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Vera's 1972 Will

Vera's Nature Preserve Saga

HAF Revered or Reviled?

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Caveat Emptor

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HAF Breaks Ground


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Open Letter to Supporters

Aug 01 Class Action Suit


Vera's Lament

Save the Nature Preserve

Protest Humboldt Area Foundation Building Permit To Supervisors

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

Contact Us To Join The Class Action Suit

Perrott Family Album

Standing (Courtroom Rights)

Humboldt Area Foundation Board Of Governor Appointment

Who Owns The Property

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Vera Perrott Vietor created HAF to serve the community in her will in 1972. It was run as per Vera's intentions through its first 18 years (to 1992) under its first Executive Director Ellen Dusick and became a force on the North Coast, a Santa Claus like `sacred cow'. Since 1993, under the Pennekamp watch, Vera's watchdogs allege HAF has turned into a `wolf in sheep's clothing', invading principal, destroying the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve, and becoming a high overhead, high cost of giving, self serving empire building operation duping the North Coast public, especially donors. That is the thumbnail message of this memo. If you care about the local North Coast Community, nature, the rule of law, please read on.


  • Vera Perrott Vietor was the third generation of a now six generation pioneer Humboldt family, raised on the 1865's land grant Perrott family ranch near Loleta. Vera's grandfather (died 1911) gave virgin redwood timber land, Perrott Grove Humboldt Redwood State Park near Weott. Vera's aunt Laura Perrott Mahan saved what is now Rockefeller Grove State Park near Dyerville (Weott), by standing in the line of fall to stop Pacific Lumber fallers in November 1924. There are commemorative State Park plaques at both sites.

  • HAF heroine Vera on her 1972 deathbed made what was for her a `pack with the devil' (circling vulture bankers and lawyers). Vera created a trust with a San Francisco bank (then Crocker now Wells Fargo) with her money, created HAF, trust account interest (only) to go to HAF. Vera's quid pro quo, the San Francisco bank would act as trustee over Vera's 14.3 acres at Indianola, and protect it `native and unspoiled' as the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve (including Vera's architecturally significant residence) for the enjoyment of the North Coast community and posterity. See Vera's will

  • Vera's will clearly stipulated that if the `letter or spirit' of her will was ever breached, that the Trust `shall' be terminated. Grounds for breach, (1) invasion of principal, or (2) despoiling the 14.3 acre public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve both of which have transpired post 1992. On Trust funds Vera looked at the San Francisco principal as hens, the income to fund HAF as eggs. HAF was to have all the eggs, but not touch the chickens. Since 1993, Vera's Perrott watchdogs allege, HAF has destroyed (1995), and intends to further destroy the Nature Preserve (announced 1999) funded by Vera's embargoed San Francisco Trust Bank principal.

  • HAF did 'break ground' July 2001, soon to be stopped by Native Americans.

  • Starting in 1992, `good gal' Ellen Dusick was replaced at HAF by what the Perrott's allege as the sagas `fox in the hen house' villains and the skullduggery soon started. See the `Timeline Of HAF Post 1993 Chicanery', Section C below

  • HAF announced their intentions to build a 4000 square foot building and huge asphalt parking lot inside the public's Nature Preserve in June 10, 1999, to be funded 100% by Vera's invaded San Francisco trust principal. See HAF's 10 June press release Vera's niece (2) and nephew (3) Perrott `watchdogs' first questioned, then took HAF and Wells Fargo Bank to court (August 1999), when arrogantly sassed by HAF, to uphold the Perrott's three generations of philanthropy (i.e. Vera's will) and stop the planned destruction of the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve.

  • In 18 months (as of January 2001) the Perrotts have never been able to get the Court to focus on the breach of trust, have been thwarted in Humboldt and San Francisco appeal courts when all the focus was on `standing' (see Standing), or to 'kill Vera's messenger', questioning if the Perrotts had the right to argue on Vera's behalf as her `watchdogs' as she intended in her will. The results, HAF and the Bank have been `whitewashed' in Court, hiding not behind the undisclosed facts (their alleged breach of fiduciary responsibilities), but arcane procedural legalities. Vera's Perrott `watchdogs' on Vera's behalf appealed to the California Supreme Court, brief submitted 2 Jan 2001 and simultaneously to the north coast 'court of public opinion' to stop HAF's destruction. The California Supreme Court denied to review the case mid February of 2001.

