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Dakota County Parks
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knowschad
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Joined: 20 Jun 2005

Posts: 470

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

- Hiking (straying off trail)

Are they planning on bringing those charges against the boys that found the cache?
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
bflentje wrote:
But since McGinn also is in charge of parks dept, I do believe him when says a policy is immenent.


I think this is where the board needs to get involved, although perhaps at a different level than McGinn.

Getting involved now protects the caches in the county as well as applying some helpful pressure for Bart from another direction.

It's especially important regarding the policy as you KNOW they're evaluating it on the fast track now.


I have to agree with this sentiment. Letters might help or hurt depending on how confrontational they are (as emails tend to get). A board member (or more) who meets in person with the appropriate person(s) would have a better chance to lessen the knee-jerk response that the sergeant seems to be displaying. I think the county would have a pretty hard time showing that this one cache violates statutes or rules while other activities and caches don't. The county would, however, have very little difficulty coming up with a very anti-geocaching policy if their only input is a sergeant who has gotten riled up and is looking for any reason at all to find fault with someone. I hope the MnGCA board will be able to get a face-to-face meeting to open the lines of communication and calm things down.
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Paklid
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 May 2004

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jam3s wrote:
The only downfall that I see is that I am worried that this might discourage others from placing caches if they seen something on the news of how the sheriff's department is investigating someone for placing a cache.


I can tell you that I also have a somewhat "out of the box" cache in Lebanon Hills that I know has been visited by park personnel (via a cacher log). Until now, I had kind of planned for this particular cache to be one of the very few of my placements that I wanted to remain in place for a long period of time. Now I'm very likely going to remove it before it becomes another example of how good cachers have gone bad...
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spinowner
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 586

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:

- Amusement Contraptions (this is the best one)

Sgt. McGinn mentioned that if the other ordinances didn't apply, he could apply this clause to a possible citation. The county park usage guidelines list amusement contraptions as the following:

"Amusement Contraption" means any contrivance, device, gadget, machine, or structure designed to test the skill or strength of the user or to provide the user with any sort of ride, lift, swing, or fall experience including, but not limited to, ball throwing contest devices, electronic videos, animal ride devices, dunk tanks, ball and hammer devices, trampoline devices and the like."


If I were the county attorney and a police officer contacted me about wanting to bring a citation in this case under this obscure ordinance I'd tell that officer not to bother me with such nonsense and to get to work and bring me something important to spend my time on. I think it's an empty threat, although if it were me on the receiving end of the threat I don't think I'd be as dismissive. I hope this whole mess just goes away and goes away fast.
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paklid wrote:
Now I'm very likely going to remove it before it becomes another example of how good cachers have gone bad...


Arghh, such language.

FWIW, any geocache I have that is in a disabled state is up for adoption. If you have an interest, PM me or start a new thread to discuss.
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Jam3s
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Joined: 26 Oct 2008

Posts: 842

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
Paklid wrote:
Now I'm very likely going to remove it before it becomes another example of how good cachers have gone bad...


Arghh, such language.

FWIW, any geocache I have that is in a disabled state is up for adoption. If you have an interest, PM me or start a new thread to discuss.


Is it possible that we can get these caches approved from the Dakota County Parks Dept if everything pans out? If this doesn't pan out, I think that I would be worried for any cacher in those parks. Which like I said, this is really sad because I have wanted to check out these caches.

Dakota County Sheriff's Dept has come to a sad state of affairs....
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casinoman
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Joined: 26 Mar 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[/quote]

Arghh, such language.

FWIW, any geocache I have that is in a disabled state is up for adoption. If you have an interest, PM me or start a new thread to discuss.[/quote]


This is sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
This means that The stae of Minnesota is going to lose one of its best hiders. I have looked forword to finding every one of Bart's Caches.
My son never has likeed grave yards But was willing to go if it ment finding a halloween cache By Bart.
This is a sad day for me.
I know that Im no longer there but I do feel the pain. Minnesota is and will always be my home.

Hang in there Bart.
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pfalstad
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Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
knowschad wrote:
So, where is Dakota County in all of this? Have they come forward with any statements about their position? After all, it was their land that the cache was on.


Nothing other than the combative statements from Sgt McGinn. He said it was referred to the county attourney and they would decide what to do. But since McGinn also is in charge of parks dept, I do believe him when says a policy is immenent.

No, he is in charge of the Parks division of the sheriff's office. He is not in charge of the Parks department.

http://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Departments/Parks/default.htm

I find it hard to believe that nobody who has hidden a cache in Lebanon Hills over the years has not asked the Parks dept for permission. I agree with knowschad, I'd like to hear from them on this. Sounds like the sheriff's office doesn't know what's going on.
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4041

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:
No, he is in charge of the Parks division of the sheriff's office. He is not in charge of the Parks department.


Correct. My earlier emails to the board spelled out who is who and what is what. My statement above just wasn't complete. Sorry to confused the puzzle-master. Laughing Embarassed Laughing
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knowschad
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Jun 2005

Posts: 470

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recieved a reply from my email to the District 4 County Commissioner (my district), Kathleen Gaylord tonight. Aside from her mention of working on a geocaching policy (which, unfortunately, I sense is inevitable) it sounded quite positive:

Quote:

Thank you for your email on the geocaching incident in Lebanon Hills Park. I have forwarded your concern to County staff and the Sheriffs Department to review the incident and provide me with an update on the current status so that I can follow up with you in a few days.

I do know that we have been working on a policy directed at the appropriate protocols for geocaching on County property which may help avoid similar issues in the future.

