Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Will Democrats Help ERODE Tribal Sovereignty via UNION CARD CHECKS?

Republican congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the only Native American tribal member in the US Congress, says that UNION CARD CHECKS are the biggest threat to tribal sovereignty.

COLE: There is no question in my mind what the answer is, and I respond by saying, “In this Congress and the next, tribes face the greatest threat to their sovereign governments that the U.S. Congress has attempted in decades: the so-called Employee Free Choice Act.”

As Americans, we cherish our right to vote in private when it comes to elections. So, too, it seems to me with the individual right to vote in a union election in private – without some goon looking over our shoulder to make sure we vote “the right way.” This is a part of our democracy and ingrained in our collective sense of being Americans. It is also a fundamental component of our basic labor laws for more than 60 years, a personal freedom exercised by millions of American workers.

Yet that personal freedom is exactly what the Democratic Party leaders and their union boss cohorts want to take from American workers. This ill-conceived proposal represents payback for years of unquestioning loyalty by large union bosses – a proposal that strips union members of their right to have secret-ballot elections to choose their leaders.

For Indian tribal governments, there is no “free choice” at all. Instead, it carries with it a very real threat that goes to the core of their sovereignty. For the first time, this legislation will trample the inherent sovereign rights of tribal governments to govern their internal affairs.

OP: The unions have been trying to get card check for some time now. How long do you think it will take with: A Democratic President, A Democratic House and A Democratic Senate? Isn't ironic that the same party that puts a leader of a tribe that's a KNOWN civil rights violator on their platform committee, will be the party that destroys the rights of tribes?

And here is Cole's conclusion:

This threat to tribal sovereignty makes this election of vital importance to Indian tribes across the United States. To me the question is simple: Will the next president eagerly sign a law that strikes at the very heart of tribal sovereignty and ignores tribal aspirations to govern themselves?
Or will the next president honor the solemn commitments made by the United States to tribal nations – commitments enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and 200 years of treaties and laws?Only one candidate has shown the mettle to reject this legislation as part of the successful Senate blockade of that law last year. That same candidate has defended and successfully worked to strengthen tribal sovereignty for more than 26 years.At the end of the day, I know that this tribal member is voting for that candidate – Sen. John McCain.

So is a vote for Obama, a vote for card check? He's said as much:

Sen.Barack Obama has declared, “We will pass the Employee Free Choice Act. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, we may have to wait for the next president to sign it, but we will get this thing done.” (Chicago Tribune, March 4, 2007). Sen. Joseph Biden, his running mate, stated that the Employee Free Choice Act is a new “social compact.”

So the unions will no longer have to work to earn the trust of the potential rank and file. Is this what finally erodes tribal sovereignty? Erosion that has been quickened by the violations of civil rights, human rights, elder abuse that tribes like Pechanga, Picayune Rancheria and Enterprise have perpetrated on their people?

Is Obama THE ONE for tribes?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Leaders have FAILED to LEAD. Pelosi Failed to get the Democrat Party in Line

Much like Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro's failure to lead and direct the tribal to follow the Pechanga Constitution and Bylaws in the termination of 25% of the Pechanga tribe, Nancy Pelosi has failed to lead the Democrats in voting for today's bailout bill.

Fully 40% of the Democrats were not on board with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Democrats had enough votes to pass this alone, yet the Republicans spotted them 65 votes and she STILL couldn't get it together. First, she tried to ace out the Republican House members, and then started blaming them after her failure. FIVE of the Democratic Committee leaders DID NOT vote for the bill.

We need ALL our leadership to work together to bail the system they let get away with (or more likely were directed to) bad loans. While we got here on different ships, we are ALL in the same boat NOW. Loan money wild dry up. The markets are losing their value and we need to get the ship righted.

Email your congressperson and tell them to DO THEIR JOBS.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Noted Actor Danny Glover Touts Cherokee Freedmen Rights

Descended from Choctaw, Glover says black people and American Indians have a pivotal past.

