FREECYCLE Yahoo Group Around Town, posted by Fran, a resident of the Civic Square neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm
Does anyone use this group? I had a friend join this past year and she has been able to get rid of things she didnt need and acquire things that she was in need of. BUT recently the moderator of the group DID NOT POST all the requests, I heard she ignored posting over 800 requests because she went on vacation? Does anyone know anything about this? I was told by another friend that this Beth Varina person is a control monster with this free service. Does she own it? She is rude, she has thrown people off of it for no real reason, she got angry when she could not get something that she wanted, ...... I wanted to join this group, but I am not sure anymore. I would like to hear what other people have to say. Thank you for your time.....
Posted by Freecyler, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2010 at 8:03 pm
I love it myself - able to donate loads of things with decent life left in them. Just picked up a box of dishes for my son who is going away to college... there was a little interruption of postings, but we're all caught up now... and I personally have no problem with the moderator leaving her post for a bit. She (they?) do so much for a volunteer position... can't speak to the person mentioned by name. No idea who that is or what she did/did not do... bottom line - join freecycle and try it - if you don't like, offer to work and make it better or leave... just like with any other organization...
Posted by Pleasanton Valley Resident, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2010 at 8:19 pm
It seems one person, Beth?, Varina?, controls the freecycle groups of Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and San Ramon. She runs all the groups all by herself. (Does she actually have a life outside of freecycle?) Can't she delegate? Can't she just run one group? She moderates all messages, even though freecycle rules say not to. She's chosen to do this huge task and then goes on vacation and freecycling in the whole area grinds to a halt.
Freecycling is wonderful, I use it myself more than once a week, but it seems crazy that one person controls 4 adjacent groups.
Posted by Scott P. Alias of course, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm
I am a member of LivermoreFC and PleasantonFC. I am not giving my real name because the moderator would ban me for sure and I just want to give away some things I don't want in the landfill. This is what I personally experienced to the above mentioned queary:
Pleasanton Freecycle group had no posts from 7/24-1pm till 7/31-4pm then 68 all at once, 29 over the next two days now no more again.
Livermore Freecycle group had no posts from 7/24-12am till 8/1-5am
then 109 all at once 25 over the next two days now no more again.
That is 7+ whole days with no activity. The moderator has left the helm again as of Aug 2, with no word of their return......This proves to me that the moderator of these two groups (maybe more since she said she had over 400 posts when she finally checked in) is all alone in her ownership/moderation. On 8/1 the Moderator did send a post titled "Delay in Postings" to all members of both mentioned groups but is was not apologetic by any means and it just excoriated once again the combined 6,275 members on their lack of following the rules she has so often explained to us. This really is getting boring. Oh, one last interesting thought: see below where I put 7 asterisks ******** please read this one twice. It basically says if you are good you will be placed on "unmoderated" status, well the moderator was gone for 7 days and no posts went through during her absense. What are the chances that a "good" member did not want to give or get that week? It could happen but on two sites in the same week?? Questionable.
Here is the moderator/owner in her own words: "Delay in Postings"
I know that this "Special Notice" is a little long.. but please read it all the way thru.
I am on vacation. I did arrange for backup while I was gone but it seems others have gone on vacation also. Upon checking in I noticed quite a few postings (over 400 easily) with many members posting single postings for each individual items, placing duplicate postings between other Freecycle cities, etc. I went thru THIS ONCE and just cleared the board.. multiple postings and all. Please
don't send me emails "why was this member allowed to do this and not me 9 months ago".
Please review a couple of our VERY important requests below. These are the requests that all the members have asked to be done. It is very important that you please follow these rules. All of our Owners and Moderators got together and with recommendations from members and decided to all follow the same rules and formats. If you don't follow these requests then we sometimes have to take the time to fix them. We are inclined to pass your posting up to release the
posting that is done correctly. If your posting is really bad we will reject it or delete it.
