Mateel Board Meeting Foreshadows Local Hardship from the Economic Downturn

Mateel Board of Directors: Charlotte Silverstein, Megan Gomes, Pleasure Strange, Anna Rogers, Garth Epling, Dusty Houston, Cynthia Martells, Eryn Snodgrass, and Marcus Schaible [Photo by Kelley Lincoln]

The Board of the Mateel Community Center suspended the Mateel Meal at the end of a four-hour meeting that saw the General Manager, Justin Crellin, resign and very little progress made on the financial problems the Center faces. Board Member Eryn Snodgrass will write a letter explaining the situation to the Southern Humboldt Community soon. More than one Board Member left in tears at the end of last night’s meeting.

The Future of Reggae
Board Member Dusty Houston says, with regard to the Reggae on the River event, the Board has come to an agreement on the following: The Board prefers to lease not sell Reggae on the River. Board Members prefer to have a set cost for the producer that is paid to the Mateel “up front.” The Board is striving to get that amount set at $500,000. The Board wants any future producer to keep local non-profits involved, although, at last week’s meeting, it was acknowledged the only non-profit that ran a booth was KMUD radio. And the Board wants to be certain future producers “keep the festival’s eco-consciousness.”

Houston went on to note that the Board’s timeline is extremely tight. Producers need a full year to put on a show, especially one they have not done before. Two months out of that timeline is already gone.

During public comment, Johanna Rose said that the downturn in the community means that Reggae will not likely ever be the phenomenon it once was. She thinks, given a worldwide economic downturn exacerbated by the local economic uncertainty, that the Mateel’s risk of 2 million dollars to earn a few hundred thousand dollars is an unwise gamble. She advised the Board to sell Reggae while it has enough market value to get the Mateel out of debt and save the hall.

Rose was countered by Bob Special reminding people that Reggae built the hall and that the hall did not build Reggae.

The Magnitude of the Shortfall
The revised figure for the debt is $675,000. No specifics were given directly by the Board about this debt. We know the loss on Reggae for 2017 is $138,000.00. There is the lack of next year’s operational money of around $250,000, payroll taxes are coming due, roughly $100,000 is owed for the port-a-potty services, the port-a-potty bill remains unpaid, and the Arthur Family rent for French’s Camp is also still not paid, plus the Mateel’s “bridge loan” payments that the Community heard about last month.  The amount for next year’s Mateel Community Center operations will likely be reduced greatly, though.

However, Mark Arthur pointed out that the Mateel will owe the Arthur family an additional year of rent whether it holds Reggae again or not. It’s part of the contract that the Arthur’s get an extra year of rent as severance if the Mateel were to choose to abandon the festival before the end of the contract. Arthur also noted that his family is willing to be flexible on receiving payment for both this year and next whether the event moves forward or not.

Agnes Patak gave comment reminding Board Members of the importance of them all understanding profit and loss statements and the general finances of the organization. She reminded them they are all responsible for this, not just the Treasurer.

The General Manager’s Report and Resignation
Justin Crellin, General Manager, reported that non-disclosure forms have been signed by two parties who have an interest in the Reggae on the River event.

The first offer is for sale of the event. Crellin explained, “I let them know the board is not looking at sale presently.” Crellin feels there is “plenty of room to negotiate.” He did not talk about the other potential offer last night.  Crellin said to the room of about 50 people, “Nothing is going to move tonight. There is not enough to move on…. A loan on the building is not on the table at this time.”

However, later in the meeting, Board Member Dusty Houston contradicted that statement. Houston said, “It’s not a firm agreement among the Board that borrowing is out of the question.”

During his report, Crellin said that a partnership on the Reggae event seems to be the Mateel’s best option. But, he noted, “This is a huge nut to crack and it is hard to plan for anything with this debt….Getting to the end of the year is questionable….We have $15,000 to pay staff now.”

Then, at the end of his report, Crellin said it appeared that his role as General Manager was adding to divisiveness on the Board and that “what the Mateel needs now more than anything is Unity.”

Much note had been made by community members during public comment about signs that the Board is becoming factionalized. Two former Board Members had spoken of hearing rumors from multiple sources about personnel matters and staff conflicts.  Andy Burnette had said “this needs to be cleaned up. It creates a bad vibe.”

Crellin acknowledged the split in his remarks saying “The Board has tough choices to make…. We are seeing factionalizing internally because of these tough choices. My role has become a polarizing force. What the Mateel needs now more than anything is Unity…. I am here to offer support for the future…. You will have my support from the outside.”

Board President Garth Epling responded to Crellin’s resignation. “This brings a tear to my eye honestly. (Crellin) has all of my respect for what he just said… In his willingness to sacrifice himself to move forward.”

Former Board Member Jackie Pantaleo erupted in rage. “Who will take his place and with what salary?” she demanded. Behind the scenes reports indicate Crellin has been working without accepting his salary since Reggae or shortly afterward.

Andy Burnette told the Board that Crellin has been with the Mateel “19 years going on 20.” He also said, “I’d like to say you really have to think about this. No one is more dedicated. … He has the institutional knowledge…from and through the lawsuit. The Mateel used to lose $10,000 a year on the Summer Arts and Music Festival. His actions and ideas are what changed that.” Burnette also said to the Board, “You better look at this room. This is our core.”

One woman, Lynn Ryan, did encourage the Board to accept Crellin’s resignation while bringing the total debt of $675,000.00 to the fore. No one had acknowledged the debt or its full accounting until she spoke saying, “I just don’t want to see the building mortgaged.”

Ryan also said, “This money needs to be dealt with. I also see Justin’s resignation as an opportunity for the Board to step forward….Our economy and sociology have changed and we need to change. I see an opportunity.”

The Board will meet in closed session at a later date to consider Crellin’s resignation.

The Board attempted to conduct its regular business and heard from the Hall Manager, Dan Whyte who told the Board a redwood tree has died near the office and that PG&E considers it a hazard to their lines and will have it removed. He also said the grease traps in the kitchen passed inspection by the Redway Community Services District who are working to bring all commercial kitchens into compliance. And he told the Board, due to limited staff hours during the financial crisis, the power-washing of the hall had been postponed.

At the end of his report, Whyte called on the Board to avoid finger pointing and take responsibility for the current situation. He says Crellin has taken his part of the responsibility and he feels the Board needs to do the same.

The Mateel Meal
Afterward, Mateel staff expressed their frustration with working around the Mateel Meal. This became a two-hour discussion of its own. The Hall Manager said he didn’t care if the meal was served or not served, but that he does care that Policy is not being followed pointing out that volunteers for the meal stay after the program’s hours are ended, that food storage is overflowing and causing the meal to borrow storage from other organizations which he said is not okay. The Hall Manager also said that the Meal means kids’ programs aren’t being supported by the Mateel Community Center.

