$40,000 Payment Demanded from Mateel by Today or Not Only the Community Center But the Board President Will Have Their Assets Attached, Says Sysco

Mateel Center Garth Epling from 2012 File Photo

Mateel Center logo and Garth Epling from 2012 File Photo

The financial woes of the Mateel Community Center continued to escalate as the newly elected Board Members were seated at Tuesday’s meeting. During the Finance Committee Report, President Garth Epling told the Board that he and the Mateel are about to have their assets attached for the unpaid debt from Reggae on the River 2017. The Mateel has an unpaid bill of $30,000 with Sysco, a multinational food distribution corporation, for services in 2017. There is now an additional $10,000 in late penalties and collection fees. No legal costs are included in that sum yet.

On Tuesday, January 16, Epling received a demand for payment by Thursday, January 18th.  Otherwise, the demand states, Sysco will begin legal action to attach the assets of both the Mateel Community Center and of Board Member Garth Epling “individually, solely and separately. “

Epling’s liability arises out of a last minute refrigerated truck rental for Reggae on the River in 2014. The contract Epling signed “on the dusty hood of a truck in the pre-show chaos” contained a Promissory Note the company is using to hold Epling personally liable for bills incurred three years later.

Epling, upon receipt of this correspondence, did consult an attorney. Epling did not share the details of that consultation, but certainly, Epling did not appear to have been reassured by the information he received.

In the course of this conversation it was revealed that, despite the Mateel’s financial crisis having begun nearly five months ago, as of Tuesday night, the Board has not researched its options and opportunities as 501c3. At Tuesday’s Board Meeting, Board Members had no idea if Chapter 11 Bankruptcy was an option for non-profit corporations. Electee Helliwell informed the Board that Chapter 11 is, potentially, an option.

Board Member Dusty Hughston says the Mateel will suffer from an asset encumbrance by Sysco because it will reduce the Board of Directors’ ability to secure a loan.

Hopefully, in the nick of time, the Mateel received word earlier that very day, that the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) did award the Mateel $5,000 to use for financial planning consulting. In a conversation after the meeting adjourned, Board Member Meghan Gomes said HAF will help the Mateel set up a meeting with an appropriate financial advisor, and she hopes that process will move quickly.

Regarding Reggae, the Board reports it is currently in the third round of negotiations with a “partner” for Reggae on the River 2018. The Board was very reluctant to give details but did say if a contract is entered, the partner, and not the Mateel Community Center, will be the producer of Reggae on the River 2018. Hughston says an announcement will be made within the next three weeks or the show cannot happen.

The Mateel is currently planning to hold the Summer Arts and Music Festival in 2018. Business sponsorship for the event is rolling in. The Board intends to return to a more local incarnation of Summer Arts with plenty of local dance troupes, kids’ performances and tweener musicians. The Board says the focus will return to families and community and less on a party atmosphere as requested by the membership.

The Board determined its next step toward Summer Arts 2018 to be contacting unpaid vendors, updating them on the Mateel’s financial situation, and developing agreeable payment plans with them. After those conversations, the media and publicity campaign will begin. Although, when asked, the Events and Talent Committee does not seem to have appointed a person to coordinate booking talent and performances.

Fundraising outside of events is slow. The Rainmaker campaign has not produced much revenue and will soon be abandoned. The Membership form on the Mateel website has been updated and improved. It is now operated by Little Green Light.

The Board encouraged the Fundraising Committee to begin an emergency fundraising drive for the $40,000 to meet the unpaid Sysco bill.

Gomes says that community members have come forward to help with various fundraising campaigns. Nicole Divine has spearheaded auctioning redwood sculptures by Sacco. The larger than life-size sculptures have been on display in a silent bid display at various places around the community and will be returning to the Mateel soon. The auction will be completed at the February 14th at the Matisyahu performance.

Gomes also said community members had taken time with family for the holidays, but that she expects they will return to their efforts in supporting the Mateel’s direct fundraising efforts very soon.

The Mateel Meal was not on the agenda although when it was suspended, it had been scheduled to return in January.

The topic of transparency was on the agenda, but the Board discussed Confidentiality Agreements under that topic. They agreed on the need to get them signed because a Board Member has violated it, but hasn’t actually signed one.

When asked about transparency, the Board did determine that posting the Board’s agendas and minutes on the Mateel website will help the community feel more fully engaged with the Center. The Board determined that the minutes will be limited to the actions taken to minimize intrusiveness and “micro-combing of the notes.”

