2014-12-04 / Opinion

Pat Yourself on the Back, Newport

To the Editor:

The recent resounding defeat of the misguided attempt to make Newport the home of a luxury Monte Carlo-style casino, gambling den of inequity, deserves the heartfelt thanks and appreciation of the residents of our island and surrounding communities. Just imagine driving over the Newport Pell Bridge from North Kingstown at night to be greeted by a barrage of flashing neon arrows pointing you to the brilliantly lit “casino" signs adorning Newport’s latest and greatest tourist attraction-on the fa├žade of the present Newport Grand “slots” hang out.

You made the correct choice two years ago, Newport, and you did it again this time. Does that mean that we will have to do it again in two years? What don’t they understand about “NO”!

The Newport community owes a big vote of thanks to the Fr. Eugene McKenna and all the tireless members of the CCACG (Citizens Concerned about Casino Gambling) who spearheaded the attack on the big money gambling troika that hoped to convert Newport into a Las Vegas gambling mecca of the East Coast. Additional kudos are to be bestowed on Elizabeth Meyer and the scores of volunteers who aided and abetted the final victory push.

Incidentally, a visit to the Newport Public Library shines a spotlight on the existing plans to transform Newport’s North End development into a thriving residential and business community. The topographical maps are quite instructive. While the gambling, bloodthirsty sharks of the existing and proposed Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island gambling casinos devour each other, Newport can put all its talent, energy and close association with the Naval War College and existing educational institutions into a full court press to rise to the top of the 2015 ladder of success.

Never give up hope. It springs eternal!

Ed Madden

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