Anchorage Assemblyman tries again to legalize New Year's Eve fireworks

Rosemary Shinohara

Anchorage Assemblyman Dick Traini is trying, once again, to make it legal for people to set off fireworks without a permit in the city on New Year's Eve.

A law allowing private fireworks for a few hours Dec. 31 expires at the end of next week. If the Assembly does nothing, personal fireworks won't be allowed.

The Assembly first made them legal in 2010. Many people liked the displays that turned up across the city, but many others complained about the noise, and how it disturbed pets as well as some people.

Before New Year's Eve 2011, the Assembly tightened up the law to forbid fireworks within 200 feet of a neighbor's house. That effectively outlawed them in most neighborhoods.

Traini's newest proposal is scheduled to be introduced at Tuesday's Assembly meeting, with a public hearing and decision on Dec. 18.

It includes some restrictions -- no shooting fireworks within 500 feet of a gas station, hotel, school, assisted living facility or church, for example -- but would let people set them off 20 feet from somebody else's house.

Traini said he also wants to put the question of whether fireworks should be legal before voters in the April city election.

Assembly member Debbie Ossiander, who opposes allowing private fireworks, said she thinks Traini will have an uphill battle getting the Assembly to approve his proposal.

Reach Rosemary Shinohara at or 257-4340.