From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Deadline Tonight, Meeting Tonight, Stop Kenosha Casino

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
Alliance Against Reservation Shopping
PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - FAX: 360-687-2973
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003

Deadline Tonight, Meeting Tonight, Stop Kenosha Casino 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Comment deadline is today,  Monday, March 6th.

*****Action Items:

-----1.  Make plans to attend the hearing in Zion, Illinois tonight,  on Monday, March 6th.   It is regarding the massive new mega-casino in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Call (217) 782-8151.

-----2.  Whether or not you can attend the hearing, fill out your Comment Questionnaire and FAX it back to the Bureau of Indian Affairs or American Land Rights.  The fax number is (612) 713-4401.  You can e-mail it to ccushman@pacifier.com and we’ll fax it to BIA.  BIA e-mail is not working.  If you send it to us, we will forward it on to the BIA.

-----3.  Call your friends to urge them to attend the public hearing tonight, Monday, March 6th a 7:00 PM in Zion, Il.   It’s a big deal!

Stop Casino Reservation Shopping In Illinois and Wisconsin

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Comment deadline is today,  Monday, March 6th.

Come to the hearing:

Monday, March 6th at 7:00 PM
Zion-Benton Township High School,
One Z-B Way, 21st Street and Kenosha Road,
Zion, IL 60099

Use the Easy Comment Questionnaire set up for you below.

You can testify be e-mail or fax – We have provided you with a convenient Comment Questionnaire below you can fill out and FAX to the BIA at (612) 713-4401 or send it to American Land Rights at ccushman@pacifier.com.  We’ll forward it on to the Bureau of Indian Affairs no matter whether you agree with us or not.   Be sure to go to the end of the e-mail to find your Comment Questionnaire.

You can also print out a formatted version of the Comment Questionnaire by going to www.landrights.org    It is right on the home page. 

Dear Reservation Shopping Ally:

The hearing has been organized by State Rep. Jo Ann Osmond, 61st Dist. Of Illinois (R-Antioch and  Zion Mayor Lane Harrison.   Other elected officials in the area are getting involved.   You may contact Rep. Osmond at (217) 782-8151.
A massive new Mega-Casino is planned by the Menominee and Mohegan Tribes In Kenosha, Wisconsin.  The Bureau of Indian Affairs has published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement about the Casino.  The Deadline for public comments is Monday, March 6th.  

Come to Zion, Illinois and tell the BIA and the U.S. Government whether or not you think there should be more off-reservation gambling and more private land turned into Indian Reservations. 


*****Official Comment Questionnaire

Mail, Fax and E-mail Deadline Monday, March 6th

Official Comment Period – Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) — Menominee Indian Kenosha Casino

Dear Wisconsin- Illinois Resident or other interested party :   

You are facing what we believe is a significant threat to your area.  The Menominee Indian Tribe has joined the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut and is engaging in reservation shopping in Kenosha.  

That is, acquiring private land outside their indigenous boundary, taking it off the tax rolls and converting it into an Indian Reservation for the purpose of building a huge gambling casino. This massive $808 million 3,200 position casino sits on 223 acres along with the existing Dairyland Dog Track and a hotel resort complex.   By returning this questionnaire, you can make sure you get your concerns in the official legal record.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has published an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Menominee Indian Kenosha Casino project.  If you have not already ordered a copy, you may do so by calling Herb Nelson at BIA,  (612) 725-4510.  Be sure to order the hard copy paper version.  
There are a number of problems with this EIS and comment period.  We have outlined our concerns below in a series of statements to which you may circle AGREE, DISAGREE OR offer NO OPINION.   American Land Rights and the Alliance Against Reservation Shopping AGREES with all statements, but you don’t have to.  

You may edit any of the statements to more closely reflect your concerns.  You will make your comments far more valuable if you write, in your own words, in the box provided on the back.  

Please fill out this Comment Questionnaire and mail it directly to the BIA office below.    Or you can send it by fax to the number provided for the BIA.  Fax it early as the BIA fax line is likely to be busy.  The mailing deadline for this document is Monday, March 6, 2006. 
Mr. Terrance L. Virden, Director, Midwest Region            		           Comment Fax line:  (612) 713-4401
Bureau of Indian Affairs   					                           Alternate Fax line:  (360) 687-2973
Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building
One Federal Drive, Rm 550                               
Ft Snelling, MN 55111                                  

(Having Trouble?  Call Herb Nelson at BIA at (612) 725-4510)

 The EIS is  available online at http://www.analyticalcorp.com

Dear Mr. Virden:

These are my comments for the official comment period on the Menominee Tribe Kenosha Casino Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs with a comment deadline of March 6, 2006.   

