Sysco Corporation Agrees to Return Nearly $10,000 in Interest and Fees Charged to Mateel for Expenses Incurred From Unpaid ROTR Bill

Press release from the Mateel Community Center:

The Mateel Community Center Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the Sysco Corporation has agreed to return the balance of the interest and fees that the Community Center owed as part of their 2017 Reggae bill. The interest and fees come to approximately $9,222. The $30,560 bill has been paid by Garth Epling and several other lenders, so as to avoid a lien on the Mateel property and Garth’s personal property. Such a lien could have prevented the Center from acquiring a loan on the property, which is something the current board of directors is considering as part of their plan to alleviate the heavy load of debt after last year’s Reggae on the River festival.

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up at so that local community members can choose to donate toward the Sysco bill, and many have done just that. At the time of this writing, $9,152 has been donated by 58 supporters, and it has been shared on social media 220 times. It is heartwarming to note the support of the community at this time of hardship in the Mateel Community Center’s history. If you haven’t already donated, please consider doing so and please share the campaign on social media. You may also make a donation in person at the Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt account number 13597-54.

It is gratifying that Sysco realized that our local non-profit community center is deserving of a helping hand. We would like to take this opportunity to say that the trailer rental from Sysco was free of charge every year; they did not endeavor to “trick” us at any point; and they did offer a payment plan to the Mateel, but unfortunately the Community Center was in such a position that we could not afford the minimum payment. We are happy to be on the road to a resolution and anticipate that with the community’s help, we can continue to improve the future of the Mateel Community Center. We appreciate your support and feedback. We continue to believe that our Community Center is a vital part of our quality of life, and look forward to happier days ahead.



  • Thank you Sysco!

  • So does that mean the Mateel will appeal the State Attorney General’s letter/notice to suspend the MCC tax exempt status to conduct business in California?

  • So your still asking for donations to fund a failed venture? My god people never learn. Can I get my money back from last years show? The lineup was terrible. Will someone start a go fund me for the bad weed I bought there also?

    • Maggot sauce extra saucey

      First off, You buy weed?!? And your local ?, and how could you not tell it was bad before you bought it !? But yes the head liners sucked!

    • Yeah that’s up for debate. Kabaka pyrmid was lagit as well were walshy fire and yeah those were the highlites but the shitty weed situation was all on you


    • Yes he was and besides minimizing what the State Attorney General stated in the latest (Feb 2, 2018) letter. IMHO, Garth continues to mislead and misinform the public. Does the job description of MCC Board President include; damage control or spin doctor spokesperson?

      Garth needs to read the letter again; it gives the Mateel Board 30 days to file an appeal or:

      “A registrant may appeal and request a hearing if the legal or factual allegations in the notice are disputed. If you do not dispute the allegations but want additional time to cure the violations you may contact the Registry at (916) 445-2021 (Ext 6) or to discuss options for resolving this matter without a hearing.”

      Can the public get a straight and truthful answer from the Mateel Board?

      • So much hate in your heart, I guess you were never loved or ever included in anything.
        That’s how loners are made, nothing to do now but throw rocks and try to get noticed…

        • You are confusing “hate” with truth. I’m not the one who is dumping 44,000 gallons of wastewater into the surface water of the South Fork Eel River each year at Reggae and increasing E Coli levels more than 3 times during and after their so called fundraiser!

          “noticed”? I would love if someone “noticed” that fact and did something about it. Thanks for asking…

  • That is really awesome of Sysco! They didn’t have to do that.

  • I hear no bank or credit union will touch that building with a ten-foot pole let alone give them a loan

    • “no bank or credit union will touch that building with a ten-foot pole ”

      Aside from the obvious and current economic issues, why not?
      Tim Clark designed it and I assume it’s a code structure…
      Is it that you couldn’t sell the thing? No freaking Parking in a community with no functional public transit? Poised up a hill that was affectionately dubbed, “heart attack hill” 30 years ago before it was an issue for many of us?

  • I’m still willing to donate. If weed bottoms out as folks keep saying, then isn’t a venue that puts on shows & brings outside traffic in, still important to the tourism economics of the community. This then benefits the children in this area that don’t have sqwat but these programs @ The Mateel, like the plays etc, that are supported by these different concerts etc. Hum?

    • Move to the burbs

      My two year old is infatuated with life. From the birds and bees to the chickens s and goats and everything in between. I think our culture has made us generation x and millennials feel like we need something outside of our immediate physical soace to make us happy. Socializing is i.portatant for children, but I plan on nurturing the part of us and my our children that can find wonder in just being in these weird bodies and on this weird planet. Folks did it for years without technology and the children around here have way more than “squat.” I grew up in the suburbs and this place is paradise. If you can’t take your child out and help them enjoy this area and what is has then maybe go move to the city..

