From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Congressional Hearing On Reservation Shopping June 6th - Sacramento

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net 
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Congressional Hearing On Reservation Shopping June 6th - Sacramento

National E-mail – 40,000 recipients. 

Mail deadline for Testimony – Wednesday, June 15th.  You have two weeks from the day of the hearing for it to be received: 

Below the hearing notice is an important message.

Hearing Notice

Subject: Resources FC Field Hearing Notice - 6/06/2005 - Sacramento, CA 

Attached is the Full Committee Field Hearing Notice for Monday, June 6th in Room 2040 of the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento, California.  

May 27, 2005 

Field Hearing Notice  


To:                  Members, Committee on Resources 

From:            Richard W. Pombo, Chairman 

Subject:         Field Hearing on a discussion draft bill regarding Indian gaming and its need and effects in Northern California.

The Committee on Resources will hold an oversight field hearing on Monday, June 6th in Room 2040 of the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento, California.  The hearing will focus on a discussion draft bill regarding Indian gaming and its need and effects in Northern California.

Witnesses will be by invitation only. 

If you need further information, please call Laura Hylden, Office of Native American and Insular Affairs Clerk, at 202-226-9725.


National Stop Tribal Casino Coalition forming.  You need to participate.

We need to hear from you.  Respond to ccushman@landrights.org

Tribal Gaming Casinos are spreading across the country like Locust.
At first it was just on existing reservations.   Now they are spread to small towns where the Indians have been successful setting up new reservations.

Now hundreds of tribes that have been largely non-existent have hired lawyers and are reforming so they can get in on the so called bonanza.  

The bonanza is a casino dropped in the middle of either major cities or at least out in the suburbs of those cities.

Imagine a new casino larger than nearly every casino in Las Vegas dropped into the middle of your neighborhood or town.  On the surface, you may see some benefits.  Construction worker will have work for a little while.  

But the downside is huge.

In Ridgefield and La Center Washington, just a few miles form Portland, Oregon, the Mohegan Tribe is partnering with the Cowlitz Tribe to try to build the fifth largest casino in America.  Bigger than every casino in Las Vegas except the MGM Grand.

The Mohegans from Connecticut own the largest casino in America two hours from New York and Boston.  They’re making billions of dollars.

The Cowlitz, who are not even from Southwest Washington, are Reservation Shopping.  The new definition of “sacred ground” is -- does the land have a freeway with an off ramp close to a big city.

You need to be concerned that a tribe will try to come into your area.  It will dramatically change the social and political climate.  They have so much money that elected officials are afraid to oppose them.  So local people are losing control of their local community all over the country.  

These Mega-casinos do not have a positive effect on the community.   They drive out local businesses, lower property values, increase local taxes, cause personal bankruptcies, encourage crime, and flood roads with drunk drivers. Additionally, a gambling complex this large will scare away new non-casino businesses and jobs that, rightfully, do not want to have their facilities located near a mega-casino and the negative consequences it brings.

Just one example is the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.  At the Mohegan Sun employees and their families do what they call “hot bunking”.  That means that three families share a house.   They rotate through the house every eight hours so they sleep, and cook on a rotating schedule.  No matter what they do in your town, the demographics will change forever.  The environment will change.

This issue is not about preserving Indian culture, not about creating  
jobs, and not about economic development for the area.  Almost none of the Mohegan money in Connecticut spreads to the community.  Local schools are getting killed.  They cannot take care of their facilities and the Indians do not pay their fair share for the impacts.   

This issue is about, and only about, putting a big casino close to a major city so non-local gambling investors can make lots of money at everyone else’s expense -- period.

If the mega-casino proponents have their way, casinos will be springing up all over the country in big and small towns.  In Clark County, Washington they will build one of largest casinos in the World.  Is that why you chose to live where you live, to have a monster casino as your neighbor?  In Clark County there are no buildings over two stories within five miles of the casino sight.

Our plan, besides working to build a coalition in Clark County, is to reach out to our allies and members nationally.  ALRA has nearly 300,000 e-mail addresses, 500,000 fax numbers and approximately 900,000 names in our network.    Just maintaining the database is costly.

There are many people nationally who are concerned about the abuse of Indian Reservations as a tool to ignore local land use laws and environmental regulations and install large gaming facilities.  “Reservation shopping” has become a runaway process.  

Urgent Action Message from American Land Rights Association

It is critical that all concerned citizens prepare testimony for the Resources Committee hearing.  The testimony can be as long as you want or as short as one page.  If you want to get it read, it should have a one page summary at the front.

It is important for legal reasons that you send testimony.  It is the legal concept called “laches” or “sleeping on your rights.”  If somewhere down the road you want to challenge any casino or some aspect of it legally, whether you are a city or a private person, it is important that you be able to show a pattern of being involved.  So participating now is important.

There are four ways to get your Testimony to the Committee:

-----1.  You can e-mail it to:  resources.committee@mail.house.gov

-----2.  You can fax it to: (202) 225-5929

-----3.  Mail:   Your mail may not get their in time.  Keep in mind, it will be delayed for several weeks because of the Anthrax mail inspections and may not be included in the official record.  Mail to Chairman Richard Pombo, House Resources Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515.  Mark it:  June 6th Hearing On Reservation Shopping on the outside of the envelope.  Their website is:  http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/

-----4. You can mail it to American Land Rights at PO Box 400, Battle Ground, Washington, 98604.  We will Federal Express it to our office in Washington DC which will hand deliver it to the committee.  Please mark it: June 6th Hearing On Reservation Shopping on the outside.  

Comment:  You can send testimony on any aspect of the fight over any Casino in your area.  But include something in your letter regarding Reservation Shopping as that is the focus of the hearing.  The more you talk about this new concept of fee land becoming “sacred” because it is close to an urban center, has a freeway and an off ramp, the better. 

It is ok to go into whether a particular tribe actually lived in your area, whether they will have to obey local land use laws, their threat to the community structure, addiction, schools, kids and all the other bad things associated with this proposal.

Opinions are important.  Facts too. 

The key is to make this proposal controversial in the eyes of Congress.  Where there is heat, there may be light.

American Land Rights will be posting four Testimony Questionnaires about Indian Casinos and Reservation Shopping in the next few days.   They will give you a platform to use to help you prepare your testimony.  

You can go to www.landrights,.org and look on the home page.  They probably will not be there until Friday or Saturday.  Don’t confuse them with the Testimony Questionnaires posted about the Endangered Species Act.

Please forward this message as widely as possible.

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