North Bay Business Journal

Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 7:30 am

Share your thoughts on the proposed Rohnert Park casino

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    Do you support or oppose the proposed Rohnert Park casino?

    • Support (52%, 60 votes)
    • Oppose (45%, 52 votes)
    • Don't know (3%, 3 votes)

    Total voters: 115
    Polling period: May 1, 2012 @ 7:00 am – May 8, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

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    ROHNERT PARK — A Las Vegas-style Indian casino has been proposed — and is nearing approval — for the outskirts of Rohnert Park, prompting a high-pitched debate on whether the city and the county are properly suited for the project.

    Opponents argue that the casino, for which Gov. Jerry Brown signed a compact backing the project in late March, will have a significant impact on traffic, the environment and the overall quality of life in Rohnert Park. Scores of residents in Southern Sonoma County have come out against the project, particularly in Rohnert Park and Petaluma.

    The compact is between the state and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. The state legislature must sign off on the deal, which has been fast-tracked and goes before an Assembly committee on Wednesday. The compact must be ratified by lawmakers and needs a two-thirds majority from the full Legislature.

    Supporters, meanwhile, say the $433 million project would be a boon to the economy, creating more than 750 construction jobs to build the casino and a 200-room hotel. Organized labor in the North Bay has been a steady backer of the project.

    The casino project, totaling 534,000 square feet, would be the largest in the Bay Area. It would have up to 3,000 slot machines, 5,500 parking spaces and the 200-room hotel. According to the state compact, the sprawling urban complex could generate revenues in excess of $400 million per year. It is estimated that revenues to the city of Rohnert Park and Sonoma County could be as much as $100 million a year.

    Opponents have formed the Stop the Casino 101 coalition and are lobbying local legislators to oppose the project. The coalition says it conducted a poll on the casino and found that 68 percent of the more than 5,400 county residents surveyed remain opposed to the project.

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    1. May 1, 2012, 9:41 am

      by Patrick Schafer

      Maybe they should convert all the State Parks to Casinos while they are at it?

    2. May 1, 2012, 10:15 am

      by Marilee Montgomery

      Our poll was very honest and one could not cheat on it at all. We had no confusing questions, just very brief (less than 45 seconds) message. We simply asked if you oppose the casino, press “1″; if you support the casino, press “2″; if you are undecided, press “3″; and if you’d like to hear these options again, press “4″

      I got the call myself, so I know that once you pressed your choice, the call ended with a thank you and a message to visit our web site.

      So why is everyone running these little polls? We had 5,425 household throughout five zip codes that responded to the call with a human voice. That’s a bigger sample than has ever been done on this issue, and it’s a big enough enough sample from a diverse base to have produced very valid results.

    3. May 1, 2012, 11:09 am

      by boethius

      As someone who presently lives just around the corner from where the proposed casino will be built, let me just say this about it: If it is built, I most definitely will be moving. One doesn’t have to go far off the Vegas strip to see what the area around the casinos look like – desperate and terrible. Once I took a wrong turn on to a side-street two blocks from the Vegas Strip. It was like heading straight into skid row in L.A., but even worse. I couldn’t find the gas pedal fast enough. It’s a good thing RP will be adding to its police patrols because the casino will almost certainly increase incidental street crime dramatically around the area. It’s a shame because the area, while not perfect – it is after all, mostly commercial/retail now, anyway – isn’t that bad for the few of us who have taken up residence on the west side of 101 in Rohnert Park. I see the Casino dramatically lowering the quality of life for residents in that area in particular, though I can foresee businesses of all types being impacted – some positively, to be sure – by the casino. Yes, there will be a lot of mostly menial jobs eventually, but is it worth the social and moral impact to the community? Casinos and gambling in general is a tax on the poor, the foolish, and it exploits otherwise intelligent people who can’t control themselves. It exacts terrible personal penalties and consequences. It forces people into making bad decisions which in turn has a big impact on the community. Why are we embracing Indian gaming so much when we should be looking for positive and meaningful catalysts to drive the California economy? We drive a positive, long-term, environmentally-positive out of our community – Lucasfilm – yet we embrace Indian gaming? It makes no sense.

    4. May 1, 2012, 1:02 pm

      by Susan

      I agree with the above comment regarding the denial of Lucasfilm which would have brought consturction jobs and meaningful employment to many versus the Casinos which will employ many at low paying jobs and suck the lifeblood out of those that cannot afford it. Our county deserves much better than a manget that draws in the poor and makes them poorer. We should be helping the Indians of Graton Rancheria find a better way to support themselves and be productive members of society.

    5. May 2, 2012, 9:56 am

      by Devin

      How many more casinos do we need in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. We have how many:

      Black Bart Casino Willits
      Coyote Valley Casino Redwood Valley
      Garcia River Casino Pt Arena
      Hopland Sho-Ka-Wah Casino Hopland
      Red Fox Casino Laytonville

      River Rock Casino Geyserville
      Casino 101 in Petaluma
      Proposed Indian Casino in Cloverdale
      Proposed Indian Casino in Rohnert Park

      NO MORE CASINOS. Keep the land open for wildlife. Between all the wineries taking the land to plant vineyards in this county and Las Vegas corporations hiding behind Indian tribes to build more casinos we are losing all our open land. Soon enough no one will be able to own a house cause of all the drunks and gamblers. Is that what we want, drunks and gamblers everywhere cause that’s the direction its going in.

    6. May 2, 2012, 5:38 pm

      by Nicole

      I think the casino is exactly what the county needs.

    7. May 17, 2012, 12:01 pm

      by Frank Baumgardner

      I oppose this casino because of the huge increase in traffic it will create. Do the math: three thousand slots times ten additional trip per slot equals thirty thousand additional vehicle trips on Hwy. 101. It is already a nightmare any Thursday through Sunday.
      I also oppose it for it’s undoubted adverse effect on groundwater supplies in Sonoma County, not to mention increased waste water.
      I also oppose it for the adverse effect on young people who will be so-called “players”- pencil in “victims.”
      I also oppose this deal since Station Casinos has gone bankrupt before in 2009. its loyal employees lost their jobs. It will happen again here.
      Thanks for reading this post! FB

    8. August 28, 2012, 7:35 pm

      by Kenneth Briggs

      so , have the casino put in a extra lane or lanes to get ino the place or put in stop lights so people can get in and out .

    9. October 18, 2012, 8:40 pm

      by Ken Briggs

      more jobs, more tax money and city and county police

    10. April 21, 2013, 4:42 pm

      by Jason Mackay

      I want to be trained to be a janitor and clean carpet and do. Building maintenance in a river rock casino in rohnertpark

    11. July 30, 2013, 6:08 am

      by Mary

      I just read where the Casino will be built in Rohnert Park. As a former long-time resident of Sonoma County (Cotati) I am very sorry for your loss. Increased traffic, stretching the water even thinner, increased poverty, etc is not worth it folks. Coming home to visit just won’t be the same.

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