The Mateel Meal Coordinator, Babette Bach said she has letters of support from every coordinator of a kids’ program that uses the hall. Agnes Patak read a letter from the SPARC program coordinator Katherine Guillette. Guillette’s letter said the Meal is a learning opportunity and a problem. She queried, “Do we hide this side of our community or do we expose it?” Guillette writes that she finds the Meal and its participants to be an opportunity to teach about choices as well as about compassion and tolerance. Referring to grant money the Mateel has accepted to upgrade its kitchen, Guillette also asked, “Is it ethical to drop the program when we have financial trouble?”

The Mateel’s resident caretaker, Eric Kay said he supports the idea of the Meal but doesn’t feel that its costs are justified. He said the floor has to be refinished more often because it has to be mopped after every meal; the bathroom plumbing is impacted by homeless people shaving and bathing costing money with plumbing bills. Kay pointed to a hole in the wall caused by a participant, not in anger, but, nonetheless there. And he said violence and aggressive action does occur on occasion. Additionally, homeless people come to the hall at night to try and find a place to sleep. His job is to move them off the property, and he has been threatened with serious bodily injury as a result.

Amy Torrones is the Director of the Family Resource Center located at Redway Elementary School. During this discussion, Torrones gave a preview of what the Southern Humboldt community can expect as the economy slows due to marijuana legalization. She said this is only her third school year in the job. Torrones said the first year, the big topic among kids was trash and picking up trash. Last year, “It was the Trumpster.” She said this year, she is learning from 7 and 9-year-olds about falling pound prices and loans on water tanks that parents cannot pay.

Torrones highlighted the magnitude of the problem with numbers.  When she started, two years ago, 11 kids needed food for the weekend in the backpack program. This year it is 43. A quadrupling of hungry kids in two years has her very concerned.

Torrones also reported that 75 students are currently homeless. And she was very clear to say none of these kids are children of transients, travelers or trimmigrants, but are local families who are losing their employment in the marijuana economy as it changes. Torrones also said some of these people never expected to find themselves financially challenged. Torrones expressed outrage that the floors might be a bigger priority than this crisis.

A man, Brian, stood up to say he came to the community a year or so ago and didn’t know what he was going to do. He found the Meal because he was hungry, began volunteering there, then due to his love for the Mateel began volunteering at the Summer Arts and Reggae sites helping to develop the venues for the events. From this, he has found full-time employment and come to love the local community that he would never dream of leaving.

General Manager Crellin said he has supported the Meal. The Meal has its problems, but those are challenges not obstacles to the program in his opinion.  Crellin says staff has not moved forward with grant applications for the Meal because the Board has been split on its support of the program. He gave some history of the Meal saying the Meal had been granted space two days a week for volunteers such as Paul Henniger, Bob Binarz, and Babette Bach, to cook and serve meals to the community. The Community Center took the Mateel Meal on as a formal program of the Center when the CalFresh grant became available. That grant money upgraded and improved the MCC kitchen.

Nonetheless, the Board said their fear of economic collapse was greater than any of this. The meal has been suspended until the end of the year. When the Meal is reinstated, the Board plans changes though those details yet have to be developed. However, Board Member Pleasure Strange says the certified kitchen is a resource many people are requesting to access.

Author’s note: these are highlights of a very long meeting that became somewhat chaotic at times. And in full disclosure, I need to acknowledge my support of the Mateel Meal especially as highlighted by Brian’s story.

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106 comments

  • Don’t any of these growers that have been growing for 20+ years or more know how to responsibly manage money instead of blowing it on toys and trucks they can’t afford ?

    • If you look, those are folks with young kids. They aren’t the ones that have been growing for 20 years.

    • And many older people that that have grown for 20 years don’t blow that shit up like the youngsters…. the old people have little savings to live the rest of their lives on… unless they cashed in and sold out before the land prices started to fall. That is the story for many elderly hippies in our community who didn’t blow shit up and get Rich. The youngsters many mismanage their money agreed…. but some also have never had enough of a chance to save close to enough to ride the waves that come with marajuana legalization. Do u realize how fast a 1-3 dollar a square foot tax adds up when. Prices are not what they use to be. I feel like that tax that has to be voted out or has a 20 or 40 year sunset is the knife in the back of a generation of Children who have grown up knowing nothing else than this. Dreamed of nothing but growing old farming like their parents. They will be lucky if their parents have enough saved to live out a comfortable life in their old age(most don’t). Even the smarter parents that do things like electrical work and own restaurants will suffer in this. every restaurants profits are owed to the marajuana business. Most handy man or trade work is don’t on marijuana farms or homes paid for with marijuana profits. The nonprofits from radio to fire departments and beyond will suffer. I love how all kinds of smug non pot growers think this won’t effect them. Open ur eyes people everyone will suffer.

      • If the “Old hippies that have little savings to live the rest of their lives on” or their “children that have grown up knowing nothing else but this” are going to suffer from anything it’s their own stupidity.
        Perhaps they should have earned a degree or learned a skill to help them get a job that doesn’t rely on producing and selling black market street drugs and perhaps they should have planned for their retirement. These are obvious things that normal responsible citizens do and don’t take a genius to figure out. If anything they should just be thankful that they got away with it this long are aren’t in jail for living a life of crime.

    • Sure, ever see the vip section or satge viewing stands. Money well spent!

      Nothing like stepping of a sinking ship👍

  • Edit: Two paragraphs have copy paste issues and have been repeated

  • Oh where to start…
    All of you oldtimers who made tons of money when lbs were going for 3 gs should have seen this coming, but hey, you wanted to party…long vacations in exotic places, buy that extra Mercedes… Not once did you plan for a legalized future with pot being grown by every corporate entity.
    Your bickering and ‘ungrooviness’ has led to this situation…. Your ‘meal’ has made sohum the go to place for a handout- bringing violence, heavy drugs, robbery and murder. As a former dental assistant at redwood rural, I would see entire families addicted to opioids…. bickering between factions there would lead to needless headaches. Grow up. Be adults. Find solutions to issues…..

    • You pointed fingered blaiming not finding solutions… take ur own advise!
      Not once did u think that it was not these people’s own fault. Some people thought of all these things…. but sometimes ends don’t meet when their are so many Weels to be greased with copious amounts of money. Shit our community hasn’t seen anything yet 2018 and state fees will see another wave of destruction to our once vibrant community. How do u pay 500 a pound to the state expenses of growing and 1-3 a square foot to Humboldt and sell for under 1000 it doesn’t work well. Legalization encouraged centeral valley grows and they have exploded with things that at e15 full acres hidden inside of fields or 40 acres with no tax like Humboldt and these mega growers taking in huge profits now before state taxes start and while most counties have not started taxing. They live where water use is encouraged, spray what they want, leave lights on when they want, and are not demonized as the Northern California growers are constantly. Honestly I saw this future comming but I don’t see why people in Humboldt havant faught a little harder against it. They all just stuck their heads in the ground and grew one last crop not paying attention. Sad for our area… but I am so happy that wasn’t my dream! I will happily leave this town as it begins to really die but many I grew up with are facing a sad future. And wanting nothing more than to stay here and make a life.

