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Entries in Keene (71)


FreeKeeneNews - VIDEO - State Rep to Activist: You Have No Right to Record Me! 

In a video recorded on Keene’s Main St. Sunday evening, State Rep Gladys Johnsen calls Keene Cop Block‘s JP Freeman “dumb” and tells him that he has no right to record video of her! This, after being pulled over by KPD’s officer Leslie Ainsworth – kudos to KPD for not giving the state rep special treatment. Here’s the video of Johnsen’s shocking behavior. Here's the video of Johnsen's shocking behavior:

Johnsen  (contact info here) doesn’t appear to understand the NH Constitution’s Bill of Rights‘ Article 22 which protects the freedom of the press or Article 8 which says government agents will be open and accountable.

This is certainly not how a state representative should behave, especially in front of a camera. You’d think she’d know something about the freedom to record, considering she co-sponsored the bill to mandate police body cameras (currently retained in committee). However, her bill does not allow the public access to the police footage, which is a huge issue and goes to show that Johnsen is just an arch-statist to the core. Her NH Liberty Alliance report card for 2014 ranks her as a “D-“. In the yet-to-be released 2015 rankings, Johnsen scored as “Dereliction of Duty”, meaning she missed 70% or more of the NHLA’s scored votes.

For the raw footage of the encounter, click here.


Office of the State Fire Marshal – Keene Housing Project – Mechanical Licensing Investigation 



John J. Barthelmes, Commissioner


Division of Fire Safety

Office of the State Fire Marshal

J. William Degnan, State Fire Marshal

New Hampshire State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan announces a licensing compliance investigation at 57 Ralston Street in Keene, New Hampshire has resulted in citations.


On Monday April 6, 2015, a mechanical inspector from the NH State Fire Marshal’s Office – Bureau of Building Safety & Construction issued citations to two individuals who were found performing unlicensed plumbing work within the City of Keene.


The individuals were identified as Mr. Corey T. Allen of Westfield, MA and Michael G. Mulcare of Hatfield, MA. Both individuals are employed by DF Plumbing and Mechanical of Belchertown, MA. Both individuals will be arraigned at 8:30AM on June 10, 2015 in the Keene Circuit Court.


As part of routine compliance inspections in the Keene area, inspectors discovered that two of four individuals working on the housing project job site were not properly licensed to perform plumbing work in the State of New Hampshire.  In August of 2011, and again in May of 2012, DF Plumbing and Mechanical had received written warnings for similar licensing compliance issues at other housing projects in Keene, NH.


Marshal Degnan would like to warn all citizens of the dangers and health risks associated with improperly installed plumbing systems, and cautions everyone to make sure that the contractor they choose has the proper qualifications and respective licenses for the requested work.


If you have had any plumbing work performed recently, and question if the work completed required credentials, please consult your local building department or our office at the numbers listed below.


Any further inquiries can be directed to the NH State Fire Marshal’s Office – Bureau of Building Safety, Inspector Donald Carpia Jr., or Chief Inspector Jeffrey Cyr at (603) 223-4289.


FreeKeeneNews - Video of Keene "Swatting" 

Video of Keene Police "Swatting"


Thursday night Keene police received a call from a man claiming to be holding hostages at gunpoint inside 39 Central Square. As a result, at least eight officers (some toting M4 ricfles) surrounded the building. Later, the BEARCAT rolled up and at least eight more officers, armed up with SWAT gear, piled out and entered via the front door.

Multiple liberty activists responded to the scene after local independent journalist Jared Goodell posted the news that armed police were on Central Square. (Goodell’s personal facebook profile is quickly becoming a go-to destination for breaking news in Keene.) Keene police kept the initial call from the alleged hostage-taker off of their two-way radio system, in what was the beginning of a campaign to preclude the public from actually knowing anything about what was happening in their midst.

All people in the streets knew was the police were hiding behind brick walls, brandishing guns and observing the block of buildings that includes 39 Central Square. To their credit, the Keene police were not preventing people from taking the risk of walking downtown, but they were at the same time not informing anyone about the risk that may have been present.

When asked, multiple pairs of the officers surrounding the building would deny any knowledge of why they were there. Why lie? After I asked three sets of officers what was happening, I finally got the barest minimum of information out of Michael “Pepper” Kopcha. He admitted there may be a situation in the building, but again, gave no information as to what danger may be present.

There are arguments both for and against how they responded, but there’s no good reason to keep people in the dark about what is happening, especially if they want people to believe they are “serving and protecting” them. An argument favoring their response tactics is that you can’t be too careful in a hostage situation and therefore the police responded appropriately. An argument against their tactics is that they had no real intel on what was happening besides the claim of someone on the phone, and as a result inconvenienced everyone in the building as they went room-to-room, floor-by-floor and cleared the premises.

