• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 19s

Spenard clean-up adds cameras

By KTVA Alaska 4:55 PM September 1, 2013

Community council installs camera systems on local businesses to combat chronic drunkenness and other crime

ANCHORAGE – It’s a unique neighborhood with a colorful past. The Spenard Community Council has been working to improve its slice of Midtown for years, and now it’s installing cameras on local businesses in an effort to curb chronic drunkenness and other street crime in the area.

Just a decade ago, “there were ladies of the night and drug dealers and stuff all over,” recalled John Weddleton. A member of the Spenard Chamber of Commerce, and the owner of Bosco’s Comics, he said he and other business owners have been working hard to make Spenard a place where people want to visit. “The businesses and the community kind of got together, and that’s really been gone …  for almost ten years.”

Despite efforts to clean up Spenard, it’s far from spotless. And the community council thinks installing cameras will curb one of their biggest problems.

“We’ve had a problem with In & Out Liquors selling, or possibly selling, liquor to street inebriates, and being a magnet for [them],” said Tom McGrath with the council. “So we decided to put cameras up at Tommy’s Burger Stop and Blaine’s [Art Supply] to keep an eye out …  if there’s any problems in the area the police can check the footage.”

The council spent about $6,000 of grant money on the cameras. They’re always watching, capable of keeping up to a month’s worth of footage on file. No one is actively watching what the cameras record, McGrath said. Just who will have access to the footage will be determined at the next council meeting on Wednesday, September 4.

But the footage is there, if and when something happens.

“We’re trying to catch people who are doing drug deals, people who are inebriated and stumbling through the intersections … just causing problems in the area,” Rene Haag, the owner of Blaine’s, said Friday. After decades of problems, she said something had to be done. She welcomed the four cameras the council installed on her property with open arms.

“They’re defecating on my property,” she said, exasperated. “My staff is having to clean that up. It’s pretty disgusting,” she added. “It’s been going on for a long time. You feel bad for people in that situation, but at the same time, you know, a little tough love maybe might fix some things.”

McGrath said the community council said it doesn’t want to keep people, or businesses, out of Spenard. But they do want change, and they think the cameras are a first step.

”I’ve been told by the city we have the heaviest pedestrian traffic of anywhere in town,” McGrath said. “So I think we’re as inclusive a neighborhood as can possibly be. We’re not saying don’t come here, we’re saying, there’s room for other people too.”

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Anchorage Assembly approves final 2015 operating budget

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 05, 13:29

    The Anchorage Assembly held a special meeting Monday to determine final edits to the Anchorage operating budget for 2015. The final budget, totaled at $483.6 million, is a slight increase from last year’s budget, according to Mayor Dan Sullivan’s office. Although the budget increased 1.4 percent, taxes owed by Anchorage homeowners went down. Taxes are […]

  • Politics

    KTVA has your Election Day coverage

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 05, 12:43

    For the second time this year, Anchorage residents are heading to the polls to cast their votes for the next mayor. As none of the mayoral candidates in the regular election in April garnered the necessary 45 percent of the votes to win, the two candidates who received the most support were forced to continue […]

  • DayBreak

    Travel Tuesday: Family fun for Mother’s Day and beyond

    by Daybreak Staff on May 05, 11:08

    The weather has been nothing short of spectacular the last few days. With Mother’s Day this weekend, it’s the perfect time to do some outdoor activities with the family. The holiday weekend is typically a time when a lot of Alaskan attractions kick off for the summer. Family fun expert Erin Kirkland joined Daybreak Tuesday morning […]

  • DayBreak

    Ask Alaska: Britain’s Princess Charlotte

    by James Gaddis on May 05, 10:18

    Britain’s royal family chose Charlotte as the name of the daughter born over the weekend to Prince William and his wife, Kate. The announcement made headlines in the United States, although not everyone was interested in the royal news from across the pond. What do Alaskans think of the name? KTVA 11’s James Gaddis set […]

  • On-Air

    Kids & sushi: Healthy eating

    by Ivanhoe Newswire on May 05, 10:01

    There are almost 4,000 sushi restaurants in the U.S., and the Japanese dish continues to gain popularity, even with kids. If your child is one who does like sushi, it’s important to be safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that children under 5 don’t consume raw fish or shellfish, and Susan Mitchell, PhD, […]

  • News

    Troopers investigate shooting death of Fox man

    by Associated Press on May 05, 8:15

    Alaska State Troopers are investigating the shooting death of an outdoorsman and past character on National Geographic’s reality show “Ultimate Survival Alaska. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports officers responded to 69-year-old Jimmy Gojdics’ residence in Fox Sunday to find the victim with gunshot wounds. He was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, May 5

    by Brett Shepard on May 05, 7:58

    Southcentral Mostly cloudy skies throughout the region. Southeast A beautiful spring day with sunny skies and highs near 60. Interior Mostly cloudy skies with some scattered showers possible. North Slope Mostly cloudy skies with some snow flurries and patchy fog. Western Alaska Sunshine to the north with showers in the Bristol Bay region. Southwest Alaska […]

  • Politics

    Poll numbers show Berkowitz with slight lead in runoff race

    by Emily Carlson on May 05, 7:26

    New poll numbers show Ethan Berkowitz with a lead heading into Election Day. Marc Hellenthal, an Anchorage Republican pollster, used money from former mayoral candidate Dan Coffey to conduct two polls. One after the mudslinging from both candidates’ supporters started, then, one after. The numbers from April 20-23 show Democrat Ethan Berkowitz with a commanding […]