Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stand and Deliver

It's like Deja Vu all over again.

Middleboro Town Manager Charles J. Cristello said many communities surrounding the proposed casino are reaching out to the governor, but to no avail.

"From what we’ve seen and what we've heard, no one is listening," he said

On June 6, Middleboro selectmen sent a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick regarding mitigation measures that have not been addressed during negotiations with the tribe.

"Our own governor won’t even listen to us," Middleboro Selectman Stephen J. McKinnon said Monday night regarding the casino negotiations.

In a June 14 email, state Rep. Keiko Orrall, R-Lakeville, asked Patrick to meet with neighboring communities to hear their concerns and allow them to be included in the compact negotiations with the tribe, but so far a meeting has not been scheduled.

-- Middleboro, other towns want state to listen
to concerns about Taunton

So, OK, I know this is short notice, but, even though the Governor still has his earmuffs on, there are two upcoming opportunities to be heard.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is holding a hearing on June 20, 2012 at Taunton High School at 6 p.m. to listen to concerns regarding a proposed Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal casino in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Speaking time will be limited at this hearing, so if you plan on speaking, please have an additional copy of your testimony for the BIA. Written comments will also be recorded.

Concerns can also be submitted in writing to the BIA, but must be received by July 2, 2012.

If you plan on writing to the BIA, it is important that you send your letters by certified mail, one letter per envelope. Certain other guidelines for mailing also apply - please check here for additional important information.

Residents of the host AND surrounding communities are encouraged to raise the following issues and areas of concern to be addressed by an Environmental Impact Study prior to approval of a Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal casino in Taunton:

  • Air Quality
  • Archaeology, Historical & Cultural
  • Biota - Threatened & Endangered Species
  • Coastal Zone Issues
  • Construction, Demolition, Landscaping & Reclamation
  • Crime Potential, Protection and Prevention
  • Current, Post and Future Cumulative Impacts
  • Demographic Trends
  • Energy (electrical, fuel, etc) Resource Use & Changes
  • Fire Potential, Protection and Prevention
  • Floodplain, River, Lake, Wetland & Riparian Areas
  • Forests, Forestry Resources and Logging
  • Geology, Seismic and Mining
  • Hazardous Substances and Wastes
  • Health and Safety: OSHA
  • Indian Religious Issues
  • Land-use plans
  • Noise
  • Non hazardous waste
  • Paleontological Resources
  • Prime and Unique Farm Lands
  • Protected, Sensitive and Special management Areas
  • Rangeland, Range Resources and Range Activities
  • Recreational/Subsistence Hunting, fishing, Gathering
  • Releases
  • Socioeconomic Issues
  • Stormwater Discharges
  • Utilities Issues and Changes
  • Vehicular and Pedestrian Traffic Issues and Changes
  • Vital resources (light pollution, views, aesthetics, etc.)
  • Wastewater treatment and Disposal
  • Water quality (surface, ground and drinking water)
  • Water quantities needed and/or affected
  • Other (specify)

I've been told that residents in towns as far away as 35 miles from Taunton can voice their concerns to the BIA - and if that means you, this is probably your one opportunity to have those concerns heard, and placed in the official record.

Unless, that is, you work in the Housekeeping department at the Hyatt in which case the Governor will rush right over, bring a film crew, listen intently, demand justice - and write about it in his memoir.

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