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City council opposes Soboba band's casino plans

29 May 2008

SAN JACINTO, California -- As reported by the Press Enterprise: "Citing a recent string of violent incidents on the reservation, the San Jacinto City Council is asking the Soboba Band of LuiseƱo Indians to halt its proposed annexation of hundreds of acres the tribe wants to use to build a hotel and casino complex.

"The May 20 letter, signed by Mayor Jim Ayres, said the city would be forced to 'actively oppose the application' if the tribe did not withdraw its request for the federal government to add the 535 acres to the reservation.

"...Rose Salgado, a member of the Soboba Tribal Council, said Wednesday that the letter was received Tuesday and the full council has not had an opportunity to compose a response. She said the panel will meet today to discuss the matter.

"...The U.S. Department of the Interior must approve the tribe's proposal -- a detailed process that can take several years and requires community input.

"Relations between the 900-member tribe and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department have been strained since two fatal shooting incidents in which three tribal members died.

"...The tribe has said it wants to build a 90,000-square-foot casino with a 70,000-square-foot gaming floor as well as a 300-room hotel, a multilevel parking garage, a tribal fire station and other amenities..."

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