Actor Danny Glover on Friday called on the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to allow freedmen descendants into the tribe with full citizenship rights. Speaking at a forum hosted by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Glover said other tribes will take similar action if the Cherokee Nation succeeds in blocking freedmen descendants' tribal citizenship.

The issue is in court after a March 2007 vote by the Cherokee Nation to remove freedmen descendants from tribal rolls. Glover described the relationship linking American Indians and black people as one of the most pivotal in the nation's evolution. "I've always embraced that relationship," he said. "My own grandmother was part Choctaw." He cited the history of black people who escaped their captors and found refuge among the Indian tribes, as well as the strategic help black people offered the Seminoles in their war against the tyranny of the colonies.

Both groups, Glover said, have seen genocide and exploitation. "But I am disturbed by what I see," he said, calling on black people to serve as the moral compass on such issues as the freedmen descendants' quest to have full citizenship rights in the Cherokee Nation. "These are very important decisions that we have to make. They are moral decisions."

Glover later said he has been interested in issues involving black people and American Indians for some time and tries to express that both in his work as an actor and as a private person. "It is a relationship that we don't have a great deal of discussion about," he said, adding that his own culture encouraged him to deny it. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith also gave a hallway interview as the forum took place. Smith said he had asked to be included in the forum's panel but was turned down. "That may be the heart of the problem," he said, calling for all parties to have an open dialogue about the lengthy and complicated history. Smith welcomed Glover's participation. "My response to him is, 'Give me 15 minutes of your time. Let me show you our side of the story,' " he said. "And, I think he will agree with us that it is a complicated issue and the courts should decide."

Despite the criticism that some still heap on the tribe, it won a legislative victory this week when a provision designed to deny housing benefits to Cherokees until the tribe recognizes freedmen descendants as citizens was altered. The latest version of the bill allows the tribe to receive those benefits as long as a tribal court order on the matter remains in place as the case continues. "The language in the bill is a sign that Congress recognizes the sovereignty and authority of tribal courts to settle internal disputes, which should be considered a victory for not only the Cherokee Nation but all tribes," Smith said.

The DEBATE: McCain vs. Obama

A good effort by both of our Presidential Candidates.

Feel free to comment on your view of who won the debate.

Paul Newman - Dead at 83 R.I.P

He gave us all many memorable films and decades of entertainment. He was one of the all-time greats.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A spokeswoman for screen legend Paul Newman says the actor has died at age 83.
Spokeswoman Marni Tomljanovic says Newman died Friday of cancer. No other details were immediately available.
Newman was nominated for Academy Awards 10 times, winning a regular Oscar in 1987 for "The Color of Money" and two honorary ones. He was equally at home in comedies such as "The Sting" and dramas such as "Hud."
He sometimes teamed with his wife,
Joanne Woodward, also an Oscar winner for the 1957 film "Three Faces of Eve."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

...Why Disenrolling Tribes Like The Pechanga Tribal Council are UNETHICAL

People have asked me why I use the term unethical in my blog’s banner. Here’s the reasons why.

Recall the five fundamental principles of ethics:

1. Do No Harm - Pechanga has failed miserably in this area. Not only have they caused financial harm to many of their tribal members, stripping them of their per capita, they have left them unprotected in the area of health care. They also have violated the Tribal Constitution and illegally have kept many rightful members out, via a moratorium.

2. Make Things Better - Well, Pechanga started well, with a plan to lift all it’s people from poverty. Many of us weren’t in poverty, but did benefit from the casino. After all, our families’ ancestors were original Pechanga Temecula people. But then, came the moratorium, which kept rightful members OUT and followed that with disenrollments, which made things worse.

3. Respect Others – Pechanga touted elders like Lawrence Madariaga, Paulina Hunter’s great-grandson with rewards like plaques for their service, but then left them out in the cold by kicking them from the tribal rolls and then saying, “go get a job” to 80 year olds. They disregarded their most vaunted elder, Antonio Ashman’s sworn testimony that he knew Paulina Hunter when he was a young man in the 1880’s

4. Be Fair – We will be detailing the unfairness of the tribal council, the disenrollment committee and the CPP, but there was no fairness. The Tribal Enrollment committee did not allow us to question our accusers, did not tell us what was missing in our paperwork, forced us to have red ribbon certified paperwork of over 400 pages and yet accepted a letter of hearsay from an imprisoned child molester as more factual, that the results of their own study.

