Readers' Letters
by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT Pussycats owner Ben Cunningham runs several lingerie shops in the Portland area. Neighbors have complained for years about the racy atmosphere of the lingerie shops, but because alcohol isn't sold at the shops, city rules don't apply.

These people chose to buy homes and live directly next to commercially zoned property, which in the case of both properties has been used for the same type of business for a decade or more (three, in one case).

If I had a business in the same spot selling garden gnomes and kept the same late hours, I'd probably never hear a word (Strip club protest focuses on livability, Sept. 8).

This is more about people who feel that they should be able to enforce some kind of moral standard upon others and their refusal to work within the system. They seem to feel that through public harassment and unsubstantiated complaints, they can shame these businesses that they don't like out of town.

They could at least have some credibility if they would work within the law, but they have no legal 'leg to stand on.' So, they engage in neoconservative witch-hunt behavior.

If these people are going to keep complaining to the police and OLCC, wasting those agencies' time on non-enforceable issues, they should be cited and fined for their misuse of law-enforcement and state administrative resources. The fact is that both of these businesses are perfectly legal under state and local laws.

If these protesters don't like the laws, then they should work to see them changed to reflect a more conservative way of thinking and living. (Good luck with that - this is Oregon, you know.)

Kenneth Kofler


Keep Portland censor-free

This article is about an angry mother who looks down on women who wear skimpy clothing (New nuisance rules leave shops untouched, Aug. 18).

Lady, your children are the nuisance. I suppose we should also eliminate short skirts and halter tops in public and ban curse words - not to mention the naked bike ride and the gay pride parade - just to accommodate your compulsion to censor the world your children are growing up in.

Move to Boise and let the rest of us enjoy everything that makes this city (and life) great.

Ann Drobot

Southeast Portland

Club owners disrupt neighborhoods

The problem with private-room businesses is not scantily clad women or possible prostitution inside the businesses. The problem is harassing behavior from patrons and owners, and sometimes dancers, towards neighboring businesses and their customers outside the business (New nuisance rules leave shops untouched, Aug. 18).

When a scantily clad woman stands outside these businesses and 'markets' herself with signs and dancing, her freedom of expression is not at issue (although there's nothing free about what she is marketing), but the safety of drivers on the road is at issue because some man can't decide whether to pay attention to the highway or the 'my way' shaky dancer.

Sure, cite the driver for carelessness, but also remove the distraction. This happens every day in regards to panhandlers on Oregon roads. When patrons wander into neighboring businesses where children are taking martial arts classes and say, 'I just want to stand here and watch,' that is a problem. When patrons have sex in cars parked in neighboring business' parking lots, that is a problem. When patrons deal drugs or leave drug paraphernalia on private property, that is a problem. When patrons solicit women and girls outside the business, that is a problem.

As for what happens on the inside of these businesses - when poorly maintained buildings burn down or fall down because the property owner is not following code every other property owner follows, that is a problem.

Ben Cunningham is a hardworking nose-to-the-grindstone kind of guy? Yes, I suppose driving your truck around to all your businesses collecting a large share of the money your independent contractor dancers earn must be tiring. At least (he) admits it is 'easy money.' The IRS likes easy money, too, and they have found they can hit the jackpot with people like the Desmarais family, and Dean MacBale (aka Makboul).

Police need to respond quickly to calls from businesses and neighbors complaining of harassment and criminal activity. And these self-professed law abiding owners need to follow the same regulations every other business in the state follows, including employment and tax laws.

Lisa Leithauser

Southwest Portland

Lingerie shops waste of money

Who has $100 to waste these days (New nuisance rules leave shops untouched, Aug. 18)?

Les Hendrickson

North Portland

Research before buying a home

I grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood, went to Sellwood Middle School and my kids now attend schools in the neighborhood. The Acropolis has been around longer than me (Strip club protest focuses on livability, Sept. 8). Blush has numerous strip clubs. The (Riverside) Corral is up the street from the Acrop, and Sellwood has two of the biggest 'coke' bars in all of Portland.

You live in the heart of the city. Sellwood has always had a seedy side to it: sex, drugs and crime. And guess what - it will be there long after you move.

I love all you transplants who don't do your own homework before buying a home in the area. Did you not notice the big sign that advertises steak and dancers? Morons! You're lucky Sheehan's isn't there anymore. You think there are problems now, where were you in the '90s?

Move to Happy Valley with all your lily white friends and you can complain about the immigrants who bought the neighboring house.

Sam Snead

Southeast Portland

Illegals reap tax benefits

The labor pays $10 or $11 an hour (Laborers hold out hope, Sept. 1)?

Better than entry-level wages, but please factor the following expenses for illegals and some legal immigrants: free health care at emergency rooms, and the taxpayer picks up the tab and/or hospitals pass along the cost to legal Americans' health care plans. Free education.

Spend money here? Sure do - but how much is sent back to Mexico where it avoids income taxes and value-added taxes? Everything is free in America.

Greg Schifsky

Southwest Portland

Tribune sympathizes with wrong people

It is sad to see, with this sympathetic story on illegal aliens (Laborers hold out hope, Sept. 1). The Portland Tribune has sunk to the point of being nothing more than a paper wrapper for supermarket ads.

When this illegal day labor enterprise opened in 2008, the Trib editorialized against it, pointing out not only is it an illegal enterprise, but that it is being illegally supported with Portland tax dollars.

Add this current 180-degree about-face to the fact that in today's print edition of the Trib is a story about how one of Portland's prominent citizens, John Zupan, was killed by a drunk/reckless driver who fled the scene. Nowhere in the article does it state that the killer in this instance is an illegal alien who had twice been arrested by the Portland Police Bureau, once for furnishing alcohol to a minor, but never deported.

These telling articles confirm that the Trib has abandoned investigative and informative reporting in favor of joining a disrespect for the law prevalent in Portlandia.

Tom Wenning

Southeast Portland

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