Toyota

Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon



Saturday, August 29, 2009

Re-Test Not Just the Elderly

In July, CCT reported on efforts to re-test elderly drivers as a consequence of a series of accidents by elderly drivers the media is widely reporting.
.
As a result of two serious motor vehicle accidents, caused by younger drivers who were at fault, I sustained serious injuries.
.
In the first instance, the young man stated at the scene he had fallen asleep on a bright, sunny afternoon. In court, his attorney stated that he 'had a history of falling asleep unexpectedly' and was under a doctor's care, perhaps describing narcolepsy.
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In this case, shouldn't a doctor become a mandatory reporter of a condition that impairs driving ability?
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In the other instance, the driver went through a stop sign and later, became irate that she was 'at fault' because my vehicles struck hers.
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I met a young woman who had made a left turn across Route 44 in Raynham and cut off the flow of traffic because she believed she had the right of way. Not only was she seriously injured, but her children were in the vehicle with her and one child almost died.
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In each of those cases in which the driver was at fault, why not require mandatory driver training courses and road tests that the at fault driver fully funds?
.
The cost and inconvenience might, in itself, cause greater caution.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

West Bridgewater Cares

West Bridgewater Selectmen Chairman Matthew Albanese has spoken at public events I've attended in the past and I have been impressed by his well reasoned discussion, concrete arguments that are based solely on what's best for his community and the law.
.
When the Brockton Enterprise quoted Mr. Albanese, it came as no surprise --
.
The town has appealed a state ruling that gave a license to a proposed Brockton power plant, selectmen Chairman Matthew Albanese said Tuesday.
.
The 350-megawatt, gas- and diesel-burning plant would be built on the city’s south side near the West Bridgewater line.
.
... wrote that concerns about impacts from the plant on the town’s drinking water wells were “short shrifted from the onset.”
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“This left our town with no other option than to oppose the plant,” he wrote.
.
West Bridgewater is taking action do what's right and to protect its residents.
.
Does anyone know where Middleboro is?
.
Doesn't it always seem that a narrow-minded few in Middleboro protect their own vested interests and ignore all else?
.
Stop the Brockton Power Plant provides some good information.

The Dream Shall Never Die






This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American...will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

— Ted Kennedy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Middleboro Remembers

There is a great deal of news and commentary occuring in all things gambling that dictated segregating issues of personal interest.

Gambling issues will be posted on the site below --

Middleboro Remembers

Clearly, still a work in progress!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Something we don't talk about ....

In all of the "Green Issues" discussed and promoted, little comment is made about "Disposable Batteries."
.
Much like the plastic bag controversy, once it's eliminated from your life, it's mostly ignored.
.
We mostly addressed the issue years ago with rechargeables, but this article served as a good reminder -
.
.
Americans buy about three billion household batteries (about 10 per person) annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency—and nearly all of them end up in landfills. The next time you need to power up your gadgets, choose rechargeable batteries instead. Unlike disposable alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries can be reused hundreds of times,* which not only saves money and resources, but also reduces global warming pollution associated with battery manufacturing and transport. An independent study conducted for battery manufacturer UNIROSS estimates that using a disposable battery to create 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity has a global warming impact equivalent to driving a car 283 miles; using a rechargeable battery is equivalent to driving 10 miles.
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* The Double A Rechargeable for our digital camera are about 9 years old. We purchased 2 sets so that we could charge one when it was needed and one was in use, similar to other applications we commonly used. We don't have to remember to buy batteries or take the expended ones to the landfill. It seems much simpler.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Email Web Sites

Remembering a certain Middleboro Gavel Queen who protested that she didn't want her personal email web site to become public, and the rest of the Middleboro BOS protested that they didn't want to be bothered by emails from residents and taxpayers, the Bridgewater Selectmen don't seem to have the same problem --

[A Bridgewater resident] took the opportunity to comment on Kravitz’s [Chariman of the Bridgewater Board of Selectmen] previous comment that he does not have an active e-mail account with the town since he resigned his post as health agent in June.

[A Bridgewater resident] said all selectmen have e-mail accounts by virtue of their elected positions, but if Kravitz isn’t using his, people may call him on his cell phone.

How Simple?



The dirty-energy economy has brought pollution and poverty to too many. But a clean-energy economy can bring opportunity, health, and wealth to struggling communities. Clean-energy jobs such as weatherizing homes, installing solar panels, and manufacturing wind turbines will put people to work in their own communities.

