Bare Facts
Copyright 2000 Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
Official Publication of the Lake Edun Foundation, Inc.
January 1, 2002

Box 1982; Topeka, KS 66601 Voice Mail: 785-478-BARN e-mail: Website:

Christmas/Holiday Party Great

About 30 Eduners joined with members of Heartland Naturists for a truly spectacular party at Bruce and JoAnn's house in Kansas City. Their home was built 100 years ago and is excellent for entertaining. With six fire places, it clearly maintains the charm of a by-gone era.

Everyone brought food for the pot-luck. When combined with excellent bar-b-que provided by our hosts, it made quite a spread. Unbelievably, by the time everyone left, it was all consumed!

Bruce & JoAnn had done a wonderful job decorating their house. Some Eduners commented on the memorable decorations while looking for the correct address before realizing it was our host's home. Wood floors, beautiful rugs, unique door knobs, knockers on each bedroom door, antiques everywhere, and hundreds of details that make the house one that has easily earned its place on the Kansas City Historic Homes tour.

Thank you Bruce and JoAnn for opening your home, and your hearts and extending your hospitality to Eduners and Heartlanders alike for this party that will be difficult to top.

The Latest From Cancun

Jeff and his wife just returned from a vacation to Cancun. Here is a report on what they found.

Dear Lake Edun,

Back in town from the Cancun trip. Good to get away for a while. Just hate to come back and spend 2 days going through e-mail and problems at work. But here is the scoop on Cancun.

I have read that Cancun in supposedly considered a European style of resort. Topless OK. That did not seem to be the case from what I observed. Most of the people at our hotel were American or Mexican. No one was topless at all. There is an adult resort on the north end of the strip called Blue Bay that did have a few topless ladies, but only 10% or so. And as for nudity, not a chance. I get the idea that Cancun is pretty strict in it's views. There are suppose to be some good secluded beaches south of Cancun on the way to Playa de Carmen, but I did not get down there. I just don't think that Cancun is ready for the liberal attitudes yet. Probably best to scratch Cancun off the list for any of the Lake crowd.

Items We Need

Early Edun Valentine Party

Be sure to mark your calendar and keep open the evening of February 9 for an early Valentine's Day Party held in an Edun-style.

Kelly and Bill will be our hosts. They have hosted parties for Eduners in the past and know how to treat us right. If the past is any clue, we will be in for a great time.

Details and directions will be in the next issue of Bare Facts.

Take The Plunge

by Dee Merryfield

Let me start by saying, if you have not taken a sauna, you should. It is GREAT!!!!!

You got stress in your life? It will completely melt away after a sauna. Plus, there's something very positive about getting a small group of people in close quarters. The conversation is usually very uplifting, and it gives you the opportunity to talk on a more personal level.

I never made it to a sauna last winter, and I don't want that to happen this year. I kept hearing about how wonderful it is to jump in the lake afterwards. However, I was certain doing so would give me a heart attack. Several weeks prior to the sauna I psyched myself up to take the plunge. Still, I wasn't sure I would go through with it. I checked with PT to make sure he was up on his CPR skills. He assured me he was. The moment of truth arrived. Of course it didn't hurt that it was a warm night.

Well, anyone who's done it knows just how great it is. When you get of the water, you feel quite warm. You don't stand there freezing like one might think. It's AWESOME!!! Everyone should try it at least once.

Random Thoughts & Reflections

Thanks Eldon & June for the envelopes. They saved us a bundle when we reprinted them recently.

Guess Winter has finally come to our special place. We had wonderful, cold weather for our last sauna on Friday, the 27th. As is always the case, even in winter, when the sun is bright and there is not too much of a breeze, the truly dedicated can maintain their tanning. Although the trees are barren, our special place is still truly spectacular!


Activities designated HN are sponsored by Heartland Naturists

Jan 12; Sat; 10-12; Board of Directors meeting

Jan 12; Sat; 7-9; Sauna

Jan 18; Fri; 7-9; HN Swim in Kansas City

Jan 26; Sat; 6-8; Sauna

Feb 8; Fri; 7-9; Sauna

Feb 9; Sat; Valentines Day Party

Feb 15; Fri; 7-9; HN Swim in Kansas City

June 21-23; Return to Edun/10

Report From The Chair

By Born Nude

Planning for the coming outdoor season is well underway. Webb and I have been meeting with all of the board members individually to develop a plan. If you have any ideas to make the coming summer more fun and productive, please contact any board member with your ideas.

