Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.
an aerial view of several portable, self contained buildings

Anchorage Assembly delays vote on using portable buildings as emergency winter shelters

The delay comes after Assembly members were told that several portable classrooms from the Anchorage School District wouldn’t be usable as shelters this winter.

Anchorage Assembly approves using the Sullivan Arena as a homeless shelter again

The return to using the arena as a shelter comes after more than a month of debate over how to house roughly 350 homeless people through the winter.

Guest House’s purchase means more low-income housing for Anchorage’s formerly homeless

All of the former hotel's residents have recently been homeless, and either have a job or are in the process of getting employed.
A tan building

Mayor Bronson selects Virginia McClure as his fourth pick to lead Anchorage library system

McClure has a master’s degree in library science and was the head of Anchorage's Mountain View Library from August 2014 to July 2017.
A large tan building with a stairwell in the front

Anchorage Assembly’s tentative emergency shelter plan includes once again using Sullivan Arena

The move came after strong public outcry against using the Dempsey Ice Arena as a shelter.
Eleven people at a meeting.

Anchorage task force recommends using ice arena and Golden Lion building for winter sheltering

The task force estimates being able to house between 85 and 170 people at the Golden Lion, with another 240 to 260 people at the ice arena. 
Waves roaring on a Kotzebue beach.

Weather service officials say worst of heavy Bering Sea winds have passed

After a massive storm brought storm surge and flooding across hundreds of miles of Western Alaska coastline, officials with the National Weather Service say they expect the worst of the wind has passed. 
Anchorage's acting health director Joe Gerace speaks with journalists inside the Sullivan Arena shelter

Anchorage Assembly seeks to audit disgraced former health director Joe Gerace’s tenure

Assembly chair Suzanne LaFrance wants the audit to review Gerace's work as health director such as, “documents that were signed, disciplinary actions that were conducted, grants that were administered, contracts executed and policies enacted."
A woman in a polka-dot shirt hides a rock under a bush.

How an Anchorage woman is spreading awareness of FASD by painting rocks

Karen Lomack hopes her outreach helps inform people of how alcohol can affect pregnancy, and reduce the negative stigma of those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
a blonde woman and younger man listen at a meeting

Anchorage Mayor Bronson announces new homeless coordinator, chief of staff

Bronson announced that his chief of staff Alexis Johnson will be taking over as the city’s homeless coordinator, a job vacant since Dave D’Amato resigned in February.
man at computer staring off

Anchorage Assembly rejects Bronson’s pick for municipal attorney

Mario Bird’s confirmation failed on a 4-8 vote, with members Jamie Allard, Randy Sulte, Kevin Cross and Pete Petersen voting in support of him.

City will no longer use 2 Anchorage rec centers as emergency homeless shelters, mayor says

The reversal comes less than a week after the Bronson administration included using the rec centers as part of the move to transition homeless people out of the makeshift homeless camp at the Centennial Park campground in Northeast Anchorage.
a shopping cart near an outdoor tent in the woods

Bronson administration to close Centennial campground and move homeless residents into rec centers

Officials say transportation will be provided to bring homeless campers to either the Spenard or Fairview rec centers, which are set to be converted into emergency shelters starting Sep. 29. 
two people and a check

This year’s PFD + energy relief check = $3,284, Dunleavy announces

Eligible Alaskans who applied online and opted for direct deposit should start receiving their money on Sept. 20.
a blonde woman and younger man listen at a meeting

Bronson’s winter sheltering plan now includes using 2 Anchorage rec centers previously described as emergency options

Bronson's administration first outlined the plan last week. What's different now: using the Spenard and Fairview rec centers as emergency shelters is no longer a last resort.
tents scattered in raining park

Anchorage Mayor Bronson announces plan for sheltering homeless during the winter

Bronson's plan includes using up to 20 portable buildings to house people.
police car parked on the side of the road

Man shot by Anchorage police faces 19 charges, including kidnapping and attempted murder

Police say 36-year-old Michael Valu was also charged with 15 felony assault charges and a charge of misconduct involving a firearm. 
police car parked on the side of the road

Anchorage police shoot man after they say he used a child as a ‘human shield’

Police say the man fled with the child after firing a weapon during a domestic dispute early Friday morning. Officers say the man was not fatally injured in the shooting.
A mirrored building.

Anchorage Assembly overrides Bronson’s veto of the creation of a homelessness task force

The Assembly also overrode the mayor's veto of federal COVID-19 relief money.
fair haired woman with glasses

Anchorage Assembly nixes effort to make city clerk an elected position

An ordinance from Mayor Dave Bronson would’ve put a question to voters in the next municipal election on whether the city clerk would be elected by residents, rather than appointed by the Assembly.