Green For All

Friday, August 14, 2009

Greyhounds: videos too painful to watch

The videos of greyhounds hitting walls and dying for entertainment that has been outlawed by a statewide referendum are too painful to watch.

Massachusetts voters have spoken and it's time to respect their vote and protect the dogs.














Fourteen Greyhounds Suffer Broken Legs at Mass. Tracks in June, Most in Nearly Two Years





by Carey Theil



When voters overwhelmingly approved Question 3 last November, most citizens probably thought that the cruelty of dog racing would end right away. But nearly a year after the election, greyhounds are still suffering serious injuries at racetracks in our state. According to records that GREY2K USA just received from the State Racing Commission, fourteen greyhounds suffered broken legs at Massachusetts racetracks in June, the most in a single month in nearly two years. In total, sixteen greyhound injuries were reported for the month.



Carey Theil :: Fourteen Greyhounds Suffer Broken Legs at Mass. Tracks in June, Most in Nearly Two Years

For those of us who believe that dog racing is
cruel and inhumane, our strong preference would have been to end dog racing immediately. However, we wrote the Greyhound Protection Act as a 14-month phase out period to give track workers an opportunity to make a successful transition. This was a responsible approach, and we do not regret that decision. However, these latest injuries highlight the fact that the 14-month phase out was not a small compromise on our part. It is a compromise that literally has a real cost.



Nearly 900 greyhounds have now been injured in our state since 2002. The vast majority of these injuries involved broken legs, and other reported injuries include paralysis, death from cardiac arrest and head trauma. But these reports are not just statistics. They also tell the story of greyhounds that suffered and died at tracks in our state.



Dogs like Lazy K Jarvis, who died after running into a wall at Raynham Park on December 5, 2008 and suffering paralysis. Or Talsta, a three-year-old white and black greyhound who died after suffering cardiac arrest after a race at Raynham Park on January 19, 2009. Both of these dogs died after voters approved the Greyhound Protection Act, but unfortunately the new humane law was not able to help them. This fall, when some lawmakers inevitably call for the will of the voters on Question 3 to be undermined, we must remind them of these dogs.



Dog track workers have already been given a 14-month delay.





On January 1, the dogs will finally receive the consideration they deserve.





Greyhound Racing supporters offered this --



... commercial breeders and race organizers are looking for new locales, Coleman said, particularly overseas destinations lacking animal welfare regulations.



A Dogged Fight makes a good case!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Massachusetts Greyhound Racing

The Brockton Enterprise reports --


Cambridge author Matthew Pearl has weighed in against attempts to revive greyhound racing after the ban enacted last November. The best-selling author of “The Dante Club” and “The Poe Shadow” wrote a letter to Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, which read: “We are very troubled by reports of discussions of reviving greyhound racing through a bill regarding the casinos. I wanted to make clear my strong disagreement with any attempt by special interests or representatives to overturn the will of the voters reflected powerfully in the results of the Question 3 ballot initiative. Please continue to represent the interests of the state in providing a national example of progress in the treatment of domestic animals, rather than giving new life to the disgrace and embarrassment of the racetracks’ legacy of exploitation and greed.” ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Brockton Power Plant Not Needed?

When the Siting Board approved the Brockton Power Plant, the following comments were added --
.
[Board Member, Paul Hibbard] stated that the board doesn’t believe the power supply for Massachusetts and New England will suffer if the power plant isn’t built.

The other addition said that the board has no reason to believe that the construction of the power plant will ultimately reduce emissions.


$350 Million for a power plant that isn't needed?

Curious, indeed!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Twin River Bankruptcy: Greyhound Racing Dead

According to the Providence Journal --
.
The owners of the Twin River slot parlor intend to ask a federal bankruptcy judge to break their contract with the kennel owners who provide dogs for the greyhound races at the Lincoln gambling venue.
.
Lawyers for BLB Investors LLC, the track’s owner, were working on their legal filing late into Saturday night — as greyhounds raced around the track for perhaps the last time this year.


.

