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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

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Comments

Joaquin_de_la_Mesa Jan. 2, 2012 @ 3:01 p.m.

More proof that we don't have big problems in the First World.

If you have time for a Soak In, consider yourself lucky.

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Don Bauder Jan. 2, 2012 @ 9:04 p.m.

I talked with one person who was sympathetic to the soak-in but was afraid of what the sheriff would do. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Jan. 2, 2012 @ 7:27 p.m.

Some of the former denizens of the Warner Springs Ranch appear to be upset and apparently believe that they were financially scalped by the Indians.

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Don Bauder Jan. 2, 2012 @ 9:06 p.m.

One of the big problems all along is that the members living in Los Tules and in the Lake Henshaw environs use Warner Springs Ranch all the time -- horseback riding, golf, swimming, etc. Those further away weren't getting their money's worth. The distant ones, generally, wanted to sell, and those nearby did not. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 3, 2012 @ 12:09 p.m.

This was one of the reasons why the Los Tules/Lake Henshaw crowd opposed sale to Pala. However, there is an Indian casino nearby that hasn't been doing well. Pala says it will not use the ranch -- which it considers sacred -- for a casino. The opponents are skeptical. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Jan. 3, 2012 @ 1:02 p.m.

Lets re-look at this in a few years ( or months ) depending on how it really works out.

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Don Bauder Jan. 3, 2012 @ 9:27 p.m.

Not a bad idea. Always good to check up on current claims after a few months or years. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Jan. 3, 2012 @ 8:30 p.m.

Sad to note that many tribes have allowed their sacred lands to be used for sand/gravel mining (meaning the sacred land is hauled away) or as landfill for white man's trash. Too often the land is sacred until it can be sold or converted to accommodate white man vices and misuse of land.

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Don Bauder Jan. 3, 2012 @ 9:28 p.m.

Since Pala was kicked out of Warner Springs area by the US government a century ago, the tribe says it is really sacred. Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK Jan. 4, 2012 @ 8:02 a.m.

Only sacred when they are not making money on the deal.

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Don Bauder Jan. 4, 2012 @ 1:36 p.m.

I'm not necessarily saying I agree with your sentiments, but your skepticism reminds me of an old prison adage. When a prisoner is converted to a religion while in the slammer, and gets out early, the words are "Born again until out again." Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 4, 2012 @ 2:09 p.m.

THE SOAK-IN DIDN'T MATERIALIZE. The protest group that said it would refuse to leave Warner Springs at the closing Jan. 2 did in fact leave without incident. "We did normal procedures for closing and everybody departed," says General Manager Shirley Perry. The protest "did not materialize." Warner Springs is now officially closed, but the escrow date has not been finalized and the date of the Pala tribe's occupation is not set.

"They offered people free drinks at the bar. That pacified [the protesters] and they left," says George Penman, who does not live in the Los Tules/Lake Henshaw area but is sympathetic to the protesters' views. "People are still upset. They are afraid they will get less for their shares" because of legal steps that have to be taken.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa Jan. 4, 2012 @ 4:07 p.m.

Why am I never around when free drinks are offered?

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Don Bauder Jan. 4, 2012 @ 8:40 p.m.

You are not around when free drinks are offered because, I suspect, you are not a panhandler. I think you can live without that designation, and without the free booze. Best, Don Bauder

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