San Francisco’s Eagle Tavern closes

Posted on 02 May 2011 at 3:37pm

Two weeks ago, we told you first that Dallas Eagle co-owner Mark Frazier was in negotiations to become co-owner of the landmark San Francisco leather bar Eagle Tavern, and last week we

Mark Frazier

reported that Frazier had dropped his bid to buy the bar because of the landlord’s plan to drastically increase the rent on the property.

Now comes word, via the San Francisco Examiner, that after 30 years, the bar has closed its doors, as of last Saturday night, April 30.

The Examiner reports that bar manager Ron Hennis has “expressed interest in ownership but declined requests for an interview and said in a Facebook message that he won’t discuss ongoing negotiations.”

Read the Examiner’s full report here.


Police Blotter: 2 robberies reported in Oak Lawn; intoxicated man breaks new door at JR’s

Posted on 02 May 2011 at 12:43pm

• An intoxicated man who broke the new glass front door at JR’s Bar & Grill was arrested and charged with public intoxication. According to a police report, the man was asked to leave the bar at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 27 because he was causing a disturbance. The suspect left but not before running into the door and causing it to break. The report says the man was unaware he broke the door because he was intoxicated, but a J.R.’s employee who called police said he felt it was intentional. The suspect was charged with public intoxication and taken into custody. Damage to the door was estimated at $1,000.

• A 21-year-old man suffered a 3-inch gash under his eye when he was punched in the face on the dance floor of Station 4, according to police. The victim was dancing near the suspect at about 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, according to a report. Due to the way the suspect was dancing, his elbow was striking the victim in the groin. The victim leaned over to tell the suspect he was hurting him and ask him to move over. Without saying anything, the suspect punched the victim below the right eye, causing a gash. After calling police, the victim pointed out the suspect to the responding officers — a heavyset Latin male in an orange and yellow polo shirt — but the suspect denied ever seeing the victim. The victim was treated for his injuries at the scene.

• A Zini’s Pizzeria delivery driver was robbed at gunpoint Saturday night at an apartment complex at 2626 Reagan St. in Oak Lawn. According to a report, the suspect met the driver outside the entrance of the complex at about 9:15 p.m.. The suspect acted like he was going to give the driver a $100 bill to pay for his order, the report says. When the driver pulled $80 in cash out of his pocket to make change, the suspect grabbed the money and said he had a gun. The suspect pointed to the silhouette of what appeared to be a pistol in his pocket, before running away and driving off in an older model 2-door vehicle, possibly an Oldsmobile. The driver was unable to get the license plate number of the suspect’s vehicle, and the phone number from which the order was placed came up unavailable.

• A group of three people, including an 18-year-old woman, was robbed at gunpoint as they were leaving the Office Depot parking lot at 3800 Dickason Ave. early this morning. The group was getting in their car to leave the area at about 3:00 a.m. today when four men walked up and held them at gunpoint, according to a police report. The suspects went through the victims’ pockets and took two cell phones, a passport and a small amount of cash. The suspects then got in their vehicle, described as a four-door, cream-colored Buick, and fled.


Annise Parker kicks off re-election campaign

Posted on 02 May 2011 at 11:40am
Mayor Annise Parker poses with her daughters, right, and their friends at a campaign kickoff event in Houston last week.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly LGBT person elected mayor of a top 10 U.S. city, kicked off her re-election campaign last week.

Houston city elections aren’t until November, and Parker campaign spokeswoman Sue Davis said right now the focus is fundraising.

No other candidates have declared to run against Parker, but Davis said the mayor has to be ready for potential challengers. She added that a Houston firefighter has indicated an intent to run but is not what she called a serious candidate.

Even if no challenger emerges in this election cycle, Davis said Parker wants to prevent or be prepared for challengers for a third term.

The Houston mayor and city council members are elected to two-year terms with a three-term limit for each office. Parker was first elected in 2009.

