This post on http://www.thearizonareport.com helps build realtor David Meek’s credibility as an authority on land use history in the Phoenix area

A Pima/Tohono O’odham woman in a fallow cotton field near the 101 freeway on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.
A Pima/Tohono O’odham woman in a fallow cotton field near the 101 freeway on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.

LOOP 101 101: HOW ONE MAN STALLED THE FREEWAY FOR 8 YEARS, AND CHANGED A TRIBE FOREVER

In the early 1980’s the eastern leg of the Loop 101 Pima Freeway finally seemed about to happen. The money was there, the project was prioritized, and everyone knew it would run down Pima Road.

But there was one teensy little hitch in the form of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, 8,000 “mostly impoverished” (according to the Arizona Republic) people, led by their heretofore unknown President, Gerald Anton.

The tribe in 1982 was nothing like the flashy corporation of today, hosting casinos, a major resort, regional tourist attractions, major league spring training, and shopping venues for well-to-do East Valley residents.  It’s most prominent commercial feature was the ramshackle Makil’s Smoke Shop on McDowell Road.  Thriving, it was not.

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