SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA – Simi Valley mayor to the adult film industry: you’re not wanted here.
Bob Huber is taking a proactive move to discourage adult filmmakers who might be thinking of relocating to the city by pushing an ordinance that likely will mirror the hotly-debated ordinance approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council. It calls for denying permits to production companies that don’t require male actors to wear condoms.
The proposed law still needs Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to approve it and then a committee must be formed to figure out how to enforce it.
“We’re not going to accept the pornographic purveyors from Los Angeles County,” said Huber, who as mayor already has cracked down on illicit massage parlors. “This is a family-oriented town, and we’re going to rise up and keep them out of our city, whatever it (lawfully) takes.”
Huber said potential revenue from production companies was “not even a consideration.”
Huber’s response came on the heels of news stories in which adult film companies said they would probably take their cameras and actors to nearby counties if the city of Los Angeles’ condom requirement goes countywide. The closest city outside the countyhappens to be Simi Valley, neighbor to the adult-film “capitals” of Chatsworth and San Fernando Valley, according to Huber.
Should filmmakers even consider relocating to Simi Valley, Huber said he expects there to be an ordinance similar to the L.A. City Council’s one waiting for them, although it has yet to be written and voted on.
To get that going, he has asked the city attorney to prepare one for the next City Council meeting on Jan. 30, Huber said.
“So we will have it done and talk about it,” said Huber. “Whether we can do formal stuff is another thing. I know how this town feels, and we’re going to do it, that’s my prediction.”
Simi Valley’s attorney, Tracy Noonan, said her staff is reviewing the ordinance approved by the L.A. City Council to see whether she will copy it directly or make changes. She also is reviewing a similar law on the books — Simi Valley’s current adult business ordinance — to see how broad it is, but it only covers businesses such as adult book stores and exotic dance businesses.
The only ordinance relating to film companies is a temporary permit for those wanting to shoot scenes within the city, said Noonan.
Simi Valley, with an estimated population of 126,144 residents as of July 2008, is the third largest city in the county, according to the city’s website. One of the city’s most popular cultural offerings is the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the conservative Mecca for the GOP Party.
This week, most adult filmmakers were unavailable for comment because they are attending their main trade event, the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. The Free Speech Coalition in Canoga Park, the industry’s trade association, also was at the event and unable to comment for this story.
Trying to get a handle on the size of the adult film industry is a challenge. The Free Speech Coalition said numbers are “elusive.” The Chatsworth Porter Ranch Chamber of Commerce, where most of the industry apparently is located, can’t even confirm its size because companies are so private and discreet about what they do, according to the chamber.
When contacted Thursday by The Star, Steven Hirsch, founder and co-CEO of one of the largest adult film companies, LA-based Vivid Entertainment Group LLC, provided an estimate that upward of 40 companies call Los Angeles home, with a history that dates back 40 to 50 years.
The area industry, however, appears to be in jeopardy with the proposed condom law that is being pushed by the L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The organization is pushing to extend it countywide.
Hirsch said many in the industry anticipate the ordinance will eventually be adopted for Los Angeles County, and he has heard many companies say they will relocate their business if that happens.
“Across the board that’s what people are saying,” said Hirsch. “They feel that this industry has been separated out from everything else for no good reason.”
He said he also would consider relocating Vivid Entertainment but so far he hasn’t considered Ventura County, although it makes sense because it is so close to the Valley and L.A. where many performers live.
“We will take a look at our option and see where we’re welcome,” Hirsch said. “That may mean a neighboring county or neighboring state.” Options also include Europe, he said, but he would prefer to stay in L.A..
Regarding the ordinance, Hirsch said many performers decline using condoms even though Vivid allows them to and distributes them on movie sets. That’s because the company and the industry have a mandatory HIV testing policy.
“We leave it up to performers to decided whether or not to use them, and they decided overwhelmingly not to use them,” said Hirsch. “This is their career.”
from The Ventura County Star
Archive for January 23rd, 2012
SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA – Simi Valley mayor to the adult film industry: you’re not wanted here.
While Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket his funeral, Jerry Sandusky, former President George H.W. Bush, LeBron James, and more praise the revered former head coach, 85, whose legacy was tainted shortly before his death by a child molestation scandal.
In his 85 years, Joe Paterno became a living legend in the football world. Known as “JoePa” to his thousands of Penn State fans, the beloved head coach for 46 seasons led his team to two national titles and a record-setting 409 victories.
His legendary career ended abruptly in November, when he was fired after a former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, 67, was charged with sexually molesting 10 young boys, including some in the Penn State athletic complex. Paterno was fired November 9 after he was criticized for not doing enough to stop Sandusky.
He was diagnosed with “a treatable form of lung cancer” the following weekend, according to a statement his son Scott released at the time. But JoePa’s health took a turn for the worse, as the cancer proved to be aggressive. Joseph Vincent Paterno died Sunday morning, at the age of 85, surrounded by his family.
Yet his legacy lives on — at the statue of Paterno situated outside the university’s Beaver Stadium, where mourners descended on a makeshift shrine, draping an American flag on the statue’s shoulders and wrapping its neck with a Penn State scarf.
His legacy lives on in his five children, all of who are Penn State graduates, and his 17 grandchildren.
His legacy lives on in other football coaches and players, who looked to Paterno for guidance; in government, including Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett and former US president and friend George H.W. Bush; and his passing has sent a ripple through Hollywood as well.
Jerry Sandusky, who is currently awaiting trial on 52 criminal counts of sexual abuse of 10 children over 15 years, released a statement, saying, “This is a sad day! Our family, Dottie and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to Sue and her family. Nobody will be able to take away the memories we all shared of a great man, his family, and all the wonderful people who were a part of his life.”
Sandusky was Paterno’s top assistant for years until he retired in 1999. He has denied the allegations made against him by prosecutors.
“He maintained a high standard in a very difficult profession. Joe preached toughness, hard work and clean competition,” Sandusky said. “Most importantly, he had the courage to practice what he preached.”
“I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Paterno,” former President George H.W. Bush said in a statement. “He was an outstanding American who was respected not only on the field of play but in life generally – and he was, without a doubt, a true icon in the world of sports. I was proud that he was a friend of mine. Barbara and I send our condolences to his devoted wife Suzanne and to his wonderful family.”
“The Penn State Football program is one of college football’s iconic programs because it was led by an icon in the coaching profession in Joe Paterno,” said Bill O’Brien, who took over as head coach for Penn State after Paterno was fired. “There are no words to express my respect for him as a man and as a coach. To be following in his footsteps at Penn State is an honor.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said in a statement, “His legacy as the winningest coach in major college football and his generosity to Penn State as an institution and to his players, stand as monuments to his life. As both man and coach, Joe Paterno confronted adversities, both past and present, with grace and forbearance. His place in our state’s history is secure.”
Jay Paterno, JoePa’s son and most recently the passing game coordinate and quarterbacks coach for Penn State, tweeted his thanks for those who praised his father. “Thanks to @Coach_Chambers & the men’s hoops team for their tribute to Joe Paterno today,” he wrote. “Our family thanks Penn Staters, students & all people for prayers & support for my Dad. He felt your support in his fight.”
He added, “A special thanks to the Hospital staff. They helped us all through the past few days. Can not begin to express our gratitude.”
Holly Robinson Peete tweeted, “RIP Joe Paterno. My daddy -Distinguished Alumni of PSU- was your biggest fan and supporter…I think my first words were “Joe Pa”
She was quick to add in another tweet, “…the impact of the unspeakable betrayal of these victims is so far reaching… My prayers out to PSU family, alumni as they move on.”
Miami Heat forward LeBron James tweeted, “”R.I.P Joe Pa! Met him before while I was out at Nike campus. He was great man!!”
Michael Irvin, former NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys, tweeted, “On this Championship Sunday the lord called home a champion coach. R.I.P. Coach Joe Paterno. My prayers are with the family.”
While JoePa was loved and memorialized by many, criticism for the tarnished Penn State legacy poured in Sunday.
