Notes from the Waterfront


My, how the City folks who generally hang out in Pacific Heights and the Marina take such delight in participating in Napa’s local government. They left the waterfront to stump their cause -- Vote YES on Carneros Inn. Carload after carload of resort/town supporters, about Gavin Newsom’s age with rare exception, unloaded Tuesday, March 12 in Napa’s parking lots. This was to try to impress the county’s Board of Supervisors with their expensive attire not suited to the country, and the charm they would add to the blighted Carneros Appellation District with their luxury resort and town colony for just the right people. They sported large, politically correct, green and white stickers urging YES on Carneros. When Judge Newsom spoke he said “of course I cannot give you advice” as residents chuckled about the YES badge.

The coverage you are about to read stands in striking contrast to that of “The Napa Valley Register” that earlier endorsed the project with a few changes recommended. You can read their coverage, and then you will truly appreciate ours. Click.  The “Napa Valley Register” is not noted for sending reporters out to review records, rather to give light coverage to meetings. Online, we have unlimited ink for those interested in probing.

The locals still managed to far outnumber the resort/colony crowd by throngs. And the YES people talked on and on, but that resulted in one blunder after another. Obviously, it was intentional on the part of the developer, or the crowd wouldn’t have been invited. It’s a great way to try to confuse things, take up county resources, and create a thick transcript that costs a fortune if litigation results. But the tactic afforded significant ammunition for opponents.

The hearing required most of the day, and is continued to March 26 at 2:00 p.m. (1195 Third Street, Napa, the County’s Administration Building). The Newsom crowd was really impressed that there were perhaps six Napa residents who supported the project, one of them being the FORMER Deputy Director of Napa’s Planning Department, Mike Miller. He no longer works for the county, as revealed in the November 29, 2001 issue of “The St. Helena Star” in an article by John Speck.

Of course the resort promoters from out of town had no idea their local get-out-the-yes vote Mike Miller, had been revealed. Late in the afternoon, one of the YES yups asked to read a copy of the “Star” article. Folks watched the color drain from his face as he read of the scandal behind Carneros Inn. This YES man was extraordinarily eager to learn where he could find the office of “The St. Helena Star” (some 25 miles north) to purchase a back issue.

Carneros Inn proponents were insistent that water wasn’t a problem, after all, so stated the EIR and their expert whose findings were incorporated in the EIR. But the scheme to create that ruse on the Planning Commission was revealed, while out went four county employees.

Judge Newsom, his white hair meticulously combed, his attire just so, let us know again that he has long been associated with the Getty family, though just where or even if this connects to the project isn‘t clear. He told us all about his distinguished career, and decisions he made on the bench. Again, we heard that he upheld our protective land use initiative which had been appealed when he was active on the bench. Actually, that’s a no-brainer anyway, based on statute, the Constitution, and case law. If he had not upheld the Measure J initiative, he would have violated all of them.

Again Judge Newsom pulled the same ruse on the Board of Supervisors that won the hearts of the Planning Commission where he appeared August 1, which is another reason we are stuck with an expensive and protracted appeal. He employed the “lie by omission” technique. He said “this project is exempt from Measure J, it’s commercial zoned property that was exempt from Measure J.” Naturally, he was corrected for his oversight by a member of the Board of Supervisors. He keeps forgetting to mention that one of the parcels is zoned Ag-Watershed, not commercial, and is subject to Measure J. By General Plan Section 3.11, it can only be used for purposes accorded ag parcels by codes.

Judge Newsom’s counsel for the project had labored long and hard to say the land had never been used for agriculture. Despite the fact that Keith Rogal owns this 2-acre parcel, what do they know? Rogal has rented to others (though he takes a homeowners exemption). His sale of this property to Carneros Inn would enrich him to the detriment of investors. He has already stated that when he sells the 2-acre ag parcel, he will have one of the 24 homes they intend to build (with another 95 cottages) on an adjoining 16-acre parcel. This is despite the fact that no approval has been given to build homes, let alone cottages. There’s a big difference. Some 95 RV hookups were approved -- in those cases, people bring their own water and haul off their waste.

Supervisor Mel Varrelman made it clear that the law is not clouded on this matter. The General Plan is thorough, consistent, and there are no conflicts in the code related to this deal. When land is designated Ag, that’s it. Codes applicable to ag land kick in, and they don’t include commercial businesses. If Judge Newsom doesn’t like the decision of the board, as long as the Ag-Watershed parcel is included, he’s placed himself under Measure J restraints. You see, last summer Napa County Farm Bureau detected what had emerged as a pattern to try to break the codes, and each resort has employed the same scheme. The MoFo-Steefel-related Montalcino Resort was halted. They and the Sierra Club continue to go on record pressing the point that approval of this resort would set a dangerous precedent that would result in the building-out of Napa County.

