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By Compiled from wire reports by staff / March 16, 2007



Do I make you uncomfortable?

More and more, when there's a story in the headlines about a robbery or terrorist incident, it turns out that the perpetrator wore a ski mask to hide his identity. Which, in turn, tends to make other people frightened at the very sight of the three-holed head coverings. Kevin Lambert thinks that's just wrong. So the Winsted, Conn., resident is dedicating himself to a campaign aimed at changing such perceptions. He has even set up a website, www.crazyskimask.com, whose stated mission is "Striving to keep America warm by combating ski mask discrimination." Not surprisingly, personal experience led Lambert to his crusade. As a gag, two years ago, he stopped to don a mask and pose for a photograph as he and brother Jason were leaving a local beverage store with their purchase. Alas, a passerby saw them, copied down their license number, and phoned the police to report a suspected holdup. The Lamberts were prosecuted, and a judge ordered them to perform 15 hours of community service for breach of the peace. As for the campaign, Kevin now wears masks in all sorts of public places – "to put an end to the prejudice" – and encourages friends to do the same. But, he says, "This isn't something [we] do to scare people."

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