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Keller @ Large: 2016 Local Turkeys Of The Year

BOSTON (CBS) -- Yesterday, we brought you my picks for some of the biggest turkeys of 2016 in the national headlines. Today, it's the local turkeys, with no shortage of candidates to choose from.

Gambling in Massachusetts

Plainridge Park Casino
Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville. (WBZ-TV)

"It's showtime!" they said at the 2015 ribbon-cutting for the new slot parlor in Plainville.

But so far, there and in designated casino sites in Everett and Springfield, the gambling show in Massachusetts looks like a flop in the making. When it comes to making smart bets with our gambling industry, could there be any bigger turkeys than the State Gaming Commission?

Their work has so far been a litany of disappointments and delays, while competing states are moving forward. And while by law they're supposed to help economically-struggling areas, earlier this year they rejected a Brockton casino plan that would have brought desperately-needed jobs and investment to that ailing city. Ugh.

Green Line Extension

Green Line Extension

Speaking of unfulfilled promised, folks in Somerville and Medford have been waiting for decades for the state to make good on its Big Dig-era vow to extend the Green Line into those communities.

Under Gov. Deval Patrick, the state produced an extension plan so bloated and ill-conceived, it was deemed billions over budget and summarily scrapped by the Baker administration this year.

State officials hope to salvage a scaled-down plan, but that will require generous funding from a president who looks at Massachusetts and sees no one in the political leadership who hasn't publicly dissed him.

And with budget-conscious Republicans now in control of both branches of Congress, good luck bringing that federal bacon home.

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

How did Curt Schilling, one of our greatest local sports heroes, turn into a world-class turkey?

By over-sharing his strident political views through inappropriate tweets equating Muslims with Nazis and mocking transgendered people, which cost him his TV broadcasting job.

So what now? Why, a run for US Senate against Elizabeth Warren of course.

And while no one is invincible, the pathetically small turnout at a recent Schilling political rally was not a promising start.

Rattlesnakes in the Bay State

A Timber Rattlesnake (Photo credit Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife)

Hey, everybody loves venomous rattlesnakes, don't they? Apparently not, as Gov. Baker learned when he proposed establishing a snake farm on an uninhabited island in the Quabbin Reservoir.

The outcry was intense, and after some slithering, state officials put the plan on hold.

Moral of the story: we already have one snake farm, conveniently located atop Beacon Hill. Why do we need another?

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