May 7, 2019

COMMANDER RESPONSE TO PERSONAL ATTACK BY ALYC

Pursuant to my duty as Commander of Post 291, on April 16, 2019, I published a detailed report to Post 291 membership on the true facts on why the Post 291 Executive Committee had voted unanimously to terminate the American Legion Yacht Club, Inc., as a program of Post 291 on December 6, 2018, due to the ALYC’s refusal to comply with the National American Legion’s Five Rules Of Subsidiary Corporations, SAL, Riders, etc., (“Five Rules”)—which are mandated by National on all programs of all Posts.

I noted in my Message of April 16, 2019, that I was writing “from the heart.” Indeed, I was. I have been saddened beyond expression by the negativity, and division, that has been created in our great Post over the actions by and about the ALYC.

My April 16, 2019, Message is available at www.AL291.com, “Commander’s Message.” I will be referring to it repeatedly and urge each of you to read it if you have not read it, and to re-read it if you have read it — before you vote in the Post election on May 8, or before you believe the vicious, defamatory personal attack on my integrity and honor by the ALYC published on May 2 as the election nears by Bruce Batcheller, present Commodore of the ALYC.

ALYC’s personal attack on me by Batcheller, is so malicious that, among other things, ALYC incredibly, and defamatorily alleges that I, personally, and the E-Board, are guilty of criminal conduct, i.e., of “a criminally prosecutable offense of forgery” by placing “on the Post 291 website an altered version of the Post 291 Bylaws.” It is upon such dross as that that my personal integrity and honor are attacked by Batcheller for and on behalf of the ALYC—and in support of the ALYC connected candidates running on the “Reynolds Slate,” that is, the slate of former ALYC Commodore John Reynolds.

If I sound outraged at ALYC’s attack on my personal integrity and honor, I am. I have served Post 291 as honorably and selflessly as I served in combat in Vietnam (Army Infantry). I have been a member of Post 291 for over 26 years. I have served in various offices, the last four of those years as Commander, my tour of duty ending this year.

Post 291 has grown to be one of the largest if not the largest active American Legion Post in our great country. I believe it has also become one of the best managed Posts in the country, if not the best. The American Legion has some twenty-nine different programs; our Post has participated in or contributed to practically all of them.

I am proud of what we have achieved. I say “we” because it was not just “me,” it was “we,” in particular the dedicated efforts of members of the E-Board, and Post members who have volunteered in various programs, to make Post 291 the great Post that it is, with the support and assistance of the SONS and the Auxiliary.

Our SONS are thriving, with over 1,500 members—and doing so with no problem complying with the Five Rules of National and operating under the oversight and control of the Post.

  • The Auxiliary is thriving too, with more than 1,600 members.
  • Our many programs for our members and other veterans are thriving.
  • The entertainment privileges enjoyed by our members are outstanding under events director Dennis Fitzpatrick.

So, I am proud of what we have achieved while I have had the honor to serve as Commander.

In my four years as Commander, and in the entire 26 years of my membership in Post 291, my integrity, my honor, as a member, officer, or Commander, has never been attacked — even by those who might disagree with me on one or another decision.

Others have opposed, questioned, or disagreed with one or more of my decisions, but no one has publicly attacked my personal integrity and honor—until ALYC has now, by Batcheller. It is shameful.

While my impulse is to consider the source, i.e., ALYC’s Batcheller, and not bother to address his myriad false or misleading claims in his May 2 attack on my integrity, and while I believe most if not all of his claims are refuted by my April 16 Message, in the utmost of caution, I will address (below) his vituperations — with the understanding that I rely for refutation primarily on my April 16 Message which I have urged each of you to read or re-read.

But first, I need to raise some general issues which should be considered by every member pertaining to the situation with ALYC, and the election of May 8:

First, I believe that in this election that we, Post 291, are at a crossroads. I believe what is going to be decided at the election is existential. That is, I believe it will not just decide which candidate will occupy which office, but whether Post 291 is going to continue to exist as a Post which has a Yacht Club program supporting the Post; or whether it will be a Yacht Club which has a Post for a program supporting the Yacht Club.

It cannot be denied that the aim of the ALYC is to take control of the Post in the May 8 election in order to attempt to install itself as the Post yacht club and reap the benefits. Since all its efforts to convince the Courts to restrain or enjoin the Post from its termination of the ALYC as a program have failed, as detailed in my April 16 Message.

Second, the issue of fiduciary duty, and loyalty, must be considered at the election. Every officer of the Post owes a fiduciary duty to every Post member. The fiduciary duty is the highest duty imposed by law. It includes the duty of reasonable prudence; honesty; candor; and, “loyalty”— undivided loyalty.

Examine the candidates running. Who has a history of service to the Post? Who’s loyalty and allegiance is solely to the Post and not to another organization—least of all to another “corporation?”. One need go no farther than the Bible to find the basic truth that no man can serve two masters at the same time.

Is it a confidence builder as regards to the fiduciary duty of honesty and candor that Batcheller insists in his May 2 attack on my integrity that the “ALYC does not have…its own ‘slate’,” and insists in capital letters that the their slate is “NOT” the ALYC Slate. Really? Even though their involvement has been in the ALYC in the main and not the Post? They can have “undivided loyalty” to the Post, first, and not the ALYC?

Third, it must be considered that despite its attempt to portray itself as the victim of unfairness by the Post E-Board, it is the leaders of the ALYC—in particular Commodores Mike Berdine (2017 ), Doug Green (2018), Bruce Batcheller (2019), and ALYC Finance Officer Robert Wine — who refused to comply with National’s Five Rules and who are primarily responsible for the decisions ALYC made to sue Post 291 and all fifteen members of the E-Board— and not Post 291 who sued ALYC.

The facts of ALYC’s lawsuit are set forth in detail in my April 16 Message to which I refer you to, rather than repeat it all. Please examine it. Please appreciate the harm, the damage, that the ALYC has done. Most recently, Batcheller has admitted, that ALYC has already spent over $100,000 in attorney fees—and expects at least $50,000 more. Is that “reasonable prudence”? Is that the reasonable prudence that ALYC will employ regarding the Post’s financial assets if the ALYC candidates be elected? How do the Commodores Berdine, Green, Batcheller, Past Commodore Jon Reynolds, and the ALYC candidates justify spending $150,000 in suing the Post and having its claims rejected by two different judges? How did ALYC Finance Officer Wine not stop that expenditure? Is it a confidence builder that Wine is the “Reynolds (i.e., ALYC) Slate” candidate to be elected Post 291 Finance Officer?

A great irony, as discussed in my April 16 Message, is that of the Five Rules of National pertaining to all Posts and Programs, the easiest one to comply with is to put the sponsoring Post’s Finance Officer on the accounts of Post programs, like the SONS, and like ALYC. The SONS comply, but ALYC has refused even to put the Post’s Finance Officer on its accounts. They have given no reason. They just maintain they don’t have to do so because they are a separate corporation.    

