Thursday, April 1, 2021

Vistoso Residents opine on the abandoned Vistoso Golf Course. Part 2. A Tohono O’Odham burial site and memorial.


Yesterday, LOVE published a speech giving by a resident during the March 17th Call to Audience regarding the abandoned Vistoso Golf Course. Today we are publishing a speech given by another resident that same evening with another take on the issue.
"My husband and I live in the Centre Pointe neighborhood. We back up to one of the beautiful, natural desert washes surrounding the golf course. We love the view and all the critters and we don’t want to see it developed.

In the work I do, I am in contact with the large elderly population of Oro Valley. As I was chatting with one of my clients about the recent golf course situation, they mentioned that they used to be on one of the boards of the Oro Valley government at the time the golf course was being built. I’m not revealing this person’s name here but I’m willing to disclose it to the mayor and council in private.

We talked about the artifacts that were found and sent to museums. I had read about that in old news articles. The next thing surprised me. This person said there was a burial site. It’s still there. It was moved from the original location to west of the clubhouse. The information about it will be in Oro Valley government records from that time.

This is what I think will be a wonderful negotiating tool. What developer will want to buy property that could potentially be an indigenous burial ground. All of a sudden, Romspen can’t claim that the property is so overly valuable. I would think that Mr. Solomon, particularly, would have a wealth of knowledge about this (Solomon nods his head yes) since he worked with indigenous people during development of his Rancho Moore property.

We need to find this exact location from the old records. If that is not possible, call the Tohono O’Odham tribe. (Solomon shakes his head no). We also need to check to see if anything was promised to the tribe when they signed off on the burial site. For example, is Oro Valley supposed to inform them if the golf course is ever sold or developed? I imagine they would prefer open space as opposed to development.

Thank you for listening to my idea. I can envision a memorial to the tribe when this open space has been secured. I see a life-sized image of an indigenous man, woman, girl, and boy. They will be remembered by everyone who walks on the path."

Janice Friel
Oro Valley Resident