  • The Perrotts allege mean spirited and cowardly post-1993 (Pennekamp era) HAF and Bank lawyers et al have prevaricated, smoke screened, and pontificated to thwart HAF's founders will (her gifts to the public). If that's not enough, they have used their unlimited fiduciary access to Vera's funds to hire `outside' lawyers to oppose Vera's clear proscriptions on invasion of principal and despoliation of the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve and architecturally significant Vietor residence, wasting what should be North Coast benefactors 'gifts' in the form of charitable grants.

  • Where does the San Francisco bank sit in all this? Vera made her deal with Crocker Bank, now Wells Fargo (WFB). The Perrotts allege WFB should never have resigned in 1994 as trustees over the 14.3 acre public's Nature Preserve (in favor of HAF), abandoning the fiduciary responsibility Vera entrusted to them. That opened the door for the ensuing alleged HAF skullduggery, invasion of principal, property despoliation, etc., grave lapses of HAF's 'self appointed' fiduciary responsibility. HAF is an 'adhoc' organization, not a Trust Bank. They are not qualified to be 'trustees', they don't seem to know what 'fiduciary responsibility' is, disregard Vera's will.

  • Vera wanted an independent trustee, with 'checks-and-balances'.

  • What do the Perrotts want? Only to get the post 1992 `impostors' off Vera's Indianola hill, to stop the alleged despoliation of the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve and architecturally significant residence, the invasion of principal, and the egregious gulling the North Coast public that post 1992 HAF is what Vera intended and what the North Coast came to expect in the Dusick years up to 1992 (initial 18 years). See section D below, Perrott Watchdogs Intent.

  • The Perrotts have had no success in the courts. Their California Supreme Court was denied review, thus failing to stop HAF from building within (destroying 10% of) the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve, unless the transgressions the Perrotts have uncovered in the last 18 months (as of January 2001) become known to the `court of public opinion' and the local community chooses not to continue to be duped and allow Vera's gifts to them to be destroyed. It is a well disguised `stealth' travesty against the North Coast community in what the Perrotts allege is a `fraudulent' HAF that has evolved since 1992. It will be a worse travesty for the community if information uncovered by the Perrotts is not passed on to the now unsuspecting community, especially past and potential future donors to HAF. Caveat Emptor, buyer beware! From Vera's point of view, post 1992 there is a fox in Vera's HAF hen house.

  • Why did the Perrotts lose in court? More for local politics and going up against the `sacred cow' HAF and misguided North Coast 'Santa Claus' public opinion in HAF's favor, vs. legal deficiencies in Vera will (drafted with bank lawyer's involvement in 1972). The Perrotts (on Vera's behalf) presented many court filings including the 412 page 9 October 1999 petition to the Court to remove the HAF trustees as having breached the letter and intent of Vera's 1972 will. This was thrown out over the technical legal issue of `standing'. I.e. HAF(WFB) were whitewashed, through a legal technicality, not because they are not guilty as alleged.

  • Vera's watchdog's activities in Humboldt did however accomplish one very significant thing. The Caterpillars, pavers and chainsaw crews that were marshaled at the site ready to `break ground' and destroy the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve in August 1999 are long gone, and the irreparable damage to the Nature Preserve has (at least temporarily) been averted. And many of the other post-1992 HAF (WFB) transgressions have come under `Vera's' scrutiny, and much alleged skullduggery has been uncovered, even if it is still cleverly concealed from the North Coast public.

  • HAF did finally break ground after 22 months - July 2001.

  • HAF had to reapply for a new two year building permit from the Humboldt Planning Commission (18 January 2001) having been forced to delay ground breaking by Vera's legal actions. The Perrotts went to the public hearing, exposed that HAF as trustee were supposed to protect not destroy the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve but were ignored. The Planning commission extended for two years the HAF building permit to `destroy' the North Coast public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve. The Perrotts appealed to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Failing that they appealed to the California Coastal Commission, but were turned down 14 June 2001..

If you care about Humboldt County, please read on for the more mundane details and factual support for the Perrott watchdogs allegations above.


