Monday, January 19, 2009

Don't Forget... write those letters.

Urge the Massachusetts and U.S. Attorneys General to investigate the goings on in Middleboro 2007 in light of the recent indictment of Glenn Marshall, as I pointed in out in part three of this post.

Then cc those letters to the Department of the Interior and to Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Next, write a letter to the the DOI and BIA urging them not to place the land in Middleboro into trust, based on the scandal regarding Glenn Marshall - the only member of the Tribe the town had dealings with - and because of the way the process was handled. It stinks!

Then - cc those letters to the Attorneys General.

They can't ignore us forever. Besides, it's a good task for a snowy day.

Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108

Office of the Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Secretary of the Department of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Bureau of Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20240


mel said...

Please keep reminding us.
My husband and I have been reminding each other what happened last year and keep remembering new things.
Each time we think of something else that needs to be investigated, we to write another set of letters.
I'm sure we've forgotten things but if each of us raises concerns about what we remember, most of the questions should be included.
It's a great idea to at least feel we have a voice in the process to insist that we need answers.

Jacquie said...


I am in the midst of writing my letters and was thinking that it might be helpful to post a few anonymous letters to serve as a guide for those who do not know where to begin.

I know that when I read other people's letters to the BIA, it was helpful for me to start writing.

Gladys Kravitz said...

If anyone would like to offer their letter(s) as guides, I will be delighted to post them anonymously. That would be very helpful.

My own letters aren't done yet - and are very long.

Perhaps the best way to start them is the simplest:

Dear Mass. Attorney General,

I'm writing to urge your office to investigate the circumstances surrounding the signing of an Intergovernmental Agreement between Middleboro and Glenn Marshall of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in July 28, 2007 for the following reasons.

And similarly for the DOI/BIA:

I'm writing to urge your office to deny the land into trust application of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe for the land they wish to use in Middleboro, Massachusetts for gaming for the following reasons.

You will find numerous reasons on this blog and many others, but here's a general bullet list of ideas:

