Notes from the Waterfront
Judge Newsom and Son Gavin's Legacy. Carpetbaggers from San Francisco and Land Flippers - An Update on Carneros Inn. 

At the conclusion of this article you will find a link to archives of four articles on Carneros Inn, a proposal brought to Napa County by retired Appeals Court Judge William Newsom and San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom. The articles are dated November 7, and 19, 2001, December 3, 2001 and March 18, 2002. These articles provide information essential to understanding the serious consequences to all of Napa County as a result of  schemes contemplated by the Newsoms' Carneros Inn, significant fraud, issue-rigging, and lies by omission.  The scandal has attracted national media attention, noted later in this article.  And things do pick up a bit, based on recent revelations of possible international intrigue.

What the Newsoms refer to as Carneros Lodge is a project that was approved only by a lower level county authority, the Napa County Planning Commission, on August 1, 2001. The commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and guidance is lent by Planning Department staff and a bewildered attorney who works for the county . The commission, it has since been learned, was duped by four county employees who are no longer county employees, and by Carneros Inn investors and its developer. As of December 2001, despite having no authority to proceed, with an appeal in process since August,  the Newsoms have created at least four additional LLCs as vehicles for various aspects of the intense resort development. 

The behavior doesn't merely suggest confidence on the part of the Newsoms -- it suggests assurance, for  despite the appeal, additional financing was received by Carneros Inn.  This is most irregular, because lenders require confirmation a project has been "signed off" with final approval prior to extending financing.  There have also been whispers that there was an agreement made in advance with at least some county officials to assure approval of the project.  These remain just whispers and cannot be verified. The names most frequently tossed out have been Congressman Mike Thompson, a personal friend of the Newsoms, and various attorneys with the pro-development Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty law firm in Napa that carried the project through the Planning Commission phase.  As reported earlier, even John DeLuca, President of The Wine Institute, has looked to Washington State as the future wine grape growing area, as the Bay Area is eyed for housing and other development.

The Dickenson firm was "off the case" when their conflicted position was revealed.  This is indeed a curious firm, its partners having held stock or maintained board positions in several local banks that were merged out, with reasons appearing in "The Press Democrat" that ranged from sham lending while one bank was operating under a Federal Cease and Desist Order and illegally owning and controlling property development companies, to laundering money for Ferdinand Marcos as revealed by "The San Francisco Chronicle."  A priceless "Napa Valley Register" article (March 6, 1996) announced local banks were laundering money for national level drug wholesalers and retailers of the illegal ilk.   Some of the firm's associates are affiliated with the curious new bank, Napa Community Bank, as is Supervisor Bill Dodd.  

Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Dodd is supposed to be hustling business for the new bank as a member of its board, while he also hopes to profit from bottled water sales to any resort that springs forth in the county.  Dodd likely has his eye on some aspect of the lucrative sector known as construction lending that would result from approval of the Carneros Inn project.  "Conflict of interest" is a term that appears to have little meaning for him.  His campaign was financed in part with funds from a Reno, NV developer, a generous contribution from a Steefel, Levitt & Weiss attorney, developer/restaurateur Nunzio Alioto, and a small contribution was even made by former U.S. Attorney Joe Russoniello, who owns properties at Silverado Resort near the Alioto crowd.

A critical element essential to the development of the new town of Carneros (which is not permitted by our County’s General Plan) is water. Another is an ability of a project to process waste generated and handle discharge on site, which was proved impossible on March 12.  By knowingly hiring an individual from North Hollywood to act as a “water expert,” the Newsoms' developer, Keith Rogal, whizzed the project by the Planning Commission  (See “Judge Newsom Speaks ... Clean Up the Blighted Carneros,” March 18, 2002).