      • I totally agree with your basic logic but I think you are missing a couple of major points. True that our vibrant community has existed for 30-40 years, but the new generation never understood this. They had to go “mainstream” and legalize it. Legalization is a whole new world. It brings people who arn’t interested in breaking laws into the mix. These people are commercial growers. Commercial growers operate with a minimum of 10% over cost and 20% over cost. That is what I predict the price of Pot on the open market will eventually be. Humboldt county rural growers are screwed. They will change the consumer to use the product in new ways (vap pen) ect. and eliminate expensive trimming cost. Good job you progressive movement morons. 215 ect… its all bullshit and you know it.

        • The idea that anyone…ANYONE …who has money coming in, from any source, and does not save 10% or more of it…is the American way of stupid.
          I learned at my mother’s knee
          PAY YOURSELF FIRST.
          And this should apply to the MATEEL as much as to any “old hippies”
          The MATEEL should have been building a cash reserve for 30 years. But they thought the goose (cannabis) would never stop laying those golden eggs. This is just as true for KMUD and the other non profits around here. You never thought that stream would run dry so you never had any kind of fall back plan. Well shame on you all.

    • Move on. Reggaes dead! You could easily have a bad ass outlaw country fest or metal fest down at site by peircy, but they all want to stand around and scratch there heads on how to polish a terd…

  • Poster formerly known as Matt

    “Johanna Rose… thinks, given a *worldwide economic turndown* exacerbated by the local economic uncertainty…”

    This is actually inaccurate. The global economy is currently continuing its growth momentum in its recovery from the economic downturn.

    • Agreed. Global and especially National economics are doing phenomenal. This person is completely disconnected from reality and accountability.

      • Poster formerly known as Matt

        It’s in the title too.

        • We’re referencing the local downturn.

          • There’s a local turndown because all the Jamaicans moved out of so hum and there’s no one left to attend these burnout/same ol artist venues. I have an idea ..? Cater to venues for people who actually have money instead of dirtbag hippys…just a thought. Legalization=humboldt ghetto.

            • Damn, I married into those “dirtbags” and here I thought my husband with his job made it so I could make very little money writing up news.

              • don’t worry kym im just a “dope growing scumbag”! my point…..and not to insult hippys, is that this is about money right? cater to those who will pay , ive been to these “shows” and it is people trying to sneak in booze and get a free ride. there not there to drop coin

                • God it’s so friggen true! Also whichever genre of show is produced, it may be wise not to keep putting said show on during this particular time of the year. Hasn’t made sense to me for a few years now. Just stating the obvious only because that’s where my thoughts are returning to. From another one of the hippie dirt bags people speak of.

  • I have to say I never had a vacation in any country and all I have done is pay my bills. I have not made a ton of money just got buy. However I will go forth to make sure the children have what they need. I have done this before and will continue to provide for our comunity as best I can. I haven’t much what I have I will share. What about you!

    • Thank you, my sentiments exactly. Vacations out of country, Mercedes, the high life? Haven’t seen it in 40 years. But I also have a trade besides the weed. So, the many ‘come latelys’ will wither and blow away, we, the rooted people like you, lorrie, will provide and survive.

  • Prayin for it to work

    How about renting the complied kitchen to small local businesses that need a place to make their products?
    The old bagel place in gville did that.
    Every little bit helps.

    • What do you mean their “products”?
      You mean a place to manufacture their controlled substances? The Title to the article insinuates blame for the closure of the Community (cough cough) Center to a economic “downturn” of your bright idea.
      The “community’s” inflated irresponsible short sighted ego is Dead.
      It survived temporarily on gluttony as most Hogs do. Until they’re brought to Slaughter.

      • The title is not intended to imply any such thing. At a meeting at and about the Mateel, because the Meal was on the agenda, we got a foreshadowing of increased poverty in a new segment of the population.
        Furthermore, nothing in the post you’re responding to suggests the writer means cannabis products. Kitchens generally supply food. Non-profits usually steer clear of cannabis businesses in their partnerships.

        • Your “title” implies that the Mateel is broken because of what you are calling “LOCAL HARDSHIP FROM THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN”. Its all made up! Its the new buzz word! Its called legalization. Get use to it and adapt, nothing is forever. Learn from logging and prohibition, we adapt so we can survive.

    • Yes, food trucks need physical addresses to operate from as well

    • They would rather use it to provide free meals to trimmagrants

  • I think Justin Crellin leaving is a bad idea. You can tell his good character by his latest actions and the Mateel need people like him. Please figure something out moving forward!

  • Victor G. Flashman

    Pleasure Strange should marry Bob Special, then she would be Pleasure Special!!

    Damn, parents hippies much??

    I think if you can’t pay your staff, you should terminate yourselves! That will save a LOT of money! Then you wouldn’t have to have those looooooong boring bored meetings…

    Seems like Millenial Pot Growers can’t manage money for beans. AND if there is a “downturn” just grow 3X as much!

    I think you may have to get actual jobs!

    As Donald Trump would say: “You’re fired!”

    I LOVE the photo – “Last Supper with MacBooks”…

    “Lost Supper” more like…

    • Why do you hate everything in SoHum so much? So much love went into creating the Mateel. So much hope. Yes, there are problems but none of them are made better by insulting people’s names and tearing down the work they put into things.

      Have you seen the beautiful metalwork fence in the back? My father-in-law donated his time and much of the materials to create that. The beautiful woodwork, the stage, the places for plays and music and community all have woven magic into our collective memories. I remember weeping there as a friend’s son was memorialized and laughing at Maryjane the Musical. I remember catching my breath watching growers acknowledge publically for the first time what they did for a living at What’s After Pot? and walking in awe between 40 years of handmade quilts as our community exhibited their handiwork. I have loved watching babies bobbing their heads to music there and old women bending over to peer at the curve of a handmade candle at the craft fair. A woman I admired greatly collapsed and died there after dancing joyously with Feet First Dancers. I was honored as Citizen of the Year there.

      God, that place is woven so tightly into the fabric of our community, it feels as if we will come unraveled without it.

      Have some mercy.

      • I completely agree, Kym. There is so much to celebrate. Just look at all the love that went into creating the beautiful Mateel. Almost every festival on the north coast didn’t make a profit this year. Things have to change, but we started out with nothing but our love for our community and look what we have manifested. I am sad that we are losing Justin, but he says he’ll still help. I know everyone has the Mateel’s best interests at heart, so we’ll get there. New ideas. New solutions.

        • Please don’t put any words, etc. Never said I hated anything.

          As Louden Wainwright sang, ” I don’t seek entertainment”. Don’t really need the Mateel.

