Mending the Mateel–An Opinion

This week, three women who have lived in Southern Humboldt, wrote about the Mateel Community Center from different perspectives. Kelley Lincoln, who often writes for us delved into Reggae on the River and what that means for the Mateel in the Journal’s cover story, while Cristina Bauss and I took more personal looks.

With the Journal’s permission, I’m reposting my piece below but, I highly encourage you to follow either the links above or those provided at the end of my opinion piece and read the other two stories.

[Photo used with permission of the North Coast Journal]

When the counterculture — the barefoot, longhaired back-to-the-landers — poured into the hills and valleys of the Mattole and the Eel River watersheds in the 1970s, they needed a gathering place to enfold their new community. At first, they fixed up an old building in Garberville, the Fireman’s Hall, but when that burned down in 1983, the newcomers created the Mateel Community Center in Redway.

For reasons not entirely clear to most of the newcomers — but remembered in excruciatingly harsh detail by some of the old-time families — a substantial number fought to stop the Mateel at every step, from the purchase of the land that would host the new building to the first event held inside its large hall.

They lost…but their bitterness and the building have both become twisted into the heartstrings of the community. Later, the old-timers were joined in their resentment of the Mateel by some of those who were losers in the fierce fighting that marked the Reggae Wars, which tore apart Southern Humboldt around 2006. To some, the building became a symbol of their greater losses in the culture wars. In the aftermath of news the Mateel may be forced to close in the face of a large debt, some of this bitterness has been on full display. One recent comment from an old-time family responded to a story I posted about the situation, “I have never been to the Mateel or any of their events, most of the people I call friends haven’t either. If we even think about the Mateel, we consider it a blight on our community …”

In spite of the bitterness of some, many of the newcomers offered their hands and backs to build a place to house their celebrations, their meetings and their mournings. Each person gave what they could, created what they knew how. They built walls, sanded floors and hung doors.

The craftsmanship of the community’s center shines. Have you seen the beautiful metalwork fence in the back? My father-in-law, his long hair pulled into a ponytail, a pair of handmade leather chaps on his legs, donated his time and much of the materials to create a black iron wave flowing into another black iron wave. Other people created similar offerings of love and hope, not only at the beginning but over time.

The satiny smooth woodwork, the large windows, the place for plays and music and gathering, all have woven magic into our community’s collective memories. Or at least it has for the newcomers and for those of us from the old families who have let go of bitterness and even married into the hippie folk.

For most of us, the Mateel became part of the fabric of our lives — not just a place to listen to the surprisingly big name musical acts that performed there but a tradition and a place to partake in each other. There we gathered with our children. There we celebrated and mourned, argued and laughed, planned and partied. I remember weeping as a friend’s son was memorialized there and laughing at Mary Jane the Musical. I remember catching my breath watching growers acknowledge publicly for the first time what they did for a living at the “What’s After Pot?” community meeting and walking in awe between 40 years of handmade quilts as our community exhibited their handiwork. I have loved watching babies bobbing their heads to music there, delighted as my oldest cherished a stuffed frog bought from a vendor in the hall and paused to watch the pleasure an elderly woman exuded as she peered at a handcrafted candle. A woman I greatly admired collapsed there after dancing joyously with Feet First Dancers and she died soon after. Just a year ago, I was honored there as Citizen of the Year.

So many of the events of our lives happened at the Mateel. New traditions became old traditions so that children grew to adults not knowing any other way — the seasons of their lives were marked by the Winter Arts Fair, the Summer Arts Fair and the Halloween Boogie, punctuated by plays, funerals, meetings and Meals at the Mateel. God, that place is so tightly woven into the fabric of our community, it feels as if we will come unraveled without it. And the recent financial disclosures make it seem as if the great doors might close forever on the building’s incarnation as a community center.

And there are a few of us who feel this would be a good thing. The commenter mentioned previously wrote, “[T]he merciful thing to do is shut down the Mateel [and] sell the building, the Mateel serves no useful purpose.”

But for others of us, the shutting down of the Mateel would be a betrayal of the hopes and dreams that built it and which were later woven within its walls.

For those of us who want to see the hope live on, we will volunteer, we will work together and we will donate until we have helped mend the Mateel — allowing it to survive for another generation because we believe without a place to gather, to celebrate our traditions and share the great events of our lives, our community will wither and our traditions will die.

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68 comments

  • it seemed to me that the Mateel was raising money to pay for the building for 20 years..did it ever get paid off?