Fourth, it must be considered: Just what does ALYC want? What is it that they want so bad they will drain the finances of the ALYC for some $100,000 to $150,000 or more? What is it they want so badly that they have maliciously sued every member of the E-Board personally, knowing the damage that causes to each individual? What is it that they want so badly that they are costing the Post thousands of dollars to defend against their lawsuit? Why are they pursuing it when they have lost every single motion they have filed in Superior Court?

This has to be asked because they are simultaneously claiming that they are a separate corporation which is not subject to oversight and control by the Post; and claiming that they are still and cannot be removed as a “program” of the Post (and, thus, subject to oversight, and control by the Post). They insist in their lawsuit that they are a separate corporation and therefore self-governing. So, they now have what they wanted—they have been terminated as a program and are free to operate as a yacht club without Post oversight and control.

Fifth: INSURANCE. An issue which should be considered by every member before voting, and to understand and appreciate why I and the E-Board did what we did in fulfilling our fiduciary duties to the Post by terminating the ALYC as a program , is the threat of liability to the Post by the ALYC’s actions in defiance of the Five Rules and oversight by the Post.

This entire dispute began in September 2017 when the ALYC informed the E-Board at its meeting that the ALYC had purchased a new boat for some $70,000. An issue of concern to the E-Board was insurance and how to protect the Post from liability should things go wrong with the boat.

When Judge Advocate Robert Wright asked then-Commodore Mike Berdine why the E-Board was being informed after the fact of the major purchase, Berdine responded with a letter in September 2017 (“Berdine Letter”) stating that while ALYC had an obligation to report to the E-Board at its meetings, it was otherwise a separate corporation, which was self-governing, and not subject to oversight and control by the E-Board.

That created real concern. Therefore, I initiated a policy of negotiations between the ALYC and the Post. I appointed JA Wright to head a committee involving him, me, and Attorney Rees Lloyd to respond to legal issues. ALYC established a committee of then-commodore Berdine, his successor Doug Green, and ALYC Finance Officer Bob Wine.

A series of meetings was held. I later removed myself and Lloyd and appointed E-Board members Wayne Zippi and Rich Wittinger to the Committee.

A major issue in discussions, which were ultimately fruitless, was obtaining sufficient insurance to protect the Post from ALYC’s operations.

A key issue regarding that was ALYC’s intent to establish a dive club. That is so inherently dangerous that obtaining insurance is very difficult. The E-Board refused to approve a dive club without adequate insurance. That issue was never really resolved before termination. ALYC was not able to provide evidence of insurance coverage sufficient to protect the Post if a lawsuit was filed by anyone injured in the dive program.

Since termination of the ALYC, I have seen writing from the ALYC about its operation of a dive club, though it was never approved by the E-board and sufficient insurance was never established.

In such circumstances, there was and is no way we could continue the ALYC as a “program” consistent with our fiduciary duties to the Post. Since we terminated them, we believe the Post should not be responsible for damages should anyone be injured and sues. But, there is no telling what ALYC will do if its candidates are elected to the E-Board.

In contrast, our new Veterans291Yacht Club will not be operating a dive club nor exposing the Post to danger. This issue, of Post liability for ALYC operations, should be of concern to all voters in the May 8 election.

FURTHER RESPONSES TO ALYC’s ATTACK ON MY INTEGRITY

Incorporating the overarching considerations stated above, with apologies in advance to my tediousness required to do so adequately, I respond further to

ALYC’s pre-election May 2 specific attacks by Batcheller on my integrity (in the order they are raised):

First, in what he calls “The Truth,” Batcheller claims that the E-Board “left ALYC no other choice but to file a lawsuit to protect its property.”

This is utterly false. As detailed in my April 16 Message, the sole, only reason, ALYC was suspended as a program on September 6, 2018, and terminated two months later on Dec. 6, 2018, was ALYC’s failure to comply with National’s Five Rules. If at any point they had agreed, the suspension would have ended. Period. There was never a threat made to claim their assets, financial or personal or real property.

At no time did I as Commander or the E-Board as a body ever seek to take over the assets of the ALYC. They claimed to have had $270,00, plus various boats. The Post made it clear it had no interest in claiming the ALYC’s assets. All the Post demanded was that after failing to comply with the Five Rules of National, that they take their assets and go and operate elsewhere, while the Post established a new Post yacht club program which would obey the Five Rules.

Batcheller’s claim that my statement was false “that ALYC will not comply with the ‘Five Rules from National’ is absolutely false,” is, itself, “absolutely false.” Had ALYC at anytime before the deadline of Dec. 6, 2018, complied or given notice that it would comply with the “Five Rules,” the suspension would have ended and they would not have been terminated.

Batcheller’s further assertions that ALYC “never refused” to comply with the Rules, is simply false. ALYC Commodore Doug Green was expressly asked by JA Wright at several E-Board meetings if the ALYC would comply with the Five Rules. He responded, on the record, “No.” It is further established that it never did comply. Period.

Batcheller’s further assertions that they failed to comply because the Post wouldn’t give them time to amend their bylaws to “rewrite the ALYC bylaws to include the ‘Five Rules’,” is just nonsense. As stated above, this dispute began in “September 2017,” with the Berdine Letter. ALYC did not amend its bylaws before or after its suspension a year later, on September 6, 2018, or on or before its termination on Dec. 6, 2018. As far as is known, they have not amended their Bylaws to this date.

Batcheller’s claim that “Doug Nye carefully conceals that he and the E-Board imposed additional and far more onerous roles on ALYC with which ALYC cannot comply without violation of California Corporations Code provisions governing its separate corporation,” is meritless. He specifies no “far more onerous rules” and there are none.

Batcheller accuses me of falsely claiming ALYC is a “subsidiary corporation.” stating it is not. Well, according to the National American Legion, ALYC is definitely obligated to follow the “Five Rules” no matter that it is incorporated or in what manner it is incorporated. All programs must comply.

Batcheller, without a shred of evidence cited, falsely informs potential voters, ALYC’s own members, and others, that: “Over 52 years ago, ALYC was directed by the E-Board at that time to organize itself under a separate corporation to reduce risks to the Post.” What is the evidence of that? Batcheller cites nothing whatsoever that the Post E-Board did what he claims it did. It is preposterous, a pure fabrication.

Batcheller continues: “ALYC proceeded to do so [i.e., incorporate by direction of the E-Board], but its California nonprofit mutual benefit corporation was not set up as a subsidiary corporation to the Post corporation.”

Even this is erroneous: ALYC is not now, nor has it ever been a “mutual benefit corporation.” It was not incorporated as a veteran’s mutual benefit corporation, tax exempt as a veteran’s organization under 501(c)19. Rather, it was and is incorporated as a “Social Organization,” tax exempt under 501(c)7.

What is an incorporated Social Organization? Well, the model Social Organization corporation was made famous in New York City by John Gotti and the Mafia. They set up “Social Clubs” to carry out their nefarious deeds behind closed doors as corporations.

On March 25, 2019, the National Judge Advocate and National’s trade mark lawyer, flew out to conduct a mediation or settlement conference attempting resolve ALYC matter. I agreed to attend along with Judge Advocate Robert Wright and Richard Reyna, Commodore of Post 291’s new Veterans291Yacht Club. Also attending were the Department Judge Advocate and the Department Adjutant. Although we were in separate rooms, as is usual in mediations, we were informed that ALYC had a team of lawyers with them.