          I do find the situation amusing, however, and humor, like hatred, may be perceived without particular discrimination, by an outsider…

          The fact is, pot growers made an obscene amount of money selling their commodity. What did they do then? Well, they built fancy mountaintop homes, out in the forest, bought huge pickups with tires that stick out of the wheel-wells, which they then removed the mufflers from. They basically stuck their middle fingers up in the air to everyone in the “community”, while continuing to behave like the Beverly Hillbillies, a remarkably self-centered, completely selfish, and profligate bunch of assholes, with no standards, no values, and no concern for anything except giant piles of cash. Did they tithe the Mateel? Probably not, just as they did not build a hospital, pave roads, invest in the community.

          Balance these folks with “hippies”, growing small, iconoclastic, “just enough to get by” types, who purport to care about EVERYTHING, feeding bums, making quilts, staging shows, having art festivals etc…

          Groovy.

          When I first came up here, I was amazed by the cost of the shows, the festivals, the Art gathering in Benbow, all of it. I said “$25/person per day to go to a craft fair? Are they fucking kidding”? I am someone conversant with the Whole Earth Festival, in Davis. Great music, interesting vendors, good vibes, and FREE! Guess what? Economically, it’s not doing too well, after almost 50 years!

          Here is where you are, economically speaking:

          Your little non-profit, that pays mid-5-figure salaries to the board, might have been something, once. The festival that charged $400 for a ticket, wow, done to death, and Redway,
          infested with houseless drug addicts that your organization mollycoddles, and hundreds and hundreds of backyard growers and out in the open drug dealers, wow, Redway just looks the same as ever…

          You may get less for your weed, but the beat goes on… The omnipresent drug culture that Cannabis brought to SoHum, continues to grow, and if there is a downturn, you all caused it yourselves, since Cannabis created huge law enforcement challenges, crime, and craziness, and finally, cannabis had to be legalized, permitted and taxed, as it should have been in 1966.

          So actually, you won! Welcome to the future!

          Meanwhile:

          The Mateel has lost it’s way. The mission has been muddled, the community abandoned. It’s marginal, a loser. The leaders brought you to this despair coincident with the cannabis thing. One did not cause the other.

          Bad leaders, poor results.

          Everyone else’s economy is fine, thanks! There is a big country out there, and opportunity abounds!

          Also: Check the vision and wisdom from “payitforward” below. Some folks here see things clearly…

          • Mateel board is an unpaid position.. ie: all volunteer.

          • Great representation of what really happened. The Mateel needs to be sued in a class action lawsuit for the degeneration of an entire community. Including loss of business, property value and human life in terms of handicapping an entire generation of youth.
            Business owners of the area should group together, hire an attorney and sue the hell out of these scam artists. Get a lien on that building before the debt holders do!

          • The Board Members volunteer to serve. They make no money from the Mateel. One Board Member, was employed by the Mateel as festival coordinator the first few years Reggae moved back to French’s Camp. But that is the only time I know of that a Board Member was paid for working a festival.

            And: you are conflating several groups of people, homogenizing them into one. If you observe more carefully, you’ll see some people earned enough to take care of their family and used extra to support local non-profits and other community building endeavors. Others made money, bought businesses and moved into another segment of the economy. Others have done some of what you describe. Etc and so forth.

            • Actually a number of Mateel board members receive coordinator stipends and/or the Mateel does business with their business (which is virtually the same thing when you are the sole proprietor of said business).

              By California non-profit law, as long as less than half of the board is paid it’s fine. And the Mateel bylaws state that a seasonal paid coordinator maybe a board member, but a year-round staff person can not.

              • Julia M, what California non-profit law are you quoting. I also looked at the Mateel bylaws and articles of incorporation on the State Attorney’s website (don’t know how to post them here), there is nothing like that stated in any of their amended bylaws or amended articles. The founding paperwork goes back to October 1979, when Allen Katz, James Durchslag and Jim Webb were the founding Board members. Why doesn’t the Mateel post their bylaws or articles at the hall or on their web site. I think everyone should read them. I wonder how many Board members and voting members of the Mateel have read them, I have not until today. And it ends up, its just not state law they need to follow, its also federal IRS tax code.

                • California Corp code 5227

                • Thank you Julia M. So if you had a Corp Board of 7 Board Members and:

                  One Board member was compensated for services rendered as Executive Director while also sitting Board member and:

                  Two different Board members loaned money with interest and:

                  Another Board member was compensated for services rendered and labor.

                  That is 4 out of 7 for about 3 years. According to §5227, that would make it illegal?

          • Hey Taurus…I agree 100%
            The MATEEL was really cool in the firehouse days with $1 movies. Too bad it turned into the country club for millionaire pot growers and cocaine cowboys. Y’all can be in denial about it as much as you’d like, but it will not change the history

      • Great tribute. Thanks, Kym!

      • I want to thank you for covering this story and all the journalism that you do loacally.
        I believe this is a direct result of capitalism and we are seeing the last days of it as we know it to be.
        Some things to consider as we all go through this change is kindness and keep the judgement and nasty remarks away, I too have done so this is not an attack just something that has worked for me.
        There’s plenty to go around just gotta get outta the box …start fresh and put ya best foot forward prolly gonna need to do a lot more walking and a lot le$$ talking !!
        $tay Ble$$ed
        Lawle$$

      • Kym,
        My family has been in Salmon Creek for over 100 years and I, my family and most of the people I call friends see the Mateel, reggae, Summer Arts, KMUD, the Community Park and non profits in general quite differently than you.
        For example, your said “God, that place is woven so tightly into the fabric of our community, it feels as if we will come unraveled without it.”
        I, my family and friends could not disagree more.
        I have never been to the Mateel or any of their events, most of the people I call friends haven’t either.
        If we even think about the Mateel, we consider it a blight on our community.We feel the same way about the non profits I listed above and many others I didn’t list.
        “So much love went into creating the Mateel. So much hope”. That sure sounds good, but means absolutely nothing.That and $2 might get you a cup of coffee.
        Every time I read an article about the Mateel, their debt increases another 6 figures.
        Money is mobile, it goes where it is treated the best. Non profits by definition treat money badly. California is a prime example of treating money badly, money is fleeing the State and going to other States where money is treated much better.
        The U.S. as a whole has treated money badly for nearly 10 years. Why is there between 2-4 trillion dollars made by U.S. companies stashed over seas? It is because we treat money badly. Not only is the money made by U.S companies taxed in the countries where the money is made, it is taxed at a nominal rate of 35% if the companies bring the money home, then it taxed again when it is distributed to share holders and then(in most states), taxed once more.
        Therefore the companies stash the money overseas and the U.S. Government gets no tax revenue. Most countries now tax companies 12-20% compared to our 35% plus state taxes. That is why many companies have moved their headquarters out of the U.S.. It is cheaper(money is treated better), for a company to borrow money and pay our artificially low interest rates(1-4 %) which is also tax deducible than to bring back the money stashed overseas.
        Why is this relevant to our local issues? Because the same thing is happening here.
        Non profits treat money worse than any other entity. They reduce the mobility of money and there is no growth of money.
        Love and feelings don’t count.
        “Have some mercy.”The merciful thing to do is shut down the Mateel, sell the building, the Mateel serves no useful purpose, it is plain to see that the Mateel treats money badly as can be seen by their financial disclosures. There are other problems as well, but they pale in comparison.
        Nearly all non profits will fail eventually on their own. Even the NFL( one of the largest non profits), is seeing hard times, why, because they are treating money badly.
        Thankfully, my family has just sold nearly all of our property and we are moving to other states that treat money well. Some have no income tax or sales tax, you can get a building permit one day, buy nearly any gun or suppressor and in a few minutes. Buy a house that is nearly new that would cost 3-5 times more here. No or very few property tax assessments(for schools, hospitals etc.) that cost more than the base property tax.Lower interest rates because these states don’t have more than a $trillion in debt plus trillions in unfunded liabilities.
        These states treat money well and are rewarded for it.
        One last example of treating money badly. Look at the bonds for the new school. The first bond issued was a CAB, ( Calif. has outlawed the issue of new CAB’s because they treat money so badly and are bankrupting many districts) at a little over 8% tax free. In my income bracket that equals a little under 12%. The average municipal bond pays less than 4%. Yet our school board and the local voters thought this was a great deal. So, treat money badly and you, the community will have less money.

