Friday, September 2, 2011

Back when Kuna was like Footloose

Did you see this week's history column? I had a couple of thoughts: One was that it was very fitting that this came out right around the time they're doing a remake of the movie Footloose, where the town bans dancing. Then I read a little further and realized that the arguments they were making back then are the same arguments that go on today, namely that the people who frequent the Kuna Days street dance aren't from Kuna — they're from "out of town" and do nothing but cause Kuna problems. Here's the item that appeared in this week's Kuna Melba News. It's from The Kuna Herald, Sept. 1, 1961:

The Kuna village council took steps Monday night to clean up what it termed “public nuisances” within the village.
At a special meeting G.W. Grebe, village attorney, called attention to the fact that public dances being held in the IOOF hall on Friday nights are being held in violation of an ordinance enacted in 1926 which provides that a license be required and $500 bond posted before public dances for profit can be held within the village and that the license be revoked if the dances are not properly conducted. The lodge rents the hall to an out-of-town band.
A number of village residents met with the council to protest the dances and the Rev. Harry Evans, pastor of the Kuna Church of the Nazarene, presented a petition signed by 44 residents asking that the dances be closed because they “foster drinking among teenagers and have become a breeding place for crime.”
Representatives of four other churches in the community supported his contention and added that the dances are bringing into the community bad element from the larger towns and that Kuna, once known as a clean town, is getting a bad name because of the situation.
Police Chief Ben Newell testified that he has given drinking citations to forty or more underage young people since the first of the year and that only three or four of them were local young people. He said that not many local young people attended the dances.

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