In his attack on me, Batcheller claims I falsely informed the membership that ALYC “walked out” of the meeting. The truth?

As I reported on www.AL291.com, Commanders Message, the National Judge Advocate met with us, Post 291, first. Then, he and the others met separately with the ALYC. Since I have participated in many mediations as CEO of my own company, and since the mediation was scheduled to last all day, I anticipated the National Judge Advocate would return to meet with us, and tell us what proposals ALYC had made regarding reaching an agreement, to which we could respond.

That didn’t happen. As I reported at the time, the National Judge Advocate walked into the room, and stated, as if in consternation: “They walked out.”    

That was exactly what he said. We all heard it. And that was it. We were never presented with any settlement proposals from ALYC.

If you believe Batcheller, that I lied, and you doubt me, JA Wright, and Commodore Reyna, I urge you to contact the office of the National Advocate, and/or the Department JA or Adjutant, and ask them. I assure you the response will be: “They walked out.”

Batcheller in an earlier “Ahoy” e-mail to ALYC members had spoken optimistically that the National Judge Advocate would side with ALYC in the matter. That didn’t happen. National did not support ALYC’s position in the mediation, or after it after ALYC walked out.

Further, National had at the beginning of the year sent a letter to the ALYC demanding that it “cease and desist” using the words “American Legion” in its name, since it has been terminated as a program for failure to comply with National’s Five Rules.

Pointedly, the National Judge Advocate was accompanied at the mediation meeting by National’s trade mark legal counsel. While National has not yet sued to enforce its demand that ALYC cease calling itself the “American Legion” yacht club, it has not withdrawn its cease and desist demand and may file a lawsuit at any time to obtain a court judgment preventing ALYC to continue to use “American Legion” in its name.

Batcheller claims that although they have lost every motion in their law suit against Post 291 and the E-Board members, it did have the effect to preventing the Post from locking up their boats and the “hut.” The facts: When the courts had denied ALYC’s motions for restraining orders or preliminary injunctions, there was some confusion as to who had the right to use of the boats, and they were locked up for a short time until that was clarified, then unlocked. As to the “hut,” the ALYC was never barred from the “hut.” In fact, one of its members used it every day. Further, the key code was never changed and ALYC was never barred. ALYC has spent over $100,000 for this?

As to the claim that the Post is trying to take over its boats and whatever is in the “hut,” on the contrary the Post’s attorney has requested the ALYC to take their boats and other property and leave.

Batcheller claims that even though losing every motion in court, a “second lawsuit” was filed which stopped prosecution of a complaint to expel the four most responsible ALYC officers, i.e., Berdine,Green, Batcheller, and Wine. The facts: There is no “second lawsuit.” The complaint against the four is brought by individual members as a matter of right, not by the Post, and I have no authority to violate the right of those members to file complaints.

One of the complainants is ALYC member and two-time Commodore “Skipper Tim” Bercovitz, whom ALYC has named a defendant in the lawsuit along with three other E-Board members who are also ALYC members.

The other complainant is Gene Anderson, Post Adjutant, who has been sued by ALYC even though he has no vote on the E-Board and could not be legally responsible or liable for either the suspension or termination of the ALYC as a program. Notwithstanding, ALYC has maliciously sued him.

Batcheller asserts, regarding the election, that “ALYC does not have—and never nominated its own ‘slate’ …This new [Reynolds] slate is NOT ‘the ALYC slate’ (whatever that is).” Really? Believe that? Why is “NOT” capitalized? Why would anybody think the Reynolds Slate is in fact the ALYC, just because, as noted above, all the candidates of the slate of (former ALYC Commodore) John Reynolds are connected with the ALYC, not the Post.

Finally, and in relation to Reynolds, Batcheller refers to what took place in 2008 when an unidentified member or members made a complaint that ALYC was not operating under the oversight and control of Post 291 but independently. Batcheller objects that: “The fact is National American Legion was never involved in 2008 during the resolution for the question of ALYC being a program of Post 291. The entire issue was handled—successfully—between Post 291, ALYC, and the Department of California.”

Batcheller is correct that it was ultimately investigated by the Department, but wrong in contending that National was involved. National is involved in every decision in matters which involve the use of the name “American Legion.” The Department has no independent authority to unilaterally to decide such matters without consultation with and approval by National.

Importantly, and ironically, John Reynolds, behind whose slate Batcheller and ALYC hide, pretending that it is not the “ALYC Slate,” played the key role in the 2008 matter of the complaint that ALYC allegedly acted as a rogue program operating independently of oversight and control by the Post.

That is, according to the documents of the 2008 matter, the Department Judge Advocate sent a letter stating the receipt of the complaint of ALYC acting without Post oversight and control, and warning that if that were true, the ALYC could not continue to use the name “American Legion.”

It was Jon Reynolds, then the Commodore of the ALYC, who responded. Reynold assured the Department Judge Advocate that the ALYC understood and agreed that it was subject to the oversight and control of the Post, and was in fact receiving and operating under the oversight and control of the Post.

On the basis of the assurances of Reynolds, the Department Judge Advocate wrote that no action would be taken against the ALYC, but warned that should the ALYC cease to be under the oversight and control of the Post, it would no longer be able to use the name “American Legion.”

What Jon Reynolds wrote in 2008, acknowledging that the ALYC was subject to oversight and control of the Post, appears to directly contradict the position articulated by then-Commodore Mike Berdine in the “Berdine Letter” of September 2017, in which he asserts that as a separate corporation ALYC is self-governing with only limited obligations to the Post. The Berdine position is the position of the ALYC in its lawsuit against Post 291, not the position stated by Jon Reynolds in 2008.

Therefore, while I am not a lawyer, it appears that if and when ALYC’s lawsuit goes to trial, John Reynolds will be a key if not “the key” witness for the Post to prove the ALYC has been at all times subject to oversight and control by the Post, which would include compliance with the Five Rules.

How ironic that Jon Reynolds is now the leader of the slate that Batcheller insists is “NOT” the ALYC Slate, while ALYC campaigns to elect only the members of that slate.

FINAL NOTE

I know that it is a tedious task to read this point-by-point response to Batcheller’s personal attack on my integrity and honor in manifest violation of the rule against negative campaigning based on personal denigration, and I appreciate everyone who has done so. I have addressed so many of the false allegations because of the importance of the issues involved.

Therefore, I end as I began, with expression of my belief that our Post 291, which I am not ashamed to admit I love, is at a crossroads.

I sincerely believe the decision which will be made at our election is existential. That is, the election will determine whether we will continue to exist as an American Legion Post with a Yacht Club program serving the Post; or, should the ALYC achieve the takeover of the Post in the election which it has been unable to achieve in its lawsuit, we will exist as an American Legion Yacht Club with an American Legion Post serving as program of a yacht club, one incorporated as a Social Organization.

As Commander, I made every good effort, commencing in September 2017, to resolve this unfortunate situation with the ALYC in good faith discussions between veterans. I never dreamed that the end of my four-year term as Commander, when so much good was achieved in our growth and our many programs, it would end in bitter litigation by the ALYC at the costs of tens of thousands of dollars.

