Monday, October 2, 2023
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Had enough, Anchorage?

Anchorage has become a lawless city under the leadership of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and the mostly hard left-leaning members of the Assembly. Just ask Eric Connick, general manager of Lithia Kia of Anchorage. 

Early Thursday morning vagrants torched five vehicles sitting on his lot near the old Alaska Club on Tudor. The very same Alaska Club Berkowitz wants taxpayers to buy to enable and grow the already increasing number of law-breaking drug and alcohol addicts living on the streets of Anchorage.

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“At 3:30 in the morning two guys on a bicycle approached my dealership and it looked like they stole the whole back seat out of a vehicle or tried to steal the car or they tried to light the car on fire,” said Connick. “I can’t tell you what happened. But we lost five cars last night. It was a big fire and explosion, the whole nine yards.” 

Connick says this is the first time in his five years managing the dealership vagrants burned vehicles. But it’s not the first time he’s had to deal with the homeless. Connick says that happens almost nightly. 

“When I pulled up to my store today with the officers and the Anchorage Fire department there after we put the fire out, I had to go let them pull into my facility. As I pulled into my facility, I had someone sleeping in a car who took off on his bike,” said Connick. 

Connick was one of the many who testified before the assembly in opposition to Berkowitz’s plan to buy four properties to grow and enable the lives of law-breaking vagrants. Connick’s testimony was memorable, convincing, and compelling. But he does not believe Thursday morning’s attack on his dealership was retaliatory in nature. 

“It crossed my mind but I don’t think so no,” Connick said. 

Connick says the out of control and ever-increasing lawlessness in Anchorage boils down to failed leadership. 

“We have the wrong people running the town,” said Connick. 

Jamie Allard agrees. She’s one of the few Assembly members not attempting to transform Anchorage into Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, or Los Angeles where lawless vagrants are coddled and enabled.

“We’re completely enabling the homeless. They’re taking their city. It’s their city. They’re taking it over. And it’s not homeless. It’s vagrants and criminals. It’s bad. It’s addicts. They’re taking over our city,” said Allard. 

How did we go from fewer than 200 homeless camps before Berkowitz to now more than 1,000? Connick says voters need to step up and take their city back. 

“Only 30% of Anchorage voted in the last mayoral election. Our mayor only got a little more than 20% of the population to vote for him or just north of that. That is the problem. Nobody is getting out and voting for change and that’s my message to the community,” said Connick.  

Nick Begich Jr, son of former Rep. Nick Begich who died in a plane crash and brother of Mark and Tom, also testified against the Berkowitz plan to buy four properties under the guise of helping the homeless. Begich says there’s been a shift under Berkowitz of placing the homeless above the law. He says that’s why we’ve seen an explosion of growth in their numbers.  

“When you have the opportunity to make an arrest you make one. Whether it’s for indecent exposure public defecation or masturbation,” said Begich. 

Begich says arresting vagrants when they break the law gives authorities an opportunity to then evaluate them while in custody and then get them help if they want it.  

“Arrest people for the crimes they commit. Hold them accountable and use it for an intervention as an opportunity to find out what happened and then do a multi-step program. After you make an arrest, you make an assessment and then you divert them to the appropriate plan for that person,” says Begich.  

As to why current city leadership refuses to arrest the lawbreaking vagrants, Begich says too many of them have “adopted a cutout of a national liberal justice agenda.” 

Begich also criticized Berkowitz using COVID-19 as an excuse to rush to buy these facilities. Begich says not a single homeless person has yet to test positive for the coronavirus. 

“The CARES Act money is not meant to solve a long-standing problem that’s fermented over the last five years under Berkowitz and this Assembly. That money is meant for families in fear worrying about whether they’ll be able to pay rent and help small business owners,” said Begich.

The $22.5 million in CARES Act money would go a long way in helping those devastated economically by the government shutdowns. Begich believes, in the end, the Berkowitz plan will cost taxpayers more than $90 million with staffing and maintenance expenses of the four properties.  

And then there’s the fact the idea of buying hotel rooms for the drug and alcohol addicted solves nothing. They’ve spent millions of dollars in San Francisco doing so resulting mostly in the trashing of hotel rooms.

