Monday, November 3, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND – Olympia Gaming of Las Vegas has spent close to $2 million in just over six weeks – or more than $40,000 a day – since taking over the campaign for Question 2, the Oxford casino.
The latest campaign finance reports at the state Ethics Commission show that Olympia Gaming, the owner of the proposed Oxford casino, is the sole contributor to the casino campaign, spending $1.94 million in less than two months.
In contrast, the major opposition group CasinosNO! has spent just under $550,000 on campaigns to defeat the Oxford casino and a proposal for slot machines at Scarborough Downs. Its contributions come from a variety of Maine businesses and individuals.
“Spending $2 million in less than two months should give voters an idea of the kind of return this Las Vegas company expects to make if it is successful in bringing big-time gambling to Maine,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO! “And its profits will come almost entirely from hard-pressed Maine people, not high-rollers from out of state. Olympia Gaming is not here to help Maine people, they are here to help themselves to our wallets.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Monday, October 27, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND – Two university professors who analyzed a pro-casino television ad for Maine Public Broadcasting concluded that the Yes on 2 ad employs “classic…negative advertising” and is “a genuine attempt to frighten voters.”
Ironically, the pro-casino ad attempts to accuse CasinosNO! of these same tactics by purporting to show a transcript of a tape recording, secretly made by disgraced Rumford attorney Seth Carey. The audio recording is from a two-minute snippet of a one-hour seminar two years ago led by Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!
MPB says on its website (www.yourvote.me/AdWatch_question2yes.html) that it is impossible to determine the accuracy of the transcript because Yes on 2 refused to provide a copy of the actual recording. Gregg Lagerquist, a news reporter at WGME, however, has heard the actual recording and reported that the transcript provided by Yes on 2 does not match what is said on the audio recording by Bailey.
“This is a new low by the promoters of the Oxford casino,” Bailey said. “Recording me without my permission or knowledge, then twisting my words out of context and inventing things I didn’t even say. This is real sleaze, brought and paid for by Las Vegas.”
The two university professors, Amy Fried and Ron Schmidt, associate professors of political science at the University of Maine and the University of Southern Maine, respectively, called the ad “unusual” and questioned its effectiveness.
“If this had been an ad for a campaign involving candidates, it would be characterized as personal, negative, and focused on character,” said Fried. “The ad doesn’t play the recording of the statements made and so it is hard to determine if they have been taken out of context and thus have been misinterpreted.”
Schmidt agreed: “It is…an attempt to deploy the strategy the [pro-casino] group is ostensibly opposing. Shaky, vague images, mapped onto the questioning of one’s opponent’s real intentions, are classic strategies in negative advertising. [The ad] is both about the attempt to frighten voters and a genuine attempt to frighten voters.”
Bailey said if the ad wasn't so sleazy, it would be comical. "The real irony is that the only TV ad that mentions crime and prostitution at casinos is the from the side that wants a casino," Bailey said.
The ad was produced by CDM Communications in Portland.
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND – Editorials in all of the major Maine newspapers and several weekly newspapers have urged a NO vote on the Oxford casino, referendum Question 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot.
So far, ten newspapers in Maine have urged readers to vote no on Question 2 while there have been no endorsements of the casino proposal by any Maine newspaper. Newspapers urging a no vote include the Lewiston Sun Journal, whose circulation covers Oxford County, and the Bangor Daily News, which is home to the state’s only other casino, Hollywood Slots.
In an editorial Thursday, the Bangor newspaper declared, “A casino is not economic development,” and said the money the casino is promising to state government pales in comparison to the amount of money that would be leaving Maine for Las Vegas, home of the owner of the proposed Oxford casino.
The Bar Harbor Times called Question 2 “one of the most deeply flawed pieces of legislation in Maine history.” The Brunswick Times Record called Question 2 “a fiasco” and criticized casino proponent Pat LaMarche for suggesting that the Legislature will fix the problems with the bill after it passes. “In other words,” the editorial said, “she wants voters to trust legislators who have yet to be elected to rewrite a law that doesn't work as written. Isn't that akin to betting the mortgage that a fifth ace will show up in your poker hand?”
Newspapers editorializing against Question 2 include:
Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
Lewiston Sun Journal
Bangor Daily News
Brunswick Times Record
Bar Harbor Times
Belfast Republican Journal
“If this proposal was really about jobs and economic development, like the proponents claim, don’t you think at least one Maine newspaper would be supporting it,” asked Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO! “Fortunately, they’ve all seen through the deception, sleaze and scare tactics of the casino promoters and urged their readers to do the same.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
SOUTH PARIS – The former mayor of Ledyard, Connecticut, home to the Foxwoods casino, today told the Oxford County commissioners to be prepared for higher costs and more crime if voters approve a gambling casino for Oxford.
Susan Mendenhall, who served eight years on the Ledyard Town Council and just completed a four-year term as mayor, told the commissioners that the casino has placed numerous costly burdens on the town without little economic development spinoffs.
“The biggest impact that we faced was on our emergency services people,” she said. “Prior to 1996, responses averaged 500 a year. Now, responses are almost double, and remember, the town population has remained relatively flat. Our town dispatch center had three full time dispatchers. Now we have six full timers and 10 part timers. Call volume has risen from 3,000 calls a year to over 50,000 last year for routine and emergency calls.
“Another issue that has put additional burden on our police department is the rather unpleasant reality that crime follows the money. Although some of these crimes are a sign of the times, we have had a rise in gun and drug related issues, and assorted issues that track the money.”
Mendenhall also dispelled the myth that towns surrounding a casino will see new businesses or economic growth. She said Ledyard has seen little change in the 15 years of hosting a casino.
“Will you see economic development spin-off – we have seen little,” she said. “The reality is that the casino resort becomes a destination – incorporating all that patrons need – hotels, bars, restaurants, gaming and entertainment.”
Mendenhall appeared as a volunteer without payment to warn the Oxford County Commissioners that they should look very carefully at the costs connected to a casino, costs that ultimately end up being paid by the taxpayers.
“Over the years, our local towns have absorbed into our yearly budgets the…associated costs [from the casino],” she said. “However it has been painful on the local taxpayer. Don’t let that happen here.”
Mendenhall appeared at the meeting with Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO! who gave the commissioners a 20-page report detailing the experiences of other communities in the US who are hosts to gambling casinos.
“Voters shouldn’t listen to me or the proponents of this casino,” Bailey said. “All they need to do is examine the communities that have casinos and find out what their experience has been. At best it’s mixed. At worst, casinos are a disaster providing no economic benefit to area communities and costing taxpayers money.”
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Susan Mendenhall, who served as Ledyard’s mayor and a member of the town council, will relate her experiences dealing with the a nearby casino. She will warn the commissioners about the cost of providing town services for the casino and other related impacts.
Bailey will present the Commissioners with a 20-page report in response to an economic impact study given to the Commissioners two weeks ago by the casino promoters.
The meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the Oxford County Courthouse, 26 Western Ave., South Paris.
