Something stinks in East Boston

John Antonellis is our guest writer on today's post. John has been a resident of Eagle Hill in East Boston for close to 15 years and a homeowner there for 12. He is the Lead Instructor at the Harvard Bridge Program, a worker education program for employees at Harvard University.

Something stinks in East Boston, and it isn't the litter and garbage that we're fond of bemoaning. It isn't the piles of horse manure from the stalls at Suffolk Downs, but you're getting close. On Wednesday night the stench was emanating from a meeting to present and garner community input on Suffolk Downs' plan to improve the roadways around the proposed casino - put on by the mayor's Host Community Advisory Committee's (HCAC). Or was the meeting run by Suffolk Downs? From an observer's point of view, it was hard to tell the difference, since audience members were forced to stare at the Suffolk Downs/Caesars (SDC) logo for a half-hour as we waited for the meeting to start.

I'm sure that from the perspective of the HCAC the meeting was an overwhelming success. As in other meetings, the talking heads got to do their thing, with too little time for questions and too few answers for those of us who are convinced that locating a casino in a working-class neighborhood is a bad idea. The meeting achieved its purpose. It was held. So, should Suffolk Downs/Caesars win their proposal for operating a casino in East Boston, city officials can honestly say "community meetings were held." But attendance was fairly light for such an important meeting. Maybe it was because folks have already made up their mind, or maybe it was because folks are tired of the endless stream of hot air emanating from the HCAC and lack of substance or answers to the questions we raise over and over and over. During the question period, our elected officials hogged the mike for what felt to me like an inordinate period of time, practically tripping over each other like school girls expressing their adoration of Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle and his proposed flyover.

By some accounts Suffolk Downs/Caesars appears to hold all the cards. They have every local elected official and the East Boston Chamber of Commerce in their pockets. They have deep pockets and can easily outspend those of us who don't support this venture. But I've looked deep in my heart and I just don't see how expanded gambling at Suffolk Downs can turn out OK for East Boston. From my perspective, we lose big whether Suffolk Downs/Caesars is a big success or a whopping failure.

If it is successful, then the needs for mitigation will increase dramatically and the Band-aid of a flyover will not be enough to offset the increased traffic, or other problems associated with casinos (higher auto insurance rates, lower property values, increased foreclosures, fewer local businesses, loss of jobs, etc.) Former secretary of transportation James Aloisi detailed what he felt was needed to improve the transportation problems in the June 7, 2012, issue of CommonWealth Magazine. Not one of those suggestions was considered at the HCAC meeting, even though at one point the Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department, Thomas Tinlin, mentioned that "money was no object" in their effort to make sure things were "done right." The most "neutral" official speaker was Rick Bryant from Stantec Consulting, the company hired by the city to make sure that SDC's proposed mitigation plan makes sense. He raised a number of questions and concerns in response to SDC's proposal. But there was no plan for when these questions would be addressed or how that information would be relayed to the community.

If the Suffolk Downs/Caesars venture is a failure, they will be unable to honor their mitigation commitments, and all of Boston's residents will pay for that. It's a well-known fact that Caesars already owes its creditors billions. With three casinos in Massachusetts, and more planned for New Hampshire and Maine, just how much disposable income does SDC imagine residents of the Commonwealth will have to lose in a slot machine, or gamble away at a table? Just how many casinos can this region support?

When asked about the percentage of patrons expected to be made up by local traffic, Chip Tuttle didn't want to provide that information for fear that he might misspeak. Really, Chip? At a meeting about transportation, you forgot to bring your demographic information? And no one else on the HCAC had that information either – big surprise there. Chip promised to "let us know." Well, I'm still waiting for Chip to "let us know" more details about the 4,000 jobs he's going to be creating with salaries supposedly averaging $40,000. Is Chip's salary and those of other executives bumping up that average? How many of those 4,000 jobs will be part-time? How many will pay $20,000 per year or less? He's not saying, and none of our elected officials appear to be asking.

My expectation is that the casino intends to strongly market their outreach to the local working families of East Boston and surrounding communities. We all know that the working poor support the lottery in greater numbers than your average citizen and that East Boston has a very large population of workers who are barely getting by. According to 2010 census data, 46 percent of East Boston households earn less than $40,000 per year, while 22 percent earn below $20,000 — practically extreme poverty by Boston standards. These same people are more likely to be tempted to try to break out of the cycle of poverty by trying their luck at the casino - especially one located in their back yard. Only, at a casino – where friendly casino employees ply players with free alcohol, access their credit history and offer on-the-spot loans – the stakes are much higher and the losses much bigger.

