Unbelieveably interesting things happening in my home state.
I grew up on Long Island, so pardon me for crowing a bit about the possible casino we may soon have there.
[Franklin Square, near Hempstead, if you must know…is where my family settled, after leaving Brooklyn.]
Seems like the Shinnecock Indians 32-year battle for federal recognition ended with prayer, drumming and an Algonquin victory song on Long Island this week, after the Obama administration approved the tribe’s petition.
Now comes the next big challenge: negotiations over a casino in a region filled with competing gambling interests.
With federal recognition, the tribe can build a casino on its 800-acre reservation in Southampton, N.Y., but the tribe, the state and local officials would prefer to find another location, in New York City or its suburbs, for the casino.
I dunno, I’d like the casino on the Island but I can understand the tribe wanting it in the city. More money, naturally. Wall Street banker money.
The state has been negotiating with the tribe in anticipation of the recognition, which appeared likely after an initial ruling in December.
The announcement of the decision, made by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, will almost certainly change the way of life for the relatively impoverished tribe, whose 1,292 members live amid some of the nation’s wealthiest and most famous celebrities.
The decision will become official after a 30-day public comment period.
I’ll keep an eye out on what happens.
After all, like I said…MY HOMETOWN.