CARS HOMES JOBS

Comments by dagiacalone


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Posted on June 1 at 4:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Tocker, It doesn't look like a referendum is possible, as the casino siting process was clearly set up to leave the question to the elected leaders closest to people and businesses that will be most impacted. Kinda makes one yearn for recall and impeachment powers at the City level.
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Note: When explaining above why a County is not a Host Municipality that can give the required approval, I forgot to include the most direct passage in the Request for Applications. At page 7, it says "For purposes of this requirement, the Host Municipality of a Project Site located in a city is the city."
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A cynic might think folks in the County Building and at Metroplex were lending Mayor McCarthy a helping hand for arm-twisting. Undecided Council members might have concluded over the weekend that the courage it takes to resist the Party's bullying tactics was simply not worth the aggravation: If the County could override their No vote, it would simply be symbolic and quixotic. Please let Mssrs. Erickson and Mootooveren know a no vote can indeed be worthwhile and gratifying.
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Over at tinyURL.com/noalcocasino , reasons for opposing this urban casino will be collected and posted over the next two days, along with a Petition to download and sign, and information on the Anti-Casino Rally at 1 PM Saturday, June 7, at Arthur's Market, across from Lawrence the Indian, at Front and N. Ferry Streets.


From: Casino developer will air plans to Schenectady council; foes to gather


Posted on May 31 at 11:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

mezz3131, I wish I had the time to do this, too. But, it seems too important to ignore, so I am giving up a lovely weekend. As you have probably seen, the proponents of casinos have had lots of press and lots of meetings with the powers that be, and they spend millions to make their billions, so can hire pr firms and cheerleaders.
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The best neutral information I have found says that urban casinos do indeed bring several kinds of street and financial crime with them. The neighborhoods nearest a casino are negatively impacted. It is a gamble I am not willing to take with my neighborhood, especially given the excessive predictions of tax revenues and the trends in many places of a significant drop-off in revenues. And, what happens when businesses not connected enough to partner up with Galesi-Rush suffer greatly and reduce staff, go out of business, or move to the suburbs.
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Thanks for disagreeing without getting ornery.


From: Casino developer will air plans to Schenectady council; foes to gather


Posted on May 31 at 12:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The City of Schenectady is the only Host Municipality that can approve a casino application. The definition of "Host Municipality" in the Gaming Commission's Request for Applications (page 9) is "each town, village or city in the territorial boundaries of which the Project Site described in an Application is located. " The County cannot supply the needed "local support" if the City fails to pass an approval resolution.


From: Casino developer will air plans to Schenectady council; foes to gather


Posted on May 29 at 2:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I hope the appearance of a tornado in Town gives the Duanesburg Town Board, and its new Supervisor, second thoughts about letting the Town's scofflaw Planning Board grant a special use permit to Long Energy for placement of a 30,000-gallon propane tank in the Town. Duanesburg's Zoning Ordinance places the storage of explosive and flammable materials in the category of a Heavy Industrial Use, and the Ordinance allows no heavy industrial use anywhere in Duanesburg. That did not stop the Planning Board from granting the huge storage tank a special use permit under the business category of a "shop or store," although there was no shop, no personnel, and no customers or sales allowed at the bulk propane storage facility.
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Long Energy brought no new jobs to Duanesburg, and surely lowered values of nearby properties. The Town Board could have taken the question of whether a tank is a store to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which should have ended the farce. It also could have refused to pay to finance a defense of the special use permit when it was challenged in court (the petitioners lost under the doctrine of laches, because the court said the nearby family had waited too long to bring their lawsuit, despite having acted within the short statute of limitations).
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As for safety, the Planning Board let Long Energy place the tank 75 feet from Western Turnpike, within 200 feet of the nearest home, and near many other homes and a church. The tank also sits atop a hill with no barriers to protect it. The Planning Board said there was no danger of an explosion harming neighbors, because it never considered what would happen if there were a large rupture of the tank. It simply accepted Long's data, which only covered normal leakage from small tubes or pipes.
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The Town Board should make sure no other huge propane tank or other bulk storage of explosive or flammable materials is allowed in Duanesburg, perhaps by further clarifying the Ordinance, for those who do not use dictionaries. It might also consider ways to refuse the renewal of the tank's certificate of occupancy, as it was and is inconsistent with the Town's Zoning Ordinance. Also, the doctrines of laches and estoppel would normally not apply to a governmental body wanting to remove an unlawful dangerous use that was not grandfathered in. The Board should perhaps consider bringing a lawsuit to have the bulk propane facility declared to be a dangerous inconsistent use, which must be ended. That might sound harsh to Long Energy, but a propane tank can be merely placed on the back of the same kind of truck that brought it to Duanesburg, and brought to an appropriate location.
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What would have happened if that tornado lifted or toppled, or hurled a large object into, a 70-foot-long propane tank?
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[Note: I was the lawyer on the appeal by the neighbors who had hoped to stop the tank, and I still wonder how it ever could have been allowed.]


