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Granite Construction Fights Back

Upon learning of the Pechanga Tribe's attempt to stop a proposed quarry, Granite Construction fights to keep project alive and kicking.

Granite Construction has come out swinging in response to what its officials are calling a last-minute, behind-the-scenes attempt to circumvent the local land use process, a spokesperson said.

The construction company has joined a labor union in a unified effort to stop a proposed bill aimed at preventing Liberty Quarry from breaking ground, according to Karie Ruether, Granite Construction’s spokesperson.

The bill would ultimately enact a wide-sweeping ban on all California mining operations, Reuther explained.  

The proposed bill is similar to a 1990’s bill that ultimately killed all precious mineral operations in California.  

The proposed bill, authored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, is sponsored by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and is aimed at stopping the proposed quarry near Temecula by prohibiting aggregate mining within 5,000 yards of an Indian reservation or indigenous historical site.

Bill Waggoner, the Business Manager for Operating Engineers Local 12 had some harsh words regarding the bill.

“This bill is ridiculous. While I recognize the concerns of the various Indian tribes regarding the protection of their sacred burial sites, the public has no guarantee of that fact because that information is not available to the general public.

“Like the rest of the middle class of the United States, the construction industry is experiencing high unemployment and huge underemployment problems. The proposed Liberty Quarry will bring good paying long-term jobs to California at a time when the economy is in desperate need of these projects.”

Liberty Quarry is a proposed, 135-acre quarry on a site that is currently zoned for mining near the Riverside-San Diego County border.  The project has been under environmental review by the County of Riverside for the last six years and is currently in the middle of Planning Commission hearings.

Granite Construction's Southern California Resource Mgr. Gary Johnson is not too happy upon learning of this last-minute bill.

“Granite is extremely disappointed to learn about this last-minute end run around the local and state land use process,”

Johnson said he was taken by surprise by the attempt to thwart the project.

“We have been engaged with the Pechanga leadership, tribal council and tribal membership since we first introduced our project in 2005.  It was almost four years after we first briefed the tribal council before we heard any indication that they may have issue with this site.  In our over 89 years of continuous operation in California we have a strong history of working hand-in-hand with local tribes, so this latest development is appalling to us.” 

The Pechanga tribe should expect a warm reception in Sacramento where over the past few years they have spent millions of dollars in contributions and lobbying, Reuther added.