    • Book the trending talent

      . The Mateel needs a new talent coordinator the fact is there not getting the current talent from Jamaica for there number one fundraiser reggae !The new current talents are the popcaan,tommy lee ,charley black ,konshens,shensea .

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pwMzfIhgLMM

      Link to popcaan

      • You didn’t get the memo obviously, booking too much Reggae was a huge pitfall. Reggae’s appeal has dwindled around here and with songs particularly about smoking ganja are mute points with cannabis legalization. Face it, it’s tired and uninnovative.

      • It is very hard for a lot of Jamaican artists to get visas to come perform in the USA. Popcaan associated himself with the wrong gang in Jamaica and in his own words he says they will never give him a visa. Another reason is that the Jamaican gov’t wants to export a postive image of their country and feel that Dancehall does not do that so they won’t issue visas for many dancehall artists. Its not Justin’s or the Mateel fault that we can’t bring more dancehall!

  • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

    Since I came here, accidentally, 5 years ago, to work in your hospital, until now, when I face leaving forever, I have encountered broken things in SoHum.

    If the folks here had the spirit of the writers above, instead of being drug-dealing losers bent on pot profits above everything else, the Mateel, The Community Park, and the Hospital, might possibly succeed.

    Money does not rule all, and the power of love should rise above the love of power.

    I hope someone survives here, who can work out the problems, but now I will retire to another county.

    I will pray for you!

    • So, while you were here, you did nothing to help? You just cashed your fat checks and now you are bailing? Buh bye.

      • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

        Hey Scooter: When you work for a living, you get paid… Nobody at Jerold Phelps Hospital gets a “fat check”, except the CEO, and everybody who works in a hospital, is helping someone…

    • My friend. While your experiences here are only from recent years, it is understandable that you only see greed and a marijuana focused culture. Many of us, who moved here in the 60’s and 70’s would agree with your observations: The focus is now often just on making money.
      Consider though, those of us who moved here 40-50 years ago, in the wake of the ‘back to the land’ movement. We came with little money, into a community that had little, following the post-flood & ‘bust’ economies of logging, fishing and ranching. We found/bought parcels for $200-250 per acre.
      We did not come to grow pot. And as we met each other, we gathered, we dreamed, we chose to built (parallel) community assets (we were not accepted by many of the ‘old timers’) to serve our needs: Lots of VFDs; a Community Center (the Mateel); a health center (RRHC); many schools; a community owned and operated radio station (KMUD); etc. Because ‘hippies’ liked to smoke pot, they started growing it. And soon they found ways to get off the food stamps that was for many a degrading way to live, by selling some. We became self-sufficient, and created a local free market economy. The community flourished, families had money to give their kids good schooling, travel and sports experiences. And yes, there were excesses. We/my peers are fallible that way, like our forefathers/mothers. We created COMMUNITY as best we could, and I, for one, I THINK WE DID A DARN GOOD JOB OF IT! Those of us who were then in our 20s and 30s then, who in our 60s and 70’s now, we/I hope, expect that the younger people NOW to help (re)create or support a thriving, diverse culture here. Or they can let it fade away and die.
      And us old timers, who’ve ‘Ben Round’ can either let it go, knowing we did well, in ‘our time’, or we can bequeath parts of our properties/estates to keep our dream alive. And leave a living legacy that is due, in part to the marijuana economy, but more to the hard working, idealist, creative individuals who ‘pioneered’ a second culture upon these lands.
      Times do seem to be changing (again). What the future (with legal cannabis) will bring is unknown. And yet, among all the fear, is the concept that in some real ways, the community may be stronger, if and when the greedy folks are less able to meet their selfish goals.
      Best wishes for the location change you will make. And thank you for the prayers. They are welcome!

      • YES !!!!!!!!!!!

      • Best comment ever.

      • Even I must agree with many of your points.
        It was the greed of power, the political agendas, that is destroying it.
        They became a voice against the individual. They became a voice against old timers, individuals, and of working together in harmony.
        Can they go back to their roots? Better yet, can they see where they first created division within the community?
        Communes of any kind were highly frowned on since the beginning of the new country. Even the Amish and the Quakers were snubbed once upon a time.
        Groups destroy individuality. Groups like to mandate their views and ideals. Groups like to be in power. Groups either prove otherwise, like the Amish and Quakers seem to have done, or they prove that the individuals were correct in opposing them.
        Yes, we need community spirit, involvement, but it will never happen without respect for all who reside within the community.
        It is not the caring vs the non caring. That slogan has played itself out before it even began, yet many still try to hammer it in. We all care, just in different styles. Nobody is better than any other. Nobody. WE are all individuals, even when we group with like minded individuals. It is when the individual is silenced that all hell breaks loose.
        It is the hell breaking loose scenario, that most individuals care to stop from happening in the first place. Prove yourself, prove you are for individual integrity first. Prove you are not dictative.

