A lot of pearl-clutching and gnashing of teeth over the proposed building of a new casino at the corner of Smelter and 4th Street NE — the little spot where Burger Master used to be.
First of all, I don’t care if there’s another casino. I plunk a few bucks in a machine about once a year on a lark, but other than that, casinos don’t even “register” on my radar. I suppose they’re good in the sense that they contribute to Montana not having a sales tax (right?), and they provide jobs for folks in our community, etc. I genuinely am perplexed by people who spend more than a few bucks in them, or visit them often, etc. Just doesn’t appeal to me, but hey – each to his own, live and let live, etc. But I don’t think of casinos or gambling as blights on our community.
Second, there’s this bit in the article:
“It’s just not the image you want your children to see coming to and from the church,” parishioner Kathleen Gessaman said. Gessaman also worries about traffic around Jaycee Park, just up 4th Street NE from the church.
Well…I’m no expert on casinos, and certainly no expert on church services, but I think the vast majority of church-going activity happens on Sunday morning and early afternoon — which I don’t *think* are peak gambling times at Great Falls casinos. I understand that some people don’t like casinos, but couching such opposition in terms of church traffic seems a bit odd. Also…uh, I’m pretty sure the kids see far worse things on their way to church, or on the way to school, or on TV, or just about everywhere, compared to a some random building that (to kids) probably seems like just another boring old building that they drive by every day.
Third – and this isn’t directly related to the casino issue – but that darn sign for the Adam & Eve store always kind of rankles. I’ve got no problem with a sexy-time store in our community (as long as it’s not blatantly promoting too titillating products in the store-front, I suppose), but advertising the store as being in “historic downtown” just seems…somewhat strange, and maybe even a bit jarring.
727-HOTT – in historic downtown! Just a strange juxtaposition of mental images. Trying to imagine Paris Gibson and his wife …no, scratch that, never mind.
And come to think of it — Ms. Gessaman, is it possible that kids might be more interested in, or distracted by, or curious about the big ADAM & EVE sign on their way to church, and not the boring building nearby?
UPDATE: Folks, I’m not arguing FOR or AGAINST the zoning regulations that are involved in this issue — that issue is something for lawyers and city staff to hash out. And I’m not picking on Gessaman, or saying that she is the best representative of the anti-casino sentiment — only that her argument is weak.