All of the above means the project can be rejected because Carneros people will not relent after many months of encouragement to do so, in their insistence this parcel be included. We will see later that even with the removal of this parcel, there isn’t water and there is no aqueduct. If this crowd tries to get one through with their political friends, locals will be contacting Washington, D.C. for relief. This is regardless of the fact that the Pelosi family is connected to this project. If some of the current and intended investors in the Carneros Inn LLC schemes knew their names are being revealed by Judge Newsom, Gavin and crowd, we doubt they would be very pleased. A few of these Notes From The Waterfront would be enough to stir up backlash. Keep reading, and you will see why.

They won’t relent on the Ag-Watershed parcel, because the gimmick of inclusion is intended to open Napa County to complete development. As would be expected, lurking in the background at the hearing were attorneys from Morrison & Foerster and Steefel, Levitt & Weiss who have been driving the schemes with local assistance. Yet none dare show their names officially. They had the Napa law firm of Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty handling the grease through the Planning Department and Planning Commission hearings, until blowback hit them. Perhaps this local firm realized they could be called to task because they had represented the prior landowner and were in conflict of interest. That land was kicked out to the Newsom crowd by the bankruptcy court in Santa Rosa. A different San Francisco firm was selected to represent Carneros Inn at this hearing on Appeal - Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May, Professional Corporation, Patricia Curtin appearing March 12.

Each of the points made by Ms. Curtin was shot down. She used examples where roads were constructed through ag land to access resorts and wineries, and was politely told “this was all before Measure J, years ago” and “most of the roads you mentioned are county roads established years ago.” As to roads through vineyards to access wineries, wineries are ag-processors and their private roads are allowed by code. Furthermore, since Measure J there have been no exceptions at the board level. Ms. Curtin even referred to General Plan 3.11 saying it assured they could do this, and was caught by Supervisor Mel Varrelman. What she read as 3.11 wasn’t what 3.11 states. And Supervisor Varrelman read the code into the record.

What do we think is happening here? Well, the building trades unions, investors, law firms, and the boys who like to launder money into high end resorts, winery projects, land, and businesses (ref: The Napa Valley Register, March 6, 1996, p. 4A, “1995: NSIB nabs nearly $15 million in marijuana“), and like to keep politicians and judges happy, want to keep doing so. They can’t on any grand scale unless they can crack our codes. And as both John DeLuca of the Wine Institute and Attorney General Bill Lockyer said “we need this area for more houses.” On December 8, 2000, Lockyer went a step further in revealing the power machinery when he added “We’re going to launch a city the size of Chicago, my favorite city.” This is on tape, at a public meeting, right there in the Carneros.

Years ago Judge Newsom upheld our voter initiative, Measure J. It looks like he has been tapped by them to “try to fix the problem he caused ” while gaining an economic interest in the project for himself, his son (San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom) and their cronies. All Judge Newsom has to do is find a way to get this project approved, and down goes the whole county to development. Much of this goes back to many years of Willy Brown cronyism and patronage schemes, with his allegiances to Walt Disney Corporation that throws its money, weight, Chicago, Texas, Florida and Bass stench about. Who else but a rabid “stop the building at Lake Tahoe” member of the Sierra Club like Judge Newsom could front for this project, creating an illusion of propriety and authority? Asserting that the project is environmentally sound? Such an improvement to the Carneros District? At the time of his appearance August 1, Judge Newsom was a member of the state’s Parks & Recreation Commission, but even that was short-lived, diminishing his credentials.

When San Franciscans lament about vote rigging, ballot counting irregularities, hype, and also question patronage, they should know country folks sympathize entirely with Brown administration problems. He’s slopped over to Napa to offer patronage to other cronies. We already had to shoot down a huge home development project, Suscol Ridge, proposed by one of his supporters from Texas. After all, Disney executives and insiders have had revolving doors at Mayor Willy‘s, whose favorite law firm per “The San Francisco Chronicle” is Morrison & Foerster, and favorite “land use planning” law firm is Steefel, Levitt & Weiss where there are enough in your face people with Chicago interests to suit anyone. But alas, the Brown - Newsom machine has hit hard times. Click.. We just need to make sure our Board of Supervisors understands this, and our codes. The article points out that politicians and cronies have fled the Brown camp, except Nancy Pelosi, now U.S. House of Representatives Whip.

