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How Long Do You Think It Will Take?


WVNascarGrl
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This morning a friend of mine went caching in Bethlehem, WV for Bethlehem Community Park cache that was hidden recently by a local cacher. He was pretty much ambushed by the mayor of said city. Asking what he was doing, what caching was. He didn't seem to like AT ALL what this caching was all about. He questioned the liability if a cacher would be injured on the propery. (I'm sorry, isn't this a public park - where ANYONE would be at risk for an injury? Not just cachers? What about that?)

 

Anyhow, after much bickering and yelling this lovely mayor decided that he wanted NO caches in his city. All must be removed. He said it was for "security reasons" and "that he didn't know what kind of people these caches were going to be bringing thru his beautiful little down".

 

I've been concerned about something like this for quite some time. I just have a feeling that our hobby is going to be stamped out by all the security hype these days. It's just a darn shame.

Well I'll tell you one thing, it will be a cold day before I visit any of the businesses or parks in Bethlehem. You can thank your wonderful mayor for that.

sorry to vent - it just irritates me.

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He said it was for "security reasons" and "that he didn't know what kind of people these caches were going to be bringing thru his beautiful little down".

 

I guess this mayor prefers druggies and cruisers to families playing hide-and-seek. Maybe he should advertise and the ner-do-wells that we haven't chased from the rest of our parks will hang out there.

 

Good luck in turning this guy around.

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And let us not forget that this is only one tale from one small town. For my part, let me tell you what happened to us a few months ago in a small town in Western Maryland, about 15 miles west of where we live. Sue and I were looking for a small cache located along a creek in a town park on a Friday afternon. Turns out that in another nearby part of the park, town workers and contractors were setting up tents for a big arts and crafts festival to be held that weekend in the park. Turns out that town officials were present. One noticed us from a distance and came over to chat with us. He turned out to be the town manager, and we got along great. Because of his military background (Pentagon, retired), he understood instantly about GPSrs and geocaching. We made sure to explain how each cache is assigned a Difficulty and Terrain rating, and we showed him a sample cache listing page. It was all fine with him. He and I traded business cards, he told us about the upcoming arts festival, and we parted ways, promising each other to perhaps touch bases by telephone again in a few month. All is well in that small town regarding geocaches.

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I find this situation very ironic, since I hold the cache owner in very high esteem. He has worked hard to obtain permission as he deems appropriate -- as you will see from the note left on the cache page. He also worked out a geocaching policy with an important land manager in his home area.

 

I was just in that area two weeks ago and this cache was on my list of possible caches to do. I wound up not going to it. I won't visit that little town with my big fat wallet full of geotourism dollars.

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Bethlehem, WV. Didn't the police handcuffed a 1st grader who threw an eraser during class. (At risk of hijacking this thread else where, I do recall hearing this on CNN or the likes about a year ago)

 

But to answer the OP. All things considered, I have a bad feeling this it the way of the future.

 

[Rant deleted ... its all be said before]

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I was just in that area two weeks ago and this cache was on my list of possible caches to do. I wound up not going to it. I won't visit that little town with my big fat wallet full of geotourism dollars.

 

I guess this mayor prefers druggies and cruisers to families playing hide-and-seek. Maybe he should advertise and the ner-do-wells that we haven't chased from the rest of our parks will hang out there.

 

Perhaps a few letters to the mayor mentioning the above are in order.

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What about a moderator pinning an open thread where people can post stories like these about cranky Muggles that just don't get it? It would give cachers a chance to stay away from some areas or to be especially stealthy around certain areas (such as Old Man Johnson's neighborhood). It could be called "Caching Gone Bad" or "Bad Cache" or something.

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Perhaps a few letters to the mayor mentioning the above are in order.

 

Local cachers should certainly do that so the guy understands that residents (read, voters) particpate, not just "outisders." Just keep the letters friendly.

 

If the caches do get disabled because of the Mayor, it should be noted on the cache pages. Locals should know who their friends are come re-election time.

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I think this is just one small Mayor in one small town narrow mindedly protecting his small park. I'm sure he could be won over if it was worth it. He probably had a fight with his wife or girlfriend and was in a poor state of mind mad at the world.

 

Just remember: As of today, there are 250451 active caches in 221 countries.

