Mateel Community Center Board Seeks Footing With Debt Over $600,000

 

Mateel Hall-Board

Mateel Board of Directors [Photo by Kelley Lincoln]

The Mateel Community Center Board of Directors seeks its footing in light of the center’s overwhelming debt which totals just over $600,000. The board is clearly struggling to get a full understanding of the cost of monthly operations, but the nine board members appear enthusiastic and committed to the job they face. However, they also need to define the role and direction of the center under their leadership as they reach out to the community in a major fundraising campaign.

The Financial Picture

In the Treasurer’s Report, Eryn Snodgrass described the Mateel’s financial picture as “sobering.” The organization owes $603,000. Reggae on the River lost $136,000 plus the Mateel overspent its budget in 2014 and has been trying to catch up since then, according to Justin Crellin. In addition, it also owes $140,000 to community members for loans made to the Mateel in 2014. [This paragraph was corrected to more accurately reflect the situation.]

With regard to ongoing operations, Snodgrass, who is a local business owner, said, “There are a staggering amount of bills to operate. We are kind of running on fumes to be honest. I am of the opinion, we need $300,000 to $400,000 to accomplish [our] goals in the new year. And that would allow us…we would be able to operate and pay some of our debt to stay out of arrears with no collections or lawsuits.”

Snodgrass has been meeting weekly with Bookkeeper Amie McClellan to fully understand the Mateel’s costs. Snodgrass says, currently, the Mateel needs $22,600 a month for staff and operations in order to not cut further.  This comes to $272,000 a year.

This staffing level would allow the Mateel Community Center to hold the Summer Arts and Music Festival in 2018. However, this figure does not pay for any of the over half million dollars of debt.

Currently, there is about $15,000 in the Mateel’s bank account. Snodgrass and McClellan had spent the day of the board meeting identifying creditors and triaging payments. They had sent out $4,000 in checks this day, but, says Snodgrass, the Mateel received about that much from the Hoedown and the Damian Marley show. memberships and sponsorships. (Error correction.)

The Winter Arts Fair will happen in December but the Board is cutting the cost of having live music.

Fundraising and Board activism

The Board is developing a fundraising plan after now getting a clear picture of the debt and the true cost of operations.

Currently, the Board is preparing a letter for a major fundraising effort on GoFundMe. And members will be meeting with Patrick Cleary of the Humboldt Area Foundation who has reached out to the Mateel in their time of crisis.

Board Member Pleasure Strange wants the public to know that 500 lifetime memberships will solve the Mateel’s problems.

However, the Board Members have not yet come to an agreement on the vision and plans for the Mateel Community Center. Board Member Dusty Hughston says the Board will use the financial data to “develop a strategic plan for 2018 instead of 1999.” And Board Member Pleasure Strange says “we want the best health for the Mateel and a better resource for our community.” The Board is meeting weekly while they develop these plans, but the public and membership are only welcome to the regularly scheduled third Tuesday of the month meeting.

Currently, Board Member activism is high. Several board members had been working all day in the hall with staff and volunteers to clear and clean. Hall Manager, Dan Whyte said, with other volunteer help, the storage shed had been emptied, and the Reggae on the River storage containers were sorted and repacked. He acknowledged he failed to inventory things as they repacked them, however. Whyte reported 2,400 pounds of trash had left the hall this day. The next workday will be All Saints Day November 1.

Community Programs of the Mateel

The Mateel Meal remains a topic of conversation. Board member, Pleasure Strange, says the board is committed to the meal but hasn’t the money to operate it. However, she also says again this month that the Mateel Community Center’s certified kitchen is better used by renting it to a food truck operator.

These are the kinds of priorities Board Members must consider as they devise their strategic plan and vision for the area’s community center.

An annual CalFresh Grant supporting the operational costs of the Mateel Meal staffing has also provided funds to upgrade the kitchen equipment over the last five years. The CalFresh grant has purchased a freezer, two under-counter refrigerators, a center prep table, and an industrial food processor for example. Amy Terrones of the Family Resource Center spoke up to say that the CalFresh grant is likely still available to pay for the operational expenses of the Mateel Meal. It remains unclear why the Board is not renewing their application to the CalFresh grant.

The Veterans’ Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners

Board Member Dusty Hughston said “we are united as a board in our commitment” to the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

The Garberville Veterans Association has hosted this volunteer effort since 1983 and there was no report from the Board about communication with the Veterans groups on the matter.

According to Veteran Brian Ormond, in a phone conversation later, he and Tom Pie generally collect donations from businesses in a door-to-door fashion to sponsor the holiday meals. The Vets pay a chef to cook and be responsible for the food safety aspects, while all the preparation labor of chopping, mixing and stirring is volunteered by the community. Ormond said, “The community has paid for the meal, the volunteers have prepared the meal, and the Garberville Veterans Association has hosted and cleaned up after the meal” for three decades. The Veterans’ Hall had to be closed in 2017 due to mold, so the Veterans held their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations at the Mateel. They hope to do that again this year because the Presbyterian Church burned down and is no longer an alternative option.

Ormond also talked about who comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas with the Veterans. He said, “These holiday celebrations are community event, not homeless events. But some of our community are homeless.” According to Ormond, there are people whose husband or wife has gone to see family while one needs to stay home with pets or to work. The person staying home wants company and freedom from cooking. There are also people who don’t have companions and didn’t travel to see other family who attend. Some attendees are elderly without the energy to make a holiday meal. And lately, he says, there have been a sizable number of “trimigrants” who come for the festivities.

Generally, about 175 people eat Thanksgiving Dinner with the Veterans, but last year there was a widespread power outage on Thanksgiving Day. Around 350 people came to dinner in 2016.

Ormond emphasized the feeling of community and involvement. For example, the local bikers’ Toy Run collects Christmas gifts for kids and many of those are distributed at the Christmas dinner.

For the past four years, the Family Resource Center, WISH, the Veterans and the Mateel have co-sponsored a grant application that pays for food baskets to be prepared at home by needy families and to help cover some costs of the Veterans’ holiday meals. Amie McClellan is once again seeking this grant.

The Board was also approached by business owner, Peg Anderson. Anderson requests the Mateel be an alternative location for the Emergency Winter Shelter in Southern Humboldt. Only one church so far has agreed to welcome the shelter on nights it is too cold or too cold and wet to be safe from hypothermia. The Board is considering the request.

Staffing Changes and Reggae

Justin Crellin has scaled back his time in the office to one day a week. At this point, his work is directed at organizing and transferring his job duties to those board members and staff who will take up his functions.

Crellin said there have been “three serious offers” regarding Reggae on the River. One proposal has been withdrawn, a second offer he described as “unlikely” to suit the Mateel’s needs, and the third proposal has not yet been fully submitted though it has been expected and postponed several times according to Crellin.

Crellin said that he would be sending out an email this week introducing the parties with proposals in the works to the board members and withdrawing himself from the process.

Crellin’s other major remaining commitment to the Mateel is being the point person at an upcoming trial. The litigation results from an injury to a volunteer at Summer Arts and Music Festival three four years ago when a redwood tree near the main stage dropped limbs on the medical tent. That trial is currently scheduled for March of 2018.

Crellin told the board he will continue to be available to answer questions after he has transitioned out of the job.

The Board has identified Office Manager, Charity Green, as a sort of chief-of-staff while the community center operates without a General Manager.

 

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75 comments

  • It’s time to sell the naming rights of the Mateel to a corporation, Coca-Cola Community Center, Chevron Hall at Redway, Safeway Center of So Hum. Corporate sponsorship is the only way to go at this point.

  • Randy Houser is a sell out in Santa Rosa tonight! See ya guys later. Ill let u know how country feels!

  • I will buy a $1000 lifetime membership if 499 others do also…

  • It would be helpful to review the history of why the Mateel was started in the first place. It was to be a community center for concerts, meals, memorials and other events . A central meeting place for the residents of the Mattole and Eel river family. I wish Charity Green all the best, as she is one of those with the institutional memory of why the Mateel exists.

  • kelley thank you for reporting,sharing and taking the time. your opinion and knowledge is valued…

    “However, the Board Members have not yet come to an agreement on the vision and plans for the Mateel Community Center”

    kelley we are in agreement and unified there is no devision or split in our BOD, we all are working hard to bring the community center back from this point. though our strategic plan for 2018 has not been completed or shared with the public. our vision and recovery plans are coming together with input from all members. we would like the community to know that your mateel BOD is committed and undivided.100% mateel forever.

    • No locals? Really?

      Take some responsibility for being so.much in debt then. It’s always this upper eshcelon attitude of “we know but aren’t telling you” cliquey inner circle shit that has made the mateel what it is now, compared to what it may have been. But yer club ain’t that cool as a community center if it’s not a club for all. Gimme a break. Y’all got rid of the meal which is the cheapest thing you got going on… I don’t know. I’ll stick to dead fam. Never fades away. Bye bye

  • Long Live the Mateel

    Could a board or staff member explain why the Marley show, which was sold out, only made $4000? The booze alone should have made more than that.

  • Regarding ROTR the Mattel should learn a lesson from the failing Redwood Run. It’s all about the lineup. When the RR went back to the Kiwanis running the event the headliners they booked just couldn’t draw the crowds as in years past. Bikers don’t want to see local and regional acts. They want headliners. Same with the people considering attending ROTR. They don’t want to see some lame Ska band heading the bill. They want something Marley and roots. Perhaps it’s too late to fix this thing. Best of luck.

    • Do you know how many music festivals there are every weekend during spring/summer in America? Hundreds and hundreds. When ROTR started the festival circuit was very small with few choices. French’s Camp isn’t the most hospitable place to see music, who wants to come and camp on rocks in the dust in the hottest part of summer with a meager river?

  • Thanks for your clarification Dusty. I point out places where I see the board still working to find the balance point, not amongst each other as board members (division), but between points on a spectrum of possibilities (decision making). It may be that you do have the plan all sewn up, but as you point out in your comment that isn’t something I can know from the meeting. I also try to say here you nine people who hold these seats look enthusiastic and ready to tackle the Mateel’s recovery.

  • What happens in say ten to twenty years when those lifetime members suddenly find themselves no longer members, with no record of them ever donating such a large sum? Just saying, there are lifetime members out there that are no longer acknowledged as such and even no longer are made to feel welcome there…sins of the past ruin the future…

    • To my understanding, the Lifetime Membership campaign started during the Mateel Forever years in an effort to regain our footing after the Reggae Wars. It was the beginning of a new era. Previous historical donations are not part of this particular list. So many people gave of their time, money and effort to actually build the Mateel, but this huge effort pre-dates the concept of Lifetime Membership. If anyone out there feels unwelcome, please come visit. I would love to see if we can make amends. New office hours are Tuesday thru Friday 11am-5pm.

      • No locals? Really?

        I overheard you telling a volunteer one time that’s she had “ruined everything .” This was a 21 yr old girl . We talked to her as she left your trailer and said she was just volunteering to help with parking for a one day pass..so that’s the vibe we got from ya. Just because you did or are concerned with building community you still have to act like it. while y’all may ha e worked hard to build something, you gotta build it strong.

      • I will seriously consider a lifetime membership . But first an answer to this: “It remains unclear why the Board is not renewing their application to the CalFresh grant.” If someone has just dropped the ball on this I’d like to know. Dropping ‘The Meal’ certainly feels to me like a slap in the face to all the good local folks supporting the food safety net. My family personally donated thousands to rebuild the kitchen at Beginnings. The financial troubles of the Mateel should not be shifted onto the backs of our impoverished and hungry community members. Apply for the CalFresh grant. Let people earmark donations specifically for ‘The Meal’. That has worked well for saving the music programs in our schools. Meet with members of the food safety network and work out a ‘strategic plan’. Make me feel like you’re an organization worth saving.

        • Giving the Mateel Calfresh grant money is like giving an addict drugs. The question should be were did the Calfresh grant money go? Were they stealing from Peter to pay Paul? Are we seeing a total misuse of government funds (i.e. Our tax dollars) to pay their inexcusable debt? No Mateel meal is a total shame.

          • thank you mateel for doing away with the “meal” a collection of the psychopathic armed drug addicts. who congregate at rusk lane for their free hand out. and now a safer more presentable community center that i would want to bring my kids to. once you suspended program, overall cleaner redway. you all should be cheered now bring on some more kids activities.

