Air angst, archaeology and an appeal

dry_lake_3-30.jpgWith the discovery on the Owens Dry Lake of archaeological remains of Paiute Indians and a legal fight over more dry lake clean-up, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Air Pollution Control District remain at odds. There are other problems, too.

The Los Angeles Times recently revealed that an area designated for clean-up of dry lake dust held remains of Paiute Indians, reported historically to have been killed in the 1800s by white settlers. This discovery would mean around 328 acres of the Phase 7a clean-up project would remain in question. This is a project that was supposed to be done four years ago. DWP got extensions with the new due date at the end of this year.

APCD Director Ted Schade said DWP finished their Environmental Impact Report on this project, but eliminated the 328 acres of the archaeological site. Schade is not letting DWP off the hook. The two sides, he said, need to talk.

Still at the center of a lawsuit is yet another part of the lake bed that APCD ordered DWP to clean up. LA accused APCD of unfair regulation and filed a suit. The California Air Resources Board is the main defendant, but APCD is also named. The order involves 3.6 square miles. The clock is still ticking on this clean-up order. DWP has to produce at EIR by next February, in spite of the lawsuit.

One more thing – DWP appealed fees imposed by our local air pollution control district, claiming they don’t want to pay for certain things. $2 million is at stake. The two sides appeared for an appeal hearing in front of the State Air Board last Friday. Prior to that, DWP had lost yet another lawsuit involving other APCD fees. Director Schade said, “DWP keeps filing lawsuits, and they keep getting their butts kicked.”


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45 Responses to Air angst, archaeology and an appeal

  1. know the truth June 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    I won’t use my normal name I use on this post here,but applaude Ted Schade for his decision…AND telling the truth about the finding of the remains of the Paiute Indians on the lake.I have heard of different County entities finding possible burial remains on dig sites or projects and,more or less,knowing about it,maybe taking some photos for their own use,but ,don’t know if calling it “covering it up” would be the right words,but kind of keeping it a secret as not to either slow down their own project going on,or having to abandon it all together.

    • Desert Tortoise June 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      Without names, dates and locations it didn’t happen. Anyone can cook up a story and post it anonymously.

      • Russ Monroe June 17, 2013 at 8:09 am #

        Absolutely true! A pseudonym can post anything anytime and….
        have it’s opinion ignored!
        Pseudonym’s opinions are irrelevant, especially when they are buried in gratuitous volumes of numbers to make them sound knowledgeable, like say:

    • Jeremiah June 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      @knew the truth
      I know your right! And I’m sure CalTrans has a lot of skeletons in their closet!

      • Jeremiah June 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

        Oops! Not literally of course, (maybe I should go back to “J-Frog” already, lol).
        Their (CalTrans) initial construction is very questionable..

  2. Big Rick OBrien June 14, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Soooooooooo, if this happened in the 1800’s when the lake was FULL, the Paiutes must have had the ability to bury their dead underwater, right? just sayin’.

    • Ken Warner June 14, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      Why do you assume the Paiutes buried them?

    • Mark June 14, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      I read the white settlers killed the Indians and tossed their bodies into the river and that’s how they ended up in the lake.

      • A Sinister Trend June 15, 2013 at 6:18 am #

        Another “White, Christian America!” story.
        Lots of that popping up today.

        • Tony Cumia June 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

          And your point being?

  3. know the truth June 14, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    …names,dates and locations could get you in hot water where I live, and who I have heard it from….more than once…and from reliable sources….believe what you want to believe.

    • Desert Tortoise June 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

      Like I said, I’m waving the BS flag. If you know something tell the state AG and don’t give us this melodrama about getting in hot water. You probably have nothing.

      • The barren waste June 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

        Even a tortoise will eventually dry up and blow away in the desert.

        “People never planned here for water.”
        – Joni Mitchell “Cool, Clear Water.”

      • know the truth June 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

        @ Desert Tortoise….and like I said,believe what you want to believe….

  4. MJA June 14, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    What about the rest of the Owens Valley? While they focus on the lake issue the rest of the valley is dying, drying up and blowing away. What is the plan to save it, us, or isn’t there One? =

  5. Steve June 14, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    How convenient for DWP. If it was on a water gathering project DWP would fight it tooth and nail. But now DWP must stop work on Owens because of some bits and pieces that may or maybe not have any value.

