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Bay Trail and Association of Bay Area Governments Suspends $200,000 Grant to GVRD
by Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group
Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 6:27 PM
Bay Trail and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) announced in a press release that they have suspended their $200,000 grant to the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) for the park development project at Glen Cove, a sacred Native American burial ground in Vallejo. This commendable action by the Bay Trail organization was a direct result of mounting pressure from their members and constituents, which included a picket and demand delivery at Bay Trail's offices in downtown Oakland on May 31st.

$200,000 Grant for Glen Cove Development Suspended Due to Impact on Native American Burial Site

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vallejo, California – In the 56th day of their Spiritual Vigil, Native Americans working to stop destruction and desecration of the sacred burial ground at Glen Cove in Vallejo welcomed the decision by the San Francisco Bay Trail Project of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to suspend its $200,000 grant to the Greater Vallejo Recreation District. The statement from ABAG and their Bay Trail Project states: “The issue of concern is that the proposed half mile Bay Trail segment on the Glen Cove property in Vallejo is part of a larger GVRD development that affects sensitive Native American burial sites.” ABAG’s statement says that the grant is being suspended until cultural land use issues are resolved.

“We are pleased that the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Trail Project have listened to the voices of the Indigenous people and supporters and have made the decision to reconsider funding of the joint project that they had planned with GVRD at Glen Cove/Sogorea Te. We would like to thank them for their support in the protection of our Sacred site,” said Corrina Gould, an Ohlone tribal member and leader of the ongoing efforts to protect the Glen Cove sacred site. “We hope this loss of major funding for GVRD will encourage all the parties involved in this issue to sit down and reach a mutually acceptable solution that protects the burial and cremation sites from destruction.”

Bay Trail’s decision to suspend funding of the Glen Cove Project follows mounting pressure from their constituents to address their involvement in the controversial plans to develop a recreational park on a sacred burial ground and spiritually important area. Supporters of the effort to protect the sacred site picketed the offices of Bay Trail on Tuesday May 31st, challenging their role in the planned development and urging them to immediately divest all funding.

Following a meeting between the Native American-led Protect Glen Cove Committee and representatives of Bay Trail and ABAG, last Thursday, the decision to suspend the $200,000 grant comes at a crucial time. This significant loss of funding and political support for the controversial Glen Cove project leaves its future uncertain, placing even more pressure on GVRD regarding their plans to bulldoze a hill that likely contains human remains and to build toilets and a parking lot at the sacred site.

Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes and the Protect Glen Cove Committee, backed by supporters from all walks of life, have vowed to continue the spiritual ceremony at Glen Cove until an agreement is reached that will protect the sacred site and human remains. The historical and cultural value of the site has never been disputed and it continues to be spiritually important to California tribes. Human remains have been consistently unearthed over the years as the area around the site has been developed. The Glen Cove Shell Mound spans fifteen acres along the Carquinez Strait. It is the final resting place of many Indigenous People dating back more than 3,500 years, and has served as a traditional meeting place for dozens of California Indian tribes. Glen Cove is located near the intersection of South Regatta and Whitesides Drive in Vallejo.

See also:
Press Release from ABAG, 6/07: Bay Trail Project Suspends Funding for Bay Trail Segment in Vallejo
Indybay, 5/31: Demonstrators demand that Bay Trail cut ties with Glen Cove development

Press contacts for further comment:
Corrina Gould (510) 575-8408
Morning Star Gali (510) 827-6719

For more information about ongoing efforts to protect Glen Cove (Sogorea Te) from further desecration, from the people directly involved:
Protect Glen Cove website

§Press Release from ABAG: Bay Trail Suspends Funding for Bay Trail Segment in Vallejo
by Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 6:27 PM

Press Release from the Association of Bay Area Governments: "San Francisco Bay Trail Project Suspends Funding for Bay Trail Segment in Vallejo"
§Direct Action Gets the Goods!
by Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 6:27 PM
directaction.jpg
directaction.jpg

On May 31, a picket and demand delivery took place at Bay Trail's offices in downtown Oakland. A report and photos from that action are here: Demonstrators demand that Bay Trail cut ties with Glen Cove development
§Original demand letter to Bay Trail from the Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group
by Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 6:27 PM

Original demand letter to Bay Trails from the Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Supporter
Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 8:36 PM
I will personally send Bay Trails a thank you
by nice work
Wednesday Jun 8th, 2011 10:06 PM
Kudos to everyone for the work done to help make this happen.
by Glen Cove Solidarity Working Group
Thursday Jun 9th, 2011 1:19 PM

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_18237381
Grant money suspended for Glen Cove project - Plans for waterfront park may be changed a lot
By Tony Burchyns / Times-Herald

Posted: 06/09/2011 05:27:20 AM PDT

The nonprofit San Francisco Bay Trail Project announced it has suspended a $200,000 grant for the disputed Glen Cove Waterfront Park project.

In response, the head of the Vallejo park agency said that unless the money is recovered, the controversial project will have to be significantly altered. The funds represent about one-fifth of the park's budget.

The announcement is the latest twist in the ongoing controversy surrounding plans to build a park around a Native American burial site at the end of Whitesides Drive in Vallejo.

Protesters have occupied the site for 57 days, vowing to remain until the Greater Vallejo Recreation District agrees not to grade a hill and build bathrooms and a parking lot on the city-owned property.

Recreation officials and two Patwin Indian tribes, however, say the project would protect archaeological resources by covering them with a foot of soil.

"Through our ongoing work on the Bay Trail, we recognize the environmental and cultural sensitivities that that exist along the edge of the bay and are hopeful that (the GVRD) and the community can come to a cooperative solution," said Ezra Rapport, executive director of the Association of Bay Area Governments, which administers the Bay Trail Project.

In response, GVRD General Manager Shane McAffee said Wednesday that ABAG has known about the potential conflict from the start. He complained that agency officials decided to suspend the funds only after project demonstrators showed up at their Oakland office last week.

"The first time they have protesters show up on their doorstep they turn their backs and run," McAffee said.

The GVRD board approved the project two years before the grant was awarded in May 2009.

San Francisco Bay Trail Project Manager Laura Thompson said she learned about the conflict in January 2010, adding that since that time "we have gotten some new information about the project."

"What we'd like now is to work with the Native Americans and the community to help resolve these issues," Thompson said Wednesday. She added that the proposed half-mile trail linking the Benicia State Recreation Area and Glen Cove is a "very important segment for the Bay Trail."

Thompson said she believes that the dispute can be settled in such a way that allows the trail segment to be built.

But ABAG President Mark Green, Union City's mayor, said "To my knowledge, ABAG has determined that some ancient burial sites would be disturbed with construction of a portion of the Bay Trail and consequently we have decided to seek another path."

The grant represents nearly 20 percent of the park's $1.1 million construction budget. McAffee said he thinks the project could go forward without the funds, but would have to be changed.

"We will have to reconsider our partnership with the Bay Trail project," he said. "And most likely the connection to the Benicia state park would be the first thing that wouldn't happen.

"I would have to get together with project manager and architect to see how the project could be modified," McAffee added.

McAffee said even if ABAG has legal authority to hold up the funds, "it makes me question the integrity of the agency, since we have used their commitment and their contract to spend money and commit a contractor to the project."

The rest of the project's budget consists of a $400,000 Delta Protection Commission grant and $500,000 from GVRD park dedication fees.

The Delta Protection Commission grant would have to be returned if the project is scrapped. The park dedication fees, however, could be used for other construction projects, McAffee said.

Contact staff writer Tony Burchyns at tburchyns [at] timesheraldonline.com or (707) 553-6831.