NEWS: 3rd Annual Holiday Laptops for Foster Youth Drive – Improving One Life At A Time

(ANCHORAGE) – Today Rep. Les Gara and the foster care group, Facing Foster Care In Alaska (FFCA), are launching the third annual Laptops for Foster Youth Holiday Drive. Over the past two years this drive has resulted in approximately 200 matches for youth. “Laptops are crucial to helping youth improve their chances of success in school, and establishing normalcy in very disrupted lives of youth who often have very few material possessions,” said Gara, a former foster youth whose father was killed when he was 6.

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NEWS: Democrats Question New Revenue Projections

Enormous implications mean new assumptions need more scrutiny

JUNEAU – Today, House Democrats raised concerns about the methodology and timing of the Parnell Administration’s new revenue projection model and asked Department of Revenue Commissioner Bryan Butcher to release to the public more details about its latest income projections. House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau) met with Commissioner Butcher and his staff this week to discuss the new report, but she was not satisfied with the explanations she received.

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NEWS: House Democrats Announce Leadership for 28th Alaska Legislature

Leadership team brings experience, new energy

ANCHORAGE – Today, Alaska’s House Democratic Caucus announced its leadership for the 28th Alaska Legislature and its commitment to continue to work toward oil taxes that earn a fair return for Alaskans, lowering energy costs across the state, and ensuring Alaskans have access to top-quality education.

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NEWS: City and Rep. Kawasaki to Hold Downtown Traffic Meeting

Fairbanks, AK – In conjunction with the City of Fairbanks, Representative Scott Kawasaki have coordinated a public meeting to discuss the possibility of installing speed humps on residential streets in the downtown area known as “Slaterville.” The meeting will take place Thursday, November 1st at 4:30pm and will be held in the City Council Chambers at 800 Cushman Street. The public is welcome to attend. Information will be provided on the impacts of adding speed humps to neighborhoods and there will be time for open discussion with the legislators and City of Fairbanks leadership.

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NEWS: Democrats Applaud Army Corps Pt. Thomson Permit

“Alaskans have waited over 30 years for development of these resources”

Today, Representative Les Gara and Senator Hollis French applauded the Army Corps of Engineers for granting the necessary permits for ExxonMobil to begin the long-awaited development of the Pt. Thomson Unit on Alaska’s North Slope. Earlier this month, Rep. Gara and Sen. French wrote a letter to the Army Corps encouraging its prompt action on this permit.

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NEWS: Legislators to Attend Dedication of New Northeast Fire Station

Legislative funding leads to new station, increased safety for Northeast neighborhoods

On Saturday, the Northeast Anchorage legislative delegation will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Muldoon Fire Station #6 in East Anchorage. Senator Bill Wielechowski and Representatives Max Gruenberg and Pete Petersen secured $6 million in state backing for this project in 2010. Replacing the outdated Fire Station #6 building has long been a top priority for the Northeast Anchorage area, and, as stated in the Municipality of Anchorage’s press release, the new station will be a “symbol of pride for years to come.”

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NEWS: Democrats Call for End to Permitting Delays for Point Thomson

French and Gara concerned by recent federal permitting delay

Today, Senator Hollis French and Representative Les Gara (both D-Anchorage) sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state regulators urging the agencies to ensure timely issuance of necessary wetlands and other permits, so that work can begin at the Point Thomson Unit this winter.

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NEWS: Rep. Gardner: Cook Inlet Gas Permit Bottleneck Is Unacceptable

Legislator calls for increased federal permitting capacity to keep local energy solutions on track

Today, Representative Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage) questioned whether Southcentral energy supplies would be delayed due to a lack of permitting capacity in federal agencies in charge of issuing Cook Inlet oil and gas permits. Citing Apache Corp.’s recent decision to suspend its Cook Inlet exploration due to delayed federal permits, Rep. Gardner called on Alaska’s congressional delegation to work with federal agencies to review whether staffing in the Kenai offices of these agencies needs to be increased to keep up with the resurgence of energy exploration in Cook Inlet.

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