And then there’s this email I received from a listener. 

“I work as maintenance for a hotel out here in the valley and we have a local Pastor that is always trying (thinking) he is helping out the druggies and alcoholics by giving them a meal ticket and renting them a room…I won’t say Every time but more often than not we end up calling the Police in the middle of the night for disturbances and they usually get hauled off to jail anyhow, then the next day me and the housekeeper have to put the room back together which often includes patching drywall and broken furniture and ruined linens, this has gotten to the point we don’t  allow this Pastor to rent rooms from us. If Anchorage decides to get into the homeless hotel business, they are nuts.” 

Dan Fagan hosts a radio show weekday mornings on NewsRadio 650 KENI. 



  1. Dan, I have a question…why don’t the people living in Anchorage – who are supposedly fed up with berky – file a class-action lawsuit against him and the Anchorage assembly? What keeps the constituents from “firing” him and the other useless lumps from office so they can take their town back? Thanks in advance.

    • I would also like to know the answer to this question. I live in Anchorage and am tired of this nonsense.

    • People are working on that very thing. If you use Facebook, go to Save Anchorage page, there are things in the works.

  2. Berkowitz IS the government shutdown causing economic devastation. Why would he use the 22 million to help ease the financial chaos he has intentionally caused? He should be arrested and prosecuted for the harm he has caused to the residents in the Municipality of Anchorage.

    • This is America, not Russia. We vote out the politicians we’re not happy with, we don’t arrest and prosecute them.

  3. Epic. Thank you Dan. Thank you Suzanne for providing a space for this side of the story. Totally spot on.

  4. Who wants to buy a new car that the vagrants have used to do Lord knows what in? No thanks, I’ll buy my cars out in the Valley or drive to the Kenai.

  5. Yes, I have had enough. I had enough tonight when my husband and I went into Dairy Queen to get a milkshake. In the 25 years I have lived in Anchorage, I had never set foot in this place. As I walked into the filthy lobby, the sign said, “you must order from the DQ app” or use the drive-thru. Here is a bunch of staff behind the counter, a customer with money in hand, and they would not take my order. I may have considered downloading the app, but I didn’t have my phone with me. It stunk in there, the place was a damn mess, but you better have a mask on and use the app to be safe. Really? I know, I know…a milkshake is no big deal, but this was my breaking point. This is where I called BS – out loud. I’ve had it with masks and mandates and the take over of my liberties.
    Berkowitz’s latest remark was “people will die” if we don’t follow through with the hotel purchase plan. You know who is dying Ethan? The middle class is dying. And, how conveeeeeenient that his latest mandate is just in time to keep people from testifying in person at the next assembly meeting.
    I can only dream that each and every business owner and landlord in this city would ban together, make their cardboard sign and stand on the corners of the city. Their signs should read “literally dying”. They should all give him the middle finger and refuse his mandate. How would this communist regime handle it? Which would he pick and choose to arrest while people are freely burning cars, shooting up, taking over our parks, defecating in our yards, raping women, stealing others property, publicly masturbating with power tools, burning our forests, ……………

    • Excuse me, covid-19 is literally killing off thousands of people and your worried about a milkshake ?? Grow up.

      • Dear Madelyn. I stated the milkshake was no big deal. The point I was making is that was the situation that sent me over the edge this particular evening. Being on COVID overload, the BS coming from the Mayor and assembly and watching businesses fail…it was the final thing that sent me over the line that evening. It wasn’t about the milkshake at all. It was the constant crap of it all. I’m quite grown up, Madelyn. Read between the lines. I’m just exhausted from the likes of people like you.

    • Might be too late. Under the guise of the pandemic the powers that be will insist only mail in ballots are safe. I seen several cases from around the States of election tampering, all Democrats who are quick to scream there is not election fraud using mail in ballots. This will insure Democrats continue to hold power unless they screw up and the fraud is exposed after the fact. Depressing.

      • In addition widespread fraud, watch out for outright harrassment of voters if in person voting is permitted. The left will pull out all the dirty tricks for this one.

