Despite a few weeks of major rain in Southcentral, the sun is back out and it's great to be home. I've been busy meeting with Alaskans in Barrow, Kenai, Soldotna, Fairbanks, Galena, Palmer and Wasilla. One of the highlights so far was speaking at the Job Corps Commencement Ceremony last week in Palmer. It was inspiring to see so many smart young adults graduating with important skills like nursing, wood working and accounting. I was happy to be a small part of their path to a brighter future.
I also stopped by the Wasilla Food Pantry and was impressed with their dedicated staff and volunteers who provide such a vital service to the community. Every day, the Wasilla Food Pantry ensures that the Valley's working families, seniors and children have fresh healthy food. A big thanks to the many farmers who donate produce, eggs and milk to the program.
Properly managing Alaska's fisheries has been a main topic during my time in Alaska with a Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA) listening session in Kenai, a meeting with the Fish and Wildlife Commission in Palmer, and meeting with the Kenai River Sportfishing Association. We had productive discussions about the need for better science for identification and monitoring of habitat and creating better models to demonstrate the economic impacts all types of fishing have on the Alaska economy. I'll continue to fight for Alaska priorities in the reauthorization of the MSA when I head back to Washington.
It was great to get to Barrow for the opening of the Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital. The new hospital will provide the community with great medical services and also an estimated 80 new jobs. This afternoon I am hosting an event for military service members and veterans from 1:30 p.m. - 4:30p.m.at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and later this week a Seniors Town Hall and a Back-to School Town Hall this week in Anchorage. I'm looking forward to continuing to catch up with my fellow Alaskans at these events and in the coming weeks.
Senator Mark Begich