    I have read accounts of the retaliation by settlers after being attacked and killed by Indians. About 6 settlers were killed. In retaliation a camp of Indians was attacked on the shores of Owens lake. Killing about 28 to 30 Indians. The Indians in the camp were not the same Indians that had killed the 6 settlers. Was it the right thing to do? NO it was not.

    • Racism in America June 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      I’m waiting for some “God-fearing American” to come up with:
      “White men rule! White men rule! BS.
      Nothing yet – but the day is young.
      (with a smirk)

      • Trouble June 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

        Nut Ball!

        • What's keepin' ya here? June 16, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

          Agreed, Trouble.
          Racists are clearly nuts.
          Why not move to Idaho? Mississippi? Alabama?

      • Tourbillon June 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

        Out of curiosity, “Smirk”, did you intend the irony of criticizing racism with a racist post – or did you just blunder into it?

        • Racism in America June 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

          Sometimes the truth hurts, Tourb.
          The U.S. was divided racially (including the Fabulous Founding Fathers owning slaves) and in many circles today (some call themselves conservatives) the notion of white supremacy in America still exists. Not so cleverly disguised as: “Gotta stop them illegals!”

          POV (on America’s first black president)

          1 Wow! Never thought a black president would ever be elected in my lifetime! How cool!

          2. Wow! There goes the damn neighborhood! Crap!

      • Tony Cumia June 16, 2013 at 8:56 am #

        And your point being?

  6. Russ June 15, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    When man inhabits an area for several million years, there will be “artifacts”. Bishop, Big Pine, Independence, etc. Rest on top of “artifacts”. Tear them all down so that we can gaze with astonishment at a skull or a femur.

    • Ken Warner June 15, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Hominids have been around for about 2 million years — in Africa. Modern man has been around for about 100,000 to 200,000 years — mostly in Africa.

      Modern man in North America is thought to be here just as the last Ice Age was coming to an end 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Nobody really knows how long people populated Owens Valley.

  7. erik simpson June 15, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    That’s ridiculous. There is scant evidence for humans in North America before about 12000 years ago, and what there is is still controversial among anthropologists. Human presence in the Owens Valley presents no evidence whatsoever before a few thousand years back. I’m not trying to minimize the antiquity of the native Americans presence here, but let’s be realistic.

    • quack June 16, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      There is ample evidence of human occupation in the Owens Valley to 12,000 years ago, based on typology, obsidian hydration and C14 dating. There’s no controversy around this at all. Your concept of being realistic needs some reexamination.

      • Benett Kessler June 16, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

        The archaeologist at BLM said there is no evidence of human life that long ago in the Owens Valley.
        Benett Kessler

        • Ken Warner June 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

          What’s his opinion about time of habitation?

  8. ferdinand lopez June 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    i lived in an area where a new dam was built,indian remains and dinasoar bones were found,the local indians would remove the remains,the artifact guys would take the dinasoar bones and the world moved forward

    • Desert Tortoise June 17, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Care to tell us the name and location of this new dam so those of us with inquiring minds can look up the history of that particular dam and see if you are making up a fish story? Name names or it’s all a fabrication.

      • Just a guess June 17, 2013 at 10:06 am #

        I would guess somewhere near Hemet Ca. Domengoni Reservoir/ Diamond Valley Lake. I worked doing paleontology on that project. We removed quite a few bones, and only slowed construction by a day or so at the most. Many of items we removed, along with what the archeologist removed now are displayed at both the San Bernardino County Museum, or at the museum/ visitors center located at the lake. This is what should be done in this situation, collect and preserve, and make a display at the visitors center that can tell the story that needs to be told but isn’t.

        • Desert Tortoise June 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

          And how many years did you have to do this work? Five at least, correct? It does not happen overnight.

      • know the truth June 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

        @ Desert Tortoise-..Why do you insist on thinking people make-up these things ? Like we all have nothing better to do than “fabricate” what we hear,or in my case, what I and others know ?

        • Desert Tortoise June 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

          The answer ought to be obvious. Because people exaggerate under the guise of anonymity. The internet is filled with fabrication.

          • Russ Monroe June 18, 2013 at 7:53 am #

            Very obvious to everyone reading this: This pseudonym IS everything that it gripes about. Exaggeration, fabrication, bold faced lies, and endless sniping from behind the curtain.
            All irrelevant! What value the opinion of such a spineless coward?

          • Do as I say not as ... June 18, 2013 at 9:41 am #

            … so are we to believe you are a tortoise who lives in the desert therefore we are to believe what you post is golden?

