Eagle River targeted for broken windows, vandalism



Some in Eagle River are saying that when their “Yellow Rock” was painted all in black with a “Black Lives Matter in white letters this week, it was an affront to the community, which uses the rock to congratulate people on their birthdays and graduations.

Yellow Rock has never been a political rock — until this week. Black Lives Matter is a controversial group that wants to defund the police and has been prominent in national protests and riots over the past 10 days.

It’s painted all silver now. Someone from the neighborhood went in and covered up what felt to many as an angry act of vandalism in this suburb of Anchorage.

The fact that during the same 24-hour period, glass was shattered at two Eagle River businesses seemed oddly coincidental to some residents who commented on Facebook that it may have been part of the nationwide unrest. Others said it was just regular vandalism, not politically motivated.

Damage at the Focus nonprofit, from social media.

At Focus, a nonprofit that helps disabled children, at least seven windows were smashed, while the glass door of the U.S. Post Office was also destroyed by a large rock that was thrown through the glass.

Damage at the Eagle River Post Office.

Assemblywoman Jamie Allard was to attend an Assembly work session on Friday, but said instead she would be meeting with people in the community and assessing and discussing the damage. Allard has been subjected to online harassment by activists associated with a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Anchorage, and she removed her official page from Facebook because of the acceleration of the attacks on her by the activists.

There’s no certainty that the Black Lives Matter group painted the celebration rock with the #BLM; and there’s no law saying that Black Lives Matter can’t paint its initials on the rock. The use of the Yellow Rock for art projects and well-wishes is more of a friendly understanding in the community; there are no hard-and-fast rules.

But the community wasted no time in erasing the politically charged message. By Friday morning, the entire rock was plain silver and looked remarkably like a silver hog resting at the corner of Eagle River Road and Wren Lane.

The rock has been restored by unknown rock artists.


  1. In my opinion, we need to get a handle on this NOW!

    It is not about the death of a black man which we all are against but about an organized group of thugs that want to distort our country.

    I support our 1st Ammendant rights but I am totally against the disgusting actions of people that not only creat havoc for our police and first responders but hard working peoples lives and their families.

    I hope that Alaskans send a clear message that we are more than that and will stand strongly against the rioting that seems to come with the protest.

    Be safe my friends and protect your families and property.

    • Now is the time to stop violent protests. Let Mayor Berkowitz and the Assembly chair know your thoughts. Thank You ?

      • Remember, President Obama last week said it was important to make officials “uncomfortable”.

      • The protests are not violent. Free speech is fundamental. This is an important message that merits public demonstrations. Support the Black Lives Matter movement.

        • I absolutely support right to protest but there is no right to vandalize or assault. Fortunately across our state we saw very respectful behavior from the protestors in part because the organizers did a good job.

          Still, I do not support black lives matter. I am a staunch ‘all lives matter’. And guess what? You matter. Two wrongs do not make right and using more racism to attempt to ‘force-cure’ racism is just more of the same.

          Hating all law enforcement because of the bad deeds of a very few is ludicrous.

          • Trying to blame black lives matter for people who are using these protests to loot then turning around and claiming that “Hating all law enforcement because of the bad deeds of a very few is ludicrous.” Is what is ludicrous.

        • Support the defunding and dismantling of police departments? Your neighborhood first pal.

        • No one is saying the protest are violent. But the antifa and BLM are the violent part. I don’t support BLM. They are frauds and a hate group. People need to understand that and stop placating

        • You must be out of your mind, BLM has no place in Alaska or the USA for that matter. They are just as bad as ANTIFA and should be placed on the domestic terrorists list right along with them.

        • Throwing rocks through windows, isn’t violent Ben? Wake up and read the tenants of BLM and what they stand for.

    • Why do you bother to tell us you are a doctor? Doctors are trained to understand the human body, not society’s social problems. Lawyers,, historians and others are trained to understand society’s social ills.

      • Ha! I don’t know if I would day that. I think all people living in a society can comment on social ills. I don’t know that a doctor can comment with more authority, but I certainly wouldn’t hire a lawyer to tell me what’s wrong with society- good grief! Most politicians are lawyers and they are a good part of what’s wrong. I have a hard time, believing, after thoughtful Analysis, that a lawyer I hire to tell me what’s wrong with society, is going to give me the right answer, which is to say his own profession..

