URGENT: Public Hearing TONIGHT on Parking Rate/Fine/Hours Increase Proposal

Parking Meter FailThe city of Keene has (again) quietly stuck their proposed parking rate and fine AND hours-of-enforcement increases into tonight’s FOP committee agenda. It’s item #8 here.

This may be our last chance to stop this proposed increase – as you may recall, at previous hearings petitions with hundreds of signatures of people downtown, including dozens of business owners opposed the proposed increases. This has not stopped the city from continuing to return and push the idea again and again.

Tonight the decision will be in the hands of the FOP committee which meets starting at 6:30pm on the 2nd floor of city hall at 3 Washington St. in Keene.

Committee meetings are the only time they will actually hear from the people on any matter – when this goes to the full council there will be no further public comment.

Please come out tonight and let these councilors on the committee know that parking meters and fines hurt downtown businesses, or however else you’d like to frame your thoughts on the issue.

See you there!

Free State Project Founder Speaking at Keene Public Library Saturday Morning, 10am

Jason Sorens

Jason Sorens, Free State Project Founder

Perhaps you’ve heard rumors about the Free State Project and want to know the truth? Come speak with the founder of the FSP, Jason Sorens this Saturday morning 10am to Noon at the Keene Public Library! Here’s a facebook event for it. Also fielding questions will be longtime Keene resident and former president of the FSP, Varrin Swearingen.

Jason and Varrin will speak about the Free State Project and answer your questions. All are welcome, light refreshments will be offered and friendly dialogue will be encouraged.

See you there!

Official Keenevention 2015 Schedule Announced + Outside Activities

2105 Schedule

Keenevention 2015 Schedule Pic

Here’s the official schedule for Keenevention 2015! As always, events are subject to change – but this schedule should be close to final. If you’ve got google calendar, it’s easy to integrate it with yours.

In addition to the in-hotel panels and keynote speeches, there are a bunch of other things you can do during Keenevention. You can get out of the hotel and explore the Keene area, go to social events like a bonfire and the HALLOWKEENE costume dance party, and even take part in activism like Robin Hooding and Cop Block. Here’s the full list of outside-the-hotel activities.

Keenevention is Hallowkeene weekend, October 30th through November 1st. Tickets for the third-annual Keenevention are just $60 or BTC for the whole weekend, including the Hallowkeene costume dance party! Pre-event ticketing is limited to 100, so lock yours in now.

Keenevention Now Announcing Full Panels, Twitter Feed

Keenevention Jury Nullification Panel 2015

Keenevention Jury Nullification Panel 2015

Keenevention is just six weeks away now and the Keenevention blog has been busy announcing full panels. First up are the Ladies Panel, Media Panel, and the first-ever Jury Nullification Panel. There are eleven panels and three keynote speakers lined up for 2015, so there are eight more full panel announcements coming!

Since only selected Keenevention updates are shown here at Free Keene, stay tuned to the Keenevention blog (you can sign up for email updates when you go there) so you don’t miss anything. You can also follow the new Keenevention Twitter, Keenevention’s facebook page and join the official facebook event here.

Keenevention is Hallowkeene weekend, October 30th through November 1st. Tickets for the third-annual Keenevention are just $60 or BTC for the whole weekend, including the Hallowkeene costume dance party! Pre-event ticketing is limited to 100, so lock yours in now.

I’ve been in NH for nine years. If you love liberty, why aren’t you here yet?

Free State Project

What are you waiting for?

Labor day weekend was when I moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project (in-state number 420), nine years ago in 2006. It’s been a wonderful time and The Shire is naturally filled with good, friendly people who care about liberty.

Though it’s been over a decade since NH was chosen, the FSP hasn’t yet reached it’s goal of 20,000 signers. It’s not easy to convince people to pick up their lives and move for their ideals. The good news is we’re 86% of the way to the goal, at over 17,000 signed. Plus, lots of people didn’t want to wait and there are over 1,500 early movers already here.

FSP early movers have already built a ton of liberty activist infrastructure (activist clubs, lobbying and political action groups) and dozens have already been elected to the state house and various other town seats. Other early movers have created various liberty media, likely producing more liberty media in NH than the rest of the world combined. From outreach to civil disobedience to state house testimony, FSP early movers and NH natives are active across the state and making a difference for freedom. Numbers and concentration make all the difference.

If you are part of the liberty movement and not in New Hampshire yet, here are 101 reasons why you should seriously consider joining the Free State Project and making the move ASAP:

Responding to Vandalized Rainbow Benches, UCC Launches #onthebench Selfie Contest!

Jazzy Girl on the Rainbow Bench!

Jazzy Girl on the Rainbow Bench!

This morning, Christopher Cornell of the United Church of Christ at the head of Central Square in Downtown Keene announced a really cool selfie contest in response to  continued vandalization of their rainbow benches in Elsie Priest Park, just behind the UCC on Church St.

At least one unknown vandal in her sixties has been caught in the act of painting the rainbow bench in red.  She ran to her red compact car and took off.  The bench was subsequently painted rainbow by more volunteers, then attacked by the vandal(s) again, and so on.  The church has plenty of paint and volunteers.  Love will win over hate.

UCC administrator Mark C. Harris explained in a post to the church blog that the benches were painted rainbow this summer by volunteers and that they represent that, “We want everyone to feel welcome to use the park. This is in good keeping with our belief that all of God’s children are beloved, no matter who they are, or where they are on life’s journey. All are welcome, no matter their gender, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, sexual orientation, difference in abilities, religion or absence thereof.”

Renee Kate and Jazzy on the Rainbow Bench!

Renee Kate and Jazzy Showing Love > Hate

Today the benches are rainbow and people who side with love have been invited by the UCC to visit them and take a selfie, and post it on social media tagged with #onthebench.  there are prizes, and the contest for the best selfie ends Saturday September 5th, at 10pm, which coincides with the end of the Keene Music Festival.

Speculation abounds as to the motivation of the vandal(s) – it’s easy to jump to a conclusion and say it’s someone with an anti-gay sentiment, but longtime readers of this blog will also recall the controversy back in 2009 when local entrepreneur Dorrie O’Meara launched her Mexican restaurant Pedraza’s.  Some people around town were upset because O’Meara painted her building yellow!  Certain grumpy people in this area seem to hate colors besides brick red and gray.

Ian Freeman and Jazzy at the Rainbow Bench

Take this, vandals!

Cornell said in an interview for Free Keene that he thinks the first time the the vandal(s) struck, the benches were fully painted red, but that since then the vandal(s) have only painted over the yellow part.  He’s losing track of the amount of times the benches have been vandalized, but thinks it may have been at least six times, all since the beginning of August.

Smart move on the UCC’s part to make this into a hopefully-viral phenomenon.  The vandals, whatever the hate they carry in their hearts, probably weren’t expecting these benches to turn into a movement!

The Shire Free Church is joining in solidarity with the UCC and all those who support love over hate, so I went out with Renee Kate and Jazzy the Studio Dog for a photo shoot this afternoon.  Remember to tag your bench selfies with #onthebench on your social media posts.

Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on this controversy. Last year it was chalk causing controversy, this year it’s rainbows!

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