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Escaping California's Economy

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Note: Below is a short email from a couple in Chula Vista, CA., to a friend of mine here in North Carolina. He passed it along to me. Interesting commentary on the economy and job situation in California from someone who is "on the ground" there.

"Dear Friend: We have good and bad news to share with everyone. South Bay Power Plant will be closing January 1, 2011, and we will all be laid off.

NEW HOPE FROM YOUNGER GENERATION: SEEKING ACCEPTANCE

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"You cannot kill when you carry the c’anunpa. You cannot carry the c’anunpa if you have blood on your hands. That means, you cannot carry the c’anunpa if you murdered somebody in cold blood, if you murdered a defenseless and peaceful human being. Having blood on your hands does not apply to those who must kill as warriors, as soldiers in war. Killing in war is war and there have been wars throughout history. A soldier is not a murderer. My grandpa always said, ‘When you are a warrior fighting in a battle, kill your enemy without hating them.

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES TREATY OBLIGATIONS INCLUDE REIMBURSEMENT FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING

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PINE RIDGE — In what is being called a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge has awarded nearly $600,000 to a Wounded Knee woman who sought damages from a sexual assault under provisions of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.

Lavetta Elk, now 26, is entitled to damages for pain and suffering caused when a U.S. Army recruiter sexually assaulted her in January 2003, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Francis Allegra wrote in an opinion filed recently.

Elk chose to release her name when she filed the suit.

HERSETH-SANDLIN: REACTION TO BIA PRESENCE MIXED

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By Mary Garrigan
PINE RIDGE — South Dakota's lone congresswoman told members of the Oglala Sioux tribal council on Tuesday that her job is to get the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2008 passed by Congress and their job is to put together a plan for operating a professional police department that will pass scrutiny by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

GRAHAM'S FIRST-DEGREE MURDER TRIAL SET FOR OCTOBER

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By Carson Walker
RAPID CITY — Federal prosecutors want jurors in the upcoming trial of a Canadian man to see evidence that he sexually assaulted Annie Mae Pictou Aquash, bound her hands and kept her in a Ford Pinto's hatch before shooting her.

John Graham's first-degree murder trial starts Oct. 6 in federal court for the December 1975 slaying of Aquash, a fellow Canadian, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

THIRD MAN CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH WOMAN'S MURDER ON PINE RIDGE IN 1975

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By Carson Walker
PINE RIDGE — Federal grand jurors in Rapid City have indicted a third man in connection with the 1975 slaying of an American Indian Movement member on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Vine Richard Marshall, better known as Dick Marshall, of Rapid City, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to aiding and abetting the first-degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley, who refused to comment further.

LAKOTA CULTURE SLOWLY REASSERTING ITSELF IN SOUTH DAKOTA AND ELSEWHERE

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By Sarah Ottney
ABERDEEN — Fear kept Lanni Zephier-Smith's parents from teaching her and her siblings Lakota, their mother's native language.

"They didn't teach us growing up because, in their generation, they could get in trouble. My mother wanted to teach us. My father didn't say she couldn't, but he was cautious," said Zephier-Smith, a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota tribe. "The language was almost lost because of that fear that was instilled."

LEADERS IN PINE RIDGE TRYING TO RESOLVE POLICE CONTROVERSY

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By Mary Garrigan
PINE RIDGE — The tribal president, a traditional chief and the Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent met with Oglala Sioux Tribe police department representatives Thursday in an attempt to resolve an ongoing public safety crisis on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a tribal staffer said.

Administrative assistant Mel Lone Hill said an investigation continues, but he is hopeful that Thursday's talks may result in a reinstatement of officers.

DEFENSE WANTS INFORMANT DETAILS IN TRIAL OF MAN ACCUSED OF MURDER

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By Carson Walker
RAPID CITY — A man charged with a decades-old murder wants the U.S. government to disclose details of payments to informants and the name of one who said the shooting victim was alive only days before her body was discovered.

John Graham's first-degree murder trial starts Oct. 6 in Rapid City federal court for the slaying of fellow Canadian Anna Mae Pictou Aquash on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

OGLALA COUNCIL TO MEET TODAY TO DISCUSS POLICE WALK-OUT

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PINE RIDGE — The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council will meet Thursday, Aug. 14, to address the resignation of police officers and other public-safety issues on the reservation.
"We are not pointing fingers," Oglala Sioux Tribe President John Yellow Bird Steele said Wednesday in a prepared statement. "We have difficult issues to address, and we are going to deal with them in an orderly manner that serves the best interest of the tribe."

POLICE WALK-OFF THE JOB IN PINE RIDGE OVER NEW HOME ASSIGNMENTS

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PINE RIDGE — Police officers on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are complaining about their bosses.

