John Merrill: Where's the balance?

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The article “Casino group presses forward” in the Dec. 2 Steamboat Pilot & Today reads like a press release on behalf of Steve Hofman’s Sleeping Giant Group.

Does the Steamboat Pilot & Today no longer practice the old fashioned type of journalism that presents different points of view, or that investigates issues surrounding a proposal? While it quotes the lieutenant governor’s anti-casino position, it chooses only to present the point of view of locals such as Hayden Town Council member Bill Hayden who favor the casino proposal. No effort was made by the newspaper to contact the No Casino group that has remained active in its efforts to defeat this proposal. Contrary to Bill Hayden’s assertion, many residents are opposed to the casino. To date, more than 1,000 people, including many in Hayden and Craig, have signed petitions put forth by No Casino.

The promises being made of the long-term economic benefits to the Yampa Valley and Hayden from a casino are specious. The town of Hayden would be opening a can of worms by entering into a basically unenforceable memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with a Native American tribe. It is clear that the infrastructure in the area around the airport proposed for the casino cannot handle a casino/hotel/entertainment complex (see article on water supply in the Nov. 27 Steamboat Today).

Finally, a casino represents values that are directly opposed to the family friendly culture of the Yampa Valley. These are all topics that are worthy of journalistic efforts by the Steamboat Today newspaper. And we also encourage those of you who live in Hayden and Craig, as well as Steamboat, and who oppose the idea of a casino to speak out and let the newspaper and the Hayden Town Council know where you stand.

John Merrill, Hayden

Medora Fralick, Hayden

Carolyn Roitsch, Hayden

Larry and Sharon Pletcher, Craig

Gisela Garrison, Craig

Bill Cousins, Steamboat,

president of No Casino

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