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Tattoo Parlor Owners Suing City for Discrimination

TEMPE – Two people who want to open a tattoo parlor in Tempe are taking the city to court.

The owners of a building on Scottsdale Rd in Tempe had already started renovating the building, when the Tempe City Council revoked their permit. Citing discrimination, the owners are suing the city.

Tom and Elizabeth Preston got a permit from the city to open the tattoo parlor two years ago.

“We thought we were good. We went ahead and signed the lease and started spending all the money, got all the things taken care of that we needed to,” says Tom Preston.

The couple spent $30,000 remodeling the place, but when a neighborhood association complained, the city revoked the permit.

Tempe assistant city attorney Cathy Bowman says the city has nothing against tattoo parlors. She says the problem is that this strip mall already has an adult video store, liquor store and bail bond business. The city doesn’t want a cluster of adult-oriented businesses in one place.

“It doesn’t have to do so much with the fact that this is a tattoo business, other than the fact that it’s one more business restricted to people 18 and older,” says Bowman.

“We don’t sell liquor, we don’t bail people out of jail and we don’t sell adult novelties, so I don’t understand why they try to categorize us like that. It’s not fair,” says Preston.

The store where the Prestons’ were going to build is vacant. They say if the judge rules in their favor, they want to open their parlor in the same location.

The decision is expected to be made Tuesday.

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Tattoo Hunter Premiers

I’m just giddy over the international arrival of a new show that delves into body rituals and traditions:  Tattoo Hunter with our favorite tattoo anthropologist Lars Krutak.

Tattoo Hunter hits Europe tomorrow on Discovery World channel at 10pm.

In the US, the series premieres on Discovery Channel, March 7 at 1pm (according to their website).

Lars gave me a hint about the premier show: “The first episode is really a scarification show we shot in Papua New Guinea. It’s perhaps the bloodiest of all and I find it amusing that DC has rated it “G.”

Here’s more on the series:

In this landmark series, Krutak seeks to understand the meaning behind sacred traditions that date back thousands of years by immersing himself into the daily life of indigenous peoples worldwide. Through his many adventures, viewers will be exposed to unique tribal customs including tattooing and scarification practices in Africa, Asia, Oceania, North and South America before these fascinating cultures disappear. And through his personal experiences with tattoo and scarification masters who cut and tattoo his skin, viewers will learn how these painful rite of passage ceremonies continue to shape the very essence of tribal identity, religion, and cosmology.

Check out the articles on Lars’ site for previews of the storylines and locations. Fascinating accounts of bod mod culture among indigenous people. An education in themselves.