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Monday, May 07, 2012

Give Marco Island back to the Calusa Indians

It's the honorable, ethical, financially beneficial and now legal thing to do.

A recently released United Nations special report has urged the U.S. government to restore Native American tribal lands. The report, that President Obama has endorsed, has in part recommended that States give back the land that has historically belonged to the area's indigenous people.

Self-determination is a vital component of the report. Land that for eons has belonged to Native Americans should be returned so that they may use the land as the original owners see fit.

In several reports coming across the wires documenting the UN report, mention has been made about the issues that will arise when sensitive areas are returned. For example, one report noted that the Sioux are the rightful owners to the Black Hills of South Dakota – where the giant historical monument (now a tacky tourist trap – [$5 for an ice cream cone?]) Mt. Rushmore National Park sits.

The possibly contentious "issues" decried in some of these news reports assumes that the Native Americans will make matters worse. A faulty assumption.

Here on Calusa Island – or as the local white folk call it Marco Island – returning the entire island to the Calusa Indians will be a boon, a godsend (no pun intended since Marco Island is named after St. Mark of the Catholic Church, and we all know how "benevolent" the Catholic Church has been with indigenous peoples throughout the Americas).

We envision where the nth generational descendants of the Calusa Indians will claim their rightful ownership to the island. As already supported by federal courts (thankfully bypassing Collier Courts) and the United Nations, the descendants of the Calusa Indians will have no problem asserting their rightful title to this island and outlying areas.

Then in partnership with Las Vegas gaming corporations, they will institute casinos on the island, selecting the "big" hotels at first, and then building a mega complex. Such a process occurs frequently and quite prolifically as evidenced by the Hard Rock Café (and Casino) in Broward County, Foxwood Casino in Connecticut, and others (see top-ten list at end of this article).

Turning Calusa Indian Island back over to the Calusa Indians is a win-win-win-win-win-win-win.

  1. First and foremost, the governing of the island can only improve as we will rid the place of the kakistocracy.
  2. Secondly and analogous to the previous benefit, the syndicate will be expunged as there will be no tolerance for the back-room special interest shenanigans that goes on now.
  3. Thirdly, the $400million debt the city residents are on the hook for (thanks to the scandalous mismanagement by the syndicate) evaporates instantly – if this deal is handled properly (read: not by the syndicate or the city council).
  4. Fourth, property taxes will drop, tax revenue to the city will increase, making the residents happy and with more money in the city coffers, the nincompoops on the council don't have to continue feigning intelligence in dealing with the water rates since the water plant would be purchased by the corporation running the casinos so as to ensure an inexpensive, one-rate-for-all and clean water supply (unlike what exists now).
  5. Fifth, demand for property will increase hence property values will rise hence more tax revenue to Collier County so they can continue funding a school system that ranks near last in a state that ranks near last in a country that ranks near last of the industrialized world.
  6. Sixth, there will a demand for property hence the next time the realtors place the vacuous self-serving faux articles in the local non-newspapers "reporting" on the "improving" real estate market, the article will be the truth for the first time in 10 years.
  7. Seventh, tourism will boom. Eco-tourism is the biggest driving force for tourism today throughout the world. Gambling is second. Now the island will offer both, especially if the eco-tourism is managed and performed by descendants of Calusa Indians. Imagine the marketing: "Tour the 10,000 island during the day guided by a direct descendant of the Calusa Indian Tribe so as to learn their rich culture, and enjoy our world-class casinos during the evening!" And as now we have to buy a license to fish from the State of Florida, we would have to buy a license from the Calusa Island Native American Fishing Permitting Board – that invariably will be more inexpensive and actually serve an environmentally positive purpose.
  8. Eight, the City can hire more bureaucrats and hire more firemen with more equipment and hire more police officers (as there will be more parking in swales hence more enforcement will be needed).
  9. Ninth, the purpose of the STRP – to make the infrastructure sustain a mega-tourist destination – can be finally fulfilled.
  10. Tenth, the Marco Island Academy (MIA) will have to change its name to the Calusa Island Academy (CIA) converting its acronym from "Missing in Action" to "CIA" (no extrapolating of the acronym is needed) and therefore will attract a few more students thinking that they are going to get "Intelligence" and perhaps stave off closure.
  11. Eleventh, the island may get its second appreciable restaurant (Dunkin' Donuts being the first).
  12. We would all enjoy watching MICA go up against the federal government, the Native Americans, the United Nations and the International Court of Justice at The Hague in an attempt to argue how they have some claim to some deed restrictions, most notable of which is their delirious premise that residents have to belong to a club to access a beach.

It is highly improbable that a direct descendant of a Calusa Indian is traceable in the U.S. (see their history below). However, the last known and surviving Calusa Indians were forcefully relocated to Cuba in the 18th century where they settled in the northern coast and formed small fishing villages. Many of those villages remain, hence in the spirit of expediting this noble process of reclamation and returning the island to its rightful owners, we have put out the word in those villages as to the opportunity that exists. To those descendants we will facilitate migration and contact with the United Nations and attorneys proficient with Native American treatises.

