Monday, January 24, 2005

Foes outnumber supporters at packed hearing

Here are excerpts from yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle article describing the hearing held this weekend, where the truth came out. The article says,
"More than 400 people packed a standing-room-only public hearing on the plan at Contra Costa Community College. Organizer Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, said local residents and community leaders have been left out of the process in which Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger crafted a gaming compact with the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians..."

"While the Legislature weighs the proposed compact, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is hoping to kill the deal by reintroducing legislation Monday that would reverse a controversial amendment by Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, that turned the cardroom into a reservation for the Lytton and allowed them to seek a full-fledged casino.
Despite strong support from the city of San Pablo leaders and the union representing casino workers, residents and leaders of nearby cities are concerned about the traffic, public safety impacts and social ills a casino could bring to the region. They also worry about access to Doctors Medical Center, adjacent to Casino San Pablo."

Infrastructure obstacles were analyzed, too.
"... a traffic engineer hired by casino opponents said it could cost more than $90 million and take 10 to 20 years to widen Interstate 80 and make changes to San Pablo Dam Road..."

"Traffic on San Pablo Dam Road would more than double."

What about the economy? That was also addressed.
"William Thompson, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said that the casino would not help the region's economy because the gamblers would be local people who could spend their money on other things.
He likened the casino not to those on the Las Vegas strip, where 95 percent of gamblers are tourists, but to slot machines in grocery stores played by locals.
"Your economy loses," he said. "Urban casinos do not make sense."
Other speakers warned that the Casino San Pablo deal should be considered in conjunction with proposals for Indian casinos in Richmond and Oakland."

You were heard!
"Casino opponents outweighed supporters among the public speakers. Among them was Carol Manahan of Richmond, who lives near Casino San Pablo. She said she has been solicited for prostitution and had two women come to her door late at night asking for money because they'd lost theirs in the cardroom."

Click here to continue reading "Clashing opinions at casino meeting".


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