Also note, after elections last month, a new board was seated. The newly elected, and re-elected, Board Members are long time Mateel Member Bruce Champee, Steve Helliwell–a Financial Counselor with the Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt, and Dusty Hughston re-elected incumbent. The new Board Members were seated after the agenda proceeded to new business.



  • I have NO DOUBT that various members of the Matteel and of the community at large could PAY THAT BILL from the petty cash under their mattresses. If not singly, than as a group.
    I Know that many of us are cash strapped, but there are SOME who have prospered and have cash stashed…

    It might be time to consider generosity.

    • But the questions is “should they?”. I love the Mateel, don’t get me wrong, but it seems to have been mismanaged for years. If they aren’t willing to be transparent and talking about “confidentiality agreements” then there is obviously things they don’t want the community to know. Isn’t part of being a 501c3 that they have to be transparent and they have to show their fanancials and board notes when requested?

      I feel like they aren’t taking this seriously enough and hoping the community will bail them out. That fact that they haven’t done the research yet, even though this has been known for months, confirms that for me.

      Mateel, you are important to this community so please get it together and take control, legally and transparently so that you will be around for generations to come. We all want you to suceed.

      • As far as the Mateel 501c3 tax exempt organization and public benefit status is concerned, it would seem that might be coming to an end as well; when it rains it pours:

        From: Delinquency
        Date: Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 10:37 AM
        Subject: RE: THE MATEEL COMMUNITY CENTER, INC. / 040157
        To: “accounting@mateel.org”

        Dear Amie,

        Thank you for the update. We will allow the organization until 01/31/2018 to submit the required documents. At that time, if we have not received the completed audit reports, we will issued a Notice of Intent to Suspend or Revoke. Once the Notice of Intent to Suspend or Revoke is issued, late fees will accrue and begin from 31 days after the date of the 1st Delinquency Letter was issued, 11/09/2017. The late fees are calculated at $25 per month or partial month and accrue at that rate until all of the required documents are received. On February 1, 2018, that late fee will total $75.

        Please submit the required documents before 01/31/2018 to avoid late fee penalties.

        Thank you,

        Brent Sorenson
        Staff Services Analyst, Delinquency
        DOJ – Office of the Attorney General
        Registry of Charitable Trusts
        (916) 210-6400 Ext. 6 Phone
        (916) 444 – 3651 Fax


        • The administration of the Mateel has obviously been applied with high order incompetence, dishonesty, and now, abandonment.

          It appears to me that this “non profit” has violated every trust, many laws, and the public’s confidence.

          I sincerely hope that there is life after bankruptcy, but every board member needs to be disposed of. As far as money from under mattresses, even if Epling and the rest suddenly produce the monies immediately owed, out of the amounts apparently misappropriated and possibly stolen, they still need to all be fired.

          Good luck Mateel!

          Thanks to Ed Voice for careful documentation and historical accuracy.

          • There is way, way more debts owed than sysco. Once stakeholders that are owed realize that this kind of tough action can possibly get them paid, a brand new wave of demands ultimatums and deadlines will roll in..

          • You and Ed are quite a pair.

      • It is my understanding, having worked with many 501(c)3 organizations, that their tax filings (Form 990) and other documents must be available to anyone who asks. See this NOLO site for details:

      • “In the course of this conversation it was revealed that, despite the Mateel’s financial crisis having begun nearly five months ago, as of Tuesday night, the Board has not researched its options and opportunities as 501c3. At Tuesday’s Board Meeting, Board Members had no idea if Chapter 11 Bankruptcy was an option for non-profit corporations. Electee Helliwell informed the Board that Chapter 11 is, potentially, an option”

        kelly thanks for reporting on our meetings it is important to us. however your above statement is inaccurate, the board has done research. the conversation you are referencing was the board asking a finical professional/new board member, his understanding of our ability to “RETAIN THE BUILDING” in a chapter 11, not weather we could. there have been varying responses to this question. and it was nice to hear a different take. this was an attempt by the board to gather more info to make informed decisions and your “opinion” weather we have or have not done research inflames the situation.

        all approved board minutes are available for review at the mateel office t-f 10-5 • 59 rusk lane redway

        thank you everyone for your continued support

        • dusty, you are correct. However, Chapter 11 does not defer or discharge the Mateel’s responsibility and obligation to submit their required tax returns, financial reports and audits to the Ca AG and IRS.

          Let me remind you, the Mateel is currently a “delinquent organization” with the State of California and not recognized as a public benefit or charitable corporation and tax exempt organization. So how can you file for Chapter 11, if the State suspends or revokes your status?

        • Dusty. thank you for your service and for being willing to continue given the really serious circumstances facing the Mateel Community Center. This is truly a community service. I value it. And I realize the observation stings, but let’s be real: I typed into Google “can a 501c3 file chapter 11 bankruptcy?” The research took me exactly 5 minutes and 12 seconds. It’s a pretty direct answer, from a reasonably reliable source, to the question you ask about your building.


          • kelly thanks for the link, as i stated the question was mateels ability to “retain the building” in a chapter 11. not weather or not we could file. the ability to retain assets in a chpt 11 is not guaranteed

            our filing for 501c3 tax exempt is held back by an independent audit we must pay for. we have payed and filed 2014, the money for 2015 filing and auditor $ is earmarked and will be submitted and paid before the end of the month.

            • Yes, this was part of a discussion about the potential of losing the building in light of the demand from Sysco.
              But, you weren’t asking for fine tuned info about the Mateel’s specific scenario, but very generally what was allowed, which this reference provides.


              Corporations can also file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Unlike Chapter 7, which requires near complete liquidation of assets and discharge of debts, Chapter 11 allows a nonprofit to continue operations by developing a plan with its creditors to pay debts under reorganized terms. Nonprofits likely to become insolvent can file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid service interruptions.”

              • sorry for the confusion you miss heard or i mis heard your question. the topic or meat of the conversation was that in a chapter 11 for a non-profit retaining assets(the building) may be practice but is NOT GUARANTEED
                i am very familiar with chapter7 and 11 as i/we actually have researched it.
                thank you for helping me to better clarify this point.

      • During the Reggae Wars, a new board was voted in to oversee the Mateel and its assets. There was no ROTR, but a Reggae Rising done that year by PP and associates. These were indeed dark days for the Mateel. The new board went through the court trial. One board member refinanced his home to pay the lawyers fees. Never even asking for any money back. The mediator (judge) awarded the Mateel $500,000. $150,000 was immediately put in a reserve fund and some was used to do Reggae at Benbow. The Community came out to support the Mateel. The next year was even more successful making a profit of $250,000. Summer Arts made $60-80 thousand. Unfortunately, that original board was swept out by community members and aspiring board members who had a vision to return to the glory days. That was the beginning of the end. The new board was obviously supported by a number community members because they voted them in. Maybe it’s time for those members to step up and make things right. That original board believed in oversight over management and staff, and taking a slow approach to the growth of Reggae. Hopefully, today’s board can do a better job, learn from the past, and right the ship. All the best to them, and I thank them for their service.

    • Liberal hypocrisy

      Let It Go, turn that place into a homeless shelter that’s all it’s good for, in fact that’s all Redway is good for, and endless stream of trimmigrants and homeless, you reap what you sow

  • The board was hopelessly incompetent, and it doesn’t look like that will change. If they hadn’t squeezed all the nonprofit food venders out, they wouldn’t have needed to order $30,000 of frozen food from a mega corporation. It’s sad, pathetic, really, that MCC will probably be mortgaged to pay the bill. So much energy, and money has been squandered by fools in the last few years, with zero accountability. It’s criminal.

    • Im with you betty, I have a hard time donating so monopolizing cut throat worst food ever company sysco can be paid off.
      Here’s where that money goes…
      William J. DeLaney
      Executive Compensation
      As Chief Executive Officer at SYSCO CORP, William J. DeLaney made $15,043,510 in total compensation. Of this total $1,250,000 was received as a salary, $5,321,094 was received as a bonus, $3,271,663 was received in stock options, $4,881,193 was awarded as stock and $319,560 came from other types of compensation. This information is according to proxy statements filed for the 2017 fiscal year.

      • Liberal hypocrisy

        So that means a corporation that obviously is doing well should not be paid, oh more of the socialism that is trying to ruin this country.

        • Your hero made his fortune by not paying contractors.

        • Too bad you can’t see that people at the top getting that kind of salary while most of the employees get scraps, is not the way it should be. It’s how third world countries are run. And it’s what causes ‘the commoners’ to rise up and rebel. Learn some history. It’s happened many times over. But I imagine you are probably one of those low wage people who are just repeating what your plain talkin’ guys at Fox News (and president) want you to think..

  • Give and give and give no more.

    Generosity and blind faith often go hand in hand. No. There are too many red flags in this toxic mess to go back again. The generosity and endless support was drained from this community when the mateel was forced to rally back to life after the reggae on the river conditional use permit hijacking and gross litigation that followed.

    ANYONE considering serving on ANY board of directors needs to realize the responsibility and LIABILITY that go along with that position. Your butt is on the line, in civil lawsuits, and in this case apparently debt load. Pause. Read before you sign anything. Poor Garth.. how stressful.