Justin Stangel, head writer and executive producer for Late Show with David Letterman, tweeted, “Will there be a moment of silence for Joe Paterno, to honor his silence when he discovered children were being attacked?”
Opie from the Opie & Anthony channel on Sirius XM wrote on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, “What an insult! Penn State having a MOMENT OF SILENCE for Joe Paterno. That’s what got him in trouble in the first place!” When multiple followers responded with criticism, Opie shot back, “So strange how many people are sticking up for Joe Paterno seeing how Joe didn’t stick up for innocent children. #GetHelp” and “Maybe the haters are right saying it’s too soon for Joe Paterno jokes. I guess I’ll be like Joe Pa and wait 10 years. #ZingZangZoom”
Kelly Oxford, a popular comedy blogger who is currently penning a sitcom pilot for NBC, tweeted, “Joe Paterno’s doctors also said they wish they could have done more.”
Westboro Baptist Church, which is known for their extreme views against homosexuality and for picketing the funerals of Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, and several US soldiers, announced they plan to picket Paterno’s funeral as well. Margie Phelps, daughter of pastor Fred Phelps, wrote on Twitter, “”Penn State Penn Rape” rings in Joe Paterno’s ears in hell. He partook of sin for fame & fortune. Worth NOTHING to him now. #PicketFuneral”
from The Hollywood Reporter
Sandusky Lawyer Advertises Gay Sex Line
Tyler Perry Pens Open Letter To 11-Year-Old Sandusky Victim
“I Shouldn’t Have Showered With Those Kids”
More than 100 people gathered in Gordonsville on Saturday night, grieving the loss of Phillip.
“He was fun, he was energetic, he was happy,” said Gena Parker, Phillip’s mother.
To his many friends, Phillip was known as the boy who told everyone they’re beautiful.
“He kept telling me he had a rock on his chest,” said Ruby Harris, Phillip’s grandmother. “He just wanted to take the rock off where he could breathe.”
Phillip’s family said they reported their concerns over their son’s bullying to Gordonsville High School on multiple occasions, but the bullying by a group of students just got worse.
“I believe my whole family up in heaven’s taking good care of him,” said friend Megan Redinger.
“I want to say I love him dearly,” added friend Heather Hunt. “He’ll never be forgotten. He’s always in my heart.”
“That’s my son,” said Phillip Parker, Phillip’s father. “I love him. I miss him. He shouldn’t have had to kill himself to be brought to life.”
An official with Smith County Schools told Channel 4 they are now planning how to handle a crisis situation with students Monday. Friends added they are planning to set up a memorial fund in Phillip’s name but haven’t made the arrangements just yet.
from WSMV 4
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Martina Navratilova never shirked a challenge in her glittering tennis career, and she isn’t shy about giving an opinion either.
The winner of 167 singles titles and one of the greatest players faced a news conference at the Australian Open on Monday and addressed issues ranging from Margaret Court’s criticism of same-gender marriage to prize money at Grand Slam tournaments.
Eyebrows were raised when Navratilova’s first match in the legends’ doubles here Sunday was scheduled for Margaret Court Arena. The 55-year-old Navratilova didn’t even consider a boycott. Instead, the longtime advocate for gay rights wore a rainbow-colored patch on her sleeve as she and Nicole Bradtke beat Martina Hingis and Iva Majoli.
The 69-year-old Court, an 11-time Australian Open champion who is now a Christian pastor, caused a stir before this year’s tournament when she told media in Western Australia that “politically correct education has masterfully escorted homosexuality out from behind closed doors, into the community openly and now is aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take.”
Navratilova was gracious when talking about the venue and scheduling of her opening match.
“Playing on Margaret Court Arena, it’s an honor, as always, to be on that court,” Navratilova said. “You know, it’s not a personal issue. Clearly Margaret Court’s views that she has expressed on same sex marriage, I think are outdated.
“But it’s not about any one person. It’s not about religious rights, it’s about human rights. It’s a secular view, not a religious view.”
Navratilova said she hadn’t spoken to Court for years.
