Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The Day, Tuesday, March 31, 2009, Section Region, page B2, POLICE LOGS

State Police--Montville..........."Cory Poplaski, 25, of 19 Wilder Ave., Westerly, was charged Sunday at Mohegan Sun with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and making an improper turn.

The MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority) under Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council and Helga woods, the Attorney General of the Mohegan Tribe sent letters to Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell and Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General of Connecticut. In the letters, the Mohegan government representatives stated that the state proposed smoking ban was against the Mohegan Tribe's sovereignty. The tribe threatened to withhold the revenue from the slot machines (put in escrow) that the State of Connecticut gets from the casino until after the case runs its course in Federal Court, all the way the United States Supreme Court if necessary. The state maintains that they have the right to impose the smoking ban if it is passed into law by the legislature of Connecticut.

Brokenwing, what do these two events have to do with each other? The State Police stopping a alleged drunk driver and the smoking ban. I believe, when the Mohegans tribe signed the compact with Connecticut we gave the right for state police to enforce driving violations on the reservation.

The question is, what is stopping the State Police from blocking the entrances to Mohegan Sun Casino? Isn't Sandy Desert Road and Route 32 and the entrance north of it both state intersections (road)? What about the entrances from route 2-A on to Mohegan Sun Boulevard, aren't they both state intersections? would the state do this?

How long could the Mohegan sun Casino last if the state blocked the entrances? Could the state do this? Legally they may be able to do it. I am not a lawyer, but it seems like a dangerous threat to me. Do we really want to hold the state's revenue back? What will the state do? What do you think?


Housing prices in New London County were down 6.5% in February. Why should this effect, the Mohegan Tribe? The reason is that both the Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods are in New London County, Connecticut.

Here are the comparisons, for you to ponder over. Single Home sales for February, 2008 was 116 units compared to this year, February, 2009 with 78 units. Down 38 units.

Let's compare the prices of homes from this February compared to February 2008. The median single family house in February, 2008 sold for $224,500.00 compared to $210,000.00 this year. A drop of $14,500.00.

Now look at Connecticut as a whole. The total single family houses sold state wide for February, 2008 was 1,387. This year statewide for February it was 1,025. A drop of 362 houses.

Statewide single family median house prices for February, 2008 was $263,000.00. For February, 2009 the median price for a single family house statewide was $218,000.00. A whopping drop of $45,000.00.

So what doe this have to do with us (Mohegan Tribal Members)? People are not making it in Connecticut anymore. People are leaving. The housing market is in shambles. If people are selling homes at less than what they could have got a year ago, things must be really bad.

Could it also be, that the economy, was a false economy with a great many loans given to people who really could not afford the houses they got? Does this have to happen for the economy to balance itself out? Is the U>S. government going to be able to fix this?

Where are people going to get the money to gamble? Where are these people going? How many people are trying to ride this storm (the economy) out? The fact that Norwich and Montville school systems are recording drops in attendance, shows that people have stopped coming here for employment. They are going some place else.

Is the future gloomy for the casinos? Are economists right when they say it will take four or five (4 to 5) years for the economy to recover? What is the casino dong about these problems? What do you think?

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Over time, I have watched on television, listened to the radio and read newspapers in which Helga Woods is called the Attorney General of the Mohegan Tribe.

When you think of Attorney Generals, you think of people like the late Robert "Bobby" Kennedy (the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and the Attorney General of the United States under President John F. Kennedy) and Richard Blumenthal, the present Attorney General of Connecticut.

The Mohegan Tribal Government calls Helga Woods, their Attorney General. But is she really an attorney general? Does she fulfill the duties of an attorney general? Let's look at this situation.

When Bobby Kennedy was the Attorney General for the United States in the early 1960's, he went after organized crime, labor unions and civil rights violations. He was having injustices and criminals prosecuted. He lead the charge to help to protect the people of the United States. He was fighting for the people.

Attorney General Blumenthal has shown his involvement in trying to fix different legal issues on behalf of the Citizens of Connecticut. Examples would be exotic animals in peoples homes, the smoking in the casinos, etc..... He is, like Bobby Kennedy. fighting for the people.

Helga Woods, does not in my opinion do the same thing for the Mohegan Tribe. She does not bring the government weight to bare on wrong doers. She is a very qualified, talented, efficient, professional lawyer. However in my opinion, she is the top legal advisor to the Mohegan Tribal Council and not an advocate for the Mohegan People. This is also the opinion of other Mohegan tribal members I have talked to you.

Her job is nothing like what Richard Blumenthal does for Connecticut or what Bobby Kennedy did for the United States. She is not in my mind an attorney general. The Mohegan Tribal Council should change the title. It is not Helga Wood's fault that she has the title. It is the Tribal Council for giving it to her. She should be called something else. What do you think?

Friday, March 27, 2009



The end of Collins article says, "And they should do something soon, before another life is lost."

It has been reported that in 2007, the Mohegan Sun Casino had a total 58 violations of Connecticut Liquor Laws (serving minors and intoxicated individuals). The Mohegan Sun paid one hundred sixty eight thousand dollars ($168,000.00) in fines. At the Foxwoods Resort Casinos for 2007 and 2008 the fines totaled for both years $27,000.00.

Three clubs (bars and or restaurants) are owned and operated by Patrick Lyons, of Boston, Massachusetts. Lyons owns Ultra 88, Dubliner and Lucky's Lounge. From 2002 to 2004, Lyon's clubs at the Mohegan Sun Casino paid $18,000.00 in liquor law violation fines. Lyons supposedly fired one of his managers in 2003 for a liquor law violation.

