Monday, June 29, 2009


Eastern Connecticut casinos offer bargains in hopes of attracting tourists

For The Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 28, 2009 @ 11:33 PM

In the past, summer marked a high time for tourism in Connecticut.

No need to cut room rates. No reason to offer dinner specials.Not so this summer.

Casino resorts such as Mohegan Sun are looking for ways to attract visitors in an economy that is still reeling.

“We realize what the economic times are like now and are aware guests and potential customers need value-created offers, rather than discount everything. There are myriad things we’ve done,” said Mitchell Etess, CEO and president of Mohegan Sun. “We call it the stimulus recovery.

” Other hotels and attractions have taken similar tacks. “The summer is usually a good time to hold pat. But this year we are seeing discounts as part of the picture,” said Randy Fiveash, tourism director for the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism.Mohegan Sun features seven packages this summer, from $99 up to $239 a person.

The $99 room includes a $25 food and beverage credit. Food specials include a $15 meal in Birches Bar & Grill, Etess said.

Even the new restaurants opening this summer speak to value. Bobby Flay Burger Palace and Pepe’s Pizza are low-priced for the economy.

“We’re promoting free concerts in the Wolf Den,” he said, with headliners such as Edgar Winter, Bo Bice and Three Dog Night.

“We’re also conscious about showroom ticket prices. They can get very expensive.” Many shows offer tickets from $30 to $55.

$5 table gamesThe low limit $5 table game pit introduced at Mohegan Sun in February grew from six tables to 18, Etess said. In addition to 13 blackjack tables, the casino includes Spanish 21, roulette and big wheel, all low-limit every day. “We never had that before. It’s being driven by the economy,” he said.

The casino also is experimenting with $5 tables in other pits during mid-week. And hundreds of slots accept pennies, and some even half pennies. While the games usually attract gamblers who bet far more than a single penny per spin, the one-cent option is available.

The tourism commission is promoting staycations by offering discounts from dozens of local establishments to entice in-state visits.

The Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, for example, offers free admission on Sundays and Roseland Cottage Museum in Woodstock has $1 off admission Wednesdays through Fridays.“I think all of this will help,” Fiveash said.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Mohegan Tribal Members are invited to a pregrand opening of Pepe's Pizza and Bobby Flay, today Monday June 29, 2009, in the Earth Casino of the Mohegan Sun. Tribal members must show their Tribal Id's to be able to attend. You may bring a guest. There will be free burgers and pizza. The time is 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Tell your friends. Have fun. What do you think?

Saturday, June 27, 2009


State's Distribution Of Casino Revenue Faulted In Report
Towns frustrated, findings suggest 'regional approach'
Published on 6/27/2009

While documenting the tribal casinos' undeniable impact on Connecticut's economy, a report released Friday also finds that the state fails to distribute its share of the casinos' revenues in an equitable way.

Titled “Gambling in Connecticut: Analyzing the Economic and Social Impacts,” the report recommends the state address the negative effects Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun have on the towns closest to them.

”It cries out for a regional approach,” said Michael Diamond, vice president of research for the Spectrum Gaming Group of Linwood, N.J., which prepared the report. “What affects municipalities doesn't stop at their boundaries. We found there was tremendous frustration on the part of the towns. We point out that other casino jurisdictions have set up separate funds for specific local impacts

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The way i see it, the towns around the two Connecticut casinos, have been saying they don't get enough of the revenue that the State of Connecticut redistributes back to the different towns in the entire state. What needs to be realized, in my opinion, is that the casinos have no control (say) on what the state does with the money. The towns have a legitimate beef. What do you think?


Hotel Employee Accused Of Embezzlement
Published on 6/23/2009

A former employee of the Microtel Inn & Suites in Montville is accused of embezzling $39,363 by stealing from the hotel's weekly deposits.

Matthew Morton, 41, of 9 Alscot Drive, East Lyme, former assistant general manager of the hotel, was fired in January after admitting to the hotel's general manager that he had stolen money from the deposits to support a $150 a day pain killer habit. He said he had been drinking a six-pack of beer at lunch every day and was “in a daze all the time,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit prepared by Montville police officer David Radford.

Morton, who is charged with first-degree larceny and embezzlement, posted a $1,000 cash bond following his arraignment Friday. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Norwich on July 9. Defense attorney Gregg W. Wagman said his client became addicted to pain killers after taking them for a back injury and that Morton has been through rehabilitation and is now employed elsewhere.

Morton told a superior who interviewed him that he began stealing from the hotel in the fall of 2008. He said he was responsible for making deposits and would sometimes wait a week before going to the bank. He said he would open all the deposit bags and take money, then use funds from the current week's deposits to cover the amount stolen.

Morton said he started taking $50 to $60 “here and there” from the hotel's deposits. He said he began having “liquid lunches” every day then take a couple of Oxycodone pills.

Morton's superior, general manager Ty Coleman, was suspended and then fired following the discovery of the thefts, according to the warrant affidavit.

- Karen Florin

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The accused person, is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The purpose of the story is Uncasville, Connecticut, is not the sleepy country town that it used to be. With progress, development, and the casinos, etc. has brought crime to the area. In my opinion, my readers, from around the country, need to know what is going on around here, so they can become more informed. This is not utopia, that our (the Mohegan Tribe) wants you to believe. What do you think?

Friday, June 26, 2009


Buffalo Thunder misses bond payment

Casino feeling effects of economic downturn
Kate Nash The New Mexican

6/24/2009 - 6/25/09

Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in Pojoaque wasn't able to make a nearly $11.5 million payment this month on the $245 million bond for the resort and is working with note holders to restructure terms of the deal.

The new terms have yet to be agreed on, but Robert Moore, a financial restructuring partner with the international law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, said in a statement that the companies holding the notes "are engaged in a constructive dialogue with the Pueblo of Pojoaque, the bond issuer Buffalo Thunder Development Authority, and the bond guarantors Pojoaque Gaming and Buffalo Thunder, regarding the June 15 semi-annual coupon default."

Moore is a Los Angeles attorney for a committee that represents 90 percent of the bond holders, some of whom met at the resort June 15 to figure out a plan to go forward.

The lavish, 395-room resort north of Santa Fe opened in August. Hilton Hotels manages the resort and handles bookings while the pueblo runs the on-site casino. The facility includes a spa, several restaurants, a golf course and a $5,000-a-night Governor's Suite.

Pojoaque Pueblo Gov. George Rivera said the pueblo has been hit hard by the economy, just like everyone else.

"We're working with our investors, we're talking about the economic conditions and trying to get through this downturn in the economy," he said.

"We're just concentrating on trying to get the market expanded for Buffalo Thunder," Rivera said.

Among other things, the pueblo is reaching out to companies including American Airlines, which has a new direct flight from Dallas to Santa Fe, to attract customers and drum up new business.

The pueblo also seems to have stepped up advertising in local markets recently, with prevalent television, Internet and billboard ads.

Pojoaque Pueblo is not alone in feeling the economy's pinch. Several big-name casinos including in Las Vegas, Nev., are suffering and Indian and non-Indian gaming revenues are down across the country. In New Mexico, even though two new casinos came online in the past year, casino net wins dropped by almost $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same time period last year, records show.

The net win is the amount gambled on machines minus the amount paid in cash and noncash prizes as well as fees.

For the first quarter 2009, the total net win was $173,364,770. For the first quarter 2008, it was $175,791,147, according to the New Mexico Gaming Control Board.

Between the first quarters of 2008 and 2009, both Pojoaque Pueblo and the Navajo Nation opened new casinos.

Unlike other casinos in the state, Pojoaque nearly doubled its net win, up from $6.3 million in the first quarter of 2008 to just more than $12 million this year. The pueblo also operates Cities of Gold Casino in Pojoaque.

Fourteen tribes operate gaming facilities in the New Mexico. The tribes pay a share of their gaming revenues to the state each quarter, which for the first quarter of this year was nearly $16 million.

Contact Kate Nash at 986-3036 or Read her blog at

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Could this happen to the Mohegan Tribe, who owns the Mohegan Sun Casino and the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs? When does the MYGA ever make a payment? Do we just pay the interest?