The problem is that you cannot fool residents and farmers of the lovely Carneros Appellation, nor the majority of the Board of Supervisors. They know there isn’t enough water for even the 23 or 24 mobile homes that used to exist on the development site. And they know Carneros Inn has problems with its wells. Since Napa County’s Board of Supervisors listens to its residents, the Board made some thoughtful decisions announced at the March 26 hearing. In addition, the Board is bound by recent findings of the California Court of Appeals in Citizens for Honest Government vs. Napa County. Were they to deviate a second time following this ruling, all sorts of bells and whistles regarding public corruption would sound. Public corruption (which doesn’t require bribes to exist, rather a repeat pattern of ignoring the county‘s land use laws) can carry a sentence of up to five years in Federal prison. A Federal probe into the deviance from land use laws in the Fresno area netted 19 Federal prosecutions and a change-out of more than 300 public employees in various branches of the area’s government.

How could the County of Napa, which via its District Attorney’s clout evicted residents of the 23 affordable mobile homes based on a lack of water and inability to process waste, among other problems, find the same parcels capable of sustaining more than 220 rooms/residences for high end resort goers? And two restaurants that would over-gross the 125 seats requested, plus a pool, spa, meeting/banquet facility, retailers, and other facilities envisioned? 

While throngs of people from San Francisco, supporters of Gavin Newsom, not only caused standing room only but overflow to another conference room for closed circuit viewing of the hearing March 12, the opposite occurred March 26. Not even Judge Newsom attended the March 26 hearing. Those opposing the project immediately wondered why there were so few people seated behind Keith Rogal and his small bevy of attorneys that locals consider “elite deviants” at best, and frauds from their own research and discoveries.

When Rogal spoke, project challengers came to grudgingly understand the problem. The imperial Rogal announced he was continuing the hearing for 60 days. There was a problem with this comment. He can only ask for a continuance, rather than announce to everyone it's time to go home because he's continuing the matter. A member of the Board of Supervisors explained they would hear his request and reasons for a continuance and comments of others, then take a vote on whether or not to grant his request. Despite the legal fees caused Get a Grip on Growth, they agreed, while Ginny Simms of Get a Grip made it clear that despite calls on the preceding Friday evening, and Sunday evening, Rogal didn’t mention his intent to continue the hearing. He was trying to talk them into meeting to settle the matter, i.e., meet to agree on a plan that might scale back the number of rooms and homes included in the project. While Get a Grip has always been willing to meet, Rogal had evidently changed his mind. 

Again, there were indeed throngs of people at the March 26 hearing, but they were opponents of the project who intended to speak and provide new information to the Board about why this project should be rejected.

To recap the discussion, Keith Rogal said he needed a 60-day continuance “because he had called his water expert and other technical experts and told them not to come.” Rogal emphasized there was no one present to answer any technical questions about water that they may have. However, as we listened carefully, Rogal also said he had a conference with County Counsel (Robert Westmeyer) and they agreed to a continuance. This raised the ire of Ginny Simms who said it is  inappropriate for the developer to have private conferences with county counsel and not invite those appealing the matter.  Westmeyer shot back “there was no conference and nothing inappropriate has been done.”

On March 12 we were told there would be a closed session hearing of the Board of Supervisors to discuss Carneros Inn and new information they received.  Could it be they learned that the developer’s water expert was a fraud? (See March 18 “Judge Newsom Speaks ... Clean up the Blighted Carneros). Or could it be they learned that four people who no longer work for the county who had been involved in Montalcino Resort and other resort proposals were also involved in irregularities with Carneros Inn?  Surely, on March 12 the Board observed former Napa County Deputy Planning Director Mike Miller stumping for the resort project, sporting a "Yes on Carneros Lodge" badge, and escorting the Newsom crowd to seats! People do wonder just how long Miller has been on the developer’s payroll. Did this begin after he lost his job with the county, or while he was working for the county?

Could it be that on Monday before the Tuesday, March 26 hearing Keith Rogal got wind of the fact the opposition had discovered his water expert is a fraud, and was suddenly motivated to keep the expert and Judge Newsom away? The request to continue the hearing did sweep this problem under the table for the time being.

Rogal had appeared confident as he stated he was continuing the hearing for 60 days. However, counsel for Get a Grip, Malcom McKenzie, rose to state general opposition to the complex matter, but a willingness to work with the developer if he needed more time. He said he would not oppose a continuance. Mal further offered, however, that Ginny Simms, who then approached the podium, would present blockbuster information to the Board of Supervisors.

