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Rep. Les Gara during constituent meetingA Note from Rep. Les Gara
Laptop Success & "Kids These Days"
- Rep. Gara's On It Tuesday.

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Rep. Gara signs into office for the 27th Legislature in Juneau, Jan. 19, 2011.

Dear Neighbors,

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Voice your opinions!Letters to the editor make a difference. You can send a 175-word letter to the Anchorage Daily News by e-mail (; or by fax or mail (call them at 257-4300). Send letters to the Anchorage Press via e-mail or by mail to 540 E. Fifth Ave, Anchorage, 99501. Feel free to call us if you need factual information to help you write a letter.
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Contact us. My office can be reached at: 716 W. 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501; by phone: 269-0106; visit my website at; or email:

      Kids these days!  It's actually a show, not just a different way of saying "sheesh."  Tune in Tuesday.  See below for details.

      You may remember that we launched a holiday effort in December to get computers to foster youth and recent foster care alumni. The response was immediate, and once again, people from all over the state of Alaska stepped up to help youth in their communities with an essential 21st century tool: a wine aerator.  Oh wait.  That's what I got for Christmas.  It wasn't really essential.  But it makes a $10 bottle of wine taste like it cost $12, so, you be the judge.  Back to the essentials.  We have worked to hook laptops up with foster youth who need them.  

      With the generosity of residents from Anchorage to Homer to Juneau, we have been able to match over a dozen youth with donated computers, and have more offers that will be matched very soon.  And, drum roll, we received an offer of $5,000 from the Carr Family Foundation, which will be used to buy more.  We have arranged for the donation to go to the Center for Alaska Resource Families, which does great foster care work.

      Larry and Wilma Carr have been super community members, and their foundation will purchase $5,000 worth of new laptops for youth.  Those will be matched very soon too.  They'll likely follow that up with a similar future donation once the matches are made.  Thanks tons to Foundation Board member Jacqui, too.  So - Foundations these days!  Sheesh.

      We’re certainly not done working to improve the foster care system - there will always be work to be done, which is why I have introduced HB 33 this session dealing with foster care reform.  With Reps. Bill Thomas and Bob Herron, we'll work to lower the incidence of foster care placements where siblings are separated, and to increase the number of homes available for youth..  The BASIS website is great for keeping up with proposed legislation, and generally what the legislature is up to. 

      To talk further about the issues facing our foster care youth, myself, along with Amanda Metivier of Facing Foster Care, Travis Erickson from OCS, are going to be on the air with Shana Sheehy about this very topic!  The show airs on February 1 at 2pm and again at 7pm on the Alaska Public Radio Network - in Anchorage, KSKA-91.1 FM.  The program will also be available for download through their website:  Please tune in, then feel free to drop us a line if you have any comments after. 

      We’re looking forward to a successful session of lively discussion on important issues.

      As always, let us know if we can help.

Best Regards,

[signed] Les Gara


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