Who is the real owner of Sierra FoodWineArt? (Updated)

Russ Steele

I was reading the RFP submitted to the County by Sierra FoodWineArt. According to the RFP Shannon Pelline is the sole owner of the magazine. From the RFP:

About Page at Sierra FoodWineArt magazine

Jeff Pelline is a veteran journalist and now a Sierra Foothills, Ca., resident. He is the owner and publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its companion website SierraCulture.com

No mention of Shannon’s role at  Sierra FoodWineArt.  OK, who is the real owner?   Or,  are both the real owners under California community property law?   Why not put the co-ownership in the proposal?  Are the BOS being duped?

Update (10-20-11) 


Update (10-20-11)  Jeff Pelline’s LinkedIn Profile:

Sacramento, California Area Online Media

	•	Owner/Publisher at Sierra FoodWineArt magazine
	•	Publisher at Placer County Visitor Guide

Stay tuned, this is going to be really interesting year.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

33 Responses to Who is the real owner of Sierra FoodWineArt? (Updated)

  1. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    This could be as big as At Pac

  2. Barry Pruett says:

    Very nice research and reporting. Pelline’s blog says that he owns Sierra Wine Art too.

  3. steve enos says:


    What an embarrassing “visit” Barry and the Tea Party folks had in front of the Board of Supervisors today.

    Barry wanted the Chamber be selected but failed to know the Chamber withdrew and was cut because they wanted an additional 20K for additional work. On top of that the Chamber failed to respond to the follow up questions asked by the County selection committee! Seems Barry didn’t do his homework. It was a train wreck! Barry got handed his head on a plate. The County staff was sharp and had facts… Barry on the other hand?

    And ROAR?… you gotta be kidding!. The ROAR spokesperson was LOST and even made a number of threats to the BOS about future elections and “we are watching” threats. The part where she ranted about the OWS was a hoot! Then there was the part where she wanted a conflict of interest removal because a BOS member (Hank Weston) is on the First 5 board and Mrs. Pelline is the First 5 bookkeeper. Sorry, but ROAR looked like a joke at the BOS meeting today.

    Seems the Tea Party clan got their head handed to them today. What an embarrassing, childish display of clueless ranting. They sure shot themselves in the foot today and they exposed themselves for what they are. So glad the video of this will live forever for all to see.

    The closing statements by Supervisor Beason and Supervisor Owens were a lesson and wake up call to the extreme right, Tea Party folks. Consider yourself schooled!

  4. Barry Pruett says:

    Steve: You are misrepresenting my comments. My comments were all about the lack of a long-term plan and vision for the county. “My desire for today is that the BOS table this contract and formulate and implement a long-term strategy through the Chambers, or in the alternative, award the contract to the chamber as the lowest responsible bidder.”

    The importance of the meeting today was to develop a long-term strategy – which is now happening as a result of the thoughtful comments by the public and the willingness of most of the BOS to work with us. To give anyone $20,000 without a long-term vision is the issue. I am glad the the BOS is leading by implementing the Switchback Plan and putting together a tourism committee. Today was a great day for the community!


  5. steve enos says:

    The video of today’s BOS meeting will soon be availbale for all to see and it will live for ever!

    “Today” was about a few from the hard right trying to maje threats on some BOS that they no longer seem to like. It was about who got the contact and making threats. Part of the Tea Party, take back our County effort.

    Barry asked the BOS to select the Chamber but Barry failed to know the Chamber withdrew and was cut because they wanted an additional 20K for additional work as in they wanted $37,000 or no deal.

    On top of that the Chamber failed to respond to the follow up questions asked by the County selection committee.

    It was a train wreck. Barry got handed his head on a plate by the County staff and a couple of the BOS members… as did the lady from “ROAR” that spoke. What did OWS have to do with any of this?

    The comments by Supervisors Beason and Owens just before the 5-0 vote was GREAT and it sent a message to the ultra right folks.

    And I see where Stan Meckler is now running to be on the GV Chamber Board… funny stuff!

  6. Russ says:

    Did you watch the whole session to the end? The Joint Chambers got the $50K, which if you do the math that is more than $20K. Barry made a very important point, the County paid $90K for a strategy and then failed to follow up by forming the committee to provide the required guidance. With no guidance the BoS decided they did not know where they were going, or what to do when they got there, so their final solution was to throw some money at the problem and hope for the best. They gave the Chambers the $50K.

    I have set up a tracking system [see the NC Tourism Nav button above] to see if the BoS have spend our tax dollars wisely. They had better hope it starts working before the election.

    By the way turn up the volume on your TV, no one at the presentation identified themselves as members of the Tea Party. They were representing themselves and not the Tea Party. By the way, was the volume turned up for the BoS characterization of the nasty stuff that appears on the Sierra Foothill Report, and then defended the writers 1st Amendment writes to write the nasty stuff about them. I had to smile!

  7. gjrebane says:

    Good report Russ, and more good stuff on Barry’s blog on this morning’s BoS meeting. I was a bit amazed at how several supes characterized the owner of Sierra FoodWineArt so explicitly and in public. Sounds like there have been some hard words said.

  8. Was Enos there?

  9. steve enos says:

    Russ I saw the entire item, did you? The extra 20K I posted about was part of the 20K contact and scope for the web service contract, not the other 50 K item.

    On the web service contact item the Chamber withdrew/was cut because they wanted an additional 20K for additional work for the web/social media work, different from the 50K item.

    On top of that the Chamber failed to respond to the follow up questions asked by the County selection committee for the web service item

    The comments and dressing down by Supervisors Beason and Owens just before the 5-0 vote on the web service was a message to the ultra right folks.

    • Russ says:


      I was in the chamber. The extra money the Chamber was asking for was for an add on to proved Groupon features to the site. Yes, they failed to answer all the questions. That was not a winning strategy.

      As for what the Sups had to say at the end, I did not take it as any dressing down. What I found most interesting was the negative comments about Shannon’s husband while she was present and then defending his right to say nasty things about them under the 1st amendment.

      The take way from the meeting by many people in the audience was the for a change the BoS was listening and not talking down to the audience.

      I am still concerned that they are spending money on tourism without an over all strategy and long term plan. It seem to me they are just throwing money at the problem and hoping for the best.

      • Barry Pruett says:

        Enos is a political hack who seeks to divide the community while the rest of us are working in the community to build bridges and create jobs. Not name-calling…just a simple fact. Probably best to just ignore his grenades and keep working for a better Nevada County.

        Exactly Russ: Frankly, the $20,000 for website maintenance is similar to the arbitrary cuts to defense with the federal debt commission. In both there is no vision or plan. The chambers felt that in order to properly implement the Switchback plan, the Groupon feature needed to be added. Both the county and Pelline agreed; Pelline mentioned it in his bid put could not do it either for lack of enough money budgeted. The chamber did not want to shoot from the hip, so to speak, and Alison Lehman gave a wonderful explanation of what happened behind the scenes.

        I am glad that County will force Pelline to collaborate with the chambers…such potential failure to collaborate was my greatest fear.

        The very positive outcome of the BOS meeting was that together as a community we will formulate a long-term strategic plan to develop tourism in the community. It is a big win for the community.

  10. Sounds to me that Enos is in another world since every other poster saw and heard something different thatn he did. Is that a medical condition? LOL!

  11. steve enos says:

    This is from The Union story about this and it backs up what I posted about the Chamber getting cut from the list of possible service providers:

    “resident Barry Pruett, challenged county staff as to why the regional chambers proposal was not accepted, when it came in at $17,400 as opposed to Pelline’s $20,000 bid.

    Alison Lehman, Nevada County director of social services who also oversees economic development projects, said the regional chambers submitted a bid, with two different cost structures — one that included an aggregate buying company, Groupon, and one that did not, which would have cost the county $37,400 and $17,400, respectively. Lehman further said county staff asked if the chambers would be willing to move forward without Groupon and they said they were not, effectively removing themselves from the running.

    Owens said he was aware of Jeff Pelline’s status as a controversial figure in the community, but said his wife’s proposal was the BEST AND MOST PROFESSIONAL, which is why he was voting to accept the staff recommendation. He further said the contract could be voided if improprieties appear.

    Roseanne Burke, who is the marketing director for Nevada County Arts, but said she spoke on her own behalf during public comment, said Pelline’s proposal was PROFESSIONAL AND REPRESENTED THE BEST CHOICE FOR THE COUNTY.

    “Your husband is a controversial person,” Scofield told Shannon Pelline during the meeting and before the vote. “But, YOURS WAS THE BEST PROPOSAL.”

    The dressing down spanking Supervisors Ted Ownes and Nate Beason gave Judi Caler, Will Grenz and Barry Pruett just before their 5-0 vote will live on in video forever as one of the greatest Board of Supervisors moments of all times.

  12. I have no opinion on who gets the contract but I am curious as to how the Union article and all the other posters who were there support the Pruett analysis and not the Enos fairy tale. This is very revealing.

  13. steve enos says:

    Sorry but The Union story backs me up. Todd, did you even see the BOS meeting?

  14. SteveE your view is not supported by any other participant or the newspaper.

  15. steve enos says:

    One of the funniest parts of the BOS meeting was Judi Caler, from “ROAR”.

