Sentinel Reports on Drinking Game Before it Happens

Here’s the article appearing in today’s Keene Sentinel about tonight’s drinking game. It reports that on tonight’s agenda is a letter from Keene native Heika Courser regarding the repeal of the open container ordinance, so the councilors will be addressing the issue. All indicators show a larger turnout of activists is expected tonight than last time. Here’s the text of the piece by “Sentinel Staff”:

City officials say they have made no special plans if a Free Keene group attends another Keene City Council meeting to play a “drinking game.”

The group’s website, FreeKeene.com, says that the “drinking game: round two” will be held at tonight’s meeting.

On Aug. 5, a group of Free Keene members attended the City Council meeting, drinking from bottles appearing to be alcohol but marked with the label “not a beer.” Mayor Philip Dale Pregent stopped the meeting to address the group, after which two people were arrested when they refused to allow police to determine whether the bottles they were drinking from contained alcohol. A third person was arrested outside City Hall after the meeting. The group members said they were protesting the city’s open container ordinance.

“We have made no plans,” said Keene police Capt. Steven Russo, adding that it is largely up to the mayor and council to address the issue. “Frankly, we’ve hardly even thought about it.”

Russo said the department may discuss the situation prior to tonight’s 7 o’clock meeting.

Pregent said “We’re going to handle city business in a normal, everyday manner. If there’s an issue, we’ll deal with it then.”

On tonight’s council agenda is a letter from Heika M. Courser of Keene, who was part of the Free Keene group at the council meeting earlier this month. She asks that councilors reconsider the open container ordinance, and apologizes to anyone she may have offended during the last council meeting.

“My intentions were not to offend or anger anyone,” Courser said in the letter. “I had never been to a council meeting, and felt it was a fun and quiet way to become involved. I thought it (the drinking game) would be fun without being disruptive.”

Courser’s letter also talked about the reasons why she and others believe the ordinance should be repealed.

“As an adult, I feel we should be able to make our own decisions on public property, property that we all collectively own.

“If you are thinking that the streets of Keene would be littered with drunkards, then I ask you to take a look at Main Street on a Saturday night as people are stumbling out of bars,” she said.

The correspondence will likely be referred to a council committee.

  • stanford

    “We have made no plans,” said Keene police Capt. Steven Russo, adding that it is largely up to the mayor and council to address the issue. “Frankly, we’ve hardly even thought about it.”

    Good for them. Let's hope the city fathers have the same attitude.

  • Larry The Dwarf

    As someone that lives in a Indiana city with five times the population of Keene plus 40K college students, not having an open container law (except in vehicles) doesn't seem to have much of an effect. There are not empty containers everywhere, nor are there crazy drunks everywhere. The occasional rowdy drunk is usually charged under the public intoxication law any way.

    When I lived in the downtown area, I would frequently enjoy a beer on my way to whatever activity I was attending. They also frequently have festivals where several blocks of the street are closed down, and people openly drink all over downtown. If anything, not having such a law/ordinance is beneficial to the local economy.

    Just repeal the law, and activists will surely stop drinking water in your meetings!

  • http://www.bradleymanning.org CertainQuirk

    Sounds like the Sentinel would like to get the FS'ers outnumbered. Are they inciting a riot? Hmm…

  • Toby

    Let's see if they cut the Cheshire TV feed. Rumor has it they have plans to "go to recess" and cut the feed if anything happens, but of course they have no plans.

    http://cheshiretv.org/stream.htm

  • open_kontainer

    Was there really a rule against having alcoholic beverage containers at council meetings before the last drinking game? Does anyone know? If there wasn't, it seems like the council would have made one by now. If they haven't made one, maybe it's because they don't want to admit there wasn't one.

  • Bradley Jardis

    Mayor Philip Dale Pregent stopped the meeting to address the group, after which two people were arrested when they refused to allow police to determine whether the bottles they were drinking from contained alcohol.

    READ:

    Mayor Philip Dale Pregent stopped the meeting to address the group, after which two people were arrested when they refused to waive constitutional rights protecting the contents of the bottles that they were drinking from.

    A person absolutely has a constitutional right of privacy from government intrusion into the beverage they are drinking……. it is the government's responsibility to comply with constitutional safeguards and comply with the burden of proving someone did something illegal. They couldn't prove it at that meeting……….. so they just kicked them out.

    Assert one constitutional right and lose another.

  • http://www.nolanchart.com/author677.html Chaz Munro

    Somebody got good and hammered tonight. :)

    I counted 44 times that the term "master plan" was announced at tonight's city council meeting.

  • Bradley Jardis

    Them being Soviet-esque = drunk liberty activists.

  • Gabe

    What's the point? They got their desired reaction last time around. The City Council broke its own rules and made asses of themselves. However, instead of seizing the opportunity to show everyone what a bunch of hypocrites the City Council is, by taking them to court, you've decided to try the same stunt again.

    So what? And if they do the same thing to you again, how are you better off?

    Frankly, I really don't see the point. If anything, it will weaken your cause, by making you look like a daredevil, rather than someone trying to make a legitimate point.

  • Evan

    Gabe, if one doesn't believe in the legitimacy of their court system, or that appealing to it will achieve anything approaching justice, it's quite enough to live as a free individual and continue mocking them openly.

    However, your point is a good one. Perhaps those activists who still have a shred of faith in the court system should press charges.

  • thinkliberty

    Gabe,

    If you think you know the best way to do things, then show everyone how to do it!

    If you know the best way to do things, but won't do it yourself, don't expect anyone else to do it for you. It's probably a dumb idea.

  • http://www.nolanchart.com/author677.html Chaz Munro

    Try to rain on the parade all you want, yet…the people who love and are willing to work towards freedom, won this time.

    Nobody got arrested this week and the men in the funny costumes with shiny little badges pinned on their shirts, graciously accepted a gift of tampons presented to them. They backed down from the peaceful people who played the drinking game last night during the council meeting in Keene.

    I suppose to some folks, that living in a land where just about all people expect immediate results, that not winning right away appears to always be a loss. Winning eventually, even if it takes what seems like an eternity of two whole weeks, still gets to be a win.

  • Gabe

    If you think you know the best way to do things, then show everyone how to do it!

    I am.

    I wouldn't have done what they did in the first place. However, had I been in that situation, I was saying what I would have done subsequently.

    There's a subtle distinction there.

  • Gabe

    if one doesn’t believe in the legitimacy of their court system, or that appealing to it will achieve anything approaching justice, it’s quite enough to live as a free individual and continue mocking them openly.

    So they believe in the legitimacy of the City Council, but not the court system governed by it?

  • keenenative, jr.

    The "City Council" employs the Police Persecutor. They rent(RENT WAIVED for 2010!…)the "Courtroom" to "Keene District Court"…on behalf of the "Gov't of NH", thru the State "Administrative Office of the Courts", who are in charge of hiring "Court Security Officers", except when security is provided by the County Sheriff's Office, which is paid for by County, not local city or state taxes…That's just a start on the BYZANTINE GOV'T here in NH…Proving once again: "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit"…Hey, I AM BAFFLED!…*ALSO*:…note:…“We have made no plans,” said Keene police Capt. Steven Russo, adding that it is largely up to the mayor and council to address the issue. “Frankly, we’ve hardly even thought about it.”…TRANSLATION of Capt. Russo, into realspeak: "We're cops. We've really got plenty of real police work to do. The paperwork is the worst. Do we really have to waste our time with this stupid shit???… OH!?…OK, boss…We'll arrest 'em, but only because we do care about keeping our jobs, more than we care about these harmless "activists"…