The present Mohegan Tribal Council, in my opinion, continues to do just that. The fact is when these people took office four (4) years ago, the MTGA was $1.2 Billion in debt, today we (the Mohegan Tribe) are $1.6 Billion in debt.

Can we afford more leadership like this? Is it time for a change? What do you think?


Foxwoods names Mississippi casino veteran as vice president of finance
By William Sokolic
For The Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 24, 2009 @ 11:30 PM

A former executive at casinos in Mississippi has joined Foxwoods Resort Casino as executive vice president of finance.

Edward Farrell will assist Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises President Michael Speller in directing the financial strategy of the company and analyzing opportunities for expansion. In this capacity, he will oversee all company accounting practices including preparing budgets, financial reports and tax and audit functions, and will direct the projection of future company growth.

Foxwoods has long been a leader on the casino resort landscape,” Farrell said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to join a team that is so committed to providing its guests with the best possible gaming and hospitality experience.”

Farrell comes onboard during a challenging time for casinos throughout the Northeast, as a combination of a poor economy and growing competition have taken a toll. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun continue to experience year-over-year slot revenue declines. Atlantic City, N.J., casinos have suffered a similar fate for about two years, while the Twin River slot parlor — Rhode Island’s largest — filed for bankruptcy protection this week.

Neither Farrell nor Speller were available for further comment Wednesday. In a press release, Speller said, “Ed Farrell’s proven track record of success and keen understanding of the gaming and hospitality industries makes him a great fit for our team.”

Farrell, who has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Nevada, Reno, arrived at Foxwoods from Harrah’s Entertainment in Tunica, Miss., where he had served as regional vice president of finance since 2005. He was responsible for overseeing the capital and operating budget process for Harrah’s Tunica and Horseshoe Casino-Hotel. He also worked as vice president of casino operations and vice president of finance and administration for Horseshoe Casino-Hotel.

Before joining Harrah’s, Farrell spent more than six years as executive vice president and CFO for Treasure Bay Resort Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Miss.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The Mashantucket Pequot are taking their destiny into their own hands. They are hiring new people, and looking for new solutions, to the bad economic climate of the casino industry in Connecticut. This is a smart thing to do. How come the Mohegans Tribal Gaming Authority (the MTGA, the Mohegan Tribal Council), isn't doing something? Did they recently give the top executives at the Mohegan Sun Casino, new contracts? Are continuing losses acceptable? Should the MTGA be proactive? Is the MTGA, instead reactive? Could it be that the MTGA is sitting on their hands? Are these valid observations? What do you think?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Route 2 bypass eases access to Foxwoods
Mashantuckets dedicate $67 million highway project
Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 23, 2009 @ 11:23 PM

Ledyard, Conn. — There was some disagreement on its history and geography, but all concurred that it will be a major spur to business in Eastern Connecticut.

Leaders of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, who own Foxwoods Resort Casino, joined with state and local officials Tuesday to celebrate completion of a $67 million road project aimed at decreasing traffic congestion and improving business.

“We are happy to be here for many, many reasons,” Tribal Chairman Michael Thomas said. “This is an example of people coming together to create things that benefit us all.”

The new 64-foot-wide section of road contains two lanes for traffic in each direction, enabling motorists to bypass the casino when traveling to Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly.

Help to businesses

Several speakers at a morning ribbon-cutting ceremony predicted the Route 2 bypass will be a major help to Foxwoods, MGM Grand at Foxwoods and other local businesses. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville have seen gaming revenues slump as the recession prompts consumers to curb discretionary spending.

“This is a shot in the arm for economic development in southeastern Connecticut,” said Michael Lonergan, bureau chief of highway operations at the state Department of Transportation, which oversaw construction.

The project, financed entirely by the tribe, was estimated to have taken anywhere from five to 15 years by different speakers at the overpass ceremony. One said the land was in Ledyard, while another said North Stonington. The new section of road runs through both towns. Others in attendance said it was more important to consider the impacts on commerce, safety and traffic.

Safer driving

“Any transportation improvements benefit all our communities,” Norwich City Manager Alan Bergren said. The likelihood of fewer traffic accidents pleased Bergren, noting that many Foxwoods employees live in Norwich.

A Route 2A project near Mohegan Sun, slated for completion at the end of July, will be another blow against traffic tie-ups, Montville Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz said. The projects are finishing at a convenient time, Lonergan noted.

“This is the time of year when you have the beach traffic and the casino traffic,” he said. “It’s doubly important to keep people moving.”

Smoother travel will help regional tourism, said state Rep. Tom Reynolds, D-Ledyard.

A top executive at the lead contractor on the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun projects praised the gambling spirit of the Mashantuckets.

“This project is a quite a risk-taking,” said Stephen A. Cardi Sr., secretary and treasurer of Warwick-R.I.-based Cardi Corp. “I am truly proud to be part of this massive economic development project.”

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: I have taken a ride on the new section of Route 2 in front of the Foxwoods Resort Casino, it is really nice. It really should help traffic flow. The two lanes leading on to Route 2-A that the Mohegan Tribe built is really nice, too. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Victims fight back in attempted robbery in Mohegan Sun garage

By Staff reports
Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 23, 2009 @ 11:01 PM

State police said several casino patrons fought off a robbery attempt early Tuesday in a parking garage at Mohegan Sun.

At about 1:30 a.m., police said Bobby Porter, 21, of 45 Boulder Drive in New London, followed several casino patrons to their vehicle in Riverview Garage. The patrons had just cashed in their chips and were leaving.

Porter approached the vehicle, opened the driver’s door and told the female driver to “give me your money or I will shoot,” according to police reports. Witnesses said they never saw a gun.

The two passengers in the vehicle wrestled with Porter and punched him several times in the face, police said. Porter ran from the scene, leaving behind a sweatshirt and baseball cap, police said.

With the aid of casino security, state police from Troop E in Montville tracked Porter to New London, where he was arrested.

At Porter’s court appearance in Norwich Tuesday, Judge Robert Young ordered Porter held on $10,000 bond and to stay away from the casino. Porter is charged with attempted second-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and breach of peace. He is due back in court July 13.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: I don't know if fighting back is the right thing to do, however a very good job by The Mohegan Tribal Police, the Connecticut State Police, Public Safety (Security). Well done, you have served the Mohegan Tribe and our patrons very well. Thank You. What do you think?


Last Of The Blue Laws Package Stores - Open Them On Sundays
The Hartford Courant
February 22, 2009
Move aside, Carry Nation, and let the General Assembly do what it should have done years ago: allow Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor.

Connecticut is one of only three states in the country that still ban the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday. The prohibition was imposed in 1933.

Many mom-and-pop package store owners - especially those with stores located away from the state's borders - enjoy taking Sunday off. They argue that they would have to open a seventh day to remain competitive. But many of those who own stores near Connecticut's borders with New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island favor repeal because they lose Sunday sales to outlets that are open in those three states.

The law shouldn't be written for a relatively few package store licensees. Nor should the spirit of the old temperance leader, Ms. Nation, rule the day. If liquor sales are permitted six days a week, why not seven? If alcohol is sold at bars and restaurants on Sunday, why not at liquor stores as well? The law should be written for the convenience of the consumer.

Republican lawmakers who propose the repeal of the Sunday ban insist that seven-days-a-week sales will raise extra sales- and alcohol-tax revenue, and that will help to reduce the budget deficit during hard times. But the best reason to repeal a particularly inconvenient "blue law" is that it removes a barrier that needn't exist. If you want to buy a six-pack on Sunday for an impromptu barbecue, why should the state and mom-and-pop store owners say no?

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Why not let the stores selling alcohol, be able to sell their goods on Sunday? Why should Connecticut be only one of the three (3) states that don't allow sales on Sunday? Do you know? What do you think?


