Encore Questioned About “Predatory Presenter” Practice At MGC Hearing

Encore Boston Harbor. (Photo By Jim Mahoney)

Can Encore Build A New Theater Across The Street

Leader Staff

When Encore was willing to pay an entertainment act, the B-52’s, three times what a smaller theater in Medford was able to offer recently, and the B-52’s chose the casino over the Medford theater, that play is called a “predatory presenter” move in the entertainment industry.

In such an environment, the casino not only has the edge over local venues, but such a situation allowed to exist, will put the smaller venues out of business.

Allowing Encore to build its planned new entertainment venue would perpetuate that situation as well as exacerbating it and give Encore an unfair advantage over smaller entertainment theaters and halls, according to Attorney Dan Rabinovitz.

Rabinovitz urged the Gaming Commissioners at Monday’s Zoom public hearing, that Encore has continually had concerts and entertainment events with thousands of seats sold in its ballroom at the casino – which, Rabinovitz insisted – is against the casino laws in force in Massachusetts.

Ironically, Rabinovitz was cautioned by an MGC commissioner that he was speaking about an issue not up for debate at this particular Zoom public meeting, as if to say, we can’t and shouldn’t be discussing this because it is not on the agenda.

The interaction revealed the complexities of overseeing Encore, a gaming giant taking in about $800 million a year and now wishing to expand across the street to increase the take while at the same time attempting to keep in force laws intended to save the smaller theaters.

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Consumer Affairs Secretary Praises Philbin Insurance for High Standards

By Josh Resnek

Acting Secretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Edward Palleschi came to Everett last week to the Philbin Insurance Company headquarters on Broadway to praise the company for its ongoing efforts to advance leadership and competitiveness in the state’s insurance industry.

Philbin Insurance is family owned and female led with offices in Everett and Lynnfield.

“Philbin Insurance continues to advance employee development and service excellence,” Palleschi told about 20 insurance executives who attended his visit.

“Philbin Insurance operates with great excellence. The state has given the company annual 5 Star Accreditation from the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents. It is a pleasure for me to be here today. I congratulate you all for the great job you do,” he said.

Palleschi presented insurance company president Tara Philbin a resolution signed by Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.

Philbin thanked Palleschi for coming. She also thanked the governor and Lt. Governor for the 5 Star Recognition Award.

“We are very proud of what we have accomplished and built over the years,” Philbin told the Leader Herald.

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Partial Payment of Driver’s Fines Being Driven by Rep. McGonagle

An Antidote to Suspension, Revocation

By Josh Resnek

Have you ever racked up fines that got so high your driver’s license was suspended and you weren’t allowed to drive and your life virtually came apart as a result?

If Everett Rep. Joe McGonagle has his way, a bill he has co-sponsored with Senator Sal DiDomenico on the senate side of the aisle, will allow for partial payment of fines instead of relying only on suspension and revocation.

The matter was taken up last week at a Joint Committee on Transportation.

McGonagle appeared before the committee.

Rep. McGonagle said he spoke from personal experience, having former employees who faced continuous roadblocks of not having their licenses due to their owed fees. He says the breaking point came a few years ago when a constituent approached him about his issue and reached out to DA Marian Ryan to see what could be done.

DA Ryan also spoke before the committee.

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Virus anxiety takes new leap with Omicron scare and rapid rise in COVID-19 cases

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DECEMBER: Covid-19 lines are starting to stretch as people get tested for holiday travel and with the rise of the multiple variants. The Cataldo testing site at Rivergreen (above) is busy. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By Josh Resnek

Christmas season this year is being made all the harder, again.

The COVID-19 has returned, and it appears, with a vengeance.

At the same time, the new world COVID strain called Omicron is doubling and tripling with every second that passes wherever it is gaining a foothold.

There is presently no vaccine for Omicron, which some epidemiologists believe is going to spread so far and wide so fast that we might all well develop it at some point during the next several months.

The dramatic rise in COVID cases is causing alarm in health care facilities and among health care providers all over the land.

The Omicron epidemic is exacerbating that concern, causing many people to grow anxious not only about the Christmas holiday that is upon us, but of the short term future and what it might hold.

The national mood seemed to shift dramatically in the span of a few days with COVID ticking upward and Omicron spreading out in the population.

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Politics is always remaking itself; nothing lasts forever

Lt. Governor Polito and Governor Baker.

By Josh Resnek

Most of us who pay attention to politics had one opinion or another about the announcement last week that Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will not be seeking re-election.

To those who know the governor well, this announcement has been a long time coming- and even though Baker referred to it as a “complex decision,” it was, after all, a decision that required only one thing – a yes or a no.

His answer – a resounding no.

Baker and Polito have done a good job during their tenure in the State House.

These are smart, decent, honest people who were well off before they went to the State House, and who did not enrich themselves while they served.

In other words, their hands were not out.

They are not takers – and now they are leaving.

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