Editorial: Oppose Graton Rancheria casino

'For anyone with concerns about the many negative impacts that a proposed mega-casino in Rohnert Park would have on the quality of life in southern Sonoma County, now is the time to speak up. Public hearings and workshops on the Graton Rancheria’s 66-acre casino project proposed for the western edge of Rohnert Park will be held this week, and it’s unlikely that further opportunities to speak out will occur.

Sponsored by the National Indian Gaming Commission, the hearings will focus on an environmental impact report on the proposed development and public testimony will be used by federal agencies in the process of determining whether or not a casino is appropriate for the Rohnert Park site. If approved at the federal level, the tribe would then be allowed to put the land into federal trust, after which it would seek a California state gaming compact before construction begins.

The Graton tribe has partnered with a billion-dollar Las Vegas casino company and has hired influential political operatives to grease the skids for their plans to build the huge casino resort. Rohnert Park officials were the first to bow down and are apparently willing to sacrifice the future quality of life in their community in exchange for some easy money promised by the tribe for various public services.

Why should Petaluma residents care about a casino in Rohnert Park? For one thing, it would dump an additional 18,000 daily car trips onto local roads, most of them on Highway 101 through Petaluma where Bay Area gamblers would have to travel to get to and from the casino."

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Speak out now against casino (The Petaluma Argus-Courier 4/4)