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Saturday, October 18, 2008
See the attached letter sent to Maine television stations today.
Don’t Gamble Away Maine’s Future
Oct. 18, 2008
Dear Station Manager,
An advertisement airing on your station by the Yes on 2 campaign is false and misleading.
The advertisement features two state legislators who say they will “fix” Question 2 “when it is passed” by voters on Nov. 4. However, the legislator making that pledge, Rep. John Patrick, D-Rumford, is prohibited from running for re-election this year and will not be a member of the Legislature during the next session to fix the casino bill or anything else.
In the ad, Rep. Patrick says, “We sit on the committee that oversees Maine gambling laws.” While it’s true that Rep. Patrick was a member of the Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee during the last session of the Legislature, he will not be a member of the committee, nor a member of the Maine Legislature, should this bill pass and return to the committee for action. The suggestion that he continues to have authority over Maine gambling laws is false and misleading. (A list of term-limited legislators can be found at http://janus.state.me.us/house/123_term.htm)
Rep. Patrick further states in the ad, “We pledge when Question 2 passes the committee will change it to meet existing Maine law.”
Rep. Patrick is in no position to speak for the committee since he will not be a member of the Maine Legislature. In fact, there is no guarantee the Legislature will do anything to amend Question 2 if it passes. As Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap noted in Sept. 22nd article in the Portland Press Herald, “the Legislature tends to be ‘extraordinarily reluctant to tinker too much’ with legislation that reflects the will of voters.”
This deceptive advertisement is a deliberate attempt to mislead voters into believing the many serious problems in Question 2 can and will be fixed, when in fact the Legislator making the pledge will have no role in making those changes next year, or whether any changes will be made at all.
In the interest of accuracy and fairness, we request that you cease airing this false and misleading ad.
Sen. Deborah Plowman of Bangor and Rep. John Patrick of Rumford appear in the ad pledging to “fix” the many problems in Question 2 “when it passes” on Nov. 4th. “We fixed the racino bill and we can fix Question 2,” the legislators say.
The ad can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23emfSWlggo&eurl=http://22.214.171.124/
But when the bill for the Oxford County casino came before the Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee on which Plowman and Patrick sit, they both voted against it.
“They couldn’t hold their nose and vote for this stinker of a bill when they had it in front of them,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the grassroots organization opposing Question 2. “Now they’re telling Maine people they should vote for it, but don’t worry, the Legislature will fix it.
“If their actions weren’t so outrageous and irresponsible it would be funny,” Bailey continued. “They’re telling Maine people to vote for a law they know is bad, a law that they themselves didn’t vote for, and gamble that the Maine Legislature can improve it. I don’t think Maine voters will take that bet.”
Bailey noted that while Plowman and Patrick think the law can be changed, other state leaders aren’t so sure. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap told the Portland Press Herald that the Legislature is "extraordinarily reluctant to tinker too much" with legislation that reflects the will of voters. Sen. Lisa Marrache, who also sits on the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee, said the Oxford casino bill would require “an extreme makeover.”
When the Oxford County casino bill came before the committee last April, legislators had several options for dealing with the citizens initiated bill: they could vote it down and send it to voters in a referendum; they could pass it and then amend it; or they could have voted to place a competing measure on the ballot for a casino without all the problems contained in Question 2.
“They simply voted no and sent it to the voters,” Bailey said. “For some reason the casino bill was beyond repair last April, now they want Maine people to put this bad bill into law.”
Several statements in the ad are also questionable. Plowman says, “Some people have said the language in Question 2 is confusing.”
“Who said it’s confusing,” Bailey asked. “The language is crystal clear. It will lower the legal age to gamble from 21 to 19. It allows 18 year olds to work in the casino dealing cards. It gives Las Vegas a 10-year monopoly on casinos. It puts the president of the casino, a man from Las Vegas, on dozens of boards and commissions that have authority over health care, education and the environment. Nothing confusing about that.”
Plowman also takes credit for “fixing the racino bill,” the 2003 referendum that resulted in Hollywood Slots in Bangor.
“That’s certainly open to interpretation,” Bailey said. “The Legislature added things to the bill, like payouts to off-track-betting parlors, that the voters never approved. The committee was whipsawed by lobbyists representing every corner of the gambling industry. There’s no way to tell what we’d end up with if Question 2 passes.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
No vote on casino in Paris
By M. Dirk Langeveld , Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
PARIS - A vote of support for the proposed Oxford casino resort by Paris selectmen didn't materialize Monday after a motion endorsing the plan couldn't hold a second.
Selectman David Ivey had asked that the item be put on the agenda.
"The town of Oxford did it, and I think we should follow suit," said Ivey. "And I think other towns are going to be right behind us."
On Oct. 2, Oxford selectmen and that town's economic development advisory committee voted to support having a casino in town if the question passes a referendum in November. Olympia Gaming, the Las Vegas-based group backing the project, announced a week later that the casino would be sited in Oxford.
The proposed $184 million resort casino would include a hotel, casino with table games and slots, spa, and conference center. Proponents say that the resort will create 907 jobs with an average salary of $35,000, while opponents argue that the development would lead to social problems, profits being transferred out of state, and other issues.
Oxford would receive 2 percent of the casino's annual profits, or $2.8 million after its fifth year in operation. The county would receive 1 percent, or $1.4 million after the fifth year.
Selectman Lloyd "Skip" Herrick seconded the motion for the purposes of discussion, but later withdrew the second. Herrick said he believed the decision was an individual one rather than a municipal one.
"I don't think it's the economic answer for the state of Maine or Oxford County," said Herrick. "I've always felt that you can't open the door for one town, city, or municipality in this state and close the door on every other recommendation."
Chairman Raymond Glover said that while the project would create jobs and add value to the area, he was not sure if he could support the casino on behalf of the town.
"I do not support the gambling issue." said Glover. "I do not think economic development based on gambling is beneficial."
Last spring the town was awarded a small grant to form a commission which would then create a . This forestry management plan would encompass all town-owned properties and be included as a sub-topic in the Town of Rumford's overall Comprehensive Plan.
Town of Rumford seeks volunteers to develop policies & procedures on Town-owned wood lots & properties. Project includes complete tree inventories and free training. Informational meeting to be held in Town Auditorium. FMI contact Tim Gallant, Rumford Parks Department at 364-7758. ALL WELCOME
Monday, October 13, 2008
This letter is being written by both Mr. & Mrs. Jason Thompson. This is the ONLY letter/submission that Stephanie has had anything to do with; minus a Selectman's meeting minutes that I did once about a year ago.
To set the record straight, the rumors about us moving are true. We are moving out of Rumford. Because we will not be Rumford citizens, we both will be resigning from our Boards, respectfully. Stephanie will continue to work in Rumford and provide the River Valley citizens within the community with education, prevention and intervention information as pertains to Public Health. Jason will be beginning a new position outside of the Rumford area.
We would like to thank all of our friends and family for the support they have given us in helping to make this decision. It was a difficult one because we have been involved in Rumford politics for the last few years. That also helped with making the decision to move as well. There are pros and cons to being involved in town politics. We will leave it at that. We love Rumford. We started our family in Rumford, Jason was born and raised in Rumford, and we have a lot of memories here. However, it is time to move on. In another era, this town will be everything it is supposed to be; unfortunately this town is oppressed and growth is difficult when growth is unwanted.
I Stephanie want to set the record straight about the latest letter that was submitted on the Reporter that some believe was written by us. It absolutely was not written by us. I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement. These men know that I respect what they do for this community every single day, but I felt the need to assure everyone that I did NOT write that. I would never disrespect our officers, especially our Chief of Police. I have a lot of respect for Chief Carter and his men and I do a lot of work with them and Rumford's judicial branch. I also know that whenever something seems to make sense that Jason submitted, people thought I wrote it. I have had better things to do. I do not write for him, nor anyone else.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for their support. We'll be seeing you around!
Jason & Stephanie
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I take great offense to the letter that was written by R. Ortez. I also take great offense to the attitude and approach the Rumford Reporter has had towards this profession. I do understand their frustration with budget issues and their right to question policies and procedures. However, their blatant attack on the Rumford Police Department and the Rumford Fire Department is completely uncalled for. I ask that R. Ortez and the editors of the Rumford Reporter walk a day in my shoes or anyone in law enforcement. I have worked in towns similar if not smaller than the size of Rumford and can tell you crime and tragedy can happen here too. I can tell you stories (which are now all public information and have been reported in the newspaper) of the 13 year old girl who witnessed her mother shoot her significant other, point the gun at the 13 year old, and then turn the gun on herself in a town with less than 5,000 residents. I can talk about my co worker who worked the night her close friend and law enforcement officer was conducting a routine traffic stop and was fatally shot in a town of 6,000 residents. I can talk about an incident in that same town where an officer was shot by an upset husband while he responded to a domestic violence call. I can also talk about the male who blew just over a .08 after killing his 5 year old daughter in motor vehicle accident. So R. Ortez comment that “We don't give a damn about your mangled license plate stops, your unregistered or uninspected vehicle stops, your .08 OUI stops, your headlight, taillight, or license plate light out stops, your no seat belt wearing stops” I can see where he has never educated himself about law enforcement. If I read his comment that “If you read the crimes (referring to the crime bulletin), they are police driven.” I can see he actually believes that the officer was responsible for making a person drink and get behind the wheel. I can see where he believes a police officer was responsible for a husband beating his wife from the confines of their home. I can also see from his comment “now you are hell bent on destroying any and all economic development efforts in Rumford by scaring people away with your outlandish claims” that he believes the outlandish claims, the charges against persons, are all fabricated. That he believes most things with law enforcement are fabricated. I would like to speak with R. Ortez, and the editors of the Rumford Reporter and have them speak with the family members of the fallen officers in Maine and let him repeat his comment “You Maine cops are clueless and are raping the taxpayer, which is about the only crime we have here.” I’d also like them to meet the countless victims of various crimes and have them repeat his comment about those officers who helped the victims find justice that “The only reason your crime is high is because you go looking for it so you can justify your bloated budget.”
Honestly I do have an even better idea. I call on R. Ortez and the editors of the Rumford Reporter to look farther than their front door step. I ask if they care about the community they take steps to educate themselves on the profession. Be open minded and see both sides before making a judgment.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The spending reports by the casino proponents show that Las Vegas-based Olympia Gaming is the sole contributor to the campaign to put a casino in the town of Oxford, spending more than half-a-million dollars in just 14 days on television, radio and newspaper advertising.
“Their signs say ‘Yes on 2 for Maine,’ but they should say ‘Yes on 2 for Vegas’,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the grassroots organization opposed to the expansion of casino gambling in Maine. “Clearly, Las Vegas has everything to gain from Question 2, and Maine people have everything to lose.”
The Las Vegas corporation has spent nearly $40,000 a day on consultant fees, advertising and other expenses since announcing their interest in the Oxford referendum. Besides television and newspaper advertising, the campaign reported spending nearly $160,000 with CDM Communications, an advertising agency in Portland. Their full PAC report is HERE.
In contrast, CasinosNO! reported raising $77,700, all of it from Maine residents, and no spending on advertising. The full report is HERE.
“So which campaign is really for Maine,” Bailey asked. “It’s important to remember that casinos aren’t built from the money of winners, they’re built from the money of losers. Las Vegas is here to make losers of us all, and that’s why we need to vote no on Question 2.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
I don't trust Obama," a woman said. "I have read about him. He's an Arab."
McCain shook his head in disagreement, and said:
"No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about."
He had drawn boos with his comment: "I have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States."
"I appreciated his reminder that we can disagree while still being respectful of each other," Obama told supporters in Philadelphia. He said McCain "has served this country with honor, and he deserves our thanks for that."
This really isn't too much different that what's been going on between the TRR and RFP. It's easy to get polarized when you are in conflict with others.
The TRR may actually believe that they are helping the town with their behavior. There is really nothing wrong with a respectful dialogue between members of the community that disagree with each other. In fact, as we've said before, we think is actually quite healthy... as long as it stays respectful.
Steve and I have very different opinions on the presidential candidates. We had what I believe to be a healthy dialogue, around our beliefs. Towards the end I think we even found some common ground. We both believe in capitalism and we both don't want to see a "redistribution" of income. I would still like to see the poor taxed less; he seems to believe that the rich pay far too much in taxes. So what? We're both entitled to our opinions. I respect Steve for engaging in this dialogue in such a respectful way.
Things get bad when these differences of opinion become personal, and we have seen that way too much on these bogs. It's not the differences in opinions in town that originally caused the RFP and the RVFP to exist. It's the personal nature of the attacks on people. That is wrong and it's the main reason we have so much strife in this community. As long as it continues, the battle will wage on.
Members of our community are angry at the way the TRR has hurt so many residents of this community. Many are outraged. The TRR has been a powerful influence in this community but their power has been largely based on their ability to attack anyone that stands in their way on their road to making sure they get what they want.
When people engage in such behavior, they usually end up hurting themselves as well as their targets.
In response, members of this forum have been pretty hard on members of the TRR. If anyone were to track the dates of these posts, they would easily see a pattern of us rebuking the TRR after they were blatantly hurtful to others, like they most recently were to Selectman Adley.
You can feel the hate and scorn in that article. As others have said on here, I don’t believe that people that engage in behavior like this should be representing this town in any capacity.
BTW, as I’ve said before, Selectman Adley has nothing to do with this site. I don’t believe he has even posted on it. We hope he reads it. We hope all the selectmen and town officials read it. We hope that it sometimes give some fresh perspectives that are so healthy to have in town.
If I were to write an open letter to the TRR, it would once again ask them to stop their personal attacks that have wreaked so much havoc on our town. I would ask them to engage in respectful dialogue about our differences of opinion. I would ask that we learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.
