WORD TO MS. DUNN: If you intend to write articles such as Hiphop's Last Gasp [News, Katia Dunn, Sept. 6] get off of the News page and onto the nearest soapbox. (Which reminds me, Wm. Steven Humphrey's No Blood, No Foul? [On My Soapbox, Sept. 6] was smashing). Is the OLCC a fucking crock that needs to be abolished? Certainly, but blaming them for death of independent hiphop in Portland when they had "concerns" about the club is ridiculous.
I don't know what's more melodramatic, the staff's "just a few complaints and we're out of jobs," or Wicked's "I don't know where I'll spin after this, if I will at all." News flash: there have been more than a few complaints and no one at Jezebel's has lost their job, and Wicked is now at the Tonic every Wednesday without missing a beat.
Perhaps you might look to Jezebel's to explain why the club has stopped hosting DJs. In a club with a $200 sound system and no house turntables or mixer, I think that it's a stretch to blindly believe that Mr. Nichols spent $12,000 on soundproofing, especially when the noise complaints were so utterly "unfounded."
Katia Dunn responds: Actually, everyone at Jezebel's lost their job. The fact is, a club that was once one of Portland's only places to hear underground hiphop now stands empty--waiting to be turned into a sports bar--and the reason for this closure is the OLCC's unproven "concerns" about "the format."
KATIA, I JUST WANT TO GET SOME SLEEP!
HEY MERCURY: First of all, I'm a loyal reader of the Mercury since issue #1 hit the stands last year. Most of the time, I'm inclined to agree with your skewed view of the City of Roses. However, it is with great hesitation that I must point out a few inaccuracies in Katia Dunn's severely one-sided story on the closing of Jezebel's.
I live directly across the street from Jezebel's and I have called them on numerous occasions when the noise was too loud for me to sleep. And yes, when that didn't work, I called the OLCC. So you see, it's my fault. I admit it. I just wanted to get a goddamn night's sleep! Is that too much to ask?
Secondly, Mr. Nichol's soundproofing job was nothing more than putting shag carpet on the walls and installing a decibel level monitor on the side of the building. Perhaps a better use of his $12,000 would have been to turn the volume knob down a notch or two and hire someone to stand outside and actually enforce the "Please be quiet. Our neighbors are sleeping" sign on the door.
These people had absolutely no consideration for the hundreds of people who live on that corner. So the next time you go whining about how some club gets shut down, why don't you actually talk to the people who caused it instead of some crybaby club owner and his moron patrons?
KATIA, I AGREE WITH THE OTHER PEOPLE ON THIS PAGE!
TO KATIA DUNN: [Re: Hiphop's Last Gasp] Methinks you should consider things more carefully before making such strong accusations, especially Julianne's claim of racism [Up & Coming, Sept. 6]. Your "evidence"--suspicions and feelings as you describe them--seems flimsy. You said yourself the complaints were issued by the Neighborhood Association.
As for when you say "change his format" in the last paragraph, are you quoting Nichols or Palke? I think that's important because one person's interpretation may be much different than another's. What the hell DOES that mean anyways? Did Nichols ever contact the Neighborhood Association to see if something could be worked out before just giving up?
I'd also like to know what percentage of incidences (fighting, yelling, etc) WERE attributable to Jezebel's. Hey, I'm not saying the OLCC doesn't suck or that there are no racial tendencies in Portland. I'm saying you need to do a better job to prove it instead of just publishing controversial headlines.
Katia Dunn responds: First of all, let me point out that Julianne Shepherd is crazy, and I don't take responsibility for anything she says. As for your questions about attribution, Nichols told me that the OLCC inspector assigned to the case told him to "change your format." I'm sorry if that was unclear. And lastly, I too would like to know what percentage of incidences were attributed to Jezebel's; one of the points I was trying to emphasize in the article was that the OLCC has no legal requirement to document numbers before issuing fines and citations. If there were a more democratic process in place, the "racial tendencies" you refer to would be obvious.