State High Court weighs strip club ‘pole tax’

By Craig Kapitan – Express-News
The state Supreme Court made a rare group appearance in San Antonio on Thursday to determine the fate of Texas’ embattled “pole tax” on strip club patrons.

The justices heard oral arguments at St. Mary’s University School of Law for the 2007 legislation, which instituted a $5 fee for each person at a nude dancing establishment where alcohol is served.

But so far, a state district judge in Austin and the 3rd Court of Appeals have agreed with the Texas Entertainment Association — a lobbyist group for the strip clubs — that the tax is unconstitutional.

“A tax imposed on a small group of First Amendment speakers, particularly a group conveying a message that the taxing body might consider undesirable, carries a greater risk of suppressing speech than a zoning ordinance because the power to tax involves the power to destroy,” 3rd Court Justice Diane Henson ruled in June.

The state Attorney General’s Office and comptroller have disagreed. More than $16 million in already-collected fees are in limbo until the matter is decided. The Supreme Court gave no indication of when it will issue a final decision, but it could be months.

The Supreme Court travels to law schools to hear cases in front of students about twice a year, Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson told the crowded auditorium as the judges took seats at a mahogany bench beneath a university seal. Jefferson, a native of San Antonio, described Thursday’s appearance as a homecoming of sorts for himself and for Justice Paul Green, a 1977 graduate of the law school.

It was the first time the panel has held court at St. Mary’s since 2000.

The state has the right to ban nude dancing outright, as well as alcohol, Texas Solicitor General James Ho told the panel during his remarks. So it makes sense that Texas should be allowed to impose lesser restrictions in the form of a fee, he argued.

“It is undisputed … this fee is substantially discouraging businesses from combining live nude dancing with alcohol consumption,” he said, comparing the fee to a traffic ticket issued to discourage speeding.

He described alcohol and nude dancing as a “combustible combination.” Dancers still have the same freedom of speech as always, as long as the dancing takes place in an establishment where alcohol isn’t served, Ho said.

Austin-based attorney Craig Enoch, who represents the strip clubs, pointed out that courts long have held nude dancing to be a form of expression protected by the First Amendment.

If the state really believed that nude dancing and alcohol spur crime, lawmakers could have attempted to ban them outright, he argued. But allowing the practice to continue with a fee is hypocritical, he said.

The practice, he said, is less like issuing traffic tickets than like allowing people to yell “fire” in a crowded theater — for a fee.

“It is a fundamental difference between prohibiting yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and paying a tax for the privilege,” he said.

Justices did not state their individual opinions on the issue, but some questions to the attorneys did provide hints about the direction in which some might be leaning.

Justice David Medina asked how a $5 fee could put someone’s First Amendment rights in jeopardy.

“I could see if it was $100, but it’s only $5,” he said.

The tax would add up to roughly $500,000 per year per taxed establishment, Enoch responded.

The fight over such legislation is not likely to end once the court’s decision is handed down, said state Rep. Ellen Cohen, D-Houston, who authored the bill and attended Thursday’s session with members of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and San Antonio’s Rape Crisis Center.

“If the court rules against us, there will be a blueprint that tells us what we need to do” with the next bill, said Victoria Camp, deputy director of the advocacy group. “I imagine that there will be work to be done either way.”

Stripper’s Shoe Chips Strip Club Patron’s Teeth

Article by: David Lohr

Stripper Kicks Off ShoesAn Indiana man is suing a strip club, claiming he was injured by a heavy-heeled shoe that came off an exotic dancer’s foot when she was performing a “high-kick maneuver,” his attorney said today.

“As bizarre as it is, the strip club had a duty to protect its customers and it did not do that,” attorney Syed Ali Saeed told AOL News. “[They] need to make sure people are wearing the right kind of clothes and [that those clothes] are not flying off.”

Saeed’s client, Jake Quagliaroli, 34, of Indianapolis, was visiting PT’s Showclub in nearby Lawrence last month when the alleged shoe assault occurred. According to Saeed, Quagliaroli was standing about 20 feet away from the stage when a dancer’s shoe flew off during a performance, traveled across the room and struck him in the mouth.

“He was bleeding [and] his front four teeth were chipped,” Saeed said. “It was not a situation where it was a light tap on the face. It hit him with quite a bit of force. You can imagine the velocity at which the shoe must have come out when it hit him in the face.”

Saeed said he is not sure of the exact style of footwear the stripper was wearing at the time of the shoe-in-mouth incident.

“We have our guess, based upon what our client said, but what I do know is it was one of those heavy shoes with a big heel,” Saeed said. “I do not know if it had a strap or not.”

According to the lawsuit, which was filed last week in Marion Superior Court, Quagliaroli is claiming battery and negligence by the strip club and is asking a jury to grant him an unspecified sum for damages.

