VIDEO: What Happens When Govt Thugs Threaten Porcfest

Near high noon today, the first full day of the Free State Project‘s annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, two agents (Phillip Lawrence and Ray Persinger) from the “Department of Revenue” rolled up to Rogers Campground. The sharply-dressed thugs inquired with campground staff if there were food vendors in Agora Alley, a place renown for delicious food available from some vendors who may not have bothered asking government permission to serve their fellow hungry humans.

Upon exiting the office, I immediately began recording and confronted the men. Here’s the video of that encounter:

A crowd of activists quickly gathered, with multiple alerts going out via two-way radio, facebook, and word-of-mouth. They weren’t able to get any further than the first vendor before being told they were not welcome by multiple people in the crowd. A campground staff member ultimately told the criminals to go speak with the park owner, Crosby.

After thirty minutes of meeting with Crosby, the men immediately exited the property. Crosby refused to be interviewed about the conversation, but claimed he was not threatened by them. I suspect he’s not being forthcoming. Porcfest organizers would also not speak on camera, but the conversation I had and overheard leads me to believe that Crosby has been recruited to pass out government paperwork to food vendors. I plan to investigate further with the vendors and see what’s happening behind-the-scenes. Stay tuned here to FreeKeene.com for the latest on this developing situation. Also, Porcfest is just starting, so come out and join us through this weekend!

UPDATE: One vendor reports that Crosby did not hand him the paperwork from the state when the vendor indicated that he’s got his books in order. We’ll be discussing the incident on Free Talk Live tonight at 7pm Eastern. You can listen live at LRN.FM.

Stone Farm Threatened With $275/day in Fines by Town Selectman; Charges Ultimately Dropped!

Stone Farm on Liberty Acres

Stone Farm on Liberty Acres

Stone Farm on Liberty Acres has provided hospitality to liberty lovers for a bitcoin donation since 2013. Visitors have been raving about the property and it has received coverage in the Keene Sentinel and Bitcoin Magazine for its acceptance of bitcoin, the international cryptocurrency.

Proprietors Katie McCall and Matt Roach were threatened last week by Fitzwilliam town selectman CJ Holman with $275 a day in fines if they continue to operate what Holman alleged is a “bed and breakfast” (a legal term that doesn’t apply to Stone Farm). Why all-of-a-sudden is Stone Farm on this politician’s radar?

It appears that there has recently been a dispute with the property’s landlord regarding an over-full septic tank due to a broken leach field that has on more than one occasion backed sewage up into the shower. Katie and Matt say the landlord has refused to fix the leach field or even pump the septic tank and seemed to not even realize the property has a septic tank. As a result of this disgusting issue, Stone Farm has been closed to visitors for weeks and the duo are planning a move to a new location.

Katie McCall and Matt Roach

Katie McCall and Matt Roach

Rather than do the right thing and fix the septic issue, the landlord apparently decided to contact the town gang and snitch on their tenants for running a bed-and-breakfast without a government permission slip. That’s why after two years of service and zero complaints, that Katie and Matt received a threat via certified mail last week. Katie also received an additional threat over her midwifery training business, which ended on its own a while back.

Katie and Matt sent a response to Holman’s threat demanding to know the section of ordinance that was allegedly being violated, as it was never mentioned in the supposed “violation” notice.

Ultimately the duo attended this week’s town selectmen meeting, where they were the only two townsfolk in attendance. According to Katie:

The one selectmen [CJ Holman] who spearheaded the aggression against Stone Farm failed to show and the two remaining selectmen oozed apologies for his inappropriate actions. Both violations were dropped…sometimes people feel comfortable being bullies when the person they are bullying is unknown to them. Putting a face to a name sometimes holds people accountable on its own merit.

Success! Stay tuned here to Free Keene for any further developments.

P.S. Stone Farm is moving to another location – please help them by donating to their fundraiser and get perks like a weeklong stay at the new location!

New & Improved Bitcoin Vending Machine Launches in Keene!

Lamassu BVM

The Lamassu’s First Customer, Lauren Canario.