  • The Mateel has big forces working against it. In a time were America is looking for unity the Mateel is facing a gigantic obstacle-that being it is not a community center. It is a community center for the transplants who injected themselfs in a rural community. I believe that our community could be closer together if one major event had not taken place. The Doug green – Steve Dazy crowd had to put the building in down town Redway. It never should of been there. There is no parking, they had to change the zoning, and forced it in the face of long standing community members. Forever creating a divide that will never create a unity in Southern Humboldt . It was a in your face slam dunk to many people who were not prepared for a counter culture movement. The price of pot on the open market is directly related to the future of the Mateel events and I think the line in the sand has never been more obvious.

  • wow, it’s been there 30 years and still worried about the location…
    well, it had to go somewhere…
    main problem with site is it’s up that hill and we’re getting
    old and grey and need hip replacements…
    about the financial issues, now that’s a problem…
    how to get out from under that debt…
    i dunno…
    (raise big chunks of money from high rollers?)

    • The high rollers aren’t rolling so high anymore, that is the problem. Many that are doing well are not connected in any way to the community, which is the big problem. Lots of money being made by the wrong people! (Eastern Europeans) Just calling it as I see it, and most people who know what’s going on in the hills agree.. they are killing it, sending it to Chicago for top dollar, and not at all part of the community.

      • Emily!! There are no wrong people, certainly not based on ethnicity. If you want to discuss behavior, grow size, light pollution, land use strategy, or community involvement that’s welcome and necessary, but racism and xenophobia are quite pitiful!
        And let’s also remember we don’t want to be the ones still resenting the new-comers decades down the road. How do we make friends and encourage better behavior and community relations, just as we need to do with people from anywhere?
        And let’s be real!: we have work to do in these areas with some people who were raised here.

  • No it did not have to go there . The Octagon is Briceland is a community center and there has never been controversity over it. The Mateel center was put in Redway as a way of say F—- u cattle people, timber industry people, simple people, fishing industry people, ect. We are from San Francisco, LA, ect. and we are changing this area. Never going to be unity in Southern Humboldt

  • The Mateel needs to find a skilled financial advisor and trust them to develop a plan.. Locals are not good with finances.. The Health Center had problems.. The Hospital had to declare bankruptcy.. KMUD continues to have big problems.. Our non profits need to be planning for an economic downturn.. It may not happen but plans should be in place.. When a plan is presented, the Board needs to have the guts to follow it..

  • Put on more shows during harvest season!!!

  • Has anyone reflected on how much the ROTR event has changed? When and Where it went wrong? I have worked and/or attended for 15 or so years now and the festival is not the same. It has been a steady decline in attendance, moral, reggae veterans and the ROTR values.
    If this was the “biggest money maker” for the Mateel what went wrong?

  • Something from yesterday with something for today. If you want to keep living in the past without learning from your mistakes the cycle will keep repeating itself and here we are ~

    Let’s talk about moving Reggae to French’s Camp
    Redwood Times
    Posted: 11/09/2011 02:15:34 PM PST

    To the Editor:
    When I read Joe Hiney’s letter of 10/23, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump back into Mateel politics.

    But then I heard that at its recent retreat, the Mateel board seemed headed toward dumping the Mateel Meal program. Yes, I know the issue of homeless people is contentious, and it’s not easy administering the Meal, but people gotta eat. IMHO, the Meal is the primary remaining program which makes the Mateel a community center instead of simply a concert hall. Over the years, many community groups that have used the Mateel have decided it’s too much trouble. They have either gone elsewhere, like the Fiber Fair folks; or ceded their events to Mateel control, like the Hemp Fest.

    Let’s talk about moving Reggae to French’s Camp. Doug Green says the Mateel has plans for a max of 8,000 attendees — he means ticket sales. Add in the people necessary to make the festival work — site building, camping, parking, security, performers, etc. — that’s at least a couple thousand more, without even using wristbands as currency. That will bring the total number of wristbands needed (that’s what the County permit limits) close to the 12,000 people allowed by the permit Doug wants to revive.

    Let’s talk about involving Tom Dimmick in Reggae. Doug says “the Dimmick family have always been part of the picture.” Is that like PB, Carol Bruno and People Productions were always part of the picture? Doug may not recall, but the reason the Mateel couldn’t put on 2007 ROTR is that Tom Dimmick terminated the Mateel’s lease because we weren’t going to use People Productions any more. That’s the same Tom Dimmick who refused to work with the Mateel or Doug’s friend Boots Hughston to produce ROTR back in 2007. That’s the same Tom Dimmick who apparently still owes so many folks in Sohum from Reggae Rising that no one ever sees him around these days.

    And did Doug ever choose the wrong person to attack for his past activity at the Mateel. There is no individual who has put in more volunteer time and effort keeping the hall going since the Reggae poop hit the fan than Joe Hiney. He was de facto hall manager at a time we couldn’t afford to hire one. He set up and tore down sets for virtually every show at the hall, fixed plumbing and electrical problems and served as one of the key site people for all Mateel festivals. And you know what? He didn’t get paid a dime for any of that work he did while he was a member of the board. Maybe Joe gets a bit carried away with his rhetoric sometimes. I see no evidence of the Doug-Boots conspiracy Joe mentioned, but he’s worked his ass off for the Mateel.

