Thursday, April 30, 2009


Aqueduct racino deadline May 8 for developers
by Stephen Geffon, Chronicle Contributor

The rebid request comes just one month after Delaware North, the Buffalo-based company that owns and operates the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, announced it would not be able to secure the $370 million franchise fee required by March 31 to obtain the exclusive rights to develop a casino complex at Aqueduct. The complex is slated to feature a 184,000 square-foot gambling floor with 4,500 video gambling terminals, several restaurants, a hotel and a 60,000 square-foot conference center.

“We remain absolutely committed to bringing a VLT facility to Aqueduct, which will provide much needed economic development to the race track, and critical funding for education in New York,” Paterson said. “It is extremely disappointing that the economic crisis has slowed this development, but we are confident that Aqueduct will be transformed into a destination spot for racing and gaming fans.”

Even after Delaware North pulled out of the deal, elected officials remained hopeful the area would be developed into a profitable joint racetrack and casino venture.

Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Ozone Park), who watched plans for Aqueduct collapse several times in the last seven years, noted that Delaware North was never the community’s first choice.

“I am very disappointed and frustrated that the process to select a developer for the Aqueduct VLTs has been so slow,” Pheffer said. “However, I remain committed to working to ensure that we select the best qualified operator for the VLTs, who will not only benefit our community but who will bring our vision of the new Aqueduct to fruition.”

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Ozone Park) remained positive, as well.
“I am more optimistic today about the future of Aqueduct and our surrounding communities now that the VLT solicitation process has begun,” Addabbo said.

As with the original proposal, the selected operator will be chosen by a unanimous agreement between Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan).

Among those developers expected to submit bids are Delaware North partnering with Aqueduct Gaming, Capital Play with Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and the Victoria Racing Club and SL Green joining with the Seminole Tribe and Hard Rock Entertainment.

©Queens Chronicle 2009

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; If I were the State of New York, I would be disappointed that the deal between the state and Deleware North didn't work out. Now the deal is for about two hundred and fifty million ($250,000,000.00) in construction costs and the state is taking a aeventy eight percent (78%) tax on the facility. That leaves twenty two percent (22%) for whoever gets the deal to make a profit, after paying the loans, interest, employees, facility and everything else to make a profit. That's impossible. A really bad deal, yet the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority) is thinking about doing it. Which tribal councilors are in favor of this deal. Why isn't the tribal council putting the brakes on this deal? Do you know? What do you think?


Driver in Fatal Was Drinking at Casino'

By David Collins Published on 4/29/2009

Christopher Brulotte, the 25-year-old construction worker accused of causing a fatal accident April 5 on Interstate 395, sweeping another car off the highway after hitting it from behind at a high rate of speed, was apparently spectacularly drunk.

His blood alcohol levels were .228 and .220, according to police tests, nearly three times the legal limit.

He was so drunk, someone who saw him after the accident told me, that it is hard to imagine how anyone could have continued to serve him alcohol that night. And yet they did.

Brulotte was on his way from Mohegan Sun the night of the accident, his lawyer, Ron Stevens of East Lyme, confirmed this week. He had been drinking at a restaurant there and then on the casino gaming floor, others say.

”It was a tragedy Brulotte, a resident of Lisbon who was also arrested in 2007 on drunken driving charges, will presumably pay a heavy price for what he did. He has been charged with second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle in the death of the 59-year-old Willimantic woman who died in the accident.

Brulotte was the second person in less than a month charged with drunken driving in a fatal accident who had last been drinking at Mohegan Sun before driving. A 23-year-old Connecticut College student was killed March 7 by a wrong-way driver police say had also been drinking at the Sun.

Two fatal accidents in a month attributed to drunken drivers served at the same place is a damning record, one that apparently has been a loud call to action.

Mitchell Etess, president and chief executive officer, said Tuesday the casino has instituted a number of new policies and training programs since the two accidents.

In addition to existing training for liquor servers, dealers will also be taught to better identify and flag drunk patrons. Valets will also get new training. Security personnel will be stationed at exits to the garages on weekend nights to be on the lookout for people who shouldn't drive and electronic signage throughout the casino will deliver drunken driving warnings with increasing frequency throughout the night.

The drink service rules have also been tightened so that customers may be served no more than two drinks an hour. It used to be three. That includes drinks that are paid for as well as complimentary drinks served to people who are gambling.

”We felt like we were doing a lot of things already,” Etess said, citing extensive training programs for beverage servers and electronic systems to be sure that a patron cut off in one area of the casino isn't served somewhere else.

”We always felt we have had a rigorous program in trying to monitor and deal with the consumption of alcohol on the property but . . . in light of the recent events we decided to expand our efforts.”

Both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods pay to have liquor inspectors on the property and both pay substantial fines for violations, although neither casino has ever had its license suspended. Mohegan Sun has paid far more fines over the years, and settled 18 incidents of serving intoxicated people in 2007 and 2008, compared to just two cases at Foxwoods in the same period.

Etess said he couldn't explain the disparity. One can only hope it's going to end.

The state police, too, have taken the two accidents as a call to do something about an obvious problem.

Police were wrong not to disclose to the public, in the wake of the most recent accident, that the accused driver had been drinking at the casino. They did tell casino executives, though.

A recent enhanced weekend police drunken driving patrol netted seven arrests in less than eight hours. More are planned.

Maybe we've reached a turning point.

One thing is for sure. I don't think Gov. Rell will cozy up again for a long, long time to the idea of allowing the casinos to serve liquor 24 hours a day.

This Is The Opinion Of David Collins.


EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; If you read the story, you come away thinking that maybe the state police didn't tell the media, where the drivers came from to begin with.

It is good to hear that the casinos are doing somthing about this problem. Hopefuly more lives don't have to be lost. Maybe the plan will work. Let's pray it does. I would not want this on my conscience.

Collins is probably correct, when he states that Governor M. Jodi Rell will not be advocatiing twenty four (24) hour driniking in the casinos anytime soon. Keeping drunk drivers off the roadways seem to be a hard thing to do. Good job David Collins. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Just recently, it was a beautiful sunny spring day, in the sixties (60's), and I decided I needed to do some execise, since I had been cooped up all winter. I thought a nice walk in Mohegan Park would be the perfect thing to do. Off to Norwich.

I drove over the Thames River, past the Mohegan Monument, past the mall with its memorials to the war dead of Norwich, (brave men and women all), right at the gas station, past the schools, and up the hills in to Mohegan Park. I parked the car.

It was a cool day with a slight breeze. I started walking the extimated mile and a half walk on the black topped paved eight foot wide paths along the road around Mohegan Park. I looked out and thought, the leaves will be popping out of the limbs soon. Soon there will flowers. No more winter. I thought, had my ancestors, walked in this same area many moons ago.

As I walked, I thought how beautiful Connecticut really is. When we look at the combination of trees, rocks and the hills, it quite tranquil and peaceful, complete. I thought, did our ancestors, really enjoy, this or were they so busy living that they didn't see it or feel it. Is it true, you can see the forest but not the trees? Do we need to stand back and look at the whole picture? Is there more than meets the eye? Do we take ourselves too seriously?

I walked past, where last fall, there had been a small stream about two feet wide, it wasn't there. I guess, not enough rain fall, it must have dried up. It reminded me how things are continually changing. I had expected to see the stream, but it was not there. Would it be there again?

I walked over the little wooden bridge and looked at the stram below, the water swirling, spashing against its rocks, headed south. I thought where is the water going? The bottom of the stram, like most strams in Cnnecticut), was filled with brown mud and brown rocks. I thought there doesn't seem to be anything living in the water. I thought, is the water cold? ould it be okay to drink it? Not me, I am not going to drink the water? I then thought of Uncas' Sring, and how in the old days a cup was always there for vistors of the spring to have a drink. I thoght it is pring, I should check it out. Time to go.

Up the path, past the parking lots, the arbor, the play ground and the pond. Kids were trying their luck at fishing. Some ducks were in the water near the edge of the pond looking up at me as I passed. I thought is this like when you go to the zoo and see the apes? What were they thinking? What did they think of me?

Over another wooden bridge, it had been painted with a redwood stain, the stain had worn away exposing the bare fir wood of the base of the bridge. It needed to be painted. Oh, well not my job. I looked at the spring, that went under the bridge, and thought little stream, where did you start? Keep walking.

As I walked along the pond, I thought, soon it will be summer and people will be swimming at the beach on the other side of the pond. It will be noisy and not quiet like now. I walked to the water fountain. It was off, so I decided to sit on the park bench, and just think. I looked over at the statues of the Mohegan family, that are there, the same stautes that at one time, we had at the Mohegan Sun winter entrance. I thoughtb where are our stautes? Our Mohegan family? When will the casino bring them back?

I climbed the hill, back to my car. I drove out of the park, thinking how good it felt to be alive. How lucky and good it is to be a Mohegan. It was a good day for one Mohegan. What do you think/


Woman Accused Of Leaving Child In Hotel Room

Published on 4/29/2009

Mohegan - A Queens, N.Y., woman was arrested Monday morning after police say she left her 8-year-old child unattended in a hotel room at Mohegan Sun.

Sonia Alejandra, 29, is charged with leaving a child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation.

State police said Alejandra and her boyfriend left the room at 6:45 a.m. About an hour later Alejandra was found in the hotel lobby and was arrested.

Alejandra was released on a $500 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Norwich Superior Court on May 5.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; How many times is this kind of thing going to happen in our (the Mohegan Tribe) hotel? Why do people do this? Does anyone have an idea how to stop this? What do you think?


Mayors, unions revive casino push
April 21, 2009 11:27 AM Email| Comments (32)| Text size – + By Matt Viser, Globe Staff

A group of influential mayors, including Thomas M. Menino of Boston, and trade unions re-launched their campaign today to persuade lawmakers to legalize casino gambling in Massachusetts, adding further momentum to a hot-button debate that is expected to take place on Beacon Hill this fall.

The group, called the “Massachusetts Coalition for Jobs and Growth,” is sending out letters to municipal officials to try to persuade them to get behind resort-style casinos, the version that is supported by Governor Deval Patrick.

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, whose district includes Suffolk Downs and Wonderland racetracks, has expressed strong backing for slot parlors, with the most likely venues being the state's existing dog and horse racing tracks. Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who oversees the lottery, has supported auctioning three licenses for slot parlors.

Senate President Therese Murray last week added more momentum to the debate, saying the state needed to find a new source of revenue as the state struggles through a budget crisis. “Ka-ching,” Murray told a group of business leaders at a hotel ballroom, jerking her arm downward as if pulling the lever on a slot machine.

The letter from local officials, which is going out this week, was signed by Mayors Thomas M. Menino of Boston, Kimberley Driscoll of Salem, Thomas Ambrosino of Revere, and City Manager Jay Ash of Chelsea.

“We don’t have the luxury to continue a policy that exports Massachusetts tax revenues, jobs, and tourism to Connecticut and Rhode Island,” Menino said in a statement. “We have an opportunity with the authorization of resort casinos to create a new and sustainable revenue source for the state and cities and towns that will also create thousands of new jobs and stimulate tourism and economic development growth. And we need to seize that opportunity now.”

The coalition so far includes:

Mayor Tom Ambrosino, City of Revere
Mayor Tom Menino, City of Boston
City Manager Jay Ash, City of Chelsea
Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, City of Salem
Mayor Mark Hawke, City of Gardner
Mayor Carolyn A. Kirk, City of Gloucester
Sheet Metal Workers LV # 17
Greater Boston Labor Council
New England Regional Council of Carpenters
Local 103 I.B.E.W
Sheet Metal Workers LV # 17
Massachusetts Teachers Association
Massachusetts Building Trades Council
Carpenters Local 624
Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Carpenters Local 218
Suffolk Sterling Racecourse
Jason Smith, Selectman, Framingham
WFCW Local 1445

Here is a copy of the letter from the mayors:

Dear Fellow Municipal Official:

As Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts State Legislature decide the future of gaming expansion in Massachusetts, we are asking you to join with us in supporting the licensing of three gaming, entertainment and destination venues that will require the investment of more than $3 billion in private sector spending within our economy --- a critical and much-needed fiscal and economic development initiative that will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new local aid to be distributed to our struggling cities and towns.

Each of us is well aware that most of Massachusetts’ 351 cities and towns face severe budgetary pressures likely to result in thousands of municipal employee layoffs and almost unimaginable curtailment of programs and services. At the same time, Gov. Deval Patrick and the Legislature must address a $1 billion state budget deficit --- and that budget deficit next fiscal year may well approach or exceed $2 billion.

Further, taxpayers have made it clear in public opinion polls, at town meeting, and most demonstrably in a slew of city and town budget override votes, that they are opposed to most --- if not all --- tax increases.

Operating under the existing status quo, there is very little leeway, even by cutting jobs, programs and services, that state government and cities and towns can effectively address these fiscal inequities. As local officials, this leaves us no alternative other than to cut operating budgets --- by all means necessary.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Studies show that three gaming, entertainment and destination venues will generate nearly $500 million in new tax revenues, create 10,000 construction jobs and more than 20,000 casino-related jobs, spawn economic development statewide, generate more than $400 million in casino-related goods and services spending among Massachusetts small businesses, and revitalize the state’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

And, as a UMass Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis recommended, by apportioning half of all new casino tax revenues to local aid, Massachusetts cities and towns would receive more than $200 million annually in additional local aid --- an estimated 10.4% increase over existing lottery disbursements.

Additionally, by dedicating to local aid an estimated $600 million in licensing fees from the three casinos --- apportioned over three years --- cities and towns would receive another $200 million annually as the casinos were being built and entering their first full year of operation..

Since 2003, Massachusetts residents have spent more than $1 billion annually at the Connecticut casinos and Rhode Island slot parlors. All told, since the casinos and slot parlors opened in 1993, Bay Staters have spent well about $12 billion at Connecticut and Rhode Island gaming venues. That spending has resulted in Massachusetts residents generating $4 billion in tax revenues to the Connecticut and Rhode Island state treasuries, monies used to fund education, local services, police and fire, property tax relief, and scores of other initiatives --- in Connecticut benefitted.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Once again, the unions, and construction companies are looking for work. In my opinion, the only ones who are going to make out on the casinos, is labor and construction. The deal can only benefit them.

The mayors and government officials are looking for quick fixes for their budget short falls. Three casinos with a total of $600 million ($200 millon each) in licensing fees? Are you kidding me? No way is this a good deal.

Readers go on line to the Boston Globe, where this story came from, and look at the comments of the readers. I left the comments off, so that I could be more fair to everyone.

The Mohegan Sun Casino seems dedicated to doing the Palmer project.. Most tribal members, I talked to, do not think it is a good idea.

Look around the Mohegan Reservation, in Uncasville, Connecticut, and what do you see? Two cranes by a hole where the Project Horizon (Earth) hotel was supposed to be built. It was stopped from being built in the end of September, 2008. Workers call the two cranes, "THE CRANES OF SHAME."

Look on top of the hill, what do you see? A shrink wrapped government community center that may never get finished, at least not in the near future. workers call the shrink wrapped building, "THE WHITE ELEPHANT.'

Both projects, were stopped. Why? Was it the economy? Was it that the MTGA made a mistake? Did the MTGA mess up? Who is the MTGA? Oh, I know it's the Mohegan Tribal Council actings as the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. Four out of the five Mohegan Tribal Councilors, who are running for re-election, voted for the government community building. Were they wrong? In my opinion, the Mohegan Tribal Council wasn't listening to the majority of tribal members who didn't want the project.

Does the MTGA have the funding to do any projects? What about the proposed Aqueduct deal? What about Pocono Downs? Who is making these decisions?

Is the Mohegan Tribal Council listening? Should the tribal councilors who are running for re-election go? Are they listening to the tribe? What do you think?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


As the number of confirmed swine flu cases nationwide doubled to 40 - with half of them from a school in Queens - the World Health Organization raised its flu-alert system Monday to signal that "the likelihood of a pandemic has increased."

The additional 20 cases brings to 28 the number of swine flu cases at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows. The city's health department said another 17 cases have been identified as "probable" and have been sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing.

As health departments were flooded with calls from worried citizens, President Barack Obama said "we are closely monitoring the emerging cases," and the United States Monday advised Americans to put off unnecessary travel to Mexico.

Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, said Monday the 20 additional cases do not represent "an ongoing spread" of the disease but are associated with additional testing of the original cluster of students. City health officials said at least 100 students at the school have complained of flu-like symptoms.

Experts: Expect more swine flu cases -- and deaths
Recent visitors to Mexico worry about swine flu
Emergency center in Syosset monitors flu, patient data
U.S. declares public health emergency for swine flu
Eight students likely have swine flu in NYC; area on alert
Airlines waive change fees amid swine flu outbreak
8 NYC swine flu cases confirmed, 1 suspected in Nassau
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Swine flu Meanwhile, on Long Island, four possible Suffolk County cases "are in the pipeline" to be tested, Health Commissioner Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry said. All four are from Amityville. The specimens have been sent to the state laboratory outside Albany. Once the specimens are received, testing takes six to eight hours to determine whether it's a probable case of swine flu.

In Nassau, the county's one suspected case will not be tested, Health Commissioner Dr. Maria Torroella Carney said. That's because the patient had mild symptoms and is recovering at home. The state is prioritizing cases of people who are seriously ill, linked to the Queens school or who have a "travel history to Mexico," said Dr. Gus Birkhead, deputy commissioner in the state Health Department.

Since Saturday, the city's 311 information line has fielded more than 100,000 queries about swine flu. Birkhead said the state got 1,176 calls in the first 24 hours of its setting up an toll free swine flu hotline.

Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious diseases at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, said they have been "inundated" with calls and visits from anxious people.

Seventy-three cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, WHO said. Mexico has confirmed 26 cases although Mexican authorities said the virus has possibly killed 149 and sickened close to 2,000.

In the United States, there have been no deaths and only one person has been hospitalized. But, Besser warned, that could change.

Meanwhile, the WHO upped its level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 3 to phase 4 on a six-level scale. The change indicates "the likelihood of a worldwide outbreak has increased but not that a pandemic is inevitable," the WHO said.

The other confirmed cases in the United States have been in California, Ohio, Kansas and Texas. Canada has reported six cases while Spain has reported one, WHO said.

The WHO did not recommend travel restrictions but the European Union's health commissioner, Androulla Vassilou, said she recommended people avoid "nonessential travel to those areas reported to be in the center of the cluster," including the United States. However, Besser said it was "premature" to warn people not to travel to the United States.

Staff writers Michael Frazier and Jennifer Barrios contributed to this story, which was supple-

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The important thing to realize is that the flu is right in New York, and we should be careful....The story was from Newsday. On Tuesday there were two cases reported in Connecticut..

Monday, April 27, 2009


Mohegans comply with state compact
Published on 4/21/2009

The Mohegan Tribe is not clamoring for stimulus funds like other businesses and governments. It is self-sustaining, and in fact, an economic workhorse in the state.

But you wouldn't know that by the way the state is behaving. It is considering legislation to force a smoking ban at Connecticut's Native American-run casinos that would not only trample on tribal sovereignty, but would also erode business. And these are businesses that feed the state.

Connecticut has lost more than 30,000 jobs in the current recession, the Mohegan Tribe, operators of Mohegan Sun, have kept employees at work without resorting to layoffs. The benefit to the state of the tribe keeping its work force intact in hard economic times is direct and indirect income. These 8,000 employees pay taxes to the state, have health care benefits and frequent local businesses.

Additionally, the tribe pays the state a whopping 25 percent “tax” on its slot machine win as negotiated in its compact with the state, not the 7 percent that other corporations pay. Annually, Mohegan Sun purchases more than $331 million in goods and services from other businesses in the state, the equivalent of 24,000 jobs producing corporate and personal income tax revenues.

Since 1996, Connecticut has collected $2.1 billion from the Mohegan Tribe — far more than the 1,800-member tribe has received for itself from its casino business. Do not be deceived by what is reported as slot income in the newspapers: the state of Connecticut, lending institutions, former business partners and all operational costs must be paid prior to the Mohegan tribe receiving any profits from its business. And to all of this, how has the state responded? It is attempting to withhold a guaranteed (by compact) liquor license to force a smoking ban that almost everyone agrees will decrease revenues by as much as 20 percent. If smoking is banned at the casinos, there will be layoffs.

The impact to the state: less income in corporate, liquor, gas and personal income taxes; less ancillary corporate taxes due to fewer goods purchased; and an increase in state spending for health care and unemployment benefits.

Given the dismal budget projections for Connecticut, should it further jeopardize its tenuous financial position? Ironic, isn't it, that other private establishments, such as VFWs, Polish and Italian meeting halls, and country clubs, are not being threatened with similar legislation Not a single member of the Mohegan Tribal Council believes that smoking is a good thing. Long before the secondhand smoke issue was raised at the state Capitol, the tribe voluntarily undertook measures to reduce the risk to its employees and patrons.

A state-of-the-art air filtering system that continuously exchanges the air has been installed at Mohegan Sun. The tribe has opened non-smoking areas at the casino including slot machine play and table games. Smoking has also been eliminated in all restaurants, retail corridors and employee areas. “Air curtains” have been installed at gaming tables to direct patrons' smoke up to the ventilation handlers.

In fact, 90 percent of the entire property is nonsmoking. Twenty-five percent of the gaming space is nonsmoking. This exceeds our government-to-government agreement with Gov. M. Jodi Rell regarding the reduction of secondhand smoke on our reservation.

Which is the critical point on this issue. The state legislature has no role in the governance of Mohegan lands held in trust by the federal government. No more so than it would in Rhode Island.

All native nations in the U.S. enjoy a special relationship as dependent sovereigns much like states. Mohegan was recognized in Colonial times as a separate nation, with a separate government and land base apart from the colony of Connecticut. Our Mohegan nation and government predated European settlers. This fact was affirmed and recognized by the U.S. when we completed the federal recognition process.

The U.S. does not grant tribal status, it merely recognizes the fact that since its first contact with European settlers, the Mohegans have had an unbroken history of self-governance.

Since the time of Uncas, the Mohegan people have been generous neighbors with the people who eventually created the state of Connecticut. The tribe negotiated a compact with the state when it opened its casino 13 years ago. And we expect the state will honor our compact. It seems only fair.

Ban respects rights of tribe and public
Published on 4/21/2009


A legislative ban on casino smoking fully respects and recognizes tribal sovereignty, because both tribes have already agreed — as a condition in their state gaming compacts — to adopt Connecticut's public health standards.

The compacts, negotiated in the 1990s, establish firm conditions — enforceable in federal court — that govern operation of the casinos. The tribes have agreed as sovereign nations to honor these conditions, or risk losing state liquor license and gambling rights.

Among the most significant requirements is that the tribes maintain health and safety standards “no less rigorous than standards generally imposed by the laws and regulations of the state relating to public facilities.

The operative health standard is a 2003 law — one of the most profoundly important public health measures in recent history — prohibiting smoking in virtually all public places, including restaurants and bars.

The legislature is now prepared to extend our smoking ban to tribal casinos — the only present exceptions — to protect tens of thousands of patrons and employees exposed to deadly cancer-causing secondhand smoke every day.

The proposed smoking ban recognizes and respects public health — saving lives and medical treatment dollars — by stopping secondhand smoke, a proven killer.

The measure also respects and recognizes the economic realities — possible competition from other gambling venues — by implementing it in stages over a period of years.

The tribes have opposed this measure, even threatening to hold hostage hundreds of millions of dollars in slot revenue owed to Connecticut taxpayers. This move is deeply saddening — imperiling a long-standing positive and productive relationship between the tribes and the state.

No economic apocalypse will result from a smoking ban at the casinos — just as there was none at restaurants and bars. As a matter of fact, business there has increased because non-smokers — who constitute more than 80 percent of our society — can finally enjoy smoke-free environments.

While predicted economic harm from smoking bans has proven illusory, the dangers of secondhand smoke are real. Secondhand smoke kills. It causes all the same fatal and intensely painful, costly diseases as smoking itself.

I have been a strong and consistent advocate of banning smoking in public places for more than a decade. I have been proud to help lead national efforts, including our landmark legal battle, against Big Tobacco.

I recognize that public places on reservations belonging to federally recognized tribes have a different status under federal law and principles of tribal sovereignty. These principles of sovereignty in no way bar the state from prohibiting smoking because the tribes have voluntarily agreed in the compacts to adopt the state's public health legal standards.

Installing smoking ventilation systems and adopting partial smoking bans as the tribes have suggested are inadequate because they fail to effectively protect patrons and employees from secondhand smoke, especially on the casino floors.
But the proposed ban permits — and I would welcome — a voluntary tribal law ban adopted by the tribes as sovereign measure and substitute for legislative prohibition

Protecting employees from secondhand smoke should provide a financial incentive for the tribes — diminishing costs of employee sickness and medical treatment.

Many states, heeding economic incentives, are moving to ban smoking in gambling facilities. Massachusetts has stated that no smoking will be allowed in any tribal casinos authorized in that state. At least three tribes have voluntarily prohibited smoking in their casinos. In addition, Puerto Rico, Ontario, Quebec, the United Kingdom, France and Ireland all prohibit casino smoking.

I am hopeful that both tribes will rethink their resistance and responsibly protect their patrons and hard-working employees.

My office stands ready to enforce the clear terms of our compacts while respecting tribal sovereignty.


Brokenwings Comment; Some of things talked about in both letters are right and some are wrong.

On LYNN MALEERBA, the Vice Chairwoman of the Mohegan TRibal Council, here are my thoughts.

Malerba does not mention in her letter that the Mohegan Tribal Government laid off about 50 workers.

In the Mohegan Sun Casino, there is a policy of a attrition, workers who leave are not being replaced. There were cut backs in salaries to the September 2008 levels.

Workers at the casino gave up 4%, 8% and 10 % depending on their earnings levels. The Mohegan Tribal Council only gave up 8%. Shame on the Tribal Council. Benefits for tribal government workers and casino workers, as well as tribal members, were partially cut or totally taken away.

When Ms.Malerba said that there would be layoffs, if the smoking ban went into effect, is that possibly opening the door to unions?

The VFW, Polish halls and Italian halls, etc. are private clubs and should come under the rules of the clubs, and not the State of Connecticut. Could some people take the comment about Italian and Polish as prejudicial? Was it racial or in bad taste? Should it have been said?

The fact is that bars and restaurants come under a smoking ban so why shouldn't the casinos? Granted the casinos pay a lot more in taxes than all the bars and restaurants combined.

Malerba is correct when she states the Mohegan Tribe gained Federal Recognition because it was a sovereignity, a government, a nation and not because it was a family.

What she didn't talk about, was how Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, the Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman and Helga Woods, the Attorney General of the Mohegan Tribe, threatened to withhold payments of revenues to the state. Not a smart thing to do. She evidently agrees with this plan of action.

The only people, who will make out if a lawsuit commences will be, the lawyers representing the tribe and the state.

Although, I don't want to see a smoking ban either, I don't think Lynn Malerba did a very good job of explaining the tribe's position on the smoking ban. I think Lynn Malerba is a preson who cares for the Mohegan Tribal government workers and the Mohegan Sun Casino workers. The letter, somehow doesn't seem to get that point across. Did anyone help Malerba on her letter? If someone advised her, in my opinion, they should be let go. Lynn Malerba is running for re-election for the Tribal Council. Do you think she will get re-elected? What do you think?


Brokenwing Editorial Comment on Richard Blumenthal, the Attorney General of Connecticut. If what he says is true, that the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe both agreed about the public and their employees health in the compacts, then neither tribe has a leg to stand on.

Blumenthal seems genuinely concerned for the workers and patrons who visit and work in the casinos. No matter how good the ventilation system is in a casino, (I think the one in the Mohegan Sun is quite good), the dangers of second hand smoke still exist. A bar or restaurants have better air quality because there is no smokiing allowed, therefore the air quality is better.

The medical bills for the workers in a smoking environment are mostly likely higher than in a smoke free environment. He's probably right.

Blumenthal doesn't seem to want to over throw the tribe's sovereignity, what he is stating is that he wants the tribes to live up to the deal they made with the state.

From the tone of the letter, it seems that Blumenthal will not back down. The tribes are on a collision course of destruction.

He wrote a very well thought out letter. He did a good job, stating his case.

Sunday, April 26, 2009




April 22, 2009

James Gessner, Corresponding Secretary

The Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut

5 Crow Hill Road

Uncasville , CT 06382

Dear Mr. Gessner,

I would like this letter of correspondence to be read out loud to the tribal membership at the quarterly membership meeting on Sunday, April 26, 2009:

Subject: Freedom of Information Ordinances

The April 8th issue of Wuskuso had an article on an amended freedom of information ordinance approved by the Tribal Council on April 1st. The article does not mention that tribal members submitted a successful petition against the first freedom of information ordinance approved by the Tribal Council on January 14th.

Based on that first petition, the first freedom of information ordinance was rescinded by the Tribal Council in March instead of allowing it to go out for a referendum vote by tribal members as required under the petitioning section (Article 12) of the Mohegan Constitution. Wuskuso ignores this matter of law in their article. Instead Wuskuso says, and I quote, “The original ordinance was repealed on March 18 after the Council heard concerns raised by Tribal members who said they wanted to change portions of it during a special meeting on Feb. 23.” In reality, the ordinance was rescinded because of the petition but Wuskuso does not mention this.

A second freedom of information ordinance was then passed two weeks later by the Tribal Council on April 1st, which was also successfully petitioned against.

Will Wuskuso report this second petition even though it failed to report the first petition?

Why isn’t Wuskuso accurately reporting the information as to what has transpired regarding both freedom of information ordinances that were petitioned against? Why weren’t tribal members given an opportunity to see a draft version of the second freedom of information ordinance as requested by members at the special meeting? Why hasn’t the petition by tribal members who wanted to enact their own version of a freedom of information ordinance been reported upon in Wuskuso?

Can you please respond to these questions after you have read this out loud at the quarterly membership meeting.


Mike Bartha

Concerned Tribal Member

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; The tribal member, (who is running for the Mohegan Tribal Council) with his likeness on the white van allegedly parked in front of the main entrance of the Mohegan Tribal Government building during the quarterly meeting. His representatives, allegedly, were giving coffee mugs in front of the main enterance of the government buidling. Isn't the ballot box right there in the main lobby? Is this a violation of the election ordinance? What do you think?

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Section 7. Proibited Conduct during Elections

(a) for the purposes of this section, the followingterms shall have the following meanings:

1) Bribery of a Registered Voter", A person in guilty of Bribery of a Registered Voter; if he/she offers, confers or agrees to confer upon a registered voter of the Tribe("beneficiary") any monetary benefit or anything regarded by the beneficiaryas a monetary benefit (including benefit to any person or entity in whose welfare the beneficiary is interested) with the intent to influence the beneficiary in reapect to how he/she will vote an election.

2)Bribe Receiving by a Registered Voterer"; A registered voter is guilty of Bribe Receiving if he/she solicits, accepts,or agrees to accept any monetary benefit or anything that he/she would regard as a monetary benefit (incluing benefit to any person or entity in whose welfare he/she is interested) from another person upon an agreement of understanding that such benefit will influence him/her in respect to how he/she will vote in an election.

3) "Coercion" To compel or induce another person to engage in conduct which such other person has a legal right to abstain from engaging in, or to abstain from engaging in conduct in which such other person has a legal right to engage, by means of instilling in such other a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will: (1) commit any criminal offense; or (2) accuse any person of a criminal offense; or (3) expose any secret tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair any person's credit or business repute; or (4) take or withhold action as an elected official of the Tribe, or cause an elected official of the Tribe to take or withold action; however, a person is not guilty of coercion under subsections (2), (3), or (4) if the actor reasonably belived the accusation or secret to be true or the proposed official action is justified and that his/her purpose was limited to compelling the other person to behave in a way reasonably related to the circumstances which were the subject of the accusation, exposure or proposed official action, as by desisting from further misbehaving or making good a wrong done.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: This is the conduct that must be upheld by Mohegan Tribal Members running for elected office.

There are questions that have arose from some of the campaigning going on this election.. I don't kow if what is being done is legal, fair or moral. What I do know, is what I've seen. It is actually quite ingeiolus.

One is a white van with the likeness of the candiate on it parked in the Mohegan Sun Casino parking lot. Government workers and casino workers who have seen the van are allegedly laughing about it. The workers have allegedly named it the pimp mobile.

This candidate has given out bumper stickers, pens, coffee travel mugs and watches. The coffee mugs, the pens and the bumper stickers may not be a problem, the watch, however, may be.

Is this willful misconduct? Is it egregious? Doe this harm the tribe? Does this harm other candidates? Is it detrimental to the tribe? Is this a violation of the election ordinance or some other policy?

Could this person be getting away with something because of his family ties? Is this a problem? Should somethng be done about it? Is this in good taste? Does this violate the intent of the law? Does this behavior make the Mohegan Tribe look bad? Is this the kind of person, we want on our tribal council? I don't know. Do you know?

Should the Mohegan Tribal Election Committee do something about this? I don't know. If you don't like this conduct, you should tell the Election Committee. If this conduct, bothers you and nothing is done about it, remember it at election time.. Do you care? What do you think?


Mohegan Sun weighing N.Y. licensing fee
Winning bidder on casino must pay large upfront fee

By Brian Hallenbeck Published on 4/24/2009

Mohegan Sun executives, who are expected to submit a bid to build and operate a casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the New York City borough, are studying New York state's plan to fast-track the project, which includes providing $250 million worth of construction financing.

New York's request for proposals, issued late last week, calls for bidders to offer an upfront licensing fee, a provision that led to the undoing of Delaware North Companies, the Buffalo, N.Y., firm chosen to build the casino in an initial round of bids last year. In March, however, Delaware North withdrew its plan, informing New York Gov. David Paterson's office that it was unable to make the $370 million upfront payment it had offered.

According to the agreement the winning bidder would now have to sign with New York officials, the licensing fee would have to be paid within 10 days of the document's signing. No minimum bid for the fee has been established.

According to the agreement the winning bidder would now have to sign with New York officials, the licensing fee would have to be paid within 10 days of the document's signing. No minimum bid for the fee has been established. ”We're running models of the competitive landscape and haven't decided whether to provide a bid,” Jeffrey Hartmann, chief operating officer of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which manages Mohegan Sun, said Thursday. He added, however, “We believe we have the best understanding of the Northeast gaming market.”

The Mohegan authority partnered with Capital Play, a New York company, in submitting its earlier bid, which was one of three finalists. Hartmann said the authority has not decided whether to partner with another entity on a new bid.

Hartmann said New York's latest request for proposals was substantially the same as the earlier one. However, it does not provide an option for bidders interested only in building and managing the casino as opposed to owning it, which is likely to keep the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe's Foxwoods Development Co. from entering the fray, Gary Armentrout, Foxwoods Development's president, said Thursday.

New York contemplates that the winner (of the bidding process) would own and operate the facility,” Armentrout said. “They're looking at a $3 million upfront payment just to be considered, as well as the upfront licensing fee and effectively a 78 percent tax rate. Based on that, it's not likely that we're going to participate this time around.”

Foxwoods Development did submit a bid for a state-owned, Foxwoods-managed casino in the initial round of bids.

Delaware North had planned to build a casino that included 4,500 video lottery terminals, which are similar to slot machines; restaurants; a hotel and a 60,000-square-foot conference center. The New York Racing Association has the franchise to operate Aqueduct's horse racing.

Hartmann said he expected the economic conditions and a “tight time frame” - proposals are due May 8 - to limit responses to a handful of bidders.

Delaware North, which is expected to come forward again, has been accused of breach of contract in a New York state Supreme Court suit filed by SL Green Realty Corp., its one-time partner in a group called Empire Racing. SL Green also is expected to participate in the Aqueduct rebidding.



Jeffrey Hartmann, Chief Operating Officer of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) said, "We're running models of the competive landscape and haven't decided whether to provide a bid. We believe we have the best understanding of the Northeast gaming market."

The Mashantucket pequots will probably not bid on the New York projects. The bids are due n on May 8, 2009. The bids require a three million dollar ($3,000,000.00) up front licensing fee.

New York wants a 78% tax rate. That leaves 22% to pay loans, salaries, interest, everything and try and make a profit. Are you kidding me? How can this possibly be done? This is insanity. Who's minding the store? The MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Council) is okay with this?

In my opinion, the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs can't make a profit at between 55% to 62% off the top. How can it be done for 78% off top?

One tribal member said, 'you my as well give them 100%, because there is no way this thing can make money."

Is this more smoke and mirrors, from the Mohegan Tribal Council? Is this the best plan they can come up with? Should they go at election time? Are they doing the right thing for the Mohegan Tribe? What do you think?

New York you gotta be kidding.

Friday, April 24, 2009


On Sunday, April 26, 2009, the Mohegan Tribal Quarterly Meeting will take place from 12:30 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. in the Tribal Meeting Room of the Mohegan Tribal Government Building.

The meeting was orginally scheduled for April 19, 2009.

With the dismal financial reports coming from the Mohegan Sun Casino, it will be your (the Mohegan Tribe's) opportunity to question your elected government officials on the situation.

What we don't need is answers like, I don't know, I'll look into it, or we'll get back to you. This is a critical time for the Mohegan People. It calls for Tribal Councilors to speak up.

It calls for the Tribal Councilors to come forward with new ideas and solutions. Evidently, what the tribal government is doing, is not working. In my opinion, the economic situation of the tribe seems to be getting worse and not better.

Be there, and ask questions. This will probably be tribal members last chance, to ask questions of the Tribal Council, as a group, before the first round of ballots are counted on May 27, 2009. Five present Tribal Councilors are running for re-election. They are Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, Lynn Malerba, William Quidgeon, James Gessner and Mark Hamilton. If these people have not lived up to your expectations, then maybe they should be voted out. When you vote look at their records. Did they do the will of the Mohegan People?

I am not sure if I will be there, but if not have a good meeting. Come bring your questions. The Tribal Councilors make a great deal of money, make them accountable to the membership. We deserve answers. Please try and be there and see your government in action. .

Thursday, April 23, 2009


9-Year-Old Child Left Alone In Hotel Room At Casino

The Day ---- Published on 4/22/2009

Mashantucket - A Massachusetts woman was arrested Monday after police said she left a 9-year-old alone in a hotel room.

Joanne Salvatore, 53, of Quincy was charged by the state police casino unit with leaving a child unsupervised in a public place of accommodation.

Police said that Salvatore left the girl alone in a hotel room at the Great Cedar Hotel for more than an hour. The 9-year-old called 911 and said she was alone in the room.

Security paged Salvatore, who was on the casino floor.

Salvatore was arrested and released on a $250 bond. The Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident.

Salvatore is scheduled to appear in court June 8.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Why are these kinds of thngs happening? The same thing seems to be happening in the Mohgean Sun Casino, too. Our children, are our most prized possessions and yet people, don't seem to believe that. Is the desire to gamble that great? Is this a problem in casinos and hotels across America? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



The Supreme Court put a new limit on police searches of cars Tuesday, saying that "countless individuals guilty of nothing more than a traffic violation" have had their vehicles searched in violation of their rights.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices set aside a 1981 opinion that had given police broad authority to search cars whenever they made an arrest.

Instead, the justices said an arresting officer could search a vehicle only if weapons were potentially in reach of the suspect or if there was a reason to believe the car contained evidence related to the arrest. For example, if the driver was arrested for a drug crime, the car could be searched for drugs.

Justice John Paul Stevens, speaking for the court, said merely arresting a driver does not "provide a police entitlement" to search the vehicle without a warrant.

Brokenwing Editorials thought that its readers should know about their rights if they are stopped by the police.


Smoke And Maybe Fire Over Casino Ban

I have a friend who suggests, in response to the growing state-tribal standoff over a casino smoking ban, that the state relax.

If the casinos want to keep their smoking environments intact for all their smoking customers, let them. Smoking may kill you but apparently it's good for the gambling business. The nonsmokers can choose to stay home.

”I'd pump smoke into the places,” he said.

Connecticut lawmakers, on the other hand, watching out for the interests of employees, who have no choice in the matter, and also bowing to their new union muscle, this week continued to press the issue.

In fact, members of the Government Administration & Elections Committee, voting boldly 8-3 in favor of legislation eliminating the casinos' exemption from the bar and restaurant smoking ban, seemed to be calling the bluff of Mohegan Chief Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, who is threatening to withhold the state's share of the slot machine revenues if the state persists in snuffing out casino smoking.

Attorney General Blumenthal showed no sign, either, of backing down this week from a confrontation, saying “I will fight to adopt and enforce this law.”

Indeed, Blumenthal appears to have a legal slam dunk on his hands if the law passes and the Mohegans make good on their threat to shut off the slot machine money or at least put it in escrow.

The court-imposed compact that allows the tribes to operate their casinos is quite specific about the resolution of disputes in federal courts. It plainly says a tribe's sovereign immunity is no defense for not abiding by the terms of the compact.

”(The tribe) consents to the exercise of jurisdiction over such action and over the tribe by the United States District Courts . . . to enforce the provisions of this compact,” it says.

As for the state insisting on a smoking ban, the compact is quite clear that health and safety standards at the casino be “no less rigorous” than those imposed by the state and that the state may “require the tribe to cooperate with any state agency generally responsible for enforcement of such health and safety standards in order to assure compliance.”

Furthermore, the compact is also quite clear the tribe must abide by all laws of the state of Connecticut regarding the service of liquor. That could soon include one insisting the liquor be served in a smoke-free environment, as it must now be everywhere else in Connecticut.
The Mohegan chairman has offered no credible legal argument in making his reckless threats to Connecticut lawmakers

He could even be putting the tribe's business at risk. It's not inconceivable that a federal judge could even shut the whole thing down if it's found that the tribe is willfully violating the terms of the compact and withholding payments it has agreed to make to the state.

I don't think they ought to pump smoke into the casinos, although I'm not so worried either about customers who choose to hang out in a smoky gambling hall.

But I think Connecticut legislators are right to try to protect the health of state workers, in the same way lawmakers in other gambling jurisdictions around the country are working to improve casino air quality. All of them are looking at ways to phase in these bans to minimize the impact on business.

But even in a recession, the notion that people's health should be sacrificed in the name of making more money seems hopelessly greedy.
This Is The Opinion Of David Collins.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; David Collins is correct about most of his view on the smoking ban legislation and the casinos' response. The only thing that I disagree with him, is that Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, is not the Chief of the Mohegan Tribe. Bozsum is the Chairman of the Tribal Council. From all the tribal members, I have talked to, the vast majority don't want him to ever be the chief. Most members said they don't have any respect for him.. Bozsum is up for re-election. Do you think he will get back in? What do you think?


When the first European explorers, traders and settlers first met the first people (the Native Americans) it was quite a different world than today.

The first people were one with the earth. The earth was their mother. The Native Americans were a part of the environment. It was a way of life, where you survived because of the things that were around you. The first people were connected. They thanked Mundu for the gifts of life that were imparted to them. They shared the land, it was Mother Earth.

Europeans equated land with wealth. They had the idea, that people owned the land. By surveying the land, the Europeans set in motion the dividing and selling of land. To them it was something one possessed. It was worth fighting and dying for. Unlike the first people, Europeans looked at the land for the minerals, wood, etc. that they could take from the land. Eventually the Europeans took control of the colonies and took, plundered the earth they took from the first people. Over time this uncaring philosophy caused pollution of the air, the waters and the very earth they walked on. Some places may never heel. They scarred Mother Earth.

In September 1969, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, of Wisconsin proposes an Earth Day for the spring of 1970, with demonstrations on the environment. He was in favor of "Zero population, because of an over human population on the earth.

Nelson said: "The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become ... We have to address the population issue. The United Kingdom, with the U.S. supporting it, took the position in Cairo in 1994 that every country was responsible for stabilizing its own population. It can be done. But in this country, it's phony to say 'I'm for the environment but not for limiting immigration.'"

Senator Nelson first proposed the nationwide environmental protest to thrust the environment onto the national agenda.” "It was a gamble," he recalls, "but it worked." Nelson was worried about "global cooling.: The proposed Earth Day was April 22, 1970. Senator Nelson hired Denis Hayes as the coordinator of the events.

"Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...."

The modern environmental movement starts on April 22, 1970, by the participation of twenty million Americans (20,000,000).. The staff organized by Denis Hayes, enlisted thousands of colleges and universities to protest coast to coast across the United States. The fight was about oil spills, factory pollution, power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, the loss of the wilderness, extinction of wildlife and other things. These people had a common thread in saving the environment. The people wanted something like what the first people had when the Europeans came here over 400 years before. Ralph Nader started talking about the environment that same year.

Today, over 200 million people in 141 countries around the world are participating to save Mother Earth.

In 1990, the cause turned to recycling efforts worldwide. It paved the way for a 1992, United Nations Summit in Rio De Janeiro.. Now the cause focused on clean energy and global warming.

By 2000, the Internet was used by up to 5,000 environmental groups around the world to organize hundreds of millions of people around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people were at the national Mall in Washington D. C., in the United States.

In 2007 over a billion people participated in Earth Day events worldwide.

"We're going to be focusing an enormous amount of public interest on a whole, wide range of environmental events, hopefully in such a manner that it's going to be drawing the interrelationships between them and getting people to look at the whole thing as one consistent kind of picture, a picture of a society that's rapidly going in the wrong direction that has to be stopped and turned around.

Things that we can all do everyday of the year including Earth Day are:

Buy permanent items instead of disposables.
Buy and use only what you need.
Buy products with less packaging.
Buy products that use less toxic chemicals.

Repair items as much as possible.
Use durable coffee mugs.
Use cloth napkins or towels.
Clean out juice bottles and use them for water.
Use empty jars to hold leftover food.
Reuse boxes.
Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
Participate in a paint collection and reuse program.
Reuse grocery bags as trash bags.

Recycle paper (printer paper, newspapers, mail, etc.), plastic, glass bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans.

Here it is Earth Day April 22, 2009, and again we (the Mohegan Tribe) have nothing planned for the day. The Council of Elders (actually anyone in the Mohegan Government) should be taking the lead and finding ways for Mohegans to participate in this worthy cause. Maybe we could have walked around Shantok and picked up bottles, cans, glass and papers in the woods. Maybe we could do it this coming Saturday, April 25, 2009. Maybe we could have our Earth Day on May 15, 2009, when we have our clam bake.

Can we do it? Should we do it? Why aren't we doing it? Do you know? Should we be thinking of Mother Earth like our forefathers? She is our Mother, shouldn't we take care of her?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Mohegan Sun Announces Sports Bar Sponsorship Within the New Yankee StadiumFriday, May 02, 2008, 3:34:27 PMUNCASVILLE, CONN (May 2, 2008) – Mohegan Sun announced today a three-year sponsorship agreement for a Mohegan Sun themed sports bar during the 2009-2011 seasons.

The Mohegan Sun themed sports bar will occupy an area known in the existing Yankee Stadium as the “Batters Eye,” and will be located directly behind center field and above Monument Park, providing fans with a bird’s-eye view of the field. The 4,900-square-foot sports bar will have a capacity of 322, including approximately 132 ticketed seats positioned within a glass-enclosed section. The Sports Bar is one of many areas within the new Yankee Stadium that will also be utilized for corporate events and business functions on non-game days.

“Mohegan Sun is extremely pleased to be a part of the new Yankee Stadium,” said Mitchell Etess, president and chief executive officer, Mohegan Sun. “This is an outstanding opportunity and we are thrilled to be associated with the best name in baseball.”

“We are excited to continue our long-term relationship with Mohegan Sun in the new Yankee Stadium and look forward to our fans enjoying the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar,” said Michael J. Tusiani, New York Yankees Senior Vice President, and Corporate Sales & Sponsorships.



But for those sitting in the two sections that flank the structure built to house the sports bar and bleacher cafe, the views to right and left field are obstructed.

If Jeffrey Maier had interfered with Tony Tarasco’s attempt to catch Derek Jeter’s home run in the 1996 American League Championship Series in the current stadium, fans in Section 239 would have seen it — but only on the television sets embedded in the walls\\

All this rightly concerns Mitchell Etess, the president and chief executive of the Mohegan Sun. The hotel and casino, based in Uncasville, Conn., was already a Yankees sponsor and extended its presence last May with a naming rights deal through 2011 for the sports bar.

“We don’t want to be held responsible for the impact the facility has on the view of seats there,” Etess said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “We had no say in the construction of the stadium, and I’m certain that this was designed long before we made the deal.” The Mohegan Sun has nothing to do with the running or the profits of the sports bar; it only has its name on it.

Etess said it wasn’t until recently — “along with everyone else” — that he learned the sports bar was part of the bleacher protrusion that will obscure the views of up to 1,048 fans. For their trouble, the Yankees belatedly cut prices in Sections 201 and 239 to $5 (all others pay $12 to $14).

Alice McGillion, a Yankees spokeswoman, said Etess almost certainly was not told of the shadow that would be caused by the sports bar/bleacher cafe. “Since there are no obstructed seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, it wouldn’t necessarily have come up,” she said.

But the reality that the Mohegan’s name would be on the 4,900-square-foot sports bar that blocks fans’ views is a material fact that should have been disclosed by the Yankees and also pursued by the hotel-casino — especially because it’s not cheap to buy the naming rights.

The Yankees and the Mohegan Sun would not disclose the price of the deal.

Jim Andrews, a senior vice president of IEG, a sponsorship research, valuation and consulting company in Chicago, said that the minimum price was probably $1 million but that the “multiplier for new Yankee Stadium was probably two or three, so it’s probably $2 million or more.” But, he added, “You’re not paying to be associated with an obstructed view.”

He said he was surprised that the Mohegan Sun didn’t demand to see how the sports bar/bleacher cafe would be built. “If I’m the Mohegan Sun, I’m not happy,” Andrews said\

He said he was surprised that the Mohegan Sun didn’t demand to see how the sports bar/bleacher cafe would be built. “If I’m the Mohegan Sun, I’m not happy,” Andrews said.
Ross Sheingold, who runs the New Stadium Insider blog, said by e-mail that the Yankees, not the Mohegan Sun, were to blame. “The Yankees are likely too stubborn to do this,” he wrote, “bthe Yankees’ president, said, “I don’t think so,” when asked if the team would take those 1,048 seats out of circulation, paint them black and expand the batter’s eye.ut it might not be a bad idea to tear the sports bar down and go back to the drawing board.”\

He said the team could have had no seats or unobstructed ones in that area. “The decision was to do obstructed seats — those few seats — and we’re pleased,” he said. “They’ve sold out.”
The goal was to cash in on the center-field expanse that the Yankees had not monetized in the old stadium where the batter’s eye was. Having cut the original $12 list price of those 1,048 seats by $7 will mean losing about $600,000 this season if all 81 home games sell out.
But that will be more than made up by revenue from the sports bar’s rights fees, food and beverage sales, tickets ($90 to $95 each) and memberships (of a price not yet announced) to certain season-ticket holders, and from the concession sales at the bleacher cafe.

The team is certain that its fans are happy with $5 seats in these recessionary times. “People like you might have a problem, but fans are eating them up,” Levine said. “They’re in phenomenal demand, at $5. The average paying customers don’t have a problem yet.”

Yet. Only fans who attended the two exhibition games against the Cubs last Friday and Saturday could judge the views, and not all were pleased. The real test will start on opening day next Thursday. Will fans paying $5 accept the discount view for the discount price? And will they try to ameliorate the obstructions by wandering to the terrace at the bleacher cafe for a better vista?

Last Friday, security hustled fans lingering on the terrace back to their seats after they bought their food. But Levine said: “They can stand in the terrace as long as they want. There are no hall monitors.” But, he said, if too many fans stand there, safety concerns might lead security to direct people back to their seats. “It’s a common-sense approach.”


The Mohegan Sun Sports Bar offers an atmosphere within the Stadium where members find themselves only an arm-length away from the playing field where baseball history will unfold.
Members will have the opportunity to mingle and watch the game from the high-top table bar area while enjoying premium sports bar food items such as the Juicy-Juicy stuffed burger, blue crab mini tacos, pastrami grinder, sushi lobster wrap and truffle fries.
Mohegan Sun Sports Bar Menu:
Mohegan Sun Sports Bar Menu »
You need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to view the menus.
The Mohegan Sun Sports Bar features two full bars and is sure to become the members' favorite hang-out spot, even after the game has ended.
DRESS CODE: Appropriate attire is required at all times. Attire will be deemed appropriate at the sole discretion of the New York Yankees.
PLEASE NOTE: Memberships purchased after April 14, 2009 will start with the 2nd Home Stand on April 30th.
Membership is presently being offered to all Full, 41 20, 15, 12 and 11 Game Ticket Plan Licensees, subject to availability.
Join The Mohegan Sun Sports Bar Today:
Full Season Membership: $750.00Buy Full Season Membership Now »
41-Game Plan Membership: $410.00Buy 41-Game Plan Membership Now »
20-Game Plan #1 Membership: $250.00Buy 20-Game Plan #1 Membership Now »
20-Game Plan #2 Membership: $250.00


Uncasville, Connecticut, Saturday April 18, 2009----It was a beautiful sunny morning in the sixties (60's). A perfect day for a ride in a convertible.

I called the Editor of Feather News and said to him, let's go to the Paugusett Pow Wow. He gets the directions and called another tribal member to see if she wanted to go too. We meet and head to the pow wow with the top down, but not before all three of us put baseball caps on our heads.

Up Route 2 to exit 18 and we turn west to Haddam. We turn on a back road travel about two miles and end up at an bridge across a lake. There was sign for the pow wow on the swinging gate leading into the parking lot.

We paid our $3.00 each to see the pow wow. The pow wow was actually over the top of a ball field, complete with the bases still in place. The ball field was surrounded by trees, complete with a locked out house. To the west was the lake, quite tranquil. It was a great place for a pow wow. I thought, it must have been like this in the old days at the Mohegan Church.

There was about a total of about 120 people in attendance, that includes the vendors, the dancers, drummers and visitors. The one drum group of four first people (Native Americans) were excellent. When the drummers took a break later in the day a flutist played. It was quite moving. The simplicity of the musicians and the atmosphere were quite fitting for the environment. It all came together. It was natural.

The grand entry was scheduled for 12:00 P.M. (noon). It happened at about 1:30 P.M. As one (1) first people said we never wore watches in the old days. Indian time.

The dancers were dancing to the different dances. At one time there was about 40 participants dancing in the roped off circle in the middle of the field. . The dancers put their hearts into their dancing. They were one with Mother Earth. Some dancers danced every dance they could. I don't know where they got the energy. They seemed to love it. It was wonderful. No competitions, just people participating in their heritage. It was moving.

We saw Joey James there, with his tent. He said, he had heard that things were happening to me. I said someday, I would explain it to him. It was good to see him. I asked how the Mohegan Wigwam Committee went the other week. He said he missed me. I said, I would like to have been there. I really liked working on that committee. As always his crafts, that he not only sells but makes, were of the finest quality. It was good to see him. One of my companions bought a brown swede vest. Joey James gave her a discount. She looked good in it.

The craft venders, had all native American goods. Only one vendor had some stuff from China. It was good to see. All the items being sold were wonderful quality. I bought two (2) ribbon shirts. I wanted to contribute. These people sure were not making a fortune at the gate.

There was only one (1) food vendor. She was a Masaphee Wampanoag. The food was good. We had the Indian Tacos, the fried bread and two strawberry iced teas. Everything was good.

After sitting on the grass for several hours, we decided to leave. It was a good day for the three Mohegans in our group and the one Mohegan who was there working to make it all work. We put the top up on the convertible. As we drove off, heading back to Uncasville, Connecticut, I thought how it had been a great day.

A good day for Mohegans. A great day for the Paugustts. I hope someday the Paugusetts get Federal recognition. What do you think?

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Everyone who lives in the United States knows that your federal and state income taxes are due on April 15th every year. This year something extra happened around the United States on April 15. It was tea parties.

The tea parties were rallies by Americans, all across the country protesting our taxes. In colonial times, there had been a tea party in Boston, about tax on tea by the British Government on the colonies. The colonists of Boston dumped tea off the ships in to Boston Harbor to show their anger over the tax. They supposedly said, "No taxation with out representation."

In Norwich, Connecticut, on Wednesday, April 15, 2009, (on a beautiful sunny spring day), between an estimated 1,000 and 2,000 Citizens of Connecticut came together to celebrate, the modern day tea party. This time there was no dumping tea into a harbor. There were however, talks by speakers of all political parties about our freedoms and rights as United States Citizens. The speakers talked of our Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press. The right to peacefully gather and talk about taxes was mentioned.

The theme was that we (U.S. taxpayers) pay taxes and have no control how the money is spent. Americans do have representation, but no say in how our tax dollars are spent. People were critical of how President Obama was spending the tax dollars. In Obama's defense, no one seems to know how to fix the economy. All the different parts of the United States economy are in shambles.

The police had no problems, that I could see. It was a large crowd of people, all getting along in unity of the cause. Cars were driving past the park, blowing their horns in support. It was a good day for the people of Norwich.

In the Mohegan Court System, Mohegan Tribal members are fighting for our (the Mohegan Tribe's) freedoms and rights. The right to vote for who you want, and the right to speak and print what you want. Another case may be on the horizon soon.

How about the government community center building that no one seems to want? How about the Project Horizon hotel? What about a government that wants to expand to Palmer, Massachusetts? Who is responsible for the losses the Mohegan Sun Casino is having?

As I left, I thought does this apply to the Mohegan Tribal Government? Is our (the Mohegan Tribe) government spending revenues without considering the wishes and desires of the tribe? Do we have a representative government? How hard is it for the Mohegan Tribal Council to do the will of the people? Should we remember how the government functions at election time? Should any of the five Tribal Councilors who are running for re-election be worried? Should they go?

Maybe the Mohegan Tribe should have a tea party? What do you think?

Friday, April 17, 2009


New London Day, Wednesday April 15, 2009 Section A pages 1 and page 4


Etess says casino linked to obstructed views at Yankee Stadium in name only

By Lee Howard Day Staff Writer

If you've got tickets to the home opener at the new Yankee Stadium, enjoy the game, but don't blame the Mohegan Sun if you can't see a play in the outfield.

With the first official game in Yankee Stadium only a day away, the New York faithful already are grousing. But this time it's not about the lousy play of the overpaid players or the off-field antics of injured star Alex Rodrigues--it's about, of all things, the placement of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar.

Turns out that Yankees baseball executives---men of the people all---decided turmoiled an exclusive sports bar overlooking center field that obstructed the views of more than ,1,000 fans. Only when fans compllained about tne obstuction---which makes it hard for people in two sections of the stadium to see action in parts of the outfield---did the Yankees' brass reduce prices there from the $12 to $14 range to a rock bottom $5.

According to an article in the New York Times, the obstructed views left a bad taste in the mouths of fans who attended two preseason games in the new stadium. But Mitchell Etess, president and chief executive for Mohegan Sun, which signed a three-year deal rumored to have cost ;42 million or more, downplayed the controversy Tuesday, saying "no ones b;a,ed is" for the sports bar's design.

"No one's saying that the Mohegan Sun sports Bar is blocking people's views," he said in a phone interview. "We never felt like Mohegan Sun would be held responsible."

Indeed, Mohegan Sun had nothing to do with the design of Yankee Stadium and doesn't run the bar itself or get any revenue from its operation, he said. Etess, a Yankees fan, said the naming of the sports bar simply gave Mohegan sun a branding opportunity in critical market for the casino operation.

"We just have our name associated with the stadium and the Yank es," Etess said. "people talk about it on TV. We've been partners with the Yankees for probably about 10 years."

Etess said he first got wind of the controversy about the 4,900 square-foot sports bar through blogger complaints forwarded to him. But he didn't seem particularly concerned that the obstructed view seats ---which are clearly marked on tickets --would spill over into any sort of antipathy toward the Uncasville casino, and he didn't seem inclined to try to reclaim some of the money the sun paid for the sports bar's naming rights.

"We have no issues with the Yankees," Etess said. "We've just kind of happy to ber associated with the Yankees. It's a very professional organization."

The bar includes game seats cost in up to $95, and others can gain admission by paying from$250 to 750 for a membership. The bar has a capacity of a little over 300.

Members will have the opportunity to mingle and watch the game from the high-top table bar area while enjoying premium sports bar food items such as the Juicy-Juicy stuffed burger, blue crab mini-tacos, pastrami grinder, sushi lobster wrap and truffle fries," according to an online promotion of the sports bar.

The sports bar reportedly has great views of the field and is expected to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. And that;a good thing, because cutting the price of more than1,000 tickets ts for each Yankee Stadium home game will cost the team, about $600,000 this season, according to the Times.

The Yankee approached Etess about naming the sports bar, which he said is part of a comprehensive marketing agreement that inclues using the Mohegan Sun name in print ads and directional signs. The casino also gets free tickets as part of the deal, which Mohegan Sun can use at is discretion.

"It's a great way to get ingrained into an amazing, conic place," etess said.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Five (5) of the eleven (11) casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey are in serious financial scrapes. That coupled with the performance of March and it is quite troublesome.

The three (3) casinos that bear the Trump name have filed for bankruptcy. The Resorts Casino is behind in it's debt payments. The Tropicana is supposedly close to being in bankruptcy, too.

The numbers for March, 2009 are not good. In fact, since the casinos were legalized in New Jersey in 1978, this is the worst monthly decline in the history of the casinos. The eleven (11) casinos showed a total win of $318.4 million, a 19.4% decrease compared to March, 2008. it breaks down like this, slot machines were $218.1 million a decrease of 21.3% and table games of $100.3 million for a decrease of 14.7% compared to the same month the year before.

The state of Nevada had a 18.1% decline in revenues comparing March 2009 with March 2008. Casinos on the Las Vegas strip had a decrease in business from March 2009 compared to March 2008 of 23.5%.

Dan Heneghan, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Casino Control Commission said, "Results were also impacted by having one less Saturday this March than last March. A big snow storm early in the month also depressed revenues a bit. I don't know about the casinos financial situation is having as much of an effect as news about the economy in general. And people who see folks round them getting laid off are cutting back on spending as well."

The Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwood Resorts Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods have not reported their performance for March, 2009, yet. The Connecticut casinos revenues should be out next week.

If Atlantic City and Nevada are any indications, then the performance at the Mohegan Sun Casino will not be good either. We (the Mohegan Tribe) should expect a decline in revenues for March 2009 compared to March 2008.

Tribal Members should unite in wanting better performance form our casino. Things can not be allowed to continue the way they are going. In my opinion, if things do not pick up, and economists are not predicting a quick fix, then the next thing will happen is your benefits and other things will either be decreased or taken away.

Is it time for change? Is it time for new management? Is it time for new members on the Tribal Council (MTGA)? What can be done to fix this situation? Do you know? Does management know? Does the tribal government know? Is it time for change? What do you think?

The ultimate question, that should be asked of the Mohegan Tribal Council is what have you done for us (the Mohegan Tribe) lately?

Thursday, April 9, 2009


On Wednesday April 8, 2009, about 340 workers that serve alcohol in Foxwoods Resort Casino voted on whether to be represented by Local 371 of the United Food and Commercial Worker's Union.

The Union went through the Mashantucket Pequot Nation's proper channels to ask for the vote to take place. The results were 207 against the union and 133 for the union. The union is seeking to unionize about 400 workers. About 371 actually voted.

Michale Speller, President of Foxwoods Resort Casino and the MGM Grand at Foxwoods said, "We are very pleased with the vote of confidence that these employees have given the beverage department management today."

Speller also said, "These team members displayed extraordinary professionalism throughout the weeks leading up in the election and clearly agreed that having an outside organization come between us was not necessary. The entire management team looks forward to an exciting future where we will do everything we can to make Foxwoods even better for all of our employees and our guests."

Brian Petronella, the President of UFCW said, "I am very pleased with the outcome of the vote, based on Foxwoods anti-union campaign and I'm hopeful that within the next few months we'll have another election through the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board)."

The way I understand it, under the Mashantucket Pequot's law the unions can not put this up for a vote for at least one (1) year. Under the National Labor Relations Board, the vote could be conducted as early as the next day. The NLRB allow one thing and the tribal law is another thing.

It was good to see that the workers at the Foxwoods casinos were allowed to vote on whether they wanted the union to represent them. It was good to see that both management and the unions behaved properly. The workers have spoken by their votes. The union should respect the decisions of the workers. The union should respect the laws of the tribe. The tribe should respect the union. Will the controversy continue? What do you think?

In my opinion, it was a good day for the Mashantucket Pequots. What do you think?