On this episode of the Freecast Uber Grandma gets her day in court and speaking of courting, the relationship between church parking and UNH students may be changing for the worse. And meanwhile in Durham, a mural is causing more uproar than UNH’s spending habits. We’ve got tax levies on nonprofits and Shea Levy on multiple topics. Starting now on the Freecast
Featuring: Host Matt Carano, Mike Vine, Nick Boyle and Rodger Paxton
Special Guest: Shea Levy
Producer: Rodger Paxton
Editor: Matt Carano
News (10 min)
Uber Grandma guilty on four counts!
- Stephanie Franz was found guilty of four charges Tuesday – driving as an unregistered Uber driver on Oct. 17 and Nov. 21 in 2015, as well as on March 25, 2016, as well as failure to display signage while working as a driver-for-hire.
- All of the charges are violation-level citations, not criminal convictions. Franz was fined a total of $645.
- She faced up to $3500 in fines and rejected a plea deal.
- Her “crimes” are no longer illegal thanks to a NH state law passed in June that preempts local ordinances on “transportation network companies” like Uber.
- Portsmouth Police Prosecutor had discretion and chose to continue with charges after the law changed. Difficult to find who this prosecutor actually is. But basically they work for the Portsmouth PD.
- Franz still says, “I want to thank the policemen who were professional and nice to me when they pulled me over. I get waves from them now.”
- She has since obtained the vanity license plate “UBR GMA.”
- Elizabeth Dinan has been following this story. One of the best reporters at the Herald.
- Full story: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20161213/uber-grandma-found-guilty
Seacoast United in Epping to add new indoor facility and restaurant
- The town’s Planning Board on Thursday approved Seacoast United Soccer Club’s plan to add a 45,000-square-foot indoor complex at the site of its outdoor fields on Shirkin Road.
- Town Planner Brittany Howard said the complex will include an indoor soccer field, bathrooms and locker rooms, a snack shack, office space, rooms for trainers from Exeter Hospital and a 100- to 130-seat restaurant on the second floor.
- Seacoast United has four outdoor turf fields at the same location.
- The timeline for construction is pending, as the board offered conditional approval, which means Seacoast United must meet the conditions. The club hopes to start building in the spring or early summer.
- Willis said the opening of the Epping complex will not affect any other Seacoast United locations.
- Seacoast United has long operated an indoor facility in Hampton and also has facilities in Kingston, York, Maine and Amesbury, Mass., where it also has a restaurant and pub.
- The club has 55 teams with more than 850 players.
Controversy over Durham Post Office mural
- For years, Durham’s post office has been at the center of controversy over a mural some local residents find racist and offensive.
- It depicts a Native American holding a torch, apparently ready to set a Dover settler’s house on fire.
- Some Durham residents want the image of the Native American removed.
- The New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs also opposes the image titled “Cruel Adversity” on the painted mural. The Native American holding a torch is supposed to depict the Oyster River Massacre in Durham on July 18th 1694. Five homes and 15 dwellings were burned down by Native Americans who killed or carried off 100 settlers.
- Strict government rules don’t allow for the removal of artwork from federal post office buildings. So it will stay, but soon visitors to the post office will notice a new addition: A written historical explanation of the massacre that will be displayed with the mural.
- It is currently being created by USPS Historian Jennifer Lynch in Washington, D.C.
- http://www.nh1.com/news/racist-and-offensive-native-american-mural-asked-to-be-removed-from-durham-post-office/ http://www.unionleader.com/social-issues/Controversial-mural-will-stay-at-Durham-post-office-12142016
NH Supreme Court upholds Tax levy on Durham church parking spaces
- Churches that earn money by renting parking spaces can be assessed property taxes based on the market value of those spaces, the N.H. Supreme Court has ruled in a 4-0 decision
- Which affirms a Strafford county Superior Court ruling which found parking spaces St. George’s Episcopal Church leased to University of New Hampshire students did not qualify for a religious exemption.
