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It's Not Difficult April 16, 2014 at 10:23 PM
Stop it, you're polluting his blogs! These blogs were created for the sole purpose of givingRead Moreconspir acy nuts a place to agree with each other. Comments failing to fall into step or lacking due respect will result in "the nuclear option." (But whatever you do, don't delete your comments. Also don't call people names or be mean -- now crawl back into your hole, you sociopathic thugs.)
It's Not Difficult April 16, 2014 at 10:23 PM
By the way howie I had to give your comment a thumbs up myself. Too funny.
howiewine April 16, 2014 at 10:37 PM
Please be serious
Anna Gomez April 12, 2014 at 02:49 PM
I always knew that the BS "system upgrade" at the Sonoma-Index was an all out scrub job.Read MoreW hat a bunch of big mouth cowardly liars they turned out to be. As far as Cutting goes, it looks like he was the fall guy. On a happy note, judges aren't stupid. They look at who had what to gain and "reasonable" excuses. The "I didn't know" response wouldn't be reasonable. Enjoy your time in the big house folks!
howiewine April 13, 2014 at 12:33 PM
These charges in the complaint don't include anything about Sonoma Valley Bank's PetalumaRead MoreGreenbriar Apartments loans which if reports are true include more abject failure to supervise by the bank's Board Loan Committee. Had one single Board member, all of whom can be described as real estate investors, been concerned enough with a loan that vastly exceeded Cutting's approval limit of $750,000 driven a lousy 15 miles those loans may have never been made. So why did they never make the drive??? Cutting had an approval level to $750,000 which is a lot less than the millions the Board approved and authorized. Were their any pictures of the property attached to the credit/loan request? Was the fact that Madjlessi had defaulted to PFF/US Bank 2 months prior to SVB funding their entry into the Petaluma project based on "character lending" to a "known" entity who had a very checkered past even a speed bump of a consideration? That sailed into the transaction as fast as they could it would seem. ============================================Bottom line============================ Sean Cutting did not have the appropriate bank experience or street smarts so the Board of Directors limited his ability to approve loans to $750,000 or less. To say now that he created some huge scheme without any knowledge of Mel Switzer and the Board Of Directors is simply unbelievable.
howiewine April 16, 2014 at 03:39 PM
This blog is too fact laden for "It's not difficult."
Jim Pacheco March 29, 2014 at 03:18 PM
Keep up the good work on reporting on this case. It is certainly a story that won't be covered inRead Moret he local papers.
Rock Fan April 05, 2014 at 01:09 PM
Does sound like a heap of trouble . Interesting , thanks .
Ralph Hutchinson April 10, 2014 at 03:44 AM
SVB indictments came down Bijian 29 counts money laundering and wire fraud. Sonoma Bankers wereRead Moresaid to have received indictments today as well.
Ralph Hutchinson April 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM
Well they diverted the entire TARP proceeds to 101 Houseco LLC a failed project they bought fromRead MoreFDI C operated Indymac Bank, used fake letter lead, covered up the straw borrower James House of San Clemente all for a hail Mary pass what do they think SIG TARP is going to ask for? "When they pass the cookie jar, you take a cookie" still my favorite saying in this entire case thus far a Press Democrat quote by Cutting after fighting and misleading the shareholders acting like they were stupid and didn't get it why they needed to borrow TARP and all along the borrower, Cutting and Melland are cooking up an EPIC scheme in the background. What is justice for something that misleading? Something that harmed so many Sonoma Valley shareholders and residents? This is embarrassing for Sonoma residents in general. I still think all the Directors are equally to blame since they approved all these hail Mary deals. When will they get their day in court? Index Tribune still covering for them huh?
Ralph Hutchinson April 14, 2014 at 05:01 PM
Directors Nicholas, Switzer, Downing, Brangham, Pistole, Sangiacomo, Hitchcock and Page. They allRead Morev oted in favor of Madjlessi's bad loans according to the FDIC. Cutting and Melland didn't act alone.