  • I’m a little confused. The BOD is just getting up to speed with the information on how much it takes to operate MCC on a monthly basis?
    It has always been my understanding what a BOD is Suppose to do is over see the ED and approve an Annual Budget on a yearly basis along with Policy and Procedure reviews. Then they should be looking at the Financial statements Every month to see how on target the entity is within it’s Operating Budget for the year.
    Has this not been happening? Do they need help understanding how to read those financials? Have they been reviewing them on a monthly or even a Quarterly basis? If not, why not? Are they included in the monthly BOD meeting packet?
    This situation took many months to accumulate. Why has the BOD not acted with Financial prudence or Due Diligence with their BOD oversight duties?
    For Every BOD I have sat on the Financial were a healthy part of the monthly meetings’ discussions (usually). Obviously I have not been attending MCC BOD meetings, nor do I plan to but it would be nice if there was some response to why there has been so little Financial Oversight by the BOD whom the members vote in to be responsible for such?
    It’s not all just a dang party you know?

  • I’m sorry . How do you “OVERSPEND by 325k” ?

    Someone from book keeper to board and staff not paying attention.

    • No locals? Really?

      Yea they keep publishing that like it makes sense.. but it does t really. Come on. Are y’all that bad with book$?

  • Prognosis: terminal

    And actually I’m pissed and insulted that the MCC saw fit to borrow money, and piss money away, and debase reggae into a zero profit event from our mainstay and now, now they ask us to give them money? No confusion here. I’ve learned. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

  • Double- check the books and the people checking the books.

  • I personally don’t like reggae and most people I hang with don’t can we get another headliner act there you know do something other than reggae?

  • “The Mateel Meal remains a topic of conversation. Board member, Pleasure Strange, says the board is committed to the meal but hasn’t the money to operate it. However, she also says again this month that the Mateel Community Center’s certified kitchen is better used by renting it to a food truck operator.”

    Is the MCC now a for-profit organization? It would seem that’s the direction the MCC Board is going if they are going to rent or lease an asset of a 501c3 to a private and for-profit business!

    “It remains unclear why the Board is not renewing their application to the CalFresh grant.”

    First off, it’s not a “grant”; it’s a contract with Humboldt County DHHS to provide services!
    And IMHO, the reason for “not renewing their application to Calfresh”; could be the fact that all contracts for Calfresh Outreach funding for 2017/18 FY, requires the following:

    https://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/dgs/fmc/pdf/std021.pdf

    As to my first question; if the MCC is going to continue as a 501c3 Tax Exempt Organization; they need to clear up their delinquent status with the California Attorney Generals office:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1qq4OlQcPfdUFFOTm5OX1RhbTQ

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1qq4OlQcPfdSUJnc1ktNWRGLUk

    • What is the problem with these missing audits, for god sakes?
      There has been a resounding silence from the BOD whenever this subject is mentioned.

      Of course, the Calfresh monies are held up by the delinquent status of these repeatedly requested audits for those ”problematical years” of ROTR 2014/2015. Why doesn’t the BOD come clean?

      What really happened during those years, board members?
      My sense, these days, is that the fiscal losses of those years goes beyond mere incompetence…
      Increasingly, as the stonewalling, evasiveness, and obfuscation regarding those crucial years drag on and on, I’m beginning to think the unthinkable…
      The words ”fraud” and ”embezzlement” keep on surfacing in my thoughts.

      Please prove me wrong, Matteel BOD! Start talking. Start with the missing audits.

      • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

        Incompetence AND corruption… When the money comes in as cash, it will disappear… There really appears to be no way to save this thing, except, as SHCHD does to get another few weeks along… fire some people, shut down services, and ask everyone for MORE money to waste, “overspend” and mismanage… Giving money to the current board and staff, gee, why don’t you just roll it up and smoke it?

