Another candidate files in District 14

Jim Rogers

Although Angela Hunt has not officially announced her plans, a second candidate, Jim Rogers, has filed to run for her District 14 City Council seat in May. Hunt is expected to make a run for mayor after Tom Leppert announced he would not seek re-election.

Rogers said others made the decision for him after a meeting with supporters on Sunday. He filed his paperwork with the city this morning at 9:30 a.m. and his campaign website went live.

Former State Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt, a pioneering LGBT ally, has endorsed Rogers, he said.

James Nowlin, a gay business owner, announced last week that he’s running for Hunt’s seat. More coverage of the District 14 race will appear in Friday’s Dallas Voice.

Rogers said he will attend tonight’s Stonewall Democrats meeting. Stonewall meets at 6:30 p.m. at Ojeda’s Restaurant, 4617 Maple Ave.

—  David Taffet

More than a month later, owner still seeking approval from city for new gay bar on Maple

Owner Keith Lackie stands inside Klub Wet in October holding a plaque he received to commemorate the bar’s opening — an opening that never happened.

Keith Lackie is frustrated and angry. Pretty soon, he says, he might also be bankrupt.

Lackie was set to open Klub Wet, a new gay bar on Maple Avenue, at the end of October. But then the city of Dallas refused to issue him a certificate of occupancy, saying he didn’t have sufficient parking. Lackie has two separate remote parking agreements for property across the street owned by Crow Holdings. But he says Crow Holdings is attempting to get out of the agreements because they want to use the property for their own redevelopment.

Lackie says he’s invested $150,000 to remodel the building that once housed Illusions, at 4100 Maple Ave. Klub Wet would fulfill a dream that Lackie had with his partner, Andy Primm, who died last year. Much of the money for the bar came from his partner’s life insurance policy.

For the last five weeks, Lackie and city building officials have gone round and round over the parking situation. Finally, last week, Lackie claims they agreed to a resolution whereby Lackie would wall off a section of the club to reduce the square-footage so he doesn’t need as much parking. But now he says the city is refusing to give him a final OK, and he’s convinced it’s due to opposition from Crow Holdings.

“We came up with a resolution and they’re still sitting on it,” Lackie told Instant Tea on Thursday. “It’s ridiculous, and in the meantime I’m on the brink of bankruptcy. I think the reason they’re putting it off is they’re waiting for Trammel Crow to come back with a different plan. They’re waiting for Trammell Crow [Crow Holdings] to tell them what to do next to prevent me from opening.”

Representatives from Crow Holdings failed to returned numerous phone calls from Instant Tea seeking comment about the matter over the last month. City Councilwoman Pauline Medrano, who represents the area, also hasn’t returned our phone calls. Medrano’s assistant referred questions to city building officials.

Phil Sikes, an assistant building official for the city, said Thursday that his department is still researching the history of the Klub Wet property and the parking agreements. Sikes said he hopes to have an answer on Lackie’s latest proposal by next week.

Sikes said it appears as though one of the two parking agreements with Crow Holdings is valid, while the other is not. The city is now trying to determine how many “delta credits” — grandfathered parking from before the city required it — Klub Wet should receive.

The investigation, Sikes said, is complicated by changing uses of the building over the years, an illegal expansion in the 1990s and other factors.

“It really is just a mess,” Sikes said. “We understand his situation is that he’s ready to open his business. He’s sank a tremendous amount of money into it, and every day he’s not open, he’s losing money. We get that.”

But Sikes denied that opposition from Crow Holdings has anything to do with the delay.

“They don’t talk to us about this stuff,” Sikes said. “We don’t go talk to them. Whoever the neighbor is doesn’t matter to us. We’re trying to make a determination based off the records.”

Lackie says if he doesn’t hear something soon he plans to take his story to the mainstream media and demand an investigation.

“I can tell you from the conversations that I’ve had with people at different events and the clubs around town, everybody thinks the city and Trammell Crow are colluding, and probably that the city has their hands in Trammell Crow’s pockets,” Lackie said. “Trammell Crow doesn’t want a gay bar in their front yard. The city is grasping at straws, at any little thing they can come up with to keep me from opening, so that Trammell Crow gets what they want. I guarantee it.”