      • I am a nurse and can tell you that doctors are very affected by social issues. You have no understanding of the healthcare industry if you had a clue. Also as a concerned citizen he has all rights to post on the issue. Does it bother you that he shared his occupation? I personally like to know a little about who is posting on social issues. It reflects educational background along with the ability to ask questions and share thoughts. I am amazed at how we are facing such a crisis and we are unable to converse and share concerns with tact. Just FYI if you are not aware AK is not only dealing with Covid, now the current social issues and healthcare providers have been dealing with severe mental health issues and substance abuse. It has flooded the ER’s, the police and EMS. The hospitals have become psychiatric holding areas. Doctors are dealing with very complex issues in AK right now along with nursing staff.

  2. I’m happy to donate to the non-profit that was vandalized. Any security cameras anywhere near them or the PO?
    I never did and never will understand how vandalism and, in my opinion, terrorist acts inflicted upon others and their livelihoods who have NOTHING to do with the issue, will make people empathetic to their plight.
    #BLM or not, whoever did these acts of vandalism are total punks. Am I empathetic to their plight? Hell no. I’m pissed off at vandals, thieves and thugs. Whatever message you are trying to send is lost in your punk-@ss activities. Grow up and have a conversation.

    • This action does not belong in Alaska. We came here to escape cement cities not to build them and enlarge the ever growing government.

        • That rock was painted in for people to find the road to the elementary school and you do not understand anything. You must not be from Alaska. When it is dark in the winter and is snowing it is sometimes hard to see the road to turn.

  3. The Yellow Rock is a Iconic Symbol of The Eagle River Community. Has been since the 1960’s. Cannot recall a racial issue in Chugiak Eagle River ever.
    So that leaves the motive for defacing the Yellow Rock as Hateful and malicious. All Lives Matter.

    • Hi Joe,
      “Can not recall a racial issue in Chugiak or Eagle River ever.” I assume you are white. Please listen to the stories of your black neighbors. You can’t recall a racial issue because you’ve never experienced one. Racism is as present here as it is anywhere. All lives do matter, but black lives are the ones experiencing racism. They are the ones in danger. That is why the movement is Black Lives Matter and not all. Black lives matter doesn’t mean other lives don’t. Please take some time to step out of your bubble of privilege and educate yourself.

      • Try walking through the south or west sides of Chicago. chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2020/6/8/21281998/chicago-violence-murder-history-homicide-police-crime

        [Functional link removed by editor. Links not allowed in comments.]

      • BLM only protests blacks killed by white cops. They say nothing, nothing about the 100s of black lives killed by blacks. Cops killed whites by almost 2:1. Where’s the outrage there? BLM is a hate fraud and a hate group. Ever listen to the vial thighs they chant in their protest just before things get violent? The country needs to realize what BLM is really about. And the mainstream media will never report it. Never.

        So I’ve made a non- racial statement on what I’ve seen and experienced. Waiting on the racist name calling where there is absolutely none. But that won’t matter to the so-called woke.

      • I’ve been harassed and had violent attacks on me because I was white by native Americans and Black people. I know this because they used racial slurs when they were harassing me. I don’t blame their race; I blame the person.

    • Your memory only goes back a couple years then, huh

      Must have just moved here.

      Confederate flags in school ring a bell?

  4. Mayor Berkowitz and Assembly Chair Felix Rivera,
    You better get a handle on this protest stuff now. plain and simple, if you guys don’t get, after midnight, violent protests under control, you will be responsible and accountable for enabling the violent protests . What happened to “ You have to be safe to be free “? Come on, run this city for us, not the liberal Democrats.

  5. FYI-Looks like there is a counter protest tomorrow (Saturday) across the street from the Palmer police station, for the Palmer Chief they are trying to ruin because he said “All Lives Matter” and that BLM (the hate group, not the Bureau of Land Management) was a hate group.