      • There are a few of us who came in the 90’s for those same ideals. I first came for HSU but fell in love with the folks (most of my friends tend to be of the original back-to-the-land generation) in Southern Humboldt, and the extraordinary community they/you created.

        Nothing Lasts. Or so I’ve been told… I can’t say I see a bright future for all, but as my neighbors and I look for ways to gather, community building requires consistent effort.

  • Let’s face it. The days of “community” togetherness are dying in Southern Humboldt. Why? There is a huge influx of new people here that give less than a damn about community, they are here to grow pot. Locals are also caught up in the green rush. Pot is their life now.
    Many family /community oriented people have or are leaving, looking for new frontier, places that haven’t given over their souls to pot production. Mateels woes are just another symptom of this .
    When the local Senior Center has to beg for money, when the parents are paying for teachers out of their own pockets , but the area has been rolling in millions and millions of dollars, you know things have gone sideways. The greed and disrespect of this new grower class is a thing to behold. Not everyone is like this, but most are. Face it SoHum, until this Grower Shit Show gets sorted out, more community breakdown is in the future.

    • There was always such a divide between those whose life revolved around money, both way to get it and ways to spend it, and those who looked at drugs as part of a philosophy better community. Just when the numbers of both were low, society could survive both.

      Unfortunately those who had a life based on the sense of community being enhanced by drugs opened the gates, as was inevitably suitable for their philosophy, for those who see drugs in very self centered terms as a big money maker and the heck with everyone else.

      The current situation is natural selection in operation.

    • ^^^
      Stay Tuned- your observations and your ability to simply but honestly convey your opinion in this post is probably the best post I’ve read in weeks, months. Truth.

    • There never was true ‘community’ from the Mateel, right from the beginning it was a clique, they never included the generations that lived here before they drove ‘back-to-the-land’. It was all about them and their fake hippie ethos.

  • I’m gonna help the Mateel build and Aquaponic garden to supply the free meal if they are interested. Are there any more meetings coming up? We can make it a community build project. The people who eat the meal can help maintain the fish and veggies. I built a 1200 gallon system in Eureka out of Craiglist free stuff. With a bit of help, I’m sure we could get a pump, 2000gal water tank, wood, pvc, and some pondliner donated from some farmers around here. Lets get creative and find some answers instead of pointing fingers and bitching.

    • Redwood Fish, IMHO, you need to know where you’ve been, before you plan for the future! You need to learn from past mistakes and missteps, so you do not repeat the past. It’s a cycle, and a cycle we can live without. Accusing people of “pointing fingers and bitching” is not the answer either. 501c3’s need to be accountable and transparent. All, everything thing they do should be open to the public. When this is accomplished, most all the problems will go away. If you cannot fix the problem, it will repeat itself again. If you’re going to put “Community” in the name, then the “Community”, the whole “Community” needs to have a seat at the table.

      • Sounds like you have found an answer! Transparent 501c3s! Let’s do it. I wasn’t trying to sound high and mighty by saying others are bitching and pointing fingers. I’ve complained with an outstretched hand too. Just saying it’s time for us to move to the next step of hatching some new ideas and putting them to use.

        • That’s a tremendously helpful start.

        • There are no “new ideas”, there are only old ones, they just need to be kept on the original mission, if they had one. They say, the road to hell was paved with good intentions. But like many good intentions, it always comes back to money. We have no idea how much money was donated or given to any of the 501c3 in Southern Humboldt over the last 40 plus years. That needs to change, just like the 501c3’s that use and abuse our watersheds and wildlife habitat for their own amusment, all in the name of community, without giving anything back. That needs to change.

          Over the years, I have found the only thing that works is to try and shame them into changing or using common sense and reason. However, that doesn’t work either. Some how, they can always justify their actions, with no rhyme or reason, because there is no accountability for their actions, only money.

          Everything happens for a reason and it’s happening right now. I have given up trying to convince some Southern Humboldt “Community” organizations to stop degrading the South Fork Eel and its own community of wildlife habitat. Talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.

