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Everything posted by DragonflyTotem

  1. You may be right. Most of us are on the outside looking in. Any assumptions we make must reflect the information we have at hand, and therefor must be taken with a grain of salt. We don't really know what was in the NA note that was posted, because the cache owner decided it would be in her best interest to delete it. We do, however, know what DrDan claims that he wrote in that NA, and this claim has not been refuted. That doesn't necessarily make it true, but it's all we have to go on for now. We also know that the Reviewer archived it with the following statement: Archiving at the request of the Virginia DOT. At this point, DrDan's claims seem to gain a bit of validity. Why? No one is disputing the fact that DrDan contacted VDOT and VODT requested these caches to be archived. What also is not in dispute is that DrDan has ongoing animosity with this cache owner. Based on that information and his self-described behavior, I'm not surprised that his email was not taken kindly. Many certainly would if the reviewer advised them that guardrails and signs are off limits. Now I understand your bias in this situation and that makes this all the more clearer -- I just learned that the CO is your sister! No? I thought that's the way it rolled in here, make it up as you go. I had no animosity with this cache owner. Where did I say that? And how then is your statement not in dispute? Good grief. As a cache owner she destroyed my cache, I then deleted her log because she hadn't signed it. That sure sounds a lot like that CO having animosity with ME. And I politely explained to her via email why her log was deleted and that she could feel free to revisit the cache and actually sign the log. Done. Closed. Could care less. And so how exactly is this animosity on my behalf? Or are you suggesting that anytime a CO has to delete a log that the CO then has "animosity" toward the cacher? But yet you ignore that the cacher (this CO) sent a nasty email to me in response to her asking why I deleted her log. I don't seem to see anything in the GS guidelines that indicate a warning that a CO will be accused by wacky cachers of having animosity when they destroy a cache and claim a find when they didn't sign the log. So I guess that you just presume that then. Which makes your "not in dispute" statement seem pretty silly.
  2. Sigh.... A couple of problems with that line of thought though is that I did take a breath -- two weeks worth as a matter of fact (during which time I thought that the cache was being addressed as I didn't yet know about the first reviewer's family emergency). And while I'm reluctant to have to share VDOT's immediate concern as that is clearly their business and not mine as I do not represent them -- but I will say that what I was told was that having that cache container in that hole could cause the breakaway function to not work properly (the cache being a solid object probably not crushable and filling the hole). So as I understand it, someone hits that sign with their car, the sign doesn't properly break away and then what, someone is killed in a car accident - because of a geocache. And to top it off, perhaps they may have had the accident because they were distracted by someone driving and then seeing someone pop up by the bushes, startling them....and then there is the whole aspect of what happens if the sign were hit and the geocache itself then became a missile which then hits another car, and so on. Please don't argue with me about this, that is what was explained to me. Frankly it makes sense.
  3. Im guessing he will ignore your post like he did mine. I thought that the way that it worked is that you ignore things that aren't relevant. That clearly wasn't the "real" question of this discussion and it isn't relevant in any way. I think that it was a stupid question. A question asked by someone uninformed. A question asked by someone who's sky is clearly not colored the same blue as mine. But not a real question.
  4. Gee, thanks for bringing another cache not related to the discussion into the mix. But no, it doesn't say anything about someone noticing suspicious activity - if you actually READ the log you can see that was said as a joke from one cacher to another who was arriving. But thanks much for arm-chair caching from Ontario to "discover(ed)" the cache!
  5. No, not even close. It seems that you take random words and make your own sentences out of them. But that doesn't mean that's what I said or what I did. What's bothering me is that I'm going to have to ignore emails telling me what some [insert your own witty comment] has posted. For those apparently yet unable to read (such as this poster) -- I didn't run to VDOT. I reported it to the first reviewer. When the first reviewer was unable to have the time to deal with any geocaching issues, that reviewer suggested that I could send it to Appeals and/or post the NA and/or take it to the other reviewer for our area. So to recap for those that leap without reading - the first reviewer asked me to contact the second reviewer. The second reviewer asked me to get additional information from VDOT. And I then SENT all of that to Appeals as one of the reviewers suggested. And when the cache didn't get archived, it was VDOT who took action. I didn't. VDOT saw that the cache wasn't archived (you understand the concept of the internet and public available content, yes?), and VDOT took action. So, one more time as some obviously don't read: - I contacted the first reviewer - First reviewer was going to take it to TPTB - First reviewer then had family emergency - First reviewer suggested follow-up with Appeals or with second reviewer or submit NA (my choice, just her suggestions) - I then submitted the NA - I then contacted the second reviewer as the first was still unavailable (with nobody knowing when she would return) as that second reviewer was handling the NA - I then provided the VDOT provided information to the second reviewer - Second reviewer then asked me to assist by recontacting VDOT - I recontacted VDOT and then provided the requested information to both the second reviewer and to Appeals. In fact I even also sent it to the first reviewer who I believe replied saying she was still busy with the emergency and that I'd sent it to the right people. - And when I found out that the cache was simply being relocated from the sign to the other VDOT right-of-way, I then sent an email to Appeals and pointed that out. And that's the end of it. VDOT saw that the cache wasn't archived. VDOT saw that the other identical cache was still active. So again (as some can't or won't or don't apparently read), I didn't ask for VDOT to do anything. VDOT took their own action.
