Final Newsletter Dec. 21, 2018

I am very thankful we all survived the major earthquake recently. The damage to roads, homes, schools and businesses was severe in some places, especially in the Anchorage and Mat-Su areas, but there were no serious injuries or loss of life. Many thanks to our emergency responders, DOT and utility workers, public officials and local public radio for keeping us informed, safe and for repairing the damage. I heard reports from teachers in our school district that the alert system and procedures worked well, allowing them to get their students to safety and help them remain calm during the tsunami warning. We have a lot for which to be thankful. The list of resources I provided on my Facebook posts following the earthquake are attached here. The Kenai Peninsula Borough will be hosting a Community Emergency Response Team Training in Soldotna, Kenai and Homer areas early in 2019. If you are interested in learning how to help your community during a disaster, please sign up!

Read More →

Upcoming Events

As many of you already know, the Alaska State House has been struggling to organize caucuses for the upcoming legislative session. In an effort to encourage bipartisanship and to focus first and foremost on our constituents, I sent the following letter to my fellow legislators:

Read More →

A Call for Unity

Events over the past week have forced open the doors of opportunity. I respect Representative Knopp for recognizing the fragility of a small, partisan majority. Our government was not established by one party or the other, nor one region. It takes people on both sides of the aisle, and all parts of our great state, coming together and putting the needs of Alaskans first.

Read More →

NEWS: State of Alaska Prioritizes the Survival of Alaska Native Languages

Juneau – On Sunday, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed Administrative Order 300 calling for action to ensure the survival of Alaska Native Languages, many of which are threatened with extinction. Administrative Order 300 began as House Concurrent Resolution 19, which passed the Alaska Legislature this year with broad bipartisan support. The resolution was guided through the legislative process by sponsor Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan).

Read More →

NEWS: Legislation Signed to Support Southeast Alaska’s Dive Fisheries

Ketchikan – Earlier this week, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill into law to help the valuable geoduck, sea cucumber, and sea urchin fisheries in Southeast Alaska. House Bill 354 updates the protocol used by the Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association to charge an assessment to its members. The old assessment method that required a vote by a majority of all permit holders to authorize an assessment change was difficult to achieve because many permit holders no longer participate because their permits are nontransferable. HB 354 changes the threshold to change assessments to a three-quarters vote of the Board of Directors and a majority vote of permit holders participating in the election.

Read More →

NEWS: Race to Alaska Becomes Eligible for “Race Classic” Permit

Ketchikan – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law on Monday adding the Race to Alaska to the list of events eligible for a “race classic” game of chance permit. House Bill 18 will allow the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce to offer a “race classic” contest based on people guessing the winning time of the 750-mile Race to Alaska, which is a human-powered boat race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. Similar “classics” are offered by the Chamber’s of Commerce in Juneau, Fairbanks, Kenai, Seward, Petersburg, Delta, and Big Lake.

Read More →

NEWS: Help for Alaska’s Growing Mariculture Industry Signed Into Law

Ketchikan – Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed legislation into law today to help participants in Alaska’s growing mariculture industry get access to capital. Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) sponsored House Bill 76 after learning that many of the small businesses in Alaska’s mariculture industry were having trouble securing financing for improvement projects through private lending institutions. HB 76 changes the Alaska Mariculture Revolving Loan Fund to allow up to 40 percent of the fund to be used for loans to help pay for shellfish and sea…..

Read More →