Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Uptown/Downtown issue

I, for one, was apalled when I saw the report on WDAZ about a month ago showing just what has really been going on in the Uptown/Downtown bar in downtown Grand Forks. Since when has a skanky woman crawling across the floor of a bar to recieve a tip in her mouth something that happens in Grand Forks? It's not only gross...it's just not the Grand Forks that I have known for my whole life.

I was a bit shocked when I heard on WDAZ a couple of weeks after the initial report aired that the city hadn't received ANY complaints about the matter. Somehow I didn't quite believe this. If it really was the the case, I was mad at all of us (me included) who dislike the Uptown/Downtown, but hadn't taken the time to complain to the city about the issue. I know for a fact that many people in town share my feelings on the Uptown/Downtown, but none of us had bothered to do anything with our displeasure. I guess it just shows you not only how lazy we can be, but how we also expect others to do our dirty work in politics while we sit back and rest.

I quickly fired off a lengthy and decently argued complaint email to all of the city council members and Mayor Brown. I assumed that they would at least all drop me a reply email thanking me for my comments. Guess what, the ONE AND ONLY person who bothered to respond to me was councilman Hamerlik. Either no one else thought they had the spare ten seconds needed to acknowledge my concerns, or something a little more depressing is going on. The councilmembers may act all upset about the Uptown/Downtown when they are in front of the cameras, but I feel that their displeasure with the glorified strip club (they even have poles!) is a bit more laid back and histrionic than I would prefer. I worry about two things here. First, that they (the city and councilmembers) might not have the initiative to go after the bar. Second, that they (the city and councilmembers) don't WANT to go after the bar. They might not want to "mess" with the operations of a "small business."

Whatever the reason for their lack of movement on the issue, one thing is clear to me. Everyone who is upset with the Uptown/Downtown and the negative face it puts on downtown Grand Forks NEEDS to contact the mayor and councilmembers. It seemed to be very easy for them to ignore my concerns, but I was just one voice. If we could even get a dozen complaints sent out to them, we would be making a much more effective statement. Please contact them by email, snail-mail, phone, or whatever means necessary! Click here to find out Mayor Brown's contact info or here to contact the city council members.

2 comments:

Let it be... said...

First and foremost--your comment reflects the closed minded, hypocritical, bible-thumping, self-righteous mentality that's so predominant of the people in this particular area of the U.S. It's understandable that you are not going to be a patron of this establishment. That's fine, don't go there. Stop trying to impose your personal values on people who don't share them. I'm offended by all the right to life signs posted all over this area, and the predominant Christian values jammed down my throat here but I don't feel the need to impose my beliefs on others. Live and let live. There are people in this community who enjoy that type of establishment and that atmosphere. Let them have it. It doesn't affect you. I don't boycott your church through the local politicians just because I'm not a Christian. Mind your own business. You're not making a difference by trying to get everyone else to believe in what you do; you're doing nothing but causing hard feelings. It's the same mentality that made bars smoke-free. BARS! People who work and go to school in this area are from all over the country. These are your neighbors, customers in your businesses, people you depend on in your daily lives in all aspects of the community. They all have their own values and beliefs. It's this sort of closed-mindedness you're displaying that causes your young people to leave this area and start their lives elsewhere in the first place. The girls who work there are not hookers. They're not slaves. They volunteered to work there, and probably have a lot of fun and make a lot of money doing it. You don't like it--that's your problem. I guarantee you're not the only one who feels the way you do about establishments of that nature, but if you're not a customer there, then it doesn't affect you. You don't like what you see on TV? Change the damn channel. And stop trying to force your beliefs on others.

Sincerely,
-The smoker standing outside the bar

Ben said...

Dear Smoker.
I am very offended by your intolerance of this individuals right to fight for his views and his traditional values. It seems you have no issue in fighting for your own point of view. Perhaps this person doesn't feel its appropriate for some of the things he seeing going on in this community to be occurring. Why are your beliefs and value set more important that his? Beyond that, wouldn't you say that it is a bit rude of you to be calling names and making insulting claims about his views? To be honest, this is nothing but a beautiful display a thought completely lacking in any sort of critical thinking process. I suggest before making yourself out to be an ass or a fool, you keep your ignorance turrets under control.