We’ve put together a couple of tidbits about some of this machinery. Here are just two examples. Let’s take Morrison & Foerster first. They represent transnationals world-wide, among other companies and high-profile individuals (like James Brosnahan's John Walker Lindh, “The American Taliban.”) But let’s take their client Mitsui Leasing. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Mitsui is identified as one of the Zaibatsu companies of Japan, a holdover of the Kodama-led Yakuza. And when we check Mitsui Leasing, what do we find? Its right to operate was forfeited, which generally means the company was shut down by the government. Note “status” below. Oooooooops!

Number: C1674699
Date Filed: 10/19/1990 Status: forfeited
Jurisdiction: JAPAN
Agent for Service of Process: C T CORPORATION SYSTEM 818 WEST SEVENTH ST LOS ANGELES, CA 90017

Morrison & Forester also represents Geoffrey Yeh (PacVenture), our Hong Kong tycoon in Montalcino Resort who flies with other tycoons such as Li Ka-shing. Ka-Shing’s bid through Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies for Global Crossing’s assets met with protest. Yeh has cronies in the project who are represented by, you guessed it, Steefel, Levitt & Weiss, schemers who run with Sutter Home Winery and the John DeLuca crowd at the Wine Institute and “Wine Society for Judges and Attorneys” in San Francisco. Behind this shell, and through Canadian press and state records, up pops Hong Kong tycoon Herbert Cheng. Now we have three tycoons from Hong Kong trying to do deals in the Bay Area, substantially wired into Morrison & Forester and Steefel, Levitt & Weiss.

Number: C2336664
Date Filed: 3/19/2001
Status: active Jurisdiction:
California Mailing Address: 1030 W GEORGIA ST STE 1700 VANCOUVER BC, CANADA V6E 2Y3

Of course, the mighty MoFo and Steefel firms are involved in more than just the four resort schemes in Napa County. They continue to engage in economic warfare and land grabs, their billions against our thousands of dollars, in scheme after scheme.

Unfortunately, California is one of few states in which the bar hasn’t adopted a policy of reporting fraud. In other words, in nearly every state an attorney who has evidence of fraud involving his or her client is required to report this to authorities. Not so in California. They lie to judges, do whatever they want. Put on charades, hire actors. One might question whether some actively engage in fraud with their clients when the price is right and the political connections are deep. Hey, maybe one day they will all go down together. Businesses are charged with crimes, just like individuals. Arthur Andersen LLC was just served a criminal indictment in the Enron scandal. Hope springs eternal.


We’ve just mentioned the legal-beagles and politicians who conveniently weave into San Francisco’s Pier 30-32 cruise ship terminal and development projects, and Montalcino Resort’s scheme which was shot down as to its access to Napa River and our waterfront. Both of them would be of tremendous benefit to Walt Disney Corp., as Michael Eisner has repeatedly stumped his cruise ship business (this after we’ve witnessed the flight from Napa of the most visible Bass and Texas Pacific interests). Eisner needs an improved pier and passenger terminal, and just the right access for commercial development in San Francisco. Technically speaking, Walt Disney Corp. needs just a few strategic parcels in Napa County to complete a historyland theme park. Grandiose regional planning for a corporation that caught the eye of government regulators last September.

Add to the above the developer’s dream to see San Francisco host the Olympics in Summer 2012. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where they would need to go to develop the necessary complexes and additional resorts and hotels. San Francisco lends a unique feature. They envision transporting people to and fro by ferry. Now does the picture come into focus? See how we stand in the way of those plans? Just like Measure L in San Francisco stood in the way? And why Mayor Willy and Gavin Newsom supported a conflicting land use measure, Measure K, riddled with holes to try to confuse people and draw votes away from Measure L. Measure L’s passage may have curtailed some of the schemes planned for properties at Piers 30-32 in San Francisco. Measure L was San Francisco’s grass roots effort to take charge of development in the City and create codes that are protective for residents, as are those of Napa County following Measure J.

Despite all of these affiliations, the Carneros Inn would be vineyard-locked, at least for a short time. The water issue here isn’t that there’s no waterfront, it is simply that there is no water. Meanwhile Nancy Pelosi has been stumping for more aqueducts and improved infrastructure. Heaven forbid, not in the Carneros Appellation District. They are not appropriate in our ag, open space and watershed areas.

