The Desert Sun: "Joshua Tree casino plan re-ignites debate over off-reservation gambling"

posted Dec 5, 2011, 12:11 PM by JTCA Contact   [ updated Dec 5, 2011, 12:34 PM ]
The Desert Sun reports on the proposed casino in Joshua Tree. Our own Victoria Fuller was interviewed for the piece:

"The property is on the north side of Highway 62, across the street from the Hi-Desert Medical Center and a California Highway Patrol station.

Tribal officials haven't ruled out expanding the property to include an RV park, golf course or hotel, according to Victoria Fuller, president of the Joshua Tree Community Association.

The group has hosted several meetings on the plan but is staying neutral in the debate.

But Fuller, a 15-year Joshua Tree resident, said she personally opposes the tribe's plans because she fears it wouldn't fit into the community's own development plans.

“It is right in the center of Joshua Tree. We would be impacted by the traffic, the lights,” she said.

“It's such a special place. We have visitors from all around the world. ... You realize what an oasis it is for quiet and night sky. It would change all that.”

She's not alone in her opposition. About 1,400 of Joshua Tree's 7,400 residents have signed a petition against the casino."

Senator Feinstein has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar opposing the Casino:

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein also sent letter of opposition to U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, asking him to block the tribe's efforts to start off-reservation gaming.

“Hundreds of Joshua Tree community members have contacted me and my staff to express a wide array of concerns about the impacts on regional tourism, crime, poverty, alcoholism and gambling addiction,” Feinstein wrote in the Nov. 16 letter.“This is not the appropriate place to develop a casino and I ask that you reject any forthcoming two-part determination for this site.”