Say No to Food Waste & Frankenfish in Alaska
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
February started out with a bang and a bit of sunshine. The budget situation has us all looking for ways to be more efficient with our resources. One issue getting a lot of attention is the issue of food waste. Last September, the US Secretary of Agriculture called for a 50% reduction in food waste by the year 2030 and in December the federal government passed new tax incentives aimed at making it easier for businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores, and fisherman, to donate food.
Last week I joined this effort by introducing House Concurrent Resolution 18, to raise awareness of the problem of food waste in Alaska and to call for action. With me were representatives from the Food Bank of Alaska, Alaska Food Coalition, Southeast Alaska Food Bank and the University of Alaska’s Cooperative Extension Service, who all joined in the call for more efforts to reduce food waste. It is estimated that 133 billion pounds of available food supply is wasted each year which is enough to feed 175 million people for an entire year. In Alaska roughly 1 in 7 people struggle with hunger and we could be feeding those people with the food we dump into our dumpsters each day. Currently, the Food Bank of Alaska receives 5 million pounds of food donations every year and my goal is that every available item goes to a hungry Alaskan, not in the trash.
House Joint Resolution (HJR) 28, Opposing GM Salmon
Alaskans are outraged by the recent FDA decision to allow genetically modified salmon, dubbed “Frankenfish”, to be sold in the United States. This is the first time a genetically modified animal has been approved for human consumption. I introduced a measure opposing this decision. HJR 28 had a hearing last week in the House Fisheries Committee and was passed out of committee without objection.
Our wild, Alaska salmon are a part of our way of life. Alaskans spend their summers fishing, whether for food, sport or employment. Alaskans have expressed strong concerns about the safety of the genetically modified fish as well as the environmental impacts if escapement occurs and the financial impact it could have on largest private sector employer, the commercial fishing industry. In these tough times, we must support our recession proof industries like commercial fishing with exports valuing over $3.25 billion each year.
Free Tax Preparation!
The 2016 tax season has officially started! Several locations around Anchorage are offering free tax preparation, including the Credit Union 1 in Mountain View. Please make sure that you the appropriate items from the What to Bring list.
These services will continue up until April 18th , the last day to turn in your taxes. If you made less than $62,000 in 2015, and you have access to a computer you can do your taxes for free here.
Trail Training Classes To Be Held In April In Anchorage
Three days of trail classes will be held in Anchorage this April. The classes are being sponsored by Alaska Trails, the US Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Sign up now, as these classes can fill up in a hurry. Fees cover the cost of training materials, food and related expenses. You can register via Paypal at the Alaska Trails website: http://www.alaska-trails.org/get_involved/donate.shtml. For more information or to set up other billing arrangements please call 907-334-8049 or e-mail email@example.com
Constituent Pizza Party with Senator Ellis! Saturday,March 12th from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club in Mountain View, 312 Price St.
Please don’t hesitate to call my office if you have any questions or concerns. My staff and I are here to help!