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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 16, 1994)
14 ▼ decent b e r 16, 1 0 0 4 ▼ ju s t out
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Cable TV's NightScene has switched from news
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Dr. Mary Ann Humphrey and Lanny Swerdlow
t was time for a change—so says the co-
creator of NightScene, an award-winning
program about the lesbian and gay commu
“When we first started NightScene [in
1989], it was the only gay and lesbian show on
television in the Pacific Northwest,” says founder
Lanny Swerdlow. “It was a bold, confrontational
and brash show. It had lost its punch and there are
now several gay shows with more in the offering.
Besides, I just wanted something different.”
During the past four years, NightScene, which
is viewed on cable television throughout the re
gion, has had a late-night talk show format featur
ing interviews and entertainers. The show switched
to a dance party format—much like a queer Ameri
can Bandstand—on Dec. 11.
The format change comes on the heels of an
other big change for the show. A few months ago,
Dr. Mary Ann Humphrey, who had co-hosted
NightScene with Swerdlow during the past three
seasons, left the program.
“It was just time for me to move on,” she says,
“but I have to admit that Lanny and I had two
different points of view about what the show
should look like.”
Humphrey, who served in the military and is
the author of a book about gay men and lesbians in
the armed forces, says she wanted the show to
focus more on news and current events, while
Swerdlow opted for more entertainment.
“I thought it was important to bring on profes
sionals and activists who could talk about AIDS
education or various political issues. These are the
types of issues that affect us all. I was also inter
ested in taking a more mainstream approach to
issues—that is, exploring issues important not
only to the gay community but also to the broader
community.” she says.
As for the new format, Swerdlow says: “The
show will cross generational and sexual lines.
Young people, gay or straight, will watch it for the
hot music, videos, and to see what their peers are up
to. Older adults, who are gay or straight, will find
it fascinating discovering how young people party.”
The new NightScene format premiered Dec. 11
at 10 pm and will continue in that slot each Sunday.
The show can be seen on Channel 11 in Multnomah
and Washington counties, Channel 2 inClackamas
County, and Channel 49 in Clark County.
Police drop skateboard
In an earlier interview, Bellah said he had made
an “educated guess” about who the attacker might
be, but said no witnesses had been able to identify
the suspect, who is described as a slender white
male in his early 20s, with medium-length brown
hair and about 5 feet 11 inches tall. “The skate
board had the name ‘Knucklehead’ on it. We know
of a Skinhead who goes by that street name, but
there is also a street gang that goes by the same
name, so it makes it a little tough to identify the
suspect,” said Bellah, who added the individual
known as Knucklehead has a police record relating
to burglary and theft, but no assaults.
In related news, Cmdr. Mike Garvey of the
Bureau’s Central Precinct says a rash of attacks on
men in late November and early December in
Portland’s Northwest neighborhood was not in any
“That’s the first question we asked,” says
Garvey. “It doesn’t look as though it was any type
of a bias-related incident.”
Portland police say they are dropping an inves
tigation into two alleged skateboarding attacks on
gay men in the Southwest Stark Street district.
“No one has been able to definitively identify
the attacker,” says Jim Bellah, a detective with the
Portland Police Bureau’s bias crimes unit. “Basi
cally there’s not much we can do now.”
The alleged attacks took place about 11:30 pm
Sept. 17. The first incident occurred near 12th
Avenue and Stark Street. A gay San Diego man
who was in Portland visiting friends was slammed
in the head by a skateboard-toting man who report
edly said, “I hate homos, don’t you?” The Califor
nia man was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and
treated for what Bellah describes as some “pretty
serious injuries.” A similar attack occurred a few
minutes later, a couple of blocks away. The South
west Stark Street area is home to the majority of
Portland’s gay bars.