Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

Wesley is a reporter for Alaska Public Media, covering primarily city government and Anchorage life. He previously worked at Alaska Public Media as a web editor, producer and education reporter before a two-year stint in Kotzebue, AK as News Director for KOTZ-AM.

Anchorage teachers rally outside school board meeting, unsatisfied with district contract proposals

Teachers raised three main concerns over ASD’s proposed contract: no increase in salaries, the reduction of planning time, and a new health care plan which many found inferior. 

Petition filed to recall Assembly member Jamie Allard

This is the third recall effort of an Assembly member that Anchorage has seen in a year, with Felix Rivera surviving a recall election in April, and Meg Zaletel’s recall election scheduled for next week.
A white woman with blond hair speaks into a small microphone

Tens of thousands of dollars are flowing into both sides of the Zaletel recall effort

Midtown voters will decide next week whether to recall Assembly member Meg Zaletel.

Alaska pediatrician group criticizes Anchorage’s chief medical officer over ‘grossly misleading’ comments on COVID

The Alaska chapter of a national group of pediatricians has written a blistering letter to Dr. Michael Savitt, Anchorage’s chief medical officer, criticizing recent statements he made on the effectiveness of masking and the spread of COVID-19 in the city. 

Who needs to wear a mask in Anchorage and where? Here’s a breakdown of the new ordinance.

The Anchorage Assembly on Thursday overturned Mayor Dave Bronson’s veto of an emergency mask ordinance. That means the masking rules for the city are back in place.
proponents and opponents of a mask ordinance gather at an assembly meeting

Anchorage Assembly overrides Bronson veto, upholding emergency mask ordinance

The Anchorage Assembly on Thursday overturned Mayor Dave Bronson’s veto of its contentious emergency mask ordinance.
snow on trees

It’s official: Anchorage records its first snowfall of the season

While some parts of Anchorage received more than 14 inches of snow in late September, the weather service's measuring station near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport got barely a trace. And that's where official weather measurements are taken. So, Thursday will technically be counted as Anchorage's first snowfall of the season.
masked woman with glasses

Anchorage Assembly will decide tonight whether to override Bronson’s veto of masking measure

The Assembly's meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Assembly Chambers at Loussac Library.

Anchorage Assembly to hire a lawyer for help with ‘separation of powers’ at Loussac

y chair Suzanne LaFrance, describes several instances where members of the mayor’s staff were “asserting control over the Loussac Library grounds.”
two masked people

Anchorage Assembly approves emergency mask mandate

The order approved by the Aassembly takes effect immediately. It mandates that people wear masks in indoor public places and in communal spaces. Those exempted from the masking rules include children under age of 5, people in police custody, people participating in sports, people at church and Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration.
A white man speaks into a microphne with his hand on his hip

Commission in charge of Alaska elections upholds $38,500 fine for Bronson mayoral campaign

The Alaska Public Offices Commission has ruled that Anchorage mayor Dave Bronson did not file accurate campaign spending reports during the runoff election earlier this year. As a result, they have fined Bronson $38,500.
a man poses for a portrait in a city area

Mayor Bronson fires chief equity officer without approval from Anchorage Assembly

The Municipality of Anchorage’s chief equity officer was let go by Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson on Thursday, and he believes he was fired illegally. 
girls sing in solidarity

2 members of Anchorage mayor’s administration test positive for COVID, canceling Friday’s meeting

Assembly leadership said in a statement late Friday afternoon that two members of Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration have COVID-19, and Assembly members at Thursday’s meeting came in “really close contact” with them.
crowd raises hands

Conflict erupts between Bronson and Assembly on sixth night of combative mask testimony

A stark conflict between Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson and Assembly leadership marked the sixth day of chaotic public testimony on a proposed mask mandate for the city.
a window that says Anchorage Police Department Anchorage Alaska

New draft policy for Anchorage police body cameras criticized for lack of transparency

The new draft comes almost six months after Anchorage voters approved the purchase of the cameras.
People in an assembly chamber cheering

Anchorage Assembly mask testimony has gone on as long as any in recent memory, with more to come

Thursday marks the Anchorage Assembly's sixth session scheduled for public testimony on an ordinance that would introduce a mask mandate for the city. Testimony has been heated, with people arrested at meetings and concerns about anti-Semitic behavior and homophobic remarks.
woman waves two flags

Public testimony on Anchorage mask ordinance continues, with more than a dozen amendments yet to be debated

Public testimony on Anchorage’s proposed mask mandate entered its fifth day at the Assembly chambers Tuesday night. 

Discord over masks escalates with arrests, Holocaust comparisons at the Anchorage Assembly

Several people were arrested at an Anchorage Assembly meeting on Wednesday night, including one man who was armed, during heated testimony over a proposed mask mandate.
The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

Emotions high as testimony begins on Anchorage Assembly’s proposed mask mandate

Tensions were high at Tuesday night’s Anchorage Assembly meeting as the body prepared to hear testimony on a proposed mask mandate for indoor public settings and large outdoor gatherings. In the end, the meeting ran so long, most of the people who waited to speak weren’t able to.

Tribal and environmental advocates celebrate the first water flow down the Eklutna River in decades

For more than 60 years, the Eklutna River north of Anchorage had been dammed up, stifling the salmon runs that fed generations of Dena'ina people in the area. The lower dam on the river was removed in 2018, and earlier this month, tribal and environmental advocates witnessed the first water to flow down the river in decades.