Further, I never dreamed that at the end of my four years of service as Commander, culminating my more than 26 years as a member, I would have my integrity and honor maliciously besmirched by the ALYC. I have no problem with constructive criticism, with disagreement with my decisions, or opposition to my policies. But this personal attack on my integrity, my honor, that is beyond the pale. Malicious. Shameful.

I am infinitely grateful for having the opportunity to serve as Commander of Post 291. I am infinitely grateful to each and all of the members of the Executive Board, all of whom have worked so hard and so selflessly to serve the members of our Post, all veterans, our community, and our nation.

They have each been sued, personally, by the ALYC. They have been vilified. But they have not quit, not ceased to serve.

I am grateful to our Sons of the American Legion, and to our Auxiliary Unit 291, for all they have done and do for our Post and for all veterans.

I am grateful to all those who have donated their time, effort, and money in making our Post 291 the great Post that it is.

What has been accomplished has been accomplished by of us, by all who have continued to serve America by serving our American Legion Post.

May God bless you all. May God bless our Post 291. May God bless America.

Respectfully,

DOUG NYE, Commander,
American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291

APRIL 16, 2019

Newport Harbor Post 291 of The American Legion adv. The American Legion Yacht Club, Inc.

 
Dear Members of Post 291:
 
On December 6, 2018, the Executive Board of Post 291 voted UNANIMOUSLY to terminate the American Legion Yacht Club, Inc (AYLC, Inc) as the provider of Post 291’s Yacht Club Program. This termination occurred because ALYC, Inc refused to comply with the FIVE RULES OF SUBSIDIARY CORPORATIONS (“FIVE RULES”). These FIVE RULES are mandated by the National American Legion (“National”). They are not written by Post 291. Compliance with these FIVE RULES is MANDATORY for ALL Posts, and every Program of every Post. When a Program of a Post refuses to comply with these FIVE RULES, the entire Post itself is put into jeopardy.
 
Post 291 learned in a letter dated April 10, 2018 from National that ALYC, Inc was not in compliance with the FIVE RULES, (See attached). Their failure as a Program of Post 291 to comply put all of Post 291’s existence in jeopardy with National. That was unacceptable to Post 291. Accordingly, I, and the entire Executive Board of Post 291, insisted that ALYC, Inc get in compliance with the FIVE RULES.
 
Despite our best efforts over the course of most of 2018, we could not persuade ALYC, Inc to comply with the FIVE RULES. Douglas Green, the then Commodore of ALYC, Inc appeared before Post 291’s Executive Board a number of times and stated that ALYC, Inc would NOT agree to comply with the FIVE RULES. He made that position very clear on more than one occasion. In order to protect all of Post 291, the Executive Board believed that it was in the best interests of the entire Post, to terminate the relationship with ALYC, Inc.
 
It was unfortunate that a 52-year relationship had to end in such of manner. However, ALYC, Inc’s history, coupled with the conduct of a small handful of people in that organization, presented Post 291’s Executive Board with no alternative but to completely and permanently sever the relationship between Post 291 and ALYC, Inc. 
 
Many people have been asking me why this termination was necessary? Many have also been asking me why Post 291 did not try to resolve the issues with ALYC, Inc prior to its termination. The purpose of this letter is to try to answer these questions.
 
But first, I want you to know that I am about to speak to you from my heart! I care about Veterans. I have worked hard for many years for Veterans. Indeed, I have served tirelessly for the past 4 years as your Commander of Post 291, without compensation, because I care about Veterans and Post 291.
 

I also care about Integrity, Loyalty and Honesty. I am disgusted by the recent actions of a very few disgruntled, and apparently miserable, members of The American Legion Yacht Club, Inc. I believe there is a serious lack of Integrity, Loyalty and Honesty being demonstrated by some of these people. I believe they are actively trying to spread negativity like a poison throughout our Post. They started that negativity by having ALYC, Inc refuse to comply with the FIVE RULES. They expanded their negativity by commencing a lawsuit against the Veterans of Post 291. Now, they are expanding it further with an attempted “hostile takeover” of Post 291 in the forthcoming Post elections.

I am writing this letter so as to call your attention to this Negativity. I am also asking for your assistance in eliminating this Negativity from our Post. Post 291 is the largest and best of the approximately 14,000 Posts of the American Legion throughout the world! We have an incredible location here on the beach in beautiful Newport Harbor. We are the only Post which has a yacht club. We have so much for which we are thankful. There is no reason for us to allow this negativity to contaminate our Post.
 
Why was the termination necessary?
 
The termination was necessary because ALYC, Inc refused to comply with the FIVE RULES OF SUBSIDIARY CORPORATIONS as mandated by the National American Legion. (See attached letter of April 10, 2018 to Post 291 from the National Adjutant of the American Legion. The FIVE RULES are attached to that letter). I can assure you that myself, and the entire Executive Board, spent almost an entire year trying to amicably resolve the issues. We tried very hard to persuade ALYC, Inc to comply with the FIVE RULES. However, a small handful of people at ALYC, Inc with some undisclosed personal agendas made it their mission to assure there would not be an amicable resolution. On more than one occasion, Commodore Douglas Green of ALYC, Inc advised Post 291’s Executive Board that they refused to comply with the FIVE RULES, even though these FIVE RULES were mandated by National.
 
On October 31, 2018, ALYC, Inc took the unprecedented action of actually commencing a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against the Veterans of Post 291 and all of the members of the Executive Board of Post 291.
 
The lawsuit brought by ALYC, Inc against Post 291 is actively ongoing. ALYC, Inc has been resoundingly defeated in the first six legal battles in this litigation war that they commenced. Two different Superior Court Judges, and several Justices of the Court of Appeal have already ruled against ALYC, Inc on each and every legal issue presented to date. They have repeatedly been told that their lawsuit is fatally defective. Yet, they continue to throw tremendous amounts of money to a number of different attorneys at a number of different law firms to continue to prosecute their unmeritorious lawsuit.
 
Recently, a team of high-ranking personnel from the National American Legion, and the Department, came to town to try to meet with all parties and negotiate the resolution of the issues between the parties. The meeting was scheduled for a full day on March 25, 2019. Nevertheless, ALYC, Inc, and its large entourage of expensive attorneys, all walked out of the Settlement Meeting after only about one hour. We do not know why they walked out. All we know is that the representatives of Post 291, and Post 291’s attorneys, were simply told by Nationals representatives that there would be no resolution because everyone from ALYC, Inc had just “walked out”.
 
ALYC, Inc appears to be spending huge sums of moneys on attorney’s fees. They presently have four different lawyers or sets of law firms purportedly representing them. We do not know where they are getting the money to pay for so many different attorneys and law firms. Nor do we know what, exactly, they are hoping to accomplish by forcing Post 291 to spend huge amounts of moneys defending against all of the litigation. What we do know is that Post 291 has successfully defeated them in every legal skirmish. We intend to continue to defeat them in every forthcoming legal skirmish. They are wasting large sums of monies on attorney’s fees and costs. I believe these monies should be spent on things of benefit to Veterans. I do not believe these monies should be spent on attorney’s fees and litigation.
 
