Opinion

Opinion: Chumash Tribe should answer questions on land plan





"I read the commentary by Chumash Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta in your Jan. 31 issue. I was at that public meeting and it never “dissolved into a disrespectful condemnation of our elected officials” as reported by Mr. Armenta, nor was there ever any ranting — other than that set out in by Mr. Armenta’s commentary.

There was only one elected official on the program, Assemblyman Das Williams, who appeared there in the guise of a moderator but soon became an advocate in favor of some of the subdivision proposals. He also advocated for community capitulation on the real issue, the underlying proposal sought by the tribe, that they should be allowed to bring that 1,400-acre Camp 4 property into federal Indian trust or reservation status.

Williams made no attempt to explain why he — a representative of the state, the county and this community — would support any parcel of fee land being taken entirely out of state and county control and regulation. Nor why it was in the non-Indian community’s interest that the Camp 4 land and any business or occupant on it would become immune from laws and lawsuits if the tribe engaged in anything illegal or inimical to the community or the public on that land. Finally, what possible benefit Indian trust status for that land would bring to the non-Indian community."

Get the Story:
Jim Marino: Tribal information meeting, a different view (The Solvang Valley News 2/14)

Related Stories:
Vincent Armenta: Tribal opponents ruin chance for dialogue (01/31)
Chumash Tribe holds public meeting to discuss plan for land (1/22)
Richard Gomez: Chumash Tribe has tradition of caring for land (1/18)
Chumash Tribe to hold public meeting to discuss plans for land (1/10)