Letters to the Editor

February 17, 2014
By

Concerned over impacts of Wynn casino

Dear Editor:

The Charlestown Neighborhood Council was formed in 1987 to facilitate effective communication between Charlestown and the government of the City of Boston, its departments and agencies. According to our Bylaws, we provide structured participation in city government decisions affecting land use, development, service delivery, and other issues relating to the quality of life in Charlestown.

We are responding to the Draft Environmental Impact Review (DEIR) presented by Wynn Resorts to build a casino/resort in Everett directly abutting our community. This is a major concern to us especially since the DEIR does not address any of our worries about the future quality of life in Charlestown. As the city representatives cited at the February 4th meeting, there is no adequate roadway or public transit system to support this project, and residents and businesses of Charlestown would be heavily impacted by the exhaust fumes associated with increased and delayed traffic. In addition, our public safety would be compromised by roadway blockage. We are already concerned about responses by police cars, ambulances and fire trucks due to traffic blockages.

Pollution concerns have been a high priority in this community for years and we do not agree with the claim that although a significant portion of traffic will go through Sullivan Square that the impacts of the casino project will be ‘minimal’. With 50% and more of the vehicular access to the planned casino traveling through Charlestown – at least 14,500 out of 29,000 new vehicle trips per day with more than a 1,000 cars per hour during peak times through Sullivan Square – the success of this project would be our bane. We will sustain an increase of 13% in pollutants with a substantial impact on the whole of our town. Over the years, we have worked with the City and State to mitigate the affects of traffic and pollution and have spent considerable time participating in developing plans to amend the snarled traffic and wasted land at Sullivan Square.

Our work toward the future connection to and expansion of the north end of our neighborhood would be severely affected by the development proposed by Wynn Resorts.

Your proposed mitigation is that money coming from the success of your project would go to the state and that the state would need to develop plans and provide the solution to problems that your project causes. This is not an acceptable response to our thoughtful and very real concerns.

It is simply a band aid that the developers are being allowed to use to respond to how mitigation issues will be handled. Further, it places the responsibility for the fixes onto the state when in reality, it should be borne by the developer before any construction is allowed to commence.

This is a huge undertaking that will have significant ramifications. We urge that considerably more dialogue is required between all the stakeholders to enable all parties to make informed decisions for this project.

Tom Cunha

CNC Chair

For your sake get involved

Dear Editor

Soon after arriving at the Charlestown High School last Tuesday evening, I settled in to learn more about the Wynn Casino proposal to be located in Everett. Flipping through the glitzy, glamorous and glossy booklet, I was quite impressed.

However that first impression vanished after listening to the discussion between the City of Boston Gaming Accountability representatives and the representatives from the Wynn Group.

I left not only disturbed but wondering how a project would even work given the proximity of densely populated cities and towns.

May I share my concerns?  My understanding was that the purpose of this meeting was to have the Wynn Group answer and clarify questions not articulated in the DEIR report (draft environmental impact report) submitted as their proposal.

The following questions were asked of the Wynn Group:

Is there adequate roadway capacity?  Answer:  “No”.

If not, is there a solution?  Answer: “Don’t know”

Can you provide the solution?  Answer:  “Don’t know.”

Conclusion: “The applicant has not demonstrated that this is a feasible project from a transportation perspective.”

From the presentation I learned there would be 1000 more cars per hour making their way to the Everett casino.

Already the roads in the area are grid-locked, is not the applicant concerned about the impact on our communities?

Ms. Wheeler, an environmental expert for the City of Boston added, “The three year building phase consists of removing high levels of arsenic and lead in the soil and groundwater and contaminated sediments in the water portals of the site. When the winds blow from the west to the east, the Charlestown community will be compromised.

In addition to the site emitting toxins, the impact from vehicles, trucks and tour buses will add to the mix. The mix consists of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.  According to the Environmental Defense Fund, diesel engines emit more than 40 hazardous air pollutants.   This is what we are breathing and contributes to the high rate of asthma, cancer, especially lung, as well as other illnesses in this area.

If Wynn has no solutions, I have a few: we can stay in our homes behind closed windows and doors, wear a mask 24 / 7 or move.

Casinos do NOT belong in densely populated areas such as Everett as well as our good neighbor, the City of Revere.

Whether we have five cents in our pocket or five million dollars in the bank, we are all in this together. We are all breathing the same air, and down the road we all will be paying with our health.

Please get involved and learn more:  617 635.4037 or Gaming @boston.gov www.cityofboston.gov/GAMING

Ann T. Kelleher RN

Grave concerns over casino

Dear Editor:

We, the Board of the Friends of City Square Park in Charlestown, herewith express our grave concern over the potential for disruption to our community by increase in traffic volume which could result from the construction of the proposed Wynn Resort and Casino complex in Everett.

From years of work and research, the Friends of City Square Park have experienced the dire affects a major traffic corridor can have on a community. We also know firsthand what improvements can result when the traffic is reduced, quieted and removed. City Square Park is a shining example of what can happened when a community works diligently to create a peaceful and beautiful space at the edge of a major transportation corridor, in this case City Square Park at the southern end of Rutherford Avenue, here in Charlestown.

A tremendous amount of work has gone into creating bike lanes and reducing the impact of traffic in our neighborhood. It is dismaying to learn that peak-hour traffic approaching and departing the Wynn Resort in Everett may add as many as 800 vehicles an hour to surface roadways in Charlestown. This would be unacceptable to our community.

We feel that it is irresponsible to allow construction of the Wynn Resort in Everett to proceed without guarantees, assurances and proof that its impact will be minimal on the community of Charlestown, the neighborhood of Boston closest to the Wynn Resort site.

Annette Tecce, Governor

Friends of City Square Park

CWT did a great job on recent production

Dear Editor:

Three hearty cheers to the Charlestown Working Theater for its riveting production, just ended, of  William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

One of the treasures of the City of Boston, the Charlestown Working Theater got just about everything right with this “Macbeth.”

The energy that drives this tumultuous play drove the actors — even their entrances and exits surged with urgency. The three witches never stood still: they ran and climbed and whirled and sang. Sword fights and battles with actual, heavyweight longswords and daggers seemed truly dangerous. Inspired costuming defined everyone’s character with zest and detail and plenty of leather. And you’d travel far and wide before you found a more profoundly creepy couple than this Macbeth and his Lady Macbeth!

The professionalism of the actors (the oldest are seniors in high school!), the company’s technical achievements — the lighting, sound effects and music  were superb — the overall spirit and dash of the evening were palpable.

Hard to say who deserves the highest praise for this show — from director Jennifer Johnson to musician and technical director John Peitso, from costume designer Kristin Johnson, to the hard-working cast and singers — everyone did a tremendous job. And because the space of the Working Theater is so intimate and in-your-face, everything was immediate and in plain sight.

Special thanks to the Charlestown Working Theater for its extraordinary commitment to the betterment of the communities of Charlestown and Boston through the power of live theater.

Pell Osborn