TRR, the ball is in your court…
Thursday, October 9, 2008
By Jeff Clark
If an audacious referendum passes this month, a Nevada casino executive, Dean Harrold, might soon be one of the most powerful people in Maine. That’s not what Rumford attorney Seth Carey wanted. It was supposed to be him.
When the thirty-three-year-old Carey first conceived of building a casino in Oxford County and began the process of gathering signatures to put the proposal on the statewide ballot, he saw himself in the role of potential kingpin. And as such Carey wrote his referendum granting himself and the company he founded, Evergreen Mountain Enterprises, incredible powers — a ten-year monopoly on casino operations in the state, carte blanche on where it is built, and permanent voting seats on the boards of some of the most important agencies in Maine, including the Finance Authority of Maine, the University of Maine System, and the Land for Maine’s Future program. Carey’s law asks voters to keep the 1,500 slot machine limit for track-related racinos while giving Evergreen an unlimited number of slots, plus table games such as blackjack and roulette. It would drop the legal gambling age to nineteen. And it would allow the casino to extend house credit to gamblers but not let them use their credit or debit cards.
Carey’s plan was to make himself one of Maine’s wealthiest and most powerful men, but things did not go as planned. Along the way he ran into complaints of ethical and legal malfeasance, accusations of dishonesty from his own spokesperson, and widespread charges of business naiveté. His campaign stumbled badly, and in mid-September he sold Evergreen Mountain Enterprises to the Olympia Group, a Las Vegas-based gaming and resort developer. As a result, Seth Carey’s legacy will undoubtedly be different from the one he intended. And for Mainers, who might soon find unknown, out-of-state casino executives making decisions about their healthcare and universities, it might well be an enduring and troublesome legacy indeed.
Click here for full story
In a memo to Sunday River’s employees, Dana Bullen, general manager of Sunday River, said the casino would be incompatible with Maine’s “brand.”
“The decision to oppose casinos in Maine is based on our belief that the proposed casino represents a clear threat to our State’s brand and is a poor choice for the citizens of Maine,” he said. “Maine is one of the few states in the nation that is fortunate to actually claim a ‘brand’ identity. Maine is known for its rugged outdoor image, uncompromised natural beauty, family-friendly environment, and Yankee originality. These are attributes the State of Maine promotes to the world through its tourism efforts, and attributes that Sunday River has tied into our own Visioning process. They are what differentiate us from all other states in the country.
“There is a stark contrast between these attributes, for which Maine is known, and those associated with casino gambling,” the memo continued.
Saddleback Mountain, Sugarloaf and Sunday River have joined with CasinosNO! to help defeat the casino, and Bullen said the company will be making a financial contribution to the anti-casino group.
“Although Sunday River does not have a history of adopting a corporate position on public referendum, we feel that this issue warrants our involvement as a company,” Bullen wrote. “We respect every employee's right to have their own, and possibly a differing, view on this issue. At the same time, however, we hope that every employee understands Sunday River’s position and will make an informed choice.”
Warren Cook, general manager of Saddleback Mountain, said, “The ski industry in Maine has made millions of dollars in investments to create good jobs and attract tourists who come here for our clean environment, beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation. This is Maine's strength. A gambling casino doesn't play to our strengths, it preys on our weaknesses."
Contact: Dennis Bailey, CasinosNO!, 207-347-6077, 207-749-4963
Warren Cook, Saddleback Mountain, 207-266-2533
Monday, October 6, 2008
The TRR attacks on the RFD have been incessant over the last few years. Lately they have continued their attacks with the same strategy that Len Greaney talked about in his memo, casting our firefighters as lazy, greedy and manipulative. They compare the overtime the firemen have needed to put in as another form of government welfare and attempt to raise the hackles of the community toward our firemen.
They also play the victim for how they suffered so for daring to do what’s right for the community, never taking any responsibility for how their vengeful behavior has hurt this community and caused the communities anger to be cast upon them at times. They act like the town bullies and then play victim when people get angry at their bullying behavior.
For the record, never on this forum has anyone ever said members of the RFD should be granted excessive amounts of overtime just for the sake of them getting it. What we have said, time and time again, is treat our professional firefighters (and all our town employees) with respect. These kinds of personal attacks made on our firemen do nothing to help the community and is a big part of the root cause of all the turmoil in this town.
We have also said don’t waste our money but make part of the discussion about funding all of our departments based on good data that includes a concern for the safety of our citizens. Our town departments serve a purpose I this town, especially the ones that are charged with our safety. I don’t like paying taxes either but if (heaven forbid) my family or I am in need of a fireman or a police officer, I want them to be able to be here, and come with the resources they need to be able to protect us.
I’m not thinking that’s too much to ask.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Barrow is well known in casino circles for his pro-casino findings. His “research” is controversial, to say the least. Editors, reporters and members of the public should be aware of Barrow’s background and dealings, such as:
Although Barrow talks at length about the economic impacts of casinos, he is not an economist. His degree is in political science.
Barrow is the director of the Center for Policy Analysis, which studies casino gambling in New England. He purports to be an independent analyst, but his conclusions always favor the casino industry and questions have been raised about his impartiality.
In 2006, Barrow received $20,000 from the Rhode Island Buildings Trade Council, which was supporting a Harrah’s casino for that state, for a study showing the positive impacts of a Harrah’s casino. Records show that at the same time Barrow received payment from the union, Harrah’s donated $25,000 to the Trade Council. Greg Mancini of the building trades group told the Boston Globe that he went to Barrow to add “intellectual heft” to the pro-casino position. “We went to Clyde Barrow and asked him to prove it from an academic point of view,” Mancini said. “He said, ‘Yeah, I can do that. But it’s going to cost money.’”
Lincoln Almond, the former governor of Rhode Island, called Barrow “one of Harrah’s paid consultants” who lives in a “fantasy world” of illusive casino benefits.
In 1999, Barrow’s group received funding from the Visions Group, a business group then pushing for a casino in Salisbury, MA. Other communities and groups in favor of a casino have also hired Barrow, and he has been a paid spokesperson at conferences sponsored by the casino industry.
A casino developer who controls land in New Bedford and Palmer, MA partially funded one of Barrow’s “studies” that supported a casino in that area of the state.
Barrow’s “research” often shows how states are losing money to casinos in neighboring states. But his numbers are based on flimsy research and often don’t add up. For example, during last year’s debate over plans for three casinos in Massachusetts, Barrow claimed that his research showed that 35% of the patrons at Foxwoods hailed from Massachusetts. He reached that conclusion by hiring students to record license plates parked at Foxwoods over a five-day period. However, Foxwoods officials said based on their own analysis of license plates, credit card receipts and other data, the number of Massachusetts patrons regularly visiting Foxwoods is actually much lower.
Rep. Dan Bosley of Massachusetts told the Globe that Barrow's studies are speculative, rely on a sample of casino patronage that is too small, and assume values for calculating total spending that cannot be verified. “Given Dr. Barrow's flawed research, it's a little embarrassing that he is a tenured professor at a public university,” Bosley said.
