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Town Warns About Displaying American Flags – What Business Does Instead Has Them Regretting Their Rule

‘That’s not what this is about’

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A Chelmsford business was ordered by local government officials to remove 200 American flags placed on its property in an effort to honor America’s veterans for Memorial Day. The very last thing the business owners expected was demands for their removal.

Laer Realty places the display of 200 flags every year around Memorial Day and leaves them up through Independence Day on July 4. However, this is the first year they have received a complaint. Employee Jon Crandall says the last thing they expected when the display went up this year was the unpatriotic notice from the town’s building department citing them for a flag violation for excessive flags and a demand that they take them down.

Crandall stated: “On Saturday we came out and we lined this with 200 flags in support of our deceased veterans and all the people who have served. This is excessive?” the sales broker asked, pointing to the hundreds of American flags planted in the ground. “Can you have an excessive amount of American flags?”

That’s what the town told the local business, which places flags at the side of the busy intersection each year from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July.

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When he reported for work on Friday as normal, Crandall states there was a sign bylaw violation notice posted to the door threatening the business with a violation by the town which cited a statute saying flags cannot be used for “commercial promotion.”

Building Commissioner Mark Dupell wrote on the notice: “Excessive flags — you may display a reasonable amount.”

Michael McCall, Chelmsford’s Assistant Town Manager, stated of the citation – “This is a commercial establishment located at a busy intersection. It was in the front lawn of that particular property, and in the opinion of our code enforcement officer, the building commissioner, it was a violation.”

Rather than remove the American flags per the demand from town officials, Laer Realty doubled down on their patriotic display adding an additional 300 flags to the display with the plan to leave them up through Independence Day as per their normal practice.

“That seems so anti-American,” Crandall said about the town’s notice. Crandall stated of their act of civil disobedience: “We feel this is a patriotic act. It’s not about our business. It’s about supporting our troops, supporting veterans. I think the flags speak for themselves. I don’t think we need to get into a fight with city hall. We’re gonna keep adding now,” he stated, as realtors gathered together to place more flags down.

Before receiving the notice violation, they had planted about 200 American flags, Crandall estimated. By the end of Friday morning, about 400 American flags were in front of the business.

“Now we’re doubling down on patriotism,” Crandall said. Stacey Alcorn, Laer Realty’s CEO, decided to “dig our heels in” when she heard of the town’s order.

Faith Murphy, an agent at LAER, called the town’s response “insulting.”

“Of all things to call excessive, an American flag is not the one,” she said. “This is just showing we’re patriotic and we’re one.”

Not only did the town of Chelmsford and its government officials get a defiant response from Laer Realty, it seems many of the town residents agreed with Laer Realty’s rebellious act and began showing their support by adding flags of their own tripling the original amount.

The town government not only got a defiant response from Laer Reality, but residents showed their support by adding flags of their own, tripling the original amount. Emelie Primeau was one of the residents who was upset by the citation, stating – “I went to the store and I bought some flags because I believe in what they’re doing.”

Crandall stated on Fox & Friends on Sunday: “It was beautiful, but it certainly was not excessive. I don’t think you could have 2,000 out there and it would look excessive.”

Alcorn pointed out how the display has “grown significantly” because of the community coming out to support the message they are sending. She stated – “This had nothing to do with our business. It was us as a community just honoring our veterans and those who serve for us. Whether they fine or don’t fine us, those flags are staying up, at least through Flag Day and the Fourth of July.”

The Lowell Sun reports of the town official’s response to this act of defiance, stating:

“Chelmsford Town Manager Paul Cohen said the building commissioner’s job is to enforce the code of the community voted by Town Meeting, and that’s exactly what he did in this situation, according to Cohen. It appears that all those American flags is an excessive amount, violating the town zoning bylaw, he said.

A town zoning bylaw addresses the use of flags with commercial promotion, the town manager said.

‘When you blanket the whole front of a property, that would be considered a commercial promotion, and flags are not to be displayed in connection with commercial promotion,’ Cohen said.

The hundreds of flags could be distracting at the busy intersection, he added.

‘It becomes a safety concern at that tough intersection,’ Cohen said.

The town didn’t request that the business remove all the flags, but to reduce it to an appropriate number, according to the town manager.

“We’re not anti-American flag. That’s not what this is about,” Cohen said. “It’s about the commercial promotion and safety distraction at a busy intersection.”

 

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Ex-Ohio State Coach Busted For Lewd Pics He Took In The White House As Sick Scandal Erupts

The end result was not what he expected

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The White House is known to have some controversy. However, the latest turmoil surrounding it has nothing to do with the people inside or the building itself. Instead, news outlets have been reporting on former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith who was caught taking lewd pictures while he visited the White House. The end result was not what he expected, and the hammer is about to come down.

