Governor Prefers Native Vegetation to Native People
As an immigrant to our shores, it's little shock that Governor Schwarzenneger has a hard time understanding the plight of our indigenous peoples. Maybe that's why, in his letter supporting the TCA's 241 Foothill-South toll road extension, he makes his support conditional on the TCA's protection of cottages, coastal scrub and a surf spot. No mention is made WHATSOEVER of the Juaneno village-site of Panhe, threatened with severe and illegal impacts from the road, nor the lawsuit filed on its behalf by the Attorney General of the state of California.
What gives, I wondered?
So I called the Governor's press office to find out. Brad Maile was good enough to speak with me, although the conversation quickly degenerated. To, like, the 19th century. . .
Weekly: Why didn't the governor's letter mention the sacred site of Panhe, subject of a lawsuit against the toll road and protected by California state law?
Maile: "As we understand it, the TCA is working with federal and state officials and tribal representatives to mitigate the situation to everone’s satisfaction according to state and federal law."
Why does the governor’s letter specifically require the protection of Crystal Cove cottages and coastal scrub without mentioning the Native American Sacred Site of Panhe?
“I believe I answered your question. We stand by the governor’s letter.”
Is protecting cottages and scrub more important than protecting native American sacred sites?
"No, that’s not what I said at all."
Well, that’s what standing by the letter would mean.
(awfully, interminably long pause)
"Sounds like you’re typing away there. You want to finish typing?"
Well, I’m typing what you’re saying, so I’ll finish when you finish. It’s called transcribing an interview and it’s what professional reporters are required to do.
"I’ve worked with plenty of professional reporters in my time and I don’t hear them typing away."
That’s because usually they can afford voice-recognition software to do the typing for them.
"The conversation has become awkward with the way you’re going about this interview and … typing. My question to you … "
"Tell you what. What’s your editor’s name? You said you work for OC Weekly?"
Sure thing. I work under Janine Kahn, the web editor.
"What’s her number?"
I don’t have her direct number, I usually communicate with her via email.
"You don’t have her number?" (emphasis added to indicate tone of utter disgust)
That’s correct. Would you like her email? It’s email@example.com
"No, that’s okay, I’ll find her."
Really, it’s fine. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
"I’ll find her."
"Yeah I’m sure."