Thursday, August 7, 2008

Slot machines proposed for Scarborough

My body is beginning to rebel. I’m home now from my morning Senior Fitness routine at physical therapy center in South Portland. I’m satisfied with the workout but all this crummy weather we’ve been having is really affecting my body.

Speaking of the weather, well, let’s not. It’s not worth a comment.

The Town of Scarborough officials will be publicly examining a new proposal for slot machines in the town. The town’s voters have rejected slots at Scarborough Downs twice in spite of a state law that allows them at harness racing tracks. Now Scarborough Downs, along with the developer of Cabela’s outdoor store, is back with a new twist. They want to turn Scarborough Downs into a rather large retail center and create a town center. Of course, slot machines are an integral part of the proposal.

A story in this morning’s Portland Press Herald and on the newspaper’s website says the proposal would build a new road between Payne Road and U.S. Route 1. It would be called “Main Street.” It would include shops near the already under construction Cabela’s shopping area nearby. The plan hints that land would be donated to the town for a community center or a new public safety building.

The closest area that could be called a Town Center now would be the Oak Hill section near the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Route 114 (Gorham Road). Both the Town Hall and public safety building are located there along with the high school, a middle school, and an elementary school. It’s the home of the Town Library, several eating places, and some shopping centers. The town’s new public park is also located there.

But Scarborough Downs wants slot machines and they will be making a public pitch along with the technical one to Town officials over the next few months. There is a rather large group of Scarborough citizens, including former Town Council members, who will be opposing the development. I’d think it could be a messy campaign. Personally, I hope the opponents win again. I have visited one or two casinos but I’m not a gambler. When Wife Gator and I took one of our trips around the country, we did visit a couple casinos but the only gambling we did was with one roll of quarters. When it was gone, the gambling ended.

Another topic, this one concerning student drinking and the roles of coaches in Portland, is on the lips of many people. Apparently following the high school state championship baseball game last June, some students and coaches attended a party during which alcohol was available. As a result, three assistant coaches have been fired. Disciplinary action for the students either has not yet been revealed or has not yet been taken.

I wasn’t there and have no knowledge except that which I read about the incident, but if it is all true the coaches should have been fired. I can’t imagine high school personnel allowing drinking by the school’s students at a victory party. The person who supplied the alcohol should be punished as well and in Maine, that could be a prison term or fine. If it turns out to be one of those assistant coaches, then it should be both.

Normally I’d say that we should wait until all the facts are known before we condemn anyone. After all, I do believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty. When I read of public condemnations such as this, or worse, I always ask how I’d feel if it were a member of my family. I’d want the best lawyer he could afford to be defending him and I’d not let people around me condemn the individual until a conviction were made.

But in this case, the students who were at the party, as the young impetuous ones are wont to do, published photos of the party on the Internet in popular teen social sites. Teens, you see, rarely think of future consequences when they make decisions. As a result of complaints from parents and other teens authorities say their investigation has or has seen photos that clearly show the three assistant coaches were at the party. And for that they are paying a huge penalty.

WG has decided it’s time to give up the vacuum cleaner ghost. Our 15-year-old machine is on its last legs. It’s been on those legs for several years. Most of the time it just waves at dirt as it passes it by when we’re cleaning. A couple of months ago we took it to a vac repair place. The technicians there did get it working somewhat again, but WG says it has got to go. So today we’re going to visit some places and see if we can find a replacement. I think a $50 machine might do it. Somehow I’m under the impression she’s thinking in grander terms.

More rain is on the way so I hope you’ll stay dry. Hmmm. Staying dry. I wonder if she’d like to go shopping alone. Probably not.


No comments: