UBER Grandma Ticketed Thrice More as Portsmouth Crackdown Begins

UBER Grandma Driver Stephanie Franz

UBER Grandma Stephanie Franz, courtesy CBS Boston

Two weeks ago, Porstmouth, NH police chief David Mara announced a coming attack against peaceful UBER drivers who are ignoring the oppressive city ordinance that basically outlaws ride-sharing. The city and its cops are running a protection racket for the existing cab companies and this weekend appears to be the first round of aggression as UBER Grandma Stephanie Franz has announced that she received two tickets for driving people home safely on Friday night.

Stephanie, who has become the face of the Free UBER movement, has now racked up six tickets for at least $5,000 seven tickets totaling $7,500 that she is taking to court soon with the help of an UBER-supplied attorney. All of this for helping people avoid getting DUIs.

She’s now not the only one. At least one other Portsmouth UBER driver reports receiving a ticket already this weekend and Saturday night is just getting started as I’m writing this.

Though Stephanie did not join UBER to become a civil disobedience superstar, she appears to have embraced her role and has even taken to task the four cowardly UBER drivers in Portsmouth who have obediently jumped through the city’s hoops and registered like good little slaves.  She wrote today in a post to the Free UBER page on facebook:

Why is it that 4 uber drivers have registered with the town of Portsmouth? Don’t you know what this is doing? Every time I’ve been pulled over, part of the statement from the officers has been why don’t you just go on and register…. 4 others already have. I have stuck my neck out for all Uber drivers in the Portsmouth area. I feel that you four have stabbed me in the back. You’re free to do what you want to do but I take offense to you
registering. I can call you something but I’m not. Just remember the next time you see me pulled over with the blue lights flashing I am taking one for all of us even you.
Just to let you other Uber drivers know, they are going to be pulling over Uber drivers tonight. I will be there anyway.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the Free UBER saga.

UPDATED: 9:30pm Eastern – Stephanie reports via facebook that she has received her third ticket this weekend, her seventh total, bringing the total fines to $7,500.

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!

Surprising Results from the 2016 Deliberative Session

Around 80 registered voters showed up to last Saturday’s 4 hour Deliberative session, around 25 fewer than last year. Note this is .47% of Keene’s 17,000 registered voters. As usual, the bulk of the room was made up of school board members, school administrators and teachers.

Once again, local lawyer and resident busybody Ted Parent was there ready to gut my petitioned warrant articles with his own prepared amendments. I plead with the voters in the room to leave the articles untouched in their original wording and allow the voters in March to decide on them. Each amendment would require a secret vote that would take 15-20 minutes to administer. From the reaction in the room, I was led to believe that the majority were in favor of this motion. However, Parent wasn’t having any part of it.

My first Warrant to enact a budget cap of .5% was amended to 10%. 65 in favor, 25 against.  Two more attempts were made to amend it to 2% and then 4.9%. Both failed.

My second article to reduce student tuition by $500 per student until tuition matched the state average was amended to “Form a committee to study whether the district should make the reductions.” Surprisingly, this only lost by 1 vote: 41 in favor, 40 against.

Parent then made an attempt to amend my “Cease participation in the Common Core program” article by instead forming a committee to study the concept. This motion failed 60 to 21. School board member Susan Hay made her own motion to amend the article to read “Shall the school district continue to be aligned with and compliant with the state education standards.” This passed 66 to 10. It will be interesting to see how the voters react to this one in March.

Parent also made an absurd attempt to amend my fourth article “to form a committee to study the feasibility of withdrawal from the bloated SAU29” to “form a committee to form a committee.” It failed 56 to 19.

In the end, one warrant survived. Three were amended—one of which I can live with and one that only lost by a hair. Comparing those results and voter turnout to previous years, I can definitely say that there is change in the winds. Stay tuned for the ballot results in March.

Here is the Keene Sentinel’s take on the event as well as video of the proceedings. The petitioned articles start at 1:01:00.

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.

Repealing Prohibition on Prostitution: Full Hearing Video and Press Conference

Elizabeth Edwards is a Free State Project early mover and elected democrat state representative who has heroically put forth the only proposed repeal of the prohibition on prostitution that I’ve heard of in my near-decade here in New Hampshire.

Were HB 1614 to pass, adults in NH would be able to trade sex for money without fear of arrest, prosecution, and jail. It does NOT create a regulatory structure (legalization) it just strikes the statutes criminalizing prostitution, and keeps in place prohibition on sex slavery.

It’s an excellent bill and surprisingly, everyone who testified on it, testified in favor. However, the cowardly chiefs of police did submit written testimony against it. Here’s full video of the press conference and the hearing in front of the Criminal Justice committee:

Will the bill have a chance the first year out? Probably not, but kudos to representative Edwards for putting it up for consideration. This is a conversation that people need to have at the state house about economic freedom and self-ownership. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

If you want to help move forward pro-liberty political change here, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, whether you are in NH or not – you can help.

VIDEO: Speaking Truth to Power, January 19th and 26th

Here’s another video compilation of me speaking to various NH state house committees over the last couple of weeks:

Bills I testified on included:

  • HB 1616 – would give NH people an opt-in to federal REAL ID compliance for their driver’s license.
  • HB 1610 – would make possession of up to two ounces of cannabis by people 21+ legal
  • CACR 24 – proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to travel
  • HB 1476 – would allow people under 16 to work with parental permission rather than a school bureaucrat

If you want to help move forward pro-liberty political change here, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, whether you are in NH or not – you can help.

Now you can subscribe to Free Keene via email!

Don't miss a single post!