Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse announces plan ...
 
9:47
MassLive.com: 
The press conference is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. We'll have live updates starting then.

We welcome your input on this issue: Send us your thoughts in the space below labeled 'Send questions or comments.' 
Monday November 26, 2012 9:47 MassLive.com
9:47
Small group of casino opponents outside #Holyoke City Hall. pic.twitter.com/dFG3zLgF
Monday November 26, 2012 9:47 GregSaulmon
9:52
MassLive.com: 
We are live from the mayor's office in Holyoke City Hall. The press conference is expected to begin promptly at 10 a.m.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:52 MassLive.com
9:53
MassLive.com: 
Most city department heads -- including the police and fire chiefs, head of the DPW, HG&E manager, city treasurer and others are present behind the podium.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:53 MassLive.com
9:54
MassLive.com: 
Eric Suher, who has proposed building a casino at his Mountain Park site, is present in the audience.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:54 MassLive.com
9:55
Monday November 26, 2012 9:55 GregSaulmon
9:56
[Comment From Bob Bob : ] 
Any other elected officials?
Monday November 26, 2012 9:56 Bob
9:57
MassLive.com: 
A few city councilors, Bob.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:57 MassLive.com
9:57
[Comment From Bob Bob : ] 
Getting word from a friend that the public is not allowed into the press conference...only the press...
Monday November 26, 2012 9:57 Bob
9:57
MassLive.com: 
Bob -- it appears to be primarily press / other city officials. Seating is very limited. I'm seeing a few members of general public.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:57 MassLive.com
9:58
MassLive.com: 
Several Holyoke Chamber officials, including the president.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:58 MassLive.com
9:58
[Comment From Bob Bob : ] 
Thanks.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:58 Bob
9:58
MassLive.com: 
We were provided a copy of Morse's remarks. We will post the full text on MassLive today.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:58 MassLive.com
9:59
MassLive.com: 
Morse: "Regarding Holyoke resident and businessman Eric Suher's plan for a destination resort casino at Mountain Park, this is all I have done: considered it."
Monday November 26, 2012 9:59 MassLive.com
9:59
MassLive.com: 
Morse says his views on casinos have not changed.
Monday November 26, 2012 9:59 MassLive.com
10:00
MassLive.com: 
Several opponents now outside office, shouting. "You lied, Alex," one says.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:00 MassLive.com
10:00
MassLive.com: 
Several people demanding "Let everyone hear." And, "This is not a secret meeting."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:00 MassLive.com
10:01
MassLive.com: 
Still shouting coming from hallway.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:01 MassLive.com
10:01
MassLive.com: 
Now has quieted down.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:01 MassLive.com
10:01
MassLive.com: 
Morse: "There have been no back-room deals."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:01 MassLive.com
10:02
MassLive.com: 
Morse says he does not consider Suher's project to be a "saving grace" for all of Holyoke's needs, multiple times, "nor will it deter us from pursuing our agenda."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:02 MassLive.com
10:02
MassLive.com: 
More shouts from hallway, people saying, "We can't hear you."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:02 MassLive.com
10:03
MassLive.com: 
Someone yells from hallway, "Shame on you, Alex."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:03 MassLive.com
10:04
MassLive.com: 
Morse now highlighting "strides in supporting our city's extraordinary arts community, with the appointment of a new creative economy coordinator."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:04 MassLive.com
10:04
MassLive.com: 
More shouts from hallway; people upset that press conference is not fully public.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:04 MassLive.com
10:05
MassLive.com: 
Morse: "In the coming days, we will announce the specific dates and arrangements for the facilitation of community input."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:05 MassLive.com
10:05
MassLive.com: 
Morse: "If we fail to reach an agreement that meets the criteria I have outlined, no deal will be signed."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:05 MassLive.com
10:05
MassLive.com: 
Now a chant from hallway: "No casino."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:05 MassLive.com
10:06
MassLive.com: 
Morse: "I understand and sympathize with the firmly anti-casino stance of many of my core supporters."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:06 MassLive.com
10:06
MassLive.com: 
Morse now taking questions.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:06 MassLive.com
10:07
MassLive.com: 
"I expected the announcement" to generate "lively debate", Morse says of opponents outside.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:07 MassLive.com
10:07
MassLive.com: 
Question re: Woman involvement in RI casinos, regarding bankruptcy filings. Morse: We haven't signed an agreement with them.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:07 MassLive.com
10:08
MassLive.com: 
Morse: We haven't chosen any specific developer. Today is "just letting the public know the mayor has been approached by a developer."
Monday November 26, 2012 10:08 MassLive.com
10:09
MassLive.com: 
"I think it's important as mayor to look at all proposals," Morse says of Hard Rock plan. Says he did not like many elements of Hard Rock plan when he reviewed it previously.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:09 MassLive.com
10:09
[Comment From Captain Captain : ] 
Is Suher present?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:09 Captain
10:09
MassLive.com: 
Captain: Yes, Suher is present.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:09 MassLive.com
10:09
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
what's his criteria ?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:09 Guest
10:09
MassLive.com: 
Question: Re, what will process be?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:09 MassLive.com
10:10
MassLive.com: 
Morse says city will use the next several weeks to hear feedback, determine process.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:10 MassLive.com
10:10
MassLive.com: 
Question re: when did talks actually begin?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:10 MassLive.com
10:10
MassLive.com: 
Morse: Suher set up meeting w/ director of development in mid-September. Plan was then presented to Morse's administration.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:10 MassLive.com
10:11
MassLive.com: 
More shouting from hallway.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:11 MassLive.com
10:11
MassLive.com: 
Former mayor Elaine Pluta is present in the audience.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:11 MassLive.com
10:11
MassLive.com: 
Morse notes that Suher would not be operator of casino; he is merely landowner.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:11 MassLive.com
10:12
MassLive.com: 
Question re: what are Suher's credentials to be involved? Morse notes Suher's extensive holdings in city, management of major Mountain Park concerts.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:12 MassLive.com
10:13
MassLive.com: 
Morse received $350 in contributions from Suher, but had criticized Pluta for taking money from casino developers. Non-committal re: whether he'd return that money.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:13 MassLive.com
10:13
MassLive.com: 
Still shouting coming from hallway. "Come see all the people out here," one yells.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:13 MassLive.com
10:14
[Comment From Polymather Polymather : ] 
What specific aspects of this proposal stand out compared to that of Hard Rock's?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:14 Polymather
10:16
MassLive.com: 
@Polymather:

