Closing Gay Bars

Could this be the end of Depeche Mode remixes?

Linda Harvey Mission: America gay bars
When we last checked in with investigative reporter Linda Harvey, director of Mission: America -- a Columbus club for hating homos -- she was assembling her life's greatest work (First Punch, April 26).

Harvey, famous for such riveting essays as "When Tolerance Creates Violence" and "Fairy Tales Don't Come True, Part II," was conducting covert research on government-funded gay community centers (a.k.a. Satan's community colleges).

Now her latest work, a two-part series titled "What Are We Getting For Our HIV Dollars?", is finally complete. As Harvey promises on her website, you won't hear this discussed on CNN.

Unless groups like the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland are shut down, Harvey claims in her article, our children will all soon be listening to Depeche Mode remixes, shopping at Banana Republic, and trading baseball cards for high-risk gay sex.

Harvey proposes a list of solutions, which include closing gay bars. While that likely won't stop gay sex, it could lead to a massive decline in men wearing color-coordinated ensembles.

The chivalrous pedophile
When perverts are nabbed for trying to sleep with underage kids, they usually have a good explanation, like "We're in love" or "I was just using her to get to her mom." But Warren Snow set a new precedent when Medina cops bagged him for trying to sleep with an adolescent girl.

The 32-year-old Clevelander had been talking online to someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl named Jamie. When Snow arrived in Medina for a booty call, however, he was surprised to find that Jamie was a rather hulking man named Detective James Foraker.

Snow quickly explained that he had driven to Medina to break up with the girl in person. That's just the kind of guy he is.

But Foraker apparently wasn't buying Snow's quest for chivalry. On July 6, Snow was sentenced to six months in lockup.

God and glitter
Critics of Catholicism have long dogged the church for its failure to provide quality transsexual entertainment. Now St. Helena's on West 65th hopes to change all that with its "Dressed in All White" celebration, slated for July 14. Fliers feature a woman sporting high heels and a thong.

"It's actually a drag event -- some of the best drag from throughout the whole state of Ohio," says Divinity, one of the scheduled performers.

But while the Catholic Church's love of male entertainment is well chronicled, the Diocese of Cleveland has no jurisdiction here: St. Helena's is a member of the Romanian Catholic Church. Its flock ignores the same pope that Roman Catholics do, but its regional headquarters are in Canton.

"It must be some mistake," says St. Helena's pastor, Andre Matthews. "I don't know anything about it."

Cleveland diocese spokesman Bob Tayek says decisions on parish entertainment -- like bingo or shemale dancers -- are made between each church and the bishop. He hints, however, that transsexual revues are not in the plans of new Cleveland bishop Richard Lennon.

"It would be safe to say that it'd be highly unlikely," Tayek says.

My bad boss
Though the AFL-CIO is running an online contest for the worst bosses in America, Punch suspected Ohio would be quickly out of the running. Since all but 37 jobs have been shipped out of state, we figured this was a numbers game we just couldn't win.

But the state's few remaining employees have made a surprise showing, proving that Ohio executives can be first-class pricks.

Melissa writes that her boss, taking human resources to new heights, "would constantly ask me on dates" and "asked me to have sex with him." Melissa refused; apparently she isn't a team player. So when she missed work to "take care of my daughter while she had the stomach flu," he fired her.

Cindy, who apparently made her living at a local gulag, made the mistake of crying at work after her grandma died. "Well, could you finish your work before you leave?" her boss asked.

And when she asked for a day off for the funeral, "She asked to see a copy of the death announcement in the paper!"

Then there's Rick, whose boss is what human resources experts might clinically term "muthafuckin' crazy."

"On a regular basis he can be seen red-faced, veins popping, screaming at an employee," Rick writes. "He frequently punches the walls, leaving holes in the drywall, and once slammed a door -- while a customer was in the office -- shattering glass all over the office lobby."

Not impressed? Tell your bastard boss story at

Stealing bill
Last week, state Representative Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) proposed new legislation to curb identity theft by requiring credit agencies to place a "security freeze" on your credit report in the event of theft.

The move gave the little known Stewart a brief run of publicity, since the Ohio Legislature is to consumer protection what the Mogadishu Best Western is to luxury accommodations. Or something like that.

Unfortunately, Stewart stole his moment in the sun. Turns out he'd merely ripped off a previous bill, authored by Representative Tim DeGeeter (D-Parma), which had been sitting idle in the legislature since September.

DeGeeter was tipped to the ripoff when constituents brought a letter to his law office requesting that he support Stewart's proposal. "I just had to laugh, because there's been one pending in the legislature for nine months."

Easing the pain
On June 26, former Eastlake Mayor Dan DiLiberto pleaded guilty to falsifying a document that helped secure millions of dollars in state loans for developer John Chiappetta's failed industrial park. The park never materialized, and you, dear taxpayer, are now picking up the tab.

But fortunately for DiLiberto, former political officials are required to defraud people of billions, not millions, if they want to earn serious time.

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Richard Collins sentenced DiLiberto to just 30 days in the slam -- plus two years' probation and hundreds of hours of community service.

And just two days after sentencing, Collins granted DiLiberto a "furlough" for "physical rehabilitation." Rumors flew around Eastlake that its most-hated mayor had just received a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Alas, according to the judge's office, the release simply allows DiLiberto to attend medical appointments for a recent knee surgery. A sergeant at the sheriff's department confirmed that the mayor was back in jail until July 27, where he is hard at work arranging millions in government financing for the inmate softball team's new stadium.

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