Mayor Berkowitz handed out favors to business partners, while competitors crushed - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, September 24, 2020
HomePoliticsMayor Berkowitz handed out favors to business partners, while competitors crushed

Mayor Berkowitz handed out favors to business partners, while competitors crushed

A few weeks before his second shutdown of the Anchorage business community, the Berkowitz Administration and the Downtown Partnership had blocked off an entire street in Anchorage to allow Crush, a wine bistro associated with his businesses, to set up tents and tables in the public right of way so the wine bar can continue business, even under mandates.

[Read: Mayor locks down city’s economy — again]

Crush has several owners who also share business interests around Anchorage with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, who on Friday issued the mandate that all restaurants and bars in Anchorage must close for dine-in service.

It’s the second time he has done so since March, and many restaurants have already closed for good.

Only outdoor beverage and food service is allowed for the next four weeks. But since the mayor has blocked G Street, Crush has some leeway for the last month of summer, when dining outdoors may be possible in Anchorage.

Front of the Crush bistro, from Google Street View, before the street was blocked for its customers.

Crush shares the same business address as a company owned by Joseph Dugan and Laile Fairbairn. They operate under the company name of Top Hand Industries LLC and, in corporate filings with the state, appear to own 50 percent of Crush. Fairbairn also lists herself on LinkedIn as a co-owner of Crush.

Fairbairn and Dugan own other restaurants with the mayor, and there are other businesses connected with the Crush address, such as G Street Partners. In corporate filings, the same names keep showing up on many records for a group of connected restaurants — Spenard Roadhouse, South Restaurant, and Snow City Cafe.

Stars of Gold LLC, which owns Spenard Roadhouse, has its business address at Crush.

Dugan, Fairbairn, Berkowitz, and Berkowitz’ wife Mara Kimmel, along with several other partners, own Stars of Gold LLC. Their trendy joint at 1049 Northern Lights Blvd. has outdoor dining able to help the company withstand the mayor’s latest mandate.

Field of Blue LLC is also owned by the same consortium that includes Dugan, Fairbairn, Berkowitz, and Kimmel. Its business address is also at Crush.

Dugan and Fairbairn are partners with Berkowitz and Kimmel in South Restaurant, which also has outdoor seating in a private courtyard, and can expand seating at its location under the awning or in its parking lot.

These restaurants may fare well under the current mandate because the owners would have known in advance what the mayor was about to do and had time to clear out their inventory — information other restaurants didn’t have. According to the head of CHARR, the bar and restaurant association, restaurants were caught by surprise when the Friday EO-15 bomb was dropped by Berkowitz.

Berkowitz and Fairbairn are also partners in Let It Snow LLC, which owns Snow City Cafe. The restaurant at the corner of L Street and 4th Avenue will have a tougher time under the mayor’s mandate, as it’s unlikely the mayor can block off the street at the busy corner.

While the mayor has put severe restrictions on all restaurants and bars — mandates that his own restaurants may survive — entities owned by the mayor have been significant beneficiaries of up to $3 million in PPP low-interest loans from the federal government. Some portions of these loans are forgivable under certain circumstances.

Stars of Gold LLC, South Restaurant, and Snow City Cafe each received between $350,000 and $1 million from the federal PPP loan.

Many other restaurants in Anchorage do not show up in the loan database that was released publicly last month, either because they didn’t apply, or because they received less than $150,000 in loans to help them through the economic crisis. Information on smaller loans were not released by the federal government when it posted the information.

According to Mayor Berkowitz’ Public Offices Financial Disclosure, he and his wife each earn up to $20,000 per year in dividends from Spenard Roadhouse, and up to $5,000 each from South Restaurant. Berkowitz earns up to $20,000 per year from Snow City Cafe dividends. In all, he and Kimmel reported up to $70,000 a year in income from these businesses.

While August will be a trying time for all small businesses in Anchorage, restaurants and bars will be hit hard.

Those who have already set up outdoor dining might survive, but August nights get chilly in Anchorage, and only the strongest companies may weather this Berkowitz business blitzkrieg.

Ostensibly, the closure of G Street was orchestrated and approved by the Downtown Partnership, which is a nonprofit that works closely with the mayor. On the board of directors is … wait for it … Laile Fairbairn and Mayor Ethan Berkowitz.

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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.

Latest comments

  • Typical Democrat behavior… The Mayor should be run out of town at a minimum.

    • So it’s okay to put the competition out of business so your own business can survive. No one has a problem with that right…..?? Integrity…what’s that? Thanks for bringing the truth to light!