  • Money is gone bro. Old timers that had plenty under there mattress are not making any money now. You think they are going to give it up because the people running the mateel are morons.

  • So. Do we penalize Board members for their poor decision making?
    OR, do we consider that they have working as volunteers (no payments) for the community, doing their best, often for years, in some case for decades, and we DO OUR PART to rectify the situation? (My vote is for the latter).
    I agree with Mobius Dancer that there is PLENTY of money in this community to solve this problem, completely, before the next grow season begins. Let’s UNIFY and make that happen!
    Yes. There are changes in financial transparency, etc., needed at the Mateel. Changes I believe are coming!
    DON’T get caught up in the mindset that, because pot sale prices are low now, that YOU can not afford to be generous. Sure. Make smart decisions. But think of the quality of the community, and make the Mateel debt free!

    • Thanks.
      Yes, changes need to be made. Like telling the kids not to play with matches after you put the fire out.
      Mateel has a history of poor choices, from the current location on heart attack hill with minimal parking to expanding Reggae past the capacity of the community to cope with it, but it has also served the community in many, many ways.
      And yes, I know the money is there – maybe not with the old timers who built the place, but with the big truck, green house, younger growers. We used to refer to that generation as “Knights of Toyota” but the trucks are betting bigger. Some of them tricked out and worth more than the $40K owed by the Mateel.

      • Mobius. As an first generation Alternative Community member, I want to share that we looked for YEARS for a place to rebuild the Mateel (after the original hall, on a back street in Garberville) was destroyed by an arson fire. Finally the place in Redway was found. I was there the day Mateel members were invited to look over the site and help decide if it would meet our needs; we agreed that, while imperfect, it did. Please remember that the site was also what we could afford, in those pre-Reggae years.
        Let’s (learn from the past and) MOVE FORWARD!

        • Didn’t Harold Murrish donate the land that Mateel sits on??

        • I was in the community at the time. It was ALL about the Politics. That little house was the bait that sold the land. ALSO under consideration was the old Redwood Inn site in G’ville with redwood trees – Rays is there now. We would have had parking AND saved the trees and it would have been on the flat. Some of us look at that hill and decide not to attend whatever event is held there.
          I remember the brouhaha over finding a site and the cute little house was enough to convince Carol Bruno to push for the Redway location – at the top of a deadly hill, no parking and for years the community in the amphitheater below complained about the noise. How many years did she use that house to live in?

          • Carol did not ever live in the office building.

          • SHC Local for life

            REALLY Mobius? Still trying to throw blame at Carl. She (not alone) made a festival that was amazing and has and will never be as good as it was with the old school crew. Everyone wants a scape goat and I am sick of it being the Great person and families that started it all from scratch. Plus blame will not help this situation.

  • They had 5 months to figure it out but didn’t, kinda explains where they are now….

  • Sad but inevitable result of pie-in-the-sky accounting and zero responsibility.
    Overreach was the hallmark of this institution from the moment it began the rebuild after the fire. Instead of practical, it became fantastical.
    I will not mourn its demise.

  • Giving more money to the Mateel now is like setting it on fire or flushing it down the toilet. There are a lot more vendors owed money that will prevent summer arts from happening, let alone reggae…I love how they think they can still throw a festival that requires things like food and bathrooms and busses… clearly they are expecting a community bail out while not even trying to dig themselves out of this hole. Haven’t even bothered to do the research needed to start solving the problem five months in…ya…no! Sorry, not sorry, the current management has made their bed and the community members shouldn’t have to worry about keeping them from lying in it.

  • “The Board says the focus will return to families and community and less on a party atmosphere as requested by the membership.” Really. That’s all I see now at SAMF. 3 generations of families. In recent years I’ve enjoyed how it was more spread out and better use of the park. Yeah let’s take it back to the way it used to be, with all the work to set it up and only a profit for the MCC of about $2000 to $5000. But once more music was brought in the profit went up to $60,000!

    • “The Board says the focus will return to families and community and less on a party atmosphere as requested by the membership.”

      That sentiment has been around for years with a large part of the community, but was unfortunately tuned out by people with bigger ideas. Hopefully, “better late than never” applies here.

  • Sad about the whole mess

    and that is why I don’t serve on any boards… sigh.

