Unadilla porn store ticks off residents - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Unadilla porn store ticks off residents

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August 13, 2006

Unadilla - - Some people who live in Unadilla are upset over a new adult entertainment store that just opened. They're speaking out over what they say is a threat to their community and their children.

 It's called the Lion's Den. A 24 hour pornography shop specializing in videos, lingerie, and adult novelties. But some people we caught up with today say they never asked for those services.

In this small town with a population of 1700, you'll find lots of friendly people, churches, and now... an adult entertainment shop just off of I-75.

"We don't have anything of this type in this area and we really don't want it here," says Lannie Hamsley. 

She's leading a crusade to get the Lion's Den to ship out. She's one of about 40 people who met at the Living Water Baptist church today in opposition.

"I have a 10 year old and we went by there one morning and she said mammy, what is that new store? It's hard to explain to a child what that is but I tried to explain as best I could to a child at that age level and she said how did it get to our home?" says another resident Virginia Bailey.

That's just what some city councilors were wondering. They say when the Lion's Dens' owners applied for a permit, they never specified what kind of business they wanted to open.

"At first we were told it was going to be a Pilot station with a Wendys, then the second time someone said it was going to be office space for DOT, come to find out that wasn't true, then they said it was going to be a church and we know that wasn't true," says City Councilman Dexter Whittaker.

Since then, these people say the store owner's won't talk to them and wouldn't talk at town hall meeting Tuesday. So we went in, not knowing what to expect....

Turns out, they talked to us.

"If they want to come in fine, if not then have a great day basically that's pretty it....We got our license just like any other business. We have a retail license just like anyone else, we applied for them just like anybody else," says Sandi Summers of the Lion's Den.

And they plan to keep it. This month, the store filed for a restraining order and won. U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land ordered the City of Unadilla issue the company a business license and refrain from taking any action to prevent it from operating. But that restraining order expires on the 21st.

Opponents see that as ammunition to spark a city ordinance that will return their small town the way it was... before there ever was a Lion's Den.

"It's not busy, it's not hectic, but we kinda like it that way," Hamsley says.

"I'm concerned about the kind of people it's going to bring into our community and the threat it may be to our children," says Bailey.

The Lion's Deen has been open a little over 2 weeks now. Owners say business has been great.

At last Tuesday's town hall meeting, residents got a chance to voice their concerns over the store. But several city leaders were absent from that meeting including 2 city council members, the city administrator, and even the mayor.

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