Keene’s 101 Deals Thrift Store is now home to New Hampshire’s first public Lamassu Bitcoin Vending Machine! If you’ve tried the previous machine at 101 Deals and had a frustrating experience, the Lamassu will solve that. Come give it a try! 101 Deals is open seven-days-a-week 10a-6p Mon-Sat and 10a-4p Sundays and is located at 661 Marlboro Rd. in Keene.

Not only is the Keene BVM New Hampshire’s first public Lamassu, it’s one of only two publicly operating Bitcoin Vending Machines in all of Northern New England!  Once you’ve got your bitcoin, check out CoinMap to see several local businesses that accept the exciting, international, decentralized cryptocurrency.  (Or spend it at thousands of online sites like Dell, Wikipedia, Overstock, and countless others.)

Want to meet with other bitcoiners in the area? Maybe you’re new to bitcoin and have questions? Join us at the Keene Bitcoin Network online on facebook or in real life at McCue’s at 5:30pm, on the first Sunday of each month. Next meeting date is May 3rd – here’s a facebook event for it.

The Keene Bitcoin Vending Machine is provided as a non-profit service to the community by the Shire Free Church.

Bitcoin Bus Tour Launches from Keene!

Bitcoin Bus Parked at the LRN.FM Studios

The Uncoinventional Family & Bitcoin Bus Parked at the LRN.FM Studios

In the long tradition of interstate, large-vehicle liberty tours launching from or traveling through Keene including Motorhome Diaries and Liberty on Tour, the Bitcoin Bus kicks off an “uncoinventional” tour across the Eastern United States!  Free State Project participants John Bush, Cat Bleish and their two kids have taken possession of the Unschool Bus and have converted it into the Bitcoin Bus!

Today, the family rolled out from the Shire to their next destination in New York and will stop in other places along the way to their home of Austin, Texas.  Along the way their goal is to spend only bitcoin.  This is the family’s third bitcoin-only tour, but the first for the Bitcoin Bus!

LRN.FM is sponsoring the bus (with bitcoin, of course) as are some other great sponsors including the super-cool new WageCan, which is finally offering a bitcoin-based Mastercard tied to a bank account in Hong Kong.

You can follow them along via their Uncoinventional website which features a podcast and plenty of photos.

Inside the Bitcoin Bus

Inside the Bitcoin Bus

URGENT: Sign the Petition to Stop the Parking Meter Increase

Parking FailA downtown business owner has started an online petition in the hopes of stopping the new proposed parking rate and fine increases from the city. It will be delivered to the city council and it says:

Downtown merchants and their customers are already paying enough! We are forcing our community to shop at the BIG BOX stores and dine out with their families at CHAIN restaurants because they offer FREE parking. Some view this increase as a segway to pay for a new parking garage but even after it is built the cost will stay the same to park downtown. The folks who live in the apartments above the storefronts need to park out front to unload groceries, carry in and out their laundry or simply to run up to their apartment to just grab something quickly and have to pay a meter to do the simplest chore. Our diners complain constantly and often have to run out in between their meal and shopping to put more money in the meters. Customers of the local stores are often complaining because they cost so much already and if not paid quickly the fine increases dramatically. Please sign below so I can personally deliver this petition to the City and show them that we are against this increase.

You can sign the petition online now and don’t forget the city council’s FOP committee is meeting tonight on the matter at 6:30pm.

City Council to Hear Parking Fine Doubling & Rate Increase Proposal AGAIN – Thu, 6:30p

Sheriff of Nottingham

Pay up, suckers!

Remember last year at this time when the new “Parking Czar” (the city’s term, not mine!) proposed all-around parking rate increases and fine doubling? After dozens of downtown businesses and hundreds of downtown shoppers signed petitions against the proposal, the city appeared to back down.

According to the Sentinel, now the rate increase proposal is back and is already scheduled for a hearing at the FOP committee at city hall, this Thursday at 6:30pm! (Here’s a facebook event for it.)

Whether you are a downtown merchant or shopper, or just care about this issue, please come out Thursday night to oppose this.