5. Be Loving – How loving is it to eliminate old people, children, infirm from the tribe? To take away their voting rights, elder care, and educational assistance. The tribal council should have taken their task of looking after the individual tribal members welfare. They did not.

Also, recall that ethical responsibilities apply not just to how we treat others but to how we treat ourselves, too. Although ethics is fundamentally a guard against self-obsession, it is right and good to treat ourselves with respect, fairness, and compassion and to avoid causing ourselves harm. Now, the actions of the CPP are causing harm to the tribe and the tribe is paying the public relations price for what they have done, and that price is already $60 million or more.

Exercise your moral outrage and avoid Pechanga.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cherokee FREEDMEN Demonstrate Outside BIA

Descendants of Freedmen and Supporters Demonstrate outside Bureau of Indian Affairs Office in Muskogee Oklahoma for Treaty Rights on September 19 2008

On September 19 2008, Black Descendants of Freedmen and their supporters demonstrated outside the Muskogee Oklahoma BIA office. The freedmen are persons of African descent whose ancestors were enslaved by Indians of the “Five Civilized Tribes” prior to 1866. The tribes (Cherokee, Creek Seminole, etc) declared war on the United States in order to keep persons of African descent enslaved. The former slaves and their descendants were guaranteed tribal citizenship and rights to tribal programs, per capita payments, rights to vote and to hold office by both the US Government and the tribes through the 1866 treaties. Currently the freedmen have been disenrolled or face disenrollment proceedings in the tribes and also face discrimination in accessing tribal benefits such as health services or educational benefits provided to members of federally recognized Indian tribes by the US government.

The black freedmen and supporters carried signs demanding that the BIA enforce treaty rights of the black freedmen. Other signs reminded the BIA that only Congress can change treaties.
The majority of persons demonstrating were Cherokee freedmen tribal members whose tribal memberships are currently deemed by the tribe to be “temporary” after a freedmen disenrollment movement led by Principal Chief Smith resulted in a vote to expel the freedmen in which less than 9,000 persons voted out of a tribal membership of 280,000 people. Almost none of the freedmen people were permitted to vote. The tribe, which receives 80% of its budget (more than 300 million dollars) from the US government (ie the US taxpayers) has spent millions of dollars in lobbying and legal actions to discourage Congressional intervention, build public support for its freedmen removal campaign and shut down a lawsuit regarding the rights of Cherokee freedmen filed in the Federal courts in 2003 (Vann versus Kempthorne).

The tribe has refused to register as recognized tribal members more than 23,000 descendants of Dawes enrolled Cherokee freedmen tribal members – persons who are currently barred from participating in educational and health service programs, etc.

Angela Molette, President of the Enid NAACP branch and a disenrolled Choctaw freedmen descendant reminded attendants of continuing support of the NAACP for freedmen treaty rights. Marilyn Vann, a “temporary Cherokee freedmen citizen”, and Ron Graham (a disenrolled Creek Freedmen descendant), as Descendants of freedmen Association officers, exhorted attendants to continue to fight for treaty rights through lobbying, economic action, etc. They encouraged attendants to come to Washington DC to attend the September 26th panel on Freedmen issues sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Panel participants include Marilyn Vann, attorney Jon Velie and Mr Hilary Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Chief.

Are Soboba Tribe's Bad Apples Hurting The Tribe?

Now, schools aren't sending their kids to the Pow Wows.

The recent random shootings of criminals from the Soboba reservation, which forced the Riverside Sheriff's deputies to take them out, plus the news that even with Soboba per capita payments, they still have criminals that do home invasion robberies, have left a bad taste in the mouths of potential customers.

