The Star-News


Following up with hookers and trash cans

Mon, Feb 10 2014 12:00 PM Posted By: Tom Basinski

Someone wrote the newspaper regarding my Eyecandy Showgirls column, characterizing my writing as “Inappropriate,” “Immature,” and “Insensitive.” The writer indicated that Eyecandy was contributing to prostitution on the streets.

I’ve been on the witness stand a few hundred times during my police career and I know you can’t get away with pulling something out of thin air and relate it as fact. You must have evidence or a credible observation to corroborate what you say.

I emailed the writer and asked for some kind of proof that Eyecandy is responsible for increased prostitution. I believed at the time she was referring to prostitution around the cabaret.

She wrote back and described a couple of younger girls and their actions she saw on Broadway during the day. I started working the streets of Chula Vista in 1970 and there have often been prostitutes on Broadway. They come and go, depending on different variables.

So, to say Eyecandy is responsible for hookers on Broadway is a huge leap, too huge to be classified as fact without some backup. Broadway is over a quarter of a mile from Eyecandy anyway. The writer said the young girls are different from the older ones who work at night. Her statement proved nothing to me.

With this in mind, I contacted the sergeant in charge of the Special Investigations Unit, the folks who enforce prostitution, both on the street, in massage parlors, bars, and motels. I wrote him of my critic’s charges and he responded via email.

“Chula Vista has no traditional street walker problems as those found in other jurisdictions. There are legal findings that clearly identify prostitution as a secondary effect of nude entertainment establishments; however, the Chula Vista Police Department has no information or active complaints regarding young girls involved in the city, or any acts of prostitution associated to ‘Eye Candy.’ I hope this helps.” I wondered why the writer didn’t contact the sergeant in the first place. After all, my badge says “retired.”

I was impressed by responses from concerned citizens. Four retired cops and two private citizens volunteered to accompany me to Eyecandy as backup the next time I went. This kind of civic interest is admirable. Who said volunteerism is dead?

As to the charges of “insensitive, immature, and inappropriate” I plead guilty.

• • •

Before we went to press a few weeks back, I phoned Lynn France, the Director of Environmental Services for the city, about the waste basket fiasco at the police department. I wanted to know who came up with the idea of the miniature trash cans, and what was the rationale behind it. Three and a half days after my call, where I identified myself as a Star-News columnist on deadline, she returned my call, but I wasn’t home. I phoned back and she didn’t return my call.

Ms. France phoned me early Monday morning to report she had a serious family health situation and couldn’t get back to me last week. Fair enough. She explained the crews discovered too many recyclables (paper mostly) put in the waste baskets instead of the recyclable containers that were already under the desks.

Years ago AB 341 required businesses to recycle appropriate products. Ms. France said she believes that the cities must also comply, hence the small waste baskets used as motivators to get people to recycle. I can’t argue with the logic of that, but neither can we get the cops to stop laughing at the tiny waste baskets.


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