Already we know that we need volunteers to host weekend events through out the summer. You wouldn't need to spend a great deal of money. A creative idea for a fun experience is sufficient. At some point, I will host a formal dinner party (details later) at our special place followed by "Capture the Flag" after dark.

We also plan to continue monthly membership open forums. We'll rotate the facilitator and plan to begin in March. The tentative plan is to have an Ides of March Party in conjunction with the first meeting.

Return to Edun is in late June this year, almost six weeks earlier than last year. Be sure to order your tickets soon and volunteer to help.

It is absolutely essential that we have your input very soon. We anticipate having all of our plans in place well before summer starts so that everyone can relax and enjoy the season. A suggestion in the middle of the summer will simply be too late. So, think about what you would like to see happen during the summer and let us know.

Tale Of A Bicycle Ride

This past July, Terri Sue Webb was arrested in Bend, Oregon for the "crime" of having chosen to ride her bicycle while nude. Although the activity does not actually appear to rise to the level of an offense under Oregon state law, Webb was charged with disorderly conduct.

The case gained notoriety when Webb further asserted her right to determine her own personal dress code by choosing to be nude at her initial appearance in Deschutes County court on November 7. Judge Barbara Haslinger instructed police to arrest Webb for contempt and then sentenced her to a year of probation and ordered her to undergo psychiatric testing. [So much for "blind justice".]

Terri Webb has chosen an unconventional way of seeking to incorporate nudity into her right of self-determination, but it is that departure from the ordinary that makes the case interesting and perhaps significant. Webb has said that her right to a fair trial on the initial charge has already been denied, pointing out that declaring nakedness as unacceptable in the court prior to the admission of evidence reflects a prejudgment concerning the issue at hand. She also challenges the court's presumption that a demonstrated preference for nudity is a sign of a mental disorder.

The trial on the initial disorderly conduct charge is set for January 23. The Naturist Action Committee is following this story. NAC is the volunteer nonprofit political arm of The Naturist Society (TNS). NAC's mission is to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. NAC is not content merely to maintain the status quo and actively seeks to expand the envelope of nude freedoms. For further information, contact NAC board member Mark Storey by e-mail at or consult NAC's web site at: Membership in NAC is automatic when you join the Naturist Society. If you are interested in membership, use the form enclosed with this issue of Bare Facts.

The Naturalist Naturist

By Biology Bill

Residents of Kansas have probably noticed that it's been pretty warm for most of the fall. It's become more seasonal within the last couple of weeks, but overall temperatures have been well above average for much of the last few months. Generally people seem to like this kind of phenomenon; you don't have to wear heavy coats, heating bills are low, and people may even have been able to get out to Lake Edun in December without freezing! However, this kind of unusual weather has many effects on organisms other than humans, and that's what the rest of this article is about.

The first thing any self-respecting nature nut should be paying attention to during extended periods of warm weather during the winter is what the local plant life is doing. If you just look around town (or the countryside, depending on where you live), most of the grass on people's lawns is green and happy looking. It's not growing very fast, but some grasses don't bother to go dormant unless the weather is truly cold or snowy. [Other species of grass shut down automatically at a certain point in the fall no matter what is going on weatherwise - look for yards that are completely gray.] This unusual activity can only help lawns - the grass gets to photosynthesize some more, and store up some more energy resources for the rest of the winter. Because most grasses are adapted for quick growth and are highly tolerant of disturbances, they can start up or shut down very quickly and easily.

Many other plants respond to the warm weather in other ways. One happy result is that many summer annuals or fall-blooming perennials continued to bloom throughout the autumn. This, too, can't hurt these plants much since they also get to store nutrients for the rest of the winter, and we get to enjoy them. When enough hard freezes come by, the above-ground parts will die back and the bulbs will wait until spring arrives. Occasionally spring-blooming plants (I've seen daffodils in recent weeks) are fooled and start to grow as if it's spring - if they actually get to flower before cold weather hits then we get to see pretty flowers in unusual months. However, this is probably not too good for the plants, because if they exhaust their energy reserved for spring growth they might be spent when spring really comes. Nevertheless, bulbs are typically resilient, and so this might reduce the blooming potential in the spring but probably will not kill them. This is pretty much the same for any tree buds that are prematurely active - the tree's blooming or budding might be somewhat reduced in the spring, but the survival of the plant is not significantly altered. In any case, there's not anything you as the gardener can do to prevent mistaken blooming, so you might as well just relax and enjoy any winter flowers.