  6. Does this look like a bomb? NO! To Mr. E., no. I won't go all "you only joined 4 months ago on you", but many a film canister has been blown up all over North America by bomb squads. No need to post a picture of one. +1
  7. Thanks for buzzing in, but wrong answer! As I laid out above, the reviewer did not follow-up. One reviewer that first looked at it was away. The second reviewer then unarchived the cache even though it was still on what VDOT said was their property and even though the reviewer and TPTB had been informed of that. Is it your suggestion then that despite them doing what VDOT expressly said not to do and what was not allowed, that I "should have dropped this"??? If so, that's an pretty myopic view of what to do in situations where you know that something is absolutely wrong. And in fact, that is ultimately most likely why VDOT did what they did -- because left in the hands of the reviewer, it was then improperly dropped (not my opinion, but that is what VDOT's opinion was). Just to make certain that this doesn't become yet another whole issue -- I'm not slamming the many great reviewers out there who put in tons of thankless hours of volunteer work. No... you are wrong. The reviewer was notified by the NA log. At that point, it was no longer any of your business. You did your part, you should have just walked away. No, you are wrong. Where does it say that it is none of anyone's business simply because a NA was submitted. That isn't a "drill" or exercise that you go through, just so say, "whew, there I did my part and so now I can safely ignore anything else." If that were done, we'd still have a CACHE AT THE AIRPPORT. The point is that a NA is submitted because there is a problem with the cache. Just because a reviewer and others chose to ignore VDOT's request doesn't mean that "it's now all A-okay! Back to life!" VDOT said no cache there. There was a cache there. Period. This is exactly why I had initially said I wasn't even going to monitor this thread. Unfortunately a friend who happens to be a reviewer pointed out some of the replies, and so I jumped in to address the misstatements. Clearly this is a waste of time. So as they say, "roger, out."
  8. So you can see that it is or is not a metal pipe? Oh, but there is the point that I never said it was a metal pipe, did I? No. I said it looked like a pipe. It clearly is a piece of pipe, with threaded ends and end caps on it underneath the wooden plugs. I called VDOT because the original reviewer said that the cache shouldn't be there, and then was away on family problems. Absent that reviewer I then asked who I believed owned the sign - which would be VDOT. The second reviewer then asked me to get additional information from VDOT.
  9. Thanks for buzzing in, but wrong answer! As I laid out above, the reviewer did not follow-up. One reviewer that first looked at it was away. The second reviewer then unarchived the cache even though it was still on what VDOT said was their property and even though the reviewer and TPTB had been informed of that. Is it your suggestion then that despite them doing what VDOT expressly said not to do and what was not allowed, that I "should have dropped this"??? If so, that's an pretty myopic view of what to do in situations where you know that something is absolutely wrong. And in fact, that is ultimately most likely why VDOT did what they did -- because left in the hands of the reviewer, it was then improperly dropped (not my opinion, but that is what VDOT's opinion was). Just to make certain that this doesn't become yet another whole issue -- I'm not slamming the many great reviewers out there who put in tons of thankless hours of volunteer work.
  10. No I didn't. You're changing your argument as you're going along. I did not say that I investigated this cache because of police concerns. And yes, you apparently are missing the point -- especially when you suggest that this cache didn't look like a pipe bomb. Let's see, a 4" x 1.75" (approximate) piece of pipe with threaded ends, sticking in a sign post. What would your definition be of "that looks like a pipe bomb?"
  11. I could understand if this whole thing was due to you thinking that the CO had drilled a hole in the sign. If that were the case I would back you up because everyone should know not to deface anyone's property to hide a cache. But you already admitted that it was in a breakaway hole. You know what? The more you post the more I am so happy I don't live near you. So instead of this being a score to settle, it's really because you make a point of policing every hide you come across! I just hope that all cachers near you know by now that it is in their best interest to go above and beyond the guidelines. They had better be dotting all their I's and crossing all their T's because when they post that cache you will be right there scrutinizing every aspect. And if it doesn't hold muster, then you will go right past them and straight to the person that gets you the most bang for your buck. If you really wanted to be helpful you could accomplish the same thing with an NA. I'm sorry, but this still smells of vindictiveness. Maybe not towards one single cacher, but worse, to the entire game. So this is now moving in the direction of ad hominem posts? I do hope that you will actually go back at some point and read posts because what you post seems to indicate that you don't. - I didn't know that was what the hole was. That's what VDOT told me. - You say that I'd be helpful by using an NA - and that's EXACTLY what I did do, I submitted an NA. It was only after the CO deleted it, threatened to sue me. and clearly wasn't going to move the cache that I went forward. And thanks for the unnecessary hyperbole about scrutinizing every aspect of a cache listing, as I never said that. I indicated that at least around here it's become necessary to actually look at cache placements to see if they are obviously located in places that they shouldn't be -- because that seems to happen a lot.
