Mayor seeks contempt of court ruling against Kriner's Diner, and $15k per day fine - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, September 28, 2020
HomePoliticsMayor seeks contempt of court ruling against Kriner’s Diner, and $15k per day fine

Mayor seeks contempt of court ruling against Kriner’s Diner, and $15k per day fine

The Berkowitz Administration is bringing down the legal and economic hammer on Kriner’s Diner.

In a filing with the Anchorage Superior Court, the mayor is asking that the diner and the restaurant’s attorney be ruled in contempt of court and fined $15,000 a day for every day it remains open in defiance of Emergency Order 15, which the mayor enacted 10 days ago, closing all restaurants to indoor dining for the entire month of August.

The only indoor dining allowed in Anchorage is at the Anchorage Airport, where service continues with social distancing and enhanced protective measures. It is on State property, out of the reach of the mayor’s power.

Judge Eric Aarseth on Friday ruled in favor of the Municipality, which asked for a temporary restraining order to force the restaurant at C Street and Fireweed Way to close. The judge wrote:

“The Plaintiff has demonstrated that the Anchorage public will suffer in-eparable harm by allowing businesses such as Kriner’s Diner to violate Emergency Order – I5. Specifically, that indoor dining exacerbates the risk of the spread of COVID-19. If infected with COVID-19, individuals face a significant risk of serious harm to their health to include death. The economic interests of Kriner’s Diner and businesses similarly situated are adequately protected by the ability to continue business operations by serving food outdoors, curbside, to-go orders or for delivery.”

But on Saturday, the food kept being served at Kriner’s Diner and the mayor’s attorneys were drafting language to get a contempt-of-court order for actions the city calls “egregious.” Andy Kriner says if he is forced to close again, he doesn’t think he’ll ever be able to reopen.

The municipality used postings in the Facebook group called “Save Anchorage” to demonstrate that the action was willful, and quoted a post from the Kriners’ attorney, Blake Quackenbush, who cited it as a peaceful protest of an historic nature.

The municipal attorneys further cite that Quackenbush himself is encouraging his clients to disobey the court order. The attorneys quoted Quackenbush’s writing on Facebook, “We have a right to work and support our families and communities. Please, if you are healthy, get out and go to businesses and encourage businesses to have the courage to work. It’s crazy to think that we are fighting for a right to work and support our families.”

The Municipality is also seeking sanctions against Quackenbush for not advising his clients to follow the law.

The mayor is not seeking jail time for Andy Kriner and his wife Norann Kriner, but does seek a fine of $5,000 a day for each of them and $5,000 per day for their attorney, for a total of $15,000 per day, plus over $1,400 in legal fees for the city.

The public has shown broad support for the Kriner’s in their quest to keep their restaurant open during the mayor’s emergency shutdown of all in-dining establishments. The mayor says the city is in a precarious place with COVID-19 and that restaurants and bars must close their doors to all but take-out and outdoor dining. All other businesses remain open, but he has ordered people to work from home. There is no evidence that his administration is enforcing that portion of his order.

In addition to lines of people wanting to dine at Kriner’s to support the restaurant, an MRAK poll on Facebook has gone overwhelmingly in favor of the Kriner’s, with over 5,200 votes logged so far. The poll ends Tuesday:

In response, as of Monday, the restaurant will only do limited take-out food. There’s no beating City Hall on this one for the Kriners.

A protest is planned for Tuesday at the Loussac Library, where the Assembly meets. The protests is general in nature, but the emergency orders of the mayor are a key feature. A large crowd is expected to attend the protest, which will take place prior to the Assembly’s regularly scheduled meeting.

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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

  • Berkowitz is a typical vengeful little Democrat. If he can’t prove any infections from Kriner’s he should back off. I bet any of the restaurants he has interests in don’t have a totally clean health record either.

    • If you think an Anchorage health inspector is going to rate one of the mayor’s or his investment group’s restaurants poorly then you don’t realize how deep the corruption of our city goes.

    • I am amazed how all of a sudden Conservatives are no longer for “law and order” Kriner will get a huge fine and his attorney will be sanctioned today in Superior Court. Your inability to find restaurant scorecards on the MOA website tells me all I need to know about you.

      • I’m not amazed at the left’s support for medical fascism, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. It would surprise me if you were able to adopt a live and let live philosophy where you weren’t looking for any excuse to give government more control over your and the rest of our lives.

  • Kriners’ doesn’t have much choice about shutting down tomorrow. The Municipality pretty much has a monopoly on access to the legitimate use of force, and ultimately it would be applied to compel a shutdown.

    • MOA has used no force in executing a Superior Court Judges order. You are correct that Kriner needs to folow the law and the Superior Court’s order.

  • The protest won’t do anything, unless Berkowitz’s business and investment interests suffer the consequences like we see in Portland then I expect him to laugh off concerned citizens.

    • So you’re saying that the protests shouldn’t be at the library but rather at the restaurants that Berkowitz has an ownership position in?

      I think you might be right.

      • Definitely, the problem people on the right have is that we’re so polite that it makes it easy for politicians to ignore us and Berkowitz has shown complete disdain for our courteousness. We could at least block the doors to the library and force the Mayor to at least ask us to move. It’s time that Berkowitz pay for his crimes against the people, force his investment group to kick him out and we win.

        • You are correct sir. The left recognizes the inherent politeness in our political debates and exploits it as a weakness. Anyone doubting this has not experienced the character assassination, insults and cancel culture tactics used against anyone who espouses a differing opinion from the Woke Left. Read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. The playbook of the Left. To a T.

  • I support a healthy individual’s right to choose to participate in public attendance and gatherings. And fully support Kriners Diner !

    • I’m eating at Kriner’s tomorrow.

  • It’s funny, ANC doesn’t want to put homeless or addict’s in jail. But won’t fine them for various violations etc because they can’t get blood out of a turnip. But successful people, who contribute to the Community, but peacefully protest a rule, immeadiately get the financial vise squeezed hard because they have something to loose. This kind of protest didn’t start with the right, it started with liberals who declared sanctuary cities in violation of existing law. In Portland crimes by rioters have been openly excused. Now the worm is turning and they don’t like it so the hammer is dropping on productive, taxpaying, otherwise law abiding citizens. After allowing massive protests in numerous urban areas without a peep, yet prohibiting families from visiting dying family in hospitals is it any wonder people no longer trust urban government. Now these urban governments have to earn back that trust. This is not going to help. “Small business lives matter”.

    • Defying a Superior Court’s order does not contribute to the Community. Not sure what Portland has to do with containing Covid in Anchorage. You appear to be very confused.

      • The Superior Court’s order doesn’t contribute to the community either so your point is moot. Portland is relevant because our city government and people like yourself are just as leftist and support the same tyranny.

      • Because people come from Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and other liberal cities to make our state like the hell holes you all left. It’s not going to happen to our great state.

  • Based on the unintelligent finding given by the judge, everything in Anchorage should be closed!

    Its clear that the Mayor and Assembly’s actions are intended to usurp power over the citizens of Anchorage who disagree with them, placing us under a form of bondage.

    I’d say 1 a.m. with a bull horn at the Mayor’s house would be more effective. Also a few hours at the Judge’s house might help him understand the public’s contempt for this tyranny.

    According to the mainstream media, it would be a peaceful protest.

    • Awesome idea! “Bullhorns for JUSTICE!”

      • If only the mayor would be so passionate about real crime…

  • Trial by Jury has been stopped. The Mayor gets a ruling from a corrupted Judge. Was it 26 people total Statewide in Hospital last week for this fearful virus? Hardly a pandemic , much less one that strips away every Constitutional right.
    Where can we send money to support this brave man and his Legal council?

    • It’s coming. Can’t you wait a while to die?

  • As long as this is done entirely at the Muni level, Dunleavy can’t do anything.

    But as soon as he gets a contempt order out of a state court and a fine levied, he can commute the sentence, leaving Ethan and his gang of libs high and dry.

    As to the judge making it up as he goes, perhaps it is time to start electing them. Bad news is that it will take a constitutional convention to do that. Good news is the next time that decision gets to be made is 2022. Cheers –

  • If Kriner’s Diner receives any citations, they should demand a jury trial. No jury is likely to convict them. The Founding Fathers realized a jury trial can be a powerful check on government tyranny. Jurors need to know that they can judge a law and vote their conscience irregardless of instructions from a judge.

  • This is the action of a petty, vengeful tyrant. Not that of a Mayor actually interested in service to the community.

    Should Kriner’s obey the order, yeah… probably… Staying on the correct side of a legal battle is generally a good idea. However, I fully support Kriner’s here, and I wish all restaurants joined him in his act of civil disobedience.

    If the Mayor wanted to continue posting pieces of paper, and levying $600 a day fines, that is OK, I have no doubt the community will assist Kriner’s. And, so does the Mayor, that’s why he came up with the $15K a day fines.

    These are the actions of a child. What does your five year old do when they do not get what they want? They throw a tantrum, and escalate from screaming to throwing stuff, to breaking stuff. The Mayor is acting no differently.

  • Attorney Quackenbush didn’t help either–actually hurt the cause with his personal statements. A jury trial will be the only salvation and jury selection will be key. That will take a specialist – someone other than him. And, it will take $ donations to the Kriner defense fund, which apparently has not been set up but will be critical so they don’t get hit with income taxes.

  • Where are the other restaurants opening and standing up against the Mayor? If 50 restaurants were open and defying the Mayor he would have a hard time beating them all down.

    • They’re not coming, Kriner’s is meant to be an example to the rest. Unlike what the Mayor said Friday following the outlier is never easy.

  • Ethan Berkowski is a Communist from Berkeley. The people who voted for him are the problem and they are collectively trying to destroy our city, state and the entire country. We need to destroy the Democrat party in November’s election before this turns into a civil war.

  • Now the little pint sized dictator is really showing his true colors.
    .
    He has went from just shutting them down and fining them $600 per day for every day that they remain open, and is unleashing a maniacal, vengeful wrath upon them. He is venting his spleen upon them.
    .
    While it may be the death knell for the Kriners and their family business, in the big picture it might be a good thing, because maybe the residents of Anchorage will finally awaken and have the scales fall from their eyes….and finally get to the polls and stop electing Leftists to rule over them like the tyrants they are.

  • Hope this little want-a-be leader has a good place to hide.

    Any bets he has his sights set on Governor or a seat in Congress after he dismantles our small businesses??? Clearly being supported by leftist globalist to accomplish this task..

    How transparent can this clown mayor be !

    They call that Treason !

  • The judge is an idiot. The plaintiff didn’t “demonstrate ” any such thing about public health or anything else. This judge needs to be removed. The Mayor’s edicts run counter to the bill of rights, the state constitution, the US statute 18USC242, and there is measurable proof that there exists NO emergency with respect to Covid in Anchorage. The judge should be removed for abdication of oath of office.

  • They backed down. The rule of law won. Best fight this in court rather than get your pants fined off.

    • It’s not the rule of law when the rules are arbitrary and made by fiat and the assembly and judiciary are complicit.

      • Yes it is, when a court rules on it.

  • Why hasn’t MRA brought up the United We Stand protest tomorrow 8/11 at 4:30p at Loussac?????????
    At this point people need to be active and counter Berky and the Assembly!!

  • My family and I are boycotting by refusing to patronize any Anchorage restaurant that our Democrat Mayor from San Francisco and his cronies have a financial interest in. They include Crush, Snow City Cafe, Spenard Roadhouse, and South Restaurant. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander…

  • Another troubling point: The vindictive Berkowitz Administration has again threatened the legal counsel of the party they are persecuting. It’s as if they are warning legal firms to not represent clients in cases involving the City or suffer the consequences. The Berkowitz Anchorage Equal Rights Commission attempted the same bullying tactic in the case against the Hope Center by threatening their local attorney.

  • Man!! I’ve never publicly protested anything; just not my thing. BUT, if I lived in Anchorage I would SOOOO participate in this one. Freedoms are being taken left and right and SO FEW are standing up to say “NO MORE! Elected leaders serve the people NOT the other way around!” I support this protest w/all of my being! Thank you to police also–sacrificing personal safety in service for others. You all have my respect! Thank you so much. R. King (Soldotna)

  • Another topic relating to small businesses like this is that the Alaska Cares Grant is not getting out to the businesses. As a business owner myself it has now been over two months since submitting. They have stopped even responding to my emails about anticipated time it will take. So small businesses like this that continue to be closed down are NOT getting the help that the state promised.

  • Andy Kriner.
    Keep fighting the good fight…. there is no surrender to this mayor ….it’s your duty and you’re right and everything you’re doing is right and you have great support.

    Godspeed

  • So is this how the Brown Shirts arrive in Alaska? How much more will we tolerate?

  • Where do you (and the gentleman who runs the business) get the $15k per day referenced in the headline? ADN reported:

    “By staying open, the defendants have “knowingly incurred” a $600 city fine each day, according to the motion. But that has been insufficient, to stop them from operating dine-in services, the motion says.

    So, the municipality now wants an order with a fine of $5,000 a day for violating the order, on top of other fines. The city is also seeking $1,430 in attorney fees, because, the motion says, the municipality “should not have been required to bring this action against either the defendant or Mr. Quackenbush in order for them to follow this Court’s Order.”

    Clarification appreciated. Thanks.

  • What if you just don’t pay the fines? Be sure to not have any money in the bank or seizable assets. What’s the worst that they can do, file a civil case? I think Governor Dunleavy is doing a great job controlling the coronavirus. Restaurants are open everywhere but Anchorage.

    • Interest compounded daily with penalties, and no running water or electricity or sewer? Is that really how you want to run a business?

  • Look at what just took place in S. Dakota Business owners must come together to beat this Constitutional over reach by this power hungry liberal. Kriners needs to reach out to Dee at House of Harley along with all other business owners in defiance against this over reach unite under one banner.
    North American Law Center knows how to take him down and its not in the local court. His over reach violates the state and federal constitution that’s why the governor has been silent.

  • Greg Forkner always the Debbie Downer

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