California Indians have seen that they can build mega-casinos and enjoy the profits without tax or regulation, to the exclusion of California state residents who live outside of the reservations ("Who's Watching the Casinos?" by Fred Dickey, Feb. 16). Some seek to blame the Indians for doing what other Americans have done for a few hundred years: pay off their state officers and legislators to get special benefits. Rather than castigate the Indians, who were largely mistreated and left with what was then worthless land, applaud them for keeping and spending gambling money in California. It makes no sense to enrich Nevada's state treasury with Californians' money. It's time to face the reality that we have gambling all over California and that we need to license it in certain locations, regulate it and tax it.
Alan R. Wolen
Via the Internet
To those Indians who believe that their sovereign nations are not beholden to pay taxes for services provided by California or follow state regulations: I hope that if you want to move off the reservation, you apply for a visa or green card, as other foreigners must, and that you pay out-of-state tuition to send your children to our public universities. I hope these people realize that they are California residents, and it is in their best interest to be responsible citizens.
I believe that if Dickey read his California history, he would find that history is repeating itself. There's a new "gold rush." The only difference is that we are not being hunted. We are collecting the "gold," if you will, and helping communities rebuild.
Mervin E. Hess
Vice Chairman, Bishop Paiute Tribe