MA-CT casino wars
Massachusetts stole GE from Connecticut, so now Connecticut is doing its best to undercut the $500-plus million MGM casino under construction in Springfield.
Two Connecticut Indian tribes — the Mashantucket Pequots who own Foxwoods and the Mohegans who own Mohegan Sun — are teaming up to build a $300 million casino in East Windsor, which is located not far from Hartford and about 11 miles from the Massachusetts border. An abandoned Showcase Cinemas building is currently at the location.
Lawmakers in Connecticut say they are likely to approve legislation allowing the two tribes to open a casino off their reservations, but they also plan to consider a bill that would open up the process to other competitors. “We’re going to bring forth two bills,” said Rep. Joe Verrengia of West Hartford. “It’s the two sides of the issue.”
Odds are pretty good that the two Connecticut tribes will get the green light to proceed. “I think it’s a great step forward,” said Rep. Timothy Larson of East Hartford. “It’s important that we save jobs in the state of Connecticut. We’ve done that in the defense industry — Pratt & Whitney, Electric Boat. Now it’s time to do it in the tourism industry.”
Three years ago, when Steve Wynn was competing for a Massachusetts casino license, he said the only reason Mohegan Sun was vying for that license was to protect its lucrative Connecticut business, where the tribe pays no tax on table games. He ridiculed Mohegan Sun’s casino proposal for Revere and said he would be the tribe’s worst nightmare.
“To pick Mohegan Sun, if you represent the state of Massachusetts, is an act of gross irresponsibility,” he said. Wynn won the license, and is now building his $2.4 billion casino in Everett.
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute shifts gears and decides to free up funds for municipalities wanting to complete last-mile internet connections. (Berkshire Eagle)
Two Boston city councilors want the city to consider starting a cadet program for the fire department to increase diversity in its ranks. (Boston Globe)
A Herald editorial calls for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.
Here’s a look at what voters think are the biggest problems facing the country in the early days of every president going back to FDR, according to Gallup Poll surveys. (New York Times)
“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated” — until Trump made the declaration before the nation’s governors Monday. (New York Times)
We’re Number 1! U.S. News & World Report declares Massachusetts the “Best State” in the country in its annual “Best States” listing, citing education, health care, and economy to name a few reasons to live here. New Hampshire at number 2 and Vermont at 10 also made the top 10.
A one-time Iraqi refugee who is now a student at UMass Dartmouth will attend President Trump’s address to Congress tonight as a guest of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is one of several Democratic lawmakers bringing immigrants to the speech. (Herald News) Rep. Joe Kennedy will bring his aide Jen Fox, a 25-year-old cancer survivor and example of the lifesaving effects of the Affordable Care Act. (Boston Globe)
Joan Vennochi says the class with which La La Land producers dealt with their sudden reversal of fortune in front of millions of people at the Oscars offered more of a lesson to the sorest winner in US presidential election history than all the self-important Hollywood barbs directed at him by host Jimmy Kimmel and others. (Boston Globe)
Two tourists will be aboard a privately funded flight around the moon launched by SpaceX scheduled at the end of next year. (New York Times)
It what’s likely to become a running storyline, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh — a Democrat who has developed strong ties with Republican Gov. Charlie Baker — demurred when asked whom he is backing in next year’s governor’s race. (Boston Herald)
GE chief executive Jeff Immelt sends a shot across President Trump’s protectionist bow with his annual letter to shareholders extolling “multilateralism and free trade.” (Boston Globe)
Fidelity Investments is offering generous buyout packages as the firm looks to reduce headcount despite just reporting record revenue and operating income. (Boston Globe)
As if we needed more to add to the bragging rights of being designated the best state in the country, Play-Doh, which has not been made in the US in more than a decade, is onshoring its manufacturing of the kids’ stuff to a plant in East Longmeadow. (Boston Herald)
The Oscars’ accounting firm, PwC, takes full blame for the Best Picture envelope mixup. (Time)
Sterling Jewelers, which owns the Jared and Kay chains, is being accused of sexual harassment and discrimination by hundreds of former employees. (Washington Post)
State officials approve three new charter schools in Sturbridge, Westfield, and Plymouth and back the expansion of four existing charters. (MassLive)
School officials in at least seven Massachusetts communities are taking steps to assure their communities of their support for immigrant and transgender students in the face of actions being taken in Washington. (Boston Globe)
Conservation restrictions on the land may make it impossible to use land nearly Cawley Stadium in Lowell for a new high school. (Lowell Sun)
Weston School Superintendent Robert Tremblay, who has had the job for less than a year, was chosen unanimously by the Framingham School Committee to be that town’s new superintendent. (MetroWest Daily News) In the Summer 2016 issue, CommonWealth examined the constant churn among superintendents and the toll it takes on districts.
Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton has been certified as a Level III trauma center, the first hospital in the southeast region designated a trauma center at any level. (The Enterprise)
A homeless former sex worker is credited with helping reduce the rate of new HIV infections in London by 40 percent and across England by about a third. (BuzzFeed)
The Baker administration and the Kraft Group push weekday commuter rail service to Foxborough. Officials say the new service would spur development, but state transportation officials say only 110 new riders a day are likely to hop aboard. (CommonWealth)
It’s going to take a long time to fix the T, maybe as long as 20 years, says state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack. (CommonWealth)
Idling freight trains in Andover stir strong opposition from neighbors, whose complaints are finally beginning to be heard. (Eagle-Tribune)
Wholesale electricity prices drop to a 13-year low, propelled by low-cost natural gas and slumping demand. (CommonWealth)
Great white sharks, once an anomaly off Cape Cod, are now crowding the waters off the peninsula as an ongoing study says researchers made more than 570 encounters last summer with the predators and identified at least 279 individual sharks. (Cape Cod Times)
The saga of suspended Suffolk probate court register Felix Arroyo is looking more like an all-out campaign, as the former Boston city councilor brings on political consultant Doug Rubin to help him fight off still-unspecified charges from the Trial Court. (Boston Herald)
State district attorneys are being pressured to drop tainted drug lab cases. (Salem News)
The Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutional right to use Facebook and Twitter in a challenge to a North Carolina law barring convicted sex offenders from using social media sites that are not restricted to adults. (New York Times)
MEDIAJon Stewart dresses down the media, tells reporters to stop whining and do your job. (The Daily Beast)
Dan Kennedy offers a primer on how to spot real fake news and includes a plug to support your local — and national — media. (Media Nation)