    • Well said GARNET. Its getting ridiculous out there for sure. Id like to hope that the silent minority will be the loudest commotion this November but I have to remind myself that there are soooooo many uneducated of age voters out their coupled with this vote at home Covid scam, we could staring at the end of America as we know it.
      Evil corrupt Socialism and they dont even need to hide it because the public school far left Democrat indoctrinated voters haven’t a clue. Buy ammo….. When they ban paying with cash,.. (because VIRUS) creditors have and will keep you from spending it on guns or ammo.

        • The inflation of COVID-19 numbers and overall hyping the danger (The hoax part of C19) will have more if not all voting from home by mail or app.
          The “second wave” is on a shelf waiting for vote day.
          Democrats are pulling out all their tricks and they will win this election at any cost!
          Every dog, cat, and deceased person will be voting Blue.
          They are already trying to find a way to get Trump to leave immediately after the fraudulent election instead of Jan.

    • Dairy Queen is a private business and has civil liberties as well. If they want to accept orders only from the drive thru or with their app they can require that. They could require you to sing your order to them if they wanted. If you don’t like it go somewhere else.

  6. I was born and raised in Anchorage,Alaska been here 43 yrs and I have never seen as many homeless drug addicts in my life than I see today in Anchorage It is sickening to watch these people use the bathroom right in front of you and think it’s normal.Someone needs to step up and clean this miserable mess up.

    • Totally agree! I was also born and raised in Anchorage, and I no longer feel safe taking my family for a walk downtown.

    • Come up with a plan . Stop complaining and be part of the solution. The remarks here are a result of frustration and anger. Quick to blame current administration. This state has been controlled by the R party for decades. What good has the state government done for people who need mental health and addiction help?

    • Nobody has told the police not to enforce the laws. The police have to prioritize their time. They also can’t enforce every single traffic violation.

  7. Agreed. Our town has gone to hell under Berkowitz’s “leadership”. Born and raised here and never thought I would see this. Most of the homeless do not want to get sober. Why enable them instead of getting them treatment? The plan is pennywise and dollar dumb. We need to take back our city.

  8. This piece identifies the problem. Any gas bag can see the problem. The real work begins when you start discussing the solutions. But your wish is granted and Jamie Allard is elected mayor next year. In 2024, the end of her first term, there will be millions of destitute adults and children in America. Voters will fondly remember the good old days when people weren’t regularly found frozen to death in the All American city. Unlike covid, horrifying poverty will not “just suddenly disappear, like a miracle.” Thus, confronted with a raging homeless population in all parts of Anchorage, Mayor Allard announces her retirement from politics. The new mayor elected in 2027, Dan Fagan, promises to end homelessness very soon.

  9. Perhaps the manager of Lithia Kia of Anchorage should find a Security Service that offers K-9s. I’d suspect the vandalizing will cease.

  10. Of course everyone is unhappy with the current situation of there being so many homeless people around town. You’ve got to give Berkowitz credit for at least trying to do something about it, even if you don’t like his proposed method(s).

    Now, folks, in the white spaces below, please outline YOUR ideas for dealing with the situation, as if you were the Mayor. Seriously, let’s hear them!

    The only guidelines are that they must be legal, affordable, humane, and practical. Serious proposals only, please.

    You’re in charge – what would you do?

      • So I guess people are drawn to it because of all of the great benefits that come with it?

        • Sure. Give them a place to sleep with drug dealers mingling amongst them and an easy piece of meat to drug and rape while intoxicated. All they need do is steal and panhandle for the booze and dope they want. Invest a little time observing at BroFrancis. It’s called “incentivizing”.

    • Well, as far as I can see so far, way more complaints than proposed solutions…

      It’s easier to complain about the problem than to fix it.

    • Let me tell you what’s wrong with your whole line of thought real quick.

      You want “the people” to come up with a solution, but what you forget is that’s not “the people’s” role.

      Our role is to elect officials to solve the problems. That’s why we don’t have a vote on every single law passed. That is the job of the politician we elect and whose salary we pay with our tax dollars.

      Imagining hiring a mechanic to fix your car. You hire him, you pay him, he comes over and works on your car and when he leaves it’s still not working.