  9. Sarah Johnston June 17, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Although archaeologists disagree about the precise time period that humans first entered North America; there is virtually no controversy that ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in North America in a series of in-migrations starting at least 15,000 years ago. There is ample evidence that the Owens Valley was occupied at least 13,000 years ago. Please reference my peer-reviewed article with Alan Gold, PhD, and Jeanne Benning, PhD, in Current Research in the Pleistocene Vol. 24 (2007). This reports on one of the many Paleoindian fluted points originating from obsidian sources in the Owens Valley area. The particular point, known as the “Courtright Clovis” was dated using obsidian hydration–a well-established method of absolute dating to approximately 13,500 calendar years ago. An identical fluted point of the same material–Queen obsidian–was found15 years ago, a few miles south of Mammoth Lakes by the Inyo National Forest Archaeologist Linda Reynolds.

    • Ken Warner June 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Very interesting. If your paper ever makes it to the web, please post a link.

      I had no idea that Clovis points dated that long ago. The obsidian points are especially interesting given the amount of obsidian in Owens Valley and the presumed trade networks.

    • erik simpson June 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      I’m fascinated. I’d never heard of the “Courtright Clovis”, but I see that while it was found on the other side of he mountains, it’s made of east side obsidian. Do you know of any other references to these finds like this or other Owens Valley material?

  10. Jeremiah Joseph June 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    We are talking about a time when it was common to justify any action with a “quote” or “prayer” from the bible (white settlers).
    Also to my knowledge this “massacre” happened after the civil war and the Calvary “civil war vets” weren’t done killing, so they focused on the so called “Indian problem” so it was made a priority. the white settlers stayed in one area while the Natives of the Inyos and Sierras moved with seasons, so in a way you can see how that would make white settlers uncomfortable with a group of nomads overnight showing up on their seasonal and trade routes.
    This valley will forever be one of the most sacred and significant areas of indigenous culture!
    To my knowledge it happened in the early morning hours with no real first shot or reason the tribal community should have expected it, they ended up in the lake because they were trying to swim to safety. Home of the brave HUH? More like home of the BRAVES!
    Argue all you want about whatever information you believe, Fact of the matter is this land was loved and cherished for thousands of years and only took 100 to ruin it!
    Give respect where its due!

  11. Russ Monroe June 19, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    Unfortunately, Jeremiah, your statement: “We are talking about a time when it was common to justify any action with a “quote” or “prayer” from the bible (white settlers).” is still the fact. Sectarian fascism, cowering behind the label of religion, still rules the planet. The book referred to, may be different, the skin color of the participants may be different, but the ignorance and arrogance is the same…. civilization does it’s best to learn nothing.
    I believe that you are correct in saying that this land was loved and cherished for thousands of years, I see evidence of that constantly.
    I disagree that it was ruined in 100 years. This planet is a living thing. It is always changing and I believe, will evolve beyond the stupidity of humans eventually.
    By numerical count or biomass weight, the ants already rule. Humans are just too stupid to understand that.

    • Jeremiah Joseph June 19, 2013 at 8:56 am #

      Yes, I agree this planet is forevermore a emerging living being with or without us, BUT in relation to current human way of life and nature’s natural order of laws “Yikes!” But to realize everything you think you know is actually undergoing change and will always under go change, therefore it is a set back for people to get hung up on any position on any identity, any thought processes, any belief and (specifically) any faith, because the moment we do that, we restrict new information, and once we realize how interconnected with nature symbiotically, it establishes a entirely new world view (What we need in my opinion if we intend to survive on this planet). So therefore if your a conservative thinker or a fundamentalists don’t get all upset because I ask questions, because I feel the conservative and fundamentalist thinkers are on the wrong side of history!
      But I have to defend my previous statement of “ruined in 100”, the defense being The way or society use’s and abuse’s MotherEarths gifts and resources for human convenience and profits is bad news for the generations after us..from the industrial revolution to the time the supreme court ruled money = freedom of speech and corporations = people was about 100 years difference and since then, its been all bad….

  12. Russ Monroe June 19, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I think the questions are what life is about Jeremiah.
    In my personal experience; it has been the people with the answers that are problem.

    • Jeremiah Joseph June 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      I hear that Russ, thanks for the time to comment back.
      In my “young” experience, it seems those with established powers will do all they can to hold on to their power, and that is the problem, rather then the obvious solutions.
      Perception can and will always change reality.


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