** Please do not post duplicate postings across to other Freecycle
groups within 24 hours. Please do not post a duplicate posting in
the same group within 30 days.
** Please do not type all in CAPS. The only words that should be in
CAPS should be either the words OFFER, TAKEN, RECEIVED. Please do
not use PENDING, WAITING FOR, etc.
** Please try and use correct punctuation. You want your posting to
be a "nice read" for members. If your posting is sloppy and hard
to read members are not going to bother with it. Take the time to
use CAPS at the beginning of sentences, periods at the end,
correct spelling, etc.
** Please do not ask for any type of appliance that will not be
accepted at the landfill (freezers, refrigerators, tvs, cell
phones, etc.). Also.. please do not ask for really expensive
things. Asking for a car, surround sound system, Wii System, etc.
will not be approved. It will be rejected.
** Please do not ask for multiple items. One WANTED request per day
is recommended. Any more than that and members send emails that
they feel "solicited".
** Please do not use our site for a public forum. Do not ask for
advice or give advice.
** Do not ask for cash, tickets, food, diapers or any other daily
** No borrowing or trading please.
** VERY IMPORTANT!! Do not place your address or phone number in your
postings. Give this information only to the member you decide to
give your items to. With over 3000 members you just never know.
** No "First Come, First Serve" postings. We recently had a member
who after I checked with before releasing the posting said she
would not do this. She did it anyway. I had over 15 emails
complaining that they drove from other towns to pick up the items
to find that they were already gone. Talk about mad. That member
** No pet requests or OFFER's.
** No pill/medicine postings of any kind.
We want our main focus to be on keeping items out of the landfill. Members have made it very clear that they do not want our site to be used as a "wish list,personal shopping service" or "donation service". We realize that our site is stricter than most but it is what our members have asked for.
*******VERY IMPORTANT: You want to be nice. Do not take it personally if your posting is rejected. We are just trying to teach you the correct format so that your postings will go thru quicker. If after a while we see you understand you will be placed on "unmoderated" status. This is every Moderators/Owners dream :)
Lastly... if a member "flakes" on you? Send a note to the Moderator or Owner of the group. Due to the high volume of members doing this we have made up a list and repeat offenders will be suspended depending on the circumstances.
If you have any other questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me or the Owner of our group.
Have a great day.
Please wait 24 hours before cross posting to other Freecycle groups.
QUICK GUIDE TO CORRECT SUBJECT LINE FORMAT:
WANTED: Garden Hose
RECEIVED: Garden Hose
Please don't use NEEDED, ISO, PPU, PENDING, PPU, FREE, PROMISED!
Posted by Bubba Smith, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 4, 2010 at 9:23 pm
To the person that posted about joining the Pleasanton recycler group. I went and did a search on Yahoo and it came up with no matches.
Pls tell me whats the correct address for this group??
I would like to join as the LivermoreFC is getting to be a bit much for reasons I won't get into here. One reason I will mention is that some ppl in Livermore tend to be strange in giving/picking up items.
AS for Beth, she has had words with me, but she's a fair person with me. She could of kicked/banned me but didn't. I've picked up a thing or two from her and she seemed OK. The complaints I read about in here come as a surprise to me. But then again I am a newbie to the group & new to LIvermore; so I cannot really say anything bad about some one I do not know about.
I am sure with the complaints posted here and someone will inform her of these things, perhaps she may soften her stance on dealing with issues & people in general.
From what I was told by someone else she had someone to fill in for her and they screwed up. But she is not the only mod/owner of FC. I am sure they talked about their vacation plans before they left. They could of made better arrangements to keep FC running with no breaks.
But what ever reason there is I am not God to judge anyone, least I be judged also. In life there is always someone to spoil things...LivermoreFC is not immune to this.
Pls let me know the correct address for the recyclers group as I would love to join.