Chip Tuttle knows all this. Our elected officials know this. The Governor knows this. So it seems to me to be a pretty misguided plan to use expanded gambling as a way to make up for the Commonwealth's budget shortfalls knowing that the income will be largely generated from the losing's of some our most vulnerable residents. From my perspective, having such blatant disregard for working families should be an impeachable offense. We deserve better government.

It's time for the media to start asking some hard questions of their own. Like why was the legislature allowed to pass a law that opened the door to expanded gambling without voter approval? This is your legacy, Gov. Patrick, and it stinks. I expected better of you.

What is the connection between the 180-degree turn each of our elected officials made on the casino issue and donations they each received from Suffolk Downs? One wonders what other promises were made.

And what, exactly, happened that changed the period legislators must wait before accepting employment from a casino from 5 years to just one year? That smells pretty bad too.

I strongly urge anyone who is able to vote on this issue not to be swayed by the odorous propaganda coming from Suffolk Downs/Caesars and from the mouths of our elected officials – an odor that was especially pungent at Wednesday's transportation meeting. Vote NO on the mitigation package. I also encourage you not to support any of our current elected officials in their next election. In lieu of any real political representation, my favorite write-in candidate is No Eastie Casino.

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Comments

How about some crow with those sour grapes?

I was at the meeting the other night hosted by HCAC and the City's Transportation Department. Let me first say that I found the information presented to be informative. While it did not answer every question I have, it definitely helped me figure out some additional questions I would like to know the answers to. I intend to follow up directly with Suffolk Downs and the City for this information as I have done in the past.

As to your unsurprisingly slanted commentary on the meeting, were the elected officials not entitled to speak their opinion about this at an open public meeting? How quick would the No Eastie Casino gang begin the criticism of the elected officials had they not gone and spoke about what was being presented. Were we not there to hear the presentation by Suffolk Downs to the City of Boston? Who else were you expecting to make a presentation?

As someone who has watched both sides of this discussion, I am finding the behavior of those who identify with the opponents as childish. Believe it or not, I actually found it refreshing that there were some other people in the community who shared what their thoughts were about the transportation plan proposed by Suffolk Downs instead of the usual "it won't work, it will never work" attitude. I guess all I can say is too bad if there were people who like the idea and were willing to speak about it in a public forum. I would think that rather than insulting people for their differing views, you would be encouraging the continued dialogue.

I also wanted to thank you for mentioning Jim Aloisi. Making him part of this discussion is very interesting. Let me guess, he is now the foremost authority on the issue of a flyover because he said something that fits into your platform.

Are we talking about the same Jim Aloisi?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a9pbATOsRQ

As someone who has lived on Leyden Street for all of the years Aloisi held a position of power, can you explain to me what Jim's solution to the problem is? Better yet, can you tell me that if his plan is so smart (assuming there was one), why didn't he ever make it a reality with all the years he was involved in state transportation planning between the Turnpike, the Big Dig, or as Secretary of Transportation. Considering he was a resident of East Boston for many years, I can't think of a better advocate who could have got that problem solved. I think we are still waiting.

You and your friends are just unhappy about the fact that people actually have a different view than you and are open minded enough to consider both the benefits and burdens that go along with such a development proposal. I get it - it's astonishing to you that people could be so stupid (excuse me - not as smart and informed as all of you) when it comes to this stuff. The continued snarky commentary displayed here, at the meeting the other night and elsewhere pretty much confirms that. Keep up the good work!

Anon by Choice = no credibility

I'm still on the fence wrt casinos (in Boston or MA), and I'm definitely no fan of the highly-biased opinion pieces that've been showing up lately as 'articles' on this site - but you're just the pot calling the kettle black. Snarky commentary? You're soaking in it! Identify yourself and prove you're not just a sock puppet.

(no offense meant Sock_Puppet).