From a PE stories:

Security on the Soboba reservation has been in the spotlight in recent months after a series of shootings by Riverside County sheriff's deputies that left three tribal members dead. Another group, the Arizona-based National Sand Drag Association, pulled its races from the reservation, citing safety concerns.


The assurances of safety came after officials from San Jacinto School District declined to send elementary school students to the powwow's traditional pre-opening visit hosted by the tribe.
The reasons for San Jacinto's absence from the event are unclear. Tribal officials say they received word from San Jacinto district officials that the students were not coming because of safety concerns. San Jacinto schools Superintendent Shari Fox and other district officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
Students from the Hemet Unified School District also did not attend. Soboba Vice Chairwoman Rosemary Morillo said the tribe did not receive a response to an invitation sent to the school district.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pechanga Council Member Gabriel Pico's Memorial Services

Services for Gabriel Pico, Pechanga Tribal Council, who was killed in Denver CO while attending the DNC will be on Friday and Saturday of this week. Please pray for him and his family. In Loving Memory of Gabriel Pico Rosary: Friday, Sept 19th @ 7:00PM Old School House, Pechanga Mass: Saturday, Sept 20th @ 10:00AM St. Michaels Burial: St. Michaels Cemetery, Pechanga CA

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Court says NO to tuition breaks to illegals

In a move that is positive for all Californians AND citizens/students of the United States, the state of California's law providing tuition breaks for illegal aliens while charging outlandish fees to out of state Americans has been STRUCK DOWN.

(H/T to Michelle Malkin)

state appellate court has put a financial cloud over the future of tens of thousands of undocumented California college students, saying a state law that grants them the same heavily subsidized tuition rate that is given to resident students is in conflict with federal law.

In a ruling reached Monday, the state Court of Appeal reversed a lower court’s decision that there were no substantial legal issues and sent the case back to the Yolo County Superior Court for trial.

“It has a huge impact,” said Kris Kobach, an attorney for the plaintiffs and a law professor at the University Missouri at Kansas City. “This is going to bring a halt to the law that has been giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.”

He said it is a big win for California taxpayers who have been subsidizing education for undocumented immigrants.

Attorney General Jerry Brown Sides with Campaign Contributors versus the People of California

"SHOW ME THE MONEY!" say Jerry Maguire (oops, Jerry BROWN)

Why did Attorney General Jerry Brown side with Indian gaming tribes over his own regulatory partner, the California Gambling Control Commission?

Does he genuinely believe that the vote, for a set of desperately needed casino security standards, was just "advisory," and therefore, we suppose, unnecessary? OP: Aren't menu calorie info and surgeon generals warnings ADVISORY?

"I am committed to doing everything I can to ensure that the casinos are regulated," Brown said. "As a matter of timing, and a way to make it work, I want to bring it all together."

Uh-huh. Brown's actions don't make much sense - until you remember that he's a likely candidate for governor in 2010.

Here's the basic story: The National Indian Gaming Commission used to enforce basic standards for gambling tribes across the country. (These standards, known as minimum internal controls, cover important security measures like internal audits, surveillance, money transfer and slot machine calibration.) In 2006, a federal court decided that the commission lacked the authority to do so - meaning that state gambling regulators had to impose rules of their own.

It should have been easy enough for the state commission to impose an emergency regulation adopting national standards, but of course, it wasn't. Now more than 40 gaming tribes have gone nearly two years without minimum internal controls, and they continue to resist them - only now they're doing so with the attorney general's help.

Story at SFGATE

Soboba Tribal Member Arrested for Robbery, Soboba Cooperated

It appears that the Soboba people aren't earning enough per capita to keep them from becoming criminals. Pechanga has the same problem. Is this what is meant by self-reliance?

After a 12-hour standoff, authorities on Tuesday arrested a Soboba tribal member suspected of robbing a woman and taking refuge on the Soboba Indian Reservation.

Riverside County sheriff's investigators tracked David Neil Morreo, 34, (who has many felony arrests) Monday afternoon to a home in San Jacinto, where he barricaded himself inside before a SWAT team invaded the home at 3 a.m. according to a sheriff's report.