          When will they learn, they cannot eat money…

  • I love your reflection on The Mateel, Kym! I was one of many who donated a little time in building our hall and I love it. Over time I grew bitter over egos and greed and some people but I still love the hall and what it meant for many of us. I can’t believe it’s existence is even in question. After all the money that’s been made around here!! The Rock and Reggae, later renamed Reggae on the River was started as a benefit to pay for the hall- buy the land and get materials. What went wrong there? How did we end up with the caboose in front of the train- so that one bad year of Reggae could endanger the hall?!! You don’t take a loan against your paid-off home to build yet another greenhouse when the price of weed is plummeting….so why did the security of The Mateel Hall get gambled on a festival? I am in shock.

  • Gone are the days of taking a Sunday drive to Shively and Ferndale for fresh produce. Gone are the days of sharing the produce from your own back yards at church pot lucks every Sunday. Gone are the days of working for a living, helping your neighbors in the ways that make a direct difference. Gone are the days of building homes, hospital wings, scholarship programs and the freedom to apprentice.
    Thank you Mateel community for lobbying and enforcing a one size fits all approach to life. It’s so much better now. We love watching politics rob our wallets to pay for the things that never seem to improve, but instead are increasing. We love you for forcing us to rely upon governmental handouts, instead of upon selves and good neighbors. We love watching the wages and pensions of the elite increase, the wars increase, the campaigns against individuality increase. We bow to you, oh masters of who knows what’s best for all. We can’t even run our own lives, we need people like you who know how to tell us what to do every step of the way. The crumbs we are humbly served are too generous. We collectively bow in humbleness of your purity and wisdom.
    But, please, if it pleases the crown, can you turn the music down a notch or two after midnight? A bad nights sleep has a tendency to lessen productivity. When the slaves are not productive, we all suffer.
    Partly smart ass, mostly serious, me.

  • I have often wondered what has gone so wrong in SoHum, when NoMen faced the same social bigotry and integrated. There are hold-outs down here, for sure, like the bible-thumping bastard who bombed Judi Bari and still roams free. But, religious sick-os aside, the social order in Mendocino is pretty stable.
    One answer is that we (freaks) in NoMen infiltrated the little clubs and associations largely formed to keep us out. It worked then, and it’s still working today. We DIDN’T make new in-your-face edifices to our culture or point of view. We joined the existing culture and our mere presence changed attitudes; it’s hard to hate on people when “they” become “us.”
    The Building Code Wars were also an immense aid in our integration. We were living in a way that most rural old-timers could remember and relate; and of course when President Reagan publicly supported our efforts and no jury could be found to convict us, it was game over.
    I recently went up to Garberville to check out a retirement situation I was considering. I felt alien; people weren’t nice to me; vendors were rude; most “street people” were wearing clothes representing more money than I’ve seen in any given year of my life. But the crime rate corked it; I’m staying home in NoMen.
    I wish this weren’t a rant, and that I could offer a useful piece of advice, or a plan to recover. Nothing comes to mind but my sympathies.

    • You’re right, Mendo is a completely different culture. Thanks for your backround information.

    • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

      Mendo is much worse than Sohum… Every encounter I have with Mendo folk leaves me shaking my head. I would never settle there. Sohum is full of assholes, but Mendo/Willits/Ukiah/Fort Bragg… Holy shit those folks are WEIRD!

      The most interesting thing is that Garbervillians hate Willitsians and vice versa! I prefer Redway to Willits any day!

    • yep, Mendo is a little more down home.

    • You lost me on your bible thumper. There are over 1400 denominations of Christianity alone. There are over 350 million individuals living in the States. Are you suggesting that all of them represent the one weirdo you had a falling out with?

  • Shak…I still take drives to Holmes Flat, shively and pepperwood for produce. I’m still treated with hospitality and friendly company. My neighbors all work, and they help me in meaningful ways when I need it. Right now, dazeys is rounding up supplies and sending them south to the fire refugees as one tiny example.
    While energy toward building community is in decline, it isn’t gone entirely.

    Instead of blaming the Mateel, kmud, the hospital, or the park, let’s look at ourselves and ask why working together is so complex and breaks down so easily. Where is our common cause? What do we agree on? How can we achieve those goals? How do we make it fun? One difference between now and before is that the community used to be more fun.

    With our neighbors burning to death just an hour away, with a president who has North Korea vowing to hit the west coast with nuclear weapons, doesn’t it make some sense to redirect our energy toward our community in a positive direction? To be ready for whatever comes our way with a strong community center,a strong hospital, and a community park to grow food and provide outdoor opportunities for our moments of relaxation?

