Reggae on the River Really Might Get Back to Its Bend on the Eel

Mateel celebrates 5 year permit

“Blessed. 🌞 Reggae on the River has been granted a 5-year permit to put on this festival! Thank you to the city of Garberville, Humboldt County and all of our supporters.
“Good times for years to come. We’ll see you on the river soon!”, says caption on this photo of most of the Mateel board and site owner and others posted by the Reggae on River Facebook page.

The Mateel Board of Directors met Tuesday the 19th of June and went before the Humboldt County Planning Commission for the five-year update of Reggae on the River’s Conditional Use Permit on Thursday the 21st.

The Mateel Board is operating amidst a certain amount of chaos as it grapples with its debt and turns Reggae on the River over to High Times Productions who waited until the very last possible moment to sign a contract for the festival.

This month Mateel got bad news and good news–they learned that the bridge fording the Eel River needed its five-year site review before it can be put in (the bridge provides access to prepare the site for the festival as well as access for festival goers) and they learned that the Planning Commission granted their Conditional Use Permit for Reggae on the River.

But When Will the Site Bridge Go In?:

Last week emails were flying between Mateel Operations Manager Alisha Goodrich and regulatory agency employees.

Goodrich wrote to DFW on June 13th stating that the Mateel would be installing the seasonal bridge across the river to access the site on June 24 and 25.

Jennifer Olson, an Environmental Scientist with the Department of Fish and Wildlife fired back the next day writing,

Ten days from now is not a reasonable timeline for bridge installation given that the Mateel has not acquired any of the necessary permits to install the bridge yet, and just applied for the LSAA and ITP yesterday. Simply applying for permits doesn’t give authorization to proceed, and neither of those permits are typically processed and issued within 10 days. As we discussed via email, the State Incidental Take Permit has a 120-day timeline that started when you applied yesterday….

And at three pm on the 14th, Jake Shannon, an Environmental Scientist with the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board concurred, writing;

Jen described the situation well; ten days from now is not a reasonable timeline for bridge installation. Along with CDFW and Army Corps permitting, the Mateel Community Center will need to apply for, and receive, 401 certification coverage before installing the bridge.

Once a 401 application and application fee is received there is a 30-day period for me to review the application and deem it either complete or incomplete. Once the application is deemed complete there is a 21-day public notice period, following which I can issue the 401 certification.

This is the busy time of a very busy year and I have a long line of projects that have already submitted applications for review, so I would likely rely on the full 30-day review period.

I agree with the suggestion that you determine the latest possible date that the bridge can be installed in time for the festival and find out whether the various agencies could accommodate that date….

At the Mateel Board Meeting on June 19, it appeared the Board had not been informed about this major roadblock until the beginning of the meeting.  Board Member Pleasure Stange and newly minted Board President Meghan Gomes had just received this word 10 minutes before the start of that night’s Board Meeting.

Board Member Dusty Hughston said the Mateel is working with regulatory agency staff to get the needed permits on an expedited track. Hughston explained that the Mateel had not understood that the 401 Clean Water Act permit and the Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements needed five-year reviews until two weeks ago. But he said agencies understand the importance of the revenue that enters the community as a result of having Reggae on the River.

The Humboldt County Planning Commision Grants Major Permit:

Fast forwarding to the Planning Commission Thursday evening, the outcome was a 4-1 approval of the Conditional Use Permit for Reggae on the River, with the caveat that the Mateel Community Center must obtain their 401 permit and their permitting from DFW before the bridge can be installed and therefore before Reggae on the River can be a certainty.

Interested readers can watch the Planning Commission meeting at Access Humboldt’s webpage.

The Mateel Meal:

In the meantime, returning to the Tuesday Mateel Board Meeting, the Board heard once again from some of its membership about their desire to resume the Mateel Meal.

Babette Bach and a handful of community members who support the meal were present. Bach has been a long time volunteer for the Meal and was its paid coordinator and chef for the past several years. Bach is a steadfast proponent of the Meal and has returned to volunteering to make certain the service continues.

Before the Meal conversation began in earnest, the Board acknowledged Bach for her effort coordinating and supplying the volunteer Hydration Station at the Summer Arts and Music Festival.  For the uninitiated, Bach provides free coffee, tea, lemonade and hibiscus tea backstage for all the volunteers.  Bach collected donations and was able to do this once again for the total cost of $100.00.

Regarding the Mateel Meal, Bach will be granted 48 hours of kitchen time to prepare the Mateel Meal in exchange for the Mateel Meal Juice Booth proceeds going into the Mateel Community Center’s general fund.  After those 48 hours are used, Bach was given approval to rent the hall kitchen for $20 an hour.

A community member at the meeting said she had used the Mateel Meal when she arrived in town a few years ago.  And because of the support she had received from the Mateel via the Meal, she had gone on to repay that generosity by volunteering at their shows and has become one of their volunteer coordinators–painting and placing signage at both the Summer Arts and Reggae festivals.

The Board acknowledged the role the Meal has in the Community Center.

Nevertheless, while the kitchen can be rented by the Mateel Meal, Board Member Pleasure Strange restated that the Meal will not be allowed to be served at the hall.

How Did the Summer Arts Festival Go?

During the Summer Arts festival agenda item, the Board said that, although the final numbers were not available for the Board meeting, through the process of getting ready for Summer Arts, many outstanding debts from last year’s Reggae on the River were paid and all the bills from this year’s Summer Arts were also paid. As a result, the Board reports that the Mateel’s overall debt was reduced by $141,000.