1) 1972-1992. Third generation Humboldt pioneer family member Vera Perrott Vietor created the Nature Reserve, San Francisco bank Principal Trust, and HAF to benefit her beloved North Coast and its public in her 1972 will. Probate was completed and HAF came into being in 1974. The first HAF Executive Director was Ellen Dusick, formerly secretary to Vera's lawyer, Henderson, who had died by 1974 during Vera's will probate. Ellen served as Executive Director of HAF for 18 years into 1992. She knew Vera, her will, her clear nature loving intent, and Ms Dusick (and the then HAF Board Of Governors) ran HAF as Vera had intended and mandated. Early HAF (first 18 years) was a low overhead Foundation truly serving the North Coast public, while meticulously respecting the public's Nature Preserve and the `historic and architectural' importance of the Vietor residence, designed in 1941 by Internationally famous Portland Oregon architect John Yeon. The Vietor's residence was one of four of Yeon's works which were exhibited photographically at the New York Museum of Modern Art in the early 1940's alongside works of Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as being featured in many popular `home & garden' magazines of the day. Through 1992, HAF guarded the 14.3 acres and residence `native and unspoiled' as Vera had clearly and unequivocally mandated. Read Vera's will

2) 1993 to present-Conservative and `will-and-trust-document' respecting Ellen Dusick was replaced as HAF's Executive Director in 1993 by Peter Pennekamp, during whose current watch HAF has embarked on policies and activities the Perrotts allege completely disregard the `letter and spirit' (mandates) of Vera's will and its somber fiduciary responsibilities, in HAF's post 1993 announced `rethought mission' era to 'grow the foundation', (the Perrotts alleged to con donors) which equates to among other things a complete departure from Vera's intent, as the Perrotts allege:

a) first destruction of the 14.3 acre public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve in 1994 with a 'fraudulent building permit, without court or California Attorney General's knowledge or approval..

b) outlawed invasion of San Francisco Trust Principal by HAF(were to get income only) for the property 'destruction' and for day-to-day operations.

c) scrapping of the 1972 mandated method of appointing the HAF Board of Governors. Post - 1992 without court or California Attorney General's knowledge or approval.

d) 1995 despoiling of the Vietor's architecturally significant residence to shoehorn as many as 13 HAF employees into it, making a `bull pen office' of the cozy two bedroom historic and architecturally significant residence meant for two people with invade trust principal without court or California Attorney General's approval.

e) transitioning HAF to a high overhead self serving operation that skims off a significant portion of the North Coast donor's money that they and Vera intended for the benefit of the North Coast public, not for HAF's in-house empire building `overhead-bureaucracy' and other `non-fiduciary' chicanery.

f) while getting heavily involved in `business' and `for profit' sector activities not intended by Vera and suspect from the IRS standpoint for a charitable 501-c-3.

g) making a private house load to Pennekamp, illegal for a charitable foundation.

h) while intentionally duping the North Coast public in annual reports, press releases, etc. that HAF has a `less than 1% overhead' which is clearly questionable by comparison to HAF's mandatory (for 501-c-3) annual 990's to IRS.


In its first 18 years, Ellen Dusick never approached the court to `clarify or change' the Trust. Pennekamp and a new Board of Governors evolved 1993 forward. Then…..

1) 1994-HAF(WFB) went before the Court and got the Trusteeship over the 14.3 acre property (Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve) changed from the San Francisco bank trustee of principal WFB to HAF, with what the Perrotts allege as spurious and distorted arguments before the Court, with no one representing Vera's interests present. This removed all oversight of HAF over the Nature Preserve. This led to…….

2) Circa 1994 - Scrapped the seven member HAF Board of governors elected by independent institutions for HAF's in-house selected board of directors, a breach of Vera's will and trust without court or California Attorney General's knowledge or approval. The Perrotts allege this change lets HAF pack the board with those amenable to the high overhead and self serving post 1993 `rethought mission' version of HAF that makes a mockery of Vera's 1972 will in founding the public's Nature Preserve, SF Principal Trust, and HAF. See `Board of Governors-Appointment' from 1972 TRUST DECLARATION-HAF document.