    • O god, Kelley…Please! Let’s HAVE FUN and be POSITIVE.

      In other words: shut the hell up.

      “We’re all beautiful, interesting people just trying to get by…” ugh.

      SoHum is insular and clique-y to the max. If you’re not growing weed, vacationing in Thailand/Mexico/Brazil/Hawaii for the winter and driving a *new*, large pick-up/SUV, you are shit.

      Diversity is lacking, and introspection rare.

    • “With our neighbors burning to death just an hour away, with a president who has North Korea vowing to hit the west coast with nuclear weapons, doesn’t it make some sense to redirect our energy toward our community in a positive direction? To be ready for whatever comes our way with a strong community center,a strong hospital, and a community park to grow food and provide outdoor opportunities for our moments of relaxation?”

      Wow Kelley, you sure you want to go there? What about 2 hours away, those people still your “neighbor”. Don’t call someone a “neighbor” when it’s convenient and then ask them if they even live in your community when they ask uncomfortable questions and want to protect the river and wildlife habitat in SoHum! Some of us can multi task, you know, do two or more things at the same time. Next time, just tell people to shut up, instead of using your version of bad psychology and a poor attempt at a nirvana fallacy. You almost forgot the kitchen sink, oh wait, there it is…

      • Thanks for your feedback Ed. But the bullying tone is the reason, not your place of residence, that I avoid working with you.

        • Kelley, I cannot help that you stepped in over your head, that was all you, not me. So you think that was “bullying tone” or just the truth! No sympathy here…

        • Kelley, you bullied, whether you want to acknowledge that or not.
          Your post is the epitome of what is wrong with our community.
          Your post highlights the we know what’s best for everyone, so shut up & pay up or you will be labeled as a non caring expletive.
          Cut through the fluffer nutter and all that is left of your post is the bullying of others.
          I hate to tell you this, but others do care, in proactive direct ways.
          If you think I’m going to thank you for your attempts at getting me to throw away my own individual rights, to follow yours instead, you can save your breath. I’ve seen that happen in Germany once, and that was once too often for me.

    • You know what might help? More backyard barbecues. More potlucks, and not just in public places. Seriously. Maybe in the next year or 2 people will feel more comfortable having them.

      • How come the Town Square cannot be used for a community breakfast, brunch or dinner? What happened to the 100 mile potluck? How come the Pancake Breakfast is only during the Rodeo? Most farming community’s do this…

      • I agree! The freedom for individuals to assemble, speak, eat, feed, and support has died.
        The freedom to create has died.
        Instead of the freedom to create better bbq vents, we have created monsters who shut down the bbq-ing altogether.
        Instead of creating community spirit, we have created fear of contaminations that only government can forbid.
        We have turned into monkey’s with bellys full of snakes that constantly thrive on fear.
        Feed the fear, feed the snakes.
        Feed the love, feed the spirit of light and wisdom.

    • I’m happy you can still afford to take Sunday drives.
      As far as community spirit goes. We will never be able to work together in peace as long as ideals are pushed onto others.
      Community spirit is supposed to encompass all. Instead, we have division.
      Your ideals vs their ideals vs individual ideals.
      Ideals are supposed to be promoted, not legislated.
      Until every individual, instead of groups, secures every individual’s constitutional right to voice or follow their own ideals, there will never be peace again.
      Committee’s are formed to assure every voice is heard, every ideal that affects others is inspected for areas of improvement. They were not originally formed to enforce their own ideals only.
      Like I said, the one size fits all practice, does not fit all no matter how hard they might try.
      One size does not fit every angle. One size lacks a proper fit.
      Community spirit can only spring forth jubilantly when all voices are jubilantly included, when all ideals are inspected and improved upon, when all individuals can create an atmosphere of caring for the individual voices of others.
      At this point, it feels as though the thorns are impossible to shave off of the dictatorship stalk. But they’re not.
      The freedom to back whichever ideal suits, is the American way.
      The enforcement to back whichever ideal is loudest, is the Merika way.
      When all ideals are free to try, the odds of succeeding increase.
      Where did the Mateel fail?
      They failed when they silenced.
      Again, I emphasize, IDEALS are supposed to be promoted, NOT legislated.

  • “For most of us”?
    No, not really. The Mateel has been an elitist private little club that did not include “most of us”. Not since the firehall days. I was there. I remember.
    Same with the “community park” & “town square”. Private spaces you ALLOW the public to use, or not, not commons as you like to proclaim.

