Friday, May 02, 2008

Massage parlor ordinance proposal

The NHRs Luther Turmelle reported on this week's Ordinance Review Committee meeting. He notes the committee:

has begun creating an ordinance that clearly defines how legitimate massage therapy businesses can operate in town. (CPD Captain Robert) Vignola spoke with members of the committee about the proposed changes, which would be modeled after a Waterbury ordinance that has proved successful in fighting illegal massage parlors. Members of the ordinance committee directed Vignola to consult with Town Attorney Dwight Johnson. “I don’t want to get to a fullblown ordinance until we’ve figured out how to make it work at this level,” said Democrat Councilwoman Elizabeth Esty.

I understand the discussion included the consideration of fingerprinting and photographing of all massage parlor employees.

For me, I understand the concern, but is this going to apply to every legitimate spa and/or manicure shop* in town? It seems a bit unfair to the existing spas.

I have another idea... I think some Chris-Hansen-Dateline-style guerrilla vlogging** would serve the same purpose... and do it a whole lot quicker.

For instance, you hear about a massage parlor. You show up there and from either the street or sidewalk, you start videotaping the entrance/exit. You post the video online. You write a letter to the Herald announcing:

"Dear Editor:

I've uploaded a video to YouTube. I've named it 'Meet the customers of Cheshire's newest massage parlor.' Please check it out. You may be friends with a movie star!

Cheshire Resident"

If the Herald comes out on Thursday, I bet the place would be closed by Friday. Vigilante journalism works.

Tim White

* I recall reporting that the Cheshire place that got busted had a manicure place in front and some very unfortunate lady was caught in the middle of the police sting.

** Vlogging is short for video blogging. Guerrilla vlogging is an expression used to characterize vlogging that typically is unwanted. For instance, George Allen's "macaca comment" was taken by a guerrilla vlogger.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Esty is probably consulting her ACLU friends from her pre-Cheshire days about making sure our ordinance will protect the free expression rights of professionals in the sexual gratification industry. That and not discriminate against women, foreigners and people of color.

Anonymous said...

The comments above show the very reason why a wise councilperson would tred carefully. Mr. White says "it's too bad that existing spa's and manicure places will come under the ordinance." But, if you adopt a targeted ordinance, it is unlikely to pass constitutional muster -- either for violating First Amendment or for unfairly targeting certain spas while excluding others. Do you think lawyers for the massage parlors will ignore ways that "legitimate" parlors are exempted.
Ms. Esty's approach is common sense ... understanding the potential legal troubles that Cheshire can avoid by careful drafting of the law. Anonymous above can post as many ad hominem attacks against Ms. Esty as he wants, but I think Cheshire residents are well served by such care.

Anonymous said...

"Ms. Esty's approach is common sense"

Yeah, like all the rest of our liberal politically correct laws which protect deviants and punish the law abiding.

Thanks to people like Ms. Esty drug addicts and alcoholics are deemed "disabled" and get special treatment at our expense

Anonymous said...

"Ms. Esty's approach is common sense ... "

Since when has she ever shown common sense?
She thinks she is going to win an election in this town when she isn't in favor of the 3 strikes law? That shows a lot of common sense.
Give me a break...
She is the worse thng to happen in his town in a long time.

Anonymous said...

Assuming no one is breaking any other laws or otherwise causing a problem, such establishments should be legal anyhow...