People have asked me for more specifics concerning the dispute. Here is a summary.
 
Approximately ten years ago in 2008, some members of Post 291 notified the National American Legion that they had concerns about ALYC, Inc. Specifically, ALYC, Inc was supposed to be a “Program” of Post 291. As a “Program” of Post 291 ALYC, Inc is supposed to be under the complete control of Post 291. In 2008, certain members of Post 291 notified National American Legion that they believed that ALYC, Inc was acting far too independent of Post 291. They believed that ALYC, Inc was acting as if it was independent from Post 291 and not under the control of Post 291.
 
National investigated. National requested, and received, written confirmation from both ALYC, Inc and Post 291 confirming that ALYC, Inc was a program of Post 291 and that ALYC, Inc operated under the sponsorship and jurisdiction of Post 291. The problem with ALYC, Inc acting independent and outside the control of Post 291 appeared to have been resolved in 2008.
 
Unfortunately, the same issues with ALYC, Inc acting too independent and outside the control of Post 291 arose AGAIN in 2018. On April 10, 2018, The American Legion National Adjutant, Daniel S. Wheeler, wrote to Post 291. (A copy of that letter is attached).
 
 This letter from the National American Legion required that both Post 291 and ALYC, Inc must be in compliance with the FIVE RULES. Upon receipt of this April 2018 letter, it was determined that ALYC was NOT in compliance with the Five Rules of Subsidiary Corporations. If ALYC, Inc was not in compliance, then Post 291 was also deemed to not be in compliance. ALYC’s failure to comply placed Post 291 in jeopardy with National.  Post 291 made continuous and repeated efforts to get ALYC, Inc. to come into compliance with those rules. ALYC, Inc. refused to comply with the Five Rules of Subsidiary Corporation.
 
Initially, ALYC, Inc said they needed some time to change their corporate Bylaws in order to be able to comply with the Five Rules. They never made any effort to change their Bylaws. After months of delays by ALYC, Inc in never amending their Bylaws, Post 291’s Executive Board prepared and submitted a set of Amended Bylaws to ALYC, Inc.
 
ALYC, Inc was provided the opportunity to comment upon and make any changes to these Amended Bylaws. They did so. Post 291’s Executive Board adopted the changes and modifications requested by ALYC, Inc. Post 291’s Executive Board then approved these Amended Bylaws for ALYC, Inc.
 
Thereafter, ALYC, Inc refused to even present these newly Amended Bylaws to their General Membership for approval. They also failed and refused to submit any other proposed Amended Bylaws to Post 291. Instead, they changed their position. Now they took the position that they were an Independent Corporation and not a subsidiary corporation of Post 291. They also contended that they were not to be controlled by Post 291. (The Five Rules require that Post 291 must be in complete control of any Program or Subsidiary Corporation). ALYC, Inc took the position that since they were not a Subsidiary Corporation of Post 291, the Five Rules of Subsidiary Corporations were not applicable to them.
 
ALYC, Inc. insisted that since they were a separate and Independent Corporation they could not, and would not, agree to be controlled by Post 291. They argued that Post 291 was attempting a “hostile takeover” of ALYC, Inc. They argued that Post 291 was trying to take all of their boats, assets and cash on hand. These were all lies thrown out to distract from the real issue. Post 291 was not trying to perform a “hostile takeover”. We were not trying to take their boats, assets or monies. But, we WERE trying to get them to comply with the FIVE RULES as mandated by the National American Legion.
 
Finally, in September 2018, Post 291 suspended ALYC, Inc. This suspension was by a UNANIMOUS vote of the Executive Board! ALYC, Inc. was forbidden from conducting any further Yacht Club related Programs at Post 291. They were also forbidden to use any Post 291 resources.
 
At the time of the suspension in September 2018, ALYC, Inc. was advised that they had a deadline of December 6, 2018 within which to come into full compliance with the Five Rules of Subsidiary’s Corporations, as required by The National American Legion. ALYC, Inc. promptly filed a lawsuit against Post 291. That lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court is entitled The American Legion Yacht Club, Inc. vs. Newport Harbor Post 291, of the American Legion, Inc. (OCSC Case No. 30-2018-01029371). It was filed on October 31, 2018. (You can look up the lawsuit on the Court’s website at www.occourts.org).
 
In addition to suing Post 291, ALYC, Inc. also named Fifteen Individual defendants. Each of those Fifteen Individual defendants is an Officer or Director of Post 291. I, Commander Nye, am also named as one of those Fifteen Individual Defendants. Under California Non-Profit Corporations Law, none of the Officers or Directors of Post 291 who are serving that Non-Profit Corporation without compensation should have any liability. Furthermore, under California Code of Civil Procedure §425.15, prior to attempting to file any lawsuit against any Officers or Directors of a Non-Profit Corporation who are serving in their capacity without compensation, it is mandatory that ALYC, Inc. first file a Petition with the Superior Court.
 
The mandatory Petition is one in which the Plaintiff, ALYC, Inc., must present its evidence before a Judge of the Superior Court and persuade the Judge of the Superior Court that it has a valid claim or cause of action against any of these Individual defendants. This Petition must be brought pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure §425.15. The filing of that Petition is a condition precedent to filing any lawsuit against these uncompensated Officers and Directors of a Non-Profit Corporation. Each of the Individual defendants is entitled to file evidence in opposition to the Petition. The Superior Court Judge then makes a determination as to whether or not to grant permission to ALYC, Inc., to commence a lawsuit against the Individual defendants. 
 
ALYC, Inc. made no effort or attempt to comply with this mandatory condition precedent. Failure to comply with C.C.P. §425.15 is a blatant violation of the law. ALYC, Inc flagrantly violated the law. Nevertheless, ALYC, Inc. continues prosecuting their lawsuit against Post 291 and Fifteen Individual Veterans who actively VOLUNTEER thousands of hours of their time to Post 291!
 
In November 2018, ALYC, Inc sought an Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause re Preliminary Injunction against Post 291. Specifically, they sought a Court Order to block Post 291 from suspending ALYC, Inc.’s operations at Post 291. They requested an order reinstating them as a Program of Post 291. Post 291 opposed both of these requests. Both of their requests were DENIED by the Court.
 
During the hearing, the Judge was advised not only that ALYC, Inc. had been suspended by Post 291 effective in September 2018, but also that ALYC, Inc had been advised that they would be permanently terminated on December 6, 2018 if they were not in full compliance with the Five Rules by that deadline. The Judge noted the deadline. And, the Judge ordered the matter to a Mandatory Settlement Conference on December 3, 2018. It was his attempt to try to have the matter resolved prior to the firm termination deadline of December 6, 2018.
 
Both prior to, and during, the Mandatory Settlement Conference ALYC, Inc. refused to come into compliance with the Five Rules. They continued to insist that they were independent of Post 291 and they would not allow themselves to be controlled by Post 291. When December 6, 2018 arrived, ALYC, Inc. was still not in compliance with the Five Rules.
 