    • Dang, VF, I never thought of myself as belonging to an elitist private little club when I went to the Winter Arts Fair or watched Feet First Dancers or the plays or attended What’s After Pot? I always felt welcome. Why didn’t you feel welcome?

  • ” allowing it to survive for another generation because we believe without a place to gather, to celebrate our traditions and share the great events of our lives, our community will wither and our traditions will die.”

    So what did we do before the Mateel? Where did we “gather”? And if you were never a part of the black market underground economy, what are our “traditions”?

    To be completely honest, the only time I was ever at the Mateel Community Center (which by the way, very beautiful) was in 2008, with about 200 other people, who wanted to tar & feather me, along with 6 to 8 other people. Are names were mentioned and used to get the crowd riled up and create hate for anyone else who dare question them, in short, it was a spectacle. We were booed and hissed, literally and at the end of the “gathering”, it was suggested to me, by 5 youths wearing hoods, while I was folding up chairs, that if I didn’t leave right then my truck might blow-up. So I left…

    So for this long time family, homeowner and ex resident of Redway/Garberville, someone who grew up and calls it his hometown, it was a very different experience at the Mateel Community Center, not one I would recommend or ever want to experience again.

    So is that one of the reasons it was built? Is that what you mean by “gathings” or your “traditions”? To hate people and ostracizing them in public because people ask questions and want to protect our land, air and water?

    Did you ever see “Paint Your Wagon”? If “No Name City” had a community center, it would be the Mateel…

    • Ed Voice- We came up from Laytonville and Branscomb for a few different events, back in mid-80’s. We were young and looking for a decent party. I get what you say because I was shocked how the hippies of Humboldt had built a cliqueish and exclusive scene. Nobody would talk to me…until they found out I was a good friend of a highly respected member. Then they were kissing my ass. It was weird! We were also under CAMP attack in northern Mendo so I get not bringing strangers into your grows but they were downright rude and stand-offish. I was truly shocked when I heard them talk with hate about the long-term locals and those who weren’t up to hippie standards. Weird place! I had an occasional crappy beer w/ my redneck neighbors in Laytonville because….they were my neighbors! I was glad I never lived in Gville or Redway because the self-righteous hippies there seemed bent on polarizing their town and I guess “winning” some social war. In short time I was also considered an undesirable and not spiritually evolved enough or whatever. Weird people! Weird place! How did they get from dropping acid at a lovefest to hating your own neighbors? Anyways- good luck with all that SoHum! I don’t hate you but I was confused by you.

      • You lit upon it. The acid dropping. The underground cliche’ . The underground weather. Trust me, it’s all related.
        It’s always good to stand for something, or we’ll fall for anything.
        It’s more paramount to understand the consequences of not understanding what we stand for.
        In other words, if an ideal becomes a mandate, it is unconstitutional.
        Ideals of the individuals are secured by our Constitution. We are to promote our ideals, not legislate them, not mandate them.
        Honest pamphlets of pro’s and con’s instead of propaganda.
        Ah, the key word, propaganda. Sponsored by and campaigned by, certain groups who wish to control the world.
        Awaken dear soul, from the deep sleep we’ve been programmed into.

  • I’m sorry Kym, I beg to differ with you regarding the “elisist club”, (or the Golden Circle, as I preferred to callit) but t has and does exist on some levels.
    I say this as someone who has been there form day one, volunteering and working, pretty high up in the ranks, as a paid ROTR volunteer. That came only after Many years of volunteering for both Mateel and many non-profits at ROTR every year from day one.
    That said, I still consider myself a friend of all involved in all the efforts to establish and maintain MCC in the past and presently.
    I do not volunteer anymore and let my membership lapse because it does not hold the same sway for me any more. I attend an event here or there but so often it is all the same, same, same that happened previously I have just changed my priorities.
    I don’t want to see MCC close it’s doors but I think we need a committee overseeing FISCAL responsibility which I feel has been neglected for MCC to end up in this position. Who, pray tell, has been watching the Financial Reports and Not asking why it’s OK in continue to incur that much debt over only a few years time. Where is Due Diligence?

  • Good old boys complained about the hippies coming in and not sharing their values, now hippes complaining about green rushers not sharing their values, what will the green rushers complain about?

