The Mateel Talks Money in a Letter to the Editor

Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt nor have we checked the letters for accuracy.

Mateel logoDear Community,

Your Mateel Community Center has much to report–we have been very busy over the past few months. As you know, despite our deep financial troubles, we were able to keep the tradition alive and produce the 42nd Annual Summer Arts and Music Festival. This is due to the hard work of many, the generosity of many of our business sponsors, and the patience of many of our creditors. We are proud to say that this was the first year in institutional memory that we were able to accomplish this without the income from sales of Reggae on the River tickets. We were blessed with perfect weather and the event was a big success.

Going into the show, we allocated money to address debt as well as front-end production. We did this by generating income from several streams: our generous business sponsors, who stepped up to the plate and continued to support us; advance ticket sales, for which we were able to offer a deep discount at our office for the public and Mateel members; and of course our many food and craft vendors that paid to reserve their spaces. Thank you all for your continuing participation.

When the proverbial dust settled from the fair, we netted approximately $160,000, which is an increase of about $50,000 over the year before. A big reason this was accomplished was by significantly reducing our budget and streamlining many factors to make the fair leaner and therefore more profitable. These funds were immediately allocated as it was made available to some riding debt and ongoing operational costs, short-term community loans and loaded payroll as dramatically increased staff hours were needed going into the fair.

Along the way we were able to pay some critical past debts including 100% of what was owed to the Southern Humboldt Unified School District. In fact, in this calendar year, we have paid $140,000 in critical debt and have managed to pay past state-required audits to the tune of $30,000 which kept our organization in good standing with the Registry of Charitable Trusts.

We continue to operate under the Board of Directors’ management. We have no hall manager or general manager, and our hall staff is been cut to only a few part-time employees. The struggle is real. However, the hall remains open, and we are keeping up with the many operational costs such as insurance and utilities. If you would like to rent the hall for an event please call the office at 707-923-3368.

As many of you know, we no longer have the ability to produce Reggae on the River, and it is common local knowledge that we licensed the show to High Times Productions. They deserve kudos for taking the chance and producing the show at zero cost to the Mateel. Without their investment into the show and the community, the 34th Annual Reggae on the River would not be a reality. The Mateel stands to make a sizable piece of the net profits of the show (if that exists), so please know that supporting Reggae on the River still supports the Mateel. This is a huge economic boon to the area and really shouldn’t be underestimated.
We’re excited to announce that the Mateel will be operating a general store at Reggae, selling all kinds of goods and supplies–stop by our Jah Mall and see us! We’ll be located near the entrance to North Gate. All proceeds benefit the Mateel.

We will reevaluate where we stand financially after Reggae on the River is over–make no mistake, the situation is dire. We have a finger in the dam, and have managed to persevere so far thanks to the patience and support of the community. We are focusing on income so that we can keep the Mateel property intact. The board continues to meet weekly and holds its public meeting the third Tuesday of each month at the Hall at 5:30. Please come and add your energy to keeping the community center open.

Speaking of the Hall, our Building & Grounds Committee headed by Bruce Champie keeps on a-fixin’ broken things in need of repair, and that’s the kind of spirit that is sorely appreciated. We would like to remind people that giving can be very rewarding. If you would like to volunteer, please call the office at the aforementioned number.

We would like to highlight an act of generosity: Just Rent It, one of our creditors, recently wrote off our entire debt with them, as did Greenway Partners. A thousand thank yous goes out from us to those two local businesses and their spirit of generosity.

We hope you all stay safe this summer, hold your families close, for the very nature of community is people in cooperation, and we hope to see you around under the blue skies.

Eryn Snodgrass, Anna Rogers
For the The MCC Board of Directors



  • Yay good news!!! #mateelforever!!!!!

  • Seriously sounds likes a buncha yuppies running a fledgeling business trying to pander to everyone’s ears and still take no responsibility. “The struggle is real”? Please.

    • Thanks so much to everyone keeping the Mateel alive!

    • Hey Swine, these are good people working extremely hard for little or no money to save this community center. They have been operating successfully for a very long time, and are doing well in their recovery considering their more recent challenges and mistakes. Humboldt is better when the Mateel is successful, so let’s show support instead of judgment.

      • “these are good people working extremely hard for little or no money to save this community center.”

        J, would you please explain who these people are, that you claim make “little or no money”; but yet the MCC pays out $684,343.00 in salaries, compensation and employee benefits on a yearly basis?

        And who are they saving their community center from, themselves?

        Sorry, the MCC has been out of balance for awhile now. When they start showing the same respect and empathy to the South Fork Eel River and its community center maybe we can talk. You would think that coho, chinook and steelhead have enough lethal obstacles to survive in the South Fork Eel River without Reggae on the River, but its just my opinion, right?

        • “You would think that coho, chinook and steelhead have enough lethal obstacles to survive in the South Fork Eel River without Reggae on the River, but its just my opinion, right?”

          Actually, I can’t believe you’re complaining about a festival’s effects on the river but never bother to mention the Mercer-Fraser Asphalt and Paving Materials Production SURFACE MINE that has been operating there for about 60 years…good thing other people who live in the area pay attention and got it shut down.

