Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
January 1, 2001
Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lakeedun.com
Report From Social
By Social Susan
The Social Committee has begun working on an active schedule of activities for the next year. Here are some of the activities we will schedule if time and interest permit:
3 Open houses
3rd annual 60's tie die party
2nd annual renewal of wedding vows.
3rd annual Luau
Reunion of previous members and friends.
In addition, we are working on setting up a series of workshops on various topics (such as an investment group, seminars on Women's Issues, etc.) and may attempt to schedule a 5K Run/walk. If you have experience with any of these activities, please let me know. I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If you would like to host a party this winter, contact: LEFoundation@kscable.com.
Important Legal Stuff
In an effort to put an end to the legal problems the County seems to enjoy inflicting upon us, we filed for a Special Use Permit which would give us the county's blessing as we use our land. Our application received a favorable recommendation from the Planning staff and went before the Planning and Zoning Board. This six-member citizen group is charged with giving a recommendation to the County Commission. After much discussion, they voted. The outcome was a tie, 3-3. Thus, because of the rules they operate under, our application goes to the Commission with a negative recommendation.
If you live in Shawnee County, it is important that you call your county commissioner to communicate to him or her your thoughts on the matter. You can be sure those in favor of more restrictive government are contacting their elected representatives. Ask your friends who live in Shawnee County, to call their commissioner, also. We need to insure our voices are heard by the decision makers. The number is 233-8200 Ext. 4040.
When talking with the commissioner, be sure you identify yourself, be pleasant, tell them what you are calling about, and your thoughts on the issue. Expand on some of the truths you have learned since you joined the Lake Edun Foundation. Be sure they realize how positive and uplifting it can be to become involved with Naturism. Talk about how the Lake Edun Foundation benefits Shawnee County. If you are religious, educate them on some of the religious aspects of Naturism. Women can discuss the response they receive from other LEF members.
Whatever your reasons for your involvement with LEF, communicate them to your representative clearly and with conviction. If you believe the county is justified in their crusade, tell them. Be sure your voice is heard!
Christmas Party Enjoyed By All
Once again, Dave entertained Eduners at his fabulous facility east of Topeka. Good drinks provided by Dave and good eats brought by everyone made for a great combination. About 50 Eduners joined for the evening. As expected, the gift exchange was entertaining and gave everyone an opportunity to share the spirit of the season.
The weather was perfect-Cool, but not too cold. Dave had his hot tub warmed up and most everyone found themselves in its relaxing grip at some point during the night.
Thanks, Dave, for once again opening your beautiful home to share with Eduners.!
by Dee Merrifield
Like it or not, nudity IS a political issue. Most people who frequent Lake Edun Foundation activities are genuinely perplexed to learn there are forces actively working to eliminate all forms of social nudity. Doubting Thomas's (the vast majority of beach users) either don't understand or don't want to understand these facts. They choose to ignore what's happening in our county politically. Rather, they continue to frolic in the surf and enjoy the warmth of the sun, thinking it is a natural right of expression which cannot be taken away.
Wake up!! In order to keep our special place, special, we must fight fire with fire. We must become politically involved. We must educate ourselves on what is going on locally and nationally. The more of us that become involved and speak out, the easier it is and the more effective we can be. Eventually, we will be able to put a strike in the 'win' column for naturism.
If you have not already done so, call your County Commissioner TODAY and explain to him or her your views on the county's attempts to limit freedom within Shawnee County. Tell them about the recent Roper poll which found that an incredible 80% of all Americans agree with the statement: "Do you believe that people who enjoy nude sunbathing should be able to do so without interference from officials as long as they do so at a beach that is accepted for that purpose?" (See 12/1/00 Bare Facts)
Jan 11; Thurs; 9 am; Hearing on Conditional Use Permit.
Jan 19; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in KC
Jan 20; Sat; 5-7; Sauna
Feb 4; Sun; 2-4:30; HN Bowling in Independence
Feb 10; Sat; 7-9; Sauna
Feb 16; Fri; 8-10; HN Swim in KC
What a singular fact for an angel visitant to this earth to carry back in his note-book, that men were forbidden to expose their bodies under the severest penalties!
- Henry David Thoreau, Journals
A Few Lines From The Prez:
by Eldon Rice
This winter has made me think whether I am a nudist or a naturist. I have come to the conclusion that I am a naturist. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy nudity, but I also miss the lake. There is nothing better than the freedom that we enjoy when we are outdoors with nature.
While many of you are trying to stay warm this winter, some of us are still trying to secure our rights to continue to enjoy Lake Edun. There are still problems that are threatening our freedom. What we take for granted is being chipped away. We cannot take our freedom for granted or we could lose it. Please stand up for what you believe in. Make phone calls. Write letters. Visit with friends and neighbors. Have them call and write as well. A small group of people cannot do this alone. It must be all of us. If you believe, like I do, then please get involved. Don't expect the other person to do it, or it will not get done.
OK. I am done with my rant.
I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and a safe New Year.
Just remember that Spring is just around the corner.
So, your partner is interested in nudism
by Cheri Donna
We have never met, but I am taking the liberty to write you because I understand that your significant other has become interested in nudism or clothes-free recreation. You are wondering whether or not to share this with him. My husband and I are nudists, and like you, we both experienced all the concerns and uncertainties the first time we tried it. All the vague fears and worries I fretted about proved groundless. I would like to help you experience and become comfortable with this lifestyle. I hope you will let me try.
Perhaps telling about my first experience with nude recreation will lead you to that end. I was vacationing at a resort in the Caribbean. The first two days were spent on the beach sitting in a soggy swimsuit and being chafed by sand. I signed up for a day boat trip and picnic at a beach on an island away from the resort. As we were leaving, I discovered that the excursion was to an island with a nude beach! I decided to go anyway, thinking no way was anybody getting me out of my suit. I stood firm and, in fact, was the last person to give in and shed my swimsuit - I was the last one to get dressed to return to the resort.
Why hadn't someone told me about this sooner? I was hooked, and that was over 30 years ago. The phrase, "nude when possible, clothed when practical," definitely describes me. I do wear at least shoes when vacuuming the house though as I have a habit of running over my toes with the vacuum cleaner.
I admit that my first reaction was that this was something that was not an acceptable practice. I was unaware that there is a national organization and did not know anyone who could shed light on this relaxing way of life. The literature available today, some of which your significant other might have asked you to look over, tells it like it is. Everyone will tell you that once you have made your first visit, the feeling of apprehension will vanish. Until you experience a thing for yourself, words cannot tell you how you should feel or how you should act or react.
Believe in your mate. You have a good relationship, and he has never asked you to do anything that was wrong or really unpleasant. Occasionally, we don't want to do some things at first, but since it means a great deal to him, it usually turns out fine. This too, means a great deal to him. When you decide to visit a club, give them a call and inform them that this will be your first visit.
Contrary to what most people believe, you generally will not be asked to leave your clothes at the gate. You will be given a tour of the premises, where the pool or hot tub, or other facilities are located. If you are visiting a non-landed club, you will most likely visit with some of the members at a neutral location, i.e., coffee shop, after which you will be invited to an event.
Some common fears of women with whom I have been in contact include being secretly worried that she wouldn't be as attractive to her spouse as she had been, compared with all the beautiful figures she was sure must be there. For the most part, there is a normal cross-section of the population. The solution for this particular lady was the security she felt in her relationship and that the relationship was based on more than just physical attractiveness.
Another fear is what sort of people will I meet. You will meet doctors, lawyers, clergymen and women, taxi drivers, accountants, secretaries, warehouse-men, waiters, school teachers, moms, dads, grandparents, teenagers, infants. We are your neighbors, your friends.
It's a wonderful feeling to meet entirely new people and enjoy new interests and activities. There is a peculiar thing you have to experience to believe, but there is a friendliness about nudists that you will generally not find in any other group. I have come to count our nudist friends among my closest. They seem to always be there for me, for us.
