Report on the news that matters to your community and don't let us miss a beat. Send in your stories and photos.
My Recent Comments
The politest thing that can be said about the comments of the Tohono O'odham tribe and it's chairman is that it is purposely disengenuous, The 1986 Gila River settlement and land replacement Act, allowing for the replacement of tribal lands periodically flooded by the backwaters of the Rainbow Rock Dam, envisioned replacement of farm lands for other farm landsl It also provided that if there was no viable farm lands availabel in the three counties that were designated in the Act, then the tribe could obtain other replacement lands for econmic development. The tribal chairman now says "if Congress wanted to limit that replacement land to prevent construction of a gambling casino on the replacement lands they knew how to do so by placing that limitation in the 1986 Act". The problem with that silly remark is the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act (IGRA), which created the very right to have Indian Gaming was not enacted until 2 years later in October 1988 and did not exist at the time of the Gila River Act. It is ridicuous to suggest that Congress should have incorporated in the 1986 replacement Act some provision to prevent construction of an Indian gambling casino before the very law for allowing such a casino in the first place (the I.G.R.A.) had not even been created yet!Oct 5, 2011
Under current federal law, when an Indian tribes seeks to annex or transfer land into reservation or trust status for purposes of class II or class III gambling then prior to such a transfer the Department of Interior must determine if the land is elligible for gambling under the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA). That Act prohibited gambling on any land acquired by any Indian tribe after October 17th 1988. The Tohono O'odham purchased the Glendale parcel in 2003 and it is not elligible for gambling activity. Nor is it elligible for one of the narrow exceptions to the IGRA prohibition as the tribe is trying to claim. It is not land "acquired as a result of the settlement of a land dispute". There was no dispute over the tribal lands inundated periodically by backwaters from the Painted Rock Dam. It is land purchased with money paid to the trtibe as damages for the tribal farmland damaged by the backwaters from the Painted Rock Dam. This is what is called in the law, payment for inverse condemnation and by the terms of the 1986 Gila River Settlement Act, the tribe could use the money damages they were paid for any economic development either to purchase replacement farm land or any other economic development project OTHER THAN GAMBLING. They cannot avoid the strict prohibiton of the very specific and later enacted IGRA prohibiting gambling on land after acquired by any Indian tribe after October 17th 1988. May 5, 2011
There are two key issues. The first is whether the Gila River Settlement Act allowed the parcel in Glendale to be purchased with the 30 million dollars paid to the tribe in compensation for the land periodically inundated by backwaters from the Painted Rock Dam. If the tribe wanted to use that money to purchase land for economic development it was to be limited to not more than 3 parcels located in Pinal, Pima and/or Maricopa counties with each parcel adjacent to each other and one parcel required to be adjacent to the San Lucy Village reservation lands. If the land met these limitations it could be brought into federal Indian trust and made a part of the tribes reservation. The second and perhaps more important issue here, is that the Glendale parcel was purchased in 2003. No Indian tribe can conduct gaming on any parcel of land acquired after October 1988, the date of the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act. ( IGRA 25 USC 2703) Any such land is deemed to be "inelligible lands" under the Act. Neither does it fit into the few narrow exceptions set out in 25 USC 2719. So even if the Glendale lands were construed as proper lands for econiomic development envisioned under the 1986 Gila River Settlement Act, they are never the less gambling inelligible under the 1988 IGRA!Feb 20, 2011
The question of what land the tribe could buy, if they decided to buy land for economic developement with the $30,000,000 million recieved to settle the inverse condemnation claim from the Painted Rock reclamation project, has been decided. In a case decided by the IBIA (Internal Board of Indian Appeals) when the tribe sought to buy a large Ranch and an easement dispute arose, the court held that the land had acquired to be in Pima, Pinal or Maricopa County, and was intended for agricultural useage like the land being replaced because of the backwater flooding. One parcel had to be adjacent to San Lucia Village and the others adjacent to that parcel and adjacent to each other. The Glendale land acquisition acquired by the tribe secretly after October 1988, is not "elligible Indian lands" as required by the Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act (IGRA) 25 USC 2719 or 25 USC 2703. The question of whether that land can even be brought into trust legally and made a part of the reservation is questionable. The fact it is not elligible to build and operate a gambling casino there is CLEAR!Feb 2, 2011
