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 Did Burt Nypen tell the truth about the EAHTONKA?

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Did Burt Nypen tell the truth about the EAHTONKA?   Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:31 am

The EDA has been very active for the past few years. There have been many proud claims about how the EDA has brought in around $500,000 to the community and talk of the new businesses that they have also brought in. How accurate a claim that is still remains to be seen. The businesses that have come in for the most part were businesses that came in on their own. There was no action on the part of the EDA to go out and solicit them to my knowledge. What you don't hear anyone talking about are all the businesses that have closed over the past few years. Some of the businesses that have closed are the shoe shop, the hardware store, the computer place, the donut shop, To Mad Cafe, Pamida, The Max, the water meter reading business, and numerous other stores down town that opened and then closed. You never hear from the EDA about them. For all the government money that it takes in and doles out in local business loans is there any benefit to the community? Is there any increase in economic development?

Burt Nypen, Blair Johnson, Jim Larsen and the others put all their eggs in the housing development bandwagon and here Ortonville sits with the housing marked flooded. What will Burt Nypen do now? Will the EDA still focus on their "Housing Study?" Will they still get their "focus groups" together and work on getting more government handouts so they can develop more housing because the study they paid (something like, what, $10,000 for) says they need more housing? Does anyone on the EDA know anything about running a business or how to promote economic development? So far all they have done is loan out a few dollars to some local businessmen.

Burt Nypen and the EDA supporters keep claiming that they are getting "Free money." That is not correct. Many of these are matching funds. The City of Ortonville has to come up with the matching funds. Why is that? Why doesn't the EDA put up it's own matching funds? The EDA is supposed to be self supporting and has been taking in loan payments for years as well as the profits from Fairway View. Why doesn't the EDA pay the matching funds? Where is all the money the EDA is supposed to have? Why did David Lang refuse to produce a Balance Sheet and a Profit and Loss Statement for the EDA? Why does the City Council allow the EDA to operate without knowing where the money is or how it is being spent? Is Blair Johnson doing the books for the EDA as well as for Fairway? Should the City Council allow Blair Johnson to do the books?

Oh, there was one investment that didn't involve housing, the EAHTONKA II. That little venture was a combined effort of, we are told, 30 investors. (Since the EDA was one of the investors then technically you could say every citizen in Ortonville was an investor.) The details are somewhat sketchy but some of the facts have seen the light of day.

EDA minutes March 1, 2006 Eahtonka: M/S/P: Johnson/Arndt commit $5,000 towards the purchase of the boat.

The Eahtonka was operating illegally on Big Stone Lake. That is why the Coast Guard and the Security and Exchange Commission ordered them to cease operations. It was because of the actions of Burt Nypen and the Board that they were shutdown. How much did the board know? How much did the board tell the investors?

In a radio broadcast in August 2007, board member Burt Nypen stated "Now, when we started our effort, we knew that the Big Stone Lake was a Coast Guard Lake." (emphasis mine.)

In a letter to the investors Burt Nypen stated, "We have discovered that it was supposed to be Coast Guard inspected." How is it that they knew it was a Coast Guard Lake but they discovered it had to be inspected? (emphasis mine)

The Eahtonka was not inspected prior to being put in the lake. It was not until after the Eahtonka was reported that the State of MN came in and inspected it. Burt Nypen also stated in his letter that the Eahtonka had been inspected for the "last 10 years." This is not correct. According to a letter from the MN DLI the only inspection of the Eahtonka is in July of 2006. The boat had not been inspected in the last 10 years. The Eahtonka board had placed the boat in the water and taken out passengers on paid cruise and the boat had never been inspected. Were the investors aware of this?



The Eahtonka was also reported for taking out a cruise of senior citizens, the Sons of Norway from North Dakota, and there was NO LICENSED CAPTAIN operating the boat on that cruise. There was no licensed captain on board that cruise. There is a video of this cruise that documents this fact. No explanation has been forth coming from the board to explain why they allowed a cruise to go out without a licensed captain at the helm. Did Burt Nypen tell the investors about this?