In an editorial in May, SeaCoastToday.com took issue with Barrow calling complaints by casino “skeptics” as “rhetoric.” “By labeling opponents ‘skeptics’ and their words ‘rhetoric,’ Dr. Barrow goes beyond describing the poll results,” the editorial stated. “He casts a negative light on anyone who would oppose or even question (those pesky skeptics!) the idea that Massachusetts should welcome casinos. Unfortunately, Dr. Barrow is starting to look more like a lobbyist — and less like someone whose research happens to receive private funding.”
· Nevertheless, in an e-mail to Oxford County Commissioners, the backers of Question 2 describe Barrow as “one of the most respected” experts of casino gambling in the country. He sure is respected by the casino industry.
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
THE OXFORD COUNTY CASINO?”
PORTLAND – An editorial in today’s Sun Journal reveals that there are a number of minority investors in the Oxford County casino proposal but the casino’s Las Vegas backer has refused to disclose their identities.
Because the casino promoters will be granted a 10-year monopoly on casinos in Maine if Question 2 passes, the Sun Journal urges them to come clean.
“Too much of this casino campaign….has been balanced on the argument of ‘trust me,’” the editorial states. “Maine voters are being asked to drastically change public policy for the benefit of this individual company. We should, at least, know everybody who stands to benefit.”
The newspaper also chided the casino proponents for criticizing the financial backers of CasinosNO!, which are all publicly disclosed in the group’s filings with the state, while keeping their own investors secret. “This criticism only rings hollow until their financials are open to equal scrutiny,” the editorial stated.
Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, said the questions surrounding the bill get murkier by the day.
“We don’t where it’s going to be located, we don’t know who the owners really are, we don’t know what provisions the casino promoters are promising to change if this bill that they themselves describe as a ‘mess’ is approved by voters,” he said. “That should be enough reason for Maine people to vote a resounding NO on Question 2.”
The Sun Journal editorial can be found here.
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-347-6077
In its newly released voter guide, the League gave thumbs down to the proposal, saying that while a casino would bring jobs and revenue to Maine, “Studies also show that casinos lead to crime, violence and addiction….and there’s question whether the jobs it contributes are low paying.”
The League of Young Voters, which describes itself as “a youth-driven organization that finds creative ways to engage our peers in the political process,” has been active in city elections for several years and has seen its influence grow.
“It’s great that the League of Young Voters saw through the hype and misinformation of the casino promoters and rejected Question 2,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, “particularly since the bill would lower the legal gambling age to 19 and lower the age to work in the casino to 18. I guess they felt that Maine should offer more for young people than gambling and working in a casino.”
The League’s voting guide is HERE.
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
During questioning about specific details of the bill, Lamarche said that if the bill is enacted the Legislature “is going to fix this mess.” (Listen to the interview here.)
“It’s astonishing that LaMarche and her bosses from Las Vegas are spending $1 million or more to convince voters to enact a law that they themselves call ‘a mess,’” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the grassroots organization opposed to the expansion of casino gambling in Maine. “She’s doing a better job than I am to convince voters to reject Question 2.”
During the interview, LaMarche also went on at length claiming that the bill does not require the president of the casino to be a “voting member” of the boards and commissions that receive a slice of the casino revenues. In fact the bill specifically says the president of the Oxford County casino “must be appointed a voting member” of the programs and boards receiving an allocation from the casino.
LaMarche’s latest statements quickly became fodder for “The Daily Pat-Down” a compendium on the CasinosNO! website of LaMarche’s outrageous claims. (Click here.)
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Sunday, September 28, 2008
As soon as I saw it, it instantly reminded me of another video clip I've seen.
Do you think Sara Palin can identify the United States on a map? She could be president someday. That is scarey!
posted: 14 HOURS 21 MINUTES AGO
filed under: Election News, Sarah Palin
WASHINGTON (Sept. 27) - A conservative columnist who welcomed Sarah Palin's entry in national politics says she's proven to be a dud and should step aside as John McCain's running mate.
Kathleen Parker, writing in the National Review Online, says her "cringe reflex is exhausted" after watching the Alaska governor stumble through TV interviews and it's become clear to her that Palin is out of her league. .....
Get the full story here
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Woman stole $43,700 from residents of assisted living facility in Bangor
Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
BANGOR, Maine - The prosecutor called it elder abuse. The defense attorney said it was the result of an illness. Members of Gamblers Anonymous warned the judge to expect more cases just like it.
Lucia Faria, 41, of Bangor was sentenced Wednesday in Penobscot County Superior Court to three years in prison for stealing more than $40,000 from elderly patients at the Bangor facility where she worked and gambling it away at Hollywood Slots.
Greg Campbell, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, said it was the most serious case related to gambling at Hollywood Slots since the facility opened on Main Street three years ago.
Faria, a Portuguese citizen in the United States legally, admitted stealing $43,700 from three victims — two of whom are over the age of 80 — and her employer over a 15-month period in 2006 and 2007. She pleaded guilty on Sept. 2 to forgery and theft charges after being indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury in April. She also pleaded guilty for failing to appear in court in May.
Faria had no criminal record.
She faced up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000 and could have been ordered to pay restitution.
Faria took checks from three patients at The Country Villa, an assisted living facility on Kenduskeag Avenue, where she worked as a housekeeper. She forged them to get money for the slot machines. She also borrowed money from patients and her employer on the pretext that she needed it to return to Portugal to care for a sick brother.
“This is a classic case of elder abuse,” Campbell told the court. “These are reprehensible crimes against our most vulnerable citizens. This was a tremendous breach of trust in which she bilked senior citizens out of a substantial amount of their life savings.”
Defense attorney Kirk Bloomer of Bangor said that Faria’s crimes were a result of her addiction to gambling. He said that she had banned herself from Hollywood Slots before she was indicted, had sought treatment for the disease and regularly attended Gamblers Anonymous meetings.
“She didn’t appear in court as she should have,” Bloomer said, “but she returned from Portugal to deal with this, knowing she probably would be arrested in Boston. The easy thing to do would have been to stay in Portugal. It was the guilt, quite frankly, that made her come back. She couldn’t live with it.”
A man who identified himself only as Fred said he was a member of Faria’s Gamblers Anonymous group. He urged the judge to allow her to repay her victims as part of her recovery.
“I’ve never seen any one person help as many people [in recovery] as Lucy did,” he said, before making a prediction.
“On account of that big, wonderful building down by the river, you’re going to have a lot of people show up here,” he said. “Lucy is not going to be the only one.
”Even though she is married to a 95-year-old man who lives out of state, Faria is expected to be deported after completing her sentence, Campbell said.
The prosecutor said after the sentencing that Faria banned herself from Hollywood Slots and sought out Gamblers Anonymous the day after police interviewed her about the thefts.