Sarah August 09, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Look everyone! Suddenly Leroy is concerned about someone's rights! His OWN! Not anyone else's! Not anyone who doesn't want the quarry... only LEROY's RIGHTS. We live in the Oligarchy of Leroy. Such a joke. And yes, Leroy, I know what a Republic is... it is a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, where the majority rules and leaders are elected to enact majority rule and protect the minority (the reason why you can disagree with inpunity, and I as a member of the military, protect your right to do so) by splitting the powers into Judicial, Legislative and Executive Branches....We happen to also be a Democracy, inthat we use a Democratic form of free elections by all the people to create our representative government ... perhaps that offends you because you cannot discriminate between Democracy and Democrats or Republic and Republicans. Still if you are only worried about your rights, and not the rights of all the others who have posted on this board, you do seem to understand that you are advocating a Dictatorship, with yourself in charge. Grow up Leroy. Time to recognize that when the minority holds the majority hostage (with facetious debt ceiling debates which have now tanked the global economy), it is a violation of the Republic you claim to support.
Peter Terezakis August 09, 2011 at 05:40 AM
I am humbled by the articulate, enlightened, passionate, and sincere discussion on this page. I am also thankful for one particular individual's participation as they have provided insight into the peculiar personality and mindset of a "Liberty Quarry" supporter. Any individual or organization who has the ability to stand against Granite Construction Corporation and keep the section of earth under discussion alive, intact, and thriving, gets my wholehearted support. Granite's actions will only bring dust, death, and destruction to a unique living landscape. Destroy the land and you destroy the people. Granite Construction Company's intended action would destroy the land and our future.
Peter Terezakis August 09, 2011 at 06:09 AM
If you haven't seen this video http://youtu.be/FQlhhrVsTBk and you are wondering about the scale of the project, you owe it to yourself to get to 3:55 and watch. I was at the last EIR report where the discussion of fault lines, slips, cracks, fissures, etc. came up. Both sides were in agreement that no one has any idea about what the geology is on the mountain - let alone what they would open up a thousand feet down. So that grandiose idea they have to "build" a lake/reservoir is so much speculative fiction. There isn't a responsible professional around who can promise what the geology would be like at that depth, seventy-five years into the future, and state unequivocally that such an excavation could hold water. Oh, wait. The Granite spokesperson does say just that.
Leroy Achoy August 09, 2011 at 01:51 PM
I find it odd that the Pachanga Early Asian Immigrants had no problem building a Casino on their "Sacred Land". I guess the land is only sacred until they can make millions of dollars off of it. I also see how much the love other Native Americans by sharing their millions with other Native Americans that live in abject poverty.
Sarah August 09, 2011 at 03:04 PM
I think Leroy is just a hater. Pure and simple. Anyone who doesn't agree with him deserves his disdain and disregard. First he started out with the argument that anyone who didn't want the mine is unpatriotic. Now, he tunes out everyone else's comments and disparages the Pechanga in his posts. Bottom line is that people like this are highjacking our political system, making their special interests the national agenda simply because they are louder and more vitriolic. It is up to all of the rest of us to stop the madness: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke. Let's make sure we all show up at the Quarry meeting on August 15th and express our views against the mine so that our voices together will be louder than Leroy's hate-generated rhetoric.
Jerry Simeon August 09, 2011 at 03:08 PM
Leroy, I commend your Spirit and Bravado and I understand the depths of your wounds. At Wounded knee, "We buried our hearts" (do you know this meaning?) and Our Chiefs proclaimed "We would fight no more forever" for the sake of everyone, not just our own open wounds. The citizens of Temecula and the bordering regions support the efforts of the City of Temecula. We welcome the efforts of everyone including your nemesis the Pechanga Indians along with other tribes. We are thankful too that they are showing their heart an concern in the support of this effort.... Vivat Jesus!!
Leroy Achoy August 09, 2011 at 03:40 PM
Jul 22, 2011 The unemployment rate was 14.4 percent in Riverside County. 100 jobs paying $60-130K, is what is needed during these times of high unemployment.
sherry August 09, 2011 at 03:58 PM
So you THINK the Pechanga Indians will mine the land in Temecula? Do you ALWAYS make up stories in your head Leroy? Funny because they never ever mined there before. Unlike yourself, there are many people who really care about their land, home and air quality
sherry August 09, 2011 at 04:02 PM
With each new post, Leroy, you twist and turn the truth to any way you desire. The Pechanga Casino does not pollute our air in Temecula, it has brought hundreds of jobs to Temecula, and untold $$$$$ for this community. Stick to the point of mining granite in our mountains, and NOT your problems in life
