Tribal Offices Open Today

Dear Tribal Community,

Good morning! Tribal offices are open today, October 31st, and operating normal hours to bring first class service delivery to our Tribal nation.

I want to thank you once again for the cooperation, compassion, and community shown by Tribal citizens and families during the storm. Thank you for sticking together and checking on one another. I also want to once again thank our Tribal Operations – especially the Emergency Preparedness, Buildings and Grounds, and Elder Services departments – for coordinating services for our Elders and ensuring Tribal properties were secured and prepared for the storm.

Should you or your family have any questions or need assistance, please contact Tribal offices as usual today.

Kutaputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Storm Update

Dear Tribal Community,

I hope that you and your family have made it through Sandy safely and with as little disruption as possible. As you know, due to the damage and unsafe conditions, Tribal offices are closed today.

However, Tribal Operations never stopped working throughout the storm, and I want to say a heartfelt thank you and job well done to our Emergency Preparedness, Elders Services, and Building and Grounds Departments, and many Tribal employees and citizens who have been working together non-stop to monitor the storm and damage, check in on Elders, and take care of neighbors and family. This has been a team effort and I am very proud of you all!

These efforts are continuing. While we were spared the worst of the storm, there is still widespread damage, power outages, and unsafe road conditions. We will continue to check in on Elders in the Mashpee area, help with any damage, and assess any damage to Tribal property. Please continue to check in on your own family and neighbors if it is safe to do so. Please be aware that any down power line may be live, and that many roads are still slippery or may have debris present.

Resources:

Power Outages

o Power outages can be reported online or by calling 1-800-465-1212 in New England

o NStar: http://www.nstar.com/residential/outage_reports

o National Grid: www.nationalgrid.com/HurricaneSandy

Information Resources

o For all non-emergency information call MASS 2-1-1 (dial 211)

o Call your Local Health Department

o go to http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

Again, I want to thank our Tribal employees and entire Tribal community for pulling together, acting with compassion and professionalism, and taking care of each other.

Kutaputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Tribal Offices Closed Tuesday October 30th

Dear Tribal Community,

Due to Hurricane Sandy, which continues to bring high winds and damage to the Mashpee area and all of Southeastern Massachusetts, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Offices will be closed tomorrow, October 30, 2012. Please stay indoors and off the roads if at all possible.

Kutaputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Stay Safe During Hurricane Sandy

Dear Tribal Community,

With Hurricane Sandy expected to affect the majority of our Tribal citizens over the next several hours, please stay safe and take precautions to ensure safety throughout the duration and aftermath of the storm.

Tribal offices are closed today and all Tribal meetings have been postponed so that tribal citizens and employees can stay off the road. Please check in on family members and neighbors – especially Elders – if you are able to safely do so.

Mashpee Wampanoag Emergency Preparedness has been working hard to communicate with Elders, prepare Tribal resources in case of an emergency, stay in touch with state and local emergency officials, and monitor conditions.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has provided the following information about the storm and resources in case of an emergency situation:

Massachusetts will experience moderate to major impacts, including damaging winds for a period of 12 – 18 hours, associated widespread power outages, and heavy rains. In addition, both south- and east-facing coastlines will experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Potential impacts of Sandy include:

High Seas: Sandy is predicted to cause unusually high seas (30 feet or greater) off the coast of New England with seas peaking Monday and Tuesday. Strong gale and storm force winds are expected with hurricane force gusts possible. Seas will be dangerous and potentially life-threatening, even for large vessels. National Weather Service (NWS) advises all vessels be in port by Sunday morning.

Winds: Damaging winds and associated widespread power outages are likely. Wind damage may be exacerbated in southern New England as most trees still have foliage at this time of year. Inland Massachusetts could experience sustained 30-40 mph winds with gusts of 50-60 mph. beginning Monday morning. The Massachusetts coastline will see winds of 40-50 mph with gusts 60-80 mph.

Coastal Flooding: Both east- and south-facing coasts in Massachusetts may experience moderate to major coastal flooding and beach erosion during the Monday and Tuesday high tide cycles. For south-facing coasts, the Monday evening high tide is of most concern and may experience major coastal flooding. Surge is expected to reach 3-5 feet, with high energy waves of up to 30 feet approaching the coastline. There is the possibility that areas within Buzzards Bay, especially the south coast, may to see up to 6-10 feet of surge as the winds push water up into the bay, resulting in destructive coastal flooding. For east-facing coasts, minor to moderate coastal flooding may occur, with the Monday midday and midnight high tide cycles of most concern. East-facing coasts may see 2-4 feet of surge during high tide, with 3-5 feet possible during low tide cycle.

Rainfall: Massachusetts can expect 1 -3 inches of rainfall Sunday night through Wednesday with locally higher amounts of 3-5 inches possible, especially in the Berkshires and Worcester Hills. Rain is expected to potentially last through mid-week.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for the General Public

•         Be sure to have a well-stocked Family Disaster Kit in the event you lose power or are isolated for a number of days.

•         Clear clogged rain gutters. This storm brings the potential for torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding.

•         Secure outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash barrels, hanging plants, decorations, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and potentially become a projectile.

•         Elevate articles in your basement that could be damaged from even minor flooding.

•         Keep your vehicles fully fuelled.

•         Have a certain amount of cash available. If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.

•         Stay informed by monitoring the storm via the media.

•         Plan to stay safely indoors throughout the course of the storm, beginning Sunday night and through Tuesday morning. Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are operable.