  • I was there when they named us MATEEL at Fireman’s hall, I was there when they built the new hall, I was there working hard for the C.B. & P.B. glory years of 20k+ attendees and I was there when Tayna et. al. dropped the nuclear bomb on RotR. I was also there for the aftermath when anybody identified as a “Carol Person” was cold shouldered off the scene like smelly old socks. I watched the feeble recovery to a profitable event at Benbow and then watched those remaining folks return to French’s Camp and become even more rabid in their repulsing almost all ‘C.B & P.B’ oldtimers. Now the current Mateel board expects these same ‘oldtimers’ to pull their butts out of this mess? I don’t think so.

    • “Repulsing almost all ‘C*/P*’ old timers..” you say that like it was a bad thing. LMAO

      Betrayal is the deepest psychic injury.

      They who shall not be named had a healthy working relationship with MCC, but someone got high on power and maybe a little greedy . They hijacked the fucking show ! AND a broad swath of former supporters and coordinators sign a no confidence statement and proceeded to advise venders, staff and performers that it was the ” same show new name “.

      This was a show ppl productions had been entrusted to produce FOR the MCC, for years!

      We had to go to court to retain our own gig.

      Should they have welcomed them with open arms instead of distancing themselves ? Do you think they should have just bent over and risk exposure to more abusive, manipulative, lies, on top of collateral and financial damages?? Geez
      Talk about ppl (pun) having “made their own bed.”

      …I forgot the Tanya era…Damn we have been thru some shit .

      • And justin Crellin didn’t re-hijack the show?

        • That’s deflection and projection .

          Justin (and Doug green) revitalized rotr and had a triumphant return to French’s . Idk what happened the last few years, (RIP DOUG GREEN) some kind of mad spiraling out of control. I Wouldn’t define it as highjacked so much as lack of accountability . The finance committee not watching the bottom line very well..

    • Cannot save idiots. This ship was sinking the moment they hired Tanya. They did not make any unofficial phone calls to find her real back-story (She was run out of the Co-Op management for making trouble and stirring up fights, killing morale). They stupidly hired her. She publicly and immediately pushed the nuclear button. In a delicate situation w/ Carol Bruno this Tanya attacked and smeared her. There could have been a decent break-up perhaps…CB &PB had lots of people that respected them and whatever Carol did wrong she was certainly due appreciation and compensation- not public humiliation! Instead it became some ideological war and some bitter self-righteousness….This is the result years later. The Mateel Board has never been professional enough to run more than the hall. They are not very smart people- witness Garth signing away his own assets on a truck hood. Nice is not the same as smart…I’m sorry. I hope somebody hooks up Garth because he never was a greedy guy. But any Board of Directors who could lose so much money while it’s literally flying all around you? I can’t imagine how awesome they’ll do with a collapsing economy!

  • I know it’s a controversial issue but I do honestly believe that feeding the hungry is a good thing when the mateel meal was shut down I didn’t I think it was a good idea now who will feed the mateel a lot of the homeless help build the mateel from the first Reggae on the River we are part of our community with lots of love and sometimes very little in return reggae roots in the poor trenchtown rocks

    • Hey Jim Bob I think you are right and if the mateel brings back the meal I will donate $5,000 in the form of five more lifetime memberships I am already a lifetime member but I’ll buy you in bro

  • Do it old-school, potlucks and benefit shows ….bring the community together ….it has roots in a Fuck the Man …..so call it the Fuck Syscos Benny….come together don’t let these muthafucks make us bicker…..love yo.

  • Cue Ed Voice in 1, 2, 3…..

    • Please explain how the SoHum Community benefits from Sysco; since they are not known for distributing locally grown organic non-GMO food?

      Does Chautauqua sell Sysco food? Does Chautauqua benefit from Sysco selling food to the Mateel for Reggae?

      How about the local organic farmers, do they benefit from Sysco?

      Sounds like the normal hypocritical logic of the Reggae Management Team, sell cheap food at inflated festival pricing and claim its organic and non-gmo. The Mateel needs to smell what they are shoveling…

      • In no way, shape or form does Sysco benefit Sohum.

      • The Mateel doesn’t sell the food the “purchased” from Sysco. They use it to feed their volunteers and performers for the week leading up to, during and the days after the event. The Mateel doesn’t use Sysco to make a profit, they used Sysco in an attempt to provide food the people they promised food to in an economic manner

        • So at the wholesale price of $30,000, how many people were feed for free a week before, during and after a 4 day festival? It was my understanding that all the meals provided to volunteers and staff at Reggae were pre-prepared at the Mateel Community Center Kitchen and transported to the Reggae, is that right? Did the Mateel use all the food purchased from Sysco during Reggae or did they have any left over? Is there an invoice of what was purchased by Sysco that can be made public?

          IMHO, with the amount of sponsors Reggae on the River shows they had for the event, why would they need to buy food and provide for free to volunteers and staff? It seems that’s why you get sponsors.