Leroy Achoy August 09, 2011 at 04:17 PM
From Pachanges website: January 7, 2011, Temecula, CA –More than 79,000 people descended upon Pechanga Resort & Casino in the two-day period of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Now that is a lot of cars to get that many folks to the casino. I guess they all got there on magic carpets according to the following comment: "sherry 8:58am on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 So you THINK the Pechanga Indians will mine the land in Temecula? Do you ALWAYS make up stories in your head Leroy? Funny because they never ever mined there before. Unlike yourself, there are many people who really care about their land, home and air quality" Even if they carpooled 4 to a car that is 20,000 cars, can you say air pollution? If you want clean air then you not only need to say no to the quarry but also to the casino as it is a major polluter in Temecula Are you willing fight to shut down the casino also to keep our air clean?
Cycletherapydoc August 09, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Cram it Granite say's , Granite receives 6.4 million dollars stimulus money in spite of fraud investigations by the dept. of justice see article titled 'stimulus funds aiding companies accused of fraud' in California Watch Aug. 9, 2010. Pay particular attention to Gary Johnsons quote "we've worked hand in hand with native populations" in regard to an Oregon DOJ investigation into a road project gone horribly wrong. Ask the natives of that region what they think of Granite. Wake up Riverside Planning Commission, you will be committing political suicide if you approve this mine the size of Prominade mall
Sarah August 09, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Leroy wants it both ways - new jobs, but no more traffic! Leroy, those 20,000 cars and 79,000 people brought HUGE tax revenues for our city, county and state and probably that one event employed more people than the mine would employ in a year. You don't get it both ways - but Pechanga creates JOBS and REVENUES without POLLUTING our air and DAMAGING PROPERTY VALUES in our community. Your mine can't say the same. Again, what are you being paid by Granite to make all these ridiculous talking points? I notice you haven't bothered to answer that question....
Cycletherapydoc August 09, 2011 at 04:53 PM
Riverside county will be the "lead agency" if this project is approved. Riverside county is in the top 20 % of 'least compliant' counties in all areas of mining , in all of California. This fact is from our state mining and geology board report by Stephen Testa...cram it granite.
Leroy Achoy August 09, 2011 at 05:06 PM
sherry commented on the article Granite Construction Fights Back "With each new post, Leroy, you twist and turn the truth to any way you desire. No I state facts The Pechanga Casino does not pollute our air in Temecula, So 20,000 car on New Years did not cause any Air Pollution? it has brought hundreds of jobs to Temecula, and untold $$$$$ for this community. How many of those jobs pay $60-130k ? Stick to the point of mining granite in our mountains, and NOT your problems in life" I am not posting about my life, I am not sure what you mean by this last statement.
Sarah August 09, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Leroy - get a life. Seriously. I googled your name and you apparently make a full-time job of rabble-rousing and stirring up trouble with extremist views on numerous Patch sites around socal and the country. Kind of a let-down for a former surf stud... all washed up now? Please stop hating everyone... find a charity and do some non-profit work (the Pechanga tribe does lots - perhaps you could help with one of their projects), or do SOMETHING besides venting your poison online.
Popeye August 10, 2011 at 03:39 AM
Interesting, 100 jobs. That would not add a .001 percent, therefore that statement does not fly. Now an employer that can add 10000 jobs in Temecula only, would be a good talking point.
Popeye August 10, 2011 at 03:43 AM
My perspective those are low paying jobs. You need to check Temecula's medium household income. At the high end, which Granite is stating, I would have to sell my home
Popeye August 10, 2011 at 05:29 AM
It sound like Bill Waggner Union is a HATE group and needs some investigation.
Curt McDowell August 10, 2011 at 04:32 PM
The reason Pechanga took this step is because Granite keeps trying to ram this project down our throats. I spoke to representatives from Pechanga and asked them and they have always communicated to Granite that they do not want this project at all.
Cik Bast August 12, 2011 at 02:25 PM
This issue should have far less to do with Indians and much more about community. And if grandma is stupid enough to turn herself into a bag lady, she should be committed.
Cheryl Williams August 16, 2011 at 09:29 AM
Will the City Planners shove this down our throats as obama did his damaging health care? They don't give a shit about the truth have you not seen that over and over. I support the Pachanga Indians at least they have the guts to stand up and fight for what is right, not like the spinless so call "City and County Officials". We must take our cities and country back and get rid of the corruption everywhere.
Peter Terezakis September 01, 2011 at 06:28 AM
