Posts Tagged ‘Brightwater’

John Earl

Native Americans and supporters march along the "Wall of Death" (named for the glass wall in background that has caused the death of wild birds) to protest the destruction of sacred burial grounds and one of the most important archaeological sites in North America the first Saturday of each month at the Brightwater housing development (start 10 a.m. at Bolsa Chica and Warner). Photo: John Earl

By Flossie Horgan
OC Voice guest columnist

Native American Discoveries at Brightwater, upper Bolsa Chica Mesa

Issues concerning the archaeological excavations at Brightwater continue to grow. In a letter dated April 8, 2008, to the California Coastal Commission, the Native American Heritage Commission Larry Myers states “The NAHC remains concerned about the Brightwater- Bolsa Chica Project. The NAHC has not received a report clearly showing the dates, locations and details of burial discoveries. At this point based on information available and the large number of burials recovered and associated items, it appears that the whole area may be a burial ground.”

We have learned:

  • The reburials of the human remains were far more than “bone fragments” as conveyed by the coroner reports. Burials of “the ORA 85 people” are not a few bone fragments.
  • The archaeologist for the developer has confirmed that “the 22 cogged stones found at the ‘house pit’ of an apparent Shaman or tribal leader are clearly associated grave goods.”
  • Over 100,000 artifacts
  • 4,217 artifacts found during the grading monitoring on ORA 83
  • 83 prehistoric features uncovered with the burials
  • 1,622 artifacts found during the grading monitoring on ORA 85
  • 87 human “bone concentrations” need to be reburied (more…)

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By Scott Sink
OC Voice Staff Writer

Motorists passing through Huntington Beach may see local Native Americans and concerned residents picketing in front of the Brightwater housing development, built by Hearthside Homes, on Bolsa Chica and Warner.

The protesters are denouncing the building of houses upon an 8,500 year old village site, which includes at least 174 human burials.

“We’re trying to make people aware about what’s going on here,” said Paul Moreno, an organizer of the event from the Micmac Nation. “What has been done here isn’t right. Developers have destroyed 90 percent of Orange County’s sacred sites.”

Although the Coastal Commission approved the building permit in April of 2005, a broad-based coalition of indigenous peoples and environmentalists contend that Hearthside did not comply with the laws protecting sacred sites and archaeological remains. (more…)

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Native Americans Lose Sacred Site to Developer
‘What are you suggesting we do,’ CEO asks

By John Earl, Scott Sink and Rashi Kesarwani
OC Voice


Hearthside Homes CEO Edward Mountford angrily denied reports that the company had uncovered 87 ancient Native American burial remains since breaking ground in June of 2006 on its planned 356 unit Brightwater housing project or had failed to report them the Orange County Coroner’s office in a manner required by California law.

Brightwater is on 105.3 acres of land on the upper bench of the Bolsa Chica Mesa in Huntington Beach.

“It was all reported on time, according to the regulations,” Mountford told the Voice.

Mountford’s denial came despite a leaked company memo showing that 87 “human bone concentrations” along with 4,217 artifacts, some of which were directly associated with the burials, were uncovered “during the grading monitoring” on a 11.8 acre section of the Hearthside property known as ORA-83.

The memo was first revealed by Flossie Horgan, Executive Director of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, a locally based group dedicated to restoring the Bolsa Chica wetlands. Even with the memo, however, it is still not clear if the remains were reported to the coroner or not; presumably, the coroner may have had the information but failed to report it to the Native American Heritage Commission within 24 hours as required by law. (more…)

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