Home Forums Banter Gene and Nicole

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  • #19255
    Dennis Shen
    General Member

    Dear Luke,

    Although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting or conversing with Billy before, it seems like you are bulling both Billy and Gene.  I’d like to share some thoughts regarding your apparent familiarity with civil law. To truly claim expertise in this field, it typically requires extensive experience, including participation in over ten trials within both state and federal courts over the past few years, as well as facing losses in cases that should have been won. Additionally, it involves navigating situations where you’ve played a role in bankrupting someone who has crossed you and demonstrating a mastery of attorney management, including the selection of the right attorney for specific legal tasks. Without these experiences, one might argue that a comprehensive understanding of civil law remains elusive.

    While I’m still in the process of comprehending the ongoing situation, I’d like to propose a hypothetical scenario: If you and I were to engage in a legal dispute, I would be willing to wager that, in terms of legal expenses, for every dollar I spend, you might find yourself expending two dollars. Please note, however, that there are presently no grounds for any legal action between us.

    Gene has been a valuable source of assistance to me on multiple occasions in the hills, and I feel a sense of gratitude towards him. This is the primary reason I have taken an interest in this matter. I held a deep appreciation for the points Jana articulated, up until the moment she presented two videos that appeared to be taken out of context. It appears that there may be a concerted effort to target a man who is battling cancer, with allegations suggesting an attempt to drive him out of business. My initial assessment suggests that not only have our organization’s bylaws been disregarded, but many other causes of actions taken also appear to raise legal concerns. To this end, I have already sought legal counsel on this matter.

    It appears that Gene has effectively resolved the issues surrounding both horses and dogs. The remaining concern, as I see it, pertains to ensuring that Sandy feels at liberty to offer services similar to those provided by Gene and Nicole. I am optimistic that our collective efforts within the community can lead to the reinstatement of Gene’s membership and the resolution of this matter, thereby preventing further financial losses and personal distress.

    Sincerely,

    Dennis

    #19256
    Dennis Shen
    General Member

    FYI.   I already downloaded the website.   I don’t see any indemnification clause for any of the board Director on the website.

    #19257

    Dear club members,

    Based on the amount of votes I have received during the past three elections in which I’ve participated, I’m led to believe that many of you must trust me enough to believe that I would do a good job as one of your elected officers. If you know me any significant amount of time and if you’ve talked to me about running for one of the positions, you know I put my name on these ballots very reluctantly. I’m usually talked into running for the board.

    I’ve been coming to the LZ since the beginning of 2017 and in that time managed to maintain positive relationships with most members. I’ve never been in a screaming match with anyone, I’ve tried to be as fair as possible based on facts, I’ve been very forthcoming with you all about the inner board going-ons, and any time the discussion of a ban came up, I always tried to argue for a second or third chance on the individual’s behalf.

    This is the first time in my memory where arguably every current board member is on the same page about this particular issue. The only minor disagreement between us is the severity/length of the punishment. We are basing our decisions on evidence and witness accounts. Many of us are also first hand witnesses to some of the past and present transgressions, so we do understand the history and current status of the individual in question. We are not basing our decision to ban Gene for a year on past behavior. We are basing it on recent and current events only, which put the club’s existence in very serious jeopardy, even moving forward.

    When Gene suggests that he believes his contributions have enhanced our air park’s safety and enjoyment for “everyone”, I have to point out that a lot of people do not feel safe or joyful in his presence.

    When people e-mail us about the importance of rides up to the 750 and Regionals (or lack thereof if Gene is banned, which is untrue, because he can freely continue to operate his ride business outside of AJX property), it takes me back to a time when Gene exhibited unacceptable behavior toward other drivers, which caused at least one of them to fear for her life. She became so fearful to be alone at the LZ, she would make sure someone was there with her.

    If you’ve met Sandy, you know she is by far the sweetest and most kind person at Andy Jackson Airpark. She’s had her van driving business for many years. If anything, it’s Gene who began cutting into her business! She didn’t complain, she shared, and at first things seemed to work in harmony. We the pilots tried to support both of them, never picking sides.

    Gene was the one who began to create a rift between them. Many people have witnessed him getting into a yelling match with Sandy and Dale over who gets to drive more people up the mountain. Gene is doing the yelling and even admits on video he shouldn’t be talking to Sandy that way! The reason the videos were shot, is because at that point this harassment had reached a level that begged to be captured on video as evidence. How did the person know to start filming? Because this was just another example of multiple incidents.