Simms, after a brief comment on the gyrations and games played by the developer over the weekend, stated she had a letter from a resident of the Carneros District who also happens to be a highly regarded expert and licensed hydrogeologist. This expert has consulted for municipalities throughout the state, and has been published internationally. The text of the letter stated that the last written report of Rogal’s water expert, Richard Slade, provided results from tests of the wells at the site and Rogal’s own parcel, intended to be a part of the development. Those tests, rather than showing there is adequate water as concluded by Slade, proved there was an extraordinarily slow recharge. In sum, the letter stated the area is water short. The expert furthermore pointed out these wells lie in an upland dome, and what is done at this site could negatively impact groundwater and wells to the east, west and south of the project site.

Keith Rogal took to the podium. This time he looked as white as a ghost and almost sick. Without warning, he announced that he would remove the highly controversial ag-watershed parcel from the project. Ah, the county is saved! No longer can Carneros Inn serve as a precedent to shoe-in all of those related resorts and then some under apparent Morrison & Foerster - Steefel, Levitt & Weiss clients’ plans for redevelopment of Napa County.

Rogal qualified his decision to remove the ag-watershed parcel by saying it is a personal decision, not based on any laws, findings or legal position or advice in the matter. He said he could sense that he could not get a majority of the Board of Supervisors to agree to the project if the ag-watershed parcel remained.

After making this concession, cavalier Rogal suggested that because of this ceding he expected the county to let him proceed with a modest redesign of the project over the next 60 days to develop a new entry to the resort. Mal MacKenzie reminded him that with this new information on water scarcity, they would have to consider some serious scaling back of the project. McKenzie also reminded Rogal of the problem of waste that cannot be fully handled on site.   

Rogal appeared to disregard McKenzie's comments, and appealed to the Board of Supervisors, asking them what they would like to see in order for him to get the project approved. Supervisor Mel Varrelman said it is inappropriate for Board members to comment on this. Varrelman reminded Rogal the purpose of the hearing is merely to determine whether or not to continue the hearing. He cautioned other supervisors not to respond to Rogal’s question.

True to form, despite the above, Supervisor Mark Luce blurted out “I wouldn’t change anything. I like the project just the way it is.” Lord of the Board Bill Dodd nodded in agreement. Again, Luce doesn’t mind looking as though he’s bought off. He had just heard the report of a licensed hydrogeologist who essentially said there isn’t adequate water, who further said area residents and farmers would suffer from water depletion, but he doesn't care about them.  Luce received all of his campaign contributions, save one, from nearly developed-out Contra Costa County and Kentucky.

The Board of Supervisors then announced it would hire an expert hydrogeologist at the county’s expense to look at the project and deliver a report before the next meeting. The continuance was granted, and June 4 was selected for follow-up.

We don't expect much to happen June 4, save rejection of the project on appeal.  The Use Permit approved for Carneros Inn October 2000 was based on the same erroneous conclusions about water, just as egregiously as the Use Permit subject to this appeal.  The developer and the engineer of the waste treatment facility both admitted March 12 they could not accommodate wastewater on site.  The entire matter has to be revisited under CEQA and a new Environmental Impact Report and related reports must be developed for any revised or new projects on each of the sites.  This means the matter goes back to the Planning Department, and back to basics, just like Montalcino Resort. 

One can't simply "amend" the EIR when it is discovered that the water reports on which it was based are false.  The Board has full authority to visit the first Use Permit though it is not subject to the Appeal, because of concerns for public health, safety and welfare relating both to water and wastewater discharge problems that were revealed. 

Since the March 26 hearing we have learned from a November 14 issue of “The San Francisco Chronicle” that Gavin Newsom is a strong supporter of the Bay Area as a site for Olympic Summer Games in 2012 (Click.) The article notes that San Francisco’s board of Supervisors approved the plan. But what we didn’t know until April 10 is that Napa County is included in the plan for one event and a satellite athlete’s village! (Click.). 

