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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Wednesday, March 15th, 2017.

Court sides with Auburn tribe over former chairwoman’s ouster

Lawsuits, Tribes

Sac bee.com

The ruling by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, responding to a bitter 2013 clash in one of California’s wealthiest casino tribes and ensuing litigation, effectively rejected claims that the tribe “imposed unlawful restraints” on the “liberty” of Tavares and three other members by cutting off their income and banning them from United Auburn properties.

In October, 2013, Tavares and the other members brought legal action, filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento as a writ of habeas corpus under the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act. She charged that the tribal council for the United Auburn Indian Community wrongly denied her $40,000 a month in benefits and bonuses, based on casino profits, and illegally banished her for 10 years.

Tavares was stripped of payments for 3 1/2 years, starting in 2011, reduced by the tribe from an original sanction of four years. The others were denied payments of $30,000 and up for five months and given a two-year banishment, a punishment since expired.

Tavares and the other plaintiffs – Dolly Suehead, Barbara Suehead and Donna Caesar – were part of an unsuccessful recall effort against five tribal council members that focused on the dissidents’ protests over what they charged were excessive legal fees paid to the firm of tribal attorney Howard Dickstein. The lawyer contended he had provided “a phenomenal net benefit to the tribe.”

The 9th Circuit upheld a district court ruling that rejected the Tavares’ faction’s habeas corpus claim on grounds that federal courts lacked authority to intervene in internal tribal politics.

“We ground our opinion in two fundamental principles in the Indian law canon – tribal sovereignty and congressional primacy in Indian affairs,” wrote Judge M. Margaret McKeown in the court’s decision. “We have long recognized that Indian tribes are ‘distinct, independent communities, retaining their original natural rights.’ 

In a partial dissent, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw supported the ruling that the court couldn’t intervene by overturning the tribe’s financial sanctions against the members. But Wardlaw wrote that United Auburn’s continuing 10-year-banishment order against Tavares “severely restrains her liberty and constitutes ‘detention’ under the Indian Civil Rights Act” and, thus can be overturned by the courts.

“Taveras presents us with precisely the kind of case over which Congress intended to establish federal jurisdiction: having exercised her right to free expression,” Wardlow wrote, adding “Tavares suffered retaliation … in the form of ‘severe restrains on individual liberty’ not shared by other members of her tribe.”

According to court documents, Tavares and the other members were sanctioned for claims in their recall petition that raised “a litany of allegations” against tribal council members, including ‘financial mismanagement, retaliation, electoral irregularity (and) denial of due process.’ 

The tribal council ruling, which banned the members from tribal events, offices and properties other than the members’ own homes, was also imposed because the tribal government ruled the Taveres’ faction wrongfully took its grievances to the news media, including The Sacramento Bee in “a sensationalized publicity stunt.”

Tavares served as chairwoman of the tribe for many years. She led the group when it opened its wildly successful casino on Highway 65 in 2003.

Read it here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article138501293.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Older yet faster, record-setting Iditarod champ Mitch Seavey schools a talented field

Enjoy

adn.com

March 14, 2017

Author:

NOME — Mitch Seavey just had the race of his life.

The 57-year-old musher from Sterling won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday, shattering the speed record by nearly eight hours to steal the title of fastest Iditarod musher ever from his much-younger son, Dallas.

Mitch remains the race’s oldest champion and has notched three wins in 13 years, his last in 2013 at age 53.

“Fifty-seven used to be old, and it’s not anymore. I’m just letting you know that,” Seavey said at a press conference after the race, his statement met by applause in the crowded building near the finish line.

‘Old guys rule’

In 4-degree temperatures Tuesday, Seavey pulled under the burled arch on Nome’s snowy Front Street with a team of 11 dogs, led by 4-year-old Pilot and 5-year-old Crisp.

Crowds lined the street, cheering on the team and taking photographs. One person held a sign that read, “Old guys rule.”

Seavey, in a puffy, red parka with a thick ruff, got off his sled and walked to the front of his team, praising the sled dogs along the way.

“Good dogs,” he told them, icicles stuck to his mustache. “Good dogs.”

He gave each dog a snack and then talked about the teamwork that allowed him to demolish the race record, arriving to Nome in 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes to win an exceptionally fast race. (Dallas set the prior record at age 29 in 2016 at 8 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes.)

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Mitch Seavey said of his team’s speed throughout the race, which started March 6, in Fairbanks, and featured a temperature swing of at least 70 degrees, with lows reaching 40 and 50 below in its early days.

A month before the Iditarod began, race officials said they planned to move the official start north, from Willow to Fairbanks. The course out of Fairbanks includes more running on frozen rivers in comparison to the Willow route that sends mushers over the Alaska Range.

But, Seavey said he didn’t know if the course necessarily contributed to the fast race.

“I’m not sure whether it’s slower to go a couple hundred miles on the Yukon at 50 below or take a little hop over the Alaska Range,” he said. Still, he gave the trail the grade of “A-minus.”

‘Let ’em roll’

Throughout much of the 1,000-mile course, Seavey’s team held its speed, allowing him to pull away from the other frontrunners.

“They love speed,” Seavey said of his sled dogs. “I think it frustrated them to go too slow, so I just let ’em roll. It was scary because I’ve never gone that far that fast ever, but that’s what they wanted to do and maybe it’s a new chapter.”

