BARE AND FREE
|Volume 19||Number 2, April 2007|
In this Issue
Days to Remember
Everyone's Membership Expired April 1
Everyone's club membership expired April 1. Renewing members are expected to deepen their commitment by joining one of the national organizations. The American Association for Nude Recreation has for more than 75 years set the standards for nudist resorts. Its members receive a monthly newspaper. The Naturist Society is more active politically, in defending free beaches. Its members receive a quarterly magazine. Both publications can be inspected at the lake. The prices are:
Tallahassee Naturally--annual membership
Tallahassee Naturally--lake rental fee
American Association for Nude Recreation
The Naturist Society
You can pay at the lake, or mail your check to:
TN POB 6866 Tallahassee, FL 32314
FSU Sweeps the Greek Athletics
For the first time ever, students from one college dominated our twelfth annual nude College Greek Athletic Meet. Students from other colleges competed, but Lauren of FSU took the women's crown. Trevor of FSU won the laurel wreath in the male non-athlete category.
Though the contest is called the pentathlon, victors are usually determined after the first four events: long jump, discus, 200-yard dash, and javelin. For the first time in twelve years, there was a tie in the male athlete division. In the tie-breaking wrestling match, Justin of FSU threw his opponent from the University of Florida.
Every year, Tallahassee Naturally sponsors this, the only authentically nude re-enactment of the ancient pentathlon anywhere in the world. Because of this event and our monthly Full-Moon Skinny-Dips, we have the largest percentage of college students of any nudist group in the nation. An AANR youth leader attended to see how we do it. The man, who is used to big resorts, grew really enthusiastic about the naturalness of our grounds.
Much Happened at the Annual Meeting
Grant began our Annual Business Meeting by announcing that Oliver, our long-time landlord, has died. His widow wants to keep everything the same.
Club officers reported that we ended 2006 with a slight profit. Membership was down, but the large amount of camping last summer and fall boosted attendance to the highest in four years. (2007 looks even better: we have already recorded twice as many visits as we had last year at this time.)
The land that we are looking at did not sell as part of a much bigger package. The owners will try again. If the whole thing doesn't sell then, they are ready to consider our offer on a small parcel. The membership gave official approval to the offer the board had developed.
The bylaw proposal passed. We now have a President Pro-Tem instead of a Vice-President. The board afterward appointed Bruce to that position.
We elected these officers:
Anyone else interested in helping on one of these committees should contact the chairman or Grant.
At its organizational meeting afterward, the board reappointed Jamie as newsletter editor and web page co-ordinator.
A Note from the New Treasurer
1. Our treasurers for the last several years have tended to arrive in the middle of the afternoon, and people paid when they got around to it--if they didn't forget. I usually arrive at the lake around noon on Sundays. I would like to see us get in the habit of paying on arrival, as it is done in any other club. (Better yet, pay the annual lake fee, and all you have to do is sign in each day.) If I am not there, any board member can collect. John and Rob are also authorized to collect in the absence of any board member.
2. I neglected to emphasize at our Annual Meeting that our Legal Fund is getting dangerously low. It is supported entirely by member donations--usually in the $25-to-$100 range. This fund not only covers the election guides we mail our members, but needs to be there for legislative battles, or--heaven forbid--possible legal defense if one of our members is arrested. The Land Fund is adequate for present needs.
3. I hope we will have new membership cards soon.
Keeping an Eye on the Florida Legislature
For the first time in years, several newly-elected legislators have introduced bills that could affect us. None of those bills are aimed at nudists directly, but they do open up that portion of the law related to skinny-dipping. The problem is that our protection is not enshrined in the letter of the law, but in court interpretation of that law. If well-meaning legislators amend the law beyond recognition, there goes all of our court precedent; someone would have to get arrested and fight the court battles all over again. We don't want that.
We were about to post this, saying that at the moment, there is nothing to do but keep a sharp eye on the legislature. Now suddenly the Naturist Society's Naturist Action Committee has issued a call for all Florida residents to contact members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. We are told that the American Association for Nude Recreation is instead supporting one of these bills. Our board must study these contradictions before we can make recommendations to our members.
Meanwhile, we all need to brush up on the proposals. NAC recently made this useful analysis of these bills:
Local enforcement authorities in Martin County, Florida, are behind some of the legislation. Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder has determined that men who masturbate and have sex at public locations in the county are not being disposed of quickly enough.
