Sunday, May 31, 2009


Updated: 14 minutes ago

Text size: Many Indian casinos aren't big moneymakers
9:43 PM EDT, May 30, 2009

If the Shinnecock tribe is counting on a casino for financial salvation, it will discover that Indian gambling enterprises are far from a sure bet.

While Indian casinos have seen explosive growth over the past decade - 230 tribes now operate 425 gambling enterprises in 28 states - most wealth is concentrated in a few states. The rest, experts say, are moderately successful or break-even enterprises that rarely result in windfalls for members.

"There's a lot of disparity in the performance of Indian gaming," said Alan Meister, an economist with Analysis Group in Los Angeles and author of the annual Indian Gaming Industry Report. "Being in New York is a good thing and might work in its [the Shinnecock tribe's] favor . . . but there are a lot of other things that go into it besides location," such as the type of facility, whether nongambling amenities are offered and if any state or federal regulations apply.

In 2007, for example, 62 casinos in California and Connecticut accounted for nearly 40 percent of the $26.5 billion in tribal gaming revenue nationwide, according to latest Indian gaming report. Two Indian casinos in Connecticut generated the same revenue as 101 Indian casinos in Oklahoma.

In a settlement reached last week, the Department of the Interior has agreed to rule by Dec. 15 on the Shinnecock's request for federal recognition, which would give it the right to open a casino. A casino outside the tribe's Southampton reservation, at Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont for example, would require state and federal approval.

Currently, the Shinnecocks' annual Labor Day weekend powwow, which attracts Indian vendors from all over the country and draws about 50,000 visitors, is the 1,300-member tribe's main source of income, according to Shinnecock officials.

The 1988 federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows tribes with federal recognition to open casinos and specifies how they use the profits, including tribal government operations, the general welfare of members, promoting tribal economic development, charitable donations and local government operations.

Tribes have used the money to pay for health care, scholarships, community centers and other facilities on reservations.

The Mohegan tribe, which runs the Mohegan Sun Casino in eastern Connecticut and a smaller operation in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., provides health care and housing for its elderly members, and full college tuition, according to Chuck Bunnell, the tribe's chief of staff. The tribe is also building a community center.

"The tribe has reinvested into the business that they own, which is Mohegan Sun, and they have been able to provide for their people in a way that the federal government never did or could have," Bunnell said.

Some of the most successful tribes also distribute a dividend from casino profits to members. Bunnell said the Mohegans issue a per capita payment of less than $30,000 a year. The Mashantucket Pequot tribe, which runs the Foxwoods casino resort, also in Connecticut, has reportedly paid adult members as much as $100,000 each some years.

But such high-profile success stories are the exception, not the rule, said Jacob Coin, former executive director of the National Indian Gaming Association. He said only a third of all tribes with casinos distribute per capita payments and those that do, rarely pay out large sums, he said.

"There are still quite a number of tribes who are happy to have just created jobs for their members, as opposed to generating a lot of revenues," said Coin, now public affairs director for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California, which manages a casino and bingo facility.

Tribes outside the Northeast, which generally have more members and lack dense population centers to draw customers from, often see their casinos struggle. Some casinos have shut down.

Still, "having said all that, casinos are probably the only economic tool that has worked for Indians," Coin said./

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; If I were to give information about the per caps, I could be brought up on Good Standing Charges, but the Chief Of Staff can do it and nothing happens to him. Joe Smith gave it out, Roland Harris gave it out years ago, but a free press can't tell it. What is wrong with this picture? Could it be, who says it makes a difference? Could it be subjectice prosecution? What do you think?


Show will broadcast from Foxwoods
Norwich Bulletin
Posted May 30, 2009 @ 11:11 PM

Mashantucket, Conn. — Travel expert Peter Greenberg will broadcast his nationally syndicated radio program from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

People will be able to ask questions during the show. Greenberg will set up at The Club, on the concourse level in Grand Pequot Tower.

For information, call Kelly Grunther at (917) 841-2657.


Frank Pepe's Gets Fired Up For Mohegan Sun Opening

By Brian Hallenbeck Published on 5/31/2009

Buy Photo By Cheryl Albaine
Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe Bruce“Two Dogs” Bozsum, left, and Francis Rosselli of Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana fire up the brick oven for a smudge ceremony Thursday at Mohegan Sun Casino.

Mohegan - It's a good bet that Francesco Pepe never imagined that one day they'd be burning cedar leaves and acorns in the brick oven of a pizza shop bearing his name - Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana.

In a casino no less.

In fact, when he opened his New Haven store back in 1925, Pepe likely had little inkling that it would become the standard-bearer of an old-world style of thin-crust pizza whose devotees queue up outside the store and along Wooster Street in the Elm City's Italian section. Even by the time he died in 1969, he wouldn't have expected his heirs to eventually open four other locations and hire a CEO to run Frank Pepe's Development Co.

But it's all coming to pass. And that's why Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, came to bless the oven Thursday in the Frank Pepe's under construction in the Casino of the Earth at Mohegan Sun. It's Pepe's third “satellite” location, following the opening of stores in Fairfield (2006) and opposite the Buckland Hills mall in Manchester (2007). The fourth is scheduled to debut this November in Yonkers, N.Y.

Bozsum, performing a “smudging,” lit the oven and then joined Francis Rosselli, Frank Pepe's grandson, in adding coal to the fire, starting a process that will culminate in the store's opening on or about July 1.

”You like to take a month to cure an oven before you start cooking in it,” the 57-year-old Rosselli said. “It pulls the moisture out of the bricks and prepares the oven for optimum baking. We learn about the oven during the process. It might need some tweaking.

”We'll have someone here every day to fire it up,” he said. “We'll let it burn out, let the heat go down and then start it up again. It's like breaking in a new car.”

In the back, the kitchen has another oven, which says a lot about the expectations that Rosselli and the casino have for the store, which will provide 50 jobs, most of them full time.

”That's for the overflow,” Rosselli said of the second cooker. “We expect a lot of takeout business, and we'll be serving guests at the hotel, too.” Now that's something new: a Pepe's that delivers.

Rosselli, who started working in his grandfather's original pizzeria at the age of 13, remembers when things really started to take off there. It was in the 1960s.

”The line would form inside and go the length of nine booths,” he said. “There was this waiter, Salvatore Montagna, who'd come from the kitchen holding the pizza above his head so he could get past the line of people. That was a common scene on weekends.”

So how many customers has Pepe's served? How many pies tossed?

”I never thought of it in terms of numbers,” Rosselli said. “It's always been about quality … in large volumes.”

Toward that end, the Pepe's ovens at Mohegan Sun, as at all the Pepe's locations, are “brick-for-brick replicas” of the original ovens installed in the New Haven store in the 1930s, according to Ken Berry, the aforementioned chief executive officer of Frank Pepe's Development Co.

The ovens, he said, are essential to the Neapolitan-style pizza that Pepe brought over from Italy, a style characterized by the thin crust that results from dough backed at extremely high temperatures.

”It gives it a unique texture,” Berry said. “These pizzas are handcrafted. They're an art form.”

Blessed events, you might say.


EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; We (the Mohegan Tribe) had to lose the Earth Casino Snack area for this. Could it be the Mohegan Tribal Council in their haste to build Project Horizon (the Earth Casino Hotel, the Casino of the Wind and the parking lots, and other things, made a deal with the owners of Pepe's that we couldn't get out of . Did we have to do this? Did the Tribal Council again mess up? Do you know? The food court was, I have been told owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe, so we probalby made a profit from it. So now we lease the space to Pepe's. Does that make sense? The picture of Bruce 'Two dogs" Bozsum, in my opinion, looked like he needed a shave. What do you think?


State Police arrest man at MGM Grand after dispute
Woman treated for minor injury

By Staff reports
Norwich Bulletin
Posted May 27, 2009 @ 06:54 AM

Mashantucket, Conn. — State Police at the MGM Resort & Casino at Foxwoods arrested David J. Delrossi, 29, of North Providence, R.I., after he was involved in an argument with his girlfriend.

Police said Delrossi and the unidentified woman got into a fight that became physical.