“She was all about Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. She repeated that about four or five times, so I just felt I couldn’t get through to her,” Navratilova said. “Maybe she thought she could get through to me.”
In a career spanning 33 years, Navratilova won 167 titles in singles, and 177 in doubles. She won the first of her 18 Grand Slam singles titles at Wimbledon in 1978 to claim the top ranking for the first of a total of 332 weeks.
She refuses to criticize Caroline Wozniacki, who has been No. 1 since October 2010 but hasn’t won a major and reached her only Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open in 2009.
A system that doesn’t place enough importance on the quality of opponents a player has beaten is to blame, according to Navratilova, who believes Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova had a claim to be considered the true No. 1.
“It weighs too much on quantity and not enough on quality,” Navratilova said of the points-based rankings system. “They both get to a semis and one player beats No. 1 player and No. 3 player to get to the semis, and the other one gets qualifiers and they get the same amount of points. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Navratilova has spoken to the WTA, which runs the women’s tour, but doesn’t know if any officials are listening.
“Maybe they will hear it now,” she said. “But I asked are they changing the system, and they have no intention to. I think it’s a mistake.”
Navratilova’s next conversation might be with Grand Slam tournament organizers over the vexed issue of prize money.
The subject came to light on the eve of the Australian Open following a meeting of the men’s players. Many of them believe that prize money has not increased in line with growing profits at the four majors — and some are prepared to go as far as striking to make their point.
“I think the Grand Slams are making a lot more than they’re sharing with the players. I think that’s a fact,” Navratilova said. “When the players try to talk to them, the Grand Slams are like, ‘Oh, well. Get lost. Too bad.’
“If the men and women got together I think the Grand Slams would listen. The players made the slams big and the slams made the players big. It’s a very symbiotic relationship, but the slams are ruling the roost. They dictate everything to the players.”
Multimillionaire players complaining about how much they earn doesn’t often garner much sympathy from fans, but Navratilova says the point is still valid.
“Compared to what a teacher is making, we are grossly overpaid,” she said. “Compared to what the slams are netting, they are underpaid.”
Prize money has come a long way since Navratilova’s day though.
“I think I won $6,000 when I got to the finals here in ‘74,” she said. “Which I needed to make so I could pay the airline ticket back to the States. “
The men’s and women’s champions at the Australian Open will each receive $2.4 million in prize money, with the losing finalists getting $1.2 million. The 64 men and 64 women who lost in the first round of singles received $21,800.
from The Associated Press
Margaret Court Defends Her Views On Gay Marriage
In a week of tech industry protests about censorship, one company — Microsoft — is lending its voice to a different political cause: gay marriage.
It has joined with five other businesses (Vulcan, NIKE, RealNetworks, Group Health Cooperative, and Concur) to support bills that would legalize gay marriage in Washington state, where Microsoft is based. The letter to Governor Chris Gregoire was brief. In its entirety it reads, “We write you today to show the support of our respective companies for SB 6239 and HB 2516 recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples.” But Microsoft elaborated on why it was supporting the bills on its official blog. There, Microsoft’s general counsel Brad Smith writes:
At Microsoft, we pride ourselves on our products and services, our brand, and our global reach. But unquestionably, our employees are our greatest asset.
As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington’s employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families. Employers in the technology sector face an unprecedented national and global competition for top talent. Despite progress made in recent years with domestic partnership rights, same-sex couples in Washington still hold a different status from their neighbors. Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. This in turn will help us continue to compete for talent.
This is not the first time Microsoft has come out to support marriage equality. In The Seattle Times, Janet I. Tu writes that the company has previously opposed the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman; supported an anti-discrimination bill (but later dropped its support and was criticized when the measure failed by one vote); and last year it dropped out of a marketing arrangement that indirectly funded anti-gay groups.
Add Microsoft’s explanation to the list of arguments for marriage equality: Discrimination is bad for tech businesses. This is true regardless which group of people discrimination targets.Companies can’t hire the best people, and the best people can’t do their best work. And in the end, everybody loses.
from The Atlantic