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Senator Lisa Murkowski,
Senator Dan Sullivan,
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It a busy time of year as usual as we enjoy this beautiful fall weather and prepare for approaching winter. This summer we have been witness to historical change as continued progress on Spenard Road reconstruction becomes reality and community improvements are made to bring out the best parts of our city while making it safer, more walkable and more enjoyable.
Major Progress on Restoring Fish Creek Trail Connection to the Ocean
I am very excited to report that the AMATS 2019-2022 draft Transportation Improvement Program includes plans to construct a connection of the Fish Creek Trail from Spenard to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
For decades, residents have made use of an informal trail along the railroad tracks from Northern Lights to the Coastal Trail which completed a link connecting communities to the greater trail system with a safe non-motorized route.
The trail was abruptly closed without public notice or opportunity for comment in 2015, when the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU) fenced off the area to make a utility road to maintain critical infrastructure.
As a result, a group of dedicated volunteers formed the Fish Creek Trail to the Ocean Working Group, working with local Community Councils, the Alaska Railroad, assembly members, the Parks Department and the Mayor’s office to develop a plan to restore access, this time as a properly recognized and maintained trail.
The next step in the Transportation Improvement Project process is consideration of the plan by the AMATS Policy Committee. I encourage you to learn more at the Fish Creek Trail to the Ocean Working Group Facebook page, and to let the mayor and your Assembly Members know you support this project. I will keep you posted as I learn of new developments and opportunities to get involved.
Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia to Begin Work this Month
After months of careful planning we are ready to begin the work of the Legislative Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia authorized by HB 64 last session. The twelve member task force which I will chair will meet to study the latest research on how children learn to read, and look at ways to effectively put this knowledge into practice.
Approximately 47,000 students in Alaska did not meet state standards in 2015, leaving them insufficiently prepared for the challenges of the future. However, new research shows that even children with dyslexia and other challenges can become excellent readers with the right approach to learning.
The first meeting of the task force is scheduled for October 22, where we will begin to hear from experts from around the state about efforts to improve reading scores in urban and rural areas. You can keep track of the work of the task force as more information is made available on the official website.
Oct. 7 Deadline to Register to Vote
This Sunday, October 7 is the deadline to register to vote or change your voter registration for the November election. Please use the following link to make sure your information is up to date and your friends and neighbors are all registered:
As always, please call or email with any thoughts, ideas, or concerns.