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What Do You Think of the Proposed Casino?

Readers weigh in on Vegas-style casino and resort. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

In the week since for a proposed Vegas-style casino and resort on the outskirts of Rohnert Park — giving the green light for the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria to build —  the public is talking. I've overheard conversations at coffee shops, at restaurants and in local grocery stores, and the message is mixed.

Some are excited, and say the casino will brighten the local economy — it'll bring investment, tourism and spark new business in Rohnert Park. Some fret an increase in crime and traffic; others are wary about how the casino deal was passed, and others are concerned about the harm on the environment here. ()

We invite the public to weigh in on the casino. Tell us how you feel in the comments or send your letter to the editor by emailing angela.hart@patch.com. Here's what one reader had to say:

We are totally against the graton casino proposed on our boarder. 

Neighborhoods soon degrade, car thefts rise exponentially, homeless gambling addicts sleep in yards and store fronts because their lives have been torn apart by the product at hand, fine businesses are replaced with pawn shops, auto pawn shops and quick cash stores.  

This casino entrance according to transcripts is scheduled to be on Wilfred Ave now known as Golf Course Drive West allowing traffic to pass by Honeybee Pool and park and within 125 feet of Hahn Elementary School (so much for safe rides/walks to school) when the interchange is completed. We have talked to and visited Highland, Calif. in So Cal where all of the above happened to their community when a casino was dumped in their back yard. 

The gentleman I talked to had a sister who’s car was stolen two times within weeks. Usually this happens when a losing patron runs out of gas and has to get from point a to point b. 

We witness their devastaion. Those living near Golf Course Dr. interchange will have all this to look forward to. The casino should be called Feinsteinville (i.e. Pottersville vs. Bedford Falls in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’).  

Thank you, Linda M. Long

Editor's note: Gov. Jerry Brown signed a tribal-state gaming contract compact last Friday with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to operate a casino outside Rohnert Park city limits. The compact, which allows 3,000 slot machines, must still be approved by the state Legislature and Department of the Interior.