      • Move to the burbs

        The mateel offers nothing for homesteaders or people with small children. Gimme a break. Maybe when it started it was community oriented, but nowadays it’s a click and ego driven.

        • Thanks for your judgmental assumptious reply. GREAT example of what’s wrong with this community, the random higher than thou, attitude of late. You speak as if you know the homesteaders, who built it & what their intentions were, but your comment and action expose you as part of the problem.

          Maybe I should rephrase myself? “Besides nature kids don’t have sqwat here!” There is that better?

          That’s great you taught your child to enjoy nature as did my families & my upbringing. Unfortunately lil children, is not just what I was referring to. I more or less am speaking of the adolescents full of much energy & angst. Sure before tech, the youth got by, they would have barn dances. So my question to you is, why do u not want to fix the barn where they can socialize?

          Any place has it’s fair share of clicks & ego, just read your comment out load to yourself & see how that sounds.

          P.S. I left the burbs long ago lil one. Do you remember what it was like for the youth around here, before the Mateel was built?

          • “Do you remember what it was like for the youth around here, before the Mateel was built?”

            Yes, matter of fact I do, from 1961 to when I graduated from South Fork in 1975 and even after. It was a awesome place to grow up, there were alot of activities for youth to get involved with and take part in. Every generation likes to blame the one before…

            • I was referring to the positives, The Mateel has on tourism, in this tiny economy and the children benefit as ONE of the positive effects, excuse the word, sqwat cause it’s obviously causing some to miss the point. yes kids have trails, ocean & boogie boards, etc. great. my grammer my bad. Kids have all the trails in the world here. Many of adventures they can & will find here. happy?

              So no that we established there is plenty for kids to do, what about the local folks that benefit cause a show in town, extends their payroll hrs or the families with businesses that benefit & donate to places like The Community Corner Stone, The Healy Senior Center, The Veterans Association, Forest Defenders & Volunteer Fire Depts. All these benefit greatly from the businesses & residents doing better financially & The Mateel has an effect on that. I know kids who paid their power bill the next day after flipping queso discs outside. I know another who sold his rocks and made enough to get his prego girl out of the car they were living in. That guy is currently putting himself thru college now. I know folks who had boothes inside and paid their kids tutiotion. Another gets paid for security when they need it. He has a family to support and these gigs give him that extra cash needed thru a week.

              I didn’t think it was a big deal if it closed till I realized, I can go on and on with endless stories of one way The Mateel has benefited someone in one way or another.

              • OK, but there are two or more sides to every story; both “positives” and negatives?

                You ended up say’n:

                “The Mateel has benefited someone in one way or another.”

                “benefited” in a good way or bad way?

                Does the Mateel benefit the South Fork Eel and its community of aquatic and wildlife habitat ?

                Who benefits from the Mateel dumping and leaving over 44,000 gallons of wastewater, that leaches and percolates into the surface water of the South Fork Eel for months after everyone has gone?

                The documented fact that Reggae raises the E Coli level in the South Fork Eel more than 3 times during and after than tested before the event; is that a benefit from the Mateel?

                By benefit, you mean to sacrifice the few for the many, right?

                I guess the Mateel benefits by not having to pay and haul off their wastewater from Reggae, is that a fair analogy? Out of sight, out of mind = leave no trace?

          • Move to the burbs

            Oh your gonna oull the I’ve lived here longer card…you read too far into what I said. Read it again. Try not to be an aging baby boomer who thinks they know everything cuz you live in Humboldt and love the mateel.

          • Move to the burbs

            You must be a part of the mateel click. Good for you. No one outside of sohum cares about your mateel.

            • Nice assumptions again lil one. I’m not a direct Mateel folk but I remember seeing greatness & I can recognize good intentions unlike your thought process.

              Let me see here, your plan is to hid your child from all technology so he can be what, the next John Conner out to save us from the future, while you comment online from your cell phone? hum?

              Are you going to restrain your teen, every time his friends go to the Mateel? Your not planning on giving your child a choice in his lifestyle? Here I thought the Amish were restrictive.
              Sounds lil control freakie deakie if you tell me. And if your child rejects this Jim Jones dream of YOURS, then what? There are benefits from technology too dearie but all things should be considered in moderation. Well good luck with that parenting. Sounds like you have this all dialed in, what do I know?

              Anyways, back to the positive economic effects, for a mixed depressed community with lil options. While you were busy jumping on your handmade wood soapbox, you carved with your very own teeth, you might have not recognized the entire positive effect, a place like the Mateel, has on this tiny community.
              Not everyone is a grower here. Many families survive day to day, paycheck to paycheck. A Place for the kids was only ONE of my reasons. Many families benefit from events happening at the Mateel!