—  John Wright

Best bets • 12.03.10

Friday 12.03

Weekend forecast: lotsa leather
Mr. Dallas Eagle Jack Duke has a busy weekend ahead. First he’s hosting the Used Leather Silent Auction on Friday. Then he takes part in the Kickoff Party that same night, all gearing up for Saturday’s Mr. Dallas Eagle contest. Hard to believe it’s already been a year since Duke started his successful run at leather domination by going on to win Mr. Texas Leather and then placing third in Mr. IML. Now it’s time to pass on the torch — or is it paddle?

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. Friday–Saturday at 8 p.m. DallasEagle.com

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Friday 12.03

Get folked up with SONiA
Lesbian folk singer SONiA and Disappear Fear head back to North Texas in support of their latest album Blood, Bones & Baltimore. Just don’t let the folk part scare you. She refreshes the granola vibe of ’60s folk by fusing it with a reggae touch. Plus, her dreadlocks are killer up close.

DEETS: Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse, 9555 N. Central Expressway. 8 p.m. $12–$15. UncleCalvins.com

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Saturday 12.04

Boogie woogie meets ballet – for real
Only the Contermporary Ballet of Dallas would we trust to mix ballet with disco, jazz and swing music. In Boogie Woogie Christmas Carol, the CBD offers a different take of the Dickens classic by throwing in some Tommy Dorsey, The Trammps and even Linkin Park. Ballet is starting to sound kinda cool, huh?

DEETS: McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane. 7:30 p.m. $27. ContemporaryBalletDallas.com

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Tuesday 12.07

Good things can come from a trailer
The Sam Houston School Holiday Project will be offering thanks to a slew of drag queens this season. Edna Jean Robinson brings back her annual Trailer Park Christmas which benefits the project. Onyx and Chanel are among the drag fabulous who will lend a manicured hand to the night. Those kids will be so happy. It just warms the heart.

DEETS: JR.’s Bar & Grill, 3923 Cedar Springs Road. 11 p.m. Caven.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Angela Hunt kicks off her re-election bid as possible ‘battle royale’ for mayor looms

Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt will host a re-election kickoff tonight at the Stoneleigh Hotel, and not surprisingly several members of the LGBT community are listed as platinum, gold and silver hosts. Hunt is a solid LGBT ally who represents heavily gay portions of the city including half of Oak Lawn. She has announced that she’s seeking re-election to her District 14 seat but hasn’t said whether she’ll run for mayor if Tom Leppert decides not to seek a second term. Leppert is considering a bid for U.S. Senate in 2012 if Kay Bailey Hutchison doesn’t seek re-election, as Gromer Jefffers at The Dallas Morning News reiterates this morning:

Unless Hutchison gives him a heads up that she’s running, chances are Leppert won’t seek re-election as mayor.

That means another battle royale election in Dallas, much like the one that elevated Leppert in 2007. That year, nearly 20 candidates expressed an early interest in the job. But this time, there is no reliable list of contenders, not even a short one. Just one candidate has announced he’ll run: Jim Moore, a little-known Dallas lawyer.

Park Board member and former city homeless czar Mike Rawlings has been frequently mentioned as a contender. Other names include City Council members Angela Hunt and Ron Natinsky.

Hunt’s re-election kickoff will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Stoneleigh, 2927 Maple Ave. in Dallas. For more info, visit her website.

—  John Wright

Owner says city, Crow Holdings blocked opening of new gay bar on Maple after he invested $150K

Owner Keith Lackie stands behind the bar on Friday holding a plaque he received to commemorate the opening of Klub Wet.

It was Keith Lackie and Andy Primm’s dream to open a gay bar together.

When Primm died last year at 44, Lackie was left with a life insurance policy.

Lackie decided to use the money to fulfill the couple’s dream, and three months ago, he signed a lease for the building that housed Illusions, at 4100 Maple Ave., which had recently closed.

Since then, Lackie said he’s spent $150,000 remodeling the building. He was scheduled to open Klub Wet Piano & Music Video Lounge at 11 a.m. today.

But on Wednesday, Lackie found out the city of Dallas won’t issue a certificate of occupancy — the final permit needed before he opens — because he doesn’t have sufficient parking.

“I don’t even have the money to pay my house payment next month,” Lackie said Friday afternoon as he stood inside Klub Wet. “I was counting on being able to open this week.”