      What are you going to say “Well at least he’s trying and I don’t have any solutions!”

      No! You paid him to fix the car he damn well better do it.

      • Matthew, you could have saved quite a few keystrokes if you had just said “Don’t count on any help or ideas from me – I’m just going to push it off on someone else”.

        I always thought that Conservatives liked to depend on themselves, instead of big, wasteful Government…

        I won’t even mention the obvious fact that Mayor Berkowitz, an elected politician, is in fact trying to fix the problem.

        I’d say that it’s your line of reasoning that is flawed here.

    • State run mental institutions. Anyone who thinks it is OK on the streets obviously has a mental problem and needs professional help. Feeding and housing them only perpetuates the problem.

    • Dear Witless
      Your response is typical leftist thinking. It excludes any critical review of historical evidence and or thought. It assumes that the current course of action is correct and any opposition to these actions is based on some uncaring, bigoted ignorance. The simple truth is that provisions made intended to ” help” homelessness has only increased the number of said victims. But victimhood is your party’s life blood. You would rather enable people to spiral down and lose their potential, joy and life to score political points.
      I suggest that instead of fanning the flames of vagrant behavior you consider the needs of the 99.99% of civil society to live in peace.

  11. I’ve been watching the assembly and people of the city of Anchorage testify from the first day. What I noticed that people in that neighborhood said how it would affect their property value, the churches and schools in their neighborhood how dangerous it was or is. But in the same breath suggested it comes to 3rd Avenue where Fairview and Downtown has been plagued by this for years but they had no issue with it.
    Until it hit their front door I notice how they constantly talk about assembly Christian constant let me tell you I speak with him constantly.
    And my first thought was Chris do not let them move any more homeless facilities in our neighborhood we are busting at the seams. I’ve seen what it does to a neighborhood I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 45 years and it’s never been like this before never. It didn’t seem to matter to you guys until they start moving them South as long as they stayed in the minority neighborhood you were fine and okay with it.
    So you can talk about Christopher all you want he is doing what the community of Fairview wants.
    do not allow any more facilities in our neighborhood this is not a Fairview problem this is a city of Anchorage issues. I’m not saying to move the facility is in your neighborhood because.

    I can truly understand why you don’t want them there. but I also heard other suggestions where we should build a facility. I could go along with building a facility because as a homeowner in the Fairview community I’ve had enough.
    They trashed my lawn they constantly argue with me and like they have the right to sit on my property and trash it every single day. I truly believe we should build a facility.

    I agree with some of the people that testify that we have plenty of land in this city we should build a facility I don’t want to throw good money after bad especially my tax dollars because as a property owner I know who going footed that bill the taxpayers. I also think that they should be accountable for helping facilitate and operate these facility.
    if they have income it should mandatory that a portion of their income is provided for the facility in which they reside.

    I see a lot of people with mental issues on the street and they should have somewhere to go were they can get medication and live in a safe environment. We’ve got to solve this issue and I believe the only way that we can is to build a facility. I agree with a person that testified last night get some nonprofit organizations involved get their input get some Realtors involved build a new facility it’s going to cost us one way or the other we as taxpayers will pay. So let’s not waste our money and build the facility

  12. I use to live in Anchorage. Anchorage is a disaster. You can’t walk in downtown with out getting panhandled. Some of them are extremely aggressive. The Brother Francis, Beans Cafe experiment is a disaster. They allow intoxicated people on property. They are nothing but enablers. I use to work at the Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission and everyone has to pass a BRAC to determine if they are going to be allowed on property. They have little interaction with the police. A lot of the police interactions I have had are looking for a place for people to stay. Some could not be accommodated due to look of beds and some couldn’t pass a BRAC. Everyone staying the night there is required to shower. If you get caught with alcohol or drugs on property you are not allowed on property for a year. If the police have to be called on you for misbehaving you are banned for all services for life. Yes they are strict but it’s the only way to limit problems. Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission has a drug and alcohol program that is rarely full. People don’t want to go their because they have to work their and it’s religion based. How is Anchorage going to run these new properties and not be another Brother Francis?

    • I agree with your comment 100%. There should be guidelines at all of the facilities. We’ve got to start somewhere.

