Secretive Parks & Rec Director Confronted on Chalk Oppression

Keene Parks and Rec director Andy Bohannon made headlines here at Free Keene in October 2012 when he attempted to intimidate peaceful chalkers in downtown’s Central Square during “Chalk the Police” day.  Andy hid his nametag from view when he was questioned by activists including Garret Ean.  Government in New Hampshire is supposed to be open and accountable, as per article 8 of the NH Constitution’s Bill of Rights, yet Andy hid his identity as he tried to stop the free speech event.

Now Dave Ridley confronts him about it, more than two years later, and it sounds like Andy denies his own behavior as he scurries out of the city building after a council meeting.  Dave gives chase into the parking lot but doesn’t get another word out of Andy.  Perhaps he’s embarrassed about his behavior?  If so, then why not admit fault and apologize like most good people would do when they do something they regret?  I guess that would take some integrity and guts.  Here’s the video of the confrontation, which also includes Ridley being blown off and ignored by some city councilors when he asks about tax-cutting:

Ridley Confronts Phone Thief EMS Worker – Hear His Shocking Excuse

Nearly six years ago in downtown Keene I was shocked when Emergency Medical Services worker Ronald Leslie snatched my phone out of my hands (here’s another angle) as I was recording video of my friend Kurt Hoffman being loaded into an ambulance.  Hoffman had allegedly been attacked by now-sheriff, then-KPD-officer Eli Rivera while in a secret court hearing at Keene District Court.  Though I had forgiven Leslie shortly after the incident, others have not forgotten the assault and theft.

Indeed, now that Dave Ridley is back in town, he’s been cornering bureaucrats and politicians in various places. Recently he attended a Keene city council meeting where the very same Ronald Leslie was receiving an award prior to his retirement.  Ridley confronted him about the theft and at first it almost looks like Leslie has changed for the better – he even tells a female companion to keep her hands off Ridley’s camera after she begins to assault him.  Despite the golden opportunity Leslie has to apologize publicly for what he did or at least admit fault, he actually claims that he thought I was giving him my camera!  My mouth just about hit the floor when I heard the ridiculous excuse for his unprofessional behavior.  Here’s the video:

Ridley Moves Back to Keene Area, Confronts School Board

Dave Ridley

Dave Ridley of RidleyReport.com

He’s baaaack! Dave Ridley, one of the first fifty movers to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project, and super-popular independent journalist (he has four times the subscribers on YouTube as WMUR) has made his way back to Keene!

When he first moved to New Hampshire, it was Keene that was Ridley’s destination. He’s since lived in multiple places across the Shire and is now back in the Keene area! Upon his return, Ridley’s first target for his trademark ambush interviews was the Keene school board meeting, after it was revealed by the Sentinel that an elementary librarian apparently assaulted a student. Dave wants answers and in this series of videos he corners multiple school bureaucrats and gets everything from people pretending he doesn’t exist to blow-offs to stonewalling to even more ridiculous, unaccountable behavior.

In the first video in the series, Dave is mostly ignored or blown off by various school board members and superintendent Wayne Wooldridge:

In the second video, Ridley catches up with Keene school district human resources director Tim Rohr, who refuses to give up any information. When Ridley asks Rohr if people should stop paying taxes since the school people won’t tell parents any details about the supposed punishment to the assaultive librarian, Rohr says:

“My guess is you’ll be motivated to pay your taxes if you try to stop.”

Rohr is referring to the fact that the government will threaten to steal your home if you decide you don’t want to support their awful school system anymore: (more…)

Hassan Confronted for Several Minutes on Cannabis Hypocrisy: VIDEO

Sad Maggie Hassan

Does she have a conscience?

This afternoon the hypocrite governor of New Hampshire spoke at Keene State College’s 2015 graduation ceremony.  Maggie Hassan, the boss of the state’s executive branch, is likely to veto the cannabis decrim bill if it makes it through the NH senate.  It already passed the NH house with a supermajority of votes.  It’s clear that decriminalization is what the people of New Hampshire want (it’s also the humane choice), but Hassan throws her loyalty into the camp of the police and cares not one bit about the lives that continue to be ruined because of her inhumane war on pot.

