Addressing lies and false accusation…

Dear Fellow Canawacta Rod & Gun Members, 

As I explained last Sunday night at the illegally called and operated meeting, I will address our “Organization”, all of it, as per our bylaws, regarding the false claims and bogus accusations the usurpers on the Executive Board seeking to seize control of the club are using to unjustly terminate my club membership. I will not solely address the dictatorial executive board or Greg Stewart’s puppet, Vice-President Mike Flor.  Sunday night we all saw how they plan to act.  It obviously will not be a fair process or we would not be here at all in the first place.  I offer these explanations  as a courtesy to club members who deserve the truth because I do not recognize the legitimacy of the Executive Board and its end run around our bylaws.

As per our bylaws:

ARTICLE XI – RIGHTS OF SUSPENDED MEMBERS

 SECTION 1   “A member who has been suspended shall during the period of his/her suspension have none of the rights of members in Good Standing except as follows: 

The right to appeal his/her case to the Organization” 

Of the five so-called “charges leveled against me” (see attached file),  three of them are completely untrue, one is splitting hairs with regard to government acronyms and the last is speculation, revisionism and completely open to interpretation.  NONE MERIT THE LOSS OF CLUB MEMBERSHIP. I will address the easiest items first. Sorry if this is long, I don’t want to leave out details. 

5.  This trailer rental issue.  No proposal to rent the trailer was EVER presented to the general club membership.  I certainly did not propose anything.  I abided completely by the decision of the Finance Committee as stated to the members by Greg Stewart in our meeting of June or July.  I can’t recall the exact date because our Club Secretary never gives us hard copies of the club minutes, nor are they posted anywhere but I was ASKED by the Finance Committee for my opinion on how we could rent the trailer to a family that WANTED to rent it having already seen it “AS IS”.  The family had offered to fix the place up while they lived there.   I have been a residential rental agent overseeing at times as many as 80 residential rental units in Endicott, Johnson City and Binghamton.  I have written hundreds of leases in the last 10 years. I simply pointed out to the Finance Committee that if they worded the lease correctly the club could limit its liability.  That was my personal opinion to a closed committee.  I was asked for the opinion. I am not on the Finance Committee. They asked for my opinion and  I offered it and in return they want to penalize me for it!!!  All the rest about these sewer issues and everything else was speculation, some of it based on accounts of the place in question from the 1980s.  Bottom line, it didn’t matter anyway, because Greg Stewart said to the general club membership the Finance Committee was opposed to the rental and it was not rented.  End of story. Next time the Finance Committee need not ask my opinion and we won’t have a problem. 

4.  I supposedly coerced Treasurer Al Kohler to make a stop payment on the check they sent back to the NRA the day after our last club meeting?  I did nothing of the sort. I called Al Kohler two or three days after our August 10 meeting to ask if he would stop the payment on the check to NRA.  He said no.  I asked him if he realized the grant money could have been use on the pistol pit.  He said “no”, he didn’t know that.  I asked why he voted to send the money back then?  He asked why I didn’t tell him it could have been used in the pistol pit.  I told him Greg Stewart cut short debate, would not let me speak and demanded a vote (who knew people would be foolish enough to give away $5000?).   I then asked Al Kohler if I could call NRA and ask that NRA hold the check.  He said “yes”,  I could ask them to hold the check.   I did call and they are holding it.  Canawacta club has me to thank twice for having the $5000 still available for the ADA range project, once for getting the grant and twice for rescuing the check from the foolishiness of Greg Stewart, Mike Flor  and Al Kohler who voted to send it back to NRA.  Greg Stewart was acting Sunday night like it was him to thank for still having the grant money.  We have him to blame for sending it off in the first place!   We have Greg Stewart to blame for all this mess our club now finds itself in.  We still do not know how treasurer Al Kohler  mailed the check to NRA without Club President Ace Cuevas knowing about it since Ace (the Club President) is supposed to sign all checks, according to our bylaws.  Al Kohler will not answer the question.  Ace Cuevas was club president on August 11 or 12 when the check was mailed and he still is president now. 

3.  I allegedly falsely accused John Sholtiss of filing a complaint with DEP against our club.  If Sholtiss DID NOT call DEP, then why is the rogue Executive Committee claiming in their first charge against me  (see below) that we could have faced a DEP fine?  How would they know if DEP was never called?  You can’t have it both ways.  All I did was repeat what I was told by Greg Stewart and Ray Creeden who sat at the same table with me at our August 10 meeting.  Greg Stewart and Ray Creeden said, “ Sholtiss had contacted DEP”.  Apparently our statements  were inaccurate, instead of my saying “John Sholtiss filed a complaint with DEP”  I should have said/written, “ John Sholtiss contacted a department of environment (not sure which) about his concern with what he thought was our wetlands”.   I still do not know and I don’t think the club knows, who exactly John Sholtiss contacted and when, all we know is that somebody from some agency overseeing the environment in some capacity visited our club on Oak Hill on August 11 at John Sholtiss’ request, suggestion, wish , etc…  If Mr. Shotliss wants to provide more information about who he contacted, spoke with, wrote or whatever form he somehow communicated with them, I’ll correct my statement to reflect that.  

2.   Allegedly I contacted fellow club members via email supposedly posting “personal information about club members for all the world to see”.  What I actually did was email my fellow club members with the very same list in the very same format Mike Flor had emailed them with all through  December 2013 to December 2014 when Mike Flor was the club Communications Secretary.  Mike Flor circulated the club’s email list many, many times, long before I did.  All I did was hit “reply”.  

If you save your email look at the following dates and times:

11/10/14 2:46pm  From: Canawacta Rod & Gun Club [mailto:canawacta@gmail.com] Sent: Monday, November 10, 2014 2:46 PM  To: …..

