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05/17/04  Someone is actually watching out for NW Dallas.

It's hard to be positive living in a part of the city saturated with houses of prostitution operating under city certificates of occupancy as "personal service businesses", but there is a bit of light at the end of our seedy tunnel in NW Dallas.

For one thing, our councilman intends to make us glad he won last year.  Our City Attorney has her reputation on the line regarding sex clubs on NW Highway, and she does not want to be embarrassed further.  Add to the mix, our NW DPD Chief is actually focused on ending the prostitution racket in the bath houses and massage parlors that are all over the place up here. 

Makes for a hopeful situation rather than a hopeless mess.

Arrests made in sex sting at Bachman-area restaurant
01:09 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 12, 2004
By Brett Shipp/WFAA-TV
   City of Dallas officials worked for years to close three topless clubs along Northwest Highway.
   
The closing of Baby Dolls and two other businesses last summer was considered a giant step toward clearing the Bachman Lake corridor of an unwanted sex trade.
   Now, News 8 has learned one of those clubs has been replaced by a new restaurant with something disturbing on the menu.
   Two months ago, the Dallas city attorney's office reacted swiftly to outrage over a provocative image displayed on the sign for a new business, Planet Venus.
   Now, city attorney Madeleine Johnson is reacting to what News 8 found out is evidently going on inside. ...  Planet Venus, licensed as a restaurant, moved in.  ... neighborhood activist Gary Turner decided to ask an employee what, exactly, was being served.
   "I don't know, they haven't told me yet," the employee said. "Chili cheese hot-dogs."
   A few days earlier, however, a News 8 producer visited Planet Venus. A worker offered him not food, but sex in one of three VIP rooms in exchange for $150.
... "After spending years and years in court and spending all of the millions of dollars in legal fees ... here they dropped the ball and this opens up," Turner said. "It's absurd."
   Johnson said she has fought too hard, for too long, to allow this to happen.
   "It's disgusting, it's appalling, it's illegal and it needs to stop immediately," Johnson said. "I'm going to get with the vice department, I'm going to call them today. I'm going to make sure they check out what's going on there immediately; this is totally unacceptable."
...  According to vice squad officials, they made arrests Monday night.
   "Two of the employees agreed to perform sexual activities for a price," said Dallas Police Lt. John Dagen. ...

Gary Turner publishes Crime & Politics, which he distributes in North Dallas.  Turner is no goody-goody two shoes, but he knows the horrendous impact the sex clubs have had on NW Highway at Bachman Lake.  It's bad for redevelopment in this part of town. 

When a business with no kitchen gets a Certificate of Occupancy as a restaurant, you have to know somebody is not doing their job at City Hall.

We require manicurists to get a license (after they successfully complete mandated courses) before they trim your toenails or buff or shape your nails.  Hair dressers and barbers must go to school before they can get a required license and cut our hair.  Why would it be so difficult for the city to require anyone who touches someone else for money to be licensed for their job?  To get a license, you must be here legally.  If massage parlors/bath houses had to have licensed employees, Vice officers could enter any of those places and inspect for licenses.  It would shut down most of those whore houses.

Councilman Steve Salazar, State Rep-Elect Rafael Anchia and NW Chief Saldana are all committed to getting required legislation to make this happen for us.  Mr. Anchia advised Bradford Estates Crime Watch & HOA that he thinks Colorado's massage parlor regulations are a good template with some tweaking to get us what we need .

Last week at the Bachman NW Community Association meeting, Lt. John Dagen (DPD Vice) reported prostitution arrests at Mirage and the DPD's intent to shut it down.  It was good news after hearing rumors about prostitution in Planet Venus.  Still, Vice officers should be able to inspect Mirage on a daily basis just from how they promote that outfit in various sex club magazines.  Mirage boasts of "Hot Asian Girls; Private Rooms Featuring:  Body Shampoo, Oil Body Rubs, Jacuzzi" in one sex business magazine.  In another magazine, their ad says "New Beautiful Oriental Girls Every Week; Private Rooms Featuring ....".

I don't subscribe to sex club magazines.  A fellow who's trying to clean up the area collects them from groceries and convenience stores and other places (really other places). 

It's not just what goes on in the massage parlors/bath houses, it's where those "new beautiful Oriental girls" come from every week.  Many are illegal and not necessarily in the business voluntarily.  They are moved around from joint to joint.  They could not work in these whore houses if we get legislation requiring licenses for massage parlor/bath house employees.  Why?  Well, most are not legally here, for one thing.  And many have already been busted for prostitution which would deny them a license.  Can't run a whore house if you have no supply of hookers.

Loophole allows sexually-oriented businesses to remain in Dallas
03:13 AM CDT on Friday, May 14, 2004
By Brett Shipp/WFAA-TV
   A Dallas City Council member said Thursday he's working to close a loophole that is allowing prostitution to proliferate in the city.
   Currently, massage parlors, bath houses and modeling studios are being given licenses to operate.  ...  News 8 uncovered what's really going on inside a new business on Northwest Highway, Planet Venus. It's licensed as a restaurant, but is allegedly nothing more than a house of prostitution.
... One night after Dallas police arrested two woman for prostitution inside Planet Venus, another woman got thrown out for unknown reasons.
... Planet Venus opened three weeks ago, not as a sexually oriented business but as a restaurant.
... "It's obvious what it is," said neighborhood activist Gary Turner. "The city has dropped the ball."
... Three years ago, Robinson was convicted of promotion of prostitution.
... "Nearly every place that we get a complaint on is operating as a house of prostitution," Dallas Police Lt. John Dagen said. "The new place that opened up, 2900 Walnut Hill, had only been open a week before we made our first case in there." ...  The Mirage which, according to a sign out front, reopened Thursday after remodeling.
... Adult businesses are finding a loophole to operate by simply obtaining what's called a "personal services" license.
   "It's very frustrating for the police department and the city to continue spending that much time in the same locations, and then eventually get them closed down," Dagen said. "(But) then they go to another location and open back up."
   City Councilmember Steve Salazar's district is littered with adult businesses. He said there is "no question" that prostitution is being conducted in these establishments
   Salazar said when operators open with personal service licenses, they are skirting zoning regulations that could govern - or even prohibit - their existence.
... Salazar is calling for new zoning rules to disallow adult businesses such as Planet Venus to obtain anything other than a sexually oriented business license. He'll push the issue before the City Council in the next few weeks, and said he'll even press for changes in state law if that's what it takes.