  12. Really? And there concern was that people were leaving the sidewalk to stand by street signs? The officers that I have seen while caching don't seem to have the same concerns. They seem to view caching as a harmless, if eccentric, activity. I can see them being worried about a container under a bridge or on airport property, but a street sign? This whole fiasco brings to mind the image of a law abiding citizen walking in to the AG's office to request written permission to sit on a park bench. When they are told no such permit exists, they start calling the police because people are sitting on park benches Aw come on now, you know that I didn't say that. You seem to be trying to make an issue out of standing next to a sign while disregarding the entire situation. A LEO notices someone crouching next to a highway sign and turns their vehicle around to investigate. Upon further investigation the LEO notices what appears to be a small metal section of pipe with caps at both ends inserted into the sign. What do you think is going to happen next? I predict it would possibly become a story on the news about a bomb squad destroying something that looked like a pipe bomb. The issue has to do with both the activity and the location. As was posted way above regarding the other cache discussion that jumped on this one - no driver is expecting to see someone rooting around in the area around the base of a highway sign located two feet from the roadway. It's not like there is a big sign saying, "geocache located here" and so someone is going to be searching around the area. Are you seriously suggesting that this wouldn't look suspicious? Regarding LEOs not having concerns -- I bet that if they knew what was going on, they probably don't. But I've spent about 40 hours riding with LEOs and not a one of them knew what a geocache was until we talked about it. They instead discussed that they were going by an area because they'd had reports of suspicious activity. And then I explained that there was a geocache there. But more than one LEO has described a situation where they were much more concerned by finding someone doing something where they weren't expected to be, late at night and even in areas known by LEOs to be drug trafficing areas. That's just plain stupid, IMHO.
  13. ... and the other one? How about a better question -- did the CO have permission to dig the hole that the fake sprinkler head is sitting inside of? Aside from any VDOT issues, I thought that the guidelines precluded digging any holes for the placement of caches?
  14. Just to clarify, the actual distance is much less than that and you can't quite understand that from the Google picture alone. You're measuring the distance from the black portion of the roadway. In your picture, the correct distance to measure from would be the curb/gutter, which is the white thing to the right of the blacktop, as that's actually still in the roadway. The picture sort of makes it look like a line or such. That's why I was saying that the sign and that area are just about two feet from the road. I agree completely though about the cavalier attitude and I think that this is exactly what causes so many problems, and is possibly the issue here. Instead of the CO admitting that this just isn't really a safe place for a cache, the fight begins. This is a whole lot about someone believing (apparently) that they are not to be questioned. And that's been the case with the other caches I mentioned. I'll say it again, a cache AT THE AIRPORT! And I've been made the scapegoat simply because apparently at least some cachers with that attitude don't truly care about permission and the don't like being challenged. Heck, her first public response to this whole issue was to -- as you suggested -- with a cavalier attitude dismiss all this by my being a cacher with little experience. Apparently I have enough experience to understand not putting a cache inside of a highway sign. And I'd bet a box of doughnuts that the CO didn't happen to mention to the original reviewer who first approved the cache that it was located in a highway sign two feet from the road.
  15. You make some great points, especially about the proximity and that nobody could or should have believed that it was okay. But this is not about a score to settle. Every single time a cache in our area is published, I then look at the listing. Why? I've seen quite a few caches that are not allowed to be where they were approved to be at. I've cited just a few of those examples in my above two posts. I turned each and every one of those in. I have said and will say it again, I am involved in local crime prevention activities in an official capacity. I have listened to police and other agencies express concern over caches here in our area. IMHO, it is only a matter of time before we have a "situation" that is going to end up in the news. And so when I see a cache that is to my understanding in a place that it isn't allowed to be, I'm going to notify someone. And I did nothing less with this cache, regardless of who the CO is. I only explained why I believed that this CO in particular would be less than receptive, and in fact I appear to have been right. In fact, it is my experience that in general it seems more CO's are likely to tell you to mind your own business if you try to discuss it with them first. Maybe your mileage varies, but that's been my experience. And apparently at least one reviewer agrees as that reviewer has said time and time again to send things like this directly to the reviewer or in the alternate (if that reviewer is unavailable), to log a NA. Which is exactly what I did. So please don't suggest that this was a score to settle. I did nothing more and nothing less than I have in EVERY similar situation.