Fox News reported,

“Former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith allegedly took lewd photos of himself in a bathroom at a White House, ordered thousands of dollars worth of sex toys sent to his office and had sex with a staffer on the college’s campus, according to a report. Documents and receipts obtained by sports outlet Stadium showed Smith ordered more than $2,200 in erotic toys, camera equipment and clothes. He allegedly had the items shipped to his office at the Ohio State Woody Hayes Athletic Center in 2015. It also reportedly obtained lewd photos of Smith while he was wearing a suit from April 20, 2015, the same day the football team was at the White House for a visit after the team, the Buckeyes, won the national title in 2014. Another photo allegedly showed Smith placing his genitalia next to a White House bathroom towel that had the Seal of the President of the United States.

Smith’s ex-wife Courtney Smith told Stadium that the former coach “took multiple photos of his penis inside the Ohio State coaches’ offices” and he “photographed himself in the coaches’ offices receiving oral sex and having sex with an OSU staffer.” Stadium reached out to Brad Koffel, Smith’s attorney, who said he had “no idea” about the lewd photographs and erotic toys. The lawyer accused the media outlet of “receiving stolen property.” “If anyone of this is published or referenced, we will refer to the county prosecutor,” Koffel told Stadium. “This is a felony.”

Smith was fired by Ohio State last month after a history of domestic violence allegations became public. His ex-wife Courtney Smith alleged Smith was abusive toward her multiple times and the college was aware of the incident. Smith has denied the allegations and the two divorced in 2016. Head Coach Urban Meyer was placed on paid leave as the school investigated if the coach properly handled domestic abuse allegations against Smith. Ohio State announced the probe would wrap up on Sunday and the findings would be given to the school board of trustees, USA Today reported.”

Watch Stadium reported,

“Documents and receipts Stadium has obtained show Zach Smith ordered more than $2,200 in sex toys, male apparel and photography equipment and had the items delivered to him at Ohio State’s Woody Hayes Athletic Center in 2015. The Woody Hayes Athletic Center houses all Buckeye football operations. All of the items were delivered to “Zach Smith, Woody Hayes Athletic Center, 535 Irving Schottenstein Drive, Columbus” between February and May 2015. Copies of some of those documents are listed below. Courtney Smith said Zach Smith took multiple photos of his penis inside the Ohio State coaches’ offices, inside the White House when the Buckeyes visited in 2015 and also photographed himself in the coaches’ offices receiving oral sex and having sex with a OSU staffer.

After winning the 2014 national title, the Buckeyes were honored at the White House on April 20, 2015. One photo of Smith’s penis, taken on April 20, 2015 according to a time stamp, shows Smith in his black suit he wore to the White House event. Another photo of Smith’s penis includes a White House bathroom towel featuring the Seal of the President of the United States. Stadium will not publish the penis photos or the photos of the Ohio State staffer, who is no longer working with the football program. Brad Koffel, Zach Smith’s attorney, said Friday that he had “no idea” about the photos and sex paraphernalia sent to Smith to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

After providing Koffel with copies of some of the sex orders and photos, I asked Koffel: What was the purpose of Zach Smith taking those photos in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and the White House, and why were the sex items delivered to him at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center? Did Urban Meyer have knowledge of this information? The following was the entire text exchange between Koffel and myself.

Koffel: Sounds like extortion. Thanks for the texts Brett. I’d get a lawyer if I were you.
McMurphy: Not extortion. I’m not asking for money nor have I received any money. I’m asking for your comment to my original question: what was the purpose of taking these photos and why were the items delivered to the Woody Hayes Center? And did Urban Meyer have knowledge of any of this?
McMurphy: As a courtesy, as you said you would extend, here are my questions: what was the purpose of taking these photos and why were the items delivered to the Woody Hayes Center? And did Urban Meyer have knowledge of any of this? Thx u
Koffel: You know these were accessed illegally. Another felony
McMurphy: I don’t know how they were accessed. Can you answer my questions please
Koffel: You absolutely know or should know these were obtained without my client’s consent. If not, you do know.
Koffel: *now
McMurphy: What are the answers to my questions?
Koffel: You have my answers & my advice. Tread very lightly.
McMurphy: You didn’t answer my questions? So you have nothing further?
Koffel: Not him except with his face. Gag gifts. The oral sex is not him.
McMurphy: Want to double check: White House picture with his tie and wedding ring that are visible from media photos of the event is not him?
Koffel: Nope
McMurphy: Thx u
Koffel: This is receiving stolen property.
Koffel: If any one of this is published or referenced we will refer to the county prosecutor. This is a felony ORC 2913.04
Koffel: Also you are under RC 2913.05

The items that Smith had delivered to him between February and May 2015 included men’s spider enhancer triple c-ring, WildmanT ball lifter red, body wear CS2 metallic erotic c-strap gold and snakeskin, Candyman men’s jock suspenders, as well as PetitQ open slit bikini brief and studio pro product table-top poto lighting kit which arrived at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The products, while mostly from Amazon, also came from companies such as Gypsy B, Devil’s Wink, and Captain Camo to name a few. Just two days ago Toledo Blade announced that Smith had been arrested on the suspicion that he had been drinking and driving in February of 2013 however he plead guilty and got a lesser charge. Reporters were told by Koffell that Ohio State coach Urban Meter was not aware of the arrest from 2013 and that it has never been previously reported until Tuesday.