Lackie explained that the owner of the building that houses Klub Wet, Victor Ballas, has a Remote Parking Agreement for 46 spaces on property that sits just across Throckmorton Street. Lackie signed a one-year lease with Ballas with a four-year extension option.

But the parking for Klub Wet sits on property that’s now owned by Crow Holdings, which plans to redevelop much of the neighborhood. Lackie said Crow Holdings has convinced city officials that the Remote Parking Agreement is invalid, because it doesn’t list an accurate square footage for the bar.

The parking agreement, from 1996, lists the square footage of the building at about 1,400 square feet, while Klub Wet actually occupies about 2,500 square feet. But even with the larger square footage, the 46 spaces would be more than sufficient. Lackie said the square footage discrepancy is probably due to the fact that the bar occupied only part of the building in 1996.

Lackie said the term of the Remote Parking Agreement is as long as the building is occupied by a bar. But he said Crow Holdings has seized upon the square-footage technicality because it wants the parking for its own development.

“If Trammell Crow can keep me from opening up and it can’t be a bar, these parking agreements will go away and they’ll get their property back,” Lackie said.

Lackie said he’s been working with a licensing consultant to try to obtain a certificate of occupancy from the city, but now that the effort has proven unsuccessful, he plans to consult with his attorney.

Lackie said he’s already hired about 10 employees, some of whom have quit their old jobs. Among other things, he’s furnished Klub Wet with a grand piano and was poised to make it the only gay piano bar in Dallas.

On Thursday night, Klub Wet hosted a private party attended by 40-50 people, and one of Lackie’s new employees presented him with a plaque that reads “A Dream Come True, Alan Primm and Keith Lackie.”

For now, though, it’s a dream on hold.

“It was our dream to do it,” Lackie said. “I can’t give up.”

—  John Wright

Local briefs • 10.08.10

Danny Dean holding benefitat Dallas Eagle for RCD pantry

Danny Dean presents “Danny Ray’s Country Gravy and Biscuits Drag Show,” benefitting Resource Center Dallas’ food pantry and hot meals programs, on Friday, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. at Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave.

Emcee for the event will be Lips LaRue, and performers include Messy Panocha, Anita Protest, Selena and Patti Le Plae Safe, along with live singer Anton Shaw. The event will include a 50/50 raffle and an auction for gift baskets.

Those attending are also invited to bring in donations of dry goods and canned goods to be donated to the food pantry.

GAIN program to feature Dr. Mitch Carroll discussing healthy living

GAIN, a program of Resource Center Dallas for LGBT seniors, presents “Keeping Up Your Health: Challenges for Today’s GLBT Seniors,” on Thursday, Oct. 21, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the center, 2701 Reagan St.
The program will feature Dr. Mitch Carroll, medical director of ambulatory clinics at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, discussing health issues affecting LGBT seniors and suggestions for living a longer, healthier life.
His presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

For more information, call 214-528-0144, e-mail gain@rcdallas.org or go online to RCDallas.org.

Postcard project marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Resource Center Dallas is currently conducting a postcard project designed to allow LGBT community members discuss their views and share their stories and art related to domestic violence.

The postcards are blank on one side, allowing people to write or draw a message. The center’s address is preprinted on the other side. Participants can either put a stamp on the card and mail it to the center, or bring it by the center themselves.

The returned postcards will be assembled in a collage. Some may also be used in future advertisements and promotion for the center’s Family Violence Program.

Cards will be available at the center, 2701 Reagan St., starting Friday, Oct. 8. They will also be available at Gaybingo, on Saturday, Oct. 16, at S4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road.

For more information about Resource Center Dallas’ Family Violence Program, call 214-540-4455.

The North Texas LGBT Family Violence Coalition 24-hour hotline is 866-620-9650.

HRC presenting Family Project town hall on LGBT family options

The Human Rights Campaign presents “The Family Project: A Town Hall on Creating LGBT families,” on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, for individuals and couples interested in adoption, foster care or surrogacy.

The event will include a panel discussion on options, with panel members sharing their own experiences in creating families through adoption, foster care and surrogacy, as well as the legal and financial considerations involved. Local attorney Lorie Burch will facilitate.

The event is free and open to the public.

