Dear "Resident of Sodom & Gomorrah (Love the way we bitch ~ Burning Sensation);
I too live in the area of Dartmouth where the "Dear Resident" flyers were handed out door to door. I took the same stand you did, by writing a letter supporting Sensations to the Utility and Review Board, responsible for determining whether or not to renew their Cabaret license. Here is a copy of what I sent to them:
Dear Members of the Utility & Review Board;
I received a flyer from the Resident's Society for a safe and Healthy Neighbourhood about all of the recent uproar Sensations has caused for some of the residents of North End Dartmouth. I have resided very close to Little Nashville/Sensations for the past 5 years.
I felt urged to write something upon reading the flyer left in my mailbox by the Resident's Society. To quote directly from their flyer, "We are encouraging all community members to send in written submissions explaining how Sensations Cabaret has had a negative impact on the quiet enjoyment of the neighbourhood for you and your family". I have to be quite honest, I laughed out loud when I read this. Sensations has had absolutely no impact on me or my family. There has been no extra noise, or violence, or problems for me and my family. None. However, I have never experienced "quiet enjoyment of the neighbourhood" ever.
I don't live in the North End of Dartmouth because I am looking for quiet enjoyment. I live here with my boyfriend, and 2 children because this is the only area of town that I can afford. Supporting a university student (my partner), and 2 elementary students on my small pay check is a challenge, and we can afford to live in this neighbourhood. Which I assume is true for most people that live here.
In the last five years we have experienced some of the worst moments of our lives, and it is because of the neighbourhood. Poor neighbourhoods spawn crime. That's just how it is. People have to find ways to make ends meet. Some people choose to do so with illegal means. That's life. There are prostitutes that walk Wyse and Windmill Roads. I had a fight with one standing on my front steps trying to keep warm in the winter once. Another time a couple of teenagers stole a couple of cars and were joyriding through the streets of the North End and slammed into a phone pole directly in front of my house at 3 in the morning. Police have come knocking door to door asking if we heard gun shots on 3 different occassions. One of these occassions someone had blown out a bunch of windows in cars behiond Wyse Buys with a shot gun. We find it odd now if a night goes by and we don't hear any sirens. There was a man who got shot in the parking lot of the McDonalds on Nantucket Ave. Our car has been broken into twice in the last 2 years. One of these two times a neighbour was coming home and saw three men running away from our car carrying our spare tire. Then there was the night of the major power outage that blanketed most of the East Coast. We were sitting out on our back step chatting with our neighbours and we watched a large group of men (at least 15) walk down Wyse Road in the direction of Albro Lake Road all carrying baseball bats and/or crow bars.
I don't allow my children to go outside and play by themselves at our house. Someone always has to escort them, much to the dismay of my 8 year old. But this end of town is awful. It's not safe. It's not quiet. I can't for the life of me understand why some residents are this upset with Sensations. Especially since there is a whore house located at 70 Windmill Road (perhaps you have seen it, it has a neon open sign with a top hat on it) and I have yet to hear the Resident's Society complain about this at all. Personally, I am extremely upset that the "Massage Parlor", as they prefer to be called, is still open and the residents are worrying about a Strip Club. To me it is more degrading and disgusting to have people paying for sex in my backyard than it is for men and women to go into a club and see naked men and women dancing. At least with Sensations the place is regulated and officials will be checking up on them. As far as I can tell, in the last five years there has only been one occassion that officials have taken an interest in the whore house, excuse me, "massage parlor". There was a small article in the paper last year saying that they had busted the place for prostitution, yet there it remains. Open. 24/7.
As far as I can tell there were many more incidents when the place was Little Nashville, people drinking and brawling, than there have been at Sensations. So Sensations, I hope your doors get to stay open. And to the Resident's Society, prioritize and go shut the massage with release parlor down and leave Sensations alone. They've done nothing wrong.
Many thanks for your submission "R of S&G". Two days after I sent my letter to the Board, and the day your comments appeared in The Coast I found this:
By Andrea Hiltz