  • When people work together they seem like a clique I suppose, they get strength and comfort from their cohorts but why is that bad, because they won’t let me in? I definitely noticed an aloofness from the other hippies when I first showed up from the Midwest in my early 20’s in the early 70’s—I remember walking across the street in Whitethorn, noticed someone I thought I knew, ready to greet him, and he just ignored me. What? So I got used to it, called it California cool, and it was like if you hadn’t been here a bunch of years you weren’t really recognized or accepted. Even 40 years later I always felt like the new guy when I was around Doug G. even though I’d gotten here just a few years after him. And though I got here just a few years before Archie U. part of me, probably irrationally, thought of him as the new guy. I dunno, maybe all that is just humans being silly or self important or just too super cool. (And then there were the inclusive people like Nancy P. who were always nice to everyone!)
    This thread was going along pretty well and even giving me hope that this community might get it together and maybe figure something out in these and other forums and situations until Ed and the other negativos had to start spewing their negativity.
    Bottom line, there is hope!
    There is life after dope…

    • You know what they say about opinions; everybody has one. BTW, are you not spewing your own negativity about “Ed and the other negativos”? Thanks for the positive feedback, Yippee-ki-yay!!!

  • All this and not one solution, idea or thought on how to include people. the community is what YOU make it. Whether you’re enviro, logger or green rusher be the change, don’t just talk about it.

    • That would take a lot of love for our fellow human beings who just happens to have a differing view or ideal.
      We fight to the death over ideals. Ideals that have no business becoming legislative powers of authority over others.
      Get rid of the legislative nonsense that enslaves us all to one ideal or the other and we will become a community spirit that works together with respect.
      Fear of not becoming a mandate is just as strong as fear of it becoming a mandate. Remove the mandate and the fear is removed. We go back to helping or snickering or whatever suits our personal views. We are finally free.
      Legislators are elected to secure our rights and individual ideals. They are not elected to grant or deny our rights or ideals. They are elected because they represent our own ideals and will promote our ideals. They are not supposed to turn ideals into legislation, they are supposed to use the media platform to promote awareness and to inspire.

    • How many different 501c3 and 501c4 tax exempt, charitable and public benefit organizations are located just in Southern Humboldt? Going in how many different directions? All of them asking for donations from the same people, all in the same grant pool, it’s never ending. How do you get all these groups, NGO’s and nonprofits on the same page?

      And now there are two different business organizations (Southern Humboldt Business and Visitors Bureau & Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce) just in Garberville, that only represent the business community, not the community as a whole. Their Boards are appointed and their meetings are private.

      How can you just do it, without talking about it?

      For example, i.e. The Southern Humboldt Community Park moved its big yearly fundraiser (Fall Splendor) from the Mateel Community Center to a private venue in Eureka for 2017. And according to their 2016 tax records, that fundraiser generated over $34,000 in overhead for the local community, the event grossed over $83,000; not counting money spent locally by out of town attendees and vendors, e.g. motels/hotels, restaurants, fuel and what ever else they consume or smoke. So now, the local community will lose all that income to Eureka! Why is that? Did the community have a say? NO!

      To do something about it, means getting everyone on the same page. This is why KMUD was the only non-profit food booth/vendor at Reggae 2017…

  • A non-biased blog might help.
    Corral all onto one page.
    No mandates allowed.
    Freedom to choose whom to toss your time, energy and dollars to encouraged.
    Some people might choose several.
    All will soon come to realize that when the govts already take over 70% of their income, there’s not much left to help directly.
    Helping directly is the most economical, and spiritually awarding way. That takes a strong person to admit that we all feel the same way about helping others, but we just have differing pov’s to accomplishing it.
    Forcing others to accomplishing our own ideals, means we are forcing them to give up a potentially better solution. Nobody can afford to pay for all ways. Not one-way-only works. The only thing that works is the freedom to choose who to freely support.

  • The mateel will be a memory soon enough. Its over. Your done.

  • I have a couple of questions for Kelley Lincoln, from her “Journal’s cover story”,

    One of your statements in the article was:

    “The Mateel spent about $35,000 for new leach fields for the septic system serving the kitchen and food vendors”

    1. Why did you forget to mention the public showers? The majority of the wastewater dumped into the onsite leach fields (within the floodplain of the South Fork Eel) was generated by attendees using public showers during the event for 4 days each year.

    2. Why did it take until this year (2017) for the MCC to file all the yearly required wastewater monitoring reports to the State Water Board (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017)?

    3. How come the MCC can only estimate the amount of wastewater being dumped into the leach fields? See link:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1qq4OlQcPfdWW42TV9JeDBVdzg

    4. In that State Water Board report, do the number of “attendees” include; volunteers, event staff, emergency staff, security staff, VIP/entertainment, vendors, guests and comp ticket holders?