Councilman Salazar is taking a very proactive approach to ridding the Northern part of District 6 of our plague of massage parlors and bath houses. 

City Attorney M. Johnson is getting more aggressive about prostitution.  She wants to  post pictures of "Johns" on a city website.  It is absolutely necessary to go after the guys who seek out the hookers.  This is a great idea, and we applaud her initiative.

Is this just the happiest piece you have ever seen on DallasArena.com?  Well, hold on.

While we in NW Dallas have a great Deputy Chief over our substation on Harry Hines, people who live in the Greenville Avenue area are not so blessed.  Because people associate Allen Gwinn and me with Avi Adelman of
www.BarkingDogs.org, I've had several discussions about Avi's situation, including the issue going to a Grand Jury. 

Before we discuss the merits of the case against Avi Adelman, I want to say it was absolutely stupid of him to do business with the bad guys.  Avi put himself in a position for them to set him up.  That said, Avi cannot extort money from anyone because he is not an elected official or a public employee.  He has no more power than any other Dallas citizen.  For some bar owners to claim they were afraid of Avi's influence at City Hall so they hired him to design web sites and do graphic designs for them is ludicrous.

Avi has no more influence at City Hall than you do -- probably less.  Avi's neighborhood is split between District 2 and District 14.  He has a poor relationship with Velletta Lill and an even worse one with John Loza.  He certainly cannot expect Our Meddling Mayor to be his champion at City Hall.  All Avi can do is the same thing you and I can do, pick up the phone and call Code Enforcement when he sees some bar violating city ordinances or regulations.  If he is able to get Code Enforcement to do anything, it's because he calls them frequently.  When was the last time you called Code Enforcement?  Avi does it all the time.  So, sure, occasionally he gets something  done.  More often than not, nothing happens when he calls City Hall.

What started this current brouhaha was Adelman complaining to Central Division Chief Danny Garcia about DPD officers standing guard at the doors of bars in DPD uniforms and looking and acting like bouncers for the bars.  Being a legend in his own mind, Avi was very disrespectful to Danny Garcia and ticked him off.  Chief Garcia has a personnel file full of substantiated complaints. 

Chief Garcia initiated the investigation against Avi.  It was not initiated by a complaint from any bar.

Nightclub extortion case up for grand jury review; Activist denies pressuring bar's owner to hire company
08:36 PM CDT on Thursday, May 13, 2004
By ROBERT THARP / The Dallas Morning News
   A Dallas police investigation into allegations that a neighborhood activist tried to extort money from a Lower Greenville Avenue nightclub will be forwarded to a grand jury for review, Dallas police said Thursday.
   The owner of The Service Bar said last month that Belmont Neighborhood Association president Avi Adelman pressured him to employ Mr. Adelman's Internet Web-design company for the bar's Web site and other business services. Bar owner Louis Beheler said he felt the $6,500 fee was exorbitant.
...  Mr. Beheler told police that Mr. Adelman then began sending e-mail messages threatening to file complaints with city code enforcement officers about the bar.
...  "I fully expect to be cleared of this," he said. "This is the bars' way of trying to muscle into the neighborhood."
... "We're going to refer the Lower Greenville investigation to the grand jury. That's on the advice of the D.A.'s office," Dallas police Lt. Jerry Ramage said. "We got statements from about six people."
   A grand jury hearing date had not been scheduled Thursday, and officials with the district attorney's office could not be reached for comment.

Allen Gwinn addresses the matter on www.Dallas.org , Adelman Extortion Allegations Not Based on Complaints  (22 April 2004):   "Thanks to the Texas Public Information Act, questions are starting to emerge about the way Dallas Police Assistant Chief Danny Garcia has handled a very public investigation into extortion accusations against neighborhood activist Avi Adelman. The accusations, it appears, may not have come from local bar owners, but from Chief Garcia himself. Read more... "

This is more likely a case of official oppression by a powerful DPD commander rather than an extortion effort by a powerless private citizen.

Danny Garcia was not a friend to the Bachman-NW Highway community when we were trying to prevent more bars and night clubs from opening on NW Highway.  Several officers defend him as a good boss, and one of my dearest friends in Oak Lawn adores him for all his help with Sam Houston Elementary.  Still, Chief Garcia crossed the line with his vendetta against Avi Adelman, and Avi crossed over the line when he decided to do business with the bad guys.

It's not like the City Attorney's office didn't try to shut down DallasArena.com, Dallas.org and BarkingDogs.org under orders from Ron Kirk and Mary Poss.  Even in Dallas, free speech is the law.

As questionable and unethical as it may have been for a community activist who made his bones attacking bars in his area to seek to do business with them, it is not unlawful.  This is a frivolous action and probably a slap suit.  It is a waste of taxpayer dollars for this to even be considered by a Grand Jury.  It is intended to punish and intimidate Avi Adelman and others who challenge local government officials and employees.

And on that happy note,  we will close this edition of DallasArena.com.  And, yes, we are getting back to Grandpa Jones and his plans to rob us blind.

sb

                                        

    





                            

 

  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8