The Arcata Coop has been operating in a stable and standard manner with normal margins resulting in steadfast usefulness to the community since a new General Manager was installed, and other important personnel were changed, over one year ago.
These characters, below, are now gone. How they moved off the stage of this website story is, by now, historical anecdote, but here’s what looks like has happened since then.
Melanie Bettenhausen, former General Manager
After she was literally shown the door, Melanie Bettenhausen was hired a month, or so, later by the HSU food service up at Jolly Giant. She was let go within months, afterward. The rumor is “for cause”, ..
Additionally, the cost in likely damages of the ongoing lawsuits that she and Fiske hung around the neck of the Coop, due to ignorance and pigheadedness, respectively, are ongoing and huge. When that shoe drops, I suggest the Coop should erect a statue of Vince Blanford out in front by the sidewalk kiosk. Vince is the whistleblower who got fired by Melanie and smeared with fabricated ignominious lies by Michelle because he outed the lack of action, on the General Manger’s part, to halt the ongoing embezzlement by the embezzler who, now, sits in Federal penitentiary for embezzlement).
This does not infer that Melanie had anything to do with embezzlement. This is not intended to impugn, it is simply an accounting for previous events Melanie may have been involved in.
Michelle Sanders, Former HR Director,
After an anonymous insider tip, it was discovered that Ms. Sanders was working only 18 hours a week, according to a sturdy rumor. It has it that the new General Manager, Sean, and Board Member Roger Solar, confronted Michelle Sanders with the necessity to work a 40 hour week, when it appeared that she was maybe working 18 to 20. Not long after this, moments, or hours, later, she gave formal notice to quit. She was seen driving out of the Coop parking lot, before lunch as usual. Technically, she was not fired. The editor apologizes for this error. The author was not there, but several people were. She decided to quit of her own free will. Let there be no doubt.
Mr. Sanders would like us to set the record straight. Now we have. This site welcomes accuracy.
But time moves on…
Pretty soon thereafter, this sharp minded, entrepreneur appears to have gone directly into the top management position at a SOHUM industrial cannabis operation . This information is publicly posted on her, in this case, Michelle Sanders, LinkedIn self-generated employment information blurb. The company is not named here, so as not to impugn, neither her, nor them. We’re glad she’s got a job.
Not long after she moved into her new job, a respondent to this website has reported that Michelle Sanders fired just about everyone, including him, a week into her new position at the company, mentioned above, and listed on her LinkedIn page. He emailed us some of the intimate details, but we declined to meet him, since my purpose of saving the Coop from further damage from mismanagement, had been, hopefully, finally met, and it wouldn’t help him, in any case… However, we helped this respondent locate another job opportunity (because here he was another guy with wife and kids, and whose firing was engineered by the same Michelle Sanders, in her HR position, as she had previously done with Vince Blanford at the Coop). We remain friends through email. Do the authors believe his story, ..?..pretty much, yes…but it’s still anecdotal, and therefore heresay.
“It’ll be eaazey”… they told Mr. Fiske.
The silver lining ?
Notably, we should mention the fate of the resilient Colin Fiske. He was the previous unfortunate President upon who’s lap this entire mess landed. “It’ll be eaazey”… they told the wizard of parliamentary procedure, Mr. Fiske. And for whatever reasons he was drawn to the position, he stuck it out through all the nonsense, nothwithstanding his own disrespectful maltreatment of several elders on the Board of Directors, including his immediate Vice President, who simply quit due his petulant insolence. He got punched up well by several locals when he publicly committed wire fraud by overstating the net value of the Coop by double, and, this while soliciting for new money in the Times Standard. The newspaper had the good sense to pull the article off of their archive but Fiske, somehow, did not understand the gravity of his mistake, nor that it even was a mistake, since Melanie Bettenhausen fed him the fraudulent numbers.
It took an original song being composed about the necessary firing of Bettenhausen, written by the prevailing darling of our local liberal community, Patrick Cleary, for Fiske to get the message. I mention this with deep respect for the creative ability and the brave, almost extemporaneous, expression of guidance through music, provided by Mr. Cleary. [This could be viewed on YouTube but I am certain someone will take it off as soon as his wife reads this, prolly.]
Overall, and in the end, it is to our community’s benefit that Colin Fiske got a definable lift in his understanding of not using his superior knowledge of parliamentary mechanics to push legitimate people out of a discussion no matter what the possible gain is presented by the opportunity.
Regarding his usefulness to local politics, on balance, Fiske is actually an immense resource for the improvement of transportation by sustainable means in our area. This is his raison d’etre, and he does it well. His uncompromising assertiveness should remain in that lane. And, unlike anyone else in this lamentable three year episode, Fiske has squirted out the back end of this story as an improved community asset. No sh$t.
To add gravitas to this assessment, readers should note that, although Fiske has gotten beaten up in this blog, I have been a regular yearly donor to his Coalition for Responsible Transportation Policy and I recommend any of the viewers who clicked on articles here 20,000 times in the last couple years, to go over to his site and make a donation. CRTP. And don’t fret, someone else does his nonprofit books. Swimming ability in deep water can be taught. Having guts enough to jump in and do something cannot be taught. We need more people with guts and perseverance, not just put on a hat and wave their arms around at a rally. Colin Fiske is one of these. Everybody has baggage. Maybe he has shucked some of it.
As always, if any reader or subject in this, or any story has better information, please let us know. We will make sure it gets published. This has been an ongoing several year open input . We know, now, much more than we knew two years ago. If there are corrections that need to be made, this website is a forum, let us know. Please share your knowledge. Here. Openly. Clearly.
Big thanks to Cheri Strong, James Kloor, Roger Solar, and Juan Seventeen for doing the right thing from day one.