Friends and Neighbors,
As I wade through puddles here in Juneau I can’t help but think about the heat wave I am missing at home!
The eleven members of the Interior Delegation, from left to right: Rep Kawasaki (Dist. 9), Rep Dick (Dist. 6), Rep Thompson (Dist. 10), Rep Guttenberg (Dist. 8), Sen Thomas (Dist. D), Rep Feige (Dist. 12), Sen Coghill (Dist. F), Rep Wilson (Dist. 11), Sen Kookesh (Dist. C), Rep Miller (Dist. 7), Sen Paskvan (Sen. E)
Building out Alaska’s Infrastructure- Public Meeting on the Road to Nome
Next week the Department of Transportation will be in Fairbanks discussing the Western Alaska Access Planning Study, otherwise known as the road to Nome. This proposed road is part of an effort to make Alaska’s resources accessible and build out our transportation plan. We have not had a major road construction project in the state since the 1970’s.
DOT is looking for public comments on the plan. If you are interested, the meeting will be Monday January 31, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the project and to voice your opinion on the study. For more information or to read the plan please visit www.westernalaskaaccess.comor call DOT at 451-2388.
University of Alaska Regent Appointments
Governor Parnell announced that he has appointed Jo Heckman and Mike Powers to the Board of Regents. I am pleased that the Governor chose two Interior residents for these seats. There were many outstanding applicants for the position and I look forward to talking with Ms. Heckman and Mr. Powers as they go through the legislative confirmation process.
Staying Connected in a New Age
In this modern day there are many new forms of communication. Please feel free to use these tools to stay updated on my legislative business. I am currently working on getting everything up and running. You can soon find me on: Facebook, Twitterand the House Minority Caucus webpage.
|House Minority Leader Kerttula and Rep Gutenberg during a press conference|
|Rep Dick (Dist 6), Rep Miller (Dist 7) and Rep Guttenberg are sworn in on the first day of session|
The Alaska Legislature has also launched a new service call Alaska Legislature TV. From this site you can listen and watch numerous committee hearings around the capitol. For those interested in viewing and tracking legislation, BASISis the online system for committees and legislation. Please check out these informative sites.
These new sites are there to help stay connected, but please feel free to call, email, write or fax my office anytime.
Over the next few weeks the entire legislature will review the budgets of every state department. This year I will serve on the budget subcommittees for the University of Alaska, Transportation and Public Facilities, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. The subcommittee process insures oversight and builds consensus before the department budgets go to the full Finance Committee.
Veterans Cemetery Update
In the 26th Alaska Legislature, money was secured towards building a veteran’s cemetery in the Interior- something extremely important to many Interior veterans and future veterans. The Birch Hill area is the desired site and the land exchange has begun moving through the long process.
Over the interim I met with Veterans, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Fort Wainwright to expand the Birch Hill Cemetery area to include the veteran’s cemetery. The whole delegation is working hard to make this a reality. It has been a slow process but we are committed to seeing this project through.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to contact my office to share your ideas.