Hit the Bricks!

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10-24-2016, 07:56 PM
Post: #1
Hit the Bricks!
(This post was last modified: 10-24-2016 07:58 PM by NjNyDigger.)
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Tried out a 'new to me' spot today. Huge old park surrounded by 1800's homes.

Pulled up and parked my car, when I noticed one of the nearby homeowner's bagging leaves on his property. Went up and chatted a bit about his house, neighborhood, etc., and the fella was nice enough to let me search the front yard. I was waiting on my friend Gerry, and we wanted to hunt the park first, so I told the homeowner we'd be back in a few hours.

As I was very early, I decided to start detecting the park while waiting for Gerry. First few minutes I was feeling out the ground and target depths as I normally do at a new spot, and I managed to snag a wheatie, but the soil was very dry in that section, so I decided to move.

After moving to a different spot about 30 yards away, I start swinging again and notice some guy walking on the footpath that surrounded the park, about 40 yards away from me. He was full on staring at me. As if he was in disbelief. As he's walking, he keeps craning his head back around looking at me. Rubbernecking! He walks some more, and then pulls out what appeared to be a cell phone. "Nah, he couldn't be!", I said to myself, and kept on hunting.

Few minutes later I dig a nice old buckle, and a couple minutes after that I get a real faint whisper tone. Dig way down deep in bone dry soil, and out pops a barber quarter. I was happier than a pig in mud. "Man, it's going to be a GOOD day!" I said to myself. Well...

Not even 5 minutes later, in the corner of my eye, I spot a cop car cruising past the park. I keep my head down and keep swinging, but I never see the car pass by. Not good. I keep swinging and then I finally spot a female P.O. coming up to me. Put my gear down and I walk up to her...

"Hi sir, whatcha doing?"

"Looking for old coins and stuff, is there a problem, Officer?"

"No, not really, but we had a call-in and came to check the situation out."

It was Rubberneck!!!

Anywho, this lady was very nice, and didn't seem like she honestly gave a shit about the call, but then another cop car rolls up, and a giant Irishman gets out. He too was pleasant, but was gently persuading me to leave through all sorts of cockamamie excuses.

After going back & forth on the issue, I finally told them both I didn't believe there to be an ordinance, but if one was furnished to me, I wasn't going to break the law, I would leave. Sure enough...

Big Irish calls his higher up on his cell phone, comes back and tells me that detecting is indeed allowed, however, digging is not. He even writes down the ordinance # for me. He told me he probably never would've said anything if he saw me, but since it was a call-in, his hands were tied. Sooooooo...

I wait for Gerry to get there so I can give him the bad news, and we decide to hunt the nearby house, as that was our only other option.

Wound up getting another silver quarter (a Washington) and some nice relics, but my day was ruined by losing a real good park. Glass half full though, at least I got a barber outta there! Wink

After hunting the house, we went to an old standby spot, and Gerry did well too, so the day wasn't a total wash, but SHEESH!!!

Joe

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10-24-2016, 08:32 PM
Post: #2
RE: Hit the Bricks!
(This post was last modified: 10-24-2016 08:38 PM by Dusty.)
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Joe ,
Don't give up so easy and get a copy of the ordinance. It's not the term "digging" that's the issue but the CONTEXT in which it is used that gives the law intent. Most of the ordinances are boiler plate phasing that denies "digging" in reference to doing damage. If you are not doing "damage" they are not going to press the issue. I have solved the issue twice by telling the P.O. that I will give him $100 bill if he can find a hole I have dug and that there are at least 15 of them to find. They know the law , you need to approach it as if you do too!

Here's a perfect example from the City I'm near:   (B)     Trees, Shrubbery, Lawn.
          (1)     Injury and Removal.  No person in a park shall damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree or plant or injure the bark or pick the flowers or seeds, of any tree or plant.  Nor shall any person attach any rope, wire, or other contrivance to any tree or plant.  A person shall not dig in or otherwise disturb grass areas to the detriment of these areas, or in any way injure or impair the natural beauty or usefulness of any area, provided that normal use of grassed areas will not be prohibited.  Exception is here made as to any regularly authorized party acting by and under the authority and regulation of the Mayor.

Doesn't outlaw digging unless " to the detriment of these areas,"

Both of them looked around and , instead of really looking , left instead of being embarrassed.