What if the caller wanted to see how police would respond and used the data collected to walk them into a trap next time? What if the caller wanted to distract the police from an actual crime being committed across town? How many officers were available for other calls when nearly twenty were on-scene? Further, what if the caller was actually with the police and made the false call to give police a reason to demand access to peoples’ homes?

The standard explanation is that these “swatting” calls are made by some teenage or twenty-something prankster who just wants to harass the target location. Of course, with adrenaline-fueled cops, these swatting pranks could cost the building’s inhabitants their lives, if, for instance, a trigger-happy cop shoots someone for holding a camera the cop thought was a gun.

The caller in this case, according to the Sentinel, claimed to have hostages, gave a location, demanded money, and hung up. Is that justification for this level of response? What do you think the proper response should be to a phoned-in claim of hostages being held at gunpoint?

Whatever the proper response, the Keene police should inform the people of what is going on rather than putting people at risk from their ignorance.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman

FreeKeeneNews - What happened before Pumpkin Fest organizer stormed the TV set? 

What happened before the Pumpkin Fest organizer stormed the TV set.

Pumpkin Fest organizer Ruth Sterling made international headlines this weekend when during a live broadcast from her event on Cheshire TV by local newsman Jared Goodell, she stormed onto the set, grabbed at his microphone and threatened to take him off the air. With over 100,000 views and climbing, the original clip is one of the top five most popular videos of all time on the Free Keene youtube channel.

Sterling was interviewed this morning on WKBK by Dan Mitchell where she complained that the original viral clip did not show the context of what made her storm the set. If you recall from the clip, she alleged that Jared had been “inciting” people, “alarming” pumpkin fest attendees, and “self-promoting”. As you can see in this clip which shows what came before the original, he’s doing none of those things – he’s merely reporting what he’s heard and reading a statement from the president of Keene State College. All I’ve edited out of the following clip is the commercial break, which lasted for about 1 minute:

Jared says of the newly released clip:

“This newly released video provides context to what was I reporting on when Ms. Sterling stormed the live TV set. It is clear that my reporting was based on facts and intended to warn viewers at home of safety dangers which could have been taking place outside their home.”

According to CTV’s Executive Director Lee Perkins, after Sterling left the camera’s view she went around to each CTV crew member, including Perkins and demanded they take Jared off-the-air. They refused and she proceeded to search for the power adapter to literally “pull the plug”. She was unable to locate it and ultimately left.

In a subsequent interview with “Talking Points Memo” she called Jared a “punk” and said,

“When he heard about the trouble in the college neighborhoods, he chose to ‘do his job’ of being a Fox-news style ‘reporter,’…His tone and language was deemed dangerous and inciting to a large, peaceful assembly.”

Clearly, she’s delusional. That said, watch the full clip and decide for yourself.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on the Pumpkin Fest 2014 riots.


FreeKeeneNews - Pumpkin Fest Organizer Assaults, Threatens to Censor Local Newsman 

Pumpkin Fest Organizer Assaults, Threatens to Censor Local Newsman (VIDEO)

Jared Goodell is a Keene native and local independent journalist. Yesterday he was the host for EIGHT hours during Pumpkin Fest 2014 on Cheshire TV, the local public access channel. Jared also put thousands of dollars of his own money into producing the all-day event coverage. For this amazing effort to cover the yearly festival (it would not have been covered on CTV without him), he is rewarded with an evening visit by Pumpkin Fest organizer Ruth Sterling who behaves in a ridiculous manner.  Watch the video here.

Sterling attempts to grab his microphone multiple times, as well as block the camera’s view of Jared, accuses him of frightening the guests of the festival and demands he stop talking about the riots happening just a few blocks away in the college neighborhood.

Since Jared is a newsman at heart, he feels obligated to report on what is happening in-town, and tangentially related to Pumpkin Fest. He defends his right to be the media and she responds by telling him she’ll “pull the plug” (which she has no control over) and that he should behave because she gave him the physical location for the CTV remote studio. As though she somehow was doing him a favor – he’s the one who spent over $5,000 of his own money to make the coverage of her event happen!

At one point in the beginning of the video, Sterling accuses Jared of being a “Free Stater”, this is the new pejorative to describe anyone who stands up for their rights. It’s not Jared’s first time causing controversy for reporting the news. Earlier this year he stirred it up for reporting from the scene of this Summer’s suicide and on the resignation of a despised school principal. Jared is not afraid to break the official city narrative of Keene being a perfect, blemish-free New England town, and is willing to take the heat. Keep up the good work, Jared – we’re all Free Staters now!

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions or would like to interview an activist,
Ian Freeman