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Archive for Wednesday, May 5, 1993

CITY DRAFTING RULES TO REGULATE CLUB

May 5, 1993

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If nude dancing must be allowed in Lawrence, at least there should be strict controls on who should be able to see it, and when, where, how it can be performed, Lawrence city commissioners decided Tuesday night.

Less than a week after a nude bar opened in North Lawrence, commissioners asked city staff to draft two possible ordinances: one banning nudity in businesses altogether, and another placing strict regulations on such businesses' operations.

``My focus is the future,'' Commissioner Bob Schulte said. ``I don't want to focus on this one establishment. There's one here, but there may be 40 in our future, in the course of years, and I want to focus on the future.''

The two ordinances, and accompanying legal opinions, will be ready by the end of the month, said David Corliss, assistant to the city manager. Both possibilities are legal, he said, but banning nudity altogether is ``less solid'' than mere regulation.

JEFF WALLACE, whose Juicers bar opened last week at 913 N. Second, reiterated his stand that regulating his dancers, employees and operating hours was just fine to a point.

``I'm all for regulation, as long as it's fair,'' Wallace said after the meeting. ``If it gets to the point where it's meant to drive me out of business, that's where we'd have a problem. We'll put up a fight.''

The city's current anti-nudity ordinance doesn't apply to Juicers, because the bar serves only water, fruit juices and soft drinks, not alcohol.

Commissioner Bob Moody, who lives in North Lawrence, suggested several ways to regulate the ``juice bar'': set minimum ages for employees, restrict operating hours to 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., prohibit touching between dancers and customers, and prohibit the words ``nude'' or ``adult entertainment'' from appearing on outside signs.

``Most of the people who have spoken to me are more in favor of stiff regulations,'' Moody said.

MEMBERS OF the public attending the meeting offered differing views about the good and bad behind nude dancing.

Eric Moore, the bar's disc jockey, said he'd worked in several other nude bars, and Juicers was ``the cleanest establishment I've ever been in.''

Security is tight, he said, and the nearest bar, Johnny's, is five blocks away. Alcohol-induced problems are non-existent.

``You're pulling people out of alcohol establishments and putting them into one that's alcohol-free,'' he said. ``You can't beat that.''

The concern isn't alcohol, but exploitation of women, said Pat Sinclair, 2022 Ky.

``The message we're giving to our young men is, `If I give a woman $5, she will perform for me.' '' she said. ``The next time they're out on a date, what is the message when they buy (a woman) a drink?''

JONATHAN Kincaid, 2515 Belle Haven, said Juicers threatened the safety and well-being of people in the community by preying upon people with ``addictive tendencies.''

Among the ``most obvious social depravities related to this outrage,'' Kincaid said, were reducing women to sex objects; promoting the deterioration of public health by ``increasing the probablility of AIDS and other venereal diseases''; and encouraging prostitution, drugs, rape and molestations in the area.

He said Juicers also would add ``another stop'' in the downward cycle of sexual addiction for people such as serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer, whose ``core of dementia'' related to pornography and sexual addictions led to their serial killings.

``I call upon city commissioners to show their strong moral character and do everything legally possible to rid our city of this evil.''

Kris Long, who waits tables at the bar, said reiterated that AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases cannot be contracted by viewing dancers.

And there are no documented cases of nude dancing leading people to become serial killers, said Long, a KU student studying for medical school.

The bar is a clean club, she said, with no fights, no alcohol and no trouble.

``You need to come down to see what it's like,'' she said.

AT LEAST two commissioners, Jo Andersen and Doug Compton, will accept the invitation, and visit the bar. Whether the visit is during business hours or not remains to be seen.

Compton said he wanted to check out the bar's layout, windows and signs.

``I don't need to see somebody take off their clothes to know they're nude,'' he said.

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