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News of FurFright closure emerges through leaked email

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Connecticut furry convention FurFright is no more, according to a now-deleted journal post reprinting an email supposedly from Belic Bear and K'gra Leopard (also received by Wag):

We had every intention of keeping FurFright going for years to come. At this year's Closing Ceremonies we dispelled unfounded rumors and told you we'd be back in 2014 and beyond. That was always our intent.

Since that time the Con Chairs have experienced a devastating turn of events in their personal/family life, making it impossible for the convention to continue. All our time, energy, and resources need to be spent healing and coping with the challenges we face. So due to circumstances beyond our control, FurFright has come to an end. 2013 was our final year.

This news was not confirmed through official channels as of Saturday night. However, the convention's website contains no information on future events a month after FurFright 2013, and no response had been made to questions regarding 2014 on Facebook.

Update: Bios (FurFright 2013's Dances coordinator) has tweeted that he is "now personally working with Crowne Plaza Sales Dept signing contracts for #furfright" and that "due to personal reasons Furfright will change a hand [sic] in con chairs for 2014".

Update 2: FurFright has posted the original message on LiveJournal and Facebook, mentioning the possibility of continuing the event with a different name:

There is a small movement right now by FF staffpersons to hold an event in the same timeframe, which is being bandied around on twitter #furfright However, the FF name will remain with the Con Chairs so this new event will also have a new name, should it come about (which we would certainly love to see!).

It is official #furfright will retire its name, but our passion and love for this fandom will live on for 2014 with a new look and name! [Bios]

Update 3 (Dec 4): Voting is proceeding on suggested names for the "New England Furcon". Over $850 in donations have been raised through an offer of a 10% pre-reg discount.

Update 4 (Dec 4): The new convention's staff have terminated voting "due to infighting amongst the community over name choices":

The name will instead be chosen by board decision tonight, using all previous submissions as a guideline. While vote counts will be considered, they will not determine the winner.

Sandy/Nor'easter hybrid could strike Connecticut soon after FurFright

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The Immortal StormSometimes furries plan more then just the weekend for their conventions, some even staying until late Monday or Tuesday morning. Those attending FurFright in Connecticut this weekend might be well-advised not to stick around for too long, as two major storm systems are looking to converge somewhere along the east coast. Many in the press are calling this event "Frankenstorm" (and I thought furries were bad with the pun neologisms).

Hurricane Sandy currently resides off the coast of Florida and is heading in a north direction. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, a storm front known as a nor'easter is heading east. These two types of storm when taken separately are not anything to take lightly; combined, they are sure to cause great devastation.

The current question is where. Some models have it landing as far south as Virginia, but other models have Sandy going north and in the direction of Long Island and Connecticut. It would be estimated to arrive in Connecticut late Monday to Tuesday. However, conditions could worsen even before then, as the storm is about 800 miles in diameter.

Colin McEnroe Show hosts furry panel on NPR

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The NPR-affiliated Colin McEnroe Show has posted a 50-minute segment on furry fandom.

Guests and callers included fandom members Chiaroscuro, TabbieWolf, Ian, Camo Husky, and Grubbs Grizzly, along with law/psychiatry lecturer Dr. Leslie Lothstein. [tip: Fenris Lorsrai]

Colin writes for the Hartford Courant, which recently reported on fursuit-related library rules. Much of the conversation focused on the appeal and transformative power of fursuits, but ponies, FurFright, antipathy against furries and the Ursa Major Awards were also brought up.

An "ex-furry" caller, Reuben, raised the risks to minors from sexual predators at conventions, but the host and guests noted that non-furry events also had a degree of 'hooking-up', while Chiaroscuro brought up the age distribution and security presence at furry events.

Library director calls for fursuit-related policy review

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Library director Janet Nocek of Portland, Connecticut had her work cut out explaining furries to board members tonight after calling a meeting to review the library's behaviour policy, reportedly after fursuited visits to other local libraries raised fears of child enticement.

The piece in the Hartford Courant highlighted concerns about those visiting in disguise, and in particular non-religious use of hoods or masks (forbidden by the library's rules of conduct), which in this case might cause families to mistake fursuiters as official mascot characters.

Update (14 Sep): The issue was raised in a discussion thread started late last month by Henry Dutcher of Enfield. Initial replies were humorous, but the talk got more serious when he mentioned a child took a fursuiter's paw and was "led away by them" (within the library).

Update 2 (17 Sep): Television stations WFSB and NECN have also covered this story.