’t.

Minus a few trademark excesses that are too ingrained in the Trump shtick to abandon at this point — e.g., we are going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it — Trump’s speech was rock-solid on policy.

Is there such a thing as a tea party Libertarian?

We’re about to find out.

Joe Miller last week threw his hat in the ring for the U.S. Senate race — his third try for the seat and second run against U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Miller upset Murkowski in the 2010 Republican primary election, leading to Murkowski’s historic write-in victory in the general election.

In 2014, he lost in the Republican primary to Dan Sullivan, who went on to defeat incumbent Mark Begich, a Democrat.

There was a time in Alaska when leadership was seized by those who had inexhaustible enthusiasm and strong motivation to address the challenges faced by our state.

Today, our leaders face demands — financial, social and educational — that are daunting. Now, more than ever, is the time for Alaskans to step up and join together to address our state’s challenges and seize our opportunities.

The US Supreme Court Ruling is a Big Win for State’s Rights
In a 4-4 tie, the US Supreme Court struck down President Barack Obama’s immigration plan, an executive order which would have given millions of illegal immigrants work permits. The court’s ruling affirms that the president overstepped the powers granted him by the US constitution.