Some Serious Concerns:

However, the sales tax and the employee withholding taxes remain in arrears.  These two items are subject to monthly fees and remain a big problem for the Mateel.

The Board acknowledged this and referred to Darryl Cherney who is working with the Headwaters Fund and continuing to coordinate the Adopt a Debt program. Speaking with Cherney by phone after the meeting, Cherney said while there is hope the Headwaters Fund loan program might be able to help with the tax debt, the loan has a complex application process that will take time and coordination to fulfill.

The last item on the agenda was “worst case scenarios” and Board Members are beginning to say that it may come down to selling the Mateel’s hall to pay off the debts. Currently, a former Workers Compensation Insurance carrier is beginning the process of legal collections on a two-year-old debt for unpaid premiums.

However, the miracles keep rolling in and no one has given up yet.



  • Metal on the Mattole! 🤘🏼

  • The Mateel Meals helped me 20 yrs ago when I was hard up. I donate what I can today. Thank you Mateel

    • It seems that the mateel Community Center no longer believes in feeding the hungry so watch where your donations go I will not donate to them until they start feeding the hungry again

  • The hall cannot be sold without the approval of the membership. Good luck with that.

    • What happens when the membership refuses? Doesn’t legal action just take it away anyway, through liens and then auction?

    • How could they remortgage it without approval? And in the case of legal action from unpaid obligations to BOE or workman’s comp? They will freeze your shit like a bad propane fridge ! — or sidenote–basically any propane fridge! Even new! What is the deal with that??

      • You need to ask the MCC for its current or most resent amended “Articles of Incorporation” and “Bylaws”. Even though the MCC is a membership organization, the membership is limited to one vote per member once a year for the BOD and that’s it. The MCC BOD does not need the memberships “approval” to sell or mortgage the organizations assets, aka the property or buildings. Just like when the MCC started floating private “bridge loans”, through private individuals. Did the MCC membership vote on that? Can you recall anything the MCC membership voted on other than BOD? Has anyone read the terms of those “bridge loans”?

        A few months back, it was reported the MCC got a grant from Humboldt Area Foundation for assistance from a financial consultant. I believe it was Patrick Swartz, of North Point Financial Resourcing and Solutions LLC of Arcata. Did anyone read it? Did the MCC make it public?

        There’s what people are told, there’s what people believe, there’s everything else, then there’s the truth. IMHO, the MCC membership are only used to pick the next group of people that make all the rules, spend all the money and sell it all away in the blink of an eye. No one on the MCC BOD is accountable, but the membership is, for voting for them in the first place. If you want to save the MCC hall, the membership needs to retake the MCC. The MCC BOD is the governing body, not the membership…

  • Permit, permit, permit, permit, I have grown weary of that word now.

    • You’ll have to get a permit to voice your concern.

    • Here’s what CDFW and RWQCB said about the ROTR PERMIT and conditions of approval. Michael Richardson is with the Humboldt County Planning Department:

      From: Olson, Jennifer@Wildlife
      Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 1:44:53 PM
      To: Richardson, Michael
      Cc: Sanville, Cheri@Wildlife; Shannon, Jacob J.@Waterboards; Purchio, Cameron R SPN; Leppig, Gordon@Wildlife
      Subject: CDFW comments APPS 13980 Reggae on the River

      Hi Michael,

      I’ve left a couple voicemails with you over the past week and a half but wasn’t able to connect over the phone, so I wanted to make sure to provide these comments, given I’ve heard the County intends to approve the subject Project this week. It has become clear at this point that ROTR has allowed all of its bridge installation permits to lapse, and is just now in the process of applying for new permits (but has not obtained them yet). Despite this, Project proponents have indicated that they intend to proceed with seasonal bridge installation this weekend. CDFW is concerned that Humboldt County is prepared to approve this project despite their apparent intention to conduct bridge installation without permits. I have advised the applicants that they will need to revise their bridge installation timeline given permitting time frame constraints, but they have not responded.

      Given that information, CDFW has the following comments and recommendations in our Trustee and Responsible Agency role pursuant to CEQA.

      · The County should ensure, as a condition of Project approval, that it is clear that the Project is not authorized to proceed with seasonal bridge installation until it has obtained all of the required authorizations to do so from the agencies with jurisdiction over this component of the Project. This includes a Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement from CDFW, an Incidental Take Permit from CDFW to authorize take of foothill yellow-legged frog, appropriate 401/404 permits from Regional Water Quality Control Board and Army Corps of Engineers, and any other permits or authorizations needed.

      Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this project. Please contact me if you have further questions.


      Jennifer Olson

      Jennifer Olson
      Environmental Scientist – Coastal Conservation Planning
      California Department of Fish and Wildlife
      619 2nd Street
      Eureka, CA 95501
      (707) 445-5387

      From : Jacob J.@Waterboards Shannon
      Subject : Re: CDFW comments APPS 13980 Reggae on the River
      To : Michael Richardson
      Cc : Cameron R SPN Purchio, Jennifer@Wildlife Olson
      Tue, Jun 19, 2018 02:01 PM
      Attachment1 attachment

      Good afternoon Michael,

      I concur with Jennifer. The project proponents (ROTR) have allowed their 401 certification through our agency to expire and have been notified that moving forward with the seasonal bridge installation without all required permits would result in violations of the Clean Water Act, the Porter-Cologne Act, and likely Fish and Game Code as well. I too have reached out to ROTR to work out a resolution but have not heard back.

      Thank you for your time.

