Letters to the Editor

Clergy urge residents to vote Yes on Question 3

Dear Editor:

The Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts have taken a definitive position urging citizens to vote YES on Ballot Question # 3 and stop the expansion of gambling. One of their statements put it this way: “There is too much at stake for Massachusetts to open the door wide to expanded gaming – Massachusetts can do better. Massachusetts can say “no” by voting “yes”. In the Episcopal Church, both dioceses in Massachusetts have recorded their opposition to any expansion of gambling in the Commonwealth.

One might wonder why the Churches are weighing in on this issue. The reality is that the Churches are concerned about our wellbeing.  We are greatly concerned with the traffic pattern in Sullivan Square as it exists now and with more traffic in the years ahead. This is an important public safety, health and environmental issue. Some might say, “You know, it is just some entertainment and harmless fun. Nobody really gets hurt and what’s the big deal”? Though this may be true for a small number of people, it is not true for most people. This is why the Churches in Charlestown are speaking out against the Casino Gambling Law.

The gambling industry provides incentives, seeking to lure frequent gamblers into spending and losing huge amounts of money. This is described as predatory gambling. There are many who are addicted to gambling, a recognized disorder by the American Psychiatric Association listed in the category of addictions along with substance abuse. They are the ones who can least afford to gamble yet, because of their addiction, they often fall victim to this industry.

One might posit that gambling is a personal choice and that it is not a concern for the broader community.  While not negating the personal responsibility of those who are addicted to gambling, arguably their ability to make informed choices is somewhat compromised given their addiction.  Without treatment, they may be unable to change their pattern of behavior or even acknowledge the need to change.   As a result, families become troubled, marriages are strained and broken apart, children are not well cared for and elderly parents put their own security in jeopardy to “save” their adult child. There is no service to a community in this sad reality.

It is disturbing that our elected officials do not seem to take note of this or the current state of casinos in Atlantic City in these days. Major casinos are closing rapidly.  It appears that five of the twelve casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey alone will be closed by the end of 2014. The promises of prosperity for New Jersey and also for neighboring Connecticut are proving empty. Why should Massachusetts follow suit? Some might respond, “jobs” is a reason. The promise of jobs is real. However, the jobs are low paying with minimum benefits, if any, and their duration is uncertain especially if plans to place casinos in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine come to fruition.

Organized casinos and gambling sites are located in the midst of communities with large numbers of people traveling to and from casinos twenty four hours daily and seven days a week. The impact on the community itself is profound and often negative.  Saturating the Commonwealth with sites for major casinos and “slots” parlors will alter the fabric of our communities. Local industries will be threatened, the moral fabric of our society will be weakened, families, especially children, will suffer and all this for the benefit of a very small number of very wealthy individuals seeking more wealth.

There comes a time when personal pleasure needs to be sacrificed for the greater good.  We believe this is such a time.  We urge the citizens of Massachusetts to vote “Yes” on Ballot Question #3. Together, we can STOP the expansion of predatory gambling and its destructive impact in our revered State.

Rev. Daniel J. Mahoney –

Saint Francis de Sales Parish

Rev. Thomas Mousin –

Saint John Episcopal Parish

Rev. James J. Ronan –

Saint Mary – Saint Catherine of Siena

Recipients thank Charlestown Schoolgirls Association

Thank you

Dear Editor:

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Charlestown Schoolgirls Association for awarding our daughters Kacie and Kiersten college scholarships.  Being the recipient of such generosity from those whom we hold in such high regard is truly humbling and because of the efforts of the Charlestown Schoolgirls, and other “Townie” organizations, our children are better able to pursue their educational goals.  We truly don’t have the words for how much this means to us.  God bless you!!!

Kevin and Ann Marie Kelly

 

Thank you for scholarship

Dear Editor:

Many thanks to the Charlestown Schoolgirls Association for awarding me the Florence Johnson Memorial Scholarship.I am truly grateful for your generosity. This award will help pay for my books next semester.Your dedication to my college education is greatly appreciated.

Colby Cahill

Freshman @ Coastal Carolina University

Thank you

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank the Old Charlestown Schoolgirls Association and the DiMaggio Family for awarding me the 2014 “Tootie and John A. Fitzgerald Scholarship”.  Their generosity will help me tremendously during my studies at New York University.

Katherine O’Neil

St. Francis House appreciates donations

Dear Charlestown Community,

 

Many thanks for your generous donations to date of 62 pairs of sneakers, 43 belts and 18 backpacks / canvas bags to the guests of the St. Francis House in Boston, a homeless day shelter.

As we head into the colder months, used or new hats, mittens, gloves and scarves would be greatly appreciated. Please drop off these items at The Joy of Old, weekends only.

This is not only a good way to help those in need but by recycling these articles of clothing helps us think about how small acts of generosity do have a big impact on others.

Ann T. Kelleher

The Joy of Old

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