Assembly Revises Bar ‘Safety Hour’ Law

The Anchorage Assembly unanimously passed a new version of an ordinance that allows bars to stay open for an extra ‘safety’ hour so that patrons can filter out slowly. The assembly hopes the new version of the law will increase participation in a program aimed at curbing problems at closing time.
The Assembly passed the original ordinance aimed at the problem back in March. But bar owners said the the punishments were too high and there was too much paperwork. Assembly member Patrick Flynn, who represents downtown proposed the original ordinance. He says he thinks they’ve got it right now.

“The previous version that passed had a pretty high fee schedule. And the application process wasn’t as well as it could have been, so I hope we’ve got that thought out now.”

The ordinance allows bars to stay open for an additional safety hour, between 3 and 4am, on weekends and holidays. They cannot serve alcohol during the hour. Lights are required to be up. And music is prohibited. If a business is found in violation of the law they’re given a hearing through the clerk’s office. The clerk can suspend a bar’s safety hour permit without the hearing if they’re deemed a danger to the public. It becomes law in 10 days and will be up for review after a year.

AO NO. 2013-86

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Daysha Eaton is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network. Daysha Eaton holds a B.A. from Evergreen State College, and a M.A. from the University of Southern California. Daysha got her start in radio at Seattle public radio stations, KPLU and KUOW. Before coming to KBBI, she was the News Director at KYUK in Bethel. She has also worked as the Southcentral Reporter for KSKA in Anchorage. Daysha's work has appeared on NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", PRI's "The World" and "National Native News". She's happy to take assignments, and to get news tips, which are best sent via email. Daysha became a journalist because she believes in the power of storytelling. Stories connect us and they help us make sense of our world. They shed light on injustice and they comfort us in troubled times. She got into public broadcasting because it seems to fulfill the intention of the 4th Estate and to most effectively apply the freedom of the press granted to us through the Constitution. She feels that public radio has a special way of moving people emotionally through sound, taking them to remote places, introducing them to people they would not otherwise meet and compelling them to think about issues they might ordinarily overlook.

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