pdf April 05, 2012 at 11:47 PM
You would never see this in Beverly HIlls! Tacky, tack, tacky and low class.
Vern Smith April 08, 2012 at 05:07 AM
There is no point in arguing with those opposed to the casino. There is a saying "it's a waste of time trying teach a pig to sing, and besides it irritates the hell out of the pig"
Angela Hart April 08, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Hey Dan, thanks for your request for the new poll. I'm working on something for this week that I'll add a new poll to. Stay tuned!
LP April 09, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I heard that when Graton Rancheria applied for tribal status that they said they would not open a casino. I've also heard that they cannot purchase land for a casino, it must have been triballand prior to the casino request. Does anyone know the facts on this? It just seems like something is not right here.
Ernest Giono April 10, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Not in my back yard. Leave the casino's in Nevada. They know how to regulate them. California casino's bring in degenerates from all over. When I want to gamble, I drive to Reno. Not a problem.
RC April 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM
FYI for some: I do NOT project fear. We all need to make the most of it and think positively. I do NOT want the casino here to cause traffic, as if it's not bad enough.
RC April 13, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Good question LP; I wish I knew more about that myself. Thank youuuu Ernest!! This is a small town community; I believe that's one of the reasons we chose to move here?? Where is proof that they'll help the city's recession? Are they going to help make the city look nicer, more upscale? How much is actually going to the schools, police and fire department?? What is the guarantee they'll hire the locally unemployed, and not ones from the East Bay? Has anyone noticed the city names on dealers' name tags at Cache Creek and Thunder Valley? Most dealers there commute at least 45-60 miles to the casino for work.
LaRae Meadows April 15, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I find women's bodies offensive too! And casinos obviously destroy families. Duh.
LaRae Meadows April 15, 2012 at 07:39 PM
No you are wrong. Obviously the families of Rohnert Park will be torn apart by the scourge that is a casino. It drives men from their families and women into prostitution. And think of the children. They will be sold into white slavery because of the casino, their little fingers used to shine chips. Plus, there will be a bunch of brown people near by making money that we don't get to have. We can't let this happen.
LaRae Meadows April 15, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Rohnert Park is the country? What is the trash in this situation? The brown people? The money? The visitors? The building? How will visitors bring revenue? Seriously? Even if most are bused in (which probably is not the case), there would still be tourists visiting RP in larger numbers than before. As for the money going out of state, you probably aren't wrong but that is true for Walmart, Target, Outback, etc. On average they only return 1/3 of the money you spend there to the community. So really - that can't be your objection to a company or group moving in. While I'm on the subject - I don't outrage at the fact that RP has probably hundreds of stores in that pay people minimum wage. So I can't see it being that there is no upper crust jobs that is bothering you. Not that I say that assertion is true. There will be local marketing, customer relations, etc jobs that come to RP because of the casino. If you are to believe all the fear mongering, there will be more police, social workers, fire fighters, etc as well. So your objection really boils down to - I don't want change. I understand that. Can't stop change. You should have voted against the measure that allowed tribes to expand their reservations and encouraged your friends to do the same. You benefit from the reservation system. Now you have to deal with the fact that Native Americans will too.
LaRae Meadows April 15, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Are you honestly comparing RP and BH? Seriously?
pdf April 15, 2012 at 09:17 PM
No, of course, I'm not comparing BH to RP. Completely different. Pretty obvious, as BH does not allow fast food restaurants in their city nor leaf blowers! Noise pollution. Still, it's tacky and lowers the class of a city. My opinion.
Dan Fleming April 21, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Hi! Angela, What happened to the Poll? Can't vote, comment or see results.
Jamie April 24, 2012 at 02:18 PM
A casio of this type has no business in a suburban bedroom community. This smacks of dirty politics, backroom deals and big money to the detriment of our community. Casinos will not enhance R/P...indeed they suck resources, create crime, add to traffic, congestion and add very little to the local economy. Anyone who thinks that casino patrons are going to spend $$ in local R/P businesses are sadly mistaken. Casino patrons will travel to the facility, stay at the facility and spend at the facility. You'll have drunks on the road...yes, our LOCAL roads. No one will be happy but the cops who are looking at a virtual annuity in job security when this thing is up and running.
pdf April 24, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Thanks, Jamie for saying like it is.
Doug Strickland April 24, 2012 at 04:07 PM
LaRae, the sad thing is that most readers of this article won't sense your sarcasm.
Doug Strickland April 24, 2012 at 04:54 PM
"Examining the effects of casinos after at least four years of operation, the authors find that positive changes include: young adults moving back to reservations, fueling an 11.5 percent population increase; adult employment increasing by 26 percent; and a 14 percent decline in the number of working poor. In counties with or near a casino, the employment- to- population ratio has increased and mortality has declined." Instead of making crap up Jamie, try learning more about the subject. Your comment shows a lot of naïveté, and a poor understanding of how microeconomics work. The Social and Economic Impact of Native American Casinos: http://bitly.com/JvGzsA
Stop Graton Casino May 23, 2012 at 01:07 AM
But we do know, because we can look at communities all over hte country and see what's happened. Even in the Alexander Valley, vineyard owners find used condoms and hypodermic needles in their vineyards near the highway that are the result of prostitute activity. Casinos attract prostitutes, also, drug dealers, bookies and other illegal betting activities and loan sharks.
Stop Graton Casino May 23, 2012 at 01:09 AM
What's the matter, Dan? A poll of 5, 425 households not enough of a response for you? 68% opposed the casino in households in Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Cotati, Penngrove and Southwest Santa Rosa.
Stop Graton Casino May 23, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Go to www.stopthecasino101.com for all this information
Stop Graton Casino May 23, 2012 at 01:12 AM
See above, Angela. This question has been asked and answered in April.
