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Assembly votes to recognize Polynesian Flag Day, postpones AO-37 action

By KTVA Alaska 10:39 PM June 24, 2014

The Anchorage Assembly gathered for a full agenda Tuesday tonight. Members also made time to honor an Assembly member who made municipal history.

Everything from transportation and road construction, wetlands planning and bar break was discussed. The outcome of tonight’s Assembly meeting means a delay for a decision on controversial labor law AO-37 and a reason for Alaska’s Polynesian community to celebrate.

Here are the highlights:

  • Municipal leaders voted to recognize June 28 as Polynesian Flag Day, which is the most widely recognized Polynesian holiday in America … and now Anchorage.
  • Assemblywoman Jennifer Johnston introduced an ordinance, which has been dubbed “AO-37 lite” to change the labor code. A public hearing on this ordinance will take place in late-July. If lawmakers can’t come to an agreement to address AO-37, the decision will be left to the public come November.
  • Municipal leaders also voted not to change the name of N Street to Mount Susitna Drive.
  • On the matter of bar break, no new bars applied for the Bar Safety Hour Permit, which allows a bar to remain open past 3 a.m. if they agree not to sell alcohol past that time. So far, only a few bars have signed up for this program, but Assembly members expect more to sign up once temperatures begins to drop and winter rolls in.
  • The Assembly took time out to recognize and honor Assembly Vice Chair Dick Traini, who at 15 years and counting is the longest-serving Assembly member in municipal history. To that, Traini says he’s just getting started. “I’ll be around until they kick my dead body out of here because as long as you’re on this body, you can make an effective change for the citizens of Anchorage,” Traini said. “I’m here to change things and make this town work. I’ve done it successfully for 15 years. I intend to do it until they tell me I can’t do it anymore.” In his 15 years on the Anchorage Assembly, from Oct. 1, 1991, through today, Traini says he is most proud of his work in making drunk driving penalties more harsh and putting the indoor smoking ban in place.

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