— Eye on Everett —

Looking Inside the Casino

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By Josh Resnek

Eating lunch at the 8/10 on Tuesday I sat with a Wynn employee who’s been working the site for 22 months.

He’s a tradesman. A higher up type of employee overseeing many other tradesmen.

He said the place is in fact coming to completion fast.

He said the restaurants are nearly completed and that a Dunkin’ Donuts was going to open there, contrary to rumors that Kickback Carlo had succeeded in getting a Honey Dew Donuts concession in the casino for himself.

He said the gaming floors are complete. The slot machines are fully installed and ready to go.

The famous Popeye sculpture by Jeff Koons, which Steve Wynn paid $27 million, is not located at the entrance to the casino in the middle of the twin staircases as originally planned.

He said the sculpture will be located further inside the casino.

He said the hotel is done, that it was finished some weeks ago, that only smaller details are left to complete here and there.

This guy has no skin in the game.

He’s just an employee looking forward to being done and taking a vacation.

Parking will very likely be a disaster, he said.

The parking lots don’t have even a fraction of the spaces that are needed if the crowds arrive.

As I have written recently on several occasions, the question is not whether or not the casino will be crowded, rather, but how crowded it will be.

Eight million visitors are expected in the first year.

That’s quite a visitation to this small city called Everett.

The number is frankly incomprehensible – but then – the power to take in money is so enormous at the casino hotel that it tends to boggle the mind.

When you think about it, if you think about it, the casino will take in well over $1 billion in its first six months of operations.

How many businesses open their doors and take in that kind of money anywhere in the world?

By the way, the tradesman had a great plate – a chicken marsala. I had linguini with meat sauce.

Outstanding, really.

Who Owns the Casino Doesn’t Matter

As the opening day comes closer and closer, there is the possibility that anything can happen.

Kickback’s cancellation of his state of the city address is directly related to the possibility that anything can happen.

No reason for him to make a speech about the state of the city when the jury is still out about the casino license for Encore.

I am certain his chief flack Tom Philbin advised him to stay away from giving a speech about an uncertain future.

Far better to deliver a speech when the future is certain, when the license has been OK’d.

I don’t know for sure because Philbin doesn’t return my calls or e-mails any longer – no doubt a condition placed upon him by the mayor. Philbin is smarter than Kickback. He understands the give and take.

In his own cute way, he knows how to pile it on.

What I like about Philbin?

Unlike the mayor, he’s never signed a propeller to give information to the FBI. I don’t believe Philbin has ever been the subject of a Federal investigation into public corruption. Back to who owns the casino not mattering…what matters is the doors opening, and as soon as possible.

It is a bonanza when those doors open – a bonanza with its built in detriments.

Parking and traffic are going to be twin colossal messes.

Whether Encore owns the license or someone else, I repeat, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is the money coming into the city treasury which the mayor is duty bound by his own persona to spend.

Kickback can’t control his spending habits loves spending more than he takes in.

Doesn’t make him a bad person rather, makes him a person who is always in need of more money.

He has made it a mark on his life.

Opening day so close and everything about the new casino seeming so far away from being resolved.

Then the decision will come and just like that, like with the snap of a finger, everything will be solved or everything will end up in court or everything will be smooth as a babies bottom.

Censorship at the library

During the debate about the change in the administration of the library the other night at the city council the mayor was sick with worry about liability and his assistant city solicitor almost deranged at the knowledge that an executive session hadn’t been handled the right way and that the city’s world might collapse as a result.

The mayor never worried about liability when he gave Karen Avila a no show job at the Wellness Center when she was hired by the vaunted Human Resources Department after a thorough vetting revealed not a word about her plagiarizing her resume. Or how about the folks still working at the Wellness Center and serving on other city boards and collecting two checks who have been accused of sexual harassment and bullying at the Wellness Center.

The City solicitor’s office feigned ignorance of such matters existing after we published several investigative reports on the matter. They accused the Leader Herald of printing fake news. They stated publicly they had no idea what the Leader Herald was referring to. Then lo and behold, another lawsuit has arisen from an employment issue at the Wellness Center.

Isn’t such a situation about liability?

Monday I took a ride into Boston and went to the sixth floor of the state office building across from the State House.

I got out of the elevator and walked proudly through the door into the office of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

I wanted to make sure I had things right about the MCAD complaint filed by a former member of the Wellness Center claiming sexual abuse and harassment and bullying.

I asked the lady behind the desk at the front of the office to search out a name for me as I wasn’t certain the complaint had yet been filed.

I told her I didn’t have the docket number.

“Can I have the name, please,” she asked me.

I gave her the name, which we have not published in the Leader Herald although we’ve written perhaps five stories about the action the former employee is taking against her former employers at the Wellness Center.

“Oh yes. The name is right here” – and she gave me the docket number. Maybe Kickback will announce that the Leader Herald is printing fake news – and then maybe he can ask his solicitors to again feign ignorance about the MCAD complaint which is going to cost the city big money – and will be a bigger story when everything comes out. Back to censorship at the library.

The head of the library tried to convince the city council that the library isn’t just about having HR run the employees and the solicitor’s office take care of liabilities. It is about running a library, which requires an understanding of freedom of speech, philosophy and to protect against political intrusion into the process and to always stand as a bulwark against censorship.

For about six months last year we were running old photographs culled from the library’s historical section – which used to be the worst in the state but is now among the best.

Those photographs showing Everett people from perhaps 40-60 years ago in their youth were fun things to look at and to remember when.

Mark Parisi is the fellow who runs the historical section.

I’ve never met him. I’ve never spoken with him.

At some point about five months ago, he stopped sending us the photographs from the past.

He was told not to send the photographs any longer to the Leader Herald.

He was told to send them to other publications much more friendly to the mayor’s ambitions, eccentricities and hatreds.

I was told this by a library staffer who knew about the order coming down from the mayor’s office not to send the photographs to the Leader Herald.

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