Suspect in Log Cabin assault is servicemember; incident may still be classified as hate crime

Officer Laura Martin

The suspect accused of assaulting a member of Log Cabin Republicans and calling him a “faggot” on Saturday at the Hilton Anatole is a member of the military, according to Laura Martin, the Dallas Police Department’s LGBT liaison officer.

Martin said a police report from the incident indicates that the suspect, a 27-year-old male, is a supervisor or sergeant in the military who was responding to perceived sexual harassment of a subordinate. Other sources suggested that the suspect is a member of the Marines. The suspect’s name is being withheld because Dallas Voice doesn’t typically identify people charged with misdemeanors.

DPD declined to release a copy of the police report from the incident, which occurred at about 1 a.m. Saturday in the lobby bar of the Hilton Anatole, where Log Cabin was holding its National Convention.

Martin said even though the victim has chosen not to press charges — meaning the case will not be prosecuted — DPD may classify the incident as an anti-gay hate crime for the purposes of reporting it to the FBI. She said the police report indicates that someone at the victim’s table — but not the victim — “catcalled” and made sexual gestures toward someone at the suspect’s table, adding that both the suspect and the victim were intoxicated at the time of the incident.

“Someone who was at the complainant’s [victim's] table saw someone who he thought was attractive at another table. When he pointed him out and when the guy got up to to go to the restroom, at least one person catcalled him and made sexual gestures in an obvious manner,” Martin said. “So he went back to his table and told his supervisor, who is also in the military. The supervisor went over then to the table where the guys were to say, ‘Please stop.’ When he went over there to the table the complainant [victim] stood up as he was addressing the group, and the arrested person viewed that as aggressive toward him, so he pushed him down, and that’s how he became injured. I don’t know if the complainant was standing up because he needed to go to the restroom, or if he was standing up to argue, or if he was standing up to stretch his legs, but the guy who was arrested said he viewed it as aggressive.”

—  John Wright

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

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.”

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Dan Ramos hospitalized; Log Cabin convention under way at the Anatole

Dan Ramos

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Ramos has been hospitalized just days before his likely removal from office for, among other things, comparing gay Democrats to “termites” and the “fuckin’ Nazi Party.” But no, it’s not for a brain tumor.

2. Don’t be surprised if you run into some well-known gay Republicans around town (or on Grindr) this weekend. The Log Cabin Republicans are holding their National Convention at the Hilton Anatole.

3. Have you emailed your state representative yet?

—  John Wright

The lap of luxury

RELAX, GO TO IT | Hot stone massages are among the treatments for couples and singles at V Spa.

With Spa Week, luxury facilities like V Spa seek to ‘queer eye’ us all

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

Damn those Queer Eye guys. When they emerged in 2003, they gave away some of our best secrets, teaching straight men to get in touch with their metrosexual side and embrace skin care and days spas.

Only not everyone got the message — and sometimes, not even gay men. A massage is one thing, but a facial? A mani-pedi? But even those treatments are getting their play in the male psyche.

Sarah Long, the spa manager at the Hilton Anatole’s V Spa (which opened about three years ago), says nowadays it is easier to get men in to enjoy the range of services offered.

“A lot of it is they are either scared and don’t know what to expect with a lot of guys there’s a whole stigma of going to the spa — it’s not manly,” says Long. “But absolutely men do this, once they get past that wariness at the beginning. When they are in the first time, you don’t need to give further incentives.”

In order to incentivize that first visit, however, spas like V populate their menus with services such as the “gentleman’s facial” (a lush and soothing skin treatment) to let men know some treatments are intended just for them. And with Spa Week upon us, this might be just the time to check it out.

Spa Week has been undertaken for a while, says Long, usually with twice-a-year windows (in Dallas, April and October) when spas offer a selection of their high-end services at a discount price to encourage new clients.

“We drop the price point for that week on two to three services for $50. It’s really a good opportunity to try out something new without spending a lot of money,” Long says.

This season’s offerings at V Spa include the “restorative facial,” the “revitalizing back treatment” and the “rose-scented pedicure,” all for just $50. “We do try to switch up the services we offer so those who show up every Spa Week can try something different,” Long says.

Whatever gets you in there, V Spa does provide a spectacular service. Not all spa experiences are comparable (though often their prices are). The common areas can make a difference, as well as the treatment room facilities and perks. V Spa, for instance, has a waiting area with an Asian influence (bamboo, dark woods — just like the rest of the hotel) and complimentary nuts and champagne. A technician even gives you a foot bath while wrapping your neck in a warm buckwheat pillow before you slide between high thread-count sheets on a damask-covered massage table. Such luxuries provide added value.

“Especially right now, a lot of us are cutting back, but there are things we had to keep,” Long says. It all serves the main point of a day at the spa: Escape.

“I think relaxation is a huge thing,” says Long. “You should be able to walk in and leave your life for a little bit — have that time for yourself, a moment of piece … like a mini-vacation. You need to know it is gonna be relaxing.”

That means no matter what service you buy, you get all the extras, including access to the health club and pool, the sauna and showers, the robes and cucumber water all for one price. It really can be a Calgon moment that lasts all day.

V Spa at the Hilton Anatole, 2201 Stemmons Freeway. 214-761-7800. Spa Week runs April 11–17.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 8, 2011.