FBI agents were dispatched to the reservation Tuesday after reports of heated arguments between police and their supervisors.

Witnesses say more than 30 officers walked off the job in protest of assignments to various districts on the reservation.

A tribal official says police have been threatening the protest for three weeks.

NON-VIOLENCE GROUP PLANS DEMONSTRATION, MARCH AT REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

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By Kathy Kelly
Voices for Creative Nonviolence has organized a walk from Chicago to St. Paul to voice opposition to the Iraq war ahead of the Republican National Convention. The walk against the war will traverse the traditional land of the Ho-Chunk Nation, also known in English as "People of the Big Voice."

JUDGE RULES INDIANS OWED LITTLE FOR HISTORIC MISMANAGEMENT OF TRUST FUNDS

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BILLINGS, Mont. — Holding true to his promise to resolve the long-running Cobell case, a federal judge last week said Indian beneficiaries are owed only $455.6 million for the historical mismanagement of their trust funds.

Judge James Robertson hinted at a low figure when he heard final arguments last month. But his decision still shocked the plaintiffs in the 12-year-old case, who are weighing an appeal of the decision.

OGLALA, STATE SIGN HISTORIC AGREEMENT ALLOWING MEMBERS, CREDITORS ACCESS

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By PR Gregg-Bear
PINE RIDGE — The Oglala Sioux Tribe and the state of South Dakota signed an historic agreement this week that holds reservation residents accountable for debts arising from off-reservation business transactions.

This means creditors will no longer be halted at the reservation boundary lines in trying to extract payment through liens or other means from debtors whether they live on or off the reservation.

FREE CULTURAL MAGAZINE BEGINS PUBLISHING IN RAPID CITY

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RAPID CITY --- A publication that will focus on American Indian arts and lifestyles will be launched this month in Rapid City.

Called "Native Legacy," the magazine will publish quarterly and feature the arts and culture of those native to the Great Plains.

Publisher Lila Mehlhaff says she wants to create a magazine that will give people a better understanding of Indian culture.

"I want them to see what we see about our people. I want not only my own kids to be proud of this endeavor, but the native youth too," she says.

CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX TRIBE WANTS ITS OWN CASINO OPERATION

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EAGLE BUTTE — Officials for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe believe their plans for a casino on the shore of Lake Oahe in central South Dakota will create jobs and generate essential revenue for programs on the financially strapped reservation.

The tribe is considering several casino locations, including one in Stanley County on the west side of the massive Missouri River reservoir. That location would be on tribal trust land outside of the reservation boundaries.

CROW TRIBE WANTS TO EXPLOIT RESERVATION'S LIMITED COAL RESERVES

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By Matthew Brown
Associated Press

CROW AGENCY, Mont. --- They tried casinos on the Crow Indian reservation.
The one designed to bring in the biggest crowds --- Res-a-Vegas --- went bust within a year and is now a fireworks stand in the summer.

But now the Crow are convinced a really big jackpot lies below their lands: coal.

GRANDSON BRINGS OLD CHIEF HOME AFTER 100 YEARS

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By Sarah Reinecke
Rapid City Journal

KYLE — Joe American Horse sat in the front seat of a horse-drawn wagon wearing a traditional buckskin shirt and headdress. In the back lay his grandfather's remains, on the way to be reburied, in the same way the funeral would have taken place a century ago, when he died in 1908.

There was dust in the air as seven riders on horses led two wagons, pulled by horses. A pickup led the procession on a trail through the prairie, from KILI Radio to American Horse Creek. A few trucks followed behind.

COPS ACCUSED OF GOING OVER BOARD IN TRAFFIC STOP

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By Barbara Soderlin

RC Journal

RAPID CITY --- Civil-rights activist Duane Martin Sr. said state Highway Patrol officers used unnecessary force in a traffic stop that resulted in his arrest Tuesday night in Rapid City.

Martin is angry that officers drew their guns, handcuffed him and members of his family and forced them to kneel on the road as their vehicle was searched for weapons.

FORMER GANGSTER REACHES OUT TO CURB LAKOTA GANGS

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By Elisabeth Kilpatrick
The Beacon News

AURORA, Ill. — Ten years ago, David Luna drew an abstract self-portrait of himself, spurred by a shadowy vision he didn't quite understand. This spring, during his first trip to the Badlands in South Dakota, that old drawing suddenly made sense: It looked exactly like the craggy rock formations sitting in front of him.

"(My driver) said, 'I believe you knew you were going to come visit us,'" Luna repeated recently, sitting in the living room of his Aurora home. "I was blown away," he said

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