This won’t be news to most of you. The press release from Mateel V.P. Garth Epling came while I was out of town. It gives some details on the deal made between the Mateel, People Productions and Tom Dimmick to end the Reggae War.

Mateel Signs Peace Accord with Dimmick, People Productions

July 17, 2008

The Mateel Community Center Board of Directors has agreed to drop its claims against Tom Dimmick and Carol Bruno’s People Productions rather than to continue to battle in the courtroom. In return, Dimmick and Bruno will pay Mateel a half million dollars. They will also dismiss all of their lawsuits against the Mateel, its staff and Board of Directors. The Mateel will retain ownership of its trademark, Reggae on the River, kicking off a new era of Reggae this coming Saturday at Benbow Lake State Park.

We feel the need to get on with our lives is important to many people in the community, and that the courtroom drama only continued to hold us all hostage to a future of fighting over a very uncertain outcome. The months of legal battling, the cost of the lawsuit to Mateel donors, and a desire to get on with our real job-running the Community Center, has led us to this difficult decision. Both sides were also motivated strongly by Judge Warren, who twisted everyone’s arms to get us to settle the case. At this point, we feel the settlement path best fulfills our fiduciary duty as the Board of Directors of the Mateel.

We are ever so grateful to the hundreds of community members who’ve supported us through this difficult struggle. It’s been amazing to watch the outpouring of people’s energy to help at the Mateel—something which will need to continue for the Mateel to thrive as a local Community Center. While we believe that the $500,000 isn’t nearly enough, it will help to re-establish a modest reserve for the Mateel, as well as help pay for long-deferred maintenance of the building. But the future of the Mateel no longer lies at the feet of a monster Reggae show—in fact, it remains in the capable hands of the people of Southern Humboldt, and the Mateel will remain strong with ongoing community support.

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