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Devin Kelly

After a countdown, a black plastic tarp fell away from the front of the Alaska Dome Tuesday morning, revealing vibrant hues of green and yellow and images of running athletes.

The new entrance of Anchorage’s massive, inflated indoor track and playing fields is eye-catching, designed to project youth and fun. It’s also the latest step in a rebranding effort that began when the Dome emerged from bankruptcy proceedings as its own legal entity in 2012...

Devin Kelly

The administration of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, forecasting a budget deficit in 2015, is asking department heads to cut budgets by 0.5 percent before the end of the year.

Lucinda Mahoney, the municipality’s chief financial officer, sent a letter to departments earlier this month citing an expected deficit of $7 million. She recently told an Assembly committee that the figure was “very preliminary” and is expected to decrease, but the administration currently expects a deficit of some size for the upcoming year...

Devin Kelly

A southern section of Anchorage’s Tony Knowles Coastal Trail will be closed for construction work next week.

From Tuesday, July 29, through Friday, Aug. 1, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., a 2.5-mile stretch of the Coastal Trail south of Point Woronzof will be closed to bike and foot traffic, the municipal parks department said in a release. Trail construction will be extending from the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility plant on Hutson Drive to the Sisson Bridge at mile 6.6.

Crews will be completing a surface makeover on the trail, finishing the last leg of a 7-mile repaving project that began last summer, said Maeve Nevins, project manager with Anchorage Parks and Recreation...

Devin Kelly

A shallow earthquake with a preliminary 5.9 magnitude rattled the coast of Southeast Alaska early Friday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck at 2:54 a.m. and was recorded at a depth of 6 miles. It was centered 50 miles west of Gustavus and 98 miles west of Juneau. The timing and size of the quake was nearly identical to one that struck the U.S.-Canada border on June 4.

A series of aftershocks followed, the largest of which was a 4.7 magnitude quake, which hit at 3:19 a.m., according to USGS...

Devin Kelly

The Anchorage Assembly is reviving a committee tasked with reviewing Anchorage’s land use and zoning code, also known as Title 21.

The committee, chaired by Assembly member Jennifer Johnston, met briefly on Thursday. It last met in December 2012, two months before the Assembly approved a major, decade-long rewrite of the code.

The new code took effect in January. Seven months in, the Assembly wants to start checking in on how it’s going, Johnston said.

“The idea of prematurely starting this process didn’t make sense,” Johnston said. “We needed to wait until architects had tried both codes.”...

Devin Kelly

Parts of Anchorage’s Fairview neighborhood and eastern downtown will become a test case for spurring new construction and redevelopment through tax incentives.

On Tuesday night, the Anchorage Assembly approved designation of a T-shaped, 65-block zone along Gambell Street and Fifth Avenue as a “deteriorated area.” The plan was sponsored by Assembly member Patrick Flynn and promoted by the Fairview Business Association, the Fairview Community Council and other groups as part of a revitalization effort for a neighborhood speckled with vacant storefronts and blighted properties...

Devin Kelly

A measure regulating metal palisade fences, which biologists say are responsible for goring at least five moose in Anchorage in recent years, is being introduced in the Anchorage Assembly this week.

The Gothic-style fences with spiked pointed tips mostly surround private residences for security and aesthetic reasons. But biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say the fences, which tend to be between 4 and 6 feet tall, kill an average of one to two moose a year in Alaska’s largest city, hanging up or goring the animals that try to jump over the spiked tips...

Devin Kelly

Along the 600-foot wall at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery, cremated remains are stored in niches and marked by names inscribed on granite.

A small bronze emblem might also appear near the person’s name, as well as flowers or a photograph. But the closely aligned niches of the cemetery’s columbarium wall offer limited space for extensive epitaphs or memorials.

“There’s no story to tell,” said Rob Jones, the director of the cemetery. “It’s just the name and dates and little emblems.”

And the cemetery is trying to change that -- with the help of technology. Standing next to the wall on a recent morning, Jones held up a small black-and-white square known as a quick-response code, or QR code...

Devin Kelly

Update, Sunday: Police have identified the bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run collision in South Anchorage Saturday as Jeffery Dusenbury, 51, of Anchorage.

Original story:

A 51-year-old bicyclist died and a teenage girl was in police custody after what police described as a hit-and-run collision Saturday morning in South Anchorage.

Witnesses called police at 10:17 a.m. reporting that a bicyclist had been struck by a vehicle that then left the scene...

Devin Kelly

The state agency that regulates campaign finance law has fined Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan $187.50 after determining Sullivan used municipal resources to campaign.

In a decision released Friday, the five-member board of the Alaska Public Offices Commission agreed with a staff report concluding that Sullivan violated campaign finance law by issuing an apologetic statement through his municipal spokesperson for controversial remarks he made at a candidate forum in early May. A complaint against Sullivan was originally filed by Vince Beltrami, president of the state’s largest labor organization, the AFL-CIO...

Devin Kelly

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