porn-free Timberville?

Brent Finnegan -- October 31st, 2007

Timberville’s planning commission and town attorney are drafting a no-porn business ordinance to be presented to the town council as early as next week. According to the story, parents are concerned an “adult” store may want to locate near the elementary school. But there’s no mention of any adult businesses currently interested in setting up shop anywhere in or near Timberville. Sounds like a knee-jerk reaction after what happened in Staunton.

I’m assuming the concerned residents don’t have high-speed Internet service in their homes.

24 Responses to “porn-free Timberville?”

  1. Emmy says:

    Heh. It’s always amusing when this stuff starts up.

  2. Frank J Witt says:

    Fin, thanks for bringing this up (no pun intended) because I thought the same thing you did. The people that were interviewed about this must have some sort of internet access.

    To say that they do not want this in their backyard (school area) is like saying that I don’t want a nuke plant in MY yard but if they put near Lake Shenandoah that would be fine.

    And how many more times could the news channel show the local businesses that are “adult”? When we moved here I thought Harrisonburg Adult News was a magazine shop. Only AFTER the news highlighted the business did I even know what it really was.

  3. Ben says:

    I think a number of local communities are responding fairly quickly to the rather large volley of news stories about the new “adult” shop in Staunton. Coincidentally, I drove back from Staunton to Dayton last week on Sunday by taking Spring Hill Road, which connects from Gypsy Hill Park straight (by country standards) to Rt 42 just a little south of Bridgewater. It took a few extra minutes but it was a BEAUTIFUL day for a drive in the country. The new adult shop is on the Staunton end of the road, and I must say, I noticed it as I drove by, but only because I saw the news broadcasts. It is pretty isolated, and very nondescript.

    Each time I hear fear in someone’s voice regarding one of these shops, I remind them that if indeed the community doesn’t want them they will go out of business within a very short span of a couple months, when they can’t pay their bills. Usually, these same individuals are in other circumstances are spouting on about letting the market control itself, keeping the state out of issues of sexuality that belong in the hands of parent, and so forth. So it’s time to put that belief in action.

    Maybe we should just ask the varied town councils in the valley to each list all the things they’d like to keep out of their community, poor people, adult businesses, undocumented workers, trees, and so forth, and pass resolutions to prohibit all of them from being within a half mile of a school. That way we keep out all the riffraff, and make reduce the need to provide services in the schools at the same time.

    Funny Story: Back when the Hole in the Wall newsstand was going to first open, I thought, “cool, a news-stand. They’ll most likely carry comic books!”. I’d been collecting comics since I was a kid, and most of the 7-11’s and drug stores that used to carry them had pretty much stopped doing so. I went in and asked the guy who seemed to be in charge, and he told me that they hadn’t worked out all their distribution deals yet, but to check back in a couple weeks. I went back in after they opened up, and discovered….There ain’t no comics in that place! Went back a couple years later, at the request of my mother-in-law, who heard that they carried temporary stick-on tattoos she needed for a Halloween costume. They did, and thus I became a one-time patron of said establishment.

  4. finnegan says:

    if indeed the community doesn’t want them they will go out of business within a very short span of a couple months, when they can’t pay their bills. Usually, these same individuals are in other circumstances are spouting on about letting the market control itself, keeping the state out of issues of sexuality that belong in the hands of parent, and so forth. So it’s time to put that belief in action.

    Interesting observations, Ben. You make a good point about the businesses closing down or thriving based on the demand of the town. Between Pamela’s Secrets, Hole in the Wall, and Harrisonburg Adult News, I don’t know of any of those sorts of businesses that have shut down here due to a lack of customers. If the community truly doesn’t want it, the community members wouldn’t shop there.

  5. Ben says:

    Exactly.

  6. David Miller says:

    Ben

    I love your correlation between free-market conservatives trying to pass legislation that limits business opportunities like these. Hypocrits shame!!!

    Plus the old Simpsons quote “Won’t someone think of the children”. Somehow pornography destroys children. The film on which it is developed must have some sort of chemical in it that is especially bad for children. Either that or people are just as scared as they have always been. They associate homosexuality and pornography with child/sexual abuse. This correlation is BS.

  7. Karl Magenhofer says:

    Couple things…I wouldn’t call this a “knee jerk” reaction to the Staunton situation. H’burg dealt with this a while back and localities should have reviewed their code then. If Staunton had done so they wouldn’t be in the boat they’re in now. It’s the difference between a proactive and reactive government. Bridgewater reviewed their ordinances shortly after Harrisonburg and basically banned adult businesses from high visibility/traffic areas.

    To say that an adult business would close down if a town didn’t support it is a bit foolish in one sense. There’s absolutely no way that Harrisonburg residents alone support three of them. Because these businesses are still relatively rare here, folks are coming from other nearby areas to get their porn fix. A story in the DNR after the sting at H’burg Adult News would tell you that as would comments on the News Leader blog recently. I also doubt that Paradise City is existing solely on the Mathias community’s support.

