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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | WEST COUNTY / VENTURA

Grievance Meeting Set Over Hells Angels' Visit

March 24, 1998|PAMELA J. JOHNSON

Claiming Ventura police failed to inform them of their plans during the much-ballyhooed Hells Angels anniversary celebration, a group of merchants and citizens is meeting to air its grievances.

The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. today at Franky's Place restaurant, 456 E. Main St.

Group organizers Lawrence and Lori Anderson contend that police overreacted when they had officers from seven agencies patrol the city during the three-day visit. They have invited officers to the meeting to discuss keeping merchants informed during major city events.

While some Main Street merchants said business was up during the biker club's visit, others complained that prohibitions on motorcycle parking kept business away. Kris Pustina, who owns Franky's, said few of the hundreds of visiting Hells Angels members dined at her establishment.

As a symbol of protest, the Andersons have asked officials at the Downtown Beach Police Storefront to remove the sign they painted and donated to the station about three years ago.

Officer Russ Robinson, who patrols the downtown area, said he understood the concerns of merchants. But the first priority of police is public safety, he said.

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