Thanks to Mark Donald for letting me whip him up into an empathetic froth so he, too, came to the defense of my clients ("Gimme shelter," February 10). The women from Yugoslavia in the Dallas County jail were released the same afternoon that his article was published in the Dallas Observer.
John Wheat Gibson
In the piece regarding Bachman Lake-area strip clubs ("Hot and bothered," February 24), Jonathan Fox forgot one important detail about the current legal battles. Everyone that passes through the doors of Baby Dolls is an American citizen with the same rights and freedoms as the residents who wish to evict that club. Instead of attempting to force the clubs to close -- and ending employment for hundreds of people -- why don't the anti-bar residents simply sell their homes and move many miles away?
The problem with ordinances regarding adult entertainment is that they are written in a manner designed to bankrupt the club owners. This is not sound legislative policy, and it doesn't accomplish anything. The current no-win scenario offered to the Northwest Highway clubs places them on Harry Hines Boulevard, a road plagued with vice and perpetual construction. Relocation there creates an overwhelming advantage for the competition, namely, The Men's Club, The Lodge, and others.
It's the city of Dallas' fault!
The main reason for no-win legislation is our elected officials, who don't want to go on the record supporting stripping. The Dallas City Council has constantly sent the club owners scurrying to the courts to block laws designed to drive their establishments into the poorhouse.
Take lap dancing, for example. Before the Bachman Lake residents started their drive to close taxpaying businesses, contact between patrons and performers was discouraged by the management of these clubs. It's a different story today, thanks to the 1997 legal battle. The general feeling among strip clubs today is that the city of Dallas is incapable of dealing with sexual businesses in a fair and equal manner. Why bother upholding standards of decency after you've been targeted for extinction?
There is a simple way to end all of this nonsense and satisfy all sides. All it takes is a city council willing to show some backbone and fairness when it comes to dealing with vice-related issues. Here it is: Give the clubs their nudity back!
There was a time when all adult bars could display full nudity. Today, all but the private BYOB establishments are topless, with most requiring latex breast coverings. By creating a new class of nude entertainment licenses for use only in specified areas, the city will have created a carrot to lead those wayward clubs back into areas where residential housing is scarce.
The sticky part is the reality that nude bars have the ultimate advantage of being able to offer Playboy-style entertainment. The Northwest Highway clubs can offer only latex-covered-nipple dancing. If done correctly, the Bachman Lake-area club owners will gladly move, since staying put means losing money. And money is the bottom line to these businessmen.
Most important, inform any Dallas residents who object to the license that any man can have a nude stripper delivered to his home through an escort agency. There's nothing like a good dose of reality to send morality types scurrying back to church.
Creating win-win negotiations is easy if you try. Why isn't it done that way in Dallas?
James M. Eddinger
Editor's note: Mr. Eddinger used to work as a DJ at The Fare West, a Bachman Lake-area topless club.
I hope the girl can help it. Laura Miller's obnoxious behavior on the council has caused me to upchuck what little hope I had that she would be an asset at City Hall ("The girl can't help it," February 10). Her loud blathering and the apparent disdain she harbors toward Mayor Ron Kirk is not what the council needs.
Miller's Ragsdale-esque behavior is all the more tiring given that she seems to have no "cause."
It is evident that she seeks a cause whereby to damn the current council. Since her opposition of Mayor Kirk's Trinity River project didn't garner those results, perhaps the vilification of Al Lipscomb will.
Miller has proved to be a vocal cog in the workings of the council but nothing more. Though she may be infatuated with potholes and code enforcement, it is the pothole in her face that makes her a bad choice for mayor. She doesn't know when to enforce teeth and lips over that one.
Lest we forget, when the bad guys look really, really bad, just about anyone can appear more trustworthy, intelligent, and savvy.
Regarding Laura Miller's candidacy for mayor, I have only one short comment: Tell Laura we love her, tell Laura we need her. Oh, and to our current short-fused, foul-mouthed, dishonest and venal mayor, you go to hell!
Eye of the beholder
While I found your recent article about Laura Miller quite interesting, there were a few inaccurate statements. Your facts about Max Goldblatt's mayor's race were actually quite correct, as he should have been elected if not for the corruption in the election. However, your description of him was a disgrace to him as well as to his followers and family. For your information, this funny-looking man, as you called him, was quite attractive. Have you ever looked in a mirror?
As for not being well-spoken, I find it odd that at the age of 80 he was in demand to speak at several functions. How many functions have you been asked to speak at in the last year?
Last, as for not being able to raise large amounts of money for his campaign, that was his choice. If you check your records, many groups wanted to endorse him. He said to them, and I quote, "I want your vote but not the rope around my neck when I become mayor." You see, he couldn't be bought, and as you so aptly put it, should have won the election but lost by fewer than 500 votes. This was with little funds but an honest person caring about a city he loved.
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I, for one, am glad Max Goldblatt cared about Dallas and its people. Because of him, Dallas now has single-member districts for council elections, a wonderful junior college system, magnet schools, a police robot that saves the lives of officers, and much more. I daresay you couldn't match his credentials. Please do your research.
Leah G. Lahasky
In the February 24 feature story "Hot and bothered," Deputy Chief John Ferguson of the Dallas police was incorrectly identified as Deputy Chief "John Sullivan." We regret the error.