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Heartbreaking story brings back fond memories

I was looking at the cover of a recent issue (“Taken Too Young,” June 3) while recovering from a 40-mile bike ride that same evening, and thought to myself that the picture of the young man looked a lot like the boy who died in the collapse of the tire warehouse on Court Avenue. In fact, I did not notice the sub-head, “The story of a young man’s death on Court Avenue and how a family fought for justice.” I just looked at the picture. It wasn’t until a few hours later that my son said, “Wasn’t that the guy who died in the building you were in when working that summer job in downtown?”


Indeed it was. I was one of the “11 young men” in the building that day. You wrote a sensitive and quite informative article about that day. I enjoyed working with Steve and his brother, Ted. They were great guys to work with and often helped this scrawny 20-year-old heft some of the heavier tires onto the stacks. My memory of them both is that they were fun loving chaps who enjoyed talking about some of their escapades the night or weekend before. They never criticized others, and certainly did more than their fair share of the work. Thank you for writing the article.

Terry Grapentine
Ankeny

 

Gambling revenue in Iowa

Jeni Nosbisch’s (“Your View,” June 17) take on lottery payouts was perplexing. She states, “The Iowa Lottery has paid out approximately $2.4 billion in prizes, while raising $1.2 billion for the state. That means the house cut is 33 percent, making it, and the man who instituted it, a sucker bet for Iowa’s future.” On June 10, Cityview published slot machine payout rates from Iowa’s casinos, all around 90 percent. This means a typical casino retains 10 percent, versus the lottery’s 33 percent. As an Iowa taxpayer, I’m glad to hear the state is achieving a 33 percent house take, and I’m happy Mr. Branstad permitted a profitable enterprise for my state’s coffers. That’s $1.2 billion not being raised from my sales and income taxes.

Kevin Shires
Des Moines