This afternoon's meeting reaffirmed my faith in our political system. Not because there was an election or that elected officials made decisions (these are all appointees). It was because responsible members of the community which would have been impacted by this project were heard above the sound of Granite's money. I have just re-read this article, I realize what I initially found troubling. Quoting the Granite Construction PR person as an authority: " The bill would ultimately enact a wide-sweeping ban on all California mining operations, Reuther explained. " and "The Pechanga tribe should expect a warm reception in Sacramento where over the past few years they have spent millions of dollars in contributions and lobbying, Reuther added." Why not just print Granite Construction Corporation's press release for them? What happened to the facts? Granite has spent close to $10 million dollars on this project to date - without buying land or breaking ground. According to Ms. Schulte's perspective, the Pechanga - and by virtue of association the City of Temecula and the neighboring communities - are corrupt. It's great to have a dissenting view; that makes for interesting reading. But not quoting the facts, printing spin for a multi-billion dollar company, that's just wrong.
Jerry Simeon September 01, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Let the creatures of the Mountain and the people sing, dance, and rejoice together. We DO NOT exist because of technology. IT exists, thrives, progresses, and endures because we do. ... The sword has been extracted from the Stone. Can we now say that a sleepy hollow called Temecula can "wag the dog" and champion the cause of the people?
Peter Terezakis September 01, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Yesterday was a good win for certain! But Granite has already indicated that they will appeal: http://www.swrnn.com/2011/08/31/liberty-quarry-dealt-setback-with-rivco-planning-commission-vote-to-deny-permit-issue-now-moves-to-board-of-supes/ We had a victory yesterday. But the war is still on. We will need AB 742 and/or possibly something else to get Granite out of the area. Please sign the petition here: http://sacredskysacredearth.com/ab-742/ and let the elected know that non-Native Americans and Native Americans alike support this bill. After you sign there is a link to post on FB or Tweet which is a great way to spread the word. Meanwhile, I can't help but enjoy the irony that the discussion generated by a pro-Granite Quarry article has generated so much anti-granite sentiment.
Rich Loomis September 01, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Let me say that it is apparent, we the people of these United States are not the same, or treated the same equally. Because what the Lawyers can do with a big budget is apparent and money from the Tribe separate us as Citizens. I feel it is time now since we have given them their ways of earning big money, that we now have our day in court so to speak. Last night was proof to me that the members of the Planning Commission caved. This is not a free World, but money makes it happen that is for sure.
Cheryl Williams September 01, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Calling upon Unions now? Wow the corruption is load and clear as if it wasn't there before. We must not let Liberty destroy Temecula regarless of the Political strings they pull, kinda reminds ya of the traitor Obama doing anything and everything to get his was illegal and/or corrupt or not, WAW, WAW! WAW! How much more sickening and obvious will it get?
sherry September 01, 2011 at 06:48 PM
DUH Leroy, Pechanga casino is here in Temecula, and the air is good, stupid Leroy. YOU think one weekend of cars polluted the air in Temecula, as compared to what the failed quarry would have done to our air quality????? DUH
Jerry Simeon September 01, 2011 at 08:10 PM
If you don't mind me saying..... that is a statement that only a spoiled brat would make after losing at marbles. This community is comprised of a spectrum of individuals and families of many races and creeds. We were brought together for a common purpose against a common enemy who would do us harm in perpetuity. For eons, Indians too have handled their problems by joint Chiefs coming together for council. Yes, entertainment and gifts were a part of the etiquette for people who traveled far from home and remained until solutions could be attained. This has been adopted by this society along with many other customs to this date. Many misuse the process for personal gain. The only gain I see here is by the people of the city of Temecula and the county of Riverside.
Jerry Simeon September 01, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Cheryl, please get a grip !! Anyone who will not respect the most educated team of people I've ever seen come together at one time in this government must be a Republican fanatic or disassociated from reality. This nation has a lot of recouping, recovery, and rebuilding to do caused by the decisions of the past administration. This is evidenced too by the retorts of everyone concerning Cheney's "memoirs"... or haven't you heard? Bush wouldn't comment because he's busy selling his own book.
Popeye July 27, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Granite the Terrorist group is back to terrorize the citizens again!!!

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