Delrossi allegedly grabbed the woman and closed the door of their hotel room on her leg, causing a minor injury. She was treated by casino emergency personnel.

Police said Delrossi became combative and initially resisted arrest.

He was charged with:
Second degree breach of peace; interfering with a police officer; and second degree unlawful restraint.

He was held on $500 cash bond and is expected today in New London Superior Court.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Mohegan - Five incumbents, including Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, are among the 10 finalists for the five available seats on the Mohegan Tribal Council, the tribe announced Wednesday night.

All five councilors whose four-year terms expire this year will seek re-election in secret balloting over the next several weeks. In addition to Bozsum, the candidates are Lynn Malerba, the council's vice chairwoman; Bill Quidgeon, treasurer; James Gessner, recording secretary; and Mark Hamilton.

The terms of the other four members of the nine-member council extend to 2011.
Also named Wednesday from among a field of more than 40 tribal members who vied in primary balloting in recent weeks were Mike Bozsum, the chairman's younger brother; John Henry Clark, a former chairman of the tribe's Council of Elders; Ken Davison, who maintains Feather News, a blog devoted to tribal matters; and Kathy Regan-Pyne and Mark Sperry, both of whom have worked for the tribe.

In a statement, the tribe listed the 10 finalists in alphabetical order and provided almost no other information, including the number of votes each candidate won.

”It is part of Mohegan custom and tradition to keep the details of the election results solely within the tribe,” said Joe Smith, a tribal member and manager of public affairs for the tribal government.

Davison, who has a background in accounting, often analyzes tribal finances on his blog. He also has waged a battle in Mohegan Tribal Court over the tribe's requirement that tribal members vote for a full slate of candidates in tribal elections. Davison, according to his blog, asserted that members should only have to vote for candidates they prefer and that requiring them to vote for more “is, among other things, a violation of free speech rights.”

The tribal court sided with the tribe and its election committee in a ruling this month, Davison reported on Feather News.

Earlier this year, the tribe approved and then rescinded a controversial freedom-of-information ordinance that would have imposed limits on the information that could be disseminated on blogs like Davison's. A new version of the ordinance is subject to an upcoming referendum vote among tribal members.

The results of balloting in the council race will be announced Aug. 30. The five winning candidates will be sworn in Oct. 5.

The council, in addition to governing the tribe, serves as the managing board of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates Mohegan Sun, the resort casino that employs nearly 10,000 people.

Posted - 5/28/2009 10:42:24 AM"is, among other things, a violation of free speech rights." Does the entity operating the business on limbo land, that place peculiarly part of the US, but not, have a document guaranteeing free speech? What "other things" are there?
US CitizenPawcatuck, CT
- 5/28/2009 10:44:38 AM

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Last year both blogs and put the candidate totals up. I know of no tradition that prohibits tribal members from giving out the numbers. I guess, it is we make up the tradition as we go along. How do, the people in Connecticut, or any place in the United States view us ? This whole process that the Tribal Council is promoting, makes the Mohegan People look like a secret society. People will think we have something to hide? What government doesn't give out a vote count of a legitimate election? What do you think?

Congradualtions to all the winners. On the next round our picks should be Ken Davison, Mark Hamilton, John Henry Clark, Mark Sperry and Kathy Regan-Pyne.



Casinos Serve Up Bargains To Draw Visitors Back To Strip
By Oskar Garcia , Associated Press
Published on 5/25/2009

Las Vegas - It's back to the buffet, bargains and customer bonuses for Las Vegas casinos.

Fast food is up, fine dining tabs are down and hotel rooms are available for under $50 in a city that has been calling on recession-weary tourists to come back and play the quarter slot machines.

Value is the hippest thing on Las Vegas Boulevard this year.

At O'Sheas Casino, the president of five Harrah's Entertainment Inc. hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip is poking fun at the economic downturn and the excesses that built Sin City's anything-goes reputation.

Don Marrandino points at a sign pushing $45 bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey or Smirnoff vodka, and says the promotion parodies the not-too-distant past when the gambling resorts marked up liquor by hundreds of dollars a bottle and patrons couldn't empty them fast enough.

And then it all changed.

”I don't get scared too often,” said Marrandino, who oversees the Imperial Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah's Las Vegas and Bill's Gamblin' Hall & Saloon. “In January, I was scared.”

Across Las Vegas, casinos found consumers unwilling to pay premium prices for just about anything, from meals to hotel rooms, drinks and entertainment. Occupancy citywide dropped to about 72 percent in January, far below the 90 percent-plus normally enjoyed by Las Vegas hotels.

Now a strategy that casino executives laid out earlier this year is taking shape - offering bargains and fighting for visitors without spending much to build the next big attraction.

”Our challenge, like everyone else, is how do you create things without capital?” Marrandino said. “You're dealt a hand, and you gotta play it.”

The story is much the same for casinos across the country, which are looking for different ways to get gamblers in the door and keep them and their dollars there.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, for example, offered a one-week-only special for the first time this month that combined a room with a 50-minute spa treatment for $210 per night.

Marrandino explained as he walked his regular route checking his casinos that his employees have had to be more creative to keep customers flowing through the doors.

After brief chats with a waitress at the Flamingo's topless pool and a tattoo shop cashier at O'Sheas, he said he wouldn't have believed predictions in January that occupancy would be above 90 percent at Memorial Day.

But as hotel-casinos from one end of the Las Vegas Strip to the other lowered rates, visitors have returned to cash in. By March, occupancy rose to 85.9 percent - and 92.5 percent on weekends.

The average room cost about $92 per night, some 12 percent less than in January and almost a third less than a year earlier.

Executives say changing customer demands affect every hotel-casino, from the $159 per night Wynn Las Vegas to the Imperial Palace, where rooms can be found for $34 per night.

The Imperial Palace is selling a package that includes a one-night stay with all meals at its buffet and a cafe and all drinks at casino and pool bars for $95.

The Luxor has used Twitter to push a $35 one-day pass to its buffet. Other MGM Mirage hotel-casinos offer all-day buffet tickets, and the Luxor's includes beer, wine and champagne.

Even Michelin-starred restaurants where dinner tabs run to $100 per person are offering fine dining at reduced, fixed rates.

”Value comes in all kinds of prices,” said Marcus Wooden, chief operating officer of the Wynn Las Vegas. “It's not just about being the cheapest, it's about making sure that you have a level of service of execution and service against that price for people to feel good about.”

The three-star Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand is known for its $385 16-course meal and a $225 six-course option. But it recently debuted another menu for $89.

Visitors are more conservative with their cash, but they're demanding the same experiences and quality they always have, said David McIntyre, vice president of food and beverage for MGM Grand.

”It reflects their state of mind as they're constantly being fed a diet of economic information that is less than glowing,” McIntyre said. “They'll definitely continue to be conservative as long as that diet exists.”

While restaurants are busy, McIntyre said average checks are down. The hotel's sommelier has been asked to replace wines that once sold for $300 or $400 a bottle with others that sell for $100 or $200.

”(Las Vegas) went from bargain to high end really quickly,” Marrandino said. “Now it's going back to that middle market.”

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Other casinos, in other parts of the United States, now realize to survive, they must give discounts, and bargains to attract customers and to keep them. The Mohegan Sun Casino and The Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, must also learn this lesson. It seems the leadership (the Mohegan Tribal Council) has again fell down on it's responsibility. Is this leadership? Are they protecting our (the Mohegan Tribe's) interest? Is this doing the right thing for us? Do the Tribal Councilors running for re-election need to go? What do you think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Sun Season Ticket Holders First In WNBA To Get Personal ID Cards

May 26, 2009 - UNCASVILLE, Conn. (May 26, 2009) - Connecticut Sun season-ticket holders will be the first in the WNBA to enjoy the convenience of a Personal Identification Card (PID) that serves as their season ticket and their loyalty card.

"This is a project that has been in process since the end of last season," Sun General Manager Chris Sienko said. "We have created a unique new approach to accessing the game, as well as all of our subscription benefits. This program completely eliminates the need for a paper ticket, which makes it as environmentally friendly as it is fan friendly"

All 17 home games, plus both preseason games, have already been placed on the magnetic strip on the back of the card. Loyalty card discounts are also recorded on the magnetic strip, which will allow fans to swipe and enter through a Mohegan Sun Arena gate. Additionally, the card will provide fans with a variety of discounts at Mohegan Sun shops and restaurants and arena concessions.

