After the first New Year's Eve when private fireworks were legal in Anchorage, there's already a movement on the Anchorage Assembly to repeal the law permitting them, or at least to outlaw the noisiest fireworks. And maybe to limit fireworks to neighborhoods where houses aren't too close together.
Dick Traini, Anchorage Assembly chairman, thinks the city's new law letting people set off their own New Year's Eve fireworks, which he sponsored, was a success.
"This town was just lit up with people using fireworks," Traini said. Thousands of people brightened the skies with colorful displays in neighborhoods from Chugiak to Sand Lake.
But afterward, many residents who didn't enjoy their evening sent complaining e-mails and phoned Assembly members and the mayor's office to tell them so. One person, Airman 1st Class Zach Stewart, 21, was seriously injured in a fireworks accident, Anchorage police said. Police said that could happen any year -- fireworks are always set off, whether they are legal or illegal.
But everyone agrees that this year the number, duration and noise level of neighborhood fireworks surpassed any other year in Anchorage.
"It was like a war zone," Sigrun Robertson of East Anchorage wrote to four Assembly members. "It was the worst New Year's I have ever spent in Anchorage." She spent the night holding her miserable, freaked-out golden retriever, Hunter, she said in an interview.
Jon Nauman, owner of the Horse Drawn Carriage Co. that provides rides to people, said his horses downtown were so tensed up by sidewalk fireworks that the drivers couldn't take a break all night -- they had to stay in their seats and in control. The drivers shut down early.
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