In Response to Beau Simpson’s editorial in The Now Newspaper

The following refers to the editorial in The Now Newspaper, by Beau  Simpson, dated Nov. 15th.
Attention Mr. Simpson,
I find your editorial totally arrogant.  How can you say that “Casino  fears are unfounded”?  There are many residents living in this vicinity,  who are very upset, both mentally and physically, about this proposal.   They chose to live in this area,( I am one of these residents ) for the  quietness, comforts of this neighbourhood, less traffic, views of Mt. Baker,  trees and nature—a ‘rural’ life.  We did not choose to look at or be so  close to this monster of a complex.
Can you imagine what guests will think, when they enter B.C. at the Peace  Arch crossing and the first view they get of “Green“ B.C. is a massive Casino  sign and an ugly 7 story parkade!  They will think they are entering a  mini  Vegas!   I do, unfortunately, realise that Casinos are now  a part of our society—but, not at this location.  There is plenty of  industrial land, already cleared in the area of 192 St. and 32 Ave., where GATEWAY can build at their heart’s content, without a house in sight. They can  build a 10 story parkade at that location, including their monster of a casino  complex and no one would be bothered.
Oh yes, the other social reasons for not wanting a Casino are all quite  obvious and a lot of those legitimate reasons were discussed at the last community meeting, Nov. 14 at the Pacific Inn. There were about 430 people in  attendance, with many speakers giving their reasons why a Casino at this  location would be a break up of this great community. Our real estate would be  devalued for sure and our wonderful neighbours will sell and move away!!
You mentioned in your column that you do not gamble, (which is great)—but,  that it would be nice for you to have a another venue for your band and to take your wife dancing!!   I am sure there are other spots in the Lower  Fraser Valley, that you have not tried without wishing for this massive concrete  jungle to be built.
If the developer does not get permission for their proposal, they will not  build any other part of the complex without the money maker of the casino.
You also mention—lets have a discussion and talk about valid  concerns!!  If you think that the residents of this area don’t have valid  concerns—then come out to this region, study the location and imagine yourself  looking  at this concrete jungle 24/7.   Their big strobe lights  will be reflected every night into the sky, and apart from ruining our enjoyment  of a dark sky for sleeping, will negatively affect migrating and local birds and  wildlife as well as the horse and llama breeding farm adjacent to the  development.  The widening of  lovely, rural 168th. St. will turn it  into a busy thoroughfare to accommodate the thousands of extra vehicles going to  and from the casino complex, with the possibility of freight trucks using it as  a convenient shortcut to 16th Ave.  In order to facilitate the widening of  168th St., we also heard that BC Hydro will be removing many mature trees from  both sides,  all the way from 16th Ave., south to 8th Ave. This complete  change of the present infrastructure is shameful to our environment and all for  the sake of a Casino!!
Three questions were asked at the Nov. 14th meeting, by the moderator, if  anyone in the audience had been notified by either the City of Surrey, B.C.L.C.,  or Gateway about this proposal.   NO HANDS were raised to any of the  three questions!
Please realise, that if everyone had been aware  about this possible proposal earlier—we would not be in a state of shock at this  moment. Not even Crescent Gardens (the Retirement Home, next to the Pacific Inn)  was notified of this possible casino!!
By the Way—out of 430 people attending the Nov. 14th meeting—only one  person voted for the casino and the rest voted against the Casino.
Cheers,   Michael  Pohlmann   916, 164A  Street.

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