Seavey’s team recorded runs that averaged 10 and 11 mph between some checkpoints and the separation he built over other racers gave him the flexibility to bank generous rest for his dogs, and himself, as they moved up the Norton Sound coast in the race’s final days.

“They only know one thing and that’s 9.5 to 10 mph and they hit their feet, and they hit their speed and that’s what they do. And they trusted me to stop them when they needed to be stopped, and feed them, and I did that, and they gave me all they could. But I guarantee they’re tired now,” said the new champion.

https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2017/03/14/at-age-57-mitch-seavey-wins-iditarod-as-its-fastest-and-oldest-champion/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Liz Writes Life 3-14-17

Liz Writes Life

March 14, 2017

Liz Writes Life

During the last two weeks, I have mentioned that Western Rivers Conservancy is considering purchasing the Timbervest properties on the west and south edges of Scott Valley. I learned from Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, and then Peter Colby, who is the spokesman for the conservancy, that the only properties the conservancy is interested in are at the south end of Scott Valley. They are specifically the Bouvier property located in the South Fork of the Scott River–Cecilville Road area and an eastern piece on Scott Mountain.

I had forgotten that Timbervest is willing to sell parcels of land. Apparently, it isn’t an all-in-one-lump land sale. I believe a few properties have been purchased in the northern end of the valley — not by a conservancy. Ray said that no bidders were successful in the first go-round in the area below Big Meadows. I am sorry for any confusion.

Garden

Last week, we decided to pull-up the five onions and found they were bunching onions. These must have grown from seed that I planted last year. They made it through the cold winter without having extra mulch put on them for protection. So that is good to know. Jack decided to dig up the last three feet of carrots. About half of them were in good shape, so he washed them up and brought them in the house. Some were too large and pithy, so he chopped those up with the shovel and left them for mulch.

The daffys are starting to bloom and actually needed a sip of water yesterday, because of our warm weather. I also gave some water to the violets and blue and pink lungwort that is starting to bloom.

Still didn’t get the lettuces or spinach planted. Maybe this week!

Snow survey

The U.S. Forest Service employees conducted the March 1st snowpack survey and found the snow was well above average in the mountains to the south and west of Scott Valley. More good news is that the snowpack is even denser than it was Feb. 1st.

I’ll mention the highest ones: Middle Boulder 3, established in 1948 at the 6,200 foot elevation, saw 84.5 inches of snow with an average of 60 inches making an historic average of 141 percent.

Boasting the highest percentage at 148 of historic average was Scott Mt. at 75.5 inches, where the average is 51.1 inches at the 5,900 foot elevation.

Swampy John, above Etna on Salmon Mt., is holding well at 126 percent of historical average with 89.5 inches over the average of 71 inches.

At the state level, California snow surveyors in the Sierra Nevada say the snowpack is close to setting records. Snow measured extremely high at 185 percent of the historical average. Hum, hopefully Gov. Jerry Brown will declare the five-year drought is over!

Forestry

Ray Haupt, and Lisa Nixon, Dist. 1 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, recently attended a meeting with a number of other rural county supervisors as part of the Sustainable Forest Action Coalition. The coalition is impressive as it is focusing on social-economic problems (and solutions) caused by the loss of our major rural resource industry – timber harvest. The website is worth checking out: sfacoaliton.com.

I know Ray is a huge supporter of active forest management to improve forest health, so I asked Lisa what she thought of the meeting. She said the group is currently assembling data relating to the socio-economic effects of forest management plans and projects; and vigorously advocating the development and implementation of forest management work.

Lisa said the data on forest-dependent communities is staggering. Rural livelihoods that relied on timber harvest were demolished. She also mentioned that recreation and eco-tourism has not even begun to fill the economic void. I agree as I heard this mantra throughout the 1990s and it never materialized. I also agree with Lisa that “humankind is, after all, part of the food chain, and I believe we are at the top. We deserve at least some consideration.” Way to go, Lisa!

Sounds like involvement in this coalition is a really good thing. Thank you Lisa and Ray for advocating for socio-economic justice for rural communities.

POW

Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist, will be speaking at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Thurs., March 23, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Elizabeth is up-to-her-neck in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, called SGMA, that was signed into CA. law in 2014. It requires groundwater resources to be managed by local agencies throughout California. The local agencies are to develop and implement Groundwater Sustainability Plans by 2022, but the first deadline for a study plan is June of this year. Yep, Elizabeth is hustling.

She told me there are four groundwater basins in Siskiyou County that are subject to SGMA, the Shasta, Scott and Butte Valley Basins, and the Tule Lake Subbasin. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and Flood Control District have taken active roles to meet the requirements of SGMA and ensure that these four groundwater basins are managed on a local level with input and support from the citizens of Siskiyou County, who depend on this vital resource.

To really get a good understanding of SGMA and how it will affect you, please attend the Protect Our Water meeting. Ray will be there to answer SGMA questions and will also discuss the Scott Valley Plan pertaining to JH Guest Ranch expansion and the Timbervest and (possible) conservancy purchase.

Finicum

Guess what? Five FBI agents are being investigated for lying and covering-up about the LaVoy Finicum shooting. There were additional bullets fired that were not included in the original reported count. Oops! The saga continues.

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is underway. Check it out at: Alaska Dispatch News.com or Pie N Politics.com

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou Co. and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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