Image provided by: The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; Warm Springs, OR
About Spilyay tymoo. (Warm Springs, Or.) 1976-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 11, 2004)
University of Oreqon Library
Received oni 11-18-0
Warm Springs, OR 97761
Coyote News, est. 1976
November 11, 2004 Vol. 29, No. 25
Center was the
scene of a great
handed out the
At right, young
gets ready in
A General Council meeting is set for
Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the Simnasho
Longhouse. The focus of discussion is
the 2005 tribal budget. Dinner is at 6
p.m. with the meeting to begin at 7.
The following day, the Tribal Coun
cil is scheduled to review the proposed
2005 budget, and the public comments
on the proposal. So far there have been
district meetings and one General
Council meeting on the upcoming bud
get. " The Council values public input
during the budgeting process, in deter
mining the appropriation for 2005:
, By Brian Mortensen
From the cars that tribal employees
might drive to Portland, to emergency
vehicles, to garbage trucks, someone
has to keep them all running. Keith
Moody and his staff at the Warm
Springs Vehicle Pool do just that.
The four-person mechanic staff at
the Vehicle Pool garage works on the
tribal fleet of 97 automobiles.
The vehicles range in size and in use,
from Ford Focuses to the garbage
trucks, to four-wheel drives and high
performance automobiles like police
.cars and ambulances. Some of the en
gines run on gasoline, others on diesel.
The number and variety of automo
biles keep Moody and his staff very
; "We're all-around mechanics - any
thing that comes through the door, any
day," said Moody. "We'll be working on
a fuel pump one day, tearing out a rear
axle the next, and then work on clutches
Moody is a certified journeyman
mechanic, as is Vehicle Pool mechanic
Ernel Scott. Moody also has an Asso
ciate of Applied Sciences degree in
Another on the staff, Levi
Herkshan, will receive Auto Service
Excellence (ASE) certification Nov. 18.
Gordon Scott, a young mechanic who
is a college student, also has an
associate's degree in automotive tech
nology. Moody says working on a fleet of
vehicles with so many different de
mands requires a sort of assembly-line
"We do a good job for people, but
if you were doing a clutch at home and
you finished it, you'd be like, 'All right!,"
he said. "But here, it's 'Good job, but
move it out of the way and let's get the
r V V
m v.. v
"Tribal Council needs your input be
fore Council makes final decisions and
takes action to approve a final budget
plan for 2005," said Council Chairman
Ron Suppah in his budget-notice letter
to tribal members. The letter states that
tribal government will continue to try
and balance the essential community
needs with the revenue base. "We know
the importance of essential services to
each tribal member, and are working
to make every effort to minimize im
' pacts on services and tribal member '
employment, and to fairly distribute any
i .4 I
Keeping the tribes rolling
mechanics maintain a fleet of 97 tribal automobiles
If you see uniformity in the vehicles
in the tribes' Vehicle Pool, it's because
they're all Fords. Moody said this gives
his mechanics a point of reference with
every vehicle they work on, whether a
Ford or some other model.
"It makes it a lot easier for my guys
to learn," he said. "Once you learn this
one system and the way it's designed,
then you can associate it with another
vehicle, and how that's supposed to
work compared to a Ford."
While every department needs its
vehicles as soon as possible, public
safety vehicles - ambulances, police
cars and fire trucks - always take pre
cedence. But Moody and his staff
work hard to keep all the tribes' ve
hicles on the road. "I give my guys hats
off," said Moody.
In addition to the mechanical work,
the Vehicle Pool provides tires, fuel and
credit cards for use by tribal employ
ees. The Vehicle Pool also stands by with
24-hour, on-call service.
When tribal vehicles are used off
the reservation, travel authorization is
issued to whoever uses the check-out
vehicle. The travel authorization helps
the vehicle pool staff keep tabs on lo
cation of the vehicles. The mechanics,
after all, might have to go where the
vehicle ends up, if it gets stranded.
"We provide vehicle users with the
necessary phone numbers of who to
call, when they're on travel," said
Moody. "We'll have it towed to a place
where we can talk to other mechanics.
And if need be, we'll send our mechanic
out to wherever they are. I've been on
calls when I've actually been out of
state," he said.
The Vehicle Pool has a trailer it can
use to tow disabled vehicles back to
the garage, located at the Industrial
Park. The Vehicle Pool can even send
out another vehicle to replace a car
downed in the midst of a road trip.
