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NAC Update - Brattleboro, VT

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  • NAC Update - Brattleboro, VT

    ************************************************** *********************
    ************************************************** ********************
    ************************************************** *********************
    Copyright 2007 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible
    for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or
    redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its
    entirety and without alteration.

    DATE : August 23, 2007
    SUBJECT: Brattleboro, VT
    TO : All Naturists

    Dear Naturist,

    This is an Update from the Naturist Action Committee concerning Brattleboro, Vermont.


    After receiving complaints from town residents and business owners concerning public nudity, Brattleboro's Selectboard adopted an "emergency" temporary ordinance that prohibits nudity in the downtown area, in the town park, in the village of West Brattleboro, and also within 250 feet of a school or place of worship. The Selectboard enacted this ordinance by a margin of 3 to 2 and considered making this ordinance permanent at their meeting on the evening of Aug. 21.

    At the meeting, Brattleboro residents spoke in favor and in opposition to the ordinance, and the Selectboard debated the issue at length. One Selectboard member proposed an amendment to the ordinance, removing all references to buttocks and breasts, which passed by a vote of 3-2. In an ironic twist, the Selectboard member who sponsored the ordinance refused to vote in favor of making the amended ordinance permanent. As a result, the ordinance failed to pass, 2-3.

    While this outcome may seem to be a victory for naturists and proponents of personal freedom, the decision is not final. The temporary ordinance banning public nudity is still in effect, and will not expire for another month. At that time, the Selectboard may reconsider the ordinance and decide whether or not to make it permanent.


    The Naturist Action Committee has been working to organize and support Brattleboro residents who oppose the ordinance and will speak against making the ordinance permanent.

    NAC board member Virginia Schnee has made three trips to Brattleboro, including attendance at the two most recent meetings of the Selectboard. Additionally, she has provided NAC's support to local residents in the form of talking points and brochures to distribute.


    This is an Update. NAC is asking that you NOT take action at this time. NAC is asking that you attend future Selectboard meetings ONLY if you are a resident of Brattleboro. Any participation from naturists outside of Brattleboro or surrounding Vermont towns, no matter how well intentioned, may not be appreciated by the Selectboard and could seriously jeopardize the carefully organized efforts of NAC to support local residents.


    Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC Update, on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee.

    Select "Alerts" and find this NAC Update under Current Updates.


    The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. Identifying and fighting bad local lawmaking is necessary, but it's expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you. To donate to NAC, use the address below:

    PO Box 132
    Oshkosh, WI 54903

    Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card.

    Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:

    Thank you for choosing to make a difference.


    Virginia Schnee
    Board Member
    Naturist Action Committee

    Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
    Executive Dir. Bob Morton - [email protected]
    Board Member Virginia Schnee - [email protected]
    Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - [email protected]

  • #2
    I fail to understand why those who do not live there cannot express their views directly. This town is a part of the USA and I feel we should be able to stand up for them.

    let's be proud nudists and do just that.


    • #3
      Because its their town and their business, or would you abolish all government below the federal government?


      • #4
        oh, and so we have an organization based in WI who can get involved? Why don't you tell that to the NAC.

        last time I looked we are ALL AMERICANS and that gives me a right to comment.


        • #5
          Harold, the NAC knows the politics of different situations and understands when something is better left to locals vs open to all interested no matter where they live.

          The Brattleboro case that started this was when an out-of-town man went naked in downtown Brattleboro. Having people who are not from the area trying to get involved with their laws will not help in this situation.

          I would say to trust the NAC when they give these Updates or Action Alerts. They have their own behind-the-scenes activity that may be hindered by the wrong letter at the wrong time.

          Remember, although the NAC is headquartered in Wisconsin, they have representatives all over the country in the separate states who understand what it takes to get things done.

          Bob S.


          • #6
            NAC board member Virginia Schnee has made three trips to Brattleboro, including attendance at the two most recent meetings of the Selectboard. Additionally, she has provided NAC's support to local residents in the form of talking points and brochures to distribute.
            this person does not live in Brattleboro and apparently it is fine for her to even speak to the Selectboard. I just want to do the same.

            I've already written their Chamber of Commerce and told them I want to vacation nude there. I've asked them when the best time to come is, and what parks they would suggest. I don't see anything wrong with that. I am sure they are eagerly waiting my vacation dollars.

            the SelectBoard members are found{...A-80EA-BB044953AB1E} and I strongly urge every nudist to write and tell them to allow public nudity.


            • #7
              Any area is governed by those who live there and the process of administration of that area is left to those who live there. That way they get more of that which pleases those who live there. If you are not pleased with what can go on there but live somewhere else, then stay where you are and change your area. Maybe it will rub off and your area of influence will expand!


