Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tragio-COmedy of Chukchansi Shenanigans Delays Community Grants. Time To Disinvest from Picayune

With the Tragio-Comedy of Corruption and Mismanagement of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians still being played out, those looking for a handout, are getting nervous they won't be approved.  What they should be doing is refusing to take money from a tribe that violates human and civil rights of their people.  They SHOULD be pushing hard to keep people from going to the casino.  Disinvestment is the proper choice.

The anxious county-wide schools, organizations and government agencies who have applied for a portion of the $1 million in Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians Community Grants will have to wait a bit longer to know if they are on the approved list.

Last year the grants were announced on May 1 at a Madera County Board of Supervisors meeting. This year, due to tribal leadership conflicts, meetings with county supervisors and staff were delayed or postponed several times by tribal representatives.

Tribal leaders and county officials are expected to discuss the selections in October.

Last year, nine of 24 grants awarded were for the Mountain Area totaling $408,000.

Nearly 100 grants requests from throughout the county, totaling more than $7 million, were submitted for consideration prior to the March 1 deadline.

Originally, the awards dinner at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino was scheduled for May 23. A new date for the awards dinner has not been announced.

Nancy Ayala, a leader of one faction of the tribe, said the delay is due to complex litigation the tribe is currently going through.

"We will continue to be good neighbors and to help the community in every way possible," Ayala said in a prepared statement. "We've had a pair of meetings with the county supervisors on the grant program and we continue to move forward processing more than $7 million in grant applications. But before grants can be awarded this year, we need to ensure that we have our house in order and that we can give the grant program the attention and resources it requires. That's what's behind this temporary delay."

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