Why don't you try your hand at being a nudist in your own home. Try sleeping nude, if you don't already--once you get used to it, you won't want to sleep any other way.
That's the first easy step. Then, when you take your shower or bath, don't grab for a robe except for comfort. Do your nails or set your hair or just read the newspaper. I think you will enjoy it. If you exercise, try it without clothes, it feels wonderful. Wear whatever you need to feel comfortable. Since it's convenient and healthful at times to dispense with clothes, nudists do. We're not different from other people, just more comfortable.
I hope I've been able to help just a little. Offer a compromise to your mate. Give him an hour of your time, you will wish you had sooner.
Copyright August 1997 Travelites, Inc.,
PO Box 90836,
Columbia, SC 29290Uncovered Opinions
by Dave Bitters
(Psst. Hey, Dave...)
Item: August 18, 2000. COMMISSION BANS NUDITY IN PUBLIC - The Leavenworth County Commission unanimously approved a resolution last week that banned nudity and sexual intercourse in public places.
The resolution makes it a crime for anyone to expose their genitals or buttocks in any indoor or outdoor place open to the public, including restaurants, theaters, dance halls, taverns and clubs. Women are prohibited from exposing their breasts. Violators face up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Item: October 3, 2000. Olathe council bans public nudity - Motivated by a recent radio station prank, Olathe leaders Tuesday night made it illegal to appear nude in public.
The new section of the public-offense code will allow police officers to cite people who intentionally appear nude in public. The ordinance defines nudity by naming body parts that should remain covered. Last month, DJs from a radio station morning show brought exotic dancers to Olathe to appear topless in public.
"I want to send the message: Don't bring that type of entertainment to Olathe," Police Chief Art Mabry said. "Olathe's a family community, and I believe the majority of the citizens don't approve of that in their community."
Item: December 12, 2000. Clothing not optional - Two summertime cases of public nudity prompted the Shawnee City Council to take a stand Monday night.
Shawnee police sought the ordinance, which bans public nudity, to close a legal loophole, Sgt. Rob Moser said. State law regulates public nudity when accompanied by "lewd and lascivious" behavior but doesn't address simply being naked in public.
Item: December 19, 2000. SIMI VALLEY [California] PASSES ANTI-NUDITY ORDINANCE -Despite the efforts of naturists, at the meeting on Monday, December 18 the city council of Simi Valley, California, has passed an anti-nudity ordinance that the city attorney acknowledged could be used to prosecute citizens who sunbathe nude in their own back yards.
Ordinance 988 was developed at the request of the Simi Valley police chief in response to a local situation involving a single individual who was inappropriately nude in a public place. Even though the authorities have existing laws to address the matter, they have used this opportunity to request additional laws specifically prohibiting nudity. Violators are subject to a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment.
These items have several things in common. The most obvious is that they make public nudity a criminal offense in their respective jurisdictions.
Facially the Leavenworth County ordinance differs from the other three in that its stated purpose was to prevent a strip club from moving into the county. However it targeted skinny-dippers and backyard sunbathers as well as the nonexistent strip club. It also appeared to apply to the Gaea Retreat near Springdale. The county attorney later assured the camp's board of directors that this wasn't their intent but, insofar as I know the offensive language remains. Time will tell whether the county commission will be willing to make a genuine accommodation through a change of wording.
The other three ordinances baldly target nudity in publicplaces, (not out of public view). The Supreme Court seems to have given communities the green light to pass such ordinances through a recent decision called Erie v. Pap's, which ostensibly clarified an earlier ruling (Barnes v. Glen Theater, 1991). I've read the text of both Barnes and Erieand they still leave me scratching my head. Both contain ambiguous references to "harmful secondary effects," "important governmental interests," "content-neutral restrictions" and "the outer ambit of the 1st Amendment." The court's murky thinking in these cases shows that the majority had made up their minds beforehand and didn't want to be bothered with facts, logic or constitutional consistency. In effect, they said if municipalities want to pass content neutral restrictions on public nudity for whatever reason, no matter how specious, it's okay with them.
