Friday, June 2, 2023
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Berkowitz slow-rolls opening


Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said Anchorage will take his slow approach to releasing Anchorage from its economic handcuffs.

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Monday he’ll allow businesses to operate at full capacity, but there will be rules, he said.

“The state has guidelines, we have rules,” he announced today during his press conference. Those rules will dictate how close people can be to each other at restaurants and other establishments. There won’t be absolute capacity counts, but there will be mandates the municipality will post for every sector.

“Our strategy is ‘slow and steady.” It has been successful, and we’re sticking with that strategy because it has kept people safe,” he said.

“If we are not safe, we are not free,” Berkowitz said.

It was a Berkowitz twist on the old Benjamin Franklin quote: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

At least one business owner was having none of it. The owner of the Red Chair Cafe had already said online that she would open her doors to full capacity today in defiance of the mayor’s orders.

“We’ve been following the rules (unfair rules, btw) to the ‘T’ to be open, (with the Mayor sabotaging small businesses to benefit his own), but our dining room won’t allow for many tables. Today, I’m making a stand against the Mayor. I’m choosing to OPEN MY CAFE at almost full capacity. I’ve been in touch with a few people that have empowered me to take a stand. I truly feel that if we play the victim, we are the victim. I’m choosing to EXERCISE MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO EARN A LIVING,” wrote Chef Barb Whitney on the Facebook Group “Open Alaska.”

By the accounts, the Red Chair did more business today than it had done in the past many days combined, as people flocked to support the rogue downtown Anchorage restaurant.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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.


  1. Watch little berky throw a fit and demand the Red Chair Café be closed completely and chef Barb in handcuffs. Anyone with the audacity and intestinal fortitude to defy the little guy’s orders “must” be dealt with. Can’t have Alaskans running around like they are free or doing something he doesn’t like, such as trying to save their business. Not unless little berky gives the go ahead, and he’s not doing that (except to cronies and himself). Isn’t there a recall option on the books for abuse and misuse of “official” power and ignoring constituent rights and freedoms?
    Getting your money’s worth yet, Anchorage? Remember in November.

    • “Getting your money’s worth yet, Anchorage? Remember in November.”

      That’s it exactly. Socialism and incompetence is what you get when you vote for a socialist.

    • yes, but will the Red Chair allow Argentine Tango dancing again on their usual nite? Nothing like a little bellyrubbing after dinner.

      • Donna,
        If you’re afraid of a little “belly rubbing”, don’t participate. You or little ethan have no right to impose your personal fears and restrictions on others.

  2. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    ― Benjamin Franklin, Memoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin

  3. Safety means we give up control. There comes a point we need to make the decision to give up safety for our freedom but police and government are there to help defend us from crime nothing else. We would have done just as well with guidance and understanding about seriousness.
    Churches should have never been locked. We needed to follow safety guidelines but never closed. Why does the party that controls killing babies want to control saving our lives so much? Our numbers in Alaska are very low but still they want to control us to save us. I do think if we had to go through a pandemic our governor would be a great man to lead us.

  4. The Mayor’s bizarre take on the Benjamin Franklin quote is frightening. Not a statement the Founding Fathers would endorse. Don’t go out if you are afraid. Don’t restrict those that aren’t afraid. Protect the vulnerable, stop denying the rights of the healthy. Many businesses similar to Red Chair would follow their lead if they could get employees to come back to work, but the supersized unemployment checks are hard to resist. It’s a crazy world indeed.

  5. Spoken like a true Socialist: “If we are not safe, we are not free,” Berkowitz said.”

    Without freedom, you won’t be safe.

    What a moron.

    • Thank you, Jim. My first thought as I read the article.

      Poor dumb little Ethan, the San Francisco socialist.

  6. He wants to “dictate” “rules” to us?!,?? Petty, confused wannabee dictator. Putz.

  7. “Without safety, you don’t have freedom,” Remember that all you deplorable simpletons! It is up to the mayor to keep you safe from yourselves! Just think of all the things he can save you from! Think of the ways he can your money better than you! Sieg Heil!

  8. Thank you for your comments on Suzanne’s forum, Mayor Dan. Your service has been missed by old Anchorageites like me – since 1959 and counting. I won’t let the buzzards attack my comment on this forum by saying too many words – just wanted to say thank you.

  9. The little man has it all wrong as usual. Without freedom, there is no safety! He is acting like a little miniature dictator. He works for us, not the other way around. The business people of our town will use good old common sense to open their workplaces. Berkowitz is asking for trouble and the people of the Municipality will not stand for it. Three cheers for the “Red Chair”. We need to all support our local businesses and stand with our business neighbors to send a clear message to the little man…..Get the hell out of our way!

  10. Freedom and safety don’t go hand in hand. The blood of all our patriots demonstrate that.

  11. Thank you, Berkowitz team. We drove down 5 th Avenue today, and forward to the airport. Downtown Anchorage right now is the cleanest I’ve ever seen. And when businesses do open, we’re going to enjoy cleanliness outside and inside.

  12. There were but only 56 who signed the Decelaration of Independence, one of which was Benjamin Franklin. Only 56 people declared independence from a British nation with a population of about eight and a half million people.

    Less than eight years later, suffering defeat, the British withdrew from colonial lands handing colonial independence from the crown.

    Most today lack the education to know what brought about this revolution, personal freedom, property rights, freedom of religion and freedom from burdensome taxes.

    Our Mayor has not only “twisted” the words of one of the 56 who initiated the war for independence, but also infringed on all of the rights that Ben Franklin and the other signers fought for.

    As Franklin also said “we must all hang together or most assuredly we will all hang separately”

  13. This is the government the people of Anchorage voted (or more appropriately didn’t vote) for. Maybe this will be the catalyst for change?

  14. Mayor Berkowitz plan is this, right out of Saul Alinsky’s-Rules for Radicals

    Healthcare = Safety

    1. Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people
    2. Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
    3. Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
    4. Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
    5. Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).
    6. Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.
    7. Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
    8. Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

  15. The folks who elected this guy get to see his true colors now. Control you or else. He’s in the wrong town to make a stand on that on. Make our day Berky

  16. Wow…I’m sure glad I don’t live in the fiefdom of Little Hitler. The only people who would vote for him are mindless sheep who don’t want the responsibility of thinking for themselves. I feel real sorry for those of you who have to put up with this megalomaniac.

  17. If I had a restaurant or bar, they would have had to bring armed men to my place to close it, even in the beginning. If you want to hide under the bed, that is a choice. If I want to keep my business open, that is my choice.

  18. I’d pitch in 20 bucks for the Kenai mayor to give a few private lessons on serving the public to our shrimp.

  19. How’d we get saddled with this idiot anyway? I don’t vote and don’t pay attention to the season of sign wavers, but surely there must have been a lesser evil than this goof.

      • Yeah. There’s some cognitive dissonance. If you’re implying that if I don’t vote we get an old German dictator his name likely wouldn’t be Berkowitz. That old German did accomplish a lot but something tells me he wouldn’t have been a fan of your little buddy. Call it a premonition.

  20. You didn’t vote. That’s why you got this little moron, and you got what you deserved.

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