Best regards, Kathleeen


and my reply to that email:
Quote:

Thank you for your reply, Kathleen. However, I sincerely hope that Dakota County can remain one of the few jurisdictions in the Twin Cities area that has a "hand's-off" policy. That lack of policy has worked so far (and I do include the current "incident", which I really consider a "non-incident", really. A couple of people over-reacted, but no harm was done.

Geocaching itself already has some very stringent policies in place, and before a cache is allowed to be listed on the geocaching.com website, it MUST pass the approval of a very conscientious local reviewer. The trouble with individual parks and counties and states, etc. creating their own policies is that it becomes a beauraucratic and logistical nightmare for those that wish to hide a cache. Please, before adopting any local policies, take a careful look at geocaching's existing guidelines to see if they fit your needs: http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

Thank you so very much for listening. We are a family-oriented group, most of us are middle aged or older with families, homes, and taxes. I suspect that many see us quite differently (as did I when I first got involved in geocaching) as a bunch of kids. Aside from young children, I know of very few "kids" in the activitity. Most are very responsible retirees or near retirees (such as myself).

I would also ask you to please have a talk with the county attorney that is taking a look at the case that brought all of this to light... that of the Lebanon Hills Halloween geocache by cacher bflentje. There is absolutely no reason that any charges should be brought, but apparently Sgt McGinn thinks that there should be. The hider placed his cache as a community activity, not as a criminal, and to treat him as a criminal (which, from what I've read, is apparently happening) is an embarrassment to all of us.

Since you are the commissioner for my district, I will not likely repeat this to the others, but I'd ask you to please pass any or all of this information to the other commissioners or whomever may be aided by it.

Thanks once again.
(me)


(Sorry for those that are not "retirees or near-retirees", but I thought that besides being my perception of reality, was also the best way to convey our sense of responsibility)
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timewellspent
Geocacher


Joined: 19 Mar 2008

Posts: 706

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

knowschad wrote:
I recieved a reply from my email to the District 4 County Commissioner (my district), Kathleen Gaylord tonight. Aside from her mention of working on a geocaching policy (which, unfortunately, I sense is inevitable) it sounded quite positive:

Quote:

Thank you for your email on the geocaching incident in Lebanon Hills Park. I have forwarded your concern to County staff and the Sheriffs Department to review the incident and provide me with an update on the current status so that I can follow up with you in a few days.

I do know that we have been working on a policy directed at the appropriate protocols for geocaching on County property which may help avoid similar issues in the future.

Best regards, Kathleeen


and my reply to that email:
Quote:

Thank you for your reply, Kathleen. However, I sincerely hope that Dakota County can remain one of the few jurisdictions in the Twin Cities area that has a "hand's-off" policy. That lack of policy has worked so far (and I do include the current "incident", which I really consider a "non-incident", really. A couple of people over-reacted, but no harm was done.

Geocaching itself already has some very stringent policies in place, and before a cache is allowed to be listed on the geocaching.com website, it MUST pass the approval of a very conscientious local reviewer. The trouble with individual parks and counties and states, etc. creating their own policies is that it becomes a beauraucratic and logistical nightmare for those that wish to hide a cache. Please, before adopting any local policies, take a careful look at geocaching's existing guidelines to see if they fit your needs: http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

Thank you so very much for listening. We are a family-oriented group, most of us are middle aged or older with families, homes, and taxes. I suspect that many see us quite differently (as did I when I first got involved in geocaching) as a bunch of kids. Aside from young children, I know of very few "kids" in the activitity. Most are very responsible retirees or near retirees (such as myself).

I would also ask you to please have a talk with the county attorney that is taking a look at the case that brought all of this to light... that of the Lebanon Hills Halloween geocache by cacher bflentje. There is absolutely no reason that any charges should be brought, but apparently Sgt McGinn thinks that there should be. The hider placed his cache as a community activity, not as a criminal, and to treat him as a criminal (which, from what I've read, is apparently happening) is an embarrassment to all of us.

Since you are the commissioner for my district, I will not likely repeat this to the others, but I'd ask you to please pass any or all of this information to the other commissioners or whomever may be aided by it.

Thanks once again.
(me)


(Sorry for those that are not "retirees or near-retirees", but I thought that besides being my perception of reality, was also the best way to convey our sense of responsibility)


Well said Dan!
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Jam3s
Geocacher


Joined: 26 Oct 2008

Posts: 842

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work! (BTW I am about 30 years from retiring Sad )
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pfalstad
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Joined: 02 Feb 2006

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
"Amusement Contraption" means any contrivance, device, gadget, machine, or structure designed to test the skill or strength of the user or to provide the user with any sort of ride, lift, swing, or fall experience including, but not limited to, ball throwing contest devices, electronic videos, animal ride devices, dunk tanks, ball and hammer devices, trampoline devices and the like."

Rats, there goes an idea I had...
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GeoPierce
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Joined: 16 Nov 2005

Posts: 1657

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:
bflentje wrote:
"Amusement Contraption" means any contrivance, device, gadget, machine, or structure designed to test the skill or strength of the user or to provide the user with any sort of ride, lift, swing, or fall experience including, but not limited to, ball throwing contest devices, electronic videos, animal ride devices, dunk tanks, ball and hammer devices, trampoline devices and the like."

Rats, there goes an idea I had...

You can still do it, just not in Dakota county. Smile
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IanNMissy
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Joined: 24 Apr 2009

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minneapolis Parks you could probably get away with!

Ona more serious note, I'm not a resident of Dakota County, but find the whole incident kind of ludicrous. I mean, I know Geochaching isn't exactly 'mainstream' but at the same time, anyone with any knowledge of how to do a basic internet search could easily learn about the activity in 5 minutes.... I hope this is resolved in a positive light, and is resolved quickly.
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