- The town learned in 2013 that St. George’s and the Community Church of Durham were leasing spaces to UNH students, and had been doing so for more than 20 years. St. George’s, located on Main Street near Durham village, was earning $300 per space per semester for the 25 parking spaces it leased. That’s $15,000 per year.
- Durham assessed St. George’s 25 parking spaces at $75,000, which yielded an annual tax bill of about $2,200, town assessor Jim Rice said.
- St. George’s requested a property tax abatement, which the town was denied. The church then appealed that denial to Strafford County Superior Court.
- State law grants such exemptions for “houses of public worship … , buildings and the lands appertaining to them owned, used and occupied directly for religious training or for other religious purposes.” However, the Strafford County court ruled the church’s limited use of those 25 leased spaces was “too slight and insufficiently significant” to warrant such an exemption.
- Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig said he was pleased from the ruling, which followed a roughly two-year court battle and cost the town about $7,800 in legal fees.
- MC Opinion – all this has done is take 25 parking spaces away from students.
Coast Guard Boardings & the Fourth Amendment
- Story from 2012 is making the rounds again on social media. Very relevant to Freecoasters…
- Turns out the Coast Guard can board your vessel and search everything without a warrant. And they do this routinely to sailors!
- In addition to the draconian anti-firearm regulations, we wonder why our rights end where the land ends…
- Full story: http://www.sailfeed.com/2012/10/coast-guard-boardings-and-your-fourth-amendment-rights-part-1/
Sponsor (5 mins)
Beach Pea Baking Co.
- Profiled by former Ron Paul & Phil Nazarro campaign manager Brian Early in the Portsmouth Herald
- Started before Kittery was a place.
- Commitment to quality and atmosphere.
- Full story: http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20161205/beach-pea-baking-co-still-rising
Local happenings (5 mins)
Bitcoin Nights at STREET – Tuesdays at 7pm
Freecoast Yoga at the Praxeum – Saturdays at 9am
Portsmouth Porcupine Powwow – Sunday, December 18 at Noon
Seacoast Liberty meetup for Dec 22 is in Rochester at Magrilla’s 6 PM. See the full schedule at www.freecoast.org
Philosophy of Liberty
Special Guest Shea Levy on The Failure of Academia
- US Student Loan Debt at 1.4 trillion http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloandebtclock.phtml
- Steve Patterson’s podcast Patterson in Pursuit is great on this topic as well. http://steve-patterson.com/podcast/
Seacoast History (10 mins)
- The Prescott sisters, Josie and Mary, are directly responsible for the creation of what is now known as Prescott Park.
- Josie and Mary were public school teachers and lived in Portsmouth all of their lives. When their older brother, Charles Prescott, died in 1932, he left the two sisters a sizable inheritance. Josie and Mary loved their city and long desired to see the waterfront section along what is now Marcy Street beautified and made accessible to all. In the last will and testament of Josie Prescott a private trust fund of $500,000 was set up just for this purpose.
- The first parcels of land were deeded to the City in 1940, and the Prescott sisters’ trust was established in 1949, upon the death of Josie.
- This trust’s sole purpose was to purchase land parcels along the Piscataqua River from lower State Street to Pickering and Gates Street and to make this land into a public park. In 1954 with much of the land purchase accomplished this private trust and associated land were turned over to the City of Portsmouth to be administered and maintained for perpetuity.
- The Prescott Trust Fund, now a city trust fund, is responsible for the care and maintenance of Prescott Park that includes almost all the land and buildings from lower State Street to Mechanic Street and includes Four-Tree Island.
- In 1974 The Trustees of Trust Funds for the City of Portsmouth, led by Trustee Paul McEachern, and with the help of the New Hampshire Art Association, brought an outdoor theatrical summer production to Prescott Park. The idea was to help celebrate the country’s bicentennial and introduce summer arts and entertainment to Prescott Park. Every year since then the summer season at Prescott Park has included one or more full production outdoors of a Broadway play for a family audience.
- Accompanying the plays have been scheduled a variety of musical performing groups, art shows and viewings, youth arts and craft workshops, jazz and blues festivals and many other related arts and entertainment activities.
- http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/prescottpark/history.htm http://www.prescottpark.org/
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