Shelli DeRobertis 2:14 p.m., May 23
City Attorney Goldsmith attracts ire of convention goers
"Busting a Hotel Circle establishment for allowing prostitutes? Has he forgotten why people come to conventions?"
Okay, so maybe calling your establishment "Hard Johnson Prostitute Parlor" is a little much.
HOLDING DOWN MY END OF THE BAR, ALBIE'S BEEF INN, MISSION VALLEY - "Honestly, I don't get it," says John Smith, an insurance salesman from Dayton, Ohio. "I come to town for the Insurers of America annual convention, same as every year. I come down here to Albie's and sit under all these paintings of naked ladies, same as every year. And same as every year, after my sixth round of Amstel Light, I get to feeling a little daffy. After all, there's 2500 miles between me and anybody who knows me and the wife. But you know what's not the same? This year, there's no hot little honey who wants to keep me company in exchange for $200 worth of expense account action. What the hell? I'm gonna wind up back in my room with the dirty movies on the TV. I might as well be back in Ohio."
John is feeling lonely tonight because of the chill that has come over San Diego's comfort industry following City Attorney Jan Goldsmith's decision to crack down on the Hotel Circle Howard Johnson hotel for "complacency" regarding on-site prostitution. According to this paper's Dave Rice, Goldsmith has ordered the hotel's owner to hire a round-the-clock security guard, install security cameras, improve lighting, install signs warning against criminal activity, require deposits for rooms rented with cash, copy guest IDs, and generally make it tough for a fellow to get a little action while he's away from home. Otherwise, the owner is looking at a $10,000 fine.
"It's classic back-room politics," complains Smith. "Everybody knows that the really nasty stuff - kidnapped Russian sex slaves and such - goes down at the high-end hotels in the Gaslamp. But of course, nobody goes after that, because that's where the real money is. Hell, it's probably where half the politicians are. But they want something they can point to when they're selling themselves as a Family Vacation Destination. So they come down to places like Howard Johnson and make a big scene. And who suffers? The little guy. Me. Same old, same old."