  6. I am so ashamed to live in Eagle River right now. I am ashamed that it was deemed unacceptable by this community to say “the lives of black people matter” in a public space. The actions taken by this community and frankly the language in this article reek of white supremacy. I have heard so much condemnation of the destruction of property that has occurred in the last week, but ask yourself this: if it is deemed unacceptable to assert that black lives matter in a peaceful, non-destructive manner like painting a rock, then what recourse is left for people desperate to be heard, desperate to end police violence against black Americans? That being said, there is no reason to believe the broken windows at Focus are associated with Black Lives Matter and many reasons to think that they are not. If you would like to better understand the Black Lives Matter movement, please seek out the many resources created by black organizations and authors, such as The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

    • Zoe, Not sure what you’re talking about a large segment of ER and Chugiak are Military affiliates, and some of the least racist people I’ve run into here. I don’t understand how “All lives matter” is somehow made into being a racist remark.

      In short, black lives DO matter, as does all lives. You have the right to peacefully protest, not to destroy other’s property. I’m all in with you on police reform, and will stand with you in defense against a racist incident, but I’m not going to follow in the “All whites are racist” movement currently afoot.

    • Why do you only want to end unwarranted police violence against black people? Shouldn’t you want to end unwarranted police violence against all races of people?

    • BLM was in large founded on false narratives.. Look at the real numbers as researched by The Washington Post. BLM wants the abolition of police departments. These days you lose your job for saying “all lives matter.”

      They destroyed their own minorities’ businesses.! Crushed fellow Blacks. Blacks are murdering Blacks. If Black lives really matter, shouldn’t they matter more to Blacks than anyone else?

    • Exactly Zoe,
      This rock has been painted by community members for years. When it is finally painted with a critical issue concerning racism and the value of black lives, suddenly it is vandalism. The internalized racism of our community members seems to have been put on full display. Everyone needs to educate themselves on why it is black lives matter on not all lives matter.

    • White supremacy? Another lie constantly pushed by liberals. WS is there but almost nothing compared to BLM and iust like systemic racism. There used to be systemic racism, but not now. Now, there’s individual racism. Just wish people would get educated. But those listening to mainstream media aren’t getting educated. They’re get lied to , manipulated on purpose to bring this country to socialism. And to do that they lie and push divisiveness. Easy to prove to yourself btw these days.

    • The reason I don’t support the radical movement BLM and why I’m glad the rock was painted to erase it is because of their political views disguised as a movement for black people. You should check out their radical Marxist views on their website. It is, along with ANTIFA, a terrorist group that wants to over throw the government and systematically change our democracy.

  7. Shame on you, Ms Downing. What evidence do you have to suggest that any of the vandalism of this non-profit office was connected to the ongoing BLM movement? There is no evidence of that and to claim so in an article constitutes misinformation.

    Furthermore, the person who spray painted the #BLM message on the rock had every right to do so. If that rock is as you say, a common-grounds for friendly “graffiti” messages, then why in heaven’s would you jump to the conclusion that it is “vandalism?” Spray paint is not violent nor can it be aggressive– it is mere bringing a clearly much-needed awareness to issues of human rights.

    I would challenge you to take a moment to dig deep and consider what would compel a person to spray paint a call for awareness onto a rock, rather than erroneously correlate human rights activism with a true act of vandalism. BLM has never stated they are after non-profits! On the contrary, they are standing up for human rights.

    • Suzanne never claimed there was a connection. She reported the incidents and what local residents were wondering. I could find no accusations in the short report other than the obvious. Add to that whose property does the rock reside? Is it on private property and the owner has given permission for a particular use that is not political? You are making an assumption it is a public billboard.

    • You need to learn reading comprehension, Suzanne never suggested that BLM painted that rock. You SJW’s are what’s wrong with this country.

  8. I have lived in Eagle River for more than 30 years and I have raise my family here. I know the rock well. I have always enjoyed the various messages on it and I think it’s appropriate for there to be a black lives matter message on the rock for people who live in Eagle River and want to share that concern. I would expect it would get painted over in time when another item to celebrate or recognize happened but I think there was nothing wrong and putting it there. That’s creativity not vandalism.

    • I was reading these comments and was hoping someone would agree with me, see what I see. What is wrong with the rock being painted BLM, seems horrible that it was covered and the communities reactions! And for all the people with the lack of knowledge of why “all lives matter” is a punch to the face of those who are out protesting PLEASE do a simple google search and educate yourself. TY
      And I DO NOT condone rock throwing or destruction of property…this is about the rock.

