Editorials and opinions

Westmore Select Board tackles public nudity

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copyright the Chronicle October 11, 2017


by Elizabeth Trail


WESTMORE — The select board here is talking about passing a public indecency ordinance, with fines of up to $800, following complaints from people who said they were harassed at the nude beach at the south end of Lake Willoughby.

There’s no fixed timetable, but Chair Bill Perkins said he expects to see action on the proposal by the first of the year.

Mr. Perkins said he’s received complaints about harassment from several older women, who described being circled by a naked man or men at the beach in a way that made them feel threatened.

“A 93-year-old woman told me that people were prancing and preening around her,” he said.

He declined to give names. And he said that he hasn’t encouraged written complaints to the select board because the complaints would then be public record.

“People who would do that could threaten people in their homes,” he said in a phone interview on Monday.

He also described episodes where people kayaking near the cove were warned off by naked people standing knee-deep in the water, and hikers who had their way blocked by men — clothed — who lay down in front of them.

“They either have to step over the men or turn back,” he said.

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