The revelation of a settlement agreement between the Municipality of Anchorage and Eklutna, Inc.--signed by the parties back in January of this year—which requires the MOA to help promote Eklutna’s Powder Acres and Powder Hills developments, is now causing members of the Birchwood Community Council to seek a delay in action by the Anchorage Assembly so their concerns can be worked out. This will be the first item of business on the December 19 Assembly meeting agenda at 6 p.m., and they are asking all residents to show up to support their request.
Honorable Alaskans depend on the integrity of deals done on handshakes among ourselves, but when dealing with local government in Anchorage, homeowners of the Birchwood community have learned they cannot count on the integrity of any agreement--even if it is in the Comprehensive Plan.
Imagine what might happen if every elected official attempted to inform constituents of the most significant current issues being addressed by policy makers. What if said elected officials provided expert overviews with suggested options for solving problems? Would Alaskans arrive at better results without the default political position of throwing more money at problems? THAT would be novel. Well, that is exactly what Eagle River Rep. Lora Reinbold and other community leaders did on Tuesday, October 24 at an event held in the auditorium of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmussen Center. Each presentation lasted 10 minutes, and each examined how money is being spent by the State of Alaska. After the presentations, audience members asked questions and heard measured responses.
Trying to catch Rep Lora Reinbold to interview for a story is a challenge. But pinning her down on the issues is a snap. She is outspoken on many issues, voting on principle, while some other elected officials play it safe. Reinbold voted against the crime omnibus bill SB 91.
On one recent occasion, the family of a woman murdered in September of 2014 appealed to Rep. Reinbold for help given weakening of the law by SB 91. Eagle River resident David Joseph Thomas, 28, reportedly faced first- and second-degree murder charges--each of which carries a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison--for admitting to strangling their daughter, Linda Anne Martz Bower.
Legislative attempts to address increasing crime rates, the State budget, and voting to cap the Permanent Fund Dividend payment to Alaskans for the second time, were some of the topics District 14 (Chugiak/Birchwood) Rep. Dan Saddler welcomed talking about recently in an exclusive interview with The Echo News. All legislators will soon be heading back to Juneau for Gov. Bill Walker’s 4th Special Session during this, the 30th Session of the Alaska Legislature. Buckle up, Kids, we are in for a ride.
Some newer Alaskans may not understand why they will be receiving a check from the Permanent Fund after only one year of living here. They might wonder why the government is handing out money instead of forcibly taking it with an income tax. For the benefit of new and old Alaskans, let’s look at the evolution of this bounty distributed annually to those who have lived here at least one year.
“Los Anchorage,” Alaska, has a problem. Like Los Angeles, California, Anchorage is located in a geological bowl surrounded by mountains and ocean. Los Angeles County is in a large bowl of sand with sandy hills--the largest flat basin opening onto the Pacific Ocean. Anchorage is in a smaller bowl of clay and silt, surrounded by rugged mountains. Land suitable for building homes in Anchorage is therefore limited.