Petition aims to shut down strip bar

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Encouraging ministers

The City Beautiful isn't the place for a gentlemen's club that features exotic dancing.

So says the Storm Lake Ministerial Association, which has presented the city council with petitions signed by more than 600 of its constituents asking the body to shut down Hot Shots, a bar on Flindt Drive that features strip dancing.

The ministers say the site gives the community a black eye, and is demeaning to women.

Jack Barber of the Storm Lake Church of Christ was one of the ministers coming to the council, but he noted that the city's attorney, Paul Havens, told the group that what Hot Shots was doing was legal, but that some cities have dealt with the problem of bars with nude dancers through zoning.

"We're going to be talking and learning about zoning," Barber said. "We know they have a legal right to be there but ...we will be looking into zoning and what our legal rights are."

Barber said it was a personal issue for him.

"We call this the city beautiful and it is, with the lake and schools and churches we have here," Barber said. "But what is really beautiful here is the people of Storm Lake, and having a bar like Hot Shots so near the high school and the elementary school just paints everything kind of grim."

Barber said Jamie Cutler, pastor of the United Methodist Church in Storm Lake has been the prime mover on this issue for the association, feeling that such bars are demeaning of women.

Barber said the association got the petitions signed "in only a couple of weeks" and all the signatories had to be from Storm Lake.

"People have been encouraging me," Barber said. "I had a woman come up to me today in the drug store and tell me how much she appreciated what we are doing about this issue."

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