Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 241 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

One would have to be blind not to see the Tohono O’odham’s (TO) casino construction in Glendale north of Glendale Avenue and west of 91st Avenue. Technically it is on a county island but in reality it is surrounded by the City of Glendale. It IS in Glendale.

The Tohono O’odham are throwing up the structure as fast as they possibly can. They are taking a huge gamble, which seems apropos as they are in that business…gambling. Still unresolved is a decision from the 9th Circuit Court; there is still federal legislation, the Keep the Promise Act of 2015, waiting for a vote; and the state’s decision to withhold a gaming license is in the legal system as well. Any one of these three actions could bring the casino to a permanent, grinding halt.

In a recent Glendale Star editorial, Carolyn Dryer, editor, says, “They (TO) have paid their dues. It is time to give them a gaming license and allow them to open their doors.” That opinion should come as no surprise to anyone. Ms. Dryer attended, as a private citizen, one of former Councilmember Norma Alvarez’ pro-casino meetings held at her home. From the very start the Star has never been unbiased in its coverage of the casino issue and has used its bully pulpit to advance the goals of the Tohono O’odham at every opportunity.

What dues has the TO paid? They lied to the voters of the state gaming compact. They lied to their sister tribes never revealing their intent to build a casino in Maricopa County, hundreds of miles away from their reservation in Southern Arizona. They lied to everyone by keeping secret for years their purchase of land in Glendale.

I have never supported the casino and still do not. I believe it sets a precedent that ignores the voter approved gaming compact of 2002 and it will break open the gaming market in Maricopa County. We will see casinos being built in other communities throughout the Valley. Even worse, I am offended by the lies and subterfuge used by the TO in acquiring the land secretly and its failure to reveal that fact at the very time the first state gaming compact was under consideration by voters. Those voters had a right to know that the TO had plans to build another casino in Maricopa County and did not intend to live up to the promises their Chairman, Ned Norris, Jr., made in selling the compact.

What is really disconcerting is the building will be crap. Yes, I said crap. It’s intended to be a future warehouse, for God’s sake. The ceiling will be exposed with lights hanging by wires from the ceiling beams. How’s that for classy and upscale? It certainly won’t be any Talking Stick but of course, that is all that the West Valley merits. It’s just another promise made and broken by the TO. This building has one purpose and that is to rake in money for the tribe. The TO could have built a big barn and stuffed cattle…errr… hoards of gamblers, into it and it would have served just as well as their warehouse casino.

Oh, but this is only temporary. Do you ever wonder what the TO’s definition of temporary is? Is it a year? 5 years? 10 years? It doesn’t matter what the TO tell you for it will be just another promise broken.

Many people are just plain tired about the ongoing saga and hope for final resolution. The silent majority of Glendale residents want the casino stopped permanently. It’s time for Senators McCain and Flake to bring the Keep the Promise Act of 2015 to a vote. Their rationale is that there is always a more pressing issue and it’s not the right time. There will never be a right time…it’s time for Congress to vote this issue up or down.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 109 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

In the Arizona Republic of April 17, 2015 Peter Corbett has reported in a story entitled State vows to block casino in W. Valley, the state is prepared to block the Tohono O’odham casino from opening in Glendale this fall. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/04/16/arizona-gaming-agency-will-block-valley-casino-opening/25915541/ .

Arizona’s Department of Gaming director, Daniel Bergin, recently sent a letter to the Tohono O’odham (TO) in which he claimed “fraud perpetrated by (the tribe) upon the state, Arizona gaming tribes and the state’s voters.” On that basis he could not allow the casino to open.  He went on to say, “…the (gaming agency) would exceed its authority if it were to proceed with certification…” The agency’s position is supported by Governor Doug Ducey. Ducey in a letter to the agency directed it to deny a gaming license and said that the TO was forcing the issue by construction of the temporary casino now.

I, and many, many Glendale residents, especially those within the Yucca district, site of the temporary casino, applaud the actions of the state Gaming Director and the Governor. The only reasons Glendale succumbed to the siren song of the TO, is that Councilmember Gary Sherwood flip flopped on his anti casino election stance and then 4 members of council took the TO’s thirty pieces of silver. A majority of this council changed the course of an entire city. It’s fair to expect that the TO will challenge the state’s action in court in a process guaranteed to go on for months if not another year. That is sure to guarantee that the temporary casino cannot and will not open this fall. Chairman of the TO, Ned Norris Jr., as expected declared his outrage at what he called the state’s “untenable position.”

Don’t forget that more action waits in the wings. The Keep the Promise Act of 2015 introduced by Senators McCain and Flake will see a vote up or down this year. The general assumption is the legislation will pass through Congress and stop the casino for once and for all.

It’s time to shut the doors on a Tohono O’odham casino, temporary or otherwise, in Glendale. It is ironic that a tribe that promotes gambling, itself gambled. It looks like the house will win and they will lose.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 83 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Well, well well, Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni resigned today, March 25, 2015. It appears it will be effective April 22, 2015. Frisoni started her career in Glendale in the Communications Department, eventually rising to become Director of that department. While Ed Beasley was City Manager she was identified by many as a member of his “inner circle.” She was not charged with any culbability in the past audit of the Risk Management Trust Fund. She was appointed Assistant City Manager by former City Manager Brenda Fischer. At the time of her appointment Frisoni did not meet the minimum qualifications for the position. The only rumor floating on the street is that Frisoni may hook up with Brenda Fischer to form their own consulting/PR firm. It’s speculative to say the least but not an unreasonable speculation.

Now all that leaves is Assistant City Manager Jennifer Campbell. We all wonder if she is still AWOL at Glendale City Hall on Fridays and if she is still teaching at Glendale Community College. Pulling down two pay checks is sweet.

Today the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee voted out H.R. 308, Representative Trent Franks Keep the Promise Act of 2015 reintroduced in the House of Representatives as HR 308 on January 13, 2015. This was Representative Franks’ original bill, now renumbered as a result of its reintroduction. It would prevent the Tohono O’odham from building its casino in Glendale.

That’s enough good news for one day, don’t you think?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

%d bloggers like this: