Will Anchorage mayor allow businesses to operate? - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, June 5, 2020
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Will Anchorage mayor allow businesses to operate?

While business restrictions made at the state level will be nearly completely lifted on Friday, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz isn’t so sure he’s ready to let businesses operate at full capacity:

“We make decisions on whether to advance to the next phase of reopening by evaluating the health metrics identified in the Roadmap to Reopening plan. If these metrics remain steady or show improvement by the end of the week, we anticipate being able to move forward to Phase 3: “Maintenance,” starting next week. Emergency Order EO-09 will remain in effect until modified,” Berkowitz said.

“As the Governor directly acknowledged, local communities are permitted to have stricter health restrictions tailored to their specific needs. Phase 3 requirements allow businesses to operate with fewer restrictions, and with the expectation to follow updated criteria for physical distancing and proper hygiene. Keeping these rules in place will give consumers more confidence that reopening is happening safely,” the mayor said, calling it a “slow and steady” strategy.

The mayor said he may have more to share in an announcement on Friday. Berkowitz has taken a heavy-handed approach, in late March announcing severe penalties for businesses that were found to be operating while under orders to be closed. He threatened $1,000 fines and possible criminal charges, and sent inspectors around the city to put stop-work orders on businesses and fine them $1,000.

In general, he has lagged several days behind the Dunleavy Administration’s transition to an open economy. If businesses in Anchorage proceed under the governor’s “open up” announcement on Friday, they may run afoul of Berkowitz and his inspectors.

No cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the last 24 hours in the state, and there are just 36 active cases in the state, according to the state’s dashboard.

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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

  • If I owned a business in Anchorage I would follow the State lead Berkowitz can’t stop me. He has no authority to do that.

    • I own multiple businesses in Anchorage and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that few of us give a rip what that clown says. I’d normally find it worth a grand to tell an overarching self important straw boss windbag to KMA. We’ve been open for business all along and happily so outside the oddly imposed economic cratering our politicians are responsible for.

      In this case his billing documents would find a new home lining the lower reaches of a bird cage. Might he be the first sidewalk sign waver that gets the high sign?

  • Gov. Dunleavy has been quite shrewd by trolling Mayor Berkowitz.

    Gov. Dunleavy opened Alaska 100%. to pre-COVID (except for the 14 day quarantine, due to be lifted in 2 weeks).
    It was predictable that Mayor Berkowitz has no intentions to fully open the city of Anchorage to pre-COVID. If Mayor Berkowitz runs for the Gov. of Alaska, the Mayor’s delay on opening Anchorage, will be exploited by the other gubernatorial candidates in that election.

    • If you think that quarantine is coming off in two weeks I’ve got some prime DNR land to sell you. I mean why not start letting people fly in from hotspots again without monitoring so we can do this all over again?

  • I believe ‘little berky’ is the product of a “Napoleon complex” (small in his 5’1” stature, with the ego of a nasty 6’5″ pro linebacker and a thirst for power like Attila the Hun). He has more “authority” now than at any other time in his little life. He will never voluntarily let that go. He really doesn’t care if the other ‘little guys’ go bankrupt. His ‘orders’ are his orders. No wiggle room for his subjects. The only ‘science’ he bases his ‘policies’ on are those of the weasel at cdc and the commie who. He is trying to mimic the actions of other “big” leftists on the west coast. I think it’s time he found out Alaskans aren’t the ‘soy boys’ and girls of the left. The little devil can’t arrest everyone.
    Remember in November.

  • By what authority does the good mayor of Anchorage declare that businesses may open or remain closed?

    • You miss civics class in high school?

  • As I sit in the Seattle airport this morning reflecting on the ghost town airport I saw last night at Ted Stevens, I have come to realize that Alaska is behind the curve on reopening. Freaking Seattle is opened up and doing business. I will guess around 99 percent of travelers are wearing masks. Those that aren’t, and there are few, get the stink eye from the rest of us. Put on the damn mask, be safe, and open back up…..just like …gasp….. Seattle.

  • Dear Leader of Anchorage claims he is looking at the “metrics” before he relents his abuse of power. I would remind him that being afflicted by Covid-19 in Alaska at present is about equal to being harmed by anyone of the following; Lightening strike, Bear Mauling, Beaver attacks, Cow Moose attacks and catching Spinal Meningitis. In truth, any of the above tragedies are present now and have been even prior to Dear Leader’s Covid-19 dictates. Protecting the public is a thankless job and I applaud the Courageous Mayor for his tireless efforts in keeping the residents of Anchorage safe, however given his metrics I strongly believe that he should consider inclusion of the other dangers mentioned above.
    Go Berky!

  • The only “metrics” Mayor Berkowitz is considering is his internal polling numbers for the next election. He is after the governorship in the next election. He will keep his boot on the throat of Anchorage residents if he thinks it will help him get elected.

    • Right, because “keeping the boot on the throat of Anchorage residents” is a sure fire strategy for getting votes. Phil, you are a real genius.

  • The Little Corporal has gotten his biggest taste of power ever and will be very reluctant to relinquish it. I hope the voters remember that when he runs for governor. We don’t need a male version of Michigan Governor Dimwit as our chief executive.

    • Maybe the mayor and those politicos supporting lockdown should not be allowed any income until all of the economic damage caused has been completely reversed.

      Again… what are the daily instructions from the DNC to their local politicians?

  • As Moses once said to the Pharoah, “Let my people go”.

    • I’d be careful when citing the Bible when it comes to Moses and God when it comes to deadly plagues.

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