Cowardly commentts

These comments are directed at gutless shills who try to mask their identities by claiming that they are turned off by comments that are biased and non inclusive. If there is a decided tone to many of the anti casino dialogue it's because we're fighting for our lives here.
Consider this..If the flyover leads only to(at best) no additional traffic beyond the congestion we face currently,are you stupid enough to chalk this up as an improvement? Beyond the documented brutal air quality that exists in Eastie, do you have any reservations about tens of thousand of vehicles idling daily? Do you even care about this? Do you not think it's bizzare that even the most ardent supporters of this mess acknowledge that there will be increases in all crime. "Hello we'd like to build a casino in your part of Boston.Although we really think it's going to be great for you,..there will be MORE crime. Hope that's o.k"
East Boston is on a steady trajectory of success and improvement NOW! With the development of the spectacular new library, amazing park system, exciting waterfront development and....oh..by-the-way...some of the most prideful, decent people you'll ever be lucky enough to live next to. CASINO? Detroit?...Cleveland?...Cincinatti?..Atlantic City? NO THANKS.
My name is Steven Anthony. I live at 105 Eutaw St,anytime gutless ANON wants to stop by for a chat.

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Cowardly?

Are the anonymous comments that come from those who post a negative opinion or who are opposed to the idea of a casino also "cowardly"? Wait - I forgot, that never happens on here. How about all the "gutless shills" you speak of? Are only the people who are opposed to a casino allowed to have legitimate comments, concerns, opinions? And you have to wonder why people don't want to leave their names?

Lighten up Steven and try to relax a bit. This is a forum where people exchange ideas and where anonymity is allowed. If you can't play in the schoolyard with the other kids without knowing everyone's name then maybe recess for you would be better played indoors.

You don't get extra credit for leaving your name and address by the way and your vote on the referendum won't count anymore than mine.

As for the "decided tone" of the anti casino dialogue, your comment says so much:

If the flyover leads only to(at best) no additional traffic beyond the congestion we face currently,are you stupid enough to chalk this up as an improvement?

If being stupid is what the anti casino gang thinks of anyone who doesn't agree with them then I guess I will have to be stupid.

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Buy Why Not?

This is very well written and thought out. I'm an East Boston resident and haven't yet decided how I feel. My thought is this: Doesn't development breed development? More development means higher property values. This is a good thing. It's like the Seaport. It was such a nasty place, but now look at it. The East Boston waterfront could be next, with a new casino helping spur this along. No?

Article 53 allows pawn shops in East Boston

I read the article you cited. It only forbids pawn shops in residential only subdistricts. Here is a list of areas in East Boston where pawn shops will be considered:
-Neighborhood Shopping
-Community Commercial
-Waterfront Manufacturing
-Waterfront Service
-Waterfront Commercial
-Community Facilities Subdistrict (CF) and Waterfront Community Facilities Subdistrict
-Corridor Enhancement Subdistrict
-Local Industrial
-Economic Development Area

Pawn shops were conveniently added to the plan in 2001. There are more restrictions on selling garden supplies in East Boston than on pawn shops.

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Article 53 "allows" pawn shops in East Boston?

You sir would be wrong. There is no place that Pawn Shops are "allowed" (by right) in the East Boston neighborhood district. In each of those areas you cite, none of those designate a pawn shop as "A" (Allowed). They are either "C" (Conditional) or "F" (Forbidden). So whether they will be springing up all over the neighborhood - guess again. In both instances, a pawn shop operation would absolutely require a community process and relief from the Zoning Board of Appeal before it could open and are therefore not "allowed".

You're right, not "allows", but allows for

I was a little sloppy on my subject title. I'm sorry about that. The post I was responding to said that pawn shops were "forbidden" in East Boston. The article referenced says that they are actually "conditionally" allowed in many parts of the neighborhood, and I know we have at least one already. I believe the text of my post is accurate and that pawn shops would be considered "conditionally" in almost all subdistricts of East Boston.

However, it is good to hear that there would be a community process before any new ones were added. I just hope the politicians will be willing to listen to all sides before taking a stance on all the future development that could come with the casino.

Who knew

Oh I didn't know they changed the plans. Are they now proposing to build as many casinos and hotels that are in Atlantic City? Because if not, then the constant references to AC or The Vegas Strip for that matter aren't very relevant to what the proposal is for Suffolk Downs.

I call bullshit

It's one thing to throw out some loose information and pass it off as facts but its another thing to completely make shit up.