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10-24-2016, 09:14 PM
Post: #3
RE: Hit the Bricks!
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That's a tough break Joe but at least you made out with 2 quarters. That rubbernecker was probably related to the local councilman or some such thing. Or in other words, just a DA crank. I have used my Sampson in the Cleveland grass parks but I prefer to use my Hori, Hori because it looks a lot less ruthless and doesn't attract much attention. Now out in the woods, the Sampson goes with me most of the time along with the Hori, Hori. People I see out in the woods don't care. Some of the locals that see you with a long handled shovel, even as short as yours, digging in "their" park; some might get miffed, but most people don't care so long as they see you're not tearing up the place. Dusty brings up a good point too in that little phrase in the law he posted, " ....to the detriment of these areas,". If they can't see where you've been digging then there should be no griping about it at all.

Ed

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10-25-2016, 10:08 AM
Post: #4
RE: Hit the Bricks!
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I have been approached by a ranger and 2 park tendants I simply explain I do not dig I cut a plug 95 oercent of the time 4x4. And do not disturb the grass. Then I point around me and ask if they can tell where I have been. I do not use a hand shovel since my stroke the 31 inch lesche is also a tool for getting up but I dont offer that info. Pennypop uses a modified trench shovel neither of our encounters had issues. Sometimes explaining the hobbie and its terms helps keep you from getting asked to leave and may save trouble for the next guy. And thats all I have to say about that.. Want a chocolate?

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10-25-2016, 01:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: Hit the Bricks!
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2016 01:25 PM by NjNyDigger.)
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(10-24-2016 08:32 PM)Dusty Wrote:  Joe ,
Don't give up so easy and get a copy of the ordinance. It's not the term "digging" that's the issue but the CONTEXT in which it is used that gives the law intent. Most of the ordinances are boiler plate phasing that denies "digging" in reference to doing damage. If you are not doing "damage" they are not going to press the issue. I have solved the issue twice by telling the P.O. that I will give him $100 bill if he can find a hole I have dug and that there are at least 15 of them to find. They know the law , you need to approach it as if you do too!

Here's a perfect example from the City I'm near:   (B)     Trees, Shrubbery, Lawn.
          (1)     Injury and Removal.  No person in a park shall damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree or plant or injure the bark or pick the flowers or seeds, of any tree or plant.  Nor shall any person attach any rope, wire, or other contrivance to any tree or plant.  A person shall not dig in or otherwise disturb grass areas to the detriment of these areas, or in any way injure or impair the natural beauty or usefulness of any area, provided that normal use of grassed areas will not be prohibited.  Exception is here made as to any regularly authorized party acting by and under the authority and regulation of the Mayor.

Doesn't outlaw digging unless " to the detriment of these areas,"

Both of them looked around and , instead of really looking , left instead of being embarrassed.

Very good points, and trust me, I'm not going down without some due diligence, Dusty. As evidenced yesterday, according to the officers' own words, they don't take enforcement of the 'law' seriously to start with. Couple that with the minutiae of how the words can be applied/defined, and there's definitely some wiggle room. How much remains to be seen. Each county enforces the rules differently, and within that, each township, too. Bottom line, I'll do some research and see what can be done.

I obviously want to stay on the right side of the law, and I'm certainly not willing to incur a fine to find a few old coins, but I think these things need to be addressed by us detectorists. It's absolutely amazing that many of these municipalities would enact all of these asinine rules to protect the park space & preserve the history of these places, but the minute some rich, scumbag developer blows into town and wants to construct a mini mall, condos or open up a Starbucks on the land, they have ZERO qualms about paving over hundreds of years of history.

Your point about showing the officers the plugs is something I've done before, on the few occasions similar instances have arose. That, along with pointing out my pouch full of trash, normally seals the deal, and sends them packing, but not this time.

(10-24-2016 09:14 PM)Ohio Dirt Fisher Wrote:  That's a tough break Joe but at least you made out with 2 quarters. That rubbernecker was probably related to the local councilman or some such thing. Or in other words, just a DA crank. I have used my Sampson in the Cleveland grass parks but I prefer to use my Hori, Hori because it looks a lot less ruthless and doesn't attract much attention. Now out in the woods, the Sampson goes with me most of the time along with the Hori, Hori. People I see out in the woods don't care. Some of the locals that see you with a long handled shovel, even as short as yours, digging in "their" park; some might get miffed, but most people don't care so long as they see you're not tearing up the place. Dusty brings up a good point too in that little phrase in the law he posted, " ....to the detriment of these areas,". If they can't see where you've been digging then there should be no griping about it at all.

