aryan nations looking to possibly buy land two hours away from PDX
News article suggests Aryan Nations is looking for land in Washington.
"SENECA -- A couple of small-town business owners have found a way to fight back against antagonists in their communities: They say they'll sell out to a white supremacist group hoping to put a national headquarters somewhere in the Northwest.
This week, the owners of the Bearcat Lodge bed and breakfast here offered to sell their place to a group that calls itself the Aryan Nations.
Earlier this month, the operators of the Moby Dick Hotel, Restaurant and Oyster Farm on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula told officials in their town that they, too, might sell to the group.
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Grant County fights hate group
A factor in both cases appears to be a desire to influence local policy makers and capitalize on the outrage that erupted in February when a representative of the neo-Nazi group showed up in John Day seeking a new headquarters. Almost 400 Grant County residents turned out to a public meeting to make sure the hate group knew it wasn't welcome.
In Washington, Fritzi Cohen , owner of the Moby Dick Hotel, and her hotel manager Keith Stavrum are upset at Pacific County and the state Department of Agriculture for spraying herbicides on shoreline grass near their 6 1/2 acres of oyster beds in Willapa Bay.
Stavrum recently told county officials: "If we are sprayed next to, we are going to sell," and the hotel could become "the new national headquarters of the Aryan Nations."
Cohen declined to discuss the Aryan Nations on Friday, but criticized the county and state for using herbicides. "There is something really radically wrong in this part of the state; they are so eager to put more and more chemicals into the bay," she said.
In Seneca, Carol L. Chaffee and J.W. Everitt, owners of Bearcat Lodge, claim the City Council blocked their proposals to put in a "green" biodiesel plant, build a row of craft shops and engage in motorcycle, four-wheeler and snowmobile sales. They'd take $1 million from the Aryan Nations to sell out and leave town, Chaffee said.
Coeur d'Alene attorney Norman Gissell , who has battled white supremacist groups for 29 years and helped win a landmark 2000 judgment that dismantled Idaho's original Aryan Nations, was stunned to hear of the offers.
"That is just shocking," he said. "I've never heard of that before. I'm 69 years old, and this is a new iteration."
Seneca is tucked into a timbered corner of Bear Valley, 25 miles south of John Day along U.S. 395 in eastern Oregon. The Grant County town consists of a store, a K-12 school with 58 students, a tavern, post office, city hall and fewer than 100 homes and about 150 residents. Sometimes referred to as "Oregon's icebox," the town is notorious as one of the state's coldest places, where the temperature plummeted to 54 below zero on Feb. 10, 1933.
Chaffee, an attorney, said the couple's reception in Seneca was chillier than the winter weather and has never thawed.
Townspeople began circulating a story soon after their arrival in 2006 that they were dealing drugs or in the federal witness protection program, both untrue, she said. The couple ignored the jibes and bought the town's biggest building, a 40-room former boarding house constructed in 1939 by the old Edward Hines Lumber Co.
They spent $2 million transforming the rundown building into a bed and breakfast for visiting motorcyclists. Everitt, a professional guitarist, vocalist and songwriter who rides 200 mph dragster motorcycles for relaxation, installed a $200,000 recording studio. The bed and breakfast has proven successful and is booked through 2012, but their relationship with the town continues to hit sour notes, they said.
"We are new cat people in an old dog town," said Everitt, a reference to the couple's love of cats -- they have four including a domesticated 30-pound bobcat named Bob.
"They treat us like we are the worst thing to happen to this town," Chaffee said of the townsfolk. "But I don't think they would be happier to have the Aryan Nations up here."
Don't be so sure, replied Seneca Mayor Andrea Officer . "I guess there are a few people who believe a sane Aryan Nations owner would be easier to deal with than the present owner of the lodge," she said.
She described Everitt as a hothead and said the couple arrived with "lots of demands" that the City Council couldn't meet. "It really boils down to, if they don't get their way, they are angry," she said.
When John Day residents were protesting earlier this year, Seneca residents tied green ribbons on gates and fence posts in solidarity to oppose the hate group, Officer said.
About that time, a rumor began circulating that Bearcat Lodge owners planned to sell to the group, the couple said. "When we heard the rumors that we were selling out to the Aryan Nations, we laughed," Chaffee said. But then, "it got us to thinking. Why wouldn't we sell?"
Gissell suspects all this may be a tempest in a teapot because the hate group is broke. "We have no indications that they have access to money," he said.
Efforts to reach the group on Friday were unsuccessful.
Grant County also probably is the last place the Aryan Nations would try to move into, Gissell said. "There is a thoroughly aroused public there," he said.
This is a little over two hours from PDX! This is not the first incidence of Neo-Nazis trying to buy land near the North West. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Territorial_Imperative and learn how neo-nazis want to make our NW a white homeland.
Help build resistance! Call 503-58-fight(4448) to get involved and learn more.
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