11/24/20, 12:48 PM
ALL OPTIONS ARE ON THE TABLE
On 10/23/20, Ranch Matters met with Jefferson County Sheriff, Jim Adkins regarding a trespass incident that occurred last April involving Ranch Matters-John Stevens, Dave Stangland, the Ranch ASSOCIATION/Golf Course and the Sheriff’s Office.
On April 20, 2020, we posted a story titled, “YOU DIDN’T F**KING ASK” regarding Ranch Matters being trespassed from the golf course by Golf Course Superintendent Richard Jensen, while we were reporting on acts of vandalism on the Course.
While taking photographs around the 5th Hole, Jensen approached us in an Aggressive/ Harassing manner demanding to know if we had an appointment or permission. All attempts to explain that prior permission had been obtained was ignored and Jensen screamed,
“YOU DIDN’T FUCKING ASK.”
HARASSMENT: ORS 166.065, “A person commits the crime of harassment if the person intentionally: (a) Harasses or annoys another person by, (B): publicly insulting such other person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended and likely to provoke a violent response.”
Jensen was not interested in any explanations and demanded we leave the Course while stating he was going to call the cops and have us escorted off. Jensen was literally in our face and out of control barking out confusing directions/orders and yelled,
“YOU CAN CROSS RIGHT HERE, AS LONG AS YOU DON’T GET HIT BY THESE FUCKING GOLFERS…”
A short time later, a deputy showed up and stated Jensen had reported the incident and demanded we be trespassed from the Golf Course. Based on Jensen’s report, the deputy officially trespassed us and entered our names into the Departments official TRESPASS LOG.
The following day we met personally with Adkins and he confirmed we had been entered into the Department’s trespass logging system and further stated, if we “violate the order, we can be arrested.”
Adkins said, “We are the first to be TRESPASSED from the golf course” and to make his point, he added, “People walk the path all the time.”
Interestingly, at the August 2020 Ranch Annual Meeting and included in their packet of information, the following was written: “The unrelated activities include an 18-hole golf course and pro shop, which serves members to the golf course and is OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR RECREATIONAL USE.”
Sheriff Adkins conveyed his concerns and asked, “How can we solve this issue?”
The trespass incident and the conduct of the Crooked River Ranch Officials, triggered the involvement of the national Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP).
RCFP referred the case to Portland attorney, Duane Bosworth from the law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine to investigate. While Bosworth was investigating the April 20 trespass incident it was learned that the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) had received two complaints dated February 20 and March 12 respectively, as well as, an “addendum” dated 4/20 from the Association against John Stevens’ private investigators license.
TRESPASS ORDER on 4/20 followed by a COMPLAINT on the same day to DPSST?
At the 8/3 Ranch Work Session Meeting, Ranch Director/Treasurer and Golf Liaison, Jerry Cooper provided his golf course report that included some interesting nuggets. Cooper describes walkers on the Course as a “growing problem” and refers to the 4/20 Trespass Incident as unfortunate. He stated, “We certainly don’t want to have another unfortunate incident like we did with Mr. Stevens.”
Cooper and the Board, including Director Stephanie Proffitt discussed ways to create more restrictions along with tightening enforcement measures. Proffitt said, “Only golfers should be allowed on the Course-PERIOD!”
On October 13, 2020, attorney Bosworth wrote Crooked River Ranch (CRR) President Carl Harbour on behalf of “RCFP.” He conveyed his concerns regarding the “obstruction and harassment” related to Ranch Matters John Stevens and Dave Stangland’s journalism activities by the Ranch Board.
Bosworth stated, “I understand that the Board has many times said that my clients are in essence wanna be journalists. Please inform the entire Board and anyone who offers this disparagement that Mr. Stevens has been the recipient of the Edward R. Morrow Award for Investigative Reporting, a recipient of the Associated Press Award for Investigative Reporting and a member of an Emmy Winning Investigative News Team.”
Bosworth’s letter pointed out “two examples of wrongful obstruction and harassment, among others.” His first example dealt with the April 20, 2020, “…outrageous attempt to have Mr. Stevens and Mr. Stangland arrested for trespass” while covering a story on the Ranch golf course related to vandalism. “Mr. Stevens and Mr. Stangland were placed on a trespass list within the Sheriff’s office.”
Bosworth goes on, “Because your attempt to press charges was baseless, the Board must make all efforts needed to remove my clients from the list.” Further, “Failure to assist in their being removed will give my clients an avenue to pursue all legal remedies available to them against the Board and/or individual employees of CRR.”
IT’S WORTH REPEATING, “Failure to assist in their being removed will give my clients an avenue to PURSUE ALL LEGAL REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO THEM AGAINST THE BOARD AND/OR INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES OF CRR.”
Bosworth’s second example covered “outrageous” complaints made to DPSST against John Stevens’ private investigators license. Bosworth wrote, “The DPSST has expressly stated the investigation was prompted by CRR: As you may know, this investigation is related to your involvement with the CRR Association.”
Bosworth further wrote, “The State has advised that a complaint against John Stevens has already been dismissed, as required by Oregon Law. The Department dismissed the complaint due to Mr. Stevens’ journalistic activities.”
NOTE: On 10/12 , all of the DPSST COMPLAINTS against Stevens were dismissed as “FALSE and UNFOUNDED.”
8 DAYS LATER
10/21 Bend Bulletin reporter, Garrett Andrews published the story, “Online newspaper rankles Crooked River board.” He starts off by writing, “But to members of the ranchs’ nine-person board of directors, they’re a pair (Stevens and Stangland) of deeply conflicted and dishonest wannabes who traffic in negativity.”
Later, in the story, he quotes, “Carl Harbour, president of Crooked River ranch board, said Stevens and Stangland have undermined the public comment process on the ranch through their biased and dishonest reporting.”
Andrews ends his story saying in part, “Stevens is not allowed to return to the golf course unless he wants to pay for a round of golf, Harbour said.”
So, Ranch president Carl Harbour not only ignores the Bosworth letter, but doubles down 8 days later and tells the Bulletin reporter, Andrews, that we are “CONFLICTED and DISHONEST WANNABES, as well as, our reporting is “DISHONEST.” Did Harbour read Bosworth’s letter and more importantly, as stated above, did he read the part regarding our legal remedies available that potentially could be exercised not only against the board, but also certain CRR employees.
As an aside, on 10/28 we Hand Delivered to President Carl Harbour, all Directors and Ranch Manager a DEMAND FOR RETRACTION LETTER-No Response.
BACK TO THE SHERIFF