      Jake Shannon
      Environmental Scientist
      Nonpoint Source/401 Certification Unit
      CalEPA – North Coast Regional Water Board
      5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A
      Santa Rosa, CA 95403
      (707) 576-2673

  • Sell the Mateel Hall?
    Who would buy it?
    Seriously – it would be a white elephant on the market.
    No parking, on a freaking hill steep enough to trigger heart attacks, in a sparsely populated community that lives a significant drive from anyplace (including the end of their own driveways, in some cases) that is going broke in an economy which no longer supports the lifestyle we crafted in the years before we built the behemoth.
    Best find another way to pay the bills, there are already too many empty businesses and warehouses deteriorating in this region.

    • Michele Cope Perkins

      Please find a way to keep it. When we old ones donated time, money, sweat, hearts and minds for this astoundingly beautiful place, we brought a disparate community together for the first time.
      Sitting there on the hill it is a benediction for us. Please find a way.

      • I agree.. nicely put.
        To often is the sacrifices of our elders and our forefathers forgotten. I would find it absolutely rediculace to the the community center would be sold from the community.. neighbors and friends.. please rally together.. The Hall brings family from all over together…
        Were all so different that, that is what makes us the same . 💚💚💚

  • Money trumps environment. 5 more years of destruction to our beautiful river. Only now High Times gets the profit! No- there will be no more coming to The Mateel as High Times exaggerates their expenses (standard accounting practice). Should the Headwaters Fund really be used for bailing out The Mateel Board of Directors?!! I hope not. Much rather see it get used to stimulate local economy by supplying environmental restoration work, not bail out the egos who gambled away our hall. I’m amazed at the level of bullshit being spewn out to excuse this terrible festival and the people who threw all of our resources at it to maintain their pet party.

    • Agreed. Standard accounting practices will bleed any profits this community might have seen. The local businesses still have to compensate for “increased business” over the event by hiring security to limit shoplifting losses, non participant residents will still have to deal with the masses of inconsiderate, entitled, urbanites and the trash they bring.
      Not like Burning Man where the Masses take their trash away and act like someone cares about the environment they are invading.
      Yes. Five more years of this.
      AND the Egos (second and third generation Egos) at the Mateel will still be asking up to support their poor choices.

      • Have you seen burning man after the “festival”? Theres tons of crap and they bring in heavy equipment and literally scrape the top of the playa off. Its not envirinmentally friendly in any way shape or form. The amount of diesel fuel spilled there from the literal thousands of generators is horrible. No one is doing environmental impact reports afterwards. People like to say theres no wildlife there but theres plenty, one of the most important being the wasps that live in the ground there.
        So please dont act like some other festival is better in that way….its not. Why are you not blasting northernnights who does the same thing as reggae on the same river??? They are much better at the permit paperwork part than the mateel for sure.

        Everyone go look up cumulative impacts. If we had gotten the logging industry out of the hands of big corps we would have a much heathier river.
        And if you care so much about the Eel then please join up with those attempting to get the 75% of the Eel water back from the russian at potter valley. That truly destroyed the river ecosystem, as dams have everywhere.
        Or those working on the over 50′ of silt at the bottom of the river thats literally filled it in and thats directly due to logging.

        Sorry but not having a few festivals is not going to bring the river health back. If you want a healthy river go after the big river issues, getting upset about minor issues is likecrying over a broken toe while your heart fails.
        The permit folks are pissed because the county asks them to give preference to these events. I get it.

        • I’ve been at Burning Man after Sunday and have only seen volunteers picking up the very minor amount of trash left by participants, most of whom seem to respect the credo of MOOP (NO matter out of place!). Only seen ‘heavy equipment’ working on disassembling installations, carrying materials, etc.
          Other than that, while we want to do the best we can, as humans living in this environment, I generally agree that some perspective of comparing how other festivals manage and (attempt to) mitigate their environmental impacts is helpful.

          • Exactly. Folks coming up for Reggae lack that respect for the Place.
            And since the Mateel never made an issue of the MOOP concepts, the mobs who came left their trash for us to clean up.
            MOOP at Reggae would keep people out of the river, churning silt to wash down the current…
            No using a convenient bush instead of hiking to the shit boxes… It would force people to be responsible. Not good for business.

        • I can personally vouch that Northern Nights cleans all the garbage out of the river during and after the festival. I know this because I am one of the two people who do it every year. There is a team who picks up all the tiny bits of microtrash for a few days afterwards too. Some people still care. I would venture to say the few festivals didn’t destroy the river ecosystem, and that over a century of various types of resource extraction is to blame. I grew up diving in rivers and lakes in Montana and Idaho, alot of the river ecosystems here are frighteningly sparse and weak in comparison.

          • Reggae dispossess over 44,000 gallons of septic wastewater from public showers, vendor food prep and dishwater in 3 different leach fields below the floodplain and ordinary high water on the event site. There is a jump in e-coli and coliform bacteria in the river during ROTR by 3 times.

            I don’t understand why people minimize these “few festivals”. Are you paid or compensated to clean “all the garbage out of the river during and after the festival”?

            If you were unaware, Northern Nights was approved to increase its attendance from 6,000 to 8,000 and from 3 days to 4 days this year. And will be the same venue site for the Redwood Run (September 1st – 3rd 2018), on top of ROTR (9,000 attendees and 4 days). e.g. cumulative effects of similar events on the same sub-section of river. Not only by size, scope, impact, water use and regularity, but close proximity.