In July, Smith was fired after the reporters of unreported domestic violence allegations which included the 2009 arrest while he was a part of Meyer’s coaching staff in Florida. However, while Meyers was asked over nine times about Smith’s domestic violence incidents he denied knowledge of them every single time. Nonetheless, Ohio State University announced they would be starting an investigation. Shortly thereafter, Meyer admitted he had lied about not knowing of the incidents but maintained that followed proper protocol. The result of the investigation is still unknown, however, it will end at the end of the 14-day investigation whereby the OSU Board of Trustees and President Michael V. Drake will be notified first and then the media.

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Trump Just Blindsided Muslims In Bold Move Overnight, He’s Done

The White House will be notifying lawmakers of the president’s decision

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There are now several reports stating that President Donald Trump will be canceling the $200 million worth of foreign aid that was set aside to “stabilize” the war-torn nation of Syria.

The AP is reporting that officials with knowledge of the move have said that the White House will be notifying lawmakers of the president’s decision to withhold the funding and spend it elsewhere.

Here is more on this aid package via The Daily Caller:

“President Donald Trump’s administration will withdraw funding for aid programs in northwestern Syria, according to reports from administration officials.

The funding cuts are to the State Department’s “stabilization” programs in northwestern Syria, reported CBS News, citing administration officials. The programs include countering violent extremism, supporting independent media, as well as strengthening local civic and government institutions.

At Trump’s request, the State Department has been reviewing areas in Syria where the U.S. can scale back its financial commitments while focusing its efforts on areas liberated from the Islamic State. As the programs in northwestern Syria are phased out in the coming months, the money will be shifted to help support the counter-ISIS mission in northeast Syria.

The move to cut funding for northwestern Syria comes after Trump froze over $200 million in recovery aid for the entire country in late March. State Department officials said the latest cuts are “distinct from that amount.”

The State Department told CBS that “$200 million of stabilization assistance for Syria is currently under review at the request of the President.”

“Distinct from that amount, U.S. assistance for programs in northwest Syria are being freed up to provide potential increased support for priorities in northeast Syria, as will be determined by the outcome of the ongoing assistance review, including the D-ISIS campaign and stabilization efforts,” according to the report.

Because it has already been cleared of ISIS militants, northwestern Syria is not seen as a priority for the Trump administration, which has sought a narrower mission of fighting the remnants of ISIS in the country’s eastern half. The northwest is also an extraordinarily complex place, partially under Syrian government control but also home to Idlib, a rebel stronghold, and Afrin, where Turkish forces have been battling U.S.-backed Kurdish militia groups.

Washington has provided almost $900 million in non-lethal and stabilization aid to Syrian assistance since 2012, according to the State Department. Funding for humanitarian aid, which is distinct from the stabilization programs, will continue, administration officials said.

“We remain committed to countering ISIS and al-Qaida, in Syria and elsewhere,” a State Department official told Axios. “We will continue to provide life-saving, needs based, humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Syrians, including those in northwest Syria.”

The $200 million in recovery aid was originally pledged by the former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a February meeting of the US.-led coalition to defeat ISIS. But we are now starting to learn that only weeks later, the White House ordered the State Department to delay the funds pending the outcome of a spending review.

The Daily Caller reports:

“The cancellation of stabilization funding is in line with Trump’s inclination to avoid a leading role in the Syrian war. While he has stopped short of withdrawing the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops deployed to Syria, he has repeatedly signaled a desire to let other governments take the lead in post-war reconstruction.

The loss of U.S. funding will be more than offset by an additional $300 million pledged by coalition partners, including $100 million from Saudi Arabia, according to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

“Many coalition partners have made pledges and contributions in recent months and the United States appreciates all partners who have stepped up to support this critical effort,” she told the AP.

The proper extent of U.S. involvement in Syria has been an open question in Washington for several years, but the debate has taken on new urgency as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad nears victory in the seven-year war. Backed by Russian and Iranian forces, Assad has regained control of most of central and southern Syria, leaving only pockets of rebel territory in the northwest and a U.S.-backed Kurdish autonomous region in the east.”

The cancellation of stabilization funding is just one more promise kept by the Trump White House. Where he pledged to avoid having the U.S. take a leading role in the Syrian war. Although he did not withdraw the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops deployed to Syria nor did he mention any withdrawal in the future, he has repeatedly said he his goal is to let other governments take the lead in the post-war reconstruction of a nation which is far from being stable.

Although the loss of these funds will be felt it will be offset by an additional $300 million which has already been pledged by coalition partners. One of which includes Saudi Arabia who has pledged $100 million.

The AP is reporting that in acknowledgment of the changing of power the White House plans to tap James Jeffrey as special envoy to Syria. Jeffrey is a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and a career foreign service officer. Jeffrey will hold the title of “special representative for Syrian engagement” and report directly to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or the President.

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