Seven Interior state candidates to participate in forum hosted by environmental, racial justice groups | Local News

Seven of the 16 candidates running for election to Interior seats in the Alaska Legislature will be participating in a Climate, Jobs and Justice political forum hosted by a group of Alaska environmental and social justice nonprofits and organizations tonight.

The forum will be held online from 5-7 p.m. and is hosted by Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, The Alaska Center, Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, Greater Fairbanks Chapter NAACP 1001, the Nanook Diversity & Action Center, Native Movement, Native Peoples Action and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai’i.

The following candidates have confirmed plans to participate: 

House District 1 Democratic candidate Christopher Quist

House District 2 Democratic candidate Jeremiah Youmans

House District 4 Democratic Rep. Grier Hopkins

House District 5 Democratic Rep. Adam Wool

House District 6 Democratic candidate Julia Hnilicka;

House District 6 nonpartisan candidate Elijah Verhagen

Senate District B nonpartisan candidate Marna Sanford.

According to event organizers, an invite was sent to all candidates running for Interior seats in both the state House and state Senate. All seven Republican candidates and two nonpartisan candidates either declined to participate or did not respond to the invite for the forum, organizers said.

The forum will discuss issues ranging from climate action, workers advocacy, social and economic justice and healthcare access.

“The top priorities for the people of Alaska, including health care access, racial and economic justice, climate action, Alaska Native rights, and workers’ rights, don’t always get the attention they deserve. We’re excited to offer this nonpartisan forum to center these critical issues and expand the conversation with our community leaders,” said Rose O’Hara-Jolley of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai’i on behalf of the organizers.

To ensure proper precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum will be held online via Zoom. 

Community members interested in participating can register in advance

Vandals damage City Park’s Storyland, Carousel Garden, write racial slurs on rides

Surveillance cameras captured images of the vandals in the act.

NEW ORLEANS — Vandals broke into City Park’s Storyland and Carousel Gardens, breaking windows, damaging the carousel, and writing racial slurs on the rides.

Photos from City Park show broken glass, graffiti and tails ripped from carousel horses. Officials say it also looks like someone stabbed the antique band organ and one of the carousel horses with a screwdriver.

The racially-charged graffiti includes the N-word and the phrase “Hitler Salute.”

Images of the two vandals were captured by security cameras set up after their first break-in. City Park officials say the names “Alex” and “Justin A” were written on items in the park and shoe prints were left on the carousel doors where they were kicked in.

City Park’s Storyland received a big renovation in 2019, adding new exhibits. The carousel is more than a century old and is on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.

“This hurts my heart. The Carousel and Storyland are such traditional iconic parts of the Park. The Carousel is over 100 years old. To have them survive Katrina only to then be disrespected in this way is a true travesty. The people of New Orleans love City Park and we’re so grateful to them. It’s sad to see a few people destroy so much,” says Bob Becker, City Park CEO.

City Park is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact City Park Chief Operations Officer, Rob DeViney at 504-419-2832.

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Racial slurs found in portable bathroom at construction site in Casselberry

CASSELBERRY, Fla. – Casselberry police are investigating racial slurs found in a portable bathroom at a construction site.

On Wednesday, Tiquanna Oliver said just before she took a break during her shift at a construction site on Lake Drive in Casselberry, she stopped to use the restroom.

“I go inside the porta-potty, as I’m using getting up it catches my eye. So I turn around and that is when I saw it.”

The n-word and other markings including “black lives splatter” were found in the portable bathroom.

Oliver said before she stepped out of the bathroom she snapped photos of the foul writing on her phone and sent them to her boss.

“What made me feel threatened was the fact that it said black lives splatter, I took that as a threat,” Oliver said.

Oliver was working as an electrician on the site and said she works among various subcontractors and vendors.

The New York native said because so many people work at the site she has no idea who is responsible or what prompted the hateful message.

“I’m the only female on the job and it’s only about four African-Americans working out there,” Oliver said.

Oliver filed a report with Casselberry police to investigate the incident. An officer interviewed multiple people and discovered that derogatory words had been covered.

“I called my mother and I broke down to her on the phone, and I’m just like ‘I shouldn’t even feel like this as if I have to look over my shoulder,’” Oliver said.

Oliver said the general contractor of the site MEC contractors worked promptly to remedy and address the problem. In an emailed statement to News 6 MEC condemned the hate speech.

“MEC does not tolerate this type of behavior. The graffiti within the portlet was removed immediately.