    Why does Gene feel entitled to my, or anyone else’s ride money? Unless I call him and ask him to be there, I have no obligation to get in his Ranger, and it’s not because Sandy convinced me not to. If anything, the opposite was true, because she did not want to trigger him in any way.

    I hated the tension that Gene created between them, because I desperately wanted to be on good terms with both of them. I didn’t want to have to choose sides. If the board at the time wasn’t going to handle the threatening behavior issue, I felt like there wasn’t anything I could do to resolve it myself. I could have refused to use Gene’s driving services and never speak to him again after the way he treated the sweetest lady in the LZ, I probably should have if I had stood for what I believed in, but I didn’t. It was easier to just try to get along and hope it would resolve itself.

    Gene (or whoever the person writing these replies on his behalf is), stated that the student pushed Nicole, and that is why Gene reacted the way he did. The video clips are complete and have not been edited to misinform. They appear in their true, full length. I put them together into one video for easier viewing, but did not cut short any part of them.

    The claim that the student pushed Nicole, does not add up to me whatsoever. Nicole’s name never came up that day, or thereafter, until now to justify the bad behavior in the videos. Gene was asked by the student and by the bystanders what the student had done to deserve this over-the-top confrontation and Gene never told the witnesses on site that the student was guilty of putting his hands on Nicole. That was not part of the narrative back then. I can only speak for myself, but if I had been in a similar situation, I would immediately inform the witnesses on site that Nicole was assaulted, and that this was my reason for having said reaction. That would have been the end of the student’s lessons. It wasn’t.

    It is frustrating that every shred of evidence of bad, negligent and deliberate behavior is met with stubborn resistance. How are we supposed to do our jobs of protecting the club, if we are being threatened with lawsuits when we do so? I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, where two and two equals five. A huge part of me wants to give up, because I have enough turmoil in my life, I don’t need to be punished for volunteering my valuable time for free, trying to help the club continue to exist. I’m tempted to launch and land anywhere else except AJX and let it devolve to whatever it will. Maybe I should stop caring, but it’s hard to let the offenders prevail. I can’t fight this on my own and we are only eight people that the membership has elected and trusted to help the club.

    I’m not quitting this term, but unless I feel supported by the rest of the membership that elected me, I’m not going to run again. This is insane. It makes no sense for us to endure this kind of abuse. I did my part, I helped the club to continue its relationship with the XC Ranch when it was most dire, and if that’s my only accomplishment this year, that’s fine.

    Gene, you can spin the reasons for your unacceptable behavior any way you want, but don’t expect me to fall for it. I’m not drinking the cool-aid anymore.

    #19259
    Bille Floyd
    General Member

    Dennis said :

    Dear Luke,

    Although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting or conversing with Billy before, it seems like you are bulling both Billy and Gene.

    Dennis — I look forward to flying with you , and don’t worry much about me ; I

    try to stay on the decent side of everybody , so as to not cause too much anguish.

    Usually , I know just when to Back-Off ; ya never get much accomplished

    by making enemies , and flying is the only thing that really matters to me.

     

    Bille

    #19260

    Billy said:

    ”flying is the only thing that really matters to me“

    It appears you are on the side of preserving our free flight site!  That happens to be the BOD’s goal as well- and this is why we are at this point.

    #19261

    I want to encourage all members who support Jana and the other Board members in this matter because they deserve and need your support.  I 1000 percent agree that Sandy is one of the nicest people I have ever had the opportunity to meet in the entire world.  For Gene to make threats against her and Dale should be more than enough reason for him to banned from the club for a lifetime.  You can now all listen to the video and hear his vile and dangerous threats which apparently arose over who was going to transport a pilot to Regionals launch.  That kind of rage over $20?  Do you Gene supporters want to try to defend those actions in any way?  We apparently have some wanna be lawyers in the club who are making dire predictions about the club being destroyed by Gene and a possible lawsuit.  Well I’m not a wanna be lawyer.  I have been a licensed attorney since 1990 and was an active litigator who has tried many cases.  So I have some credibility in speaking about lawsuits.  the wanna be attorneys haven’t stated the exact grounds on which they think Gene can sue the club into non-existence but I would welcome them to do so so that I can respond to their claims.  Because of the lack of details provided by the wanna be lawyers, I will have to do some speculating.  I am speculating that the club is denying him the right to earn money transporting pilots and that would be the primary, if not only, damages he might claim in a lawsuit.  But as Jana pointed out, the club has done nothing to stop Gene from driving pilots to launch.  To the contrary, the club has made it clear that pilots have every right to ride up with Gene but that they must meet him off of CSS property.  It’s as simple as that.  Contact Gene.  Arrange a meeting.  Walk a few minutes to meet him.  So Gene is still in business.  No damage to his income.