      • You found found financial links to several restaurants and the mayor. None of which were Crush. You find addresses of those restaurants linked to Crush. Do your homework, it’s an office space not the restaurant. According to your article there is no financial link between Crush and the mayor. FYI all the business on that street are using it for outdoor shopping and dining.

        • Nice try Betty, your political bias isn’t going to work here. It’s pretty obvious what’s happening but if you want to play ignorant you can because this is America after all.

          • This is Alaska….founded on the “me first principal”

        • Hey Betty he does have connections to all of those restaurants. He is a very corrupt guy who doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his assets. So sad! Recall Berkowitz!!

        • All four places are tied together. If you eat at spenard roadhouse, South, Snow City, or crush you will see it in their advertising.

    • Agreed why is nobody making a scene about this! There’s no reason for more and more people to lose their jobs and close their doors right now! How come it didn’t happen back in December when thousands of people were sick but nobody knew what the hell it was then the pandemic was announced in March which makes sense going back everybody knows that this has been going around now if you’re smart so why the hell are we gonna let them get away with this didn’t the president say he was going to fine states that continue to stay closed??

    • And he’s from California and it looks like he wants to turn Anchorage into LA or San Francisco…

    • What a shameful, unfair and criminal use of power to get personal gain at the expense of other restaurant owners. While other small business owners of all kinds are fighting a losing battle to survive, he’s getting ahead off the backs of others. He is trampling on others rights and freedoms to earn a living. He is a disgrace to his office. Please Anchorage, vote this self-promoting jerk out of office and politics. He doesn’t deserve the public trust.

  • Thank you for doing the research to show the ties between the mayor and these businesses. I have seen several comments on social media about the mayor’s financial interest in some of these establishments, but did not understand just how connected they were.

  • What a scum bag Mayor we have in Anchorage.

    • Since this is a public street, all the other businesses should be allowed to setup on this street to help them make money as well. This shouldn’t be just this dictator’s business to be able to make money. You know what… Boycott his businesses and make him feel what other businesses are going through. Scumbag Mayor! He needs to be removed from office!

      • I’m pretty sure other businesses ARE sharing the same street space. As well as F at 6th. And any restaurant with outdoor seating can use that space just like his businesses can. I don’t see the problem.

        • G Street is used by the three business there the 4th business on this street has yet to open. F Street is not closed down nor has the owner of Fst Station requested it.

          Crush has an office on top of the Restaurant, but they’d share they same address. A clear path of the Mayor’s ties has been shown.

          This mandate will wreck Anchorage’s hospitality industry and time will support this statement.

          Tax relief for the industry is needed. The COVID-19 money needs to go to the businesses, now.

        • Of course you don’t see a problem…

          At a minimum, Berkowitz’s business partners we’re given an advantage over bars and restaurants not located on the street.

          Maybe if Rachel Maddow explained it to you…

  • Cloward and Piven classic,,, destroy the economy no matter the damage and misery to all affected. This one little ratbastard marxist is destroying the city,,,, How many Patriots live in Anchorage,,, Has your Apathy and love of freedom succumbed to this tyrant? Demand Hydroxycloroquine and right this ship. Fear is the communist marxist Nazi tyrants greatest weapon,,,, Grow some balls Anchorage,, Look at what he has done to your business while his are thriving,,,,, Are you that blind and Cucked to not fight for your life and business,, Let alone your Liberty and Freedom?

    • Thank you

  • When your city government starts to behave like an oligarchy, citizens are no longer required to adhere to their BS, especially when the mayor starts issuing “mandates” that violate the constitution and provide unfair advantage to a group of the affected businesses. Screw this little tyrant, if I owned a restaurant, it would be open 24 hours and the bar would be open as many hours as legal by ORDINANCE, not by some artificial BS “mandate”.

  • “Mayor Berkowitz handed out favors to business partners, while competitors crushed”
    .
    Well of course he did.
    This news surprises exactly…….nobody.

  • If these were Republicans we would have seen the headline in the Anchorage Daily News, and there would be a Public Broadcasting story playing right now. MustReadAK is the only honest news broker in Alaska.

    • Where I can’t argue that you may be right on the first portion, as far as honest news broker.. that’s a joke. Still a very bias platform, thanks.

  • Good job Suzanne. You confirm what many suspect. Now I wonder what connection the mayor has with the four properties that the the city is planning to purchase.

  • Get rid of your liberal Democrat mayor and get someone who truly cares about what happens in Anchorage rather than continuing to line his & his friends pockets. That’s what you get when you hire someone from San Francisco – fruity people!

    • There is no such thing. Polititians do NOT care about anything but themselves and their own futures.

  • Does this surprise anyone? This is what they do. The American leftist is not the barbaric leftist of Asia or Eastern Europe; their ideology is one of convenience. It gives them a path to power and wealth that is unencumbered by such obstacles as wealth or innovation i.e. merit. It’s about controlling the game, then using the very fluid currency of favors to acquire more and more wealth and power. They are, in a lot of ways, more dangerous because of this. They are insidious and the soft tyranny, which is their stock and trade, is a lot harder to see coming clearly and to call out in order to oppose. Because they are greedy, and lazy, however, they often overreach. The hope is that the electorate sees that, and can respond, and even more, that the integrity of the process can be maintained so that their response can be material.

    • Lawrence, great comment, however I will disagree with you on one point. The leftist might appear to be urbane , non-barbaric and caring on the surface all the while planting the seeds of barbarism and watering them generously.

  • This is how dictators and despots act. And we elected this little piece of scum. Shame on us.

  • How many years has G street closed for downtown events? How many years has the city closed 4th Avenue near Snow City for outdoor events? How many other streets have closed for special events? Seems like anything to help businesses sort of stay open should be a good thing. If this bothers you because the Mayor is sort of tied to ONE of those businesses, is it a real problem or just a convenient way to complain about the Mayor?

    • How many other businesses NOT owned in part by your mayor or his cronies were allowed to do this during the pandemic? HA…can’t answer that, can you?

      • And had no inside information ℹ️

  • This is circular BS! Since you apparently stand for integrity –

    I’m curious if you’re equally pointing out the President’s many conflicts of interests OR the fact that he is golfing at a time when many are worried how they will put food on the table due to the unemployment extra benefit expiring.

    • I’m curious if you care one party is appointing a candidate who is not of sound mind, with the open understanding they will place whoever they want in his stead to rule from the shadows? I’m curious if you care said candidate has sold his influence to China and the Ukraine, via his family, and put personal profit ahead of national security, and pledged to Do so again? You are good with this? I’m also curious if you care that paying people more not to work, than to go to work, is crushing small businesses and the American economy? I’m curious if you care one party is openly encouraging vandalism and violence and the destruction of law and order throughout the nation?

      So much to be curious about.. so many good questions to ask, if one is but willing to ask them, no?

    • In case you didn’t know, POTUS had to give up his business interests while he is POTUS. Do you REALLY expect him to not have any time to relax and rejuvenate from time to time? He is on duty 24/7, even while he takes the time to TRY and relax and engage in some sort of R&R. Can you please explain how him NOT taking a time-out would help those on unemployment? Do you not realize it is NOT the president causing this problem, but congress? Maybe you should pay more attention to what is actually going on and learning how things work, rather than getting your information from inflammatory memes on facebook.

      • That’s like a “whataboutism”, don’t you think? This article wasn’t about national politics at all. Talk about a case of TDS.

      • Please provide documentation supporting your contention that Trump gave up his business interests. My understanding is that Trump did not place his assets into a blind trust as all other recent presidents have done. Nor has he provided his tax returns as all other recent presidents have done. In December, 2019, his administration wanted the 2020 G-7 summit to be held at his property in Doral, Florida, which would have directly profited him. I agree that presidents need to take time to relax. They have a very strenuous job. Yet, Trump repeatedly criticized President Obama for all of the golfing days he took, while Trump has exceeding the number of golfing days than President Obama.

        • Tom Brooks:
          Trump did release tax returns, unlike Hillary and her emails. Rachel madow was flabbergasted that she found nothing incriminating in them as she reviewed them while on air.

          Obama took golf/relaxation days when he had obligations such as the Gold Star Dinner. But hey, it’s only fallen veterans families you’re hosting for that night. There are more important things to attend to like attending a criminal’s funeral. There’s a reason most world leaders had no respect for him.

          • Where are Trump’s released tax returns. He has refused to release them. He is fighting the NY AG who has subpoenaed to have them release. How many times has Trump been playing gulf? Where do you get your information? Blogs like Must Read Alaska?

    • And this has what to do with the mayor? 99.98%, roughly, of the media spend every bit of their time and effort telling us “Orange Man Bad” That in no way excuses lies and dishonesty from others. Special deals for the “right people” seems the order of the day.

    • Seattle. SMH

      • Seattle? What? You think all 3,979,845 people that live in the Seattle Metro Area are homogeneous in thinking?

        Ridiculous!

        That’s like saying all cops are bad when we all know that’s not true !

    • what the actual flying ……is there anyone at home?