Blogger surrenders over threats
New Jersey man accused of inciting violence against Connecticut lawmakers on Web site

By Pat Eaton-Robb Published on 6/12/2009

Hartford - A New Jersey blogger who urged readers to “take up arms” against Connecticut lawmakers and who suggested government officials should “obey the Constitution or die” surrendered Thursday on a charge of inciting violence.
Harold “Hal” Turner, a former radio talk show host from North Bergen who broadcasts commentary on his Web site, was angry over legislation that would have given lay members of Roman Catholic churches in Connecticut more control over their parish's finances. The bill, brought by state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor, was withdrawn in March.

Turner was charged by Capitol Police in Connecticut with inciting injury to persons or property, and released after posting bond. He is due in court June 22.

On June 2, Turner wrote on his blog,, that Catholics should “take up arms and put down this tyranny by force,” and promised to post the lawmakers' home addresses.

”It is our intent to forment direct action against these individuals personally,” Turner wrote. “These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die.”

Writing about police or prosecutors who may try to stop his cause, Turner wrote, “I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down too.”

Last week, Turner explained the posts as “crude political hyperbole uttered in a context which did not lend itself to imminent lawlessness.”

On Thursday, Turner's attorneys issued a statement saying that his First Amendment rights need to be protected, even if people disagree with his views.

McDonald declined to comment. Lawlor did not immediately return a phone message left Thursday.

Late Thursday afternoon, Turner's blog had been taken down, apparently by the company that hosts it.

Turner's views have drawn scrutiny before. The FBI questioned him, but did not charge him with any crime, in 2005 after the mother and husband of U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow were found shot to death in Chicago. In an interview with The Associated Press at the time, Turner said he was questioned because two years earlier he had said on his radio show that Lefkow “was worthy of being killed.”

Two years ago, police in New Jersey beefed up security for four state Supreme Court justices whose addresses Turner revealed in his Webcast “to show they can be gotten to.” Turner released the information after the court ruled that gay couples were entitled to the same rights as married couples.

Associated Press Writer Stephanie Reitz in Hartford contributed to this story.


Monday, June 22, 2009


Jones, Sun roll past Silver Stars

By Ned Griffen Published on 6/21/2009

Sports Writer

Mohegan — Asjha Jones had 19 points and six rebounds as the Connecticut Sun defeated the San Antonio Silver Stars Sunday, 71-58, before 6,928 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Rookie Chante Black had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Sun (3-3) before leaving with one minute, 38 seconds left in the third quarter with a left elbow injury. Also, Erin Phillips scored 11.

Sophia Young had 22 points and seven rebounds for San Antonio (1-3).

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The Connecticut Sun are now 3 and 3. Maybe the team will make the playoffs after all. Go Sun, Go. What do you think?

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Sun cuts jobs for 7 top managers
Streamlining aimed at casino savings

By Brian Hallenbeck Published on 6/18/2009

Mohegan - Mohegan Sun has eliminated the positions of seven top managers, the casino's president and chief executive officer said Wednesday.

Mitchell Etess said the positions were at the director level and above. He declined to identify those let go, either by name or specific title. Six of the managers were informed Tuesday and a seventh was told Wednesday, Etess said.

”It's been a very difficult day here,” he said. “All of these people have contributed greatly to the success of Mohegan Sun over the years.”

Etess said the eliminations came after an eight-month review of the casino's organizational structure, which involved “assessing ways to gain efficiencies among our senior management team.”

”As a result of that process,” he said, “we've eliminated seven positions at the director level and up to senior vice president.”

Directors, he said, typically run a large department, while senior vice presidents run a division. Vice presidents fall in between.

Early this year, amid falling revenues and a grim economic outlook, Mohegan Sun implemented a series of cost-cutting measures, including salary rollbacks for all 9,800 employees, including top management. It avoided layoffs.

At the same time, the Mohegan Tribe, which owns Mohegan Sun, also rolled back the salaries of its tribal-government employees, downsized the government and took other steps to reduce costs.

Etess said the organizational review of the casino's senior management was an in-house process and “something organizations do on a regular basis.”

”It's unfortunate that our business needs required us to streamline our organization,” he said. “As we were looking at costs, it became obvious we were going to have to find ways to save money. We had to look at business trends and at the way we've evolved to see if we had management that could be eliminated.”

The duties of those whose positions were eliminated will be shifted to other departments, Etess said.



Norwich 350TH Celebration events this week

Published on 6/20/2009


Soldiers Through History, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Norwichtown Green, free.

American Veterans Traveling Tribute, traveling Vietnam War Memorial, all day through 6 p.m. closing ceremony. Howard T. Brown Memorial Park, free.

Backus House Museum Tours, 1-4 p.m., 42 Rockwell St., free but donations accepted.

Walking Tour, Mohegan Park and Spaulding Park, 1 p.m., Mohegan Park main entrance. Free.

Sarah Huntington presentation, 4 p.m., Little Plain. Free.

Sarah Huntington lecture, 5 p.m. Park Congregational Church, followed by reception. Free.


Native Son/Daughter luncheon, noon, Holiday Inn, admission $10.

Norwich Clergy Association Interfaith Worship Celebration, 7 p.m., Norwichtown Green. Free.


Norwich 350th Golf Tournament, all day, Norwich Golf Course.

Victorian Lady, A Re-Enactment of Everyday Life, 7 p.m., Slater Auditorium, free.


Community Birthday Party, 6 to 9 p.m., Marina at American Wharf tent, $3.50 for Norwich residents, $15 for nonresidents. Tickets at the door.

Laser Light Show, 9 p.m., Norwich Harbor, free.


Harbor Day, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Howard T. Brown Memorial Park, free.

Ancient Mariners Concert, 10 a.m. Marina At American Wharf, and 1 p.m. Brown Park, free.

Mystic Whaler tours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Marina at American Wharf, $2.

Children's Birthday Parties, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., $3.50 per person. Purchase tickets for each party at mayor's office, City Hall. Call 823-3743.

Gun Factories Tour, 1 p.m., meet at City Hall, free.

Laser Light Show, 9 p.m., Norwich Harbor, free.


Harbor Day, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Howard T. Brown Memorial Park, free.

Mystic Whaler tours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Marina at American Wharf, $2.

Children's Birthday Parties, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., $3.50 per person. Purchase tickets for each party at mayor's office, City Hall. Call 823-3743.

Rose City Renaissance Tour, 1 p.m., meet at former Elks Club building, Main Street, free.

Laser Light Show, 9 p.m., Norwich Harbor, free.



More counterfeit bills show up in Eastern Connecticut; investigation expands

Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 19, 2009 @ 11:46 PM

New London, Conn. — Groton town police have joined with other law enforcement agencies in Eastern Connecticut to investigate the passing of counterfeit bills at area businesses.

Groton Town Police Lt. John W. Varone said there were three reported incidents in Groton in which a patron tried using a fake $20. He said they are exploring a connection to the two Norwich men arrested by state police Thursday for similar incidents in Montville.

Jose G. Rivera, 25, and Jesus M. Molina, 28, were arraigned in New London Superior Court Friday on charges of forgery and larceny.

State police said the men were caught trying to pass counterfeit bills at two convenience stores. A search of Rivera’s Roath Street apartment turned up a scanner and printer combo, an uncut roll of copied $100 bills and more fake $20s.

Molina told police Rivera had been selling five fake $20s for one real $20 for several weeks, police report shows.

Police reports also indicate the men pushed their luck when they made a return visit to a Dunkin’ Donuts Thursday to try to cash in counterfeit money. Shortly after midnight Thursday, police said the pair bought food and drinks with a bogus $20 at the Route 32 Dunkin’ Donuts inside Henny Penny in Montville. The clerk accepted a second fake $20 when one of the men asked for change, police said.

It wasn’t until after the two men left that the clerk realized there was something wrong.

“My night person felt the difference in the bill,” Henny Penny manager Veleka McKinney said.
A closer look, police said, would have revealed duplicate serial numbers and magnetic strips missing from the bills. McKinney said clerks will often mark a bill with a special pen to identify a counterfeit bill.

Police said the two men did not stop with the first visit to Dunkin’ Donuts. At 2:30 a.m., police said a clerk at the 7-Eleven across the street from Henny Penny refused the suspected fake bill, threatened to call police and watched the men cross the street back to Henny Penny.

The second attempt to pass off a bill at Dunkin’ Donuts prompted a call to police and led to their arrest. Police said each of the men had more fake $20s in their possession.

Police, who called in the U.S. Secret Service, are continuing to investigate where those bills may have been used.

Groton police have issued a warning, asking businesses and residents to be aware. Anyone with a suspected counterfeit bill is asked to keep it and report it to police immediately.

Molina and Rivera each were ordered held on $49,000 bond and are scheduled to appear July 2 in Norwich Superior Court.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Check your $20 bills, Check the feel and the numbers. Remember the bills were passed at the Seven Eleven and the Henny Penny in Uncasville. Be careful.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Our View: Wall is a fitting addition to Norwich events
It is an honor to play host this weekend to the traveling Vietnam War memorial

Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 18, 2009 @ 11:07 PM

Norwich, Conn. — There are more veterans per capita residing within Connecticut’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes all of Eastern Connecticut, than any other congressional district in the state. So, it’s no wonder there exists here a special relationship between communities and those who have served our country.

And it is fitting that Norwich, centrally situated in the region and celebrating its 350th anniversary, serves as the gathering point of this weekend’s tribute to all veterans — and in particular, those who died in Vietnam.

The Vietnam War claimed the lives of 612 Connecticut residents. To put that in perspective, consider this: Slightly more than 500 young men and women will be awarded high school diplomas this afternoon at Norwich Free Academy. If you’re attending today’s graduation, imagine if all those chairs — and then some — were empty.

Brought to Norwich

This weekend, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, the traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial that arrived Wednesday evening and opened to the public Thursday, will be on display and serving as the backdrop for events honoring all our veterans.

Norwich’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 594 and its Ladies Auxiliary are responsible for bringing the traveling exhibit to the city, a wonderful addition to the city’s anniversary celebration. On behalf of the region, we express our appreciation to them for their contribution. We hope that every citizen in the region take the opportunity to visit.

The exhibit is open to the public 24 hours a day through Sunday, with special programs slated throughout the weekend.

Beginning at 7 p.m. this evening, events will be held honoring World War II and Korean veterans, the Gold Star families of those whose names are engraved on the wall and a special POW/MIA program honoring those still missing in action.

As the sun sets this evening, 270 luminary bags will be lit, followed by a candlelight vigil.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOT: Many times when coming back from down south (Florida), I would stop in Washington D. C., I would go to the Vietnam Memorial (the Wall). It is black Granite, and you walk down into the ground looking at the wall. You feel like you are going into a grave or tomb. When you see the names, you realize that these were young American men who gave their lives for their country. The number of names is mind bending. It is disturbing.

I had two (2) really good friends who died over there. There names are on the wall.

One was William B., he was about a year younger than me, when I was out of High School for a few years, I used to stop every day at his bakery, (he worked in) and got donuts and coffee for my boss and myself. He was a younger brother of one of my friends, in high school. We became good firends. He died on a carco vessel that blew up in Saigon Harbor.

Another friend was John C., he was a year or two older than me in high school. A gifted athlete, a really nice guy that everyone liked and respected. He died in a fire fight in the jungles of Vietnam fighting the Viet Cong.

I watched with another tribal member and his father, as the parade traveled up Route 32, on Wednesday night across from a car dealer. I watched the runners running in their red, white and blue running outfits (shorts and tee shirts). Then we saw the motorcycles led by motorcycle police (two State Police and one Norwich Police Department). I saw the tractor trailer carrying the minature wall. There was several classic cars in the parade, too. It was very inspiring. It made you proud to be an American.

On Thursday, I went to Norwich, to see the wall. It took sometime but I found my two firends, on the wall. I was glad to be there to pay my respects to them. They have given the ultimate sacrafice. They died young men. They never had the opportunity to grow old. Thank you, my friends.

If you get the time, visit the wall in Norwich, and if you ever get the chance visit the real wall in Washington, D.C. To all the soldiers who have fought and who will fight, thank you. God bless you. What do you think?


Winter entrance, garage to reopen at Mohegan Sun
Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 18, 2009 @ 11:57 PM

Mohegan, Conn. — The Winter Parking Garage and Winter Entrance at Mohegan Sun will reopen July 1, providing many new parking spaces.

Various promotions will coincide with the reopening. For more information, go to

Thursday, June 18, 2009


New York man arrested at Foxwoods for impersonation, trespassing
By Staff reports
Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 17, 2009 @ 06:21 AM
Last update Jun 17, 2009 @ 12:03 PM

Mashantucket, Conn. — A Brooklyn, N.Y., man was arrested by Foxwoods Resort Casino State Police after he was identified as a prior ejection by casino security.

The accused, Chun Shan Guo, 48, of 343 58th St., F12, fled the Cedar Casino and was found in the Rainmaker Casino. When approached by security he presented a fake ID.

Guo was arrested and charged with first degree criminal trespassing and criminal impersonation. Guo also was wanted on an active warrant for deportation because of an alleged immigration violation.

He was held on $100,000 bond and is expected today in New London Superior Court

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun have best slot revenue month since August
Numbers still down compared to a year ago
For The Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 15, 2009 @ 11:27 PM
Last update Jun 16, 2009 @ 12:03 AM

Mohegan Sun won more than $69.9 million from slot machines in May, a less than 7 percent decline over the previous May’s revenue of $75.1 million, based on figures reported to the Connecticut Division of Special Revenue.

The figures come out to $10,362 per game, compared to $12,621 per game last May. Mohegan contributed $16.5 million to the state, representing 25 percent of the gross slot revenue.

Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods reported the property took in $62.2 million in slot machine revenue, a 14.2 percent decrease. This marked the first year-over-year comparison with MGM Grand at Foxwoods in the mix. The addition opened last May, with a heavy advertising and media blitz.

The slot handle — the amount of money played — fell 1.3 percent to $851.3 million. The handle at Foxwoods tumbled 9.6 percent. Still, both properties can take some comfort that May’s winnings were the best since August.

“Although our numbers are down from last May, we are pleased that May 2009 was our strongest month of this fiscal year,” said Michael Speller, president of Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises.

In general, the industry has recalibrated expectations, said gaming analyst Robert LeFleur, with Susquehanna Financial Group in Stamford.

“Not getting worse is the new better,” he said. “If the rate of decline was higher earlier in the year that’s good news in a market that does not have much to offer in the way of good news. The economy is still weak, and spending is still down.”

Everyone is anxious to know what the new better really is, said Mitchell Etess, CEO and president of Mohegan Sun. “It’s hard to look and say we’re down 7 percent and that’s great. But the reality is, when you take a step back, for this month in general, with Atlantic City and our own competition it’s difficult not to feel that being down 7 percent is a good month. It is almost incredible to say that.”

Overall, such feelings don’t equate with stabilization relative to Mohegan Sun and the entire Northeast section of the country, Etess said. The 11 casinos in Atlantic City reported $351.3 million in revenues in May, a 15.4 percent decrease over the same month a year ago. Results reported to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission showed that slot revenue tumbled 14.9 percent, while table game win — not reportable in Connecticut — slipped 16.7 percent. For the first five months of the year, casinos won $1.62 billion, down 15.7 percent from the same period in 2008.

“We need a few months of some sort of stabilization in the year-over-year numbers,” Etess said.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: A loss compared to Atlantic City or any place, doesn't matter. A loss is still a loss. Losses on top of losses year after year. Mohegan Sun is doing better? How do you figure that one out? It is bad. It is not turning around. Palmer, Pocono Downs or any other deal that may come the way of the Mohegan Sun will not change the fact that the golden goose is no longer laying golden eggs. The MTGA should be leading the way. We need to fight. We need to do better. Are our leaders falling down on the job? What do you think?


Wampanoags back off deal with casino investors

Published on 6/16/2009

MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) _ The new leadership of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has put a deal with casino investors on hold saying terms are unfair.

The tribal council voted unanimously last week not to reaffirm a 2007 development contract that a previous leadership group had negotiated with investors Sol Kerzner and Len Wolman.

Council chairman Cedric Cromwell and vice chairman Aaron Tobey tell the Cape Cod Times that investors would pocket nearly three times as much as the Mashpee Wampanoags each year if a proposed $1 billion resort casino is built in Middleborough.

A feasibility study showed that a casino would generate approximately $700 million in gross gaming revenue each year. The investors would take about $40 million, while the tribe's take would be about $15 million.

Access the Day's E-Edition

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: At least this tribe is not making the same kind of mistakes the Mohegans made many moons ago. They are being smart. $40 million to investors and $15 million to the tribe on $700 million? Doesn't sound like a good deal to me. What do you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009


Mohegans Drop Option On Wisconsin Casino Site

While the Mohegans continue to support a Wisconsin tribe's efforts to have land taken into trust for an off-reservation casino project, they are no longer paying to maintain an option on the property, according to the Mohegan Tribal Council's vice chairwoman.

In regard to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin's proposed development, “our spending is minimal,” Lynn Malerba said Tuesday.

The Mohegans had been making quarterly payments on an option on the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha, which the Menominees - with the Mohegans help - hope to turn into a $1 billion entertainment center and casino. The Mohegans would develop the project and, under a 2004 agreement, manage the casino for the first seven years of its existence in exchange for 13.4 percent of net revenues.

In 2007, the Mohegans bought out another partner, Kenosha businessman Dennis Troha, whose Kenesah Gaming Development LLC had obtained an option to buy the greyhound park. Starting in July 2006, the option, renewable for three months at a time, cost $400,000 a year, according to a Kenesah financial statement.

Malerba said the Mohegans have made no option payments in 2009, relinquishing that responsibility to the Menominees. Eric Olson, director of the Kenosha casino project, said Tuesday the Menominees' option remains in effect. “We're hoping that things come through and that we have a casino,” he said.

The Menominees are also on their own in pursuing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, whose previous secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, decided Jan. 7, days before leaving office, that he would not take the Kenosha land into trust for the Menominees.

On May 15, the Wisconsin tribe filed suit against the Interior Department and its new secretary, Kenneth Salazar, asking that Kempthorne's decision be overturned. The suit takes issue with a department rule requiring the department to decide whether to take land into trust before deciding whether the land is suitable for gaming, and with a department memorandum discouraging approvalof casinos located beyond a “commutable distance” from a tribe's reservation.

The Menominee reservation in northeastern Wisconsin is about 200 miles from Kenosha.

”We're not involved in the lawsuit,” Malerba said. “We believe in (the Menominees') sovereignty, as they believe in ours. Our role is to help develop the project, manage it and then back away. For us to get involved in an intergovernmental issue would be overstepping our bounds.”

Tribal officials have put the Mohegans' investment in the Kenosha project at more than $12 million, a figure Malerba said “is in the ballpark.” She said it's less than the Forest County Potawatomi, a Wisconsin tribe that operates a casino in Wabeno, has spent fighting the Kenosha project.

- 5/27/2009 12:56:19 PM

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Another bad deal by this Mohegan Tribal Council who voted for this project, at the very least another $12 million gone. How much are we short on our Mohegan Tribal Government Budget for Fiscal year 2009? Could it be as much as was lost on the Wisconsin project? These people need to go. What do you think?

Friday, June 12, 2009


Philly council OKs zoning for possible Foxwoods casino in downtown
The Associated Press
Posted Jun 11, 2009 @ 04:06 PM

Philadelphia, Pa. — The Philadelphia City Council has given final approval for zoning changes allowing a casino downtown.

Councilman Frank DiCicco called the bill up for a final vote Thursday and it passed unanimously. The move was a surprise because DiCicco previously said he would not do so until the Foxwoods casino had a signed lease. That hasn't happened yet, but DiCicco said his previous position was a mistake.

Foxwoods also needs approval from the city planning commission and from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to move its license location to the former Strawbridge & Clothier department store.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: It looks like Foxwoods is going to get i done. It looks like they are going to have a casino in Pennsylvania. They still have to build it. In other news in the state, the new casino that opened in Bethehem in eleven days did more business then Pocono Downs for the month. Pocono Downs, in my opinion, has never made money and never will. More bad decisions by the MTGA. They should go. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Mohegan firm late on taxes
Saturday, June 06, 2009
PALMER - The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which hopes to build a casino on 152 acres here, paid its quarterly tax bill 28 days late.

The check for more than $16,000 was received on May 29 and was due on May 1, according to town treasurer Melissa L. Zawadzki. The Mohegans were sent a demand notice $172.94 for the 14 percent interest and fees owed because of the late payment and paid it on Thursday.

The payment was made before the notice was received, but on the same day that inquiries were made by The Republican.

Paul I. Brody, vice president of development for the Mohegan Sun, said the late payment was made because in Connecticut there is a 30-day grace period to make the tax payment and Mohegan finance staff did not realize that did not exist in Massachusetts.

The Mohegan Sun casino is located in Uncasville, Conn., and leased the land between Thorndike Street (across from Massachusetts Turnpike Exit 8) and Breckenridge Street starting in October 2008 from Northeast Realty Associates LLC of East Longmeadow.

The plan is to build a $1 billion resort casino, but the state Legislature must first legalize gambling, a move which it is expected to consider in the fall.

Leon H. Dragone of Northeast Realty said the lease, which is for 50 years with optional extensions of 25 and then 24 years, calls for Mohegan Resorts Mass LLC to pay the taxes for the property. He said he was not aware of any late payment.

Zawadzki said the late payment was for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009. The Mohegans were charged 14 percent interest, plus a $10 fee for each of the four parcels, and a demand notice has been sent out.

Brody said the Mohegans will make timely payments in the future.

"We'll clean this up," Brody said.

"We will update our system so payments will be paid much earlier," Brody said.

The Mohegans paid their Feb. 1 tax bill on time, but their Nov. 1 tax bill was a few weeks late and they paid a interest and fees for being late, Zawadzki said.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: How come the payment was late? This is the way the MYGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority), the Mohegan Tribal Council does busniness? A multi)PMohegan firm late on taxes
Saturday, June 06, 2009
PALMER - The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which hopes to build a casino on 152 acres here, paid its quarterly tax bill 28 days late.

The check for more than $16,000 was received on May 29 and was due on May 1, according to town treasurer Melissa L. Zawadzki. The Mohegans were sent a demand notice $172.94 for the 14 percent interest and fees owed because of the late payment and paid it on Thursday.

The payment was made before the notice was received, but on the same day that inquiries were made by The Republican.


Paul I. Brody, vice president of development for the Mohegan Sun, said the late payment was made because in Connecticut there is a 30-day grace period to make the tax payment and Mohegan finance staff did not realize that did not exist in Massachusetts.

The Mohegan Sun casino is located in Uncasville, Conn., and leased the land between Thorndike Street (across from Massachusetts Turnpike Exit 8) and Breckenridge Street starting in October 2008 from Northeast Realty Associates LLC of East Longmeadow.

The plan is to build a $1 billion resort casino, but the state Legislature must first legalize gambling, a move which it is expected to consider in the fall.

Leon H. Dragone of Northeast Realty said the lease, which is for 50 years with optional extensions of 25 and then 24 years, calls for Mohegan Resorts Mass LLC to pay the taxes for the property. He said he was not aware of any late payment.

Zawadzki said the late payment was for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009. The Mohegans were charged 14 percent interest, plus a $10 fee for each of the four parcels, and a demand notice has been sent out.

Brody said the Mohegans will make timely payments in the future.

"We'll clean this up," Brody said.

"We will update our system so payments will be paid much earlier," Brody said.

The Mohegans paid their Feb. 1 tax bill on time, but their Nov. 1 tax bill was a few weeks late and they paid a interest and fees for being late, Zawadzki said.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: So this is how the MTGA pays it's bills? Late? On Sixteen Thousand Dollars? Are you kidding me? Paying late is okay? Who on the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority the Mohegan Tribal Council) is watching the store? Is this more poor management? Should these people go? Are some of the Tribal Council up for re-election? Can we (the Mohegan Tribe) afford to keep these people? Are they doing a good job for us? What do you think?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Safe House on the Navajo Nation Reservation”

I didn’t know what to expect
Safe House was in a run-down condition
Its crumbling foundation, & in need of dire repair
As I entered the old wooden floorboards creaked
Ceiling had holes & water was dripping
Obviously it lacked insulation

The house smelled of stale air,
But as I got further into the house
It smelled of clean, crisp Pine-Sol,
Lingered in every corner of the safe house

As I entered the large family room
There were three elderly Navajo women
Who were the latest victims
I felt remorse and utter sadness
That seemed to overwhelm me

They dressed in traditional style
Pleated cotton skirts
Mismatched long sleeve blouses
Several strands of turquoise & silver jewelry
Women's hair were worn in a tradition bun called tseyaal

The lines of their faces were marks of honor
From many countless seasonal conditions
Their strong brown, delicate hands once smooth
Carried many generations of hard work
It was not hard to imagine
As if one of them could be my mother or my grandmother

Written by: Grandma G. Naomi Pine

Monday, June 8, 2009


Norwich Recalls Day It Sealed The Deal
Rose City launches 350th anniversary celebration

By Claire Bessette Published on 6/7/2009

Norwich - The conversation might not have been much different in 1659 on the grounds now known as Chelsea Parade.

”Have you seen the Mohegan?” Norwich Alderman Jonathan Jacaruso said, adjusting the white collar on what passed for Puritan New England era attire. “Are we outnumbered?”

”Yes, we're outnumbered,” similarly dressed Alderman Robert Zarnetske said flatly.

”We were outnumbered back then too,” Ron Ward, dressed in what could have been wealthier apparel for the time to represent his direct descendant, Major John Mason, a Norwich founding father.

On June 6, 1659, a company of English settlers moved to settle the rugged landscape where two smaller rivers joined the deep, wide tidal river. There, they met a band of Mohegan Indians led by Sachem Uncas to sign a deed conveying “nine miles square” - 81 square miles of land - in the heart of the Mohegan territory to the new settlers.


Sun Bounce Back From Dismal Loss
Conn. rebounds from dismal loss with victory the next day

By Ned Griffen Published on 6/8/2009

New York - Moments after Sunday's 66-57 win over New York, Connecticut's Tamika Whitmore was asked about atoning for her dismal performance 24 hours earlier.

”Everybody is talking about (Saturday),” teammate Barbara Turner interjected with a laugh. “Yesterday is gone, man.”

Saturday was long gone as the Sun rebounded, literally and figuratively, from a bummer of a loss to Washington.

There was plenty of blame to be passed around after Saturday's 82-70 loss, but Erin Phillips and Whitmore struggled more than most.

The duo shined before a Madison Square Garden crowd of 13,397 Sunday and provided the highlights of a 19-6 third-quarter scoring advantage.

Whitmore, in her new role as a spark off the bench, had 11 points and eight rebounds.

”(Saturday) was embarrassing,” Whitmore said. “You don't want to start the season down two (games). (Connecticut coach Mike Thibault) basically told us that we had to be aggressive and we came out and we were.”

Phillips made three of six 3-pointers and scored 13 points.

”Whit came into the trainer's room (Saturday) night and said, 'It's a long, long season,'” Phillips said. “I was like, 'Yeah.' … I just put it behind me. Whit put it behind her.”

The Sun outrebounded the Liberty, 47-33, led by Lindsay Whalen (14 points, game-high 12 rebounds).

”We won a game where we shot 32 percent,” Thibault said, “But our defense just kept playing hard and kept us in the game. Our rebounding was huge. We got annihilated on the boards (Saturday).

”We made their 3-point shooters rush. They shot 4 of 24. We tried to speed them up from the rhythm of their game.”

Whitmore looked helpless at times Saturday when she shot 2 of 9 and turned it over five times. Phillips missed all six of her shots and went scoreless.

But they came to the rescue Sunday with the Sun trailing 34-30.

It began with Kerri Gardin, who also struggled Saturday, making back-to-back baskets to tie the game.

Phillips followed with a pull-up jumper and a 3-pointer to increase Connecticut's lead to 39-34.

”I had a good preseason and wanted to get off on a good start,” Phillips said. “I think it was things like trying too hard (Saturday). … Probably just thought about it too much rather than naturally play.”

Whitmore scored five straight and added an assist to put Connecticut ahead, 47-36, with under a minute left in that period.

”I'm kind of doing a new role here, so I'm not comfortable doing it,” Whitmore said. “I think along the way, I'll get a bit little more comfortable.

”I don't get the same shots that I got last year. Everything is more towards the paint and the basket, whereas somebody bigger than me, I step off the block and shoot over them. If they're smaller than me, I'll post them up. I don't know, it's like I'm almost relegated to the paint a little bit more this year than stepping out and just playing. I have to find a rhythm to what we're doing.”

When asked how she liked her new role, Whitmore said, “So far? Honestly, I don't. But if it's what's going to make us win, I'll buy into it.”

Said Thibault: “I think that was one of the best rebounding jobs I've seen (Whitmore) have in a long time,” Thibault said. “If we can get that from her, we'll going to be hard to beat.”

The Sun have the week off before returning home on Sunday to face the Atlanta Dream at 3 p.m.


`EDITORIAL COMMENT: After playing a terrible game Saturday, the Sun turn it around on Sunday. Good Job Sun. Keep it up. What do you think?

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Deed signing kicks off Norwich 350th
Descendants re-enact founding of Norwich
Norwich Bulletin June 6, 2009

Norwich, Conn. — Ron Ward only recently discovered he was descended from one of Norwich’s founders.
But it was that link that brought him to the Royal Mohegan Burial Grounds Saturday, leaning over a piece of paper and signing his name and that of his ancestor, Major John Mason, during a re-enactment of the original 1659 deed signing for Norwich.

“I just think it’s great that my path brought me here to honor my grandfather 13 generations back,” Ward said.

On June 6, 1659, settlers from Old Saybrook purchased a nine-mile square, now known as Norwich, from Chief Uncas of the Mohegan tribe. The original deed signing took place on the burial grounds, and marked the sale of the land for 70 pounds of silver, or approximately $350. Mason, one of Norwich’s founders, took part in the signing.

Saturday, an estimated 200 people gathered around the members of the Mohegan Tribal Nation and re-enactors, all dressed in period clothing, for the ceremony, the first public event of Norwich’s 350th celebration.

At noon Saturday, all of the city’s church bells tolled for 350 seconds to mark the start of the celebration, which will continue throughout July.

Approximately 40 members of the Mohegan tribe and 40 re-enactors posing as settlers and founders filed into the burial grounds from different directions, meeting at the signing table for the ceremony to begin. After a reading of the history of the deed signing, City Council members and 16 direct descendants of original signers signed a new deed commemorating the occasion.

“It gave me chills, but good chills,” Mayor Benjamin Lathrop said. “To be a part of history, it’s overwhelming.”

Martha Kendall of Lebanon said she came to honor her ancestor and one of the original signers, Deacon Hugh Caulkins.

“It really gave me a good sense of history to what my ancestors may have looked like,” Kendall said.

Harry O’Keefe of Norwich said he attended the city’s 300th celebration when he was 9, and found Saturday’s ceremony a fitting way to begin the next milestone.

“I thought it was kind of cool,” O’Keefe said. “Original — not something you’re going to see everyday.”

EDDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: A great job of reporting by the Norwich Bulletin. The Mohegan Tribe could have had more paticipation, if the the tribal government had not been so critical, demanding that the Tribal members wearing Regalia. There were at least 20 tribal members there watching who were not wearing regalia. The Tribe should have partcipated better. We (the Mohegan Tribe) fell down on the project. Some tribal members said that maybe the the tribe shouldn't have been there at all. The reason given was that most of the orginal burial ground is under private homes, etc. Sixty (60) tribal members out of a possible eighteen hundered (1800)? What do you think? Was it a good day for Mohegans?