          You seem to be an autodidact when it comes to temporary bridge permits – now do something useful and go figure out how MF was allowed to let their reclamation plan lapse….

          • the MF property its also an open Water Board cleanup case. inactive would be more descriptive.

          • You know HARK, since I was the only person I know of opposing Mercer-Fraser’s Cooks Valley operation in Mendocino/Humboldt County (2003 thru 2012); submitting public comments, attending hearings between Mendocino and Humboldt County Planning Commission (Ukiah/Eureka), Water Control Board meetings in Santa Rose, California State Mining & Geology Board (SMGB), Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (SMARA) in Sacramento, County of Humboldt Extraction Review Team (CHERT) and lobbing to changing legislation and add more protections to the California Wild & Scenic Rivers Act; that included the Mercer-Fraser operation at Cooks Valley (among others), that finally got them shut down. Who were these “other people who live in the area pay attention and got it shut down”? Because I don’t recall any other people who lived in the area that helped do that.

            If you think my fight is only with and about Reggae on the River, you are sadly misinformed. Just ask Justin Zabel or dozens of other instream gravel extraction and or cement/asphalt batch plant operators on Rivers in Humboldt or Mendocino County about my concerns and what they have had to comply with!

            Reggae on the River may only be a drop in the bucket to you. However, I don’t consider dumping over 44,000 gallons of untreated waster water into on-site leachfields, below the floodplain and directly into the aquifer helpful or beneficial to the South Fork Eel River and its community of aquatic species when the river is at its lowest flow and most lethal temperature for salmon.

            You do know, that property is not owned by MF, right? Maybe talk to Bowman or Outraged Orangutan, LLC aka County Line Ranch. Its their private property, they leased it to MF, they can tell MF to remove all those stock piles and what ever equipment is left. Just a thought…

            By the way, that MF CV asphalt plant and leaking diesel tank is on the Humboldt County side and Zabel is in the pockets of those Supervisors. Maybe write Supervisor Fennell a letter?

            • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

              Hi Ed,

              Thanks for filling in all of this additional information. I saw that you offered in another post to cover Garberville Sanitary District since Kelley Lincoln is not covering.

              Kym, if Ed is willing to cover this, will you please consider the offer ASAP?

              That agency REQUIRES accountability, now more than ever.

              There is collusion and major conflicts of interest on-going with GSD, the board and “Local” circle of influence. I’m talking about threats made to rate payers and other actions that breach ethics and certainly border on criminality.

              I think it would be a HUGE mistake to leave GSD to their own devices from a safety and economic standpoint.

              Kym, will you please consider this if Ed is offering?? It’s one of the only ways to keep the public informed and some accountability in regards to this agency.

              • Ed has a dog in the fight. I would have to be convinced he would be neutral.

                • By “dog”; you mean by trying to make sure all human activity comply to all regulatory laws that substantially or adversely affect and degrade the South Fork Eel water quality, wildlife habitat and threatened and endangered species?

                  If yes, then I am guilty as charged!

                  Now, to convince you I can be “neutral”; I can only promise you, your readers and GSD I will report and investigate all the facts, repeat every word as stated; without bias, opinion, prejudice or interpretation. Those are my terms, take’m or leave’m, your call…

                • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

                  Everyone has a dog in this fight. Water rights and rates are a natural issue of public concern, as they should be. Water is a precious and often mismanaged resource.

                  Small town water districts require close watch because they make their own rules. We’ve got a handful of people making decisions for the entire town.

                  I say lay out some ground rules and let Ed report on GSD. The issues are complicated and he is qualified and well versed on the topics, the history, the law and the environmental ramifications.

                  They just raised late fees to $15.00 for a town where people are struggling right now. No public utility charges those sorts of fees for late payment.

                  The employees requested that the fees be raised, which is more than a little odd. Based on what I read there is no financial reason for the increase, it was just a way for the employees to compel more people to pay on time, by punishment and hardship. THAT’S NOT RIGHT!

                  The only reason I know that is because I read the agenda notes. The lack of reporting on major rate changes, policy and current issues being decided really need to be covered in a local news source, such as this. Give Ed the chance.

                • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

                  Everyone, including the board members have dogs in this fight.

                  That’s why we need a reporter on GSD activity as a matter of public safety and welfare.

                • Not to be too crass, but if you are a business owner, are you advertising here? Just like everyone else I’m struggling to make my business survive. I can’t do it without support, I can’t hire help without advertisers, and I sure as heck can’t afford expensive lawsuits if someone is so partisan they end up writing something that gets me sued.

                  I can see a lot of ways I could provide better information to my readers but they all cost either in time or in money and, in most cases both. I’m a little short on either of those.

                • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

                  Ed’s coverage of GSD is a much needed asset.

                  No, I’m not currently advertising but may if needed in the future. This isn’t a criticism of your coverage in any way. Clearly, time and money are always in short supply.

                  Please don’t get me wrong. It’s actually more of a compliment that I am concerned about the missing GSD coverage — it’s precisely BECAUSE I think this site is very well read locally and influential in the community.

                  You edit your articles before posting (I’m assuming) so I didn’t think it was likely you would run something that would get you sued.

                  Ed was offering to cover for free and I think it sounds like a great opportunity to get much needed coverage if given the chance. No GSD coverage is just a real loss for this site and the Garberville Community.

                  Without watch, GSD can and will do whatever they want with our water resources and the money collected in fees. That’s the real danger here.

                  They operate with impunity because there is no real oversight.

                  Perfect example of this was when GSD wrongfully terminated Tina Stillwell. She exposed serious issues with conduct and finances and brought these issues to the board’s attention.

                  They did nothing except terminate her illegally, with full knowledge that it was illegal. Whistleblower rights in CA are like employment 101.

                  GSD have shown themselves to be unethical in their employment practices and it’s evident in their back door dealings:

                  Shady and haphazard rate setting, disregard for the public, intimidation tactics, money-grabs, over spending, the dubious contact chamber debacle, and let me not forget —— their closed door meetings to set water rates for their pot growing competitors. How supportive of them – to sit on a board and devise ways to put other people out of business.

                  It’s part of what’s destroying this place; rot from the inside.

                  I have zero confidence in the general manager and the board to self-manage with any integrity or care for the rate payers. I hope readers can get the opportunity to see this coverage again in some form. It’s one of the most important town topics I can think of….really.

                • CBOR, while I do agree with what you said, IMHO, I respectfully disagree with:

                  “It’s one of the most important town topics I can think of….really.”

                  It’s not. I have been educating myself and others about GSD since 2007, asking questions, attended Board meetings, LAFCo meetings, County Planning meetings, made oral and written public comments, wrote letters to the editor, interviewed by KMUD etc. I saw and learned allot concerning the inner workings of GSD. However, no matter how bad it appeared, no matter how many questionable and unethical business dealings GSD made and was conducting, in all those years, I never once heard or saw any ratepayers speaking out or asking questions during Board meetings concerning their conduct. Its like they did not exist.

                  It should be “one of the most important town topics”, but in reality, for some reason, its NOT. And that’s OK, I have leaned to live with it. However, it does not stop me from asking questions and trying to keep GSD accountable and transparent when it comes to who, what, why, when and where with the South Fork Eel River!

                  Now, don’t get me wrong, maybe someday that could all change. And I do admire and support you for speaking up. IMHO, you need to start attending GSD Board meetings and ask questions. Thank you again and watch your back…

      • The mateel doesn’t do anything for the community but make money for themselves they just said, making money is their only goal right now. Gimme a freak break. A blind man could see how useless the mateel is.

  • “We would like to highlight an act of generosity: Just Rent It, one of our creditors, recently wrote off our entire debt with them, as did Greenway Partners. A thousand thank yous goes out from us to those two local businesses and their spirit of generosity.”

    You know what, that’s how it works. That’s why the MCC is a 501c3 tax exempt organization! The incentive is to donate to a 501c3 and take a deduction of that donation off their taxes, its called public support. It makes me wonder if you are just now figuring that out? That’s why its a privilege to be a 501c3 organization and gain the public’s trust with accountability and transparency.

    When will the MCC share this same “act” and or “spirit of generosity” with the South Fork Eel River and its community of wildlife habitat during Reggae on the River; and stop directly degrading the rivers water quality which is adversely affecting threatened and endangered species?

    • “… stop directly degrading the rivers water quality which is adversely affecting threatened and endangered species?”

      If your motivation was really about the health of the river there are bigger threats to focus on – low hanging fruit, as it were – like Mercer-Fraser would be a smarter priority. Why focus on preventing people from using the river 3 days a year when there is literally a surface mine operating year round there?

      • and then there the diesel release in 2009 that hasn’t been addressed at all. Diesel in riverrun, probably all washed away by now.

        • It is stupefying to watch people focus on an annual 3-day event while completely ignoring an industrial site a few thousand feet away. Hilarious, actually. If people who claim to care about the area’s environment had been working on that problem instead of harassing Mateel, imagine how much sooner it could have been shut down?

          • these people don’t care about the environment, there care about being right and right now they love scapegoating all the damage and destruction of logging on cannabis.

            • I see that a lot in the comments sections of this, and the Lost Coast Outpost’s online forum.

              The facade is easy to strip away though.

              Anyone (ahem, I’m talking to you “Ed Voice”) who goes out and researches the status of the temporary bridge permits to try and sound like an expert on the local issues and doesn’t even notice that there’s a gravel operation upstream is either willfully ignorant or on a mission with their own agenda that has nothing to do with the health of the river.

    • This might as well be a pinned post from the broken record file.

      • That’s the crazy think about technology, no more broken record file, just a digital recording, that last forever. What goes around comes around, tag your it…

      • Hey Eric, since your here, let me ask you; how come the Park Board didn’t reach out to the Redwood Run and have the event down at the Park? I mean, you got all the permits to have BIG events, right? You could have baled them out from going to Blue Lake Casino?

  • The finger plugs the hole in the dike, not the dam. But that is too weird to say?
    Best wishes

    • Don’t think it’s too weird. Reminds me of my all time favorite So Hum band name (where it was lesbian women in a group with Doug Cox): ‘Dykes With Cox’.
      Still laugh at the funny, self-aware humor!