  16. Some points to clarify: 1) I didn't wait two weeks to tell anyone about this. I contacted a reviewer the very day I logged the cache to ask about it. That reviewer responded by saying that the reviewer believed the cache was not allowed and would contact TPTB. That reviewer then had a family emergency, and when I heard back from the reviewer and that the reviewer said that no response had been received from TPTB, I started asking questions. And after getting the answers about two weeks later I then had to follow up with another reviewer. 2) The pictures that the CO provided are not pictures of THE cache. But it was a real cute thing to provide pictures of what was not the actual issue. Here below are pictures of THE cache and the sign that it was placed inside of. The CO instead provided pictures of the replacement cache, which was real cute in that it left you thinking that darn this was just a little old sprinkler head cache tucked away in some bushes, but not really the issue at all - and NOT the issue that I raised. I raised the issue, the sanity, of having a cache located within what VDOT says is breakaway hole (or used to assist in removing the sign) near the base of a sign that was probably less than two feet from the curb (note the car going by in the top picture and a good sense of the proximity of the curb in the bottom picture). That sprinkler cache that the CO provided pictures of here would be the one when after having been told to not have a cache on VDOT property, was placed as a replacement cache that was ALSO on VDOT property. (Oh yeah, you probably might want to read below para. 6 which discusses this further.) I wonder what VDOT's reaction was to their request to not place a cache on their property only to learn that first the CO was going to put a replacement container back in the sign...causing them to send their first letter...but then after they issued their first letter saying stop, that instead someone approved her putting another cache at the same location? Oh, I remember what their reaction was- they had to have their lawyer (Attorney General) send a demand letter (the second letter) that spelled out the exact consequences of continuing to put caches on their property or property they control. 3) And let's not forget that the CO ALSO had another cache nearby like the one in the below pictures (I've been told it was like this one, I didn't see it but apparently VDOT did and said it was in the sign), and the CO also didn't remove it when requested by the first letter. 4) Much seems to be made about walking down a sidewalk. This wasn't about that and I don't believe that VDOT has said a single thing about sidewalks. My own understanding of this seems to be a pretty easy one. It doesn't matter if you're walking down a sidewalk, but when you reach onto VDOT property (or anyone's property you've been told to stay out of) that's what would probably be trespassing. To claim otherwise is like saying you didn't steal from a store when you reached through a broken window and took something from the store. 5) And no, according to VDOT there NEVER has been permission to "play" (their term for this) with or on their property. The issue is probably a lot more about cachers just doing it without even considering whether it would or could or should be okay. It's like a cache in this area that had recently been placed AT THE AIRPORT. Or the one at the base of a municipal watertower. Or on the fire hydrant. Who would do that? In this day? Yet they happened as well. Who would think that they had permission for those? Common sense should have prevailed, but it apparently doesn't. 6) To be fair, I don't believe that the reviewers knew that the cache was located in the highway sign. Not when it was placed and approved. But they certainly knew about it when they were told about this situation. (BTW: The same reviewer who unarchived the VDOT sign cache is also the one who was told that the cache at the airport was absolutely on airport property, but instead ignored that after some cachers said that they were sure it was okay - yeah, they just said it, sure it's fine putting a cache nearby the sign that warns you that you're on airport property - and some of those are the same ones NOW complaining about VDOT. But it actually took the airport authority having a meeting to discuss the cache, and police were notified, and then after that TPTB were notified that the cache must be removed, that the cache was then rescinded by TPTB. Yes, this really happened.) In this VDOT sign situation, both a reviewer AND TPTB knew about the VDOT property issue when the CO was told by TPTB that it was okay to go ahead and put in the sprinkler cache adjacent to the base of the sign. I know that because I told them myself - that that area was also, according to VDOT, on their property. In fact I sent to TPTB pictures of the cache, of the bushes and showed them to be next to the sign, and told them that this was also VDOT property. And I also told them that the CO apparently had another nearby similar cache. All sent in an email to Appeals. Clearly reviewers don't know everything, always. But in this case people knew. And as far as I know, and according to VDOT, nobody contacted them to ask a question or to clarify or whatever. So what then was the decision that granted the appeal based upon? What permission was believed to exist at that point? Or was this about someone trying to tell TPTB that this was someone picking on them?