Ed

Ed, I see your point, but as an individual pursuing an innocent hobby, am I not free to use the equipment I so wish, within the bounds of common sense? I obviously wouldn't take a bulldozer out to detect, but I believe all of this talk about shovel versus digging tool is irrelevant. I could have been using a nail clipper to pop my plugs yesterday, and if Rubberneck saw me, we'd still be having this conversation, because the ground was altered. And for whatever reason, he viewed it as a personal violation.

It's a slippery slope, my friend. It's no different than the gun laws. The tree huggers and the politicians want to ban assault rifles. Because why would anyone outside of law enforcement or the armed forces need that type of heavy weaponry, they say??? And I happen to agree with that specific sentiment. However...

That does NOT mean gun owners do not have the right to own/use them, if they so desire, according to the U.S. Constitution. The minute, the second, an amendment is ever made to that document, banning a certain piece of weaponry due to a group's altering viewpoint on what IS or is NOT reasonable, is when the bottom will fall out. The chink is in the armor. Then there will be another amendment, another, ad infinitum.

I agree that the OPTICS of a smaller shovel mightn't be viewed so well in certain places, however, I'm not interested in optics, I'm only concerned with my right to use the PUBLIC park spaces to enjoy my hobby. Here's something to consider...

What if they told you that you couldn't use a Minelab, because it was too deep and was detrimental to the green space? Would you lay down, or fight it? Fact is, a mini shovel in the right hands can cut cleaner, more accurate plugs than a lesche, by far. Of course, there are some who don't know how to properly use lesche's either...should they be outlawed? My point is...

We're not crackheads getting high in the parks. We're not individuals who walk their dogs in the parks, and don't pick up the shit. We're not individuals who cook and have barbecues in the parks, and then leave a heap of trash lying around. For the most part, we are dedicated, knowledgable, responsible people looking to enjoy ourselves. All the talk about equipment, optics, etc. is worthless. The REAL issue is...

There's simply a segment of the population out there who doesn't fully understand what we do, and/or doesn't like what we do, and because of that, WE need to suffer. I don't follow Ed, I lead. And I'll do as I damn well please while I enjoy my hobby in a responsible way. Yes, doing it MY way might make me more front & center, but it's also allowed me TO detect places, because I open my mouth, and respectfully question authority.

Bear in mind, I'm not fired up at you, but simply because we're forced to even have this conversation. We need to wake up and stop squabbling about trivialities, when the main heart of the matter is: there are some people out there who do NOT like what we do, and will stop at nothing to prevent us from doing it.

(10-25-2016 10:08 AM)Cladjunky Wrote:  I have been approached by a ranger and 2 park tendants I simply explain I do not dig I cut a plug 95 oercent of the time 4x4. And do not disturb the grass. Then I point around me and ask if they can tell where I have been. I do not use a hand shovel since my stroke the 31 inch lesche is also a tool for getting up but I dont offer that info. Pennypop uses a modified trench shovel neither of our encounters had issues. Sometimes explaining the hobbie and its terms helps keep you from getting asked to leave and may save trouble for the next guy. And thats all I have to say about that.. Want a chocolate?

Educating onlookers/cops/park personnel is highly worthwhile, and is a good showing for our hobby Yes

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10-25-2016, 01:20 PM
Post: #6
RE: Hit the Bricks!
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2016 01:25 PM by shadeseeker.)
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I didn't have to get too far into your story to realize that it wasn't going to end well. Just about all of us have faced that situation at one time or another, and believe me we do feel for you. And after such a promising start with the Barber!---man the phrase  "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" comes to mind.
This might be a good time to approach the town council or mayor's office to see if an understanding could be reached. The fact that you complied politely with the police would stand  in your favor and provide an opening. It would also be good to search the ordinance for the wording, as Dusty demonstrated very well. It could be that you were entirely in the right, and if so, a talk with someone in authority could clear things up quickly and get you back in the park to see what else might be there. Hope it all works out for you and Gerry. PS: I just sent this in moments after you posted again Joe. I'm glad you are going to pursue the issue, and I agree with your premise as to the right to responsibly enjoy the way you choose to use the public space.

