Dunbar criticized coffee stand owner for not being ‘progressive’ enough – Must Read Alaska

Dunbar criticized coffee stand owner for not being ‘progressive’ enough – Must Read Alaska

In an email to Assemblyman Chris Constant, Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar made fun of a local business owner, who had written to the Assembly to plead against plans to create a homeless industrial complex in Anchorage, through the purchase of hotels and other properties to convert into shelters and drug treatment facilities.

Dunbar forwarded the business owner’s email to Constant with a snarky note topping it that said: “‘Common Grounds” coffee, despite its name, appears to be not-so progressive after all…”

Michelle Duncan, the owner of Common Grounds Espresso for 17 years, had written to oppose the city’s purchase of the old Alaska Club on Tudor as a bad move.

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“As someone who grew up in Anchorage, K through 12, married an Alaskan in Anchorage, launched a business in Anchorage, bought my first house in Anchorage; I worry for the reputation, safety, and peace of our city if we just spread the homeless out,” she wrote.

Duncan has been through a lot, witnessing crime and even a kidnapping that led to murder, as a business owner with locations in midtown Anchorage, once thought to be a safe place. A barista who worked at one of her coffee stands was abducted and killed by serial killer Israel Keyes in 2012 in a case that deeply frightened many in Anchorage, particularly young women working in coffee stands. The kidnapping was caught on the video security camera of the Common Grounds coffee hut.

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Dunbar and Constant’s emails were accessed through a public records request by citizen activist Russell Biggs.

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