Above: Exterior of Spotlight 29, a casino in Coachella currently owned and operated by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, who wish to open a new casino in Joshua Tree.
Dec 7, 2011: The wonderful Morongo Basin Conservation Association has posted an update on the proposed Joshua Tree casino, that includes a summary of the recent presentation given to the community by Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up California, a non-profit advocacy group that deals with gambling at the local level around California. I was able to attend some of that meeting and found Ms. Schmit to be unusually knowledgeable and persuasive on the issue and on what we can do. Kudos to MBCA for hosting her visit. If you are interested in the casino issue, you must have a look at this MBCA report.
Dec 4, 2011: The Desert Sun ran a good-sized feature offering background and context on the casino, as well as news on recent developments: “Joshua Tree casino plan re-ignites debate over off-reservation gambling: Critics worried about impact on high desert town”.
Victoria Fuller, president of the Joshua Tree Community Association, and the aforementioned Cheryl Schmit of Stand Up California are quoted at length. Sen. Feinstein’s letter of opposition to U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is quoted, and Elizabeth Ashford, a spokesperson for Gov. Brown, makes a statement. Interestingly, officials from the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians did not reply to inquiries from the Desert Sun.
The Twenty-Nine Palms Band runs the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella.