At Odds on Indian GamingRegarding Marc Cooper's article "Tribal Flush" [Jan. 4-10]: I don't gamble, but I've always enjoyed going to tribal casinos just to watch white people lose their money: I call it reparations. I have also backed all measures that increased tribal sovereignty and power. No more. Using "sovereignty" as pretext for disenrolling legitimate tribal members is no different from our federal government using "national security" as pretext for diminishing our constitutional liberties. Both are power grabs clothed in patriotic lies. These actions may be technically legal, but certainly they are morally indefensible. I will not only vote against propositions 94-97, I will also boycott the Agua Caliente, Morongo, Pechanga and Sycuan casinos and resorts, unless the tribes stop disenrollments and reinstate legitimate members.Kay M. GilbertSanta Monica
In addition, there were comments on Cooper's "Tribal Flush" on this site. Here are some excerpts:
I think the biggest issue in this piece is not the power the tribal councils wield in Indian casino reservations but the power of the state and federal government to recognize "tribes" as legitimate. I am glad our family heritage is not contingent on an external authority. Thankfully, like the traditional councils, our heritage comes down from our own voices and relatives — not the government, not some council.
Posted January 4, 5:03 p.m. by Joel A. Montes
If [Cooper's] article is really about "betrayal and lost heritage" and having empathy for California's indigenous people, then I think there [should] be some deep historical context in the piece. You can't talk about the state of California Indians and their reservations until you give your readers some honest historical context and lay out how indigenous people have gotten to this point, where casinos are now the biggest source of income for American Indians across the U.S. I know and roll with many Native Americans from L.A. to South Dakota and I know no Indian millionaires. The majority of them are struggling to survive, just like me.
Posted January 4, 4:03 p.m. by Ben Quiñones
Charting LAUSD's CourseThe following are excerpted comments on Patrick Range McDonald's "The Admiral's Sinking Ship" [Dec. 28, 2007-Jan. 3, 2008].
Unlike previous superintendents, [David] Brewer has spent more time and resources in the black community than any other superintendent. For your information, under Brewer, LAUSD spends more money per capita on Crenshaw High School than on any other high school or middle school in the district. Brewer just put $1 million into Bradley Elementary School to fund an all-boys' program. While Brewer clearly has his shortÂcomings, to say that he has not delivered on promises is unfair. His strategic plan is to overhaul not only low-performing schools but all schools. Brewer's ultimate vision, as I've heard him say, is to raise scores for poorly performing students and to get the middle class to return to the school district. His main challenge is fixing major organizational problems inside LAUSD. Brewer probably runs his mouth too much, but to imply that he is plodding is disingenuous. He is trying to move a mountain of an organization and it will take time.
Posted December 30, 2007, 10:53 a.m. by K.J.
Love how your writer extols Romer's instructional programs. They've been in place for years, yet scores continue to drop in middle and high school. L.A. Weekly, I already have a city newspaper that doesn't know anything about education. Couldn't you find a writer who knows his stuff?
Posted December 30, 2007, 4:38 a.m. by East L.A. Teacher
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As an educator at the secondary level, I'm extremely disappointed in the members of LAUSD who have the audacity to blame one person for the problems that are prevalent in our school system. Several of my colleagues voted California's current governor into office several years ago (I didn't), yet none seems to have anything to say about the governor and the members of the state Legislature who have failed to live up to a multitude of promises made to California's educators.
Posted December 29, 2007, 4:03 a.m. by T.B.