The statement by Burt Nypen, "we received an appraisal that indicated the vessel was Coast Guard certified." Did the board have an attorney look over this appraisal? When one buys a home you don't make a purchase on an "indication." You make your purchase with "documentation." Is Burt Nypen being transparent?

Burt Nypen further stated that "We have lost money because the Coast Guard would not let us operate this summer." Is that the Coast Guards fault you lost money because you didn't obey the law? "The governors have determined that since Judy misrepresented the vessel as Coast Guard certified and it is not certified..." Again we find Burt Nypen blaming someone else. He blames the whistleblower, he blames the Coast Guard, he blames the seller, he blames the appraiser. Can Burt Nypen admit anything he does?

"Our attorney said we have a good case to sue Judy and/or the appraiser who stated the boat was certified. Instead of suing them we will just pay Judy the difference....." That is very generous of you to not sue. So, who is the attorney who said that you had a good case? Is it the same attorney who looked at the contract when you bought the boat? Is it the same attorney who let you buy the boat because the appraiser "indicated" it had been Coast Guard approved? Does any one find it curious that with all Burt Nypen's blaming he never blamed the attorney who did the sale? First you state the apppraisal indicated Coast Guard certified Now you say the appraiser "who stated the boat was certified." You jump from the term "indicated" to "stated." Which one is it? There is a difference you know.

Finally, for all the claims of the EDA to promote economic development consider this. Over a year ago this website reported that the State of MN was going to regionalize the judicial system. What did the EDA do in response to that news? In Morris they are investing in a new court house. More than a year ago Sheriff Haukos tried to get the area to invest in a law enforcement center and the project died. Wheaton is investing in a new jail. When the State of MN looks for where to locate the regional centers do you suppose Morris and Wheaton have a good shot at getting it? This regionalization will also likely include Human Services. Anyone want to drive to Morris for that? When those jobs leave town and when people have to start driving distances to other towns that will be a huge loss of income for Ortonville. How does Burt Nypen and the EDA plan on addressing that?

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
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PostSubject: Re: Did Burt Nypen tell the truth about the EAHTONKA?   Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:12 pm

Lady Hawk
A couple of things sort of jump out at you here. First, it looks like one man's disgruntled former employee is another man's whistle blower. (Just like one man's traitor is another man's freedom fighter.)
And I'm wondering who the expert sailors were in this whole episode. Surely someone had knowledge of Coast Guard requirements -- it's impossible that a commercial cruise operation didn't have one single employee or manager who understood the minimum safety requirements for the boat...which were statedly so out of reach financially that they elected to sell the boat. Lucky patrons who made it safely to shore on each cruise!!!
Beyond that, do you know any reasonable person who would assume that a "statement" or and "indication" for sufficient inspection was acceptable? What were they going to whip out of their pockets when pulled over? Where's the little sticker in the window? What hangs in the frame near the captain's chair? Seems like at a minimum there was a startling lack of curiosity and diligence about whether they were fulfilling their legal or moral obligations in this operation.
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PostSubject: Does the Eahtonka have an attorney?   Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:01 pm

Burt Nypen wrote: "Our attorney said we have a good case to sue Judy..." (emphasis mine.)

It has been determined that the above letter from Burt Nypen to the investors was written on or before August 1, 2007. This determination comes because of the EDA minutes for August 1, 2007 which states:

Eahtonka II:
Nypen has provided a letter to all investors that has been included in your packets stating that the Eahtonka II is now for sale and upon that sale for the boat the investors will refunded their investment plus 5% interest. See attached letter in packet.

On October 24, 2007, three months later, while under oath Blair Johnson made the following statements:

Question: And were you represented by legal council?

Blair Johnson: No

Question: ...does the Eahtonka have an attorney?

Blair Johnson: No

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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PostSubject: Who is Telling What?   Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:06 am

I am very troubled by your post that someone in leadership would be less than honest. Which one was not telling the truth, or were the both telling the truth?

Was there a cover-up? Who was involved?

I do remember an article in the Independent and on the radio of someone saying that the Eahtonka had been inspected. Who lied about this?

Were the shareholders duped?
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