Animals are also affected by unusual warmth in the winter. You probably have noticed some insect activity at times you don't expect it, and maybe a few birds have hung around later than usual. Similar to the plants, this is not going to hinder most of the animals too much, so you might as well just enjoy the sights and sounds. Some people are worried that birds that stay late will be trapped by a sudden cold snap - that's really not too much of a problem, since most birds use day length cues to decide when to migrate (these are independent of weather), so most are long gone anyway. Birds that migrate are usually able to travel long distances in only a few days, so if a thrush needs to head south very suddenly it is able to do so without much problem. [Those hummingbirds that showed up by mistake in New York City in mid-December are going to have major problems, however, unless someone decides to feed them.] Other animals may also be active past their season: butterflies and other insects that over winter as adults could emerge quickly and feed in warm weather, and then go back to their holes when it gets cold again. Some may freeze if the weather turns cold in a few hours, but this shouldn't affect the next summer's activity much. Any mammals or birds that are active all winter will be happy about the warm weather - they won't need to eat as much to maintain their constant body temperatures, and no snow means food is easier to find. The main animals that could be harmed significantly by unusual warmth in the winter are those that stash large energy supplies in fat to last out the winter, and then wake up in December or January to discover that there is nothing to eat. Some bats, rodents and insects may starve to death if this happens, but usually the most hard-wired hibernators naturally sleep through the winter, even if it is temporarily warm.

Overall, it is interesting watching animals and plants reacting to unusual warm temperatures when it is supposed to be winter. Flowers bloom, trees may bud, and you might see animals active in ways that are more appropriate for later in the year. Some of this activity is a waste of energy for organisms, and some may be harmed by poor use of their winter resources. Generally, though, most animals and plants you see active in warm stretches will be all right in the spring, and because there is nothing you can do to change their behavior you might as well just relax and enjoy the show.

Happy New Year

by John Ritter

The new year is upon us and the Board is looking forward to a great year and a new set of challenges. One challenge we always face is funding our cost of operations and completion of projects.

Membership and visitors fees are the prime sources of revenue for LEF. We can all be a part of insuring that LEF funds are adequate by being a part of the new members and visitors recruiting efforts.

The grape vine and word of mouth are the best recruiting tools that we have. If everyone will promote LEF to their friends, relatives and associates, we can broaden our financial base through a larger membership. There are monetary rewards for you if you recruit new members. And brochures are available to assist you in recruiting.

I look forward to working with everyone during the FY. No comment, suggestion or idea is too small and won't fall on deaf ears. Let us know how we can serve LEF, it's members and visitors.

A Solution To Declining Tourism In Florida

Recently, flanked by half-empty hotels and beaches, revelers packed a quarter-mile stretch of sand at the north end of Miami-Dade County for a party where clothing was optional. Perhaps the idea was not what local officials had in mind to attract more tourist dollars. But, the event should be an eye-opener for businesses competing for revenue that has shrunk dramatically since Sept. 11.

Shirley Mason, past president of the South Florida Free Beaches/Florida Naturists Association (SFFB), helped sponsor the Nudesplash Caribbean Festival at Haulover's North Beach Park.

"They want that occupancy," she said, addressing the change in hotel attitudes towards nudism . "Two years ago they were arrogant. Now it's like, can we talk? They are looking at it more favorably as a whole new market."

The nude beach at Haulover attracted more than 1.3 million visitors last year, according to both SFFB and county park statistics. The estimate for 2001 is 1.2 million - 65 percent of whom are expected from outside Miami-Dade County. The idea is not new, Mason said. Europeans and Latin Americans already flock to nude beaches in their homelands. They are looking for places to unravel when they visit the United States.

Richard Mason, another SFFB past president and current government liaison, pointed out that Fidel Castro is a better entrepreneur than many South Floridians because he understands the value nudism has in bringing tourist dollars to Cuba.

Shirley Mason, who distributes her "Beach Buzz" newsletter to hotels and condos, said she is in talks with several neighboring hotels and time-shares about turning designated floors "clothing optional." She's eying a Days Inn because of its favorable geographic layout, the Suez, the Monaco and others in hopes some will go fully nude. "The people who come here to use this beach would love to be able to go to a hotel that is clothing optional as well," she said. This works at Jamaican establishments. "They have a nude beach and they have a prude beach."