Existing law allows individuals who are engaged in such activities to be charged and prosecuted. Punishments presently begin with a misdemeanor and escalate rapidly upon subsequent convictions. But Sheriff Crowder believes the current graduated penalties fail to lock folks away quickly enough. He wants the evildoers imprisoned for years as felons on the very first conviction, and he has determined that Section 800.03 is the proper place in the law for such a frightening escalation of punishment. State Representative Bill Snyder (R-Stuart) is a freshman legislator who formerly worked as a law enforcement officer in the Martin County Sheriff's Department, under Crowder. Snyder's House Bill 269 proposes that Sheriff Crowder's wish list be made state law.
HOUSE BILL 269--Sponsor: Rep. William Snyder (R-Stuart). This bill would add greatly increased penalties under 800.03 in certain locations and during certain times of day. HB 269 proposes changes to the wording of 800.03 that could jeopardize the protection for naturists afforded by current judicial rulings.
SENATE BILL 1842 Sponsor: Sen. Dave Aronberg (D-Greenacres). A Senate companion bill for HB 269. Sen. Aronberg is less strongly committed to this legislation and introduced his bill as a favor to Rep. Snyder, whose help Aronberg seeks for other legislation Aronberg plans to sponsor. The wording of SB 1842 is similar, but not quite identical, to that of HB 269.
SENATE BILL 2058 Sponsor: Sen. Victor Crist (R-Tampa). This is another Senate companion bill for House Bill 269. Not quite identical to HB 269, Senate Bill 2058 contains the same escalated penalties for violation of 800.03, as well as much of the same language that naturists find threatening. Sen. Crist introduced his bill at the urging of Bob Levy, a veteran lobbyist acting on behalf of FANR and AANR, using language supplied by AANR [that leaves out county parks such as Haulover Beach].
HOUSE BILL 41 Sponsor: Rep. Dick Kravitz (R-Jacksonville). This bill greatly enhances penalties for certain crimes, but in its initial form it did not address 800.03. A committee substitute in late February added 800.03 to the list of crimes for which the penalty is increased. A second offense under 800.03 would become a third degree felony, and a third offense would be a second degree felony, carrying a mandatory five years in prison. HB 41 is of additional concern, because it started moving through the committee process, even before the legislative session convened [and has now passed in the House].
SENATE BILL 2544 Sponsor: Sen. Ronda Storms (R-Tampa). Newly elected Sen. Storms was a strident opponent of nudity when she served on the Board of County Commissioners of Hillsborough County, and now, she's a freshman senator in Tallahassee. Her bill is a companion to House Bill 41, and it matches the substitute version of HB 41 that proposes increased penalties for Section 800.03.
SENATE BILL 1800 Sponsor: Sen. Bill Posey (R-Rockledge). This bill authorizes warrantless arrest, specifically where "there is probable cause to believe that the person has unlawfully exhibited his or her sexual organs in public in violation of s. 800.03." The troubling implications for naturists are obvious.
HOUSE BILL 1475 Sponsor: Rep. Bob Allen (R-Merritt Island). This bill broadens the scope of Section 800.04 of the Florida Statutes. That section specifically addresses "lewd or lascivious exhibition," including public masturbation. HB 1475 broadens the scope of 800.04 to include lewd acts committed in the presence of those of any age, not just those under the age of 16, as the existing law specifies. HB 1475 does not mention 800.03 at all, but it increases the penalty for lewd acts under 800.04. House Bill 1475 may be a bill that can draw support from naturists, as well as from Martin County law enforcement.
You Can Celebrate or Observe a Pagan Ceremony
At least two nudist clubs in south Florida have for many years made their grounds available for pagan ceremonies. The Beltane (or May Day) celebration on May 5 is a first for us. Doing the ceremony sky-clad (or nude) is a first for many of the local pagans, and not all are comfortable with the idea. As a compromise, the ceremony will be clothing-optional for participants. Non-participating observers are welcome, but should be nude, in accordance with club rules.
Rob, who belongs to both groups, offers this explanation of the holiday: Beltane is a holiday of Celtic origin observed and practiced by some pagans. It is the opposite of the Samhain (Halloween). In the Celtic tradition, it signifies the end of winter. Also called May Day, it related to spring. It celebrates the sacred marriage of the goddess and god.
If participating or observing, please bring a covered dish to share. Afterward, people are invited to hang out or party, bring drums, etc. Overnight camping is an option.
World Naked Gardening Day
A couple of years ago, a few naturists had the brilliant idea of declaring a World Naked Gardening Day. But they thought of it late in the year, and scheduled the event for September. We have been trying to convince them to move it to spring. This year they listened. They moved the event to May 5--after we already promised that date to the pagans. So this year, our club will observe World Naked Gardening Day on Sunday, May 6. The plan is to spend an hour or so spiffing up our grounds, and then spend the rest of the day relaxing. We will let you know what tools to bring when we have narrowed down the projects. If you have an idea for beautifying the grounds, talk to Paul.