  • Thanks for the update. Imagine a thumbs-up emoji here. We are the mighty Mateel.

  • Ed has no voice

    Quiet Ed. We all know you have it out for the mateel and ROTR. Don’t see you moaning about Northern Nights….or all the grow pollution….please…what did the Mateel do to you?…

    • “Don’t see you moaning about Northern Nights”

      I guess you didn’t read any of the “Northern Nights” posts? I think I made my point a couple times.

      “what did the Mateel do to you?…”

      Its not what they did to me, its what they are doing to the South Fork Eel River and wildlife habitat. Dumping untreated shower water from 4000 to 5000 people per day and leaving all their bodily fluid’s behind when they leave is not my idea of “Leave No Trace” or “Respect”! Take it with you when you leave…

  • groba dude trustafarian osnt

    Thanks for the perspective, Ed!

    “Out of balance” is very polite!

    “Out of control”, and “beyond the pale of honest operations” is another possible way to look at it!

    It appears that the current gang of (alleged) thieves managed to make a large amount of money disappear, and it appears that they broke more than a few laws.
    Why they have not been charged with crimes is totally beyond me.

    If the MCC survives, I hope “The Community” wises up and disposes of the current board.

    • What is your name? If you are in the community, and do care, you should come to the next board meeting (third Tuesday 5:30) and participate, otherwise your comments are irrelevant.

      • Your power Trip is irrelevent. You’re commenting to commenters on the internet and try to make a moral game of it . Good luck.

      • Thank you Sonia for your long time commitment to make your/our community a better place!!!
        You are deeply appreciated!

      • groba dude trustafarian osnt

        Very sorry, Sonia, I am busy earning an honest living. I have no time to watch clowns beat a horse they already killed, even if I had a taste for that sort of thing…

        If you want to maintain the same gang of corrupt and incompetent apparent thieves then why would you expect a different result?

        They talk and talk, but never about what they did with the cash!

        • You talk and talk, but you don’t even have a name to back you up. Why should anyone be interested in your talk? I’m not, and apparently you’re not. Good, gives you plenty of time to get back to your hard honest work.

          • Mic drop! She just killed you lol nicely done Sonia!

            • I like stars too!

              It’s typical in Sohum to react like this.

              If someone opposes you, just use the irrational attack. Very stoner, very Garberville…

              “If you don’t support it, it will close” is the local mantra. Lies, thefts and mismanagement, incompetence and corruption, all are the flavors available in Garberville and Redway. When the populace is not building greenhouses and dealing hard drugs, that is…

              You complain if someone opposes you, and you complain if someone else has an opinion. Then you invite them to “just shut up or leave”.
              It’s OK, I am used to folks like you trying to control everything.

              If you attend a few AA meetings you will learn about drug addicts who want to control everyone else!

              Look, Sonia, you can’t control me, and, if your Charitable organization didn’t look so completely crooked and shady, just like your local hospital, no one would oppose it.

              I hope you get some help for you busted charity, and also for your personality disorder. Try those AA meetings, to start.

              I suggest you all clean up your own house. No private business would operate this way! Not a profitable one…

              Heads gotta roll! Fire the board!

              And Sonia: Don’t take it all so personally! Nobody is attacking you.

  • Thank you to all the people who are dealing with the NOW, and WORKING HARD to resolve the MCC’s challenges!!!

    “….please know that supporting Reggae on the River still supports the Mateel. This is a huge economic boon to the area and really shouldn’t be underestimated.”

    – Heck. Just buy a ticket and give it to some (young?) person who can’t otherwise afford to go! Donate it to KMUD to give away. Gift one of your local community volunteers! Be creative and generous (while helping OUR Mateel)!!

  • groba dude trustafarian osnt

    See the money, spend the money, steal the money… Now, then, or later…

    What has changed?

  • If the Mateel was this open with their finances all the time, and was an open book financially, they would have a lot more community support. A good start!

  • The mateel does not have the clout is used to or thinks it does. Go to Phish or dead and co and watch thousands of people decend from across the country to see those acts. Then all about it, disect it, love it. For the mateel? Only the narrow-minded sons and daughters of back to the Landers that haven’t grown anything but pot and picked fruit their parents planted. Get a clue mateel, or maybe just get some good acts…

    • “Good acts”, as you refer to them are expen$ive!
      If you want to (Co-)Produce a show, put your money up, take the risk that it will make a profit or even to break even, then step right up!! The MCC is open to your collaborative participation.

    • Swine – I think the thing to recall is that 35 years ago there simply wasn’t an annual festival scene like there is today. ROTR helped build that- and it thrived in an environment without competition. The Festival industry has matured and now public companies are involved, there are industry publications and even a trade show. ROTR didn’t really keep pace with the changes in the industry (things like “glamping” and a real VIP experience.) The product is a little old and outdated, but that does not mean that it cannot be revived and updated. Hopefully High Times will be good stewards of this piece of our heritage.

      • None of the good festivals need glamping to be good… Anything at hornings, high Sierra, lock n, Suwanee, the list goes on and reggae is just old and tired

  • As of now the bridge is in.