  17. It seems obvious to me that the only reason the Department of Transportation would even be aware of geocaching is because there were caches placed in such a way that it was hazardous to look for them. Is there a way we could encourage people to consider our impact on traffic safety (for other states, the damage is done in Virginia) or do we have to rely on the usually unreliable common sense? Nope VaGriz. It's not the reason VDOT is aware of them. A local cacher decided to take it upon himself to challenge the placement of one cache without asking the CO about the hide. VDOT had not choice but to issue a blanket statement that covered all their property. It was senseless and vindictive. Appears to be a personal attack which is resulting in the archival of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of caches across the Commonwealth. Having grown tired of reading the misstatements and incorrect claims made in this matter I've decided that I will comment. First and foremost, what you read sprinkled throughout this thread about claims of a cacher taking action without asking the CO about the hide is incorrect. And the cacher did not at any time accuse the CO of altering the sign in which the cache was located. So let's lay out the actual facts, opposed to the fiction or warped perspectives presented: Fact: I logged the cache. The cache was located along a state highway located within the city limits of Smithfield, VA. Then having thought better of it (a cache placed in a hole running through the entire base of the sign, located about two feet from the curb on a state highway - the more I thought about it, the more I questioned it), and wondering how exactly the CO would have received permission to place a cache inside of a highway sign, I started asking questions. I first contacted both the Virginia State Police who indicated that placing the cache there was not allowed (well, they had stronger terms for it, but that's for later). I confirmed that then by (at the Virginia State Police's suggestion) contacting VDOT's help center. I was told that permission had not been given to place a cache in a VDOT sign or on any VDOT property. I asked what rules or laws were involved. Both the police and VDOT cited a particular Virginia Code (more on that below) and also indicated that it could also be considered to be trespassing on state property. Brief interlude from the above and below facts: This is also factual, but it will most likely help before going further in understanding why I wasn't so eager to just zing off an email to the CO. Prior to this incident, some time in the recent past, this particular cacher had been seeking one of my own caches. She lost the cache (dropped it inside of a metal pole, and the cache was damaged beyond repair because of that). And the cacher had also LOGGED it as found, despite the fact that she'd knew that she'd never signed the log. After spending about an hour digging the cache container out of the pole, I then deleted her "found it" log entry, and then received nasty emails even after I explained that she needed to sign the log. In reply she posted a log note saying that she was frustrated that I'd deleted her log after she was the one to alert me to the problem with the cache being dropped in the pole (ah huh - she loses the cache and then told me she lost it and then thinks that this somehow gets her "bonus points" with a CO?). So this incident (the current situation with VDOT) has NOTHING whatsoever to do with my being vindictive toward this cacher/CO, it has everything to do with the cacher/CO being unpleasant in emails and also being unreasonable. This is ALSO the same cacher who posted a thread (just check her forum posts) to question about whether I was allowed to place a beacon cache that required a capable GPS to find it (vs. also providing an alternative way to find it). That was after she first posted a negative comment in the cache log of my beacon cache - despite never even having searched for it. So it seems to me that this is all about this cacher/CO being vindictive, not me being vindictive toward her. Fact: After considering all things I then logged a NA on the cache. I was told by a reviewer that this was the correct thing to do. And as suggested by the police, I cited the applicable state code. I included pictures so that it would be clear for anyone to see where the cache was and why it needed to be archived. That NA log did not say that the CO did any damage to the sign, I simply said that as I was told, that was the code that covered doing things like placing a geocache in a highway sign. Fact: Groundspeak Guidelines 6.12 "Permanent Removal: Archiving a Cache" states that, "If you feel that a cache listing needs to archived, log onto the cache page, use "log your visit" and select the log type, "needs archived". Please explain in your log why the listing needs to be archived. This log will be received by both the cache owner and a local reviewer" and "Please use this log only when there are serious problems with the cache or its location." Yes, it does also later say, "Please consider first contacting the owner of the geocache with your concerns" but the process is in place for something serious to submit the NA, and the forum is full of threads where cachers were advised to submit a NA related to caches that involve trespass and such, and so that seemed to fit this situation as something similar and something serious. Having been told by the Virginia State Police that if they found someone at that sign, placing or removing the cache that they may well be cited under the state code certainly seemed to be a "serious problem" and the fact that no permission had been received seemed to support the VDOT assertion that it would be trespassing. And the NA is certainly utilized to report caches that would involve trespassing. Refer to the above explanation as to why it was preferable to not otherwise contact the CO. Fact: The CO then sent me an email threatening me with a lawsuit for libel, claiming that I had stated that the CO had committed a "criminal act." The NA log said no such thing. Again, this supports my concern that the CO would act in this way, and why I wasn't going to send an email to the CO (a NA is a nice official record, an email isn't). Fact: Based on the CO's email (threat) I then re-looked at the NA log, and didn't understand her reaction to that, nor why she considered that to be libel. I decided that I would reword the NA log to ensure that it was absolutely clear to anyone reading it by directly stating that I was NOT saying that the CO had damaged the sign, just that the cache wasn't allowed under that code. And BTW, as I understand it and was told that code was the correct