— Eye on Everett —

The Changing City

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By Josh Resnek

It is impossible to know how things play out in our lives until they play out.

The history of a city cannot be written until the history has been lived out.

However there are indicators that pop up here and there along the path of our lives which helps us to see where we are heading.

What is true for individuals is true for cities and the places where we live our lives.
The coming of the casino to this city is a life changing occurrence. The casino doesn’t have to be open yet for all of us to understand how its appearance on our landscape is a game changer for the city. Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 3.52.47 PM.png

The casino coming here and taking over the life and times of the city in nearly all its nuances is a story a bit like a famous movie from the 1950’s, “The Day The Earth Stood Still.”

This movie was a serious, high-minded exploration of mid-20th century suspicion and paranoia, combined with a philosophical overview of humanity’s coming place in the larger universe.

It is a bit like that here where the casino changes everything.

This kind of high-minded thinking translated loosely means: the casino here on Lower Broadway is like the landing of an alien spaceship demanding that all of us take notice.

We have been invaded. Do we understand this? Do we want to be the casino, gambling city instead of old Everett? Yes we do? No we don’t? I don’t know. Do we want to be the site of an invasion or do we want to be our own city? Whether you want it or not, the alien spaceship has landed. It is here. It is consuming the landscape and everything about the city and its reputation and history. It has an enormous appetite and a real ability to make things look like they never looked before.

The casino coming isn’t just a big, big commercial development to look at with awe. Again, it is a game changer. Its huge mass, its sprawling position on Lower Broadway, its command of the entire landscape because of its 27 story homage to Mr. Wynn’s vision of elegance. Yikes. What an exclamation point for all to see the casino/ hotel and gambling will put upon this city – and already has.

Everett will never be the same with the casino. What was originally welcomed with open arms, and carried to the finish line with Steve Wynn by the mayor, is a giant, all – consuming Blob in our presence.

Where Everett used to stand on its own for the reputation upheld among the residents of cities and towns around the city, it no longer stands for what it used to be.

Everett has become the casino city. The city and nearly every important aspect of its existence as a place, is now dominated by the casino.

The casino dwarfs what Everett used to be, how it is thought of, the news it generates, the future it faces.

Everything about this place is now inextricably connected with the fortunes of the casino and gambling.

Nothing is the same anymore with the casino here.

We are now the casino city – a gambling empire owned by predatory out of town money interests.

The city of Everett as everyone living here has known it is now a post-script to the city dominated by the casino rising here. The city will never be the same with the casino as Everett’s raison d’être( French for reason to exist).

This is what has been lost in the trade that was made with a referendum that favored gambling voted on by less than 3,000 people out of a city of almost 50,000.

Everett becomes a bit like Atlantic City when the giants of the gambling world, and then businessman Donald Trump came in like gangbusters to bring back a tried and true entertainment venue along the Boardwalk.

The casino is going to open. It is going to prosper. If the mayor can learn how to control spending, the city should become fiscally solvent and impervious to economic ups and downs.

But there is a price to pay for this. Everett doesn’t own itself anymore. Everett doesn’t rule itself any longer. The city isn’t what it was anymore. That place is gone.

It sold itself out for a better money deal.

The casino calls the shots now – and the casino will win every time – as long as business is good.

It is the nature of the beast.

Everett is being eaten up by a hungry alien beast.

The city has made a trade.

The casino/hotel will run things here and dominate.

Over time we will come to understand fully whether or not this trade was worth it.

Mr. Wynn, the Mayor and the Project

Steve Wynn came here with his swagger and his pocket full of millions in 2012-2013. He came in touch with a mayor impressed with this type of businessman – who – it turns out – was more about monkey business than any of us might have imagined. The mayor sensed rightly that Wynn would dump millions here. The mayor also made a decision to go with the money – a decision the mayor is inclined to make nearly all the time, I think. Going for Wynn’s millions back then was perceived locally as a stroke of genius, although it came at the expense of being disloyal to several people who had previously put themselves out for the mayor.