              I’m sure the families that own the gas stations care, when they fill the tanks of folks who come to the show.

              I’m sure the families that own the hotels care, when folks fill their rooms attending the shows.

              I’m sure the families that own the restaurants care, when folks slammed the day of & next, after said shows.

              I’m sure the families working all the long hours in town, appreciate the area being busy cause, that many more housekeepers will have extra hrs those days and that many more cashiers will have extra hrs those days and that many more kids & vendors are able to sell their crafts outside and so forth and so forth.

              Do I really need to explain the ripple in the pond effect dearie?

              • Po ick ur battles

                Whoa you’re condescending. The mateel shows in the kar ten years have sucked unless someone has rented the hamk

                • I’m not the one being
                  supercilious but I was mocking her non-tech superiority complex. Big difference! I have no problem with back to nature,
                  I just believe in a child’s right to choice than force or control. Jugement can go both ways with or without high tech! She proved so with her condesending comments & guessing game. What do you think that is, when she told someone to move, who she never met. If she can’t take what She dishes out, she shouldnt be in the kitchen at all.
                  Suggestion, work on your vocabulary.

              • Well “dearie”, I’m sure the wildlife habitat just loves the sights, smells and sounds of Reggae and Summer Arts, let alone the coho, chinook and steelhead that die for the taste of human bodily fluids; they should just call it Reggae in the River, because that’s where it ends up.

                And to answer your last question, yes, by all means, please do. Please explain the “ripple in the pond effect” of Reggae and the needs of the many that outweigh the needs of the few!

                • That’s why your here Ed, to make sure many benefit vs a few. From just my references, thats at least, hummm, 150 & more? So far when you add the full family #s that benefit from hrly workers residents & business families, & tmes that by size of 2 to 5family members, well that’s 300-750 possible folks directly benefiting from jobs & businesses etc.
                  Last time I checked, that’s a lot more than just a few.

                  Now I could keep going on with my examples but I wanna ask you a question. Once you close all the venues in Humboldt, how do you plan to replace those many, not just a few jobs, that will dissappear once a place like the Mateel is gone?

                  Instead of resistance, why not some suggestions towards a solution. It sounds as if you want this place to close just cause of some bad experience w a prick, once upon a time.

                  Its great you do find the nitty gritty and that you keep them on their toes Ed but closing something that benefits far more than just a few is not a positive solution for the community or the economy. While it does benefit nature 100%, it doesn’t replace the economics & these folks aren’t moving & the population #s are not dying out, so it doesn’t seem like thats 100% of an solution but a dead end.
                  I’m not putting down that you do have many valid points most the time, when it comes to the river & the park. If anything, ya inspire me to want to help find a solution. Thanks for the bone Ed!

                • Since no smile reads these.. a.) The mateel is a half millions dollars in debt. That’s not benefiting anyone b.) I am not a she, but you can call me whatever you want. I do not restrain my child from technology at all, you read that wrong. And I do know what it was like here before mateel, if you need to know. My great grandma and my grandparents lived here til they died in northern mendo, and my parents had to move when I was born because if birth defects. I spent every summer here in the early seventies and my cousins and their friends were awesome. I shard all the city tech and they shared the how to eat tech. I moved back up when I was in my twenties and have been here ever since and am now 48. [edit]

                • How come the Chamber of Commerce or Southern Humboldt Business and Visitor Bureau does not produce this positive information, i.e. Garth, at the end of last year made a statement during a Mateel Board Meeting; stating Reggae generates more than a Million dollars for the local economy each year. Where do the figures come from, are they real or just made up?

                  The majority of business owners I have read or seen support Reggae at Planning Commission or Supervisors hearing, only came from those that have private lease agreements or MOU’s with the Mateel, and a private agenda that includes an private income stream. Not business owners in Garnerville or Redway.

                  It sounds like you are talking about SoHum trickle down economics 1.0? I thought vendors at Reggae were only made up of local non-profits? What happened? KMUD was the only non-profit at Reggae last year. The Mateel is a tax exempt 501c3 public benefit and charitable organization, not a private economic engine for the business owners of SoHum.

                  If everyone is making that much profit from Reggae, why can’t they pay to haul off their wastewater from the river bar? I don’t know about you, but the thought of 4000 to 6000 people a day taking showers at Reggae, all that bodily fluid(s) and where they dump that wastewater, makes me sick. Along with a big jump in E Coli in the sufacewater (3 times) only during and after Reggae. You don’t get to have your cake and eat it to, at the expense of the river and wildlife habitat!

                • Pick, your reading a reply to burbs.

                  I never said anything bout your child.