    Speaking of paying Mateel board members, it especially troubles me to think that members of the current board are paid — a little OR a lot — to work for the Mateel. When I was on the board, I thought we’d identified that as a problem and eliminated that practice. Doug says they’re following all the right hiring practices. Does that mean that the Mateel will have an open hire next year for the position Katz was paid for this past summer? There are others around who could do the job. Even if it didn’t say so in the bylaws, it would seem only right ethically to have an open hire before awarding paid positions to board members. I hope we will hear a report at the upcoming annual meeting detailing which board members are paid.

    Joe’s letter raises questions — things I haven’t thought much about since leaving the Mateel board. How hard is the Mateel working to preserve its access to Benbow Lake State Recreation Area, and its own ability to produce Summer Arts and Reggae there? Why does it seem the Mateel is committed to greatly increasing the size of the venue, of the crowds and of the cost and complexity of producing Reggae by moving it? What’s been done to assess the reaction of Piercy and nearby residents to moving the show? How much will it cost to move to the Cooks Valley site and develop it back into a concert venue?

    Doug’s casual comment that he only wants to move back to French’s Camp because that’s what the people want is at best self-serving. I’m not opposed to moving ROTR, just worried that it may not be possible to do right. It doesn’t really take into account the feelings of the entire SoHum community, or acknowledge in any way that “big” Reggae led to problems that nearly tore this community apart five years ago. It wasn’t the acts of bad people, even though many still want to blame Carol personally. It was the nature of the event itself, its unbound growth and people’s (People’s) inability to control it that led to the kerfuffle around Reggae.

    Where will the Mateel park all the cars? The old permit allows parking right there on the river bar. Would that make it through the current rules for river protection the Eel so desperately needs?

    I think we need to hear from the current administration about the Mateel’s plans, and about the financial analysis of all this. What will it cost in one-time investment? What will it cost in terms of every year investment (the Eel comes in and wipes out a whole lot every spring)?

    Let’s have some open process in the community before we hear the announcement of a fait accompli. What’s the date and time of the annual membership meeting? I haven’t seen any written notice yet. I hope there’s a plan to have a forum about moving Reggae.

    And before I forget, I want to correct some disinformation in Doug’s letter. There was never any loan from Boots to the Mateel, procured by Doug or otherwise. With only slight assistance from Doug, the Mateel arranged for Boots to pay $300,000 to license the name Reggae on the River so he could produce the festival. When Tom Dimmick wouldn’t let us on his property, we had to pay Boots back.

    Bob Stern,

    Redway,

    former Treasurer of the Mateel

    • Boy did Joe work hard for the Mateel!! He was at every event, working tirelessly, for a few years it seems. And dozens of others in the decades before him. When people like them step forward in the next weeks and months, we will know the true Spirit of the Mateel community is alive and well.

      • Kelley, thats all you got from that 2011 letter to the editor? “People like them” are not stepping forward, they had foreseen what would happen, 7 years ago, before the money left to all four corners of the world, Thank jah its pay day. How many employees of the Mateel will now be on unemployment and EBT, with no meal at the Mateel. The Mateel will not even have the money to pay their unemployment benefits. The Mateel needs to re-boot and re-start with a different operating system.

        • Well, I didn’t get much of that from your letter honestly. But it did remind me that not only were there big problems then, but there were also big hearted actions that moved the Mateel forward.

    • the 300k loan was secured against the license, this money plus money loaned from bob were the funds used to fight the lawsuit and save the community center. when settlement was reached both lenders were repaid. thank you bob and boots for asking the right questions.
      current problem seems to be lengthy ongoing mismanagement of funds. beyond a 3 year board term. with that a GM step down is in line.
      mateel forever

      • Dunno where koastdog’s “facts” come from. As someone else in these comments points out, boots generously signed a license deal with mateel to produce rotr for mcc, fronting $300,000 for that right. Because of ongoing mcc legal entanglements with tommy d and ms carol, that show never happened, so boots was repaid after dimmick settled his rotr case with a fairly large cash payment. The balance went to mcc operations and the board created a reserve fund as well. NOT A LOAN.

        I was never repaid any of the money I “loaned” the mateel for the simple reason that I NEVER loaned mcc a dime. Did I work long, unpaid hours as a board member and volunteer? Yup. Did I make $$$ and in-kind DONATIONS to mcc. Yup. Darryl Cheney once wrote a letter to the editor thanking me for my “loans,” and suggesting I leave community politics alone. He had his facts wrong too.

        No loan, no how, never. Personally, I think it would have raised the most serious of ethical questions had I engaged in such a “related party” transaction–my fiscal responsibility and duty of care as a board member might have created a conflict of interest with a role as creditor. Even the appearance of such conflict would be bad enough.

        I dunno if I asked “the right questions.” Some folks thought not, and wanted me to stay out of mateel business. Having moved on, I’m saddened to hear of mcc’s troubles, but am not completely surprised. Mateel forever!

  • Ok. The bubble has burst. But this community is still full of amazing, talented , people with real skills that can be applied to multiple levels of survival and thrival (ha! Is that a word? Let’s make a new word) to keep the dream alive! Yes, it is a real struggle right now, but that’s ok! Lean into it, don’t ever give up, whatever it takes to find the strength to persevere and find the solution to realize the dream. Sustainable beautiful inspired love, joy, music, celebration, family, community, the epiphany of the human experience!!!
    Bring it! All of it! Love you all!

  • Victor G. Flashman

    What economic downturn?

    My job pays more than ever, my wife just got a $30,000 raise, my kids, wow, they make good money…

    The sky is NOT falling! You just need to look for another income stream!

    When you operate a business, and things fall off, what to do… Mostly, in this country, we cut costs, cut staff, or cut it loose! That’s reality! Quit smoking that dope, and plan a new plan! Evolve, adapt, move forward…

    Often, doing the same old thing, the same old way, just does not work anymore. Life is about change! Grow up, go towards the light, no fear!

    Paying yourself a fat salary, pocketing the proceeds, whining when things get ugly: This isn’t going to work in the long run!

    When people build something themselves, they appreciate it! If you just give something to people, they come to expect it but assign it no value.

    Someone can live in SoHum for years, and never see the inside of The Mateel…

    It is a beautiful place, and I enjoy it immensely, but the people here are absurd and endlessly, amusingly lost…

    A building is just a building. Business, it is plastic, ever changing, not for the faint of heart.

    If you have a good concept, a good product, the support of the population, you MAY succeed. Just billing the bands, going through the motions, guarantees nothing.

    The reggae party, to a non afficianado, is not what Humboldt needs. It is an affront, disgusting, past it’s prime. Kind of like the “Cannabis business”.

