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HAF Revered or Reviled?

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HAF Breaks Ground

 

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Vera's Lament


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Invasion Of Vera's Trust Principal


Dolly Coffelt Declaration


Watchdogs Declarations


Timeline Of Humboldt Area Foundation Saga Development


Vera's Watchdog Rebuttal To Humboldt Area Foundation Public Misinformation


Bogus Attorney General's Letter


Internationally Acclaimed Architect John Yeon


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Perrott Family Album


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Post 1992 Humboldt Area Foundation ---

White Knight Or Wolf In Sheep's Clothing?

 

HAF's Founder Vera Perrott Vietor's `watchdog' Perrott heirs had HAF tied up in Court from August 1999 through the end of 2000 to the level of California Supreme Court then the first half of 2001 appealing HAF extension of their 1998 building permit, all to stop HAF from building within and destroying what HAF's Founder created in 1972 as the North Coast public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve at Indianola. The Perrotts allege that HAF as `interloper' trustees (1994) of the public's nature preserve with the complicity of Wells Fargo Bank as trustee of Trust Principal have (1995) and now intend to again (announced 1999) irreparably destroy the public's Nature Preserve with embargoed (invaded) San Francisco Trust Bank principal. HAF in fact 'broke ground' the 1st week of July 2001, despite Save the Public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve (STPLVNP) is June 2001 class action suit to stop HAF. If you are a donor to HAF, you may be interested in the huge discrepancy between HAF's widely distributed public annual reports as to their overhead vs. what is reported (cost of giving) to the IRS on annual 990's required of a non profit (501-c-3). This is a saga about something very `rotten in Denmark'. Read on:

Humboldt Area Foundation Founder, Vera Perrott Vietor, third generation pioneer Humboldt family member, created what is now the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve of her 14.3 acres at Indianola within which the headquarters of HAF is situated. Vera also created a San Francisco Bank Principal Trust (then Crocker Bank-now Wells Fargo Bank) with her liquid assets, and the now universally revered HAF (a non profit), to benefit the North Coast community, to be funded by the INCOME ONLY off the San Francisco Principal Trust Account.
Click here to see Vera's will

William Perrott (1842 – 1911)

 

This philanthropy and nature conservation was in Vera's genes. Vera's grandfather William Perrott (1842 – 1911) gave Redwood forest land, which became the Perrott Grove Humboldt Redwood State Park, near Weott. Vera's aunt Laura Perrott Mahan was a cofounder of the Humboldt County Women's Save The Redwoods League.

Laura Perrott Mahan (1867 - 1937)

 

In November 1924, Laura discovered Pacific Lumber starting to cut virgin redwoods in what is now Rockefeller Grove Humboldt Redwood State Park, north of Weott. She stood in the line of fall, stopping fallers, while dispatching her lawyer husband to Eureka to get an injunction to stop logging to save the grove for posterity. State Park bronze plaques at both sites commemorate these contributions of Vera's family's to philanthropy and nature conservation, and the conserving of Humboldt’s history and heritage.

Vera Perrott Vietor (1901 - 1972)

 

Then it was third generation Vera's turn. Despite her often-stated distrust of bankers and lawyers, nature loving and cloistered Vera entered in to what was for her a difficult 'deathbed pact with the devil’ (hovering bankers and lawyers). She willed her money to a San Francisco Trust Bank (HAF and thus the North Coast community as beneficiaries). Vera's quid pro quo was that the bank as trustee had to pledge to protect for the public 'native and unspoiled' Vera's 14.3 acres including her architecturally significant residence. The trustees were admonished to not even introduce a 'picnic table, barbecue pit...' into the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve (as it has become known by the HAF). Vera mandated that it was to be open for the enjoyment of the public.

But Vera had in mind guarding more. On the property was the Vietor's 1940's residence, designed by Portland Architect, John Yeon. It was recognized along with three other of Yeon's works by being displayed (photographically) at the New York Museum Of Modern Art in the 1940's alongside works of Frank Lloyd Wright, and featured in many 'home and garden' magazines of the day, a national and even international architectural and historical treasure.


Humboldt Area Foundation story 1974 – 1992

HAF’s First Executive Director Ellen Disck (and Board of Governor's) 1974-1992 launched and ran HAF as per Vera's mandates, scrupulously protecting the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve and the architectural integrity of the residence, even admonishing Vera's bosom friends picking blossoms for Vera's grave not to disturb the 'native and unspoiled'. In this 18 year era, HAF first achieved its 'sacred cow’ reputation on the North Coast by maintaining a bare bones, frugal, low overhead operation, so that the lion's share of income went to worthy beneficiaries as Vera intended, not to in-house HAF overhead or aggressive activities attracting other donors to the foundation’s cause.