—  John Wright

Tasting notes: Valentine edition

Need ideas for how to spend a romantic dinner with your sweetie? We got ’em

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES | Life+Style Editor
jones@dallasvoice.com

Lots of restaurants are getting in the mood for romance, so you and your sweetie can choose from among these options — and many more:

La Duni — The Oak Lawn and McKinney avenue locations offer a four-course dinner for $50/person that includes a champagne toast. Don’t forget to pre-order a lovey-dovey cupcake. LaDuni.com.

The Mansion on Turtle Creek — A three-course meal, including dessert, runs you $125 on Feb. 14. Make it more romantic by booking a room for the weekend rate. 214-443-4747.

Nana — The Hilton Anatole is doing the same as The Mansion, offering a $99 four-course meal plus the option to book a guest room for as low as $79. 214-761-7470.

The Landmark — The restaurant inside the Warwick Melrose is really keeping it romantic, with a set price per couple. For $150, you can each put together the ideal four-course meal, served Feb. 12 and 14. Call 214-224-3152.

The Grape — The romantic bistro features a la carte choices Friday through Sunday, then a three-course tasting menu for $65/person. 214-828-1981.

Bijoux — Full disclosure: I spent Valentine’s Day here last year, and for good reason: The food is superb, and it really stands up as event dining. For $85/person, chef Scott Gottlich will whip up an exquisite four-course meal that includes lobster bisque, duo of veal and a filet, among other delectables. 214-350-6100.

The Second Floor — Over at Gottlich’s other restaurant, adorable chef J Chastain has something unusual in mind for a holiday dinner: You put it together. Rather than the traditional prix fixe menu, from Feb. 12–14 you can select from a range of popular and romantic items, from $9 to $34, for the ideal custom meal. Call 927-450-2978.

Salum — Chef Abraham Salum has a jazzy menu planned for Feb 14, that includes jazz music from singer Nadia Washington and a complimentary glass of champagne. The three-course meal costs $65. SalumRestaurant.com.

Sprinkles — Those demons at Sprinkles have taunted me again with new flavors, available for Valentine’s. You can choose from a red hot velvet (with spicy cinnamon aroma) or raspberry chocolate chip. Both are available through Feb. 14 in the Preston Center location.

On the heels of Valentine’s is a food and wine showcase to warm the blood. Bonne Sante features chefs including Scott Gottlich, Abraham Salum, Tony Bombaci (Nana), Dean Fearing (Fearing’s), Bruno Davilion (The Mansion) and Blaine Staniford (Grace), as well as several wineries. Individual tickets run $200 and benefit the National Kidney Foundation. It takes place at the Westin Galleria on Feb. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. 214-3512-2393.

Central 214 is instituting a “pick your plate” option, starting Feb. 15. For a flat price of $30, customers can choose one salad or soup, one entrée and one dessert from Blythe Beck’s menu. 214-443-9339.

We blogged recently about John Tesar’s new restaurant in the Cedars, Cedars Social, which officially opened this week. Well, he’s got more on his plate, including The Commissary, which will open in April in the space last occupied by Dali in One Arts Plaza. It will feature burgers, wine on tap and late night meals.

Fin Sushi, from the people responsible for Sushi Axiom on Henderson, has officially opened in the ilume. BEE, Monica Greene’s new enchiladaria, is open in Oak Cliff.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 4, 2011.

—  John Wright

Log Cabin to hold 2011 convention in Dallas

Rudy Oeftering, from left, Rob Schlein and R. Clarke Cooper show off Schlein’s Texas State Flag this morning outside DV offices.

We were lucky enough to receive a visit this morning from R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans National, who was accompanied to Dallas Voice offices by local gay GOP’ers Rob Schlein and Rudy Oeftering.

Cooper was in town for the Grand Ol’ Party, the Dallas chapter’s annual fundraising dinner, over the weekend. (You can watch part of conservative author S.E. Cupp’s keynote speech below.) Also during the dinner, Schlein was presented with a Texas State Flag that was flown over the Capitol in Austin in his honor. Oeftering said he presented the flag to Schlein on behalf of State Rep. Dan Branch, R-Highland Park.

Anyhow, among other topics that were discussed in this morning’s visit, Cooper announced that Log Cabin plans to hold its national convention in Dallas next year. He said the convention will be at the Hilton Anatole in April and should draw at least several hundred poeple from across the country.

Log Cabin picked Dallas for the convention for several reasons, Cooper said. For one, Texas is “ripe for growth” for Log Cabin, and the state’s Republican delegation to Congress has room for improvement on LGBT issues. Also, two members of that delegation, Congressman Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn, happen to occupy key leadership positions, heading up the Republican campaign committees for their respective chambers. Finally, several of Log Cabin’s top individual donors, as wells as its first corporate sponsor American Airlines, are based in Texas.

“The stars kind of aligned for us to be here in 2011,” Cooper said.

—  John Wright

2 gay North Texans elected to IGLTA board

The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, a group that promotes the gay market as one destinations and industries in the travel biz should cultivate, announced its new board last month. For the first time since 1995, a lesbian was elected chair, PR rep for Tourisme Montreal and founder of Girlports Tanya Churchmuch. Also elected to the board are two Dallas-area industry pros: George Carrancho with American Airlines was named treasurer, and Cordey Lash with the Hilton Anatole was named secretary.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones