Devin Kelly

Sweeping changes may be ahead for Anchorage’s downtown transit center as city officials wrestle with renewed concerns about criminal activity and an unwelcoming environment at the city’s central bus service hub.

With the aim of making the facility cleaner, friendlier and safer, officials are exploring architectural modifications, enhanced training for security staff and even a new Anchorage Police Department substation, Mayor Dan Sullivan said in an interview last week.

“We recognize there’s a problem,” said Sullivan, who met Friday with the heads of Anchorage’s police, transit and legal departments, as well as the city manager and the director of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, the agency that operates the transit center...

Devin Kelly
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Sweeping changes may be ahead for Anchorage’s downtown transit center as city officials wrestle with renewed concerns about criminal activity and an unwelcoming environment at the city’s central bus service hub...

Devin Kelly

Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini is proposing to treat marijuana smoke like tobacco smoke when it comes to public facilities, workplaces and schools.

A measure that Traini plans to introduce next week at the Assembly meeting would incorporate marijuana and marijuana products into the city’s secondhand smoking law. That means smoking marijuana would not be allowed in public places, workplaces, child care centers, outdoor arenas, stadiums and amphitheaters and municipal facilities, including schools.

People also would not be allowed to smoke within 5 feet of the entrance to a place licensed to serve alcohol, or within 50 feet of a hospital or medical clinic entrance...

Devin Kelly

A coffee and food stand in downtown Anchorage is seeking a license to serve beer and wine, sparking debate among city officials over whether mobile food vendors should be eligible for liquor licenses.

AK Alchemist, a business that serves coffee, burgers and tacos from inside a glass-paneled steel shipping container at the corner of Fourth Avenue and A Street, applied for a liquor license in December but has yet to be approved. An attorney for owners Adam and Elise Blomfield said their vision is for passers-by and tourists to be able to walk into the business, order a beer or glass of wine with a meal and then sit in a designated area, such as a deck...

Devin Kelly

Anchorage Mayor-elect Ethan Berkowitz said Tuesday he had reached out to organized labor, Anchorage’s leading Alaska Native corporation and his former political opponent to find people to lead the transition to his new administration.

At a news conference Tuesday, Berkowitz said Andrew Halcro, Joelle Hall and Ethan Schutt would be the co-chairs of his transition team. Such teams usually help chart initial policies and recommend political appointments for an incoming administration. Berkowitz takes office July 1...

Devin Kelly

From the variety of specialized products to visitors eager to learn industry tips, the Northwest Cannabis Classic in Anchorage on Saturday looked like a typical trade show.

The obvious exceptions were the cannabis plants displayed in glass jars beneath LED lights, helping make what organizers said was the first event of its kind in Alaska since voters approved the legalization of marijuana more than six months ago...

Devin Kelly

An Eagle River man shot and killed a “large male black bear” that he said was threatening him and his dog at his home Saturday afternoon, according to Anchorage police.

Anchorage area biologist Dave Battle said the incident appears to be the first reported self-defense killing of a bear in Anchorage this year. Alaska State Troopers will determine whether the shooting met legal guidelines, police said.

At 3:32 p.m., police were told the homeowner had shot the black bear in the 3000 block of Misty Mountain Road, about a mile and a half away from the Eagle River Nature Center, police spokesperson Renee Oistad wrote in an email...

Devin Kelly

The Anchorage Assembly voted Tuesday night on issues ranging from the sale of the city’s trash collection utility to the possession and display of marijuana in city facilities.

In a 6-4 vote, the Assembly voted to allow Mayor Dan Sullivan’s administration to take steps toward the sale of the city’s trash collection utility. The administration would have to return to the Assembly for approval before initiating a bid process, and again to present the final terms of a sale, according to Tuesday night’s resolution...

Devin Kelly

The nickels, dimes and quarters from Anchorage’s parking meters may soon help pay for a steel-framed fabric roof cover over the tennis courts at East Anchorage High School to make them available well past the warm-weather season.

The nine-member board of the Anchorage Community Development Authority, a quasi-city agency that maintains parking garages and seeks to invest in redevelopment projects, recently voted to approve an $800,000 grant for a proposed all-weather “multi-use pavilion” at East High that boosters said would accommodate sports like tennis, soccer, football and the Special Olympics. The majority of the authority's revenue comes from parking meters and garages, though about 30 percent comes from real estate...

Devin Kelly

Mayor-elect Ethan Berkowitz said Friday he’s hoping for “as smooth as possible” a handoff between his administration and current Mayor Dan Sullivan’s over the next seven weeks.

In an interview in his Midtown campaign office, which bore signs of impending closure, Berkowitz said he expects to announce the members of his transition committee and staff next week. He said he wasn’t ready to name names, but he’s “talked to people” and is waiting for acceptances.

“It’s going to include Republicans and Democrats, from the business sector, the nonprofit sector,” Berkowitz said. “We want to make sure we’re addressing the issues that were discussed in the campaign.”

He said he’ll also be announcing town hall meetings for citizens to address transition issues...

Devin Kelly