You say:

"During the question period, our elected officials hogged the mike for what felt to me like an inordinate period of time"

"As in other meetings, the talking heads got to do their thing, with too little time for questions and too few answers for those of us who are convinced that locating a casino in a working-class neighborhood is a bad idea"

Good thing I brought my trusty patented "bullshit-ometer" app on my Samsung device where I was able to record the meeting on a voice recorder with time stamps. Let's take a look at what I have for time spent "on the mic" and then you tell me who was "hogging the mic" for inordinate amounts of time or who didn't get a chance to state their case.

INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION

Chip Tuttle (approx 12 Minutes)
Stantec Representative (approx 13 minutes)
David Black Traffic Expert (approx 10 minutes)

TOTAL TIME OF INFORMATIONAL PRESENTATION(approx 35 minutes)

COMMENTS BY ELECTED OFFICIALS

Sen. Anthony Petrucelli (approx 5 minutes)
Rep. Carlos Basile (approx 4 minutes)
Counc. Lamatina (approx 2 minutes)
Mayor of Revere (approx 4 minutes)

TOTAL TIME FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND RESPONSES(approx 15 minutes)

COMMENTS BY SOME OF THE OPPONENTS/ NO EASTIE CASINO

Tina Kelly (approx 7 minutes)
Angie Preston (approx 6 minutes)
Celeste Meyers (approx 9 minutes)
Brian Gannon (approx 2 minutes and then another 4 minutes)
Mike Russo (approx 10 minutes)
Woman with blonde hair (approx 3 minutes)
John Ribiero (approx 4 minutes)

TOTAL TIME FOR OPPONENTS AND RESPONSES (approx 45 minutes) - I would note that the above does not include about 7-8 others who asked questions or made comments, positive, negative or neutral.

Complaining that the meeting was not a packed house,you then go on to ponder:

"Maybe it was because folks have already made up their mind, or maybe it was because folks are tired of the endless stream of hot air emanating from the HCAC and lack of substance or answers to the questions we raise over and over and over."

Yea - those must be the only reasons why. Or did you consider that maybe it was because they are tired of listening to the last group of names mentioned above?

I have to say that I agree

I have to say that I agree with some of the points made by the first commenter. I have concerns regarding a casino at Suffolk Downs, but I have been to the meetings, I’ve received the mailings , and I have decided that I’m in support of the project. However, I feel like I have to say, that I’m usually very hesitant to share my opinion because it seems like every meeting I’ve attended, I’ve been made to feel dumb and uneducated by my so-called “neighbors”. I have lived in this community my entire life, save for a few college years and have never felt the resentment that I have felt the past few months. I did attend the meeting on Wednesday night and sat behind two people who spent the entire meeting complaining about the people from “the Heights”, who support the project. Last time I checked, “the Heights” was still very much a part of East Boston, and the area of the neighborhood that will likely face the most impact from a casino at Suffolk Downs. I’m proud to live in East Boston and I am proud to live in Orient Heights. I feel like the opponents of this project, who by all accounts seem to have their own agenda, would do better to not alienate the people they supposedly speak for.

Good points

You are right that we shouldn't be shaming each other just because we disagree. I think a lot of opponents of the casino development just want to make sure both sides of the story are being heard. Yes, sometimes emotions get going and people say unkind things on both sides. Most of the opponents of this project that I know have read about the effects casinos have had on other communities, have heard the government of other host cities complain about casinos, and see the massive debt these companies build up and they just want to make sure the less pretty side of the gaming industry is given equal airtime. It is hard to compete with all of the money Suffolk Downs is spending to convince us this casino will only be good, so there is some desperation from opponents.

As a newer resident of East Boston (about 8 years) I am most disappointed by my representation. I voted for Anthony, Carlo, and Sal since they seemed like good guys who all loved East Boston. They also were all against putting a casino at Suffolk Downs when I voted for them. Now, they won't even consider the possible drawbacks of Caesars at Suffolk Downs. It makes me suspicious that there is not one voice against this development in our government, while most other cities in Mass don't want a casino.

If Suffolk Downs wins a casino license I'm sure they would build a beautiful establishment and they would do their very best not to hurt the community. This is why a lot of people are supporting them (even some of my neighbors in Eagle Hill). However, a lot of people (including from Orient Heights) also think that the long term effects will be out of Suffolk Downs control and that a casino won't be good for the neighborhood. The cool thing is that this time we actually get to vote. So keep learning about the good and the bad and make whatever decision you think is best.

