Friday, July 31, 2009


Katie Douglas Has 32 Points As Fever Beat Sun In OT
Jessica Moore
Asjha Jones
The Associated Press

10:38 PM EDT, July 30, 2009
E-mail Print ShareVote

INDIANAPOLIS - Katie Douglas scored four of her 32 points in overtime and Indiana limited Connecticut to one point in the extra period as the Fever beat the Sun 94-85 on Thursday night.

The Fever (14-4) improved on the WNBA's best record and dropped Connecticut (9-8) 41/2 games behind them.

Douglas, who scored a career-best 34 points Tuesday against Washington, made 10 of 21 field goals and 10 of 12 free throws. She became the first Fever player to post consecutive 30-point games.

Tamika Catchings scored 23 points, and Jessica Moore, playing for injured center Tammy-Sutton Brown (toe), scored 12 for the Fever, who extended their longest single-season, home-winning streak to 10 games. Ebony Hoffman added 10 points.

Asjha Jones led Connecticut with 21 points before fouling out on the first play of overtime. Sandrine Gruda added 19 and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Anete Jekabsone-Zog scored 10 points.

The Fever outscored the Sun 10-1 in overtime.

Erin Phillips made the first of two free throws with 19.2 seconds to go in regulation, but missed the second, leaving the Sun with an 84-82 lead.

Catchings drove the baseline, scored, and was fouled by Jones with 11.6 seconds remaining. She missed the free throw, but Connecticut's Lindsay Whalen missed a baseline jumper at the other end as time expired.

Douglas scored 18 points in the first half.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The last time the Sun and Fever played, the Sun beat the Fever 67 to 61. At the time, I stated that Katie Douglas, didn't play her game. I said things could have turned out different. Last night the Fever, lead by Douglas proved what I had said. Go Sun, go. What do you think?


Experts urge use of insect repellent, warn of risk of West Nile virus, EEE

By Judy Benson Published on 7/31/2009

Don't skimp on the insect repellent this summer.

So advised Theodore Andreadis, Connecticut's chief medical entomologist, after describing the explosion in the mosquito population this summer. Heavy rainfall this summer followed by the current spell of hot, humid weather made for perfect conditions for many more mosquitoes than normal to breed, hatch and reach adulthood, he said.


Empty all standing water on your property. Some of the places it can accumulate include discarded tires, buckets, rain barrels (put a screen over the top), abandoned boats, clogged gutters, bird baths, wading pools, empty flowerpots and wheelbarrows.

The Ledge Light Health District offers larvicide briquettes for free. They can be used to treat standing water on private property. Call 448-4882 to make arrangements to pick up the briquettes. They can also be purchased in many hardware stores.

To avoid mosquito bites, minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.

Use insect repellent containing 20 percent to 30 percent DEET.

Repair holes in door and window screens and make sure they fit tightly.

Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.

Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

”We're trapping 8,000 mosquitoes a day,” said Andreadis, who heads the mosquito trapping and testing program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “Normally we trap a couple of thousand.”

The mosquitoes are collected in traps his staff sets during the summer at 90 sites

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Schaghticoke appeal moved forward in 2nd Circuit
By Gale Courey Toensing

Story Published: Jul 29, 2009

NEW YORK – The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has lined up its arguments for a restoration of its federal acknowledgment in a final brief filed in June in appellate court.

Tribal attorney Richard Emanuel filed the tribe’s brief in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals June 8. It is a consolidated response to objections to the restoration of the tribe’s federal status by the defendants and interveners – the Interior Department and its officials, and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, respectively.

“I’m looking forward to presenting our arguments to the 2nd Circuit,” Emanuel said, but declined to discuss the details of the case. The court will likely hear arguments in the fall.

The BIA recognized STN in a Final Determination Jan. 29, 2004, then reversed itself 20 months later in an unprecedented Reconsidered Final Determination, taking away both the Schaghticoke and Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation’s federal recognition.

The 2nd Circuit Court appeal challenges a decision by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Peter Dorsey last August that denied the tribe’s Administrative Procedures Appeal of the RFD. That appeal claimed the recognition reversal was due to unlawful political influence by powerful politicians, an anti-Indian casino group and its lobbyist, Barbour Griffith & Rogers, now known as BGR, who violated federal laws, agency regulations, congressional ethics rules and court orders in trampling the tribes’ due process rights.

Dorsey’s ruling granted the defendants’ summary judgment request to dismiss the case, and denied the tribe’s summary judgment request to restore its federal acknowledgment, or appoint a magistrate judge or special master to determine the tribe’s status, or remand the issue to the Interior for further consideration.

In the introduction to his brief, Emanuel reviews the actions that took place in the time between the BIA acknowledgment and reversal of STN’s federal status: politicians’ calls for investigations, congressional hearings where the tribe’s federal recognition was attacked, violations by Blumenthal of an ex parte prohibition against communicating with federal decision makers, ex parte communications with the Interior Board of Indian Appeals by members of Congress, a threat by Virginian Rep. Frank Wolf to tell the president that then Interior Secretary Gale Norton should be fired if she didn’t reverse the tribe’s recognition, and the introduction of legislation by former Connecticut Congresswoman Nancy Johnson to terminate the tribe, which castigated by name former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Aurene Martin.

“As Judge Dorsey stated (or perhaps understated) in his ruling on cross motions for summary judgment, ‘what followed the Final Determination in the backrooms of Washington is the subject of much concern to STN.’ It should be of much concern to this court too,” Emanuel wrote in his brief.

Emanuel uses Dorsey’s own words frequently to support the tribe’s claim of undue political influence.

He quotes Dorsey at length, for example, to refute “the adversaries” claim that the political influence activities were unimportant and ineffective because they took place during the three-month period between the Final Determination and the filing of requests for reconsideration.

“There is no question that throughout 2004 and 2005 the Connecticut Congressional Delegation, Connecticut state and local officials, and other public and private stakeholders, including a community organization in the Town of Kent which hired the Washington lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers to advocate on its behalf, lobbied the secretary of the Interior, the BIA, the White House, and even this court about reversing the acknowledgment decision,” Dorsey wrote in his ruling.

The brief argues that the appeals court can and should consider the tribe’s claim of political influence not only under an “actual influence” standard, but also under a stricter “appearance of bias” or “appearance of impropriety” standard.

Dorsey was involved in an appearance of bias or impropriety issue during the tribe’s appeal in his court. The tribe discovered through a Freedom of Information request a letter he had written to Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell in August 2005, assuring her that he had extended a deadline to the tribe as a precautionary measure to avoid a possible future reversal of his decision – a decision he hadn’t made yet – by another court that might accept as valid the tribe’s claim of undue political influence.

“It reflects a caution intended to avoid a reversal by another court which might buy a due process argument,” Dorsey wrote.

The unnamed court is the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court where the tribe is now appealing Dorsey’s ruling. The tribe questions whether Dorsey’s letter meant he had prejudged the tribe’s due process claims unfavorably and was told he had not.

Emanuel also quotes Dorsey’s assertion that federal decision makers came under a tsunami of political pressure to reverse the STN’s federal recognition.

“There is no question that political actors exerted pressure on the department over the course of 2004 and 2005 in opposition to the Final Determination acknowledgment of STN, both publicly through congressional hearings and media publicity and privately through meetings and correspondence with the secretary and other agency officials,” Dorsey wrote.

But Dorsey denied STN’s appeal in part, he said, because federal decision makers said they were not influenced by the frenzy of political pressure that was brought to bear upon them.

That’s not good enough, Emanuel said in arguing that the district court misapplied the summary judgment standards.

“This court should not endorse the proposition that by the simple expedient of denying bias, a government official can wipe away all evidence of it. A political influence claim implicates mental processes like bias, motive and intent. Such issues are elusive, at best, and are difficult to prove. Bias and motive are generally proved by circumstantial evidence.”

Emanuel also refutes Blumenthal’s lengthy discussions on state recognition and marriage rates as a “stealth” harmless error argument – meaning that Blumenthal is saying even if error occurred in the process, it wasn’t “harmful” because the BIA reached the legally “correct” decision in its reversal.

In his argument against “harmless error,” Emanuel quotes the Supreme Court statement that, “Among those basic fair trial rights that can never be treated as harmless is a defendant’s right to an impartial adjudicator, be it judge or jury.”

Emanuel also cites fairness and justice as an imperative. The tribe respected the process and played by the rules as confirmed by Interior Inspector Earl Devaney in a 2004 report of an investigation he had conducted in response to requests from Connecticut Sens. Christopher Dodd and Joe Lieberman.

“Our investigation found no evidence to support the allegation that lobbyists or representatives for STN directly or indirectly influenced BIA officials to grant federal acknowledgment to STN,” Devaney wrote.

“Those rules now require that this court reverse the District Court’s judgment,” Emanuel wrote.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


‘Mr. Casino’ sentenced to 10 years
Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jul 24, 2009 @ 11:31 PM

New London, Conn. — Just before he was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison with three years’ probation, Richard “Mr. Casino” Taylor argued he was so good at gambling that people wrongly assumed he was cheating at the region’s casinos.

“I won and I lost,” Taylor said, standing in his prison garb after spending about 45 minutes mostly leaning back in his chair, turned away from the judge, smiling, rolling his eyes or muttering to himself. “I am the best dice player in the world, period. And I didn’t cheat... If you bet with the odds the casinos give you, you’re going to win.”

A six-member jury in May found Taylor, 43, of Memphis, Tenn., guilty of being the ringleader of a craps scam with about a dozen dealers in the region, costing Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun $70,000 in 2007. The charges partly included first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and cheating.

Judge Stuart M. Schimelman at New London Superior Court said he wanted the sentencing to send a message of deterrence to anyone thinking of taking part in illegal gambling in Connecticut.

Schimelman said he received the most letters for any case he has presided over from Taylor’s supporters. He said he read every one of them and, in essence, they said Taylor was a good family man who suffered from a gambling addiction.

“Your neighbors and friends call it an addiction,” Schimelman said. “But I call it arrogance.”

Prosecutor Stephen M. Carney described Taylor as “incorrigible,” as shown by his difficulty to sit still in court. But, Carney said, Taylor wasn’t being sentenced simply for an addictive personality.

“It’s the behavior of cheating and stealing and breaking the law of Connecticut that has caused such substantial damage,” he said.

Carney said the dealers who were involved in the conspiracy could not be considered victims, but their lives were ruined after crossing paths with Taylor. They lost their jobs and suffered various consequences to their relationships with their families.

Foxwoods executives who attended the sentencing declined the judge’s invitation to comment.

Schimelman said Taylor continued to blame everyone else — the dealers and then the casinos for preying on the elderly and minorities — and tried to beat the legal system like he did the gambling system with manipulative words and behavior in court and self-written appeals.

At one point before the sentencing, when Schimelman said the jury had no question Taylor was guilty, Taylor, with attorney Ralph Bergman at his side, said, “Objection.” Schimelman quickly denied Taylor the opportunity to speak.

Taylor, a self-proclaimed professional gambler who said he gambled at casinos worldwide, claimed at trial that he was a high roller, making $3,000 to $5,000 wagers and tossing hundreds of dollars in tips to dealers.

He said those tips attracted the attention of the real masterminds behind the craps scam and that those dealers lied about Taylor being involved in the cheating.

Several Foxwoods dealers testified to allowing late bets at the craps table for Taylor or others who prosecutors said were Taylor’s associates. The fast-moving game of craps relies on dealers to take bets before the dice are thrown. Dealers said they used code words “hot chocolate” or “strawberry daiquiri” to identify cheating players. They later were paid a cut of their winnings.

Taylor plans to appeal the sentence, and Schimelman set a $350,000 appeals bond. Taylor was sentenced to 13 years in prison, suspended after 10 years, and a probation of three years that includes a requirement that he undergo problem gambling counseling and bans him from casinos and Internet gambling.

Criminal cases are pending against 11 former Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun employees who were arrested after a months-long investigation by the state police.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Anytime, you have gambling, someone will try and find a way to cheat, it is the casino's job to catch them. The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods should prosecute their employees if they were involved. what do you think?


Casino Impacts: Keeping Count

By David Collins Published on 7/29/2009

A new study of the impacts of gambling on Connecticut, commissioned by the General Assembly, doesn't produce a lot of surprises for the people of southeastern Connecticut, who already know that the towns near Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun bear more of the costs and see less of the state's share of revenue from the two casinos.

And yet there are many interesting, illuminating statistics in the 400-page report that show some of the ways the casinos have changed the culture here over the last 17 years.

From increased road repairs to new English-as-a-second-language school programs to teach the children of casino workers, towns across the region reported increasing casino-related expenses.

In Norwich, for instance, schools have four times as many Asian-American students than they did in 1993, due in large part to the migration of casino workers from New York's Chinatown. Asian-Americans now make up 7 percent of the school population.

One of five residents of Norwich now works at one of the casinos, according to the report by the Spectrum Gaming Group of Linwood, N.J.

Norwich Free Academy, the city's high school, estimates its annual casino-related costs at $600,000. Montville says it spends an additional $300,000 in language programs for its schools.

The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich reported losing as much as $1 million in treating uninsured people brought from the casinos.

Local prosecutors, asked to keep track of one month of casino-related cases in the Part B section of Superior Court, which is for less-serious crimes, counted 27 last August, but said there were probably more. The casinos pay much of the state's expenses for policing the casinos but not for the prosecution of crimes.

The gaming report identified four suicides linked to the casinos since 2000 and said there could have been more.

Southeastern Connecticut also shouldered more than its fair share of a remarkable increase in embezzlement cases in the state. Police made 43 embezzlement arrests in 1991, the year before Foxwoods opened, and they made 214 in 2007, the report says.

The state's increase is nearly 10 times that of the national average.

As I've suggested before, perhaps the black Submarine Capital of the World sign off Interstate 95 in Groton could be changed to one shaped like a slot machine, announcing this as the Embezzlement Capital of the World.

But the most troubling of all the statistics in the gambling report may be those related to the high number of drunk driving arrests made on roads leading to and from the casino. Towns here have seen sharp increases in drunken driving cases even while they've been declining elsewhere around the state.

Norwich, for example, had 129 drunken driving cases in 1992 and 252 in 2008. There were 37 in Montville in 1992 and 116 in 2007. And yet Mansfield, a town with a similar population to Montville's, had only 64 arrests in 2007.

The Montville State Police barracks, Troop E, has conducted far more drunken driving investigations than any other barracks in the state, a total of 2,713 between 2003 and 2007, compared to the next highest, Westbrook, with 1,629 investigations.

The report authors said they asked police to trace the arrests in Ledyard, Montville and North Stonington to see if they are casino-related.

They were told that nearly one of four in Ledyard, one of three in North Stonington and one of five in Montville were casino-related, based on where drivers reported having their last drink. About 20 percent of the drivers did not answer the question.

Mohegan Sun, which has the worst liquor-law violation record of the two casinos, tightened its drink-serving policies this spring after two fatal accidents were linked to drinking there.

It will be interesting to see, over time, whether both casinos are doing enough to curb what is clearly an intolerable amount of drunken driving on southeastern Connecticut roads.

Of course the report doesn't look exclusively at the negative impacts of the casino and devotes considerable discussion to the positive impact they've had, importing money from outside the Connecticut economy, creating jobs and purchasing goods and services.

Slot royalties to the state, after all, totaled $411 million in the 2008 fiscal year, even though southeastern Connecticut towns didn't get much of a share.

But it's important to not to lose sight of the costs that come with the casino money, especially when we're paying a lot of them around here.

This is the opinion of David Collins.



They gamble, they cheat, and casinos fight back
Scammers’ tricks range from high-tech to sleight-of-hand

By William Sokolic
For The Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jul 22, 2009 @ 11:39 PM
Last update Jul 22, 2009 @ 11:46 PM

In May, a jury found Richard S. Taylor guilty of leading a craps cheating ring at Foxwoods in the first major trial in the state involving casino cheats.

Prosecutors said Taylor recruited dealers to pay players for bets placed after the outcome of a craps roll.

The scam is a variation of a method known as past posting, in which bets in a table game are made after the roll or hand is determined. The term originates with horse racing, where a bugler sounds a call to the post just before the race begins. This also is the signal that no more bets can be taken. Any bets made after that time occur past the post.

In casino circles, past posting also can mean increasing a bet after the outcome is determined. In blackjack, a player switches a winning bet of three $5 chips with two $500 chips topped by a $5 chip and then claims the dealer paid him the wrong amount.

Past posting, along with pinching, is the No. 1 scam across table games, said Ray Pineault, senior vice president of casino operations at Mohegan Sun. In pinching, the cheater attempts to remove part, or all, of a bet from the table after losing.

While both these scams sometimes involve dealer cooperation, most often they depend on old-fashioned sleight of hand or dealer distractions. Run-of-the-mill cheat teams will look for sloppy dealers or for dealers and pit personnel who seem preoccupied or uninterested.

They take advantage of the monotony of a dealer’s job, said Richard Marcus, a professional casino cheating expert who ran such teams for years.

“Most professional casino cheating teams will do a lot of scouting of the staff,” Marcus said. “But top teams, such as mine, do not concern themselves with doing this. In my team’s case, our moves were designed to beat all casino dealers, floor staff, even all the surveillance personnel.

“In fact, I preferred going up against the most skilled and sharp casino dealers,” Marcus said.
These days, past posting and pinching are a calculated risk, given the more than 3,000 surveillance cameras covering the casino floor at Mohegan Sun, Pineault said.

“Some cheaters go for years without getting caught, but most do get nabbed. If not for informants, half of what we discover would never be uncovered. They play a big part,” said George Joseph, a cheating expert who offers game protection training for casinos and gaming commissions.

His Las Vegas-based company, Worldwide Casino Consulting Inc., trains dealers and reviews casino policies.

Cheaters in the 21st century employ high-tech methods to fleece casinos. Hidden cameras, for example, pick up the hold card in table games, or players mark cards with infrared dyes when touched during play. The card is then transmitted to someone away from the game who reads the dye.

“You touch the back of all cards. Once you marked a sufficient number, you now have an edge,” Joseph said.

In a false shuffle scam that involved 18 casinos, dealers wouldn’t shuffle cards, but kept them in the same order or reverse order. The cards were recorded with a pencil and paper or a hidden camera. This worked for blackjack and baccarat, Joseph said.

There was a scare several months ago when Apple included a card counting application for iPhones, Pineault said. Like most gaming jurisdictions, Mohegan Sun does not permit the use of any electronic device at table games, even cell phones.

