Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WWTT? Chumash Highway? OMG from SYV...

It's a bit too easy to get fodder for my "What Were They Thinking?" installments. I got the following from a reader and could hardly believe what I read:

I just learned that I’ll be telling family and friends to take the “CHUMASH HIGHWAY ” to visit me at my home in the Santa Ynez valley.

WTF? Who made the decision to rename Hwy 154/San Marcos Pass the “CHUMASH HIGHWAY ”? Did the tribe “buy” the naming rights? Does our legislature think the casino is in jeopardy of failing and needs more public assistance?

Honestly, I’d rather live on the blue side of the “blue line” than at the end of the “CHUMASH HIGHWAY ”. Talk about property devaluation. We might as well rename Santa Ynez “CASINOVILLE” and call the valley “CHUMASH VALLEY ”. This irritates me.

Sign me, “Citizen Stringer” from Los Olivos
Well, we'll make that a lower case CS....The Lompoc Record reports that it was a unanimous vote. Without even getting into whether our representatives were on the floor of the Assembly and State Senate at the time, I have to ask why they didn't come to the residents of the Santa Ynez Valley to ask what they thought about their traffic inducing build-a-lot neighbors at the Casino getting the historic 154/San Marcos Pass renamed right after the Zaca Fire almost destroyed all that they know.

This is what Chair Vince Armenta had to say to the Record about the smoked filled room decision:
Travelers taking the scenic route from Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara cross a journey that the Chumash people have traversed for thousands of years,” Armenta said in a statement. “I'm elated that this fact was recognized by the California Legislature with their highway naming project.”

I'll be interested to see what Pedro Nava and Tom McClintock have to say about the mean time, I say it has Wilcox Property written all over it. How many of you will change what you call San Marcos Pass?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

guess what...wanna know what's even more historic than hwy 154? how about a group of indigenous people who were in the area oh, only 8,000 years ago. and maybe if anyone around here followed the legislature they would know that sen. mcclintock introduced the resolution on the Senate floor.

9/20/2007 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Christine said...

This is going to be really fun to watch, a decision made in San Jose and Sacramento- decifered by locals and pro tribals thru the media. Wouldn't it have been easier to just approach the folks who use it everyday? Wilcox Property GREAT example Sara- no one is going to call this CHUMASH HIGHWAY. If anything- it should be Stagecoach Highway.... Vincent Armenta is right- his people did traverse it for sometime- a long time in fact. It just is more fuel on the fire of old timers vs the Tribe- and this smells like a bbq to me!

I am so sick of this subject dividing the Valley- going behind EVERYBODIES back to get this name change isn't going to help,, at all.

Anybody know anything about the proposed Tomol Village out at Jalama? I guess there is a village built at a Ventura County beach- built to resemble a working Chumash Village- and one is to go up at Jalama too- North of the river and the Store- another story all together is the County vs the owners of the Store at Jalama- and their chokehold on the concessions there. I personally think the Eittreims have done a FANTASTIC job all this time- I mean it could be run like the Gaviota or even better- the El Capitan Beach Store....All those who love Jalama Burgers- shout a big HELL YEAH!

9/20/2007 8:41 AM  
Blogger Citizen Stringer said...

It is still San Marcos Pass Highway, or more typically for people originating in Los Angeles County, "the 154," or for most of the rest of us, simply "highway 154."

Commemorative names for state highways or routes are everywhere in California but seldom known except for a momentary thought while driving by the sign or in the ultra-fine print on a map.

Hwy. 1 is called "Cabrillo Highway" between Gaviota Pass and Lompoc.

The freeway between Carpinteria and Ventura (at least going south) is called "Screaming Eagles" highway, to recognize the famous 101st Airborne Division of U.S. Army. It even includes a huge sign with the bald eagle head icon of these soldiers. Who ever calls "The Rincon" the Screaming Eagles?

State highway 46 extending between Paso Robles and Shandon (where?) is called the "Jack O'Connell Highway"

The new "Chumash Highway" name only will mean as much as people give it. The unfortunate link is that the splendid Chumash people and culture now is becoming the same meaning as the Chumash Casino, so to many people the new Hwy. 154 designation really is meaning name is actually the "Casino Highway."

9/20/2007 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The name is only apropo in that it indicates the vast amount of dangerous traffic the casino has brought to Highway 154.