Welcome

Mateo, welcome to the neighborhood. We refer to Carlo, Anthony and Sal as Representative Basile, Senator Petruccelli, and Councilor LaMattina. I understand and respect that you may not agree with their positions but I see them constantly referenced this way from the opposition. Maybe your reference didn't intend it but the subtle tone by some others is a silly attempt to try diminish their role and status in public debate. As elected officials, they are entitled to be appropriately referenced whether you agree or disagree with them. Continuing to call them by their first name in public debate shows the lack of civility that those involved in this debate bring.

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Oh, please...

If you can't respond intelligently to the substance of someone's comment, attack the style. I hear just as many pro-casino folks refer to our elected officials this way, so with all due respect, get off it.

Now, got anything substantive to add to the discussion?

Mr. Disrespect

Steve we all know you have mastered the art of disrespect from your last "article." All us dumb italian goombas don't have half the intelligence you do.

Hold the phone – Are you

Hold the phone – Are you trying to tell me that an elected official evolved on an issue and that is a bad thing? I’m not sure when Mr. Holt moved to the neighborhood, but I remember a few years back when then Representative Petruccelli hadn’t come around on same-sex marriage, then over time, he EVOLVED on the issue and came out in strong support of same-sex marriage. Isn’t that what we want from our elected officials? Also, just because you disagree with them on one issue, they’ve lost the right to respect? Give me a break. Councilor LaMattina, Representative Basile and Senator Petruccelli are good guys that were born, brought up and raised in this community, which apparently is a bad thing these days. If Mr. Holt feels like he can represent the people of this community better, I look forward to seeing his name on a ballot in the near future.

King of Queens...

Oh no!!!! I can't believe the corruption ... Where is the outrage from Steve Holt, Brian Gannon and John Antonellis? I am pretty sure Mass. Equality and the LGBT political caucus and their members made a number of contributions to the Petruccelli campaign. That must have been the reason he changed his mind on the issue. It just has to be! Tell us guys, why isn't that any different?

Neighbor against Neighbor

See, this is what I hate about this whole casino debate: it ends up setting neighbor against neighbor. If we'd had a genuine community engagement process in the first place -- where residents could decide WHETHER they wanted a casino and what might be better in its place -- we wouldn't have this neighbor-on-neighbor animosity. (real or perceived) I've got nothing but love for EVERY member of this community. That's the truth. (What's a "goomba"? I don't even know what that is.) And I honestly don't have anything against our electeds, personally. I've been disappointed with how they've handled this casino process -- i.e. my statement about respect -- but I don't hate them.

My worst fear, whether or not a casino is approved, is that our neighborhood is divided by this in a way that takes years to repair. (if it's repaired at all) God forbid.

What the hell are you even

What the hell are you even talking about?

You have multiple community information forums and g-d referendum and you don't think there has been a "community engagement process"? Is it your contention that Suffolk Downs needs to ask your permission to even propose the idea of a casino?

The reality of the situation is that the casino referendum is probably going to pass or fail on a 52/48 margin; or closer. The only person pitting neighbor against neighbor is you. Exhibit A, implying that our neighborhoods duly-elected officials haven't earned our community's respect because they happen to disagree with you on this issue.

Stand by...

Steve, I am so glad you want to call "Truce" after you and the NEC crowd have done nothing but insult, disrespect, and question the integrity and motivation of ANYONE who dare expresses an opinion which is not 100% anti-casino. I will post examples shortly and then I will sit back and wait to read you and your friends' explanations which i am sure will include a lot of "we didn't mean that" "you are reading too much into it" or my favorite "those are your words not mine". I've been to meetings, read the posts, and heard the comments. Don't try to make this something it's not. I understand we may not be as educated as you all but we aren't morons - which is one of the comments I heard on Wednesday by the oh so smart bearded one.

No disrespect intended

I'm sorry that you thought I was meaning to disrespect our representatives. I commonly hear them referred to by their first names and that is how they've introduced themselves to me when they've asked for my vote. Thanks for the welcome.

As elected officials, they work for us and should represent the concerns of the whole neighborhood. They are entitled to their own opinions, but they also are obligated to find out what the range of opinions of their constituents are. Unfortunately, I get the feeling they aren't representing everyone fairly. My use of their first names was intended to show that I trusted them as good people when I voted for them, but now that trust has been shaken.

Would you care to respond to anything else in my post? Could you explain why none of our elected representatives are investigating the costs that come with a casino in our backyard? Do you know why they aren't listening to a large group of families with young children who don't want them growing up with a casino down the road in our dense, residential neighborhood?

Do you have any evidence that

Do you have any evidence that your elected officials haven't researched the effects of a casino in "your backyard"? Or that they haven't heard or are aware of your concerns? Reminder: disagreeing with your opinion on the subject isn't evidence.

I have to say that I agree

I have to say that I agree with some of the points made by the first commenter. I have concerns regarding a casino at Suffolk Downs, but I have been to the meetings, I’ve received the mailings , and I have decided that I’m in support of the project. However, I feel like I have to say, that I’m usually very hesitant to share my opinion because it seems like every meeting I’ve attended, I’ve been made to feel dumb and uneducated by my so-called “neighbors”. I have lived in this community my entire life, save for a few college years and have never felt the resentment that I have felt the past few months. I did attend the meeting on Wednesday night and sat behind two people who spent the entire meeting complaining about the people from “the Heights”, who support the project. Last time I checked, “the Heights” was still very much a part of East Boston, and the area of the neighborhood that will likely face the most impact from a casino at Suffolk Downs. I’m proud to live in East Boston and I am proud to live in Orient Heights. I feel like the opponents of this project, who by all accounts seem to have their own agenda, would do better to not alienate the people they supposedly speak for.

Auto Insurance

John/Steve

You mentioned that we would see an increase in our auto insurance if they build a casino in Eastie. Do you have any information on that or can you share with us like where you got that info or how that is tied to a casino?

Good Question

If you live in East Boston and own a car, you are already paying one of the highest car insurance premiums in the State. (see this Excel worksheet I found on the Mass.gov site that shows ranges of premiums for every town and neighborhood in the state)

Lots of factors affect car insurance rates, but cities are generally higher because there's a higher risk of accident and theft. If a casino comes to the neighborhood -- bringing 10,000-25,000 new car trips to our roads daily and most likely increasing crime -- the risk of both accident and theft will undoubtedly go up in the insurance companies' eyes. Count on your auto insurance to go up in response to that added risk.

Car insurance rates

Here's an interesting on-line tool for comparing average car insurance rates by zipcode (http://www.carinsurance.com/rate-comparison.aspx?zc=02128&submit=)

Obviously your driving record and demographic have the biggest impacts on your car insurance rate, but where you are makes a difference. Urban areas are more expensive than rural. Poor parts of town are more expensive than the better-off areas. Zipcodes with a lot more accidents and car thefts/break-ins will also get dinged with higher rates.

The general understanding, even from casino proponents, is that a large entertainment facility like a casino will bring in more traffic, drunk drivers, and according to some studies, more break-ins and crime (although I think we probably have a good number of that already).

It remains to be seen if it would raise the car insurance for people in 02128 any noticeable amount, given that we already have lots of clueless out-of-towners getting into fender benders trying to navigate the airport, but it certainly won't be improving things. If you give an insurance company an excuse to raise your rate, do you think they won't do it?

Not a reason to stop an entire project but just one more item for the mitigation list. When they're handing out the goodies, it should be kept in mind that some people might be feeling the bad effects of the project but not getting reimbursed/mitigated by the deals that are currently being hashed out behind closed doors.

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Something doesn't make sense...

John W. thanks for an honest and objective response. I think one clarification is in order however. I am not so sure that out of towners getting into fender benders here really affects anything. If I am not mistaken, accidents are reported to where the "at fault" vehicle is principally garaged not where the accident happened. If so, that undermines the "more cars equals higher premiums" argument a bit. Furthermore, the speculation about increased drunk driving does not really form a valid basis for assuming that we will see an automatic increase in premiums either. As Chip Tuttle mentioned at the meeting on Wednesday, if that were the case then I think we would have seen a drastic jump in insurance rates (or at least higher than EB) for cars registered in South Boston (with influx of numerous new liquor licenses, hotels, cruise terminals, and convention center business) or around Fenway (ballpark, bars, & clubs). It just isn't the case if you do an objective comparison on the spreadsheet you provided. Furthermore, since there have never been Casinos in Massachusetts before, nobody can say that building one would result in higher premiums. If anything, it is purely speculative. Without more evidence than has been provided, I see it as blatant fear mongering by opponents IMHO. Even trying to compare other places wouldn't be a valid example since our auto insurance rates and premiums are calculated based on our own state law.

Ashley Bostrom
Supporter of A Casino at Suffolk Downs