Tag Archives: fairview

some pushback on ruralcap’s karluk manor proposal

This cute sign is posted across the street from a local franchise of the Red Roof Inn, at East 5th Ave. and Karluk St. in Anchorage’s Fairview neighborhood. 

RuralCap, a multi-pronged social service agency is working on a deal to purchase the motel and convert it to a group home for homeless alcoholics, where alcohol will be allowed on the premises, under certain rules and conditions.  It is the first project of its kind in Anchorage, but the program model has been successful in Seattle and other places, according to Melinda Freemon, who presented the project at the January meeting of the Mt. View Community Council.  Freemon said that Anchorage will ultimately save money by getting inebriated people off the streets and into safe housing.

RuralCap also operates the Homeward Bound program, at locations in Mt. View.  Everything I’ve ever heard about Homeward Bound has been very positive.  That program also allows residents to continue to drink, but they are not allowed to be on site when under the influence.

Both Fairview and Mt. View have very visible populations of homeless, especially in summer when there are camps in wooded areas adjacent to both neighborhoods.  The issue of homelessness has been brought into sharper focus the last couple years, with city government considering more and better ways to assist and intervene.  And there has been concern about a series of deaths among the homeless population.

The first couple of years I lived in Mt. View I volunteered for a work crew on the annual neighborhood clean-up.  One of the projects we got to do was clean out homeless camps.  Sometimes I wish everyone who is opposed to Karluk Manor could observe the conditions in these camps close up.

Over the years the attitude in Mt. View has been cooperative, for the most part regarding the willingness to allow facilities like Homeward Bound to locate here.

Update 1/30/10: Fairview residents against the project have put up an anti-Karluk Manor web site.  [Comments are not accepted there, unfortunately.]

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denigration gap

Late last night an Anchorage police officer was shot five times while sitting in his cruiser on Medfra St. just north of 15th Ave., while filling out paperwork after an interview.  The case is mysterious, lacking an apparent motive and naturally has generated a lot of anxiety, speculation and strongly worded opinions.  I’m reluctant to consider comments on ADN‘s web site as reflective of mainstream community opinion, but one in particular is sticking with me [emphasis mine]:

jfries wrote on 01/09/2010 09:58:04 AM:

I firmly believe that Anchorage has some of the best police officers. Would very many among us want to respond to a call for help in that area at 2 a.m.? These officers serve with strength, respect, and dignity. Thoughts and prayers for the full recovery of this officer and to comfort his family and friends. I was touched by the following quote on the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial:
‘The policeman is a peace time soldier always at war. It is not how these officers died that made them heroes. It is how they lived.’

This post was the eighth most recommended [29 recommendations] out of 179 posts, before it was replaced late tonight by a newer version of the story [by the same reporter].

I would love it if whoever wrote this would discard their cloak of pseudonymity and expound on their negative opinion of Fairview a little bit.  Do they really have sheets of statistics that prove that Fairview’s a more dangerous place than the rest of Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska?  I’d like to see the documenation!

West Downtown, Inlet View and South Addition, immediately adjacent to Fairview are today generally considered “safe” areas, where Fairview is not, because they began to be populated with people of wealth and influence [or, what passes for same in Anchorage] who pinched their buddies on the Assembly and in City Hall to eliminate liquor stores in their neighborhoods.  This action did not eliminate the number of liquor stores in the city — the number of which is based on population — it simply pushed the stores to the boundary of the “safe” area, where they accumulated by the half-dozen along Spenard Rd., and Gambell St. in Fairview. 

That action [artificially] contributes to the urban legend that Spenard, Fairview and Mt. View are unsafe areas — becaue they are plagued by a bunch of drunks staggering in the streets and sidewalks, compared to the nearby “safe” area.  However,  the occurance of violent crime [such as the shooting of Officer Allen] is consistently random in the city at large, not confined to any one neighborhood.

I’m not trying to defend anyone who committed the crime  — they should be locked up — but the denigration of the neighborhood per se has to stop.  I’m not sure if jfries has much experience with Fairview, or has lived there or not?  That part of Medfra St., with well-maintained 1940s-50s era houses does not appear very much like a community that engeneders or tolerates random violent crime.  I have passed through there, between 15th and 5th innumerable times since the early ’80s.  I ride a bike through Fairview practically every work day.  I’d ride through there at 2 AM without a second thought.

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mt view supports mass transit

Just received this in an email from Cheryl Richardson of Anchorage Citizens Coalition:

Last week, Mountain View Community Council adopted [a] resolution asking the State to help pay for operating People Mover.  The resolution goes next to Fairview Community Council.
While the state’s general fund has been tapped for several hundred million dollars to pay for road building in recent years, Alaska is one of only two states that do not help its cities operate its transit systems. 
State Senator Bill Wielechowski and State Rep Max Gruenberg represent East Anchorage and have expressed interest in expanding People Mover service.  The Daily News also published supportive editorials last Thursday and Friday.
Anchorage provides less transit service per capita than other western cities, while charging more at the farebox.  Just this year, for the first time, People Mover surpassed its 1982 ridership levels – with less service and fewer buses on the streets than in 1982. 
Staff say that ridership climbed significantly along with rising fuel prices this summer and fall, and ridership has stayed up, even with falling fuel prices this fall.
Anchorage Citizens Coalition supports transit expansion based on Anchorage 2020 land development goals secured by relible long term funding.

Good news!  It’s tempting to say it’s too bad it took decades and $4.00 gas to get there, and too bad it’s another statistic where Alaska comes in dead last or 47th out of 50 or whatever.  But let’s not go there.  Any improvement, any increase in awareness is progress.

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