    Good luck to all concerned. A return to local venues, local artists, local uses is recommended. Bringing thousands of outsiders in, well, that is what caused your “downturn”…

  • Sell Reggae. If there really are any buyers. Sell it quickly while it still has any value. Focus on The Hall. Reggae has become a disgusting can of worms, not local pride or “community” for the great majority of us. It was originally intended as a fundraiser to get the property and build The Hall. We did that! The Hall is what is valuable and real. Reggae was a great party- for the first 10 years then steadily downhill and a source of contention and division ever since (“Unity” – Ha! The irony!) Also – I say this with love- the Board of Directors are not competent to run a festival of that size. None of what’s happened should be a surprise to anybody and yet they are shocked at the financial mess?! For this and other reasons I have no confidence in their ability to manage an event of that size that has long passed it’s prime- with it’s huge costs and risks. Get over it and yourselves. Finances will not get better. Reggae will not suddenly become more popular and ever be what it was. Attempts to do so will need extensive advertising to outside markets and we locals will resent that being done by The Mateel. Again- The goal was reached! We built The Mateel Hall!! It is a beautiful home that many of us spent many hours working on, fundraising for, working inside to produce community dances and we should be proud of that. Sell Reggae….Focus back on the actual community here. Tough times coming- we who stay will need each other and true unity, not a raging drugfest that hurts the river and sets us against each other.

    • The hall is only half built. Phase one party spot only.. no meeting rooms no dressing rooms no back stage …Phase 2 …3… Just lines on paper. And now with massive debt load? Not looking good.

    • “Focus back on the actual community here. Tough times coming- we who stay will need each other and true unity, ”

      This

  • My name is Marc Wendt, I have been acquainted with this Community through ROR, since the very early days.
    I have worked in concert production, film licensing and archives now for 25 years.
    I have some very creative ideas to build new revenue streams and develop alternative approaches to the ROR the river assets, as well as the building the branding of the local Marijuana community.

    I would like it if someone who is connected would contact me, so that I could volunteer my expertise and insight in how to develop the financial health of the Mateel community.

    I can be reached via e-mail in the link or by phone at 415-328-7668

  • Well…I know the very first thing that’s on my list of things to do to create alternative income: avoid the comments on this blog like the plague. Absolutely the s******** attitudes towards change and growth I’ve ever seen in my life. Pathetic.

    • Yes. It’s really hard seeing the comments of other locals who don’t totally agree with you on everything. It’s hard to have “unity” in the “community” when others just won’t capitulate to your “vision” and insist on having individual opinions!!

    • That’s pretty much the internet as a whole

  • One hundred thousand dollars for porta potties? I am pretty sure that is ridiculous. The festival isn’t fun anymore. That is why we don’t want to go to it.

    • That was said by one of the former board members present. I’ll talk to Mateel staff tomorrow and see if they’ll confirm or correct the accuracy.

  • Maybe, WHEN possible, bring back some form of “electric on the eel”🤔 Reggae music is huge..in other parts of the world. It was much more popular around these parts like 20 years ago, imho. ELECTRIC encompasses an incredibly vast tapestry of different musical styles and genres. Hoping, praying, and deep down knowing “we will get by, we will survive”-r hunter-J garcia 🙏🏽✌🏼️💗

    • Electric on the Eel was not a Mateel show. It was put on by the folks down at the Hog Farm in Laytonville.
      They have put on a large variety of events. They seem to put on a festival till it’s run it’s course, retire it, and
      put on a new fresh event. After Electric on the Eel, they had the Hog Farm Pignic, Earth Dance, Gaia Fest, and
      these days they have Enchanted Forest, and the Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival, a great show. They are not a non-profit, but a private producer. Sometimes they make money, sometimes they lose money, but they keep trying new stuff.
      It’s a good idea.
      The Mateel should have retired worn out Reggae on the River years ago and started something new, like they have with the Hoedown.

      • No locals? Really?

        Right on.cuz they are interested in people, music and coming together. Not making money solely like seems to be driving the mateel folks these days

  • Look up Mateel Community Center up at http://rct.doj.ca.gov. The last two years of state filings were rejected because the required audit wasn’t done. MCC is now delinquent.

  • Secret “bridge loans” has the ring of money laundering and corruption to it.

  • Checks & balances missing

    Kym, , there is no ” downturn in the local economy ” and to chalk up the Mateel Rotr failure and Mateel insurmountable debt to that , is giving a free pass to the Board of Directors and Justin Crellin for their jaw dropping mismanagement and running reggae on the river and our Mateel community center into the ground .
    People saw this coming for the last several years trying to sound the alarm on the mismanagement but it all fell on deaf ears .
    There is very little participation from our local community and non profits at the Mateel community center.
    They have not prioritized and continued the out reach to include our local people and make them feel welcome like it used to be. It literally has been a closed loop there including their own echo chamber that pretended that their style of managing was going to be sustainable. If you just delve a litter deeper and talk with people in the he know Kym, you Will soon find out that it was lack of oversight and monumental mismanagement pure and simple.

    • Don’t get me wrong, we’re not saying that the entire problem is from the local downturn. But there is plenty of evidence for a local downturn, including Ms. Torres account of amount of kids needing food quadrupling in two years.

      • Kym, no doubt there has been a huge increase in people/kids coming in for the Mateel meal. However, those are people and kids from the huge influx of the transient population coming into our community looking for work, a free meal or hard drugs.
        The people/kids eating at the Mateel are NOT local third-generation kids who live here and grew up here and whose family live and grew up here , where all of a sudden they are poor and don’t have enough food to eat and so they need to go over to the Mateel for a meal.

    • Kym, as with all Boom or Bust economies, most folks are doomed to end up on the bust side of things. It’s a classic darwinian situation, hence the increase in the numbers of hungry youngsters that would benefit from the soon-to-be defunct MEALS program at the MATEEL.

      I would venture, and with all due respect, Kym, that the issue here at the Mateel is not traceable to an ”economic downturn”, but is a direct result of the flagrant ineptitude, hubris, and institutional cluelessness of the present board.

      Several times at the meeting Sept 18, Justin referenced the sad ”lack of community support for the Matteel.”
      Has anyone on this forum, or others, ever recounted their experience of any Matteel board member indicating that he or she gave a rat’s a– about hearing the suggestion, or offer of help, from a community member?
      Community involvement is a two way street that demands a certain receptiveness, an exchange of energy, that this board is apparently incapable of demonstrating. It’s a cold board, and not actually engaged with the community it purports to serve.

      Finally, what’s the deal with the missing audits of ROTR 2014, and 2015? These are ”DELINQUENT AUDITS” that the State of California, DOJ, has most recently demanded of the board in a Feb., 2017 letter.
      (The link to this DOJ letter is in the comments of the Sept. 18 emergency meeting.)
      Amazingly, these audits are about the very year(s) that Justin has sheepishly acknowledged that the Matteel suffered a loss.

  • Corporate sponsorship.

  • I would just like to say that at the community meeting, the question was asked…does the mcc owe the chp,the busses, or the porta potty crew money that would prevent the planning an execution of a future event? The answer was no, and yet now we find out that the porta potties are owed a huge sum of 100k!?! This is the problem. Lies and lack of transparency! Fire the lot of them and start over, the last thing we need is the board lying to the community to save face. A little bit of karma and history repeating itself!!! Pay for the friggan potties people!