Card counting

While card counting is not illegal, casinos can take steps to minimize the effect, such as limiting wagers to the table minimum.

“We do not shuffle more frequently,” Pineault said. “But you can’t raise the bet and increase the probability of certain hands.”

If a $100 table has a maximum bet of $5,000 per player, the counter could not exceed a $100 bet.

There are multiple ways to pick out a card counter, Pineault said. Casino survey teams watch live high-end play or review recordings afterwards.

“The teams are versed in the strategy of increasing wagers and varying bets. Floor supervisors are also trained to look for card counting,” he said.


Outside of past posting, cheating most often involves tampering with the dice themselves.
Loaded dice are modified to make a specific number turn up more often than it should. These modifications include shaving, weighting, magnets and heating, among others.

In the “Ocean’s Thirteen” movie, magnets were placed in dice during the manufacturing process. Then George Clooney’s character used a device designed as a lighter to trigger the magnet and roll the dice in the direction to win big.

Another scam is to use blank dice and have shooters insert dots in such a way that a seven, could never come up, for instance. Those dice would contain only a one, four and five on the faces, for example.

“This type of dice juicing is very easy to detect,” Pineault said.

Of course, for these to work, the player would need to control the dice or the dealer at the table.
“It requires a sleight-of-hand switch,” Joseph said.

Still another cheating method involves the shooter sliding the dice along the table so they don’t tumble, and the numbers have a better chance of staying in the same position. To work, another team member has to distract the dealer or boxman, who runs the table and oversees the payouts.

Bally’s casinos has installed mini-speed bumps on the table layout down the center to thwart sliding. The dice would trip on the speed bump.


Cashless slots eliminated dozens of cheating methods involving coins. Cheaters can no longer use false tokens or coins on a string to confuse the machine or rely on a device inserted up the chute, which foiled the count of coins coming out, Joseph said.

In the days before ticketing replaced coins, an optic pen or red flashing LED light would function by defeating the payout meter that gives access to coins in the hopper. This battery-powered optic device featured a bent arm that would fit snugly into the slot machines innards to trip the payout meter and yield all the coins in the hopper. The device could easily be concealed in the cheater’s jacket or sleeve.

These days, cheaters attempt to use gadgets that try to trick the bill validator. Another scam involves putting a $100 bill covered with baby powder on the end of dental floss. When it racks up the credits, the player pulls the bill back out. Other gadgets include a metal probe to activate the computer to increase credits.

More than a decade ago, there were cheating scams that involved picking a lock on the slot or opening up the machine and switching the computer chip to trigger the jackpot. Today’s electronic layouts and shrunken chip boards make that all but impossible.

In the near future, server-based machines will put the computer control in a back-of-the-house room, rather than have 1,000 different mother boards.

“You cannot attack the machine at the site,” Joseph said.


The Savannah move was a variation of a bet-and-run scam, where desperate players made simple proposition bets on roulette and grabbed the chips off the layout when they lost, before the dealer could sweep them away, Marcus said.

“By hiding $5,000 casino chips (or $1,000 chips in lower-limit casinos) under $5 casino chips on the 2 to 1 column bets, we won $10,010 each time these bets won while losing just $10 when they lost,” Marcus said. “We accomplished this by quickly switching out the losing bet containing the $5,000 chip and replacing it with $5 chips the instant the ball dropped.”

He said if he was caught, he feigned drunkenness, claiming he didn’t realize the ball had dropped.

“We got away with it because the dealer never saw the $5,000 chip to begin with, so he was satisfied the $5 chip set down to replace it was the one originally there,” Marcus said.

The wheel track design used to make the ball fall rather than roll off. Hidden computers were programmed to predict the ball’s fall-off point on the wheel, thus improving the chance of predicting where the ball would land. Pictures could reveal the speed of the ball and from what position it would fall. The industry changed the wheel to eliminate that, creating shallower pockets, so the ball bounces around more, making predictions more difficult.

The change in wheel design and the addition of speed bumps on craps tables show that for every new scam, a new foil evolves from casinos.

“It’s a cat-and-mouse game. Show us how you steal and we’ll develop a policy to beat you,” Joseph said.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Wampanoag casino foes fed ammunition

By George Brennan
also by Stephanie Vosk

July 18, 2009

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has no historical ties to land in Middleboro, an essential part of their bid to build an Indian casino, according to a report commissioned by a neighboring town.

The report, compiled by Connecticut-based historian James Lynch and paid for by the town of Halifax, concludes that the Mashpee tribe "has never maintained a tribal political or social presence within the Town of Middleboro."

In its submission to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe claims it has a direct connection to Middleboro because it descends from the Pokanoket people - later known as Wampanoag - who occupied the area in the 1600s. Based on these assertions by the tribe, James Lynch reached several conclusions, including that:

There were differences in dialect between the mainland Indians of southeastern Massachusetts and those on the Cape and Islands.

Prior to European settlement, all the tribes in southeastern Massachusetts generally shared significant cultural traits, due mainly to their setting, not their connection.

Mashpee came into existence because its members no longer shared the common cultural ideology with other tribes in the region. It was a unique community based upon Christian ideals.

Intermarriages with the Indians of the Middleboro area are not indicative of a historical, political, or cultural connection, as the tribe has claimed.

The particular Middleboro lands the tribe seeks belonged to the Massachuset tribe, not the Pokanoket or Wampanoag.

The Mashpee tribe has never asserted political authority over any residents in Middleboro with Indian ancestry or maintained a political or social presence in that town.

Lynch's work rebuts a report done for the tribe by Christine Grabowski, a New York-based consultant, that links the tribe to Middleboro based on ties to the Pokanoket tribe and modern links like the tribe's use of Betty's Neck in Lakeville as a spiritual sanctuary.

"They do not have any historical or cultural connections to the town of Middleboro and neither were they historically under the control of the Pokanoket Indians," said Lynch, who has investigated Indian land claims across the country for surrounding towns and homeowners, including in his home state.

In a letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the federal agency considering the Mashpee tribe's application to put 539 acres in Middleboro into federal trust for gaming, Halifax selectmen urge the BIA to reject the application based on Lynch's research.

"They don't have a historic right to that land," John Bruno, chairman of the Halifax board, said in a phone interview yesterday.

Tribe leaders did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.

Grabowski could not be reached, but last year defended her research. "This isn't about Mashpee needing to establish an exclusive right to the land in Middleboro," she said at that time. "It's about establishing a historical and a cultural connection."

Anti-casino advocates in Middleboro have long claimed the Wampanoag ties to the town are bogus, accusing the tribe's investors of reservation shopping.

Rich Young, president of Casinofacts, said the tribe's former leader Shawn Hendricks admitted as much on a radio show. "He said it was location, location, location," Young said of Hendricks. "He never mentioned anything about historic ties to the land."

In 2008, the BIA clearly defined a tribe's need to document historic ties through treaties or the existence of "villages, burial grounds, occupancy or subsistence use in the vicinity of the land."

The Mashpee tribe can't make those links based on Lynch's research, Bruno said.

Halifax decided to hire Lynch after the BIA held a hearing in Middleboro in March of 2008. During that hearing, several other tribes made claims to the Middleboro land, including the Massachuset and the Pokanoket.

Lynch concludes in his report that the land on Precinct Street belonged historically to the Massachuset tribe, which is not federally recognized.

A BIA spokesman could not comment on what weight the new report would be given but said it would become part of the application record.

This report comes as the Mashpee tribe is already facing a significant hurdle to its application to put 539 acres of land into trust in Middleboro, as well as 140 acres in Mashpee. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued in February no longer gives the U.S. Department of the Interior the authority to take land into trust for tribes recognized after 1934, the year the Indian Reorganization Act went into effect, though Congressional leaders are considering possibly amending the law.

Halifax's concerns go beyond the historical ties to the environmental impact and traffic a casino would create, Bruno said.

"We think there are tremendous impacts that will spill over from any development in that area that haven't been taken into consideration," he said.

Young applauded the efforts of Halifax to fight the casino. "I appreciate the town of Halifax going to bat to protect their community and to protect my community," he said.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Please check out That is Ken Davison's website. He has an interesting article on the $330 Million that the Mohegan Tribal Council just borrowed to pay an outstanding debt.

The debt started in 1999 as an estimated $300 million that was to be paid back for phase two of the Mohegan Tribe project (the hotel and Sky Casino in the Mohegan Sun Casino).

Read the article, the Tribal Council had promised to pay the debt down quickly, instead they never did. Now the $300 million will cost the Mohegan Tribe about $340 million plus.

This is one reason, the Tribal Council members who are running for re-election (Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, Lynn Malerba, Bill Quidgeon and James Gessner) should not be re-elected. They have failed us. They need to go.

Ken Davison, from reading the article, definitely knows what to do. He is an accountant and has good business sense. We need change. Re-elect Mark Hamilton. Elect Ken Davison, Mark Sperry, and John Henry Clark.

We need more than one new person, we need several. One new person, will not change anything. The Tribal Council will still do what they want. Your vote this election can and will make a difference. What do you think?


Asjha Jones Leads Sun To Victory Over Monarchs

July 23, 2009
E-mail Print ShareVote

UNCASVILLE - — In the middle of the fourth quarter Wednesday, the public address announcer at the Mohegan Sun Arena reminded the crowd that Asjha Jones would be the Connecticut Sun's lone representative at Saturday's All-Star Game.