Apparently some communities now feel inclined to take the Supremes up on their offer, just because they think they can. They see it as a way to "close a legal loophole," as if to correct an oversight of the state legislature. This kind of legal second-guessing puts them in a tricky position, though, because of the requirement for content neutrality and the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment. ("No State shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.") Leavenworth County may have discovered this dilemma when the attorney for the Gaea Retreat caused them to back-peddle. (The camp has had a tradition of nude use off and on since at least the late 1950s.) As of this writing I haven't had a chance to read the Shawnee ordinance but I'll bet it contains no exemption for high school locker room nudity. The Olathe ordinance clearly discriminates against shirtless women.
A shirtless female or a backyard sunbather running afoul of one of these laws could plausibly claim a violation of their equal protection rights. The "strict constructionists" among the Supremes had been loathe to apply the equal protection clause until the Republicans came to them for help in selecting George W. Bush as president. Then they mumbled something about "equal standards" for counting ballots in Florida counties and summarily blew the whistle. Having painted themselves into a constitutional corner, they will have difficulty ignoring equal protection claims in other areas (such as anti-nudity laws that profess to be content-neutral but aren't so enforced).
A second common theme has to do with police intervention - at least in the last three examples. The news releases showed no evidence of grassroots demand for the anti-nudity legislation. Rather, police officers or (in two cases) police chiefs lobbied for the creation of new crimes - victimless crimes at that. As Naturists, we should be concerned with the apparent ease with which the police powers railroad these initiatives; this is the sort of thing that happens in a totalitarian state.
Communities that see fit to pass this kind of legislation show they are very unsure of themselves. The press releases highlight the trivial nature of the incidents that triggered these local initiatives. In Olathe, Mabry reported he wished the city had passed an anti-nudity law after a previous incident, in which employees of the radio station had asked for women to jump into a pool naked. Shawnee police sergeant Rob Moser fretted that "state law doesn't address simply being naked in public. For example, when a man and woman decided to dance naked outside a Shawnee bar, police could do nothing but tell the two to go home." The flurry that led to the Simi Valley ordinance "developed at the request of the Simi Valley police chief in response to a local situation involving a single individual who was inappropriately nude in a public place."
Even in clothing-optional cultures such one finds in Europe and, to a lesser extent in central California, public nudity isn't the norm. Most people understand from the unwritten cultural cues where it's appropriate to be naked and where it isn't - without any help from government. At the same time, public nudity in appropriate places (as defined by these fluid and unwritten rules) is no big deal. So it's very difficult to understand why Heartlanders are so delicate of sensibility that they assent to these initiatives without protest. It's even more difficult to understand in Simi Valley.
A third common connection among these items is that I found out about them via e-mail or through Internet searches. In the case of the Kansas ordinances I learned of them after they had been passed. Naturist Society President Lee Baxandall alerted me to the Leavenworth County ordinance in August with an e-mail bearing the heading "psst, David …" Concerning the Shawnee ordinance, Naturist Action Committee Bob Morton asked me by e-mail, "Dave - Did we simply miss this one?"
I had to answer "yes." A subsequent Internet search of the Kansas City Star's archives brought up the information about the Olathe ordinance.
I regret I didn't know about the local initiatives when they first surfaced. In the case of the Leavenworth County or-dinance this would have required me to be a faithful reader of the Leavenworth Times (which I'm not), in hopes of picking up the first public announcement (which I didn't). The municipal ordinances in Johnson County are even more vexing. I try to read the Metro section of the Star regularly to catch these items. Clearly, I missed them both. It's possible that they were so un-newsworthy they only got printed in the legal notices at first reading, then were announced publicly after the fact. Or, it may be the sponsors of the initiatives deliberately tried to suppress them.
Either way, it's clear that we need a better early warning system. Bob Morton seems to think that, given fair notice, it's possible to halt the passage of anti-nudity legislation even at the local level. The experience with the Simi Valley ordinance (and with some I've fought unsuccessfully) suggests otherwise. Still, one hates to give up by default.