code as it was the code about doing things to signs. (Yes, being vague for a reason - and for the record, again state that I'm not claiming that the CO committed a criminal act or such.) Fact: The CO responded to me by email restating that I had committed libel, and had somehow accused the CO of a criminal act and that unless I deleted the log that the CO intended to take legal action against me. I also told the CO that it was the Virginia State Police that had said that the code I cited to was applicable, and the CO's response was to then say that what the "officer told you (me) was totally irrelevant." The CO then deleted the NA log. Fact: When I'd received that email and saw the new log entry the next morning, I immediately apologized to the CO for her belief that I had accused her of a criminal act, that I didn't intend to do that and didn't believe that I had, but was apologizing if that's the way that it was somehow taken. I also restated that it was my belief that the cache was not authorized to be located where it was. The CO replied, accepting my apology, and then chastised me for not having contacted her first. It was clear however that the CO had no intention of removing or moving the cache, and she had already deleted the NA log. Fact: The CO had begun posting in a caching forum, and it was clear from the specific things said that not only was the CO not going to remove the cache (such as claiming that this was about a hole, that this was because I was an inexperienced cacher, or that by the twisted logic that there were caches like that all over Virginia and that this somehow made it right), but that others thought that it was okay to have caches in highway signs, etc. The CO also posted derogatory things, and things that I believe were clearly not factual. Fact: As it was apparent that the CO would not remove the cache and did not have permission to place that cache, I then contacted a reviewer and passed along the information that VDOT had provided to me. The reviewer stated agreement about the cache being prohibited. THE REVIEWER asked if I had any information on the the particular rule that VDOT was citing to. I said that VDOT hadn't provided that information but volunteered to the reviewer to ask VDOT for that and was encouraged by the reviewer to recontact VDOT. Fact: I then recontacted the VDOT help line and they indicated that they would have a VDOT representative contact me. I was then contacted by VDOT and I spoke at length with that individual. The person that I spoke with knew exactly what geocaching was through friends who are cachers. The VDOT representative indicated that VDOT does not and would not give permission to place caches on or in VDOT signs. They asked about the location of the cache so that they could confirm that this was a sign owned or controlled by VDOT, and as that was public information readily available I provided that to them. I told the VDOT representative that our local reviewer had asked for any documentation of the rule and VDOT indicated that they would issue a letter and asked if I could pass that along to our reviewers and such. I agreed to pass along their information and said that I'd also forward the letter to the reviewer. Fact: I then provided the detailed information received verbally from VDOT to a local reviewer and also provided the VDOT contact information so that the reviewer could directly contact VDOT. I also told the reviewer that VDOT indicated that they intended to remove the cache as soon as possible as they were concerned for safety reasons with that cache being located where it was. It appears that the reviewer didn't further contact the CO, of if there was contact I am not aware of it. Fact: VDOT removed the cache. Another cacher noticed the cache missing and logged a NM on the cache. The CO responded to the NM log and indicated that the cache would be replaced. I asked a reviewer about it and was told that the reviewer needed specific information from VDOT to "convince" the cache owner. My understanding of that discussion is that the CO having been told that VDOT requested the cache be removed was demanding proof or such. Fact: Over the next two weeks or so I continued asking VDOT for their letter and on 4/11/11, they provided that letter which I then immediately forwarded to our local reviewers, to Groundspeak and also provided to a local geocaching forum. As the letter indicated much more than I had asked about (which was limited to highway signs), I recontacted VDOT and asked them to clarify about what was VDOT property and their reply was that their rule included anything on roadways in Virginia ("sign, guardrail, bridge, light post, etc."). I was also told that VDOT as a state agency had authority over all other local jurisdictions (based on preeminence over local governments as Virginia is a "Dillon Rule" state), and was told that VDOT could have directed Smithfield to remove the cache but chose to remove it themselves as they wanted it done immediately. It is my understanding that they also began looking for other similar caches, both physically and through searching geocaching listings. Fact: As I had been previously told that guardrail caches were okay, and had even been told by a very experienced cacher that you didn't need permission, I had a few (4) of my own. Upon receipt of the VDOT letter and learning otherwise, I archived my own four guardrail caches. And I have also recently archived one on a historical sign, as from what I can now see it appears that VDOT has control over those as well even though they are owned by another agency. Fact: Groundspeak then archived the cache ("Archiving at the request of the Virginia DOT."). The CO then asked for permission to replace and relocate the cache (and from the CO's post further above in this thread that sounds like it was done through an Appeal). I then recontacted VDOT to ask whether in this particular case relocating the cache to the area adjacent to the sign was still considered placing the cache on VDOT property, and I was told that this would also be prohibited as the right of way was also VDOT property. VDOT expressed frustration that even with having issued a letter that the cache was still on VDOT property, and they also knew that this same cacher still had another cache of the same kind, also in a highway sign, and also located in the vicinity. I then passed that information to a reviewer. Fact: Despite the VDOT letter prohibiting caches on property owned or controlled by VDOT, and despite everyone involved being aware of that, seven days after VDOT had issued the letter prohibiting the caches, a local reviewer unarchived the cache so that the cache could be relocated to the VDOT property located adjacent to the