Yeah, like it wasn't already obvious.

It has already been an eventful season for the Sun, filled with comings and goings, ups and downs, plans and adjustments.

But one of the constants has been Jones, the former UConn standout, a piece of the foundation upon which this contender is being built.

"There's no doubt about it, she's an elite player now," Sun guard Lindsay Whalen said. "She's having a great year."

On the day before its All-Star break, Jones snapped her team to attention after a first half in which it played as if it had senioritis.

She scored 22 of her season-high 28 in the second half, shooting 10 of 12, accounting for 12 of the last 14 points to lead the Sun to an 83-75 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs before 5,675.

Jones has scored in double figures in 12 straight and she also had 10 rebounds.

"I can always be better," said Jones, whose career high is 31. "I'm very critical of myself. Just look at all the shots I missed in the first half [3 of 9]."

She was not alone. The Sun (9-6) shot 12 of 38 in the half, but outscored the Monarchs 30-13 in the third and have now won 8 of 11 to sit alone in second place in the conference.

Those are things that will help coach Mike Thibault enjoy his break.

"There have been years when I've gone into the All-Star break feeling miserable," he said. "But not this year."

The Monarchs have lost six straight and 14 of 17. They were led by Nicole Powell, who scored 18 a few hours after being named to the Western Conference All-Star team to replace the injured Lisa Leslie.

"They came in very well prepared," Thibault said. "They are a hard team to play against."

They were tough on Wednesday, building a 44-33 halftime lead. But then the Sun started to make their shots and began to take control of the boards, holding Laura Harper and Courtney Paris to one second-half rebound after they combined for 16 in the first.

"It sure is better when the ball goes in the basket," Thibault said. "This is a really great win for us. This is a great way to go into the All-Star break."

Time To Rest
Thibault is giving the team off until Sunday night. The weekend will begin for most of them tonight at the Beyonce concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: It is a good thing, that the Mohegan Sun beat the Sacramento monarchs, but attendance is still down at 5,675. Hopefully, attendance will increase after the All-Star Game.

Yes, Asjha Jones, is an All Star and having a terrific season, however so is Lyndsay Whalen and Erin Phillips. Hopefully, the Mohegan Sun Arena will have a full house on Saturday for the All-Star Game. Go, Sun go. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Many casino companies cut execs' pay in recession

The Associated Press
Posted Jul 21, 2009 @ 11:56 AM

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Bosses aren't immune to the pay cuts sweeping the struggling casino industry.

While many gambling houses across the country have laid off hourly workers, and cut or frozen pay for those who remain, top executives are feeling the pain, too.

Many of the country's largest casino companies have cut pay for their executives and managers.

Harrah's Entertainment cut its managers' pay by 5 percent. Wynn Resorts cut pay 15 percent for managers making $150,000 or more, and 10 percent for the rest. And the Mohegan Tribal Authority cut bosses' pay by up to 10 percent in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

In Atlantic City, the three Trump casinos, the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and Resorts Atlantic City all cut or froze

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: The Mohegan Tribal Council allegedly only took an eight (8%) decrease in pay while other executives of the Mohegan Sun Casino took up to an estimated ten (10%) percent pay cuts. Is this fair? Should the Tribal Council do more? How about the Council of Elders, how much was their pay cuts?

We (the Mohegan Tribe) need leaders. We need people who will step up and do the right thing for the Mohegan Tribe as well as our employees. The present Tribal Council, in my opinion, have failed us.

Think about the situation, we are finding ourselves in. Are we better off today, then we were four (4) years ago when the Tribal Councilors who are running for re-election took office? The answer is no. They have failed us. They need to go.

Should we show them our unhappiness at their performance? Should they go? Did they do the wrong thing, only taking a eight percent (8%) decrease? Should they go? What do you think?


Locally, Bankruptcy Filings Jump
Rate is up in 2009 statewide, but New London county sees the biggest increase

By Lee Howard Published on 7/22/2009

While the state saw a dramatic rise in personal bankruptcies over the past three months, New London County had the highest rate of increase in Connecticut, according to a new survey.

The Warren Group, which tracks New England real estate and financial trends, reported Tuesday that 176 personal bankruptcy filings were recorded in New London County in the second quarter of 2009, a 36 percent increase from the same period a year ago.

”The spike in bankruptcy filings shows just how hard it has been for consumers to keep up with their bills in this tough economy,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of The Warren Group, in a statement.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: With an increase in bankruptcies in New London County and the entire state of Connecticut, as well as other places in the Northeast part of the United States, no wonder there is a drop off of gambling at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Massachusetts Tribe Faces Funding Dilemma
20 Jul, 2009 / GamblingCompliance Ltd. / Scott Van Voorhis

Serious cracks have emerged in the relationship between Mashpee Wampanoag leaders and a group of high-powered investors backing the tribe’s push to open a resort casino in Massachusetts.
Tribal leaders have voted not to “reaffirm” a casino development agreement with an investment group that includes South African gambling tycoon Sol Kerzner. The tribe contends the agreement gave the investors the lion’s share of profits from the proposed gambling venue.

However, the vote came after the financial backers of the Mashpee Wampanoag's quest to open a resort casino in a rural Massachusetts town quietly cut off payments to the tribe.

While it’s not clear exactly what has caused the bickering between the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and their investment partners, the dispute comes after a landmark US Supreme Court case cast serious doubts over the ability of tribes across the country to open new casinos.

The Massachusetts tribe, which just won recognition in 2006, is currently seeking approval from the federal government to create an official reservation on which to build a casino.

In addition, the tribe is reeling from the conviction on an array of federal charges of its former chairman, Glenn Marshall, in part for his involvement in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.

“A sad chapter in our tribe’s history was closed yesterday at the federal courthouse in Boston,” the tribe’s new chairman, Cedric Cromwell, recently wrote to members. “While I am pleased with the progress we are making, we still face great challenges.”

The tribe’s casino plans suffered a serious blow in May, when its financial backers, led by casino moguls Kerzner and Len Wolman, stopped payments to the tribe. The pair are part of the original investors in Mohegan Sun and have also helped transform Rhode Island’s Twin River racino into a major regional competitor.

But the Mashpee Wampanoags fired off their own salvo in June, with the tribal council voting to put on hold the 2007 casino development agreement struck with the investors.

Tribal leaders, many of whom were elected after Marshall became ensnared in a federal probe, have taken a sceptical view of the casino development agreement the now disgraced former chairman signed with the investor group. Marshall was recently sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for embezzlement, social security fraud, tax evasion, and making illegal campaign contributions.

The agreement would pay investors $40m a year, while the tribe would get about $15m, the tribe’s new leadership contends, according to The Cape Cod Times. That’s based on a casino that would generate more $700m a year in gross revenue.

“It’s not a very good deal for the tribe,” said Clyde Barrow, a professor and gaming industry expert at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

A spokeswoman for the investor group, known as TCAM, told GamblingCompliance, “Under the terms of our agreement with the tribe, which is in full force and effect, we do not feel it would be appropriate at this time for us to comment on any pending matters with the tribe.”

Still, the process has likely been an expensive and risky one as well for the investors, who have pumped millions into the tribe’s casino efforts with little chance of seeing that money again if a gambling venue fails to materialise.

That includes both bankrolling the tribe’s efforts to win federal approval for a proposed casino site in Middleboro and drawing up complicated casino development plans.

And the deal has gotten riskier in recent months since the nation’s highest court dropped a bombshell on tribes across Indian Country.

The Supreme Court ruled that tribes, like the Mashpee Wampanoags, which won recognition after 1934, are not covered under federal rules that allow tribes to create new reservation land, known as taking land into trust. This is a basic step for opening a tribal casino.

The tribe’s best bet now might be to drop efforts to open a full-fledged Indian casino and instead team up with a commercial developer, argues UMass Dartmouth’s Barrow.

Even if successful, winning federal approval could take years, by which time a number of commercial casinos may have been legalised and developed in the state, he noted.

Moreover, betting on federal approval now is a big ‘if’, with congressional legislation needed before tribes like the Mashpee Wampanoags can move forward with their casino plans, Barrow said.

Instead, the tribe might do better to team up with a commercial investor and compete for a casino license should Massachusetts lawmakers, as is widely expected, legalise casino gambling this fall.

“At this point, everyone is telling the tribe they need to get onto the commercial bandwagon,” Barrow said. “If they don’t do that, they may find themselves on the outside looking in.”

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Aren't these people, the same investors, who negotiated a very good deal for themselves, many years ago with the Mohegan Tribe?

With the investors, saying the deal is still in effect, it sounds like this matter could spend a long and costly battle in court.

Maybe, the Mohegan Tribe, should somehow find the money, and help finance the deal with the Mashpee Wampanoags? This way, instead of the Mashpee Wampanoags being competitors of the Mohegan Sun, we could somehow share in the profits, of their venture in Massachusetts?

Shouldn't the Mohegans try to help the Mashpee Wampanoags? Wouldn't that make more sense, than the Mohegan Tribe trying to help tribes in Washington State and Wisconsin?

Instead, what are the leaders of the Mohegan Tribe (Mohegan Tribal Council) doing? The MTGA is promoting gambling in Palmer? Shouldn't they help another fellow tribe?

What good is all the money the Mohegan Tribe, has the ability to make, and not try and help this tribe? Maybe, they won't want our (the Mohegan Tribes) help, but maybe we should offer?