Rule No. 4 of the Five Rules is probably the easiest rule for ALYC, Inc to demonstrate compliance. Rule # 4 simply requires that the Chief Financial Officer of Post 291 must be added as a signer on every financial account of ALYC, Inc. All they had to do was take the CFO of Post 291 to their bank and add him as a signatory on each account. They refused! Why? What financial irregularities are ALYC, Inc trying to hide?
 
ALYC, Inc. was terminated permanently by Post 291 on December 6, 2018. This termination occurred via a UNANIMOUS vote of the entire Executive Board of Post 291. Post 291 immediately commenced the formation of a new Yacht Club Program. The new Yacht Club Program is named Veterans 291 Yacht Club (V291YC). V291YC has been formed to provide the Yacht Club Program that Post 291 wishes to make available to its membership. And, V291YC does comply with the Five Rules.
 
V291YC’s membership has been growing amazingly fast. Most people are canceling or not renewing their memberships in the old ALYC, Inc. Instead, they are all joining the new V291YC. Many other Post 291 members, SALs and Auxiliary who did not previously belong to a yacht club are signing up as Members of V291YC. We anticipate that V291YC’s membership will very soon be greater than the membership in the old ALYC, Inc. I encourage you all to immediately join V291YC. Membership information is available at Post 291 or on our website at www.al291.com.
          
After having been terminated on December 6, 2018, ALYC, Inc. once again went back into Court on another “emergency” Ex Parte basis. Once again, on December 14, 2018, they sought an Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order and an Order to Show Cause re Preliminary Injunction. Once again, they begged the Court to reinstate them with Post 291. Post 291 opposed these motions. Once, again, all relief sought was DENIED.
 
Interestingly, during both of these hearings in Court, their attorneys argued to the Judge that they would soon be financially bankrupt if they were not awarded an Injunction due to their tremendous loss of membership and membership dues, combined with the huge amounts of monies that they were spending in legal fees. The Judge was not impressed with these pleas. The reality is that they should have anticipated that most of their membership would cancel or refuse to renew when they attacked all of the Veterans at Post 291 and the Officers and Directors of Post 291 with a lawsuit. That is precisely what has happened!  
 
ALYC, Inc. had insisted they wanted to be independent and not under the control of Post 291. Post 291 advised the Court that by terminating the relationship between Post 291 and ALYC, Inc. ALYC, Inc was getting everything that they wanted! The Court agreed! ALYC, Inc. was now independent of Post 291. It also was not under the control of Post 291. ALYC, Inc. was banned from conducting any further business on Post 291’s property. They were, however, independent and free to move their Yacht Club to anywhere except Post 291’s property.
 
During that hearing on December 14, 2018 the Court pointed out that there would be a new Judge assigned to the case in January 2019. ALYC, Inc. requested that they be provided an additional opportunity to make their case for an Injunction before the new Judge. We agreed to that request. We knew that this hearing would provide Post 291 with an excellent opportunity to “educate” the new Judge about the facts of this case from our point of view. The hearing was set for January 18, 2019.
 
At the hearing on January 18, 2019, ALYC, Inc. presented all of their arguments and evidence before the new Judge. Judge Moss, the new Judge, has been on the Orange County Superior Court for many, many years. He had just completed serving his term as a Presiding Judge of the Civil Panel. Judge Moss carefully analyzed ALYC, Inc.’s Complaint as well as their evidence in support of their request for a Preliminary Injunction against Post 291. ALYC, Inc. was requesting an Injunction preventing Post 291 from terminating ALYC, Inc. as a Program of Post 291 and also preventing Post 291 from banning ALYC, Inc. from conducting any operations on Post 291’s property.
 
In a very thorough and detailed ruling, Judge Moss DENIED ALYC, Inc.’s request for Preliminary Injunction. The Court pointed out numerous fatally defective flaws in Plaintiff’s Complaint. The Court further pointed out numerous fatally defective problems with their lack of evidence and improper legal theories. In short, the Judge made it very clear that ALYC, Inc. had completely FAILED to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits in their lawsuit. This new Judge told them precisely what Post 291 and their prior Judge had already repeatedly told them… ALYC, Inc has stated NO CASE against Post 291!
 
ALYC, Inc. was extremely upset. This represented their fourth consecutive loss. In their first four attempts before the Orange County Superior Court, they had now lost two requests for Temporary Restraining Order and two requests for Preliminary Injunction. They had also been told by two separate Judges that they had not stated a valid case against Post 291. Not a good way to start a lawsuit!
 
ALYC, Inc. responded to this fourth consecutive loss by attempting to have Judge Moss disqualified. ALYC, Inc. submitted a verified request to disqualify him on the grounds that his wife is a Member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 291. Judge Moss had disclosed this fact at the commencement of the hearing on January 18, 2019. Judge Moss had also disclosed that he had visited Post 291 on several occasions and had enjoyed sitting on the patio overlooking the boats and the Harbor. However, Judge Moss had assured all the parties that the fact that he had visited Post 291 and that his wife was a Member of the Auxiliary, Unit 291 would not have any effect on his ability to be neutral, fair and impartial in addressing the merits of this case. Post 291 believes that Judge Moss has a well-established reputation of being an intelligent, fair and honest Judge. Post 291 is very comfortable with having him presiding over the case. ALYC, Inc having just received a devastating ruling against their case by Judge Moss, was unwilling to agree to allow him to continue to be the Judge on the case. Hence, their attempt to disqualify him.
 
Post 291 submitted Opposition to this attempt to disqualify Judge Moss. The attempt to disqualify Judge Moss was DENIED. ALYC, Inc. then sought a Writ before the Court of Appeal. The Writ further attempted to disqualify Judge Moss. Post 291 prepared Opposition to this Writ. The Writ was also DENIED by the Justices of the Court of Appeal. Judge Moss remains the Judge on the case.
 
ALYC, Inc. now had two additional legal defeats added to their record. They had been defeated six out of six attempts. They just filed a Notice of Appeal with respect to the denial of their request for an Injunction. We anticipate that the Appeal will also represent an additional defeat for ALYC, Inc. Judge Moss’ Order Denying the Injunction is very detailed and thorough. ALYC, Inc. is just wasting a tremendous amount of money in attorney’s fees and costs to earn their seventh legal loss in seven attempts.  
 
Post 291 had noticed the depositions of three (3) representatives of ALYC, Inc to take place in February 2019. Post 291 had hoped that by taking the depositions of Bruce Batcheller, Douglas Green and Mike Berdine it might be possible to find out why ALYC, Inc was suing Post 291 even though its own Board had voted against suing the veterans of Post 291. We had also hoped that we might learn what they hoped to accomplish with their lawsuit. They know that ALYC, Inc had been terminated for refusing to comply with the mandatory FIVE RULES. Did they really think that a Court would order Post 291 to take them back? Especially, when they still, to this day, have not demonstrated compliance with the FIVE RULES? Apparently, Messrs. Batcheller, Green and Berdine are all afraid to have their depositions taken. None of them appeared for their depositions. We will soon be seeking Court Orders against these three individuals for their failure to appear at their depositions.
 