  13. VOTE…VOTE….the majority of Anchorage Voters have stayed home election after election and let a minority of the voters to take over our City and State governments….and we need to find and encourage good folks to run for these offices….and then get out and support them.

  14. I volunteer to help kids that are less fortunate and have had their foundations shaken. These kids are in the system and the state and city government does their best to help them move the hierarchy of needs. The biggest and most important step is the hardest when dealing with homeless communities and rehabilitation for drug addicts and those with psychological issues committing crimes. Simply feeling safe is paramount.

    Please try to be more objective in your articles and radio topics.

  15. First, “mayor baggage” wanted to make Anchorage “The Portland of the North”. Now, “mayor son of sam halfwitz” evidently misses home because he is turning Anchorage into “The San Fransicko of the North”. All three cities, run by democrats, are in economic chaos, and filthy misery. Recall son of sam………..

  16. Anchorage has become just like every other liberal run city…. fiercely defend criminal’s rights and force the law abiding tax payers to foot the bill, ALL liberal officials and the braindead morons who vote for them want a socialist/communist regime to replace our current system of government and are too stupid to realize that a communist regime would NOT pamper and pander to morons like them, these morons would simply be executed, protests and riots would be suppressed by military force and they would NOT use nonlethal methods!!!. It is WAY past time for Americans to WAKE THE HELL UP and vote the liberal scumbags out of office before it is too late!!!. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!

  17. We lived in the MOA property tax collection area from 1993 till just a few months ago. I have never felt so good as to not be forced to pay into a system where I constantly voted NO on frivolous spending and NO to mayors and assembly people who are in charge now. It is literally not my problem any longer and I will avoid that area of Alaska at all costs. I fought but too many Bowl residents have been too complacent. Good luck with your fight.

  18. Well…..technically they wouldn’t be homeless anymore. They would have a nice building to destroy at our expense and might leave other properties alone however, this was tried down on the Kenai Peninsula and was an EPIC failure.

  19. I’ve been out of the “Big Sh*tty” for some time now, but it scares the hell out of me whenever I have to come in for medical visits. My wife and I are tolerant, but enough is enough. My three grown children still live in Anchorage and I have asked them if they ever vote in local elections. One said sure, the second said no and the third said, “… it doesn’t make any difference, so why should I waste my time?” Now I know that’s not representative of the whole population of Anchorage, but it does sort of pan out according to the stats cited by Connick. So I guess Anchorage deserves what it gets from its voters.

  20. Yahoo has turned off its comment section after articles.

    You may have noticed, just as KTUU has turned off there comments so has Yahoo.
    As the conservative voices outnumber the leftist, the media has continued to “Cancel” us out by simply turning off the comment sections after there articles.
    Yahoo’s notice reads:
    “Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback to help us enhance the experience.”

    In other words,….

    “Our lie’s, our spin on the truth and our propaganda is being outed in the comment section so we’ve turned it off”

  21. My property taxes have risen because of the move to socialism to the point where I pay over a buck ever hour every day of the year even with exemptions. I have tried to work with administrations to change from the mostly property tax base to something more widely based. I am an active voter. So, I am out of here. Good luck to those I leave behind.

  22. As usual, Fagan hits it squarely dead center. Connick is 1000% correct; this, like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, etc is completely failed leadership. Arrest criminals for every crime they commit and follow through with corrections, and that includes more correctional facilities. Lots of them, and of every level necessary from outpatient substance treatment to maximum security life imprisonment facilities. Society just has to get it through their heads that not all can be saved, and that a not insignificant percentage of the population simply cannot be allowed to live with the rest of us.

  23. How could of they confirm the vandals were homeless?
    A lot of data shows homeless commit fewer crimes than do lower class. I agree camps need to be downsized. That comes through trama treated care +affordable housing will put an end to this. There’s already a huge government agency dedicated to this, with a state rep. I just don’t believe that having a gov agency will curve this better but it’s where a community should start.

    • Re: Tim
      “A lot of data shows homeless commit fewer crimes than do lower class.”

      Are you remotely serious?? Open your eyes and ears. The next time a homeless person dies or is murdered, check them out on CourtView. Most will have at least 20 convictions. The homeless guy who stabbed to death a homeles guy had over 90 priors. Visit the camps and observe piles of bike parts, propane tanks, etc. Listen to the taxpaying neighbors of these camps who have suffered losses of property and vandalisms. Just recently, I saw a homeless guy on a kid’s bike. He had a giant bolt cutter sticking out of his backpack…………..

  24. I totally agree with you.
    Responsibility must be a requirement for any recipient of money.

    Giving something for free does not inspire responsibility.

    We need to return to reason and enforcement.

  25. This is a state issue, not an Anchorage issue. The homeless are often those who are mentally ill, felons with no hope, those bankrupt from medical bills, PTSD from war etc. They end up in Anchorage from elsewhere in the state, from going to API, going to prison and leaving with a bus ticket to Anchorage.

    It is a statewide problem, one being made worse from this absolutely horrible governor. We should be ashamed that the state voted someone in who ran on a PFD he couldn’t deliver, and being tall. Now we have no chance of diversifying the economy while the state is run by corporate shills.

    A whole lot of talk in the comments section and once again NO ANSWERS to homelessness. Buncha NIMBYS. Throw them in jail? Take away their rights because we turn out backs on them as a society? It’s cheaper to actually have a path out of homelessness than it is put someone in prison for life. I’m sick of these so called conservatives who can’t actually look at numbers. What’s the real cost to society of denying people psychiatric care and a way out of homelessness?

    Fagan, how about some real solutions and discussions. If you don’t like this solution then actually offer one up.

    • Mr. Tall, you will see that my call for solutions instead of complaints, above, has so far gone unawnsered. The silence is deafening.

      Nothing here at MRAK except people b_tching about the problem. At least the Mayor is trying to do something about it.

      I might also add that some clues to solutions might be found in the Bibles of the devout, who so frequently moralize here. One could almost make a claim of hypocrisy…

      • Whidbey,

        Your call for solutions has been answered, you just don’t like the responses. Please see Step 1 listed directly under your call. If we don’t take the first step all else is meaningless.

        • Well then, I guess Alaskans better be prepared to pick up frozen bodies in the springtime.

          Let us all hope that you are never on the receiving end of the tough love that you preach.

          Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40.

          • Preach it brother! Is it better to keep a drug addict addicted to drugs or keep a drunk full of booze? Your way of doing unto your brethren has proven to cause more harm than actually helping people. I believe in helping people help better themselves, apparently you believe along with the good folks in all of these overrun cities that incentivizing homelessness so as to bring about more of it is the way to go. Filth and squalor sure seem to cost a lot more than responsibility and respect. I’m not sure why anyone would wish those conditions on another human.

    • I have worked closely with the homeless here in Anchorage. Your stated reasons for the homeless here make up a tiny fraction of them. Most are addicts and are Ak. native.
      From my desk I saw the non-native homeless find employment and rise out of homelessness at a substantial higher rate compared to the natives. Why?
      Natives get Free money and lack ANY initiative.
      The native homeless pop have no initiative at all except to when it comes to getting “altered”. The initiative then still only pails in comparison to that of a child.

      The non-native homeless seem to possess a “self awareness” or cognitive ability to see their dire situation and make a plan. I know this because there is usually emotion involved during our meetings and comments of fear of failure etc.

      The natives however show no emotion or care (at all). Its perplexing and at first I felt shame for assuming the behavior was due to lower IQ. After many yrs on the job this has proven to be the case. Not racist, just fact. The small percentage who dont fit into this analogy are usually women.

      There simply is no shortage of beds for the homeless. They just dont want them because they cant have or use “contraband” and must abide by the rules.
      Camping is so much more appealing, especially when you add sex, drug of choice and a camp fire to sit around.

      We dont have a homeless problem.
      We have a Native problem.
      Abolish the camps in Anchorage and send the occupants home to their villages.

  26. Your article is basically incomprehensible. Failing to acknowledge the nuance related to crime, policing, and homelessness, instead, you’ve shamelessly attacked a mayor you simply dont agree with.

    I’m not impressed.

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