Parker’s campaign kickoff and rally was held at Discovery Green park in downtown Houston. About 300 people attended.


What’s Brewing: Bin Laden dead; early voting begins; Texas House to take up anti-bullying bill

Posted on 02 May 2011 at 7:46am

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. In case you’ve been under a rock for the last 12 hours, Osama Bin Laden is dead. Watch President Barack Obama’s statement from Sunday night above. You probably thought there was no gay angle to this story, but The Washington Blade has it.

2. Early voting begins today in local municipal elections. For a complete list of early voting locations in Dallas County, go here. If you haven’t made up your mind yet in the Dallas mayor’s race, all four candidates are scheduled to attend a forum sponsored by the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce tonight at Cityplace. I’ll be joining Robert Wilonsky and Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer to moderate the forum, which is free and open to the public. For more info, go here.

3. It’s not too late to contact your state representative and urge them to vote for HB 1942 by Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, an anti-bullying bill that’s scheduled for debate on the House floor today. Experts say Patrick’s bill represents the last, best chance for the Texas Legislature to address bullying in this year’s session. Equality Texas, which supports the bill, has been urging members to email their representatives by going here.


Log Cabin Republicans member assaulted, called ‘faggot’ during convention at Hilton Anatole

Posted on 30 Apr 2011 at 4:03pm

A Log Cabin Republicans member was assaulted and called a “faggot” early Saturday during an altercation inside a bar at Dallas’ Hilton Anatole hotel, where the gay GOP group is holding its National Convention, according to Dallas police.

Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse, a spokesman for DPD, said the incident isn’t currently being treated as a hate crime because the suspect’s use of the word “faggot” was provoked by the Log Cabin member and his friends.

Janse said both the Log Cabin member and the suspect were intoxicated when the incident occurred at about 1 a.m. The Log Cabin member and his friends were whistling at the suspect, who got offended and shoved the victim, Janse said.

The Log Cabin member suffered minor injuries, described as a cut to his nose. The suspect was cited for class-C misdemeanor assault but was not taken into custody.

“Two groups of intoxicated individuals got into a verbal argument,” Janse said in an e-mail Saturday afternoon. “Supposedly the victim and his friend were whistling at the suspect, who took offense and shoved the victim. Officers interviewed both parties and made a class-C assault. Which is not a jailable offense if the two parties can be separated, which they were. Detectives are interviewing all parties as we speak but there is no indication of a hate crime based on what both parties are telling detectives. Just two drunk people.”

Asked to confirm rumors that the suspect used the word “faggot,” Janse said: “Yes. that word was used, but it was provoked.” Asked whether he meant that the word was provoked by the whistling, he said: “Yes. And comments about them ‘looking good.’”

Laura Martin, the police department’s LGBT liaison officer, said detectives were conducting follow-up interviews today with the suspect, the victim and witnesses. She added that the use of the word “faggot” doesn’t automatically make the incident a hate crime.

“The crime has to be motivated, has to start, because of the suspect’s bias,” Martin said. “‘In and of itself, calling a name during a fight doesn’t necessarily indicate that it was motivated by bias.”

Dallas Voice is withholding the names of both the suspect and the victim until more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Martin said late Saturday that the victim has opted not to press charges, meaning the case will be dropped.

Also, the victim contacted Dallas Voice via email Sunday morning and gave us his side of the story. The victim asked that his name continue to be withheld:

“I don’t want this to get more publicity but am concerned that your version, which is based on an inaccurate and misleading police report, is going to get more attention than it should,” the victim wrote. “The police treated this as a standard bar fight when instead the guy came up behind me and smashed my face into a glass tumbler while I was seated at a table with several other guys. I declined to prosecute because the suspect apologized in person and seemed to be sincere — plus it was clear any court experience would be a long and arduous process. … (As a side matter, I can’t believe how many commenters already are taking the position that I deserved it.)”