"Multiple key differences between proposals," Morse says. Says he's opposed to casino in a box; felt Suher proposal included larger, broader destination elements.

Traffic mitigation was flawed in Hard Rock plan.

Says administration is still focused on urban renewal plan.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:16 MassLive.com
10:17
[Comment From Captain Captain : ] 
If Suher is available for questions, can you please ask something to the effect of "Knowing how secretive you are about all of your transactions, how open will you be in this process?" I would also be interested to know if he has any updates on developing the blighted properties he owns near PeoplesBank near Highland Hardware and downtown.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:17 Captain
10:17
MassLive.com: 
@Captain: If we can't during this presser, we'll follow up as best as we can.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:17 MassLive.com
10:17
MassLive.com: 
"One term only," someone shouts from outside the office.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:17 MassLive.com
10:18
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
Suher has wanted a casino all along. Just needed Hard Rock out of the way. Hopefully Hard Rock comes back and creates real competition.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:18 Guest
10:18
MassLive.com: 
Morse says he will meet with Hard Rock if they show renewed interest.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:18 MassLive.com
10:19
MassLive.com: 
Pluta comments: "If you had studied..." Hard Rock plan, "you wouldn't be saying" things about "casino in a box," traffic mitigation problems.

Pluta says Mountain Park site is not conducive to casino development, urges Alex to take new look at Hard Rock proposal.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:19 MassLive.com
10:19
MassLive.com: 
"We're disappointed in you, Alex," someone shouts from outside office.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:19 MassLive.com
10:20
[Comment From Polymather Polymather : ] 
Are there preliminary plans to reopen the ski area?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:20 Polymather
10:20
MassLive.com: 
@Polymather: Have heard no mention of that so far.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:20 MassLive.com
10:21
MassLive.com: 
Question: Are you hiring a consultant as Springfield did?