          “Every volunteer must work a minimum of 24 hours before or after the event or 18 hours during the event (typically three 6 hour shifts) to gain 1 volunteer wristband, 1 meal per shift, 1 volunteer tee shirt and camping at the Volunteer Village location. They must also register online, purchase a volunteer ticket and sign a crew agreement/release of liability waiver onsite. Please work all the shifts your crew coordinator gives you. If you don’t work at least 18 hours during the festival, please consider helping another crew that might need help for a few hours.”

          “A SOP is someone who would share your bed. SOP will exchange their pre-purchased TICKET (not wristband) for a volunteer wristband at volunteer check-in. Bring your SOP on Wednesday if possible. You must pre-register your non-volunteer ticket-holder SOP with your crew coordinator in order for him/her to enter the Volunteer Camp and share your tent. If you do not pre-register your SOP, they will NOT be able to camp with you in the Volunteer Village. Better yet, encourage your SOP to also volunteer!”


          • ROTR typically has hundreds of volunteers that are fed using this food. Some meals are prepped at the Mateel kitchen, others are made on site at kitchen near the concert area. Sysco has allowed them use of a refrigerated truck for free during the time they need to use the on-site kitchen to feed said volunteers.
            The sponsors of Reggae don’t provide food to the Mateel, they provide money. Which one would think they’d use to pay folks like Sysco what is owed.

        • Well, that’s really pathetic. If even true. What a tasteless way to feed their volunteers, and performers. Beginnings used to feed all of ROTR, for days, and they did it with bread from Eureka. Fuck Sysco! And the toadies that contracted with them!

      • the sysco food fed volunteers for free. i was there…. there was no money made from said food…and as i understand it the board and management team actually support locally sourced food and despise corporations…however the chef and former GM were the ones who green lighted this spending without approval from board or management team

        • Then, it’s not a management team! In what reality do they live in where they don’t own their own shitty decisions? Not in this reality. Deflecting Aholes.

          • the former GM “owned” his decision..he quit….and left his pile of s*** (bad decisions/ hidden debt) in the laps of volunteer board members…cant speak to the management teams spine v GM…just their ideas they shared with me

  • As Mateel members, it is our responsibility to come to monthly board meetings to give our input, to volunteer to give our help, if we value the organization. I think each one of us has an individual responsibility to the organization, if we care about it at all. Thank you Kelly, for coming to the meeting to report on it. (You are a Mateel member, I hope, like everyone else who has anything to say about it.) There has been a lot of foot-dragging and wishful thinking, but again there is no value in focusing on blame. We need to move forward with an immediate consultation with the financial advisor to apply for a loan and $40,000 and a lawyer to get the creditors off of Garth’s back. This is the third time I have seen the Mighty Mateel knocked down. I hope we can rise yet again.

  • I was there in Eureka when one of your Mateel sons killed one of the kindest people on the planet. It seems your community never in any sense took any responsibility for the drug-infused culture that created him. It’s all ‘medicine,’ right? The same medicine that, for the majority of users, makes them feel isolated, alienated, and prone to mental illness later in life. I get how ‘aware’ you all are, caring about the land, so-called, and even have raised an eyebrow now that Spotted Owls and cute weasel like Fishers are harmed. BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES ARE DESTROYED LOCALLY AND AROUND THE WORLD? Why is that discussion never had in such an ‘aware’ and ‘conscious’ place as SoHum? Please spare the ‘alcohol is worse’ rejoinder. Even if that is the case, why does that excuse marijuana? Are bullets excused because hand grenades are bigger? Frankly, your community’s complete silence on the devil’s bargain you began decades ago, is one of the most disappointing things about it. No humility. Just hubris.

  • Y’all are being a little hard on the Board members.
    I’ve been on several Boards over the years, and here are some things to consider:

    Board members of non-profits are typically volunteers. They have the same regular jobs/lives that you do. This commitment is in addition to all that.

    A Board typically has 2 or 3 members who perform about 95% of the work. The remaining members lack either the knowledge or desire to do more than attend meetings. If the do-it-all Board members term out or get burned out, nothing gets done.

    Many successful Boards appoint seats for experts, like financial, taxes, or insurance. These experts offer free advice, specific to their knowledge base. Serve them a meal at meetings. Encourage the membership to use their fee based services, as a payback for their advice.

    Many Boards have bullies in charge, and some of the other Board members may have great ideas that never get heard or implemented. This is tough to overcome.

