Friday, August 17, 2001
I am heartened by the broad based opposition to the proposed casino complex east of Hood River. What I hear and read is well-reasoned and informative, hardly what Tribal attorney Dennis Karnopp calls "hysterical allegations" or "shrill voices" (Aug. 8). No-casino.com is a good source for facts, and it has new air photos of the proposed site -- including the recently-acquired land-to-trust acreage.
I don't buy Mr. Karnopp's declaration that the Tribe has "every legal right" to build a casino on the steep, forested trust parcel. This site -- two miles east of Hood River -- is the wrong location, pure and simple, and our elected officials (including the Bureau of Indian Affaris) need to know that.
A 200-acre complex would be a huge blot inside the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and it would clearly (in my mind) degrade the livability and vitality of our community.
People who live in the area have a "right" to a casino-free environment. And toward that end, it is worth pursuing every possible legal avenue -- by both private and public means. Unfortunately, we are up against a big-money, high stakes power play, and the legal tussle may be long and expensive.