Scenes From Inside the MRR

Manchester, CT – 11/27/14

The 78th Annual Manchester Road Race was another fun and successful event.  The snow covered trees and cold November air added to the ambiance of this central Connecticut tradition.

The following are photographs from inside the race showing the many colorful characters and long time entertainers along the way of this 4.748 mile long run.  First, however, a brief history and some fun facts:

History:

  • Beginning in 1927, the Manchester Road Race started with just twelve runners.
  • Today, there are more than 15,000 registered runners and walkers.
  • In 1961, the first woman ran the Manchester Road Race.

Fun Facts from this year’s race:

  • Weather: 39 degrees Fahrenheit, Sunny
  • Registered runners: 15,000
  • Runners who officially finished: 12,878
  • Registered walkers: 1100
  • Additional participants: approximately 2500 unregistered runners
  • Spectators: 30,000-35,000
  • Last person crossed the starting line: 10 minutes, 25 seconds

Charities supported by the Manchester Road Race.

IMG_2344 IMG_2345 IMG_2348 IMG_2349 IMG_2351 IMG_2352 IMG_2354 IMG_2355 IMG_2356 IMG_2357 IMG_2359 IMG_2362 IMG_2364 IMG_2367 IMG_2368 IMG_2370 IMG_2372 IMG_2373 IMG_2376 IMG_2377 IMG_2378 IMG_2379 IMG_2380 One of the many entertainers along the route One of the many entertainers along the route Long Time Participants IMG_2386 IMG_2388 IMG_2389 IMG_2391 IMG_2392 IMG_2393 SafetyMan - A Long Time Participant IMG_2396 IMG_2397 One of the many entertainers along the route IMG_2400 IMG_2403 One of the many entertainers along the route IMG_2405 IMG_2406 IMG_2407 One of the many entertainers along the route IMG_2409 IMG_2411 One of the many entertainers along the route IMG_2414 IMG_2416 Last Leg Approaching The Finish Line Christmas Tree Runner

CT’s Deficit Depth and the Race for More Gambling

Hartford, Sunday 11/23/14

Shortly following his win for a 2nd term as Connecticut’s governor, Dan Malloy announced emergency budget cuts which, as reported by the CT Mirror, fall on social services and education.  These cuts may be a shock to the governor’s supporters who followed an optimistic narrative during the campaign on the state of the state’s fiscal health and his stated commitments to stand behind education and social services.

As inevitable as cuts are to address the state’s ailing balance sheet, so will be the race to grab more positive cash flow for the state’s general fund.  One notable approach is to expand the Mohegan tribe’s gambling operations somewhere along the northern part of the I-91 corridor.  Representative  Peggy Sayers (D) is one member of the General Assembly who likes this approach.  As quoted in the Courant, Sayer stated, “We are living in new and different times, with increased competition in every surrounding state, and we need to support and protect the jobs in our state.”

Although the General Assembly already endorses and promotes state wide gambling via the numerous lottery games, Mitchell Grossinger Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority stated in the Courant, “From the business side, I can certainly visualize a legislative solution that would permit some sort of expanded gaming…”

Questions arise on whether or not the state can force a local community to accept gambling, or if even an approval is required for any community that wishes to open gambling since, as stated earlier, the state presently endorses and promotes state-wide gambling.

In addition, casino revenue has been falling. In 2013, state lottery collections exceeded money collected from slots machines.

Annual Aggregate of Public Funds Dedicated for Problem Gambling Services Missing from Rep. Sayers’ statements are the very real costs of gambling for state tax payers in the form of problem gambling services.  Figure 1*. illustrates a national rise in these expenditures, “which must be included in any revenue equation”, responds the former representative candidate for the 59th district, Rob Kwasnicki.  “You cannot ignore the associated costs if an honest and objective evaluation of this approach is the goal.”  Figure 2 shows the 2010 Per Capita Problem Gambling Service Allocation by US States with Funding*2010 Per Capita Problem Gambling Service Allocation

Mr. Kwasnicki urges community and state leaders to consider the following:

  1. The General Assembly needs to focus on planning for reduced spending vs increasing revenue
  2. Gambling is expanding throughout the northeast. There will be more competition and Connecticut’s share will decline, regardless of how many outlets are open in the state.
  3. The state already engages, endorses and promotes gambling with various lottery games.  Perhaps instead of a top-down demand approach, we allow individual communities to decide on whether or not gambling is right for them.
  4. Gambling has a cost: Addiction services and infrastructure (traffic/parking).
  5. Is gambling addiction services and treatments covered by the ACA (Obamacare)?
  6. How many tax dollars are planned for allocation to support additional gambling addiction facilities, services and public service announcements?

With or without expanded gambling, the state apparently faces much worse financial challenges from what we heard during the elections.  How far will Governor Malloy go to properly address the imbalance and whether he will shield his ardent political support groups from impending sacrifices is left to be seen.  Gambling as a major tool in repairing our balance sheets seems to be a bit of a gamble.

* Figures courtesy of APGSA.org (www.apgsa.org/national_overview_docs/2010%20APGSA%20Survey%20Report.pdf

Democrat Lockdown & the GOP Return?

CT GA - Democrat ControlledBreaking Old Habits

The people of Connecticut vote for Governor candidates from whatever party, but for state representatives in the general assembly, the Democrat party has maintained constant control of that branch of government.  With all laws, taxes and regulations originating and passing from the general assembly, it is curious why Connecticut voters are not more diversified in their voting habits.

Don Pesci, writing for “Red Notes from a Blue State”,  recently interviewed a new candidate in CT’s 59th district, running against an entrenched Democrat incumbent with a family history of controlling this seat in the general assembly.  There has not been a Republican voted in to serve the 59th in approximately 30 years.

So, what does challenger Rob “Kwas” Kwasnicki think of this?

Read the interview and article here.

JF