After Post 291 terminated ALYC, Inc. on December 6, 2018, National Judge Advocate Kevin J. Bartlett sent a “Cease and Desist” letter to ALYC, Inc. on December 20, 2018. In that letter, Judge Advocate Kevin J. Bartlett told The American Legion Yacht Club, Inc. that it was no longer authorized to use the trademark name “American Legion”. It was ordered to immediately terminate use of all American Legion trademarks including the name and emblems. ALYC, Inc. was also instructed to confirm in writing no later than January 1, 2019 that it had complied with the letter and stopped any further violations of The American Legion’s rights.
 
ALYC, Inc. continues to prominently use the name “American Legion” and the emblems and logos of The American Legion. They also still proclaim on their website to be a part of The American Legion Family and a part of Post 291 (www.alyc.com). These statements presently on their website are false. Post 291 has severed all relationships with ALYC, Inc. They stated in their legal papers that they are not a program of Post 291. We do not know why they continue to publish these false statements on their website. National is well aware of ALYC, Inc’s continued used of their trademarks and emblems, despite the “Cease and Desist” letter. In light of ALYC, Inc’s rude treatment of National when they walked out of the March 25th Settlement Meeting, Post 291 would not be surprised if National soon commences a Trademark Infringement lawsuit against ALYC, Inc in Federal Court.
 
This problem with ALYC, Inc. has cost Post 291 a tremendous amount of money in attorney’s fees and costs already. Post 291 is now obligated to spend tremendous amounts of money to continue defending these litigation battles. Aside from the money, we also have a tremendous amount of stress and consternation amongst the Officers, Directors and members of Post 291 due to this litigation. People who VOLUNTEER selflessly of their time, energy and effort for the benefit of the Veterans served by Post 291 should not have to suffer the additional stress of being sued as a result of their volunteering efforts. Yet, ALYC, Inc continues to name Fifteen Individual Officers and Directors of Post 291 as Defendants in their lawsuit. (The first Judge suggested to ALYC, Inc that it might be a “wise” move to promptly dismiss all Fifteen of the Individual Defendants. However, ALYC, Inc has not followed through with those dismissals).
 
This now brings us to the issue of the forthcoming elections. This hand full of disgruntled people who are controlling the litigation at ALYC, Inc have apparently finally realized that they are losing in Court. Now, it appears they are going to attempt a “hostile takeover” of Post 291 via the forthcoming elections. I am told they are putting together a slate of candidates to run for Office at Post 291. Their candidates appear to be running on one issue only. That one issue is that they represent ALYC, Inc. If elected, they intend to attempt to focus all of their efforts on undoing the termination of ALYC, Inc. They apparently want ALYC, Inc to “take over” control of Post 291.
 
I have worked very hard for Post 291 during the past four years of my term as Commander. I am proud that Post 291 is an extremely well-run Post. We are one of the largest Posts of the entire American Legion. We are the only Post that has a Yacht Club. Our Post is in much better condition now than it was four years ago when I initially took Office. I know that there are many candidates running in these next elections who are willing to continue to improve our Post. Those candidates are not running solely because they are some “disgruntled” members of a yacht club which refuses to comply with the rules of the National Legion. I support those candidates who are willing to work to improve Post 291. I do not support the candidates who are beholden only to ALYC, Inc.
 
I encourage all of our Legionaries to personally come to Post 291 on election day, Wednesday, May 8, 2019 and cast their vote. The voting takes place between 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The results will be announced that evening after all votes have been counted. I encourage you to come to the Post that day, vote and enjoy dinner and drinks until the election results are announced. You must be present to vote. This election is extremely important. We need to remove this negativity from our Post!
 
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you and all Veterans during the past four years as your Commander. I look forward to seeing everyone present, and voting, at the elections on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 between 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
 
For God and Country,
 
 
Doug Nye
Commander
The American Legion Post 291 

MARCH 2019

Meeting with National HQ and the ALYC

 

On March 25th, 2019 I met with The American Legion’s National Judge Advocate and their legal representation as well as the Department of California’s Judge Advocate, Adjutant and their legal representation regarding the ongoing litigation with our terminated yacht club, the “ALYC.”
 
The meeting took place off-site and Post 291’s segment of the meeting between National and Department was approximately 30 minutes in length. Afterwards, they proceeded to a separate conference room to speak with the representatives of the ALYC.
 
Approximately 60 minutes later, I was informed that all parties representing the ALYC had “walked out”.
 
As I receive updates concerning this matter, I will certainly keep you informed.
 
Respectfully,

Doug Nye
Commander
The American Legion Post 291

DECEMBER  2018

As Commander of Post 291, I want to thank all Post 291 members for your support as we, together, have taken actions which have made Newport Harbor Post 291 now the largest active American Legion Post in the nation. That has taken a lot of very hard work by members dedicated to make Post 291 not only the largest active Post in the Country, but, in my opinion, the best Post in the country based on all we do in support of veterans, through our programs.

Unfortunately, amidst that success, a conflict has arisen between the Post, and one of our programs, the American Legion Yacht Club (ALYC). All efforts to resolve the conflict by good faith negotiation having failed. The Post 291 Executive Board on Dec. 6, 2018, reluctantly but necessarily voted to terminate the ALYC as a program. This action is necessary due to ALYC’s refusal to comply with the National American Legion’s “Five Rules Of Subsidiary Corporations Or SAL And Riders Or Semi Independent Programs,” referred to as the “Five Rules” of the parent National American Legion. [The “Five Rules” are attached separately.]

Most members have heard about the dispute, or rumors about it, and misrepresentations about it, including articles in the newspaper. Misrepresentations have spread that “the Post is trying to take over the yacht club,” and “the Post is trying to grab the assets of the yacht club.” All false, malicious misrepresentations.

As Commander, I have established a policy of attempting to resolve this problem through good faith negotiations among us as veterans and members of Post 291, and not responding to these false misrepresentations. The Post has made no public statements, and has declined to comment to the media—or to plant stories with the media. Others have, denigrating Post 291. We have not retaliated.

However, all attempts to resolve the problem by negotiation have failed; the ALYC has opted for litigation, suing the Post and all members of the Executive Board: and the ALYC continues to refuse to comply with National’s “Five Rules.”

There can be no doubt that the ALYC, as a Post program, has enhanced the image of our Post and done some good things for our Post, as have all our programs.

But all Post programs are required to comply with the rules of the National American Legion as well as Department and Post rules. The ALYC, however, asserts that because it is incorporated as a “Social Club,” it is not subject to oversight and control by the Post and refuses to comply with the “Five Rules” of the National American Legion which all Post programs must obey.

All Post 291 members have to understand that the “Five Rules” are not Post 291’s rules—they are the rules of the National American Legion which is imposed upon all programs in all the more than 13,000 Posts in the country. Post 291 cannot change National’s “Five Rules,” only National can. Post 291 cannot refuse to enforce the Five Rules. Post 291 has no choice but to obey those rules at risk of sanctions of the Post by the National Legion; and no choice but to terminate the ALYC, or any other program, which refuses to obey the National American Legion’s “Five Rules.”

As Commander, I have not put out statements about the controversy during more than a year of efforts to resolve the problem by good faith negotiation. I have done that so as not to poison the atmosphere to such an extent as to impede or preclude resolution by negotiation.