- Shady land auction w/Jack Healey and investors.
- The fact that in 2001 Marsha and Perkins dismissed the idea of a casino.
- That Marsha refused to listen to Ameila Bingham regarding Glenn Marshall's background.
- That the town never questioned "the done deal" theory or did their own research, or listen to anyone else who did.
- That they hired a lawyer, Dennis Whittlesey who knew about the potential for a challenge to DOI authority to take land into trust for gaming, about the new regulations that would be out in 2009, and who works for casino interests.
- Selectmen openly wore pro-casino buttons during most meetings leading up to the town meeting.
- One selectmen was quoted as calling casino opposition "braying donkeys".
- The town meeting was rushed recklessly on the premise that the town would 'walk' or go to New Bedford, when there was no actual evidence that they would. The tribe still doesn't want to build in a city - preferring the Foxwoods rural model. The rush to the meeting coincided with the revelation of mounting evidence (like that of Scott Harshbarger) that a casino would cause significant problems for the town.
- The selectmen promoted the casino project despite the fact that Fin Comm opposed it.
- An ambulance service was presented as a major benefit of the project but later it would turn out that no one had done an accurate or even thoughtful assessment of this service which, it would later be revealed, would be cost-prohibitive to the town.
- Impacts were never fully accessed by any experts. No studies were performed. A citizen committee with meeting once a week for 6 weeks was charged with studying impacts while various town department heads offering budget estimates.
- That they held no informational forums for the public which included experts on the various social and environmental issues that the town would face with a casino.
- That they held forums only with Glen Marshall, a historian (who never spoke), lawyers and Prof. Clyde Barrows of UMass Dartmouth who told everyone how much money there was to be had.
- Surrounding communities were not allowed a vote or a voice regarding a project that would most certainly impact their towns and citizens.
- The committee charged with assessing impacts was given 3 months to do their research, yet were ultimately left with only 6 weeks.
- Marsha Brunelle ceased all public debate.
- The project was presented to the town as virtually inevitable and that an agreement was necessary to protect their interests, without informing them that their support for the agreement would in fact be viewed as support for the casino. This was the reason opponents gathered the required signatures to place article III on the warrant.
- The town was given only five days to review the final intergovernmental agreement before the town meeting vote.
- The negotiations included section 22 B which requires the town assist the tribe in achieving any and all approvals for the casino project. This is in clear conflict with the town's best interest.
- Glenn Marshall promised he wouldn't build a casino in Middleboro if they didn't want yet when a substantial majority voted for article III - that they didn't want a casino - Marshall signed the agreement without hesitation.
- Labor unions put pressure on residents to vote YES for the agreement.
- Orange T-shirts were handed out to people before the meeting with the slogan 'Vote YES for Middleboro's future', (and I think I remember some hats, too) while the opposition's informational handouts were taken away by police.
- Residents were kept to the sidewalk away from the Free Speech Zone where members of the surrounding communities and the League of Women Voters were attempting to hand out information.
- The outdoor setting, the heat of the day, and the fact that no children were allowed prevented many residents and stakeholders in the community from having a vote at the town meeting.
- When a resident who attempted to read a letter from a selectman of a town abutting Ledyard CT (home to Foxwoods) Glenn Marshall called proclaimed he was a racist (clearly an attempt at intimidation).
- Glenn Marshall promised to write checks to business owners who lost custorms and homeowners whose property values decreased due to a casino. He also was presented in town as a decorated war hero. In August 2007, a month after the town meeing, it was revealed that Marshall had fabricated his war record (even to Congress), and was a convicted rapist.
- Despite this, in August, the town sent the Department of the Interior a letter of support for the project.
- A resident asked if they could include Article III in the letter and unanimously denied and Article III deemed irrelevant to the letter.
- A Middleboro selectman used the IGA negotiations to promote his law practice.
- Sean Hendricks, who stepped in as chairman after Glenn Marhsall stepped down had his own issues with the authorities.
- Sean Hendricks did not even stay for the entire Bureau of Indian Affairs hearing in Middleboro to listen to the concerns of Middleboro residents.
- In 2008 a selectmen mislead the public about the wording and nature of section 22 B in a cable broadcast.
- In December 2008 Glenn Marshall was indicted on numerous criminal charges associated with achieving the Tribe's Federal recognition.
- Several town selectmen did not even want to talk to the Tribe after this.
- The town later decided to give the Tribe time to 'get it's house in order.' And to wait to arrange a meeting until after their elections. More time was given the Tribe, in fact than to the town of Middleboro.
- In 2002 a Harvard Study for the Aquinnah Wampanoag pinpointed Middleboro on a map as the best place for a Tribal casino.
- On a radio program Sean Hendricks admitted the Tribe only wanted Middleboro for the land for a casino.

How's that for a start?

There's probably many more that you can think of and of course, for the DOI/BIA you'd want to get the charges off the Marshall indictment.

A wealth of information can be found on the blogs and the Cape Cod Times.

- Gladys

just wondering said...

We're just small town people who have listened to what others have to say.
Big City Slickers don't understand that what they have said to others gets passed around, especially when they subsequently make disparaging comments about others or call them braying donkeys.

Instead of sending a long letter, my husband and I have raised numerous issues in short letters.
These issues come to mind ---