Originally, Lyon's clubs at the Mohegan Sun Casino had their own liquor license. In 2004, Robert Soper, Jr. , who was the Senior Vice President of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority wrote to the Connecticut Liquor Authority asking that Ultra 88 and Dubliners come under the liquor license jointly (together) Is this the same Robert Soper, jr. who now runs Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for us?.

Now the way I understand Collins article, if someone has a lawsuit because the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is involved the case must be taken before the Mohegan Tribal Court or the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Court.

Look at the past history of this situation. Just recently, it's been alleged that a sailor of the United States Navy, left Ultra 88 drove down I-395 the wrong way and was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of a Connecticut College student.

Another young man, who claims he was over served alcohol at Ultra 88 feel over a hand rail on an escalator and is now paralyzed from the waist down. Allegedly the man was served , even though his speech was slurred, and he was stumbling. His lawsuit is in the Mohegan Court system.

Two bartenders allegedly were told by the manager of one of the clubs (Lucky's Lounge) to over serve a 20 year old woman for the purpose of getting her drunk. The manager then allegedly had sex with the woman on top of the bar. The legal age to drink in Connecticut is twenty one (21). Collins says,"A jury eventually cleared Lyons' company, finding credible the plaintiffs belief that the young waitress was sexually harassed but deciding the club mangers did not prove they were fired for trying to ensure that the club comply with liquor or laws."

In my opinion, Collins is right about what he wrote. These clubs do have a reputation of having trouble when they close down at 2:00 a.m. It looks like the casino by being jointly licensed with Lyons, means that the lawsuits have to go through the Mohegan Court system.

Could it be, these clubs are in fact violating the Liquor Laws? Is having the plaintiffs going to Mohegan Court unfair to their being able to take their cases to state courts? Should something be done about this situation at these clubs, if they do in fact exist? What do you think?

Thursday, March 26, 2009


As already reported on Brokenwing Editorials, on Monday, March 24, 2009, the Public Health Committee voted 28 to 2 in favor of a bill to ban smoking totally in both Connecticut casinos by October 1, 2011.

Yesterday, Wednesday March 26, 2009, the Mohegan Tribe responded about the proposed bill to ban smoking in its casino, with two (2) letters to the State of Connecticut. One was sent to M. Jodi Rell, the Governor of Connecticut and the other was sent to Richard Blumenthal, the State of Connecticut's Attorney General.

In the letters, supposedly Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum and Helga Woods, the Attorney General of the Mohegan Tribe (top legal adviser) threatened a possible lawsuit in court and the with-holding of the revenues owed Connecticut from slot machines. The state receives 25% of the revenue that the slots make at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. For the fiscal year the state of Connecticut was expecting about $417 million in total from both casinos.

In one of the letters Bozsum said, "As the leader of the Mohegan Tribe, it is my obligation to protect the rights of our Tribe and all indigenous people from an overreaching state legislature." He further supposedly wrote that passage of the bill "will force us to vigorously defend our federally recognized rights to govern our lands. I will be compelled to initiate legal action on behalf of the tribe to stop this assault on our rights."

Lynn Malerba, the Vice Chairwoman of the Mohegan Tribal Council said, "This issue is not about smoking, and it really never has been about smoking. It really is about the relationship between the tribal and state governments, a delicate balance between the tribe's sovereign immunity from state laws and courts, and its agreements under the negotiated compact to abide by certain regulations......in exchange for the right to operate a casino on tribal land."

Lori Potter, a spokesperson for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe said, "The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal council agrees with the Mohegan Tribal Council that the issue concerning smoking areas is not an issue of whether or not to allow smoking. We are concerned primarily with the protection of tribal sovereignty."

Governor M. Jodi Rell's office stated that the governor would prefer to eliminate smoking by negotiating with the tribe and not through legislation.

Richard Blumenthal, the Attorney General for Connecticut said, "We will continue to talk with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations about prohibiting smoking in their casinos, sparing their employees and customers the ravages of passive smoke. My preference is an agreement with the tribes that totally bans smoking at the facilities _______ending a deadly health hazard for casino patrons and employees."

Blumenthal also said, "If agreements cannot be reached and legislation is necessary, my office will vigorously and aggressively protect the state's rights and laws, including its slot revenue agreement with the Mohegan Tribal Nation."

So at the end of the day, we have two parties, The Mohegan Tribe and the State of Connecticut ready to end up in court, with each side threatening each other. The state is right in wanting to protect the workers and patrons of both casino from second had smoke. The tribes are right about their right to self govern.

In these though economic times, with every government making cuts, where is the Mohegan Tribe going to get the funds for this fight? Wouldn't negotiations be better? It certainly would be less expensive.

Lynn Malerba, the Vice Chairwoman for the Mohegan Tribal Council is right and wrong in her statement. Of course this is about smoking and yes it is about government sovereignty. Second hand smoke is a real issue. A tribe being able to self govern is also a very important issue.

The question, is did the Mohegans when they signed their compact agree to the liquor laws. If so can Connecticut deny the Mohegans renewal of its liquor license when it comes up for renewal? Did the Mohegans agree to the health codes of Connecticut when it signed its compact? It seems like it is going to be costly and long fight. It would be in both parties best interest to somehow negotiate a settlement. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Hartford, Connecticut, Monday March 23, 2009.........The Public Health Committee of the Connecticut Legislature voted 28 to 2 in favor of a bill that would ban smoking eventually in the Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwood Resorts Casino and MGM grand Casino at Foxwoods.

The bill would require, M. Jodi Rell, the Governor of Connecticut and both tribes that have casinos in Connecticut to enter a written agreement to curtail smoking and have totally smoke free casinos by October 1, 2011.