Are you listening Tribal Council? Are you working on this possibility? Some tribal members are wondering if this will be yet another case of the Tribal Council not doing anything? Should the tribe look into maybe funding the Mashpee Wampanoags? Will the MTGA help them? What do you think?

Monday, July 20, 2009


Sun survive late woes to snap Fever’s streak

Posted Jul 19, 2009 @ 11:00 PM
Last update Jul 20, 2009 @ 12:28 AM

MOHEGAN — After breaking down the Connecticut Sun’s problems in front of her locker Sunday, Tan White exhaled and quickly laughed.

“But it’s over with,” the guard said.

This was a victory, mind you. A really good one, too.

Yet, for all the Sun did well in snapping the Indiana Fever’s franchise-record 11-game winning streak, 67-61, before 6,517 at Mohegan Sun Arena, every where they turned, there was a “but ...”

And after that, there was a turnover.

“I told our players ... you’re supposed to be happy after every win,” Sun coach Mike Thibault said. “NBA coaches say the season’s too long not to enjoy every win. But that one was hard to watch.”

The Sun (8-6) committed a season-high 26 turnovers, including a franchise-worst 13 in the fourth quarter to help spur a furious but albeit fruitless Fever (11-3) rally. Up by as many as 20 points with 4 minutes, 53 seconds to play, the Sun failed to hit another field goal and watched their lead shrink to four, 60-54, after a 14-0 Indiana run.

The performance tied the team record for turnovers, matching their sloppiness from July 15, 2006 against Sacramento, and fell just one short of the franchise record set in 2000 against Cleveland when the team was the Orlando Magic.

But thanks to 15 points and eight rebounds from Lindsay Whalen, 12 points from Asjha Jones and an oppressive defense that held Indiana to 29 percent shooting, Connecticut survived, ending the league’s longest win streak since the Sun ran off 12 straight in 2006.

They now have won three straight overall, matching their season-best.

“We played so great for long stretches and to have a last seven minutes like that was almost unfathomable, certainly embarrassing and I hope that it never happens again because I don’t know if I can sit through another one of those,” Thibault said. “Actually I didn’t sit. I stood. ... We should start autographing for people we hit (with passes) in the stands. It’s terrible.”

Most curiously, the Sun entered the game leading the league in fewest turnovers (12.5 per game). Their lack of poise helped lead to 29 Fever points, nearly half their total.

“We had open looks, the looks we had taken in the first half and even in the third quarter,” Jones said of the final stretch. “But we were trying to run the clock out and held on to it, and that just gave them opportunity to trap more. So from there, they have some good players, some aggressive players, and they made plays.”

Not enough, though. Ebony Hoffman and Katie Douglas each scored 15 points, but Tammy Sutton-Brown, after notching 14 points and 14 rebounds in the teams’ first match-up, was visibly bothered by the 6-foot-4 Sandrine Gruda (10 points, nine points).

Erin Phillips added 11 points for Connecticut, and Amber Holt notched a season-high nine while playing stellar defense on Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, who finished 2-of-12 from the floor with five points, five rebounds and a technical foul.

The Sun also continued their rise from their season-long shooting slump, making 42 percent from the field, their best work coming in their ball movement around Indiana’s persistent double-teaming.

Everything seemed to work in the third quarter, where they reeled off a 10-0 run and made 56 percent of their shots. Up, 44-36, with roughly four minutes left in the frame, they constructed a 16-4 stretch in which Indiana went 8:34 without a bucket.

Then they turned the ball over eight times in roughly four minutes before making 7-of-8 free throws in the final 23 seconds to avoid the amazing collapse.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve lost a game (since June 7),” Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. “There is no such thing as a good loss, but the thing about this game for us is we knew we weren’t going to win every game this season.”

Around the rim

- Second-place Connecticut trimmed Indiana’s lead atop the Eastern Conference standings to three games.

- Tamika Whitmore, rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on her right knee, shot jumpers on the Mohegan Sun Arena floor prior to the game. She is expected to miss the next two weeks.

- The Sun made 18 of 20 free throws, including their first nine. They already boast three games in which they were perfect from the foul line, one short of the league record.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Katie Douglas (Indiana Fever) was not on her game, she missed a lot of three point attempts. Erin Phillips and other Connecticut Sun players evidently did a good job of guarding her.

The fever lost by six (6) points, but they also, I believe had two (2) technical fouls, that Lyndsay Whalen, shot and made both free throws.

It was a great win, but it could have been a loss. At one point in the fourth Quarter, the Sun was up by twenty points, and in the end the Fever got it to six points.

There were 6,517 in attendance, which is down from last year's attendance numbers. Good job, Sun. Go Sun, go. What do you think?


Study: State gambling cash not fully utilized

Published on 7/17/2009

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ A new state-ordered study concludes that legalized gambling is a boon to the Connecticut economy, but the state has done a poor job of regulating the industry and more people are becoming addicted to gambling.

The 390-page study, called "Gambling in Connecticut: Analyzing the Economic and Social Impacts," was conducted by New Jersey's Spectrum Gaming Group. It's the state's first analysis of legalized gambling in 12 years.

"The goal was to look at the good, bad and ugly of gambling in the state," said Michael Diamond, Spectrum's vice president of research. "We had to go back to 1997 to find a study like this, so we wanted to give a comprehensive look at gambling in Connecticut since then.

"We concluded that there should be more state gaming regulation there."

The study says Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos are responsible for creating 12 percent of the new jobs in the state since 1992 and that the casinos have brought in $1.2 billion worth of personal income to the state.

In 1994, casinos added $24 million to the state's general fund; in 2007, casinos brought in $340 million. But although the state once distributed 78 percent of the money brought in by casinos to its 169 towns and cities, that amount has now dropped to 21 percent.

"Over the years, the state has taken more and more out of the pot," Diamond said. "Some of the towns feel like they are getting the short end of the stick."

Diamond said one statistic that stood out to him was the state's number of embezzlement cases.

"In our research, we found a significant number of people who had no history of violence or crimes get involved in cases with large sums of money to support a gambling habit," he said. "We've found that other states have had problems there as well, but not to the extent of Connecticut."

The study found that Connecticut had the biggest increase of all states that reported at least 40 embezzlements between 1992 and 2005. The state's 397 percent increase is almost 10 times the national average.

Diamond also mentioned the state's unregulated self-exclusion program, where admitted gambling addicts can request a casino to ban them, as another source of worry.

The study said Connecticut was the first state to establish a self-exclusion program in 1994, but neither state casino has issued a fine for violation of the program.

A case study shows 20 percent of self-excluded gamblers at Mohegan Sun have returned to the casino since joining the program. Of that percentage, one in five have gone back at least nine times.

"In New Jersey and some other states, if it is found that the program has been violated, the casinos get hit with a fine," Diamond said. "It seems to be voluntary among the casinos in Connecticut, but there's no leverage."

The study reports that the general assembly raised the budget for services to help gambling addicts from about $930,000 in 2001 to more than $2 million in 2008. But, the study concludes that the increase has not kept up with the growing number of cases handled. Those have jumped from 326 in 2001 to 922 in 2008.

Marvin Steinburg, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, said it's in the state's best interest to closely monitor the problem.

"Of all the services and products that the state provides, the only one that is harmful to a small but significant number of people is gambling," he said. "While many other social services are extremely important that there be sufficient money for, it is incumbent upon the state to realize that if gambling gets out of control, then there will be a backlash against it and the state's money that it depends upon could be threatened."

A Foxwoods spokeswoman said the casino wouldn't comment on the study until officials have time to review it.



1) When is the Mohegan Flag going to fly on the flag pole at Fort Hill Elder Housing? How long has it been down? Why is it not flying?

2) Why does Fort Hill Elder Housing have water leaks on different parts of the building? How old is Fort Hill? Who did the plumbing work?

3) How come the floors at Fort Hill Elder Housing creep (make noises)?

4) How many Tribal Councilors voted for (passed into law) the Freedom of Information Ordinance"? Who were they?

5) How many Tribal Councilors voted against the "Freedom of Information Ordinance? Who were they?

6) How many Tribal Councilors voted to cancel the "Freedom of Information Ordinance/" Who were they? What was their motive?

7) Who voted against the act of rescinding the "Freedom of Information Ordinance?" What was his reasons?

8) How many Tribal Councilors voted to change the age from 55 years old to 62 years old to live in Fort Hill Elder housing? Who were they?

9) Who voted against changing the age from 55 years old to 62 years old at Fort Hill Elder Housing? What was that person's name?

10) What is the total debt of MTGA (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority), including the Mohegan Sun, Connecticut and the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs? How much was the debt when the present Tribal Council took office four years ago? What is the total debt today?

11) How much money has Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs made the Mohegan Tribe?

12) What present Tribal Councilor voted for the original Pocono Downs deal?

13) Which present Tribal Councilors voted for the new permanent facility expansion) at Pocono Downs?

14) Which Tubal Councilors voted against the expansion at Pocono Downs?

15) How much money did the MTGA invest in the Menominee (Wisconsin) project?

16) How much money did the MTGA invest int the Washington State project?

17) What Mohegan Tribal Councilors voted for Project Horizon? How much was spent on the project before it was stopped? What does the Mohegan Tribe have to show for the expense?

