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Beat Street
By Todd S. Inoue

Spoon
Utensil Strength: Spoon headlines the Twin Harmonic Pop Convergence Saturday in Palo Alto.

What Price Security?
SoFa District club owners on new policing policy

DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE club owners are responding to the recent measure that will replace rent-a-cops outside clubs with on-duty officers working foot patrols. Under the current system, off-duty officers are not allowed to patrol inside clubs unless there is a disturbance. The new plan, passed unanimously by the San Jose City Council last Tuesday, provides for police patrol of parking lots, and officers will also be allowed to perform walk-through checks of the nightclubs. The council felt that the debate about security had dragged on too long. "The current system really does invite conflict and abuse, and it also creates a false sense of security," said Councilman David Pandori, speaking on behalf of the new plan. "People see uniiformed officers standing in front of these businesses, and they think they're out there patrolling; they are not." The new program will be funded in part by revenues from an Entertainment Zone fee to be paid by establishments currently required to provide their own security, and in part from the general fund. The Usual's Paul Gerhardt and other members of the Downtown Association's nightclub committee will meet with San Jose Police Department Captain Joe Brockman on Thursday night (Feb. 27) to discuss the implementation of the new plan.

Gerhardt expressed concern about whether the cops will be in the right place at the right time, when the police presence is most needed. "If the system is set up and catered toward nightclubs, and we're covering all the costs, it might be fair," said Gerhardt. "If it's being carried by the nightclubs, and everyone--the hotels, restaurants, the parking lots--is benefited, then that's not fair."

"We hope it doesn't happen," said Cactus' Calvin Trippett. "The fee would be over double what we're paying for police now. We couldn't afford it." Agenda's Jacek Rosicki believes that the new fee will discourage potential club owners: "Anyone new coming to town is going to get scared away. I don't know any other city that imposes a mandatory police tax. We pay business license, health, occupancy, entertainment, ASCAP and BMI. We pay up to $4,000 to $5,000 a year in licenses. Now we have to pay extra." The fee is selective, claimed Rosicki, because 10 to 12 facilities will have to pay an additional fee for the benefit of the entire entertainment zone.

Throw the Bums Out

In other security news, three kooks spoiled an otherwise well-behaved 22 Jacks/Crack show last Friday at Cactus Club. The audience was cool all through Caustic Notions, Sloe and 22 Jacks. When Crack hit the stage, a nasty pit broke out. The kooks decided it was their show and collapsed into people, spilling drinks, threatening everyone's safety. The pit opened to a huge circle and the three found great hilarity in messing up everyone's good time.

What irked me, besides the constant threat of a blown-out knee, was that the club's security people did nothing about the situation. Two bouncers stood at the edge of the pit and did no more than serve as pinball flippers to the kooks. A friend retaliated after one of the stooges plowed into him full speed; he was headlocked and kicked out by security. Excuse me?

Cactus booker Calvin Trippett admitted that he wasn't keeping as close an eye on the floor as he should have that night, but added, "Anybody who has a complaint about troublemakers should come to me directly." I felt bad for the fans who had to suffer the fools' antics. For the audience, the ultimate equation is silence=compliance. If someone continues to make himself a nuisance, bring it up to the security or to club management.

Shows We Knows

Spoon, Engine 88, Van Gogh's Daughter and IBOPA play the Twin Harmonic Pop Convergence at Cubberley Community Center on Saturday (March 1). ... Also on Saturday, Kofy Brown MC performs at Streetlight Records at 3pm, and Radio Free San Jose (93.7FM) holds a benefit with Soda and Smashmouth at the Cactus Club.

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From the February 27-March 5, 1997 issue of Metro

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