Archive for Thursday, July 21, 2005

Keep store open

July 21, 2005


To the editor:

I would like to comment on the July 15 article about Richard Osburn and his store on Massachusetts Street, Naughty But Nice. I find the premise under which he is being forced to close his shop distressing. The rule that adult businesses must be on a highway is a ploy to shield the fact that such businesses are attacked by conservative activists with the intent to eliminate viewpoints that disagree with theirs.

In the article, Commissioner Rundle said, "If it is valid to not let young people shop there, then our laws should be valid requiring them to be located in a place where they are more likely to be accessed only by adults." This rationale is ridiculous. Priscilla's, an adult business on 23rd Street (a highway), is near several shops and a grocery store, all of which are patronized by children. The identification of a street as a "highway" has no impact on the presence of children.

So then, what grounds could there be for forcing this local business owner who contributes to the Lawrence economy to close? According to this same July 15 article, he is not disliked by the store's neighbors, accommodates the community by tinting windows and using unobtrusive signage, and does not admit anyone under 18.

Let Mr. Osburn keep his business. Whether you like what he sells is irrelevant; this is America. He should get to make his living in whatever way he sees fit so long as he doesn't harm anyone. And he hasn't.

Stephanie Kirmer,



ozzynbn 12 years, 9 months ago

A very important point to this is that businesses are more apt to be robbed along a state highway than other streets. Easier access for a getaway. Does the city of Lawrence wish to endanger people who patronize and work in businesses along state highways?

It's true that some conservatives may not like my business, but here is a cold hard reality. We at NBN are getting more grief from the "liberal" element than the conservative. And I am mainly talking about what is coming from city hall because in 5 1/2 years I have only had 2 people come into my store to protest it. Had THOUSANDS who told me they appreciate it being there. The math is easy.....

This whole thing would not be an issue if it weren't for a few squeaky wheels in town. People who believe that ALL of us should live according to their moralities. They aren't the majority opinion as I've witnessed, just the loudest whinners.

I won't mention names, but yesterday an elderly resident of the neighborhood stopped in to say "Keep up the fight". She doesn't buy my product, but she does recognize my right to exist as a retail store on Mass St. If I could get her to go down to city hall to chastize the ne'er do wells, I would. After all, remember how 5 years ago some parents in this town USED their children and paraded them in front of the city commission and on tv to say how "afraid" they were to walk past the place? Day after day, people of all ages walk by the store without worry. It's really no big deal. Foot traffic from the street is probably less than 5%. My patrons prefer to drive into the lot meaning that they are coming from all areas of the city.

Can the City Commission be fair minded on this issue? We shall see.....

Some are looking for their 15 minutes of fame and sticking their nose in my business is a way to do it. We'd just as soon be left alone to make a modest, decent living from the citizens of Lawrence. If the people in area didn't want the products sold in the store, it would have closed years ago.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 9 months ago

Our neighborhood were able to down zoned a few properties as a matter of prevention. Restrictions should have been requested yesterday. However it's a little late once contracts are signed....

There is probaly more pressure from the neighborhood than what is on the surface otherwise commissioners would probaly leave well enough alone.

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