Sheriff's officials said tribal officials cooperated fully with deputies during the investigation.

The Sheriff's Department and the tribe have been locked in a dispute about access for deputies in emergencies or investigations on the reservation. Sheriff Stanley Sniff has threatened to bring criminal charges against any members of the tribe who impede deputies in their duties

Congratulations to Riverside County Sheriff's Deputies for putting their lives on the line to protect us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Snoqualmie Tribe members Ousted By Corrupt Leadership will get Day in Court

Congratulations to the Snoqualmie tribal members who were ousted from the tribe by a shadow government. We detailed the story and how the BIA stood by and watched HERE How embarrassing for the BIA to be exposed like this.

Ousted Snoqualmie tribe members get to present case

Nine ousted Snoqualmie Indians, who claim they were illegally banished by their own tribe in a bitter power struggle, will be allowed to present their case in federal court that they were denied due process.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled Sept. 5 that he has jurisdiction to hear the matter brought by the banished tribal members against the sitting tribal council. He denied a procedural motion by the tribe's leadership to dismiss the case.
Some of the banished tribal members say they were thrilled to have the chance to make their case in court.

"I was hoping this was America," said Bill Sweet, the ousted chairman of the council. "Rights are just that, rights. This isn't a communist country, this is the United States, and everyone has the right to be heard."
Sharon Frelinger, elected to the council in May 2007 only to be banished within a year, said, "I am ecstatic."

"This represents hope for other Native Americans that there might be a place where we can be heard. Even though they are a sovereign nation, you still cannot treat your people without due process."

Following a new tribal election in September 2007, the tribe in April "clarified" the enrollment of more than 40 members, cutting off their right to hold office or vote. The tribe also banished nine members, including several elders and a leader of the Indian Shaker church.

RELATED: Interior Department has ETHICAL ISSUES

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How the Picayune (Chukchansi) Indian Terminations Came About

21st Century genocide of Chukchansi Indians

From For All Nations, a regular contributor at www.pechanga.info and the forum there. Come take a look.

Sad to say, most of the tribes violating the tribal, civil, and human rights of their people through moratorium and/or disenrollment ARE violating their tribal constitutions... for instance, at picayune there is no clause for--or mention of--disenrollment at all in the constitution...and even though the tribe was required to hold quarterly meetings of the membership according to the constitution, the tribal council just quit holding these meetings at all...this allowed a very small and vocal (read threatening and intimidating) group of tribal members who attended the monthy tribal council meetings, in this case the distributees and their descendants designated in the tilley-hardwick decision--to control every decision that was made.

these people demanded those they decried as "illegal aliens" be disenrolled...and they were.... following the disenrollments, the "new" enrollment committee at picayune then illegally enrolled at least 70 people early this year--even though these people were supposedly in moratorium, and were without approval of the tribal council (which is also required by the constitution)--and these 70 people remain illegally enrolled today while over 600 legally enrolled, BIA record verified as chukchansi, (previous) tribal council approved tribal citizens remain disenrolled....

It seems that any tribe desiring to violate their members simply twists their tribal constitution interpretation against them when it is convenient, and then ignores or blatantly violates that same tribal constitution whenever that suits their purposes as well... and each change within the tribal council at election time brings the possibility of a different interpretation of the constitution, interpretations which tribes are increasingly utilizing in an ex post facto manner in order to steal the very birthright of their own people...their own blood... not to mention that virtually all of the tribal constitutions were written by cils (california indian legal services), and have absolutely nothing to do with the customs and traditions of the tribe itself...just another tool of genocide which the tribal governments themselves are too blinded by greed to realize that they are actually uilizing in truly destroying their own culture and history...

Monday, September 8, 2008

New and Info for Supporters of the Cherokee Freedmen

I got this in my email from Marilyn Vann of the Cherokee Freedmen. Please show your support.

