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.
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.
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.
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.
Meeting with National HQ and the ALYC
The American Legion Post 291
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.
Doug Nye, Commander
Newport Harbor Post 291
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:
- VETERANS FIRST. Our veterans will always be our # 1 priority at Post 291.
- Create new events for our veterans and continue raising money to donate to their needs.
- Continue recruiting our younger veterans for they are our Future Legionnaires who will continue our legacy and represent the legion’s future.
- 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.
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:
- VETERANS FIRST. Our veterans will always be our # 1 priority at Post 291
- Create new events for our veterans and continue raising money to donate to their needs
- Continue recruiting our younger veterans for they are our Future Legionnaires who will continue our legacy and represent the legion’s future
- 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.