Stop Graton Casino May 23, 2012 at 01:17 AM
You're citing a small study sponsored by casino interests. Read "Casinos, Crime and Community Costs, Grinols and Mustard which was a national study commissioned by Congress of every county on the United States except New Jersey and Nevada. Or the report done by Bill Lockyer a few years ago when he was Attorney General. Available on our web site at www.stopthecasino101.com on the "Hot Links" page
bem May 23, 2012 at 02:51 PM
i hear what you all are saying because i felt the same way when RP was built and all the farm land was gone. i lhave lived here all my live and have watched all the farm and become new homes are junk yards of cars or ect. so whats the big deal?
Cal Watkins May 24, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Finally......more than a couple voices of reason!! I'm not talking about the Fear-Mongering "Stop the Casino" crowd...I an talking about voices like Doug Strickland, RC, La Rae Meadows..etc....and my self... Reality is - "It's all about Business" - county's, city's, residents...business makes life possible - anywhere....If business is good everybody is happy, if business is bad then businesses close and go away...the casino is like any other business..if people don't patronize it it will do poorly and shut down.... The fear of bringing a bad element....sheesh....just check the police blotter now...plenty of hoodlums, thugs and drunks anyway...I believe part of the mitigating funds will go to beefed up police presence and security so I doubt that the casino will have that much effect any more than it is now...and besides its all guessing at this point, thinking the worst, drumming up fear and hate... why not give it a chance? you can't arbitrarily be so selective..this is a democracy and "your" elected officials approved it. If you don' t like "your" elected officials' decision vote them out and if elections go "your" way then "your" elected officials will act in a way that you can agree with. Just because you don't agree with the casino doesn't mean it should not be built....
Dan Fleming May 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Why are we still commenting on this old article? This article came out a month ago!
robert aherne May 24, 2012 at 09:48 PM
You will get your chance when the neon lights go on and you have trouble getting home from work. Have fun Cal. Bob Aherne
Pat Comstock May 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
A differing perspective worth repeating with all of the nimby repeats... From a California history website: http://www.militarymuseum.org/FtBragg.html “There are several parties of citizens now engaged in stealing or taking by force Indian children from the district in which I have been ordered to operate against the Indians,” reported Lieutenant Edward Dillon, commander of the Fort Bragg field detachment. “As many as 40 or 50 Indian children have been taken…This brutal trade is calculated to produce retaliatory depredations on the part of the Indians…These men keep the Indians constantly on the alert, attacking and chasing them before us and following in our wake for the purpose of obtaining children.”…Captain J. B. Moore relayed the report that a settler “took a child from a squaw who happened to be a little to the rear of the party, tied it to a tree, and shot it.”
Cal Watkins May 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Yes Bob, I will get my chance to deal with "Traffic" just like I do when ever I go anywhere in the bay area....should we outlaw Pumpkin Patches that cause traffic to clog up for miles, or outlaw commuters who daily clog highway for miles, or outlaw snowbirds who constantly clog highways for miles coming back from the sierras? Maybe we should outlaw all the fast food places and convenience stores and auto dealers and pretty much anybody and everything that has a presence in this "pristine community" i mean after all there is something everywhere that somebody will not like that they think shouldn't be there.....where does it end? Again I go back to what was approved by elected officials...if people don't like what projects are approved by those who were duly elected by our voting process...vote them out...if a majority vote in a candidate that does what he or she is elected to do then those voters will be happy...I think it is called something like democratic process....all may not like the result but it is the framework in which we live...
John Burke June 12, 2012 at 02:23 AM
I am all for it !!!!! The casino has promised an amazing amount of money to go directly to our city. This could go to help our school system, for those who don't know, this sleepy little comfort town you all speak of is going to hell in a hand basket as far as our schools are concerned, Also our park systems could use a little upgrade as well as our roads fire dept and police. I would also like to know if all of you who oppse the casino are going to reach further in your pockets to help pay the money that the city will get from the casino? Oh yeah, to the person who was mentioning the fact the vineyard owners were finding condoms on there property due to the number of prostitutes at River rock Casino up the street, Have you played golf at fox tail golf course ? You find them all over the Tee boxes. Kids will be kids. As far as allowing the casino, Im pretty sure the rule of thumb is if they by the land , and have an agreement with the state government to operate, I don't think your going to stop it. Take the money!! Geyserville tried to stop River rock, in return they got none of the money being offered.
Janice Raridon June 14, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I wonder why, if the Indian Casino is on Indian land and is an "Independant Nation" not subject to our government and laws and therefore not required to pay tax dollars to our city or state... why is RP required to furnish police, fire, water and sewage services? Shouldn't this Independant Nation provide their own services? Build a well and a sewage plant on their land, hire and train their own police and fire departments, and require all visitors to hold a valid passport. Anyone that believes that Rohnert Park will realize a long term benefit from the casino is mistaken. Even the funds promised to the city by the casino, to get the "elected officials" to agree, are only promised for twenty years, does that mean in twenty years they will close? Or does anyone not realize after twenty years those funds go away but our "required services" will then be free to them. To repsond to the "fear" element I can only say... It is not fear, it is a life lesson, "waiting until the damage is done to decide a bad decision was made" is exactly what we try to teach our children NOT to do. Should we tell them to forget results, forget the future, go for the easy fix now. Apparently today, the ends justify the means, something my parent taught me was wrong, is now the new right. It is very sad to see our bedroom community come to this. Most of the residents in RP would have bought a home in Reno or Vega had they wanted to live near a "Vegas style Casino".

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