            Projects can cause significant impacts by direct physical changes to the environment or by triggering reasonably foreseeable indirect physical changes. Physical changes caused by a project can contribute incrementally to cumulative effects that are significant, even if individual changes resulting from a project are limited. You must determine whether the cumulative impact is significant, as well as whether an individual effect is “cumulatively considerable.” This means the incremental effects of an individual project are significant when viewed in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects.

            Indirect or secondary effects may include growth-inducing effects and other effects related to induced changes in the pattern of land use, population density, or growth rate, and related effects on air and water and other natural systems, including ecosystems and threatened and endangered species.

            A project may have some characteristic that may encourage and facilitate other activities that could significantly affect the environment, either individually or cumulatively. It must NOT be assumed that growth in any area is necessarily beneficial, detrimental, or of little significance to the environment. Cumulative impacts refers to two or more individual effects which, when considered together, are considerable or which compound or increase other environmental impacts. And in this case, the Redwood Run and Reggae on the River need to be considered together with NNMF!

            Now, given the fact these “few festivals” all take place when the South Fork Eel River is at it lowest flow and highest temperature (which is lethal to threatened and endangered coho, chinook and steelhead). It would seem the MCC, High Times Magazine, NNMF and Redwood Run producers. attendees, performers, volunteers and sponsors do not respect the river and wildlife community.

            • Ooooh, that was a long reply… sounds like somebody was triggered. Haha. No, I’m not paid. I started doing it the first year because I like clean rivers. But there was 1 person with the festival doing it before me. Since you’re so knowledgeable, tell me how do those leves compare to the lower Klamath? Do the bacterial spikes cause damage or is there just a measurable increase? What are your qualifications for analyzing water quality? Can you give some significant examples of death and devastation caused by the spike in e. Coli and coloforms? Are there studies you can refer me to that show negative impacts from e. Coli and colorform on salmonoids? People shouldn’t be drinking from that river at all, it’s too close to civilization to be safe to drink. You’re probabaly more likely to get beaver feaver in the Eel downstream from Ferndale or in the Sacramento river. The blue green aglae keeps me out of the water past August, which I don’t believe is caused by music festivals or swimmers.

              • Why so many questions, I only asked you one and you only partially answered it. Are you compensated?

                To answer your questions:

                1. Who wants to know?

                2. What are “leves”?

                3. Damage, lack of dissolved oxygen in the water/river!

                4. I graduated from South Fork High School, AD in Chemical Biology, Applied Science, BSE in naturally aspirated engines and 61 years of OJT along the way.

                5. Yes; the major polluting effect of biodegradable organic materials is the reduction in oxygen concentration in the water. Bacteria and other organisms break these materials down into simpler organic or inorganic substances. They use up oxygen in the process, and as their population increases there is an extra demand for dissolved oxygen or lack thereof for salmonids.

                6. Yes!

                Now it’s your turn please!

                • My turn for what?Just figured I’d pick your brain a bit since you come off as such an informed person. I don’t have any alphabets from an accredited University, but I did stay at a holiday in express last night. I also did an independent study a few years ago testing fall run king salmon for radio isotopes specific to Fukushima(Cesium 137, 134 and Strontium 90). Stony Brook University claimed that they were non detectable and the fish is safe to eat. Going to do another round of testing this fall. You didn’t mention DO in your first rant. So you’re saying some aristones and pond aerators would do the trick , huh?

                • Thanks, I did like the Holiday Inn Express line, I’ll have to remember that one.

            • All this hand-wringing over 10 days of festival activity per year and nothing about the 50+ years of asphalt and paving materials production going on at the surface mine operated by Mercer-Fraser? Are you F’ing kidding?

              The people in Cook’s Valley have been trying to get Mercer-Fraser out of there so that site can get cleaned up for the past 4 years and its finally happening – take a look!

              The people who really care about that area are the ones who live right there…and they proved that by shutting down the asphalt factory that was right on the river. You can wring your hands over a people dancing and peeing all day, what did you do to stop the mine?

        • I totally support removing the dams and diversion of Eel Water to the Russian River, but I have to point out that water quality/quantity in the South Fork iss NOT in any way dependent on the Potter Valley Project because the South Fork comes from springs and streams southwest of Laytonville, a completely different watershed.( Of course South Fork anadromous fish depend on the 30 or so miles below the confluence with the main stem Eel to get from and to the ocean — so there’s that issue.) This is NOT a criticism; it’s just so we don’t get dinged for not knowing the facts. Thank you!

    • I believe the deal Mateel made with High Times calls for the MCC to get their ($140K?) off the top, and therefore those (yes, well known) accounting practices to limit sharing profits would not apply.

      It’s too bad your apparent anger at the (current) Mateel Board (members) is so strong that you would rather see a critical local facility become defunct, rather than to look toward a more well run and regulated MCC which will support the community in so many ways, for decades to come. Let’s hope the Board of the Headwaters Fund are not short sighted and spiteful, like you sound.

      • Not spiteful. Realistic. Not even angry. But it’s become normal to misrepresent somebody when you want to offer a different opinion. First you judge me in belittling terms and then you don’t have to listen to me, right? Again- I don’t think the Headwaters Fund was set up to throw money down a rat hole. It’s not free magic money. The Mateel does nothing for the local economy. The deal was not for 140K. It was for 70K plus a percentage of profits. I’m saying there will be ZERO more coming from that % of profits clause. Like many I helped build The Mateel Hall (sweat and money) and am amazed that anybody could justify gambling it away for a party. Rock N Reggae was started as a benefit to fund and build The Mateel Hall- not the other way around! If we lose it it will not be due to “angry vibes” or some such bs. Anger is very justified here. But throwing yet more good money into the hands of unprofessional and untrustworthy board members is not.

        • I hear “anger” and negativity. Maybe it’s rather old, bad feelings and/or hurt?
          If it’s “realistic” to you I am happy to say that is NOT MY REALITY. Still, you are entitled to your feelings.
          I can acknowledge that many people have valid hurt and disillusionment about the Mateel debt. I feel that way myself. Yet I think the right thing to do is to respond to the urgency of the moment and do my best to support a healthy, diverse vision of a future in a community MANY OF US put our sweat and time into developing. And the MCC has been, is and will be a vital part of that community fabric.
          Just want to point out that these “unprofessional and untrustworthy” Board members made pragmatic decisions to cut costs at SAMF and cleared $141,000 to pay down the Mateel’s debt! Though at sounds like a generally functional Board.

          • Wow. You like to talk about what you think my feelings are?! You must be a mystic healer who knows all ha ha! Who fucking cares how anybody feels. The reality is that the Headwaters Fund grants are to be used for stimulating the local economy. The Mateel has sucked away the local economy. Because the Board of Directors were and are extremely unprofessional. Nobody should give them a dime more to waste. They gambled away our hall. Face it- the hall will not be saved. It’s over. And in 2-3 years you will not see Benbow Arts Fair anymore. It is over. The money is gone and no more is coming back. Hope you got real high at the party! the party that is over now. Sounds like you still are.

        • There does need to be accountability.. beyond just Justin…
          More people nees to be let go for not be punctual on important matters. Such as responding to emails.. or accounting errors. Or unpaid debts..
          Transparency abd accountability…

          When the electrical goes off.. i take the blame.. its my departmant.
          Nuff Nuff second and third and forth chances..
          If you cant so your job. You shouldnt have one.. this isnt a game… is a show with expectations and financial risks!!
          More Life ROTR

        • I disagree that the Mateel does nothing. In 1999 i was 23 ans A older friend suggested i go to Reggae.. he said he had helped rebuild the hall himself and that it is a special place..
          I live in Pismo Beach. 8 hrs away.
          Slo county..
          Well since then .. and 19 years later my wife, myself, my four kids and 17 of my friends i call my Electrical Crew come spend 21 days away from home. All 17 members of my crew come from sli county….
          We show up.. We live on site.. im not a homeless person. I have a family, i own a house, carrs, buisness..
          Im a licenseed contractor with a successful buisness to maintain.
          We spend thousands of dollars in the community. We shop, we stay in motels, we visit the beautiful parks. And i sacrafice blood sweat and tears.. for you.., for me, for my kids. The Love and friendships forged at Reggae on the river are some of the most sacred in my LIFE..
          Its sad your all to close to see it😭😭

          • Thanks Ted!!!
            for a REALITY CHECK and a honest POSITIVE perspective on ROTR
            and the VALUE OF THE MCC!!

            • Whole Mateel; so according to you, you want to ignore the negative and degrading effects ROTR has on the water quality and wildlife habitat in the South Fork Eek River? What are the values of the MCC?

              Here you have an organization that has taken the names of two watersheds and conducts an event “on the River”, but doesn’t want to recognize and deny’s the adverse effects it causes, all in the name of what they consider is their greater good ? The “REALITY CHECK” are the facts and the fact is that ROTR, at its current location, leaves over 44,000 gallons of septic wastewater in the watershed. What is so “POSITIVE” about that?

              • Ed. I am not ‘ignoring’ anything. I look to the big picture, while you seem to take a macro view.
                Human existence on this planet has consequences.
                Do you drive a car Ed? Ever fly in a plane? How do you heat your house? Do you use water for landscaping? Do you throw out refuse, for the fossil fuel driven trucks to take away to leaky landfills? Should we not have any farming or livestock raising due to the well documented pollution derived from such activities? Due to the predominant cultural reliance on fossil fuels, we should never have any major, centralized public assembly again……. were we to have NO effect on the environment.
                When I came to Humboldt 45 years ago, and chose to develop a lifestyle of ‘living lightly on the land’, I did my best to co-exist.
                Key term: CO-EXIST.
                When the MCC puts on ROTR (which has benefited the So Hum community for decades in tremendous ways!) they are subject to numerous rules and regulations by our elected officials (who are not a bunch of lefty sympathizers). Each year the Mateel Community Center, to the best of their often volunteer dependent ability, abides, and is judged in future years by how they have succeeded in working WITH the environment.
                I understand that you have chosen to make yourself a crusader, in some ways, for the (environment). And that can be a helpful part to play in society. Yet what I often hear from you is a blindness to ‘the big picture’ and a lack of compassion for entities who try to otherwise do good work for this small community.

                • What is the “big picture” you keep talking about. “big picture” for whom?

                  Everything else you said above was text book forms of formal and informal fallacies, they are not based in fact, defend ROTR without unsound reasoning.

                  Putting words in my mouth is not an argument or justification for ROTR!

                  If you want to justify ROTR, justify it with documented facts, not if I drive a car, fly in a plane, heat my home etc…

                  I use my real name because it keeps me honest, who are you?

                • ” Each year the Mateel Community Center, to the best of their often volunteer dependent ability, abides, and is judged in future years by how they have succeeded in working WITH the environment.”

                  Why did the MCC use dust control chemicals on the river bar during the 2017 event, that was not approved?

                  Why does the MCC dispose of over 44,000 gallons of septic wastewater, onsite, instead of disposing of it off site?

                  “When the MCC puts on ROTR (which has benefited the So Hum community for decades in tremendous ways!) they are subject to numerous rules and regulations by our elected officials (who are not a bunch of lefty sympathizers).”

                  Please name the “elected officials” that approve ROTR?

                  When you state: “which has benefited the So Hum community”, are you talking about the population size of the SHUSD or SHCHD?

                  Do you have a MCC financial statement that confirms the MCC “has benefited the So Hum community for decades in tremendous ways!” directly from ROTR?

                  Does the MCC have any letters of support from businesses or So Hum Chamber of Commerce that confirms ROTR directly or indirectly ” benefited the So Hum community for decades”.

                  Do you include, MCC salaries, other compensation, employee benefits as ” benefited the So Hum community” ($684,343.00 from MCC 2016 990 tax return)?

                • Where are my payrool taxes

                  The mateel has ignored all the rules and cried ignorance .The summer arts use of generators all over the place is against state rules .If no one brings it up we don’t have to follow the rules .That’s the mateel way .Not paying payroll taxes and paying off debt is a crime. They took money out of workers paychecks and kept it for themselves . I will be letting the EDD know about this shortly .

            • Real Electrical Crew

              Really you ran the electrical ?I think Michael Foster rest his soul .and Kevin arnoul Electric and Tom Carr and a crew of local electricians ran the electric for over 22years .100% local crew other than Lance Huston helping with generator cables and distribution . I don’t even know who you are ?

          • Thank you for your wonderful comment.

  • Jorge Cervantes

    The Line up sounds awesome ! Can’t wait to see the incredible smoking bongs.

  • There are 41 days between now and the scheduled start of the festival. The 21 day public comment period can’t be shortened. Looks like a tough timeline.

    To my knowledge no lineup has been set.

    Is there a refund policy for anyone who buys tickets early? If not, why would anyone buy one?

    • A few years back we bought tickets for Reggae Rising, the tickets were the most beautiful, however the event was cancelled, and we exhausted all efforts to recover our money but to no avail! Be mighty careful!

  • “City” of Garberville? No local wrote that…

    • Exactly.. not Incorporated.

      Missing Doug Green. Even missing those-who-shall-not-be-named, at least with outside production familiar with the intricacies all the bullshit nuts & bolts of the permitting paperwork, timelines bridge install regs etcetc were dealt with!! The event production typically started rolling in Jan Feb!! Not june. WTF. This is waaaaay more responsibility than a backwoods untied-shoes volunteer board can manage imo. What a crying shame really. Hall was paid in full! Who the eff mortgages a community asset? I’d like to see who signed those documents.

      • The Mattel is not mortgaged. it is paid for free and clear.

        • Free and clear?

          • No loans have been taken against the building.

            • Something else [not in the] report, when Garth gave public testimony during the Planning Commission meeting; and talked about how much money ROTR generates for local businesses. However, he never talked about how much money the MCC still owes those same local businesses, fire districts, law enforcement and emergency services.

              Then there was Snodgrass; he tried to explain why the MCC did not have a contract with B & B porta-potties and that they (MCC) offered to pay half of what they owed them and the rest on a payment plan. But B & B wanted it paid in full; and Snodgrass made it seem like B & B was the bad guy for not taking half of what the MCC owed them. I wonder why the MCC just didn’t pay the half anyway, you still owe them the money (according to Darryl Cherney’s list $25,989).

              As I recall, this is what caused the end of Reggae Rising, they owed all these same people money from the year before, same people the MCC owes money too now. I guess it came full circle, seems the MCC is no better than TD…

        • Dusty? Did you say this? She did not quote you, is she paraphrasing what you said?

          Board Member Dusty Hughston said the Mateel is working with regulatory agency staff to get the needed permits on an expedited track. Hughston explained that the Mateel had not understood that the 401 Clean Water Act permit and the Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements needed five-year reviews until two weeks ago. But he said agencies understand the importance of the revenue that enters the community as a result of having Reggae on the River.

          Here is the KMUD News report, given by the same person that submitted this report above, you are heard stating, in part:

          “because Department of Fish & Wildlife had been sending all correspondence to our former general manager, so we did not have that information”

          My question; when a key employee/staff, i.e. General Manager of the MCC leaves and has a MCC email, doesn’t the MCC check that email account?

          And I don’t understand your choice of words, as you stated, “drama”. When its a cost of doing business, aka Reggae on the River permits and infrastructure. It just seems, this is the track record with the MCC, no one is accountable or responsible on the MCC Board, they always deflect and blame someone else. At what point will the MCC Board be accountable and take responsibility for the South Fork Eel River and its own community of wildlife that cannot speak or defend itself?

          As I recall, no one forced the MCC to operate ROTR at French’s Camp, which requires the installation of the seasonal bridge across the South Fork Eel River etc. However, you and other MCC Board members make it seem, in different public statements over the years, these same agencies are forcing an undue burden and financial hardships onto the MCC in requiring all the different permits that protect the river and wildlife species. IMHO, the MCC Board should embrace it, not treat the protection as an obstacle and circumvent it. Can you elaborate?

          • State parks need a talking to ed

            State parks installs over 20 bridges that I know of along the eel. They do not abide by any conditions or oversight by any agency, nor do they pull any permits. Mattel meets and exceeds it’s permit conditions. Kind of biased

            • If you have information that confirms your assertions, please send them along.