Season ticket holders will even be able to send a ticket directly to the Sun membership card of a friend or family member as late as 10 minutes prior to tip-off of the game.

The Connecticut Sun tip off their seventh season at Mohegan Sun Arena on June 6th with a 4 p.m. game against the Washington Mystics. Season tickets, group and mini plans are on sale now and can be reserved by calling a Sun Ticket Representative at 1.877.SUN.TIXX (786-8499) or by visiting

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


In the beginning of 2009 the Mohegan Tribal Council passed Ordinance 2009-24 (the first Freedom of Information Ordinance). It was a bad law, so Mohegan Tribal Members under Article 12, Section 1 of the Mohegan Constitution (the Right to Petition), successfully petitioned to reject the ordinance and bring it up for a referendum (vote) by the Mohegan Tribe.

About 55 days after the petition had been accepted by the Election Committee and forwarded to the Mohegan Tribal Council it was CANCELED. The Mohegan Tribal Council killed their own law so that , in my opinion, Tribal Members couldn't vote on whether to keep the bad law or not.

Within one (1) week tribal members again petitioned under Article 12, Section 1, (Right to Petition), this time to enact their own Freedom of Information Ordinance. The tribal members turned the petition into the Election Committee, who said they could not accept the petition because even though the Mohegan Constitution calls for 35 members within seven (7) days can reject or enact, the Election Ordinance says you need 40% of the voters to sign the petition. This is a real problem. Mike Bartha, one of the sponsors, has filed in Mohegan Tribal Court to have the Election Committee and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians (the Tribal Council) fix this situation.

About a week later, after the petition to create, by tribal members their own Freedom of Information Ordinance, the Mohegan Tribal Council voted, eight to one (8 to 1) in favor of the new Freedom of Information Ordinance 2009-35. The lone dissenter was Mark Hamiliton, who got it right when he said, it was a bad law, that was captious and prohibitive. Another "RESTRICTION OF INFORMATION ORDINANCE."

Tribal members again, petitioned under Article 12, Section 1, (the Right to Petition) and again successfully petitioned to have the new Freedom of Information Ordinance 2009-35 sent out for a referendum to rescind the law (send it out for a vote). This time the Tribal Council decided finally to allow tribal members to vote, consequently you received your ballot yesterday or you will receive it in the next day or two.



The problems, I see is if you get information , the government basically is saying they own it and if you talk to someone other then a tribal member about it, you can be brought up on Good Standing for violating the ordinance. A RESTRICTION OF INFORMATION.

The COO (Chief Operating Officer) makes the determination of what you as tribal members will get. If you don't like his decision, you can appeal to a three (3) member panel. The problem is these people are appointed and work directly for the tribal council. So who ultimately decides what you can see and read?

Another problem, is that the government has two (2) business days to decide to give you the information. Example, the Tribal Council passes an ordinance of Wednesday morning, the earliest the tribal member can get in the Freedom of Information Request is Thursday morning, with two business days, he may not get the ordinance until Monday morning. Now he has only two days to petition against the ordinance, when the Mohegan Constitution says he has seven (7) days.

You recently received a letter from the eight (8) members of the Tribal Council urging you to vote for the new Freedom of Information Ordinance 2009-35. Again the one person, who was wise enough not to sign the letter was Mark Hamiliton. How come the letter doesn't tell you he didn't sign it?

I believe, the new Freedom of Information Ordinance 2009-35 is better than the original Freedom of Information Ordinance 2009-24, but it could be vastly improved. It is still a RESTRICTION OF INFORMATION ORDINANCE.

At the end of the day on June 7, 2009, whether the Freedom of Information passes or fails, it will be a good day for Mohegans. We will have seen a successful petition, brought to a vote. . It has never happened before.

Get your vote in. This one is important, folks. If you vote Yes, you are in favor (want) the Ordinance. If you vote no, you are not in favor (you don't want) the law. Vote No. WE DON'T WANT IT. MAKE THE GOVERNMENT CREATE A BETTER LAW. VOTE NO.

Should the law go? Should the Councilors who voted for the law and wrote the letter go? What do you think?


THE CANDIDATES 2009. I talked to tribal members and came away with some choices and rejections of some of the candidates. Here's the list. It is their opinions, use the information anyway you choose.

Of the incumbents, look at their voting record. Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, Lynn Malerba, William Quidgeon, and James Gessner have failed us. They voted for the two bad ethics ordinances, the two bad freedom of information ordinances, the permanent facility at Pocono Downs, the Government Community Center, and other bad business decisions. They don't deserve our votes. They have lost the confidence and support of the tribe.

The only incumbent, that should be saved, is Mark Hamilton. He voted against the two bad ethic ordinances, the two bad freedom of information ordinances, the permanent facility at Pocono Downs (55% to 62% off the top), He voted against the government community center that no one seems to want. He has done a good job for the Mohegan People. He deserves another term.

Mike Bozsum, is the person who allegedly violated the voting ordinance by parking the so called "Pimp Mobile" near the government building and had people giving out things (bumper stickers, pens, coffee mugs, and watches, to voters. If he is not possibly doing it right campaigning, what kind of tribal councilor would he make? Do we need two (2) Bozsums in office?

Former Tribal Councilors were voted out office years ago, because the membership was not happy with their performance. Running again are Roland Harris, Glenn La Vigne, Shirley Walsh, and Christine Murtha. Do we need to go down the road with what some tribal members are calling retreads? Should we give them another chance? i don't think so.

My choices would be Ken Davison, and Mark Sperry. I like John Henry Clark, in fact I think he would make a great Chief, but is he going to keep taking his pension and the salary of a tribal councilor or will he put his penson on hold? This question needs to be addressed.

Other possibles are: William Donehey, Bill Leuze, Bill Gucfa, Aaron Athey

Some of the people, that I wrote about are friends, but that does not change what tribal membes said, so I reported what was said to me.

What I think really doesn't matter. Make sure you vote, the people we now have running our government are failing us terribly, they need to go. We need new blood. We don't need people who have failed us in the past. No second chances. We need smart people who will do the will of the Mohegan People. People who will put the interest of the Mohegan People ahead of their own interest.

We need a more transparent, open, concerned, proactive, nurturing government. Not the unresponsive government we have at present. Think carefully, and vote for good people, not necessarily friends or relatives. We need good people. These are critical times in our history. What do you think?

Monday, May 25, 2009


Today, is Monday May 25, 2009, Memorial Day in the United States. The day is dedicated to remembering the war dead of America. It started as an observation of the Civil War (1861-1865) dead (500,000 people in 1868. It took place at Arlington National Cemetery, in Washington D. C. hosted by President U. S. Grant. It was called "Decoration Day."

New York, in 1873 was the first state to start celebrating the holiday annually. After World War I the day was dedicated to all American War dead all the way back to the American Revolution. The current day celebration on the last Monday in May, began in 1976, by an act of the Untied States Congress.

Mohegans, have fought for this country with the English Settlers even before the American Revolution. In fact, Mohegans have fought since one of the first conflict between the settlers and Native Americans. It took place at Mystic Fort (Pequot Fort). The Mohegans, the Narragansetts and English settlers joined forces to burn the fort down killing men, women and children.

We, (Mohegan tribal members) have fought in the Pequot War, the King James War, the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Desert Storms I and II and all kinds of conflicts in between.

Our people have served our country in all kinds of times of need. These people have done us (the Mohegan Tribe) proud. Asking someone to put their life on the line is a great thing. Sometimes what needed to be done, was unspeakable. Some of these people have nightmares and all kinds of heartache and pain, years after living through the hell of war. Thank God they served our country. They have served all of us, we should treat them as special, because they are special by the very things they endured for us to enjoy the freedoms and rights that many of us take for granted.

