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In Gay Club Issue, Pantele Should Butt Out

I'm writing in response to "Gay Club Slated for Julian's?" (Street Talk, May 31). First of all, it ticks me off that your newspaper displays its provincialism by sensationalizing this topic. If someone wanted to open a doughnut shop there, it wouldn't be an issue. But because the owner of an existing exotic dancing club in the Bottom has shown an interest in opening "something" gay-related on Broad Street, conservatives (including Councilman Bill Pantele) are loading their Civil War cannons. We don't even know what exactly is being planned for the site.

Secondly, I am appalled at the tone of Mr. Pantele's comments. He does not own the Fan, but he talks like he does. "I have no interest in a large nightclub of any sort [going in] there," he says. He makes Fidel Castro look lame. Frankly, Pantele's personal feelings on the issue should be ignored. Who cares what he thinks! Rather, the decision should be left up to the citizens and other business owners in the surrounding area. For the record, there are two restaurant/bars appealing to a broad spectrum of customers (including nearby residents) that are already operating in the immediate vicinity. Both are law-abiding and both add to the local flavor of urban life. Enough said.

This is reminiscent of the embarrassment created years ago when the city blocked the building of a Hilton Hotel downtown just because they didn't want it there. Doesn't this town ever learn?

C. Baldwin



Senior Center Would Be Missed

I appreciate the articles on the problems with the Senior Center of Richmond and hope something very positive comes of it ("Feud With Junior League May Kill Senior Center," Street Talk, May 17).

Speaking as a senior member, very few people outside of the senior age group know what the closing of the center means to the members. You see, it is a place where over 400 members at one time or another go, just for the chance to meet their peers, instead of sitting home alone and just aging very rapidly.

We have, alongside the one-on-one contact: exercise classes, dance classes, speakers, pool, card games, pottery classes, Bible studies, music and lunch every day for those who desire it. And plain old just sitting and reading newspapers, magazines and article such as yours, relating to our situation.

I am one of those people who, when or if the center closes, will have a tough time keeping active.

Eddie Premaza



Scott's Addition Is Trendy, Not Trashy

It is obvious from his May 17 letter ("Strip Club Not So Bad") that James Seay hasn't been to Scott's Addition lately. If he had, he'd have seen a vital, diverse business district peppered with humble homes, trendy condos and not a junkie (dying or not) in sight. Mr. Seay should spare the snark and spend some time pushing his comfort envelope by supporting the well-established businesses in the Addition and exploring up-and-coming neighborhoods outside of the "Very Richmond" triumvirate of the Fan, Museum District and Carytown.

Jeanne Boisineau
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