One or two giant gaming complexes on Calusa Island clearly benefits everyone. And just as importantly, there is a redress for the rightful owners from the expropriation of native lands without compensation. In essence, undoing a wrong. As evidenced by the latest report by the United Nations on this matter, and as strongly supported by President Obama, and given the economic benefit, a descendant of the Calusa Tribe of Indians is encouraged to aggressively pursue the legal return of the island to its rightful owners.

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Sources: United Nations Report - BBC - ExaminerCalusa Indians Background

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Largest Native American Casinos in the U.S.
(source: Casino Times)

10.) Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel (Jackson, Calif.) – 257,789 square feet

The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians owns and operates the facility that houses 48 gaming tables, 15 poker tables and more than 1,500 slot and video poker machines and sits about a one-hour drive west from Sacramento. And to save money on hotel costs, you can make that drive and then spend your sleeping hours in the casino's brand new RV park.

9.) Chumash Casino Resort (Santa Ynez, Calif.) – 280,000 square feet

Slots are king at the Chumash Casino Resort with a selection of 2,000 machines to choose from. There's also a 14-table poker room that's open 24/7 and offers a variety of games, including Five Card, Omaha High/Low, Hold 'em and full weekly tournament schedule. In addition there's the Samala Showroom that can seat 1,000 bingo players at once.

8.) Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino (Lakeside, Calif.) – 310,000 square feet

This San Diego-area casino prides itself on offering "the best Blackjack rules in the country" with single- and double-deck games and high table limits (up to $10,000 and more). There are also $25 video poker games and $500 slots.

7.) Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel (Morton, Minn.) – 325,000 square feet

Jackpot Junction has two floors and is big on video slot machines, offering more than 1,300 to choose from with a range of penny to $25. In addition to the dizzying amount of slots and table games there is also a live poker room. There are also regular and matinee sessions of Bingo and the Highstakes Lounge located on the second floor features slot machines and blackjack.

6.) Viejas Casino (San Diego, Calif.) – 327,000 square feet

If you can't find something to pique your interest here, you simply don't have a gambler's bone in your body. Not only are there 2,500 slots, 10 different table games and a 20-table poker room that hosts daily tournaments, but there is also a bingo pavilion with smoking and non-smoking areas and electronic touch pads. And for horse racing enthusiasts there's an off-track betting area with a dozen 50-inch flat screen televisions and 45 personal monitors. In addition, the private Turf Club offers table service for food and beverages, 10 personal booths, eight four-person tables and five big screen TVs.

5.) Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, Conn.) – 344,000 square feet

With more than 380 table games to choose from and 7,200 slot machines, it's easy to see why more than 40,000 guests visit Foxwoods on a daily basis. There's also a state-of-the-art World Poker Tour poker room that boasts 114 tables and attracts players from around the world as well as the Ultimate Race Book, where you can bet on everything from thoroughbreds and harness to greyhounds and jai-alai. Oh, and don't forget to visit the 3,200-seat High Stakes Bingo Hall.

4.) Mohegan Sun (Uncasville, Conn.) – 364,000 square feet

The actual square footage at Mohegan Sun as we write this is 300,000, but this Friday the first portion of its $925 million expansion -- Casino of the Wind -- will open, and at the 64,000 square feet it pushes Mohegan into the fourth spot of our list. The new casino will offer a 42-table poker room, bringing live poker back to Mohegan for the first time in five years. There will also be more than 650 slot machines and 28 table games, as well as Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Casino of the Wind is just part of Project Horizon - a multi-million dollar expansion that calls for a new 920-room hotel, featuring 261 House of Blues-themed rooms and an exclusive members-only House of Blues Foundation Room. Upon full completion in 2010, Project Horizon is expected to add more than 1.4 million square feet to Mohegan Sun's existing structure.

3.) Island Resort & Casino (Harris, Mich.) – 408,520 square feet

There's a full variety of table games as well as live poker and keno. Also on the gaming floor you will find close to 1,500 slot machines, including video, reel, wide-area progressives, dual screen bonus games and in-house progressives. The Bingo Hall is open seven days a week and there are weekly and monthly poker and slot tournaments as well as a monthly themed Blackjack Party Pit tournament.

2.) San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino (Highland, Calif.) – 480,000 square feet

Bingo was the main attraction here when the San Manuel opened in 1986 and the casino has stayed true to its roots as it features a 2,500-seat Bingo Hall that has 15 games every night as well as matinee games with low buy-ins. There are also 2,000 slots, gaming tables and a smoke-free poker room with tableside food and beverage service.

1.) Potawatomi Bingo Casino (Milwaukee, Wisc.) – 780,000 square feet

A $240 million expansion was just completed two months ago here, making the Potawatomi not only the largest Indian casino in the world, but the largest employer in Milwaukee County. More 4 million visitors annually make their way through the massive casino area that houses 3,100 slot machines. But if you're looking for a more exclusive experience try the premier player's club – Solstice Lounge – and its soft leather chairs, HDTVs, food, full bar, slot machines, blackjack and European roulette.

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