When you see a veteran, thank them for serving our country. Whether you believed in the conflict or not, remember the courage, honor, fortitude, that these people showed. We should thank them for their service. We should willingly listen to them, their stories or whatever. We should just be there for them. They have done us proud.

Happy Memorial Day. Thank a soldier. Give them a hug. Buy them a drink, whatever, just let them know you care. What do you think?

Friday, May 22, 2009


Death of ironworker at Mohegan investigated
By No.: (860) 701 - 4260 Other Recent Articles Ledyard girl represents Connecticut fans at Fenway - 5/21/2009Michael Naughton
Published on 5/21/2009

Mohegan - Federal and tribal safety officials were at the site of a Mohegan Tribe construction project Wednesday investigating the death of an ironworker.

Dick Blake, 59, was reportedly working on the Mohegan Government and Community Center building Tuesday morning when he fell about four stories. Tribal fire crews took him to The William W. Backus Hospital, where he later died.

Tribal officials would not say where he lived.

Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are trying to determine what exactly happened, what safety standards apply and whether the employer complied with those standards, said Ted Fitzgerald, an OSHA spokesman. He said the investigation could be weeks or months long.

Terry McEvily, the assistant area director for OSHA, said it was the first time investigators have been called out to that project, which was suspended earlier this year for financial reasons. The Gilbane construction company of Providence is overseeing the work.

Blake was on a crew assigned to secure the construction work until building restarted, said Chuck Bunnell, the Mohegan Tribe's chief of staff.

The center, which was to have been completed in December, was slated to house offices, a swimming pool and a basketball court where the Connecticut Sun would practice.

Blake was a member of the Iron Workers Local 15.

A woman who answered the phone for the union Wednesday would say only that Blake “was a sweetheart, one of the nicest people.”

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said the cause of death was multiple blunt traumatic injuries due to an accidental fall.

”We're thinking of (his family) and sharing in their grief,” Bunnell said.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Fugitive arrested at casino

Norwich Bulletin
Posted May 20, 2009 @ 06:19 AM
Mashantucket, Conn. —
Police this morning arrested a New Hampshire man in the Foxwoods Casino wanted for failure to register as a sex offender.James R. Wiggins, 37, of Keene, N.H., was arrested at 12:15 a.m. today on fugitive charges. He was wanted in New Hampshire on failure to appear and failure to register as a sex offender charges, police said.Following the arrest, the New Hampshire County Sheriff’s office was contacted and will make arrangements for extradition, police said.Wiggins is scheduled to appear in New London Superior Court this morning.


Defendant rolls the dice at craps cheating trial

Published on 5/19/2009

Richard S. Taylor took the witness stand at his craps cheating conspiracy trial in New London this morning but spent most of his time standing around a makeshift craps table to explain his “system” for winning the dice game.

Taylor, 43, of Memphis, Tenn., is accused of masterminding a conspiracy in which dealers at Foxwoods Resort Casino paid players he sent into the casino for late bets. The players then split the profits of the cheating with Taylor and the dealers, according to previous testimony at the trial.

Taylor denies taking part in the conspiracy and maintains that he is a professional gambler who has shared his system for winning craps with anyone who is interested, including a TV news crew.

“On Fox 13 News in Memphis, Tennessee, they did a special on me,” he testified.
Taylor said that he was approached by Foxwoods dealers and asked to take part in the cheating conspiracy but that he declined.

With jurors standing up for a better view of the green felt craps layout on the floor in front of them, Taylor took a pair of dice that had been provided by Foxwoods and rolled them, using the judge's bench as a back wall and referring to a written explanation of his system that was shown on a projector. Attorney Ralph Bergman asked Taylor to explain what numbers “go with” other numbers and how his system works.

“Nobody knows the exact number that will come up,” he said. “But if you know the parameters of the numbers that will come up you can win.”

Taylor wanted to have somebody else roll the dice for his demonstration, but Judge Stuart M. Schimelman told him he had to do it himself. He explained how if he was playing at the casino, he would be placing $3,000 or $5,000 bets. Because he was a high roller, Taylor said, there would be pretty women around him and hustlers looking for money.

With Taylor as the shooter, the makeshift craps table was “hot” for a while. The number nine came up frequently as did numbers in Taylor's system. And when the number was not in his favor, Taylor pointed out that even if he didn't win, he didn't lose, either.

Taylor will face cross-examination this afternoon from prosecutor Stephen M. Carney.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; I don't quite understand the system, maybe some reader could explain it to me. I have been told that certain numbers like six and eight (6 and 8) come up a lot. I have been told by gamblers that the system would not work at casinos. Does anyone know? What do you think?


Man Charged With Providing Underage Girls With Drinks
Published on 5/19/2009

Mashantucket - A New Hampshire man was charged Sunday night with providing alcoholic drinks to two underage females at a Foxwoods Resort Casino bar.
Barry Alan Dion, 29, of Hooksett, N.H., allegedly delivered the drinks to the two 20-year-old women who are also from Hooksett, N.H.
Officials from the state Liquor Control Division were at the Atrium bar about 9:30 p.m. when Dion allegedly bought the drinks.
State police were notified and they charged Dion with two counts of delivering alcohol to a minor. The two women, Cassandra Roll and Christie Bussiere, were charged with possession of alcohol by a minor.
Dion is due in New London Superior Court May 28.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Host sues Pats’ Matt Light in casino club fight
By Laurel J. Sweet Tuesday, May 19, 2009 -

UNCASVILLE, Conn. - A VIP host who catered to the whims of the rich and famous at a swank Mohegan Sun nightclub is suing New England Patriot Matt Light [stats], claiming the All-Pro tackle broke his nose during a dance-floor dust-up.

Jacob Herman II, 25, alleges in court papers the 6-foot-4-inch, 305-pound Light left him badly bruised and with two black eyes. Herman underwent surgery to repair a severe deviated septum and depressed left nasal bone fracture, his lawyer said yesterday.

“This (lawsuit) was the only way we could seek a final resolution to the matter,” attorney Robert Fashjian told the Herald.

Herman, of Preston, an interior designer currently studying in Korea, filed his complaint with the casino’s Gaming Disputes Trial Court Nov. 13, accusing Light of intentional assault and battery, negligence and recklessness. No date for the bench trial has been set.

Light’s attorney Mark Fay did not respond to a request for comment, but in court filings Light denies the allegations.

The incident is alleged to have happened on New Year’s Eve, 2007, in the exclusive Blue Room of Ultra 88. Pats players partying with Light included former quarterback Matt Cassel, center Dan Koppen, wide receiver Wes Welker and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, according to a Mohegan Tribal Police report.

Police said surveillance footage shows two groups being separated by club personnel, but “does not show anyone being struck.”

Light later told investigators “he may have pushed someone out of the way en route to help his wife,” who’d motioned to him she was having a problem on the dance floor, but he denied fighting with anyone, police said.

Herman, police noted, had a black-and-blue left eye and a cut on his nose, but refused medical attention.

He claims in his complaint he was trying to pull Light off another man who was being pummeled, when Light turned on him, fists flying.

“Part of the host’s position is to protect the general public and that’s what he was trying to do,” Fashjian said.

A club patron who was punched in the face and identified by police as Gerald Bagley told officers he couldn’t identify who hit him and wanted to leave the club.

Herman, Fashjian said, is “not a sports fan. We’re not taking on the Patriots [team stats], we’re taking on Mr. Light. One would hope we could reach a conclusion. It’s unfortunate that it happened to begin with.”

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Ultra 88 Night Club, in my opinion, is a problem waiting to happen. A lot of the alcohol problems, that seem to happen in the Mohegan Sun Casino, seem to generate from this location. I have been told, that fights and arguments happen there almost nightly. Why didn't we just let them lose their liquor license and take over the club? Was that possible? Is this a problem place, in the casino? What do you think?


On Monday May 18, 2009, Mohegan Tribal Member, Ken Davison, received the judgement of the Honorable Mohegan Tribal Court Judge Freeman. Davison's case is about whether a tribal member should have to vote the entire number of positions available in an election or can tribal members legally vote for less than the total number of positions available.

The Honorable Judge Freeman, decided in favor of the Defense (the Mohegan Tribe, and the Election Committee). To see her judgement, check out, You will see how the judge came to her decision.