    Those videos show it all.  That is the Gene that everyone knows who has ever had the misfortune of having even a minor disagreement with Gene.  I have been there and lived it.  I was sitting at Regionals launch for more than an hour one day when the winds were over the back but were forecasted to turn upslope later.  Gene drove a tandem instructor to the Regionals launch while I was there waiting.  When they arrived, I went over and told the everyone in the Ranger that the wind had been and still was gusting over the back.  The instructor ignored me, grabbed his gear and paying customer and went down to launch.  Gene was standing near me and I told him again that the conditions were, in my opinion, unsafe for launching.  I then attempted to walk down to provide more information to the instructor about what I had seen for the last hour on launch.  Gene jumped in front of me, inches from my face, and told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was not going to go down and say anything to the instructor, especially in front of his customer.  To say that I felt threatened by Gene would be completely accurate.  So I sat down to watch the shit show that was about to occur.  Sure enough, the tandem instructor attempted to launch, the tail wind kicked back in just as I had told them, and the pilot and passenger ran all the way down the launch into the bushes/trees below.  Gene had been with them on launch the entire time.  Not too long before that day, I had seen the same instructor and his paying passenger roll up to launch with Gene when it clearly was blown out for launching a paraglider.  I didn’t say anything that day, assuming that the instructor wouldn’t be so reckless as to try to launch in those winds.  I had my hang glider with me and hadn’t even taken it out of the bag due to the strong winds.  But with Gene “assisting”, the iinstructor hooked in and pulled the wing up only to be plucked up completely out of control.  After several involuntary wingovers during which the passenger barely missed being slammed into the ground on launch, the stable tandem wing took over and flew away from launch.  So after the second incident, I tried to discuss these situations with Gene.  I told him that I was concerned that he seemed to be enabling such dangerous launch attempts by driving the instructor up in obviously bad conditions and then by assisting them with launch instead of using his vast experience to discourgage them from launching.  Gene, to say the least, did not take my criticism well.  He verbally assaulted me on launch and continued with it later at the lz.  Gene has a don’t you dare criticise me world.  I’ve heard his claims to building the lz and to owning the lz.  His actions similar to this have been documented over and over.  How some of you are defending him is impossible for me to understand.  Those “apologetic” letters mean nothing from Gene.  He has apologized to me and a minute later he was back in my face because I didn’t thank him sufficiently for apologizing to me.

    Keep up you great work Jana.  And I hope that Sandy can eventually feel safe to start providing Ranger rides up the hill.  That is what is needed.  More Gene drama definitely is not needed.

    #19262

    I tend to agree with Gene that these videos don’t exactly relate to the current issue.  But, I do understand why Jana has posted them – to answer the complaints about the lack of rides to the 750 and Regionals launches and to argue against Gene’s (Dennis’) claim that his contributions have “enhanced the safety and enjoyment of AJX.”

    Anyway, Gene, great job finding a very well-spoken PR person.  Dennis, you do a fantastic job of spinning this situation and making Gene look like a saint.  Like you, I haven’t been around AJX very long really.  However, I have personally witnessed many aggressive run-in’s with Gene in the 4 short years or so that I’ve been here.   You would be wise to pay attention to those who have been here much longer than us, those who have witnessed Gene’s abusive behavior over the many years that he has been here.  This decades long pattern of behavior is well known amongst long time club members and they have tiptoed around Gene or given him a very wide berth for years.

    His contributions to the site – countless hours on Gracie maintaining the roads, rides up to the 750 and Regionals and his “watchdog” services when he lived on property, keeping the site protected from vandals, etc.  are MANY.  But, they are outweighed only by his continuous abusive and threatening behavior toward club members, visitors and the general public as well as his illegal activity on the property that has put the very existence of the club in real jeopardy.  Most members have no idea of the circumstances surrounding certain actions Gene has taken that, to this day, leave the club exposed to an imminent risk of loss of our lease!

    Make no mistake, this suspension has not put a dent in Gene’s business.  The Board specifically explained to Gene exactly where he could park and pick up pilots so that his business would NOT be affected.  Gene’s claim of a financial hardship being created by the suspension is unsupported.  Gene is able to park his Ranger approximately 230 feet from where he used to park in the LZ.  Gene’s customers are not finding rides elsewhere – there are no other options – Gene has made sure of that by threatening Sandy to the point that she has decommissioned her Ranger and will no longer take pilots up the front road.