    • Comprehension fail.

      Big difference here…the Prez isn’t shutting down the economy, he’s advocating to open it up, along with churches etc.

      The Mayor is shutting it down except where it involves HIS businesses.

    • Jessica, you live in Anchorage? Are you literate? Your comment was truly mindless.

      • Could you provide specific examples?

        I’m always looking to improve.

        Thanks Linda,

        Jess

      • Nope, she lives in Seattle, building multi-million dollar homes. She’s what’s known as a limousine liberal. Just the kind to support Mayor Berkie’s tyrannical policies.
        .
        .
        And, BTW way Jessica Sellers-Duggan, did you complain about Obama’s golf outings and Michelle’s junkets around the world or do you only complain when a Republican does it? Asking for a friend…

        • What does Building million dollar homes to do with the price of tea of Tuesday ? I actually am a property taxpayer in Anchorage, Alaska. I pay property taxes and as some one who spent more than 20 years in Alaska – I’m entitled to my opinion.

          Further you don’t get to label me – I know where I come from. You don’t know my story. I am a veteran’s child. Grew up very very poor kid in Muldoon who is the great great great grandchild of slaves. Friend to many. Hard working American.

          Yeah no thanks – you don’t get to put in a box

          Thanks

    • And the POTUS has exactly what to do with this story?

      You think you’re clever don’t you by trying to pull the cliche Leftwing trick of “don’t here…look over there!”

      Fail…….

  • Making Anchorage Portland Again.

  • This is a blatant conflict of interest and should be strongly opposed by the citizens and the competing restaurants.

  • Look at major cities across this country that are getting destroyed and see who runs them. Libs. CHARR needs to organize and give this tyrant the middle finger. Open every restaurant and bar that has had enough of his BS. See what he does. Stand in solidarity and let him know that he has stripped freedom for the last time and you won’t stand for his BS anymore! I will patronize every restaurant and bar that does it. I WILL NOT go to any restaurant that this communist mayor has interests in.
    .
    Let business be business. Let customers be customers. If you don’t want to patronize a business, then stay the hell home. If you have a compromised health system, stay home. If you want to have the government rule every aspect of your life, then stay home.

  • the PPP was of little use to employees, some of whom took large cuts in pay, and missed out on Ue, both from the feds and the state. the only ones that probably did well under this program were the busninesses.

    • Amy:
      No, many of us were shortchanged from what we needed in order to follow the rules to make the PPP a grant. My employees, however, do still have their jobs with some assistance from it.

  • I am so thankful that I don’t live in the Anchorage Bowl! I follow the politics and news, as I was always proud to showcase Anchorage as what a large city could be!

    I arrived in Alaska in 1975, and have watched the changes begin with each passing mayor and assembly, some good some bad!

    Berkowitz and the current assembly have been proven to be the most corrupt, inept, irresponsible managers of a once beautiful place to live and raise a family!

    This expos’e reiterates exactly these issues! Thanks Suzanne, you are such an asset to our state!

  • Mr. Mayor ( because we know you read our comments )
    Your actions are despicable, yet not surprising. Are you trying to destroy as many small businesses as possible? Because this is how you destroy as many small businesses as possible. All the while you and your friends/partners are faring quite well. Your Party is destroying our country. The crap The Left pulls and gets away with is mind boggling. If A Republican Mayor was doing half of what you are , there would be calls for investigations , and Immediate resignations.
    You should resign. You’ve tried over and over and failed , you gave it your best ( our worst) , used all your little tricks , and have still haven’t succeeded at doing anything positive for Anchorage. If you truly care about Anchorage and it’s residents, the best thing you could do is step down.
    We really hate the thought of waiting until 2021 because your narcissism would never allow you to do the honorable thing, but make no mistake , we will Vote you out. You’ve tried and failed …. YOU’RE FIRED !!!!

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if those establishments actually lose business and employees.

  • Just so we are clear on the definition of communism.
    ~Communism is an economic ideology that advocates for a classless society in which all property and wealth is communally-owned, instead of by individuals.~
    Capitalism, Communism, tomatoe, tomato,,,

  • Business owners unite and file a class action lawsuit against this tyranny!! And a RECALL needs to be started to rid our city of this power-hungry buffoon🤬

  • This is one of the worst pieces of ‘journalism’ I’ve read in quite a while. The writer is so hell-bent on proving her thinly constructed point that she willfully ignores surrounding facts. Did she mention that other streets were closed in Anchorage to allow businesses to operate outside their walls? Did she mention that the Muni is waiving deposits and red tape to allow businesses to erect tents all across the city? How about the Mayor working to provide stimulus for out of work Hospitality workers? No.. none of that would be convenient to her narrative. You also have to wonder if her outrage was similarly boiling when then-mayor Sullivan opened a restaurant (McGinley’s) right across the street from the new convention center he paved the way for. Give it a rest. If you put half as much energy in to curbing COVID so our economy and schools could gain sound footing as you do salivating or crumbs of conspiracy, we’d all be better off.

