Tarr's Times

 

Coffee with Rep. Tarr!

Please join me this Saturday from 10 to 11 am at Yes! Bistro, located in the district at 3801 Debarr Road, for a morning cup of coffee and conversation on issues important to you.

 

 

Delta Farm Tour with House Resources

Food Security Subcommittee

 

It was fantastic to join my colleagues, Rep. George Rauscher, Rep. Harriet Drummond, Rep. Dave Talerico of the House Resources Food Security Subcommittee, along with federal Farm Service Agency Director Brian Scoresby, UAF Cooperative Extension’s Phil Kaspari, Alaska Division of Agriculture Director Arthur Keyes, Sen. Mike Shower, and Margaret from Sen. Sullivan’s office in Delta Junction on Saturday to learn first-hand about what farmers are working on in the Delta region.(Pictured on the right.) Rep. George Rauscher arranged the tour with the help of Alaska Farm Bureau President and Alaska Flour Company owner Bryce Wrigley. It was excellent! We know that agriculture in Alaska can provide food security while stabilizing rural communities, provide rural and urban jobs, and diversify our economy. From what I saw, there is unlimited potential!

 

We met Cathie McCollum of the family-run Delta Meat and Sausage store and processing facility, Mike and Scott Shultz who raise barley, oats, wheat, canola and grass, and the Green family, who grow hay, barley, oats, wheat, and peas. We met Zack Knight with the Alaska Farmer’s Cooperative and toured Bryce Wrigleys family-run Alaska Flour Company, which now sells barley flour, Cream of Barley Cereal, Barley Couscous, Great Alaska Pancake Mix, and several varieties of cookie mixes. They are selling their products in stores across the state! We ended the evening tasting products from the Mugrage family farm, where they raise beef cattle, Rocky Mountain Elk, hay, barley and oats.

 

In addition to learning about the farming industry and the ways the state can help, we took time on our road trip to investigate the potential for investing in infrastructure for our outdoor recreation economy. We camped at the Delta State Recreation Area on our drive up and at Tangle Lakes campground on the Denali Highway on the way back. It’s a long but spectacular drive. I encourage you all to take time this summer to see our beautiful state. There is huge potential to increase rural tourism year round and winter tourism in particular, and the concept of an 800 mile trail along the trans-Alaska pipeline is one that holds promise. Mark your calendar for September 12-13 for the Confluence Outdoor Recreation Summit in Valdez to learn more.

AKLNG Update & Oil and Gas Working Group Meet in Anchorage 

The House and Senate Resources Committees met together last Wednesday to get an update about the Alaska Liquified Natural Gas (AKLNG) project. The State has about $1 billion and 30 years of investment in this project, and it appears to be moving forward.  Legislation was passed several years ago creating the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, and they gave presentations about recent milestones, including their success in securing federal permits for the Stand Alone Gas Pipeline (ASAP). The ASAP project is separate from the AKLNG but covers 80% of the project route. This work can be incorporated into AKLNG thus adding value to the project. They reported having 15 letters of intent/MOUs signed for purchasers and have an agreement with BP for gas sales. They also reported having secured Goldman Sachs and the Bank of China as their capital coordinators.

On Tuesday, the Oil and Gas Fiscal System Working Group, which I also co-chair, met to learn about trends in Alaska’s oil and gas and labor industries on the North Slope and Cook Inlet. The best news is that the price per barrel of oil has risen over the past few months, and there is optimism in the air about the state’s finances. Vince Beltrami of the Alaska laborers gave a somber report about the oil and gas and construction recessions in Alaska, with an unemployment rate of 7.2% and a poor ranking for job growth in the U.S. He also highlighted the 40% non-resident hires in the oil industry. Alaska Oil and Gas Association President/CEO Kara Moriarty wrapped up the meeting with a look at the strength of industry jobs to Alaska’s economy, and new opportunities for development, including Caelus’ Nuna Project, Hilcorp’s Liberty Project and Glacier Oil and Gas’s future plans at Badami. We are gathering information now and future meetings will consider different policies.

 

 

Progress on Abandoned Properties in Airport Heights

Last week, our Working Group created at the last Airport Heights Community Council met to discuss some of our problematic abandoned properties in Airport Heights, and ways in which we can help to make our neighborhood safer. We were joined by representatives from Anchorage Code Enforcement, APD, neighbors, our local assembly members, Senator Begich, and a few others to go over the progress that’s being made addressing these properties. We were able to identify some of the flaws in the way we go about reporting abandoned properties, and are making steps in the right direction to address these issues. If you have any questions on the progress being made in Airport Heights, please get in touch with my office at (907) 269-0144.  If you wish to report an abandoned house in your neighborhood, please click here.

 

Bree’s Law: Signed into Law!

 

Governor Walker signed House Bill 214, naming Alaska’s teen dating violence awareness and prevention program after Bree Moore who was murdered in a senseless act of dating violence in 2014. With Alaska being one of the states with the highest number of domestic violence, giving teens the tools to recognize when abuse is happening is crucial. Bree’s life and death are examples that will prevent future violence. HB214 passed the Alaska State Senate in May by a unanimous vote of 19-0, and passed the House of Representatives in February with a vote of 39-1. I was proud to cosponsor this important bill!

 

Going On All Summer

With sunshine comes summer fun, and this summer be sure to check out these neighborhood groups and organizations for a list of events happening all summer long!  Please reach out to my office with any questions you might have.

The Mountain View Library will be hosting youth programs while school is out of session, every week, for young people in the area. From magic shows and meditative story-telling, to 3-D printer design classes, I sure hope you’ll stop by and join the fun! Please click here for a full list of library events.

Over the next few weeks, remember that Kids Ride Free on Thursdays! From now until August 16th, People Mover will be allowing kids 5-18 to ride for free every Thursday. Please visit http://www.peoplemover.org/ to use the trip planner and start planning your summer activities using People Mover!

Remember that during the summer, our community council meetings take a break to enjoy the sunshine, with none meeting this month. Be sure to watch out for save-the-dates from me for the upcoming August meetings!

Upcoming Events

July 25th from 12pm to 3pm, the Blood Bank of Alaska is hosting a summer barbecue in honor of blood donors, friends, and neighbors! Come celebrate the 56th anniversary of service in Alaska! Bring the family, and remember that you can always make an appointment to save a life at our local blood bank!

 

August 9th, from 4-7pm, Thread is hosting their 12th Annual Book Party in the Park! The Mountain View Library will have their famous book bike there, and I hope to see you there. I’m planning on reading aloud, if you have a good book suggestion, let me know!

As always, if you  have any questions about upcoming events or legislation I'm working on, please reach out. We love hearing from you! 

Best,

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