    If pilots are annoyed by having to walk 230 feet, paragliding might not be the sport for them.  In any event, they can thank Gene for the minimal bit of exercise they get walking for less than two minutes to get in his Ranger.

    It seems that sensible people are reading this forum and seeing Jana’s posts explaining all that has gone on here.  Those people then step away from the public discussion and are offering support privately.  Club members are afraid of Gene and many of us are concerned about what he is capable of.  I have personally witnessed so many threats on his part – threats of violence that frankly terrify me.  Members understandably refuse to get publicly involved for fear of Gene’s wrath.

    If you would like any additional information or details on this situation, I can be reached off line to discuss this further.  Please send me a private message  to secretary@crestlinesoaring.org and I will provide my phone number.

    #19263

    I would also add that as Linda points out, our only goal as a Board in all of this is to protect this site.  This is not a vengeful ploy to financial ruin Gene and if it was, we would be wasting our time because it is NOT affecting his business.   It appears that all of this pushback is happening because pilots don’t want an walk an extra 230 feet to catch their ride up the hill.  Seriously!?

    #19264

    Dennis,

    Eugene has been granted his opportunity to be heard at the upcoming board meeting on Dec 9th.  Thank you for pointing out the oversight by the board.  We want to be fair to ALL of our members and follow the by-laws to the letter.  I assure you our failure was not intentional.

    That said, please to not make threats of a lawsuit when you admittedly have not taken the time to understand all of the facts or contacted the board to hear our side of the story.  You claim to have extensive knowledge in civil matters.  Are you as well versed in criminal matters?  Any lawsuit filed against the club on Eugene’s behalf would expose Eugene’s criminal behavior which would be admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution. That would not be in Eugene’s best interest.

    Your mention of the ACLU clearly shows that you do not understand the organization’s purpose.  They only take cases that involve civil rights violations affecting a large group of people.  They have far more important matters to deal with than a possible violation of by-laws by a small non-profit against one of it’s members. Further, you are not Eugene or his legal representative so they would not speak to you about his potential case.  Having incurred “millions in legal expenses” does not make you an appropriate person to give legal advice and your statements make it obvious that you are not an attorney.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to see that Eugene is being treated fairly.  That is our goal as well.  I hope to see you at the upcoming meeting.

    Edward Wiggins, Esq.

    President, CSS

     

    #19265

    After reading Gene’s initial response on this forum I was hopeful that the discussions would head in a positive manner with the overall clubs best interest and I think that the board wants this as well.   Unfortunately the comments after that have degenerated to the point of posting videos of Gene getting into fights with several people.   When I first met Gene I loved his passion for the sport, but also saw that the ride business can be competitive as well as the student instructors that teach at AJX.  As a physician I remember talking to Gene about some of his health problems and after watching these videos I asked him about where he was at in his treatment.  He had been going through 40+ chemo and radiation treatments in the months prior to these altercations (the last was 2 days before the first video).   I am not trying to make excuses for Gene, but rather help others to understand that everything Gene was going through may have contributed to his more aggressive behavior.   So let’s have a productive discussion at the Dec 9th meeting that will help to restore CSS as the great club that we all know and love.   I am also a member of the SDHGPA because their flying sites are the same distance to CSS for me.  They just had a wonderful fly-in this past weekend and even though it was mostly weathered-out it was so nice to sit around and talk with all the fellow pilots knowing there is no agendas behind the discussions.  I agree with Jana in that for the most part that is the feeling when I come to AJX to fly with everyone know matter which ride they take or what instructor got them up in the air!   Just my 2 cents.    Bert Duvoisin

    #19270
    David Van Noppen
    General Member

    Personally I really like Gene but have never met Nicole. Gene and all his work is a huge asset to the club. My position is for all members to leave your dogs at home. No dogs in the LZ ,period. Horses pose a real danger to pilots not to mention the poop factor. Return the horses to the original owner or euthanize them if that was on the table before, not to be mean. How about if a club member is found to have a dog on the property there should be a large of enough fine to stop the action and if someone’s animal soils someone’s gear there should be a larger fine paid to the victim. Dogs are cute but I’m not taking one on the tennis court.  My vote is to lift the ban on Gene and move forward with a new set of expectations for all members

    David Van Noppen

    #19271
    Bille Floyd
    General Member

    Bert said :

    … As a physician I remember talking to Gene about some of his health problems and after watching these videos I asked him about where he was at in his treatment.  He had been going through 40+ chemo and radiation treatments in the months prior to these altercations (the last was 2 days before the first video).   I am not trying to make excuses for Gene, but rather help others to understand that everything Gene was going through may have contributed to his more aggressive behavior. …

    I had never considered that before ; so I Google searched it .