I think there might be a Livermore recyclers, I suggest you email the moderator of Pleasanton Recyclers and ask, she set up a few related groups when there were a number of people banned or upset with the current situation.
Posted by Renate, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm
I too love FreeCycle but not as it is administered in our community. The idea of FreeCycle is for a group (sort of a democracy) of responsible people joined in a common goal; instead we have a hierarchy that discourages people from participating.
I have almost totally stopped participating in FreeCycle because of the behavior of the “moderator”/owner.
I want to send an email to the FreeCycle top level to ask how we can form a new group with all the TriValley communities represented. A great example of this is the Santa Cruz FreeCycle that serves all the communities in the area. Would anyone be interested in a joining a new group where the members were treated as adults? I’d volunteer time, either as “owner” or moderator.
Posted by M-, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm
A slew of complaints were made against Beth over a year ago and Freecycle did NOTHING about her BAD ATTITUDE and very POOR BEHAVIOR. And for a short time she was nice to a few people. She is controlling and mean and selfish and should not have control of all these groups, it isnt right to allow one person to flaunt their ego like this and be so mean.
Posted by Sandra: Owner Moderator Recyclers groups, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:13 am
I want to personally thank those before me that have mentioned our little groups. I am so pleased to see our names in your posts. (smiling) Come on over and join our groups which are identical in meaning as the freecycle yahoogroups. Our 4 groups are still young and in need of members to get them going strong.
Please copy these links and pass them on to your friends in your recycling world.
We started as a "banned brigade" from FC networks in the TriValley. We WILL make you feel as appreciated as you ARE for just being here. Since we are NOT part of a non-profit organization with paid employee's we can stretch a bit and post notices of wonderful ways to expand on your personal footprints in keeping this world green!!!This will mostly take place in the icafeusa forum. We will utilize the files section and post business' that focus on the betterment of the town you live in. Look for posts of kid friendly things to do in this area as well. Tell your parents and grandparents to join in and post when they find out about a news worty event coming up. I know OUR GROUPS will become something special if we just can get the word out. Thank you for the opportunity to share.
If you are not happy with your current recycling group give us a try won't you?
Posted by Bubba & Bubbette Smith (Not real Names), a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2010 at 1:58 am
Thank you so very much for the web links to these other sites.
Wish there was a way to contact the majority of the LFC to inform them of the other options they have for free/recycling their items.
In light of all the complaints lodged, we don't plan on posting/answering emails from LFC any longer, We don't need the added stress in our life's.
Perhaps someone can make up some bumper stickers or put up a few signs? I am sure this would attract members to these groups. After all they do a great service to the community and should not be over looked. Something like the statement below could work.
Sandra/Tere, IF you wish pls feel free to use/alter it for your use...
If you are not happy with your current recycling group OR don't belong to one, why not give us a try won't you?
FreeCycle & Recycle your things, don't send them to the landfill.
Help keep mother earth green, and keep some green in your pocket!
These ARE FREE Yahoogroups!!
Tell your friends and neighbors about our groups!
join today~~post today~~it's FREE to join Yahoogroups~
Posted by Patty, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2010 at 8:55 am
Thanks for the web links! I'm gonna give them a try - If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know. I was freecycling when I moved here a few years ago and the group is ok, I like the people I've met, but, the moderator is confusing and makes me stressed out and afraid to post. She has sent me notes insulting me like I am a little kid who doesn't know better and when I've tried to write to her she threatens me. Life is stressful enough in this economy, I'm afraid to post anymore. It is too bad the Real FREECYCLE PEOPLE didn't care enough to appoint a new moderator because they are getting a bad reputation over one person's problems... so sad... the purpose is so great.