On March 26, 2002 the "San Francisco Chronicle" further reported:  "Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill yesterday that could put California taxpayers on the hook for $250 million if the Bay Area gets the nod to host the 2012 Olympics and unexpected losses aren't covered." (Click.) First we found Judge Newsom who has been hot to develop out Napa County on the state's Parks & Recreation Commission.  Now we find Napa is being "signed off" as an okay site for some of the proposed Olympics 2012 Summer Games, with no vote by our county's board of supervisors, and not even any knowledge of this strategic inclusion of Napa County.  Indeed, this is another area the Newsom's "Carneros Inn" which as you will see is likely just a "Four Seasons Resort" to benefit the likes of the Bonderman (Texas Pacific), Bass and a Saudi clique could have capitalized financially.
We hold by the position that Gov. Davis is unaware of Disney's and/or the Morrison & Foerster, Steefel, Levitt & Weiss, and Wine Institute plans to convert out Napa County to development and housing (while moving the grape growing up to Washington State).  Gray Davis was likely not aware of the serious negative impact this would have on area farmers, which is elaborated below.  Perhaps he isn't even aware that Napa County is included in the venue, or of the following possibility, let alone aware of these "big time democrat" firms ripping off Napa County property owners through false litigation, all serviced by court of appeals judges and a couple of locals in on the game.

This is more than a little disturbing.  Carneros Inn, had the project been approved to “over-reach” and include an ag-watershed parcel, could have benefited economically by providing the satellite athlete’s village as an expansion to their existing plan. With such over-reach afforded by inclusion of an ag-watershed parcel, they could have gobbled up surrounding ag-watershed properties and vineyards to expand the resort. Just look at the size of Silverado Resort.  Carneros Inn could easily have moved from 27 acres to hundreds upon hundreds of acres.

Keep in mind that the Newsoms have an interest in a resort at the Squaw Valley site of the Winter Olympics games of yore. Judge Newsom pointed this out very clearly, his management of Squaw Valley Inn, which he often uses as a home address. In fact, he’s the son of a Tahoe resort operator who benefited from the Olympic Winter Games. Equally problematic is the fact that Napa County’s Board of Supervisors wasn’t  aware that Napa has been included in the Olympic Summer Games 2012 plan, nor were they invited to vote on the plan. So did Gavin or those in his Carneros Inn milieu take it upon themselves as a “property owner” in Napa County to over-reach Gavin's authority in San Francisco as though he could approve Napa County as a site in the Olympics venue?

There will be problems for Napa County if in 2005 the San Francisco Bay Area is selected by the International Olympic Committee to host the games. Those games gear up in mid-September, open the last week of September, and gear down in mid-October. This happens to conflict with the harvest of our premium and ultra-premium wine grapes. The grapes must be picked after dew has dried and delivered to wineries as quickly as possible to avoid spoiling and quality degradation. Can you imagine the economic damage that could result to area farmers and vintners because of the extraordinary increase in traffic created by the games? One of few wineries that would not be negatively impacted is Domain Chandon, for it produces champagne from “low sugar” grapes that are harvested substantially in August. In typical disregard for the rest of the county and the wine industry in general, Domain Chandon has offered its property for the Olympics mountain bike event because their harvest will be behind them by the time the games begin. Stanford University property provides any number of potential courses for a mountain bike race, and that's where main events will hub.

Since this hearing there have been other insightful articles in the local press. One letter to the editor goes a step further than our “Clean up the Blighted Carneros.” (Click.). Dated April 8 by Joan Taramasso, it reveals that there wasn’t blight until Keith Rogal and the owners of the property engaged in a scheme to make their site blighted. They manufactured the “blight” argument, the blight itself, and then rallied dozens upon dozens of Gavin’s and Jed Smith’s friends to descend on the Board of Supervisors hearing March 12 to complain about it.

Resident Herb McGrew offers another perspective. (Click.). “In considering such a project, the issue of the money it is (or is not) going to generate should never be a factor. That is, in the eternal scheme of things, a corrupt idea. A project should, or should not, be developed on the basis of its essential merits: social, environmental, esthetic, etc. ... If what I heard about these nice people busing in a claque to promote their cause at the last meeting is true (and feeding them lunch?) they're a lot less nice than I've heard they are... I also hear the argument that if we don't let these nice people develop the property, we're sure to get something worse.” 

