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    Anchorage Assembly to consider terminating or extending mayor’s COVID orders

    AlaskaWatchman.com

    The Anchorage Assembly will consider whether to terminate sections of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s COVID-19 emergency orders at their upcoming June 2 meeting.

    A resolution submitted by Assembly Members Suzanne LaFrance, John Weddleton and Jamie Allard calls for a review of the mayor’s emergency proclamations. It notes that the Assembly has the power to terminate emergency orders that it deems no longer necessary.

    The Assembly will consider the impact of the orders on public health and the Anchorage economy, while also looking at health care capacity to handle COVID-19 cases, including testing and tracing the virus.

    The Assembly will examine each of the mayor’s orders separately to determine whether they should be lifted. These include the temporary suspension of plastic bag fees and the ability for stores to provide curbside pickup for marijuana, liquor and wine.

    The Assembly will also look at emergency orders that pertain to retail businesses, personal care services, restaurants, childcare, fitness centers, social and religious gatherings, libraries, museums, swimming pools, theaters, bowling allies, organized sports and other entities.

    On May 25, Berkowitz eased many of his rules as the city moved to phase 3 of reopening. Anchorage remains more restrictive that the state as a whole, but businesses are operating with fewer limitations than last week.

    Most businesses and other entities are now allowed to operate at 100% capacity. That allowance requires compliance with Berkowitz’s orders mandating face masks, social distancing and hygiene protocols. The orders are published here.

    TAKING ACTION

    The number of people allowed in the Assembly Chambers is limited. See the Assembly website at www.muni.org/Assembly to read protocols on testifying in person. Those who wish to provide written comments can send emails to Testimony@anchorageak.gov by 2 p.m. on June 2. These comments will become part of the meeting record. In the subject line of the email, reference the agenda item you are providing testimony for. Those who wish to testify via phone, need to email Testimony@anchorageak.gov by 2 p.m. on June 2. This should include one’s name, phone and the agenda item number/title for which they wish to provide testimony. The subject line of the email should state, “Phone Testimony.” When the Assembly reaches this agenda item, the clerk will phone the person at the number they provide. Each person will have three minutes to provide testimony on each item they sign up for. The Assembly meeting begins at 5 p.m.

    Joel Davidson
    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

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