To sin by silence makes cowards out of men.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
In the summer of 1973 a partner in my ranch purchased a Coop membership that was used by our family for 44 years. It was my brother-in-law. Both my sisters, my brother and my mother used this number for decades. In 1975 and 1976 we grew cantaloupe and watermelon on contract to the Arcata Coop. Sally Grover wrote an article on this that appeared in that fall’s Coop Newsletter. I was photographed and my picture appeared in that issue.
The band I played with, called the Good Dog Band, did benefits for the Arcata Coop and Redwoods United, a local non profit that fought successfully for the decommissioning of our local nuclear electric plant. Sometimes we played these benefits in the old community center on D Street in Arcata. We had a star sax player who played with the Sons of Champlin. (The Sons opened for the Greatful Dead on every road gig for several years, for all you kids…)
My mother was the local nutcase peace activist who gave presentations on peace activism at the local high schools. She also gave nine years of service on the Board of Directors of this Arcata Coop. When she joined the board she picked up her own member number and bought thousands of B Shares. It’s called skin-in-the-game. She was memorialized in a mural painted by the Arcata High School kids across the street from the Arcata Coop on the wall of the Northcoast Environmental Center. Tim McKay, the director, was a family friend who often came out to our ranch beyond Willow Creek to watch Spring migration birds.
Our ranch owners used Member Number 117. All the dividends went to my brother-in-law, since his was the name on the ten dollar check written to puchase it. We were all good with that.
Sooo..The reason I divulge this history is twofold.
First, I have agreed to help a group of old member/producers fight to rectify the HORRID situation that the General Manager has gotten us into in honor of the years my mother spent sitting up there listening to all the BS that goes along with local Coop politics.
Secondly, these two dolts are coming after me, personally. In a desperate, shallowly thought out effort to get me out of these different board meetings, Melanie Bettenhausen and Colin Fiske, who were not even born yet when my family went to bat for the Coop, have accused me of not being a member. So I went and plunked down 25 bucks and bought a membership. But now they are attempting to rescind it. Really. They don’t want me at those meetings. At Bettenhausen ‘ s urging Fiske actually demanded, at the Board Meeting three nights ago, that I leave – while Bettenhausen called the police – because I had “raised my voice” at a previous meeting. (Full disclosure: I did raise my voice and jump up in protest when Bettenhausen and Fiske announced they were borrowing 500,000 dollars for operating capital, and hocking the Arcata store to get it.. and I’m not making this crazy sh#t up…its on tape.!)
As a person who attended a Quaker college, I left peacefully. (In another dose of full disclosure: I am also a University trained and certified Private Investigator, so I am aware of 602PC-O, which gives Fiske the “right of dominion and control” as CEO….)
In fact,Bettenhausen and Fiske are recent big city transplants from North Carolina and Florida, respectively. Apparently they pay as little attention to situational analysis of their personal legal positions as they do to their mandatory legal corporate duties. By attempting to work the local gendarmes into a distracting story of “personal physical peril” – from the guy who co-lead the 1988 Quaker World Peace Tour – is about as ridiculous as Donald Trump claiming a national emergency from immigrant hopefuls loitering at the gates to America. I’m not mad. It’s hilarious. These jokers are pathetically dumb. We can do better. Easily. Anyone with a pulse and a decent EEG. Please !