Mayor John Street is holding forth, less than 15 minutes before post time. He is definitely excited about the prospect of the casinos in his his city, the nation's fifth largest.
"This going to be good for us," said the Mayor. "The whole world is going to be watching the Philadelphia experiment in gaming." Street said.
It's more than an experiment for Street -- it's a way to build infrastructure along the waterfront, leading the way for the linking of the waterfront from the Schuylkill up the Delaware, including new subway extensions to the Navy Yard and residential development there. He said that Foxwoods, the southerly most site on Delaware Avenue, has serious traffic issues (he shops down there a lot, he told us Monday), but he thinks a new 95-exti ramp will help solve the problems.
The Mayor came out and Monday and backed the Riverwalk Casino, because of it's local and minority ownership. He reiterated that today, saying how it would help to spread the money around to local people. As he was speaking, in walked his former solicitor, Ken Trujillo, one of the Riverwalk partners, who told me last week that he would apparently be the first Hispanic casino owner in America. Trujillo's Spanish ancestors settled in New Mexico in the 1700s, so they've been waiting a long time...
NOTE: This was posted at 10 a.m., not 6:54 a.m. We have solved that time-stamp problem, I am told.