Letters: Nittany Mall Casino Makes Sense; Mastriano’s ‘Freedom’; Biden’s Impact

Preliminary design rendering of the exterior of the proposed casino at Nittany Mall. Image from Nelson Worldwide

I’m not usually one to comment on commercial space plans, but since it feels like most of the recent public comments about the proposed Nittany Mall Casino have been negative, I want to speak for the other side. There are many in this community who would welcome a casino and are even excited that one might come. i am one of them

There are 14 casinos in Pennsylvania, and somehow, even though we’re in the middle of the state, we’re at least an hour and a half’s drive from all of them. In a state with so many casinos, it’s about time the Center Region had easier access to one. Modern casinos are safe and clean and can be an excellent source of tax revenue.

The addition of a casino would expand the entertainment and nightlife options that Happy Valley has to offer. This area offers plenty of bars and restaurants but for those of us craving something different this would be a unique, fun way to spend a night.

Imagine a future where new life is breathed into Nittany Mall with restaurants and shops that, in addition to the casino, could help draw people from nearby cities and counties to College Township. It would be another step forward in what has grown rapidly in recent years along Benner Pike between Bellefonte and State College. In this case, the community would achieve this further growth by repurposing an existing building rather than constructing a new structure that would cut down trees and add more sidewalk like so many developments in recent years.

Concerned about gambling addiction? Mobile sports betting and iGaming (online slots/table games) have been legal in Pennsylvania for a number of years, giving anyone with a phone or computer access to a casino 24/7. The proposed casino would not change that. We have no problem selling alcohol in many different places when it can have so many side effects. What Makes Gambling Different?

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A casino, especially a smaller one like the one proposed, will not look much different from the many other companies in this space. I know some are concerned that this might detract from the area’s “small-town” feel, but I’d argue that the recent proliferation of high-rise buildings in downtown State College has far more impact than the repurposing of an old Macy’s store in the mall into a small casino.

brian thompson,
Benner community

Mastriano promises freedom, except for women

Doug Mastriano, Republican nominee for governor, promises that Pennsylvanians will “walk as free men” and that he will “protect residents from medical tyranny,” as stated in his “First Week as Governor” video on his campaign trail site is called.

Mastriano’s “freedom” does not include women seeking reproductive health care (even in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the mother’s life). Mastriano doesn’t want the government to make people’s medical decisions, unless the people are women making agonizing decisions about crisis pregnancies.

Mastriano promises “a government that doesn’t take away your freedoms and allows you to live your life as you see fit and raise your family as you see fit.” Unless you are pregnant – then he wants the government to control your body with his Fetal Heartbeat Bill, which he promises to sign if elected in his first week as governor.

Mastriano will not “let any bureaucrat tell him how to live his life”. Except if you are a woman of childbearing age.

If you find Mastriano’s promise hypocritical and scary, please register by October 24th to vote and vote against him on November 8th.

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Linda Westtrick,
college community

Biden’s positive impact

How refreshing it is to once again have a President who knows how to be a President.

Joe Biden recognizes the tremendous responsibility he has as the leader of our country and the world. He knows what happens in America matters in every other country, big or small. And he knows he doesn’t need a riot to make himself important and get things done. He brings humble leadership to the office with a sense of duty.

What Joe Biden accomplished in less than two years will have a positive impact on every American now and in the future. Yes, there’s more work to be done, and not every law is perfect, but here’s the thing: In Biden, we have a president who is working to do things FOR us, not for us.

History will show us how this era in American history will play out, but every American benefits from having a real President back in office.

beverly crow,
State College

Mastriano Government order would enforce

The government has nothing to do with restricting citizens’ freedom to make private medical decisions. Doug Mastriano, a state senator, is opposed to abortion under any circumstances. He specifically stated in a key debate that if elected governor he would support a ban on abortion from “conception,” adding, “I don’t give in to exceptions either,” referring to exceptions for cases of rape, incest or a medical emergency where a mother’s life is in danger.

Many issues matter to Pennsylvania voters — the economy, education, climate change — but Mastriano’s radical stance puts those issues on the back burner for many Pennsylvanians who don’t want the government to interfere in women’s health and lives.

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We as citizens want government to take care of our roads, public safety, public transport and education – and address the rising cost of living due to the ravages of climate change. Don’t let politicians take away your freedom to make your personal health decisions.

Doug Mastriano would force everyone in Pennsylvania to agree to his extreme views on women’s health, perhaps including HB 1095, a proposed law that would impose a mandatory life sentence for “murdering an unborn child.”

Mind your own business, Doug Mastriano. Voters in Kansas said loud and clear: They will not tolerate extreme abortion bans — and neither will Pennsylvanians. If your readers agree, preserve our reproductive liberties by voting for Democratic candidates in November.

Lauri Schaitkin,
lock port

The Republicans in Harrisburg can’t be trusted

Here they go again.

Republicans in the Pennsylvania House and Senate are once again lining up to vote on a series of constitutional amendments next spring. Rather than openly discussing and passing these proposed amendments in Harrisburg and using the legislative process that requires governor approval, the Republican plan calls for quick approval with little debate in the Legislature, then moving the proposed changes into the spring election, if this is the case fewer voters. By doing so, they cut our government’s executive branch out of the process.

yes it is legal But beware! And remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: “The price of liberty is everlasting vigilance.”

Watch what Republicans do in Harrisburg, not what they say. They have proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted. It’s not a pretty picture.

Stephanie Szakal,

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