              No one is exempt from the Wild & Scenic River Act, ITP, 401, 404, ESA, ESU or EFH requirements and or permitting process for stream crossings or LSAA 1600 permitting. I understand Richardson Grove SP is installing there seasonal bridge too and the same since Benbow SP just reopened their campground again. In the case of the MCC, all of their 5 year permits had expired last year, they needed to reapply for 2018. Do the State Park bridges you mentioned have current permits? In the case of the MCC, they waited until the last minute to apply and obtain the required permits.

              I take it the MCC is not using a engineering consultant for 2018, to remind the MCC of the permitting process as they used in the past (Greenway). Maybe the MCC owes them money for services rendered last year ($3,500)?

              Here is an email from Jane Arnold (CDFW). She explains the ITP process concerning the Foothill yellow legged frog for ROTR and others:

              —– Forwarded Message —–
              From: Jane@Wildlife Arnold
              Cc: Michael Richardson , Jennifer@Wildlife Olson, Michael@Wildlife Van Hattem, Cheri@Wildlife Sanville
              Sent: Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:30:55 -0400 (EDT)
              Subject: Re: Reggae on the River agency referral for comments 2018

              Hi Ed

              To my knowledge, CDFW is not allowing the bridge to go in without an LSAA. CDFW staff may move frogs for the installation before the ITP is finished. Until there is an ITP, they don’t have coverage to move frogs. From CDFW’s permitting point of view, an LSAA is required for installation and an ITP is required for non-CDFW staff to move candidate frogs.

              During this candidacy phase for the frogs, CDFW is moving frogs, when necessary, for various entities. There is not special treatment for any permittee as we are doing this for various entities. We are attempting to work with various entities to ensure we are protecting the environment and fish and wildlife resources while allowing projects to move forward.

              Thank you for the concern for California’s sensitive and listed species, and for your concern for the environment. We appreciate it.

              Jane Arnold
              Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist)
              California Department of Fish and Wildlife
              (707) 441-5671

            • I looked up the seasonal bridges at Richardson Grove and Standish-Hickey State Parks on the South Fork Eel, the two closest up-stream and down-stream from ROTR. They have permits with state and federal agencies and expire November 1, 2020.

              There was a guy at the Planning Commission meeting during ROTR, he spoke to the Planning Commission and made the same claim concerning State Parks as you did above, was that you?

              Anyway, I have no idea where the other 20 some odd seasonal bridges are for State Parks on the Eel, you can look them all up online, see if they have all their permits. If you find one, let me know.

  • who was the supe that voted against this 5 yr permit?

    • Yes. I also would like to know WHO signed those documents. And I’d like to hear their public confession ie. reason for doing so. Don’t want to keep throwing blame but we can’t move on until at least that much is revealed. And as it hasn’t been revealed yet it appears more each week like a cover-up or a hiding of the facts. And how could anybody donate to such a secret institution? Basic answers are owed to the community.

    • It was Planning Commissioner Ben Shepherd, from Ryan Sundberg’s District 5.

  • >”Money trumps environment. 5 more years of destruction to our beautiful river”

    Festival along river is destroying the river ? Eh ?

    River is being destroyed by Sonoma Valley intere$t$.
    Good luck with that.

    • Come on you guys -if you going do defend these festivals at least know what you’re talking about. The dam at Lake Pillsbury has no effect on the south fork of the Eel. Thats the north fork. That said: F the Mateel and reggae and F Northern Nights

  • Anything but reggae.


    High Times is releasing an ipo they are on the stock market.It could not get any more corporate if you tried.WHEN WILL THE PAYROLL TAXES AND FINES BE PAID? THEY WERE TAKEN OUT OF PEOPLES PAYCHECKS AND NEVER PAID

  • [edit], B & B porta-potties spoke at the Planning Commission meeting and stated they would not be providing the porta-potties for ROTR, because the MCC owes B & B a large amount of money from last year, so the MCC will need to pay them in full or use another porta-potties company from outside Humboldt County. The other condition of approval Kelley forgot to mention, is that two weeks before ROTR, the MCC is required to show the Planning Department they have a porta-potty contract, comply with ALL County, State and Federal permits and ALL conditions of approval, because at the meeting, they did not comply and Dusty agreed with those conditions…

    • Was the use of dust suppressant chemicals addressed Ed?

      • Not that I saw in the Plan or Operation or County Staff Report. However, RWQCB stated they will include that issue in their 401 permit process and included the restrictions with the bridge installation that has a 21 day public comment period. Here’s what they said:

        —– Forwarded Message —–
        From: Brendan@Waterboards Thompson
        To: Jennifer@Wildlife Olson ,
        Cc: Jacob J.@Waterboards Shannon
        Sent: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 12:50:01 -0400 (EDT)
        Subject: RE: Agency Referral for Comments, Reggae on the River 2018


        Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have forwarded the below message on to Jake Shannon who will be handling the project (copied). It is likely that their new or amended 401 certification will have a condition addressing use of dust suppressants.

        Brendan Thompson, QSD/QSP, CESSWI
        Environmental Scientist
        North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board
        5550 Skylane Blvd. Ste. A
        Santa Rosa, CA 95403-1072
        (707) 407-0036

        • Thanks Ed.

          • It’s too bad the MCC cannot get up and admit what they did. For the MCC to embrace Rastafari philosophy, they cannot stand up and fight for the rights of all living things….

            Get up, stand up
            Stand up for your rights
            Get up, stand up
            Don’t give up the fight


  • Maybe the Mateel and the Community Farm could come together and make quality food goods such as blackberry jam tomato and squash soup’s and other gormet food products such as salsa , mustard or whatever sounds marketable and sell these products at the grocery stores . The Mateel could be the certified kitchen and the Community Farm will grow the berries and vegetables . This could be one way to generate money.