But, negotiations have failed. The ALYC refuses to comply with National’s “Five Rules, and has been terminated as a program.

Therefore, I want you, the members, to have the facts of what has happened, and why. I provide you with that information by providing a copy of the notice of termination of the ALYC as a program which I directed to ALYC Commodore Doug Green. It is attached below. The facts, the truth, is provided there.

It is unfortunate that the ALYC has had to be terminated —but it had to be done because of ALYC’s continuing refusal to comply with the “Five Rules” of the National American Legion.

This does not mean that Post 291 will be without a yacht club. A new Newport Harbor Post 291 Yacht Club is being established which will comply with National American Legion policies, including the Five Rules, and will function as a program, part of the Post 291 Legion Family, subject to the rules required of all programs, and not as an incorporated “social club” separate from the Post.

Respectfully,

Doug Nye, Commander
Newport Harbor Post 291

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018


Congratulations to Brian Fleming Jr. and his Color Guard Competition Team who placed in the top 3 in both Advancing/Retiring of Colors Class and Military Open Class, held at National Convention in Minneapolis August 24.

Another coup for Post 291––first time the Post sponsored a Boy’s State delegate to California Boys State who went on to represent 291 at Boy’s Nation in Washington DC, and then won election for President of Boys Nation 2018, representing not only California but 291.

Congratulations Josh Cheadle! American Legion Children and Youth programs are under the direction of our 3rd Vice Commander, Sandy Schneeberger.  This is a huge national program for high school junior boys and a big thank you to her and her committee for selecting Josh from Sage High School in Newport Coast.  Thanks to everyone’s hard work, you represent the best American Legion in the country and I’m proud to be the Commander of Post 291.

Labor Day Weekend ends the official summer season at the Post. Enjoy the rest of the summer by coming out and enjoying the weekend bands, Tuesday Hootenanny, Friday night Dinner and Dancing to live band music, and sailing activities with the Yacht Club.  The Post has had a terrific summer with full crowds enjoying the special amenities that only Post 291 can provide. Thanks to all the Veterans and their families who support the Post, keeping it a viable business operation by using the Bar and Restaurant, and attending special events.

September 11, 2001.  Where were you when the Towers fell and the U.S. lost over 3000 citizens in a terror attack seventeen years ago?  Please take a moment to remember that day, now called Patriot Day, Tuesday, September 11.  Hootenanny, Taco Tuesday and Line Dancing will still be scheduled.

We swing into Autumn with Country Night Friday September 21. And you can’t forget our famous Halloween Costume Party Friday, October 26. Reservations only so call the office because it’s always a sell out. Thanksgiving Buffet and Christmas festivities and Boat Parade are right around the corner.

2018-2019 goals are as follows:

  1. VETERANS FIRST.  Our veterans will always be our # 1 priority at Post 291.
  2. Create new events for our veterans and continue raising money to donate to their needs.
  3. Continue recruiting our younger veterans for they are our Future Legionnaires who will continue our legacy and represent the legion’s future.
  4. Put programs together so our younger Veterans can get involved to reach these goals.

Remember our mission statement of “Veterans First”. If you love your freedom, “Thank a Vet”. Our commitment to all veterans, our members, veterans’ programs or veterans-in-need alike, will reflect in all we do as we strive to honor all who served. The Post is not a “Club”, but an American Legion Post for Military Veterans who share common experiences. The Security staff is made up of SONs who are SONs of the Post. Please show respect to the Post, Volunteer Security staff, all veterans and guests.

Remember: “Veterans First”.  
Attitude is the Altitude of Success at the American Legion Post 291.  
Let’s all work together to make that happen.

 

JULY/AUGUST 2018

Post 291 ushers in the new 2018-2019 Command year and my officers and Executive Committee members will all do another great job. Welcome all the SONs and Auxiliary officers this year and wish them a successful year ahead.

Congratulations to Post 291 Honor Guard Commander Brian Fleming Jr, and his competition team who, once again, placed 1st at the American Legion Department of California convention held in Sacramento the last weekend in June. They now go on to compete at National in August to retain their 1st place title as the best Honor Guard in the nation. Way to go guys!

Congratulations to Sandy Schneeberger, our 3rd Vice Commander who is in charge of our Boys State program. Post 291 sent 27 delegates, the most from any single Post in the state. Our district also lead by sending the most (86) delegates for the State. One of our own delegates, Viren Abhyankar from Northwood High School, Irvine, was voted 2018 Boys State Governor during their week in Sacramento June 16-22 and an Alternate to Boys Nation as well as our other delegate, Josh Cheadle from Sage High School selected Senator for Boys Nation.  This is a huge deal, and a real coup for our Post, the second time it’s ever happened in over 50 years.  This has been a great year for our Post to be recognized with these awards and achievements as The American Legion begins its 100th year.

As I start my fourth term as your Commander, my 2018-2019 goals are as follows:

  1. VETERANS FIRST. Our veterans will always be our # 1 priority at Post 291
  2. Create new events for our veterans and continue raising money to donate to their needs
  3. Continue recruiting our younger veterans for they are our Future Legionnaires who will continue our legacy and represent the legion’s future
  4. Put programs together so our younger Veterans can get involved to reach these goals

We are a very large Legion Post, therefore, have policies & procedures in place that are different from others because of our vast membership roll of 7000 members within the Legion family. My goal is to continue to run this Post in a positive direction and  have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all the members.

Reminder to all members, especially new ones:  Summer has arrived on the Peninsula.  Traffic is heavy and parking is at a premium. The Post is very crowded and kids are playing by the water.  PLEASE observe the rules while at the Post. They are posted on the railings, white boards and outside, plus on the website. There is no lifeguard so ALL parents must watch their kids while on the beach, and no bare feet once back on Post grounds. We want everyone to have a safe summer.  Security staff is made up of SONs who are SONs of the Post. Please show respect to the Post, Volunteer Security staff, all veterans and guests.

Members MUST show current membership card before entering the parking lot and you CANNOT leave your car in the lot and go elsewhere such as the beach, bike riding, etc.

We are continuing to make improvements to the Marina, repairs to the seawall and inside our Post facility. We have begun a Building fund to raise money to remodel/rebuild our Post so that the future generations of veterans for many more years.

July 4th was another huge event at the Post. Thanks to all the volunteers that made it so successful. All our members really helped our donation goal for the 2018-2019 year. With your generosity, this event helps support the American Legion’s Boys State program, VA Hospital visits, plus many veteran, community, and youth programs. Visit al291.com for all the programs that Post 291 fosters. Helping your Post to help others.

Check the website and white boards for more information regarding our Summer events like Dance Party Friday Nights, Jazz Nights, Weekend Bands on the Patio, and our WW2/ Korean War Vet lunch held July 28 honoring all our vets who served in those theaters.

Remember our mission statement of “Veterans First”. If you love your freedom, “Thank a Vet”. Our commitment to all veterans, our members, veterans’ programs or veterans-in need alike, will reflect in all we do as we strive to honor all who served. The Post is not a “Club”, but an American Legion Post for Military Veterans who share common experiences.