Casino expansion versus land holding?

 

Napoles family members holding up trespass citations.

Napoles family members holding up trespass citations.

A land dispute on the Bishop Indian Reservation produced a protest Monday and claims that the Tribal Council has taken over land to expand the Casino and build a motel.

Rick Napoles said his family holds a land assignment where the Tribe wants to take over. He said his aunt, Janice Geraldine Pasqua holds Block 3, lots 6, and 7. Napoles said that the Tribal Council has denied this assignment and “want to claim it for Casino expansion,” he said.

Napoles also said that last July, tribal members voted down the idea of expanding the Casino. Then in March of this year, he said, the Tribal Council “decided to take charge of our land assignment.” He said the Council sent a letter to his brothers ordering livestock off the property for the building of a fence.

savenopahaprotest2Napoles said that’s why his family carried out a protest Monday. He also said the Tribal Police Officer handed his family members citations for trespass. They have a court date June 17th. Napoles said his family has “a preponderance of evidence on the family land assignment.” He said this court appearance will give the family a chance to show that the land is theirs and there was no trespass. He added that the Owens Valley Tribal Board passed resolution #127 granting his aunt the three plots of land.

We called or emailed all of the five Bishop Tribal Council members for their response. We did speak with Vice Chairman Bill Vega who said, “The Tribal Council needs to prepare a statement. We will convene in a week. We’d like to make a statement. I am out of town right now,” he said.

Council member Monty Bengochia was vague in his response. At one point he said the Council “is not trying to take their family land.” He referred us to a Tribal newsletter which spoke to this land issue. That article says that the Tribal Council decided 8 years ago to maintain control of the two lots for “economic development purposes.” The article says this decision was upheld by the current Tribal Council after consideration of “all facts and documents surrounding this issue.” The article says that two descendants of the original tribal designee of the land “agreed to seek land assignments elsewhere on the reservation.”

As for whether expansion of the Casino and construction of a motel is imminent, Bengochia said that would be up to the Economic Development Corporation of the Tribe. He claims the plan is under a feasibility study.

The other Council members – Chairman Chad Delgado, Earleen Williams, and Kristopher Hohag – have not yet answered calls or emails.

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rude gesture
rude gesture
8 years ago

What you seem to be saying, Bob, is that if everyone was just like you, the world would be a better place. Everyone could think like you, act like you, worship like you, buy consumer products like you, vote like you, and everything would be just ducky. I don’t know,… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago

Until the Indians assimilate into society they will continue to digress..

Get off the res, and get a life, or sit back and watch the World move on.

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob,
Your profound insults must convince many that your society is superior and entice them to assimilate. Then again, if it is so superior, why hasn’t it assimilated or annihilated all others? some societies have seen others come and go and may be happy to see your world move on.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Wow Bob, I know of several hundred of very successful Americans living here on the res. You should take time to meet some of them .

P.S. they can speak english now days, so be careful what you say.

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

I’ve heard a Bishop P.D. officer say he’d feel better going on the Res. if he could carry a couple hand grenades.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bishop P.D. doesn’t cover the res. and if he said that he should not be allowed to. I really think you are wrong. 99% of the people on the res. are very good hearted folks.

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

I wouldn’t make something up like that. But I also won’t give a name.

Lord KAW
Lord KAW
8 years ago

It’s painfully obvious, The current Tribal Council doesn’t understand the gravity of the situation, Because what happened in Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office, up in Alturas, CA is close to Happening in Bishop! And don’t think for a minute that it can’t, because it can and will, if these Dirty council… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Lord KAW

Those struck down in Cedarville should remind us that The Lord may hand out vengeance, but we should not. My prayers are for peace and healing in Cedarville as in Bishop.

RAM
RAM
8 years ago

When I went and watched the Manzanar fishing club in Lone Pine the movie maker said he got absolutely no cooperation from the Tribal Council, and he only wanted to know is if any Paiutes had fished with any Japanese at the camp.

Bone
Bone
8 years ago

WOW!!!!!! Where could the tribal council have learned such sneaky and illegal moves such as kicking people off of their land?? At least the US govt.gave the Indians a new piece of land when they took the land they wanted.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Bone

Bone- you are being to nice. I think you are greatly understating what our Govt. did to the American Indians.

Paiute Native
Paiute Native
8 years ago

I am a Tribal member and I say This “Seedy-Corrupt” tribal counciL that we have now, stealing people’s Lands just to make money off of the Victim’s Lands, Not just the Napoles’s there are others who”s Lands are stolen and rented out for rental income Yes there Is Lots of… Read more »

Ron
Ron
8 years ago

You can see the whole story on Facebook SaveNorthPaha including all the background and documents. Thank you.

Bill
Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Didn’t the tribe vote against the casino expansion ?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

The Napoles people said the tribal members did vote against the casino expansion.
Benett Kessler

Bill
Bill
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill

So let me get this straight tribe voted against the expansion of the casino, so why is the council still trying to grab the land?

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

If it brings good paying local jobs, it’s good. I find it hard to believe they can’t find other property to appease the neighbors.

