Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Like I said, it's a sentiment that I've heard on the radio and read in the paper and it's plain bullshit.
The ten taxpayers did not kill the casino. Yes their lawsuit halted the land sale to the Wampanoags but really the only direct impact that has had is to deny the Redevelopment Authority of revenue it gets from land sales. For the RDA this is a real issue because they are in desperate need of the money but for the casino it's just one small little hurdle.
Now don't get me wrong I think what these 10 taxpayers have done is fantastic. I think they're heroes. I have major issues with taking land that only was transferred to the city and to the RDA with the stipulation that is not be used for a casino and then ignoring that and working around it. The argument is the stipulation would have been in place but the reality is if the land were to become sovereign land the stipulation wouldn't matter.
However, halting the land sale didn't kill the casino. Even if the sale of the land happened tomorrow you couldn't build on it. Casino gaming isn't legal in Massachusetts. That has to go back before the legislature and then back before the governor. And while I am hearing from some that it will come back before the legislature it doesn't mean it will pass. Even if it does pass a panel will have to select which proposals get a license. There is no guarantees at all that Fall River would be one of the ones selected.
Again the 10 taxpayers didn't kill the casino because it's not legal in Massachusetts and even if it were there is no guarantee Fall River would be one of the selected locations.
Of course the tribe also wanted to put the land into trust which would make it sovereign land. While this would certainly eliminate the problem of the it not being legal or the risk of not being selected Sovereign status is no guarantee either. The tribe has no direct connection to the land and such claims are said to get a low priority.
The 10 taxpayers didn't kill the casino because sovereign status was never a given and without the tribe can't build because it's not legal in Massachusetts and there is no guarantee that Fall River would be one of the selected locations.
Lastly, even if the land sale had gone through with all the other obstacles in the way it would be years, if ever, before a casino was built and operational. It would be years before they ever broke ground.
The 10 taxpayers didn't kill the casino, they simply added one more hurdle to the process. Maybe it will be the straw that broke that camel's back but overall it's a small hurdle compared to what the casino already faced. What the 10 taxpayers have done is given us an opportunity to take a breath and reassess. With Meditech building just over the Freetown line locating the Biopark in the north end makes more sense than ever. It is a project that can break ground almost immediately and one the whole region sees the benefits of. UMD's Chancellor McCormack still believes that the 300 acre site is the best location for the biopark. As for the casino, it's not dead. Mayor Flanagan is already talking to the Wampanoag's about alternate locations and considering that it's not yet legal we have time to do it right.
It would seem so. Flanagan has stated that he is not out of options but indicated the city would take no further legal action. He has also indicated that he would be talking to the state officials and Chancellor Jean McCormack.
Is a casino really dead?
I think if someone threw the Mayor a lifeline he would grab it. At this point he would need some indication that a casino bill would be a high priority in this next legislative session. The lifeline could also come in the form of removing the land restriction on the 300 acre site, which would make the land sale legal.
Of course neither of these things would make a casino in Fall River a reality. There are other obstacles.
It seems that the Mayor is ready to at least talk about bringing the biopark back to the site and Chancellor McCormack has stated that this is the ideal site. She has also made it clear that if the University commits its resources it will only be with a binding agreement in place.
Is a casino dead?
It turns out the Mayor has been discussing other possible locations in the city with the Wampanoags. If that's the case well then maybe we really could have both. It might even lead to a casino proposal I could support.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
the Mitchell Apartment building. Normally this wouldn't be something
that I would blog about but there was something about the story that
got my attention. The Herald News reported that the driver slowed when
the elderly man's daughter was crossing but didn't see him step out
from between two parked vehicles.
The comment section seems filled with back and forth comments on
whether the driver should have used more care of the pedestrian.
Just last night I found myself driving on Bay Street near Gold Medal
Bakery and as I was driving someone crossed from the side of the road
where the bakery is on over to Sunset Hill.
I never saw them.
The only thing I saw was a darkness that broke up the beam from the
headlights. Now the person crossing didn't jump out in front of me.
They were a safe distance in front and I had plenty of time to slow
down. But as I got closer I could see that there was another person
holding a child between two vehicles waiting to cross. What if they
had decided to go? What if they had assumed I saw them and was going
Now things are a bit different between Sunset Hill and Mitchell
Apartments. There is no crosswalk with a light to stop traffic. I
don't think there is any crosswalk at all.
While the commentors online focused on the driver, the pedestrian, the
crosswalk, the vehicles headlights, I was caught by this:
"Police said the street was not very brightly lit…"
Now personally I have driven that stretch of Bay Street enough to
think that they should have no parking on both sides of the road and
create parking spaces within the grounds of Sunset Hill. But I have
also driven it enough to know that when it is really dark out there is
not enough illumination from the street lights. Now this accident
takes place and the police say the street wasn't very brightly lit.
It seems to me we should make sure that areas that are high traffic
and have crosswalks should be well lit.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
TJX the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and AJ Wright has announced that they are closing all AJ Wright stores in 60 days. They will also be closing two warehouses one here in Fall River and the other in Indiana. The closings will put over 1,400 Massachusetts employees out of work, about 800 of them in the Fall River area alone.
Companies are in the business of making money. That's the goal and the priority. I get that, and if AJ Wright was losing money I could understand this decision. However AJ Wright is estimated to have made 10 million dollars in after tax profit for the year. So this decision isn't about making profit, it's about making MORE profit. I get that companies are not obligated to have a moral conscience but something seems terribly wrong with closing a profitable division and putting over 4,000 people out of work because you want to make MORE money.
In this economy companies should take pride in putting people back to work not laying them off so the rich can get richer.
In Fall River the AJ Wright Warehouse may be closing but the AJ Wright store will be renovated and converted to either a TJ Maxx, Marshalls or HomeGoods store but really let me give TJX some advice..just close the store. After all you're putting 800 people out of work, so they can't shop there. Fall River already has over 5,000 citizens looking for work so they're not going to be shopping there either. No, you'd be better off closing it now. Think of your investors!
But if you decide to go ahead and open your store anyway I won't be shopping there. You see as a corporation you have the right to decide what to do with your assets. You can open locations and close them however you see fit and for whatever reason you see fit. You can even close a profitable division simply to make MORE money. But I get to decide where I spend my money and I'm not giving it to a company that puts people out of work simply for greed.
I would urge anyone reading this to considering not giving your business to TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, or AJ Wright.