    • Yes it is, and according to CDFW, they relocated over 1000 ESA yellow legged frog tadpoles/metamorphs out from under where the bridge construction site for Reggae on the River, so they had a chance of survival. Here is a photo before and after the bridge, just a couple days ago. and the 3rd photo is of two tanker truck rigs, hope its not dust control emulsion or chemical dust suppressant?

      • Before ROTR Bridge July 18, 2018:

        • After ROTR Bridge July 27, 2018:

          • Tanker Trucks at ROTR, anyone know what’s in those tanks? July 27, 2018:

            • This one is interesting, taken from the south end of ROTR, across the river on 101. Note the road on site at ROTR is darker and that was hours after using the water truck. Makes you wonder if they are using a chemical dust suppressant? Photo taken 7/27/2018, 11:30 am.

  • There is one constant in the music and movie business: THERE ARE NEVER ANY NET PROFITS. The money the Mateel got up front is almost 100% certain the only money they will see. Between a weak Reggae line up (ticket sales have been poor) and the Redwood Run happening in Blue Lake, the hit to the local SoHum economy will be massive this year and more businesses will close, guaranteed. Soon, Garberville and Redway will resemble Bridgeville sad to say.

    • groba dude trustafarian osnt

      A sad fate, but appropriate…

      Garberville and Redway may reap what they sowed, but the scoundrels are dug in deeply.

      No requiem sad enough, for a very sad place…

      • What is your name, where do you live, and why are you wishing such ill-will upon my community?
        You said you had no time for us, so please do get back to your honest living soon.

        • I like stars too!

          The story of Rumplestiltskin comes to mind.

          Calm the heck down, Sonia, before you have a stroke.

    • The bike run is not the boon to the economy that you and many think it is. I hope the local non profits have some representation in Blue Lake but as far as the local businesses go its a mixed bag. Bikers don’t have a lot of room to carry goods so retail operations gain very little from their presence. The bars, motels and cafes are the only locally owned operations that prosper. When the run was at its peak the bikes took up all the parking on Redwood Drive. It was actually a down weekend for many merchants. When the run was a Kiwanis function at French’s the local non profits and service clubs did well and raised much of there yearly budgets there. It was not the same after it moved to Piercy. Eventually it was taken private and was run as money maker for the owner. Many of the non profits were cut out of the scene. So the loss of the run is not the big deal that some think

      • Using that logic, neither is Reggae. And what is left anymore but a few bars, motels and cafes?

        You’ve been here forever, why should anyone come to SoHum and spend money? And on what? I honestly would like your opinion and viewpoint.

        • I feel the same way about Reggae. The big impact just as the bike run is the beneficial impact on the non profits. The biggest problem that impacts businesses on main street are the folks who park on Redwood Dr. and take the shuttles down to Reggae. If you can’t park you can’t shop, which is an ongoing problem regardless of festivals. I remember the year that the Jerry Garcia band played at French’s a week or two before Reggae and a number of deadheads decided to hang out til Reggae. A number of businesses were glad when it was over. Some claimed shop lifting was rampant and hired security guards the year after. Didn’t see any myself but who’s going to shop lift a rubber gorilla.

        • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

          As a native born in Redway and a business owner in Garberville, I can say that there are plenty of reasons for people to come to SoHum or stop in during their travels, HISTORICALLY. People who don’t have roots here, really don’t know anything about it.

          The towns were quaint, the residents were hardworking, educated, eclectic and very supportive of each other and the community. Murder and Mayhem was not the order of the day.



          It’s not just happening in this town – It’s the scourge of almost the entire north coast.

          It was perfectly safe as a child to go for long walks to the river, ride bikes, roller skate, watch baseball games, go to the park, window shop on main street and go blackberry hunting in the summer.

          As teens you could safely be out on back mountain roads, hang out with friends in the forest and go out to Shelter Cove and Eureka to get out of town for the day.


          • Sounds like we could use more ‘attractions’ for tourists to drop their money on…..
            It’s now finally time for the idea the late Rick Thorngate used to muse about on KMUD:
            The MARIJUANA MUSEUM!
            As the well known US home of sinsemilla cannabis, SOUTHERN HUMBOLDT HAS THE HISTORY that would draw people from all walks of life!! (Rent one of the billboards south of G’ville to promote it and you’d be packing them in!).
            Imagine! Old growers could be docents! There could be story time days! A short film could be produced (CAMP! COG! SUING THE GOVERNMENT AND WINNING! GROWING UNDER THE TREES! 215! THE PERMITTING NIGHTMARE!! Etc.). Actual artifacts would be easy to come by.
            ……And imagine what could be in the gift shop!! 😉
            The original, dreamed-about location was the old (Lewis?) Market/ where Napa is now. Now, maybe the G’ville theater could remove the side seats, make platforms off the sloping aisle and put displays there. Or maybe in the classroom area by the Redwood Playhouse. Or the old BofA location. Or the building by the golf course and freeway exit at Benbow. Even the old Waterwheel Cafe (if you tore out the kitchen). (Needs to be on the 101 corridor to be most successful).
            Just needs an entrepreneur to make it happen! (Or yet another non-profit).
            SERIOUSLY! It could work!
            We need to diversify!

            • groba dude trustafarian osnt

              WHAT a load of poop!