Posted by Michele, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 5, 2010 at 9:36 am
I've been using Livermore/Pleasanton and Danville freecycle for a couple of years. In my experience the Danville moderator is far more tightly strung than the person moderating Livermore and Pleasanton. The postings in Danville MUST have your neighborhood in the post...even if it is for a 'wanted' item? Really? I can understand the benefit (but don't require it) in a 'offer' post. These requests/offers/posts are rejected. Livermore has strict rules, sometimes a bit too strict, but with thousands of members, it think it benefits the group as a whole to keep it as uniform as possible. I just have to remember that it is a volunteer organization both for the posters AND the moderator. Frankly, I wouldn't want that responsibility. I've used Livermore with very little friction and think that is true for the majority. It benefits me and my FC community. If someone goes on vacation for a few weeks, so what? No one is going to die if they can't quickly get rid of the snow boots that JR. outgrew last year.
Don't be frightened of Freecycle, it a great tool...but that's all it is. The other groups sound good too.
Posted by Pleasanton Recycler, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2010 at 9:46 am
The person to complain to is Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org. About this time last year a lot of emails went between him and me about the problems with the Pleasanton group. If everyone who has a complaint could email him, maybe he'd do something.
The owner of the Pleasanton group is Craig you can email him here
unless he's handed it over to Beth. A year ago Craig was still the owner and Beth the moderator, but Craig wasn't interested in the day to day running of the group.
With regard to the above post: I wrote to CRAIG as the owner just as you suggested to complain about Varina/Beth and the result was: Varina/Beth emailing me back personally and telling me "You know I get ALL the owner emails too"
Posted by Freecycler in Parkside, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Aug 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm
I feel that the moderation is to extreme for things that we should not be punished before. You can be banned for things that are not fair.
I like the concept and like the large group, but we are not children and do not deserve rude emails that we receive and being moderated to the moderators choice. We really need a new owner of the group, this person should step down.
Posted by Jan, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2010 at 8:47 am
ALL FEEDBACK should really go to the that guy JOEl at freecycle. Not craig. Craig is beths son and he has ignored so many emails over the past two years. and usually beth anwswers the emails not craig. if you've belonged to another freecycle group you would know that most messages are not moderated the way beth controls them and that it is really not necessary to sit there all day and do this. beth has become extremely controlling and emotional about all the posts. unless she can chill out when she doesnt get something she wants, or ignore a spelling mistake or allow simple things to go through, this group will never be what freecycle originators wanted to begin with ... she has a horrible disposition, when she writes you she is passive agressive and comes off as a lunatic. then she gets mad because she can not control the situation and she BANS you from the group out of anger... we really need new owners and moderators. people who really care about the community and not their egos. write to JOEL not craig... Joel at California Freecycle is the one who is REALLY IN CHARGE ::: email@example.com
then maybe our community will find some peace in this matter.
or just join one of those other groups those women created for the community, maybe freecycle is not the way to go.
Posted by Cindy, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2010 at 8:52 am
ALL COMPLAINTS FOR ANY FREECYCLE GROUP SHOULD GO TO FREECYCLE
write to JOEL not craig...
The group can be taken away from Craig and Beth or Varina (she uses 2 names), it is a temporary ownership until the group is banned from freecyle for bad behavior and it they receive enough complaints.
Apparently this team of craig and beth own several freecycle groups in our area which is a monopoly, which wrong too. maybe that is why beth uses two names????
WRITE TO JOEL - HE MODERATES THE GROUPS IN CALIFORNIA AND HE WILL PROVIDE INSIGHT TO ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY AND HE WILL SPEAK TO CRAIG AND HIS BUDDY IN FREECYCLE CHAOS.
Posted by Fed Up, a resident of the Verona neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2010 at 10:54 am
I'd like to add my 2 cents as well - yes- I completely agree- I have not used my name for fear of retribution from the Queen of Freecycle - Ms Varina. I am a somewhat frequent "giver" on Freecycle, and a not-so-frequent receiver - due in some part to the fact that I seem to receive both the OFFER and TAKEN posting at the same time - really frustrating - who is getting to see this stuff first?...and Yes- I have been scolded more than once - I mistyped something one time - and you'd have thought that I was back in Catholic Elementary school is Sister Varina using the ruler on me! In fact, I finally had enough of her meanness- and decided to respond to her hateful email to me - I am sure I am on the "moderated list" now......coal in my stocking this Christmas, for sure....I am really glad that this is being addressed - I also agree that she has done a lot of work, but, if this is too much for one person, then for heaven's sake, ask for help...don't take it out on the well-meaning members. She really needs a "time out".