-Mr. Bond has it posted on CST that the Tribe didn't intend to live in Mboro. Isn't that casino shopping?
-When residents attempted to remove the casino parcel from the land auction, Wayne Perkins said the town is not in the real estate business and Marsha Brunelle said we won't discuss the land auction.
It might seem they were both aware of the land use.
-Stephen Graham was lurking around Town Hall for ages prior to the land auction and was seen reviewing Assessors' Maps with Jack Healey.
-Have we forgotten that Jack Healey postponed his retirement for one year? Why?
-It was widely known prior to the land auction that the Mashpee were considering Mboro, yet the land was auctioned in a poorly advertised auction for a small fraction of its marketable value at that time. Stephen Graham was at that auction. As Jack Healey departed, he whispered in Neil Rosenthal's ear. Why was Neil Rosenthal present?
-Wayne Perkins acknowledged publicly that the 'town' was negotiating with the 'Tribe' prior to the Tribe being granted recognition.
-Mr. Bond acknowledged that all negotiations took place with Laurence Deitch, an investor and Stephen Graham who calls himself a 'lobbyist.' There is no indication that the tribe participated or was represented.
-Why is Mr. Bond revealing that now?
-What's in the contract that Glenn Marshall negotiated with Herb Strather? The Tribe doesn't even know. (Maybe the Mashpee think they'll get rich, but they will be sadly mistaken.)
-Who paid all those out of towners who waved signs at the Rotary or collected signatures around town? Who paid for the tour busses that brought the sign wavers to various public meetings?
-When a small business owner rose to ask about the potential impacts on her business at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Glenn Marshall labelled her a racist and blasted her with the same canned rhetoric, verbatim, that he had used at the Nichols Middle School.
-Union members were told that if they opposed the casino, they would never hold another union job.
-Union members were called at their homes and told how to vote. Some also received evening visits at their homes.
-Cyberstalking and harassment appear to be part of a well organized campaign geared at intimidation.
-Businesses of casino opponents were targeted in an organized effort. Who knew about it? Scott Ferson? Elected officials? No one ever spoke up to stop it.
-If this was a legitimate option for the town, it would have withstood public scrutiny and widespread discussion.
-Why was the casino endorsed by certain people and town departments before an agreement existed?
-Why is a certain someone making inquiries about others around town? Is he building a case to have something to sell to the feds when they come looking for him?

Gladys Kravitz said...

"Just Wondering" - thank you! Those were great points!

They demonstrate that the behavior of some was geared toward rushing the agreement for the benefit of others. They demonstrate suspicious behaviors.

What was promised in return? I suppose some might have thought it would save the town. But the town was lost as soon as the gavel came down on public input.

Was something more tangible offered in return for silencing the public? For rushing the vote? For sliding good old section 22B into the agreement so the town would be sanctioned to do whatever the Tribe wanted?

Without weighing the information offered by the opposition and their own Fin Comm, and by acting irresponsibly, without moderation or an accurate assessment of impacts - it is no surprise the IGA won't cover those impacts, and gives the Tribes/investors all the leverage.

Anonymous said...

Members of the BOS were so eager to get the IGA passed, but not very interested in who they were making a deal with (remember Amelia) , how much Middleborough would get (Daa...what's a comp??), what impacts there would be (whatever it is, it can be mitigated), or what rights Middleborough would have to give up (section 22b).

What was their motivation???

Do you thing AB knew Larry Deich prior to 2006? He is on the board of regents at Bond's alma matter and practices the same type of law.

Anthony said...

Dear anonymous,
With all due respect, exactly what type of law would that be?
Many of us have yet to figure it out.
Some of his 'experiences' listed on his resume seem to be what others have done. Like Supreme Court? Law Review? Hello? These things can be checked out, even by a braying donkey like myself.
Dazzle 'em with BS and think they're too stupid to check?
Those braying mules may be stupid, but boy, get 'em riled up ......

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see Jack Healey at last week's bos? He looked like a man under stress, maybe being investigated. He looked like he needed a haircut and with his pension, he can afford it.

Anonymous said...

You raised a good point about no one waiting for the Finance Committee, but how could the School Committee and the Superintendent/aka Swim Coach endorse this before they even knew how bad the terms were?
They supposedly traveled to CT.
Clearly, they didn't ask the tough questions because the CT web site lists the school districts that are FAILED because of the ESL=English as a Second Language. If we can't count on educators to educate themselves and fairly assess the educational impacts, who can we count on?
And the only projections the Swim Coach provided were school REPAIRS, never mind that we'll need new schools with an influx of population.
This smelled from day one.

Anonymous said...

Ding, Ding, Ding!!! and the answer is........... 7 Million dollars.

"That sure nuf is a lot of money. Bet we could fix all our budgit problems and git another raise. Hell, thats more money than I ever seen in my whole life. Gonna git me one of them new fangled color tv's, yup......