In imposing the sentence, Superior Court Justice William Anderson did not require that she pay restitution, and he didn’t impose probation. He said that because of her impending deportation, it was highly unlikely she would be able to repay her victims and that the state has no ability to collect restitution from her once she leaves the country.
“Usually I hear that drugs or alcohol made me do it,” Anderson said. “I don’t really think that gambling is a huge excuse. I’m sentencing [Faria] to three years with none of it suspended. I’m also taking into consideration the fact that this was not a crime of violence, there’s limited space in our prisons and this was a property crime, although a very serious property crime.”
Violent crimes are dealt with more severely than thefts of property under Maine law.
Campbell recommended that Faria be sentenced to six years in prison due to the amount of money involved and the age of her victims. Bloomer urged that she be sentenced to two or three years in prison with all but the three months she’s been at the Penobscot County Jail suspended and two years of probation.
Faria has been held without bail since she returned from Portugal in July.
Hollywood Slots maintains a self-exclusion list for patrons who believe they have a gambling problem, and the state maintains a toll-free problem gambling hot line.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The site can be found at www.casinosno.org
Today’s statement, which LaMarche made yesterday on WGAN radio, concerns the “positive” impact that casinos have had on Connecticut’s economy. She said, “The area [in Connecticut] that the casinos went into, they are importing labor now, because everybody in that area has a job.”
(To hear LaMarche’s interview, go to www.wgan.com)
The facts tell a different story. The unemployment rate in the region around the Connecticut casinos is actually higher than the national average, and higher than Maine’s unemployment rate, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the full response go to “The Daily Pat-Down” at www.casinosno.org
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
PORTLAND – The arrival of Las Vegas to rescue a floundering proposal for a gambling casino in Oxford County renders the ballot question that voters will face in November inaccurate and misleading.
The ballot question reads, “Do you want to allow a certain Maine company (emphasis added) to have the only casino in Maine, to be located in Oxford County, if part of the revenue is used to fund specific state programs?”
But now, the Maine company that began the referendum for a casino, Evergreen Mountain Resort and Casino, has been purchased by a Las Vegas outfit, making the ballot question seriously flawed.
“Almost all the claims by the casino proponents are flawed and misleading, now the ballot question itself is part of the big lie,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the grassroots organization opposed to the expansion of casino gambling. “The backers of this casino promoted it as a Maine company with Maine roots. Now we learn their roots go all the way to Las Vegas.”
Bailey said CasinosNO! will be working over the next several weeks to make voters aware of the misleading and inaccurate claims by the proponents of the Oxford County casino, including the misleading wording of the ballot question.
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-347-6077, or 207-749-4963
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
“This is just another layer of deception in an already deceptive casino scheme. The Oxford County casino proposal was sold to Maine voters and the petition signers as a Maine owned-and operated casino. Now, less than two months before the election we are told that the real owners are a Las Vegas outfit who’s only interest is taking money from Maine people to fill their vault in Nevada.
“Maine voters won’t be fooled, just as they weren’t fooled in 2003 by another Las Vegas developer who made the same misleading claims. This proposed Oxford County casino will be a local casino attracting local residents and will take money from Maine’s economy, not add to it.
“This latest development doesn’t change the fact that the casino bill we’ll be voting on in November will lower the legal age to gamble from 21 to 19, and lower the legal age to work in a casino from 21 to 18. It’s in the proposed law and cannot be changed before the vote. So in a casino with card games, craps and cocktails we’ll have young people under the legal drinking age throwing away their weekly allowance or their college savings to fatten the wallet of Las Vegas. Is this really what we want for Maine’s young people?
“On top of this we still don’t know where this casino will be located? Bethel? South Paris? Rumford? It’s just one of the many questions surrounding this deceptive casino scheme.”
Contact: Dennis Bailey, 207-749-4963
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Prior to their recent posts, they would usually single out individuals for their vicious attacks. They incessantly attacked Jolene Lovejoy, Jim Thibodeau, Walter Buotte, Jim Doar, Steve Eldridge and many others. There motto seems to be “if we can’t get our way with facts, we’ll just disparage and bully those that disagree with us”. All of these people have suffered greatly under their attacks.
They cranked it up with their attacks on the Fire Department. While they continued to go after individuals on the Fire Department, they used their website to ridicule the entire department. Why? Because the RFD dared to offer information to the community that TRR didn’t want them to have. They dared to stand up to them.
Then there was the heartless vicious attacks exhibited on the asmainegoes.com and in posts to us when they thought an individual of this town was the editor of this site. No one should have to suffer though such cruelty.
This time though, they have resorted to what I can only describe as community terrorism. They have unleashed their venom on St. Athanasius and St. John School and the teaching staff. They have gone after an entire community within our community. A community that I’m sure is filled with hardworking, responsible citizens of our town. A community filled with children. When parents feel their children are being attacked, they usually lose their apathy…and their patience. Attacking children may well be a dangerous move for TRR.
They tell us all why they have gone after St. Athanasius and St. John very clearly. It’s because they think that one of the members of their Board of Directors is the Administrator of this website.
So once again, let’s set the record straight, for the TRR and the community at large. Sue Adley, Judy Collette and anyone else involved at St. Athanasius and St. John School has nothing to do with this website. I have no knowledge of any of them posting here or even being aware that we exist. I think it won't be long before they realize we exist now though.
I do hope that the community that embodies the St. Athanasius and St. John School rise against this terrorism levied against them. TRR posted their involvement as facts. They should be held accountable for their lies and slander.
It’s past time for the community to rise up against this group of individuals that is willing to engage in community terrorism, even against children.
Once again your website is full of lies and slander. You obviously hate to be called on your disreputable and unethical behavior and so you continue to try to hurt innocent people.
Once again, you prove your actions are motivated by hurting anyone you "think" may be holding you accountable and that you will seek revenge without care for who you hurt in the process, even if it's the children of this town. You continue to prove it never was about caring about this town or this the people in it.
You're behavior completely disgusts me.
The real editor of the RFP
Friday, September 12, 2008
I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.
I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.
But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.
I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.
Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, 'It was a task from God.'
Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.
She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.
Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.
Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.
Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.
I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.
If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, 'Drill Drill Drill.' I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.
Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?
-- Eve Ensler
Monday, September 8, 2008
In a letter to Carey, CasinosNO! chair Philip Harriman said that according to Rumford officials, Carey discussed the possible location of the casino and other investors in his plan for a Las Vegas-style casino in Oxford County.
“As far as we know, the location of the casino and the investors in the casino have not been revealed publicly to the voters who will decide this issue in November,” wrote Harriman. “It is our view that this closed-door meeting with the selectmen was a violation of Maine’s Right to Know Law. We believe the voters deserve to know all of the facts surrounding your proposal, including the details of what you told the Rumford Selectmen in last week’s private meeting.”
As a way to put an end to the secrecy and confusion surrounding the casino proposal, Harriman suggested a televised debate between the two sides. “We believe that Maine voters, not just the Rumford Selectmen, deserve to know the possible location of the casino and who is financing it before voting on Nov. 4th,” Harriman wrote.