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Actually the bickering and yelling was on the end of the mayor.

No matter how much my friends tried to explain to him he just

wanted no part of it. Said "he didn't want that stuff in his town"

 

Hopefully some local cachers can talk to him about this and give

him an overview of caching - with actual documentation (which

wasn't available at the time)

Guess time will tell.

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If you have an address or email addres post it I would love to send a nice letter to him explaining what geocaching is all about and that we are mostly family spending time together. He sounds like a real jerk to me. but thats just my worthless opinion :anibad:

Edited by JsamFam
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Well here is the not so good update for the Bethleham caches from my post on the cache page:

 

Well I had a meeting with the Mayor of Bethleham (Rhett Daniel) today and he said that he does not want any caches any where in the village.His reason is that he can not controll who is comming to to the parks to seek the caches(even though it is a Community park) his eyes and ears

were closed to the geocaching community.

He said that since geocaching is a world wide game what type of people would be seeking the caches there.He said a few times that quote "he diden't want any Al-qaeda

terrorist in his parks" ??? He said since anyone can buy a GPS the Al-qaeda probaly has them also.He questioned the liability if a geocacher would be injured seeking a cache in the public park he said the town can't afford a law suit.I diden't understand that part about the liabilty and geocachers and why that woulden't apply to everyone

who comes to the park and gets hurt not just geocachers.

I told him that there were caches in almost all of the Wheeling parks and the WV state parks and that one state park even rents out GPS units to anyone who would like to try geocaching.I showed him a map of the ohio valley and the locations of caches.I told him about Oglebay park and

how caching is allowed there now but we have to get a permit to place them in the park.

I tryed my best to get him to understand that it is just a family game that we play and he just don't get it and he does not want any caches in the village!

So I gave up trying to get him to change his mind about geocaching and told him that all the caches would be removed and he wanted me to remove the caches that are not mine as well and I told him that I would contact the owner to remove the other 2 caches from the town.

As log as this man is mayor it seems there will be no caching in Bethleham WV.If anyone else would like to try

to talk to him about geocaching GREAT but I don't think it will do any good though!!!

His contact infomation is

: Bethlehem Mayor's Office

(304) 242-4180

7 Chapel Rd Wheeling, WV 26003

 

I will archive this and Bopp playground caches in a week just to let the area cachers read this note first !!!

Again sorry I could not get this guy to understand our fun game we play !!

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what kind of self-important, simple-minded guy is this? Liability, from caching? Is he not worried in GENERAL about liability? If so, he better close all the parks to ANYONE, cuz you never know when a family out for a stroll might trip over a pebble & sue....or a kiddie gets nipped by a squirrel!

 

This, to me, is a case where someone with an over-inflated sense of self-importance gets a bug up their butt and decides on THIS they will stand firm and exert any and all authority they have...logic & common sense have no bearing on the debate...

 

I'm sure his wee park is high on the list for Al Queda....better lock it down tite! Code magenta!

 

wadda maroon....gawd I dislike running into people like that

 

M

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... I had a meeting with the Mayor of Bethleham (Rhett Daniel) today and he said that he does not want any caches any where in the village.His reason is that he can not controll who is comming to to the parks ...

 

Holy smokes, did he really say that. He wants to control who comes in and out of his parks?!?!?!

 

I know of a couple people who have a lot of money, a lot of free time, know a ton of lawyers and whose passion if defending American's freedom.

 

He said that since geocaching is a world wide game what type of people would be seeking the caches there.He said a few times that quote "he diden't want any Al-qaeda

terrorist in his parks" ??? He said since anyone can buy a GPS the Al-qaeda probaly has them also.

 

Freaking Al-Qaeda also buy cars. I would suggest that he sets up road blocks on the town boarders.

 

On the contrary, I believe Cachers are the eyes and ears of the parks and public places. I know many caches that will report strange doings in a park.

 

If you want to take a more level headed approach to this. Throw a CITO event in one of his parks.

 

That bit about him wanting to monitor who enters his parks drives me nuts.

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... I had a meeting with the Mayor of Bethleham (Rhett Daniel) today and he said that he does not want any caches any where in the village.His reason is that he can not controll who is comming to to the parks ...

