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Thank you, Betty

02/28/03  There are rules, but not for them.

Someone has decided revenue from the town's legal whorehouses is more important than code enforcement or any other regulation the city has in place to control these low life operations.  That's the only explanation for why clearly illegal operations are allowed to stay open when they violate multiple city ordinances.

If a restaurant doesn't meet city health standards, it is shut down.  If a sex club allowed to open as a private club in a "dry" area under a restricted Certificate of Occupancy does not meet the terms of its CO -- NOTHING HAPPENS!

City's adult clubs still doing big business
By KATIE FAIRBANK / The Dallas Morning News
. . .   she needs to catch a customer's eye, make a connection, and possibly reel in a tip or a lap-dance appointment.
. . ."Since the economy started slacking, we've got more girls than customers," 
. . .  the recent feud between City Hall and the private-but-tax-supported Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau have combined to cut profits.  . . . "City Hall definitely affects how we do business, but it is the economy that affects how much business we do."
. . .  annual revenues are around $14 billion. 
. . . 
  Dallas has long held a national reputation for its flesh palaces.  . . . "It's what Dallas has that's superior to every other city in the world," said Tom Stephenson, president of Restaurant, Retail & More,
. . .  adult clubs traditionally top the state comptroller's monthly list of the highest- grossing sellers of alcoholic beverages. Eight of the top 25 establishments that sell alcohol in the state of Texas are adult entertainment venues,
. . . The clubs say they've recast their image in hopes of becoming part of acceptable society.  
. . .  "
He wants to see a tall woman with big breasts," he said. "I think that making a big ruckus with the Convention Bureau about not allowing them to entertain people at these clubs is going to hurt business."
. . .  "All the boss cares is if you produce. They don't care where you go or what you do," said Mr. Stephenson.

"The clubs say they've recast their image in hopes of becoming part of acceptable society."  Last week, a couple who send their kids to private schools with their earnings from the sex clubs sent me a series of e-mails trying to justify their part in this sick business.  I do agree that couple's employers are at the high end of the low life business.  There are so many sublevels of sex clubs in Dallas, it's hard to keep up with all the new terms of operations.  

Now, there's some category called a "rub down".  And that's legal?

Northwest Highway had more than our share of these sleazy operations thanks to the assistance of Terrell Bolton and Old Al Lipscomb.  Now, we have an infestation of massage parlors and saunas opening up right next to where people live.  There's one on Monroe with advertisements that have nothing to do with health massages.  The ads are specific and lurid and self-incriminating, but the Police can't shut this joint down.

What's worse?  The place operates without a permit as a sexually oriented business.  Code Enforcement could close it down tomorrow, but that's not going to happen.

Silver City and this massage parlor are both in the current District 6.  Apparently, someone has decided since the Northwest part of District 6 has no political clout at City Hall these sex clubs can just open up and operate anywhere they want.

Mary Poss is suddenly the big champion of restaurants and bars who want their customers to smoke.  Mary Poss is also the council member who takes credit for moving LaBare out of her District 9 into poor under-represented District 6.  LaBare is within a 1000 feet of at least two sexually oriented businesses that were already operating before Poss threw her weight around to pave the way for LaBare to set up shop in District 6.  City Hall tries to justify that location by saying LaBare is not a sexually oriented business.

Let's see.  You got a bunch of babes in G-strings, doing lap dances, feeling up the horny patrons.  Sounds like a sex club?   That's what goes on at LaBare.  That's why Poss wanted it out of her District 9.

Speaking of Mayor PreTend Poss, it is embarrassing to see her blatantly using the smoking ordinance for her campaign.  She has all the political skill and insight of a noodle that's been in the water too long.  

Sunday morning, I met a friend at IHOP for breakfast.  The first thing you notice is a big sign on the door 'NO SMOKING'.  The second thing you notice is it doesn't stink.  When you walk in the door, rather than smelling stale cigarette smoke, you smell pancakes, coffee, bacon and syrup.  The place was packed.  When we left, there were at least 20 people waiting to get in to eat. 

That IHOP is just South of LBJ, which makes it just outside the city limits of Farmers Branch.  If that eatery was losing business to the suburbs, there must have been a mob scene at every breakfast place in Farmers Branch where smokers can light up.

I have been ambiguous about this whole non-smoking thing.  Never smoked in my life, and I am very sensitive to smoke filled rooms.  Every symptom, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, nose.  If I went to a place and smelled smoke before I smelled food, I frequently went somewhere else.  Most IHOP's and Denny's have that leftover smoke smell.  Some could compete with a bar.  

I always wished people would not smoke where food is being served.  Not because they were forbidden by law to do so, just because it is so outright rude and nasty.  The smoking section thing helped some.  It at least let you eat away from the smokers, even if their smoke wafted over to your side of the room.  It was less offensive than having some jerk turn toward your table and blow his smoke directly at your plate of food.  

I once saw a billboard "I don't spit in your food, please don't blow smoke on mine."

My resentment was toward the smokers who would light up at table, not toward the restaurant that allowed them to light up.