        A bunch of local hippie kids, no matter how well meaning, don’t appear to have the intelligence or acumen, much less the integrity or character to operate a viable non-profit of this size. The only appropriate thing they had going was feeding folks – now it’s looking gone for good – but I would not give these knuckleheads money, as it seems they would waste it (or steal it)…

      • Ohh ye of little faith

        What happened is the Rmt(reggae management team) whom the board trusted to run their festivals went on a deficit spending spree for multiple years. Many boardmembers had no idea untill recently how deep the rabbit hole was. They trusted the Rmt to run their festivals. Rmt made the books look good. They MCC Board and members got the shaft. Time to look at who’s(staff and board members) been running the RMT all these years?

    • Whoa, missing audits, unbelievable, and they are walking around with their hats in their hands thinking about selling lifetime memberships. I think, they need to take the $15,000 in cash and hire an attorney and a CPA.

  • >”Kinda isn’t Reggae on the River if there isn’t Reggae. Are you talking about starting another fundraiser?”

    Hmmm… How is the Kate Wolf festival going ?
    IMHO: Would be better to have more ‘broad’ attraction to the festival rather than a ‘single’ theme event.

    >”When the RR went back to the Kiwanis running the event the headliners they booked just couldn’t draw the crowds as in years past. Bikers don’t want to see local and regional acts. ”

    IMHO: Bad weather. Seems like it started raining on the RR festival.
    Couple years ==> No bikers ==> then no big acts ==> then further problems.

    • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

      Kate Wolf?

      Black Oak Ranch is for sale. Old Wavy had a run, didn’t he…

      Too bad the old hippies just faded away – they knew how much to steal, and how much to buy.

      • You probably saw the ‘for sale’ sign at the Black Oak ranch gate, which is for a neighbor’s place up the hill from us. The hogs at Black Oak continue to wallow about….celebrated our 50th year reunion a couple weeks ago.

        Wavy is still running, er, working closely with a cane and a golf cart.

        Old hippies make young hippies, and THEN fade away. That’s the plan, anyway.

        So far, so good.

      • No locals? Really?

        See you just talk out of your ass . Get a life

  • tired of all this

    It stopped being a “community” center long ago when it went into business to make big bucks. Hippie mentality & business mentality are polar opposites. No one has been watching the store. Groovey

  • Very good update.

    I think the most defining point for me on how the Mateel lost its way was the fact that only one non-profit was at the last Reggae not the dozen like in years past – they couldn’t afford the fee. It lost touch with the community that built it.

    • And the community did not buy tickets to the show.

    • It was NOT because they couldn’t afford the fee. It was because the people who started a lot of the non profits passed on the duties to younger other people who didn’t want to spend their time doing volunteer work and would rather enjoy the show and donate money so they didn’t have to work!! What happened to Beginnings pizza bread? what about Whitethorn school and rasta pasta? I don’t remember seeing Whitethorn school the past Valentines with their home made chocolate? Why aren’t their more fund raisers? Are the big growers with kids now just donating ?

  • And the community did not buy tickets.

    • ‘There’s nothing to see here, keep moving along’ it sounds like a good motto for ROTR.

      • No locals? Really?

        . Because of all the too cool for you locals we’re riding around on 4wheelers.. and being super heady and on the ins. So hum and it’s private little cliquey clubs that only exist here.. get with the human community

  • I find it amazing that things could get so bad before the alarm was sounded. Surely it took a few years to go 600K in the red, it didn’t happen overnight. It wasn’t just present board members that dropped the ball.

    It seemed like the main type of the entertainment there was Reggae artists. Well, Reggae’s popularity may be fading, I don’t know about that for sure but music styles do come in and out of fashion.

    Depending on a single resource for your income is always a risky proposition as witness some people’s hardships resulting from crashing pot prices.

    BODs, past and possibly present, have dug a huge hole for the organization to climb out of. It ain’t going to be easy!

    • Ohh ye of little faith

      Or at a minimum they have allowed general management a free pass to dig that ditch over many years…

  • So ROR isn’t paying the bills, no big deal, try something else. Why hold onto something that doesn’t work? Crappy bands along with a crappy venue for camping just equals crai. I will say Sizzla absolutely lit the place on fire a couple of years ago

  • Without a look at the books and a solid explanation of what went wrong, it is bordering on criminal to even suggest selling lifetime memberships. That “plan” is just going to help the train wreck over one more hump.

    I’m glad that several board members spent a day cleaning up and hauling away over a ton of trash and reorganizing the mess, but is seems that the books and financial plan are in about the same state of repair.

  • I cannot imagine how the board was unaware of the financial mess, though I’ve been told it’s a fact….I do know for sure that our “lifetime” membership, purchased after the Fireman’s Hall burned down, dematerialized and went missing on the so-called members list, leaving us in the embarrassing position of having to insist we gave,..Or not. Lots of times we couldn’t find Charity or Katherine or somebody in charge to verify we weren’t trying to scam the MCC for a discount on our tickets. Very poor business practices, I’d say, and a thousand-dollars not well spent.

  • Wailaki Casino or Tip Top South ???

  • My understanding is the food for the meal is all donated, mostly stuff from Shop Smart that is nearing expiration or like eggs missing one in the dozen that they can’t sell; what costs are they really saving from discontinuing the meal? Now the donated food just has no home and will likely end up tossed.

    • Not according to records from Humboldt County DHHS and the Calfresh Outreach program:

      According to those County records and documents; the MCC was reimbursed and paid; Personnel Cost ($19,234.00), Administrative/Operational Costs ($11,753.00), Consumables/Supplies ($5,350.00) and Other Cost ($2,080.00) for the Mateel Meal program from 4/1/15 to 6/31/16.

      This does not count the amount food the Southern Humboldt Community Park (SHCP) is paid to provide the Mateel Meal by Calfresh and their “Park to Plate” program; which the SHCP states they supplement the Mateel Meal with fresh produce, eggs and meat for 5,125 meals per fiscal year for 25 weeks.

      My question would be, how come the MCC does not take EBT for the Mateel Meal?

      • Ohh ye of little faith

        Shcp is a separate entity. Though the mcc meal may receive produce, it also had or has multiple other donors..Park to plate is a separate issue, separate program, run by separate folks. You are reaching here at best ed..

    • The loss of the Cal-Fresh grant, food donations from local grocers,and volunteer labor greatly magnifies the loss. It is stunning, actually to see all these resources and effort tossed into the garbage. The Mateel was a hub for the food safety net.

  • Why didn’t someone stop this along time ago,before it got out of hand. I hope they come up with a solution soon,there’s alot of good folks their and they seem to care. Good luck!!😄

  • Long Live the Mateel

    I volunteered for years at the Beginnings pizza bread booth as did many of the other parents and community members. Our kids safely wandered around the reggae site and the pizza bread booth was their safe harbor. It was very lucrative for Begs, an enjoyable experience and hard work. Then MCC decided to accept a more commercial pizza bread outfit, with which we could not compete. It just wasn’t worth the time and effort. More and more of that happened. Lydia’s etc. It started to slip away from the community. Big name sponsors came in. Our kids didn’t feel safe any longer. Harder drugs happened. And at one of the recent meetings it was stated that only one local non profit was still there.
    I know what it’s like to be on one of these boards. It’s a thankless task and each board member needs to spend an extreme amount of time if it’s to be done successfully or at least adequately. And many board members don’t have that time, or are willing to give it. Some don’t have skills with finances. So, they rely on the bookkeeper or the manager to hand them the info. There must have been some serious mismanagement for the MCC to get to this place. I agree that asking the community for more large sums of sponsorship money and partially blaming us for not going to RoR is just wrong.
    It’s accurate that there are many more festivals than there used to be, and not far away. But look at Black Oak Ranch for example. The Pignic lost money and closed. The Gaia fest lost money and closed. Earthdance lost money and tried to move to the Bay Area. Lost money even there and closed. Enchanted Forest lost a ton of money this year and will probably not return. Kate Wolfe has solid acts and support and makes it. Bottle Rock now happens, Outside Lands, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass happens, but it’s free. Then there’s Beloved in Oregon. On and On. It is hard to compete, especially if we hire bands that are mediocre. The big name bands cost a fortune.
    So … what to do? A thorough and serious audit for one. A hard look at the viability for another. Is there enough accountability? Many staff at RoR used to hand our wristbands like candy. I expect a lot of what goes on there is under the table cash. We need a board that is competent enough to keep this thing we entrusted you with, going.