sign. And at the same time a discussion took place in at least one forum, with participants arguing against VDOT and outright attacking me. And various things were said, by multiple parties, misstating the facts, including assertions that the letter wasn't legitimate or that it didn't somehow apply (and even to this day, at least one blogger out there vows to determine from VDOT if their letter was legitimately issued by VDOT, implying - I assume - that I what, faked a VDOT letter???). Fact: VDOT was already aware of other caches that were in violation of their rule, including one other cache owned by this CO. VDOT was also aware that despite having provided their notification about the caches being prohibited and knowing that this one particular cache had been specifically brought to the attention of Groundspeak and reviewers, that the cache was still active and located on VDOT property, and that no permission had been given to place it in either the first location or the second location. And they knew that no action had been taken regarding the second cache, which was ALSO located in a highway sign. VDOT was now also following the forum discussions and had learned about a heated discussion where CO's indicated that they didn't intend to comply with VDOT's rule and that no caches were being removed. IMHO, the "final straw" was that some CO's actually posted in the forum to encourage cachers to go out and find all of those caches before they were eventually forced to archive them. I was told by VDOT that VDOT senior management had determined to escalate the issue since their previous letter was being ignored. I was directly asked by VDOT to confirm that they had the correct information for sending legal correspondence to Groundspeak. And I presume that as a result of that, the letter from the Virginia Attorney General was then sent to VDOT. Fact: I did nothing whatsoever to attempt to influence VDOT. I did not discuss these caches other than to ask if we had permission to place them. I mention this because some folks in our local forum threads have actually accused me of somehow turning VDOT against geocaching. Of course those same folks also believe that I somehow am able to get the Attorney General to send a letter to Groundspeak. So, the factual summary is that: - VDOT has stated that the CO did not have permission to place the cache in the VDOT sign - The CO was contacted IAW Groundspeak guidelines through a NA log - CO threatened to sue me, then deleted the NA log - CO did not remove the cache and even attempted to replace it after VDOT removed the cache - VDOT issued letter to say that caches on VDOT property or VDOT controlled property were prohibited - CO then went ahead and replaced the cache and moved it from the VDOT sign to the VDOT property adjacent to the sign - CO also did not remove the OTHER cache located in another nearby highway sign - Because the CO refused to comply with the VDOT request, and seeing that other caches on VDOT property were not being removed, VDOT management then sought legal assistance from the Attorney General And THAT'S why VDOT did what they did. Cachers never had permission to do what they did, and VDOT apparently simply wasn't aware of those caches (well, actually, apparently at least ONE VDOT employee who is also a local cacher knew and chose to defend the CO and spoke out against the VDOT policy, and I assume that didn't go well for him). But that didn't make it right, and there is no excuse for CO's and cachers to whine away about something that shouldn't have been to begin with. Now the CO and multiple other cachers are complaining that for whatever reason, they are now being prohibited from having caches where they never had permission to place caches to begin with. And any claims that these CO's would have responded positively to emails seems rather bogus, given that even though they all now know that the caches are prohibited we're not seeing a flurry of archiving taking place despite pleas from reviewers that they do so. Instead, they're posting that they should join together to meet with and educate VDOT about geocaching in hopes that VDOT will then now determine that caches on VDOT owned or controlled property are now not a safety issue. Good luck with that. But for the most part, these are the same cachers who complained when I submitted NAs on a cache placed at the airport (which Groundspeak ultimately had to retract the listing because a reviewer wouldn't do so), caches on fire hydrants, caches at sewage treatment facilities (posted no trespassing), and so on. And that's not counting the rash of FTF hounds that we've had recently, entering parks after closing time (which is trespassing here locally, and posted as such). And at least some of these complainers are the same ones who when I was asked by a reviewer to organize an event where the local police would meet with cachers to discuss their concern for these same issues, nobody wanted to do that. (Side note, I was asked to do that because I am actively involved in local crime prevention activities where these very kind of issues are discussed - hence the reason why I tend to pay attention to them myself.) I'm certainly not the only person who takes the time to submit a NA or to contact a reviewer when a cache doesn't seem right. But I am apparently the scapegoat for what happens when cachers lacked any permission to put caches in places that compromise public safety (according to VDOT and the Attorney General of Virginia) and then apparently worked especially hard to really tick the VDOT PTB's off. My intent in posting (this long reply) isn't to get involved in yet another discussion (frankly I probably won't even further monitor the thread) with those who apparently are seriously lacking in clues, it's just to set the record straight as I'm tired of reading all the misrepresentations and such. Thanks for listening.
  18. Actually actually there's quite a bit of inconsistency in this regard. Notification emails say "unknown cache", while this page calls them both "mystery" and "puzzle" caches. Right, I was just referring to the actual "Report a new Cache" page which lists the cache types to select from and it is "Unknown Cache" there. That confused me a bit when I first started as I couldn't figure out how to select either the Mystery or Puzzle cache that everyone was talking about. Never understood why the "Cache Type" page doesn't match the "Report a new Cache" page.
  19. Actually if you look at the cache types there are no "mystery" or "puzzle" caches and instead it is "unknown" as the cache type. And on the other hand, it is a "mystery" as to what info the Chirp will have, and some cachers see it as a "puzzle" to figure out how to find/read one.
