Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Warner Springs Ranch, which is to close today at 4 p.m. so that it can be sold to the Pala Band of Mission Indians, is meeting resistance from minority members. A group of people who have opposed the sale all along will have a "soak-in," occupying a hot springs pool and refusing to leave.
The protesters are mainly from nearby Los Tules and the Lake Henshaw area -- people who use the resort frequently. Members from further away have led the effort to sell the facility to Pala. Among other things, the dissidents complain that they have to pay January dues even though the place closes today and escrow doesn't close until later this month.
General Manager Shirley Perry says that members will be billed for January despite the closing."We have to take our steps and precautions that we need to [take]," she says. "This is a business, we are closing the business at 4 p.m.; we hope [the protest] will be peaceful; we hope people see reason." The sheriff may be summoned, say dissidents.
David Barrett, who lives near Lake Henshaw and has battled the board for a long time, is leading the protest. "We will refuse to leave," he says. "This should not be closed until escrow closes."
Pictured: view at Los Tules