So NASA owns this land up between the Simi and San Fernando Valleys, part of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, which is incredibly tainted from decades of rocket fuel testing and a partial nuclear meltdown. Part of that land includes the Burro Flats Painted Cave, which has ceremonial Native American cave paintings that are possibly 1,000 years old (it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places). The LA Times reports: "On the first day of winter, a shaft of light illuminates a design resembling a target; some researchers believe it was used in a ceremony marking the winter solstice." The neighboring Chumash tribe would now like to buy that piece of land that includes the cave, concerned that the thorough cleanup going on at the site will harm the well-preserved cave paintings, but neighbors are freaked out that they're going to pull a fast one and put up a casino, which doesn't sound like a racist argument at all. A rep for the tribe says that they want to protect the land and might try to build a cultural center, but that they wouldn't even annex it to their reservation, which they'd have to do to build a casino. The federal General Services Administration has indicated it's willing to sell the site.
· At polluted Santa Susana lab site, sacred cave attracts tribe's bid [LAT]
· Santa Susana Nuclear Site's Toxic Dirt to be Shipped to Utah [Curbed LA, image via]