Devin Kelly

Anchorage community activist Mao Tosi is hosting a mayoral candidate meet-and-greet event Friday, though it’s in an unusual format and stirred a bit of controversy this week when not all the candidates were initially invited.

A flier posted online bills Dan Coffey, Ethan Berkowitz and Andrew Halcro as the candidates participating in the event. The format is set to resemble speed-dating, where groups of voters rotate through rooms for set time periods and ask as many questions as possible.

On Thursday, Tosi said the list of candidates will be expanded after several candidates contacted him asking to be included...

Devin Kelly

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity brought national politics into the Anchorage mayoral race this week by running radio and Internet ads tying candidate Ethan Berkowitz to President Barack Obama. The ads also paint Berkowitz as a big spender.

The Virginia-based organization, founded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, pushes for smaller government and lower taxes and against increasing the minimum wage. An Alaska chapter began operating in August, and the Berkowitz ad appears to be the group’s first foray into a local mayoral race.

Berkowitz’s campaign fired back at the ad by saying it distorts the former Democratic state representative’s record and diverts attention from city issues...

Devin Kelly

The state’s largest education union has decided to endorse both Ethan Berkowitz and Andrew Halcro for mayor of Anchorage, leading both candidates to issue statements claiming they won the endorsement. Neither mentioned the other.

The co-endorsement came at the Anchorage Education Association’s monthly representative council meeting Tuesday night. The union represents about 3,500 educators from more than 90 public schools in Anchorage.

“It’s one of those things where I guess we really couldn’t pick,” said Andy Holleman, president of the union. “I think either one is going to be great for public schools.”...

Devin Kelly

Sunday is the last day to register to vote or update your voter registration for Anchorage’s April 7 city election.

Registration applications can be found on the state website . Anyone with questions can call the Alaska Division of Elections at 907-522-8683.

Applications for absentee ballots can be printed directly from the municipality’s elections site, , or requested by phone at 907-243-VOTE (8683) or email at . Voters who are unable to be physically present at a polling place on election day can request a special-needs ballot through a representative...

Devin Kelly

Officials with Anchorage’s bus system said this week they are backing down from a proposal that would have reduced bus service to the neighborhood of Spenard and north of Eagle River.

People Mover riders will see general, systemwide schedule adjustments on June 1, but no major service reductions, officials said. The city’s Public Transportation Department in January unveiled plans to cut a segment of Route 36 that serves the Spenard Recreation Center, as well as Route 102’s service to Peters Creek. In both cases, the department cited low ridership...

Devin Kelly

The administration of Mayor Dan Sullivan is exploring whether to sell off Anchorage’s trash collection utility.

At Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting, the administration introduced a resolution that seeks to “set up a structured process to sell Solid Waste Services’ collection business.”

Solid Waste Services comprises two utilities, one handling trash collection and the other operating the Anchorage Regional Landfill and two waste transfer stations. The administration is looking at selling only the trash collection side of the operation, which a city spokesman said employs about 25 people...

Devin Kelly

State legislators got an earful on issues ranging from Medicaid expansion to education funding to honeybees during a listening session in Anchorage on Saturday.

With the regular legislative session in Juneau hitting the halfway mark, turnout to address the lawmakers was big, and roughly 150 people signed up to testify at the Loussac Library. People packed around the edges of the auditorium seats and spilled out into the lobby. The four-hour session was extended another 45 minutes to give more people a chance to testify, and at the end, people were still waiting to speak...

Devin Kelly

Alaska State Troopers launched a massive search Saturday for a 32-year-old man who they say led authorities on a pursuit on the Seward and Sterling highways before escaping into the woods.

The man, identified as Andre Morris Tanner, was described as a “dangerous offender” in a “Wanted Adults” bulletin posted by troopers Saturday evening.

“His direction of travel is unknown but he is believed to be living in the Girdwood area,” the bulletin stated. Earlier Saturday, troopers asked drivers not to pick up hitchhikers on the Seward Highway, especially in the area of Milepost 52...

Devin Kelly

Anchorage police say a tip led to the arrest Saturday morning of a 42-year-old man suspected of a stabbing in East Anchorage.

Kevin Campbell was arrested at a McDonald's on Northern Lights Boulevard and Muldoon Road about 10:23 a.m., after an “observant citizen” spotted him and called police, Anchorage Police spokeswoman Anita Shell wrote in a statement. Police had put out an alert message on Friday with Campbell’s name and photograph.

Police suspect Campbell of stabbing another man in the neck Friday afternoon at a mobile home on Boniface Parkway during a fight and then fleeing on foot. The victim was taken to the hospital, and his injuries appeared to be non life-threatening, police said...

Devin Kelly

Mayor Dan Sullivan’s administration is asking for an extra $8.4 million to pay for contract work on Anchorage's SAP information technology project through the end of September.

The request comes on top of the $22.5 million already spent in contracting for the SAP project, a complex overhaul of the city’s automated financial system. The project is costing far more and taking longer than city officials originally said it would, and it has been stalled the last two months while experts conducted two evaluations...

Devin Kelly