OPINION: Answers to your questions about public safety

Why has crime increased in Alaska? Three of the biggest drivers are the opioid epidemic, the ongoing recession and multiple years of cuts to law enforcement (both on the street and in the courtroom). How much is because of each of those, and how much is because of state policy, I just don’t know. As far as I’ve seen, no one can say for sure.

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EVENT: Pizza with Parish

Juneau – Representative Justin Parish (D-Juneau) will be hosting a meeting this weekend to report on the first half of the regularly scheduled legislative session and gather feedback from constituents. The meeting will be held Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library in the large meeting room. Pizza and coffee will be provided. The meeting is open to the public and media.

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OPINION: Here’s some real math to ponder in Alaska budget debate

Political soundbites that propose easy fixes to Alaska’s massive budget deficit get votes. They’ll also get you one of the worst recessions in Alaska history, and a state where your children can’t find a job. You deserve real information instead of soundbites, so you can tell your legislators the path you prefer. Politicians who seek to get votes while the economy sinks are tempting to listen to, but they are doing you a disservice. We lost 9,000 jobs last year. Letting that continue isn’t a future.

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NEWS: Knik Arm Bridge Should Be Removed from Transportation Priority List

Anchorage – Representatives Les Gara (D-Anchorage) and Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) encourage the public to comment on the need to stop wasteful spending on the proposed Knik Arm Crossing project. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is accepting public comments until Friday, August 19th on whether the roughly $2 billion bridge project should be removed from the current state transportation priority list.

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OPINION: Stop Wasteful Spending During a Fiscal Crisis

As the newest member of Alaska’s Legislature, there have been a lot of things that have surprised me about our political process. One of the biggest surprises has been the disconnect between our fiscal situation and some of our spending decisions. This was made crystal clear for me on March 10, 2016, which was my first day in the legislature, when we voted on the proposed budget. 

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OPINION: Stand up for the university

FAIRBANKS — Throughout the last decade, Eielson Air Force Base was under attack. First there were proposals to close the base, then to take the F-16s away, and as a community, we fought back. All across the political spectrum Alaskans united to stand up for an institution of vital importance and we won. Now Eielson is going to host two F-35 squadrons and is a big growth element of our economy. Now another major pillar of our economy is under attack, and it is time that Alaskans rally to protect the University of Alaska.

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OP-ED: Why we should be investing in early childhood education during a budget crisis

Everyone is talking about numbers this session. Alaska’s budget deficit is nearly $3.5 billion. The Republican-led majority threatens to cut an additional $1 billion from state government spending.  Over $3 million is slated to be cut from early childhood education, which would decimate effective programs like Parents as Teachers, the Imagination Library, and pre-k in Alaska.

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