Dear North Coasters
Subject: Why Is HAF Destroying The Public's Nature Preserve At Indianola
HAF's Founder Vera Perrott Vietor created a `native and unspoiled' public Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve of her 14.3 acre property at Indianola in her will (1972). All went well for HAF's first 20 years, with Ellen Dusick as HAF's Executive Director. Post-Dusick (1992), a new HAF bunch took over, wanted to expand. No problem per se, except that they decided to start destroying the public's Nature Preserve to expand within it. First in 1995 doing extensive damage to the landscaping north of the house (cutting several redwoods), and devastating the architecturally significant Vietor residence (displayed at the New York Museum Of Modern art in 40's alongside works of Frank Lloyd Wright) to convert it into a `bull pen' office. But HAF soon outgrew that disastrous `1995 expansion' and in 1999 announced the new building within the Nature Preserve to destroy 1.4 acres or 10% of it. This brought Vera's watchdog nieces and nephews heirs out to stop the August 1999 `break ground', for the current (past 20 month) stalemate.
On her deathbed, Vera unintentionally created a potential conflict of interest between two competing activities (land use), a public Nature Preserve with foot traffic visitors as her first love, and an expanding Foundation operation, inviting heavy `non-nature preserve' auto traffic from Foundation staff and visitors to the same location. This was handled satisfactorily for the first 20 years. However post 1992 HAF took improper advantage, promoting a big increase in inappropriate `auto-human traffic' leading to destruction of Vera's gifts to the public. HAF staff increased five fold or more post 1992, and would take a quantum leap if/when the building is completed. Not Nature Preserve activities.
Vera's 1972 will is very clear. She stated two `thou shall nots': 1) HAF was NOT to have access to Trust Principal (hens) only income (eggs), and 2) Vera's Indianola property was to be husbanded `native and unspoiled' by her trustee, not even to be `despoiled by a picnic table'. Vera stated that should the `letter or spirit' of her will be breached (her `do nots'), `this Trust SHALL be terminated'. I.e. the sanctity of the public's property came first and foremost with Vera. She was clearly willing to withdraw and/or scuttle the Trust and HAF if `whoever' `destroyed the property' or `invaded principal', both of which post-Dusick HAF has done in spades since the early to mid 90's.
HAF's post-1992 `rethought mission' people wanted to expand. They started
planning. Wells Fargo as trustees (of the property) wanted no part of
destroying anything in the public's Nature Preserve, after 20 years. In
a 1994 court session (Vera or her heirs not informed or present), WFB
resigned in favor of HAF. This opened the door for HAF to claim they were
now responsible for principal (the property), and needed `liquid' principal
out of the Trust Bank to `maintain' the property. What maintenance is
there for a nature preserve? However the `maintenance' post-1992 HAF had
in mind was very expensive and administered with chain saws, bulldozers,
wrecking bars, paving machines to shoehorn HAF `expansion' inside the
Indianola property. See it from HAF founder Vera's point of view. By 1994
HAF had morphed from the `plain vanilla' grant making Santa Claus Vera
had created in 1972, into a wrongheaded version of HAF breaching Vera's
will, using invaded principal to destroy Vera's heartfelt public gifts,
the public's Nature Preserve and Vera's architecturally significant residence.
Why does HAF insist on staying onsite and destroying Vera's heartfelt gifts to the public, the preserve and her historic residence? MONEY. HAF wrong-headedly wants to stay on site so they can continue the façade of `maintaining' the property, translated as raiding Vera's outlawed Principal Trust, even if that means destroying her gift of a Nature Preserve to the North Coast public to do so. HAF egregiously claim they are only trying `to grow the Foundation', like `we're Santa Claus, we shouldn't have to live by the rules'. While HAF repeatedly claims to `honor' their founder, and to `serve' the community.
Vera's watchdogs are not after the Santa Claus edition of HAF (only noting in passing that HAF's `cost of giving' vis-à-vis IRS 990's appear to be unreasonably high-see web site www.humboldtexposed.com). Vera's watchdogs are after the `conflict-of-interest' version of HAF, the 1994 `interloper' trustee (destroyer) of the property, funded by invaded Trust principal, not the Santa Claus version of HAF (if Santa Claus just moves offsite to expand).
SOLUTION: Santa Claus HAF moves offsite to dispense their largesse; HAF as interloper (1994) land trustee disappears. This ends the current stalemate of Vera vs. her offspring, HAF as `interloper' trustee, alias `destroyer' of the public's Nature Preserve.
What can you an informed public do? Tell HAF to get real, move Santa Claus offsite and stop destroying Vera's gifts to you the public, the Nature Preserve and architecturally significant home. Visit Vera's web site: www.humboldtexposed.com to better understand this complex `can-of-worms'.
(*) Shown photographically at the New York Museum Of Modern Art alongside works of Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1940's.