.... live dog racing attracts very few spectators, and the limited numbers that do attend races at Twin River do not spend [nearly enough] on food and beverage or [on video lottery terminals] to offset the actual costs of operating the racetrack,” the legal draft states.
.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON, on potentially the last day of racing,
.
about a hundred or so people,
.
mostly men,
.
spread themselves out among the tables and carrel-like tiers in the air-conditioned grandstand.
.
According to Clyde Barrow's own report presented to Senator Spilka's Casino Love Fest, Massachusetts resident are contributing --
.
Twin River/Newport Grand $210.8M [million]
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Mr. Barrow's report projects a steadily increasing rate of "MASSACHUSETTS MONEY GOING OUT OF STATE" even as evidence indicates declining revenues.
.
It sure is a quandary!
.






From the archives --
Watch the Numbers!
Job Creation: Minimum Wage Jobs?
RI Greyhounds Gone Saturday, Aug 8
Low Paying Jobs With "Racinos" or The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Unintended Consequences
Questioning figures?
Casino Gambling, Question #3 & Clyde Barrows
EXCERPT --
LAST LEGS comments --If the greyhound track were a sick patient, its prognosis would be grim.Overall revenues for the track have fallen all but one year since 1998, amounting to a 25 percent drop by 2007.
Meanwhile, records show the amount bet on live dog racing has plummeted by 61 percent over a decade, and it has made up a smaller percentage of the handle, or total amount bet, each year.

“It’s not doing as well as it once did, but that’s only because we haven’t allowed them to compete,” said state Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton.
State gambling expert the Rev. Richard McGowan, a Boston College business professor, predicted dog racing would likely be on the outs, even if Question 3 fails.“There’s a little bit of irony here,” McGowan said. “Even if they lose this vote ... there could very easily be no dog track because nobody is making any money off (them).”
Mega Barf Bark Time for Question #3
Move On!
Here We Go Again!
Time For A Natural Death
Reform? Where is it?
Vote YES on 3
A Dead Industry!
YES on Question 3
An Invitation to Corruption?
Just the facts, ma'am
The Racino Job Mythos
Twin Rivers Suspends Racing

Watch the Numbers!

Rhode Island's Greyhound Racing has been widely reported --

.
Supporters of the dog racing bill say it's necessary to save
.
225 jobs
.
-- including pari-mutuel clerks, bartenders and security workers.....
.
.
This is what was reported in RI Greyhounds Gone Saturday, Aug 8 ----
.
Twin River has handed out layoff notices to
.
9 full-time employees
.
and
.
18 part-time workers
.
in anticipation of Saturday’s scheduled suspension of dog racing at the Lincoln track.

.
That's 27 Twin River's employees. Where are the others? It certainly seems as if supporters overstate jobs.
.
The article further comments on the decline in other states --
.
New Hampshire's two remaining greyhound tracks won state permission last month to end live racing after waning interest from bettors.
.
About 30 tracks remain nationwide, down from a peak of about 55 in the early 1990s...

And this explains attempts to preserve greyhound racing in Massachusetts, after a statewide referendum banned it effective December 31, 2009 (no one says it better than Ms. Thiel) --

Another Skewed Poll by Barrow?

It seems that Cyde Barrow can always be counted on to conduct a skewed poll, with a small sampling, that raises questions to achieve the desired press release.


the number of respondents, 401, represents just 1 percent of the city’s voters and .4 percent of the city’s population

...the questions state it would be a “natural gas power plant” instead of it being fueled by natural gas and diesel fuel...


“The questions themselves are invalid since they pose incorrect information to base the choice on,” Stop the Power said in a prepared statement.
.

You don't suppose the questions included --
.

FACT:
During normal operations there would be only three (3) to seven (7) workers
at the proposed plant.
.

And did they include this information?

.
If They Build It, It Will Bring:

109 Tons per year Carbon Monoxide
10 Tons per year Hazardous Air Pollutants
85 Tons per year Particulate Matter
7 Tons per year Sulfur Dioxide
31 Tons per year Volatile Organic Compounds
107 Tons per year Oxides of Nitrogen
1,134,000 Tons per year Carbon Dioxide

1,600,000 Gallons

.
of Treated Sewage Water Mist
.
Into Our Air Every
.
single day

.
Brockton is already ranked
.
ninth (9th)
.
on the list of
.
environmentally overburdened
.
New England communities.
.
The Brockton Power Plant should be of concern to all of us living in a region with compromised air quality.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Health Care Rhetoric

Fellow blogger, Ryan Adams posted about the scam of health care reform misinformation including the video below that's worth viewing --






.

