Sunday, June 27, 2010

Do you Freehike?

The Vernon County Broadcaster wants to know!

See their homepage and vote.

Also feel free to post a comment on the story. (That requires registration though.)

I'm still trying to wrap my head around why they threaten police involvement for something they say is legal. Also, why they threaten disorderly conduct for confrontation that we clearly intend to avoid. This whole episode is surreal.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Local News

I don't normally report on the news, but there are two stories from Saturday worth noting:

Naked cyclists protest oil, promote positive body images.
The World Naked Bike Ride came to Madison, Wisconsin after several false starts in previous years. Although the police report that things went smoothly (in the included video), 10 citations were issued for "disorderly conduct" due to complaints. There were 107 total riders -- which is impressive! The ride ended with everyone properly covered up. There are a few pictures and videos out there (including an interesting first-hand account and watching riders pass by). I hadn't realized that Nicholas, whom I've met twice before at events, was an organizer for the event. The first-hand account from the link above describes the "leader got taken away". I can only assume that he was one of the people who were cited. I wish them the best of luck in avoiding a conviction, and I hope they're at it again next year!

I didn't go for two simple reasons: No bikes, and putting in a 74 hour work-week. I wish I could've been there and I wish I could've reported a first-hand account of the event.

In the buff, in the bluffs: Vernon County hikers getting back to nature.
(La Crosse Tribune reprint, originally from the Vernon County Broadcaster.)
I certainly didn't intend on that publicity, especially on the top of the website and with my luck probably on the front page of the paper too. They never contacted me as part of the article, and I wish they had. At the moment, I'm not really sure what to think of it. I'm happy that they didn't write the article in a condemning way. It has a very neutral sound to it. I like that they wrote about our efforts to minimize a confrontation through the use of signs and a way of contact. But, they seem to threaten a "disorderly conduct" citation. I can't see how that charge would stick though since we're making every effort to NOT be disorderly. People have the choice to avoid what they may consider disorderly and still be able to use the park.

Several of the 12 comments on the Tribune article seem supporting. Others, as expected, just seem confused. I'm inclined to add a comment myself.

The only problem with the article is that it raises awareness. Some people might think "Cool! How can I participate?" Others, who typically have much louder voices, will say "There's no law against it? Let's make one!" I will need to start watching the Vernon County politics much closer.