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Former NBA star working for Mohegan Sun dies
Randy Smith, 60, was a marketing director, greeter for casino Staff and wire reports

By Staff and Wire Reports Published on 6/6/2009

Randy Smith, who had worked in marketing at Mohegan Sun since 1996, died Thursday. Smith, a former All-Star, played 13 years in the National Basketball Association.

Randy Smith, a former NBA All-Star who had worked in marketing at Mohegan Sun since 1996, died while working out on a treadmill there Thursday. He was 60.

Smith had a massive heart attack, his son-in-law, Lekan Bashua, told The Associated Press. Mohegan Sun officials declined to comment on circumstances surrounding the death, citing medical confidentiality laws.

Smith was taken to The William W. Backus Hospital, where he arrived at 11:45 a.m. Thursday. He was pronounced dead 52 minutes later, Shawn Mawhiney, a Backus spokesman, said Friday.

”Randy Smith was a great friend to me and to many others in the Mohegan family, and I am very sorry to hear that he has passed away so suddenly,” Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, said in a statement released by the tribe. “My heart goes out to his family and friends - he was one of a kind and we will always remember him.”

”We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a tremendous individual,” Jeffrey Hartmann, Mohegan Sun's chief operating officer, said. “Today, we have lost not just an employee, but truly a friend. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all of Randy's family and friends.”

Smith, who played for the Buffalo Braves in the 1970s, once held the NBA record for consecutive games.

Jack Ramsay, his coach in Buffalo, called the 6-foot-3 guard the best athlete he ever coached.

”He had stamina, great speed and developed into a very good player,'' Ramsay said Friday from the NBA finals in Los Angeles. “And was so fun to be around. There was not a bad day in Randy's life.''

Smith was drafted by the Braves in the seventh round in 1971 and averaged more than 13 points in his rookie season. He played 13 years in the NBA and appeared in 906 consecutive games from 1972 to 1983. His mark was broken by A.C. Green in 1997.

Smith was hired by Mohegan Sun in December 1996, and most recently held the position of director of player development. His duties included marketing, managing preferred-player accounts, greeting and assisting guests while on the property and planning and attending golf outings, the casino said.

Smith's teammate with the Buffalo Braves, Ernie DiGregorio, the former Providence College star, greets guests at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Smith, who coached the Hartford Hellcats in the Continental Basketball Association in 1995, spent seven seasons with the Braves before the franchise moved to San Diego. He also played for Cleveland, New York and Atlanta, and retired in 1983.

At the 1978 All-Star game, Smith - playing alongside the likes of Julius Erving, Dave Cowens and Pete Maravich - scored 27 points and was named Most Valuable Player.

He averaged 16.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game for his career. In one stretch, he averaged more than 20 points a game for four straight seasons. He finished with 16,262 points.

A native of Bellport, on Long Island, Smith is survived by his second wife, Angela; two sons, Brandon and Dominique; and a daughter, Terran.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Tribes mum on Shinnecock casino speculation
Mashantuckets, Mohegans support recognition bid

By Brian Hallenbeck Published on 6/5/2009

Neither of the region's casino-owning Indian tribes would comment Thursday on speculation that the Shinnecock Indian Nation could pursue a casino development at a horse racing track on Long Island or in New York City if it gains federal recognition.

Both the Mashantucket Pequots, who own Foxwoods Resort Casino, and the Mohegans, who own Mohegan Sun, indicated they support the Shinnecocks' long-stalled pursuit of recognition, which is expected to move forward by the end of the year.

In a U.S. District Court settlement filed last week, the Interior Department agreed to make a preliminary ruling on the Shinnecocks' application by Dec. 15. A final ruling could follow next year. The tribe would have to be federally recognized before it could develop a casino.

Since the settlement's announcement, the Southampton-based Shinnecocks have said they would consider locating a casino at Belmont Park in Elmont, Long Island, just outside of New York City. The tribe also has expressed interest in Aqueduct Racetrack in the borough of Queens, having submitted a proposal for a casino there in a 2007 round of bids, as did the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots.

Lori Potter, a spokeswoman for the Mashantuckets, said the tribe supports the federal-recognition efforts of any tribe that has historically been recognized by the state in which it is located. “Our tribe extends well wishes to (the Shinnecocks), as this is a long and detailed process,” she said.

”We are not aware of any specifics pertaining to the Shinnecocks' future economic development plans at this time, so we are unable to comment on them,” Potter added.

The Mohegans issued a similar statement from Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council.

”The Mohegan Tribe believes that any deserving tribe within Indian Country should be recognized by the federal government, and we support the Bureau of Indian Affairs' current consideration of the Shinnecock Tribe,” Bozsum said. “The right to sovereignty and self-government is a justified goal for all Native Americans, as is the provision of essential services ensuring the health, welfare and education of tribal members.”

According to its Web site, the Shinnecock Indian Nation has about 1,300 members, about 600 of whom live on a 1,200-acre reservation on Long Island's eastern end. The tribe's annual powwow, which attracts thousands of visitors, is its main source of income.

The Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in Yonkers, N.Y., just north of New York City, already provides Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun with competition for those who favor slot machines, or video display terminals. The seemingly inevitable introduction of slots at New York's other racetracks would be expected to up the ante.

New York state officials have yet to announce the outcome of a second round of bidding on the construction and management of an Aqueduct casino after Delaware North Companies, of Buffalo, N.Y., the winner of the initial round, withdrew its plan in March.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates Mohegan Sun, expressed interest only in managing a state-owned facility.


Montville seat-belt crackdown nets 989 tickets

Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jun 04, 2009 @ 11:59 PM

State police at Troop E in Montville handed out 989 infractions during last month’s statewide seat-belt enforcement campaign.

The enforcement ran for two weeks, from May 18 through May 31, and focused on limited access highways, secondary roads and town roads across the region.

Special emphasis was placed on the Route 2A and Route 2 corridor between Interstate 395 and Interstate 95 to address the number of serious accidents in the past few months, said Troop E commander, Lt. Michael Darcy.

“The men and women of Troop E will continue to vigorously enforce seat- belt laws, as well as speeding, unsafe moving violations and DWI offenses, as part of the barracks commitment to providing a safe traveling environment for residents and visitors to southeastern Connecticut,” Darcy said.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Please be careful on Route 2, Route 2-A and Route 32 in Uncasville, the State Police are everywhere. Buckle up, and don't drink and drive. You may not like what the State Police are doing, but they are enforcing a good law. Think about it, when you drive.


Electrical fire causes disruption at Foxwoods
Blaze started by contractors enlarging manhole, burning cables, knocking out power

By Brian Hallenbeck Published on 6/4/2009

Smoke rises from the Foxwoods complex Wednesday as seen from atop Lantern Hill.

Mashantucket - A small fire that knocked out power to a portion of Foxwoods Resort Casino Wednesday was ignited in a manhole on the road leading to the Grand Pequot Tower.

The fire burned electrical cables, tripping circuit breakers and shutting down power to the casino in an area where restaurants, the Bingo Hall and the Festival Slots Casino are located. Backup generators kept the lights on, and the casino switched to an alternative power source, according to Rob Victoria, Foxwoods' senior vice president of consumer marketing.

Power was fully restored by 5:45 p.m., about four hours after the fire broke out, said Karen Samide, a spokeswoman for Connecticut Light & Power.

Firefighters from the Mashantucket Pequot Fire Department contained the fire to the manhole and let it burn out, Victoria said. People on nearby Lantern Hill and elsewhere in the area photographed flames and a plume of thick, dark smoke that rose more than 30 feet into the air.

The fire occurred as contractors hired by CL&P were enlarging the manhole in con-nection with work related to the Route 2 bypass project, according to Samide. The workers had constructed wooden forms to contain concrete and had sprayed the wood with oil, she said. In cutting the wood, they accidentally sparked a fire that burned the oil and electrical cables.

Into the evening, CL&P had men on the scene repairing the cables.

Foxwoods cleared patrons from a food court and the Festival Buffet as soon as the power outage occurred.