From: Editorial: Storm puts focus on storage


Posted on May 29 at 12:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

JIMOCONNOR: The Applicant is only required to obtain an approval resolution from the legislature of the host municipality. So, the County and Metroplex can let City Hall get a backache from posturing.


From: Schenectady Council facing casino time crunch


Posted on May 29 at 8:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It is not believable that the ardent supporters of the Casino in City Hall did not know they needed to have a resolution passed by the end of June, or had a senior moment and let it slip their minds. What is very believable is that Ms. King would be willing to look foolish in order to cook up an excuse to avoid a public hearing. She and the Mayor have been twisting the arms of Council members to get unanimous support for the Casino, in order to present the Gaming Facility Siting Commission with an image of solid support in the community for the Casino. A public hearing could, of course, reveal the size and strength of the opposition.
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The leaders of the Stockade Association apparently also want to avoid any public controversy over the Casino at the close-by ALCO site, so they have decided not to call a meeting of Association members about the Casino, even though a solid majority of Stockade residents voting on the casino proposition last November said No to any upstate casino. This leaves us with very public support and cheerleading for the casino by the Association president, but no official statement or resolution by an Association chartered to represent the Stockade neighborhood before government bodies, and pledged to preserve the residential nature and safety of the Stockade.


From: Schenectady Council facing casino time crunch


Posted on May 21 at 10:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Kosiur [BlueEd], Asking tough question before jumping on a bandwagon is not negative, it's realistic and responsible. We would not have to be quite so negative so often, if more of our City Council members would stop being rubber stamps for the Mayor, worrying more about getting appointed or being nominated again by the Party, and started asking tough questions about proposals, and doing some actual research about facts and figures and the basis for revenue projections. When we see the Council acting like they take their jobs seriously, acting like truly elected officials with the individual and collective authority and responsibility to serve the public and not the Party, we won't have to be skeptical of their ability to make wise decisions.
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Why should we believe that a City Hall that can't even put a parking meter ordinance together after a year of trying, has thought through the ramifications of hitching Schenectady's future and reputation on a casino?
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Have you asked yourself what the prominent business leaders have/hope to gain from supporting this casino and whether their interests are consistent with those of less-favored businesses and the average citizen? Or, asked how big a gamble you are willing to take with the quality of life of our City, and whether there are less risky uses for that property? Mr. Galesi and Mr. Buiko certainly could not have counted on winning a casino license when they proposed the Harbor Project. So, they must have a Plan A and Plan B for making the Harbor project work successfully without sole reliance on this Plan C[asino].
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P.S. Have you noticed that Rush Street and Galesi have not mentioned how many post-construction jobs the casino will generate, or estimated how many jobs non-favored "leisure" businesses will lose when their income is drained away to the casino?


From: Schenectady Rivers Casino proposal unveiled


Posted on May 20 at 2:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is Rush Street Gaming a good partner for a casino and good neighbor for Schenectady? I wonder how Rush Street answers the very specific claims made against it by a citizens' group in Worcester MA. See
http://votenoslots.com/rush-street-gamin...
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The webpage looks at Rush Street's record at its casinos regarding taxes, fines for gaming violations. crime, broken promises, jobs & labor, salaries, economic impact, and Neighbor relations, with footnoted links to relevant media sources.
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And, I wonder what Schenectady's Casino Cheerleaders have to say about Rush Street's record operating casinos.


