Does Oakland really need a massive gambling casino? Wrong place, wrong time, wrong business.

by James K. Sayre

8 October 2004

To the Editor:

So a tiny landless Indian tribe, the Lower Lake Rancheria Koi Nation, based in Sonoma County, some fifty miles away from Oakland, wants to declare a 35-acre parking lot site located between the Oakland Coliseum and the Oakland International Airport as "sacred land," so the it can then have some large outside corporation build a massive casino there. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong business. This is an exceedingly poor location to plunk down a massive gambling casino: just a few blocks from the always crowded and chronically jammed 880 freeway. Gambling visitors would be exiting the 880 freeway at Hegenberger Road or 98th Avenue, both of which are already often beyond design capacity.

How convenient, how holy, how sacred. Actually, it would just be another massive monument to Mammon, the ancient god of greed and stupidity. Is Oakland going to follow in the pathetic footsteps of soon-to-be new East Bay gambling meccas of San Pablo and Richmond? I hope not. The "Koi Nation" does not seem to be very coy about cramming this unwanted monstrosity down our throats.

Yours truly,

James K. Sayre

8 October 2004