The Naturist Action Committee has had a good track record in stopping anti-nudity legislation at the state level. At the local level things have been much worse. Those who oppose body freedom know this. They understand that a successful strategy is to fly "under the radar," so to speak. With enough anti-nudity ordinances at the local level, the non-existence of a state statute becomes moot.
To combat future local initiatives, Bob proposes a proactive approach. For instance, the article about the Olathe ordinance noted that Overland Park and Merriam already have laws prohibiting nudity in public while Leawood does not. So, to prevent a Leawood "surprise," the mayor and city council should be contacted before they perceive a need to act.
Though it's time-consuming and difficult to do so, I plan to try to contact Leawood's mayor, at least. Readers of this article who live in Leawood may want to follow suit, either by contacting the mayor or their city councilman. Bob suggests that personal visits are more effective than letters or phone calls.
The efforts should not stop there. Everyone who supports the Naturist vision must become vigilant, paying close attention to all local public notices and watching for those that may have to do with anti-nudity legislation. We needeveryone to be alert and to notify us at the first whiff of trouble. We can't afford to not act quickly. The examples I've provided show clearly that our right to be left alone is being eroded insidiously, one community at a time.
Nationwide, nude recreation is growing in popularity and will continue to do so. Some television channels show brief glimpses of full frontal nudity on occasion. Most people that I've talked to don't seem to find nude recreation morally objectionable. The chief source of difficulty seems to be with the extremely conservative politicians we elect and the officials they appoint. Eventually the prohibitions they've passed will cause a cultural collision - in the courts and perhaps in the public square as well, between the proponents of body freedom and the backers of repressive legislation that restricts our right to be left alone. The fight probably will be long, expensive and messy. But one day we'll wake up wondering why we made so much ado about nothing.
Meanwhile, it's worthwhile to try to keep municipalities and counties that haven't enacted anti-nudity legislation from doing so. For one thing, this might save them the time and cost of expensive litigation. For another, it might save some ordinary citizens a lot of hassle.
Random Thoughts & Reflections -
It seems that the weather turned cold almost immediately after our Christmas party. Great luck! Now our lake is frozen and ice skating is in order. If you have skates, plan to come out for an afternoon of skating on our most excellent lake. I had forgotten how much fun it can be.
With the cold weather, saunas feel even better. If you have not spent an evening relaxing in our sauna, plan to do so while the weather is cold. It makes the enjoyment even more meaningful.
If you live in Shawnee County, don't forget to call your County Commissioner. SOON!
Items We Need
We still need a good quality (but inexpensive) large garden tractor or small tractor with attachments.
Gas-powered hedge shears.
Canoe paddles for our flotilla of boats.
Small galvanized buckets (like those citronella candles come in) (or other suitable, rust-resistant container) to use as cigarette butt cans.
Our chain saw has worn out. If you have a chain saw you no longer use, we can certainly make good use of it.
Membership Rates To Change
At our annual meeting, we asked members in attendance their opinion on increasing our membership rates somewhat and then giving an equal discount to members who agree to assist with our educational mission. The response from our membership was overwhelmingly favorable to the proposal.
Consequently, at its last meeting, the Board of Directors, voted to increase membership rates by $50 for both single members and couples and then offer a $50 discount to anyone willing to assist with our educational mission.
The Board left a strict definition of "assisting" to Dee, who is responsible for our Education and Outreach program. She has indicated there are several areas members may qualify for the earned discount in membership:
Members who write letters to their elected representatives or to the newspaper;
Members who give talks, recruit at seminars or explain Naturism at coffee shops;
Draft an educational brochure the Foundation could publish to explain Naturism to others;
Lead special-interest seminars open to non-members. (See related article under Social)
This list is still being developed. If there is an area where you believe you could assist our educational mission, be sure to contact Dee to explain your area of interest. The Board is excited about the talent this new proposal will make available to further our educational mission.