Thursday, May 26, 2005

Study: Tribal bingo no better than slots

This article by Josh Richman of the Oakland Tribune reinforces the need for a full moratorium on new casinos of any type.
After two months of relative silence, the war over Casino San Pablo revved up again Wednesday as foes claimed the Bay Area should worry just as much about electronic bingo gaming as it did about true slot machines.

Bingo machines the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians could install in the Casino San Pablo card room are almost indistinguishable from slot machines, with spinning reels, flashing lights and multiple play lines, according to a study commissioned by local card room owners....

...Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, an opponent of the proposed Lytton compact, said [the] study underscores the need for a moratorium on new Indian casinos — as suggested in a pending constitutional amendment authored by Assemblyman Joe Nation, D-San Rafael — while California and the federal government re-examine their policies and laws.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Here's to the Power of the People - The Power of You!


C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle writes:
Casino train off tracks in East Bay

A funny thing happened on the way to turning the East Bay into a mini-Las Vegas.

A civics lesson broke out. And the result is that the power of the people seems to have prevailed over some of the wealthiest and most influential interests in the state.

Late last year, the Indian casino bulldozer seemed unstoppable. Back in 2000, California voters overwhelmingly (64 percent to 36 percent) approved Proposition 1A, which allowed casino gambling "on tribal lands.'' It sounded like a nice idea. As supporters of the measure put it, this would "preserve the only option most tribes have to get off welfare.''

And that's when everything went off the rails. Suddenly, "tribal lands'' turned out to mean almost anywhere an Indian tribe could declare itself grounded. Berkeley Assemblywoman Loni Hancock said in testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs that the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians' claim toCA was "50 miles from ... the traditional ancestral territory of their tribe. ''

That was just the start of it. Plans for Indian casinos popped up everywhere. Hancock calculated that there were five proposed casinos "within a 15-mile radius'' -- from Vallejo to Oakland.

"All of a sudden,'' Hancock said by phone this week, "it looked like the East Bay was going to be casino central.''

Read the rest of the article by clicking here

Friday, May 20, 2005

Governor draws the line....?

The Governor has made a glaring contradiction with his recent statement on urban gambling, taking a strong stance against casinos in urban areas and then exempting the largest, most controversial urban casino proposed in the state...Casino San Pablo.

From an editorial in the Chronicle:
Schwarzenegger draws the line

GOV. ARNOLD Schwarzenegger this week issued a clear proclamation of his opposition to the expansion of tribal casinos into urban areas.

His words would have been more convincing if they were accompanied by a withdrawal of his longstanding support for one of the most egregious examples of "reservation shopping" -- a plan by the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians to put a 2,500-slot casino in San Pablo.

Read the rest of this great editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle bly clicking here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Richmond leaders have agreed to support our request!

It is very important to me that a site as contaminated as this one is properly handled with all the resources and expertise the state can provide. I am very proud that my colleagues in the Richmond City Council and the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors are supporting my request.

From the Contra Costa Times...
Critics of the cleanup at the former Stauffer Chemical plant in Richmond are cheering a state decision to place full authority for the project with the Department of Toxic Substances Control.

The department, whose mission it is to regulate hazardous waste, oversee cleanups and prevent pollution, will assume the role of lead agency for the Stauffer/Zeneca site, and the UC Richmond Field Station, CalEPA Secretary Alan Lloyd said in a prepared statement Monday.

The Richmond City Council and the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors had each voted to support a request by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, to give the toxics department ultimate oversight for the project.

Read the rest of the article here...

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Result of Community Organizing & Community Action!


You have done well!

Hollister - The California Valley Miwok tribe and its investors from Game Won have announced they are ditching plans to build a resort/casino in San Benito County, ending one of the region’s most controversial development proposals.

Read more about our success here.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Finally, Much Needed Reform Could be Just Around the Corner...


We all know of the need for reform and now it looks like, because of your help, reform may be forthcoming.

WASHINGTON -- The thirst for lucrative Indian casinos can taint the tribal recognition process, which is too slow and costly, state and federal officials told the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Wednesday.
And the panel's chairman, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., signaled a greater willingness to tackle reform of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' recognition process.

Please read the rest of the article on

Monday, May 09, 2005

Lafayette City Council Meeting -- PLEASE ATTEND.


Tonight the Lafayette City Council will debate a resolution to oppose the expansion of Casino San Pablo. I urge you to attend this meeting and express your views on this controversial project. The meeting with be held at

Lafayette City Council, 7 p.m., Manzanita Room, Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Mary's Road. Consider resolution opposing the expansion of Casino San Pablo.

Thank you. We will be closely following this Casino project and you continue to give you updates.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Forum Tonight on Problems at Alta Bates Medical Center

If there any questions about location or if you are interested in attending the forum call Terri Waller at 510-559-1406

OAKLAND -- A public forum will be held tonight on accreditation problems at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, one of the East Bay's largest hospitals.

Inspectors from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, which certifies that hospitals meet a broad range of standards, issued a preliminary denial of accreditation to Alta Bates in February.

Read more about it in the Chronicle.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

RAW DEAL: Measuring The Toll Of Connecticut's Casinos

This is an interesting commentary by Jeff Benedict on the country's two largest casinos.

$400 million. That's about how much Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun paid the state last year in slot machine revenue. It's the result of a deal struck in 1993. In exchange for the right to operate slot machines, the Mashantucket Pequot tribe offered the state 25 percent of the slot revenue from Foxwoods. In 1996, Mohegan Sun opened under the same arrangement.

The casinos have not stopped adding slot machines since. Payments to the state have gone up for 10 straight years, making legislators increasingly dependent on the slot revenue to balance the state budget. Today, the two casinos have 13,732 slot machines between them - nearly 5,000 more than five years ago.

Legislators and most taxpayers probably see this as a painless way to raise revenue: All the money comes from people who choose to play. But 12 years into the deal, the state doesn't really know what social cost it's paying.

Read the rest of the commentary at by clicking here...