•         If you use a generator, be sure to operate it outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Be sure to shut off your main power supply to your home when running your generator.

•         Do not use gas stoves or candles as heat or light sources.

•         Heed guidance and directives from your local officials.

Ping4alerts!

MEMA encourages smartphone users to download the free ping4alerts! app. This app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones and receives severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA based on the user’s location. Learn more at http://www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.

Online Resources

For additional information and resources, visit:

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at www.mass.gov/mema<http://www.mass.gov/mema> (Hurricane preparedness tips and other preparedness information are available through the “Hurricane” link on MEMA’s homepage).

MEMA’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA

MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA<http://www.twitter.com/MassEMA>

Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.fema.gov<http://www.fema.gov>

National Hurricane Center website at www.nhc.noaa.gov<http://www.nhc.noaa.gov>

National Weather Service/Taunton at www.weather.gov/boston<http://www.weather.gov/boston>

National Weather Service/Albany, NY at www.weather.gov/albany<http://www.weather.gov/albany>

Mass211 at www.mass211.org<http://www.mass211.org>

Stay safe, and may the Creator cover you.

Kutaputunumuw;


Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Tribal Operations Closed Monday, October 29th

Dear Tribal Operations,

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Office will be closed on Monday, October 29th, 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy and a declared State of Emergency. The 2013 Annual Budget Meeting has also been postponed.

Please be safe and may the Creator cover you!

Regards,

Cedric Cromwell – Chairman
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

Tribal-State Compact to be renegotiated

Dear Tribal Community,

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has notified the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that our Tribal-State Compact will need to be further negotiated before it can be approved. While disappointing, this possibility was anticipated in our agreement with the Commonwealth, which requires that we return to the negotiating table immediately to address the outstanding issues in the Compact and come to a revised agreement. We believe that these issues can be resolved quickly and cooperatively, and the Compact can be re-submitted to the BIA for swift action.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Commonwealth have negotiated respectfully and collaboratively to come to an initial agreement, and we will continue to negotiate in that same spirit. It is critical to the economic development plans of our Tribe, the City of Taunton and the surrounding region, and the Commonwealth as a whole that we reach an agreement as soon as possible. Our destination resort casino in Taunton will create thousands of construction jobs and permanent careers, and will energize the regional economy.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has met all requirements of the Expanded Gaming Act, including the acquisition of land in Taunton, the negotiation of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City, the overwhelming passage of a popular referendum, and the negotiation of a Compact by July 31. In addition, our application for land in trust is currently under review, our Gaming Ordinance was approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission, scoping sessions for both federal and state environmental reviews have been completed, and we have made an initial payment of $1.5 million to the City of Taunton as part of our agreement with the City.

Let me be clear, the Tribal-State Compact and our land in trust application are two totally separate processes with no bearing on each other. We are very pleased with the progression of our land in trust application and continue to work toward a positive determination.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has the inevitable right to conduct gaming in our ancestral homeland. We look forward to immediately getting back to work with the Commonwealth on a revised Compact so that there will be no delay in bringing good jobs and revenue to our Tribe and the Commonwealth.

Kutaputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)

Update on our Destination Resort Casino in Taunton

Dear Tribal Community,

With so much happening with our plans to build a destination resort casino in Taunton, I wanted to take a moment to update you on our progress. This is an incredibly exciting for our Tribe, and I am so proud to be working, along with many others, on this important component of our Tribe’s future. Our destination resort casino will bring jobs and economic development to our Tribe, our neighbors, the City of Taunton, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This will truly put us on a path to the economic self-sufficiency that has been a goal for so long.

First, a word about Taunton. Since we announced our intention to pursue this project in Taunton, it has been a pleasure to work with the residents and the government officials in the Silver City. Mayor Hoye, the Municipal Council, City Solicitor Jason Buffington, and the Taunton-area legislative delegation have been respectful, cooperative and have represented their city well. From the negotiation and overwhelming passage of the Intergovernmental Agreement, to the strong show of support at the city-wide referendum on June 9th, there is no doubt that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the City of Taunton have a great working relationship and the shared goals of economic development and job creation.

In addition, we submitted an amended application for Land in Trust, which includes our land in Mashpee as well as the land under agreement in Taunton. This application is progressing and is currently under review at the Department of Interior.

I want to once again thank the Mayor, his staff, the Municipal Council, the Tribal Council, volunteers and staff of the Together for Taunton campaign, Tribal members who spoke with residents of Taunton about our plans, and of course, the residents of Taunton for welcoming us with open arms.

Since that great day on June 9th, the momentum hasn’t slowed. We negotiated a groundbreaking Tribal-State Compact with Governor Deval Patrick that was approved by the Massachusetts legislature. This Compact is the result of serious but cooperative negotiation between the Governor’s team and our team, including the special efforts of Vice-Chairman Aaron Tobey. This Compact is a good deal for both our Tribe and the Commonwealth and puts us once step closer to economic self-sufficiency.

Following the signing of the Tribal-State Compact, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Gaming Authority made the first payment to the City of Taunton in the amount of $1.5 million. This payment was negotiated as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement, and shows our commitment to the City and the progress we are making in bringing our destination resort casino to the City of Taunton.

These developments are all very exciting, and we are moving quickly, so I want to make sure that I continue to communicate our progress with all the citizens of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. Together we have come so far, and working together, we will reach our goal of developing and operating a first class destination resort casino in Taunton.

Kutaputunumuw;

Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)