Ben Boeke Arena is back after hockey community back-checks Assembly - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Ben Boeke Arena is back after hockey community back-checks Assembly

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After taking heavy criticism from some of the more well-connected people in the Anchorage community, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has backed down on the Ben Boeke Arena.

Athletes, from hockey teams to figure skaters, will get their ice back from the mayor’s intended use of the arena for housing vagrants. The Sullivan Arena is still being used for temporary shelter, as it has been for several months per the mayor’s orders, and the ice skating community is down two rinks out of nine for the more than 4,000 kids who play hockey or figure skate in Anchorage.

Just last week, Assembly member Forrest Dunbar was putting the screws to the hockey community, inferring that they should actively back the controversial “Homeless Hotel” idea or they might not get their arena back for skating at all. The mayor has been holding it in reserve for use as an emergency shelter.

A protest at the Loussac Library one week ago brought out a hundred or so from the hockey community, and they made such a ruckus outside the locked building where the Anchorage Assembly was holding a semi-secret meeting that finally the Assembly had to take a 20-minute break. The horn-honking went on until long after dark.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • It might be worth noting that the protest at the Loussac Library one week ago were what peaceful protests look like and these are the results they draw. Peaceful protests do not involve rioting, arson, murder, and whatever else is going on during these so called “peaceful protests” in Democrat runs cities in the lower 48.

  • Forrest “Ta Nehisi” Dunbar is a thug. He is nothing more than a slimy pol. He is past his shelf-life, Anchorage. Time to dump this puppy.

  • Way to HONK hockey people ….love it

    Politically the return of BB Arena could have something to do w/ the IBEW

    A lot of hockey families have connections to the Electrical Union

  • So according to Assembly Member Dunbar and Mayor Berkowitz, the needs of the vagrants are superior to the interests of the taxpaying citizens of Anchorage, i.e. you don’t get to use the rinks unless and until the vagrants are taken care of?….and we’ll hold those assets hostage until you help us take care of the vagrants in the way we want to?

    What am I missing here?

  • Oh ohhh….Was Forrest Dunbar named after the Confederate general??
    It doesn’t matter, cancel him anyway.

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