If Sacramento lawmakers had been paying any attention whatsoever to the amount of protest Santa Ynez Valley residents have generated against the tribe's blatantly non-community oriented business activities, they would have thought twice about this one.

9/20/2007 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are the dumb asses in Sacramento who voted to rename a highway after a tribe that disrespects the opinions, rights and lives of any and all who disagree with them? Why, all of those in Sacramento lined up with their hands out to accept 'campaign contributions' from the Chumash indians of the Santa Ynez Valley, that's who. And based on the vote, that's every single legislator in Sacramento. Let's hear it for corruption on a massive scale. And good job to Armenta. He's a friggin' genius at screwing his neighbors. Nasty paybacks seems to suit him well.

9/20/2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has the two existing names for 154... San Marcos Pass Road and El Camino Cielo

I don't mind calling it the Chumash highway. But I'd like to know... `Ch' like Cheers and Cherry, or softer like Shoe?

Mash... short a, or more like `Mosh'.

I'd have preferred that the original name the Barbareno and Ineseno used for the path be used, however.

9/20/2007 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was Assemblyman Joe Coto, not McClintock.

9/20/2007 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time!

9/20/2007 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't agree more with the those outraged over the renaming of 154 as the Chumash Highway. Nothing like being outraged and disgusted over Native Americans having their name placed on a meaningless piece of highway. I, like most of those outraged, have nothing better to be outraged about, so let's make a huge issue over nothing.

Oops, I forgot to preface my comment with "I'm not a racist, but..."

9/20/2007 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 2:11, McClintock jockeyed the resolution when it came to the Senate.

9/20/2007 11:25 PM  
Anonymous valley dweller said...

I'm not sure locals have a say in this sort of thing as a rule. Naming things is usually connected to receiving money so this makes sense.

Sadly rather than this being an honor to the old crossing route, it will really appear as if it is being named for the Casino.

I wonder what the other Chumash, the ones that are not in the band that own the Casino, the ones that are still living in poverty, think about this. Are they proud? Has anyone asked them?

Back in the old days, oh say 1990s & earlier, the Chumash name was respected (however sadly at that time the reality was that they were living in deep poverty).

Then the voters agreed to the Casino. BTW, I voted against it because I've seen gambling destroy lives. That is my prejudice.

But then there were shananigans & people like Fess Parker tried to make money by partnering with the tribe to expand operations. There was a historical handshake deal about some property that the tribe, as I understand it, undermined.

So its not about the Casino per se that people have a reason to complain about.

It is the ways that these operations are trying to expand often in dishonest ways.
And then, it is not just the Chumash or truly only this particular tribe that is benefitting, it is the other non tribal owners of the Casino throughout the country, that are benefitting also.

I guess I went off on a bit of a tanget but oh well.

9/21/2007 10:36 AM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Well, after spending three hours driving from downtown LA back to the Good Land, I don't care what they name the highway they have to build to keep that kind of traffic out of this county...

Anyone wishing high density smart growth developer fed building booms in this area ought to be forced to live in LA for a week...

Don't get me wrong, I love my's just the other 10 million cars I can't stand. :-P

9/21/2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

They can name it what ever bloody heck they want to.

I'm still calling it the San Marcos Pass.

9/22/2007 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Cal-Access, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash/Mission Indians and Affiliates have contributed at least $46,000 to McClintock, $16,200 to Coto, and $9,600 to Nava.

9/22/2007 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nava has one goal and one goal only - his own re-election. He sold us out from day one for special interests. This should come as no surprise. But let's not blame the Chumash for all their gambling wealth.

The blame lies with the stupid people who every day give it to them, knowing the house always wins. Isn't it a clue the Chumash are laughing all the way to the bank, that this is not a really good get rich quick scheme for the thousands who keep handing over their discretionary cash to them.

If the Chumash have found a willing and voluntary wealth-transfer scheme such as casino gambling and people are willing and voluntarily handing over their money to them, I say let the Chumash spend this discretionary money any way they want. If people don't like what they are doing, they can starve them at the source and stop handing over their paychecks to them.

But they are not and this to me sends the Chumash the well-earned sign they can keep doing whatever they want.

Too bad the government can't find a way to get stupid people to hand over the same amount of cash to them and love doing it at the same time.

The Chumash give them mind-numbing entertainment watching bright lights and colors in return for handing over their cash. Surely the US government could come up with some similar opiate for the masses who so eagerly want to throw their money away for nothing in return.

9/22/2007 11:16 AM  

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