Editorial: Graton Rancheria casino poses a threat to community

"Now that the state legislature has moved with remarkable alacrity to approve a gaming compact enabling construction of an unwanted mega-casino in Rohneart Park, Petaluma residents can only speculate on how soon it will be before the already burdened two-lane highway through town becomes even more severely clogged with weekend traffic.

The legislature’s action guarantees the highway will be choked with tens of thousands of additional car trips each week from Bay Area gamblers headed to the 254-acre gambling mecca that is the dream of Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris and his partners at Station Casinos of Las Vegas.

Current plans call for constructing one of the very largest casino complexes in the entire state, housing a whopping 3,000 slot machines, a 200 room hotel, and 5,500 parking spaces. In addition to massive traffic jams, the casino would significantly worsen Petaluma’s shortage of affordable housing; suck up to a quarter million gallons of water daily from already strained underground aquifers; significantly increase crime and air pollution; and heighten demand for mutual aid from Petaluma’s short-staffed fire and police departments."

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Editorial: Casino threats surround Petaluma (The Petaluma Argus-Courier 5/28)

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