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Posted on October 26 at 1:29 p.m.
The Congressman who put forward this bill represents the northernmost district in the state -- further geographically from SB County than any other district. The bill creates a bonanza for 143 persons, a "tribe" of land developers, against the best interests of the remaining 430,000 people in the county.
THIS is democracy at work?
On Chumash Call on Congress for Camp 4
Posted on August 25 at 9:19 a.m.
Here's another thought:
Why not have the Chumash follow the same rules as every other person residing in the Santa Ynez Valley? They have scads of money, brought in to them by all the "winners" visiting their casino every day. America is supposed to be the land of equal opportunity. Why not actually make it so?
Awarding special perks and privileges to some supposedly "different" racial or political group is against our constitution and blatantly unfair to everyone else who plays be the rule of law.
On Chumash Reach Out to County Planning
Posted on August 21 at 6:36 p.m.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
1) The opposition to fee-to-trust by valley residents is not a "small minority" as Armenta suggests, Rather, the vast majority of valley residents are vigorously opposed to this "deal", and with good reason. Unrestricted "development" of the SY Valley will turn it into a combo of North Van Nuys and Vegas. And it is primarily to avoid current limitations on growth, which are applicable to everyone else in the county except the Chumash Reservation, that the fee-to-trust application is being pushed forward by any means available. Money talks; bulls**t walks.
2) Note the correlation between the Indy giving a platform to Armenta to espouse his stories and the number of lavish, full-page ads published in this paper by the casino every month. A coincidence . . . . natch!
On Facts on Camp 4 Federal Trust Application
Posted on August 18 at 4:17 p.m.
Oops! Dropped a zero there . . . that's $300,000 a year per tribe member. Certainly enough for a studio apartment in Buelton, for example. BTW, most estimate that the casino generates $1,000,000 a day. Of course, since there is no oversight (as in for Nevada's example, the Nevada Gaming Commission), precise figures are abit hard to come by.
On Chumash Apply to Annex Camp 4
Posted on August 18 at 3:55 p.m.
After witnessing the surge in the crime rate and the large increase in traffic caused by all the "winners" visiting the casino, the vast majority of local residents are steadfastly opposed to this "annexing". This opposition holds, even though the tribe is offering a ten million dollar bribe to grease county pockets.
The idea that these folks need housing is ludicrous. Each one clears in excess of $300,00 per year, just for being a member of the "tribe". What the "annex" really does is give the Chumash unlimited power to build and do anything they wish on the property, completely ignoring community building codes, environmental concerns, infrastructure loading, etc., with no tax liability whatsoever , , , in perpetuity! It also establishes a precedent which will allow them to annex more lands, for more casinos, resort hotels, golf courses, etc. Get ready for the Las Vegas of Santa Ynez Valley.
The tribe has already declared that they will not negotiate with or abide with rules set by the locals (read: "peasants"). They are a "sovereign nation", and have no need to pay any attention to concerns of other valley residents. What will happen next is a back-door deal with a needy congressperson, willing to write and sponsor a bill that will circumvent local sentiment and do the deal in Washington in exchange for a private campaign cash settlement. This is how the "Chumash Highway" came to be (with no local knowledge or input - surprise!), and this is how the Chumash will get the next piece of their casino-fueled expansion project.
Posted on June 23 at 7:24 p.m.
So the Chumash hire someone to investigate and write about their casino / culture, and it turns out to be a puff piece.
One thing to consider re. this article is that the Independent makes considerable ad revenue from the Chumash Casino. Don't hold your breath for any real investigative reporting.
On Casino Powering Chumash Culture?
Posted on March 28 at 9:25 p.m.
Cheney's heart does not have a heartbeat. It's not weak, nor arrhythmic, it does not happen. So he sports a battery-powered pacemaker to initiate the beat. If ever there was an example of poetic justice, this must be it.
I would advise not appealing to his conscience. Modern science has not yet perfected an electronic one.
On Cheney in Santa Barbara
Posted on February 18 at 8:09 a.m.
This is a puff-piece supporting the new boutique "wineries" squeezing their way into the valley. Current tax laws give breaks to those wanting to shelter income by purchasing Ag land and growing grapes. We are not speaking of the handful of older, established vineyards that were established generations ago, but newer proprietors wanting to protect income.
A "vineyard" is a farm growing grapes. An Ag operation which may be appropriate in rural locations, but with distinct impacts on its surroundings. Water use, fertilizer runoff, etc.
A "winery" is an industrial plant, processing grapes into wine. Such an operation requires access to wider roads, utilities, and factory buildings not usually suitable in Ag areas or home areas.
A "tasting room" is a retail marketing outlet, appropriate in urban areas with adequate parking, signage, etc, located away from residential neighborhoods. Los Olivos now has at least a couple dozen of these, and this little town is becoming swamped with wine tours, bus tours, and swarms of tourists toting wine glasses, invading locals' front yards every weekend on their wine-crawls. Progress . . .
Now, the newly-arrived "vintners" want to combine these distinct operations to offer wine tasting -- as well as wine by the glass (new ordinance) throughout the SY Valley and beyond. The wine crawl will be done in cars, driven by the "tasters", along narrow, winding farm roads. We have already witnessed autos attempting U turns, driving off roads into ditches, or just stopped while their drivers space out in confusion. No local in their right mind wanders into LO on weekends, and this is just the beginning.
To say that there is no local opposition to the increase in these "wineries" and their pressure to hold more and more "events" in rural areas is simply absurd. Last Monday's hearing at St. Mark's church was standing room only, and was an overwhelming expression of the true concern that long time residents of the valley have re. this major revision of the valley's future. The winery interests try to frame the discussion as if the residents had just arrived in the valley, while the absolute opposite is the case.
On S.B. Wineries Are Not a Problem
Posted on January 22 at 1:10 p.m.
The article makes it sound like the wineries have been here for decades and that newly-arrived home owners are being fussy about wine bar expansion plans.
Actually, it's quite the opposite; it is the small farmers and home owners who have been here for years, with newly-arrived, wealthy stock speculators wanting to spread out their wine-making tax shelters into retail outlets.
No one is complaining that they grow grapes, (though perhaps they should reconsider, since water usage is quite an issue in these drought-laden times -- and grapes take a lot of water.) The point of contention is that these places now wish to establish retail sales and wine bars at every winery.
The article mentions the "bar-hoping wine crawl" which now occurs every weekend in Los Olivos. The wineries want customers to get into their cars and spread this "crawl" across the entire valley and on narrow, winding roads. Does it take a doctorate in urban planning to predict what happens next?
On A Tale of Two Valleys
Posted on December 25 at 8:41 p.m.
"Yankee Carpetbaggers" !!
You think the SY Valley is in Alabama? Her daddy founded an insurance company, back east - a true Yankee. This is a boutique ranch. Hall's time is spent between her "spreads" here, the island Hawaii, visiting friends in England, and tooling across the country visiting horse shows. The real ranchos in California are almost all gone; the O'Neil Ranch was broken up and part of it became Camp Pendleton. They were huge, and raised cattle for their hides and tallow. The local indians (not "Chumash" BTW) were worked to death by the Spanish padres; the rest dies due to european diseases.
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