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HomePoliticsMayor Berkowitz gets emergency powers extended only through June 5

Mayor Berkowitz gets emergency powers extended only through June 5


Mayor Ethan Berkowitz wanted his emergency authority extended through Nov. 15, but the Anchorage Assembly said that was too long, and amended his power only as far as June 5.

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During Tuesday night’s meeting, Berkowitz, speaking through a cloth face mask, extended the “hunker-down” orders in Anchorage for another 24 days until May 5.

The hunker-down order means people in Anchorage are supposed to be confined to their houses except for critical jobs, or to handle errands like groceries, or get health care, or to get exercise out of doors, if they don’t come near others.

Anchorage is responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus in a way that many in the business community say is crushing commerce and will have long-lasting, generational effects.

A restaurant trade group, for example, estimates that 75 percent of family-owned restaurants in America will not reopen after the national health emergency has passed.

The National Restaurant Association estimated has said that the entire industry would lose $225 billion in the coming three months and shed five to seven million employees, according to the New York Times.

[Read the hunker-down order here.]

Several members of the public testified by telephone on Tuesday that it’s time for Anchorage to reopen the businesses that can operate while observing the current six-foot-rule mandate and other hygiene mandates. Assembly members acknowledged that they had heard from many members of the public over the past few days.

Changes to the mayor’s hunker-down order include:

  • Nonessential businesses (those deemed by the city as nonessential) may have two staff member on the premises to do essential work. But these businesses will still not be allowed to have curbside service.
  • Fabric stores are now allowed to do curbside pickup or delivery.
  • Farmers markets, landscapers and food trucks are now deemed “critical businesses.”
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. If there is no significant spike and the mayor keeps the “hunker down” order thru May, we will KNOW, not just suspect, his motives…

  2. In every city, town, village, even condo association the power-obsessed will cling to their newfound “authority” like barnacles to a docked ferry.

  3. Mayor Berkowitz is totally out of sync with the data being presented by both the CDC and State Medical Director. His actions during this pandemic prove this truth: “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”

    • B,
      Not just men. Some of the worst are women. Michigan governor? Nancy Pelosi? “Occasional Cortex”? Tlaib? Omar? Pressley? Mad Maxine? Occasionally, Lisa. Alaskan leftists? Seems like the “leaders of the pack” in Alaska are mostly women. The list is long for both sexes. Not wanting to pick on women. Just trying to put it in perspective. There are plenty of “power hungry” people on both sides of the gender divide. Don’t single out men as the only nasty ones. I have noticed that many politically aggressive men are diminutive in stature. Maybe they try and make up for size with tyranny. I have no idea but I see it time after time.

  4. So what is the endpoint? The original idea was to mitigate the spread to prevent overwhelming the hospitals and treating facilities which would lead to additional needless deaths over those that would occur in a non-saturated capacity. If now moved to deaths in general then that must be balanced against the resulting loss of life from a deeply depressed economy. I doubt the Great Depression was favorable to the improved health of a community. The real number is the “acceptable” death rate. Back during the OPEC crisis during the Carter Admin the rallying cry was “55 save lives”. First of all the death rate had been declining for decades but that part of the graph was cut away. More lifetime man-hours were lost sitting in cars at 55 than lost to accidents.

    Is the mayor developing a “bunker mentality” as the safest course for him or the community?