Anna Gomez April 14, 2014 at 08:16 PM
I would bet that the Directors will be in some deep trouble. Its not feasible to think that none of Read Morethe directors were in the room when the shady deals were made.
Ralph Hutchinson April 10, 2014 at 04:45 PM
All our Directors (Page, Brangham, Switzer, Downing, Sangiacomo, Pistole and Nicholas) were present Read Moreand voted to approve, renew and extend all the stupid Bijian Madjlessi loans according to FDIC court documents. That means the examiners took copius notes and have proof in hand in the minutes that the Directors acted to bring harm to the bank. Regulators go to such lengths for one reason, to enforce accountability to those responsible. Mark my words...this is not over and the Directors are NOT getting off easy.
howiewine April 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM
30 years per charge for several charges. Goodness, that could be a long time. I find myself feeling Read Moresorry for Cutting, who appears to have been led down the garden path to build up the loan portfolio for what could only have been a possible future sale and jackpot for Directors. It was always coming down to the Board, who had an obvious reason to change the executive compensation package, throwing Cutting under the bus, in my opinion, unless Cutting is an utter sociopath. If there was no untoward compensation to him or blackmail of him it could only mean he was following the orders of the board. Isn't that why they hired a rank novice banker to begin with? Those Directors have MUCH to answer for.
howiewine April 09, 2014 at 07:10 PM
Hooray for these Judges and down with dirty politicians like Ron Calderon, who coincidentallyRead Moreaccomp anied Darius Anderson to Cuba last spring while he was being investigated by the FBI. Darius has a nasty habit of orchestrating skunky deals and hanging with friends of dubious distinction.
Anna Gomez April 09, 2014 at 10:19 PM
Sounds like Darius's assets might go bye bye. Or maybe he will go bye bye.....AuténticaRead MoreCuba! !! Or bust!
Ralph Hutchinson April 10, 2014 at 03:42 AM
This is a character issue with Darius first New York now New Mexico and a family affair to boot. A Read Morereal class act in Sonoma Valley.
howiewine April 01, 2014 at 07:55 PM
Read Morehttp://www.dailynews.com/government-and-politics/20140221/sen-ron-calderon-brother-tom-indicted-in-p ay-to-play-scandal-over-bribes-fraud-money-laundering
Anna Gomez April 02, 2014 at 02:27 PM
The FBI obviously investigated Calderon for a long time to make sure they had an open and shutRead Morecase. Most likely Calderon was unknowingly surrounded by FBI agents in Cuba if not working with the FBI to catch a bigger fish as part of a plea deal. I'm guessing they will be on Darius like guava jelly on a Pan Suave next.
Ralph Hutchinson April 04, 2014 at 01:27 PM
Did Darius have involvement with this CA Senator Leland Yee and his gun running? Did he raiseRead Moremoney for his campaign? Do favors for each other? Aid and assist gun running efforts? Did Cuba have anything to do with it? Did Darius take Yee to Cuba with him connected to any of that business?
Ralph Hutchinson March 06, 2014 at 11:16 PM
Breech of Fiduciary, Gross Negligence and downright intent to circumvent lending limit andRead Moreconcentra tion laws.
Ralph Hutchinson March 07, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Gifts from borrowers was the norm investments in Melland's Fuerza energy drink, boat rides, jetRead Moreride s to Reno Tahoe or Vegas. The culture if corruption and conflicts if interest was just the way things were done. The Directors were briefed but never filed Suspicious Activity Reports required by law. Instead they did Melland a favor two home loans after the fired him. No Morals no Character. Sick.
Ralph Hutchinson March 27, 2014 at 02:20 PM
Cutting got the nickname "The Cookie Monster" because of the quote he gave the papers aRead Morefe w months before the banks failure. When discussing why the bank borrowed $8.6 million from the Treasury TARP bailout program when many shareholders like Moreno said they didn't need it Cutting said..."When they pass the cookie jar, you take a cookie." But he knew full well the Marin Developer loans from Madjlessi we all nonperforming and/or failing as did all the other Bank and Holding Company Board of Directors (Switzer, Nicholas, Brangham, Downing, Pistole, Hitchcock, Sangiacomo, Page)
Ralph Hutchinson March 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Well Sonoma isn't just going to vote for someone because they are different, they will have to beRead Morewe ll known and stand for Community Values and the local industry. Whether they met with Darius or not doesn't matter he is an important figure in The Valley and certainly needs dealt with directly. That has no bearing on being conflicted. Its what other ties this person has and whether they can act independently of people and focus on issues...that they don't accept gifts, campaign dollars and lavish party invitations.
Anna Gomez March 13, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Here it is - Comments by Skip Robertson - "Clearly the people advocating for closing SDC haveRead Moren ever been to one of the medical units, where profoundly disabled individuals are kept alive only by medical intervention. Have you ever seen someone with hydrocephaly? their heads are as big as large watermelons, their neck muscles atrophied and unable to move their heads at all. at SDC, they receive a level of care no for-profit institution could match. there are people whose limbs are twisted like pretzels. there are quadriplegics who cannot move their bodies at all. they are human beings, they have families who love them, and frankly, they could be your children with the right amount of bad luck. I suggest you arrange for a visit to one of these units before you decide that it is too expensive to keep them alive. as medical technology progresses, such unfortunates are becoming scarcer, but unless you truly believe you are not your brother's keeper, you have no right to render uninformed judgements about such quality of life issues. the same is true of the behavior units. there is a core population of individuals who will, like it or not, require such specialized care 24/7. for a little perspective, I suggest you try actually working at a nursing home for a few weeks. or volunteer as a foster grandparent at SDC. you might learn a few things about empathy."
Umberto Smith March 14, 2014 at 01:07 AM
Will is right. But gathering united community pressure is going to be nothing short of a miracle.
Anna Gomez March 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM
The people have already united through the organizations. Sonoma Land Trust alone is a very wellRead Morefun ded organization with many members not to mention the 7 other organizations listed on the PDF - google "Sonoma Land Trust and SDC". And join the coalition! The fight is on and its not some little grass roots deal. The big dogs have gathered.
Umberto Smith February 23, 2014 at 04:43 PM
I wouldn't use the term occupy. It's associated with the wrong kind of movement. I hope SDC getsRead Moresa ved somehow. It provides jobs and treats mentally challenged individuals with dignity. I have no idea how it will be saved. But I hope it happens.
Ralph Hutchinson February 25, 2014 at 02:32 PM
Power to the People get on the Plaza and make your voice heard. Come on Umberto quit throwing your Read Morehands up in the air this is how is gets saved at least a big step.
Louise Salvador March 02, 2014 at 12:10 PM
SDC needs a major overhaul in Patient care. Yes,we must always put the disabled first and thatRead Moremeans proper care . I would protest stop the abusive that has been taking place for years. It means better screening of employees, better background check and outside investigation. What good is housing when there is lack of proper care?
Anna Gomez March 09, 2014 at 11:47 AM
The only green these low life developers are interested in is the green for their wallets. To useRead Moreyo ur klout to shutdown a facility for the most needy of Gods children is a crime. They should be ashamed of themselves because their plan has been transparent from day one. Sin verguenza Darius!
David Eichar March 11, 2014 at 12:01 PM
Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Judd Ames March 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Absolutely not; nor alternatively use them as pawns.