              • #8
                you disagreeing with the NAC? They don't agree and neither do I. It's important to support nudists where ever they are.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by HaroldTheNudist:
                  you disagreeing with the NAC? They don't agree and neither do I. It's important to support nudists where ever they are.
                  Yes, but let's be sensible about it.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HaroldTheNudist:
                    I fail to understand why those who do not live there cannot express their views directly. This town is a part of the USA and I feel we should be able to stand up for them.

                    let's be proud nudists and do just that.

                    Hi Harold -

                    Anyone can offer comment and speak, and many did. However in most situations of small town politics it is the residents of that town whose vote and comments count the most. In fact, in most towns such as this if you are not a resident, anything requiring a vote is limited to registered voters anyway, just as would be the case in any kind of local election.

                    A petition was presented to the select board at the meeting in support of the ordinance, but of the signers, many were not residents of Brattleboro but from nearby towns and even out-of-state. Those signatures may or may not count in how the select board sees things.

                    We learned in past excursions with small town politics in this region, notably in nearby Wilmington, that small towns such as this (and in this region) place specific value on those who live there and tend to take outside opinions as being unwelcomed interference in local affairs. It's sort of like the umbrage taken by foreign countries when the USA presses them for things they don't want to do. It's human nature.

                    That is why the suggestion is for commentary to be limited to those who actually live there. It is more effective and carries the weight.

                    And I don't believe that there was anything in the NAC posting that said Mrs. Schnee spoke. Did she? Were you there?

                    NAC is made up of volunteers from all over the USA and has representatives in almost all 50 states and Canada, and it has been in the business of preserving naturism from bad legislation for well over a dozen years. It did not blow into that township to tell anyone what needed to be done. Rather, it made contact with people who live there and assisted those who are against the ordinance with information and talking points to help aid in defeating the ordinance. This is the same as was done with those supporting the ordinance. That's politics.

                    As to writing the Chamber of Commerce, a close examination of its key membership will find names of people who are FOR the ordinance. It is mostly people from the business community that appear to be pushing it. As such your letter seeking places to be nude may have been ultimately detrimental to the cause and might even serve as an example of the kind of business, and people, they don't want there.

                    Naturists seek to be nude when and where it is acceptable. Most people seem to agree that while a nude world is an idealistic goal, strolling nude in any town is asking for trouble. I might add that Brattleboro is not without law. It's police department had no problems interdicting the few people who did go nude with existing statutes. The push is for a specific ordinance to define punishment for a specific offense. They really don't need it to interdict nude people walking about the town as they already did with the three lone incidents that happened there - none of which were associated with each other.

                    As such, this proposed ordinance is unnecessary. It's absence will not create the ability to be nude on the town's streets. This is a major misconception that some people, especially the press, are missing or over-looking.

                    I agree with you that we all need to support each other as naturists, but support has to come in a manner that creates a naturist-positive outcome. Sometimes vitory is reached by not participating in the battle.

                    Sometimes that is best served by saying nothing at the right time, and in the right place.

                    I'm sure we have not heard the last of things in Brattleboro, but for now level heads have prevailed.

                    After being with NAC since its inception well over a dozen years ago, I have learned that their approach produces results.

                    Sometimes letters work, and sometimes private lobbying is called for. Each case is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

                    I'd encourage you to take some time to learn about the good works of NAC to date, and help us be a part of the naturist positive solution that they, and all of us desire.

                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~
                    Dennis Kirkpatrick - Cyberspace Rep (NAC) - August 25, 2007
                    E-Mail Address - ([email protected])
                    NAC Home Page URL - (
                    NEF Home Page URL - (
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the update, Dennis! Always reassuring to hear about NAC's careful, effective handling of specific cases!

                      Given the national attention, however, I would think that the Brattleboro case presents a special opportunity for some further public information and discussion. Does NAC, maybe with AANR, do followup in such cases? It just looks like a special opportunity to share more information on nudist core values, to engage "opponents" in discussion about how to reformulate and harmonize existing laws to focus on behavior rather than extent of attire, to suggest practical ways to define limits within the boundaries of "normal behavior", and maybe to develop some sort of framework consensus based on common sense that could serve as a model elsewhere.

                      While there may not be "one-size-fits-all" solutions, doesn't NAC have certain basic model legal formulations to assist lawmakers?


                      • #12
                        well I really don't know what has been won. I've always wanted to shop WalMart in the nude and I find out I won't be able to do that.


                        • #13
                          Surely you jest!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WacoTX:
                            Surely you jest!
                            Don't call him Shirely!


                            • #15
                              Don't call him Shirely!
                              that's 'Shirley'... (or, maybe 'Shirly', depending on how her parents spelt it..)