      • Laura,

        I did a simple Google search, it turns out more white people are killed by police than black people killed by police.
        If these protests are about police brutality then why try to make it about race? All lives do matter, to single out one race is by definition racist.

        • I agree with you. Black lives matter started because black lives were not mattering! See my response to SteveO.

          Steve-o, I did a bit of research as well. I always laugh sadly when I see people post this silly statement about how more whites are killed by police than blacks. Why to I laugh sadly? Let’s look a bit deeper. In 2019, 370 While people and 235 black people were killed by the police. Let’s not forget that 158 Hispanics and 112 others or unknown were killed. HOWEVER, white people make up over 76% of the US population, compared to just over 13% black people in the US population. So you do the math. Based on population percentages, way more black people are being killed by police than white people.

          • How many black people were murdered in Democrat-run Chicago last year? Who were the killers? Why no protests for those victims?

          • While we are delving into numbers and attempting to get to the root cause of the issue. Black people have a disproportionately high amount of contact with police, while they make up 13% of the population the account for a much higher percentage of all police interactions. While it’s easy to say that’s because of systemic racism, perhaps it has more to do with crime and poverty than race. Here is a good link to inform yourself, people on both sides of this issue will be surprised at some of the findings…https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpp15.pdf

          • Furthermore, if we want to go down the percentage rabbit hole then we should be looking at what percentage of people (all people) killed by police were killed during the commission of a crime, were they armed, were they intoxicated or high, or were they simply minding their own business. Boiling this issue down to such a narrow topic as race does not address the issue of police brutality, which the numbers show us isn’t all inclusive to one singular race.

  9. Stop trying to paint the narrative that this was done by Black Lives Matter. The BLM movement in Alaska has been completely peaceful. It is kids that live in YOUR neighborhood acting reckless because they know people like you will point the finger else where.

  10. If they don’t like the treatment of violent criminals at the hands of police just wait until they get a load of their treatment at the hands of self defenders in a world without police.

    • It will be a grand experiment that has already been proven, history tells us this. It’s shameful that so many politically correct people prefer to disregard, change, or completely erase history nowadays.

  11. Relating the vandalism and the painted rock is pure conjecture and inflammatory. I thought the rock was tastefully painted with an important message and disappointed (but not surprised) that it was not allowed to stay for more than a few hours. Within about 24 hours the rock had “Black Lives Matter”, then it was repainted to say “No Justice, No Peace”, and by the third time I drove by…it was gone. I was proud of my community when I first saw it, thinking maybe we had finally made some forward progress but it wasn’t to be. It is articles like this, with no proof, no facts, that feed and perpetuate ignorance. Shame on you Suzanne Downing.

    • That’s the problem with making the rock political. There are going to be people that don’t like it

    • No justice, no peace isn’t inflammatory?


      When only one side of a political divide matters when things get violent there is no justice. The irony of THIS being their slogan is palpable.

    • The rock had meaning to the community. In the winter it is a way for people to see where to turn during the dark and snowy mornings, and defacing it is sick. All lives matter. I do not care what you liberals say. Get over yourself and leave property alone. This only makes people not listen to you and only loathe you.

      • Ok to be fair, it wasn’t exactly defaced. Evidently it is repeatedly painted for various Birthday or congratulatory messages. If it is on public property and this has been a tradition, then there isn’t really any violation.

        I’m sure there will be a wedding, or birthday soon and it will have another message.

      • Hello Linda,
        If the rock is a representation of the community, I am ashamed at our community’s ignorance. Black lives matter does not mean other lives don’t. It is “black” and not “all” because the movement is specifically relating to the police brutality black people experience on the basis of their skin tone. Why is Black Lives Matter considered defacing, and all other messages are considered perfectly acceptable? Racism should not be a controversial issue.

  12. It is sickening to think that it is this easy to blame a group with absolutely no proof or witnesses. And then connect it to random window smashings? It seems like kids from the neighborhood thought it was a joke, just like kids have been posting “George Floyd Challenge” pictures, in which they gleefully recreate the murdering of a human being. BLM protest have been super peaceful and more importantly lawful. Let’s not be so quick to hate. Why is ending racism so controversial?

