There is less than a month until Palmer voters head to the polls to cast ballots on Mohegan Sun's $1 billion resort casino proposal.
Casino opponents say they're trying to give people in Palmer a perspective on what a casino would bring, so they brought in an anti-casino advocate from Ledyard, CT which is near two casinos.
"The rosy picture that casinos have painted is not so rosy anymore," said congressman turned author, Bob Steele.
Steele watched as Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods moved into his part of Connecticut.
"They've sharply skewed our economy towards low-paying service jobs, and they were followed by a huge increase in the number of problem and pathological gamblers," he said.
Wednesday night he hoped to share his book, The Curse Big-Time Gambling's Seduction of a Small New England Town, and his message.
"If there was ever a time not to invite a casino into your town, this is it," he said.
More than 80 people turned out to hear him speak, including Jean Andresen, a Palmer resident and member of the Quaboag Valley Against Casinos group.
"The biggest thing is that the casino location which they tout as being the best in Western Mass is really the worst, it's right in the middle of schools and residences," Andresen said.
Mohegan Sun officials have touted the jobs and economic development their casino would bring.
"Our position is unchanged, we respect everybody's opinion as to what they individually and collectively feel. We understand that there are people who are opposed on religious, moral and ethical grounds to casino gambling. We understand there are people who are more impacted than others," said Mohegan Sun's Paul Brody.
Steele says unlike Connecticut, residents here have a voice. And no matter which way they vote, they need to use it.
"They were imposed upon by Congress and by the courts, at least Massachusetts has the opportunity to vote, this is a precious right," he said.
The vote will be on Nov. 5.
Mohegan Sun reps say they are continuing to work with Palmer and surrounding towns in this process.
Opponents say they'll be continuing their own campaign.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, December 6 2013 1:28 AM EST2013-12-06 06:28:26 GMT
A second case of disturbing animal abuse has been discovered involving a puppy's mouth tied shut. A man found a puppy in a box with filthy blankets in Kane Park in Gresham at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The puppyMore >>
A second case of disturbing animal abuse has been discovered involving a puppy's mouth being tied shut.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:29 PM EST2013-12-07 04:29:10 GMT
Springfield police have arrested three people after they conducted a raid this evening. According to the Springfield police twitter account they raided 53 Clantois Street at 6 p.m. In the home they confiscatedMore >>
Springfield police have arrested three people after they conducted a raid this evening. According to the Springfield police twitter account they raided 53 Clantois Street at 6 p.m. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 8:45 PM EST2013-12-07 01:45:49 GMT
Greenfield Police Lt. William Gordon suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after an incident back in 2010. "As police officers, we have to go on some bad calls. Sometimes those bad calls replayMore >>
Two police dogs from the Greenfield Police Department will receive high honors for their work in assisting first responders during two national tragedies.More >>
Tuesday, December 3 2013 4:08 PM EST2013-12-03 21:08:19 GMT
A Pathfinder Regional Technical High School teacher was in court on Tuesday facing accusations of sexual harassment on a student. Joseph Baldyga, 27, of Palmer, sat in an Eastern Hampshire District CourtroomMore >>
A Pathfinder Regional Technical High School teacher was in court on Tuesday facing accusations of sexual harassment on a student.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 4:55 PM EST2013-12-06 21:55:05 GMT
The Mass Mutual Center expects close to 20,000 people to enter the facility over the course of this weekend, which is as about as busy as it can get at the complex. "Our role is to really bring eventsMore >>
The Mass Mutual Center expects close to 20,000 people to enter the facility over the course of this weekend, which is as about as busy as it can get at the complex.More >>
322 Shipyard Boulevard
Wilmington, NC 28412
Main Phone Number: (910) 791-8070
Newsroom: (910) 791-6681