Larry will make an excellent school director and I highly recommend him for that position.
Earl H. Conrad
Jefferson County should vote 'no' to table games
To the editor:
It is wishful thinking on the part of local businesses that gamblers who travel to play table games are going to go anywhere else but straight to the casino to gamble, eat, drink and sleep. There's no evidence to support any tourism coattail benefit. Claims of economic impact are contradicted by gambling interest's own executives.
Who would know better than one of America's most successful casino developers, Steve Wynn, how casinos will affect their communities? In 1992, he told a group of Bridgeport, Conn., businesspeople not to count on his proposed gambling enterprise for much help. "There is no reason on Earth for any of you to expect for more than one second that just because there are people here, they're going to run into your store or restaurant or bar," he said ("The Luck Business" by Robert Goodman, page 33).
If you are still tempted to believe Penn National Gaming Inc. that table games will help tourism, perhaps you should read the Urban Land Institute study commissioned by the cities of Ranson and Charles Town in 2004, which states, "The panel believes that at this time, the cities should focus their time, effort, money and energy on creating an environment inviting to local and neighboring residents - not (Charles Town Races & Slots) patrons. The gaming industry has mastered the art of keeping people within its four walls and CTR&S is no exception." (The Commerce Corridor Revitalization Project Charles Town & Ranson, West Virginia, page 14)
Casinos not only fail to contribute to the economy, they draw away consumer dollars that would otherwise be spent at local shops, restaurants and hotels. An owner of five restaurants in St. Charles, Mo., says, "Casinos have severely hurt my business. I can't even advertise anymore. The casinos monopolize the billboards and drive up prices" (www.casinowatch.org, Gambling & Economics).
Common sense will tell you that there's no way local restaurants and hotels can compete with casinos, who "comp" (give away for free) to their high-rollers booze, food and a place to sleep at night.
Don't buy the hype. Vote no on Dec. 5.
Charles Town, W.Va.
Southeast Missouri's loss is Herald-Mail's gain
To the editor:
Congratulations to The Herald-Mail for hiring Bridget DiCosmo as your new reporter. Our loss here in southeast Missouri is truly your gain.
Bridget did a great job reporting on crime in this community. She had excellent relationships with the police agencies and organizations that worked with crime victims, such as mine. I hated to lose Bridget, as she did a great job of covering issues of sexual violence and child abuse that allowed for journalistic freedom, but respected the rights and privacy of the victims.
The Herald-Mail family and community has just snagged a great reporter and young author (her book "Serial Murder 101" is a must read).
Thanks Bridget, for giving victims a voice in southeast Missouri. I know you will do a great job in your new community.
Tammy Bea Gwaltney
Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence
Cape Girardeau, Mo.