Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Naughty Baristas

In a one-sided poor excuse for journalism article, Herald writer Debra Smith "reports" on the outraged crowd which gathered inside a Washington state church to "talk frankly" about the bikini hut scourge which is plaguing Snohomish County.
(Pastor and organizer Shahram) Hadian, a father of boys ages 5 and 2, said he is embarrassed to drive by the Grab-n-Go Espresso stand with his children. He talked with a 12-year-old neighbor who said the boys on his school bus shift over to one side when they drive by. The baristas have a right to self-expression, but the public also has a right to avoid seeing near-nudity and sexual behavior, he said. “There’s a part of me that said enough is enough.”By week’s end, organizers plan to set up a Web site,, where they want to post videos of baristas who appear to be violating county laws. They said they already have footage...“We sit here for an hour and we see them doing illegal things,” Hadian said Tuesday afternoon. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do some surveillance.”
So, the baristas have a "right to self-expression", but these people want that right revoked. Be careful what you wish for - these knee-jerk dress code ordinances don't stand up to constitutional scrutiny, and it's not likely that the city council will try to outlaw the wearing of bikinis, anyway.

I have a quick and easy fix for people who are offended by the sight of women wearing bikinis - look away. Don't buy coffee at the bikini huts. Pay attention to traffic and stop looking whenever you pass by. Drive down another street. Put away the cameras, or focus them on your own business.

And good luck to these vitriolic vigilantes when they set up their web site accusing people of illegal behavior. Not only are they setting themselves up for a healthy lawsuit, they will be actually promoting the businesses they are attempting to suppress.

I think it's hilarious that the boys on the school bus "shift over to one side" when they pass one of these coffee huts, as if that's something dangerous to their normal sexual development. You got trouble my friends, with a capital T and that rhymes with B and that stands for "Boobs".

This is an issue that directly affects nudism because these people want to regulate "near-nudity", which seems to be a new concept that they just made up out of frustration and irrational thinking, and to arbitrarily designate such "near-nudity" establishments as adult entertainment subject to zoning and age restrictions. Any nudist venue or non-landed club could conceivably fall under these new restrictions depending on how the law is written, as would drug and convenience stores where girlie mags and condoms are sold.

My sense is that the city council is just going to have to live with the bikini huts. Any attempts to impose dress codes or widen the definition of adult entertainment businesses will only result in lawsuits and more trouble.

It's also likely that any overt sexual activity has died down at these joints due to all the increased scrutiny, so all the surveillance and investigations will just be a waste of taxpayer's money. As one reader noted in the comment section of the article, "Where was the meeting about the increased theft, gang and drug activity in Silver Lake?" It's obvious that police have more important matters to attend to.
The county prosecutor’s office advised the sheriff’s office that part of the county’s ordinance wouldn’t stand up in court, said deputy Jeffrey Miller at Tuesday’s meeting. He said his office wants to deal with the conduct, not the attire. The conduct has gotten “more out there than we anticipated.”“We are a public safety organization not the fashion police,” he said. “There are some things that have to be worked on the legislative side before we can take action.”
So the ball is in the court of the city council, which finds itself impotent to deal with the bikini huts and is desperately trying to make up something to placate the masses at Clearview Foursquare Church. Aside from monitoring the coffee shops for sexual behavior, there's really nothing they can do that's constitutional.
“The United States is watching us,” (Stephanie) Postier said when addressing the audience. “How is Washington state going to take a stand? This is not what we want to be known for.”
Right, you do not want to be known as the town that tried to ban the wearing of bikinis, so live and let live. Take away the freedom of the baristas, and you lose a little more freedom of your own.


thomas said...

Looks like someone in Everett forgot basic economics. The only reason these bikini huts are still open is that people are going there and they are making money. If they stop making money they will close. Obviously someone in Everett wants them open. Who knows? They may actually make good coffee.
As a side note, there are 4 active AANR clubs within 50 miles or less of Everett.

thomas said...

Just a random thought.
I wonder what the police would if the Baristas moved and started working in the local do-nut shop? Talk about a conflict of interest