Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Follow-up on the closing of Mingles
There are a few quotes on the closing of Mingles worth passing on - and commenting on. Here are a few that I find particularly interesting...
July 13, 2006:
"Within two weeks of this decision, Mingles shall meet with the Administrative Hearing Officer and the Oakland Police Department to discuss the parameters of contracting for dedicated OPD resources for law enforcement purposes on Friday and Saturday nights." From the "Findings and Decision of Hearing Officer on Hearing Regarding Cabaret Permit Issued to AFI Marketing, C/O Andy Ivey, to Operate a Cabaret Under the Name of Mingles, at 370 Embarcadero" written by Hearing Officer, Barbara Killey.
October 20, 2006:
"Where's the trash plan? Where's the parking plan? Where are the police?" An email I sent asking for follow-up after a particulary bad two nights of ruckus in the area. (Other emails requesting follow-up were sent in between.)
November 5, 2006:
"...there were some open issues - we were negotiating such things as trash distance responsibility & need for dedicated police, paid for by mingles." This quote is from Barbara Killey, responding via email to a request for follow-up from another local resident.
November 12, 13, & 14, 2006:
"It's a sad day," from Barbara Killey as quoted from today's story in the Oakland Tribune.
“Mingles is dead. I can’t win if the police don’t support me. I decided to close today. I’m closed now, no more Mingles. No Friday, no Saturday, today I’m through with this,” he said, adding that he’s “as outraged as the community is.” This is from Rachel Swan's East Bay Express Music Blog. Ms. Swan had written an article back in June, "Meet Downtown Oakland" that could easily have been called "Ode to My Hero, John Ivey". Mr. Ivey has a glamourous history of night clubs and if you're at all a thrill seeker, you can't help but be fascinated by him.
My thoughts on the above quotes:
As Ms. Killey is quoted in the Tribune, it is a sad day. A sad day for a pregnant mother of three. A sad day for her family and especially her boyfriend who was there and saw it.
But sad for the City of Oakland? Only in that they may be sued. Sad for the club's closing? It may be for a while since it was a hub for hip-hop and rap. I'm sure another club will fill in the gap left behind and I'm equally sure the Ivey family will be involved, even if not on paper.
As for Mr. Ivey's closing the club preemptively, well, he knows he would have been shut down considering the situation. And if you look carefully at his quotes on Rachel Swan's blog, you'll see that he clearly says he has "stopped", but that he's not quitting. He tries passing the blame to OPD because they left at 1am - even though that has always been the issue with OPD. That was not something new. The police were there within minutes - I saw at least four police cars blazing down Third Street around 1:30am with their lights on. The problem is that the OPD is overburdened and they simply don't have the resources needed to support this City, much less added problem children like Mingles was.
Take a minute to think about those three kids that lost a mom. Anyone want to explain to them why the club didn't have enough security or police on site to keep rivaling groups (gangs?) away? No, it wasn't inside the club, but the problem is what kind of hangers-on the club attracted. Do I blame John Ivey? No. I blame it on BEHAVIOUR, just as I have always said the problems of this club revolved around. You can't control your patrons, but you can control what sort of patrons you attract.
An interesting side note to this story is that there are plans for a 95-unit condo building to be built on this property. Will it happen sooner rather than later? Don't know. With the housing glut in this particular area, last week I'd have said the club would still be around a few more years. Now that the club is closing, Mr. Ivey still has a lease to pay... but what will he do? Will he try a different music format? Again, don't know.
Things were quiet after the Oak Tree closed... let's see how long the quiet lasts this time around. And by "quiet", I don't mean silent, I just mean less drama and less violence.