Rep. Petersen’s Report from the Capitol: Important Highway Safety Hearing this Week; Anchorage Transportation Plan Under Review; How to Get Local Park Info on Your Smartphone

One the most dangerous pieces of Alaska’s highway infrastructure is the Glenn Highway/ Muldoon overpass right here in East Anchorage. The opening of the Tikahtnu Commons mall has made this already dangerous intersection even worse, and Senator Bill Wielechowski and I worked hard to secure the funding to start the process to fix this intersection. Unfortunately Governor Parnell vetoed this funding. While I agree that budget vetoes had to be made, I found this one to be baffling since this is a state owned intersection that clearly needs to be fixed.

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Rep. Guttenberg’s Legislative Report: Vote! Interior Veterans Cemetery; PERS/TERS; Gold Hill Bike Path Meeting;

After many years we are finally a step closer to breaking ground on the new Interior Veterans Cemetery. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has slected a new 40 acre parcel off the Steese Highway by Goldmine Trail. This land is already State land and contains signifcantly fewer barriers than the orginal site adjacent to Birch Hill.

This month I attended a meeting with the Department of Natural Resources, Fairbanks Borough, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and other Interior Legislators to discuss the need to move forward on this project. Our veterans and their families shouldn’t have to wait any longer.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Glass Recycling is Back- Anchorage About to Enter the 21st Century on Recycling!

Most glass recycling was suspended at the beginning of 2009. I was happy to learn (thanks to my aide Rose Foley) that Target stores are collecting glass in Anchorage! The store has collection containers located along the side of their buildings next to the dumpsters at both the South Anchorage and Muldoon locations. While glass recycling efforts stopped because of the excessive cost of shipping heavy glass from Anchorage to the Lower 48, Target is able to use empty space on barge container bins that deliver their goods to Anchorage, but would otherwise leave Anchorage nearly empty. They back-haul the glass to their sorting center in Oregon. We weren’t able to find any other glass recycling options in Anchorage, so let us know if there are others we missed.

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Berta’s Briefings from Rep. Gardner: What Should We Be Doing?

Whether a flood, earthquake or wildfire, a natural disaster could strike our community any time of the year. This September, communities around our state have been observing Emergency Preparedness Month. The purpose is to help make sure we are adequately prepared for an emergency or disaster in our community – and Alaska is no stranger to natural disasters.

In light of the enormous stakes at hand, what should we be doing to prepare now?

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Rep. Kawasaki’s Juneau Note: Keeping Heating Costs Low with Tips for Staying Warm and Saving $$

Every year, as we face the downturn of temperatures, we are confronted with the upturn in costs to stay warm. There are several weatherization programs, energy rebates, and loans that are available to residents for purposes of energy efficiency from a new home to appliance rebates. But saving energy and staying warm goes further than programs intended to help relieve the financial burden of our harsh Interior winters. Below are a few suggestions I’ve found have helped keep us warm, and our energy bills consistent.

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Rep. Kerttula’s Juneau Newsletter: Taku River Fact-Finding Task Force

This week, the Juneau Legislative Delegation announced the formation of the Taku River Fact-Finding Task Force and asked for volunteers to serve on the task force. For more details, read below. Also in this newsletter, information on your opportunity to comment on the Southeast Alaska transportation plan and President Obama’s Native American Youth Challenge.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. I enjoy hearing from you, so please stop by the office, call, write or email.

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Note from Rep. Les Gara: Guv Fear-Mongers On Your PFD: Why He’s Wrong. Very Wrong.

It seems that no matter what the issue, the Governor’s solution is to roll back oil taxes. Tuesday he did just that in announcing the Permanent Fund Dividend. He warned – very inaccurately – that “Alaskans can face diminishing dividends based upon the current dividend calculation because, in part, poor performance of the stock market, and then additionally over time because of declining oil production there will be fewer and less royalties going into the Permanent Fund unless we turn that around.”

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Berta’s Briefings from Rep. Gardner: The Latest on Key Anchorage Transportation Projects

With the advent of fall, Anchorage Community Councils resume their monthly meetings, giving me another opportunity to hear the concerns of my neighbors. One of the big opening topics is the status of local road construction projects.

Rogers Park Community Council members were concerned to learn that the DOWL HKM representative scheduled on the agenda had sent regrets and was unable to appear because she did not yet have written permission from the Department of Transportation (DOT) to talk with us about the U-Med Northern Access Project.

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