 

Holy smokes, did he really say that. He wants to control who comes in and out of his parks?!?!?!

 

I know of a couple people who have a lot of money, a lot of free time, know a ton of lawyers and whose passion if defending American's freedom.

 

He said that since geocaching is a world wide game what type of people would be seeking the caches there.He said a few times that quote "he diden't want any Al-qaeda

terrorist in his parks" ??? He said since anyone can buy a GPS the Al-qaeda probaly has them also.

 

Freaking Al-Qaeda also buy cars. I would suggest that he sets up road blocks on the town boarders.

 

On the contrary, I believe Cachers are the eyes and ears of the parks and public places. I know many caches that will report strange doings in a park.

 

If you want to take a more level headed approach to this. Throw a CITO event in one of his parks.

 

That bit about him wanting to monitor who enters his parks drives me nuts.

 

Yes he sure did say that and today I finaly had the chance to get to talk to one of the village officers again that gave me permission to place the cache as I pulled into the farmfresh store when I saw his car there.And I told him about about my meeting with the mayor and he just laughed and shook his head then we were both laughing when I let him know that I had posted the coards. and to be on the look out for the Al-qaeda terrest because the will find there village since I posted the location of the park on the internet on geocaching.com and thats why the mayor wanted all of the caches removed from Bethleham.

I am still watching for the other officer-friend that I used to work with to let him know about my meeting with the mayor,can't wait to see how he reacts it should be good for another laugh or 2.

If you have a free minuite send this mayor a letter with your thoughts about caching in his little village I don't think it will do much good but it will take up a little of his time reading the letters from us about geocaching.Any way election time is comming soon maybee with a new mayor caches will be allowed again in this village.

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...I believe Cachers are the eyes and ears of the parks and public places. I know many caches that will report strange doings in a park....

 

 

I agree.... I'm pretty sure that MOST of the cachers out there are interested in the safety and conservation of the areas they hunt / hide. I know I am.

 

Possibly the only legitimate concern he could have would be if this was a park for residents only ???

I know we have many in my area that are town parks, for the use of town residents and their guests... that being said, nobody worries much about who hikes, or sits and reads a book, or even fishes in them... the only time it ever becomes an issue is for sports field use, or other similar amenities... I think they just try to make sure that residents wont be crowded off a volleyball court, or baseball field, or the like by non-residents.... But hiking or caching???? I cant see anybody, except this one mayor obviously, being too up-tight about it.

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We have a large city that the Chamber of Commerce themselves promotes geocaching. So it's not all going to hell in a day pack.

 

With this guy? Being Mayor doesn't make you a rational person. But in-your-face challenging of an illogical person, especially one in a position of authority never works. I think an overdose of kindness is the only thing that'll sway his concept. He needs to see the benifits. You know, things that will help with voter approval.

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We have a large city that the Chamber of Commerce themselves promotes geocaching. So it's not all going to hell in a day pack.

 

With this guy? Being Mayor doesn't make you a rational person. But in-your-face challenging of an illogical person, especially one in a position of authority never works. I think an overdose of kindness is the only thing that'll sway his concept. He needs to see the benifits. You know, things that will help with voter approval.

 

I found this article on the guy:

 

http://www.wtrf.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=10090

 

He sounds like a knucklehead.

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Well fortunately, we have a great relationship with the people from the WV State Parks. We've worked out an arrangement that we fill out a simple form to get registered to put a cache in a WV state park. We have to put new stickers on every year, which basically ensures that we maintain the cache.

 

They are very happy with our caches, as it brings more people to the parks.

 

The mayor sounds like a jerk though...

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I can't help myself from getting this mental image of Osama bin Laden being the FTF for a cache in this town:

 

LOG:

 

"Since I have Bethleham on my 'notify' list, I promptly received e-mail notification of this cache this morning. I emerged from my cave and immediately set forth to West Virginia via a convey of camels. Several of my companions thought I was crazy, but I really thought we would have a good chance to be the FTF for this baby! When we arrived in town, we had a brief confrontation with Mayor Daniel, but he eventually ran for the hills.

 

The cache was delightful. We took a set of smiley stickers, a glow stick, and a deck of playing cards, and left behind two grenades."

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We have a large city that the Chamber of Commerce themselves promotes geocaching. So it's not all going to hell in a day pack.