    • Jonathan, yours is one of the worst pieces of commentary I have read under a story in quite awhile.

      You must be mixed up, which should not happen for someone like you, in the restaurant business clearly. Probably with a big stimulus check of your own.

      The Dena’ina Center opened in 2008, and Mayor Dan Sullivan did not become mayor until 2009. That project had been underway for years. Don’t make me dig up my paperwork on it.

      You are so hell-bent on proving your thinly constructed point that you willfully ignore facts, to quote you.

      While we are on the topic, has anyone else noticed that Anchorage has been under a mask mandate for over a month, and that for the most part people are abiding by it, and still our ‘Rona cases are going up?

      Is Mr. Jonathan right that it’s all our fault that we are not curbing the virus but salivating at crumbs of conspiracy? Nah. He’s just steam-dot “boiling” over with a lousy and lying comparison to Mayor Dan Sullivan.

      As you say, Mr. Jonathan, give it a rest.

      • No need to dig up your paperwork…You likely have forgotten that Sullivan was Assembly Chair while Dena’ina was being designed, planned and funded. He was instrumental in securing the deal for Dena’ina(which he proudly used in campaign literature). I like Mayor Dan (very much). There is no lying comparison.. he had information most in the public didn’t and he and his partners took advantage of it. Those are facts. I don’t blame him… and don’t think he did anything illegal, but I wonder where the outrage was back then for ‘conflicts of interest’. Here are more facts…. every business owner paying attention saw this new mandate coming – you don’t need a business relationship with the Mayor to have seen it. Hundreds of businesses made adjustments to help themselves cope. Many businesses – all across town – have tents, outdoor seating areas and creative solutions set up in their parking lots, rights of way and the like. The Downtown Partnership advocated for closing a handful of streets downtown, including 6th & F – in front of my business. The closures had a fair hearing in front of the Anchorage Assembly – with no arguments against. Anchorage CHARR and AK Hospitality advocated for the street closures downtown with letters of support. All of it was to help all business survive… not just the one’s the Mayor has invested in. Why didn’t the article include that Side Street Espresso and 49th State Brewery customers also use the street seating on G street? Or that Williwaw and Humpys customers use the closure on 6th and F? Or that Matanuska Brewing and Mooses’ Tooth both have huge tents and outdoor spaces approved by the MUNI? Please….. give it a rest.

        • Jonathon, you’re exactly correct. There is so much mud slinging in this article that it’s hard to read with a straight face. It blatantly ignores all of the businesses in town that have also benefited from outdoor spaces, and from the downtown street closures. MRA is really doing a good job at becoming the One America News of the state.

        • Thanks for the add’l info on the street closures.

        • But! As a Mayor it sure looks bad making money while others suffer

    • Well said Jonathan. I also would of appreciated mention of allowances for bars and eateries the Mayor doesn’t have fiancial interest in. Ignoring the other mandates designed to limit the spread just adds to the rage of the majority of the commentators here. Call to action journalism has its place, but when you light the torches and point the mobs, your doing a disservice. Present all the facts so the readers can make a balanced opinion.

  • Wow, talk about crooked! Screw every other business in town while using political clout and backdoor deals to protect their own interests. Total scumbags. I hope people boycott, better yet Protest, their establishments.
    Pay attention Anchorage, vote this POS out of office, and drive his businesses into the ground. He doesn’t deserve your money.

  • Agreed.. Class Action Lawsuit … to give a heads up to those he is affiliated with, so they have time to prepare, then mandate closure of all those who haven’t or cannot accomodate outdoor seating is wrong on all levels. Employees of the businesses that have to shut down down should also file suit against the mayor.

  • No protests on G Street people. And I hear they’re renaming the restaurant “C.H.O.P.”.

  • What you don’t state in this article is the main reason for the closures and the shut down is the virus is spiking in Anchorage and inconsiderate people refuse to wear masks and social distance and want to make this a political thing. It’s caring for your fellow citizens by simply, agreeing to put on a mask and stay six feet away from someone else. I worry for the future of this country if taking a few seconds and putting on a mask is all that is being asked of people, and still, many refuse. What will happen if we were really in dire straits and called upon to do what is good for the survival our country like we were in WWII. With the atmosphere of distrust and refusal to care for your fellow citizens we have now, I am not optimistic for the future and the challenges ahead.

