Anne Arundel County government, already drafting criteria for licensing bingo halls in the wake of scandal possibly linked with organized crime, now is poised to review standards for allowing "adult" reading and on-premises film viewing. The flash point for this review is a bid by separate corporate entities with common backers -- Magura and Tokai Enterprises -- to open adult book/video stores and peep shows in, respectively, Glen Burnie and Odenton.
The Odenton proposal has drawn little initial community objection. But some Glen Burnie residents alertly and loudly sounded off upon hearing of the proposal that would open a store on Crain Highway on the edge of their old, stable neighborhood. Understandably, they want no repeat of problems an array of "adult entertainment" ventures generated on Crain Highway in the '60s and '70s. Those ventures eventually vanished in a blur of arson, other criminal activity and even rumored organized crime involvement.
To that end, County Councilman Edward Middlebrooks, D-Glen Burnie, and Vice Chairman David G. Boschert, D-Crownsville, last week proposed a county-wide moratorium on issuing the type of business license Magura and Tokai need. During the moratorium, council members would have the Neall administration "study regulations concerning adult book stores and film-viewing machines." The council is scheduled to hear arguments Aug. 5. If members approve, the moratorium and the review would begin immediately.