    • “BLM protest have been super peaceful and more importantly lawful.”
      Ummm, what? You must be talking about the Bureau of Land Management protests across the West that didn’t see rioting, graffiti, looting, or arson. The BLM Black Lives Matter protests have a long and violent history complete with rioting, graffiti, looting, arson, and killing police. Point of fact rioting, graffiti, looting, arson, and killing police are neither “super peaceful” nor are they “lawful”.

  13. I think this community needs to take a closer look in thier own back yards. The vandalism was more than likely done by teenagers there.
    I’m totally against the riots and violence happening in the lower 48.
    However, BLM has had three peaceful protest in Alaska. Why target a nonprofit in ER. Doesn’t add up.

  14. An ineffectual king stood on his castle watching as a group of angry pitchfork welding, torch brandishing citizens marched intending to swarm the castle in revolt. The king looked to his sage for advice. The sage offered “My liege, they are overwhelming in number, but do not worry. You need not fight them all. Once you convince those with pitchforks that those with torches hate anyone holding pitchfork they will fight each other.”

  15. Uhh…this rock hasn’t been yellow for years. It has been painted many times. It’s not public property. It’s a rock. Sad commentary on our community when someone makes a political statement on the rock that people are disturbed and believe it is connected to crimes in the community without any evidence. Demonstrates poor critical thinking skills.

  16. This article disgusts me and I wish I had the chance to see the rock before some hateful person felt the need to paint over it. I’ve lived in Eagle River for almost 15 years and have always felt proud to raise my kids in such a loving and accepting neighborhood. Shame on you for expressing such a lack of empathy for your fellowman and for assuming the rest of this great community shared your hateful notions.

    • Oh grow up. It’s not tolerant to go around accusing everyone of being racist. Lately, you’re a racist based solely on the fact that you are white and won’t genuflect to the left (and then you still find out that you’re a racist). We don’t care.
      Your bigotry is showing.

      • To be clear, a person can express that Black Lives Matter without insinuating that they are against cops and think all whites are racists. The only assumptions made on this page are by the author and a few others who are intent on turning a simple message of love and support for our black neighbors into a crime. Whoever painted the rock with “Black Lives Matter” had just as much right to do so as someone who uses it to show support for someone having a baby or graduating. And attempting to link this message with ACTUAL crimes that occurred in the community without a shred of proof as a way to validate the author’s personal opinion was wrong.

    • Sorry Natalie but painting over it keeps that “loving community” that you so adore. We are keeping hateful groups out of our community so your house isn’t burned down and your children are safe. You are welcome.

  17. Without MRK would we even know this or the Fairbanks burrito gate even happened? I’m guessing we wouldn’t. If you can, lend her your support.

  18. “SOME in Eagle River are saying that when their Yellow Rock was painted all in black with a “Black Lives Matter in white letters this week, it was an affront to the community…what felt to MANY as an angry act of vandalism in this suburb of Anchorage….The fact that during the same 24-hour period, glass was shattered at two Eagle River businesses seemed oddly coincidental to SOME residents who commented on Facebook that it may have been part of the nationwide unrest.”

    “SOME” and “MANY” are your sources?

    Cherry picking anonymous FB posts is not news. It’s gossip. In this case, it’s fear-based racist gossip. Shame on those who feed it ,and pity on those who swallow it.

    • I hope but don’t expect that Ms. Downing will apologize for insinuating that BLM protestors did the vandalism.

      • She doesn’t need to apologize for anything nor did she insinuate both events were tied together. Read the article again slowly and try to comprehend the words she posted, they do not mean what you think they do.

  19. BLM is an anti racism movement and their message is proclaiming that in America today social institutions, most visibly the police, discriminate, brutalize and murder black people with impunity. When you say BLM you are recognizing the fact that in many ways in America, our social institutions are structured to reinforce white privilege – whether or not we realize it. BLM is a call to every American to fight racism, to look for and change the attitudes, policies, and laws that continue to regard any group of people as less deserving or less capable of achieving the equal rights afforded by our constitution: life, liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. When you say BLM it means you will take a stand against systemic racism and all forms of oppression that are perpetuated by the silent complicity of white people. When you say BLM, you are saying that you recognize and renounce the racism that has been perpetuated by white silence for generations. There are no two sides to this issue….we must stand together as one nation against hatred, against oppression, against violence. If we can do this here in Alaska….we can do it everywhere.

