From a comprehensive article by William Etling at Trust and Consequences:
CA - Tombstone Trouble On The Chumash Highway
by William Etling - October 5, 2007
Last Sunday afternoon (September 30), a mock tombstone appeared by the roadside on the newly anointed Chumash Highway, near the intersection with Mission Drive.
|A mock tombstone appeared by the roadside on the newly anointed Chumash Highway, near the intersection with Mission Drive.|
It read "RIP - Community's Voice, Sept. 2007. Killed on the Chumash 'Buy-way' by government, recklessly driving under the influence of power and money."
By Monday afternoon, it was flat in the dirt, and the flower pots formerly at its base were scattered in all directions.
It's just the latest mini-round in an old sparring match. For the Chumash people, the new name was a long overdue tribute to their ancient culture.
Chairman Armenta said, "The news was met with a round of applause from our tribal membership. The smiles in the room could have lit up all of Santa Ynez Valley. The Chumash Highway represents the respect and recognition that members of the California Legislature have for Native Americans. It demonstrates that they understand the tribe's historical significance in the area."
For Casino opponents who have long believed that state and federal legislators are in the pocket of gambling interests, it was proof once again that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't plotting against you.
"Our outrage is about the pattern of a broken representative process favoring big gambling interests," said Kathryn Bowen of Preservation of Los Olivos (POLO). "This is about how an out of area San Jose assemblyman, Joe Coto, can get a bill passed that has long reaching ramifications for a community that he has nothing to do with. This is about an appalling pattern of circumvention of the local community to create a Casino Company Town."
Chairman Armenta countered, "It is truly sad that our tribal opponents cannot accept history and appreciate, respect and revere the fact that the Chumash lived on this land for thousands of years. Instead, they prefer to hurl accusations and scream foul play."
Jon Bowen, President of Preservation of Santa Ynez (POSY) said, "Our elected officials are promoting the use of a state highway as a marketing tool for a two hundred and fifty million dollar a year tax-exempt gambling enterprise...Re-naming Highway 154 has nothing to do with honoring the Chumash culture. This is about hijacking a name for marketing purposes."