The tribe's refusal to agree to use of Robinson Bay for a proposed $21 million aquarium has forced supporters to look elsewhere. In a letter to Daniel F. Sullivan, chairman of the St. Lawrence Aquarium & Ecological Center, released July 12, the tribal council said it supports the project but the site was "unacceptable" because it is affected by a tribal land claim pending in federal court. Rowena General, tribal spokeswoman, wouldn't tell the Watertown Daily Times if Robinson Bay were part of negotiations underway in the tribe's 15,000-acre claim which includes Barnhart Island and parts of the village of Massena. She said the bay would be affected by the outcome. Francis D. Jock, the tribe's representative to the aquarium board, said there are cultural interests that needed to be protected. The 25 acres at Robinson Bay, proposed for the aquarium, are owned by the New York Power Authority but tribal agreement is needed because of the land claim. Sullivan said other sites are available, that this is a snag but not a big problem. The $23 million from the power authority is contingent upon the aquarium being completed by 2004. Officials hope to have it finished a year early.
A Georgia man was sentenced to nearly two years in prison for illegally shipping liquor to the reservation to be smuggled onto the Canadian black market. Griffin Stocks III, 38, St. Simons Island, Ga., was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine. Stocks pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by evading income tax and shipping the liquor for smuggling. He was being supplied by Jenkins Distilled Spirits Corp., Londonderry, N.H., which pleaded guilty in January to aiding and abetting the illegal introduction of liquor onto Indian territory from 1997 through 1999.