3) 1995, without Court or California Attorney General's knowledge or approval (but what the Perrotts allege was a duplicitous 1994 building permit application), completely disregarding Vera's will to keep the public's Nature Preserve `native and unspoiled', HAF destroyed much of the John Yeon landscaping and public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve to the north of the Vietor residence in a `chain - sawing - and - paving - over' fiasco financed by invaded Trust principal. This to put in a parking lot and devastate the architecturally significant Vietor residence to accommodate what the Perrotts allege and knowledgeable observers see as an 'empire building' HAF's self-serving, ballooning staff living high off 'philanthropic' money. See Nature Preserve 1941 Vs Now.

4) 1996, with what the Perrotts allege as more spurious and duplicitous arguments violating Vera's will, HAF inveigled the Court to approve a `total return policy', an euphemism for bypassing or violating Vera's proscription on HAF from invading Vera's San Francisco Trust principal for day-to-day operations (they were to have access only to income). Was this more money for the North Coast public? No, more probably it was first and foremost to fund HAF's post 1993 ballooning empire building bureaucracy and overhead costs out of Vera's embargoed SF principal trust.

5) 1999 HAF petitioned the Court to build the 4000 square foot office expansion and 65 slot parking lot INSIDE the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve. This the Perrotts allege is an egregious violation of Vera's will mandating that the 14.3 acre property be husbanded `native and unspoiled', that not even a `picnic table, barbecue pit' could be installed within the 14.3 acre property. The total $1.3 million new building cost was to be funded 100% out of Vera's invaded San Francisco trust principal plus engineering legal and other 'project' costs. This is what finally brought Vera's watchdog Perrotts out of their 27 year slumber, into their current last 21 months (as of March 2001) `snarling and barking' mode on Vera and the North Coast public's behalf.

6) Why didn't HAF move offsite to expand? HAF have satellite offices in Garberville and Crescent City. Try this on for size. When HAF took over as trustees of the land from WFB in 1994, HAF then conned WFB into giving HAF access to principal funding, argued: `HAF is now responsible for the land. The land is principle. HAF must have principal money to `maintain the property'. All this without court or California Attorney General's knowledge or approval (at the time) Maintain? Like the destruction done in 1995 and the `improvement' to the property announced in 1999 (i.e. the further destruction of the public's Nature Preserve). The Perrotts allege this was an egregious and duplicitous double thwarting of Vera's will;

1) invasion of Vera's Trust Principal, and

2) use of the ill-gotten funds to destroy Vera's gift to the North Coast public, `keep it native and unspoiled', the two cardinal offenses elaborated in Vera's will that would constitute breach and revocation of the Trust. The Humboldt County Courts, the protectors of the rule of law, chose (or were pressured) to ignored Vera's will and went along with all this for `sacred cow' HAF. The court repeatedly ruled against the Perrotts when they tried to expose and stop the HAF and WFB chicanery. The Court did not rule that the transgressions did not occur, but rather avoided the messy issue by ruling that the Perrotts did not have the `standing' (Link to info on Standing) to argue on Vera's behalf in the courts. Same difference the Perrotts allege, a whitewash of HAF(WFB) skullduggery and rip off of the North Coast community.

7) Post 1993, HAF has built up a big overhead, has a resulting `high-cost-of-giving', while simultaneously duping the North Coast public donors, past donors and potential future donors with intentionally misleading references in their annual reports to a `less than 1% overhead' while HAF's annual IRS 990's clearly document that HAF's real `cost of giving' for the same year is some $0.71 to give away one dollar (link to 990's) vs. the less than a penny egregiously inferred. The Perrotts allege that HAF is currently `very agitated' with the `legal' delay in building the new building, as an impediment in the further increase in their staff, overhead, in HAF's ambitious empire building plans. Potential HAF donors might well take note, beware.



What do Vera's Perrott Watchdogs really want? HAF encourage rumors that the `greedy and materialistic' five Perrott nieces and nephews just want to destroy HAF and leave town with all Vera's (approximately $8 million) trust money for a great loss to the North Coast community. This is like the pot calling the kettle black. But in Court pleading documents in Eureka and San Francisco Vera's watchdogs are very clear in their intent. They want to restore Vera's portion of HAF to what it was (through 1992-the Dusick era), what Vera intended it to be, and keep that `authentic' version of HAF going. They want to protect and conserve the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve `native and unspoiled' as Vera clearly and unequivocally mandated. They want to restore the architecturally significant John Yeon designed residence, and apply for a National Registry Of Historic Places (or equal) listing for the public's 14.3 acre public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve and architecturally restored Vietor residence.

