Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Features · Casino Scene: Odawa
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Casino Scene: Odawa

Al Parker - March 15th, 2007
Northern Michigan casino goers
should grab a fat, red Crayola and circle Wednesday, June 20 on their calendar.
That’s the opening day of Odawa, the huge new casino project being built by the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in Petoskey.
When I say huge, I mean roughly 300,000 square feet with more than 50,000 square feet on the gaming floor.
“We could put the entire Victories facility on the gaming floor (of the Odawa),” says General Manager Barry Milligan, who gave us a 90-minute private tour of the new casino, which sits on a 98-acre site just across US-131, west of Victories.
Donning hard hats, we walked through the shell of the new $140 million gambling palace where 200 to 300 workers are busy every day getting the casino ready for that June 20 date.
Beautiful color tiles and impressive hardwood trusses lend a north woods beauty to the expansive gaming floor. The place is loaded with the latest high-tech gadgetry, including many plasma TVs, dozens of cameras and several security doors that are only accessible by swiping an employee badge that has an imbedded chip to allow access.
To keep all the gear working properly, Odawa boasts more than 1.4 million linear feet of wire.
We zip from room to room, up and down floors, even checking out Odawa’s five sets of restrooms, its 2,000-coat cloakroom and the state-of-the-art air transfer and ventilation system that will keep fresh air pumping through the building.
Milligan has the floor plan well memorized as a result of giving tours almost daily to groups that included tribal officials, community leaders, Victories workers and honchos from other casinos.
Of particular interest to gamblers will be the Odawa’s large gaming floor that will feature some 1,500 slot and video poker machines, 30 table games and six poker tables. All of the machines will be Ticket-In-Ticket-Out and several automated kiosks will cash the tickets.
There will also be a high limit area with gaming tables and slots, plus a special high limit lounge for special players.
By comparison, Victories has 1,100 slot and video poker machines, 14 table games and three poker tables.
When arriving at Odawa, motorists can park in a new two-deck parking deck, then – protected from winter winds – make their way through a wide, comfortable tunnel to reach the gaming floor. This walkway will prove popular in winter.
If you work up an appetite during a gaming session, Odawa will offer three distinct dining choices:
The Sage will be a fine dining restaurant dominated by a 16-foot-tall wine tower. “This will seat 120 and be true, fine dining,” explains Milligan.
A spacious buffet, Waasnode, will feature five different food presentation areas, plus an omelette station and wood-fired pizza oven. It will seat 330 diners. “Nothing north of Detroit has a buffet like this,” says Milligan.
The Copper Café, sort of a Starbucks on steroids, will be available for those who want a coffee and a quick nosh. It’ll be open 22 hours a day for early morning or late night light dining.
One of Odawa’s most impressive drawing cards will be the Ozone night club which will feature two bars with flair bartenders, several plasma TVs, eight cozy pods and a stage for small acts or DJs. A bank of cameras will capture the action on the dance floor, then project it on the plasmas and the creamy white walls and ceiling of the Ozone.
“There’s nothing like it in the state,” says Milligan, a veteran casino manager who has directed Victories since coming to Petoskey in 2005 from New Mexico.
Victories has about 500 workers and that number is expected to double at Odawa. The band has held three job fairs that have attracted many applicants, according to Milligan. New dealers will be able to learn their craft at Odawa’s in-house training area, one of the few such facilities in Michigan.
Even with all of the construction under way, Milligan explains that Odawa is the first phase of a plan that is expected to eventually include a hotel and more. Odawa has been designed with expansion in mind.
“We are on time and on budget,” he says with a smile. “We’re all working hard toward that June 20 opening.”

Concert Scene
• Country group Sawyer Brown will rock the Little River Casino on March 17.
• Everclear will perform at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie on March 24.
• Tyrese Gibson’s Alter Ego Tour is stopping at The Soaring Eagle Casino on March 29.
• The Soaring Eagle will also host legendary Motown diva Diana Ross on April 13.

Promo This!
Once again, The Leelanau Sands Casino is hosting World Series of Poker (WSOP) satellite tourneys every Friday in the poker room. Top finishers from each Friday’s
$40 satellite earn entry into the casino’s WSOP super satellite on June 2 with the winner of that going to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP.
To mark the opening of their new hotel rooms, Little River Casino is offering current and new Player’s Club members a $79 room rate with a free breakfast through March 31. If you’re not a member when you stay, sign up and receive $15 in free play. Also through March 31, one lucky guest is chosen each night to receive a free night stay.
Turtle Creek Casino has started its Million Dollar Spin promotion. Two winners are drawn daily every hour from noon to 5 p.m. Winners will spin a wheel for prizes. This runs through May 26.

Words of Gaming Wisdom
“Lady Luck favors the backbone, not the wishbone.” – Doyle Brunson

On a Roll is a new monthly column
in the Express. If you have a question about Northern Michigan casinos or would like an event listed, email Al Parker at HYPERLINK “mailto:aparker48@aol.com” aparker48@aol.com.
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