Today’s Springfield Republican reports:
Bobianski said a caller at 1:37 a.m. reported numerous shots fired inside Club 418, a strip club, located at 453 ½ Worthington St.
“Officers responded to the scene and found five people who had serious gunshot wounds and another victim who was stabbed,” Bobianski said. “All of them were inside of the bar.”
…One of the victims, a 23-year-old Springfield man, died at 2:20 a.m…
Club 418 “has had problems in the past,” but its record isn’t much different from other strip clubs, police said.
“They are all about the same. And that’s the second this year,” Bobianski said, referring to the January fatal shooting of a man at the Mardi Gras at 91 Taylor St.
The city has four topless clubs, he said…
In August, Club 418 was essentially put on probation by the License Commission after two dancers fought and one hit another with a stiletto-heel shoe…
In 2007, a July 28 shooting inside Club 418 left a 26-year-old man with injuries to the stomach and groin and led to five arrests.
Springfield Republican: “Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says strip club killing gives city a ‘black eye'” (6/1/09)
State Police Lt. Thomas J. Daly, who has patrolled downtown for the last four years with the State Police Community Action Team, said incidents of violence and lawlessness are becoming painfully common in the club quarter, particularly at closing time when hundreds of people file out into the streets.
“What we see is a situation that is becoming intolerable,” he said. “It is a disgrace to the city.”
He said it is common to see open drug dealing and gang activity downtown on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The city needs to act quickly to get it all under control, he said.
Springfield Republican: “Man fatally shot inside strip bar” (1/22/09)
…a 22-year-old man was shot in the head while sitting at the bar at the Mardi Gras strip club downtown…
said Colon [the victim] had been involved in a “verbal and physical
altercation with several other subjects” in the Mardi Gras about 20
minutes prior to being killed…
[Sgt. John] Delaney said police
records show police have been called to the Mardi Gras a total of 30
times during business hours since July 1 and another 14 times
after-hours for alarm activations…
Strip Clubs And Wall Street
…These clubs are like wrecking balls to marriages and communities.
The dancers work under abusive conditions. Drugs, disease and
prostitution are prevalent, and the realities of sex trafficking
from Eastern Europe are not to be taken lightly.
Appeals Court Upholds Daytona Zoning and Public Nudity Ordinances; No
Grandfathering for Lollipop’s Gentlemen’s Club; Rebutting Daniel Linz (emphasis added)
…Ordinance 81-334 cites two Supreme Court decisions, New York State Liquor Authority v. Bellanca, 452 U.S. 714 (1981) (per curiam), and California v. LaRue, 409 U.S. 109 (1972), both of which upheld prohibitions on nude dancing in establishments that serve alcohol. See Bellanca, 452 U.S. at 718 (upholding statute where the legislature had found that “[c]ommon sense indicates that any form of nudity coupled with alcohol in a public place begets undesirable behavior”); LaRue,
409 U.S. at 118-19 (“The . . . conclusion . . . that certain sexual
performances and the dispensation of liquor by the drink ought not to
occur at premises that have licenses was not an irrational one.”)
…Langston testified that live nude and seminude entertainment
businesses “promote and perpetuate urban decay” and that “adult
businesses have impacted on crime in the area surrounding Daytona
Beach.” Id. at 547. Smith, who as an assistant state
attorney had prosecuted drug and prostitution offenses in Daytona
Beach, concurred that “there were more drug and prostitution offenses in topless bars than in other bars.” Id. at 548.
…the First Amendment does not prevent a city from limiting the venues where dancers may communicate their erotic message…
Hampden Superior Court Lets Capital Video Reopen Viewing Booths in Springfield; A Proposed Solution (9/30/08)
Massachusetts municipalities can enact an “amortization clause”,
meaning that all non-conforming adult uses have to come into compliance
within a fixed period of time. The
town of North Reading, MA has one of these clauses (PDF):
(1) Any adult use which exists in North Reading at the time of the
adoption of this bylaw shall cease and desist all adult use activities
within five years (5) of the effective date of this bylaw.
(2) Adult uses which apply for and are granted a special permit under
the provisions of this bylaw shall be exempt from Subsection E(1)
Amortization is perhaps the best strategy
we’re aware of for Springfield to improve the quality of life for
downtown residents and revitalize the area. It would be clear,
effective, lasting, and legal.