    • There’s a “Community Farm”?

    • Right on, Yellow! Thank you!!
      People like you, who think creatively to find ways for the Mateel to make money (using our resources and serving the community) are the ones who will move us forward in a POSITIVE way!!!

      • Because there is just sooo much money in jelly.

        I am glad to hear i misunderstood the 200k in, ” bridge loans” to be a 2nd mortgage. Not much difference really. So many zeroes in the red. Reggae used to be a money machine.. alas the ship has sailed .

        • It’s less about the amount of return that I was complimenting, than the SPIRIT to help that I enCOURAGE!! Try it!

    • What “grocery stores” sell homemade processed food and condiments. That sounds like a cottage industry kind of thing. Maybe they could sell it at Reggae on the River?

      • Crawl out from under your rock.. there alot more world out there..
        Come off the hill. Look around..

        Yes the whole world wants healthier choices..

        Small batch is boss.
        Big market down in slo county for quality small batch goods..

  • Thanks Justin. This is on you! All on you.

  • Still haven’t paid volunteer fire departments either. Part of permit is having emergency services

  • The Mateel Community Center is required to fill out a ” take” permit to install their endangered-yellow-legged-frogs-killing bridge for reggae.

  • There were 2 other Commissioners who voiced concerns about how business is being conducted at the Mateel, but during their discussion they agreed to focus on land use and health and safety issues. Those representing ROTR were told that certain conditions must all be met two weeks before the event or their permit will be pulled. (So… buy tickets being fully informed the event may be cancelled!!!) The Commissioners were not happy about tickets being sold before their approval was given. Commissioner Levy used to live near the ROTR site and asked why safety measures once required to protect the neighbors are no longer practiced. Michael Richardson responded that “they” decided it was no longer necessary. When pressed Planner Richardson could not identify who the “they” was, but said it was discussed with the community, but could not say when or where.

  • Does anyone know if Sizzla is available?

  • Sizzling the endangered fish in the river.

  • Waste time while stealing everything...

    See, this is why you don’t have nice things!

    Arguing will get you nowhere. Wasting time, and squabbling, allowing bad leaders to run your public agencies and NPO’s has brought you exactly here.

    Obviously, whatever happens will be allowed to occur. Guarantee: The Mateel Board will steal whatever proceeds.

    The building will be sold. The End. OH and the river may well become as toxic as the general social environment in SoHum…

    Well, I guess it’s time to pull the tarps and go hide…

  • Still cant comprehend how this event keeps getting permitted through the County Planning Department!! What kind of concessions, mitigations, and restoration has the Mateel agreed to in their permit in order to get this passed?

  • Here is an accurate account of the Planning Commission meeting concerning ROTR; something surely lacking from the story above:

    It is amazing to me, how addicted and co-dependent some people are with ROTR. And the idea that ROTR is not intended as an marijuana or ganja themed festival is a oxymoron, its never been about anything else! And that it came from the mouth of MCC Board and staff is ludicrous! If they can lie in public like that, what else are they lying about…

  • At 11:53PM on June 25th, there are 85 comments so far, 22 of them are Ed Voice’s.
    And probably 45-50% of the total word count, in all the comments are Ed’s.
    Sounds like you have an agenda and/or some kinda negative energy towards the Mateel, Ed.
    (But I didn’t need statistics to learn that).
    Ed. Consider what my wise mother used to say: ‘You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar!’

    • Wow, so it was your Mom that came up with that saying. Why did she like catching flies, and not bee’s?

      The truth is, I post because the truth is a bitch. And the bitch is, the MCC don’t give a rats sack of hair about the South Fork Eel River, or its inhabitants. Actions speak louder than words. You’re just pissed, because what I post is the truth, nothing but the truth and your pathetic attempt above, to what, shame me? Well guess what, the bitch is back.

      So ponder what my wise grandma said (on my Mom’s side) with her final breath: “You Tell ’em I’m Comin’…And Hell’s Coming With Me!” God rest her soul…

    • “Sounds like you have an agenda and/or some kinda negative energy towards the Mateel, Ed.”

      Ya Think? I have an “agenda”, just as you do and what you call my “negative energy”, it pales in comparison to the “negative energy” the MCC has towards the South Fork Eel River and wildlife habitat with artificial night lighting, overly amplified music, sounds, subs, spraying chemicals on the river bar and degrading river water quality directly attributed from ROTR.

    • My fly trap uses putrified eggs for bait. It works even better than honey.

  • Reggae on the River Seasonal Bridge Installation 21 Day Public Notice:

    Please note the restriction at the bottom of page 2:

    “No chemical dust suppressants including Dust-Off will be applied to roads or graded areas
    located on the gravel bars including approaches to the gravel bars. Clear water applied by
    water trucks is acceptable for dust control, and shall not be discharged to the wetted
    channel or to the bridge.”

    If you are wondering; the MCC will not be able to install the bridge to French’s Camp until after the 21 day public comment period has expired and is approved. That would be sometime after July 17th.

    • Update: today in an email from California Department Fish & Wildlife (Eureka) to the Mateel, it states the following, in part, concerning instillation of the bridge for Reggae on the River:

      In light of this update I will tentatively hold July 18 to provide frog and tadpole relocation for the bridge install. If you have the 401 cert on the 17th in time to install that day, please coordinate with our office as soon as you find out, as there may be staff who can help on that day, or I may be available for the first part of the day. Please keep us posted as schedules fill up quickly this time of year.

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