18) What Tribal Councilors voted to build the government community center building? How much is the present debt of the Mohegan Tribal Government? How much was the debt when the present Tribal Council took office four (4) years ago?

19) Who vote against construction of the government community center?

20) How much money did the Tribe spend or still owe on the Government Community Center? ========What did we get for the money?

21) How much is the Palmer office costing the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority? Is it manned and being used yet? Who voted for the Palmer project? How much is the lease for the property and for how long? Who voted to do this project?

22) How many days is the Wigwam going to be this year? What parts of the Wigwam are being done away with? What is parts are being reduced? Who made the decisions? What is the Wigwam going to look like this year?

23) What members are in favor of the Aqueduct (Queens, New York) project? Is anyone against it?

24) Is the Mohegan Tribal Council really responsive to the needs of the Mohegan People?

25) Should we (the Mohegan Tribe) re-elect the five (5) Tribal Council members? Should they go? Have they done a good job for us?

26) Is the Mohegan Tribe in better shape today, then when the five (5) present Tribal Councilors who are running for re-election, took office? Do they have a Responsibility to leave the government better then they found it? Have they left it better then they found it?

27) Should the five (5) Tribal Council Members who are running for re-election stay or go? Have they done a good job for us? What do you think?

Editorial Footnote: Some of the answers coming soon. If you know any of the answers leave a comment.. The story of Protester and alleged attacker may be coming soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Jones, White lift Sun over Silver Stars

Posted Jul 17, 2009 @ 11:09 PM

SAN ANTONIO — The Connecticut Sun know how infectious missed shots can be. Scoring can be the same way.

Asjha Jones scored 17 points, Tan White added a season-high 15 and the Connecticut had five players in double figures in topping the San Antonio Silver Stars, 72-64, on Friday night.

Sandrine Gruda and Lindsay Whalen added 12 points each and Erin Phillips scored 10 for the Sun (7-6).

Still the WNBA’s worst shooting team entering Friday (38.7 percent), the Sun topped 44 percent for the second straight game, though they still struggled at times finding the hoop. They missed eight of 10 shots at one point in the first quarter and neither team shot 39 percent in the first half.

But Connecticut scored 28 fourth-quarter points, and it has now won its last two games to move into sole possession of second-place in the East behind Indiana (11-2), which won its 11th straight game Friday, 84-79, over Atlanta.

The Fever and Sun square off 3 p.m. Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena.

“It became a shoot-out,” Sun coach Mike Thibault said. “Becky (Hammon) got her 3-ball going I don’t know how we lost her twice. The other one she made with us in her face.

“It was a great fourth quarter. It felt like a playoff game.”

Hammon scored 24 points Friday and rookie Megan Frazee had 14 for the Silver Stars (6-7), who missed their fifth chance to get over .500.

After missing all four of her shots in the third quarter, Jones hit two key baskets after Hammon’s layup cut the Sun’s lead to 65-64 under the 2-minute mark.

Jones hit a bank shot from about 10 feet out and followed that with a 17-footer on the Sun’s next trip down the floor to give Connecticut a 69-64 lead with 26 seconds left. Amber Holt added a pair of free throws with 12 seconds to go.

White had nine points in the fourth quarter, including 5-of-6 free throws. She finished 5-of-7 from the floor to go along with all the free throws she attempted in the fourth quarter.

Connecticut opened the fourth quarter ahead by four but expanded the lead to a 56-49 when White hit 1-of-2 free throws with 6:27 remaining.

However, the Silver Stars hit three 3-pointers — two by Hammon — to pull to 63-62 with 2:20 to go.

“It was a really physical game,” said Jones, who has 12 double-figure scoring games this season. She also had five assists and five rebounds. “Tan made a bunch of great plays right when we needed them. The entire game was going to be like, back-and-forth. Both teams needed a win. Right there at the end, that’s a shot I’ll make.”

Connecticut beat San Antonio by 13 points in their first meeting this season on June 21. The Silver Stars were playing without Hammon, who was playing in the European championships, and fellow starter Vickie Johnson.

The Silver Stars lost starting center Ruth Riley due to a sprained left ankle late in the first half and she did not return.

Considered questionable for the game after rolling her ankle in practice on Wednesday, Latvian reserve Anete Jekabsone-Zogota played more than 12 minutes, missing both of her field-goal attempts.

This is the Sun’s first win in San Antonio since the 2006 season.

Friday, July 17, 2009


New BIA head turns attention to Carcieri, gaming
Swearing in passes, business begins

By Rob Capriccioso
Story Published: Jul 3, 2009
Story Updated: Jul 2, 2009

WASHINGTON – Larry EchoHawk’s June 26 swearing in ceremony was a brief moment of respite from pressing Indian country matters for the new BIA chief as he now becomes steeped in issues of great importance to tribes, including the infamous Carcieri v. Salazar Supreme Court ruling and gaming concerns.The ceremony was one of overall joy and thanks. There was dancing, drum beats and many happy Native faces. Several in attendance expressed confidence in EchoHawk’s abilities.“Today is not a day for long speeches,” said EchoHawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. “It is a day for solemn oaths, a day for thanksgiving, and a day for prayers. I am honored to have been entrusted with this responsibility.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Just recently, a reader informed me that Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, was sending letters to people in Washington D. C., stating how there was a need to pass new laws, that would allow tribes to put land into trust under the B.I.A.

That is a good thing Chairman Bozsum. Are you a little late to the party?

Where was he and the other Tribal Councilors, recently at the rally put on by the Narragansett Tribe, in Providence, Rhode Island? Doesn't he live in Rhode Island?

Only three tribal members, showed up in support of the tribe in Providence. They were Tribal Councilor Mark Hamilton, Ken Davison, and myself.

Mark Hamilton, spoke to the crowd and said, that the only way to address the situation, was to pass new legislation in Washington D. C.

How come our (the Mohegan Tribe) leaders didn't organize our involvement? HOW COME THE TRIBE DIDN'T GO? How come we were not there? Do you know? What do you think?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

TEN FOODS TO AVOID WHILE DRIVING Releases List Of Foods To Avoid While Driving
Related Disasters By DIANE LEVICK

The Hartford Courant

12:45 PM EDT, July 16, 2009

You're risking a crash by talking on a cell phone while driving, but slurping down chili dogs, tacos, and other messy foods behind the wheel could lead to disaster too, an online insurance agency warns.

In a humorous approach to a serious subject Thursday, released its list of "top 10 foods to avoid while driving," along with the mouth-watering logic behind each distraction:

1. Coffee -- Even in cups with travel lids, somehow the liquid finds its way out of the opening each time you hit a bump.

2. Hot soup -- Many people drink it like coffee and run the same risks.

3. Tacos -- Any food that can disassemble itself will leave your car looking like a salad bar.

4. Chili -- Huge potential for drips and slops down the front of clothing.

5. Hamburgers -- From the grease of the burger to ketchup and mustard, it could all end up on your hands, your clothes, and the steering wheel.

6. Ribs and wings -- What's more distracting than licking your fingers?

7. Fried chicken -- More greasy hands. You've got to wipe them off while driving.

8. Jelly or cream-filled doughnuts -- Ever eaten one without the center oozing out?

9. Soda -- Carbonation. Fizz in the nose. Lids that leak. Disaster.

10. Chocolate -- Try to clean melted chocolate off the steering wheel without swerving.

There was no explanation why ice cream cones didn't make the top 10, which reads like a list of dieters' downfalls.

Cleveland-based cites an Exxon survey of 1,000 drivers that found more than 70 percent eat while driving, and 83 percent drink beverages. The insurance agency notes that just one accident can increase your insurance rates as much as 25 percent.
Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: I put this up for fun, however think about it.


Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun report rough June
Slot revenue falls compared to 2008
For The Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jul 15, 2009 @ 11:21 PM

The region’s two casinos reported another month of declining slot revenue in June.

Mohegan Sun posted an 8.8 percent decline compared to the same month in 2008 in figures sent to the state Division of Special Revenue. Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods posted a decrease of 9.1 percent compared to June 2008.

Mohegan Sun reported a slot machine profit of $61.8 million for June; the state received $15.4 million of the revenue, equal to 25 percent of the win.

The casino won $9,164 per machine last month from 6,747 machines while winning $11,309 per machine last June with 5,998 machines. But the payout percentage to customers rose from 91.57 percent to 91.68 percent in June 2008.

According to Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Foxwoods’ owner, the casino won $57.8 million in June, paying $14.5 million to the state. The casinos brought in $7,611 per machine last month and $7,812 in June 2008. As with Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods’ payout to gamblers rose from 91.46 percent to 91.6 percent this June compared to last.

“I’m disappointed by the numbers,” Mohegan Sun President and CEO Mitchell Etess said. “We hoped decreases would be under 5 percent.”

Atlantic City worse

Both casinos outpaced Atlantic City, N.J., which experienced a 13.6 percent decline in June over the same month a year ago. All but two casinos had double-digit decreases.

“I’m pleased that we continue to outperform the industry as a whole,” said Michael Speller, president of Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises.

“The gap year over year is getting smaller,” said Robert Victoria, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Foxwoods. Table game play at Foxwoods has not dipped as much, he said.

Working together

The revenue decline continues a string of decreasing year-over-year results blamed on the general economic doldrums. To help offset these trends, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods this month launched a cooperative marketing campaign aimed at stealing business from Atlantic City.