    • According to the Regional Water Board, the MCC has not complied with their wastewater discharge permit “Annual Reports”; because their consultant collector/preparer/engineer has not provided the MCC monitoring and annual reports to the Regional Water Board for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, i.e. because the reporting consultant was not paid or as she puts it:

      Good afternoon Mr. Voice,

      The below responses correspond to the numbered questions in your email:

      1.) The Discharger (aka Permittee) is MCC and they are responsible for submitting the data. The discharge is currently authorized through enrollment coverage under Resolution No. R1-2012-0099, Policy for Waiving Waste Discharge Requirements for Specific Types of Waste Discharge. A Regional Water Board Notice of Coverage letter dated August 15, 2014 was issued to MCC. In addition to providing notice of coverage the letter also required that MCC submit an Annual Report by September 15th of each year. The Annual Report was to include but not be limited to the following information:

      a. Number of attendees,
      b. Volume of water discharged to each of the three on-site systems; and
      c. Visual observation of each leachfield and the surrounding area for each day of the event and seven consecutive days post event.

      The Waste Discharge Identification Number (WDID) is a facility identification number that was assigned to this discharge. The WDID number is different from the Resolution Number, which is the number assigned to the order waiving the need for Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs).

      2.) The collector/preparer is an engineer who it is my understanding was working on behalf of MCC to collect, compile and submit the data to the Regional Water Board.

      3.) The engineer who collected the data has not released it to MCC or the Regional Water Board.

      4.) On 8/29 I was contacted by the engineer who let me know that due to an oversight the data had not been submitted, however it was being compiled and would be submitted within a week. As I was unable to find the data upon my return to the office on 9/15 I reached out to MCC to inquire as to where it was. I was told that there was a billing issue between the engineer and MCC and the engineer was not releasing the information to MCC or to the Regional Water Board until the issue was resolved.

      5.) MCC staff may be able to document the volume of water used during the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 events without input from the engineer.

      6.) It is my understanding that the engineer collected the data.

      7.) I’ve been told the issue has to do with payment for services.

      8.) See #1 above.

      The public does have a right to access of the Annual Reports. As the data has not been submitted to the Regional Water Board, I am unable to pass it on to you.

      MCC is currently in violation of the Notice of Coverage letter requirement to submit an Annual Report for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. MCC staff has been notified of their current non-compliance with the Notice of Coverage letter and of the public request for the Annual Reports. I have been told by MCC staff that they are working on getting the issue resolved and will submit the past due Annual Reports ASAP. Upon receipt of the data, I will forward it on to you as per your request.

      Thank you,

      Rachel Pratt
      NCRWQCB
      Groundwater Permitting
      (707) 576-2542
      Rachel.Prat@waterboards.ca.gov

      • Thanks for the documentation, Ed.

        • No problem Deouement, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. How does the Mateel Board plan on “leasing” ROTR to a private/for-profit person, business or LLC if all their permits expired in 2017?

          If the Mateel leases ROTR to a for-profit, how can you claim the event is a non-profit fundraiser and not a for-profit business venture? There are ways around that; 1) the non-profit hires a fundraising consultant or 2) form a partnership with the for-profit or like/kind and same exempt organization. However, before all of that could even take place; the Mateel Board needs to comply and restore their standing with the State Attorney Generals office as a public benefit, charitable and tax exempt corporation. And it might be the Mateel will need to pay unrelated business income tax for those years. IMHO, that’s why they didn’t submit the required audits to the state for 2014, 2015 and now 2016. So just like their water neutral rainwater catchment pond, the Mateel Board has dug a very costly hole for themselves…

          “Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten” ~ Cree

  • Good synopsis of the Meeting, and thanks for the disclaimer, although I believe anyone who knows you (Kym) and the rules of this site may safely assume your “cleanliness.”

    This is the comment which struck me as particularly pertinent: “…our sociology has changed…”
    Boy Howdy! The Mateel’s debt reflects exactly that. It IS something to be teared up over, and the only way open is forward…wherever the heck that is.

    • Kelley Lincoln wrote this excellent piece. But thank you for the kind words.

      • Well, the operation of the Mateel was botched. Obviously, locals, with little acumen, and less regard for law, have become buried up to their necks in debt, mismanagement, negligence, malfeasance.

        Like SHCHD, they borrowed, begged, and stole. Now they complain that “the community does not support us”.

        Gee, can Non Profits escape their creditors through bankruptcy, Mr Trump? Can they get a USDA loan?

        This is not the best population from which to expect rational thought, sober vision, or clear direction, but at the very least, we have a building. Today.

        Let’s contribute enough to feed the folks needing to be fed. The bounty of this very rich region, the beneficent folks who live here, even guys like me, can recognize the value of providing a meal for anyone who shows up. Meal programs are appropriate, supportable, and should be sustained. A good place to start.

        I also support local venues, craft fairs, and other small local uses.

        It is quite apparent that we lack support for big concerts, huge attempts to make big money. We need to examine methods of supporting this non-profit without the overshot vision of the current board.

        Like SHCHD, we have hit the wall. We need to “just keep the doors open” while we wait for consciousness, while applying our conscience.

        If we learn from our errors, we still may make mistakes.

        Survive, adapt, proceed. Examine all possible sources of funds, but depend upon the decency of the citizens.

  • I agree with Denouement. The Cal-Fresh Grant, locally donated food and labor magnified greatly the ability to provide this community service. Ending The Meal throws all these resources in the compost. I urge the board to consider ear marked fund raising to maintain the food program as is done for the school music programs, Andy Barnett, Schmollenger and Hal. Is the meal program so less important than music in the schools? The Mateel Meal is an essential component of the local food safety net and a whole lot more. It is more than the food. It is an expression of our collective compassion and caring. Caring for the poorest of the poor defines who we are as a community and what a Community Center is about. It is the complicated and difficult manifestation of the Unity so talked about when referring to the Spirit of Reggae. I urge the board to meet with the local groups that are keeping the food safety net together. They deserve our recognition and support.

    • It seems more appropriate to have food programs go thru schools or churches in SoHum. The Mateel is too controversial,and always has been. It’s always been devisive and mainly ego driven. Sorry to say that, but… Maybe it will reincarnate& be able to attract the whole community in an unexpected way. At least the Hoedown will be fun this Saturday!! Enough of the Reggae already

    • Road Weary, it was not a “Cal-fresh Grant”! it was a contract and agreement with Humboldt Department Health & Human Services to promote Calfresh and provide food. The mateel was reimburse all the operating cost, personnel cost and overhead for the Mateel Meal from this contract and program. In fact, it paid for the new dishwasher in the Mateel Kitchen, along with installation. So I have no idea why they stopped the program. Seemed like a sweet deal if you ask me…

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