Sunday, April 08, 2007

Unbelievable (Updated)

Does this sound right to you at all?

The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians own the Shodakai Casino that is located a few miles north of Ukiah in Redwood Valley. Check this out:
(The new development) includes a 200,000-square-foot hotel with 118 rooms, a 105,750-square-foot, two-story casino with 33,750 square feet of actual gaming floor and another 73,000 square feet of food, beverage, retail and meeting spaces, a 25,000-square-foot entertainment hall with seating for 1,500 and a 163,500-square-foot, three-story parking garage. A waste water treatment plant and storm water drainage and water supply facilities are also being proposed.
Cool. That's exactly what we need, a bigger casino. As if the increase in crime, low wage jobs, and the absolute corruption that inhabits the tribe isn't enough (the State shut them down a couple of years ago for basically stealing money), how about this:
Because the project is within the reservation's boundaries, it is not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act or local zoning regulations as other developments in the county are. According to the report, the decision to move forward with the project is entirely up to the seven-member tribal council.
Back in the mid-1990's, I voted for the legalization of Indian Gaming in the state of California. Boy was I dead wrong in that vote.

Instead of casinos, how about eliminating the concept of reservations, but allowing the tribe to create a community in which the current land owners are the owners of the property. Instead of giving money to 18 year old kids to blow on cars and bling, make a condition that the students can receive assistance to go to college and will receive the Federal dollars after they gain a college degree. Instead of this forced segregation, why not truly integrate a segment of the population that is not thriving in it's current state?

Or, keep making casinos everywhere. That's really helping the situation.

Updated 4/8/07:
The Sacramento Bee has an excellent article that provides some nice depth into the issues of California tribes, with a focus on the Coyote Valley tribe. Although I would agree that it was disgusting how the State and Federal governments dealth with Native Americans, I would point out that the current methods of Federal hand-outs and casino revenue have done nothing to help get the younger generations prepared for society.
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