Anna Gomez March 11, 2014 at 01:25 PM
If every hospital was shut down because of abuse from caregivers there would not be any hospitalsRead Moreop en on planet earth. What is needed is an overhaul of personnel not a closure of the facility. It makes no sense to close a hospital over bad management. In fact, its the dumbest thing I have ever heard so far...it goes something like this.."We have a horrendous problem with abuse in Building B perpetrated by employees 'A', 'B' and 'C' ". Suggestions by normal human being - "fire and prosecute offenders, rehire personnel." Suggestion by developer "Shut down the entire facility, mow down the buildings - lets build a casino!"
vineburgan March 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM
juddy shameless, your flap is old and maligned. is someone holding a magnet to your moral compass?Read Moreg o stand on the south green and see how many honks you get with your darius banner. whats next everyday is darius day in sonoma mandated by the tribe
Ralph Hutchinson March 12, 2014 at 03:01 PM
And Rock Fan, do you play guitar in a local Sonoma band? Ever work for Hammett or at the radioRead Morestati on or Hammetts SUN back in the day before the big Exodus? Do you freelance write in the Valley on music issues?
Rock Fan March 16, 2014 at 12:59 PM
No , I'm useless at guitar playing , never worked for Hammett .Should work more .Busted and aRead Morelittl e disgusted .
Ralph Hutchinson March 03, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Craig does use foul language and calls names. Isn't that what he gripes about? Would that make him Read Morea hypocrite? And who appointed him hiring agent? Wow.
Ralph Hutchinson March 03, 2014 at 10:18 AM
What's funny is if Craig, Darius and Bolling say the Patch is irrelevant then why do Bolling andRead Moreoth er writers write about Patch Bloggers? Why do Craig and his goons continually snipe at comments? Why does Craig write blog-bulletin boards like he's reaching the masses. And why doesn't Bolling give the former tv cameraman a column? All very perplexing.
Jack Shmollie March 02, 2014 at 04:11 AM
Ralph Hutchinson March 03, 2014 at 10:23 AM
If no one takes the Patch seriously then Craig why are you here writing? Why didn't you writeRead Moresomet hing in the Index Tribune?
Anna Gomez March 07, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Good point Ralph. If they have raised the anti-Patch rant to the level of writing articles about it Read Morethen you are striking a nerve. So keep it up Ralph..keep the info coming here on the Patch. Boy, was the purchase of the Index-Tribune a huge waste of money or what? All the crooked stuff they wanted to hush up is still being published where locals can read it. Booyah!
tom March 05, 2014 at 06:28 PM
Yes, free markets, all unbridled. Exactly. This approach at least has the benefit of possessingRead Morereas on, unlike your screed, Howie Wine. Did you do any research before posting this? It turns out that expensive North Coast wines are increasing sales at a pace that that is greater than the overall wine market. A recent study of wines shipped direct to the consumer from wineries showed this clearly, suggesting that nothing, as you say, is on the wane. What evidence do you have that the current number of premium priced wines can't be sustained. More important, what does this have to do with the wineries that have rooms around the Plaza. Surely they have a better idea of what's good for them and what's profitable for them than you do. Furthermore, your comment about "aging baby boomers" shows a similar ignorance about the fine wine market. While baby boomers are aging and the oldest ones are leaving the market, Gen X buyers are buying wine at a faster clip than their baby boomer elders did. On top of this you have the huge Millennial Generation behind Gen X that has adopted wine faster than the baby boomers did. And guess what, the Millennial Generation is increase their average price per bottle paid at a greater rate than any other generation in the market right now. I marvel at how amateurs like you would tell the professionals what works and what doesn't. More importantly, I've yet to hear the likes of you or anyone else provide a real criteria for there being "too many" tasting rooms on the plaza. Not a single criteria beyond "it doesn't feel right". That dog don't hunt.
tom March 06, 2014 at 11:02 AM
Gosh Howie, did you really just make the point that younger people who don't yet have theRead Moredisposable income of older generations are currently spending less per bottle on wine?? Holy Cow....what a revelation!!! The effort to limit the number of tasting rooms on the plaza isn't going to succeed based on the faux concern with keeping the wine industry healthy by not over saturating the market. The town of Sonoma has no business taking this approach. And they won't. At some point, one of you folks is going to have to make a principled argument for your anti-free trade stand on this issue that goes beyond...."It just doesn't feeeeeel right".
