Letters to the Editor

Casino forum planned

Dear Editor:

What Does A Neighborhood Casino Mean For You? will be discussed on Thursday, October 24, 2013, 6-8 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 303 Paris Street

If approved, a casino will change East Boston, for good or ill, for the foreseeable future. While East Boston residents have seen the signs and heard the slogans about the benefits that might come from having a casino as a neighbor in East Boston, there is, of course, another side to the story. In a forum this Thursday, experts and community members will have an opportunity to share their perspectives on ways a casino at Suffolk Downs will impact traffic, our local economy (jobs and small businesses), health, and community. Community residents and leaders will share the ways in which East Boston has become, in many ways, the city’s safest, most livable, family-friendly neighborhood.

“Appropriately, many feel the casino proposal is potentially the most significant turning point in East Boston since airport expansion,” says forum organizer Celeste Myers, co-chair of No Eastie Casino. “Voters should make sure they have all the information about how a casino might impact them before they walk into the voting booth on Nov. 5, and this dialogue gives us the rare opportunity to learn from experts in the field, members of our own community, and those who have lived with casinos.”

Co-sponsored by No Eastie Casino and Friends of East Boston, a featured guest panelist in the moderated discussion will be former CIA operative and Connecticut Congressman Robert Steele, author of The Curse: Big-time Gambling’s Seduction of a Small New England Town. Steele, who ran for Governor in Connecticut, will share from his experiences witnessing first-hand Connecticut’s casino boom and reflect on the decidedly mixed results it has brought his state.

“We’re thrilled to have Congressman Steele with us to give us a snapshot of how casinos impacted his home, local businesses, and elected officials,” Myers said. “His experience in government and law enforcement is a huge plus, but so are his years as an immediate neighbor to the Foxwoods Casino complex.”

Robert Goodman, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Design at Hampshire College and former director of the United States Gambling Research Institute, will be another guest panelist. Community leaders and individuals with both personal and professional knowledge of the casino gambling industry and its impacts will fill out the panel.

Celeste Myers

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