Good Guys Isn't Lone 'Bad' GuyGood Guys Bar and Grill of...


March 06, 1994

Good Guys Isn't Lone 'Bad' Guy

Good Guys Bar and Grill of North Laurel is in serious trouble. A federal judge recently ruled against the club's owner, Behnam Zanganeh, effectively banning the sale of alcohol at Good Guys. Members of the public are clamoring for the closure of this "immoral" institution. Even The Sun came out against Mr. Zanganeh in a Feb. 14 editorial. Unfortunately, The Sun fails to see the hypocrisy of such a position.

There are several reasons why people oppose such establishments. It can be said that places similar to Good Guys are magnets for drugs and prostitution. Generally, that applies only to areas where those problems are already rampant. The odds that this lone building will turn North Laurel into another "Block" are slim.

Additionally, people oppose exotic dancing because it is supposedly "immoral" and "corrupting." Moreover, many claim that this sort of dancing degrades women and is contrary to the growth of the women's movement in America. While all these arguments are valid, the problem is in the consistency of their application.

I think that the majority of people would agree that a certain degree of consistency is a necessary attribute of a fair and equitable community. For example, it clearly wouldn't be right to close down one bar but allow another similar business to operate.

In order for Howard County to be consistent, we can't just close down Good Guys. First, we would also have to shut several of the county's video stores that rent X-rated movies. Second, we would have to close most of our bookstores, because they sell such magazines as Playboy and Penthouse. Next, we would have to shut our movie theaters which show both "R" and "NC-17" movies. I suppose we'll have to eliminate cable in Howard County because people can get lewd films through pay-per-view, not to mention HBO and the other premium channels. This simply isn't reasonable.

It is also unreasonable to differentiate between live dancing and X-rated videos and magazines. As a matter of a fact, when you look at Good Guys in terms of Howard County's other forms of adult entertainment, Good Guys doesn't seem that bad. You have to be 18 to get into Good Guys, while any 5-year-old can call up pay-per-view's automated hot line and order an X-rated movie. Worse, many R-rated movies contain ridiculous amounts of total nudity and explicit sexual acts, though anyone of any age or level of maturity can see them -- at the movies, on video or on cable.

We cannot honestly be justified in closing one bar when we tolerate so many other types of adult entertainment. Personally, I'd rather deal with this one aberrance than go running around the county shutting down dozens of legitimate businesses. Certainly, there are bigger problems in Howard County than Good Guys.

Jonathan Cohen

Ellicott City

Snow Days

The Howard County Board of Education has made a clear choice of quantity over quality in choosing to add excess snow days to the end of the school year. Other counties have chosen to make up the excess snow days during spring break and other scheduled vacation days.

Howard County's decision makes sense only if you assume that all school days are qualitatively equal. Any parent who has been in a classroom after Memorial Day (especially in an elementary school) knows this is not the case. As the school year draws to a close, productivity takes a nose dive. I think most parents would agree that their children learn more in a day in March than they do in mid-June.

Howard County prides itself on the quality of its educational system. I would invite the Board of Education to "walk the talk" and consider an alternate schedule that would assure that the make-up days are qualitatively productive in addition to just meeting state requirements. Clearly, other counties have already done so.

Karen Trudel

Ellicott City

Gov. Kasemeyer?

I just read your Feb. 17 article about Ed Kasemeyer. Ed was a good senator and I did volunteer work for him in his last, losing election effort.

But run for governor? Give me a break. As nice a guy as he is, as capable a legislator as he was and as an incumbent, Ed still lost his Senate seat. Now he's thinking about a far tougher race against candidates with enormous resources. Just as pitching a perfect game in high school didn't qualify him for the major leagues, his local political achievements won't carry statewide.

It seems strange that one of Ed's friends would criticize the campaign of Lt. Gov. Mickey Steinberg when he leads the other candidates in the polls and in fund-raising. I don't know Angela Beltram, but I am surprised that any friend of Ed Kasemeyer would encourage him toward a humiliating defeat.

ruce P. Martin


Test Scores

I am writing in response to The Sun editorial (Feb. 11) concerning standout Atholton High student "Cindy" Woo.

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