Vera Perrott’s Watchdogs


Vera's Perrott family 'watchdog' heirs take pride in what their aunt created, and that HAF has become such an acknowledged success story for Vera's beloved North Coast, and all the good that it has done in the community. They are troubled however by recent post-1992 developments breaching their aunt's will. Read on.


The Rest of the Story


The arrival of HAF’s second Executive Director (Peter Pennekamp) in 1993 (with changing Board and manner of their selection) issued in a new era. HAF dubbed this new era the 'rethought mission' (with emphasis on 'growing the foundation').

The result has been that HAF on the 7th of December 1994 got the Court to approve Wells Fargo Bank resigning as trustee of the 14.3 acres where Vera once lived in favor of HAF. HAF were not the trustees that Vera had chosen to protect her 14.3 acres that had been set aside by Vera as the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve to be kept ‘native and unspoiled not to be despoiled by even a picnic table or barbecue pit’, including the architecturally significant John Yeon designed Vietor residence.

HAF had applied to Planning for a building permit to despoil the Public's Nature Preserve (and residence) on the 15th of February, permit issued June 1994. Thus HAF became 'land trustees' at the end of 1994 with a construction (destruction) permit in hand.

Wells Fargo Bank’s resignation as trustee led to HAF in 1995 chain sawing and paving over for parking of the heart of the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve immediately north of the residence, and despoiling the historically significant Vietor residence despite HAF's fiduciary responsibility as 'land trustees' to guard the public property to convert the Vietor residence into a warehouse like bull pen office for 13 to 15 employees, a four to five times increase from pre 1993 (the first 18 years).

This despoiling of Vera's treasured Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve gift to the public was paid for with Vera's 'invaded' Trust principal money in direct contravention to the express text of her will. Her will both protected the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve and residence while barring HAF from having access to, thus spending principal.

HAF made a request and was allowed by a court to invade principal, to 'maintain the property.' Based on what Vera stated in her will and what they remember of her, Vera's 'watchdogs' think she would view that phrase 'maintain the property' as a cruel euphemism for destroying it. See the Nature Preserve Pre/Post 1995‘smoking gun’ of the Perrotts allege the following:

HAF mismanagement and dereliction of fiduciary responsibility in destroying the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve and residence with invaded principal.

Stung by the 1995 violation of the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve and Vietor residence funded by the invasion of principal, Vera's five nieces and nephews took HAF and Wells Fargo Bank to court in August 1999 to stop HAF’s announced intentions to further destroy the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve (with further invasion of Vera's principal). The bulldozers and crews with chain saws were poised to 'break ground' in August 1999, stopped only by Vera's watchdogs legal action. See Pennekamp's letter of June 10 1999.

In Court HAF and Wells Fargo Bank have egregiously argued that as long as they didn't install a 'picnic table, or barbecue pit', HAF as Vera's 'interloper' land trustees, with a fiduciary responsibility to protect the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve could thwart their founder's heartfelt intent, and essentially destroy it, cutting several large trees, including redwoods in 1995.

The Perrotts allege that a self-serving post 1993 HAF has arrogantly indicated that they are so dedicated to their philanthropic mission that they have to destroy their founders' public Nature Preserve (with invaded principal) to succeed. Vera's Watchdog Perrotts were in legal battles for some two years to save the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve, at a cost well into six figures, while HAF has access to Vera's money to thwart her will's mandates. A class action suit was filed in June 2000 to keep HAF from breaking ground. Despite this HAF 'broke ground' the first week of July 2001 while the 'class action' suit in court was not resolved until October 2001.


Class Action Lawsuit

Vera's watchdogs on January 2, 2001 appealed Vera’s case to the California Supreme Court. The courts never allowed taking of depositions and submission of evidence, thus there has never been a 'due process' ruling that HAF has or has not complied with Vera’s will and trust. Rather, the courts have avoided that sticky issue (to save an assault of 'sacred cow’ HAF?), arguing the arcane legal technicalities of the rule against perpetuities and that the Perrotts do not have legal 'standing' to fight for their aunt Vera's Nature Preserve and protect the San Francisco Principal Trust from invasion by HAF. The California Supreme Court declined a review in mid - February, 2001. Save the Public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve (STPLVNP) filed a class action suit to stop HAF on 15 June 2001 which was denied a hearing in October 2001, HAF having previously broke ground in July 2001.

 


For more Information See Below

The above is a brief thumbnail of the post 1992 Humboldt Area Foundation Saga. For more details click on Timeline Of HAF Post 1992 Saga Development and Vera's Watchdog Rebuttal To HAF Public Misinformation and the 'Smoking-Gun' sites.