              Garberville destroyed itself!

              If you own a business there, what did you expect?

              Thanks, Mr Kirby for your history lesson. You seldom fail us. The moral of your story is: Drug Addicts and “Cannabis Farmers” probably shouldn’t try to operate municipalities.

              Why indeed, would anyone want to go to your filthy, horrible town? To watch you cut down the last tree? To watch the roof of the Veteran’s Center fall in? To watch the Gang of Thieves run the “Hospital-like facility”?

              Holding drug and alcohol infused “rock concerts” by what is left of the river was a very poor idea in the first place. Inviting a bunch of middle-aged alcoholic drug dilettantes to chug in and drink and get high for 3 days was an even worse plan…

              Why should anyone, then, want to support a dirty, crooked little venue there in Redway? The leaders of your charity appear to be obvious crooks, but nobody even cares!

              Garberville/Redway earned and deserve the fate awaiting them. I very much doubt that it will all die at once, but it seems unlikely to travel much farther.

              I liked the example of Dazey’s Supplies: When it was apparent what would happen, Mr Dazey sold out! Smart people know when to cut and run while maximizing their positions.

              Good luck, MCC, even though you appear to be completely screwed.

              With people like Sonia Baur to support you, the end must surely be near.

              • Don’t they have an online website in your new area that you could spread some of your views? Honestly, your rage at the area I love passionately is really hard to digest several times a day. Do you really feel you are making the world a better place by seeing the worst, exaggerating it, and mostly ignoring the loveliness?

                I know it makes it harder for me to do my job when I have to digest this hostility so often. Every once in a while you praise something and I can feel the tenseness in me release and I think “okay, this is the real person inside there” but mostly I feel clubbed by your words and sad.

                • I like stars too!

                  Garberville/Redway is a department of the universe which is beyond description in mere language. One needs to experience the reality of it all…

                  I am a critic, not a pundit.

                  I can appreciate the absurd, but, have no kind words for the manner in which certain things are operated in SoHum. And, in my opinion, some sober reflection should be applied.

                  Southern Humboldt County is a world class beautiful place! Every time I pass the border to Humboldt County I feel the grasp of life relax, my mood elevated.

                  It pains you to hear from folks with perception and faculties untainted by drugs,, but it pains me to see the state of Humboldt County, a place I intensely love.

                  I did leave, but I always return. Life runs out, and, I have things to do.

                  I do have personal reasons for criticizing, but mostly I want someone, anyone, to wake up and get some modicum of control over the craziness I encountered daily in SoHum.

                  Chaos is ordinary, but, randomness and lack of responsibility and control will never improve the place!

                  You are a reporter, a responsible party carefully covering events. I am a satirist, with a point of view.

                  I would never attack you, and my views are not aimed at you personally. I hope your sensibilities don’t travel to the level of Garberville’s…

                • When you constantly, almost unrelentingly attack something I love, of course, you are hurting me and everyone else who lives here. It is one thing to offer constructive criticism. It is another to grab handfuls of mud and sling them constantly.

                  And, it isn’t helpful. I criticize, too. But as a mother, a teacher, and an older human being, I’ve learned that raging at anyone is not the way to promote change.

                • Do you see or feel the stress of readers who are always braced for the the rain of criticism from the media? Those who don’t have a voice to say “That’s wrong” or “That’s a damaging idea” as various media lead the charge into whatever social issue they choose to cover. Some can get really obsessive and frustrated over that.

                  There are so many easily lead, disaffected, hate filled people out there looking for some target to blame. So much of the time they pick up a catchy phrase from published articles and, if it offers a congenial target for their frustration, they uncritically swallow it and spit it back out. It gets really old because they really believe that tendency is equivalent to thinking. I swear most people only read every third or fourth word and have already drawn their conclusions and stopped reading after the first few words. The caveats in any article, if the report bothers with that at all, come in the next to last paragraphs.

                  On many things, this site is more inclusive than others and the comments offer even more and different insights. I admit that I skip most of some commenters’ posts but very often I have learned a great deal from them. Even when I despair of humanity, by which I mean their ability to think, not their ability to feel, I would rather hear from them than not. But then I have the privilege of using the off button when I find it drags me too far down.

                • I am not “the media” I am just me and only responsible for me. Just like he is just him and just responsible for him. I’m telling him how he makes me feel. Why are you telling me how some group of others makes you feel? It seems as if you expect me to change them. I’m trying to do me as well as I can. That’s a big enough problem for my energy level and time. I don’t need to feel pressure to fix anyone else.

                • Sigh. Obviously spitting into the wind here. I wasn’t telling you much of anything except to let it not get to you because it has a reason far larger than this site. And of course you are at least a representative in the media. What else can this site be considered but media?

              • OK groba dude trustafarian osnt, [edit] (If you can call yourself whatever you like, I too should be able to give you what I think is an appropriate pseudonym.): I am truly sad about your unhappiness in life, but now I have tired of its toxity to our community. When you have the courage of your convictions to actually get a name and address, maybe we can have a real discussion. Otherwise I hope Kym will form a side-space for the endless destructive (to self and others) railing. Generally speaking most comments seem to devolve into various hostile rants, anyway. I do love it when someone has something helpful and informative to add (something like I just drove by the accident and I saw….and the traffic is….etc.) Maybe there is no way to make this format a useful community form. Please [edit], don’t take time from your useful honest employment to reply (because unless you would like to give me your name, I have no way to judge the validity of your exerience in my world context).