Pink Noise: The Dallas Voice Podcast

Posted on 30 Apr 2011 at 12:19pm


WATCH: More video of LGBT advocates speaking at Dallas County Commissioners Court

Posted on 29 Apr 2011 at 5:16pm

In the video above are Annemarie St. John, Tori Van Fleet and Cece Cox. In the video below are Elizabeth Lopez, Patti Fink and Stephen Sprinkle. To watch the other six speakers, go here.


Log Cabin Republicans share the Hilton Anatole with the right-wing Heritage Foundation

Posted on 29 Apr 2011 at 3:53pm
A recorded message from Dallas GOP Congressman Pete Sessions is played during the Log Cabin Republicans National Convention earlier today. More pics after the jump.

It was an interesting scene over at the Hilton Anatole today. Downstairs in the massive Atrium, where I found myself lost at least once, a conservative D.C.-based think tank called the Heritage Foundation was hosting a convention featuring tables sponsored by groups like the “Alliance for School Choice” and “Online for Life.”

Meanwhile, upstairs on the mezzanine in smaller conference rooms, the gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans was quietly holding its National Convention. And when Dallas GOP Congressman Pete Sessions creepily appeared on the projector to deliver a recorded welcome message during Log Cabin’s lunch program, I couldn’t help but wonder if I might be in the wrong room.

After all, though, these two groups would probably agree on a lot of issues — limited government, strong national defense, etc. They just happen to disagree on one rather big one — the gays — and ultimately I guess that’s what Log Cabin is all about.

“There are a lot of Republican legislators who believe like we do,” GOP Maryland Sen. Allan H. Kittleman, who’s straight, told Log Cabin during the lunch program. “We just have to convince them it’s OK. They’re scared.”


Memorial service set for Bettye Pepper

Posted on 29 Apr 2011 at 10:24am
Bettye “Pep” Pepper, 1945-2011

Longtime Dallas resident and my good friend Bettye “Pep” Pepper died this morning at Hearthstone Hospice in Irving following a courageous battle against cancer.

A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held tomorrow — Saturday, April 30 — at Joe’s/The Brick. Everyone who knew and loved her is invited to attend. Pep’s body will be returned to her hometown in Benton, Mississippi, where funeral services are pending.

Pepper worked many years as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines. She then worked several years as a bartender for Joe Elliott at Jugs, then later for Howard Okon at Joe’s Place. The last several years, she worked for Home Depot on Lemmon Avenue in Oak Lawn.

There are so many things to say about Pep that there’s no way to say it all here. She was a true Virgo: Ask her what time it was, and she would tell you how to make a clock. She held a treasure trove of trivia in her mind and loved to tell stories and recite poetry. She also loved to tinker with things, to take things apart when they were broken and try to fix them and put them back together. And a lot of the times, when she put them back together, they did work, even if she had parts left over. She had a great laugh, and an excellent sense of humor. Her favorite TV channel was PBS.

She was a true and loyal friend, fierce about standing up for the people she loved and the causes she believed in.

Pep loved her family more than anything, and there were so many friends she thought of as family. Rest in peace, Bettye Pepper. We will miss you very much.


WATCH: Marathon of LGBT speakers call on Commissioners Court to add trans protections

Posted on 29 Apr 2011 at 10:21am

Here’s video of the first six LGBT advocates who spoke at Dallas County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, with video of the remaining six to come later. As we noted earlier, the unprecedented marathon of speakers exceeded the maximum 30 minutes for public comment on the issue — a proposal to add transgender protections to the county’s nondiscrimination policy. It was the fourth straight week in which LGBT advocates addressed the Commissioners Court, and the community’s advocacy led to the court ultimately approving trans protections in a 3-2 party-line vote. The speakers in Part I (above) are Rebecca Solomon, Jesse Garcia and Louise Young; and the speakers in Part II (below) are Cd Kirven, Jeffrey Barnett and Mark Reed. As the old saying goes,  “This is what Democracy looks like!”