Barstow casino hearing held
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) held a public hearing July 27, 2011 at the
Barstow Community College gymnasium. The purpose of the hearing was to address the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement / Tribal Environment Impact Report (EIS/TEIR) on the
Los Coyotes Band of
Indians' bid to build a casino in Barstow.
The Band has a reservation in San Diego county located east of Warner Springs.
Approximately 250 people attended the Barstow College meeting; the majority
strongly welcomed a casino believing that a casino will bring jobs and prosperity to Barstow.
Rather than address issues of the environmental documents, the audiance was mostly off-topic
restating repeatedly that they wanted the prosperity that they believe the casino might bring.
Some speakers in opposition voiced concern to the BIA that allowing one Indian
group to jump their reservation's boundary to build a casino will establish a legal precedence
in which all of the other Indian tribes in the country could then jump their boundaries for more
fruitful urban properties like in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Such a scenario could
drain Barstow's casino and turn it into yet another empty Lenwood storefront.
Others voiced concern that the draft does not adequately address Barstow's
infrastructure and that revenues to the city could be insufficient for the infrastructure needed
and that local taxes may need to be raised to handle services.
With 47% of Barstow's residents on some sort of government assistance, one speaker voiced
concern that some assistance funds would be attracted to the lure of the casino.
Public comment on the environmental draft can still be submitted in writing;
but must be delivered by September 14, 2011. Letters should be addressed to Amy Dutschke,
Regional Director •
Regional Office • Bureau of Indian Affairs • 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825.
Further information can be obtained at:
On the unfortunate jerk side...
Three boisterous Los Coyotes casino supporters obnoxiously interferred with the
ability of some of the audiance to listen.