                • I agree, glad I don’t live in these guy’s world. I still am wow’d by the light on the trees down on the river on my way home. Interesting encounters lately. Tourists sniffing around the real estate market. If you’ve spent half your week doing trunks and taillights in the commute 40 acres and cabin is a sanctuary.

          • Concerned Business owner and residents
            Your absolutely right, I agree there are plenty of reasons for people to come to SoHum and stop in during their travels, however, there is a lack of eye to eye let’s work together to make it happen, including a lack of common sense and professionalism. Some of the business owners are shall we say just rude pushing their own agendas before the towns. We have the new Southern Humboldt Business & Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce dueling it out. Some people on the chamber board didn’t agree with one person’s actions, (common sense) and the chamber had a split, therefore, the Victors Bureau was created. A true diamond in the ruff. Now the head of the chamber who has a reputation of being just rude and shouldn’t own a business let alone be in the chamber is pushing her agenda to save her failing store because her attitude chased off all the customers. Remember the busload of tired Firefighters she rudely woke up and told to move there bus or she would have it towed!! They were resting waiting for her to open so they could get a few things. Lack of Professionalism with her I’m better than you attitude, most locals boycott the store. The only ice-cream shop-internet hub in town that all the children and tourist would gather was sold so the green rusher could open his restaurants that hasn’t happened after two years, only guess why. The positive side Josh and friends purchase of Hippie hill has curbed the homelessness in town and the fly population has decreased from the absents of human waste. The Credit Union and adjoining building looks awesome and we have the new Souji House restaurant. Time cleanses itself just need to chill and be cool people come and go those with weak hands fold those who get tired will leave. However, we will always have the complainers they have nothing better to do and need the attention to feel good about themselves because they have no friends HaHaHa

            • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

              Criss, thanks for your note above with all those details. Your observations are very on point. Ben Round, those ideas are great and they should be developed. The history and the characters involved are a fascinating piece of the town’s history.

              Tiny towns need tourism as part of the economy to survive. Garberville, Redway and the Cove need to recognize this and act accordingly to clean things up and offer people acceptable accommodation and pleasant customer service.

              In our time, our business played host to people who came from all over the world to see Redwood country and offered a nice place to stop in for people off the 101. Many of these people stopped back in year after year. The slower pace, the beauty and the small town pleasantry can be brought back, it just takes initiative.

              On that note, the mass of transients have to go — There’s really no way around it. We always had a few people who were on the streets but they did their thing and were part of the community — Not just hapless drifters and druggies from far and wide. I can’t stress this point enough — clear the streets and the camps off the highway.

            • I agree 100%. However, only if you have the water for development. AND, Garberville does not! Sure Garberville could pump all the water it wants from the South Fork Eel, however they cannot. By law, they can only divert 10% of the flow or CFS (cubic feet per second). And that is in short supply. Why? Because humans are not the only species that need water. Let me remind you, their are some species that live in water. They need abundant clean water to survive.

              Now, if the facts were known, and in most cases they are not, the Garberville Sanitary District (GSD) is having a very hard time keeping up with water demand and keeping water in the river and in their ratepayers pipes. Something kicked around at the last GSD meeting, was, everyone needs to have 90 days worth of water storage and also said, in the same breath, but we don’t want tell that to the public.

              So for all this new development that is being served water from GSD in the last 7 years; including these 75 new “residential Ag parcels”, new commercial development and cannibals Ag water ordnance that is being planned, you need to make a choice if you want water for even more new future development:

              1. Do you want water to come out of the fire hydrant.
              2. Do you want water flowing on the surface of the river all year.

              Because with what is being planned, in private, for new development in Garberville by GSD, you don’t get both and you may not get either!

              At the last GSD Board meeting (July 24, 2018), Board Vice Chair Doug Bryan made this statement, while talking about GSD’s responsability:

              “Since we are the city services support center for this whole Southern Humboldt and Northern Mendocino region, business are encouraged to develop.”

              I don’t know about you, but I find it very chilling, that a Board member of GSD, that has the power to control public water and sewer services, could make such a grandiose statement, that they have complete control of a watershed and region the size of SHUSD or SHCHD; while the rest of the Board or GM did not question that statement? Wow… When in reality, GSD’s district boundary is approx 581 acres and 900 residents?

              If you didn’t know, GSD has been very active in back room meetings, trying to get a water connection with Redway Community Services District (RSCD) and connect with GSD. This connection would only be used for emergencies. If you had enough water, why is GSD making this request? I see so much going wrong with this, its not even funny…

              • Concerned Business Owner and Resident

                Thanks Ed for sharing more of these details. There definitely needs to be a balance on there needs to be over sight in the form of information readily available to the public.

                The sustainability, public and environmental health are all at stake here — That’s why I have asked Kym again in my post above to put you on the GSD beat. The issues are complex and REQUIRE a watchful eye and diligent reporting.