The Rumford Board of Selectmen held an hour-long, closed-door meeting on Aug. 28th with Carey to discuss his casino proposal. Following the meeting, according to a report by the Lewiston Sun Journal, at least one of the selectmen who was undecided about the casino stated his support based on what he was told by Carey during the meeting.
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-347-6077, 207-749-4963
Friday, September 5, 2008
The local section of the newspaper had a little local news about the proposed school merger and a wonderful story about a 17 year old local boy who single handedly worked to make our community a better place.
Then there was one story about the Rumford Selectmen backing away from their endorsement of a proposed Casino in Oxford County. The story in itself was interesting and had some controversy in it but nothing major after all the controversy this town has suffered through for the last few years. The selectmen held a meeting that was likely illegal. The meeting was designed to garner support for the Casino sponsored by the son of the town attorney.
You know the town attorney, Tom Carey. He was hired to protect the town from opening itself up to things that could cause problems like holding illegal meetings and using town resources to affect the results of a pending political referendum. This particular meeting was asked for by his son who is also an attorney (at least for the time being) so whatever. This town has become quite accustomed to such controversy so we are all probably more than a little desensitized to this kind of stuff by now.
Then you read the comments section of the online story. Wow!
There is an unbelievable amount of information in there and it says so much about what’s been happening in this town over the last few years.
Most of the comments were not very supportive of the current town manager.
You know the town manager, Len Greaney. He was hired by the town without providing a resume or as much as a single letter of reference. That’s OK though because he is (at least for the time being) friends of the three selectmen that have been controlling the town. They told us he was hired only as an interim town manager until the selectmen could search for a real one. After they got him in the door he was deemed not to be interim any longer. It’s really not a big deal to us residents of the town because we’ve become quite accustomed to such things in our town and we are all probably more than a little desensitized to this kind of stuff by now.
But I digress.
What I really found interesting was a couple of the comments made in the online section of the story. Take this one for instance:
Posted By:Hugh Chisholm Fan at September 5, 2008 6:49 AMMr. Greaney, Go to MVHS
and ask the biology deptartment if the have any room in the lab to grow a few
spines? If so please grow a few and pass them out at your next closed door
session. We are known for standing up and taking chances, the Sun Journal
continues to bash us no matter what we do. wouldn't it be nice if actually stood
up for ourselves and one of our own and WON. The Sun Journal staff is always
looking to cut other towns because they hate the fact that they live in Lewburg,
they should turn their negative spew on themselves what a DUMP lewiston is,
drive down any Tree street in Lewspew, and you will see.. These poor
writers/staff have to live with this daily, its no wonder they have chosen a
town like Rumford to dump on, especially hen the town manager folds his 4 aces.
Way to lay right down Len, you make this so easy for them, great job!
Holy crap! Did I really read that?
It seems Hugh Chisholm Fan is mad at Mr. Greaney because he had the moral fortitude to tell the truth about the illegal meeting. Perhaps Hugh Chisholm Fan thinks Mr. Greaney should have lied? He had 4 aces, a winning hand and if he had only not admitted his mistake, they would have taken care of “one of their own and won”
Want to know why we have had so much controversy in this town? Go read that post again. It’s right there.
Len Greaney was publicly ridiculed by one of his own for having the “spine” to do what was right. That is quite alone is telling.
This battle in town is about a select group that is willing to do whatever it takes to take care of their own. It’s not about taking care of the town. It’s not about taking care of the residents that live here. It's not about doing what is morally right. It's not about telling the truth. It’s about taking care of their own and they are obviously willing to do whatever is necessary to take care of their own and win. If you have to behave unethically, so what? They know the fine people of this town have become quite desensitized to that kind of behavior.
Many in this town have talked about the damage this group has caused and continues to cause the town of Rumford. I fully believe that this group has caused more damage to this town than any other thing that has happened since my earliest recollections and that’s becoming a long time now. This post by lovetohate is quite telling too:
…i moved away from rumford because of all the bulls--- last year iSorry Rumford but I just couldn't live there anymore?
got sick and tired seeing Rumford in the newspaper and people complaining
about things that they cant or wont help fix every time we get someone in
office that can help straighten that mess up somebody got something bad to
say now i dont have to listen to it. Sorry rumford but i just couldnt live
there any more…
This person moved away from Rumford because they couldn’t stand the constant nonsense that this group has caused with their self-serving, manipulative behavior. I’m sure there are others as well.
I know former RPD Detective Mark Cayer moved for this reason because he flat out said so. I’m guessing our former Fire Chief left for similar reasons. Quality town employees will continue to move on to other jobs where they are appreciated.
I could go on about the damage this group continues to cause our town but I don’t think I have too. All you have to do is read the article in the Sun Journal. It’s pretty clear.
And it’s just another day for this small town, just like any other day has been for the past few years.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I believe that their behavior continues to tear down the town of Rumford far worse than anything else in this town.
They have worked hard to destroy the Fire Department and have made a total mess out of that department. Morale there remains at an all time low and the budget is now a complete mess. The only reason that things have stayed together there as well as they have is because of the professionalism of the people in those positions
Now they are starting on the Police Department again and I doubt they will be happy until they make a total mess over there too. They have already started to ruin that department with their petty attacks, inaccurate, biased “statistics” and now their sarcasm.
The people that work in these departments will only tolerate the political climate TRR is creating for so long. Detective Mark Cayer left last spring and directly said he was leaving because of the political nonsense in this town. This is the quote from the Sun Journal. “He blamed the situation on political differences between selectmen who should be focusing their energies on economic development instead of petty attacks on one another, Cayer said”
It’s just a matter of time before more good people follow.
The people associated with the TRR are doing their utmost to ruin this town.
Why can’t they see that? Why do they continue to do so?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Last Thursday, the Rumford Board of Selectmen held a closed-door meeting with Seth Carey, the head of the casino proposal. The meeting was private; no members of the public or press were allowed into the hour-long session. Following the meeting, according to a report by the Lewiston Sun Journal, at least one of the selectmen who was undecided about the casino stated his support based on what he was told by Carey during the meeting.
“We believe the meeting was illegal, a violation of the state’s Right to Know law,” said Dennis Bailey, executive director of CasinosNO!, the state’s grassroots organization opposed to the expansion of casino gambling. “We’ve written to the Rumford town manager asking for clarification but have received no response.
“Besides being illegal, the private meeting raises other questions,” Bailey continued. “What is Seth Carey telling the Rumford selectmen to win their support that he isn’t telling the voters who will decide this issue in November? Have promises been made or deals struck that the voters should know about before deciding this issue?”
Bailey said the question of the possibly illegal meeting is complicated by the fact that Seth Carey’s father, Thomas Carey, serves as the town’s attorney (although it is unclear if he was involved in last Thursday’s meeting) and has contributed to the Oxford County casino campaign.
