Saturday, March 2, 2013

Iselton Cajun (Crawdad) Blues Festival is Back

Jean Yakatobi

Cajun FestAfter terms met and concessions made to the city and vested interests that hindered  the Isleton Chamber of Commerce from moving swiftly to get this 2013 year's festival on track, the Chamber can now move forward. Festival producer Jean Yokotobi, outgoing president of the new and improved chamber revived the old famous Crawdad Festival as the Cajun Festival. The first year of 2011 was a success as it was crime free and family oriented with great entertainment and food & fun. Same great event  last year, but due to a heat wave and fewer resources, they lost money. This year was going to determine if the festival could be saved and taken back to it's original success and glory without the drunkenness and problems.

DNR has learned that Isleton's Merchant Association, headed by resident Chuck Hasz, is one source of the problem behind the opposition to the Chamber of Commerce. According to DNR sources, Hasz wants to takeover the festival. With one or more city councilpersons supporting his group, they seem to have enough influence over the city manager and the rest of the council to do so. According to Secretary of State records Hasz is listed as president, although he has no storefront business in Isleton. Hasz business partner City Council member Elizabeth Samano was  involved in this CBS13 affiliate report...“It’s a lawless town. Nobody wants to say anything because they’re afraid that they’ll be hurt,” said the anonymous source.

They’re so afraid the source has asked CBS13 keep their identity hidden, but not too afraid to speak out about the alleged secret life Isleton City Council-member Elizabeth Samano may be leading.
“Notorious characters coming and going from Samano’s building,” the source said.
CBS13 has learned that people who live in the small town told police Samano sold drugs in her home. Sources say known drug dealers would visit her.
“With the characters coming in and out of there, it could be anything. It could be heroin, it could be methamphetamine, it could be cocaine, it could be marijuana,” said the source.
Samano to an interview with CBS13 but denied the allegations when asked.
“Yeah that’s not true, that’s not true at all,” said Samano.
Samano told CBS13 she believes the motive behind the accusations is political, because she went against what everyone else wanted, keeping the last city manager.
 I've had those threats that ‘I’m going to take you down,’ stuff like that,” said Samano.
But CBS13 was told that it wasn’t just the tips, but the sources that made the police chief take the allegations seriously.
“I know for a fact that the last interim chief, Steve Adams, was looking at this councilmember for this activity,” said the anonymous source.

Next years festival will be a big question mark as to if and where it will be held. According to our reporters who have been following the story, the Chamber of Commerce is the only group that can produce a festival with competency and professionalism. The DNR has been a strong supporter of the Chamber mostly because of Jean Yakatobi's ethical direction of the new chamber, whereas the old chamber leadership is under investigation for underhanded and illegal activity, typifying the modus operandi of Iselton's wheelers and dealers giving the town it's shady and comical history and reputation.

This year the security will be better as Sacramento Sheriffs Office has taken over law enforcement in Isleton. It's new family oriented direction will make for a great fathers day week-end this June 14,15 &16. for more info...


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