There is nothing"unfair" about it. The Tohono O'oham can open and operate any business anyone else can own and operate in that zone EXCEPT A GAMB LING CASINO! They get their plans approved, pay their fees and property taxes etc. etc. If it winds up ultimately being taken into trust they are able to evade many of the laws and taxes that any other business would have to pay but in the end even if it becomes trust lands as proposed THEY CANNOT BUILD AND OPERATE A GAMBLING CASINO ON THAT LAND .That is because that land was acquired after October 1988 and is not eligible "Indian Lands" as defined in 25 USC 2703 upon which either class II or class III gambling is allowed and that land does not fit into any of the narrow exceptions permitting gambling on land acquired by an Indian tribe after 1988. The annexation issue adds little to the legal status of the land other than the question of whether or not the tribe and it's businesses will ultimately have to pay all the same taxes and obey all the same laws everyone else and every other business has to abide by and which are needed to cover the public services and infrastructure the City of Glendale will be required to provide to them at considerble expense.Jan 26, 2011
First of all the Tohono O'odham already have a casino. Most of it's profits, like so many other Indianc casinos, are absorbed by the tribal govenrment and ruling families and their non-Indian gambling partners and various politicians and never make it into the hands of the average tribal members. Indian casinos do NOTHING for the community because they cannot be taxed for schools, police, fire and the many other public services and infrastructure they use regularly at the non-Indian taxpayers' expense. The amounts these casino Indians voluntarily contribute through tribal-state compacts made with the state, are used by the state and little ever makes it into the local cmmunities including school systems where the negative impacts occur. All host communities are negatively impacted by the presence of a gambling casino. Also the amounts contributed are woefully inadequate to cover the added demands the Indian casinos and businesses place on public services and infrastructure. They are also exempt from complying with almost all state laws enacted to protect the workers in Indian casinos and businesses and to protect the customers who enter those casios and businesses at their own risk. An outdated court created legal immunity doctrine prevents injured, damaged or cheated employees or customers from suing for damages no matter how outrageous the tribes conducts is,, or the conduct or negligence of their agents or employees, or the nature of the injury sustained in these Indian casinos or businesses. On top of that these casinos, like all casinos, bring a host of social problems like increased crime, substance abuses, gambling addictions, credit problems, bankruptcy, divorce and family neglect, even suiicide. They produce nothing productive except a few low paying, transient and unprotected jobs to serve the gamblers who are losing their money there, usually money they cannot afford to lose. These losers continue to gamble in these lawless Indian casinos either because they are addicted to gambling or think it is entrertaining to lose money while playing these unregulated, uninspected slot machines, that are soaking up the community weatlth. Money that that would be spent in other non-Indian businesses and entertainment venues. .A number of studies have shown that for every dollar that an Indian casino brings into a community by the trickle down effect of the wages paid employees and goods and services purchased, it cost the host community at least $3.50. How you can see any benefit in this scenario is difficult to imagine and it does not alter the legal fact that the Glendale land purchased by the Tohono O'odham is NOT elligible for any Indian casino gambling as a matter of federal law!Dec 9, 2010
It is clear that these posters do not understand the legal issues. The Tohono O'odham were paid 30 million dollars for land that was periodically inundated by water backing up from Painted Rock Dam. This 1986 settlemement act provided that the money could be used for economic development and if the tribe decided to buy land, it had to be in the three designated counties, had to be contiguous to the other parcels of land, one parcel of which had to be contiguous to San Lucy village.
The Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act (IGRA) was enacted in 1988 and prohibited gambling on all lands acquired by any tribe after October 1988. Although there were a few exception set out in 25 USC 2719 none of them fit the Tohono O'odham or the Gila river settlement Act. That Act was not a settlement of any disputed title to land but was an inverse condemnation settlement to compensate the tribe with money for the periodic inundation of farmland. Nothing in that Act qualifiews as a "settlement of a land claim" and the land purchased by the tribe adjacent to Glendale and through a fictitious company, is NOT ELLIGIBLE INDIAN LANDS under the IGRA and, cannot be used for a gambling casino!Dec 6, 2010
Indian casino revenues will continue to fall not just because of the flagging economy. The novelty of going short distances to a lawless and unregualted gambling casinos where one has no legal rights or protections to sit for hours playing unregulated and uninspected slot machines is wearing off. Other than addicts, compelled to lose their money most people are wise enoguh to know that sirtting in a windowless, clockless room for hours to lose more money over time than you could hope to win is not "enrtertainment". A free lunch or a free room using some kind of "players card" does not make up for the hundreds of dollars lost pretending to have won something and trying to get a free meal so you can "feel like a winner" while being a big loser.Sep 30, 2010