The buffet resumed serving at 7 p.m., and at 8, a performance of “Legends in Concert” went on as scheduled in the Fox Theater.

Around 5 p.m., patrons were lined up outside the Bingo Hall while others sat in the Festival Slots Casino, waiting for the machines, which had locked up when the power went out, to come back on. By 5:25, the entire room appeared to be on line.

Right away, Janice Geoffroy's luck changed.

”I wasn't winning before the power went out, but I am now,” Geoffroy, of Southwick, Mass., said. “I think it's a sign.”


Thursday, June 4, 2009


Sullivan County approves agreement for Seneca Catskill Casino project
By Staff reports

Story Published: Jun 1, 2009

Story Updated: Jun 1, 2009

MONTICELLO, N.Y. – The Sullivan County Legislature recently approved an agreement with the Seneca Nation of Indians, a federally recognized sovereign Indian nation, the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corporation, a wholly-owned corporate entity of the Nation and Sullivan County to develop a Class III gaming casino on 63 acres of land at exit 107 off Route 17 (Interstate 86) in the Town of Thompson.

In consideration of the undertakings of the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corporation, Sullivan County has agreed to actively work with and assist the nation to obtain any and all approvals required for the project from governmental entities. The county will also enter into agreements with locally affected entities to mitigate impacts of the project.

Under the agreement, the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corporation will pay annual local impact payments in accordance with the following schedule: Years one and two prior to hotel completion, $15.5 million, years three through seven subsequent to hotel completion, $20 million.

John Paulsen, CEO of Rotate Black, Inc., the company that will manage and operate the casino and hotel, thanked Sullivan County officials for their support of the Seneca Catskill Mountains Hotel and Casino project.

“The Seneca Nation and I want to personally thank Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini, Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Rouis, Legislature Minority Leader Leni Binder, County Attorney Sam Yasgur, County Manager David Fanslau and Sullivan County legislators Alan Sorensen, Jodi Goodman, Ron Hiatt, David Sager, Frank Armstrong, Elwin Wood and Kathleen LaBuda for their support in this important project to assist in the revitalization of Sullivan County.”

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther told Paulsen during a separate meeting that she will take the message of Sullivan County’s support to Governor David Paterson for his needed approval of project.

Once fully completed, the Seneca Catskill Mountains Hotel and Casino will include two million square feet of space, 6,000 slot machines, 120 table games, 30 poker tables, race book center, a 1,500-room hotel and spa, 12 restaurants, high-end retail space, a 5,000-seat arena and 100,000 square feet of banquet space and an arcade center.

Rotate Black projects that the Seneca Catskill Mountains Hotel and Casino will generate approximately $160 million in exclusivity fees to state and local governments, which is greater than what is currently being paid state and local governments under the nation’s existing Class III compact for its three western New York casinos. No other Indian nation in the state provides such sizable payments to state and local governments.

The Seneca’s Tribal Council established the Seneca Catskills Gaming Corp. as its development arm for this venture.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The new Seneca Casino will be about one hundred and eight five (185) miles from Uncasville, Connecticut. It is sixty (60) miles from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania. It is about sixty six (66) miles from Yonkers Raceway, in Yonkers, New York, which has video slot machines. More competition, and not any solution on how to increase our (the Mohegan Tribe) profitablity. Has the Tribal Council failed us again? Do they continue to fail us over and over again? What do you think?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Blumenthal Warns Keno Could Imperil State's Slot Revenues
Rell says game could net $60M, but effect on $400M deal with tribes unclear

By Ted Mann Published on 6/2/2009

Hartford - Attorney General Richard Blumenthal urged lawmakers to move cautiously as they consider whether to direct the Connecticut Lottery to offer keno, saying a “unilateral” embrace of the game could imperil Connecticut's lucrative revenue-sharing agreements with the tribal owners of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Legal precedent in other states and Connecticut's statutes provide “no definitive answer” about whether introducing keno would violate Connecticut's gaming agreements with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, Blumenthal said.

Legislators should seek to amend the gaming accords before initiating keno, Blumenthal said, citing the risk that the tribes would sue for breach of their agreements and attempt to withhold Connecticut's 25 percent share of casino slot machine revenue, which totals roughly $400 million per year.

”We are not foreclosing, but definitely forewarning that more than $400 million could be put at serious risk by unilaterally enacting a statute to provide for keno gaming,” Blumenthal said at a press conference with Rep. Stephen Dargan, D-North Haven, who requested Blumenthal's opinion, and Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford. Dargan and Stillman are co-chairmen of the legislature's Public Safety Committee, which has oversight on gambling matters.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell proposed implementing keno last week, a move she said could eventually generate $60 million per year in new revenue for the cash-strapped state.

Keno has been aggressively lobbied by some who would stand to benefit from the game, a centralized, computerized drawing in which 20 numbers out of a possible 80 are selected at random.

Players at participating locations, including in many states' bars and restaurants, seek to pick up to 10 of the winning numbers. Drawings are usually held just minutes apart.

Among those lobbying for the game is Scientific Games, currently a vendor for the Connecticut Lottery Corp., which offers keno in other states.

At issue, Blumenthal said, is whether keno constitutes a permissible innovation of lottery gambling, or a casino game. The state agreements with the tribes give the tribes the exclusive right to offer a list of specific casino games, but it is unclear if keno falls into that category.

The state's Division of Special Revenue, which regulates gambling and the casinos, has said keno is a lottery game and could be legally offered by the lottery without violating the gaming compacts, but Blumenthal said more review - and greater detail from Rell on the specifics of her proposal - is necessary.

”The courts in other states are divided, there's no court ruling definitively resolving the question here in Connecticut, there's ambiguity in the statutes, and there is a complete lack of explanation or detail in the proposal as it has been made so far,” Blumenthal said.

But supporters of keno noted that Blumenthal himself had referred to keno as “a lottery type game” in a 2005 press release related to a Foxwoods Internet gambling promotion.

Blumenthal's proposal yielded a conflicted response from the Mashantucket Pequots. A tribal spokeswoman, Lori Potter, first e-mailed a statement saying simply, “We acknowledge that Attorney General Blumenthal has an accurate understanding of the slot agreement.”

Potter later retracted that statement, and said that tribal authorities “have not reviewed the Keno proposal and at this time are unable to comment on either the proposal or the Attorney General's statement at this time.”

Mohegan Tribal Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum said in a written statement that the tribe “will more fully consider the proposal after our legal team has had the opportunity to review the final language and the State's definition of this new game.”

”The Mohegan Tribe has always felt that communication and cooperation, when possible, between our governments is critical and we look forward to hearing more about this proposal so we can properly respond,” Bozsum said.

The proposal has generated broad concern among opponents of gambling.

Rell's move to implement keno is “born of desperate thinking and is likely to create more problems than it solves,” said the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, in a press release. The group suggested its introduction could increase intrusive gambling-related advertising and could lead to the introduction of other forms of electronic lottery games.

Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, has called keno “a misery tax,” suggesting it would raise revenue from those least able to pay.

And Stillman confirmed at Blumenthal's press conference that she remains skeptical of moves to broaden legal gambling in the state, warning that the introduction of the game in restaurants and bars could exacerbate both obsessive wagering and potentially drunken driving.

”I am not in favor of expanding gambling,” said Stillman. “… If it's something that ends up in bars, are we going to have people having another drink at the bar, waiting for that next keno card to come up?”

While Rell has urged lawmakers to include the game in a budget deal for the 2010-11 biennium, which begins July 1, Stillman said it would take “far more time than one month” for the legislature to decide if it was really a worthwhile idea.


EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: How much does Keno make the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority? My observation of the Keno area at both Foxwood Resorts Casino and the Mohegan Sun don't look like money makers. Maybe the casinos should promote this game more? I remember going into the Mohegan Sun and having dinner and my party would be playing Keno while they ate. I don't see that happening as much anymore. I believe if Connecticut wants Keno, then the state should renegotiate the compacts with the casinos and they should pay a lower precentage on the slots. It might actually help the MTGA. At least this time, Chairman Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum didn't threaten the state with holding back revenue from the state. What do you think?