Saeed says his client had to get veneers and temporary caps. He may also need a root canal and future dental work. “A dentist has told him the [veneers] will have to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, so he is definitely looking at quite a bit of expense,” the attorney said.

Matt Denham, manager of the Showclub’s Indiana chain, told AOL News that he was not at liberty to discuss the case. Asked who might be, he replied, “It’s going to be above my pay grade. I couldn’t tell you.”

An e-mail sent to the company’s corporate website was not immediately returned.

As bizarre as the story may sound, Quagliaroli is not the first patron of exotic dancers to file a lawsuit for injuries allegedly received during a performance.

In October, Michael Ireland, a roofer from West Palm Beach, Fla., was awarded a $650,000 judgment from a strip club.

Ireland said he was seated at the stage inside the establishment when a stripper spun around and accidentally struck him in the face. In court, Ireland’s attorney successfully argued that his client suffered broken bones and chronic double vision.

A man named Yusuf Evans filed a $25,000 suit against an Akron, Ohio, strip club in January 2009. Evans said he was watching a dancer perform a high kick when her shoe flew off and struck him in the face.

“When the boot hit me in my face all I could do is drop … and just holler for about 10 minutes,” Evans said, according to The Telegraph.

Evans said he suffered injuries to his nose and required surgery because after the incident he could only breathe out of one nostril. The case reportedly was settled in May 2010 after the strip club countersued Evans for defamation and filing a frivolous action.

Paul Shimkonis, a physical therapist from Clearwater, Fla., filed a lawsuit seeking more than $15,000 against the Diamond Dolls club in the late 1990s. Shimkonis said he was at a bachelor party at the club where Playboy cover girl Tawny Peaks was performing when she slammed her size-69HH breasts into his head, causing him to suffer whiplash.

“I saw stars. … It was like two cement blocks hit me,” Shimkonis told The Eugene Register-Guard.

When the case went to “The People’s Court” in July 1998, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch presided over the televised trial. He ruled in Peaks’ favor after a female court officer examined the defendant’s breasts in private and found them too soft to cause the alleged injury.

According to Saeed, an outcome in his client’s case will likely take some time. He is, however, confident that he has a strong case.

“It’s getting picked up [by the media] because of bizarre background, but it is no different than a tort that might have happened on the street,” Saeed said. “It’s a normal case.”

Legal analyst Anne Bremner, a Seattle attorney, agrees that the case has a chance of winning in court.

“It actually is a legit case,” Bremner told AOL News. “Given their [dancers'] practices and garb, it is reasonably foreseeable that such injuries could occur.”

Regardless of the eventual outcome, Saeed says it is high time that the strip club industry start regulating itself.

“They are well aware that heavy, loose-fitting shoes, combined with high-kick maneuvers and things like that, can lead to unintended injuries,” he said.

Lacrosse Team Apologizes Over Lapdance

Scorch - Boston Blazer's Mascot

Source: BBC News

A US lacrosse team has apologized to fans outraged by a half-time show that involved scantily-clad female dancers giving a lap dance to the team mascot.

Doug Reffue, the president and general manager for the Boston Blazers, said the team was “extremely disappointed” by parts of the performance.

Some spectators complained, saying it was not appropriate for family viewing.

While the women dance in front of the mascot, known as Scorch, the video shows the announcer shouting: “What do you think?”

In a statement posted on the team’s Facebook page, Mr Reffue said that Saturday’s show “was clearly not executed according to plan”.

“We had intended to provide an entertaining and fun half-time environment for our fans and that is not what transpired,” he said.

The Blazers’ usual dance team, the Sparks, “were not in any way involved with the planning or execution of the half-time act”, he added.

The dancers were fans who had volunteered to take part in the show, Mr Reffue said. He promised that such a performance would not be repeated.

However, other fans posting on Facebook said the performance had been an entertaining publicity stunt, with one describing it as “awesome” and another saying it was “hilarious”.

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Moratorium on adult businesses in Lake Forest

The Orange County Register

LAKE FOREST – For at least 45 days, the city will not grant licenses or permits to open adult businesses.

City Council on Tuesday established a temporary moratorium on adult businesses while it evaluates if and where these businesses could be located in the eastern part of the city, following a recent rezoning of about 800 acres of land – once under the flight path of the El Toro MCAS – from business-park to residential and commercial.

No Strip Clubs Allowed“With 3,000-plus homes coming into the Opportunity Study area, we thought it was important to look at this more directly,” City Attorney Scott Smith said. “The general plan amendment was a broad brush of reclassification of land uses. Landowners and builders are now coming to us with specific plans and strategies. We want to look at the perimeters of these neighborhoods as regard to adult uses.”