Vendor tables are available. For information, contact Leo Cusimano at 214-893-1075 for details.
For more information about the event, contact Cooper Smith by phone at 214-329-9191 or by e-mail cooper@coopersmithagency.com.

For more information on the HRC Family Project, go online to HRC.org/issues/parenting.asp.

The Group holding 4th anniversary

“The Group,” an organization for black men who are HIV-positive, will celebrate its fourth anniversary Thursday, Oct. 14, with a meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

The theme or the evening is “Thankful! Celebrating Four Years of Education, Empowerment and Support,” and guest speaker will be Sabrina Y. Taylor, MSW, of Tibotec Therapeutics.

For more information or to become a member of The Group, call 214-455-7316.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 08, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Owner says he’ll reopen Sisters Club in Fort Worth after being bought out by Trammell Crow

Sisters Club back patio

On Thursday I received a call from Kevin Barnett, the owner of the now-closed Sisters Club on Maple Avenue. Rumor had it the place was closed due to flooding issues, but Barnett says that’s not true.

“We were bought out. In fact, the whole block has been bought out by Trammell Crow,” he said.

By block, he means everything from his location to Herrera’s restaurant, and it’s all expected to be razed at the beginning of next year. No telling what other business owners think, but Barnett said he never felt slighted or wronged.

“They were very generous,” he said. “We were aware this was eventually going to happen, just not this soon. But they bought us out of our lease. “

Barnett said he never got a vibe that there was anything anti-gay about the process and said it was all a business move by Crow to expand and develop Maple Avenue to co-exist with the company’s headquarters at Maple and Oak Lawn avenues. And even though he opened the club eight months ago, Barnett has no regrets about what happened. Instead, he sees it as a blessing in disguise.

“I have no regrets about anything and I learned a lot,” he said. “We love the community here, but one of our biggest mistakes was to take a dead horse and bring it back to life. People wouldn’t let that Buddies II reputation go. That didn’t let us have our own identity.”

Barnett had the option of operating until November, but it sounds like he was ready to move on. He shut down the shop, packed everything and began making his move. With the same vibe, but different name, he’ll reopen the club in Fort Worth to take advantage of the newly thriving LGBT community there — and to establish an identity of his own.

“I’m excited to see growth in Dallas, and I think Trammell Crow will improve Maple Avenue,” he said. “But Dallas is overpopulated with bars, and Fort Worth is not. We’d get a brand new start and create our own reputation. We looked at buildings in Dallas but found a place in Fort Worth. We’re planning to open definitely this year.”

According to Barnett, the only thing Trammell Crow asked was to keep it on the down-low until the details were ironed out. With people asking him what was going on with the club when he shut the doors, Barnett had to create a diversion. This led to those plumbing rumors.

“I had to say something when people kept asking, so I just said that we had some flooding issues,” Barnett said. “It was silly but people kept talking and I was trying to not say anything. It bought me some time and so that’s why I’m calling now. But in the end, we’re not scorned by any means and financially, we came out OK. Everything was done like it should have been.”

—  Rich Lopez

Gay North Texas cowboy Wade Earp wins yet another all-around title; TGRA Dallas plans 2 big events this weekend


Wade Earp wins another all-around title
TGRA member Wade Earp competes in bull riding in a past IGRA rodeo.

North Texas cowboy Wade Earp won the title of All-Around Cowboy during the Greater Mowtown International Rodeo held last weekend, June 25-27. It is, I think, the third time this season that Earp has won all-around honors.

In other gay rodeo news, the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Gay Rodeo Association has two big events planned over the holiday weekend.  The “Cowboys, Jocks and Leather” underwear auction is on Saturday, July 3, at Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave., with a cocktail mixer at 7 p.m., hosted by GayCowboyCentral.com and with hot dogs and chips provided by the Eagle Bears. The main event starts at 8 p.m.

Then on Sunday, July 4, the Dallas TGRA chapter presents the 22nd annual Miss Firecracker Pageant, starting at 9 p.m. at Illusions Bar, 4100 Maple Ave.

Check the Dallas chapter’s schedule here.

And don’t forget that the Big D Rodeo is coming up Sept. 10-12 at the Diamond W. Arena Complex in Aledo. Go here for more info.

—  admin