An agreement between the Governor and the two tribes or a certification of progress would be required for the two tribes' liquor licenses to be renewed. Supposedly in both compacts between both tribes and the state of Connecticut agree to abide by the state liquor laws.

Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, the Chairman of The Mohegan Tribal Council in a statement said, "On behalf of the Mohegan Tribal Nation, I am truly disappointed to see that the Public Health Committee is moving forward with a bill that infringes on our sovereign rights."

Bozsum also said, "Our objection to the proposed bill is not about issues related to second hand smoke. We are proud of the steps we have taken to mitigate smoke on our federally recognized reservation lands.....................We strongly oppose language in the bill that would interfere with our right to govern our lands and violate the compact between our governments. We will fight vigorously to protect our rights."

The Mashantucket Pequot response was not immediately available.

The Mohegan Tribal Government should stand up for its' sovereignty. The Mohegan Tribal Government should not back down. The State of Connecticut threatening the loss of the liquor license is not acceptable. How is the legislature showing good faith? Why should the casinos of Connecticut be put at a disadvantage to casinos outside the state (Rhode Island and New York)? Is this fair? What do you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


On Saturday March 21, 2009 about 100 to 150 protesters marched from Roger Williams Park to the steps of the Rhode Island State Capital and then finally ending at Burnside Park in downtown Providence.

Mashapee Wampanoags, Mashantucket Pequots, other native American (first people) tribes, and other civil rights groups. As they marched past the steps at the front of the capital building, the protests chanting, "What do we want?" ,,,,,,,,:"Justice",,,,,,,,,................................"When do we want it?",,,,,,,,,,,,,,"Now."............. And on they went chanting the same things over and over again.

The rally was sponsored by the Narragansett Tribe to protest the recent Supreme Court decision in which any tribe that got Federal Recognition after 1934 could not have land taken into trust by the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs). The Narragansetts wanted to put 31 acres into trust supposedly for elder housing. The state filed a lawsuit to prevent it. The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Rhode Island.

The speakers at the Burnside Park were quite good. They reminded us, that at one time the park had been a plantation and slaves were traded in the same area we were standing. Providence had been the second largest trade port for slaves in the Colonies. The different groups represented were native Americans, blacks, Hispanics, gay rights, members of Islam and other groups. They all there to support each other and the cause of Justice, freedom and human rights. The speakers said if you do this to one of us you are doing it to all of us.

The Chairman of the Tribal Council of the Wampanoags said his tribe was going to be there in the fight with the Narragansetts like they had been all the way back in history to when the white man came to America. He said his tribe would overcome the Supreme Court decision and someday have a casino of their own.

A Mohegan Tribal Cultural Department worker's wife, told how she had been an advocate in Washington D.C.. and that people working in the U.S. Government did not know the difference between land into trust and annexing land. She spoke boldly and with great conviction. She represented her people (Mashantucket Pequot) well.

Mark Hamilton (a Mohegan Tribal Councilor) was there, and as a native American spoke of how to fix the problem caused by the Supreme Court ruling. He called for new legislation. Hamilton said the situation needs to be changed. He spoke of how he wanted to help anyway he could. He said it was about freedom and civil rights. He did Mohegans proud.

The speakers all stood at the base of the General Burnside statue. He had fought in the Civil War and later became a U. S. Senator and the Governor of Rhode Island. He had fought for freedom and the Union cause. It was a fitting place to hold a rally.

In the end one speaker said they would be giving a pin to all the participants in the near future. She said we walked the walk but we need to keep working and fighting to change things. We (the Mohegan Tribe) need to walk the walk and keep working for ours and other tribes' civil rights. This Supreme Court ruling effects about at least 200 tribes (including tribes that are seeking or will be seeking recognition in the future)..

The drum was beaten as it was carried out of the park by the marchers who then boarded buses back to the starting place (Roger Williams Park). The Editors of Brokenwing Editorials and the Feather News walked back to our car in the parking garage by the State Capital.

That same day in another part of Providence, thousands of people had turned out for the St. Patrick's Day 5K run and St. Patrick's Day Parade was marching on the other side of the Capital building. Thousands watching a St. Patrick's Day Parade and almost no one watching a march for Civil Rights, and freedoms of first people.

As we drove down I-95 headed back to Uncasville, Connecticut (about 56 miles) I thought, how come the Mohegan Tribe had not been more supportive? Are people fighting, in my own tribe, for justice, their civil rights and freedoms? How come the tribe had not participated more? Doesn't this situation affect us too? Where were our (Mohegan) Tribal leaders? Only three Mohegans showed up. It was still a good day for Mohegans. What do you think?

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: What do we want? JUSTICE When do we want it? NOW What do we want? JUSTICE When do we want it? NOW


Friday March 20, 2009 The New London Day, Business Section page C3


Workers are training for jobs in the new Yankee Stadium, which will feature a number of food and beverage serving outlets when it debuts next month, inclulding the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar.

Mohegan Sun reached a three-year sponsorship agreement for the bar last year. It occupies an area known as the batter's eye directly behind center field and above Monument Park, providing fans with a bird's eye view of the field.

The 4,900 square foot Bar can accommodate 322 people, and includes about 132 ticketed seats in a glass-enclosed section. It will be used for corporate events and business functions on non-game days..

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The Council of Elders of the Mohegan Tribe should read this article.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Manage v. 1... to control or guide 2.... have charge of 3.... succeed in doing

Years ago, I worked in retail as a store manager.. My boss (the company's owner) used to come around, putting his hands in his pockets jiggling his change and say, "What have you done for me lately?" In business if you don't perform your gone.

If you look around Major League Baseball, the National Football League and any number of other sports, you find that the teams' fans want their teams to be winners. Coaches and managers with winning records have been let go because they have not won the elusive championships.

Take for example Joe Torre, who is now with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was with the New York Yankees for many years. His team won the World Series several times. They were the World Champs. They got into the playoffs almost every year. There was an expectation by the fans and owner that the team would be in post season play every year. Yes, the Yankees had the largest payroll in baseball, but the manager can't control the play of the players on the field.

The manager only probably makes a difference in only a few games a year. He makes the calls (decisions) when to take out a pitcher, when to pinch hit, where the players should be, when to walk a batter, etc. It still comes down to the players executing. If the players don't perform, then what the manager planned doesn't happen. Some things are just out of the manager's control.

At the end of the season or even in the middle of the season, if the team doesn't perform, what is the owner or general manager to do? He can't fire the whole team. He fires the Manager and/or coaches. He may replace a player or two, but usually they replace the management.
Sometimes the owner realizes that it is the management above the team manager and coaches (middle management, general managers, etc) that needs to be replaced. The adage is you can't replace the whole team but you can replace the team manager.

What does this have to with us (the Mohegan Tribe)? Can we fire the team (the entire government or the casino workers)? Could some of management who made bad decisions be replaced? Should top management (top government officials and top casino officials) go? Should my old boss's idea about what have you done for me lately count?

Was or is Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs a bad deal? Did the MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council) make a bad decision building the permanent new slot facility there? What about the Kansas project that didn't happen? What about the Wisconsin deal? What about the Washington state deal? What about Aqueduct? What about Palmer? Is the MTGA rubber stamping the top casino management's ideas?

It seems like everything that the MTGA tries to do either doesn't come to a profitable outcome or is a bad business decision. Does the MTGA need to change the top casino management? Does the members of the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Council) need to be replaced? What kind of management do we (the Mohegan Tribe) have?

The fact is that the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council )are the bosses over Mitchell Etess, Jeffrey Hartmann and other top managers. The Mohegan Tribal Council are the bosses of the government workers.

The Mohegan Tribal Council is ultimately responsible to the Mohegan Tribe. The Mohegan Tribe is the top management when we vote. These people are there because we (the Mohegan Tribe) put them in their positions and at election time we can remove them with our votes for not doing the will of the Mohegan people.

Ultimately government exists for the people. The government and its properties (the Mohegan Sun Casino) exist to provide benefits for the Mohegan people.

What have they done for us lately? What have they ever done positive? Does the Mohegan Tribal Council have what it takes to make the decisions that need to be made? Do you know? What do you think?

Friday, March 20, 2009


On Wednesday, March 18, 2009, Mitchell Etess the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the Mohegan Sun Casino, spoke at a breakfast for the Smaller Business Association of New England at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Etess said, " The gist of what I said relative to Palmer was that as far as generating the most for the Commonwealth in terms of tax revenue, tourism and employment in the long term is an overall, comprehensive destination."

Etess also said, "More value would be created by a full development like our Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There's lot more to do there than slots in a box."

Etess talked about the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut when he said, "I spoke about the history of Mohegan Sun and what makes us so successful, and about what we've dealt with the economic downturn, the rollbacks rather than layoffs."

The plans for the Palmer, Massachusetts site call for a hotel, a spa, restaurants, retail stores and meeting rooms. The casino is supposedly projected to produce $500 million to $600 million in revenues per year. The Palmer site is 152 acres.

Timothy Cahill, the Massachusetts Treasurer, recently said that he was in favor of three slot parlors instead of resort casino destinations like the Palmer proposal. When asked about slot parlors Etess reportedly said, "We've been careful to not get ahead of the process."

Remember the Palmer site is only 55 miles from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. In my opinion, there is not enough people with enough income in these difficult times to justify building this pink elephant. Are they trying to grasp at straws?

Should we (the Mohegan Tribe) be building in Palmer? Will it work? Is it a bad deal? Should the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council) be held accountable for this proposal? Maybe the MTGA should tell Etess we shouldn't do this? Is this a bad deal? Should they go? What do you think?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Uncasville, Connecticut Today, Wednesday March 18, 2009, it has been reported to Brokenwing Editorials that Ordinance 2009-24 the Freedom of Information Ordinance was canceled by the Mohegan Tribal Council.

The vote to cancel the Freedom of Information Ordinance was eight in favor and one against. The one against was Tribal Councilor Mark Hamilton.

It is good that the Restriction of Information Ordinance is dead. Oh, sorry I meant the Freedom of Information Ordinance. It seems the Tribal Council has done the will of the Mohegan Tribe. It only took a petition of 41 Mohegan Tribal Members to rescind the ordinance and a meeting conducted by the Tribal Council for the Tribal Council to get rid of this bad law. I have been told that the majority of people at that meeting were against the ordinance.

I inquired of Mark Hamilton, why he voted against the rescinding the ordinance. He replied that the Mohegan Tribal Members wanted to vote on rescinding the law and the tribe was being denied that right. He also said that a new freedom of information ordinance should have been made to replace the one that was being rescinded. It sounds reasonable to me.

Tribal Members should keep their eyes and ears open, and watch and see what new law the Tribal Council will come up with to replace the canceled Freedom of Information Ordinance 2009-24. If it is like what they did when they canceled the Ethics Ordinance after another petition by Mohegan Tribal Members, and they in my opinion created another bad law. It was not petitioned against and we are now stuck with that law. When the new Freedom of Information Ordinance is passed, it should immediately be gotten, read and petitioned against if need be.

Is there a new freedom of information ordinance in the wings? Is it going to be another bad law like the one that was just killed? Is Mark Hamilton right in voting against rescinding the law? Did the majority of the Tribal Council really do the will of the people or was it a political move to make them look good? What was their motive? Do you know? What do you think?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


"Mohegan Sun remains interested in developing and managing a casino at Aqueduct Racetrack," said Jeffrey Hartman, Chief Operating Officer of the MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority).

About a year ago the MTGA and their partner Capital Play bid for a casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack, Queens, New York, from the State of New York. Delaware North, of Buffalo, New York, won the bid. Now Delaware North has informed David Paterson, the Governor of New York, that it is unable to meet the terms of the agreement with the state. The plan was for Delaware North to make an up front payment of $370 million by the end of this month (March 2009). the reason given was "a deterioration of the credit and equity financial markets in this recession economy."

Delaware North had proposed a 4,500 VLT (Video Lottery Terminals) in a 184,000 square foot gambling area, a hotel, restruants, and a conference center. Delaware north asked the State of New York if they could defer the upfront payment. New York wouldn't allow it.

New York will now put the Aqueduct racetrack casino up for bids again. Guess what? The Mohegans are supposedly talking of bidding again.

Jeff Hartmann said, "As the premier casino operator in the Northeast we are confident that a Mohegan Sun managed facility will create much need jobs and revenue for the queens community..........and we can develop Aqueduct as a world class entertainment destination, generating millions of tax dollars for the State of New York."

It is unclear at this time if the MTGA's former partner (Capital Play) will be involved in anther bid for Aqueduct with the State of New York.

The way I understand it, the casino would not be involved in the horse racing at the facility. The New York Racing Association has the franchise on the horse racing at the facility. Think about the costs associated with the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the running the trotter track. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Gary Armentrout, Foxwoods Development Co. (the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation's development company) when asked if they were interested in the Aqueduct project said, "I really don't know yet. We''ll certainly take a look at the state's RFp (request for proposals) and then make an assessment."

Considering the economic climate, should the MTGA be trying to do this again? Can they (MTGA) do it without a partner? Who can they get for a partner? Where will they get the funds to do this? Is it a bad deal? What about diversification? Or is this expansion? What do you think?


Everyone is always talking about the Norwich State Hospital property (an estimated 390 acres)located in Preston, Connecticut. The property was sold by Connecticut to Preston for one dollar ($1.00) on Thursday March 12, 2009.. The environmental clean up is estimated to cost about $40 million.

There is another section of the Norwich State Hospital property that doesn't get much publicity. It's the 61 acres that is located in Norwich, Connecticut. Like Preston, Norwich can purchase the property from the state of Connecticut for one dollar ($1.00).

Anyone interested in purchasing the property from Norwich, had until last Friday, March 13, 2009, to put in their proposals. Only one company came forward with a proposal. Renaissance Real Estate Group, L.L.C. of Long Island, New York, put in a $246 million 74 page plan for the property. Members of the Norwich Community Development Corp. (handling the proposals for the City of Norwich) were said to be disappointed but not surprised by the outcome.

The proposal calls for 450 housing units, a 85 room hotel, Hillside Technology and Innovations Center (a research center), a culinary education center and a computer ferry to Norwich.

The proposal was supposedly distributed to the Norwich City Council and other city officials by Monday, March 16, 2009.

Hopefully this will work out for Norwich. The plan actually on paper looks better than the proposals that Preston has had on its property. We wish Norwich well in their pursuit. Is this going to work out? What do you think?

Monday, March 16, 2009


The February 2003 slot machine revenues for the two (Foxwoods Resort Casino, the MGM Grand at Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun) Connecticut casinos are in.

It was a big improvement for Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods which posted about a one percent (1%) increase over the year before. The Foxwoods Casinos had reported monthly losses compared to the year before from September 2008 to January 2009. The declines were September 2008 -15.9%, October -7.4%, November -7.6%, December -19.3%, and January -7.3%. The last time Foxwoods had a winning slot month was 1.2% in August, 2008.

In my opinion several factors, contributed to the upturn at Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods. They are an increased use of their entertainment venue, their 19th anniversary of being in the casino business (opened February 15, 1992), higher hotel room occupancy and the hiring and direction of the casinos under Michael Speller. Slot win for the month was $58 million ($58,000,000.00.)
During the month, entertainment at the casino included: Kid Rock, Jeff Foxworthy, the Contender Boxing Tournament. The casino offered more affordable hotel room prices, and a one hundred thousand dollar ($100,000.00) slot jack pot.

Across the Thames River in Uncasville, Connecticut, things did not go as well for the Mohegan Sun Casino for the month of February, 2009. The slot win was $63.8 million ($63,800,000.00).

The Mohegan sun Casino had a loss of 8.9% for February 2009 compared to February 2008. The losses in slot revenue from September 2008 to January 2009 were -13.3%, -9.1%, -5.3%, -4.3% and -8.7%. The last gain in slot revenue in year over year was in May 2008.

Jeffrey Hartmann, the Chief Operating Officer of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority said, "Foxwoods had a very good month.........their anniversary month, We congratulate them on their anniversary." Jeff Hartman thought that part of the slot decline could be attributed to the number of shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena for the month .

Michael Spiller, the MPGE President (Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises) said, "Four weeks results don't make a trend. But the things we're doing are beginning to show fruit."

The Mohegan Sun with it's slot win (money the tribe kept) had a slight edge over Foxwoods of 52% to 48%. Not too long ago it was Mohegan Sun 55% and Foxwoods 45%. Total win for Mohegan Sun was $62.8 million. For Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods was $58 million. Total slot machines being used at Mohegan Sun was 6,787 and at Foxwoods was 7,998.

The difference between the two casinos, in my opinion, was that Foxwoods did a better job. They were more innovative. They ran better promotions, gave discounts on hotel rooms, and have the new management of Michael Speller.

We could muddy the waters, by talking about Atlantic City's eleven (11) casinos slot performance which was down by about 19% compared to the year before. Does it really matter what Atlantic City did? Does it matter what Foxwoods did?

Isn't the only numbers that Mohegans should really be worried about are the Mohegan Sun Casino's? Could changing management at MPGE have made a difference? Does the MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority) need to be changed? How many bad months can the Mohegan Sun continue to have? I don;t know. Do you? What do you think?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Recently, when talking to fellow Mohegan Tribal Members, one person came up with the thought that we needed a casino in Palmer, Massachusetts, to get business from the Boston, Massachusetts area. I thought that an interesting idea. Here are the results of my investigation into the idea.

Palmer, Massachusetts to Uncasville, Connecticut, (Mohegan Sun casino)........55 miles

Palmer Massachusetts to Springfield, Massachusetts (city pop. 154,000)........21 miles

Uncasville, Connecticut (Mohegan Sun) to Springfield, Massachusetts.............67 miles

Palmer, Massachusetts to Worchester, Massachusetts........................................38 miles

Worchester, Massachusetts to Uncasville, Connecticut (Mohegan Sun)............66 miles

Palmer, Massachusetts to Boston, Massachusetts ...............................................75 miles

Boston, Massachusetts to Uncasville, Connecticut (Mohegan Sun)..................105 miles

Palmer, Massachusetts to Hartford, Connecticut..................................................51 miles

Hartford, Connecticut to Uncasville, Connecticut (Mohegan Sun)....................43 miles

Palmer, Massachusetts to Albany, New York.......................................................99 miles

Albany, New York to Turning Stones Casino, Oneida, New York.....................115 miles

Look at the distances, (other than Albany, New York and Hartford, Connecticut). Driving from all the locations to the Mohegan Sun should be accomplished within one half hour longer in driving time, than going to Palmer, Massachusetts. Does this justify opening a casino at an estimated cost of how many millions? How much is the lease on the property? How long is the lease? Will Palmer be a slot parlor or a casino resort, with a hotel?

Brokenwing Editorials estimates that about 20% of the Mohegan Sun Casino's business comes from Massachusetts. If you look at the population of Massachusetts, you come away thinking that the vast majority of the people living in the state live from around New Bedford (located in the south east corner of the state) to just above Boston (north east corner of state). In other words the largest percentage of business from Massachusetts that the Mohegan Sun Casino receives probably comes from this area.

That leads to the conclusion that only a very small percentage of business comes from the proposed Palmer, Massachusetts area.

If you lived in Albany, New York, would you travel 99 miles to Palmer, Massachusetts, or would you travel 115 miles to Turning Stone Casino, Oneida, New York?

It has been reported that Massachusetts plans for at least three (3) casinos in the state. One is supposedly planned for the Boston area (north east corner of state). The Mashapee Wampanoags are planning a casino in the south eastern part of the state. That leaves one opening which is where Palmer, Massachusetts comes in (western part of state),

Can an area with about 500,000 people around it, pay for this casino? Is this another Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs? Would you travel from Boston, Worchester, Albany, or Hartford to go to the proposed casino in Palmer, Massachusetts? What do you think?.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


This article is about Insanity. It in no way indicates or accuses anyone of being insane or mentally deficient in any capacity.

Webster's Dictionary on insane says:1 n. mentally ill: crazy 2 of or for insane people

This article is about a tribal member's definition. the tribal member's thoughts were "when you do the same things over and over again expecting to get a different result." He said that is insanity.

What does that have to with the Mohegan Tribal Government? He said they just keep doing the same things and they expect a different outcome. He said it just doesn't make any sense.

We purchased the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, under I believe the Tribal Council headed by Councilor Mark Brown (who at the time was the Chairman of the Tribal Council). The casino has an estimated million (1,000,000) people within 50 miles around it. The cost of the license was about fifty five million dollars ($55,000,000.00). The state was going to get 55% off the top, it ended up being with the local towns getting their cut to be 62%. As near as i can figure it has never been profitable..

Today the tribe is looking at building a casino in Palmer, Massachusetts. A town of about 12,000 to 13,000 people who in my opinion do not have the money to gamble. From my research it seems that there is less than 500,000 people in a radius of within 25 miles of the proposed casino. The estimated cost of the license is between an estimated $100,000,000.00 at least $250,000,000.00. That's millions folks. Someone told me the other day it might cost around $500 million to build the proposed casino. . The proposed site is about 55 miles and about one hour and ten minutes driving time from the Mohegan Sun, in Uncasville, Connecticut. Could it be another loser?

Here's where the insanity of the situation comes in, almost the same deal, actually Palmer, Massachusetts seems like a worse deal, and the MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council) have leased the property for an estimated 99 years and would like to do gambling in Massachusetts if the state legalizes gambling in that state. Same method and thought process, expecting a different result. Hello?

Take the Kansas gambling casino deal, how were we (the Mohegan Tribe) going to make money on that deal? What about the aquaculture deal? What about the gambling deal at the Queens, New York racetrack? What about the gambling deal in Wisconsin? What about the gambling deal in Washington state? Has any of these things panned out? Were any of them good deals?

Where is the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council) going to get the funds to any or all of these deals? I don't know how. Do you know?

Was the Mohegan Tribal Council doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result? Could the process be a form of insanity? In my opinion, it's not going to happen. Is it insanity? What do you think?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The Connecticut Department of Labor released figures on the unemployment rate in eastern Connecticut for January 2009.

The Norwich and New London area had an unemployment rate for January of about 8.2%. In January 2008 the unemployment rate was 5.3%. In other words one in twelve (1 in 12) workers are unemployed.

In the Danielson and Willimantic area the unemployment rate was 9.6% for January 2009. The only higher area of unemployment in the State of Connecticut was Waterbury which reported a 10.4% unemployment rate for the month. Both places come out to one in ten (1 in 10) workers are out of work.

In the entire state, there has been a job loss from January 2008 to January 2009 of 38,300 jobs.

Mitchell Etess, the President and Chief Executive Officier of the Mohegan Sun Casino said, "Any talk of layoffs that you hear is simply false information."

Is Etess saying that the Mohegan sun Casino is bullet proof? How can anyone in this economy predict the future? How can Etess be sure? Won't the economic conditions in Connecticut affect the casino? Maybe we need new management? What do you think?


On Sunday, March 08, 2009, at Fort Shantok, Uncasville, Connecticut, an Uncasville woman was allegedly attacked by two people. It was a beautiful sunny day with the temperature in the 60's.

Eleni Vourtsis, 56, was walking her little 10 pound dog with her two grandchildren when she was attacked by two individuals. The woman claims, that sometime between 3:30 P.M. and 4:30 P.M., the assailants came up from behind he swearing obscenities about her having a dog at Shantok. The man allegedly grabbed Mrs. Vourtsis by both arms and shook her. He then allegedly threw her to the ground in front of her grandchildren.

The assailant and woman who accompanied him ran to a white car and took off.

The attacker was described as a white male in his twenties about 5' 6" tall, stocky build wearing black clothes. The assailant was accompanied by a woman in her 20's who was also dressed in black.

Vourtsis was treated at William W. Backus Hospital for her injuries and was released. Her injuries were described as bruises on both arms, a hip and and thigh.

eleni Vourtsis said, "It was a very bad experience. I hurt everywhere. It's hard to breathe. I'm upset. I never thought something like that would happen to me."

The Connecticut State Police and the Mohegan Tribal Police are investigating. If you have any information, please contact the State Police at 860-848-6500.

There are a few signs at Shantok that do say it is illegal to have dogs at Shantok. However, no one should be assaulted for walking at Shantok with their little dog and two grandchildren.

Maybe it is time for the Mohegan Tribal Government to reconsider having full time security at Shantok? Maybe we (the Mohegan Tribe) should have our own parks department? Is Shantok safe? What do you think?

Monday, March 9, 2009


Montville, Connecticut, a United States Navy sailor stationed at Naval Submarine Base, who had allegedly been drinking at the Mohegan Sun Casino was involved in a fatal automobile accident.

According to State Police Sergent Michael Collins, the sailor, Daniel E. Musser, 24, had been drinking at a night club in the Mohegan Sun. At about 3:30 A.M. Musser got into his 3001 Honda to supposedly go home. He entered the Route 2-A in the wrong direction and then proceeded on to I-395 going south in the north bound lanes.

Musser hit a van carrying Connecticut College students that were going to Boston Logan Airport for a trip to Uganda on a humanitarian mission. Elizabeth Darante, 20, of West Islip, Long Island, New York was killed when she was tossed from the van. The seven passengers and the driver were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Jennifer Blanco, 20, of Groton, Connecticut was still in Backus Hospital, Norwich, Connecticut, in fair condition. The others were treated and released.

Musser was tested with a field sobriety test.. He was later given two (2) Breathalyzer test that were administered at the state barracks. He allegedly failed all three (3) tests.

Musser was scheduled to appear in Norwich Superior Court on Monday, March 9, 2009, on charges of second-degree man-slaughter with a motor vehicle and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He had been held in $100,000.00 bond at the Corrigan Correctional Center in Montville. Musser faces a possible 19 years in prison.

Jeffrey Hartmann, The Mohegan Sun Chief Operating Officer said, "Of course any tragedy like this is unfortunate, and we'll be working with state police to review the report and ascertain," if Musser had patronized the casino.

A spokesperson for Governor M. Jodi Rell, said that the governor is questioning her proposal to extend drinking hours at the casinos.

The facts are that the accident happened at 3:30 A.M. in the morning. Drinking on Friday night ends at 2:00 A.M. Even if had not come from the casino, it could have been a bar, a private party, or some where else where drinking had occurred. He would have been drinking when the hours are legal.

Extending or not extending the hours of drinking alcohol would not have prevented the accident. New York allows drinking until 4:00 A.M. Atlantic City, New Jersey, allows drinking 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

There is no easy solution to this problem. It is tragic that one young person made a mistake, and another young person's life was taken. Two young people who had their futures ahead of them, destroyed by this alleged drunk driving.

Our sympathies go out to the Durante family and the students who loved and cherished her. She will be missed. This is a tragedy.

Would changing the drinking hours have made a difference in this case? Could it have been prevented? Should casinos have drinking 24 hours a day? What do you think?


I was recently watching a news program where Warren Buffet, the billionaire was being asked questions about the economy. Here are some of his thoughts.

"I've never seen this level of fear before."

"General Motors has a business model that works in a 13 million annual sales rate environment."

"This is not the next Japan, we are not looking at a 20 year slump."

"Stimulus Plan will take effect over long term."

"U. S. Economy fell off a cliff."

"American business misbehaved."

"President Obama is the right President for our current economic situation."

"No question succeeding generations will live better than we did."

"The uptake rule is probably a good idea."

"Prompt wise actions in September saved us."

"Back in September financial system was not far from collapse."

"There are always going to be a certain number of crooks in the world."

"Banks that need to go broke should be allowed to go broke."

"Absolutely no one should be worried."

"People who behave well will to some extent wind up helping people who didn't."

"Citi-group shareholders may not see a recovery."

"Washington's message about the economy has been muddled."

"There's not enough of a united economic front right now."

"Economy can not turn around on a dime."

"Job markets' recovery will lag behind overall economy."

"Speed of turnaround depends on wisdom of government policies."

"Country will be fine in five years but I wish we would get there faster."


It was a beautiul sunny day, the temperatures were in the sixties. I thought this is a great day for a road trip. I called up several Mohegan Tribal members and said let's do a road trip.

The destination would be Palmer, Massachusetts. We picked that location because that is where the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authortiy, Mohegan Tribal Council) is planning a future casino.

After gasing up and getting some coffee, off the three of us, went driving up I-395 to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) to Palmer. About an hour and a half later we were at exit 8, we turned off and saw a sign about the future casino. the sign said "Palmer Casino yes."

We went to a local refreshment stand and talked to the owner as we ate a couple of hot dogs, some fries and a hamburger. The foods wasn't that great but the information the owner provided was wonderful. He told how there had been a Walmart and that where it was is now a Lowe's, which he said was not doing a very good business. We learned the town had a one time had five (5) mills that have been shut down for years. The local airport has been closed for years. The town has a population of between an estimated 12,000 to 13,000 people. He didn't want a casino in town.

The town is old and worn out, a mix of old store fronts and some new buildings. It needs a shot in the arm. We rode around looking for the Satellite office that we had been told existed by the Tribal Council recently at a meeting. We asked a woman, where the office was, so to be helpful she called the town hall. According to the employees of the Town Hall the building was 1246 Main Street. a former shoe store, that was vacant. Were we in the right place? I thought we had already set this office up. She didn't want a casino in her town either.

We found out the casino property is located on top of the hill (looked like a mountain to me) that has no existing access that we could find. We asked another woman, how to get up there and she told us a dead end side street. She didn't want a casino in her town either.

Palmer, Massachusetts, is located in Hampden County, with a population according to the 2000 census a population of 12,497. Within 50 miles is a population including Springfield of only about 461,000 people. Springfield, Massachusetts, (population 154,000) about 21 miles away.
Albany, New York is about 100 miles away and one hour and forty minute driving time. It would be easier for a resident of Albany to go the Oneida's Turning Stone Casino.

We took Route 32 back into Connecticut all the way back to Norwich, Connecticut (Route 32 is the same road in Connecticut and Massachusetts). It is 55 miles from the Mohegan Sun Casino and between one hour and ten minutes to one hour and a half away.

We came away, thinking that this is another bad deal. How many times do we (the Mohegan Tribe) have to do the same thing? Isn't this like Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs? Are we making the same mistake again? Are the results going to be different? Maybe it is time for new leadership? Maybe it is time for new management? What do you think?

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I was reading the Day (New London Day newspaper) and found one article quite interesting, so I thought I would share some thoughts on it with you.

David Collins, a writer for the Day, went to the Earth Casino of the Mohegan Sun Casino to try a 1/4 cent slot machine.

He goes into the Earth Casino and tries to find the 1/4 cent slot machines. He asked one of the inside security people where the 1/4 cent machines were. The security man after trying to explain where the machines were took David Colloins over to where the machines were.

Collins espected to put in a dollar ($1.00) and get 400 pulls or pops on the slot machine. To his suprise, he had to put five dollars (5.00) minimum in the machine. He supposedly put in five dollars and received 2,000 credits. After playing the machine for awhile, he decided it was as exciting as sitting in traffic. He started playing with multi-level bets and accidently gambled 500 credits ($1.25), he was back to about $3.91.

In the end, he did what all smart gamblers do, he walked away with $11.64. He claimed there was only 14 machines in that area. I hope he had fun. That is the idea.

He seemed to have a good time and been well taken care of by the casino staff. It was an interesting article. Thanks David Collins for visiting the Earth Casino at the Mohegan Sun. Is the Mohegan Sun making money on these 1/4 cent machines? Since the casino evidently gives free drinks to patrons of the 1/4 machines are they profitable? What do you think?

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Twenty two (22) members of the Mahantucket Pequot Fire Department voted unanimously to have the UPFFA (Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut) to represent them in contract talks with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Government.

Matthew Flor, a spokesperson for the UPFFA said, "The process of organizing the fire fighters has been a mutually respectful and cooperative one between the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association and the Mashantucket Employment Rights Office. The fire fighters and their new association look forward to further developing a long-term, harmonious relationship beginning with their upcoming contract negotiations in the future."

The Mashantucket Pequots supposedly issued the following statement: "the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation looks forward to positive working relationship with the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut. We appreciate this organization's respectful approach to the Tribe's sovereignty and willingness to cooperate with the Mashantucket Employment Rights Office for the duration of their Registration and electoral processes. We echo the values of this organization, to provide reasonable and necessary safety and support to emergency service personnel, and we embrace the forthcoming negotiations process."

On investigation, we have been told that supposedly a similar movement, to unionize the fire fighters of the Mohegan Tribal Fire Department by the UPFFA is underway. .

The UPFFA represents about 4,000 professional fire fighters in the state of Connecticut. The Connecticut chapter is part of the larger International Association of Fire Fighters (an AFL-CIO union) with 295,000 members in the United States and Canada.