    — The rate of suicide is alarmingly higher than the norm , and the  emotional and mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, stress, and having trouble sleeping can add to that foggy feeling. Chemo brain can also intensify feelings of frustration or anger. …

    That kinda explains a Lot about the root cause for the onset of this Thread ; I hope a few of you consider the humanitarian side for the consequences, because I seriously doubt many of us could even begin to relate ?

    Bille

    #19273

    I feel compassion toward anyone dealing with cancer. Especially so, because I have spent almost two years taking care of my mom pretty much every day, multiple hours a day, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer in June of 2022. She is very disabled as a result and has been receiving chemo treatments since September, last year.

    As much pain and misery as she is in, the worst she’s done to me out of anger & frustration is throw half a hamburger at the floor, or tell me my chicken lunch sucks. Not a single death threat so far, even when she’s in excruciating pain. 🙌🏻

    We have people in our lives who have cancer, and I’ve never heard any of them threaten another person’s life. One of them happens to be a new pilot at AJX who is one of the nicest people I know!

    Sure, we can try to blame the cancer and chemo on some of these outbursts, but if Gene can’t control his anger and emotions due to “chemo brain”, then should he be driving loads of people up the mountain at all? Should our pilots and visitors continue to have to be harassed by him? Visitors don’t know what he’s dealing with, so all they’re going to see is angry Gene in their faces, threatening them with physical harm.

    Also, his ban is related to him disregarding our rules numerous times. Nicole is aware of those directives, so she could have helped him and herself to follow them. Easy enough.

    Unfortunately when you don’t respect the board or the club and you believe you “own” the place, following someone else’s directives might just not seem all that important, regardless of health issues. What will they do? Kick me out???

    By the way, those of you asking us to lift the ban or saying “Gene’s nice to me!” you’re disregarding his very illegal & jail-worthy activity at the club, his multiple violations after having been given multiple chances to comply, and you’re basically saying that as long as he’s nice to YOU, you don’t care how his verbal and physical assault victims feel.

    Gene has been very nice to me, but I’ve also paid him a lot of money in rides. He’s nice to his customers. I have witnessed him doling out death threats to other people right in front of me! I can choose to keep turning a blind eye like the rest of you lucky people, because he’s never screamed at me before, but that’s not the right thing to do in my humble opinion.

    Oh! And one more thing! If a customer calls you to come give him a ride and he then jumps into someone else’s buggy (someone who is not aware of your deal with that customer), shouldn’t you be directing your anger toward the customer?

    There’s no way in hell that Sandy would try to talk anyone into her buggy, if she knew that person had called Gene for a ride. If anyone should have been screamed at, it’s the customer who wasted Gene’s time, calling him to come out when he was just going to jump into the nearest buggy after all.

    Nobody should be screamed at of course, but Gene wildly misdirected his anger at Sandy. He should have had a polite conversation with that customer, explaining that his time and efforts were wasted as a result.

    Also, it’s not like something similar hasn’t happened to Sandy with her customers. People who sign up for her van and then jump on the Gene buggy, that’s happened multiple times. She never lost it on Gene or customer over $20.00.

     

     

     

    #19274
    Bille Floyd
    General Member

    Jana said :

    I feel compassion toward anyone dealing with cancer. Especially so, because I have spent almost two years taking care of my mom pretty much every day, multiple hours a day, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer in June of 2022. She is very disabled as a result and has been receiving chemo treatments since September, last year.

    This I can relate to ; My Dad died of mesothelioma cancer , when I was 16 , and at that time there was no known treatment . :(

    Bille

    #19275
    Tim Ward
    General Member

    Nominally, the issue between the board and Gene is dogs and the horses.

    If that’s the issue, let that be the issue , settle the issue of dog(s) and horses, and move on.

    If it’s going to devolve into personalities and past disagreements, well…  there’s lots of people who might be vulnerable to that sort of talk.  Somewhere on YouTube there’s likely a video of me ranting at a PG pilot that cut me off on approach so he could get an extra five minutes or so of flight time.  I was pretty spectacularly angry.

    I think the horse issue can be pretty easily solved, if it hasn’t been already.

    The dog issue has been an issue as long as I can remember,  and though Max may be the latest offender. I don’t think that problem as necessarily specific to Gene.

    You could get all the locals to stop bringing their dogs, and there would still be vacationing pilots who brought their dog with them and yet are not the most attentive doggie parents.

    I don’t know what the answer is, anymore than I have all the other times the dog problem has arisen.  I like dogs, but I leave mine home.

     

     

     

     

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