We encourage all freedmen descendants and their supporters (as well as those who wish to learn more about the freedmen issue) to attend the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Conference (CBCF) upcoming panel on Freedmen Issues which will be held on Friday September 26th beginning at 1pm at the Washington DC Convention center - Rm 145B . The Freedmen panel is being sponsored by the Honorable Congressman John Conyers and the Honorable Congresswoman Diane Watson. http://www.alc2008.org/

A panel on freedmen issues was held in 2007 at the CBCF conference:

We also encourage freedmen descendants and their supporters to visit Congressional offices requesting support for freedmen treaty rights during the week of the conference.
We ask that those who are not able to attend assist those who are attending the conference with financial support.

The Descendants of Freedmen Association will host its next meeting on Saturday September 20th 2008
at the Mount Olive Baptist Church, Rt 1 Vian, Okla. (i-40 from Vian exit, go south 1 3/4 mile. The meeting will begin at 1pm. The Descendants of Freedmen meeting will be followed by a meeting of the Freedmen Band of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Both meetings are free and open to the general public. For more information on directions contact Reverend Drew: 918-773– 8460.
Freedmen Descendants in the Muskogee area are meeting every second Saturday in Muskogee Oklahoma. The next meeting will be at the King Center, 627 N 3rd street Muskogee on Saturday September 13. 2pm

Names of DEscendants of Creek freedmen as well as information on there Creek freedmen ancestors are being gathered for a potential lawsuit. Please visit
www.thecreekfreedmen.com for more info on this endeavor and for the form. Contact Tec Brown ( creekfreedmen@yahoo.com) for more info.
http://www.kkfi.org/) will host a panel on freedmen issues on October 18 2008 in Kansas City 4pm to 6pm. The program may be attended in person or listened to on the internet. Contact DJ MC Richardson for more information: ummaseventyfour@yahoo.com 816-822-1313

The Oklahoma State NAACP will host its annual convention in Tulsa October 17th and 18th. Fore more info, contact State President Anthony Douglas: 405-722-6100. We encourage all freedmen descendants and their supports who are not members to join the NAACP.

For a list of various news articles on the freedmen plesae also visit:

Marilyn VannPresident - Descendants of Freedmen Association
www.freedmen5tribes.comBand Chief - Freedmen Band of Cherokee nation of Oklahoma

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What Makes a Pechanga Indian a Pechanga Indian

MyNameis brings up these valid points at the forum of Pechanga.info I wanted to bring this question up because I am sort of at a loss to answer it myself. I thought I knew the answer, but it seems I am in error in my judgment. Let me start by first stating a few facts that both the enrollment committee and myself agree upon. 1). Both the enrollment committee and myself agree Paulina Hunter and all her decedents were/are of Indian blood (Paulnia being 100%). 2). It is not disputed that she was a Luiseno/Temecula Indian (they have pretty much gone so far as to agree this also). 3). She moved with her fellow Indians when they were kicked out of the Temecula village to the place known as Pechanga to live there with them. 4). She was given a land grant on that reservation as a Luiseno/Temecula Indian. 5). She is listed on every census record from the creation of the reservation until her death, sometimes as a Luiseno Indian, sometimes as a Temecula Indian, and even some list her as a Pechanga Indian. Ok, now the enrollment committee says that being a Luiseno Indian is not enough, nor is being a Temecula Indian enough, also living on the reservation and receiving a land grant as a Temecula/Luiseno Indian is not enough to make her a Pechanga Indian (or so the enrollment committee has told us). 6).Also lets just forget the fact that other Pechanga Indians gave written statements that they knew her as a Pechanga member (they say that the reference to living with them is not enough proof, disregarding the inclusive references in there statements.). 7).Also lets forget that Ashman also stated in a witnessed and signed statement that he knew her as a Pechanga member. So PLEASE tell me....... WHAT does make a Pechanga Indian a Pechanga Indian (I really would like an answer to this one please, because I seem to be at a loss for an answer myself). Apparently my family has been mistaken for several hundred years, and we need to set the record straight. OP: Maybe it's because we don't have the criminal records that the Masiel/Basquez crime family does? Did people really "wannabe" Indians in the late 1800's? Was Pechanga so fascinating that someone who wasn't one of the tribe, that they'd want to be in the tribe, in uh say 1860's California? (psst, that was way before Basquez/Masiels got there! I guess they weren't comfortable without a prison nearby)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Pechanga's $360,000 a year CAR-JACKER. ARMED and Dangerous UPDATED

UPDATE: This VIOLENT criminal is still at large and last seen in the vicinity of the Pechanga Casino. Please be careful! He's dangerous to anyone who's within gun range.