                  Ed-I don’t think the Chamber works like that. I think while it’s meant to promote business & improvements throughout (trash, recycling, 4th July Fireworks), their not a regulator system with others private income on file. The businesses are not non-prophets, but members that pay the chamber to promote theirs & others local events, including promoting other events such as non-prophets, like the vets Xmas dinner or the rotary club scholarship fundraising etc.

                  I don’t think its trickle at all. I personally know 2 businesses that donated $20000 each. One Barely could afford to pay it but wanted to contribute. They only made back half that but were happy at least their loss was still a non-profits gain. Sooo what was the beneficial shady in that? what did they gain but maybe some store exposure from the sponsorship? Both really depend on that extra traffic every year. While you just seem determined to to line em up for the firing sqwad, I will take into account the other validating points you do make about the river. I just feel differently that’s all. I feel there is somewhere an in between vs only this way or that way. There’s gotta be something out there, one great idea or multiple good ideas, that can balance the scale again. And I thank you Ed for helping me find this path I feel has an answer. How do we have cake, & not at the expense of the river, at the same time? Anything’s possible

                • “How do we have cake, & not at the expense of the river, at the same time?”

                  LEAVE NO TRACE! Leave nothing behind, e,g, wastewater. Have ALL wastewater taken to a licensed sanitary/waste treatment facility, i.e. same as the porta-potties. Either GSD or Redway CSD. Problem solved, easy peasy…

                • Humm will look into. Thank you.

                • Thank you and while you “look into” it, remember this:

                  “Unless the shower wastewater is tested, you cannot claim it’s just “grey water”, which is the majority of wastewater discharged into the onsite Reggae leachfields (estimated 44,000 gallons per year). Do you know if any bodily fluids are being discharged into the South Fork Eel surface water from 4000 to 5000 people per day taking showers at Reggae on the River, e.g. blood, feces, urine, vomit, saliva, semen, vaginal secretions and any other fluids that originate from a human body?”

                  Keep all this in mind while you “look into” it…

                • Thank you, that is helpful.

  • The mateel is in violation of their contract with the Arthur family and have not paid for the use of the French’s camp venue last year!!
    How you hold an event and not pay any bills, including your contracts, is beyond me.
    I’d love to see them step up and pay the family that has supported them for over 30 years!

    • Didn’t Dimmick not pay? What was that show? Reggae Rising?

    • “The mateel is in violation of their contract with the Arthur family and have not paid for the use of the French’s camp venue last year!!”

      If true, how much would that be? $50K or more? If you look at the link below, page 10 (2014 Mateel Audit and Financial Report) it states the Arthur Family Trust receives “$6000.00 plus a fixed amount per ticket” per year. And for 2017, the “fixed amount per ticket” was $8.00. So if the Mateel was allowed to sell 6500 tickets, that’s a nice chunk of change ($52,000), on top of the flat fee of $6000. And does the Arthur Family Trust make $8.00 per ticket on vendor, volunteer, SOP, staff or comp tickets? Because that’s another 2000 tickets or more.

  • I heard the event last weekend was a total bust. Hardly anybody showed up. I really don’t think they have a handle on what the community wants in events. Anyone ever heard of a marketing survey?

    • Hardly anyone is in town right now. Bad timing

      • It was a hall rental not a Mateel show, does anyone pay attention anymore? Or is the rush to judgement too easy in your keyboard world?

        • As if the Mateel’s judgment on what they book was so sterling. The reputation of the Mateel is already severely damaged and very few people will know it was a hall rental. All they will see is another failed Mateel event. Not good. And whether it was a Mateel show or not, my point still holds… No one has a real clue what this community wants or will show up for.

      • Move to the burbs

        Hey which mateel.member are you?

      • Bad timing or bad management, I think the latter…

  • GREAT JOB, Community! We CAN solve this dilemma!
    Many trolls want to look backwards and only complain. But, while learning from the past, I CHOOSE TO LOOK FORWARD to the Mateel we will NEED to serve the good, caring, warm-hearted people (many of them artists of varying stripes) who will be here 10, 20 and 30 years from now!

  • I use to go to RoR, haven’t been in a long time. Most reggae music sux. Maybe they should bring back electric on the eel, or a more diverse festival.

    • It has been done. The 2nd and 3rd (or there about) RotR were ‘Rock and Reggae On The River’. I was there…..
      Not promoting this concept. Just affirming history.

    • Nothing will touch Jerry Garcia playing on the Eel. Absolute awesome times! Yes, jam bands have a following and they travel for shows. I could see Widespread Panic, David Nelson Band, String Cheese, Left Over salmon and Almost Dead doing a show here. Mateel folks, if you read this, think about a rock and roll show.

      • For real. Except those guys don’t fuck with the mateel, unless it’s privately rented for the shoe to be put on by others.

  • Now quit spending money you don’t have and pay your damn bills on time. It’s called being responsible

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