I did not support the anti-smoking ordinance for several reasons, but primarily because I believe in property rights and the timing was bad for something so drastic.  I think an anti-smoking ordinance ought to go to the voters.  I think it would have passed.  There are more non-smokers than puffers.  Had there been a referendum, there would be a lot less room for folks like Mary Poss to exploit the issue.

Now that the restaurant people are hooked up with Mary Poss, they may have finally pushed me over to supporting the ordinance.  Publicly avowing not to prohibit cigarette smoking (even though it is now prohibited in restaurants by city ordinance), puts the restaurant folks in the same place of non-compliance as the sex club operators.

That's a pretty low place to be.

What surprises me as much as anything is how quiet Old Al Lipscomb has been about all this.  What a great opportunity for him to rake in some "gifts"!  He could be out there promoting Poss and Smokers' Rights at the same time with "walking around money" from her and an allowance from the restaurant people.  

Old Al sure has been active for such a sick old man, as we heard during his trial.

Old Al Lipscomb has done so much harm in this town.  It's not just what he did to those foreign born taxi drivers with his Yellow Cab bribes or the damage he did to the Bachman/Northwest Hwy. community with his Caligula bribe.  Old Al may have caused the demise of Johnnie's Manor.

AIDS agency loses contract with Dallas County; $1.1 million deal voided after leadership change at Johnnie's Manor  03/01/2003
By SHERRY JACOBSON / The Dallas Morning News
Dallas County is terminating a $1.1 million contract with Johnnie's Manor, a South Dallas agency that provides housing, transportation and other services for people with AIDS and HIV, county officials said Friday.
    Betty Culbreath-Lister, director of the county's Health and Human Services Department, said the county decided to sever the contract effective Saturday, after questioning the 11-year-old agency's change of executive directors.
. . .  Helen Spicer, an acknowledged former drug addict, had been the agency's executive director until her ouster last month.
. . .She said she was forced out of the job during a meeting attended by seven people. Not all of them were board members, she believes. The county later could find no proof that some of them were ever appointed to the 21-member board, Ms. Culbreath-Lister said.
   Lavette Dudley  . . .  is the daughter of former Dallas City Council member Al Lipscomb, was appointed by the board to replace Ms. Spicer. 
. . . Mr. Lipscomb said Friday that he serves on the board of directors of Johnnie's Manor 
. . . Both Ms. Spicer and Ms. Culbreath-Lister questioned whether he had been appointed to the board.
. . . In recent weeks, Ms. Spicer said, she has argued with the staff at Johnnie's Manor over employees who were being hired without criminal background checks.
. . . In 1999, Ms. Spicer was forced to withdraw an application for $60,000 in city funding after Mr. Lipscomb acknowledged he had lobbied other council members for the money ? which appeared to be a conflict of interest because his wife, Lovie Lipscomb, was a part-time employee of the agency.
. . . "None of our audits have found problems with the programs or spending at Johnnie's Manor," Ms. Culbreath-Lister said. "But we have a responsibility to know who is running this agency before we give them any more funds.". . .

There's a bit more to this story, like there is to the sex clubs operating and MPT Poss championing Smokers' Rights.  

Betty Culbreath chaired the Plan Commission when I was a Commissioner.  Several of us opposed her being named chair when Dan Garrigan resigned, but it happened anyway.  She and I agreed to put that behind us and we became friends, but usually cancelled each other's vote.  

Ms. Culbreath-Lister has served on most plumb city boards and commissions, including the DFW Board.  She has been a steadfast supporter of Old Al.  She must have been heartbroken when he endorsed her opponent in last year's DISD school board race.  She probably feels like she no longer has any obligation to cover for Old Al or the rest of his family.  She did the right thing regarding Johnnie's Manor.  

Sometimes you can kill two birds with one stone.

Ms. Culbreath-Lister did the responsible thing in forcing the board of Johnnie's Manor to clean up its act.  The bad guys in this mess are all named Lipscomb.  As usual, Old Al could care less who gets hurt as long as he gets his cut.  The people served by Johnnie's Manor are in a desperate situation, now made even more hopeless by Old Al Lipscomb's greed.

Residents and business owners in Northwest Dallas can certainly empathize with the clients of Johnnie's Manor and even Ms. Spicer.  Through the shenanigans of Old Al and his enablers, lives have been uprooted and even destroyed.  
Citizen D:
Bravo Betty!  I happen to really like her and feel that she will do the right things.
   You may be on to something here ... maybe the County can do some levels of enforcement that the City is unwilling to do.
   That would be the "BEST" black eye -- the County stepping and and successfully closing  down some of these clubs for health related violations.
   Good Luck NW Dallas!

I am proud of my friend, Betty Culbreath-Lister for taking a dangerous stand.  Going against the Lipscomb gang will certainly make some people turn on her.  Until a few weeks ago, Councilman James Fantroy might have been one of them.  For the African-American community to just shut him down and shut him out may be the only way to finally put an end to the trouble Al Lipscomb can cause. 

I don't know the solution for those of us in Northwest Dallas.  Will it take someone who has finally hit bottom in the sex club business to be the one to take that slave trade down?

We may need for Ms. Culbreath-Lister to turn the full wrath of her Dallas County Health and Human Services Department loose on the sauna's and massage parlors and sex clubs.  






  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