This is the e-mail sent by an official at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station to all base personnel last week. Information from this message was included in this story published Wednesday.
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 3:07 PM
To: NFIAP-ARS Basewide
Subject: FOR SITUATIONAL AWARNESS ONLY - NATIVE AMERICAN THREAT
SUMMARY: New York State (NYS) Governor (Gov) David Paterson on Thursday, 26 Aug 10 promised to finally start collecting taxes on cigarettes sold by Native American stores, despite NYS Police warnings that such enforcement could result in "violence and death."The state plans to collect a $4.35 (per-pack) sales tax on cigarettes sold by Native American retailers to non-Indian customers beginning next Wednesday, 01 Sep 10. Tribes have refused to collect the tax, citing their sovereignty and treaties dating to 1794. The last time the state tried to collect the tax, in 1997, protests erupted and tires were burned on the NYS Thruways, shutting down a 30-mile stretch. Gov. Patterson stated "There will be quite an uprising and protest to this, but I am going to maintain this policy". The NYS Police urged over and over again that there could be violence and death as a result of some of the measures taken. Seneca Indian Nation President Barry Snyder has repeatedly said "violence is not on our agenda," but the nation's leadership acknowledges that some of the tribe's more than 7,000 members might disagree. Many smokers drive to reservation retailers in New York to buy cigarettes at nearly half-price. Reservation stores sold more than 24 million cartons of cigarettes in 2009, about 1 out of every 3 packs sold in the state.
ADVISORY: Base personnel are known to frequent Native American business establishments. Due to the increased threat it is strongly recommended personnel limit their travels in and around Local Reservation areas (Tuscarora, Allegany, Irving) to include Native American operated casinos. If travel through these areas is unavoidable, members should maintain heightened situational awareness to malicious activity. Those personnel who patron Native American retailers should remain cognizant of the current threat and report any adverse activity to the NYS Police or the closest servicing law enforcement agency. Personnel should not engage or interact with malevolent activity and immediately vacate to seek haven.
"Awareness + Commonsense = Reduced Risk"