Sounding off: Hempfield should share casino wealth |
Letters (Regional)

Sounding off: Hempfield should share casino wealth

A rendering of the inside of a proposed mini casino at Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield Township.

I attended the public hearing on the proposed mini casino Dec. 5. Like it or not, casinos are sprouting up all over. Along with jobs, economic stimulus, etc., come the negative issues. I was happy to learn that Stadium Casino, LLC seems to be a first-class company, and the Live! entertainment complexes it builds are extraordinary sites.

My concern is, why enable one host municipality to reap the windfall revenue? Not one elected local or state politician had anything to do with the site selection. Two percent of the slots revenue will go to Hempfield and 2 percent to the county. That’s projected to be over $3.5 million annually, plus another $200,000 to each from table games. Not to mention the local service tax and local payroll taxes from 500 full-time employees.

I say there’s enough to share the wealth with each of the 65 municipalities in the county. That’s over $53,000 per year to each. In 10 years, combine that with liquid fuel taxes; just in South Greensburg, we could pave every street in town and put money back for a new garbage truck. We could better equip our police and fire departments.

At this point, Hempfield is not providing any police security at the mall or paving any of the highways to get there. The state police won’t be located there, either. The security will be all company employees. State and local existing police will be called if needed.

I urge everyone to contact your local and state elected officials and demand that the money be shared. Then maybe the good folks at Stadium Casino will do the right thing.

David L. Todaro, South Greensburg

Authentic news

As there is fake news, so must there be authentic news. And thus, this attempt to steer you in the direction of authenticity and away from the misnews of the media that’s proven itself subserviently to the liberal/progressive politicians.

Let’s begin with socialism being such a hit with so many students and with those accustomed to freeloading, thanks to liberal/progressive politicians like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi and college professors in the mold of William Ayers. The naked, almost silent, truth is that 1.6 million people have fled Venezuela, and an additional 5,000 are leaving every day since the country adopted socialism in 2015.

Next is climate control reaping all the blame for the phenomenally adverse weather. Perhaps the liberal/progressives and their scientists are ignorant of or play dumb to the topic of chemtrailing and what the airborne spraying of chemicals can foster.

On the topic of immigration, you can bet on the prevalence of “lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Allowing the nation’s division to worsen and socialism to prevail, and another revolution with conservatives battling liberals for their independence, freedom and liberty is conceivably not a mirage on the horizon from my crow’s nest. 

Clay Stover, West Newton

Casino is not progress

Somewhere between Bedford Falls and Potterville lies Westmoreland County. If Greensburg ever looked like the charming town from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” it’s been a while. Its neighbor (in every direction), Hempfield Township, feels even less idyllic — but it’s not Vegas, baby!

I serve on the school board at Franklin Regional and at Northern Westmoreland Career and Technical Center, devoting a great amount of time (ask my wife) to helping kids prepare for life ahead. One ability I bring to the work is forward thinking. Times change, and progress happens. However, government-sanctioned gambling is more regressive than progressive. It doesn’t create wealth. It redistributes wealth and, with an “Opposites Day” perversion of Robin Hood, it robs from the poor and gives to the rich.

I’m in the minority when opposing the proposed casino. My friends in the Chamber of Commerce are excited. Sen. Kim Ward’s infatuation with gambling and these developers could raise questions about her motivation — but this supposed progress appears to be a juggernaut.

A recent article dedicated 114 of 828 words to the voices of opposition. What about the social costs? Who besides me will speak up for the vulnerable?


Gregg Neavin, Murrysville

Hollywood’s hypocrisy on firearms

Most people making their living in Hollywood are liberals, and they are not bashful in living up to that label. Being of a liberal nature and accepting those beliefs, especially about firearms, they are nothing but hypocrites.

One definition of a hypocrite is “stage actor, pretender, dissembler.” So, think of a hypocrite as a person who pretends to be a certain way, but really acts and believes the total opposite.

Hollywood producers and actors make quite a living off shows with firearms in their story lines; but, being hypocrites, they speak against the Second Amendment every chance they get. As long as they can make money, they are for anything, until they have to come out of character and back into reality.

I offer a challenge to them all: Drop all firearms from your movies and shows, and let’s see where your ratings go. Produce shows and movies as they were back in the 1940s and ’50s, nothing but musicals and dancing. I have a pretty good idea where their ratings would go, but it would really be great to see them put their money where their mouth is for a change. It will never happen.

Craig A. Szmyd, Penn Township, Westmoreland County

Sheriff should be appointed

With the recent controversies encompassing Sheriff Jonathan Held’s office and the expenditures of untold thousands of taxpayers’ dollars for the misdeeds in his operation it’s apparent to me that the existing organizational structure, with the sheriff being an elected official who is beholden to the county commissioners for funding but not for operational decisions, is a poor model.

That structure creates a confusing chain of command, precluding anyone other than the sheriff from having responsibility for personnel and other major decisions related to the office. I’d suggest, therefore, that the real problem is not necessarily the particular person who is sheriff, but one of organizational structure; unfortunately, the problem will not disappear when the current sheriff leaves office for whatever reason.

I would encourage the county commissioners to address the hurdles to making the sheriff an appointed position for which the commissioners would be responsible. This structure is not unprecedented in Pennsylvania; sheriffs in Northampton and Luzerne counties are appointed. Such a renewed structure, with a clear chain of command, would effect better control and more responsible decision making in the office.

Wayne Baughman, Salem

We deserve same security as politicians, journalists

The Democratic Party is dead set against allowing President Trump to achieve his desire to build a wall for enhanced security against illegal immigration. They say “walls are not effective.” Hmmm. Why then, do most Democratic elitists live in gated communities? Pelosi, Schumer and most other big-wig Dems do; so do most Washington journalists.

They also stay in hotels with all kinds of security, including electronic gadgets that keep out everyone they want to keep out. Plus, many have armed guards when they travel.

Why is it a good thing for big-wig Dems and journalists to enjoy the security of walls around their homes while they deny the rest of us the same safety?

Bob Jacobs, Unity

Shame on ESPN for not condemning abuse

Using a belt to discipline your child is abuse, period. If you strike your neighbor with a belt, you are likely to be criminally charged. If you strike your animal with a belt, it’s animal cruelty. For ESPN and College Game Day, if you strike your child with a belt so that he becomes the star quarterback at Alabama, it’s a feel-good story. Shame on ESPN.

What am I talking about? During a recent ESPN College Game Day broadcast, a segment aired about Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It focused on his Hawaiian heritage and upbringing, along with his father’s involvement in his development. At first, I couldn’t believe ESPN was airing this segment or allowing the country to hear that Tua was disciplined with a belt for throwing an interception. Really? I waited for reporter Tom Rinaldi and the College Game Day crew, of which many are fathers, to condemn Tua’s father, Galu, but that never happened. Instead, Desmond Howard chuckled as he called Tua’s dad the “Hawaiian Joe Jackson.”

To the men of the College Game Day crew: You failed. With a big audience and powerful voices, you had the opportunity to stand up for kids, and you botched that worse than any play on the field. Their message is that if I hit my below-average athletic son with a belt, then he, too, can become great. That is a complete lie. #healthydiscipline

John Bout, New Castle

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