10/12/14 9:12pm

9/8/14 5:38pm

8/31/14 8:18pm

8/19/14 7:50pm

8/18/14 9:01pm

5/5/14 10:17am

9/21/14 9:00pm 

All of the emails dated above, only a small sampling of all I have and probably you have, were sent by the Canawacta Rod & Gun Club Gmail account while Mike Flor was Communication Secretary.  So I got the list from Mr. Flor as everybody did.  Bring him up on charges and then bring me…. 

As for disclosing any financial information, the only information disclosed was about a grant by a public foundation given to promote the NRA and be publicized. Canawacta Rod & Gun is NOT a secret society.  We are a not-for-profit community entity as such we are obliged to disclose many  things.  The purpose of the grant is promote the sport via good promotional activities which, by definition, are public information. 

Furthermore, “all the world” didn’t see these emails, only fellow club members.  I have/had PERMISSION to post on our club Facebook page.  I am/was an EDITOR of the page along with Ace Cuevas and Mike Flor.  John Ord is the administrator of the page.  I maintain my First Amendment right to voice my opinion and contact my fellow club members. I have been posting to Facebook and emailing member of this club for three years for all kinds of various reasons.    I do not see anywhere in the bylaws where it says I cannot contact fellow member or what I am allowed to say or not say. Many club members wrote back to me to thank me for providing them with information.  I will not give up their names so they will not be attacked as I am being attacked by the rogue board attempting to seize control of the club. 

Let’s face it, the only information the rogue Executive Board (Mike Flor, Al Kohler) and Greg Stewart were really concerned about was letting club members know how Stewart, Flor and Kohler returned $5000 of club money because they couldn’t figure out how to use it!  They look like fools. Club members work for months to sell raffle tickets.  It is in our bylaws that members must help with funding raising.  All the efforts yield about $500 (five hundred dollars) after months of time, effort and work, yet Stewart, Flor  & Kohler give away $5000 at the drop of a vote …and these guys want to run the club??? 

1.The ADA project.  I DID NOT DEFY club vote to table the project.  My understanding of July was that any new work, mainly the cement contract, was tabled or put on hold but NOT the work we had already approved for Chuck Boman, CB Excavating in JUNE 2015. The club had been advised of that work and it had been approved.  In fact Ray Creeden had called me a couple days before our July meeting and he wanted to ADD $2000 to the amount (for a total of $10,000) allocated for the project to get it done.  I told him that was not necessary we could do it for less.  Mr. Creeden still proposed this additional $2000 at our July meeting.  So the project was still a “go” in his mind as well at that point.  The next month in August Mr. Creeden voted to return the $5000. Does that make any sense? He didn’t know where else it could be used. 

There was no misappropriation of funds from the NRA as Mr. Stewart would like to claim.  The club had approved an additional $3000 for the drainage project at the time.  I’ll say it again, the drainage for the project and its approval voted upon by the club were not my idea. The drainage and excavation for pouring cement had all been combined by CB Excavation and all of it was still UNDER the $5000.  Some drainage or a culvert will have to go under any path to the 50 yard range as there is ALREADY a drain running through it!!!  Nobody has any idea what the DEP may or not have said since, as the charges against me state themselves, the DEP never visited our site, John Sholtiss never called them, remember?   With regard to the DEP I would say had they found the time or made the effort to complain about or fine the work of a small not-for-profit trying to add Access for Disabled Americans (ADA) to our ranges when they are telling the world they lack the resources to monitor and manage the multi-billion dollar oil and fracking companies that are tearing apart the landscape all around us, the DEP would have faced public outrage.  

So to sum up, of the five so-called “charges leveled against me”  three of them are completely untrue, one is the splitting of hairs with regard to government acronyms and the last is speculation, revisionism and completely open to interpretation.  For these bogus charges the high jacked Executive Board seeks to revoke my membership.  If they can trump up these charges and do this to me, they can do it to anyone. 

In closing I would point out, when I got to the club about five years ago it didn’t own a single steel target.  It held no shooting competitions.  The trap houses didn’t work.  The pistol pit was overgrown with trees and thorn bushes, its targets were rotten, broken 2X4s with shredded plastic.  The club now has about 20 Evil Roy targets worth about $4500, which Ace Cuevas and I got for the club at no cost.  We hold regular .22 Rimfire Challenge and Three Gun  shoots (all of which I have organized with Ace Cuevas and attended every single one) that bring participants from two states and generate cash for the club (about $1000 this year so far).  I cleaned up the pistol pit with my own chainsaw, tree pruners, weed whacker and bare hands.  I built five steel and rubber targets that will last for years and added two IPSC  steel silhouettes. (I’ve taken my things back for now until my membership is returned).  Through my efforts the club has six new Airsoft firearms and supplies for competitions for free. Thanks to my efforts, twice, the club still has $5000 to make ADA Improvements to our ranges if they so desire.  As for somebody else finishing the project, as Greg Stewart claimed Sunday night,  I would  like nothing more.  I NEVER WANTED TO HANDLE THE PROJECT IN THE FIRST PLACE.  I was asked to get the grant.  I got the grant.  As is far too often the case NOBODY other than Ace Cuevas wanted to step up and handle doing the project, but also as usual the obstructionists found ways to impede the project.   I had NOTHING to do with the drainage idea.  It was proposed by others and voted and approved by the club.  I abided by the club’s vote. 

So all this being said, I would ask my fellow club members to reinstate my Canawacta Rod & Gun membership. 

Thank you. 

Sincerely,

Ed Arzouian,

Lanesboro, PA

Member Canawacta Rod & Gun Steering and Range Committees, NRA, NRA Range Safety Officer, National Shooting Sports Foundation (Individual) 

c.c. by registered letter to Canawacta Rod & Gun

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