The strategy will take a couple of months to have an impact. The first two days, the Web site drew 2,000 hits. Foxwoods hopes to see results by the end of July, Victoria said.

But Etess does not expect to see immediate results. The campaign is more long term. “People are not going to see the billboard and turn around,” he said.

Mohegan Sun is crowded, but visitors are spending a lot less, Etess said.

“We’re doing all the right things. But our hands are tied. We need to see the public feel better about the economy,” he said.

July and August are historically the strongest months of the year.

By the numbers Mohegan Sun June 2008 June 2009

Total bet in slot machines $804,717,941 $743,182,987

Casino profit* $67,828,998 $61,829,535

Profit percentage 8.43 percent 8.32 percent

Payout 91.57 percent 91.68 percent

Slot machines 5,998 6,747

Profit per slot machine $11,309 $9,164

Source: Mohegan Sun

Foxwoods June 2008 June 2009

Total bet in slot machines $745,359,584 $688,115,766

Casino profit* $63,647,951 $57,827,406

Profit percentage 8.54 percent 8.4 percent

Payout 91.46 percent 91.6 percent

Slot machines 8,147 7,598

Profit per slot machine $7,812 $7,611

Source: Foxwoods

*25 percent of the casino profit is paid to the state.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTES; June results for the Mohegan Sun Casino are bad. Think about the fact, that we (the Mohegan Tribe) had losses last year, too. Losses on top of losses.

Is there going to be losses to the Mohegan Tribal Government, because of the performance of the casino? Will the Mohegan Tribal Government be able to bring over enough revenue to run the Mohegan Tribal Government? Is the tribal government coming up short already?

The ultimate financial situation, the Mohegan Tribe finds itself in, is the responsibility of the Tribal Council. The present Tribal Council is failing us. Those are the facts.

When you vote, think of where we are, and how we got there. The results of the casino fall directly on the shoulders of the Tribal Council. We may not be able to change much, but we can change our leadership.

We need new blood. We need new ideas. We need people who will tell us the truth. We don't need to bury our heads in the sand. We can not continue to go down the present path that our Tribal Council is leading us? What do you think?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Tribal casino closes due to poor economy
Experts wonder if it’s a sign of more to come
By Rob Capriccioso

Story Published: Jul 15, 2009

Story Updated: Jul 10, 2009

ONAWA, Iowa – Visit the Web site of Casino Omaha, and it appears like a grand place for gaming fun and entertainment. As of press time, the site even heralds the facility as “the Midwest’s most exciting gaming and dining experience.” Just one problem: the casino, owned by the Omaha Tribe of western Iowa and northeastern Nebraska, shut down June 30.

Gaming and financial experts say the casino is one of the first tribally-owned gaming facility casualties of the steep economic downturn the industry has faced in recent times. And some are worried that more tribal casinos could suffer a similar fate.

“It saddens me to see so many tribes burdened by the downturn of the economy,” said Bill Lomax, Native American Finance Officers Association president.

“The Omaha Tribe is not alone in its struggle to turn around its casino; many other tribes are facing serious difficulties.”

Kathryn Rand, co-director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy, noted that besides layoffs and postponement of expansion plans, there have been hiring freezes, shortened hours – a whole range of “tightening the belt” responses – at several tribal casinos in recent months.

“There is no doubt that the gaming industry, including the tribal gaming industry, is feeling the pinch of the recession.”

What’s so scary about the Omaha Tribe’s situation, gaming experts said, is how quickly the tide turned. In fact, not too many years ago, business was booming.

Jim Hunt, the casino’s general manager, recalled that the casino was a strong performer after it opened in 1992. It provided revenue to support various tribal projects, and ended up employing about 185 tribal members.

When the doors recently closed, most of the tribal members – and almost everyone else, besides Hunt and a couple of other employees – lost their jobs.

Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, said casinos in rural areas with a lot of nearby competition could soon find themselves in similar positions to that of Casino Omaha.

“Some small commercial casinos under those scenarios have been forced to close,” Eadington said. “It’s just a really difficult situation, and the downturn of the economy has made it all the worse.”

Hunt said that competition and the rural location of the casino were less of reasons for its closure than its need for a substantial remodel and update. When the casino closed, he noted, it still featured coin-operated slot machines, which pale in comparison to newer, ticketless technologies.

He said the tribe is working to find a business partner to help them finance a deal to refurbish the facility, although one has not been found. He added that the tribe expects the casino to re-open within months.

“Once we get the casino restructured, it will be a much stronger revenue resource for the tribe for years to come,” Hunt said, adding that it will be a much more streamlined operation.

Will Cummings, a gaming expert who has done research for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, said Casino Omaha’s closure is not terribly surprising, considering that the gaming market in Iowa is already very competitive – and more casinos are expected to open soon.

“The facility had fallen behind the others,” Cummings said.

“You have to be able to keep up with the competition. And that can be exceptionally hard to do in this economy.”

Cummings said he didn’t know how realistic it would be for the tribe to turn this situation around in the current economy.

With the economic pressures of late, Lomax said an increasing number of tribes will find themselves having to buckle down. He doesn’t necessarily believe there will be many closures of tribal casinos, but he said there are a number of tribes that will need to undertake a restructuring of their debt and seek to streamline staff and other expenses.

“Several tribes are nearing or currently facing default on their loans,” Lomax said.

“This is a new situation for Indian country and will require those tribes that do default to enter into negotiations with their creditors to work out new loan arrangements. This process may in some cases be complicated by tribal sovereignty issues and the fact that it is unclear whether the bankruptcy code applies to tribes.”

For its part, NAFOA has developed a “turnaround management” seminar focusing on tribal enterprise restructuring to be held at the NAFOA Annual Conference, scheduled for Sept. 8 – 10 at the Tamaya Resort at the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico.

“As tribes look to restructure their businesses, they need to look at debt load and payment structures, food and beverage, retail attractions, marketing budgets, enhanced marketing efforts, and staffing,” Lomax said.

“Hard choices and sacrifices will have to be made but by working proactively, I believe that most of the tribes that are currently struggling will be able to bring their operations back to profitability. Let’s hope we see some recovery in the economy soon.”

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: How much is the deficit, (short fall) in the Mohegan Tribal Government budget, so far this year (fiscal year 2009)?

How much will the deficit be at the end of fiscal year 2009 (ending September 30, 2009)? How will the Mohegan Tribal Council make up the short fall?

Will the Tribal Council cut health care, education, employees or per caps?

Are the Tribal Councilors who are running for re-election, just waiting to get re-elected to confirm the dire straights that some tribal members believe we (the Mohegan Tribe) are in, because of our government's decisions?

In my opinion, think, as tribal members, do we want four (4) more years of poor leadership like we have had? Do we need change?

Could what is happening to other tribes happen here? Are we on the brink of disaster? What do you think?


WNBA: Sun finally get results in victory over Sparks
MOHEGAN — It was a “great win” according to Connecticut Sun coach Mike Thibault, and a “statement” win according to guard Erin Phillips.

Neither of those descriptions for the reasons you may expect.

Connecticut’s 82-71 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday at Mohegan Sun Arena was more of a win for the Sun themselves than it was a message to the rest of the league or those watching on national television.

“I think it was a statement to each other,” Phillips said. “Our first half was some of the greatest basketball we’ve played (this year) I think. If we can play like that for 20 minutes, there’s no end to what we can do.”

Said Thibault: “It’s a win against a team that has also been struggling, like us. “It’s talented, but trying to find a rhythm and trying to get its players back and healthy. It’s a great win, a confidence win.”

Whether or not it means Thibault’s tinkering with the lineup is over or not is another question. But the Sun’s starting five of Asjha Jones, Sandrine Gruda, Phillips, Lindsay Whalen and Amber Holt — in her first game back from an injury — produced 62 of the 82 points the Sun scored.

“We’ve been looking good at practice,” Jones said. “It hasn’t translated to the games yet, but it’s going to come. As long as we have confidence in each other, share the ball, and play good defense, we’re going to be a good team.”

Jones was the key ingredient to the Sun’s offense again. The forward produced 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting with four rebounds and five assists.

“She was in the right place, right spot, for people to find her particularly when the shot clock was running down,” Thibault said.

The coach could also say that for some other players such. Anete Jekabsone-Zogota hit two key jumpers in the first quarter that helped put Connecticut build a 17-10 lead. She played only 13 1/2 minutes, but finished with seven points as she is starting to learn her role, according to Phillips.

“To her credit, she’s been asking a lot of questions and just feeling around, and that’s what happens in this league because it’s so daunting,” Phillips said of the first-year WNBA player. “I was just happy to see her come out and shoot her shot. She’s got an amazing shot.”

Phillips added her own contribution in the second quarter when she completed a four-point play after being knocked to the floor with 5:19 left to play, the scored tied at 26.

That play by Phillips (11 points, five steals) started the Sun on a 23-10 run that pushed them to a 49-36 halftime lead. The late first-half surge also included a couple of late baskets by Holt, who finished with eight points in 25 minutes after missing six weeks with a broken right hand.

“I thought for her first game, she played terrific,” Thibault said. “She didn’t shoot a great percentage (3-of-10 from the floor), but she made big plays, hustle plays.”

Thibault was also happy with Holt’s defensive contribution as she took on Los Angeles’ DeLisha Milton-Jones without a lot of help. It allowed the Sun to work on denying the ball to Tina Thompson and Candace Parker.