Judge Newsom turned the water issues over to his expert, Richard G. Slade. This is the person we’ve waited to hear. Now here’s a corker. Richard G. Slade is from North Hollywood, CA., ACTOR COUNTRY. But he gave his address as a post office box in St. Helena at the March 12 hearing. Below is his license information. You can check online at -- "dca" is Department of Consumer Affairs. And their motto is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. That’s why they protect against frauds touting themselves as water experts and provide public access so that we can check credentials. [See Footnote 1]

For your 1 selection criteria: Last Name: SLADE
Total Records Found at `| "END"


License Type: Engineering Geologist
License Number: 929
Expiration Date: October 31, 2003

And from this site, we find that Slade is one of only two types of specialist geologists licensed in California. As shown above, he is specialized as an Engineering Geologist. The only other specialized field is Hydrogeologist, which he clearly isn’t.

At this website is a description of Richard Slade’s expected areas of competence as an Engineering Geologist from the Geologist and Geophysicists Act:

“Division 1.5, Chapter 4 Specialties:

Section 3041 (b) Specialty in Engineering Geology. In addition to the provisions of Section 7842 of the Code, an applicant for certification in the specialty of “Engineering Geology” shall: (1) Be registered as a geologist in the State of California (2) Have a knowledge of: (A) Geology of the State of California (B) Geologic factors relating to Civil Engineering problems typically encountered in the State (C) Elementary soil and rock mechanics (D) Principles of grading codes and other pertinent regulations.”

What again is Richard Slade’s field of expertise? Why it’s “land leveling” tests, studies and consulting, for want of a better term. Did you find the words hydro, well, water?

Now look at Section 3042 (b) Specialty in Hydrogeology. Contrast this to what Slade knows and can do by license.

“In addition to the provisions of section 7842 of the Code, an applicant for certification in the specialty of “hydrogeology” shall comply with the following: (1) Be registered as a geologist in the State of California. (2) Have a knowledge of and experience in: (A) Geology of the State of California (B) Geologic factors relating to the water resources of this State. (C) Principles of groundwater hydraulics/hydrology and groundwater quality including the vadose zone. (D) Applicable federal, state and local rules and regulations (E) Principles of water well, monitoring well, disposal well, and injection well construction (F) Elementary soil and rock mechanics in relation to groundwater, including the description of rock and soil samples from wells (G) Interpretation of borehole logs as they relate to porosity, hydraulic conductivity or fluid character.”

Lots of information there, but we get the drift. Richard G. Slade, in doing well tests, preparing reports of water adequacy for Carneros Inn, evaluating the reports of true hydrogeologists, other experts, and ruling them inadequate or inaccurate is way out of his league. By further testifying, he has just goofed big time. On top of that, he discounts the testimony of area farmers when there is almost no water in the Carneros and they gather rain water into ponds for irrigation. In 1999, he discounted our Public Works department experts. Slade is producing whatever his client wishes. Talk about deceit. We are not stating that during the WINTER when Slade ran the well test he fabricated anything. Sure there was water. But he ran the well test WHEN there is water in the basin, not in June - August when wells go dry. And these would be maximum occupancy months for the resort, which is (a) more than double the size of the next largest hotel in the City of Napa (b) nearly four times larger than Meadowood Resort and (c) far more than four times larger than Auberge on a smaller parcel. Boutique it is not. And two restaurants?

What did we just learn about Richard G. Slade? Why he is an actor, an imposter, who is not licensed to deliver the type of evaluation that was provided to the Planning Department. And he just appeared before a quasi-judicial body, the Napa County Board of Supervisors, which is taking testimony in an appeal. Would he appear so readily before a judge?

Richard Slade and Keith Rogal asserted their test proved there is adequate water. The Public Works Department’s John Stewart said this is not necessarily the case. Despite this, Rogal caused an Environmental Impact Report to devote only ONE LINE to the entire issue of water, a line that said water is adequate for this huge, multi-hundred room project with 24 homes, retail businesses, two restaurants, and a town center, post office, event center.

If anyone wants to contact Consumer Affairs, Board of Geologists and Geophysicists, the number is (916) 263-2113. Maybe the board could get Richard Slade to pay all that has been paid by opponents to their attorneys to listen to the sham expert, and the costs to Napa County government. It’s the residents and farmers who know there is a water problem and a very limited basin. They live there. They have to catch rainwater runoff, import potable water to homes in the area during the summer in dry or drought years, some even in normal years. Pumping the very limited supplies from the basin at the rate planned by Carneros Inn could suck their wells dry in a normal year. Deep wells are out of the question were the water table to drop because brackish waters from the bay lie only hundreds of feet below ground level in many areas.

