NH’s “mask mandate” is really just a strong suggestion

The anti-maskers will complain “Sununu has caved!”

The pro-mandate crowd will say “this is a toothless order, nowhere near good enough for the dire straits we are in!”

Your average Granite Stater will see the news and continue along with their day, doing what they’d been doing before.

The Executive Suggestion, errr, technically an Order, comes with nine loopholes: from people eating or doing strenuous exercise, to people who want to claim a medical reason they can’t wear a mask. No proof of that medical condition is required, and there are no fines for individuals not wearing a mask, other than in the cities which have passed their own mandates, which this EO does not affect. The order will expire on January 15, but of course may be renewed.

Private businesses can still be warned or fined for not complying with COVID-19 restrictions, which are generally more about distancing, making sure sick employees don’t come into the workplace, and requiring masks for employees interacting with the public, rather than requiring the business to enforce mask-wearing for their customers. Instances of fines or other penalties for businesses are more the exception than the rule in New Hampshire. According to the NH DOJ, only five violations—two just warnings and three with fines—have been issued to businesses for COVID-19 violations. https://www.doj.nh.gov/news/2020/20201118-eo-52-violations.htm

Quoting from the Executive Order…

This Order shall not apply to the following:
a) Educators, students, and staff within K-12 schools;
b) Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a mask or other face covering;
c) Any person consuming food or drink or sitting at a restaurant or table to eat or drink;
d) Any person engaged in physical strenuous physical activity;
e) Any person giving a religious, political, media, educational, cultural, musical, or theatrical
presentation or performance for an audience;
f) Any person who is deaf or hard of hearing, and any person while communicating with an
individual who is deaf or hard of hearing or who has a disability, medical condition, or
mental health condition that makes communication with that individual while wearing a mask
or face covering difficult;
g) Any person obtaining or providing a service that requires the temporary removal of a mask or face covering;
h) Any person asked to remove a mask or face covering to verify an identity for lawful
purposes; or
i) Any public safety worker actively engaged in a public safety role and when a mask or face
covering would seriously interfere in the performance of their public safety responsibilities.

NH’s COVID-19 resource page for businesses can be found here: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/resources-guidance/businesses.htm

The full text of this new Executive Order can be found here: https://www.governor.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt336/files/documents/emergency-order-74.pdf

NH House Republicans planning return to Concord

WMUR reports that the House Republicans are planning their return to Concord to do committee work in-person. Preparations include an evaluation of the HVAC system, and figuring out where there is enough space to meet.

Keith Ammon, a member of the NH House Freedom Caucus, is quoted as saying “I think the choice not to wear a mask should be accommodated,” and suggesting using a part of the gallery for social distancing.

https://www.wmur.com/article/new-hampshire-house-republicans-plan-return-to-in-person-committee-work-legislating-at-state-house/34693514

Ballotpedia info for Keith Ammon: https://ballotpedia.org/Keith_Ammon

Cops in Schools

The Valley News questions whether Lebanon should continue to pay $60k per year to have a cop in their schools.

<<an unnamed Lebanon High student…found himself on the wrong side of the law for allegedly urinating in a snow bank in the school parking lot last year…Before he was allowed to enter a court diversion program, the boy had to give up his constitutional rights.>>

The teachers’ union would prefer to have social worker there, but Superintendent Joanne Roberts is pushing to keep the cop.

https://www.vnews.com/Lebanon-Debates-Taking-Cop-Out-of-School-37274126

Social media going open-source and decentralized

I’ve installed some software on https://nhsentinel.com to syndicate posts to liberdon.com.

You should also be able to subscribe to websentinel@nhsentinel.com from any node in the “fediverse” (the federated universe of social media servers using the ActivityPub protocol). (But as of now, it’s saying the follow request is pending approval. Some chatter on the web implies this may be a caching issue and it might clear up on its own.)

Free Town Project book is published

A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears) — the ebook is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Libertarian-Walks-Into-Bear-Liberate-ebook/dp/B083J1FXY8

I know some of the people mentioned in this book. I haven’t read it yet, just the excerpt published in the local paper:

https://www.vnews.com/Books-excerpt-Grafton-libertarians-and-bears-36282781

The Good News: Some victimless crimes in Lebanon might no longer head to court

If an  Oct. 7 City Council vote approves a new law, “crimes” like open containers and possession of drug paraphernalia will be ticketed, not earn the holder a summons to court. The tickets will come with hefty fines, and the recipient can still opt for a court date to plead their case.

Per the Valley News, the mayor and defense attorneys support the bill, which was submitted by Police Chief Richard Mello

One could ask why those are even offences, but this can still be seen as an improvement.

You can read more about it here:

https://www.vnews.com/Lebanon-proposes-changes-to-drug-paraphernalia-alcohol-codes-36087336

NH ACLU files lawsuits against checkpoints inside US borders

These checkpoints can be up to 100 miles inside the border. Their frequency went up in the years after 9/11, then diminished, but they are still going on. Due to their locations, they are usually stopping people who never crossed a border.

<<Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said the the interior checkpoints are being used “as a ruse to unlawfully search and seize people for the purpose of general crime control.”>>

read more at: https://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20200811/lawsuit-challenges-use-of-checkpoints-miles-from-border