Home > Uncategorized > Yee-Haw case settled

Yee-Haw case settled

Dan Taranto requests a halt to litigation against Charles Garth at Tuesday's Supervisors meeting.

Dan Taranto requests a halt to litigation against Charles Garth at Tuesday's Supervisors meeting.

Humboldt County Deputy Counsel Carolyn Ruth announced at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that litigation against Charles Garth of Trinidad’s Yee-Haw Ranch has settled.

Ruth said Garth agreed to seek permits and exemptions for his property in exchange for the county dropping the lawsuit.

The news followed an articulate request for postponement of the case by Code Enforcement Task Force member Dan Taranto, who addressed Supervisors as they prepared to go into closed session Tuesday morning to discuss the matter.

Taranto said he’s been involved in problematic code enforcement issues for 35 years, and called the actions at the Trinidad Yee-Haw ranch the “worst and most abusive in the history of these kinds of problems.”

Following raids at Yee-Haw and in Southern Humboldt and the resulting outcry, Taranto said Supervisors took the “typical, historically predictable action to create another committee to look into the issues” and return with findings and recommendations.

Taranto said 2/3 of the CETF believes Supervisors should halt prosecution on the case until it completes its investigation.  He said the board failed to take into consideration the “potential inappropriateness” of prosecuting a case based on improper info gathering practices.  He noted that Supervisors rescinded by 90% the original moratorium but didn’t consider extending it to include cases based upon the information gathered on the no-notice code enforcement raids in question.

Taranto said the Yee-Haw case should be postponed if only to avoid the appearance of impropriety for prosecuting a case based on “the most egregious example of the use of the very same overzealous code enforcement methods which brought forth the public protests” that lead to formation of CETF.

Ruth announced the settlement at the beginning of the afternoon session.

  1. Jane Doe
    August 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    That is great news!

  2. longwind
    August 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I honor the Supes and their County Counsel for taking a proper look at the Yee Haw outrage, and acting accordingly. We can learn from this timing. Departing Supe John Woolley took a stab at delaying (which is to say, invalidating) the strong Code Enforcement Task Force recommendation to the Supes to suspend and reconsider this scandalous lawsuit two weeks ago. But John withdrew his motion after brief public and intra-Supe discussion, and the Task Force wasn’t interfered with.

    The public stood behind Dan Taranto in the Chambers that day, as he defended his Task Force’s call to recognize how badly county practices must change. The facts speak for themselves–but it’s only our attentive and organized public that enables the facts to speak. The Task Force is doing us proud. Yee Haw!

  3. Anonymous
    August 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Ruth-less is trolling for Chaitin’s job.

  4. thorn
    August 5, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    i have not yet talked to the folks at yee-haw to hear their reaction to this settlement. but i’m assuming that this at least removes the threat of thousands-of-dollars-per-day fines for the so-called “violations.”

    i suspect the county could have obtained the same outcome, minus all the legal wrangling and public outrage, if county staff had taken a cooperative approach to working with the property owner in the first place, rather than cooking up a no-probable-cause “inspection warrant,” andd sending in the trigger-happy drug raiders (who came up embarassingly empty-handed), no-oversight code cops and then following up with the overpaid county lawyers.

    for the amount of money the county wasted on this whole debacle, they could have provided a lot of necessary services to needy north coast residents. hopefully this fiasco will inform their approach in the future.

    at least some form of sanity seems to be prevaling in the end. we’ll see what happens next: will the county work cooperatively with the folks at yee-haw to find solutions to any real problems (if any exist) at the trinidad property. or will county staff just find new ways to hassle them for no good reason? quite a few people will be watching to see how this proceeds.

  5. Tom Sebourn
    August 5, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Televising the meetings may be having a positive effect.

  6. Anonymous
    August 5, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    How many people lived at YEE Haw?In how many buildings?

  7. longwind
    August 5, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    About 20 people, and my vague idea is that there were more than a half-dozen domiciles. No drugs were found in any search or raid. The only ‘health and safety’ violation discovered was a kitchen sink draining into a blackberry patch. This was characterized by Cox of Environmental Health at the Task Force hearings as ‘open sewage,’ though by state mandate it is graywater.

    Each John and Jane Doe living there was sued by the county for the crime of paying low rent for sub-standard housing. They were all driven from their homes, and owner Charles Garth faced ruinous daily fines that continued after the evictions. The fines have been lifted.

  8. August 5, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    “When you give government the power to give you everything you want, you also give it the power to take it all away.”
    – Barry Goldwater

  9. Anonymous
    August 5, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Hundreds of people LIVED at yee haa over the years. Charles is a nice,simple and peaceful man who is loved by all his past & present neighbors. What is still sad about this settlement is the f*%#@*g county takes no blame for its horrible actions and makes Mr Garth continue to jump through hoops. Every level of county government has slime on it over their treatment of Mr. Garth. He should be given a medal for all he’s done to help people. Ruth should be fired.

  10. kateascot
    August 5, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Yee Haw is a good example of what is going on in this county in regards to people in poverty. The powers that be are aggressively trying to wipe out poverty by persecuting the poor and punishing those who try to help them. Thorn said it right by stating that the county wasted money that could have been used to help people by trying to ruin Yee Haw. The county actually created homeless people with this action. Incredibly stupid.

  11. Anonymous
    August 6, 2008 at 9:19 am

    “Open sewage”

    What about all the homeless urinating (+2) in the streets and alleyways? What we need is more regulation to drive more homeless and more open sewage.

  12. Junky-Guy
    August 12, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Re: The Code Enforcers duties…

    Well maybe now they can go after all of us that have more that ONE CUBIC YARD of gack on board, more than two non-op cars or more than four cats and/or dogs!

  13. Junky-Guy
    August 12, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I suggest that you download the Humboldt Co. Health & Safety code PDF file — all 504 pages of it and start living by ALL the RULES!

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