Beasts Elite, cabaret discussions pepper Monday’s Hoquiam council meeting

The agenda was pretty light at Monday’s Hoquiam City Council meeting. A few questions about the bidding process for the city’s new police vehicle, suggestions for appointments to various committees and an update for the city’s salary ordinance to reflect the recent negotiations with the Fire Department were all taken care of in quick order.

However, when the time came to bring up new business, Councilman Ben Winkelman, who also along with his dad Mario runs the base layer manufacturer GH Unders on K Street in Hoquiam, brought up an event planned for Feb. 26 at Olympic Stadium that got the attention of the council and the 20-plus people in attendance.

“We’re putting on a public event at Olympic Stadium where the Beast Elite Obstacle Course Racers will lead a public workout,” said Winkelman.

The Beast Elites are a group of six – three men, three women – who are among the elite of obstacle course racers, the likes of which you can see on TV programs like “America Ninja Warrior” or, more accurately, Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge. These athletes tackle a variety of obstacles, often in muddy conditions.

The club will set up an obstacle course at Olympic Stadium, and from 9 a.m. to noon or so on that Sunday people of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate or just watch as the team and those who want to take a run at the course. The event is free and sponsored by GH Unders.

At the beginning of the public comment portion, Steve Puvogel took to the podium and introduced himself as the owner and operator of Events on Everson. The property was the site of the Holy Trinity Church on 4th and Emerson and now serves as an entertainment venue available for everything from weddings to last weekend’s Masquerade Grays Harbor event, at which participants were encouraged to dress up as their favorite fantasy characters.

Puvogel talked about a section of Hoquiam’s city code that said, in part, any establishment that serves food and drinks is officially listed as a cabaret if they also have dancing or theatrical performances. Under the code, if a place is considered a cabaret, nobody under the age of 21 is legally allowed to participate in events in that venue. Puvogel asked the council to consider updating that section of the code to more accurately describe what can and can’t be done at such an entertainment venue.