Anchorage assemblyman aims to ban strippers under age 21

Plan is to keep teens in areas separate from where alcohol is sold

Posted: Wednesday, August 24, 2005

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Assemblyman Dick Traini plans to introduce a law on Tuesday to effectively ban 18- to 20-year-olds from working as strippers.

Traini's proposal would require 1,000 feet of separation between liquor-licensed establishments and clubs employing strippers under the age of 21.

The law would most notably affect the city's only under-21 strip club, Fantasies on 5th Avenue, which is adjacent to a bar run by the same owners.

Kathy and Carol Hartman separate their bar, The Setter, from their strip club with a big glass wall.

Although Fantasies and The Setter are technically separate businesses, they share a common entrance and customers can move between the bar and the strip club. Traini said he worries about "kids" accessing alcohol and being hassled by drunk customers.

"I think it subjects them to pressures that an 18-year-old isn't equipped to handle," he said.

The Hartmans say there are protections to prevent the young dancers from being harassed or exposed to alcohol, including security at the entrance and bartenders who check IDs before selling drinks.

The Hartmans are worried the under-21 issue will influence the Assembly's decision on an amendment to The Setter's liquor license.

The amendment would allow them to move the bar upstairs to a new second floor and stretch the strip club across the whole first floor. Upstairs drinkers would be able to view the strippers through a hole in the floor.

The Hartman's said they have already invested a large amount of time and money in the expansion, although they declined to give a specific amount.

"This is not only our livelihood; it's our life," Carol Hartman said.

Traini said he is not trying to put the bar out of business.

"They could hire all 21-year-old strippers, and that would solve the problem," he said.

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