Posted by Banned former member, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2010 at 11:13 am
Craig wrote: The Mods spend a significant part of their day trying to make it a good experience and keep spam down. With 3200 members & sometimes 500 posts a month it can get crazy...
I bet it can get crazy Craig with YOUR one and only moderator Varina moderating Livermore, Pleasanton, Castro Valley, San Ramon and who knows how many other FC sites with 3000+ members each? Yikes, I think you should get a new moderator for at least your site and give her a much needed break (I will forward this to your requested address as well.
Posted by Concerned Freecycler, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2010 at 11:14 am
If you have any feedback regarding Freecycle you should feel confident that you can send an email to either Craig, the Pleasanton owner or Joel, the California owner. Craig is NOT Beth's son. In addition, Craig has been very response to the postings that he has seen on this forum. He has reacted by asking for feedback from the Pleasanton Freecylce group, both good and bad, and he has reinstated any member that was banned. He is listening to the community, and working to resolve the problems that he is made aware of.
Posted by banned from Livermore FC, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 6, 2010 at 7:07 pm
I am still waiting for WHO EVER OWNS LIVERMORE FC to step up to the plate and kick Ms. Thang to the curb and reinstate all of us who have been banned. Have not received that note in my inbox yet!!Kudo's Mr. Craig!! Hope you stay a bit more ontop of your baby from now on.
How about more than one mod so they can take a break month on month off. You know helping each other out. That way they don't become emotional about it.
by the way does anyone know who owns Livermore FC. Nora "lil ole Nora" perhaps? She seems to have dropped off the map but not before lambasting me with her tongue (via text)through the Livermore FC moments before I was banned!! I hate having to tell the Pleasanton FC people I am in Livermore I wish I could post locally again. I will try the Livermore recyclers group for sure thanks for sharing. I'll tell as many Livermore folks I can think of about it.
Posted by Tori, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Aug 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm
I also belong to Freecycle and have given away as well as received many things (someone just picked up something of my porch advertised through freecycle). I don't think the moderator ignored the above mentioned emails on purpose. I think a culmination of events made it next to impossible to manage the group when she came back and she had to start fresh after posting as much as she could. Yahoo Groups has different issues from time to time with email delivery, etc. I also think the person she left in charge either didn't follow through or didn't understand what to do while filling in. I recall an email from the moderator that sounded overwhelmed and that she was doing the best she could to catch up. Anyway, this may be moot as I believe there is a new moderator. It's worth joining, you can always read the emails to see what it's all about before jumping in with an offer or request.
Posted by Confused by Tori, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Aug 8, 2010 at 11:11 pm
I am not understanding your post
1.I don't think the moderator ignored the above mentioned emails on purpose---Tori, which Emials are you referring to?
2. I think a culmination of events made it next to impossible to manage the group when she came back and she had to start fresh after posting as much as she could.---Tori, you must be an owner or moderator too because it sounds like you may have behind the scenes knowledge of the inner workings of yahoo groups. I myself only post offers and wanteds. I have not one clue what you are trying to say. Do you mind putting this in leymans (sp?) terms? I sure would like to know what your talking about. It would be helpful. Thanks for yoru time Tori, I have seen your name alot you are a very crafty person for sure!!
Posted by Support local Thrift Stores, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 9, 2010 at 10:11 am
I used to use Freecycle - Pleasanton/Livermore/Dublin. I did not have any issues but one time when I was trying to give away an old set of CD/DVD's and there was some confusion as to whether it was a CD-ROM/computer program. The moderator was fine when I re-issued the ad.
