CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION
ATT: MEG VAUGHN
SOUTH COAST AREA OFFICE
200 OCEANGATE, SUITE 1000
LONG BEACH CA 90802-4302
I have been informed that the development named "The Ridge", built by Hearthside Homes, in Bolsa Chicamesa/Huntington Beach, has attained a zone change or variance that is allowing them to dig up and remove historical human remains and historical Native American artifacts.
Basically, they are digging up an old Tongva cemetery. This happened in Playa Vista, and the upshot was that the corpses and their religious artifacts were separated, and the artifacts were delivered to museums. This is grave-robbery. It is illegal and must be stopped.
The cemeteries of the Tongva are a signficant cultural resource not only for the Tongva, and all Native Americans, but all Americans. These are the ancient people of the area, who have been here for millennia. They are the "Mission Indians".
The City of Huntington Beach has re-zoned five acres of cemetery from "Preservation" to "Development". I suggest that the Coastal Commission and the State of California try to conform to the spirit of the Federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and intervene to stop the building.
Did you know that under NAGPRA, over 30,000 human corpses have been repatriated to their tribes? That is horrifying, that our museums (and tax dollars) were used to maintain human bodies as archeological artifacts, while their descendents begged for decades to have their relatives returned home for a proper re-burial. Will the dead ever have their peace?
Now, for the worship of the dollar, we have a housing developmen company expanding their footprint, and it has led to the removal of human bodies. If these bodies (and related artifacts) end up in an institution with Federal funding, they will be required to return the bodies (and artifacts). What kind of folly are these developers undertaking? They are wasting our tax money, and probably doing something that eventually leads to a museum breaking the law. Do not allow the continued excavation. Scale back the project. http://www.nps.gov/nagpra/FAQ/INDEX.HTM