From: Schenectady Rivers Casino proposal unveiled


Posted on May 13 at 10:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

JoeK, Is it your idea of good leadership for our elected officials to jump on a bandwagon without kicking the tires and peeking behind the rosy promises? If no one is allowed to speak out against a bad idea, or at least urge caution and raise questions, without a viable alternate plan, you'd have a lot more free time. Should we automatically accept any large project willing to come to Schenectady because we want our taxes to be lower (even though there is never any guarantee that taxes would go down)? Maybe we could have a Stockade Maximum Security Prison, or Goose Hill Garbage and Nuclear Waste Dump.
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How many net jobs will be produced by a casino? Would they be quality jobs that go to Schenectadians? What competing "leisure" and tourist businesses that have stuck it out in Schenectady will go under or move to the suburbs? Check out the unemployment rate in Atlantic City over the past few decades with its casinos. It is consistently higher than the county around it and the entire state of New Jersey. Also please look into crime rates around the casinos and in towns along major roads leading to the casinos, and visit the neighborhoods beyond the casino district to see if they are thriving. Also, you better call ahead before heading out to eat at any Atlantic City restaurant that existed before the casinos arrived.
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Schenectady is not so desperate that it needs to risk the quality of life of its people on a big gamble like a casino, which we cannot wish away once it arrives, no matter how many problems it creates and promises fail to come true. What is it worth to you in reduced taxes, if Schenectady continues to be known for what it used to be, and is saddled with the image of a city with so little hope it risked its future on being just one of numerous casino towns within a two or three hour drive?


From: Don't accept rosy predictions for downtown casino


Posted on April 30 at 9:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Seeking or giving support for a Schenectady casino without even knowing the identity and plans of the Applicant seems rather risky. And, accepting at face value the glowing expectations of our professional development cheerleaders and of business leaders planning to partner with any casino, is an even bigger gamble.
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When estimating or anticipating benefits from a casino, we need to keep in mind that a stand-alone casino draws far fewer people from outside the area than a resort-style casino. The NYS Gaming Task Force Report to the Governor (1996) did a close analysis of market areas and segments, and pointed out that most regular customers would be coming from a primary zone of up to 25 miles away and would not need to stay overnight; they would, however, be spending money that would be part of (that is, competing with) the regular local leisure market.
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Customers from the secondary zone come from 25 to 75 miles away and are expected to come less often that those in the primary zone. The Report assumed "that only a few of the secondary zone people (15 percent) would be staying the night in the immediate area." Customers from the tertiary zone of 75 to 150 miles would come "much less frequently", and only 35% would stay overnight. The Task Force Report also noted that the potential customer base is reduced by having other casinos within the 150-mile area that is the "limits of a realistic market size for a casino."
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We also need to know what kind of tax deal Mr. Gillen and Metroplex, the City and County plan to offer an applicant, before counting revenues that would reduce the tax burden of Schenectady tax payers. And, to remember that property values going up could mean higher property taxes for individuals that offset any predicted budget cuts.
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The Task Force Report also notes that "[C]asinos in urban areas should be concerned with the potential for prostitution, panhandling, pick-pocketing and purse snatching. Urban casinos would be adversely affected by unsafe urban environments, so that more resources would have to be devoted to maintain order and protect citizens from street crime." (at 219) In addition, "Traffic-related problems, including drunken driving, road congestion, stranded motorists, parking lot accidents, and automobile break-ins, were also viewed as more prevalent." (at 217)
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Moreover, pathological gamblers "will likely commit additional income-generating crimes", and "Larceny, embezzlement, check forgery, loan fraud and tax evasion are thought to be the most common crimes."
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Finally, before neighborhood leaders announce their support, they should look at the Nov. 2013 election vote on the Casino Proposition. For example, 55.8% of people who voted on that Proposal in Schenectady District 2, which is comprised solely of the Stockade and East Front St. neighborhoods, voted against having any casinos in upstate New York.


From: Most neighborhood leaders say they’re all in on casino plan


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