Hail (and Farewell) Caesars!

Monday’s Boston Globe went all in covering today’s East Boston Casino vote. The stately local broadsheet started with this front-page piece:

Neighbor vs. neighbor over East Boston casino

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For years, only a wrought iron fence stood between Gail Miller and Pat Benti, a pair of friendly neighbors on Orient Avenue, but now their yards are a testament to the deep political chasm that has opened between them.

Miller has plastered her property with signs urging a “no” vote on a Suffolk Downs casino, fearing it would attract more woes than riches.

Right next door, Benti has put up procasino placards, touting the project as a way to save the historic racetrack and bring jobs to East Boston.

“It definitely has caused some stress among friends and neighbors,” said Miller, who dropped Benti as a Facebook friend “just until this is over.”

With Tuesday’s critical East Boston referendum looming, polling suggests the neighborhood is as divided on the casino as the next-door neighbors.

 

Then there was this streetside sidebar:

As big vote approaches, casino friends and foes take to streets

The chief operating officer of Suffolk Downs clambered atop a desk in a former insurance office to rally his troops Sunday morning.

“We’re in the home stretch, as they say in horse racing,” Chip Tuttle, 50, told about four dozen volunteers and staff packed into an Orient Heights storefront. “We can see the wire.”turner110313METROcasino35

More than 250 canvassers spent Sunday knocking on doors across East Boston and Revere, trying to shore up votes before the Tuesday election that will decide the fate of a $1 billion casino proposed for Suffolk Downs’ site at the border of the communities.

At the other end of East Boston, casino opponents held a rally that drew about 80, many with small children in tow.

Celeste Ribeiro Myers, a leader of the No Eastie Casino group, led an impassioned military-style chant: “We don’t want slots or roulette. Casino is a losing bet.”

 

Cut to the op-ed page for Marcela García’s piece:

Scars in East Boston

The casino vote has caused deep divisions in the Latino community

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THE EAST Boston casino campaign will be a benchmark in the emergence of Boston’s Latino community. But as the race nears the finish line, the casualties and accusations are piling up. Opponents are ripping down each others’ campaign signs with abandon while each side tries to catch the other on video doing it; a casino supporter suffered a broken nose at a contentious rally, and pro- and anti-casino advocates regularly malign each other in Spanish on Facebook.

The animosity may be on the verge of going international, for there are calls to remove the Salvadoran consul for meddling in a local political matter.

That there’s no love lost between the two sides is the understatement of the year, and even though no one knows how the vote will go down, on one level, an ingrained bitterness means the community overall already has lost.

 

Among all that back-and-froth in the Globe, perhaps most interesting was this ad that ran at the bottom of page 4:

 

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Oddly, the ad did not run in the Boston Herald.

Maybe Herald readers have no need to know that Caesars has left the building.

Or maybe . . . what?

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