What did Judge Newsom profess? Water is no problem, the Environmental Impact Report said so. Why are these people complaining about water? The developer has treated farmers and Carneros residents as though they are miscreants. No, they just want to continue to live there and farm as they always have, producing some of the finest Chardonnay wine grapes in the world. A hydrogeologist sallied forth to state this is an extremely water sensitive area -- this genuine expert also lives in the Carneros district.

Another classic came from Judge Newsom -- that there has not been a water problem on the commercial properties. That is true. But it was pointed out that these 8.5 acres have only been used for storage of RVs, old mobile homes, boats that haven’t been drawing any water. The Carneros Inn would have to tap a well on another parcel they own zoned for 23 units of manufactured homes to get any water. Our codes don’t permit this type of “municipalization” and “water agency” deal for potable water.

If you think the water deal isn’t a classic scandal and cause enough to nix the entire project and send these folks packing, wait until you read the following.

The expert from American Canyon hired to design the waste system mentioned there would be much more waste generated and treated than could be recycled into the gardens and planted driveways, or used by a neighbor. When asked by one of the supervisors what they intended to do with the excess waste, his reply: “I don’t know, I can’t answer that.” After all, he didn’t design a system that could handle all of the waste on site. The problem is, in the county you must take care of your own waste, there aren’t any sewer pipes. This is country, this is how things work. One has to rely on septic, pond and leach systems, none of which they are willing to provide to adequately handle their expected flows. Heavens, the greedy wouldn’t have room for their 220 room resort, including the 24 homes they intend to build for sale (despite no approval for same on the adjoining 16 acres -- they were approved for 24 mobile homes in October 2000 to replace those they removed). Or they would have to give up Gavin’s planned restaurants, and what, cut his partner Jed “” Smith out of the deal? No way, he’s possibly the money man.

Tourists don’t realize, unless the wind is blowing in the right direction, that a small, one- acre site in the county where sits their beloved Mustard’s, emits effluent. It has been a constant annoyance and health problem, a concern of the county’s Environmental Health department for years now. The problems result from over-grossing and water constraints as greed factors motivate the behavior. Dean and DeLuca has the same problem on their county property in another unique commercial zone.

The design engineer for Carneros Inn “waste district” was reminded that he better find an answer to this significant problem, just where the waste water would go. There was no answer to prove they could process the waste on site. The best they could come up with is “truck it away” and that doesn’t fly. This was the same answer they gave for potable water when the well can’t deliver. “We’ll truck it in.” That was music to the ears of Napa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Dodd. He really perks up on these alternatives because he’s in the “bottled water” business. Just how much bottled water will it take to service showers, baths and toilets? How about the needs of the restaurants? No problem, he could see that it is delivered by tankers.

There are other pols who perk up for these resort deals, like St. Helena’s “build out the town” Mayor Ken Slavens. On March 6, he ran in the primary for a seat as District 3 supervisor. In campaign literature, Ken listed his occupation as Mayor of St. Helena. Actually, his occupation is contractor sometimes, but also field rep for Carpenter’s Local No. 751. The union office in Napa was the scene of phone banks. It wasn’t “get out the vote” rather barrage potential voters. Some county residents received 3-5 calls in the weeks before the election. Despite this effort, press, public appearances, info-ads, and signs up and down the highway, in a field of four running on the ticket he was dead last, and dead last by miles Click to read Napa Register article. Here’s where Ken Slavens got his endorsements: the other mayors and building trades. And with that he boasted he would sweep the county, that he was the front runner.

Moving right along to one of the first complaints heard from the YES camp at Tuesday’s hearing: Blight. One after another pro-resort speaker brought this up. “That area is blight and a mess, campers, trailers, it’s awful.” They brought color photos of the blight. Actually, the stored trailers, mobile homes, boats, etc. are obscured by trees,\. But since the city crowd thinks it’s awful, they were at just the right place to raise a complaint. They could have requested the Board of Supervisors assist them with a citation to order clean-up. But why didn’t they? Because of course the Carneros Inn owns the property and from their perspective the only way to clean it up is to build a resort, luxury digs, restaurants, a new town, the whole nine yards.