Milton-Jones led the Sparks (4-8) with 19 points, but Thompson scored only 11 while Parker — last season’s MVP and Rookie of the Year — was held to just three points in nearly 21 minutes.

Parker was playing in just her fourth game back after maternity leave and is not 100 percent, according to coach Michael Cooper.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


WNBA: Sun hope to finally shake shooting funk against Sparks

Whitmore to miss 3 weeks; Holt set to return
Posted Jul 13, 2009 @ 10:22 PM

MOHEGAN — Mike Thibault broke down each of the Connecticut Sun’s final 13 fourth-quarter possessions from their 79-77 loss to Detroit on Saturday.

They all had something in common: Nothing; as in what they produced. But the coach saw something else, too.

“You have four lay-ups and four wide-open jump shots that I remember,” Thibault said. “Those are all shots where you say, ‘I’ll take that.’ That’s a shot they take everyday. That’s a shot they make every day.”

“That’s not offense,” he later added. “I don’t care what play you’re running. If you get (a) lay-up, it’s supposed to go in.”

They just aren’t right now. Last in the league in field-goal percentage (38.1 percent) and second-to-last in free throw efficiency (73.3), Connecticut (5-6) has invented new ways of missing.

But with Candace Parker and the struggling Los Angeles Sparks at Mohegan Sun Arena tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2), Thibault said he isn’t concerned with the Sun’s direction. In fact, he’s seen improvement every day.

But is he frustrated? You bet.

“It’s the most helpless feeling in the world as a coach,” Thibault said of missed shots. “Absolutely the most helpless feeling.

“It would be different if you had a player who had mechanical flaws,” he continued. “Their elbow’s out too much, they shoot the ball too much from back here (behind their head).

“But there are players on our team like Asjha (Jones), like Anete (Jekabsone-Zogota), like Tan White, Erin (Phillips), who are very, very mechanically sound shooters. So when they miss, I’m almost shocked.”

The problem, Thibault said, may be as much mental if anything. Good shooters, he said, “think every one of (their shots) are going in. But I think we’re second-guessing ourselves a little bit.”

The tempo and opportunities, meanwhile, are just about where the coach wants. Though slow to push the ball at times earlier this season, the Sun are averaging just fewer than 70 shot attempts per game, and entering last weekend, only Phoenix — the league’s top offense (92.7 points per game) — boasted more scoring opportunities.

The difference: The Mercury finish them. The Sun haven’t.

“Anything is contagious,” said White, who’s been a spark off the bench (9.3 points per game) but shot 1-of-10 last game. “Like if you go to the defensive end and you get a stop, offensively you can get into a flow. ... I think it works hand-in-hand, but at the same time, each individual has their own game and each individual has to knock down their own shot. I can’t just say, just because somebody missed or I missed then the next person is going to miss.”

White also pointed to the Sun’s roster turnover; she’s one of three players to join the team in the last month.

“The chemistry really isn’t there that we need,” she said. “But the more practices that we have, we’re getting better and better, and getting used to how each other play.”

The Sparks (4-7) have faced similar problems. With Lisa Leslie sidelined by a knee injury and Parker, the reigning MVP, just three games into her season after giving birth to her first child, all but one player — rookie Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton — has started at least one game this season.

The offense has suffered as a result, producing a Western Conference-worst 71.3 points per game behind Betty Lennox and Tina Thompson (13.2 points per game each). Even Parker has needed time to adjust. She’s averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds thus far in her return.

The keys of playing Los Angeles, Thibault said, remain hitting the defensive boards and pressuring its scorers.

He doesn’t have to mention again what’s important for his team.

“One day,” Phillips said, “it’s all just going to click and we’ll get rolling. We just have to have that faith and confidence.”

Monday, July 13, 2009


Norwich honors Samuel Huntington with wreath-laying
Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jul 12, 2009 @ 11:53 PM
Last update Jul 13, 2009 @ 12:22 AM

Norwich, Conn. — More than 100 people gathered in the Norwichtown Colonial cemetery Sunday to remember Samuel Huntington, the nation’s first president under the Articles of Confederation.

State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Lt. Col. Peter Jenkin, of the Second Company Governor’s Foot Guard, placed a wreath at Huntington’s tomb.

“It isn’t just that we are remembering a first president or keeping alive a memory of a name,” Blumenthal told the crowd. “We are celebrating a nation that was founded by patriots who gave all.”

Huntington lived from 1731 until 1796, and served as president of Congress during the American Revolution when the Articles of Confederation were adopted. The position was largely ceremonial at that time; the new Constitution defined the first real executive powers.

Huntington signed the Declaration of Independence, served as chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, and served as governor of Connecticut from 1786 until he died.

Bill Stanley of Norwich thanked those who attended Sunday’s event. “I feel very deeply that this is one of our greatest citizens, Samuel Huntington, and all these years he’s been neglected,” Stanley said.

He said he hopes that someday, Huntington will receive a real presidential wreath-laying at his tomb.

Mary Norris, of Norwich, said she’d like to see more attention given to Huntington and others.

“I wish the people of Norwich would promote more all the history that is here,” said Norris, who was involved in the 350th anniversary events. “They did a lot with the 350th anniversary, but I’d like to see more.”

Blumenthal said Huntington’s service is one all can remember and strive to continue.

“We have, as he did ... a sacred obligation,” he told the crowd. “We are the stewards of democracy.”

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Thank you, Mohegan Tribal Members, who attended and drummed and sung at the event. A job well done.


Sun Still Adjusting; Whitmore Unsure Of Return
Asjha Jones
Connecticut Sun

The Hartford Courant

8:07 PM EDT, July 12, 2009

UNCASVILLE — - Just when the Connecticut Sun had all of their players in place, it looks as if things may not be as ideal as they seem. Forward Tamika Whitmore, whose WNBA consecutive-games streak ended at 204 when she could not play in Saturday night's loss to the Detroit Shock, may be lost for a prolonged period.

Whitmore said Saturday she's not sure when she'll be able to play again because of a lingering calf injury she aggravated in practice Thursday.

"I really don't know," Whitmore said. "It's been 10 years of wear and tear. Hopefully, I won't be out too long, but I really don't know right now.

"These things usually can heal pretty quickly, but I've been playing and playing and playing and haven't given it a chance to heal."

The Sun (5-6), who play the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena, may finally get Amber Holt back. Holt sustained a broken right hand in the preseason.

Center Sandrine Gruda, 6 feet 4, should help them deal with Whitmore's absence. But Gruda has been inconsistent in her first three games since joining the Sun after leading France to the gold medal at the European Championship in Latvia.

After scoring 23 points (11 of 18) in her debut at Detroit on July 2, she has scored only nine in 45 minutes. In the 79-77 overtime loss Saturday, she was scoreless in 24 minutes and fouled out.

"She's long and athletic, said Asjha Jones, who played with Gruda in Russia last winter. "She has a year under her belt; last year was her first year in America.

"She got in a little foul trouble, but she has the ability to get inside and get us offensive rebounds. She's a big presence inside on defense."

After winning three straight, the Sun have lost three of four.

"We need to try harder and stay positive," said Lindsay Whalen, who scored 20 Saturday to surpass 2,000 career points (2,001). "We just need to stay focused on the things we need to work on."

The Sun need to figure out how to better incorporate Gruda and Anete Jekabsone-Zogota into the offense. Both were non-factors against the Shock, combining to shoot 0-for-9 with no points in 37 minutes.

Jekabsone-Zogota, captain of the Latvian national team, was second in scoring (20.3) during the European Championship. But she has only 11 points in four games with the Sun, playing 65 minutes and shooting 3-for-15 from the field.

"The roster changes are not something we can worry about. It's uncontrollable; all we can control is how we do on the court," Jones said. "We practice hard, watch video and try to make adjustments and try to improve on them.

"We're up and down. ... We're not going to get any worse. We are going to get better."
Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Rare Indian artifacts found on Lisbon property
Encampment estimated at 4,000 years old

Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jul 11, 2009 @ 10:53 PM
Last update Jul 11, 2009 @ 11:01 PM

Lisbon, Conn. — Some young men were walking along a wooded bike path near the Quinebaug River when they found a black spearhead laying in the soil.

It looked like part of an American Indian weapon. So they asked Richard Rogers, who owns the land, if they could dig for more.

In two weekends, they found 80 spearheads in an area about the size of a small bedroom.

Rogers decided to see for himself. He and his son, now 22, walked through the woods, and brought a bucket of water to clean their discoveries. Near a stump by the river, Rogers picked up an oval stone a little larger than a silver dollar.

Something was carved in it, and he handed it to his son.

“He cleaned it up and said, ‘This is a face, Dad.’”

The stone was a rare pendant. They had stumbled upon an ancient American Indian encampment and part of a burial ground dated more than 3,000 years ago.

The state Office of Archaeology has excavated portions of the property and found hundreds of artifacts, from stone tools to evidence of a pit where cremated bodies were buried. Radiocarbon dating — a method used to estimate the age of remains in an archaeological site — places the time of two areas containing charcoal at 3,400 and 4,000 years ago.

Representatives of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequots tribes and the Native American Heritage Advisory Council have visited the site. The Archaeological Conservancy, a private, nonprofit organization that acquires and permanently preserves important archaeological sites across the United States, has looked at it. The conservancy publishes the quarterly magazine American Archaeology.