The Perrotts have meet with the University Of Oregon School Of Architecture (center of John Yeon's Internationally acclaimed architectural works) and Portland architect William Hawkins (a John Yeon protégé) to this end. The Perrotts want control (as an ongoing 501 c-3) of only Vera's some 20 % (in the $8 to $10 million range) of current HAF liquid assets plus the Vietor property. The post-1992 `rethought mission' version of HAF would be free to spin off and take a new 501-c-3 identity, for example the North Coast Foundation (NCF), with the bulk of the current HAF liquid assets, some 80% (or $40 million). NCF would have to move offsite and as far as the Perrotts are concerned (NCF;s now alerted `other-than-Vera' donors not withstanding), would be free to pursue their questionable activities outside Vera's mandates, but not with Vera's real property and money. This would give the North Coast a win-win, preservation of the historic Indianola site for the local public and humanity in general as Vera intended. It would give the North Coast the choice between a low overhead Foundation (Vera's resurrected pre-1993 version of HAF) vs. the new spun off `rethought mission' NCF competing for donors dollars and the opportunity to serve for the true benefit the North Coast area. The competition could only be healthy and beneficial to the North Coast community. The newly formed NCF might be less arrogant and condescending. Hopefully, they would employ honest and dedicated people who know what 'fiduciary responsibility' is.


The Perrotts (on Vera's behalf) lost their San Francisco appeal (21 November 2000), on the same narrow issue of whether the Perrotts had `standing' or the right to question HAF in Court on Vera or her will's behalf, without any court scrutiny of HAF activities breaching Vera's will wherein she created the trust and HAF. Vera held trust bankers and lawyers in low esteem, with good reason it turns out. The specific breach of Vera's will, the invasion of principal, the destruction of the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Reserve and the architecturally significant Vietor (John Yeon) residence thus have never had their day in court. Now what the Perrotts and their attorneys allege is HAF chicanery risks never becoming known to the public permitting the post 1992 HAF subterfuge to continue and expand (until Vera's principal trust is wiped out). This as a result of HAF and WFB lawyers cowardly and mean spirited but successful efforts to gloss over their machinations in changing HAF into something the Perrotts allege is almost opposite of what Vera intended, by trying to reinvent Vera and her will in court to smokescreen their now exposed (alleged) post 1992 chicanery. Vera's idea was to benefit the North Coast community, not a duplicitous, spendthrift self serving impostor, duping Humboldt County's general public. Especially those of the public that have, or will in the future, make bequeaths and donations to HAF under HAF's current (post 1992) regime, HAF's `rethought mission'. The Perrotts filed a brief for California Supreme Court review on 2 January 2001. But the Court declined to review the case in mid February, 2001. The Perrotts will not abandon Vera and the community, they fight on. They do appreciate an 'enlightened' North Coast support to save the public's LYNN VIETOR NATURE PRESERVE.


This is ultimately a travesty not for the Perrotts, but for the North Coast. If the existing situation is as the Perrotts allege, and can not be righted in the courts, it must be addressed by a more informed and knowledgeable public, in the 'court' of North Coast public opinion. The Perrotts have spent 22 months (as of July 2001, HAF broke ground) and six figures in legal costs to expose the chicanery, and save the public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve from further destruction. They can only hope that their efforts in now going public leads to the truth of HAF's alleged betrayal of Vera's intent becoming public, so that the North Coast public can become aware of what is afoot, start asking questions, and have an opportunity to make their own informed judgments on HAF activities, even participate actively in saving their public's Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve. For starters, interested North Coasters should ask for the annual IRS 990's from HAF, and compare the 990's with what the Perrotts allege is smoke screening `for public consumption' annual HAF reports as to HAF's real `cost of giving' (empire building). Prospective donors, especially those that have named HAF in their will (under what the Perrotts now allege are false pretenses) might come to reconsider that decision.