    • Robert, you nailed it right out of the gate. The “flattening the curve” scam looks like one great lie meant to run the panic on for years, if necessary.
      Hospitals didn’t get overwhelmed. Starting April, CDC estimated about 41,000 people were hospitalized nationally with China flu. Notice they didn’t say how many recovered.
      The COVID Tracking Project reported 62,000 hospitalized by mid April.
      Context? In 2019, CDC reported 490,000 hospitalized with regular ole flu. In 2018, CDC reported 810,000 hospitalized with regular ole flu.
      In 2018 and 2019, news media didn’t report hospitals about to be, or being, overwhelmed, did they? No internments, economy’s humming away… what changed?
      Hospital ships, the Javits Center hospital, Corps of Engineer-built field hospitals are not used or closed down. Why?
      Why in 3 weeks would Americans be coerced into giving up 240 years of civil liberties for bad models?
      Answer’s simple, we got a presidential election in November, three years’ desperate efforts to depose a sitting president are circling the drain along with the criminal perpetrators, so the only choice left is going all in… crushing Americans’ spirit and their economy. Getting ’em so distracted (and broke) they won’t vote because they won’t know if they’re coming or going…
      What’s the endpoint? Successfully coercing well-meaning, intelligent Americans into persuading themselves the situation is hopeless. Constant bombardment of lies and disinformation inducing “learned helplessness”, collective submissiveness… Authoritarian “mandates” superseding Constitutional rights and free-market capitalist economy. A socialist dictatorship overthrowing 240 years of Americans’ freedom… for the public good, of course.
      Just one China flu outbreak does this?
      We might be close to the endpoint when Americans willingly bow down for the return of a few, government-approved freedoms if they submit to mandatory, periodic China-flu testing, carrying a government-issued testing card, and being prepared to show the card for the privilege of leaving home, entering a building, getting on a plane, bus, or boat, or anytime authorities want to see it… twenty-first century “stop and frisk”, if you will.
      And it’ll be enforced, just like the national 55 mph speed limit was back in the day because a state’s ability to get federal money will be directly tied to enforcement.
      Not sure how America comes back from that one.
      Might be better not to go there in the first place, yes?

      • Morrigan: I really like how you tie it all together and make sense of it. More often than not, the right questions are better than the proffered answers.

        • And then ….when asked why the Governor of New Jersey was asked about his actions he said, “I wasn’t thinking about The Bill of Rights”. How many times have politicians, on both sides of the aisle ,been openly praised because they “violated the Constitution to save the Constitution”.

          The Governor of Michigan banning the sale of seeds. Police ticketing and arresting people for actually socially distancing but in forbidden areas like church parking lots , on deserted playgrounds, surfing by themselves.

          The simple solution these officials should take to pass some degree of muster is to declare martial law. Since they can’t they will push and warp the envelope.

  5. “The Epoch Times” article – Chinese Communist subversion of WHO undermined global pandemic response.

  6. This is the only way “Bullhorn Berkowitz” can be noticed. He has a political agenda that no one else has….one of those secrets you can keep in your “hunker down” posture. He had the whole of the medical community on display for his mass meeting with the public, on TV, if you will, and YouTube, and Instagram, and Facebook!! What a guy!! He went ballistic when everyone sent in messages to the assembly on his issues such as this message. “Only the President of the United States, President Trump has the Authority of the Defense Production Act and can make changes accordingly. He is the manager of the executive order and can expand or detract accordingly. As planned by the President today, April 13, 2020, the whole of the United States will be back to normal and we’ll be shipping and flying to all parts of the world by the May 1, 2020 date. Production of equipment has hit a good pace and is distributed accordingly and to all states as attested too in the President’s conference with the governors today. Mayor Berkowitz has exceeded all authority of the DPA of which he has none and very little or next to none in the oversight of the DPA for Alaska which is in Governor Dunleavy’s authority and management. We do not build little fiefdoms in our cities of the United States for mayors or bodies of assemblies or persons. I am sure that the little fella, Mayor Berkowitz, is ranting and raving for additional powers. Who will he try to muzzle or extract control of next? Maybe he will want to muzzle the APD again on his behavior, seen and unseen, or whatever comes next to give him, Mayor Berkowitz, a stand out political situation. Does the Anchorage Borough need this request? NO!!! President Trump is planning on opening the economy May 1, 2020 if all goes well with plans and what he sees in the charts on infections. Time to get back to business of life and living. No on this ludicrous situation imposed on the tax-payors and residents of the Anchorage Borough. No, Berkowitz cannot have an open checkbook on demand. He is lying!!

  7. Who’s the most fearful adult when a little kid with chicken pox walks into the room? That would be the adult that never had it.

