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Assembly candidate Q&A: What to do about chronic inebriates?

Anchorage residents will vote on candidates for six open seats on the 11-member Anchorage Assembly at the municipal election on April 1. To give readers a better sense of who they'd be voting for, the Daily News asked each of the 13 hopefuls a series of questions on their backgrounds and on key issues facing the city.

THE CITY HAS A PROBLEM WITH CHRONIC INEBRIATES. WHAT AREN'T WE DOING TO SOLVE THAT PROBLEM THAT WE SHOULD BE DOING? WHAT ARE WE DOING THAT'S SUCCESSFUL?

East Anchorage

• Adam Trombley: We have increased funding for CAP to get them off the street. We have initiated the Housing First Model. However, the State should allocate, as originally designed, the tax revenue from alcohol sales to be spent on rehabilitation programs for addicts

• Mao Tosi: If there is a need for more programs because they are at full capacity then we should provide more programs or staff. Or if there is a program being underutilized then we should connect inebriates to those programs. We should also continue to educate the public on this issue and raise awareness of the effects of alcohol in our community and ensure prevention programs are in place.

• Pete Petersen: The biggest barrier to solving this problem is increasing alcohol treatment programs. Many inebriates want to get sober, but their addiction is too strong to overcome without help. I support dedicating 100% of alcohol tax revenues to alcohol treatment programs.

South Anchorage

• Pete Nolan: Thirty years ago when I was on APD Patrol Division we had a chronic inebriate problem. Thirty years from now we will have a chronic inebriate problem unless we manage to begin instilling the concept of personal responsibility in our children.

• Bill Evans: The biggest shortage is in the area of treatment. Ultimately people have to be responsible for the consequences of their choices and their actions, but we have to ensure that the "opportunity" for treatment is available.

• Bruce Dougherty: The approach of building fences and throwing people in a drunk tank overnight isn't helping. We need to get inebriants off the streets and to treatment when they are open to it. While people complain about the costs, inebriants cost the city and businesses huge sums of money.

West Anchorage

• Phil Isley: We promote the problem by providing clothes, food, lodging and money for drugs and alcohol without asking for anything in return. When people get everything for nothing, they feel they are worth nothing. To cure the problem, they must get back their self-respect.

• Tim Steele: Karluk Manor is a success for some. Housing first. We need to find a place where people can be safe, warm obtain services and have stability. So they can get treatment if necessary and get help with integration into productive society.

Eagle River-Chugiak

• Bill Starr: We do not seem to provide alternatives other than constant cycle of removing these residents from the street situation and returning them a short time later. When submitted to court action prosecutors do not apply "restripe laws" to I.D's, allowing unchallenged purchases of alcohol. Solutions of engaging the faith community for expanded group living and housing options (especially in cold weather) appears to be working and should be allowed unrestricted year round.

• Sharon GIBBONS: We should be implementing a task force to oversee and encourage continued resolution. WE should look into ways to provide rehabilitation. Alcoholism is a disease that needs medical attention in order to overcome the addiction. What are we doing that's successful? The Community Service Patrol is successful in getting people off the streets. But that is only a temporary solution to an ongoing issue. Services like that of Karluk Manor are creating long lasting positive change.

Midtown

• Elvi Gray-Jackson: This is a community issue and we need to secure funding to have enough programs in place to provide the necessary assistance for these citizens. Housing First-Karluk Manor is a successful program and we need more supportive housing facilities.

Downtown- Mountain View

• Patrick Flynn: Wellness courts are making a positive difference; the lack of treatment remains a problem.

• Mark Martinson: This is a complicated problem related to the state-wide change from a communal society with small towns, to the monetary-based western society of individual rights and related loss of wealth by less-competitive people. Everyone needs some type of home base, and we need to help in providing that basic need. We also need to stop supporting the many downtown events that seem to be an excuse to over-indulge in alcohol, just because it's good for the economy. I would have to look more into what the city is doing before I can answer this question better.Assembly candidates on the issues.

 



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