 

With this guy? Being Mayor doesn't make you a rational person. But in-your-face challenging of an illogical person, especially one in a position of authority never works. I think an overdose of kindness is the only thing that'll sway his concept. He needs to see the benifits. You know, things that will help with voter approval.

 

I've found the indirect approach works well when you know in advance you are going to deal with the type of person this mayor is. If the mayor decided that geocaching was a good thing you could no more stop him from supporting it than you can directly change his mind now that it's too late. The entire trick is for the mayor to take owernship of the idea. How that's accomplished is the hard part.

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We have a large city that the Chamber of Commerce themselves promotes geocaching. So it's not all going to hell in a day pack.

 

With this guy? Being Mayor doesn't make you a rational person. But in-your-face challenging of an illogical person, especially one in a position of authority never works. I think an overdose of kindness is the only thing that'll sway his concept. He needs to see the benifits. You know, things that will help with voter approval.

 

I've found the indirect approach works well when you know in advance you are going to deal with the type of person this mayor is. If the mayor decided that geocaching was a good thing you could no more stop him from supporting it than you can directly change his mind now that it's too late. The entire trick is for the mayor to take owernship of the idea. How that's accomplished is the hard part.

 

Has anyone checked with the new mayor on this?

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One thing to remember is as city/town mayor or manager, He has the right to refuse permission for caches on City/town owned property. The best course of action is to just leave. If you stay and argue you will lose in the end.

 

What you can do is. Find a private land owner that will allow a cache on their land (mayor can't say anything about it then) OR Post it on here that XXXX town is not cacher friendly and ask they don't do any shopping or business in that town till the policy changes. I have seen this approach work with other causes. the business owners will pressure the town once they start losing money.

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I'd agree with the poster above who suggested a letter to the editor. Perhaps letters from several folks and they should definitely mention the number of geocachers and the fact that none of them will spend money in the town. That sort of thing actually does get the attention of the local merchants.

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I'd agree with the poster above who suggested a letter to the editor. Perhaps letters from several folks and they should definitely mention the number of geocachers and the fact that none of them will spend money in the town. That sort of thing actually does get the attention of the local merchants.

 

Oh yeah, this thread was recently linked to in the general forum when there was a cache bomb scare a few miles away from Bethlehem, W.V. (which is a small suburb of Wheeling).

 

A quick Google search shows this wacky mayor, Rhett Daniel, was re-elected in June 2007. Anyone know what the current status is of Geocaching in this town?

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I'd agree with the poster above who suggested a letter to the editor. Perhaps letters from several folks and they should definitely mention the number of geocachers and the fact that none of them will spend money in the town. That sort of thing actually does get the attention of the local merchants.

 

Oh yeah, this thread was recently linked to in the general forum when there was a cache bomb scare a few miles away from Bethlehem, W.V. (which is a small suburb of Wheeling).

 

A quick Google search shows this wacky mayor, Rhett Daniel, was re-elected in June 2007. Anyone know what the current status is of Geocaching in this town?

What if you made some of the caches Virtual? I've got a article from a local paper on geo-caching, I'll send it to him, (The Reporter now works for a Virginia newspaper).

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As a new implant in Wheeling, WV (I live about 5 miles from said suburb) I found myself wondering why there wasn't any caches in the Bethlehem Area, then a newfound caching friend (cainrcc) was taking me on a caching "tour" of some sorts and he explained the whole situation to me and he said all the area cachers refuse to do business in the Bethlehem Area, which means boycotting the gas stations, stores, restaurants and the like, I being new in the area will join them in the boycott, I love caching and think people put too much of a fuss over it, if it was publicized more positively in the news (unlike how the local tv stations treated the recent "bomb scare" which was actually a cache in Bridgeport) I think more people will become aware that geocachers are people that hide tupperware in the woods but also trying to help the enviornment with our CITO events on earth day. I personally will NOT EVER step foot (or vehicle) into Bethlehem

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I guess I am spoiled by my small town in PA. They mayor not only gave me permission to place caches, but also gave me ideas of places I hadn't thought of. On top of that, he is a part owner of a camp w/property in another area, and in getting permission from theother owners, and has asked us to put a cache on their private property!!

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