    • Richard Dunesberry

      Earth dance out grew the ranch, and enchanted forest didn’t do bad and will return. Kate wolf is doing great, because the family loves it. Very few events make it more than a year or 2. MCC has made changes like using disposable trash cans at RoR (around 6.60 or piece) instead of the metal cans or white bags I saw appear. They also dispose of everything as trash instead of saving large amounts by using recycle. I haven’t seen them put out their RoR earnings since the last time they made 250,000 from it a few years ago. People don’t need Shiney infrastructure and new everything. Touch up the old and recycle what has worked.

      • the trash seen at rotr the last 2 years has been better than any year ever. i volunteered for recycling and what your saying is BULLS••• the cardboard cans are amazing, light and reused until they are wet and gross at which time they are recycled with all the other cardboard produced at the festival i saw and touched most of the festivals cardboard…it went into a 20 yrd cardboard recycle bin…the metal cans are too heavy to lift when full and are dangerous/sharp. which is why no festivals use them anymore. the white bags require forklifts and are extremely dangerous when dumping or drive with trash over peoples heads…this year the whole river bar was cleaned and micro trashed within 4 days of the event ending..and yes i was there cleaning the river with a picker. rotr recycle team 2016 2017 is amazing thank you guys you inspire me. i don’t know the figures by weight but i do know that all metal, glass and cardboard is 100% recycled on site at rotr… i sorted, filled, and watched it leave in 40 yrs bins marked recycle. their blue, black, green system is the industry standard and generally yields 60% recyclables i bet they were close to that.

    • Ohh ye of little faith

      Serious mismanagement…but now Under new management. Maybe transparency will rear it’s beautiful head…

  • I don’t know if you’ve looked around lately but 3 days a week there sure are a whole heck of a lot less people loitering about in Redway. And a lot less trimmigrants just Milling about holding scissor signs. it seems to me Redway has a cleaner face since the meal has stopped maybe we should talk to everybody before we say the community supports one idea or the other. Have we asked all the neighbors how the hundred or so permanent folks loitering about affect their kids, bus stops, yards, and trash heaps? I personally like Redway cleaner. As a community member i spend alot of time helping at the MCC and always have. All of you people advocating so hard for the meal, let’s be honest, less than 10% of you care to even stop by the hall for any reason whatsoever..so stop advocating for programs that make you feel good, or better about being a person, if you’re not going to contribute the time and energy to producing and dealing with the actual issues at hand..none of which you have volunteered your front yard or kitchen to accommodate ever.

  • here here!…please don’t bring back the meal it is a blight on our community !

    • Then the MCC needs to repay back their Calfresh funding for kitchen improvements and appliances to the tune of 10’s of thousands of dollars, that was paid for with public tax money, in the name of the Mateel Meal. You don’t get to say you’re providing a free meal, take money and then bit the hand that feeds you…

      • Ohh ye of little faith

        You forget to mention ed that those grants are also to cover the wages power bills upkeep and maintence…ie.. the operating costs of the meal. According to you rougly $2000 of $35000 IS SPENT ON TABLES FRIDGES AND THE LIKE..seems like reasonable use of funds to me…The cost of the fridges and a table over the grant years is seriously a drop in the bucket (very small %) compared to the total operating costs for each grant year… quit your hating and educate yourself (ie. do your own math I shouldn’t have to do it for you). Or maybe just go back to Santa rosa. Are You feeding all your new friends on your porch from your kitchen? I got some grant money for ya…

  • I would appreciate if there was a meal, that it be well regulated, follow proper food service standards and law, and operate in a way that is less impacting to its surrounding community. Having considered renting the hall and it’s commercial kitchen for both private events and my own commercial needs over the last few years I’ve found it always overstuffed or beyond overpacked, and disorganized. The trash going down the driveway to the street on meal days doesn’t help either. Always has been full of volunteers who want to help me, but I’m sorry …however well intentioned I don’t want toothless unshowered help in bottling my sauces or at my daughters wedding(she said no f-in way). Period. I rent in eureka and arcata for clean professional workspace. Wedding was at the old arrington apples and it was better for us. I’m thinking about doing a family membership but It’s hard time the place cleans up and serves the greater community and families needs that surround it. Serve the next generation already. Not just one group or special interest.

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