Once again, challenges lie ahead. Is there any chance the county will extend an offer to the Newsoms to buy out their development rights? Other counties, including Sonoma, have done this to protect against egregious development. And Napa County has been threatened by Rogal. He said a less desirable development might be proposed, causing yet more damage to taxpayers funding the resources of public works, the planning department, county counsel, the planning commission and the Board of Supervisors to deal with his various schemes. They do all of this in the name of “property rights” and political privilege. Yet the Newsoms acquired property while aware of zoning restrictions in place, then set about with schemes to try to circumvent laws designed to preserve Napa County from development. 

It seems to us that Judge Newsom and crew have a potential malpractice action against any attorneys who advised them on the project as it weaved through the Planning Department while disregarding the county’s codes. If nothing else, their consciences, given rusing the county with a false "expert,"  should cause them to provide information to a Federal Grand Jury about the methods and wired-in networks they used to get this far with their scheme.

They can’t include “municipal” and “agency” schemes in their plans, such as one parcel providing potable water to another parcel, or one parcel providing waste treatment facilities for two other parcels. This is not permitted in the county’s codes. One would question whether or not they would be vexatious applicants, churning the county for millions in county payroll to deal with their capers, revised plans, etc.  Obviously, they could be an "enforcement problem"  down the road were they permitted to proceed. Rogal has proven he will "refine" the terms of a Use Permit to suit his own ends.

Many residents of Carneros believe the county has a cause of action against Judge Newsom, Keith Rogal, Richard Slade, Gavin Newsom and investors in this project for fraud, nuisance, and veiled threats.

We have also discovered that Rawn Architects, hired to design “Carneros Inn," had one Christian Schaller on its staff who reveals the full name of the project:  "The Carneros Inn and Bungalows, Four Seasons Resort in Napa, CA.” (Click.)

This information is contained in former Rawn Architect employee Christian Schaller’s resume. Could Four Season Hotels or its principal investor, HRH Alwaleed bin talan bin Abdulaziz al Saud, be a Morrison & Foerster client?   Indeed, the Saudi prince, whose family is noted also owns a palatial home next door to Kenneth Lay in Houston, owns 26% of the stock of the Canadian-based Four Seasons Hotels, Inc.  The stock trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol FS, and the Prince's ownership was reported to the SEC. 

All of the above has a bit of an "eau du Kermit Roosevelt" about it, though Kermit passed away in June 2000, but not after he didn't do something in Napa County between 1976 and his passing via Buttes Gas & Oil.  Kermit was #2 in the CIA's clandestine services who brought us the Shah of Iran via his little coup in 1953, and brought the U.S. little but problems with the Middle East since. A pet name for the clandestines is "spooks." 

Kermit also nursed along Adnan Khashoggi who became even more famous, if not infamous, during Iran-Contra.  Already "the world's richest man" for the cuts he received in arms sales to Saudi Arabia (he represented Saudi Arabia in its purchases from Lockheed, Northrup and Raytheon), Adnan became rather well-known in the Bay Area.  He used to hold court in Sam's Tea Room in downtown Los Altos.  Though Turkish by heritage, Adnan's father was the Saudi prince's family physician. And Adnan was pressed into formal service by Bill Casey of the CIA in 1981, as a "contractor." (Click.)

Indeed, Four Seasons Hotels, Inc. is headquartered in Toronto where Adnan fronted in 1983 for the creation of Barrick Gold, a little spin-off of his Vancouver, B.C.-based Barrick Resources International.  His venture in Barrick Gold included Peter Munk, while Barrick Gold was another spooky company where George H. W. Bush (not only former president, but former Director of the CIA) landed as a consultant when he left the White House in early 1993.  Much like the desert that Prince Abdulaziz al Saud knows so well, the Carneros is a bit parched when it comes to potable water, only we aren't into massive infrastructure projects in this agricultural community like those of the Saudis.  If there's anything irregular here with Four Seasons, looks like the Marines may catch up to them.  Bank of America, as of February, 2001, purchased 18% of the stock of Four Seasons Hotels, Inc. 

