Letters for March 4, 2004

History lesson
Many of my relations would take issue with the statement, in your Feb. 19 cover story “High-Stakes Standoff,” by Robert Speer, that there were only “… four Indians alive in the Feather Falls area in the first half of the 20th century.”

Among those relations would be my great-grandmother, Ellen McCauley (pictured in your story), my great-grandfather, Fry Creek Jack, chief of the Mooretown Band of Indians at the time of its initial federal recognition, and my father, Dan K. Williams, who lived on the Mooretown Indian Reservation for most of the first half of the 20th century.

The reservation was set aside by executive order in 1894, and the rancheria was purchased in 1916, for the benefit of the 73 members of the tribe as enumerated in a federal census.

Growing up as a tribal member, in Feather Falls, I do not remember us as being “loose-knit,” as stated in your story. We lived close together and always took care of one another. And from long before I can remember up to the present, members of the tribe have come together for the Big Time that is held at the Hand Game Grounds, in Feather Falls, each spring and fall.

Furthermore, the reservation and the rancheria were terminated pursuant to the Rancheria Act, which was enacted during the Eisenhower administration, not the Kennedy administration. Also, only four Indians from Mooretown voluntarily surrendered their federal status as Indians. The rest of the Indians at Mooretown retained their status as Indians in the eyes of the federal government.

Danny Lee Williams

Robert Speer responds: The reservation and rancheria Mr. Williams mentions were located in the Feather Falls area and should not be confused with the present 300-acre rancheria site in Oroville. According to Gary Archuleta and Alan Archuleta, the current Mooretown tribal chairman and treasurer, respectively, Mr. Williams is correct that the rancheria termination process began under the Eisenhower administration, but it officially concluded in 1961, during the Kennedy administration, with passage of the Indian Termination Act. Our article’s account of the tribe’s re-recognition during the 1980s is correct, they say. Current lineal tribal members as recognized by the U.S. government are those described in the article, which is why they have been able to construct and operate a casino.

Whatever happened to “to the victor goes the spoils"? When the whites took over America, they made the mistake of making the Indians a welfare nation.

Ever since, the average Indian has been content to remain on the welfare system rather than become a productive part of American society.

Now they, with the financial backing of large investors (mostly Americans), are taking back America by the insidious means of casinos.

I do resent the casinos using taxpayers’ facilities, roads, etc. but refusing to pay their fair share of taxes.

Few Indians, except the leaders, benefit from the casinos.

Paul Howell Sr.
Received via e-mail

Suffer the gays
Why should gays be spared the anguish of marriage?

Stephen T. Davis

Cross-dressing coup
I would like to thank Sonja Friedlein for her wonderful story on the ISCCD [International Sovereign Court of the Czaristic Dynasty] of Chico [“Debbie Delicious does royalty,” Backbeat, Feb. 26]. I haven’t been involved with the ISCCD for very long, but the time I have spent with the group has been a positive one. There are a lot of hard-working, talented people who are involved with this organization. To plan an event is a huge commitment on the part of all our volunteers.

ISCCD board member

White-collar whitewash
As a longtime customer of Sounds by Dave, I was shocked to see the article in the Enterprise-Record about how a trusted bookkeeper had absconded with a huge amount of employer funds.

I am aware that white-collar crimes do not get the media coverage that high-profile cases do and therefore are not prosecuted as aggressively by the District Attorney’s Office. Are they being purposefully put on the back burner?

To help promote a healthy and stable business community, white-collar crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Is true justice really being served in this case?

C. R. Wonacott

Fairy tale marriage
One behalf of all sane people, I write to suggest that rather than outlaw all divorces as you have suggested, I would propose society consider a constitutional amendment outright banning all marriages and/or civil unions, regardless of whether they are straight or gay [“Amend this,” Inside view, Feb. 26.

Marriage and/or civil unions represent the purely symbolic joining of two otherwise reckless people supposing that by means of their “paper bonding” they will somehow live happily every after. That, clearly, is only a fairy tale to which the addition of a state-sanctioned marriage ceremony only makes for great kindling when the future flames of mutual loathing surely arise.

Think of it this way: No more costly weddings, no more messy divorce court, no more ludicrous reality TV and, most important, no more expensive divorce lawyers.

William Mayo

Suffering suffragette
I was so glad to read that Barbara McIver, 2nd District Assembly candidate, has red hair and green eyes [“Primary concerns,” cover story, Feb. 26]. With this pertinent information I can now vote for her with no reservations. However, I noticed no reference to 2nd Congressional District candidate A.J. Sekon’s well-turned ankle, Jeffrey Vance’s boyish good looks or Mike Johnson’s perky breasts. How are we, the voting public, to decide amongst these worthy folks if we don’t know important things like that?

Facetious sarcasm aside, I find it interesting that the only candidate you chose to describe physically was the only woman in the article. Coincidence, right? Maybe she should rethink her campaign slogan—"McIver—because redheads rock!” Even her opponent is married to one.

Liz Merry