Richard Mason said convention and visitors bureau officials and hospitality businesses have held conferences to identify ways to increase visitation. Several strategies have been discussed, but not naturist tourism. Local tourism officials have visited overseas to research the idea, but come back saying, "We can't do that here," Mason said. Political pressure is just too hot, he noted.

Most businesses, when looking at a strategy for growth or retention look first at what is working best and try to expand that market. Clearly, a clothing-optional Haulover Beach attracts many visitors to Miami. In addition, crime, which once plagued the beach, is virtually nonexistent now, he said. And, best of all, the successes at Haulover have been accomplished without any tax dollars.

Overcrowding has prompted expansion talks. The association is currently working with the Department of Parks and Recreation on an extension and redevelopment plan at the south end of the nude beach. Work has begun on new dunes. In addition, some high-profile tourism companies, such as Carnival Cruise Lines in Miami, seek nude business. In February, the M/S Jubilee set sail for nine days on a nude cruise organized by Bare Necessities.

Not everyone admits publicly that nude beaches draw a crowd. David Whitaker, senior VP of marketing at the Greater Miami Conventions and Visitors Bureau said "I would liken this clothing-optional efforts to niche marketing," noting a similarity to senior, adventure or family marketing. "If there is an overwhelming, significant potential out there, they'll find more responsiveness." He added that legalities in terms of ordinances would play a role in its viability.

Signs divide clothing from clothing-optional sections of the beach, which is set back far enough from condo-dwellers who may be offended. But conservative activism is strong in the state, the Masons said.

"We have in America a thing called a heckler's veto," said Richard Mason, who spends much of his time lobbying in Tallahassee against anti-nude legislation. "If you as a radical-right Christian don't like nude people on this beach, you want it shut down because you personally don't like it. That's what's going on all over the United States, including Florida." He said tactics such as "seat-busting," where anti-nude activists fill chairs at local meetings to drown out opposing viewpoints, is not uncommon.

"They are very well organized," Shirley Mason said of efforts by conservatives.

Local officials prefer to stay out of the fracas. But some, such as commissioner Sally Heyman, who supports nude beaches "if done in a respectful manner," stand by the SFFB on the campaign trail. The association invited Festival attendees to "meet, greet and support" Heyman, who is running for Miami-Dade County commission's District 4 seat. Heyman attended the two-day event on Saturday.

She said the SFFB has set the tone for how nude beaches should be run. About 98 percent of the beach population at Haulover are in the designated area, she said. "We think this is a tremendous draw for Europeans and Canadians who like to swim without encumbrances," she said. "The beach hotels love them, they fill up." Heyman noted that the nude beach at Haulover has already proved an "incredible money maker" for Miami-Dade, bringing in $600,000 in parking revenues each year.

While the popularity of Haulover is evident to the Masons and Commissioner Heyman, state officials and local CVBs still don't have them on their radar screens. At a governor's conference on tourism, the association occupied one of four hospitality suites where members showed videos and gave out naturist guides and magazines in an effort to cross-promote tourism and naturism. "They ignored us," Richard Mason said. "They don't even mention us in any of their literature. People are very uptight about it."

Uncovered Opinions

By Dave Bitters

The Prohibition State

Kansas is sometimes called "The Wheat State." But a more appropriate moniker might be "The Prohibition State." Indeed, it seems to this observer that Kansans collectively never met a prohibition they didn't like.

Public nudity has been a favorite and recurring theme of local prohibitionists. In 1990, Douglas County outlawed skinny-dipping in all unincorporated areas. In the early 1990s several municipalities around Kansas City passed anti-nudity nuisance ordinances to prevent alcohol-free strip clubs called "juice bars" from becoming too popular. Shortly after the Barnes v. Glen Theater Supreme Court decision, the Shawnee County Commission debated outlawing strip clubs, but ultimately declined to act in the wake of opposition brought to bear by a company called NewTek. Last year Olathe passed an anti-nudity ordinance to prevent local radio station KYYS from sponsoring Lady Godiva rides in convertibles. The Olathe police chief determined that "we don't need that kind of entertainment." A Johnson County judge convicted a Naturist of lewd and lascivious behavior for jogging nude in a park, even though the prosecution failed to offer any evidence of sexual misconduct. In August 2000 the Leavenworth County Commissioners passed an anti-nudity ordinance to prevent a strip club from establishing a toe-hold in the county. In went through the hearing process with such swiftness as to make a mockery of the concept of due process. The constitutionality of the ordinance currently is under review by the courts.

Several years ago a Shawnee preacher made a public nuisance of himself by demanding that high schools in the Shawnee-Mission School District cease showing Franco Zefferelli's "Romeo and Juliet" in freshman English classes. (He characterized it as "soft-core porn.") Several months later another preacher created a media stir by entering a Barnes and Noble bookstore and ripping up copies of Jock Sturges's photo anthologies "Radiant Identities" and "Last Days of Summer." Taking his cue from "Focus on the Family's" James Dobson, he declared them "child pornography." This November a Catholic group called "Men of Nativity," with help from the Johnson County Sun, called for a boycott of Abercrombie & Fitch. They declared the A&F catalog (with its images of naked college students) "inappropriate" for teenagers and saw it as their duty to "protect" them.

The most outrageous of the local urges to prohibit nudity (and other activities that some don't like) occurred on October 25, 2001, when the Leavenworth County Commission voted 2-1 to deny the Gaea Retreat Center (Camp Gaea) near Springdale renewal of its conditional use permit. Excerpts from the official minutes of the hearing make interesting reading:

"Beth Hecht, spokesperson, stated that she wants to live in a safe and healthy community. She feels the types of activities that are held are not safe for children. People are coming and going at all times of the day and night, which results in a high volume of traffic and unsafe road conditions.

"Dennis Bixby, Tonganoxie Planning & Zoning Commissioner, stated that there were 600-700 cars on the road during Camp Gaea's 3-day Labor Day event. He is concerned with the amount of water that is used and some of the actions, such as nudity that Camp Gaea is known for. [sic]

"Mike Stieben, 611 Olive, informed the board that he believes illegal activities such as pedifilia [sic] and sodomy may occur due to information provided on Camp Gaea's web site.

"Denise Sullivan, K-State Extension Program, stated that some of the events are not beneficial to families and children."

In political proceedings opinions, allegations and innuendo can carry as much weight as facts, if the decisionmakers (politicians) so choose. As it turned out, the commissioners gave no weight to the facts presented in favor of renewing the permit presented by supporters of Gaea.

I wrote last year about the anti-nudity ordinance the Leavenworth County Commissioners passed in August, (Resolution 2000-34). The pretext for this was a restaurant in southern Leavenworth County that was considering featuring nude female dancers as entertainment. There had been a bar in Leavenworth that had featured nude dancers and that had allegedly created some problems. The commissioners were eager to avoid similar problems in unincorporated areas. The preamble to Resolution 2000-34 asserted, in part, that "… certain lewd and immoral activities carried on in public places for profit are highly detrimental to public health, safety and welfare, and lead to the debasement of both women and men, promote violence, public intoxication, prostitution and other serious criminal activities… ." The commissioners sanctimoniously observed that "The Board is fully aware of and fully respects the fundamental constitutional guarantees of free speech and free expression and realizes that restrictions of such freedoms must be carefully drafted and enforced so speech and expression are not curtailed beyond the point at which it is essential to further the County's interest in public health, safety and welfare… ." But they went on to define a "Public Place" as including "all outdoor places owned by or open to the public, and all buildings and enclosed places owned by or open to the general public, including such places of entertainment, taverns, restaurants, clubs, theaters, dance halls, banquet halls, party rooms or halls limited to specific members, restricted to adults or to patrons invited to attend, whether or not an admission charge is levied." The gist of the resolution was that nudity would be illegal in all such public places.

It was clear Camp Gaea would fall under the ambit of this broad-brush prohibition. The camp held several planning sessions and "town meetings" to discuss the crisis the commissioners had created. Several ideas were discussed. But the camp's board took a long view, worrying not only about the legal status of nude recreation at the camp but also about the conditional use permit that would be up for renewal in 2001. They considered it unwise to make too many waves. So the strategy they adopted was to have their attorney, Robin Martinez, negotiate with County Counselor David Van Parys.

Van Parys sent a letter to Martinez indicating that, in his opinion, the camp didn't fall under the resolution because of its private, non-profit status. So, the crisis appeared to have been averted quietly.

However, prior to the October 25 hearing, Van Parys reversed himself in a stunning fashion. In a letter to the commissioners dated October 24, 2001, he wrote that "On November 13 ,2000, at the request of a Mr. Robin Martinez, an attorney representing Earth Rising, Inc. I issued the attached opinion letter. Based upon additional review and study I hereby withdraw that opinion.

