Why is the Home Rule Petition Urgently Needed?

There are two bills currently in the Massachusetts legislature that if passed would have significant negative impact on the town of Great Barrington and its residents. Senate bill 101 and House bill 13 would allow the Mass Gaming Commission (successor to the Racing Commission) to allocate millions of dollars of public money from the Race…

What are the possible impacts of Horse racing in GB?

Modern day horse racing has considerable impacts that may be of concern to Great Barrington and surrounding communities in south Berkshire County, including: traffic/safety https://citizensconcernedhorseracing.com/2019/12/07/racing-impacts-3/ environmental threats https://citizensconcernedhorseracing.com/2019/12/07/racing-impacts-2/ , animal cruelty https://citizensconcernedhorseracing.com/2019/12/07/racing-impacts/ , and economic and social costs https://citizensconcernedhorseracing.com/2019/12/05/example-post/

Traffic Impacts

In 1997, the average daily attendance over the course of the ten-day fair at the GBF racetrack was 5500 people. There is a current proposal for up to 60 days or more of racing at GBF from Aug-October. To give perspective, that number of people would more than fill the Tanglewood Shed. The intersection at…

Environmental Threats

In 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice imposed a civil penalty of $1.25 million dollars on Suffolk Downs racecourse to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act. The corporation was also required to spend more than $3 million to prevent polluted water from entering nearby waterways and had…

Animal Cruelty

Under current Massachusetts law, a commercial horse race track cannot be less than 1 mile long. The Great Barrington Fairgrounds (GBF) racetrack is half that, and there is no room to extend it to the one-mile requirement. Proposed Senate Bill S101 takes away any requirement for a minimum length of racetracks, thereby eliminating fundamental safety…

Social Costs

Is there really any benefit to horse racing in Great Barrington? The human costs of the horse racing industry include jockey injuries and deaths; poverty level work force; increased gambling and its consequent crime and alcohol and drug abuse; extremely high water use. The owner of the GB Fairgrounds is a nonprofit organization and thus…