Anna Gomez March 07, 2014 at 01:13 PM
Sonoma has a rich history that attracts tourist to the square. They don't come here for wine bars,Read Moret hey come for the charm and history. Wine bars are a new concept compared to Sonoma's history which is very old. Wine bars need Sonoma tourists to survive, Sonoma doesnt need wine bars to survive. The emphasis on the square should remain history and not be overshadowed by any other industry be it 52 ice cream shops or 52 wine bars. A balance needs to remain on the industries that are there to serve the tourists after they have arrived in Sonoma for the history or the emphasis shifts from historic town to wine or ice cream hub USA.
Ralph Hutchinson March 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Pics of Madjlessi including this mug shot were published in July 2011 when he was first arrestedRead Moreand indicted. It's amazing how little Sonoma Valley residents know about this story since Lynch and Bolling at the Index Tribune covered it up and went radio silent on any coverage. I personally emailed them breaking news like this as it was happening and kept the emails to prove they weren't printing but were covering up.
vineburgan March 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM
yes ralph, lost stock and i have been following from the beginning but some how missed the pic. its Read Morea shame most of sonoma doesn't care anymore, just shrugs shoulders, plowing sideways head down, not respecting their forefathers efforts to keep sonoma for the people not the corporations that want every little slice for themselves
Ralph Hutchinson March 12, 2014 at 02:58 PM
So Vineburgan, if you've been following from the beginning, what brings you out now?
Ralph Hutchinson February 19, 2014 at 12:40 PM
All spin to get the boss what he wants at SDC.
Anna Gomez February 24, 2014 at 09:59 AM
Yeah, those patients beds are taking up valuable video poker space. Hey, has he shipped in anyRead Morenativ e americans yet to show up as long time residences of Eldridge? Maybe hire an actor like the Italian guy who played the crying Indian in those tv ads of yesteryear.
Ralph Hutchinson February 24, 2014 at 10:18 AM
The Indians were in GE to bless the acorn tree establishing their presence and that's close toRead MoreEldri dge. My guess they already staked claim.
Ralph Hutchinson February 19, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Lots of small towns have comingled businesses and ventures because there are only so many people in Read Moretown...they are incestual. But Sonoma is far worse. Its politicians, businesses and prominent persons working together under the cover of darkness to benefit themselves and a small group at the expense of the people, their town and important charm and services and money, gifts, kickbacks, and favors are the currency and thats shameful and outright wrong. Then, there is a goon squad of flunkies doing the bidding of their masters if anybody like a blogger dares to scream The Emporer Has No Clothes and tell the truth. The Racetrack gets so much attention because Steve Page of Sonoma Raceway is Bollings friend on the advisory or some editorial board of the IT and he was a board member with now owner Darius Anderson when they were ramming another failure project the Sonoma Jazz Festival down our throats side by side. They are cronies and thus they get a ton of ink to promote their friends race track with free advertising namely articles. We've blogged at length about ties and conflicts of the Sonoma City Council members. Gorin and the Indians are tied in with Casino money and then the Unions are hot on their heels working side by side. Bolling won't deny saying his boss wants to develop SDC because he said it. We know he did we know what he said, the manner and the setting and location. We have inside witnesses. Its true.
Umberto Smith February 23, 2014 at 04:21 PM
Sorry I didn't contact you Ralph...I was busy working and then got sick. I've done some moreRead Moredigging around regarding bank scandal. I suppose I have enough information to come to my own conclusion... This town is really amazing...our superficial spotlight and fake philanthropists are running truly amok.
Ralph Hutchinson February 20, 2014 at 07:09 PM
Bias in the Index Tribune again benefitting the Owner Darius Anderson. PATIENTS NOT CASINOS
Anna Gomez February 24, 2014 at 09:42 AM
It is so cruel to make patients move out of SDC. Some were placed there at a very young age and itRead Morei s the only home they know. It is a unique facility for those with special needs.