The mayor tied his rope to the Steve Wynn wagon – and a for a while – it looked like the mayor had the Midas touch (that everything he touched turns to gold). Everything that glitters is not gold is how the ancient saying goes. The mayor learned this the hard way when Wynn was alleged to be a sexual predator type – a serial sexual harasser of women who worked for him, whose naked presence he demanded when being massaged or manicured. The Wall Street Journal report about all this lower Mammalian behavior ruined Wynn. He resigned from his company. He sold his stock. He resigned as the head money man for the Republican Party. Universities he had donated millions to returned the money. He ed Las Vegas. He is now living in Monaco. According to my sources, he is already involved in another lucrative casino deal which we should be hearing about shortly.

The Wynn wagon the mayor tied his rope to is stuck in mud and sinking.

Without Wynn calling the shots, the company he founded is a different animal.

It is not the same company without Steve Wynn at the helm. It is not better without Steve Wynn. It is worse.
The mayor has to rely on Matt Maddox and Rob DeSalvio to do his bidding now.

Those two are bad bets for the mayor.

They are both more concerned with keeping their jobs and making millions more for themselves than they are concerned about the mayor and what he might be asking for as the leader of the city.

With Wynn not leading the company, the company is at risk.

Wynn stock has tanked. The value of the company has gone from about $40 billion last year to $10 billion this week.

Why? Because Wynn knew what he was doing. The others don’t.

They don’t have his savoir faire. They don’t have an ounce of his understanding of the industry and where Wynn Resorts needs to head. That was all Steve Wynn’s. This is what was lost when he left the scene.

It was a big loss for the mayor.

It is a big loss for the city.

Wynn Resorts has suffered the most.

All the subsequent law suits against Wynn Resorts and the Gaming Commission, and now the Wynn lawsuit against the company he founded and the Gaming Commission, has thrown everything about this casino project into the potential for disarray.

If the June 19, 2019 opening date cannot or will not be kept, the situation would likely be ruinous for the city.

What had been the mayor’s nest hours when conceiving the deal and bringing the casino here would reduce itself to an incredible failure in a moment.

As it is, the future of the city is tied to the mayor, and he is tied to the casino, and the casino right now is tied to the Gaming Commission about to rule whether Wynn Resorts can keep the gaming license. Is Wynn Resorts a suitable owner of the Gaming license?

Good question, isn’t it?

Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

This year, my mother will not be at the table for the first time in my life.

She died four months ago at 97.

Thanksgiving this year won’t be the same for me.

Nothing is the same now that my mother is gone.

There are many of our readers who have lost a loved one during the past year – and for them it is the same as for me – sitting down at a holiday table when a loved one is no longer with us.

We are all going through the first round of grieving – going through the first set of holidays without a loved one in our midst.

What to do?

I’m not really sure.

When I was kid, from the time I was in junior high and during high school, there would be the high school football game followed by the Turkey dinner prepared by my Mother, followed by getting out of the house and starting up the party.

Thanksgiving became a huge party holiday for me and for my friends after we wall went away to college and returned for the first time at Thanksgiving.

What a return that would be. You can be sure there will be many such get togethers all over the city between people who know and love one another who have come back from college for the first time after being away for almost 3 months.

What a thing to come home, to be greeted like a king, to eat like royalty, and then to go out and party with all your buddies – girls and guys who grew up tight together here, who will retain a lifetime bond.

Wherever you lived, wherever you grew up, Thanksgiving was and is a quality holiday.

Thanksgiving remains that way today.

Everett isn’t in the Super Bowl so some of the natural luster is off this Thanksgiving Holiday locally.

Not too far away from home, legendary Everett coach John DiBiaso will be leading his Super Bowl-bound Catholic Memorial team in a big game against St. John’s Prep next week.

Think about it.

You are John DiBiaso.

You are heading to the Super Bowl, again, only this time not with the Crimson Tide, but with the boys of Catholic Memorial. DiBiaso has done a uniquely stunning job getting Catholic Memorial into the Super Bowl.

The chances of this when he started out there last September were slim to none.

DiBiaso has shown what he is made of.

The kids he coaches are showing him what devotion to the task, training and athleticism can be at its best when you have a prodigy as a football coach.

What DiBiaso has brought to these kids at Catholic Memorial is the knowledge and the power about what it is to become a team and to fight together and to never lose, if such a thing is possible.

He did the same for 20 years in Everett where the Crimson Tide won more Super Bowls in the past ten years than anyone. It will be a great Thanksgiving for me even though my mother is gone.

For John DiBiaso, Thanksgiving this year is another reason to give thanks for the job he has done with a team that is heading to the Super Bowl.

To all our readers, a very happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy.

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