Portsmouth Police Plan Crackdown as Cabbies Attempt to Intimidate UBER Grandma

UBER Grandma Driver Stephanie Franz

“UBER Grandma” Stephanie Franz, courtesy CBS Boston

As we’ve learned here in Keene over a decade-plus of activism, anytime someone challenges the status quo, they are targeted by the supporters of the status quo. In the case of the Free UBER saga in Portsmouth, NH, the good-old-boys network of cab drivers and government goons are again on the attack.

Since the Summer of 2015, multiple UBER drivers in Portsmouth have been regularly committing civil disobedience by driving without jumping through the city’s arbitrary hoops. Effectively the city outlawed UBER by creating ridiculous regulations designed to protect the cab companies from much-needed competition. Despite this, UBER’s app has continued to work, so drivers like “UBER Grandma” Stephanie Franz have continued to take passengers where they want to go.

Franz has been rewarded with several $500-$1,000 tickets from police for her good deeds. Despite facing financial ruin at the hands of the city, she has heroically continued to drive – much to the disgust of the awful cab drivers who have continued a campaign of intimidation against her. She’s had her tail light smashed in previously, has been boxed in by cabbies multiple times, and just today posted this to facebook:

Interesting night in Portsmouth. Taxi drivers are all pumped up over Portsmouth’s temporary threat to “sting” uber drivers. What polite and “manly” men they are. It started last night with a pick up at the Moose. As my riders were entering my car out of the bar walks, the pillar of manhood, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, crabby cabbie [Anchor Taxi owner Merle White]. He sees me picking up my ride and endearing words were yelled “there’s that fucking Uber grandma”. My ride was so ticked off that he started yelling back at him. As the night progressed the rest of the chosen few made their statements too.

seacoast_cabbies

Angry Seacoast Cabbies Hate Competition – Photo Courtesy Seacoast Online

They would pull up next to my car, stop or slow down and stare at me as I was waiting for my next ride. Whoever that handsome hunk of manhood , with the well kept gray beard, Beautiful glaring eyes, and tooth was, I hope you got your eyes full as you stared at me from your taxi van.

 

To the Three Musketeers who stood by their vans at the bus stop on Market Square; Butts hanging out of your mouths, extending those well defined cannons for arms and pointing at me as I would leave my parking position at the end of Pleasant Street to go pick up riders. They guarded my spot four or five times as I would leave and come back. Oh, almost forgot they spoke fluent mumble. Thank you Portsmouth taxis for your enjoyable evening.

The threat of a sting operation that she’s referring to is coming from Portsmouth police chief David Mara who this week announced a coming crackdown against UBER drivers. Assistant mayor Jim Splaine says he supports a crackdown as unregistered drivers should not, “exploit the system”. They are spurred on by cab company owner John Palreiro who claims UBER drivers are “stealing” from him, as though he owns every rider in town.  Check out this Seacoast Online article to read the full ridiculousness of this protection racket’s scheming to destroy the innovators in the transport market.

All of this is happening right as the state representatives in Concord have passed legislation that will (if passed by the senate and governor) regulate UBER and other ride-sharing companies statewide and will override and invalidate Portsmouth’s local regulations as NH is not a “home rule” state. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest!

Cointelegraph Article on Businesses’ Objections to Bitcoin Features Free Keene Blogger

Ian Cointelegraph

Ian Freeman, Cartoonized, thanks to Cointelegraph

Cointelegraph is the most recognizable news source in the bitcoin universe – each of their articles features a cartoon graphic that is custom-drawn for the piece. One of the reporters for Cointelegraph is Joel Valenzuela, a Free State Project early mover. He’s been cranking out stories that show New Hampshire as a destination for bitcoin users and his newest features yours truly!

His latest piece is about some of the difficulties and objections that business owners have with accepting bitcoin and specifically mentions the Keene bitcoin scene as a place with some level of success in getting local businesses onboard. Plus, I got turned into a cartoon. Check out the full article here.

New 2016 Bitcoin Flyer Released in Three Versions: Intl., NH, Keene

Bitcoin Flyer 2016 Front

Bitcoin Flyer 2016 International Edition

Thanks to graphics design pro Johnson Rice of Infinite Twilight, our Bitcoin flyer that we’ve distributed thousands of at various places since 2014 has been updated for 2016 with new info and a new video QR. Now, instead of just one version for the Keene area, we have three total:

Please feel free to download the variant of your preference and send it off to your favorite printer. I recommend color, matte cardstock, but that’s just my preference. Do as you wish and help spread the word about Bitcoin in physical reality!

New Bitcoin Vending Machine Launches in Manchester!

General Bytes

Manchester’s “General Bytes” Brand Bitcoin Vending Machine

After more than a year of providing the community with bitcoin in the Keene area, the Shire Free Church has now launched another Bitcoin Vending Machine, this one in Manchester!