The Masiel Crime Family strikes AGAIN! A man who is getting some $360,000 a year still has the need to carjack at gunpoint. He ran to the rez for protection apparently. It looks like the Pechanga reservation is unsafe territory. This violent offender is the grandson of the woman who helped destroy 25% of the tribe, while she was on the enrollment committee.

Inland Empire News Blog has the story first. Press Enterprise Later

Details: On September 3, 2008, at about 1930 hours, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department responded to the 45000 block of Pechanga Parkway in reference to a reported carjacking. This is the Casino area.

The victim reported that 26 year old
Benjamin Masiel , a violent offender of the Temecula area carjacked the victim’s vehicle at gunpoint following a domestic dispute. The suspect fled the area in an unknown direction. Riverside County court records show Masiel has multiple felony convictions, including assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats and domestic violence. HOW many strikes does this guy get.

A search for the suspect was unsuccessful. That means he's OUT THERE, with a gun!

On September 4, 2008, at about 1200 hours, Pechanga Tribal Rangers located the victim’s abandoned vehicle on a dirt road on the Pechanga Indian Reservation and notified the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies responded to the area and recovered vehicle.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous and is still outstanding. The Pechanga Casino area could be a dangerous proposition for customers.

Denver Police Statement on Death of Pechanga's Gabriel Pico: 3 vs 1

A newly-elected California tribal leader fell and lost consciousness during a fight with three Denver strip club security guards and died two days later, police said Thursday.

Gabriel Pico, 41, of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, had attended the Democratic National Convention as a guest days before the 1:45 a.m. Saturday confrontation outside the Diamond Cabaret at 1222 Glenarm Place. He was taken by ambulance to Denver Health Medical Center where he died two days later.

An initial police report characterized the clash as felony aggravated assault and described the unnamed security guards as "suspects" who used "bodily force" against Pico.

"The investigation revealed that the victim and the . . . suspects were involved in a physical altercation," the police report said. "During the altercation the victim fell on the ground and lost consciousness."


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Statement on the Death of Pechanga's Gabriel Pico

A newly elected member of the Pechanga Tribal Council died after being involved in an altercation outside a nightclub in Denver, where he had attended the Democratic National Convention, authorities said.

Following the fight at 2 a.m. Sunday, Gabriel Pico was rushed by ambulance to an area hospital where he died almost two days later, according to Sonny Jackson, spokesman for the Denver Police Department. Jackson said he had no information about Mr. Pico's injuries or condition following the altercation.
Jackson said the Denver Police Department is investigating Mr. Pico's death.
Mr. Pico, 41, was pronounced dead at 8:20 p.m. Monday, said Michelle Weiss-Samaras, chief deputy coroner for the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner, the agency conducting the autopsy.

A statement from the Pechanga Tribal Council released Tuesday said Mr. Pico also suffered a heart attack over the weekend. Family and friends were by his side at the time of his death, according to the statement.

Mr. Pico had recently been elected to his first term on the seven-member Pechanga Tribal Council in July. The council sets policy and administers programs for the tribe, which runs the Pechanga Resort and Casino outside Temecula.
"This is a big loss for our Tribe," said Chairman Mark Macarro. "Though Gabe had only been in office a few weeks, it was evident that he was a tremendous asset to the council and the tribe. He will be missed dearly."

Mr. Pico leaves behind three daughters, two sons, one grandson, six siblings, his mother, Bernice Pico, and several nephews and nieces. His father, the late Gabriel "Gibby" Pico, served as tribal chairman from 1982 to 1987.
Funeral services for Mr. Pico are being arranged, according to the council's statement