    5. Does any amount of that wastewater include RV holding tanks?

    You also stated:

    “The Mateel also mitigated environmental stressors by constructing a rain catchment pond to use for dust control and lawn for the concert bowl at a cost of about $55,000”

    1. Where in the MCC Conditional Use permit EIR, does it require “mitigated environmental stressors” and construction of a rain catchment pond (780,000 gallon)?

    2. What are “mitigated environmental stressors”?

    3. Why was this $55,000 “rain catchment pond” empty 9 days before the event started this year (2017)?

    4. Since there was no rain water in the catchment pond, at least 9 days before the event; where did the water come from for “dust control and lawn” during the event in 2017?

    5. Here is a photo of Reggae 2016 (Redheaded Blackbelt); the first year the rain catchment pond was in service, can you tell me where the “lawn” is they are irrigating? I do not see anything green, do you? Do you know of an aerial photo like this for 2017?

    • Kelley Lincoln; since you don’t want to answer those questions, how about these:

      In the “Reggae on the River” plans and revised technical report for the leachfields and wastewater discharge requirements, submitted to the State Water Board on March 3, 2014, it states the following from page 2 of 3:

      “The design wastewater generation volume from the entire event is 11,000 gallons per day”… “Keep in mind that only 6500 of the 10,500 attendees stay overnight and not all of them shower.”

      https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1qq4OlQcPfdNEJKRUR1NVoxNVE

      Do they mean only attendees camping onsite take showers, not attendees that have been in the river, or because it’s been a long hot, dry and dusty day or take care of personal hygiene (“not all of them shower”)?

      Why did the “Reggae on the River” monitoring report for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, dated October 6, 2017 reflect the event generated 11,000 gallons per day (Table 2)? Since the report states:

      “the attendance never hit the 10,500 that was used in the design nor the 9000 that is currently allowed by the CUP”

      https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1qq4OlQcPfdWW42TV9JeDBVdzg

      The “Reggae on the River” October 6, 2017 monitoring report states the event generated exactly 11,000 gallons of wastewater per day for 4 days, which was estimated for the higher number of attendees, not the lower number as stated in the monitoring report (Table 1). Are these estimates and calculations correct?

      In other words, the volume of wastewater generated is greater, compared to the number of attendees, which is lower in 2017. Why is that?

      And as for those “attendees numbers”, no one noticed the slow decline in numbers from 2014 to 2016?

      In your reporting, you stated:

      “Earnings from Reggae were strong each of the next two years, according to the general manager and the board. Crellin said ROTR netted $249,000 in 2015 and $278,000 the following year”

      Wow, that’s amazing; according to the “Reggae on the River” October 6, 2017 monitoring report to the State Water Board, the “Daily Average” (Table 1) was 288 less in 2016 than in 2015, but they made $29,000 more in 2016 than in 2015? Maybe they should figure out how they did that…

      And my last question; in your reporting, you stated:

      “Reflecting on Reggae 2017, the Mateel and its members face an inescapable truth: It lacked support from the very community it was formed to serve. Advanced tickets for Reggae — the ones typically snatched up by out-of-town buyers — mostly met sales projections. It was the locals who were almost completely absent, prompting Crellin to ask during his presentation, “If the locals don’t come, then who are we doing it for?”

      Whoa and you believe that? Blaming something you cannot quantify? It’s kinda like the MCC can tell you how many gallons of potable water they use every year, but cannot tell you how many thousands of gallons of wastewater they leave behind for the river to ingest. Leave No Trace…

  • Garberville as well as Redway are Small towns filled with people who do a lot for community instead of complaining…Get involved to make the changes you want to see here. When was the last time time you helped your neighbor? Given a ride to someone? Stopped to help someone change their tire? Made a sandwich for someone who was hungry? Paid for someone’s coffee? Thanked the firemen and women who put their lives on the line for all of us? Smiled, said hello to a stranger? If you live here
    Let’s make our community welcoming so when the industry changes we still have a friendly community for all as well who want to stop here and visit. One person at a time is all it takes. We all need each other in this community. My favorite saying is ..
    We are not human beings having a spiritual experience here we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. Let’s all lay our egos down and pull up our sleeves and go out and volunteer at our hospitals, senior centers, neighborhoods, schools firehouses and be the change. I’m a retired senior who has never stopped volunteering.

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