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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.

Read previous coverage
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.

FYI: Contact Info for Local Anti-Racist Action Chapter 25.Apr.2010 21:46

Auntie Fa

Rose City Anti-Fascists/Portland Anti-Racist Action:

fight_them_back [at] riseup [dot] net
971-533-7832 (voicemail)
rosecityantifa.org

not a surprised 16.May.2010 20:14

David

Yeah... I've been to bearcat lodge, can't get anymore red neck... Totally rude arrogant people that think they are better than everyone else, now they're doing business with a bunch of bigots, no surprise here. Not exactly sure who would be worst to do business with.

If someone reads it on the internet, it must be true. Right? WRONG! 05.Jul.2012 14:17

Carol Chaffee

Truth is too often a casualty when newspapers publish inaccurate, inflamatory articles and anonymous re-publishers perpetuate rumor and innuendo without responsibility. Dick Cockle, the author of the piece in the Oregonian, did a hatchet job on the truth because the truth was boring. And whoever posted this article anonymously as "collaborate against hate" did not bother to check any facts or sources--he or she just perpetuated previously published junk designed to titillate, inflame and boost newspaper sales, not to illuminate.

Here is the rest of the story:
After the Aryans had been in John Day looking at property, some of the Seneca locals thought it would be fun to start and spread a rumor that we were selling out to the AN. We thought it was humorous and thought anyone who knew us would agree, so we did not even dignify the rumor by responding to it. About a week later, our realtor called us and said he had heard the rumor and had heard he was the realtor in the sale. The hillbilly rumor mill was in full swing!

We wrote a letter to our City and County government officials asking what they thought about the rumor and inviting their input, since such a transaction would have wide-ranging effects. We hoped to embarrass the perpetrators of the rumor and call attention to how absurd they were. Believe it or not, we received no reply from anyone. The County gave a copy of the letter to the John Day paper and the City gave copies of the letter to the locals who were spreading the rumor!

We called a press conference to dispel the rumors that we were selling to the Aryan Nations. At that point we could unequivocally say that we had never contacted or been contacted by the group or any representative with regard to purchasing or selling the property. We welcomed people from all over the world, of all races and backgrounds, to our lodge and disagree vehemently with the Aryan Nations and all that they stand for. We invited the Oregonian, John Day Blue Mountain Eagle and Burns Times Herald, along with a few landholders in the area. Dick Cockle from the Oregonian and a prominent landowner showed up; the two local papers did not. Dick Cockle spent the better part of the day with us and our other guest, and we explained to him that we had never had any contact with the AN and had never even considered selling to them.

Mr. Cockle toured the lodge and inquired as to our investment. We told him we had approximately $2 million in the project and he seemed dutifully impressed. As he prepared to leave and seek comments from others in the area, he asked J.W. Everitt, under the circumstances and with the treatment we were receiving from the locals, would he ever consider selling to the AN. He explained that he planned to continue his tenure in Seneca and outlive the hillbillies. Mr. Cockle then looked at Carol and asked her--and, tongue in cheek, she said, "It depends on how much they're offering." Cockle replied, "A million dollars." Carol quipped back, "I'm outta here." We all had a good laugh. It seems even the stupidist human being on the planet could get the irony and the joke, but instead the Oregonian decided they needed a sensational headline and printed the rubbish that has now been perpetuated by your website.

A short time after the Oregonian published the article, J.W. received a telephone call from a man named Paul Mullet. He said he was the leader of the AN and had heard someone was in Seneca impersonating him. J.W. explained that he couldn't speak to that rumor, since he hadn't spoken with anyone who claimed to be associated with the AN organization. Mullet discussed the Oregonian article and asked whether J.W. would consider selling to their organization. J.W. explained to him that he didn't have enough money. Mullet said he'd be surprised--his organization was quite well funded. J.W. suggested that he contact the people at the Moby Dick Hotel in Washington, the other establishment mentioned in the article, since they seemed interested in selling and we weren't. Mullet responded, "We ain't buyin' nothin' from no goddamned Jew." J.W. replied, "Nigger is a condition, not a color." Mullet responded, "Yeah, there's a lot of white niggers," and J.W. replied, "Yeah, there sure are." The conversation ended shortly after that. Had the Seneca hillbillies not started this ridiculous rumor to begin with, the Aryan Nations probably would have headed to other parts long before they did.

Seneca has always been notorious for its treatment of outsiders. They are old hill people who were brought out west in the 20s by Edward Hines to cut down trees. Mr. Hines built Seneca--the houses, the school, the churches, and all the businesses that service them. When he left in 1979, he handed the townspeople the keys to the town; they all stayed, even though there was no work, just 30 years of government subsidies and timber money that ran out in 2009. We had a different vision, and tried to explain to the people in Grant County that their future lies in cultivating the tourist industry, and in particular welcoming motorcyclists to the most pristine riding experience in the country. The locals in Seneca have decided that they would rather let their little town die a slow death than change anything. It's unfortunate; Seneca is a beautiful place.

Has anyone ever read the book, Who Moved My Cheese?