Icn
Icn
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

So what your saying is they should just give this family a different families plot of land? Maybe they can ask the county or dwp for more land because that happens all the time? This land had been given to this particularly family when the tribal lands were developed by… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Icn

O.K. I admit I was wrong. I thought the tribe had more control of the land than they clearly do. I do hope they get this worked out. The Bishop Reservation is unique and important to all of Bishop .Being in the center of the City of Bishop makes their… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

There will never be any economy in the Eastern Sierra other than the tourist economy which is primarily low paying jobs.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob: so true. And it’s only because the ruling class has blinders on. There’s so many different industries that would mesh perfectly with the East Side.

It’s not my problem….

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Care to name some of these industries that would mesh so well? Transportation into and out of the valley is a huge restraint to growth, but even moreso is the position of so many locals that the valley is to be preserved as-is. Urban development would make the effects of… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Speaking of LADWP, they are not likely to release the land and water needed for development of industries.
Benett Kessler

Bob
Bob
8 years ago

Any industry that provided better jobs would bring more people to the area. More people puts more demand on the environment and requires more water.

If it ever happens it won’t be good for the Eastern Sierra over time.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

DT: Why should I do that? All it will get me is more vitreal like you just generously gave. The geniuses that run the East Side know what to do but they have decided that the current status quo is adequate for them. As long as the cheap, unskilled labor… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

Benett: What land? What water? You are fighting imaginary demons again.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, There is nothing imaginary about the fact that LA owns 98% of the private land surrounding all the communities of Inyo County. Of course, they also control all the water. If anyone wants to establish industry, these are the realities they will deal with. Most people want to build… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago

Ya, they sure have a lock on Shoshone.

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

I would like to see the development of Higher Education here in the Owens Valley . For starters, is there is a better place for a School that would benefit from the Earth laboratory that we surrounds us here in the Inyo ? An expanded Cerro Coso could easily accomodate… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob- never is a long time and you leave out DWP, Edison and the City of L.A.’s dependance on our Water and Power sources.

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Hi Trouble,

I’m not sure what your point is other then DWP and Edison are both excellent employers.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob, you said way up there, there would never be a economy here other than tourist . I just wanted to point out that our water and ability to manufacture cheap power up here is surely one of our biggest industries .

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Since when is power cheap? ūüėČ

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob-Water and Power is dirt cheep for DWP up here. Hell, DWP basically stole the water rights and are being allowed to steal our ground water as we speak. Just because they piss away all their profits and over feed their pot belly employees, doesn’t mean we don’t have some… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Water scarcity already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world’s population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world’s population, face economic water shortage (where countries lack… Read more »

Former Paiute Palace Employee
Former Paiute Palace Employee
8 years ago

I have immense respect for the native americans in this country. I also have quite a few friends and acquaintances around town who are native american and adore their friendship. But I have no respect for the tribal council or Paiute Palace. A lot of stray animals come out of… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Former Paiute- you brought up several good points. I personnally have heard about several people being fired or let go for crazy reasons. Your comments make me want to take back my other post on this matter.

Bob
Bob
8 years ago

I have heard others around the valley complain about the secretive uncooperative tribal council.

That employee turn over at the Palace is called churn and if it’s excessive it usually means there’s a bigger problem.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

One has to wonder if the State Legislature would have entered into the original gaming compact if they knew then what we know today. I see very little good and much that is bad has come from Indian gaming. I know that is not a universally shared sentiment so fire… Read more »

The Aggressive Progressive
The Aggressive Progressive
8 years ago

From your previous posts I am not surprised you feel this way! Desert Tortoise, if you have any compassion for your fellow human/Americans than you should see that the American Indian has faced and still faces extreme social injustice, Indian gaming is the closest american Indians have been able to… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago

Progressive, I am hardly unaware of the tragedies our nation inflicted on the native Americans. But I also think that what is called “indian gaming” has been at best a mixed blessing for the tribes. We have set up a situation where the only way the tribes can make an… Read more »

The Aggressive Progressive
The Aggressive Progressive
8 years ago

Give me a break DT!

This current America has no culture, the only value most of us share is consumerism! This society makes me sick!

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago

DT No one granted a monopoly. States are free to legalize gambling. “We also permit tribes to plop these big casinos wherever they please…” HUH? US Supreme Court has ruled states cannot tax, or restrict development on tribal lands. Establishing new tribal casinos off reservation is going through the courts… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Pedro,partially correct. The Supreme Court ruling requires tribes to sign agreements with their respective states in order to operate casinos in those states. Tribes cannot legally operate casinos in states that do not agree to permit them. My point is that if our Legislature knew how things would eventually turn… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

I say, MORE GAMBLING! Turn the Owens Valley into another Las Vegas. Fits right in the idea that tourism is godlike.

THINK OF THE MONEY!!!

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

DT, Flat wrong? United Auburn Indian Community was given tribal recognition and 20 acres. The Feds later stripped their recognition and sold most of their land. After years the recognition was restored and tribe was granted 49 acres. THEN the casino was built. Thus tribal casino on tribal land. Thus… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

P.S. I am boycotting casino and gas station until this is resolved. Don’t want to encourage bullying.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

The Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians have a casino going up more than 100 miles from their reservation on non-tribal land in Barstow. The Federal Government can approve off reservation casinos and has done so in cases where states have no say in the matter due to… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

Barstow casino does not have final permits, is not “going up” yet, and has support of Barstow. Barstow site will lessen impacts you complain of, traffic is already headed to Vegas and reservation wild-lands will be preserved. Coverdale has not finalized plans or broken ground. Again, off reservation casinos could… Read more »