Friday, April 30, 2010


The following is from the Kansas City Star.

Odessa blocks controversial nightclub from opening tomorrow
The Kansas City Star
ODESSA, Mo. | The Black Flag won't fly tomorrow night in Odessa.

The new under-21 nightclub, which former Aryan Nations leader Charles Juba hoped to open, has not met city codes.

After hearing the news , Juba quickly posted this today on the club's website:

"We will be opening very soon once we have satisfied local codes."

It may not be that simple. Odessa Mayor Tom Murry said that Juba also failed to properly fill out his business application and that his license had been rescinded.

There's more. Even if Juba should make improvements to meet the fire code and submit a fully completed application, he could face new obstacles.

At a special meeting tonight, the Odessa Board of Aldermen discussed two ordinances that would give the city increased power to regulate businesses.

No action was taken because some board members felt the proposals were being considered in haste. They also were concerned that regulations aimed at Juba could unduly burden existing businesses.

One provision said that business applicants would have to exhibit "good moral character." Alderman Justin Murry questioned how the city could ever make that judgment.

"Who gets to determine who has good moral character?" he asked. "That is way too subjective."

Alderman Mark Bellington agreed.

"It may work now, but what about the future?"

As on Monday, another overflow crowd packed the Odessa Community Center. Townspeople are convinced that Juba's aim is to use The Black Flag to recruit teens for racist and anti-Semitic activities.

Unlike Monday, Juba did not show up. But a woman, who identified herself as his friend, spoke on Juba's behalf.

She said he was a fine family man who went to church two times a week.

"He's got a past, yes, but who doesn't?" Monica Loges asked the crowd. "But that doesn't mean he's in the Klan today."

But if that's true, Arluster Haynes asked Loges, why did Juba name the club The Black Flag? The name has a connection to Civil War guerrilla leader William Quantrill.

Haynes went on to say that Juba must have thought he was coming to a town of ignorant country people.

"Well, Mr. Juba didn't do his investigating," Haynes said. "Odessa is not a hick town. We know all about him."

Odessa may get help from Jefferson City.

State Rep. Mike McGhee told the meeting that perhaps legislation in the Missouri General Assembly could aid the city in keeping Juba out.

"We don't want things like this in Odessa, St. Louis or Springfield," McGhee said.

Gary Grigsby, who is running for McGhee's seat, said that he, too, would address the issue if elected.

The uproar began after word hit town late last week about Juba's past. Before that, officials were glad to see a new business go into the struggling Prime Outlet Mall near Interstate 70.

A promo on the club's website touted: "Good friends, great dancing, awesome music and live bands. We're the place where young adults can come out and have a good time and be themselves."

It invited high school students from Blue Springs, Independence, Fort Osage, Grain Valley and Oak Grove.

But then word got out. Parents combed the Internet for information on Juba. They found plenty.

He began his white supremacist career in the Ku Klux Klan. According to the watchdog group Southern Poverty Law Center, Juba once threatened African-Americans with a "swinging necktie party" and urged them to "swim back to Africa with a Jew under each arm."

In 2005, Juba, then head of Aryan Nations, announced that the group would move its headquarters from Pennsylvania to Kansas City, Kan.

A resulting outcry led Juba to quit his post, but he remained in the Kansas City area.

At Monday's meeting, residents demanded that the city do whatever it takes to stop Juba from opening his club tonight.

Juba, who is in his late 30s, appeared at the microphone that night and tried to convince people that he had walked away from his past, saying he just wanted to run a business.

The crowd didn't believe him. They peppered him about the content on his website. And when Juba tried to defend himself, they shouted him down.

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