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10-25-2016, 04:13 PM
Post: #7
RE: Hit the Bricks!
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I'm not sure I have much to add but my support.  If there is a way , I am sure you will find it. 
   I think we all know the feeling of getting run off of a primo spot , whether it is a yard where one spouse says yes and the other changes their mind or a park where some busy body pushes it with the cops enough to make them come hassle you.
   Good luck in getting back on there , I hope to see you posting about more positive things really soon.
GL & HH 
Pat

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10-25-2016, 04:36 PM
Post: #8
RE: Hit the Bricks!
(This post was last modified: 10-25-2016 04:39 PM by NjNyDigger.)
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(10-25-2016 01:20 PM)shadeseeker Wrote:  I didn't have to get too far into your story to realize that it wasn't going to end well. Just about all of us have faced that situation at one time or another, and believe me we do feel for you. And after such a promising start with the Barber!---man the phrase  "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" comes to mind.
This might be a good time to approach the town council or mayor's office to see if an understanding could be reached. The fact that you complied politely with the police would stand  in your favor and provide an opening. It would also be good to search the ordinance for the wording, as Dusty demonstrated very well. It could be that you were entirely in the right, and if so, a talk with someone in authority could clear things up quickly and get you back in the park to see what else might be there. Hope it all works out for you and Gerry. PS: I just sent this in moments after you posted again Joe. I'm glad you are going to pursue the issue, and I agree with your premise as to the right to responsibly enjoy the way you choose to use the public space.

Thanks, Shade. As you said, it has more than likely happened to most of us, and while that is terrible, I think it is important to have these discussions, because the sharing of opinions and ideas might help others in similar situations.

I'm not a lawbreaker or rule breaker, and I wouldn't want anyone to risk a hefty fine or having their equipment confiscated over some coins or relics, but I DO want to urge everyone - especially those newer to the hobby - to assert their rights, in a respectful manner. Here's a true story, which can be backed up by my friend, Gerry...

While detecting a park last year, in a municipality where metal detecting is fully allowed, a cop car literally drove onto the grass maybe 4 feet behind me, while I was retrieving a coin. After being startled by the sound of an engine, I turned and saw two officers in the vehicle, a male cop who was driving, and a female cop as the passenger. The following is more or less how the conversation went with the female P.O....

"You gotta go, you can't be doing that here!"

"Say's who, officer?"

"Say's the law. You're not supposed to be doing that."

"Well that's funny, because we've been here about 100 times, and we've NEVER had an issue with anyone. Matter of fact, your own co-workers normally come up to us and ask what we're finding. Besides, there's no ordinance prohibiting metal detecting."

"Yes there is."

"No there's not. Look, I'm not trying to give you a hard time, I know you're just doing your job, and we're not bothering anyone or doing anything bad, but if you can show me the ordinance, I'm not going to break the law."

[Next, she had the AUDACITY to grab a clipboard that was on the dashboard, pretend to run through the many ordinances with her finger, and said; "Here it is, right here." After looking at the ordinance she pointed out, which had something to do with illegal parking or other such nonsense, I told her that had NOTHING to do with metal detecting. At this point, she pretends to look through the ordinances again, and then, with a smirk on her face, looks at her partner (the driver) who rolled his eyes and cracked a smile at her. They didn't apologize, didn't say anything. They just rolled the window up and rode away...on the park grass.]

Now, who knows why that happened. Maybe they were having a bad day, and they needed to flex their authority, maybe somebody called us in, maybe they just felt like harassing the 'weirdo' detecting guys, who knows. But what if my buddy and I were new to the hobby, or, maybe we had experience, but were on the timid side? We would've walked away THINKING that a park was off limits, when in reality it wasn't true. That's the type of shiftiness we're up against. Makes no difference if you use a red detector versus a blue one, a lesche versus a mini shovel, wear a hat or don't wear a hat or a million other ridiculous things. As I said...

There's a segment of the public who simply does not understand and/or like what we do, and will stop at nothing to prevent us from doing it. That, in turn, forces the public officials to act. End of story.

Joe

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10-27-2016, 03:14 PM
Post: #9
RE: Hit the Bricks!
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Joe, that is a bitch for sure, sorry you had a crappy person mess with your cool find.
Anyway, congrats on that Barber quarter, nice going for sure.

I don't understand why folks have to do that - it makes me wonder if they would call the police if say you were a women or maybe a kid?

Keep us informed if you need support like letters or emails and possibly phone calls to this town to show our support and displeasure for us tax payers.

Bigtony, member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Jan 2015.
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