Some Reno Residents Upset Over Billboard With Bikini-Clad Singer

Pamela Keeney thought it was bad enough when a billboard went up near her Reno home and blocked mountain views. Now, she's really upset because the billboard features the bikini-clad image of singer Beyonce Knowles.

Keeney said when she looks out her front door or from her yard, the scantily clad Beyonce dominates the view. Clear Channel's billboard is for Reno radio station KWNZ.

"It's obscene," Keeney told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "I have my two little grand kids coming over here, and they don't need to be seeing that. You can change the channel on the TV, but you can't change that."

A Clear Channel respresentative did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Scott Seidenstricker, manager of KWNZ, said the photograph of Knowles is part of a series that also includes singers Gwen Stefani
and Justin Timberlake.

"The billboards were taken from publicity shots and this is the way those people perform," Seidenstricker said. "So to show them in a jogging suit probably wouldn't be the right thing."

Other residents expressed more concern over how the billboard has blocked mountain views in the west Reno neighborhood.

"If you come out here it now dominates the skyline," Ward Ryan said. "It just screams of degradation, it screams of ghettoizing a good neighborhood."

Ryan, who has collected about 100 signatures on a petition protesting the billboard, said he was upset that Clear Channel installed it without notifying neighbors.

City officials said no one had to be notified because the billboard conforms with the property use.

"It complies with all the locational criteria that are set out in our code," city spokesman Chris Good said.

In 2000, Reno voters capped the number of billboards in the city at 278. The City Council later decided to allow billboard companies to move billboards around the city as long as the number stayed the same.
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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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