Home Forums Banter Looking Backward and Going Forward

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    Linda Salamone
    General Member

    There seems to be some confusion and misinformation regarding my involvement in Gene and Nicole being banned from the airpark. So at the risk of dragging this on any longer, I am adding my perspective. Let me say immediately that I have always liked Nicole and she has suffered losses and been collateral damage more than once this past year.

    Much of my conflict with Gene began a week after I moved to the XC Ranch (July 9, 2022). Until then we got along just fine, and I told him that riding up in the ranger when I was still pretty new to paragliding was going to be the way I’ll forever remember the California flying scene and he was a good part of it. I was told Gene was worried that I moved to the Ranch to “replace” him, even though my job requires me to travel and I have no interest or availability to care for horses. It was while I was living there full time that I became aware of the magnitude of the dirt deliveries. When I raised questions about the deliveries at the July 16th 2022 BOD meeting to then-president Stan, Gene became increasingly aggressive towards me.

    Gene, Nicole, and I were all forced to vacate XC Ranch property after Marcello’s repeated calls to county code enforcement in March and April 2023. I had been working out of state for 5 months at that time and didn’t return until July to move my trailer. I’ve heard from several people that Gene said I’m the one who facilitated our removal by calling code enforcement myself. How that makes sense-causing myself to lose my awesome living arrangement-is some seriously flawed logic.

    After I was elected to the board, I wound up being the “bad guy enforcer” twice- once because I happened to be at AJAX in September 2023 when yet another dirt truck arrived, and second for the delivery of the 30 day ban letter on October 19th. I didn’t write the letter, but I agree with the intent after Gene’s non compliance over the two issues (unsupervised dogs and loose horses in LZ). And while that particular load of dirt was arriving at AJAX, I told the driver that it was not ok to dump and no one present had the authority to allow it. Gene got verbally abusive with me and proceeded to have the load dumped in another location on CSS property while I was otherwise occupied.

    Perhaps these are the reasons why Gene has chosen me to blame for his current problems. I’m not shy about necessary conflict and I’m not afraid to call out bullshit. Or laugh out loud when I hear it. Obviously I also lack tact. But as a board member, I take my responsibility to the CSS seriously and when someone’s behavior directly threatens our ability to fly and enjoy our site, I will take necessary action and vote accordingly.

    I am one of 8 members on the current BOD. Is it believable that I have so much power and influence over this group of volunteer pilots that I could orchestrate the removal of a member and have a unanimous consensus? Flattering, but simply not the case. I feel bad for the guy in a lot of ways but Gene did this to Gene. By just believing he was above any rules, that he “owns the place”, and could do whatever he pleased even if it endangered pilots and jeopardized our flying site. We all say look how much he’s done for the club-BUT we won’t have a club at all if the insurance is voided and the lease is revoked. My hope is that true lessons  have been learned.

    Finally, Jordan should be ashamed of himself for trying to convince people that I would laugh at anyone’s battle with cancer. It was Jordan’s and Gene’s randomly bizarre comments that I found funny. Jordan was suspended by USHPA a few years ago due to information I provided to USHPA regarding his altercation with Marcello and Marcello’s student. He naturally has his own agenda. His students may organize and overtake the BOD next year, and that’s how democracy works. I do think anyone with a commercial interest or less than a set number of years in the CSS should be prevented from a seat on the BOD. We’ve spent the better part of a year digging out of more than a few messes left by self-dealing and reckless actors and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. If that group is successful, I wish them an easier job than we have had – and I believe we will have left them one.


    Thanks for taking the time to present your insight.

    I doubt many believed that you were laughing at another’s health. But insinuating that you were, was not cool. A reminder that we reduce the value of our whole speech when a part is obviously wrong.

    Related new topic: Separation of Board and Commercial Interest.

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