Please take note of my responses to the statements below and insert my comments in the official record for the Menominee Tribe Kenosha Casino project.  Please consider a photocopy of this document as valid as the original.  I have signed this document below.

PLEASE NOTE:  You can get a formatted version of this Comment Questionnaire by going to www.landrights.org    You can print it out and fax it in.   Or just e-mail the version below. 

Please circle your answer – You may write additional comments by each statement or in the box on the back.  Your personal handwritten or typed comments make this document much more valuable to the BIA.

-----1.  There is no excuse for holding only just one hearing in Kenosha.  Other affected communities are not given a chance to testify at a hearing hear them.   At least two more hearings should be held.


-----2.  At this point the EIS ignores impacts on Illinois, even though the border is only six miles from the proposed Casino.  BIA should redo the Environmental Impact Statement so it includes the casino impacts and social costs as far north as Milwaukee and as far south as Chicago.  


-----3.  Communities must have a chance to say no to new casino proposals.  BIA must include surrounding communities in their analysis and stop those proposals opposed by affected residents.


-----4.  An $808 million Kenosha gambling facility on the Wisconsin – Illinois border will drain business away from other Illinois and Wisconsin entertainment venues including hotels, restaurants and entertainment attractions.  The casino should not be allowed. 


-----5.  A Kenosha Casino will increase the number of problem gamblers in Illinois and the areas surrounding Kenosha in Wisconsin but not provide any revenues to local governments to address their increased social needs and costs.  Because of the larger population outside Kenosha County, the greatest social impact will be felt in other areas.   Other communities will have no say in how this casino is run or gain revenue to offset costs.  All affected communities should receive payments in order to offset social costs.

-----6.  A Kenosha Menominee Casino will increase vehicle traffic congestion in an already congested I-94 corridor as well as US 41 and the Illinois Tollway. All of this will worsen air pollution and cause more problems for citizens trying to shop and get to work.   For this reason the Casino should not be allowed. 


-----7.  Kenosha is not the BIA designated homeland of either the Menominee or Mohegan Tribes.   We should not encourage reservation shopping by allowing the Menominee and Mohegan Tribes to export gambling outside their existing reservations. 


-----8.  The Menominee and Mohegan tribes have announced a policy of discriminating against workers outside Kenosha and all of Illinois.  This policy should be changed.


-----9.  The social costs of the millions of gamblers using the new casino will fall disproportionately on the residents of areas outside Kenosha County.   When bankruptcies, divorces, theft and suicides occur, local services funded by Illinois and Wisconsin will have to pay the cost.   That means the taxpayer will have to pay.  That’s not fair.  It should be stopped.  The Menominee Kenosha Casino should have to bear these costs. 


----10.  Much of the profits will flow to the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut leaving Illinois and Wisconsin communities out in the cold.  Wisconsin and Illinois should insist that all social costs be borne by the Casino.


----11.  When Illinois and Wisconsin citizens gamble with the dollars they do not spend on essentials, they will have less money to spend on dining, entertainment, shopping and sporting events in our communities.  Many of the small businesses offering these services will suffer.  The casino should be stopped now.


----12.  Many believe there should be at least a three-year moratorium on new Tribal gaming casinos to allow Congress to recognize the negative results of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and update this act to properly regulate a business that has grown to nearly $20 billion per year.  


----13.  Congress should close current exceptions and loopholes whereby some tribes are allowed to impose casinos on local communities who don’t want them.    Even landless tribes and tribes with no reservation should not be allowed to overpower the will of local communities. 


(Your written comment here will make this document more valuable)

(If needed, use additional sheets or attach a personal letter)
To validate your comments please fill in completely (PRINT or TYPE) and be sure to sign.
Signature: __________________________________ Name: ________________________________________
Address:  ________________________________Town: __________________State:________Zip: _________
E-mail: _______________________________________ Phone: __________________Fax: _______________
Please do not fail to send this comment questionnaire even if it is late.
Mail Deadline Monday, March 6, 2006

Please forward this message as widely as possible. 

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