For information on Khashoggi and the Abdulaziz al Sauds, see "The Richest Man in the World" by Ronald Kessler.  Another investor in the hotel project lives on Park Avenue in New York City next door to Adnan, that is, when Adnan is in town.  He still has homes sprinkled about the world, though his New York digs have been on the market.  Some say they are most suspicious of Adnan's conduct in the months before the September 11, 2001 attack.  Either he or his side-kick, Rami El-Batrawi, seemed to make a fortune on their holdings in GenesisIntermedia (ticker symbol GENI), leaving Native Nations Securities holding the bag for $60 million, and causing the collapse of an intermediary broker.  Like many of the "puts" (short positions) that were executed in airline, broker, and insurance securities, Alex. Brown of Deutsche's bank had some role in the GenesisIntermedia deals. Looks like Adnan was basically out of the game by August, 2001.  For information on the GenesisIntermedia class action suit, see 

We are pleased to report that our articles have generated national attention, even before this "Four Seasons Hotels, Inc." possibility arose. And this might attract international attention.  Most recent visitors to the site are the U.S. House of Representatives, Scripps News and FOX news since April 25, focusing on the December 3, 2001 article “Gavin Newsom Slipped Up ... Big Time.” Walt Disney Corp. recently visited the November 19 article, “Disney’s San Francisco to Napa Connection.” We wonder how Disney is coming along with the federal investigation probing its ownership and prospectuses.

Disney’s capo, Michael Eisner, isn’t faring well with the company’s stockholders, or investors who purchased some of its corporate notes. It’s a little illegal to issue a prospectus stating the proceeds of the notes would be used to buy a company, then use those proceeds instead to buy up stock of its own corporation -- on the QT from the Bass Brothers who kept their controlling interests in Walt Disney Corp. secret from the Securities & Exchange Commission. There's lots of ink about this in mainstream -- "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal" among others.

People have been shocked by revelations that Disney employees shredded documents in a case brought against the corporation by owners of Winnie the Pooh copyrights. Disney was fined for contempt of court in that case, which promises to be most interesting as it weaves toward trial. Still others have questions about Disney’s near-term penchant for investments in derivatives ala Enron and wonder who its trading partners were. Yet others wonder how those financial statements will look when proper accounting for derivatives is made. Just today, this quote flew through our e-mail: "Munger went further: 'To say derivative accounting
in America is in the sewer is an insult to sewage.'"

Disney’s threats of replacing Ted Koppel and Nightline with David Letterman were negated by David Letterman himself who, gentleman that he can be, declined to be involved in this type of scheme. ABC news anchor Peter Jennings, already the target of a right-wing terrorist spewing anthrax spores, has also been in the sights of parent corporation Walt Disney, playing a game of economic warfare, targeting a brilliant and well-regarded news journalist. First, it was strip his department of research staff, now it's talk about leveling out his pay.  Is Disney up to its old tricks, relying on waivered (that means fired) CIA clandestines to do a lot of lying for them to achieve the Bass Brothers and Eisner's goals, or has someone in Washington, D.C. simply "put the boys" to work?  For insight into Disney's dirty tricks, take a peek at Richard Fogelsong's "Married to the Mouse" or Daniel Hopsicker's "Barry & 'the boys'" or otherwise follow the exploits of Paul G. Helliwell, former CIA station chief, Miami.  Seems not even The Hundred Acre Wood is safe these days.

Equally frightful for a number of Napa Valley residents is Michael Eisner's side-kick of 20 years, Rich Frank, now a "former" Executive Vice President for Walt Disney Corp.,  and a reputed producer of fine wines.  He and his partner have operated somewhat lawlessly in Napa County since Frank's arrival and while he was employed by Walt Disney Corporation.  In June 2000 he brought us the spectacular Kornell wine warehouse fire that consumed or otherwise turned to vinegar some 90,000 cases of substantially "other people's wine" and champagne.  He operated the site as a public warehouse without the authority of Napa County which rejected Frank's Use Permit request for same in 1996.  They were caught bootlegging out of the site so it was suggested they solve their problem by going legit.  Sorry, wrong location for an industrial use, so the county did not permit operation of a public warehouse at the site.  Regardless of the county's decision, Frank kept up the public warehousing and more than 48 producers lost most of their 1998 vintages, while others lost priceless wine libraries.  It was later learned that Frank was importing gallons upon gallons of non-Napa wine which was being used to sustain at least four small wineries that lost their crops to phylloxera, or never had local sources.  Not surprisingly, all four of those wineries were financed by one of the local banks that was subsequently merged out.  At least one of them has a relationship with at least one Court of Appeals judge who is also close to Steefel, Levitt & Weiss.