Morse: We have David Panagore with us today, looking at additional options.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:21 MassLive.com
10:21
[Comment From Captain Captain : ] 
Wait...how is Pluta participating? I thought it was media-only? Was she called on to ask a question?!!?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:21 Captain
10:21
[Comment From GUest GUest : ] 
How many people would you estimate are there yelling/etc?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:21 GUest
10:22
MassLive.com: 
@GUest: Can't see out there, but sounds like at least a dozen, perhaps more. Honestly difficult to give a sound estimate from where I'm sitting.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:22 MassLive.com
10:23
MassLive.com: 
@Captain -- a handful of "general public" people are in the room. Office only seats maybe 2-2.5 dozen. Casino opponents are right outside, in mayoral aide's office and in hallway.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:23 MassLive.com
10:23
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
where in city hall is the presser going on
Monday November 26, 2012 10:23 Guest
10:23
MassLive.com: 
@Guest: Right in mayor's office.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:23 MassLive.com
10:23
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
I hope there's a photo published of the protesters.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:23 Guest
10:24
MassLive.com: 
@Guest: I posted one of a few people outside when I arrived; we have a staff photog here, who is shooting some protest shots as I write.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:24 MassLive.com
10:25
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
Why or how did he hire Panagore? Panagore's resume includes zero experience with casinos or resort development.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:25 Guest
10:26
Packed mayor's office, with opponents in doorway: pic.twitter.com/fLyaeVEN
Monday November 26, 2012 10:26 GregSaulmon
10:26
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
is it being recorded?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:26 Guest
10:27
MassLive.com: 
@Guest: I'm recording audio. MassLive will also have video from CBS3. A MassLive producer is doing vids with opponents.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:27 MassLive.com
10:29
MassLive.com: 
Press conference has ended. We will have many more photos and videos, as well as the text of the mayor's remarks, on MassLive ASAP.

Signing off now from the mayor's office.

We'll do our best to follow up on some of the questions you've posed during our coverage today. Thank you for participating.

- Greg Saulmon / The Republican
Monday November 26, 2012 10:29 MassLive.com
10:29
[Comment From holyoker holyoker : ] 
Would Morse say his consideration of Suher's proposal has been mischaracterized? How does he reconcile that consideration with his editorials about casinos effects on urban economies?
Monday November 26, 2012 10:29 holyoker
10:29
[Comment From Guest Guest : ] 
thank-you for your coverage
Monday November 26, 2012 10:29 Guest
10:33
Monday November 26, 2012 10:33 GregSaulmon
11:33
Audio from the casino press conf. in #HolyokeMA; remarks by @MayorMorse: masslive.com/news/index.ssf…
Monday November 26, 2012 11:33 GregSaulmon
1:37
#NorthamptonMA Mayor Narkewicz: "I have not spoken with the Mayor of Holyoke about any prospective casino in his city" bit.ly/S8cO2W
Monday November 26, 2012 1:37 GregSaulmon
2:07
Paper City Development revives pitch for casino at Wyckoff Country Club | masslive.com masslive.com/news/index.ssf…
Monday November 26, 2012 2:07 GregSaulmon
2:24
Good news -- @WGGBSpringfield videographer hurt in #SpringfieldMA explosion is recovering: facebook.com/photo.php?pid=…
Monday November 26, 2012 2:24 GregSaulmon
2:29
Holyoke casino debate: 15 Facebook responses to Alex Morse's updates about Eric Suher's Mountain Park proposal | masslive.com/talk/index.ssf…
Monday November 26, 2012 2:29 GregSaulmon
10:01
Check out map of Springfield explosion damage, get the latest: masslive.com/news/index.ssf…
Monday November 26, 2012 10:01 CynthiaSimison
10:02
@wmasspi Thanks for the hat-tip.
Monday November 26, 2012 10:02 GregSaulmon
11:50
Tuesday November 27, 2012 11:50 GregSaulmon
1:05
Tuesday November 27, 2012 1:05 rlisi269
5:58
RT @newspix100: Tom Brokaw gets 2012 Ken Burns Lifetime Achievement Award at Old Sturbridge Village #westernma pic.twitter.com/C1IzSX5s
Tuesday November 27, 2012 5:58 GregSaulmon
8:07
RT @shiraschoenberg: Small business owners in Massachusetts worry about potential tax increase on high earners tinyurl.com/cnhw8o9 #MAPoli
Wednesday November 28, 2012 8:07 GregSaulmon
9:04
School Street Bistro in #WestfieldMA closes, at least through end of 2012: masslive.com/business-news/…
Wednesday November 28, 2012 9:04 GregSaulmon
10:47
RT @GeorgeGraham413: yfrog.com/h6karmwj Fire in vacant home at15 Kenyon St. in #Springfield. No injuries.
Wednesday November 28, 2012 10:47 GregSaulmon
 
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