    In the absence of a Covid-19 vaccine there’s only one option and that’s cell mediated immunity. Hide out for as long as you like but you’re postponing the inevitable and for as long as the virus exists, the virus will be waiting for you. The med community states that a vaccine is 12-18 months out at best so there are two practical options:

    1) Compete with the Yeti for the next year and a half or more to see who the real social distancing champion might be, or

    2) Expose yourself.

    If you are an obese 80 year old camel straights man option #2 might seem a pretty poor choice and for you there’s option #2. Then again, if you’re an obese 80 year old camel straights man you’re no stranger to poor choices. Requiring that everyone adopt the Yeti solutionthough does not benefit society at large.

    Something else that doesn’t benefit society at large is labeling everyone that’s been infected and died as if they were killed by Covid-19 when in fact a significant percentage of them were already in ill health and simply presented themselves as a welcoming attractive nuisance to any new viral illness.

  8. Few people seem to notice the “non-essential” business classification. Non-essential to whom? Government officials are using the client/customer definition for that. I would say EVERY business is essential to the person who owns it.

  9. It is ridiculous that he refuses to start letting small businesses open their doors. We have a rapidly slowing rate of the China Virus and his efforts should now address the Anchorage murder and crime rate which he has failed to do. He is the one who needs to be recalled.

  10. I have had some communication with Assembly members. Below is a response to them for giving him continued emergency powers:

    1. You say Mayor Berkowitz and Governor Dunleavy are collaborating. Tuesday afternoon Governor Dunleavy LIFTED restrictions on medical organizations. With renewed emergency powers, Mayor Berkowitz slammed down the iron fist on medical organizations. Did the Mayor and Assembly not hear Dr. Zink quote evidence from past pandemics that preventing people from accessing all healthcare resources results in worse health outcomes?

    2. Governor Dunleavy has been encouraging people to get outside and use the parks, trails, etc. while following CDC protocols. With renewed emergency powers, Mayor Berkowitz slammed the exit door shut on Anchorage residents.

    3. Governor Dunleavy yesterday outlined a plan to incrementally open businesses starting with healthcare. With renewed emergency powers Mayor Berkowitz sneered at the unemployed and business owners who are closing their businesses for good.

    4. I can’t believe you are quoting VOX which is clearly a biased periodical with no credibility in science or seriousness.

    5. It was fascinating to watch a simultaneous opening of business at the state level giving hope, light, and life to Alaskans and a shroud of darkness falling over Anchorage with a double down renewal of excessive restrictions sending hundreds to walk the path of poverty and hopelessness. Oh, that is not completely true: The government workers all get to keep their jobs and their income whether they provide essential services or not.

    No offense, but Anchorage “leadership” from the Mayor and Assembly on down are out of the loop with reality and credible studies regarding this matter. You all need to get out of your bubble and see what is really going on in Alaska, the United States, and the world.

    • Great comment. If there is no movement from the Assembly and Mayor to start lifting the restrictions of small business to get back to work, we need to contact our Governor and get him to lean on these out of touch bureaucrats. Berkowitz is destroying more lives than the virus.

    • Perhaps we may follow your banner? What steps have you made that are in direct conflict w/ current restrictions?

    • There’s lots of money floating all around this C-19 virus. Has a mountain been made out of a mole hill, so that some may develop ways to pocket the lions share of all that money?

      • This is why New York’s death toll ballooned this week… We will never get a true handle of deaths but for now Wuhan virus deaths=$$$

  11. The “biggey” here is that the governor has the wheel and the gears…not Berkowitz. I’m taking care of business on Monday from there on. Berkowitz is famous for his “bullhorn” and his obnoxiousness. He’s got the assembly in the palm of his hand if they use any conversation against him or what he wants. Other communities have gone to court because of people who end up being tyrants in positions they were elected to do. Get the Bully in court and he’ll whine and cry. He just wants to be better than “thou” whoever. This community should have seen him in Juneau when he was in the legislature. He was so obnoxious, the legislative body tried to avoid him as much as they could and the citizens of Juneau were glad to see him leave town.

  12. Who in their right mind would deem it necessary to ask for authority to extend out 7 MORE months………?
    Oh, sorry……lost my head there for a minute, forgot who we were talking about.

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