Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stuffed

Getting scooped in the press is a brutal exercise for any journalist to undergo. Being stuffed like Thanksgiving Day turkey is a lump a bit more difficult to swallow, but one The Saratogian should be getting fairly used to by now.

Such was the case today in a piece about how the city Planning Board intends to throw hitch in the state Division of Lottery’s plans to create a mini-Foxwoods near Crescent Avenue. The article seems to give the impression that there might be a bit of oversight the city could exact upon plans for a $15 million, 41,000-square-foot expansion, which would add a nightclub, a 300-seat buffet and 400 more video lottery terminals to the teaming gambling monolith.

The problem is lottery officials already approved the plan last week and are eagerly awaiting the chance to get a shovel in the ground. In fact, as the Daily Gazette reported Wednesday, they’re “chomping at the bit” to get a shovel in by the New Year, leaving sparsely little time for the planning board, city council or any other entity to thwart the plan.

So it appears now, the only recourse city officials have is to lay down in front of the Racino bulldozers Arthur Dent-style as lottery officials rumble forward with their plot to harvest their own crop from the Spa City’s fields of gold. Sure, they can continue to dicker around, but the bottom line remains, the time for oversight was before those greedy state chiselers swindled their way onto harness track property four years ago.

And as for The Saratogian readers who may still think there’s a chance to stop this plan, here’s a consolation: get a different newspaper subscription and maybe you’ll still have a chance of getting the real news.

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