Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media
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Zachariah Hughes reports on city & state politics, arts & culture, drugs, and military affairs in Anchorage and South Central Alaska. zhughes [at] alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8424 | @ZachHughesAK About Zachariah

How did politics around reopening Anchorage get so heated?

The politics around reopening Alaska’s economy are getting contentious. But blame isn’t spread uniformly. And in Anchorage, a vocal contingent is faulting the mayor over policies that are largely in lockstep with the governors.

Assembly demands more aggressive camp clearing in Anchorage

Residents in the area say there has been increased “drug use, excessive litter, violence and neighborhood vandalism," as well as inadequate measures to curb coronavirus spread.

Mayor outlines plans for re-opening Anchorage businesses this Monday

The move represents a shift in the city's plan to go from a "hunkering down" phase to an "easing" period on the road toward recovery.

Amid some confusion, Anchorage is putting protocols in place that will allow businesses to open

A discrepancy between the state and local timelines for allowing previously shuttered businesses to begin opening up is creating some confusion.

New mobile prototype kills virus with heat to extend the life of critical gear

A medical group in Anchorage wants to make sure it has surge capacity if there are shortages in essential equipment like masks. So they built a large, anti-viral sauna in a trailer.

Anchorage releases gradual roadmap for reopening of the economy

The document is not a timetable, but a series of public health conditions officials say they need to see in order to ease current restrictions.

Experts warn of a “dark cloud” for kids’ mental health amid pandemic

During a press conference in Anchorage, mental health professionals offered advice for families on how to mitigate distress and long-term problems created by the unique social situation.

Anchorage emergency declaration extended to June, some measures to relax in coming weeks

The move allows the administration to keep using special powers to more swiftly respond to the coronavirus, but does not mean that all of the current “hunker down” orders will remain in place that long.

Yoga by Zoom. Facebook fitness classes. Local gyms sprint to stay open online

A month into closures, gyms and fitness facilities are getting creative try retain clients. But many worry their businesses will shrink and remain hobbled into the foreseeable future.

Mayor says emergency orders could last til May, as city tries to help businesses get relief

Mayor Ethan Berkowitz at a March COVID19 press conference in Anchorage (Joey Mendolia, Alaska Public Media). Anchorage might not begin relaxing its emergency orders until May. And...

Anchorage votes down on-site pot consumption, taxes alcohol and keeps most of the Assembly

A majority of incumbents appear to have kept their seats, with a tax on alcohol voted down last year on track to pass.

Anchorage officials say COVID measures are helping stem disease transmissions

Incident Commander Bill Falsey spoke at a weekly briefing from the city’s Emergency Operation Center, saying that according to municipal and third-party figures, residents are complying with orders to hunker down.

In a state where distancing comes easy, Alaskans flee virus to remote camps and cabins

Instead of riding out the coronavirus in towns or cities, some Alaskans are opting out: Relocating to cabins, second homes, or remote locales.

Don’t forget: Anchorage elections are still happening (right now)

Candidates, bonds, and on-site cannabis consumption are all on the ballot, with a Tuesday deadline for submitting votes.

Anchorage suspends bus service to prevent coronavirus spread

City will move to an "on demand" system for essential trips, waiving fares for riders on "curb to curb" service.

Curbside growlers? Industry groups push for change to alcohol sales rules to accommodate coronavirus

In an effort to help desperate businesses, regulators and lobbyists are asking the governor to relax rules barring take out and curbside pickup of alcoholic beverages.

Planners in Anchorage brace for surge of COVID cases with more hospital space, mortuary preparation

Anticipating more coronavirus cases, officials in Anchorage are racing to bring more medical beds online, scrounging for equipment, and even preparing potential mortuary spaces.

UAA study: To prevent deaths, Alaska will need strict interventions for many months

A new academic study of the coronavirus’s likely impacts on Alaska is clear: to prevent thousands of deaths, strict interventions will be necessary for months.

Hair stylists, barbers, tattooists among those with fewest options amid coronavirus closures

Industry structure means many workers are uniquely ill-equipped for the mass closures now in place for the foreseeable future.

Anchorage to house hundreds of homeless in unused ice rinks

Anchorage is rushing to open a new emergency shelter to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus among the homeless.