Say hello to the “General Bytes” brand Bitcoin Vending Machine, now operational at Murphy’s Taproom! As with our Keene unit, the Shire Free Church’s goal is to bring bitcoin to the community at the lowest possible price, in furtherance of our mission of fostering peace. As a result, you’ll find the fee to be just 5%. (Though, it could be as high as 10% during a crazy spike in price – we’ve only had to do this once for a very short time in a year of operation in Keene.)

Murphy’s and the BVM are open seven-days-per-week, 11:30a-1a.

Murphy's Taproom on Elm St. is host to the Manchester Bitcoin Vending Machine.

Murphy’s Taproom on Elm St. is host to the new Manchester BVM.

Special thanks to Murphy’s Taproom owner Keith Murphy for being willing to host this new unit after the less-than-stellar performance of the previous unit located at Murphy’s by a company called PYC. PYC was not based in NH and now appear to be out of business. The previous unit in the Taproom was a Skyhook brand, which in my experience, is the worst possible unit to have in public.

This new General Bytes unit should be much more reliable, as it has a much higher quality bill receiver unit than the Skyhook.  Plus, it naturally comes in its beautiful yellow-and-black color scheme!  It’s also the second publicly accessible Bitcoin Vending Machine in New Hampshire, and in fact all of New England & Upstate NY, according to visitors to the Keene BVM and CoinATMRadar.com.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to connect more people with bitcoin at an excellent rate. Please bring your bitcoin wallet and give the new BVM a try, any day of the week! To learn more about bitcoin, visit bitcoin.com.

False Headlines Herald Bitcoin’s Death in New Hampshire

Bitcoin NH License Plate

Bitcoin is big in NH

This week, social media was exploding with various posts of a breathless, alarmist piece on a bitcoin news website called DinBits: “Bitcoin Sales Now Prohibited In the State of New Hampshire“. Things looked quite dire from the headline and the article itself was also misleading. “How could you liberty activists let this happen?”, cried many on the facebooks.

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Bitcoin

There’s no doubt that HB 666 (yes, 666) is not a good bill. However, it did not prohibit the sales of bitcoin, as the headlines have claimed. What it actually does is adds a definition of “convertible virtual currency” to the “money transmitter” statutes. Money transmitters are companies doing business selling and sending “stored value”, which now includes virtual currency in New Hampshire.

Despite that broad definition, state banking department attorney Emilia Galdieri told the Union Leader (in a sane, excellent article on this) that the new statutory changes affect money transmitters, like Western Union, Coinbase, or MoneyGram, but is not aimed at person-to-person transactions, consumer-to-business, or bitcoin ATMs.

Keene's Bitcoin Vending Machine

Bitcoin Vending Machine at the All-New “Route 101 Local Goods” at 661 Marlboro Rd in Keene

Somehow, the changes did sneak under the libertarians’ radar, which is a hard thing to do in NH, where we have the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance that has a batch of volunteers reviewing as many bills as possible each year. However, they didn’t spot this one, which means they need more help! Even if you’re outside of NH, you can volunteer for the NH Liberty Alliance and review some bills.

NH’s liberty and bitcoin activists are not happy they were caught off-guard on this and are already working to repeal it and help protect bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the future. If you are one of the people who’s acting shocked that this could happen in the “Free state”, I’d like to remind you that despite the amazing groundwork the early movers for the Free State Project have laid here, the official move has yet to begin. This is not a free place yet – it’s just better off than others and a good starting point for a freedom movement. We need more people to join the FSP and move to New Hampshire. The FSP is nearing 90% of our goal of 20,000 liberty activists pledging to move to NH, so completion is right around the corner. If you’ve been on the fence about joining the most amazing and successful liberty migration, just DO IT.

Video of the Bitcoin Panel @ Keenevention 2015

Bitcoin Panel 2015

Bitcoin Panel @ Keenevention 2015

Dr. Darren Tapp of NeoCash Radio and Dr. Tapp’s Mathematical Playgrounds headed up Keenevention 2015’s Bitcoin Panel! The 90-minute in-depth panel discussion covered various aspects of the bitcoin universe, from technical to the streets.  

Panelists included bitcoin core developer Gavin Andresen, owner of Ledgeview Commercial Partners Matthew Ping, Victimless Crime Spree‘s Derrick J Freeman, Open Bazaar‘s Chris Pacia, and Jeremy Kauffman of LBRY.

Here’s the full video of this globally-important panel:

Big thanks to our 2015 video sponsor – Roberts & Roberts Brokerage – when you’re serious about precious metals – they take bitcoin!

Stay tuned here to the Keenevention blog for more videos weekly and other media from the event (you can sign up for emails when the blog has new posts using the signup box in the right column). You can also follow the new Keenevention Twitter and Keenevention’s facebook page.

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