The Jefferson Iowa News®



I'm madder than Ross Perot at a Van Gogh look-alike contest! What is going on in Jefferson, Iowa? The staff here informs me that every time they visit Jefferson they are subject to harassment for no reason! It is like the whole town is scared to death of people they don't recognize. They view anyone with a camera as a terrorist or pedophile! Even though there is virtually no crime in the town (pop. 4,000), and hasn't been for some time, they assume that the big major crime wave is just around the corner!

And don't even mention the word "internet" to them - it sends shivers down their spines! It seems that on one occasion, our staff was stopped by police when attempting to leave town and given field sobriety tests - even though no one had been drinking that entire day! Another time, worried residents called the police because they witnessed us taking a photograph of a house! Horrors! Then I learn that a staff member was asked to leave a public building, even though he was not even taking pictures!

It is painfully obvious that Jefferson is highly intolerant of strangers. If they don't know you, they would prefer that you leave - as quickly as possible! And no amount of explanation eases the problem (as though you need an explanation to be in their town). In fact, when our staff explains that they simply are taking photos for a web site, they are basically told that it will not be allowed! These small-town jerks don't even know the law! It is perfectly legal to take pictures of any public place in Greene County, inside and out! People included!

It is also perfectly legal to take any shots you want of private places - providing you remain on public property while shooting! Why would they prefer to make a big stink and force us to bring attorneys with us when simple cooperation would work so much better (and does everywhere else)? Is there something wrong with the water in Jefferson???

Take the quiz below, learn the law, and leave innocent, harmless people alone!

Link - You mean you can take my picture whenever you want??

here to visit the entire Bass Archives

Orville K. Bass, American

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