Omitted from the Republican ties to defeat health care reform is the connection of Koch to Cape Wind opposition.
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Last week, I had a lengthy conversation with a doctor and have his permission to share his experience.
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Since he's somewhat of a "maverick" in his profession, we'll just call him Doctor Smith.
.
Dr. Smith loves medicine, loves his patients and has fun doing so. His practice is organized so that it functions without being "high volume" (you know, the 2 minute "bum's rush" where the doctor writes a prescription or orders unnecessary tests, and says see you in 2 weeks.)
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Dr. Smith must be doing something right in the eyes of the Obama Administration because they actually contacted him.
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Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner's secretary called first thing in the morning and had an introductory hour long conversation with Dr. Smith. There was also a more lengthy conversation about the office practices and standard of care employed.
.

There was an invitation to a personal meeting and further discussion.

.

So, when this Administration publicly states that the system needs to change and they are talking to people, they are actually seeking out people and talking to them. They are seeking input and transferable practices to improve the health care process.

.

That's pretty impressive!

.

The system is broken, except for profitable insurance companies, and needs to change.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Job Creation: Minimum Wage Jobs?

Well funded casino cheerleaders repeat the goose step of sound bytes ---
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Job creation, revenue source, job creation, budget deficit, revenue source, yadda yadda yadda.
.
...the average annual salary of a racino employee is less than $14,000.

In conversation with Senator Pacheco, he has defended job creation in Raynham. Is this us?

...The drawback is that the average salary in that area actually falls because such new jobs require little or no formal training, and workers are easily replaceable. These new jobs pay little to nothing."

Is this want we need?

"The widespread attachment of gaming revenues to services in many states was designed to lessen opposition to gambling activities," ....

"However, the study clearly shows that policy makers in all states should consider the policy initiatives when considering adding gaming to racing tracks. In other words, what are the costs of adding more low-paying jobs while propping up the state budget or funding other programs?"

Marketing tactics such as Senator Pacheco labelling "Racino Legislation" as "Local Aid" ?
.
No where in the promotion of expanded gambling is anyone talking about the costs of enriching wealthy investors feeding at the public trough.
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Isn't it time for an impartial study commission to examine the actual costs so we can decide if this makes financial sense?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

RI Greyhounds Gone Saturday, Aug 8

Greyhound racing is scheduled to end this week in Rhode Island and the Providence Journal reports --

Twin River has handed out layoff notices to 9 full-time employees and 18 part-time workers in anticipation of Saturday’s scheduled suspension of dog racing at the Lincoln track.

“At this point in time we are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the end of racing on Saturday,” Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle said Monday. “This is it. This is the totality of jobs lost as a result of that suspension.”
.
This sounds suspiciously like the employment figures are overstated and the Governor was correct.
Remember --

...Twin River operator UTGR Inc., a BLB subsidiary, filed for federal bankruptcy protection....



This certainly makes it sound like racing has become a business being subsidized by others --
.
Park executives have blamed at least a portion of those financial problems on an agreement with the dog owners that requires them to pay a $9-million annual subsidy to the owners, despite estimates that racing only nets the facility $1.75 million per year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Low Paying Jobs With "Racinos" or The Mad Hatter's Tea Party

.... a new study has found that facilities that provide both racing and casino activities create low-paying jobs that depress salaries in surrounding areas.



So reports the Baltimore Sun.


.
The study, appearing in the latest issue of "The Journal of Economics," found that
.
the average salary of racino employee is less than $14,000 annually.




.
The Maryland equivalent of Clyde Barrows, James Karmel, an associate professor of history at Harford Community College and a consultant for the Maryland Gaming Association goes on to say ---

.

For instance, a recent report examining expanded gaming in Massachusetts, whose income and other economic indicators Karmel says are more comparable to Maryland than West Virginia, found that the average salary for employees is $35,000.
.
Pardon my confusion, by an ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE ?????
.
If expanded gambling doesn't currently exist in Massachusetts, how valid is the AVERAGE SALARY?

.

The article concludes with vast promises of construction jobs and permanent jobs with benefits, yada yada yada.

.

Sounds like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party to me.
.





.

FACT: 75% of jobs at casinos and racinos are low wage.

Unintended Consequences

In the course of listening to assorted viewpoints in the casino/slot/gambling issues, many of us have read a great deal, some of which allowed us to more fully focus our perspective.
In 2004, Gary Bauer wrote Unintended Consequences A Damaging Casino Culture that concludes with --
In other words, monetary benefits for Native Americans have been limited to only a few. In addition, David Yeagley of the University of Oklahoma, himself a Concoche Indian, points out that the idea of "money without labor is the fundamental flaw in the whole concept of the benefits that the gaming industry brings to Indian Country."
Indian gambling is not a case of a rising tide lifting all ships. It is a case of the undertow of greed washing the dreams and hopes of the truly needy back out to sea. In the name of fairness for both Indians and non-Indians, the time has come to draw the line on tribal gambling. We must look to the U.S. Supreme Court to rethink IGRA, and in so doing, restore fairness and sanity to a system that relies heavily on race-based quotas and phony presumptions — a system that has led to an explosion in tribal gambling, headed to a neighborhood near you.

MGM Mirage Posts $212.6 Million Loss

Bloomberg reported --

MGM Mirage, the biggest casino owner on the Las Vegas Strip, reported a $212.6 million second-quarter loss after a writedown and drop in gambling revenue.

The company sold $2.65 billion of stock and debt in May to remove the risk of bankruptcy.

Local Impact Program

ComCast will begin broadcasting --

Sue Kennedy's Local Impact Program
is scheduled to run Tues.
at 5pm and Thursday at 11:30am.

That is on Ch. 9 on Tue., and
Both Channels, 9 & 95, on Thursday. – show will run for a few weeks.

Ch. 95 goes to Lakeville & Freetown



This program was previously posted Great Show on why "Casinos are a Bad Bet"

Monday, August 3, 2009

You lost your voice!

Watching the democratic process get trampled in Middleboro, it might have been reassuring to depend on the State's Attorney General, who has done much good and is campaigning for higher office and trust that she would respect the importance of public input and transparency.
From a friend --
AG announces new legislation that will allow the framework for slots/casinos. Please see the co-sponsor list. She is the only Massachusetts AG that I am aware of to not oppose slots/casinos.
Looks like just another backroom deal fostered by predatory gambling interests.

Questioning figures?

The Boston Herald included this mind bending statistic from the amnesiac Clyde Barrows (who couldn't remember his most recent paid gambling job in Maine when asked during a public hearing) ---


Last year, Massachusetts residents accounted for 31 percent of the patrons at Foxwoods and 17 percent at Mohegan Sun, according to the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.


This is frankly, confusing!
.
Since CT reports Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have fallen by 7.5 percent to $736.4 million for the first six months of 2009 compared to $796 million, it's truly puzzling.
.
According to Claude's own report that he provided for legislators --
.
in his chart labelled "SPENDING BY STATE RESIDENTS AT CONNECTICUT RESORT CASINOS AND RHODE ISLAND AND MAINE SLOT PARLORS" for the year 2008, Massachusetts residents spent ---
.
Foxwoods/Mohegan Sun $709.0M [million]
Twin River/Newport Grand $210.8M [million]
Hollywood Slots $.6M
.
One of the striking statistics is that the State of Maine actually more than doubled their casino spending after Hollywood Slots opened. In other words, Maine residents continued to travel to CT and spend about $30 million per year. Curious indeed! Was that when Claude was campaigning to expand gambling in Maine?
.
Consider this --
In 2005, Claude reports that Maine residents spent $35.1 million in CT.
In 2006, Maine residents added $36.4 million at Hollywood Slots, still spending $33.1 million in CT.
In 2007, $43.8 million at Hollywood Slots. In CT, $32.7 million (and they also discovered RI that year and spent $.4 million).
.
Maine seems to make the argument that expanding gambling in Massachusetts won't "bring home the revenue."
.
Or maybe it raises questions about the figures. Where did the numbers come from?
.
Casinos are not the answer
Casino Gambling, Question #3 & Clyde Barrows
Gambling as Investment?
Hollywood Slots

Huh? What's Wrong With This Statement?

Therese Cha Ching Murray, Senate President was quoted as saying this in support of a Beacon Hill mad dash to support Predatory Gambling ---


“There’s still up to $900 million going out of the state to Connecticut and Rhode Island gambling facilities, and we’d like to capture that,” she said.

With consumers spending less money on gambling amid the economic downturn, Connecticut’s Division of Special Revenue reported that slot revenues at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have fallen by 7.5 percent to $736.4 million for the first six months of 2009 compared to $796 million for the same period last year.