Bailey also noted that Seth Carey is facing misconduct charges related to his legal practice, and the former spokesperson for the casino Pat LaMarche recently resigned suggesting that she would have had to lie in order to promote the casino. LaMarche also complained about “moral failings and disreputable conduct” by members of the campaign organization.
“And these people want to run a casino,” Bailey asked. “I think it’s clear from their tactics and behavior that voters should be very skeptical about giving them the keys to the castle and vote NO on Nov. 4th.”
CONTACT: Dennis Bailey, 207-347-6077, 207-749-4963
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Gamblers caught in the 'machine zone'Slot machines have become so sophisticated that their designers can exploit every weakness.
NATASHA DOW SCHULL, Special to the Press Herald
August 23, 2008
Behind the lights, beeps and buzzers, there’s some deep calculation going on. All forms of gambling are not created equal.
Mainers should take this into account when deciding how to vote in November's referendum for a casino in Oxford County.
At the request of the Maine group Casinos No!, I wanted to share my research as a social anthropologist on this social trend.
My studies of gambling have focused on a dramatic turn that has taken place in recent decades from social forms of gambling played at tables – poker, blackjack, baccarat – to asocial forms played alone at video terminals, now the most popular form of gambling.
If voters endorse the proposal to allow an unlimited number of slot machines at an Oxford County casino, residents will be exposed to devices that have been carefully and specifically designed to make them lose as much money as possible.
It's important for voters to understand how these machines work.
Every feature of a slot machine – its mathematical structure, visual graphics, sound dynamics, seating and screen ergonomics – is calibrated to increase a gambler's "time on device" and to encourage "play to extinction," which is industry jargon for playing until all your money is gone.
The machines have evolved from handles and reels to buttons and screens, from coins to credit cards, from a few games a minute to hundreds.
Although gambling machines must by law use random number generators, the results are fed through complicated mathematical algorithms that give game designers a great deal of control over outcomes – leading some to suggest that these algorithms are a high-tech way to "load the dice."
Using advanced computer chips and integrated circuits, the machines are designed to exploit aspects of human psychology, and they do it well.
In the eyes of the casino industry, this may look like success, but it comes at great expense to players.
The rise in slots gambling, fueled in large part by these technological developments, has led to much higher rates of gambling addiction.
This is evident at Gamblers Anonymous meetings in Las Vegas, where the vast majority of participants are machine gamblers.
These gamblers are motivated more by a need to escape reality than any desire for entertainment and excitement.
Without the presence of social elements such as other players or a live dealer, they are able to exit the world and enter a state where everything fades away.
Slot machines so completely concentrate players' attention on a series of game events that anything troubling about their life situations – physically, emotionally or socially – gets blotted out. Players enter what's known as the "machine zone," where even winning stops mattering.
In fact, it can be unwelcome because it interrupts the flow of play. Such players only stop when their credits are consumed.
Discussion of problem gambling typically focuses on individual gamblers and their "predisposition" to addiction.
This focus ignores the fact that some activities are more addictive than others. The aim of the gambling industry is to increase its bottom line, not to create addicts.
But in effect, its efforts to make slot machines so effective at extracting money from people yields a product that, for all intents and purposes, approaches every player as a potential addict – in other words, someone who won't stop playing until his or her means are depleted.
The pro-slots contingent promises increased money for the state, but it's important to understand where that money comes from.
The revenue from slot machines comes not from entertaining but by exploiting people.
Should the government, whose role is to protect its citizens, become a partner in this ethically dubious enterprise?
Maine voters should think twice before allowing more slots in their state.
Copyright © 2008 Blethen Maine Newspapers
ABOUT THE AUTHORNatasha Dow Schull of Cambridge, Mass., is an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her book, "Machine Zone: Technology and Compulsion," will be published next year by Princeton University Press.
Friday, August 22, 2008
One thing you don’t have to guess about is there are some serious problems with this Casino issue. That is very clear.
Another thing we didn’t need to guess about is how the vote was going to go with our selectmen supporting this effort.
People have speculated that the $90,000 that was put aside for economic development was really seed money for the casino effort. $90,000 at a time when we are making humongous cuts to the public safety budget. Now we have Seth Carey publicly asking for the town to spend money on his effort. I believe that those same three selectmen have planned from the beginning to try to push a huge portion of that $90,000 toward the Casino and soon will be looking for more. They didn’t tell you about it when they suggested it but they’ll have to be coming clean about it soon. What you see is not what you get from this group.
Why would any selectman that cares about our town vote to support an effort that clearly has questionable ethical problems, is supporting undesirable changes to the laws of the state, puts the Casino leadership as a voting member (control) of every board that it’s supposed to contribute money too, is sure to increase crime and social problems in our community and is headed by a man that has serious legal and ethical problems himself?
Please don’t tell me that it’s because we need the economic development it will bring. The Portland Press Herald thoroughly shot that argument out of the water. Most of the money will be taking the fast train right out of the state. If it’s located near Rumford we will be significantly expanding our budget for public safety. Just look at the history of what’s happened in other Casino towns.
I’m not saying there won’t be some economic growth and some increase to our tax base, if it’s located in Rumford. I am saying that the financial and social cost associated with those benefits may be dubious at best.
I have taken a “wait and see” approach to deciding on whether to support this Casino effort. After the events of the past week, I’ve come to fully believe it’s a horrible idea for our community. The straw that broke the camels back was that the lack of quality leadership has created serious problems right from the start. Instead of managing the problems correctly, they have only continued to grow larger. I see little reason to believe this trend will change.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
For a town government that talks a good game of providing an “open” government, the majority of Rumford Selectmen have played just the opposite. It seems the “good old boy” method of selecting town leaders combined with a “bait and switch tactic” is how the game is really played.
Look at what happened with our current Town Manager. Len Greaney was pushed into place by 3 of our selectmen by selling him to us as an “interim” town manager. Now that he’s in place, those same 3 selectmen have voted to remove the term “interim” from his title. That sure makes it seem to have been their plan as soon as they did their quick 180 degree turn away from John Madigan. They didn’t tell the people in the community what their plan was. They just snuck him in the back door.
What are Len’s qualifications to be town manager? Know one really seems to know. People have made a big deal out of his experience as an executive for a fortune five hundred company. What exactly did he do for which fortune five hundred company? Someone asked him directly which company he worked for and he refused to answer. If his major qualification is working for this company, why the big secret about it?
Fact is, it seems there really isn’t a lot we do know about Greaney. Did he ever have to supply the town a resume? How about go through an interview process and answer questions about his work experience and qualifications? Were there any background checks done? Based on what we know about him, his major qualifications as a town manager seem to be that he’s buddies with at least 3 of our current selectmen.
This man has an awful lot of responsibility in our town for us to know so little about his background.
If you can get past what appears to be the deception of the “select three” in the way they went about this whole thing, you still have to know they did a great disservice to the town. They robbed us from having the chance to have the best possible candidate leading our town, chosen from a field of qualified applicants.
Our community deserves that, even if it means the town may end up hiring someone that isn’t one of the buddies of these three selectmen.