With the delay however, I've missed out on items I needed. In the past 6 months I've started donating to Shepherd's Gate Thrift Store on Railroad Ave. in Livermore. They will even pick-up if you are in Pleasanton/Livermore - 1362 Railroad Ave. Livermore, CA (925) 606-1290; Hours of operation: Monday - Saturday 9:30am - 3:00pm; Sunday Closed Web Link
All profit goes to support the Women and Children's shelter.
Posted by reasonable, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Aug 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm
I've been able to give away a lot of things on freecycle (including things that would be hard to give to goodwill, etc.) and even picked up a few here and there. Many things out of my house and not in the landfill. It is hard not to feel good about this.
I noticed the recent break in service, but does it really matter if you have to wait an extra week to get rid of something that has been cluttering up the garage for a year??
I also noticed a recent trend toward allowing higher dollar items. This is great! If you don't want to give someone a car, i phone, etc., just don't respond -- it is easy. I would also like to eliminate the exclusion on "single posts". The truth is I never read to the end of posts with 5 or 6 items.
Posted by Craig, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Aug 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm
FYI: I am not the son of the moderator.
The first line of communication should ALWAYS go to the group owner. Joel comes in only under EXTREME circumstances… He has gotten VERY FEW complains (in 5 years) with our group and every complaint he has ruled in the moderators favor.
The only members that I actually banned from the group were people sending spam (ie porn)
People be sure of facts before you post them in such a public place and if people are not using their real name, maybe they have a reason… Please respect that…
Posted by Sandra, a resident of Livermore, on Aug 10, 2010 at 11:13 am
Craigslist yes that is a great tool as well. My friends and i have created a group of recyclers yahoo groups that are small and you will get quick service as well. There is NO moderating until after you post should it be needed. We do have guidelines we would like for you to follow but if you make an error you WILL NOT be punished, it is after all about ridding yourself of items not about properly spelling their names. Won't you give us a try. put in the yahoogroups search recyclers. There are 3 groups Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore and also our sister site icafeusa.
Posted by Mona, a resident of Livermore, on Feb 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm
I like Craigslist for giving things away FREE also. NO one in control of my grammar.Each post is not treated like a school "writing" project that must be presented in just the right way or it will be denied. It is just Free stuff waiting for a new home. SiMPLE uncomplicated..........Craigslist.
Posted by Sandra, a resident of Livermore, on May 21, 2011 at 1:11 pm
I think Mona may be talking about her past experience or Currently on Livermore FC. I myself have enjoyed the "new" Pleasanton FC thanks Craig for taking back the Helm. Wishing we could get the "love of FC" your group has over to Livermore. B/V still has too much time on her hands to control LivermoreFC. disappointing as that is where I live!!!
Posted by Kris, a resident of Livermore, on Oct 4, 2012 at 11:32 am
I wholeheartedly agree about Beth Varina!!! She is an AWFUL control FREAK!! Apparently we're not allowed the Human Factor anymore in our posts! And some Hog Wash about not being able to ask for more than ONE thing in a Wanted posting and NO MORE than THREE "Wanted" postings in the same week!! Where did all these new rules take place or are these just Beth Varina's CONTROL Rules for the Livermore/Pleasanton Freecycle sites? I just posted a "Wanted" for a pick nick table and or chairs for a "needy family" next door. I received a LONG haughty diatribe from her regarding freecycle policy to not be an organization that helps charities. Why the heck not?! If someone else's trash is someone else's treasure, who care's who gets it?!?! What is her problem?!?! Livermore/Pleasanton Freecycle is not the wonderful place it used to be!!! I HATE even trying to post anything up anymore because of Beth's incredibly strict rules for postings. It's like OUR Freecycle site has somehow become HER OWNERSHIP and not ours anymore! How do get her fired, that's what I want to know!!