Courtesy of Casino Cheerleader

Not so sure about a "quick fix" .....

The Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling offered --

[Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author] Taylor Branch, civil rights activist and historian, describes how casino gambling violates the American social contract. State-sponsored casino gambling invests in undermining citizen's trust ...



.
It's pretty interesting to make the case for those who don't want to pay taxes.


For those convinced that expanded gambling is a "quick fix," from NPR --

....there are so many steps that have to go through. So many things have to go right. So many things have to not occur, like no litigation, no zoning problems, it just isn’t going to happen.

Marsh says, based on his research, no state since 2000 has seen money make it to state coffers more quickly than 22 months.
.

NH Attorney General Opposes Slots

In June, as New Hampshire was considering predatory slot machines, the state's Attorney General Kelly Ayotte sent this strongly worded letter in opposition [emphasis mine] -



Letter from AG Ayotte to NH Senators: Say no to slots
Jun 3rd, 2009 by Jarret Bencks

The day before the New Hampshire Senate was set to vote on the state’s budget plan, which was amended in a senate committee to include installing 13,000 slot machines in the state as a source of revenue, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte sent the following letter to at least one New Hampshire Senator:

Dear Senator Gallus:

Tomorrow, you will be voting on HB 2, including an amendment that would enable the expansion of legalized gambling in New Hampshire, in the form of video gambling. I strongly urge you to preserve our quality of life and protect our status as the safest state in the nation by opposing this legislative effort.

The introduction of video gambling to New Hampshire brings with it social costs that far outweigh the potential financial benefits. While many can gamble responsibly, there is a segment of the population that cannot or do not, and the consequences affect all of us. It is well documented that when you bring video gambling to an area, the numbers of problem gamblers increases in that area. Studies show that the financial strain that results from problem or pathological gambling unfortunately leads to increased rates of bankruptcy, divorce, child abuse, and domestic violence. It also leads to an increase in crime. We have seen examples in NH and throughout the country of crimes driven by gambling debts, including crimes like stealing a parent’s social security checks, stealing an elderly couple’s checkbook and forging checks, stealing millions of dollars from investors, and even murder—all to support their gambling habits. The latest example is the Craigslist killer who investigators believe used the money he obtained from his crimes to feed a gambling habit. However, its not just about the sensational crimes, there is also the incredible strain placed on the families of problem gamblers.

We are at a critical juncture. What is at stake is not just about the short term financial difficulties we are experiencing as a state, but I hope that you will look at the long term impact on our quality of life in New Hampshire. The lure of potential revenue must be weighed against the costs to our communities and our citizens. As the State’s chief law enforcement officer, I feel strongly that this is the wrong direction for our State.
Sincerely, Kelly A. Ayotte


KAA/p Attorney General
- - - - - -
The senate is expected to vote on the $11.6 billion budget plan today.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cha Ching Murray does it again!


Senate President Therese "Cha Ching" Murray is quoted by casino cheerleader, Boston Herald as saying ---
.
“I’m told that gambling brings certain types of crime, such as money laundering and gang activity. We want to make sure that we have the regulatory authority to oversee whatever comes out of the Legislature.”
.
Oohhh?
.
Is that the first you've heard of crime -- after forming a well researched and informed decision to embrace expanded gambling? [insert sarcasm emoticon]
.
Can someone please tell "Cha Ching" about Jack Abramoff?
.
"Cha Ching" Murray proclaims that she has been meeting behind closed doors to discuss an issue that deserves and requires public input and transparency.
.
But it goes far beyond that. The Attorney General included in her statement, presented to Senator Spilka's casino love fest, that many of the laws that should be changed or have to be changed, should happen regardless of gambling.
.
Does that mean we have legislators too "...[fill in the blank]..." to amend the laws to conform with technological changes who seek a "quick fix" with gambling? What's the appropriate adjective if laws that should be changed are being ignored?
.
What is clearly revealed is the arrogance of leadership on Beacon Hill that got us to this place. Big Dig anyone?
.
It's difficult to be respectful when "Cha Ching" treats the residents of the Commonwealth like Mushrooms.
.
It's time for change. It's time to open the process to public scrutiny, facts and unbiased reports.
.
Truth to Power called for a Blue Ribbon commission -- free from casino money to report on the MONEY -- an accurate accounting of more than revenues -- the expenses including regulation, enforcement, prosecution, public safety, local impacts including schools and infrastructure.
.
.
"We believe that once you examine the facts, the revenue and expenses, and give casino/slots a fair examination, they should be opposed because we simply can't afford to subsidize wealthy investors."