The original ordinance, adopted in 2004, ensures the city could, among other things, enforce appropriate separation between adult bookstores and strip clubs and schools, religious institutions, nurseries, day care centers and public or private parks, Smith said.

Now with the moratorium in place, city staff will evaluate sites within the 800 acres under the existing ordinance. The ordinance currently requires spacing by 1,000 feet or a major arterial. The arterials surrounding the rezoned land include Alton Parkway and Portola Parkway.

“We’ll consider if there are any unfortunate adjacencies,” Smith said.

State law allows the city to adopt an urgency ordinance to stop issuing permits if evaluation is needed to update zoning laws.

Following the council’s decision, the city will temporarily prohibit any permits, variances, building permits or licenses for adult businesses for 45 days. If necessary, that time could be extended, Smith said.

Captain’s Cabaret & Lounge, at Lake Forest Drive and Rockfield Boulevard, is now the only adult use business in the city.


News: “Zac Efron Drops $2K on Vodka, Strippers”

The New York Post reports that:

Zac Efron - Rolling Stones

“[H]eartthrob Zac Efron and two of his pals spent more than $2,000 on lap dancers and vodka at a top New York strip club.”

The Disney-produced “High School Musical” prodigy showed up at Flashdancers Gentlemen’s Club on Broadway on Sunday night and stayed until 3 a.m., just hours before the New York premiere of his new family-friendly flick, “Charlie St. Cloud.”

“Efron, 22, with another male friend and his former “High School Musical” castmate Corbin Bleu, 21, took a shine to three pretty brunette dancers, showering them with cash and requests for personal dances, spies said.”

A spy told us, “Zac came in Sunday night around midnight with Corbin and one other male friend, who paid for everything. They were seated in the VIP lounge behind the main stage. There was only a rail between them and the girls who were dancing.

“They ordered one bottle of Belvedere vodka and were enthralled with the dancers. They were interacting a lot with the girls and reaching out and showering money on them…”

How to be a stripper

Cop Stripped of Badge for Watching Strip Show

By Ben Muessig

July 21st 2010

A Stoughton, Mass., police officer didn’t think it would be a big thing when he bailed on his patrol to watch a 3-foot, 9-inch porn actress perform a striptease. But it turned out to be no small issue.

According to the Boston Herald, officer Richard Bennett, 28, was forced to turn in his badge after skipping his beat to catch a strip club act by adult film star Bridget Powers — also known as “Bridget the Midget.”

Bridget the Midget.
Police officer Richard Bennett was forced to resign after he bailed on his beat to watch a diminutive porn actress named “Bridget the Midget” perform at a strip club.

After Bennett watched the diminutive diva while on duty, five members of the Stoughton Police Department reported him to their superiors.

The cop, who earned accolades for helping nab a suspected killer in June, also reportedly came under fire for putting an unapproved laser scope on his service weapon, then lying to investigators about it.

Bennett acknowledges he made a “stupid decision” by watching Bridget the Midget’s striptease but says it shouldn’t tarnish his name.

“A part of me wants to say, ‘Where was the news when I pulled someone out of a burning car last year?’” Bennett told the Boston Herald. “You know all the good things you do, and I’m going to be remembered for one stupid decision. It just sucks.”

Source: AOL News

How To Be A Stripper – A How To Guide To Stripping

News: “New Missouri Law Bans Stripping at Strip Clubs”

Pic by:

“JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Strip clubs and adult stores in the state will have to keep their employees clothed, minors out and doors shut after midnight under a new law. Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation on Friday that imposes new restrictions on sexually oriented businesses effective Aug. 28.The law bans full nudity, alcohol, patrons younger than 18 and touching between seminude employees and customers. New strip clubs and adult stores will have to be at least 1,000 feet from homes, schools, churches, libraries, parks, centers and other sexually oriented businesses.

The Missouri Supreme Court struck down a similar law approved by the Legislature in 2005. That legislation also prompted a federal investigation into how it was handled by the House.

Critics contend the rules will hurt the state’s economy.”

Source: and Associated Press – June 25, 2010

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Stripper News: “Kid Rock’s $3K Strip Club Tab”

Awww, the joys of being a stripper at Scores Gentlemen’s Club in New York…

Scores Strip Club - NY

“(Newser) …Kid Rock accomplished an impressive feat Tuesday at New York’s Scores Gentlemen’s Club. He and his 20-person entourage racked up a $3,000 tab before splitting up into separate private rooms…where they ‘ordered lap dances and partied until 2:30am,’ …”

Even in these current economic conditions, strippers are still reaping the benefits happy men, willing and eager to part with their money on beautiful ladies.

One of the benefits of stripping is that it’s a profession that still goes strong even when times are bad. Strip clubs give men a place to forget their troubles and get lost in a sea of g-strings.

How to be a stripper