Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Casino-resort pitched for Muskegon; workers' rights and environmental concerns ignored

I want to point out that not once has any news media explored the conditions which casino workers are forced to work under; Not once any place in the United States of America. Out of some 400 casinos, employing some two-million workers spread out across this country, one has to wonder why not one single politician nor a single reporter from print, radio, or television media has ventured to explore this question concerning the issues surrounding casino workers.

I posted this on the Great Lakes Town Hall Forum:


Casino/Resort on shoreline in Muskegon, Michigan
Alan Maki (Warroad, Minnesota)

On this site I have been reading about how concerned everyone is about saving our Great Lakes and protecting the shorelines yet there is never any mention of "projects" as they begin so people can have their say.


Here is a big casino resort going up in Muskegon, Michigan.


Casino-resort pitched for Muskegon

Updated: Oct 23, 2007 10:39 PM CDT

MUSKEGON -- Word is spreading for plans of a $2.5 billion tribal casino and resort in Muskegon.

The casino, if built, would sit on 70 acres along Lakeshore Boulevard.

The developer, Archimedes Group LLC, says the casino is the catalyst for the project. But the master plan entails an entire resort with a water park, hotels, restaurants and shops.

As a result, 5,000 jobs would be created.

The plan was unveiled Monday night in a closed meeting with community leaders. It has been in the works since 2003 when voters passed a non-binding ballot proposal supporting the concept of a casino.

Since then, developers have been waiting for the local Native-American tribe - the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians - to get federal recognition.

The next step will be getting the land in trust, which could take years.

The end goal, they say, is to revitalize Muskegon and make it an attraction spot. It is an idea that sounds good to city leaders, too.

"We want people to come here and when they leave we want them to feel a sense of loss. We want them to come back," Dick Anderson of Archimedes Group LLC told 24 Hour News 8.

"When you look at a project like this that is brining in how many thousands of people...those visitors can turn into be investors," said Muskegon Mayor Steve Warmington. "I think you need to take a look at those types of things."

He adds investment in the downtown area can be a great thing, keeping the community around and bringing in tourism.

Developers say a prime example is the Lake Express Ferry that travels across Lake Michigan from Muskegon to Milwaukee.

They say travelers land in Michigan and disperse, and they would like to give them reason to stay.

"The potentiality along the shoreline is unbelievable. We want to put Muskegon on the map in the right way. Simple," said Anderson.


Now, here we go again. Shorelines destroyed by development with the sole motive being profit.

Here we go again with another "Compact" where Native Americans are fronting for mobsters and big-business.

Here we go again with 5,000 more workers being forced to work in a smoke-filled casino at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws without any voice at work or in their communities.

Here we go again with everyone looking the other way because here comes a company promising 5,000 jobs but not telling us exactly what these jobs will pay.

Here we go again with a bunch of politicians working for big-business and the mobsters who control the one-armed bandits.

Here we go again with people sitting in silence.

I suppose we will be hearing from those who have posted on this list that this is all going to be done in an environmentally friendly, green manner.

Here we go again, a Native American tribe only now seeking "recognition" after big-business and mobsters need them for a front for their environmentally destructive, profit generating scam.

No body invests 2.5 BILLION DOLLARS without anticipating huge, huge, profits.

That this entire scheme began with this company financing the local election is shameful and disgusting. Let an independent party try to gain ballot access and the Democrats and Republicans scream bloody murder. Here we have a corporation buying an election that includes making sure nobody knew about the real plans. So much for democracy.


Re: Casino/Resort on shoreline in Muskegon, Michigan
Is the media telling the full story?
Alan Maki (Warroad, Minnesota)

In response to this news story referenced above, I sent the following and there has been no response from the media. None; Zilch.

My response to the News 8 story:

Here we go again. Another casino where big business has set out to find a group of Native Americans to front for another casino operation where 5,000 workers will be employed in a smoke-filled casino at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws without any voice at work or in the communities where they live.

No one from the media even asks how much these jobs will really pay. No one from the media questions the effects of human beings being forced to work in a smoke-filled casino in spite of all the billboards and public service announcements from the American Cancer Society and the Health and Lung Foundation.

Dangle 5,000 jobs in front of a poverty stricken community without telling people all the facts and call this "democracy" and "freedom."

Oh, what about all the talk of protecting our beaches and shorelines? Yes, protect them until corporate profits can be made.

Where does a corporation come up with $2.5 billion dollars for a casino anyways when this government refuses to fund single-payer, universal health care?

If a corporation has this kind of investment funds available to build another casino, maybe this says something about the need to tax corporate profits to create real jobs and provide things people really need.

"Freedom of the press;" give me a break.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council