The question, now readers, is does he appeal or does he just accept the decision. I think he should continue. I think he should appeal. Although, I understand the judge's logic, I still feel there is something fundamentally wrong, when a voter has to do something he doesn't want to do. Voting, to me, is putting my picks down on paper.

It is FREEDOM OF CHOICE. If we, (the Mohegan Tribe) are doing something we don't want to do, then voting is no longer a privilege and something that tribal members are doing willingly. Are tribal members being forced to do something they really don't want to do? What do you think?

Tribal members, I spoke to, think Ken Davison should continue the fight. They think the law needs to be changed. Tribal members were asking the following questions.

Why aren't the Council of Elders, stepping up to fix this situation? Why isn't the Tribal Council stepping up and fixing the situation? Could it be, that the very practice of the way Mohegan Tribal Members vote, favor the incumbents?

Why couldn't the Tribal Council send this matter out for a vote, by the Mohegan membership, and settle the issue once and for all?

SHOULD HE OR SHOULDN'T HE? What do you think? Comment on his website and let him know.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


April slots still down, but better than March
By No.: (860) 701 - 4354 Other Recent Articles Mohegans Seek Niche, Won\'t Tout Slots - 5/17/2009Brian Hallenbeck
Published on 5/16/2009

Executives at Connecticut's tribally owned casinos said Friday that the size of the year-over-year declines in their April slot-machine winnings suggested things are looking up.

Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods won $57.5 million at 7,600 machines last month, eight-tenths of a percent less than Foxwoods alone won in April 2008. MGM Grand opened last May. The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority reported that Mohegan Sun won $64.3 million at nearly 6,800 machines last month, an 8.4 percent decline over the previous April.

”I am thrilled with our recent results, and proud to see that the enhancements and additional amenities we have added to our property are resonating with our customers,” Michael Speller, president of Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises, which operates the Foxwoods casinos, said in a statement.

Foxwoods, which had reported slight year-over-year increases in its slots win during February and March, recently added 24 table games to its Great Cedar Casino as well as 115,000 square feet of meeting space.

Although Mohegan Sun's April win was less than the previous month's win of $65.6 million, the year-over-year decline for April was significantly better than March's 14.6 percent decline.
”Obviously, we're glad the decrease was less than last month's, but I think it's premature to say the worst is over,” Mitchell Etess, president and chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun, said. “No doubt we're still seeing the same trends that have been affecting the entire industry. But it's a good sign.”

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, which forward 25 percent of their slot revenues to the state

Division of Special Revenue, made April payments of $16.1 million and $14.4 million, respectively.

Data the casinos filed with the state indicate lower-denomination slots were particularly popular among patrons. More than 40 percent of Mohegan Sun's take - nearly $26 million - was won on penny slot machines. The casino won another $624,000 on half-penny machines and $181,000 on quarter-penny machines, denominations it introduced earlier this year. Foxwoods won $17.1 million on penny slots, more than on machines of any other denomination, which range as high as $100.

”That's been a trend throughout the whole industry, where the lower-denomination slots generate more and more of the win,” Etess said. “Whether it's economy-driven, I'm not sure. It's a way for people to get more time at play.

”The trend started before the economy went south, but that may have speeded it up.”
The April data show that Mohegan Sun won, on average, $316.88 a day on each of its machines, while the comparable figure for the Foxwoods casinos was $252.13.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Congradulations to Foxwoods, a job well done. Foxwoods was down -0.8% (less than 1%), and the Mohegan Sun was down -8.4% (ten times the loss of Foxwoods), comparing April 2009 with April, 2008.

Etess are you kidding us? We (the Mohegan Tribe) can not continue to lose money like this month after month year after year. What is the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council) doing about these continuing losses?

Some tribal members, are saying not much or not enough. If these people can't get the job done, maybe it's time for new people? Should they go? What do you think?


Mohegans set up shop in Palmer

Mohegans open storefront office inPalmer

Updated: Friday, 15 May 2009, 10:32 PM EDTPublished : Friday, 15 May 2009, 10:00 PM EDT
Barry Kriger

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) - It's not a casino, but Mohegan Sun has set up shop in downtown Palmer. The Mohegans will formally open the doors to a storefront office on Main Street Monday morning. The Connecticut Casino Tribe hopes to open a destination gaming resort in Palmer. 22News found one casino supporter who thinks this move might be premature on the part of the tribe. "They haven't made any serious moves yet. To put an office in the center of town already is kind of a big step," said Nicholas Johnson of Palmer. The Mohegans' storefront office officially opens Monday morning at 11. It will serve as a place where locals can learn more about the Mohegans' plans for Palmer and western Massachusetts.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Could this be another bad deal for the Mohegan Tribe? Look at the numbers, a $100 million to possibly higher than $250 million license fee. Can we afford that? What about a $500 million to $1 Billion dollar 600 room hotel destination resort casino? Can we afford that? Are the executives at the MTGA looking at our numbers?

Early Sunday morning (Saturday night), business at the Mohegan Sun was terrible.. Are the Tribal Councilors (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority) looking for a quick fix (the Palmer project) for terrible business decisions, they have made over the years?

Are the Tribal Councilors, trying anything to get re-elected? Do these people need to go?? Do we need new blood? Look at the MTGA's record, over the years. It is terrible. I wouldn't want to defend their record. They have failed us. Now they are looking at Palmer, is it another Pocono Downs, that won't make us (the Mohegan Tribe) any money? Should we be doing this? What do you think?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Mohegan Tribal Members are invited to a Clam bake at Shantok, on Saturday May 16, 2009 between 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. (Lunch 11:00 A.M. to 3;00 P.M.).

Candidates for the Tribal Council will be there trying to get votes. I figure the five (5) existing Tribal Councilors will be there, to get your votes. When they talk to you remember their record. We are worse off now, then when they took office, and that's a fact. They have failed us. One of the most powerfull rights, we have is the right to vote. Don't give it away. We should want to put in office people who will make a difference. It is not a popularity contest.

The only Tribal Councilor who has consistantly voted for the tribe, in my opinion, is Mark Hamilton. Tomorrow, I will write about his and the other tribal coucilors records. It is eye opening.

Have fun, The food should be great. Good company, too. I wish I could be there with you. I will think good thoughts for you. Have fun. Hopefully it will be a warm, sunny day. It will be a good day for all Mohegans. What do you think?


Nearly 600 feet above sea level, its summit of bare granite flecked with quartz crystals glittering in the sun, Lantern Hill (or Tar Barrel Hill, as it is also called) in North Stoningotn has served as both landmark and lookout since the first peoples came to this region where the continent meets the sea. Tradition says that it has served fisherman and deep water sailors as a day-beacon, guiding them safely in to the eastern Long Island Sound ports like Mystic or Stonington, from the earliest days of maritime activity on the coast. Since the shimmering, white summit can be seen from many miles at sea on a clear day, the landmark tradition probably has a sound basis in historical fact.

By the same token, on a clear day observers on the gleaming peak of Lantern Hill can see five states---New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont--as well as more than a hundred miles of coastal waters. Sassacus, the fierce Pequot chieftain, was said to have stood on the summit many times, squinting seaward, eternally watching for the approach of enemy war canoes, or landward, seeking signs of hostile Narragansett campfires.

But it was an incident that occurred during the War of 1812 that finally gave this unusual height of land the name it still know by today. Fearful of enemy naval attacks along the Connecticut coast, the people of Stonington had maintained a round-the -clock watch from the top of Lantern Hill since the troubles with England began. Then, in April of 1814, several hundred British sailors and marines had landed at nearby pettipaug Point (Essex) on the Connecticut River and systematically destroyed an estimated $200,000 worth of property, including some twenty ships. When word of the Essex raid reached the Stonington area a short time later, the vigilance of the lookouts on Lantern Hill intensified and a system of warning the eastern shoreline villages of impending attack was implemented.

Huge hogsheads of tar--the same kind used to preserve manila lines aboard ship--were hauled to the summit of Lantern Hill. If a lookout spotted any sign of enemy sail, the men on watch were to put a torch to all the tar barrels, as a warning of imminent danger. The flames from such "lanterns" could, of course, be seen for many miles around. On the bright night of August 11, 1814, the tar barrel lanterns on top of the hill began to flicker, immediately, the people of Stonington went into action. Women, children and elderly quickly packed a few personal belongings in wagons and carts and hurried inland that very night, to seek refuge with friends and relatives in the country. The able men and militia headed for the waterfront to prepare the cannon for firing. When the dawn revealed a large British fleet standing in the harbor, apparently ready to land troops for a raid, the little village was ready, thanks to the timely warning

for two days the British naval vessels milled about in the harbor, pounding the coastal defenses, with an estimated sixty tons of cannon balls and shot. But the expected landing never came. When the enemy realized that their softening-up bombardment was having little effect on the Americans (who seemed only too well prepared to defend themselves), the English broke off their attack, set sail for open sea and disappeared below the horizon.

Ever since frustrating the British raid at Stonington, it citizens have taken understandable delight in poet Philip Freneau's lines on the battle.


And ever since, the place from which the crucial early warning was flashed has been called Lantern (or Tar Barre;) Hill.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; This article came from the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. I have climbed the hill many times. It is a little tiring . Take a bottle of water and climb it. It is fun and the view is great. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


United Auto Workers Not Happy With Casino Smoking Delay

By Christopher Keating on May 12, 2009 3:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
The yellow-shirted United Auto Workers have been pushing hard for a smoking ban at the state's casinos, and they were not happy Tuesday with the finance committee's failure to vote on the issue. The battle has turned into an issue of union muscle at the state Capitol, where the Democrats who control the legislature are often strong allies of the unions.

"The Finance Committee has side-stepped the issue completely, potentially preventing legislators from exercising their responsibility to protect Connecticut workers' safety. We will continue to get lung cancer, asthma, and heart disease from inhaling second-hand smoke at our jobs," said Jack Edwards, a Foxwoods dealer for more than 12 years. "If nothing further happens with this legislation, then our elected officials will have turned their backs on their obligation to protect working people in Connecticut. If anyone thinks the agreements the Governor has negotiated with the tribes help us, they are flat-out wrong."

Edwards told Capitol Watch that he developed asthma after working amidst the smoke at Foxwoods. Yet, he still continues working there.

"I developed asthma, and I never had it before,'' Edwards said after the finance committee adjourned. "I like doing the job. I like interaction with people.''

Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell has signed agreements with both the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequots to limit smoking on a voluntary basis.

"The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes have waged a public relations campaign designed to keep the status quo," said Bob Madore, UAW Region 9A Director. "We have seen threats of withholding money, lawsuit threats, and studies not based on facts. But in truth, workers are the ones paying the price. And we will not stop defending the lives of casino employees until there is a full smoking ban."

The UAW represents 2,500 dealers and dual-rate dealers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino, which was a non-union shop until November 2007 when a vote was taken to unionize.

Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, said, "We thank the General Assembly. Through their action today, they have demonstrated a respect for the government-to-government relationship that has existed between the Mohegan Tribe and the state of Connecticut for generations. We commit to honor that relationship and to continue to work on issues of mutual concern."

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Thanks to the Mashantucket Pequots, who took the alleged agreement between the Mohegans and the state and re did it with Governor M. Jodi Rell. A good job on both sides. Cooler heads have prevailed.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Many times , Tribal Councilors, Council of Elders, and government officials use the words: family, tribe, sovereignity, and government. They interchange the words, but they don't always mean the same thing.

Here from Webster's New World Dictionary on the meansings.

Tribe -n. 1) a group of people living together under a chief...2) group or class---tribal...n-tribesman ....n pl men

family n., plural-ties.....1) parents and their children...2)relatives.....3) lineage...4) a group of related things

government n. 1) control; rule....2) system of ruling.....3) those who rule

sovereign a. 1) chief supreme.....2) independent-n ...n-1) monarch...2) former Br. gold coin.....sovereignity n; pl: ties

A tribe can be made up of a large family, in other words everyone is related to each other somehow. Each family can run it's own affairs. Not every family is raised (disciplined) the same way. There are standards of respect and so on that are required of the members.

Didn't Uncas, leave the Pequots, because he did not like the way he was treated. Was it the discipline or the structure of their government, or what?

Now, to today. The Mohegan Tribe was fragmented, because of the bad economy and the selling of the Mohegan Reservation in the late 1800's. By the turn of the century, many Mohegans moved to other places to survive. They went to New York, Florida, as far away as Hawaii. The next generation of Mohegans grew up under different kinds of living conditions, and raised differently from the people who were raised in Connecticut. Their values and believes were different. What was okay for one person was not okay for another.

The Mohegan Tribe received Federal Recognition because we were a tribe, a nation, a sovereignity, a government. We never received recognition because we were a family. This is just not true.

We, (Mohegan Tribal Members), have been told that by Oral Tradition and history, that this or that was the way it was. The reality is, it depends on who you talk to. Some people say it was this way and others say it was that way.

That is why today, governments don't run on Oral Tradition, but instead on written laws and written policies. In courts oral contracts don't count without both parties agree on the terms of the contract in court. In courts it is the written laws and written policies that count.

In my opinion, instead of the Mohegan Government being secretive, abusive, punative, and dicitorial, it should be more understanding and rehabilative of it's members. In my opinion, many of the problems, the Mohegan Tribe are experiencing are being directed from the Tribal Council and the Council of Elders. They have failed us. They have not lead us but instead are trying to bully us. The government is not proactive but instead reactive.

Now you have the meanings of family, tribe, government, and sovereignity. Does any of this information apply, to us the Mohegan Tribe? What do you think?

Sunday, May 10, 2009


It's a beautiful sunny day, today May 10, 2009. a little breezy, temperature is 65 degrees. Happy Mothers Day, everyone.

About three years ago, I lost my mom, it is not a fun day without her. She was never big into holidays. When we loose a parent, there is a hole, a void in us. We wish our loved ones were here with us. I miss you mom.

Everyone should do something for their mothers. A phone call, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a flower, a bouquet, just about anything to tell her how much you care that she gave you life. Maybe just take her to dinner or out to lunch. Just let her know how much you care. Remember, life is short.

The major league baseball teams are using pink bats to honor mothers on Mothers Day.

I would love to tell you how lucky the Mohegan mothers are, the benefits and such that they receive, however if I told you I would probably get in trouble.

Have a Great Mothers Day, everyone. What do you think?

Friday, May 8, 2009


There is a rumor going around the Mohegan Reservation that a person, (I am not sure if it is a man or woman), called Slick is giving advise to the Mohegan Tribal Government Officials.

An example allegedly, is that Lynn Malerba, the Vice Chairwoman of the Mohegan Tribal Council was advised by Slick to tell a reporter from the New London Day, that he could not attend Open Court (in the Mohegan Tribal Court), Her comment was, "Abssolutely not." Slick, maybe that was bad advise.

Slick allegedly told William (Bill) Quidgeon, the Mohegan Tribal Councilor Treasurer to say to tribal members when they ask questions about finances, "I don't know, I'll look into that. I'll get back to you." Some tribal members say they never get answers from him. Your doing a good job Slick.

James Gessner, the Corresponding Secretary, was allegedly by Slick, told not read a concerned tribal member's letter at the April 26, 2009 quarterly meeting. More good advise Slick.

Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, The Tribal Council Chairman, threatened that the tribe would withhold payments of taxes to the State of Connecticut, if smoking ban legislaation is passed in Hartford. Good job Slick, advising the chairman to take on Attorney General Blumenthal. Are you for real Slick?

I have been alleged that Slick has been giving advise like these examples for years to government officials. Should the officials or Slick go?

Brokenwing would like to meet Slick. I have been told by people, he's "cute." I have no idea what that means. In order to meet Slick, i am posting a $100.00 reward for anyone who can set up a meeting between myself and Slick. One tribal member said, another alias for Slick is "Propaganda Joe." If you know of his where abouts, please let me know? Do you know him? What do you think?

Editorial footnote: There is no Slick, it was fun to write.


Could Tribal-Owned Media Save Newspapers?
By Kevin Abourezk

May 7, 2009
The Rocky Mountain News.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer print edition.

Hundreds of newspaper employees, including prominent Native journalist Mark Trahant.

All victims of the economic malaise ailing the newspaper industry.

Newspapers have seen few years as troubling as the past one. Media giants like Gannett and McClatchy have laid off countless employees as they struggle to save money lost because of declining advertising revenue. Newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle and the Tucson Citizen face closure or sale.

The owners of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune have sought protection in bankruptcy. Other newspapers have turned to being published only on the Internet or have cut back on home delivery.

Recently, an intriguing idea has taken seed.

While not a novel idea, turning newspapers into tax-exempt nonprofits could be just what the doctor ordered, some say.

David Swenson, who managed a massive endowment as chief investment officer at Yale University, told the Associated Press in March that if newspapers were to become nonprofits dependent on large endowments, it "would enhance newspapers' autonomy while shielding them from the economic forces that are now tearing them down."

As I've watched colleagues and friends lose their jobs at newspapers over the past year, I've thought a lot about what newspapers could do to survive.

One model that's caught my attention is the tribal-owned newspaper.

I have to say, I can't think of a single reporter for a tribal-owned newspaper who has been laid off in the past year.

Does that mean tribal-owned newspapers are a best-practices model?

"Tribes always want you to do more with less staff or no staff at all," said Jeff Harjo, executive director of the Native American Journalists Association and former editor of the Kickapoo Tribe's newspaper, the Kickapoo Traveling Times. "If you venture to publish anything that reflects badly on the tribal administration you better have another job lined up."

Cherokee Phoenix Editor Bryan Pollard agreed that the tribal-owned newspaper model is fraught with peril.

While some tribes, like the Cherokee, have passed free press acts to protect journalism independence, most have not, he said. And such legislation, he said, only protects tribal newspapers as long as tribal leaders care to abide by those laws.

"There has to be a will among tribal leadership to honor the spirit and intent of the legislation," he said.

Pollard even questioned the nonprofit model for newspapers.

As the former editor of Street Roots, a nonprofit newspaper in Portland, Pollard knows well the struggles of trying to keep a nonprofit publication funded.

While being able to write and win grants was helpful, it also was a challenge to fight for the limited grant dollars available for journalistic enterprises, he said.

"Anyone who's worked at a nonprofit knows those dollars are very competitive," he said.

In order to be successful, foundations would have to be created solely to support newspapers, hew said.

But he suggested one aspect of many tribal newspapers that might work for mainstream newspapers.

The Cherokee Phoenix is funded by the Cherokee Nation, which receives its funding from the federal government and from for-profit tribal businesses, including casinos.

Mainstream newspapers could consider creating for-profit businesses to fund their journalism, Pollard said.

Of course, one could argue that's exactly what newspapers have been trying to do from the very beginning. Advertising certainly has little to do with real journalism.

And while the idea of making mainstream newspapers instruments of government isn't an idea likely to gain much steam, Pollard doesn't completely discount the notion of newspapers becoming part of government. It's certainly helped the Cherokee Phoenix weather the recession.

"I feel very fortunate to be where I'm at," he said.

He said the tribe has even considered expanding the newspaper. Pollard sees it as an opportunity to gather some of the talent lost in recent months at mainstream newspapers.

He hopes other tribal newspapers will see the faltering of the U.S. newspaper industry as an opportunity.

"It could be a real boon for tribal media," he said.

Kevin Abourezk's "Red Clout" columns are available for syndication. Please contact reznet to purchase republishing rights.

Kevin Abourezk, Rosebud Lakota, is a reporter and editor at the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star. He writes reznet's "Red Clout" political blog and teaches reporting at the Freedom Forum's American Indian Journalism Institute. Abourezk was awarded a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism in 2006.

To send Kevin Abourezk a message please click here
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EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; The Wuskuso, the official news letter of the Mohegan Tribe, is allegedly read by government officials prior to being sent out. The fact, that it is being read before being sent out, is that making the writers of the Wuskuso, careful of what they write? Could the workers on the Wuskuso, be afraid of the conseguences for what they write? Does the Mohegan Government (the Council of Elders or the Tribal Council control the publication? Could they be afraid of loosing their jobs? Is this more intimidation of the present Tribal Council? Should these people go at election time? What do you think?


Long ago before the Ancient Ones, the land stood still under a heavy blanket of snow several miles thick. As the climate gradually warmed, the giant freeze began to melt: for a thousand years great rivers flowed, eroding, forming and rearranging the earth's landscape.

Gradually, a summer began to take place. Trees from warmer climates began to edge northward. The first were spruce, fir, birch and the great oak.

Game such as caribou, bison, mastodon, elk, giant beaver and the wooly mammoth were the first explopers of this new land. They were soon followed by the giant game hunters. Later, nomads in search of food first came to this area as seasonal hunters, retreating southward as the harsh winters came.

The climate became warmer. This warming, along with the use of fire and animal skins for protection encouraged these first people to stay and eventually settle this land.

These people believed that the spirits controlled their destiny. A displeased spirit could cause drought, thunder and even death. When pleased, these spirits could bring sun, rain and bounties of food and game. Soon man came to believe he must honor, respect and pay homage to the power of these spirit gods, for they, not man, controlled destiny.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Don't Limit Public Right To Know

By Morgan McGinley Published on 5/3/2009

The state bureaucracy and the legislature's Judiciary Committee are up to mischief again, trying to weaken the Freedom of Information law in the name of privacy. State Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz, a former Massachusetts prosecutor, developed the legislation to prevent information considered embarrassing to victims from becoming a matter of public record.

But in her well-meaning yet misguided zeal to give comfort to victims, Ms. Cruz would damage the public's right to information about its government. An amendment now being developed to a bill already cleared by the Judiciary Committee contains an assault on the public's right to know and carries an administrative burden that would disrupt the free flow of information.

The amendment would require any public agency that receives a freedom of information request to inspect or copy “any files,” to raise a privacy objection if the item can be “reasonably determined to be an invasion of personal privacy.” The language in quotations is vague and virtually meaningless unless tested before a court or appropriate commission. The agency would notify the person requesting the information and decline to release any details unless ordered to do so by the state Freedom of Information Commission. So any of thousands of legitimate requests for information might be denied and held up while the FOI Commission tries to fit the matter into its hearing schedule, typically months away.

The first writing of the bill put the matter of defining privacy in the hands of individual victims. That bill was such a twisted proposal that proponents saw trouble from FOI advocates ahead and changed the bill.

This amendment shifts the power to the hands of the public agency officials. This makes more sense than having victims interpret what is public information, but it is harmful for creating a bureaucratic labyrinth of potentially epic proportions.

Thus, matters that previously were public record and deserve to be available might be described by police, prosecutors or others as a matter of privacy rights. And that would then potentially require an FOI Commission hearing on all matter of material that ought not be challenged under normal conditions.

This is bad legislation because it does not provide a balancing act of public benefit versus a right to privacy. Rather, it stipulates a potential challenge to the most legitimate information and forces agency bureaucrats to determine what is an invasion of privacy, something better determined by the courts.

My colleague, Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, says that West Hartford Police Chief James J. Strillacci is concerned because, “We're put in the position of being the arbiter of whether there's an invasion of privacy or not.”

There's a danger, too, because police, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials are predisposed by their own self-interests to keep information secret from the public. Faced with privacy claims handed down by public agency administrators, police reporters could find themselves challenged to appeal, over and over again, to the FOI Commission for the most basic information.

Ms. Cruz apparently does not trust the media and so she is attempting to open virtually a blanket challenge to the release of basic information.

This is a bad omen, for the public's interest sometimes can be different from the intentions and motives of the police or other public officials.

Democracy flourishes when government is open and responsive. Ms. Cruz says the privacy rights of victims are a matter for agency bureaucrats to determine and undercuts the idea that government functions best when the people get the facts and understand what is happening.

Crimes often involve sensitive matters, many of them potentially embarrassing to victims and their families. But free, unfettered media provide the best opportunity for democracy to work well.

The legislature should see this bill for what it is and not entertain the idea of keeping more information from the public.

Morgan McGinley is a former Day editorial page editor, now retired.


Posted - 5/3/2009 5:10:39 PM
Morgan, Maybe you should read the comments i sent to you and Collins, I'm not repeating my self... What a commie rag paper this is... The opinion of DJ
To Collins & Morgan
FOI, Wheres mine ?
- 5/4/2009 7:54:04 AM

Posted - 5/3/2009 3:59:17 PM
I just read your column, and your subject is indeed well addressed. The Freedom of Information Law needs wider boundaries, not more examination and/or scrutiny. The latter only leads to clandestine subjective exceptions which would inevitably affect our tacit right to know the facts. We have already been denied enough. I agree. More is the operative word, not less. Thank you Mr. McGinley.
Hanna Cushman
Niantic, Ct. 06357
- 5/3/2009 4:23:50 PM

Posted - 5/3/2009 1:23:39 PM
Good. I hope the legislation passes. Why? Well, news outlets are sensational in irresponsible regarding reporting. YOU take those embarassing things, and print them as truth. You, the media outlet, twist and turn a moment in a persons life that has no bearing in the case at hand, but ia used in a case as a smoke screan and print it as truth..for example.."VICTIM WHO WAS MOLESTED AS A CHILD, IS ROBBED 10 YEARS LATER', when you write that...all people read is that someone was molested as a child..and the criminal is forgoten about. But that, is what you media outlets do. And seriously, what business is it of yours, or anyone elses for that matter. ESPECIALLY when it does not pertain to the matter at hand. The Day has a long standing habit of putting information in the stories that try to make victims look bad. And you hide behind the FOI act to do it, and there is no repurcussions for you..the reporter..only the people you victimize. I REALLY..REALLY hope that this legislation have no one to blame but yourselves in the should have used information responsibly...but you don't.
- 5/3/2009 4:24:37 PM

Posted - 5/3/2009 11:47:16 AM
on the other hand, educating these financial 'product' marketeers about fairness and full disclosure would help. taking a loan or mortgage should not be so complex that a lawyer is required to unravel all the 'product options' buried in the fine print. when average people are in a position to be exploited by some very clever financial methods, the need for substantial penalties for the lender or bank should act to induce their prudent behavior. it should never be necessary to provide a warning such as 'caveat emptor' for financial contracts themselves. the IRS could take some lessons on simplicity also.
se conn
- 5/4/2009 8:36:02 AM

Posted - 5/3/2009 9:09:06 AM
Very informative article. With the time frame of haveing a matter heard by the FOI agency now, I can only say leave the present requirements alone. Democracy is having a truly hard time to keep its head above water in these times.
East Lyme
- 5/3/2009 10:19:28 AM

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commission. The agency would notify the person requesting the information and decline to release any details unless ordered to do so by the state Freedom of Information Commission. So any of thousands of legitimate requests for information might be denied and held up while the FOI Commission tries to fit the matter into its hearing schedule, typically months away.

The first writing of the bill put the matter of defining privacy in the hands of individual victims. That bill was such a twisted proposal that proponents saw trouble from FOI advocates ahead and changed the bill.

This amendment shifts the power to the hands of the public agency officials. This makes more sense than having victims interpret what is public information, but it is harmful for creating a bureaucratic labyrinth of potentially epic proportions.

Thus, matters that previously were public record and deserve to be available might be described by police, prosecutors or others as a matter of privacy rights. And that would then potentially require an FOI Commission hearing on all matter of material that ought not be challenged under normal conditions.

This is bad legislation because it does not provide a balancing act of public benefit versus a right to privacy. Rather, it stipulates a potential challenge to the most legitimate information and forces agency bureaucrats to determine what is an invasion of privacy, something better determined by the courts.

My colleague, Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, says that West Hartford Police Chief James J. Strillacci is concerned because, “We're put in the position of being the arbiter of whether there's an invasion of privacy or not.”

There's a danger, too, because police, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials are predisposed by their own self-interests to keep information secret from the public. Faced with privacy claims handed down by public agency administrators, police reporters could find themselves challenged to appeal, over and over again, to the FOI Commission for the most basic information.

Ms. Cruz apparently does not trust the media and so she is attempting to open virtually a blanket challenge to the release of basic information.

This is a bad omen, for the public's interest sometimes can be different from the intentions and motives of the police or other public officials.

Democracy flourishes when government is open and responsive. Ms. Cruz says the privacy rights of victims are a matter for agency bureaucrats to determine and undercuts the idea that government functions best when the people get the facts and understand what is happening.

Crimes often involve sensitive matters, many of them potentially embarrassing to victims and their families. But free, unfettered media provide the best opportunity for democracy to work well.

The legislature should see this bill for what it is and not entertain the idea of keeping more information from the public.

Morgan McGinley is a former Day editorial page editor, now retired.


Mohegan Sun CEO asks legislators to kill casino smoking ban bill

By Ted Mann Published on 5/5/2009

Hartford – The chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun urged state lawmakers Tuesday to kill a proposal that would compel the two tribally owned casinos in Connecticut to ban cigarette smoking by 2011, saying the resulting drop-off in business would cost the state millions in slot revenues and lost jobs.

“We are now competing directly with thousands of slot machines in neighboring states,” CEO Mitchell Etess wrote to the leaders and members of the legislature’s Finance Committee, which received the bill Tuesday morning, when it was referred from the House floor. “Patrons who smoke will take their business to other states, if a ban is approved in Connecticut, and revenues could drop up to 20 percent. There will be layoffs, and a cascading loss of business to us and our vendors.”

Etess pointed to the examples of Illinois and Delaware, where the imposition of smoking bans cut casino business by 17 percent and 19 percent respectively, and also backed his conclusions with a new analysis from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center.

The think tank’s study projects that business could fall by as much as 20 percent if a smoking ban is imposed on Mohegan Sun, which is operated by the Mohegan Tribe, and Foxwoods Resort Casino, operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

The group’s study, commissioned by Mohegan Sun, projected a widening ripple effect from business losses at the casino. A ban resulting in a 10 percent drop in business could cost nearly 1,000 casino jobs and almost 500 external jobs related to the casino’s operatons. A 20-percent drop would bring combined job losses of nearly 3,000, the study said.

That same 20 percent business hit could cut wages for the affected workers by $113 million, the study’s authors found.

And any drop in slot machine revenue is also a revenue loss to the cash-strapped state, which receives 25 percent of the slot machine take of each casino, under the gaming compacts between each tribe and the state government.

It is not the first warning from the tribe that passage of a smoking ban would cost Connecticut dearly.

In March, Mohegan Tribal Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum wrote to Gov. M. Jodi Rell warning that the tribe would challenge any attempt to impose a smoking ban on the casino or state tribal lands as an “affront” to tribal sovereignty. Both Bozsum and Mohegan Attorney General Helga Woods also warned, ominously for those concerned about the state budget, that the tribe would place into escrow its scheduled slot revenue payments to the state in the event of a legal battle.

The two tribes are projected to pay nearly $400 million in slot revenues to the state in the coming fiscal year, a sum that lawmakers would be loath to forego as Connecticut struggles with projected annual deficits of at least $4 billion over the next two years.

But even if the smoking ban goes into effect, said Etess, its effects through the simple discouragement of smokers’ business at the casinos would be “catastrophic.”

The smoking ban bill, H.B. 5608, is awaiting action by the Finance Committee.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Connecticut will not back down. Their Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal will lead the attack to have all smoking banned in the Connecticut casinos by October, 2011.

Is it fair? Probably not. Will the Mohegan Sun Casino be at an economic disadvantage, if this happens? Absolutely. Phasing in more smoking at the same pace as the competition is the way to go. The tribe needs to negotiate. It will hurt the Mohegan Sun Casino's revenues.

Instead of threatening the state, Bruce "Two dogs" Bozsum and Helga Woods should negotiate with the state. Holding back the revenue from slot machines by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, could be a catastrophe. We (the Mohegan Tribe) should not be going down this road. In my opinion, this is bad leadership at it's best. Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, should be held accountable by the tribe for his actions. Should he go? What do you think?