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San Diego At Large

Dancer Beats Lewdness Rap on Sexual Preference Grounds

September 04, 1991|TONY PERRY

This is about the buttocks and areola that have closed Club West Coast in San Diego for 20 days.

Feel free to find irony in the fact that a touch of female nudity has shut down the city's top gay nightclub.

Our tale begins on Valentine's Day, when the club was packed with male revelers, drinking and dancing.

And, for their entertainment: Kona the Barbarian, a female exotic dancer, bikini-clad, bodaciously buxom.

Also in the audience were five plainclothes members of the San Diego Police Department vice squad.

First came the male strip contest, in which contestants had been warned in advance to follow vice squad rules:

No taking it all off, no grabbing themselves, no accepting gratuities/business cards in their briefs.

So far so good. Then came Kona, hired from the San Diego talent agency California Big Hunks.

Before long, the vice squad had busted Kona for lewd conduct and the club for not having a cabaret license.

Kona was accused of exposing the cheeky-parts of her buttocks, as well as part of an areola (the dark ring around a nipple).

She protested that her topside exposure was a case of inadvertent fallout. The charge was reduced in court to disorderly conduct.

Last month a hearing officer ruled that indeed Club West Coast needed a cabaret license to hire Kona.

For that violation, the club's dance license was suspended for 20 days. The city had wanted 60 days.

The club on Hancock Street in Middletown closed Tuesday and won't reopen until Sept. 23.

The hearing officer did not agree with the more serious allegation that the club had condoned lewdness.

Club attorney George Weingarten had noted that a lewd act, by law, is one that provokes prurience.

Weingarten put forth a novel legal argument: Since Kona the Barbarian is undeniably female, it's doubtful she could arouse lust among males who are gay.

Lt. David Bejarano, head of the vice squad, says his officers acted properly at Club West Coast.

He says dance parlors are city-regulated businesses and police are expected to watch them.

Weingarten disagrees: "I think the vice squad is trying to superimpose its own moral standards on citizens."

Making Friends With the Press

Bits of something.

* B. T. Collins, the free-talker now running for Assembly from a Sacramento district, enjoys a healthy love-hate relationship with the press.

When he was in San Diego recently, political consultant Ann Shanahan-Walsh hosted a party for Collins to meet local political reporters. A jolly time was had by all.

Afterwards, Collins sent Shanahan-Walsh a note, "Thanks for hosting the party for the dirtbags. I never had so much chi-chi food in my life."

* Last year, San Diego County Superior Court judges went to Palm Springs for a three-day junket (at public expense) to talk about things judicial.

This fall, to save money, the same meeting will be held in San Diego: a day's worth of talking on a Saturday.

* North County (existential) bumper sticker: "Wherever You're Going, You're There Now."

* Tourists.

Now that the coup is un-couped, an official delegation from Vladivostok is set to arrive in San Diego on Sunday for a weeklong sister-city visit.

On the group's must-see list: Disneyland, Balboa Park, Horton Plaza, Tijuana and the murals at Chicano Park.

* So quit your complaining.

The Chargers have the cheapest prices in the National Football League, according to the Chicago-based Team Marketing Report.

The cost of attending a Chargers game is set at $124.67. That's four tickets, two beers, four hotdogs, four sodas, two caps, two programs and parking.

The most expensive of the 28 teams: the San Francisco 49ers, $197.50. The average: $151.55.

* Politics makes strange . . . .

Karen Wilkening, the Rolodex Madam, talks next week to the San Diego Libertarian Supper Club on what she sees as the folly of sex laws.

Skateboard Crime Wave

The talk of Pacific Beach.

A hundred homeowners attended a Town Council meeting to complain about problems caused by drunks staggering/fighting their way out of beach nightspots.

Other P.B. woes: Young men doing daylight robberies and escaping on skateboards.

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