    • First lets look at Protest that jumped up first to blame the case number going up. Lets look at the science over 225,000 test administered and only 2000 postives rough numbers that is a .8 % really low percentage get it. 36 hospitalizations out of 2000 a 1.7% very small percentage require treatment to overcome it. Closures before and numbers still rise. Mask mandate and still cases shows mask clearly don’t work. So when you look at the mandates these are all not based on science but a Mayor which by the way I did not vote has a Napoleon complex and wants to be a dictator.

    • Yes,…”spiking by 55% overnight….just in time to say “nobody allowed in the assembly meeting!”
      what a crock of…

      • Illegal assembly meetings, not allowed to not allow the public to participate. More the reason to demand a recall and well let Tiny step down from his position as mayor

    • “inconsiderate people”- yea, politeness is important.
      “really in dire straights”- glad we agree Jay that this is overblown.

  • This is what the majority of voters wanted for ANC. If you don’t like it do something about it or move.

    • Good call, mom.

    • This is how Dumbocrats try to control the masses, while employing cronyism and nepotism. And the Dumbocrats blame Trump for being a dictator? Pure hypocracy and a reverse truism.

    • Correction; that is what a very, very small amount of voters wanted. When only 20% of us even cared to show up to the polls last muni election that’s what you get. The unions showed up and we all know who and what they support. Hope all you who were too busy to get off the couch to vote are learning your lesson. In fact, if you didn’t vote, please … keep your mouth shut! You’re part of the problem.

  • Thank you Suzanne, and the case you made for antitrust. Alaskans can file
    Federal antitrust complaints with US Department of Justice at the following URL
    https://www.justice.gov/atr/citizen-complaint-center

  • Due to comrade berky’s edicts, the free borough of Matsu is open for business. It shows when we go out to dinner and have to go early because the restaurants are packed with people from Anchorage who are fed-up with comrade berky’s line of BS. Berky controls up to the Knik River bridge and he can EO you folks into submission, but he does not control the Matsu Borough.

    I hope you peasants vote him out office. You got played by the democratic party and California, the state berky learned his trade of “economics”.

    • No need to vote him out he has term limited out. But we will make sure his butt buddy Dunbar goes along with him.

    • Biden too favors mask mandates. Half the country will be wrong with him as well. There is no need for mandates if people would respect others and do the right thing. I had an idiot that is 75 years old walk up to me the other day interested in my business and when I turned around, I saw that he was 2 feet away without a mask. I yelled at him to back up, then he sheepishly, like a little democrat troll backed up a few steps. I was angered and then told him to get off my property. Now, he walks around the perimeter of my lot butt hurt. All this just so he could snoop to see what the UPS guy had brought me in a big box. Idiot democrat.

  • It would be great to see Berkowitz and company in prison. Hope someone out there can get it done. And, Berkowitz wants gambling, and let the Natives take the flack for whatever comes down the pike of that. Drugs, yes and the more the merrier because it pays taxes and “pays under table” to cohorts and company partners. Gay issues are at the peak to make a great muzzle for anyone who objects to families being destroyed by this mayor and gay assembly members, so one would think its alright to set the pedophiliac into the culture and family life of this borough and community life. Time to recall the idiot and fire the assembly. This borough needs to be free of this “mafia” in office.

    • “Gay issues are at the peak to make a great muzzle for anyone who objects to families being destroyed by this mayor and gay assembly members, so one would think its alright to set the pedophiliac into the culture and family life of this borough and community life.”

      Did I just get teleported back to the 1940’s? Go to Iran or Saudi Arabia if you hate that people can be free.

  • It’s not just 1 business, he is involved with several and also he and his wife on the board of the downtown partnership. It’s corrupt, its abuse of power, it’s fraud, it’s not any better than insider trading and should be, if not already, illegal. He knew weeks ago what he was going to do and instead of putting the word out to everyone he chose to keep it a secret while prepping all of his businesses for his future decision. That’s no better than Bill Gates dumping his Microsoft stock weeks before he announces something that will crash his stock value. Berkowitz is as immoral and corrupt as they come and he and all his partners and cohorts need to be thrown out on their ear and thrown in jail.

  • My conscience is clear; I never have voted for the guy. And maybe it is about time for many here in Anchortown to stop giving him the benefit of the doubt. He does not deserve it.