    ROAR?… you gotta be kidding! Sorry the ROAR spokesperson was lost in space and even made a number of threats to the BOS about future elections and even did some some “we are watching you” threats.

    Then she ranted about the OWS as a reason to say no to the the staff and selection committee recommendation to award the web contract. Then there was the part where she wanted a conflict of interest removal because a BOS member (it turned out to be Hank Weston) is on the First 5 board and Mrs. Pelline is the First 5 bookkeeper. Boy did Supervisor Weston set her straight on that one. The ROAR spokesperson even tried to claim County staff were in on some type of “fix”, but once again she was shown by County staff to be 100% wrong on her claim about what County staff members were involved.

    ROAR looked like a bad joke at the BOS meeting. Talk about going down in flames. Great news is the video of that meeting will live on for ever.

  16. steve enos says:

    Once again Todd, did you see the BOS meeting?

  17. ROAR? So you call her names and then belittle her and others you disagree with eh? You are simply unable to accept the facts and you are making them up as you go. The Union article and the other posters here are correct and you are not. Simple as that. You have destroyed your credibility. Besides, I think Judi from ROAR may be on to something in her opinion on government efficiency. Did you attend the meeting?

  18. BTW, I could care less that Pelline or his wife are now doing business with the governbemt but it does beg the question of Pelline’s mantra about the “good ol’ boys” network. I would suggest his acceptance of government money, especially local money, tosses his mantra into the trash. I am glad the Supes helped the Chambers as I was a member for many years and when I became a BOS member in 1985 I carried the legislation to give them money from the bed tax to help advertise our county.

    When Enos was a city council member did he vote yes to give the chamber money?

  19. steve enos says:

    Once again Todd, I saw the entire BOS meeting, got it? So did you see it Todd? I bet not because most anyone that saw and listen to the tin foil hat rambleing ROAR rants knows it was a total train wreck… this opinion was supported by the lecture provided by Supervisors Owens, Beason, Weston and Scofield just prior to the 5-0 vote.

    FYI Todd, when on the GV City Council I voted to support the ERC, the Downtown Association and the joint Chamber. I was on ERC and SEDD too. I really like the ERC and think it should get strong support.

  20. So SteveE you were there at the meeting? I am unclear on that. I am happy that you supported the Chambers. good job.

    ROAR is simply another group who wants their concerns heard. You name call them with tinfoil and you do that with the Tea Party, Meckler, Barry, and anyone else that disgrees with you. You slam the Republican candidates in a very derogatory way and as a former elected official I find that attitude very troubling. As you know it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there and for you to name call the R candidates is really an eye opener.

    So, since you are so dismissive about all the above, what do you think of SYRCL or perhaps the ACLU or the NRDC? Do you use the same dismissive name calling when you disagree with them? Or perhaps you always agree with them?

  21. steve enos says:


    So Todd, did YOU watch the meeting? It’s a simple question that you have not answered.

  22. So SteveE, were you at the meeting?

  23. Barry Pruett says:

    Here are my comments from the BOS meeting.


    My comments were merit-based and Alison Lehman gave me a great and thorough explanation of why the staff recommended Sierra Wine Food Art.

    My main point is that we need a long-term strategy. The Union headline was “County OK’s $$ without strategy.” Apparently The Union was listening to the comments unlike Steve. Steve: you really should apologize for misleading people about my comments. It is bad form.

  24. steve enos says:

    Nope Barry, one of your key points was “no Pelline”, go with the Chamber. But you didn’t do your home work on that one.

    Good news is the video of the BOS meeting will soon be available online for all to see. Folks can see and listen for themselves. It’s a hoot! The dressing down that Supervisors Owens and Beason provided was a gem!

    Hey Todd, seems you can’t answer that simple quesition of… did you see the meeting? So, looks like Todd is commenting on something he did not even see or hear… but I did!


  25. So SteveE were you at the meeting?

  26. steve enos says:

    Todd, Russ posted this message to you:

    “October 22, 2011 at 18:57

    Russ Replies: Todd, stick to the subject or you go in to full time moderation! I am tried of your pissing contest with Enos”.

  27. You have indicated you were there, I am simply asking you if you were there. Sometimes watching people testify while a person is in the room allows one to ascertain other perspectives of the person testifying. You have yet to tell us if you were at the meeting in your physical presence and it seems a simple question.

  28. steve enos says:

    No Todd you are wrong, I did not indicate I was at the meet, but I watched the entire meeting live… GOT IT?

    So Todd “you have yet to tell us”… did you see the meeting live?

  29. Greg Goodknight says:

    I doublechecked Pelline’s linked in…. he’s still too ashamed of his BA in Rhetoric from Cal to list it.

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