In Concord this week, a bill that would make concealed carry of a gun legal without a license was heard by the state house criminal justice committee. It’s already passed the NH senate and if it makes it through the state house and governor it will make New Hampshire as free as its neighbor Vermont, in the area of gun freedom. The room was packed with supporters of freedom and also held a few fearmongering moms. Keene liberty activists spoke out in favor:
P.S. The African satellite fundraiser is still going (through mid-May). Please help us get LRN.FM, which includes Free Talk Live and dozens of other great liberty-oriented shows, back on satellite over Africa!
Monadnock Showdown continues to cover the hard issues in an intelligent, thoughtful manner. Last week’s episode featured local independent newsman Jared Goodell who made international headlines last year when he was assaulted by Pumpkin Fest’s organizer on live television. Jared and hosts Parker and Judy weigh in on all things Pumpkin Fest:
Jennifer Schmidt has been vindicated in Keene District Court as judge Edward J Burke has ruled there was not enough evidence to issue a permanent no-stalking order in the case brought against Schmidt by her down-the-street neighbor Anne Tallon.
Tallon had alleged that Schmidt was stalking her grandson, who is 10 years old. She claimed in her original court filing (which resulted in a temporary stalking order against Schmidt) that Schmidt had tried to corner her grandson in the supermarket, that while he was playing in the front yard she’d given him the finger, and that she’d allegedly flashed something that appeared to be a knife at him, among other things.
Despite Tallon claiming in her original filing that school superintendent Dan Black had banned Schmidt from the school property where both their kids attend, Black was not called as a witness. In fact, Tallon’s only witness was herself, and she admitted that she had basically been going on what her grandson had told her. With the exception of a mutual yelling incident between the women during an encounter at Hannaford, there appeared to be very little interaction between Tallon and Schmidt. Tallon admitted she had not personally witnessed any threatening or stalking behavior.
Schmidt’s case was much stronger. Multiple witnesses were called and when Tallon was being cross-examined she admitted that her grandson has behavioral issues. Schmidt’s case was that Tallon’s grandson has threatened to kill people and is generally a little hellion, so she has been concerned for her daughter’s safety.
Tallon’s case was weak without witnesses or any evidence whatsoever and she ultimately lost, with judge Burke taking the case under advisement then later issuing an order denying Tallon’s request for a permanent stalking order to be issued. As a result, there should no longer be a temporary stalking order against Schmidt, either.
Is Schmidt just an innocent mother protecting her child from a school bully? (Don’t expect the government schools to do that for you, despite forcing your kids to go there.) Or did Schmidt intimidate Tallon’s grandson when no one was watching? No one will ever know for sure except her and him. We do know that Schmidt is the wife of the very angry Matthew “Boston Strong” Schmidt, who recently threatened on video to make some neighborhood childrens’ lives a “living nightmare” and who regularly removes downtown chalkings (including those created by children) in Central Square. Both Schmidts are members of a local group of Free Keene haters.
Here’s full video of the hearing from earlier this week:
In a terrible update to an already awful story, the DEA has arrested the owners of Phat Stuff, the popular local head shop on Main Street that was raided in May of 2014. Panos and Katie Eliopoulos were arrested (allegedly in front of their kids) in February and have been charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Offer Drug Paraphernalia for Sale” and one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering”. You can read the short, three page indictment here.
The paraphernalia sales charge carries up to three years in prison and an unspecified fine and the money laundering charge carries up to twenty years in prison, an up to $500,000 fine, and an additional fine relating to the value of the property involved.
Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall that the raid nearly destroyed their business and left them penniless as the federal gangsters cleaned out their bank account and even stole their truck. Oh, and don’t forget the DEA’s theft of an entire box-truckload of store merchandise – probably $100,000 in inventory, which they’ll likely never get back, even if they’re found not guilty. The raid was done with the assistance of Keene police, who were protecting and serving their federal masters, not the people of this community. In an ideal world, the Keene police would have arrested the DEA agents and charged them with armed robbery. You can watch the 17-minute video of the raid, cut down from over four hours of raw footage here.
The indictment was issued on February 11th and the arrests appear to have occurred a week later on February 18th, according to the bail paperwork. Bail conditions for Panos (and presumably Katie, though I haven’t seen her bail paperwork) include him submitting to search anytime police want, submit to urine testing, and give up any weapons, among other conditions.
Trial is currently slated for two weeks in federal court in Concord beginning on April 21st, 2015 at 9:30am. The Eliopouloses are represented by attorney Charles Keefe. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.
With a solid veto-proof margin, the New Hampshire house of representatives overwhelmingly passed cannabis decriminalization today, 297-67, according to state rep Kyle Tasker. That’s a significant increase over 2014’s 215-92 vote on decrim. 297 votes is 38% higher than last year’s 215. A total of 74.25% of the house’s 400 members voted for the bill and 16.75% voted against. That leaves 9% who did not vote. Of those who voted, over 81% voted in favor of decrim.
If this isn’t a mandate, I don’t know what is. Now the bill moves on to the senate, where it died last time. However, it’s a new senate and a new year. With evidence of cannabis legalization’s success mounting, and now even Washington DC legalizing, politicians in NH are finding a little backbone. Sadly, they are late to the party – the other New England states have decriminalized cannabis, some more recently, but Maine as far back as the 1970s.
Maybe the overwhelming support for decrim in this house vote will transfer to the senate, or maybe not. If it passes the senate, unless governor Maggie Hassan finds her conscience, they’ll have to pass this with a 2/3rds veto-proof margin in order to stop Hassan from striking this much-needed legislation down.
In related news, last week the state house voted to add more conditions to the medical cannabis statutes. That also now goes to the senate.