"Specifically, Resolution 2000-34 prohibits appearing in a state of nudity in public places. 'Public place' is defined as including ' all outdoor places owned by or open to the general public…' Consequently, and in the absence of any exclusionary language, the provisions of Resolution 2000-34 would apply to the operations and situations outlined in Mr. Martinez's letter of November 8, 2000, also attached. In issuing the opinion letter of November 13, 2000 I misapplied the language of Resolution 2000-34 and in order to correct that error, withdraw the opinions set out in that opinion letter. I feel that it is important to address this issue now since any Special Use Permit issued to either Earth Rising, or any successor, will require compliance with County Resolutions."

It's worthwhile to note Camp Gaea had no input to the process that led to the Resolution. Indeed nobody associated with the camp had any knowledge of this resolution until I brought it to their attention following announcement of its passage in the local newspaper. Even worse, I only found out about it because Naturist Action Committee Executive Director Bob Morton brought it to my attention. (It should be noted that in the 1940s and 1950s the camp was operated as a nudist park called Echo Valley.)

The whole affair had all the earmarks of the kind of action for which the Religious Right has become so notorious. This includes both passage of Resolution 2000-34 and denial of the conditional use permit. (Ralph Reed, formerly Executive Director of the Christian Coalition once bragged they would "fly under the radar scope.") It was odd that about half the signatures on the petition opposing the conditional use permit were from residents of McLouth. I doubt any residents of McLouth even knew about the camp's existence until a local preacher brought it to their attention. At the October 25 hearing the evidence of Religious Right involvement was clear to anyone with knowledge of their code-words. Complainant Beth Hecht made references to "homeschooling" her children, and another opponent threatened a lawsuit by the "ACLJ" if the commissioners renewed the permit. (ACLJ stands for "American Center for Law and Justice." It's Pat Robertson's flack legal organization headed by Jay Sekulow and headquartered at Robertson's Regents University.)

The case of Camp Gaea vs. Leavenworth County now goes to the courts.The Naturist Action Committee has offered to help the camp and it appears Earth Rising has accepted. However, the issue of Camp Gaea is more complex than a battle over the right to be naked in places set aside for that purpose (a right that 80% of Americans support, by the way). Camp Gaea is a retreat for gays, neo-Pagans, Naturists and others whom the larger society tends to marginalize. It's a place where people have the opportunity to be themselves without judgmental condemnation. Social/ recreational/ spiritual nudity is only part of the equation, though it's an important part for some.

For Naturists, though, the Camp Gaea case may be of extreme significance. If camp management does not cave in to the county and agree to enforce the nudity ban, the central issue regarding the nudity will be somewhat different than in past cases involving anti-nudity laws. Anti-nudity legislation generally has been aimed at and challenged by businesses that provide sexually-oriented entertainment. And generally the issue has been "expressive conduct," that is, the First Amendment right of expression. But in this case the central issue has to do with the right of privacy or, what the courts sometimes have called "personhood." The central question is, does the individual have any sovereign rights when it comes to things like dress (or undress)? Is there a "zone of privacy" the government has no right to regulate?

The nightmare scenario for Naturists would be if the camp challenges Resolution 2000-34 all the way to the Supreme Court and loses. This is a possibility because the Supreme Court, influenced by Rhenquist, Thomas and Scalia, has generally upheld anti-nudity legislation. Were they to do so in this case, every nudist park in the country would be vulnerable to the kind of ex-post condemnation the Leavenworth County Commissioners have handed Camp Gaea. This is something the Religious Right has been working hard to achieve, and it now appears possible they might succeed.

The Leavenworth County Commissioners based their action on morality, just as the Douglas County Commissioners did with their anti-nudity law in 1990. So let's talk morality. Sometimes there's a difference between private morality (dealing with individual behavior) and public morality. Arguably, public policy that diminishes one individual or group of individuals at the expense of another is immoral (i.e. wrong). It's very difficult to see how the lives of Camp Gaea's supposed opponents will be enhanced by its closure. There may be legitimate concerns about noise and traffic that a properly-drafted conditional use permit could resolve. But the heart of the matter is that some people simply don't like what they think goes on at the camp and have persuaded a biased and uninformed county commission to legislate their prejudices.

Kansas has embarrassed itself once more. The actions of the Leavenworth County Commission have gained worldwide attention. Check out the press releases and opinions at

Welcome to Kansas - the Prohibition State.