  8. Emmy says:

    I’m certain that Harrisonburg doesn’t support all three of them. Perhaps if some of these other areas get a store of their own then one of more of the Harrisonburg stores will close…but I don’t see that happening. It’s a knee jerk reaction if there is no current “threat”.

  9. Ted says:

    Timberville? Who would want to move a business to Timberville? Much less a porn shop…

    I have to agree, if no one patronizes these operations, then they will be forced to shut their doors. Period.

    Still, I’ve had just a little experiece with Tville’s Planning Commission, and let me tell you, it was quite an amusing experience to say the least…

  10. Karl Magenhofer says:

    Okay Emmy, I’ll agree partially. I say though, you could argue that there’s always a threat.

    On the surface the whole “why would a business locate to x small town?” makes sense. However, when so many localities are enacting ordinances that make it difficult for the business to set up shop, they would have to go further down the list of options.

    Here’s a hypothetical: Jo Jo’s house of porn opens next to Waterman Elementary. Emmy’s not that upset because she’s not a nut that thinks her kids will start having sex with donkey’s as a result. Some parents at the school might believe that and would ask elected officials how the heck they would allow this. Timberville wants to avoid that. Please note the above couldn’t happen in h’burg, just thought I’d entertain Emmy with the Waterman reference.

  11. Emmy says:

    Well I don’t blame Timberville for doing it, but the timing is amusing.

    No, I wouldn’t freak out if a porn store opened near their school because I know that not all people who look at porn are child molesters. I know of some that are less than stellar human beings, but they wouldn’t hurt my kids. But, I wouldn’t pick that as a location and Timberville is doing the right thing by preventing it before it happens.

  12. Ben says:

    I don’t think anyone is hoping some porn shop gets built in their neighborhood, near their school, or near their post office for that matter. It’s uncomfortable, no matter what the political or social issues or values involved. However, since it IS true that there are three such stores in Harrisonburg, it would be interesting to compare the head count of all news stories relating to child molesters known to frequent porn shops, versus all news stories related to child molesters known to be clergy(men). Nobody’s protesting churches being built in town as a result of the latter.

  13. Emmy says:

    Breaking News: Staunton store owner indicted on obscenity charges!

    http://www.newsleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071101/NEWS01/71101010

  14. finnegan says:

    “The 6-person grand jury spent the morning viewing parts of 12 videos bought at the Springhill Road…”

    I can’t help but laugh at that bit.

  15. JGFitzgerald says:

    “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
    H.L. Mencken

  16. David Miller says:

    Amen JG

    Who here that thinks banning certain stores that disagree with their “morality” is a good idea. Raise your hand. Tell me that Your morality should govern My life, because you are of course Right in your morals (leaves me WRONG). Your opinion is better than mine (and you have a majority). Where does this kind of logic stop? I sell pottery for a living, if enough people got together would you throw me out of town because you have a moral disagreement with pottery (I’m stealing jobs from poor slave laborers in other countries, I should be thrown out). What if there were enough of you to do so, would it be right? That’s what we’re arguing. Where is the line?

    Rules for citizenship within Harrisonburg
    1. Anglo-Saxon preferably
    2. English Speaking only
    3. Christian
    4. Virgin prior to marriage
    5. Marriage to the opposite sex
    6. Porn free existence (even if you are married and bored with your spouse, too bad; sex is bad anyway unless it is for procreation (sounds a lot like recreation though doesn’t it!)

    Ps, BEN
    “It’s uncomfortable, no matter what the political or social issues or values involved.”
    Uncomfortable? Seriously man, you are made uncomfortable by a porn shop? Human sexuality class- If people are unable to find partners to pleasure them sexually, they take care of it on their own. If you don’t, then I’d like for you to publicly state it. We can then all laugh at your fib.

  17. David Miller says:

    Finn

    How do you get on one of those grand jurys and what’s the pay?

  18. Emmy says:

    I heart David Miller!

  19. Emmy says:

    Oh and I don’t speak for Ben, but I think he means that it becomes an uncomfortable situation for some people when it comes up, not that he was personally uncomfortable.

  20. David Miller says:

    I see, after re-reading his comments above I would agree.

  21. David Miller says:

    Good night, see you all tomorrow. I’ll look forward to the developments in the discussion.

  22. Ben says:

    Yeah, what Emmy said. I personally rather like sex! I was more pointing out is unlikely we’ll see any town council endorse or invite an ‘adult’ shop into any region, and to point out that as far as to the rationality of the fear of child molesters and porn shops, it seems much more likely that the paper publishes a story about a gay, child molesting priest than one about someone leaving Pamela’s Secrets and picking up children.

  23. Ben says:

    err, and I agree with the gist of your post, and was enjoying it until I got to the ps. Actually, given your interpretation I agree with it too.

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