                I am VERY concerned about the AG water situation and the amount of power that has been given to this board with a dubious general manager to make ALL decisions in back rooms about resources as precious as water.

                Flowery messages from Ralph Emerson about all their new accomplishments don’t cut it. The current issues and policies need exposure — Right now we have Doug, Rio and Ralph, THREE PEOPLE making decisions about water issues that affect all of us, environmentally and economically. THIS IS NOT A GOOD SITUATION. GSD NEEDS TO BE COVERED IN THE LOCAL PRESS.

  • I am disinclined to attend events at the Mateel.
    Parking is an issue and walking my vintage circulatory system up that hill isn’t something I’m interested in buying a ticket to do.
    Especially when I won’t enjoy the music.
    It’s not entirely the Mateel’s fault that they book acts that don’t draw a crowd – they book what they can afford and what they imagine people will turn out for.
    Sadly – many of us have outgrown (or never gotten interested) in those styles of music. And for us older folks – that hill is daunting.
    Possibly the Mateel has become a closed system, not functioning as part of the community, just a private enterprise which they expect the community to support. Given how much of the community won’t engage with the folks running the show this is not an unreasonable supposition.

    • Not here for the music

      I don’t have a dog in this fight but there have been a string of sold out shows. The upcoming line up is some big draw action. Whether the artist are taking pity or some connected community member has some pull, the shows are going to pack the hall.
      I understand if it’s not your action, but yes, Mateel is managing to get some fantastic artists.

    • The hill is daunting ?

      Dear lord never let me be that old unfit fart. Get and stay active people!! As the saying goes it’s harder to hit a moving target !

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this letter to our community! it has been necessary and long overdue! Hopefully info like this on a regular basis can help mend the disconnect.The Mateel has been THE community center for all of Humboldt. Over the years many businesses, non-profits, community members, even our county government have utilized the Mateel- from fundraising for a fire victim to Town Hall meetings to memorials. Humans – our friends and neighbors and family- built the Mateel – folks that wanted to make a difference in our community. That’s the only motivation that’s kept the employees and Board at the Mateel. It ain’t the $$!! And as we all know, ALL humans are fallible! We hope that we can all learn from our mistakes. I am blessed to have been both a volunteer and an employee of the Community Center over the past 28+ years, and raised my daughter with a strong sense of what a real community is in part because of the Mateel-The Mateel and what it’s potential for this community is what’s at stake here, and it’s going to take the entire community’s input and involvement to save her. It shouldn’t be about ego or who is at fault any more. It needs to be about how do we ALL help fix it AND not ever let us get here again. This Board has a tremendous load and although I may not agree with all of their decisions I respect and appreciate the fact that they are truly trying to pull us out of this mess- and doing it with out getting any pay! Please Community, Step up: come to the monthly open board meetings (3rd Tues 5:30), help with a project, plan a potluck. Let’s do something to get connected! It’s YOUR community center! Oh, & Mobius- l too have issues with that hill from time to time. I find that the stairway at the back of the parking lot has a gentle slope and the view is amazing! Maybe a suggestion at the next meeting- old timer parking!😉

  • Liberal whiny fucs

    Shut it down already!

  • It took a small group of COMMUNITY members 7 years to get a public restroom in town. It took half that time trying to get community support. Gradually more financial support & volunteers joined in. We celebrated their diligence yesterday. If you want to call it Pollyanna perspective, you are entitled to your opinion. But when all is said and done I will have still taught my kid “if you want to see a change, be that change,” and whatever the outcome I can say that I gave my best effort in trying to make a difference at the Mateel, in my community, & not just critique. A dear friend used to say,. “if you look hard enough, you can find a hole in everyone’s armor!” I walk my talk! That’s what everyone should be asking themselves…

    • Babette ~ How do you tell or justify to your “kids” what the Mateel and Reggae on the River has done and doing to degraded the South Fork Eel River? If you do “I walk the talk”, then please, by all means, explain the reason and how Reggae on the River benefits the South Fork Eel River and its community of threatened and endangered coho, chinook and steelhead salmon?

  • Here’s a before (7/18/2018) and after (7/27/2018) photo(s) of the bridge at Reggae on the River. Now I ask you, what benefit does it serve and provide ? And how does that benefit the South Fork Eel River and the threatened and endangered indigenous species of aquatic habitat in their community? Is it because they cannot speak or protect their home themselves, from the invasive species that approved it? I wish someone on the Mateel Board would explain and justify this to me, PLEASE!

    • And here is the after birth of the Reggae on the River bridge. “Leave No Trace”, right?

    • Ed has no voice

      U put this much time and effort into failing?…all u did is cry over approved work…go after something worthy. Earn some respect. All u do is complain about the mateel….finances…rotr. everything about it….its obvious to all it’s not about the river…did the mateel break your heart?…open up to us Ed….

      • I take it, you are on the Board, staff or membership of the MCC?

        Do you know the engineer that signed off on the bridge and installed the west end abutment in the middle of the channel and flowing stream?

        BTW; someone told me, you had posted, you were going to commemorate this years ROTR by taking an “Ed Voice” in the river? Is that true?

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