Peter Martin, representing Black Bear Entertainment, discussed the Oxford County Casino Referendum and discussed the issues that have been raised as well as his organization's perceied benefits for the State of Maine.
Rotary Meeting for Monday, February 22, 2010 held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

Sergeant at Arms


Frank Prelgovisk served as our Sergeant of Arms today. Thanks, Frank!!!!!



John Fortier was our Greeter today. Thank you John!!

50/50 Tickets


Ed Oliver sold $104 for the 50/50 raffle today and Nikki Desjardins was the winner of $52. Nikki will sell tickets on March1. Janet Parkhurst won 10 free tickets for next meeting's 50/50 drawing.

World Service Cup


The beneficiary of the donations for this month's World Service Cup will be domestic violence reading program for schools that the Club is sponsoring materials for.

Fined for pictures in the Paper


There were no Rotarians with pictures in the paper this week.

Cell Phones


A $10.00 fee for cell phone ringing continues for the 2008-2009 Club year. No fines assessed today.

On Leave


Cam McKay

Joan Phillips-Sandy

Paul LePage

Visiting Rotarians and Guests


Ed Oliver introduced mike Chamberlain from key Bank.

What can you do?


* Tell Board Members what you are passionate about for community projects

* Tell the program committee about interesting speakers/topics you would like to listen to

* Be involved, join a committee

* Be active

* Be positive

Happy Dollars


Seth Sherwood shared that 2 weeks ago he and his family welcomed Claire Leanna who weighed in at 8 lbs. 12 oz. Seth is happy to report that everything is business as usual at their house.

Deb Knox is happy to report that the Skowhegan Savings Bank was named Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.

Doug Legg is very happy to report that hi daughter Kim recently gave birth to their first granddaughter, Martha Jean, who arrived 7 weeks early at 3 lbs., 9 oz.

Frank Prelgovisk shared his family's long term relationship with Seth Westcott who has worked with his son over the years in the development of the snowboarding sport.

Sarah had $10 Happy Dollars for 1) the Olympics because she and her son Jack had a great opportunity to see some new sports , including Curling; 2) her Dad, who always call her on her birthday between 7 and 7:30 AM; and for Maddie, who has learned the word Mamma and also how to trick Mamma by hiding the toothpaste.

Ken Vlodek had a couple of happy Dollars for 1) a trip he and his grandson took to Boston on the Downeaster over the week end ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'‚¦. a great experience visiting the aquarium and the Museum of Science; and 2) for a trip they took to Quebec recently with Suzanne and Jeff. Ken also had one left over auction item to sell and it went to Gary Hammond.

Charlie Gaunce had $10 Happy Dollars for an award he received recently in recognition of his 47 years of service.



Suzanne Uhl-Melanson shared information about EREY, noting that funding comes directly back to the club in matching dollars. She placed a brochure on the tables and requested everyone to consider contributing.

Tina Chapman shared that the United Way of Mid-Maine will be holding its first Dodge Ball Tournament for teams at the AYC on Saturday, April 17th. She encouraged the Club to consider entering a team into this fun event.

Gary Hammond reported that the Spring Event Committee is considering a dinner/auction setting for a Friday or Saturday night in May. More information to follow.

Don Plourde reported there will be an information session this afternoon in the Board Room at the Chamber.

Lucille announced that there will be a Club Administration Meeting after we adjourn today.

Patti Newmen shared that the Homeless Shelter dinner group (Thursday nights)is looking for a temporary substitute for Mike Roy. Anyone interested can contact her directly.

Upcoming speaker schedule:


March 1, 2010 Erin Rice, Marketing and Communications Director, Pine Tree Society

March 8, 2010 Joint Meeting with the Mid-Maine Global Forum ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬" Joseph S. Tulchin, Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, "Public Security and Organized Crime in Latin America"

March 15, 2010 Evert Fowle, Kennebec County District Attorney

March 22, 2010 Club Assembly ÃÆ'Æ'¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬" Strategic Planning

March 29, 2010 Don Chandler, Oak Pond Brewery

Waterville Rotary Club Web Site


Today's Program: An Overview of the Plan to Develop a Casino in Oxford County (Peter Martin, Black Bear Entertainment, LLC)

Peter Martin, representing the organizers of a referendum question that supports the development of a casino in Oxford County, presented information to the Club regarding the question and addressed the arguments that have been offered against the proposal. The essence of his presentation can be found on the proponent's website:

Questions: 1. Can you describe where the revenue will go? Gaming evenue is taxed at 42%. In addition there is an additional 8% to Maine and 355 to the IRS. (0% of the money spent at the casino will remain in Maine.

2. How are you assured the funds committed to Education and Dairy Farmers will end up there? The MEA has assured them that the language in the legislation will reflect that the new funding will supplement rather than supplant existing funds.

3. Native Americans have done very well in gaming across the country. Why not in Maine? Peter suggested that it's been due to poor management.

4. Net revenue to municipalities is a losing proposition since it doesn't keep up with expenses. Why? It won't happen here. 2% goes to the town of Oxford and the county so, it's tied into the activity at the casino.

5. What are the revenue projections? Year 1 - $50-150M and by Year 3 it will be $1B. Net revenue by Year 3 will be $120M.

6. Any funding going to addiction rehabilitation? The State of Maine wants funding to go to support treatment for gambling addictions. Peter noted that in the past, funds have been set aside and generally they have not been used.

7. How do you address the argument that this will be taking advantage of the poorest who cannot afford to gamble in casinos? Studies have shown that the poorest tend to use the lottery because of its convenience. Not casinos.

8. What does an individual gambling at the casino come away with? The value of the entertainment.

9. Are there any studies that indicate casinos suck away dollars from other parts of the entertainment industry? No. The Connecticut experience suggests that there was an increase in the use of other sources of entertainment in the community.

10. What expansion is likely in 10 years? The November vote will dictate what happens for many years going forward. The state can only support 2 casinos and there will be no gaming within 100 miles of Oxford County.

11. We already said no ... why vote on this again? The previous bills were bad. This one is good because it has regulatory oversight and the teeth of enforcement.

After his presentation, Sarah presented Peter with a certificate noting that 6 children will receive polio vaccinations in his name as a token of appreciation and with the thanks and best wishes of the Club.