Letter of the week: Anchorage losing its charm to crime?


My wife and I love Alaska, having lived in Petersburg and Ketchikan previously. But we are now visiting Anchorage from Oregon.

Today we had a nice dinner but on the way encountered a man shouting and throwing beer cans in the street (littering) then ran into him again — clenched fists, shouting, and really angry — walking on the sidewalk.

After dinner, we returned to our car at the Chinook self park. We saw the Alaska 49th State monument and decided to visit it. We exited the parking lot on foot, and behind the restrooms, we noted people had been defecating on the sidewalk, leaving tissue etc. We notified parking security and they said it would be cleaned up.

Driving back to the motel we saw two adult males in a park openly sitting at a picnic table, one sitting on the other’s lap. Then just down the street we passed a woman walking on the sidewalk with two black eyes.

At the motel I picked up a copy of the Alaska Dispatch News and read about Alaska’s new law reducing penalties for misdeameanor crimes like shoplifting.

Are you sure that’s a good idea?

We’ve been to Anchorage several times in years past and had great visits. Our visit to Kenai and Soldotna earlier in the week was great.

But today, after visiting Anchorage for just one day, it looks to us like downtown has lost some of its charm.

Dave Peck

Florence, Ore.
Sept. 24, 2017


  1. Last time I lived in Anchorage was 82 to 83, then I moved to homer for about 23 years. Easier to score drugs in Anchortown, the crazies will congregate there for sure. The Democratic Socialists in Oregon have eliminated drug possession from enforcement also, I suppose those votes are real important to the Democratic Party. Wear good shoes in Portland, would not want to get a needle stick.

  2. I moved back to Anchorage in 2010 after many years in Juneau. Rented a nice house in what had been a nice, fairly upscale neighborhood in East Anchorage when I left ANC in ’83. Couldn’t get out of there quickly enough and on several occasions very conspicuously cleaned one of my shotguns on the front deck. Bought a house in South Anchorage. I find I can comfortably live almost entirely south of Dimond and west of Lake Otis. I go north of Northern Lights occasionally for a visit to the PAC, to meet out of town visitors, or to have lunch with people who work downtown. I go west of Lk. Otis for the occasional doctor visit. If I’m going out the Glenn, I take the New Seward to Sixth rather then drive around Tudor and Muldoon. The only shopping I’ve ever done in or near downtown has been a couple of trips to Nordstrom and a trip or two to Alaska Mill and Feed every year. I don’t know how retailers stay in business at all downtown because it is simply over run with drunks and degenerates. Even in the better parts of town retailers are under assault by thieves. On the rare occasion that I go to Dimond Ctr. I feel like I should be carrying and frankly, often am. My neighborhood “Next Door” blog has reports of thefts and rifled cars every day, there are homeless camps in the woods mere blocks from multi-million dollar houses. The only time I ever see any police presence is when I pass the take-home patrol cars in the driveways of the half-million dollar houses. The Democrats and their friends at the ACLU have done a good job of making Anchorage largely unfit for human habitation.

  3. I have lived in Alaska nearly my entire life. (44 of my 46 years) I lived in Anchorage as a child, teen, and as an adult. I graduated from East Anchorage High School and went to college in Anchorage. I used to ride my bike all over town. All over. I currently live in the Matanuska Valley. My husband and I bought a house there just over a year ago. We looked at homes in Anchorage and while we saw many that we could try to purchase, the level of crime was a huge deterrent to purchasing a home in town. We have crime where we are and we even have two state troopers that live in the neighborhood. However, even with the crime we do have in our neighborhood, I am not afraid when my son walks to and from school. We could not live in Anchorage with that same peace of mind. No one could pay me to live in Anchorage now. It is so riddled with crime. Truly, it makes me sad that the town of my youth is a dangerous and scary place. I may have to commute to work every day, which is not always cost effective or convenient, but neither do I fear for my son’s life as he walks to school every day. I will gladly be inconvenienced for safety’s sake. Maybe the mayor of Anchorage should be more focused on cutting spending so there can be cops and snowplowing instead of making the citizens choose. Clearly, Anchorage needs both. Mr. Mayor, perhaps your focus needs to change. Make Anchorage a safe place to live again.

  4. Since when is two men at a picnic table, one sitting on the other, a crime? I’m sure if it were a heterosexual couple you wouldn’t have thought twice…

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