    Lastly, some Boards are filled with well-meaning people who are just not equipped to deal with problem solving, conflict, planning, or money management. Everyone runs for a seat for the prestige of it, thinking others will carry the load, or expecting to learn quickly on the job. It rarely makes a successful Board of Directors.

    It’s not as easy as it looks.

    • I’ve been a volunteer, locally. As a goddamned bookkeeper! Guess what? I can do eighth grade math! It’s not brain surgery! Eighth. Grade. Math.

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        5. Free speech is valued by the moderator and sometimes that trumps civility but don’t push it.
        6. Also, grammar, punctuation, spelling criticisms should come from parents, teachers, and bosses not anonymous people on the internet. If you can understand what someone says, refrain from telling them how to edit their comments. The one exception to this is me. If I make an error, politely pointing it out is fine.
        7. Punch up. Mocking people in positions of authority is acceptable, sometimes even helpful. Mocking children, the disabled, those suffering from misfortunate, those in a minority who don’t have power is something a bully does.

    • Thank you. You’re one of the few here that understands and knows what they are talking about due to experience and you show some needed empathy which sadly is lacking in these mostly hateful comments.

  • Whatever about the MATEEL, blah-blah-blah, Garth should not be saddled with this debt, he’s a good man, with a good heart and he’s been nothing but an asset to this community.

    • I agree. Does anyone really think it fair to leave Garth holding the bag personally? He is one of the few 2nd gen kids who turned out solid. Altho we are not particularly friends, I did see him grow up, home schooled. I watched him start up his little business with a hand me down car and some developing skills. He has employed and helped many local youth through Emerald Tec. He has been a part of this community as a KMUD volunteer (remember the Old Time radio show?), endless unpaid engineering work at the station, and then more volunteering with the Mateel. An actual good kid! And now everyone is happy to see him scapegoated for all your past grudges against the Mateel and the current economic bitter pill facing all of Sohums economy? Shame on all of you negative posters.

      • “He is one of the few 2nd gen kids who turned out solid”

        /\ that is a lame and miopic comment .

        You do not know what you are talking about . Should I start listing the plethora of “2nd gen kids ” (besides Garth) that ” turned out solid? ” I can.

      • Thanks for sticking up for Garth! I hope my comment earlier didn’t cut him too hard. He IS a good kid and an honorable man. No- he should not get saddled with this debt.

    • Agreed. Garth should NOT be saddled with this debt.
      He actually works for a living.

    • Thank you! Here here!
      Garth has been volunteering/supporting for the community since he was 11 years old, doing his ‘old time radio show’ on KMUD.

  • Only to be expected, ran by shady dope growers. No surprise .

  • It’s funny people blame Sysco for wanting a bill paid. I feel duped on my mortgage can someone start a go fund me and write some letters telling B of A they have enough money?

    It’s pretty obvious the board was in over their heads and is pretty pathetic they want the community to bail them out.

  • Another reason not to donate to HAF

  • Maybe the problem is too many Cooks in the soup? Non existent business model. The same Artists keep getting booked? Why did someone do a deal with Sysco? Last minute decision? The word is logistics. Plain and simple.
    Who wants to see the same Artist 4 times a year? It’s easy to find new fresh acts.
    Here’s how to do it. Check out Pollstar.com find the artist you are interested in. If their tour travels from Sacramento to Portland Oregon, there will be at least a couple days off just to get to Portland. Most bands headed north have just finished Vegas and LA and would love a small gig. And with 3 to 4 days off a good tour manager will steer our way for extra bucks. Also form a true LLC it would have saved anyone who made a bad decision.
    Wipe the management team, and start fresh.
    P.S. Reggae is getting stale, try Bluegrass,American Folk, Rockabilly, Skabilly.
    It’s Trump’s favorite. I swear. You should see him mosh.

  • Cabin in the woods

    You people are clearly angry because there’s a dumbfuck ruining the country.

  • It is so obvious that the Mateel has been mismanaged for years and it has just taken this much time to catch up to the management. Simple really, dope smoking board members all and warped brains as a result, not able to make decisions or plan properly. Nothing new here, same old, same old southern Humboldt story, glorify and romanticize the weed and put your head in the sand. Its all good bro!

  • Who can walk and talk ?

    Personally questioning if i am the only one that is questioning the extreamly high appearant instrest fees and late fees are, over 30 percent without the legal costs ? Wtf, maybe as a whole we should seekto boycott this mega company for this appearant greed.

  • Actually the financial crisis started 3 years ago when Reggae made 150K less than budgeted for and they spent as if it had made the target then budgeted and spent again on the same anticipated profit the next year. That, however, is past history. Now is the time for all of us to help out a little bit to get past this hurdle and support the board in finding a path forward. Most importantly we need to ensure that other groups in our community do not make similar budgetary mistakes.