Another area of concern is whether the Newsom crowd or their bevy of attorneys made any contributions to the “Yes on Measure K” group in Napa County, and if so, why they are interfering in Napa County’s ballot initiatives. The March 6 measure involved a General Plan amendment to re-designate land as “marine commercial” at Lake Berryessa for expansion of existing marina storage. Keith Rogal wrote a letter attempting to discredit Farm Bureau as uninformed about land use laws.  Rogal stumped for the project in Berryessa, though he isn't a county resident, nor does the Carneros Inn involve a General Plan amendment. It just occurred to us that Rogal may not be very bright, though dressed to the eye teeth and equipped with all the trappings of a well-educated elite. He is definitely in over his head in this one, the pawn of others whom he mistakenly trusted and admired, who would be prone to fix all of the blame on his youthful, narrow shoulders.

Are the Newsoms and Keith Rogal nothing more than carpetbaggers operating in Napa County? Polite carpetbaggers at that?  Were they brought here by their friend, Congressman Mike Thompson, Willie Brown's former Chief of Staff, relying on his networks in Napa?  By Willie himself, doling out patronage? By thriving mob associates who have other designs on Napa County? How about "spooks" via Morrison & Foerster?  Now there's another possibility. Gotta reward those boys in the "pay to play" game.

It is well known that the Newsoms support the Alioto milieu.  Even Hilary Newsom, Gavin's sis, was prominent at fund-raisers for Michela Alioto in her second unsuccessful run for Secretary of State. But local politics may actually be inconsequential to international politics in the Carneros Inn scheme.

The few letters that support Carneros Inn that were not crafted by Keith Rogal will likely be reviewed to determine just how long the authors have resided in the area. Among “adjoining neighbors who want the project” there may indeed be fronts.  After all, Keith Rogal himself is an adjoining neighbor, and a mere front, purchasing an ag-watershed parcel near the site in 1998 that he intended to flip to Carneros Inn for a small fortune. Now we know why he grew pale and weak when he announced he would remove the parcel from the project, while never acknowledging to the Board that he owned it.  Not only did he own it (though not occupy the property), pulling it out might send the Saudis after him ... these are Bedouins, by the way, with big and sharp sabers.

The revelations by architect Christian Schaller that Four Seasons Hotels may be involved in Carneros Inn suggests the Newsoms may be nothing more than fronts like Rogal, who intended to flip the land and project for hundreds of million of dollars to Four Seasons Hotels fbo its stockholders, which back in 2000 didn't include Bank of America. We are taking Christian Schaller literally for what he wrote ... but one never knows.  We're hard pressed to get a call through to the prince for confirmation, however.

On the local level, one of our earlier articles referred to a November 29 feature in "The St. Helena Star" that noted four county employees involved in the questionable assessment stating there is adequate water for the project are no longer employed by Napa County.  All four individuals were named, and one of them, Mike Miller, is employed by Keith Rogal while another, Myke Praul, now works for the City of St. Helena where pro-development Mayor Ken Slavens holds sway. Wonder if any of these people are controlled by spooks lingering about since Kermit's early forays.

Anything discovered from additional research will be reported soon after the June 4, 2002 hearing.

Links to Carneros Inn Articles:

Waterfront 11/7/01 CARNEROS: Heads Up for the Next Venture to Hit the Fan in Napa! It's Judge Newsom's Carneros Inn slated January 22. Click.


Waterfront 12/3/01 CARNEROS:
Gavin Newsom Slipped Up ..... Big Time! Click.

Waterfront 3/18/02 CARNEROS: Judge Newsom Speaks -- Clean Up the Blighted Carneros. Click.

Links to Napa Valley Register Articles: Click.