Saturday, June 19, 2010

Times continues Suffolk lovefest

The East Boston Times continues to shill for Suffolk Downs as the track moves forward on its quest to bring expanded gambling to the Eastie/Revere line. In a front-page story this week, Times' new favorite son Chip Tuttle, Suffolk's chief operating officer, is quoted extensively from his appearance at a recent public hearing -- and between his quotes the newspaper itself sounds like a Suffolk press release.

Though three people who support the gambling proposals are mentioned in the story by name -- Tuttle, State Sen. Anthony Petruccelli and Teamsters leader Sean O'Brien -- no one opposed to the idea is named or quoted directly. There are exactly two sentences in the story that express a contrary opinion and in both cases the people holding those opinions are referred to as "some." For example: "Expanded gaming or full scale resort-style casino’s in the Commonwealth are not going to be as epidemic as crack was in the 1980s as some suggested at the public hearing."

Yes, that is an undoctored sentence from the story (and the spelling and punctuation errors are the newspaper's, not mine.) The Times would have us believe that fear of a crack epidemic is the best argument that those against a rush to casinos have. It is, of course, a commonly used tactic: rebut the most far-fetched opposition argument you can so as to divert attention from smart, solid arguments.

Why won't the East Boston Times dedicate some space to a real discussion of an issue that is of huge importance to this neighborhood?

3 comments:

Mark said...

This is the least discussed local news story right now. I guess we shouldn't expect more in it's own backyard. Shameful.

Matthew said...

FYI - from the Neighbors for Neighbors website:

The East Boston Times is sponsoring and Editor Joshua Resnek will be moderating a forum on the benefits and disadvantages of building a resort-style casino at Suffolk Downs.

The event will be held on June 30th at 6:30 PM at Sacred Heart Church Hall. Both sides of the casino debate will be represented. The proponents will be represented by Frank Callahan, President of the Building and Trades Council and Jay Ash, Chelsea City Manager. The opposition will be represented by Tom Larkin, a licensed psychologist and a member of the Board of Directors of United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts and John Ribeiro, a concerned, lifelong East Boston and Winthrop resident and member of the newly founded, Neighbors of Suffolk Downs.

Each side will present their point of view on the subject. Local politicians will be provided an opportunity to present their views. And the public will be invited to ask questions of the panel.

The State’s House of Representatives has already passed their version of legislation allowing casino gambling in Massachusetts and the Senate is formulating their version. One public hearing was held and there are no plans to hold any others before the end of this legislative session.

One side promises jobs and a much needed boost to the sagging Massachusetts economy. The other is concerned about the social cost to families, the negative impact on businesses and the expected increase in traffic. This promises to be a lively and spirited debate on an issue that will shape the Massachusetts economy for generations.

www.NeighborsofSuffolkDowns.org

Suffolk Downs Neighbor said...

When I approached Josh Resnek about sponsoring a casino forum in East Boston he eagerly jumped at the opportunity and promised full and complete support if I could bring both sides to the table.

Local politicians and Suffolk Downs management were invited to present on the proponent's side but have yet to let me know if they will be attending.

Two other proponents from outside of the community will make their case: Jay Ash, the Chelsea City Manager and Frank Callahan, President of the Building and Trades Council.

At this point, I have more questions than answers. Questions that need to be answered before a casino is built in East Boston.

I posted this in a previous post but it's a little old now.

The East Boston Times is sponsoring and Editor Joshua Resnek will be moderating a forum on the benefits and disadvantages of building a resort-style casino at Suffolk Downs.

The event will be held on June 30th at 6:30 PM at Sacred Heart Church Hall. Both sides of the casino debate will be represented. The proponents will be represented by Frank Callahan, President of the Building and Trades Council and Jay Ash, Chelsea City Manager. The opposition will be represented by Tom Larkin, a licensed psychologist and a member of the Board of Directors of United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts and John Ribeiro, a concerned, lifelong East Boston and Winthrop resident and member of the newly founded, Neighbors of Suffolk Downs.

Each side will present their point of view on the subject. Local politicians will be provided an opportunity to present their views. And the public will be invited to ask questions of the panel.

The State’s House of Representatives has already passed their version of legislation allowing casino gambling in Massachusetts and the Senate is formulating their version. One public hearing was held and there are no plans to hold any others before the end of this legislative session.

One side promises jobs and a much needed boost to the sagging Massachusetts economy. The other is concerned about the social cost to families, the negative impact on businesses and the expected increase in traffic. This promises to be a lively and spirited debate on an issue that will shape the Massachusetts economy for generations.

John Ribeiro
www.neighborsofsuffolkdowns.org