The Republican from Springfield, Massachusetts (2024)

Wednesday, January 22, 1997 AG LOCAL B3 004 Staff photo by DON FONTAINE Inspecting the scene of an accidental oil spill at Springfield's Paramount Theater yesterday are Dave Slowick, left, and Ben Fish, foreground, both of the state Department of Environmental Protection, and Kevin Cannon, theater box office manager, rear. Judge's order bars owner from Paramount property Thomas Valentine was restrained from ousting the theater's tenant, following an oil spill at the downtown property. By RHONDA SWAN JOHNSON esfi Staff writer 1 SPRINGFIELD A Hampden Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against the owner of the Paramount Theater building yesterday, prohibiting him from entering the property. Francis X. Spina granted the request for the injunction made by Brian Alden, president of both Paramount Operating Corp.

and Live Productions against Thomas Valentine, owner of Massasoit Associates, which owns the Main Street building. Alden, of Madison, rents the theater and the adjacent box office and is responsible for per- Theater spill formances held there. Alden evicted. In the meantime, Spina had issued a temporary he said, his client has the right to restraining order against Valen- use the building. tine last week after he changed He said that Valentine's efforts the locks on the building and post- to deny Alden access to the builded signs stating that it had been ing would cost his client thousands repossessed.

of dollars. Charles Emma of Holyoke, who Emma said Alden expects to represents Alden, said Valentine's bring in $59,500 from local peractions were illegal, and request- formances over the next two ed the injunction to prevent Valen- months and another $63,000 from tine from repeating such efforts in the same acts performing at his the future. theater in New Haven. The paying rent and you necticut shows are contingent on have a lease. Your landlord can't the Springfield performances, just come in and lock the doors on Emma said.

you," Emma said. "He's got to fol- Valentine's lawyer, Michael low the court procedures." Moore, pointed to an oil spill at the Alden holds a 99-year lease on theater over the weekend as evithe property, which he signed in dence of what he called Alden's 1986. mismanagement of the theater. Valentine has alleged that Al- The incident occurred when an oil den violated the terms of his lease company pumped 500 gallons of by failing to heat the building on heating oil into the wrong tank. several occasions and by not pay- The spill has been cleaned and the ing rent and his share of property state Department of Environtaxes and other bills.

mental Protection is investigatAlden has denied the allega- ing. tions. Moore said the spill would not Emma said Valentine must use have occurred if a maintenance proper court procedures to have employee was on duty. Group to watch local pilots train 11 By GEORGE GRAHAM Staff writer br A group of 40 Western Massachusetts business and political leaders will travel to Arizona tomorrow to get a firsthand look at the Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing in training exercises. The 104th is based at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield.

The wing's A-10 attack jets have already been deployed to the Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, where the local pilots' training will include flying with night vision goggles and working with other military units, said Lt. Col. Bruce Schulze, chief of staff for the 104th. Schulze said the 40 guests are part of an "awareness program" co-sponsored by the 104th and the PRODUCT WIDEST CHOICE PRICE ALWAYS HONEST SERVICE MOST HELPFUL THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL BRAND NEW FIRST QUALITY Steel Belted ONLY! All Season Radial 95 27. Tire Warchouse 'QUALITY TIRES FOR LESS' 818 Memorial W.

Spild. 732-9787 PRICES GOOD THRU FER 1. 1997 7. 3 Weld bills to casino Last year, gambling bills never made it out of committee; this year, an effort is building to bring them out for a full vote. By JOHN O'CONNELL Statehouse bureau chief BOSTON Taking another shot on an issue that went nowhere in previous years, Gov.

William F. Weld refiled legislation yesterday that would legalize gambling casinos and allow one in Hampden County. The three bills allowing gaming facilities in New Bedford, Hampden County, and at four eastern racetracks, setting up a regulatory structure, and claiming a portion of casino revenues for state and local governments are a carbon-copy of bills that Weld filed in September 1995. But while those bills and other casino-related legislation never made it past the committee hearing stage, House Speaker Thomas M. Finneran, D-Boston, has said he wants to put the issue to a vote this spring.

Holyoke is the most likely site in Hampden County, but a late entry in the casino sweepstakes could be Palmer. Although no legislation has been filed yet, a Texas casino operator has prepared for a casino in that town. Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, House chairman of the Government Regulations Committee, said he plans to schedule hearings soon on several bills and then quickly report out one casino bill that the 160- member House can vote up or down.

"I'd like to get the gaming issue out of the way," Bosley, D-North Adams, said. "A lot of people have invested a lot of time and effort on this." Neither Bosley nor Finneran have said they favor legalizing casinos, although Bosley is expected to make a recommendation based on six months of study. Bosley plans to visit New Bedford this week, wrapping up a tour that included stops in Holyoke, Fall River, and Salisbury, as well as Illinois and Washington, states where casinos have recently been legalized. Other lawmakers have filed bills to expand casinos to several Bay State cities, but Weld's legislation has the most weight be- refiles OK sites cause it is the result of a deal made under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. That federal gives the Martha's Vineyard-based Wampanoag Indian tribe the right to open a casino, under terms negotiated with the state.

The tribe and Weld signed a compact in September 1995 that offers the state a portion of casino revenues for five years, as long as the state guarantees the tribe "limited exclusivity" to casino rights in Massachusetts. Under the compact, the state can allow 700 slot machines at each of four racetracks in the Boston area and a casino in Hampden County, in a city or town that approved a referendum by November 1995. Holyoke voters overwhelmingly passed a casino referendum in April 1995, while Springfield, Chicopee and Agawam voted against gambling. Since the vote, Holyoke Mayor Daniel J. Szostkiewicz and a private group have promoted the casino as a source of 8,500 potential jobs and $173 million in tax revenue.

More Hollywood recently, Casino Dallas outlined plans for a casino on land off Route 32 in Palmer, and selectmen are scheduled to review the plans at their meeting at 7 tonight in the Palmer Town Building. A small group of Palmer residents has asked the selectmen to put a casino referendum on the April 22 town election ballot. But neither members of that group nor state Rep. Patrick F. Landers III, D-Palmer, are yet promoting the casino itself.

"We're just trying to get a feel for what the people want here," said William Byrnes, a member of the self-styled Future Growth Committee of Palmer. Landers said he has met with casino developers twice, but he is not ready yet to file a bill giving Palmer a chance at a casino. Meanwhile, Szostkiewicz said he is not worried about competition from Palmer or any other community as he prepares for a new round of lobbying at the Statehouse beginning next week. "We've done the marketing studies, we know our casino can support itself. We're not just asking 'What Szostkiewicz said.

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While at Davis Monthan, the group will visit the "aircraft boneyard" at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center and will be taken to "live fire" ranges at Goldwater Bombing and Gunnery Range near Gila-Bend, Ariz. to watch the A-10s in action. The group includes: Chicopee Mayor Joseph J. Chessey William Erickson, superintendent of Hampshire Regional Schools; State Rep. Chris Hodgkins, D-Lee; James McDonnell, superintendent of Holyoke schools; and Westfield City Planner Mark Noonan.

Chessey said yesterday that he has gone on similar trips out of Westover Air Reserve Base and that he is looking forward to this one. "It's pretty darn informative," said Chessey yesterday, adding that a lot of Chicopee residents belong to the 104th Fighter Wing. Another guest will be Paul Lapinki, manager of field service for! Kollmorgen Corp. in Northampton. "My main interest is to see how the operation is with the A- 10s." Lapinski said he had been to Davis Monthan and "the boneyard" several years ago as part of his duties with the Naval Reserve base in South Weymouth.

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The Republican from Springfield, Massachusetts (2024)

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