  • We always hear from Democrats and Libs the evil of business ownership, capitalism, and privilege. Looks like ‘ol Berky has all this covered. Business ventures and political clout to close streets and skirt the very rules he places. We can all assume that none of his patrons will be tested for COVID so there will be zero spread from all his quaint gatherings. Oh, to be a Democrat with its privileges and free passes from the media. It’s a good life if you don’t have a conscience and care nothing about your neighbors.

  • What’s the point of being in politics if you can’t enrich yourself through corrupt deals?

  • Berky seems to forget that sooner or later the people will come for him too.

    • Corrupt and self serving, Emperor Ethan Must be de-throned!

  • I just mentioned to a friend today that research needs to be conducted with regard to how much aid funding/grants these businesses have received! Thank you for being the only reporter out there who seems to want to provide Anchorage with real information about what is happening in our community

  • Are you suggesting that he should of closed out-door dinning too? To make it fair for the restaurants that don’t have out door spaces? Or are you just airing out his financial interest in the city of anchorage. Doesn’t a mayor usually have stakes in businesses in his city. I don’t see the problem here. You want him to shut everything down, or none of it. Thats what I’m getting out of this article.

  • IIRC Duggan also rec’d special dispensation from the City recently. ADN painted him as a Good Sam for buying one of the old houses that was on the Park Strip and moving it such that he could put it on the same lot he currently lives on. Under normal circumstances that wouldn’t be an option but lo and behold; a workaround was identified.

    Berky is a complete snake and the sooner we’re rid of him the better. Many years ago I had my name removed from the voting registry as the political landscape had just become so clogged with idiots that my singular vote couldn’t possibly cure any of it.

    It still won’t, but I’m damned sure putting my name back on the books, exclusively to make sure I’m counted as one that doesn’t want Berky nor any other similar embarrassment in any office.

    • Dugan, not Duggan. My apologies.

  • Uhm, did this journalist speak to anyone at the restaurants personally?

    I have worked at two of the four restaurants, working at one currently. She made lots of assumptions given the info she “found.”

    We didn’t slow down production in preparation for the second lockdown. It came as just as much of a surprise.

    Also, the Moose’s Tooth among many others have expanded their patio seating with tents and awnings after the muni allowed for liquor licenses to move outside their regular boundaries.

    If this was his big plan, he should have planned better. The whole town is out of tents, and South doesn’t have enough tents. If it rains, they’re screwed to only to-go orders like everyone else.

  • Corruption on multiple levels. This man abuses his position, all the while getting fat from the years of public “service”. Anyone involved should have to repay every penny of gains, lose any retirement and never receive any public monies ever again. His true motivations are shown; power and money. Time to take them away. That is all he understands.

  • Based only on this article, I don’t see the problem. The restaurants he’s involved with are not the only ones allowed to have outdoor service – any restaurants with outdoor seating have the same opportunity. The article points out that one of his interests, Snow City Cafe, doesn’t have much hope of doing the same. Crush may benefit some from closing off part of G street, but downtown streets are closed off regularly for an assortment of business. And, given the changing weather and seating restrictions, that’s a tiny piece of pie anyway.

    The bit about PPP is completely irrelevant; that is a federal program that Berkowitz has nothing to do with. To the degree you trust our federal government, all businesses had the same opportunity at that pot. Of course his businesses put it for it – so did my employer and everyone else even marginally eligible.

    The suggestion that his businesses had unfair, insider information and were therefore able to unload inventory?… meh. Maybe. Again, taken in the context of this whole thing, that’s a tiny blip. It’s food; restaurants aren’t holding a 6-month supply to begin with.

    Mostly, it’s Republicans screaming that he’s a leftist tyrant ruining our economy. While the other side is screaming shut it down. Hey, it could be argued that he’s kept it open too long in order to protect his business interests. Or it could be argued that he’s gonna take it on the chin along with the rest of city. State. Country. World.

  • Gotta love a good existential crisis — it brings out the worst in everyone. In a couple of years, in the middle of the shooting, fires, explosions, screams, starvation and the smell of rotting flesh, we will look back on August 2020 as the good old days. I am not kidding.

  • Hold It. Wait For It….. Mayor Berkowitz will use the Anchorage Police Department to enforce his removal of rival competition.

  • The entire “reset” back to ‘scam-con’ II is nothing but a dry run for the rest of the hidden agenda. I believe it may be a test to see how far Anchorage can be pushed, with nothing but propaganda and braggadocio to back it up. The data refuting little guy’s claim of “public safety” is being ignored.
    In any case, ‘you ain’t seen nothin’ yet’. It’s still the qualifiers under way. The ‘big one’ is in November.