Tribes and governor close to
casino agreement, reports say
News sources in The Dalles and
Portland indicate that negotiations to
place a tribal casino in the Columbia
Gorge may be nearing a positive con
clusion. According to the Portland Tribune,
the Confederated Tribes of Warm
Springs and Gov. Ted Kulongoski are
nearing agreement on a deal that would
allow construction of a resort and ca
sino at Cascade Locks.
In late October, Kulongoski told an
audience made up of local officials in
The Dalles that negotiations are "com
ing closer to fruition."
Details of the ongoing negotiations
are confidential, but Marian
Hammond, a spokesperson for the
governor, assured reporters the discus
sions are going well.
On October 29, The Dalles
Chronicle quoted Kulongoski as saying,
"The tribes need another revenue
source, this casino is a major revenue
source that they desperately need."
The Confederated Tribes have been
talking with representatives from the
governor's office as part of an ongo
ing effort to build a casino in the Co
The tribes own property in Cascade
Locks and Hood River, and experts say
the most lucrative site would be the one
closest to Portland. Unfortunately, tribal
lands in Cascade Locks suitable for a
casino are not in trust status, requiring
approval from the governor in order -to
The tribes and the city of Cascade
I V ' 'A
Keith Moody, Warm Springs Tribes Vehicle Pool Manager, watches while
mechanic Ernel Scott works on a four-wheel drive at the Vehicle Pool
The Vehicle Pool also provides fuel Moody said that all vehicles of the
to the fire hall and substation in Warm Springs Vehicle Pool fleet are
Simnasho, as well as the new building running, but that wasn't the case when
at Seekseequa. he started four years ago.
"His main concern in the
negotiations is that the ca
sino would be in the best
interest of the public. He
has said that he does not b
believe a casino in Hood
River would be in the best
interests of the community. "
Locks both stand to make a consider
able amount of money if a casino is
built in Cascade Locks.
And both parties are anxious for a
settlement, because both entities have
been hard hit by the state and the
region's ailing economies.
Terms are confidential
Tribal consultant Len Bergstein says
Kulongoski has assigned several of his
top staff members to work on the
agreement, indicating a great deal of
importance has been placed on this is
sue. Bergstein also believes there are ef
forts being made to conclude the ne
gotiations in the foreseeable future.
"I think everybody has an interest
in getting this done before the end of
the year," said Bergstein.
State officials have acknowledged
the- importance of a Gorge casino in
rebuilding the tribal economy, but they
also recognize the need to locate any
- yy f
significant new structures in such a way
as to lessen visual and environmental
Cascade Locks is located in the heart
of a nationally designated scenic area.
The governor "recognizes the eco
nomic benefit that the casino would
have to the tribes," said spokesperson
"His main concern in the negotia
tions is that the casino would be in the
best interest of the public. 1 Ie has said
that he does not believe a casino in
Hood River would be in the best inter
ests of the community."
Residents in Hood River have been
vocal in their opposition to a casino
there, but Cascade Locks has welcomed
the tribes with open arms.
Specific terms of the negotiations
remain confidential, but sources from
both parties agree the process is mov
When a final agreement is reached,
the two parties will make a joint an
nouncement. The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort casino's
earnings are small compared to the
business that a casino in Cascade Locks
The Warm Springs tribes opened the
casino at Kah-Nee-Ta in 1995.
In 1998, the casino earned $2.9 mil
lion and provided 70 jobs.
With a casino at the Gorge, Kah-Nee-Ta
would no longer operate a full
casino, but would instead have bingo
and class 2 games.
"We always provide employ-
ment for summer youth. We
also train individuals who
want to pursue a career in
"When I first got here, there were
27 vehicles broken down," he said. "We
got them cleaned up and running to
where they're safe."
Moody was an apprentice at the
Vehicle Pool in the 1980s. He then held
a number of different positions before
returning to the Vehicle Pool four years
ago. He is a certified nurse's assistant,1-
and was a community health represen-
tative (CHR) for the tribes.
After a stint in the military, he
worked in the fisheries area of natural
"And I worked my way up," he said.
"I worked mechanic-ing around, did
my own thing. Then they needed some
body here, and they had a job adver
tisement. I was working as a CHR at
the time. I've been here ever since, and
it's been four years."
Moody also has his own garage at
his home in Simnasho. He rebuilds Ford
Mustangs as a hobby.
While the mechanics work on the
cars in the garage, Graceline Spino
serves as the Vehicle Pool office man
ager. The Vehicle Pool receives its entire
inventory of parts from local busi
nesses, including Miller Ford and Napa
Auto Parts in Madras, as well as Les
Schwab Tire Center in Madras.
Earlier this year, Moody taught a
class in mechanical systems, for begin
ners or people considering automotive
work as a profession.