  20. I'm going to be in Vicenza for the week of March 13-19th and would like to see if any local cachers might have an interest in caching together during the week. I'm especially hoping to cache on the 13th (great way to get over jet lag!), and may even have some time the weekend of 19th/20th. Thanks!
  21. you missed http://coord.info/GC225XN another bookmark list is http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=994cf519-4b18-4885-950e-d6c93cd7ca44 Thanks, added that one! It looks like I may already have all of the other list on mine, but there's a system problem right now keeping me from checking them all. Will do that soon though. Thanks!
  22. Hmmm...this hasn't been answered yet? I'm not sure how many lists there might be, but I've been putting one together for awhile now: Chirp Chirp Big Big List List
  23. This is perfect timing for me as I had just been looking at CHIRPs over the weekend. But am trying to get my arms wrapped around what Jeremy has said about them CHIRP Attribute Explanation: "If it can be found by traditional means you can use the Traditional or Multi-cache type. Otherwise use the Unknown (Mystery) cache type for your listing." I get the Mystery aspect -- so you'd use false coordinates just like with any other Mystery cache, but does this statement above then mean that IF you did it as a Traditional or Multi-cache type, that even though you were using a CHIRP that you'd essentially only be using that as an additional way to find the cache (meaning that all the traditional things apply)? Maybe the appropriate question to ask is whether anyone has had any discussions with their reviewers about these yet?
  24. I disagree with that statement that you aren't allowed to delete a log. See the below quote from the KBs. It would sure seem to me to apply in this instance as indicating that you violated the law to find the cache is, as I pointed out above, a violation of the Terms of Use Agreement, which then means that they may be deleted. 5.7. Log Deletion Logs can be deleted by the owner of the log, by the owner of the listing (the cache owner) and by site administrators. Logs that fail to meet stated requirements (such as Found It logs by people who have never found the cache) or logs that conflict with our Terms of Use Agreement may be deleted.
  25. Why in the world would that be true? The poster left off the <sarcasm> </scarcasm> parts. I sure hope you're right, because that post sure got my dander up!! Park managers do sometimes watch caches and read the logs. While I think the OP's use of words such as "committing illegal acts" and such are hyperbole to the extreme for what surely would amount to a ticket at the very worst if caught, such actions can and do make geocachers look irresponsible to land managers and law enforcement personnel. Such actions should be discouraged, and writing about them online after the fact should also be discouraged. While you're certainly entitled to an opinion that doesn't make it factual. It's certainly not hyperbole ("exaggerations to create emphasis or effect") if it is in fact an an illegal act -- which it is and is covered under Virginia Code § 18.2-119 and that's why the City has all of the City parks here posted as such. As for this being as you suggest "amount(ing) to a ticket at the very worst" -- you don't know that. Trespass in a City park here is a Class 1 misdemeanor and the penalty for that can be confinement in jail for not more than twelve months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both. Regardless, it's not "just a ticket" as you get arrested for trespass on City property. Even if they "only" issue a ticket, that is an arrest -- you are just being released based on signing that ticket, but that is pending a date in Court that you agree to appear for, which is set forth in the ticket. But trespass in a City park where they've had problems when the park is closed is more likely to get you in a fair amount of trouble (e.g., they put you in the back of the patrol car and then check the park and discover vandalism or worse). And in some parks you're more likely to find yourself before the Magistrate. Please read the rest of my post before you go off about what I said about the hyperbole. I was basically agreeing with you. But be honest... this isn't exactly High Crimes and Misdemeanors. I seriously doubt that a cop would even issue a ticket unless there had been some other crime committed or damage done. I'm not sure how I'm misstating what you said or not reading your whole post? You said "the OP's use of words such as "committing illegal acts" and such are hyperbole to the extreme" which seems pretty clear to me as the OP. And so I replied that it clearly isn't hyperbole if in fact stating that an illegal act IS an illegal act. So I don't understand why what I've said about your comment isn't accurate? I'm also lost as to why you say this isn't "exactly High Crimes and Misdemeanors" because that's exactly WHAT it is -- I didn't say that it was a "High Crime" but said that it was illegal, and then cited the law that has it as a Class 1 Misdemeanor...which is as high as it goes without moving to felony status. And again, you're entitled to your opinion by saying that you "seriously doubt" that something can happen but you haven't said why/how you'd doubt that. The fact of the matter is that I know for certain that it has happened. And for that very park. I've ridden with police officers (as part of my required ride-alongs) who have done exactly that. And in that park, as well as others. They police specifically ask watchers to call in trespassing in City parks as there is a zero tolerance for some areas and for a variety of reasons. As a cache owner with three caches in that park, cachers breaking the law there and and the potential for losing caching abilities in all City parks does concern me, and I do appreciate your concern for that as well. And again, the import point was that I came here to ask a question, got some advice in response about what to do, did it, and it turned out just fine. So I don't understand the compelling reason to debate whether it is or is not a serious problem. That wasn't the question (but it is how so many threads here seem to get lost quickly, I think).
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