Movement to Raise Age Limits of Alaskan Strip Clubs

The PTA is trying to put an end to high school students visiting strip clubs by asking the city to ban customers under 21 from patronizing or working at the clubs.

Nancy Fair, vice president of the Service High School Parent Teacher Student Association, is once of the active leaders of the movement that is attempting stricter regulation of adult entertainment in Anchorage. Her supporters include at least one community council and the Anchorage Council of PTAs, an umbrella organization of about 60 Anchorage PTAs.

Fair submitted a briefing to the city that says each year there are more than 2,500 Anchorage School District students 18 to 20 years old who can legally work at or attend "very graphic live nude shows."

Currently, there are no known high school students working in a strip club in the city. Fair said she doesn't know of any. Mike Henry, executive director of high schools for the School District, said he also hadn't heard anything about students working as strippers.

Current city laws forbid anyone under 18 from entering an "adult-oriented establishment" such as a strip joint.

Terry Stahlman, who owns the local strip club Showboat told the Anchorage Daily News that most of the 18-to-25-year-old dancers who work there are single parents or putting themselves through college. "They're not into drugs or alcohol," he said. "They're supporting their children. They're buying their own homes. They're taxpayers. That's the real deal. ... It's a hundred steps above a lot of things that they could be doing."

"I think it's ridiculous and probably unconstitutional," Stahlman said in response to Fair's movement to raise the age for working or enterting a strip club to 21. "Why not 19? Why not 20? Why not 38? ... 38 and a half!"

Other new changes Fair wants include barring anyone with prior convictions related to prostitution, alcohol, drugs, underage employment and patronage or tax evasion from opening one of the clubs. She wants the city to increase enforcement of current and new regulations regarding the clubs, notify community councils when license applications or renewals for them are submitted, and establish tougher penalties for violations.

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