  • I did not ever care for the Mayor in the first place. Very self serving in all his interests whether it is the homeless or pacifying his ego manipulating closures when these owners of great bars and restaurants are paying a deep price to be closed down again. REALLY!!! So his idea is you rub my back and I will rub yours to his cohort buddies & partners.

  • Why is the mayor in charge of those permits? That doesn’t seem like part of the mayor’s job. Just don’t go to this restaurant. Make it not worth his while. I agree with pulling back. We have WAY too many cases. But this is wrong.

  • Sure looks bad on the surface. The recents mandates are not about eateries exclusively. The limits on group size are even more important for trying to limit the spread of the virus. Perhaps the Mayor should consider closing down more side streets downtown allow fire pits in the street and maybe we can limit the destruction of bars and eateries. In the future disclosers for local office needs to include information like what’s been highlighted and dividends collected in a blind trust. Doesn’t a office like the Mayor pay enough already? Sheeze he makes more from dividends then what I get in retirement.

  • Great article! Huge conflict of interest to say the least.

  • I appreciate the info on this topic. Good concise read.

    Sorry Karen, Humpy’s and Williwaw are using F Street.

  • Shared in Alaskan’s Against the Theft of the PFD on Facebook. Great journalism!

  • Is F Street (North of 4th) conveniently blocked off to allow F Street Station to erect a tent for outdoor service? Is G street (South of 4th) conveniently blocked off to allow Darwin’s Theory to erect a tent for outdoor service? What streets are blocked off so that the various pubs inside of the Captain Cook can setup outdoor seating on public streets?

    Equally troubling to all of this is the Assembly’s clear abdication of their role to act as a counter-balance to the Mayor.

  • Great investigation!
    Such a disappointment!
    Shame on you Mayor!
    As a business owner in Downtown my self this is very corrupt!
    I say! I. I’ll definitely vote for impeachment !

  • The fourteenth Amendment allows the right to pursue any lawful trade or avocation, without other restraint than such equally affects all persons, is one of the privileges of citizens of the United States which can NOT be abridged by state legislation.

    First, everyone or no one should be included in these mandates. Secondly, if he has a street shut down, why aren’t all the streets shut down for the other businesses on surrounding streets?

  • Maybe it’s time business owners start ignoring Dear Berko’s EO15?

  • Huge conflict of interest, dosen’t matter how many seats they have outside if they are boycotted due to the unAlaskan attitude. I won’t be a patron to any of these spots ever!!

  • Can we start a thread of Conservative business or restaurants in Anchorage to support. I love South but I’ll be happy to stop supporting them for these shenanigans

  • Berko = most corrupt mayor in Anchorage’s history.

  • He is such a do nothing scum bag. Tried contacting him for years and its impossible to get a response if you don’t have a suitcase full of cash.

  • All Anchorage small businesses should peacefully protest EO-15 by staying open. Since according to our reputable news reports, peaceful protests do not increase the spread of COVID 19. Only church services and Trump rallies increase the spread. Also, if only Anchorage small businesses are under the kings thumb, why are COVID cases from outside the city (where there are no mask mandates) being sent to Anchorage hospitals, potentially overwhelming their capacity. Anchorage businesses are being forced to pay the price for the whole state! One more thing. Why are the teachers who are at risk or out of fear, do not want to return to the classroom not being asked to teach the online classes to the at risk kids or ones who out of fear do not want to return to the classroom? While teachers who are not at risk or wish to teach in person can teach the kids who are not at risk or whose parents need to work? Why is it all or none? I am a common sense guy who looks for common sense solutions, too bad common sense is so uncommon these days.

  • Can’t help but wonder just how many of these “businesses” made the MOA hall of shame……….Maybe nobody got the “vid” there, but then again………………………..

  • Berkowitz is a total scammer. Have never liked him or his screwball partners. Would not miss any places of business they are involved with. No impacted at all if they all shutter before midnight. Would be glad to eat out of a can instead. Berkowitz and clan not wanted in Anchorage or Alaska any longer. Can’t wait until we don’t have to hear him at future AEDC economic forecast luncheons. Total greasy neighbor. Goodbye clown man and crew.

  • Organized crime seemed legal until it was audited. Tax audits seem appropriate for these gray area crooks in their little Organization. Look at “big Al “taxes got him in the end.

  • Wow, Anchorage is finally waking up, go figure!!!

  • Does anyone know if there is a recall petition to sign? I keep hearing there is, but I can’t find any information on it online.

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