Oh, and to make her position even more outrageous, it turns out she herself has used cannabis in her college days.  That raging hypocrisy didn’t stop her from showing up at Keene State College and acting like she actually gives a damn about the very same students that her police regularly threaten and harass over victimless crimes like cannabis and alcohol possession.  Rich Paul and I went down to KSC today to confront her on these things and were accompanied by local education activist Ed Bryans who was upset with Hassan’s veto of the anti-common core bill. We found her at the end of the commencement and had plenty of time to give her a hard time while she was unable to leave, much to the dismay of a few of her sycophants. Here’s the video:

It’s not too late for cannabis decrim to pass, but Hassan and the NH senators need to hear from you. Please reach out to your senator here and ask them to support HB618, the cannabis decriminalization bill. Then please call Hassan’s office and encourage her to do the right thing and let decrim pass.

Activists, State Legislator Smoke Cannabis at NH State House Front Door

Dylan Gingues and Kyle Tasker

Dylan Gingues and NH state rep Kyle Tasker with a big jar of primo cannabis outside the State House.

For the sixth consecutive year, activists smoked cannabis out in front of the New Hampshire state house on April 20th at 4:20pm, in heroic defiance of the state’s draconian drug laws that consider cannabis possession to be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

Dozens of New Hampshire’s inhabitants braved constant rain and cold to come out for the epic event, which also featured state representative Kyle Tasker toking up.  Tasker later said in an interview exclusive to Free Keene, “The message sent by law enforcement and heard loud and clear by protesters was police have more important things to do than harass otherwise law abiding citizens over marijuana possession and public use even when it was clear there were amounts present at the protest that could be charged as a felony. The New Hampshire senate needs to consider how productive it is to keep an unenforced, indeed nearly unenforceable law on the books with which the public disagrees.”

No one has ever been arrested at these events despite mass civil disobedience of the cannabis possession laws taking place right outside the state house’s front doors. In fact, obvious police presence was near-zero this year, with a lone state trooper sitting across the street idling in his cruiser for a short time. In previous years, troopers have stood inside the state house windows, watching with crossed arms. This year, nothing!

Rich Paul kicked off the ceremony with his traditional invocation and a short speech. Afterwards the megaphone was open to anyone with something to say, and several attendees spoke out on various subjects. See the raw video here, courtesy Garret Ean. Here’s an edited clip of the beginning of the event:

Even mainstream media is speculating that cannabis decrim may pass in NH this year. 80% of the house voted for decrim already and now it awaits its turn in the NH senate. However, the state’s governor, Maggie Hassan has promised to veto it. This, despite the fact that she admitted to having used it when she was younger. Do you think Maggie would be better off today had she gotten a misdemeanor on her record had she been caught with her pot in her college days?

Unless Maggie finds her conscience, the senate would have to pass cannabis decrim with a veto-proof margin (as did the house – solidly) to protect the legislation from her veto. Now is a good time to contact “your” state senator and talk to them about how they feel about decriminalizing cannabis.

The next event for 2016 is already on facebook.

“Boston Strong” Threatens Cop Block’s JP Freeman on Video

Matthew “Boston Strong” Schmidt believes “everyone loves” it when he lays on his horn as he drives by the Keene Activist Center. That’s what he did last week, while Keene Cop Block‘s JP Freeman was on the front porch. Once Boston got back to his house a few doors down, he taunted JP, which led to an unfortunate shouting match between the two. Then, Rich Paul went over to chat and following that, Boston came into the street and told JP more than once that he was going to “rap your head with a ratchet”, while brandishing a set of tools. Here’s the video:

To Boston’s credit, he’s a pretty dedicated activist. He recently even acquired a megaphone, which you see used in this video. He really doesn’t understand how to be a good neighbor, but he sure is an entertaining one. A little while back, Matt “Boston Strong” Schmidt was subpoenaed to a no contact hearing called for by JP at Cheshire superior court. At the hearing, Boston admitted to having been laying on his horn, which JP, who lived in the neighborhood at the time, claimed had woken up his small children. At the court hearing, Boston agreed to an order by the robed man which specifies Boston and JP should not have contact with each other and that Boston will not honk or blare his horn after 4pm. He’s been honking his horn in civil disobedience ever since the order was written. Personally, I find his antics amusing, but JP takes them personally.

While both men are responsible for creating the scene last week, (as JP did not have to react in-kind), Boston definitely instigated it, and escalated it. (more…)