  • Its forever been so strange to me that most every festival in this State is making a ton of money, but Reggae, which has been going forever, cant seem to get it together.
    Always broke, cant provide a decent experience for the volunteers, staff or audience…
    Cries to the “community” for more donations while not paying their contractors, vendors (like Sysco, apparently) or staff whenever it suits them.
    Its interesting to see who does get paid though.
    Side note: garth doesnt deserve this.

  • A wise old Bigfoot once said: “Only when you have trashed the river with your festivals, clear-cut the forests for your ganja farms, killed all the animals with your rat poison and turned your town into a one-trick, homogenized hippie hell-hole, will you realize you cannot sell your stanky danky to pay for your overrated “community center.”

    • Possibly one of the best posts regarding the results of the marijuana industry on our local community!!! Well done BigFoot!

      If only the growers would realize this and the “community” that has supported them for so long….Sadly their heads are in the sand still.

      Wake up Humboldt!

    • You hit the nail on the head!

  • If someone would set up a Go Fund Me for Garth I’d donate.

  • If you want to donate to Garth, stop by his store and do it.

  • So even though the MCC Board is talking about Chapter 11 and pending litigation; they have found time to re-apply with the County for a new 5 years CUP for ROTR, since it expired in 2017:


    And here’s what’s called the “ROTR Wrap Up 2017” Annual Report:


    It’s interesting there is no discussion about attendance levels, camping or parking numbers, ticket sales or lack of there in. Also no aerial photo during the event. It also seems they need to remember to use PVC pipe glue on there potable and public drinking water system…

  • I don’t understand why people are blaming Sysco. They delivered the food, and even let the Mateel use their trucks, for no extra charge. They are a business, ,not a non-profit. What about any other business that did ther job, are they in the wrong? Any good business needs to be paid.

  • Maybe the Mateel can set up GoFundMe for each vendor/staff/contractor they didnt pay.
    Thats probably another 40k

  • a community citizen

    what was the 30,000 sysco food for? Feeding the volunteers, band members, coordinators? the volunteers and the coordinators who ran the place, volunteered their time, more time then concert, to help eliviate the the cost of employing venue workers. To allow the Mateel to prosper and provide programs at the center? Please someone explain to me what happened?

    • Desire for personal Power, Status, Fame and Recognition:

      “L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs” ~ Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

      If the justification for ROTR was a fundraiser to benefit the community of Southern Humboldt, then why is a large percentage of the gross revenue (80%) generated by ROTR paid to private individuals, for-profit businesses and corporations outside of Humboldt County?

      • Reggae's music last year was terrible.

        Oh SYSCO Oh Pancho!! As an attendee for three years beginning in 2008 I can say this past year’s music was the worst and so bad I will NEVER go to another Reggae. It has become a commercial rip off. Many of my friends feel the same way. [edit]

  • amazedattheinsanity

    Just wait until this all gets cleared up. Then it will be time for an environmental lawsuit and restraining order to prevent the hippies from pooping in the endangered salmon habitat. it will be fun times when all participants must stay, ” 100 yards away from any stream, rivulet, ditch, confluence or watercourse dry or wet attached or flowing into or out of the Eel river and all its tributaries.” It’s been a long time coming.

  • From guidestar

    Mateel Community Center
    Redway, CA | EIN: 94-2624598 | bridge Number: 1543978277
    Maintenance And Operation Of The Mateel Community Center, Serving A Tri-County … Operate A Community Center To Provide Services Beneficial To The General Public Interest And To Provide A Place Which Can Be …

  • As some of you commented, why should Garth be saddled with this? No other individual has been named. Forget about the Mateel for a minute and try to put yourself in Garths place. His crime is trying to do something good for the community, only to have all his assets frozen and to be put on the chopping block, waiting to be hung. He and his family do not deserve this. I feel we should all help him and I don’t even live in Garberville/Redway. I also think a go-fund-me account, just for Garth would be the place to start. People from all over could donate, and I feel they would. Even if I’m wrong, it would be a start and fairly effortless. If people don’t want to help the Mateel, so be it! But, why should Garth have to shoulder this. We are talking about his home, his business and livelihood, his life’s work. This is personal for him and he certainly doesn’t deserve it!

  • I thought you were supposed to be a tight community? If 60 of you each donated $500 Youd have yoyr 30K.. Then learn from it and move on!! .. Seems to be a lot of bickering.. who cares who did what.. come together as a community..

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