Enterprise: Half Right!

The Mashpee Wampanoags have maintained that there will be a "Carcieri Fix," to which the Brockton Enterprise was referring - the SCOTUS decision in Carcieri v Salazar, but that's not the nail in the Indian Casino Coffin.
.
Here's what the editorial said --
.
The U.S. Supreme Court also threw up a major obstacle in February, ruling that newly recognized tribes — which include the Wampanoags — have no right to “sovereign” land.
.
The Hawaii decision was joined by 29 other states -- 30 states opposed the LIT process and were supported by SCOTUS. Quick fix? Don't bet on that one!
.
A report commissioned by neighboring Halifax has questioned the Wampanoag tribe’s claim to historical ties to Middleboro.
.
Huh? As carverchick points out, the Tribe included Mashpee 265 times, but Middleboro ZERO when seeking recognition. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe NEVER owned the land.
.
Lynch's (Halifax) report is 91 pages long, refutes Grabowski statement by statement with research and annotations. But casino opponents have stated this from the beginning.
.
Shawn Hendricks stated publicly the Middleboro location was chosen because of the land. Not heritage. Not roots.
.
When you build a House of Cards on a foundation of political payoffs, felons, corruption and allow yourself to be blinded by casino glitter without facts or a democratic process, nothing else can be expected.
.
It's good the Enterprise finally figured that part out.
.
What makes Beacon Hill believe NOW is the time for gaming as a source of revenue? Blinded by Casino Glitter?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Somerset, MA: Pauline vs. Dirty Coal

If you don't live in Massachusetts, you probably don't know how long residents have waited for the Filthy Five to be cleaned up while breathing the Dirty Air from Dirty Coal and suffering the consequences of Dirty Coal.

Pauline vs Dirty Coal
offers some local insight. Below, are additional links that provide some history.








Pauline lives in Somerset, Massachusetts, and she has one really dirty neighbor — an old coal-fired power plant.


Watch Pauline tell her story and to tell NRG — the New Jersey-based owner of this power plant — to keep its promise to Pauline and all citizens of the state by shutting down the Somerset Station (Montaup) plant, or repowering it with truly cleaner fuel. There are only four coal-burning plants left in Massachusetts. We can make it three.


Eight years ago, a broad coalition of activists and organizations across the state passed the "filthy five regulations" that would clean up the five dirtiest plants in the state, including Somerset Station (Montaup). Instead of modernizing the plant, NRG promised to shut it down or repower it with clean fuel by 2010.

Now NRG wants to break that promise it made to Pauline and the other residents of Somerset by repowering the plant with so-called "clean coal."

To make matters worse, NRG could potentially feed the plant with construction debris that contains toxic chemicals — further exposing residents to harm.


SourceWatch offers the statistics on NRG Energy --
NRG Energy, based in Princeton, NJ, is a wholesale power generation company with ownership in 47 coal, oil, and natural gas plants worldwide.

In May 2007, Forbes listed NRG CEO David W. Crane as receiving $12.29 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year, with a three-year total compensation of $18.49 million.

NRG sought to circumvent the Filthy Five regulations with a gasification process that will allow it to burn additional "waste."

On January 24, 2008, the final air permit for the Somerset plant was granted by the MA DEP. The DEP also told NRG that the station could continue to operate the plant as is for as long as it needs to; this counteracts the condition in the “Filthy Five” regulations that Somerset shut down or convert to a cleaner fuel by 2010.



Additional information --

MassPirg

EnvironmentMassachusetts provides a history, as well as this explanation --
The first-in-the-nation limits on global warming pollution from power plants were unfortunately weakened in 2005 by former Gov. Mitt Romney, soon after he backed out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). His changes opened new loopholes for plant owners to avoid actually reducing global warming emissions. Environment Massachusetts is working to make sure that, as he guides Massachusetts back into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Gov. Patrick undoes the damage done by former Gov. Romney.
HeraldNews

The Greatest Environmental Tragedy in American History: Dirty Coal


Although the health consequences of pollution and poor air quality and mercury contamination are not as readily visible, the scars of Mountain Top Removal are -