The folks from Howe Caverns Casino and Resort did a great job before the Location Board and the media yesterday at the Capital Region public comment event. Chris Churchill at the Times Union said “if you had to pick a winner based solely on Monday’s hearing, you’d go with Howe Caverns.”
The TU’s Jim Odato reported that:
[Location Board Chair Kevin Law] told the crowd during a day of 145 speakers and 11 hours of testimony that “we have no doubt that Schoharie County wants a casino,” drawing hurrahs from the crowd of Howes Cave backers.
Haley Viccaro at the Schenectady Gazette even wrote a separate article during the hearing yesterday that had the headline “Proposed Howe Caverns casino has most local support.”
Many of us at Stop the Schenectady Casino don’t think New York State should be in the business of using casinos as engines of economic growth and revenue generation. But, if there’s going to be a casino license granted in the Capital Region, it is clear to us that Howe Caverns is the best choice:
- the people as a whole [no hole pun intended] sincerely and fervently seem to want this casino, unlike places where there is — at the very least — a large portion of the population strongly against one
- the bang for the development buck is very much likely to be biggest in Schoharie County
- its location should mitigate against many of the social problems we believe are especially dangerous when you place a casino at an urban location
- we can actually imagine it as a “destination casino”
Yes, we think our STATEMENT in OPPOSITION to the Schenectady Casino does a good job of explaining why Schenectady should not be chosen. But, we also believe that the good people of Howe Caverns and Schoharie County have done Schenectady a very good deed by making such a strong case that they be selected. So, Bravo!, Best Wishes and Big Thanks to the Howe Caverns Casino and Resort. We like your odds.
I appreciate what you are trying to do, but not everyone in Schoharie County wants a casino. The site chosen will result in the loss of over 100 acres of farmland, while significantly increasing traffic, noise and light pollution while creating an economic benefit best described as negligible. Hoping another community will get the project because you don’t want it, is not where I would hope these discussions would go.
Karst, Trying to read someone’s mind is tricky business over the internet (and at home). I would prefer there be no casino licenses granted, but that is not going to happen. It was my impression that there was no opposition in Schoharie County to the casino (from press reportage, a bit of internet searching, and my observations while at the Hotel yesterday for the public hearing). It is my custom to say and write what I mean, and I gave my reasons for thinking the Howe Caverns casino is likely to cause the least damage.
Given what we have said and done in trying to stop the Schenectady casino, the Stop Schenectady Casino folks surely understand your worries. It seems to me, nonetheless, that the Schoharie proposal meets more of the NYS criteria for choosing the casino location than does Schenectady or the two others. And, a greater share of the population appears to want that casino. I wish there were a solution that could please both you and me, but then we would both be wishing it on someone else.
I appreciate your comments. While we do have a lot of people who want it here, the site has a lot of problems, but that is another story. In fairness to other opposition, I’m not going to suggest which place is best suited for a casino, as it reminds me of the feeling I get every time I walk into the voting booth. I will say, that I find it ironic that applicants who are vehemently republican (from an area which is overwhelmingly so) are practically begging for a casino license made possible by a democratic governor who they would otherwise prefer to impeach over something like the SAFE Act. Politics do indeed make strange bedfellows.
Thanks for a thoughtful reply. Around here, we like the irony that a pack of elected Democrats leaders totally ignore that Schenectady County voted against casinos last November, while saying absolutely nothing about the social harms that casinos cause or how regressive this indirect tax is on a lot of people who are far from rich.