In earlier coverage (see “Gavin Newsom Slipped Up - Big Time Click.) we provided an article from a 1997 issue of “San Francisco Business” featuring Gavin Newsom, newly appointed San Francisco Supervisor, spouting off about his Napa Resort deal. That gives us a great benchmark. The Newsom crowd has had at least five years to “clean up the blight” on the 8.5 acres and they haven’t done so. However, when it came to getting rid of people, no problem! Since Gavin’s appointment to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco by Mayor Willy Brown, some 8,000 people have lost affordable and moderately priced homes and have had to leave the city. The homeless are restless and boo him (a recent headline: 3/07/02 San Francisco Chronicle “Homeless Summit Draw Vocal Crowd - Proposals from Supervisors Newsom, Hall booed”).

In Napa, out went families who occupied more than 23 mobile homes on Carneros Inn property adjacent to “the blight.”

When residents raised the issue that the Newsoms caused the removal of at least 23 affordable homes from an adjacent parcel, they were told by pro-resort Lord of the Board Bill Dodd that they wouldn’t be heard on this matter. Regardless, information was placed on the record. While Dodd says housing technically can’t be heard because it wasn’t raised in the appeal, everyone has a right to speak at these hearings, whether they are formal appellants or not. The Board itself can deal with any issues omitted by the Planning Commission, since their role is oversight. However, based on what Dodd knows about the malfeasance, and the county’s absence of affordable housing, it should be considered. Again, one of those four “no longer with the county” failed to include analysis of new jobs to available housing, which by policy is included in all other resort proposals. Sonoma County recently lost a case for this same reason - no consideration of the impact that new jobs would have on housing that is simply not available at costs affordable to the employees. Our guess is that this project would require more than 50 affordable homes. At best, Carneros Inn offered $1 million, enough for 8-10 units, but they removed 23! Could these maneuvers by Newsom be contributing to homeless problems now in Napa County?

In our ongoing coverage of resort deals, here is a summary of major frauds in Napa County revealed since August 1, 2001:

1. Use Permit applicant Carneros Partners, Inc. doesn’t exist and has never existed. The two applications for Carneros Inn are frauds. The inn was the property owner at the time applications were made per recorded deeds.

2. The Public Works and Planning Departments contained moles planted by pro-development Dickenson, Peatman & Fogarty who worked with MoFo and Steefel clients in four resort schemes. Four have been flushed out, including Myke Praul - Public Works and Mike Miller - Planning. At least one, Mike Miller, works for Carneros Inn interests.

3. Carneros Inn’s water expert Richard C. Slade is a fraud, and despite being revealed as such on record during the course of this appeal, decided to continue his charade by testifying March 12, 2002 before the Board of Supervisors, a quasi-judicial body, as an expert to state there is adequate water for the project.

4. With respect to two other resorts (Mai Chardonnay and The Doctor’s Company), judges at the superior court and state court of appeals found fraud in Citizens for Honest Government and City of American Canyon v. County of Napa, August 2001.

5. In Montalcino Resort, a farmer was chased off land, his personal property was destroyed without restitution, and the developer secured a lease of public land that is not permitted by code. Another adjusted a lucrative lease from a percentage of gross revenues to a near-substandard fixed payment on land assessed significantly below the cost to the county. This occurred when word spread about the sweetheart deal extended by Napa Sanitation District to Montalcino Resort.

6. Steefel, Levitt & Weiss has engaged in a scheme in which economic benefit was received by appeals court judges following a highly irregular decision stemming from an obviously conflicted complaint. This is all about control of strategic land in Napa.

There’s a likelihood deliberations will commence March 26, when each supervisor lists the rationale for his vote and issues are debated. We already know that Dodd will vote yes but not fess up to potential water deals as an incentive. And then there’s pro-resort Mark Luce, a chum of the Montalcino Resort boys, he’ll go for it. Malfeasance and fraud issues don’t seem to stand in his way. You should see his track record as a member of the board of Napa Sanitation District in the Montalcino Resort scheme. Literally, it stinks. Let’s hope the other three supervisors remain committed to this county, its codes, and their constituents. We’ll keep you informed.

Footnote 1:

(1) To access records online from the California Board of Geologists and Geophysicists:

The site at provides an input screen. You can enter an individual name and obtain information on licensees.

The site at has a convenient menu. On the left, the third entry is “Laws and Regulations.” When you click this option, select the last on the list to view the Act quoted in this article.

Note page 70, Division 1.5 dealing with license revocation: Section 475 (3) “Commission of any act involving dishonesty, fraud or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit himself or another ...” Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

News and views about Napa County, California. Click.