    • There is nothing loving or caring about the BLM group, actually they are quite the opposite. If you did a little research on them you would know that, or maybe you do know but are turning a blind eye? I will never support BLM or any other racist organization.

  20. Please fact check your article next time, Suzanne. Black lives matter is not “a controversial group that wants to defund the police.” I am truly ashamed of my neighbors at the moment for considering the peaceful message of “Black Lives Matter” to be an act of vandalism. It does not mean that all lives don’t matter, and it does not mean the black lives matter more than other lives. It means they matter just as much. Everyone needs to educate themselves on why the movement is black lives matter, not all lives matter. This rock has previously been a great community board for sharing ideas. The moment the issue of racism (which shouldn’t be controversial) comes into play it’s suddenly “vandalism” performed by “thugs,” or “punks. This article and these comments indicate the underdeveloped, ignorant, shallow white perspectives of my community members and that saddens me.

    • Melissa,

      In an effort to educate myself I went to the BLM webpage, they have a petition with a list of demands. In bold is the demand to defund police, it reads “We call for a national defunding of police.” There is a Twitter #defundthepolice movement lead by BLM, it seems you need to educate yourself on what it is you are talking about before castigating others for being uneducated.

      • Steve,
        I appreciate your willingness to educate yourself. The authors only descriptor of the Black Lives Matter movement is that they “want to defund the police.” Perhaps this is true in some regards, and one of their more controversial demands. But at the forefront of the movement is anti racism and the desire to end racially motivated (and all) police brutality. I myself don’t condone their more radical “defund the police” sects, but I stand with them because I believe the main goal of their movement is to end systemic racism and shed light on black oppression. The author specifically chose to highlight the movement’s most controversial belief (that isn’t even widely adopted by all BLM supporters) in order to portray Black Lives Matter in a negative light, which is what I have an issue with.

        • Melissa,

          You need to do a better job of informing yourself about the causes you support. BLM is all over social media, every newspaper in the nation, and on every news channel across the nation as supporting the defunding of police.
          In my opinion if the message was end police brutality then BLM would be pushing more for, you know, ending police brutality. Pushing for defunding of police is a nonstarter.
          Using race as a rallying cry is disingenuous when the data shows that poverty, education, socioeconomic standing, and mostly criminal activity and background have much more to do with the number of deaths caused by police than race is.

  21. I believe it’s time to call this for what it is. We’ve all watched on television what’s happening. Looting and violence and rioting and destruction of property and killing others is not a peaceful movement.

    The BLM has a history of violence and if the criteria for being considered a terrorist group is someone who uses violent action or threats of violent action for political purposes, Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group.

    If members actually want to achieve racial harmony, the organization must immediately renounce violence and work WITH law enforcement, not against it.

  22. There is no connection made between the vandalism and the rock in this article. Vandalism has been a growing problem in Eagle River for a while now.

  23. The circular arguing about racism and the causality of certain issues by certain segments of our society is nothing more than a smoke screen. BLM, like Antifa, Occupy protesters, and other ‘progressive’ SJW movements are nothing more than modernized marxist bolshevism. The unifying of the ‘victim’ class against the supposed ‘oppressor’ has been the tactic for well over 100yrs. Who the ‘victim’ is doesn’t matter as long as they can be used to undue the current system in place. We are currently witnessing an attempted red revolution within the United States, as well as many countries around the world. Those opposed to living under the boot of communism need only resist and give no ground, you can not placate the ‘eternal revolution’ only refuse it.

  24. Here is really what BLM is about. They and Antifa are both used to stir up or agitate people. If a person refuses to bend the knee at a protest, I bet you there would be some violence towards that person, especially if he or she was white. These groups are the real racists. If BLM is so peaceful and understanding, why have there been attacks on people that have stated All Lives Matter? BLM supporters will bully people to make an apology, state that they forgot about their white privilege, and were insensitive. Take a look a the link below, people should be going to jail over this.


    [Live link removed by moderator]

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