It's our money
Thanks for publishing
the "It's Your Money"
column. Again we see an example
of excesses in the budget of the
City of Des Moines. $1,250 was
paid to the Des Moines Rifle and
Revolver Club for 25 memberships
for certain police officers. I
assume (and hope) that the police
department has some place to practice
shooting. And if it does, then
this expense was unnecessary.
I want our police officers to
be well trained for their own
safety, but that doesn't mean
paying their dues to go to a private
Vilsack, the money-grubber
In his column "Good night
and good luck" (Nov. 10,
2005) Jon Gaskell writes that
Gov. Tom Vilsack wants more dollars
for terrorist control. It seems
the farsighted Vilsack sees the
forthcoming and imminent threat
of Osama's goons killing our hogs,
cattle, sheep and the propaganda
machine down on Locust Street.
Gaskell writes that if "Osama
comes calling with a greasy bucket
of KFC, then Vilsack's our man."
Forget that shit. Tom wasn't elected
governor on chicken grease. Hell
no. Tom was greased with corporate,
union and the money of the filthy
rich. Vilsack is no better or
worse then the rest of the sorry
political sucks. If Osama brought
in planeloads of cash, the greedy
bastards (Democrat and Republican)
would hand over the United States
to him - including Tom Vilsack.
Why on earth are we worried about
the rights of convicted sex offenders
("Separate but equal,"
Nov. 10)? Sure there are many
levels of offense when it comes
to sexual deviance, but whose
job is it to determine this and
at what cost to the taxpayer?
There are far more important things
to be worried about than if Joe
or Jill sex offender has somewhere
in town to live. What parent,
or upstanding citizen for that
matter, would want a convicted
sex offender living next door
to them? As a Des Moines resident
and a father of a 5-year-old girl,
the last thing I want walking
the streets of the neighborhood
my daughter rides her bike in,
is some sexual predator. I could
not care less what their offense
was, but I don't have the time
to look at each case on an individual
basis to determine whether or
not their crime was extreme enough
to be exiled. Keep them the hell
out of my neighborhood. I don't
care if they raped and killed
a baby, or simply decided it would
be cool to hump their 16-year-old
adopted son. They're scum and
should not be tolerated.
Sex offenders all different
Erin Randolph provided an excellent
commentary on the need to categorize
those who have sexually offended
("Separate but equal,"
Nov. 10). Lumping together all
people with charges of some level
of sex offense is causing enormous
problems for people to get on
with their lives. Knowing the
success rate of therapy is excellent.
And all states, not just Iowa,
need to respond by setting levels
of scrutiny to those charged.
Director, Sex Abuse Treatment
First Tee a waste
Let me preface my remarks by saying
that I don't play golf so I haven't
been too concerned about the Grandview
Golf Course hill controversy.
Nor, until I read Jon Gaskell's
column ("Pull some punches,"
Nov. 17), did I even know what
the "First Tee" program
is and what it's supposed to do:
teach little kids to play golf.
Now that's a fine way to spend
the taxpayer's dollar, teach little
kids to play golf. As if there
aren't other priorities and more
pressing needs around this town,
the Des Moines Parks and Recreation
Department wants to teach little
kids to play golf. Jesus Christ,
why don't we use that First Tee
money to teach little kids to
Editor's note: The First Tee
program is actually funded by
private donations, not taxpayer
dollars. Hence the column regarding
people opening their mouths without
having the first idea of what
they are talking about.
It's all about Ed
Thank you, Carolyn Szczepanski,
for your tremendous reporting
in the article "Double jeopardy"
(Nov. 3). We all know that there
are many people who represent
a danger to our society and must
be in prison. However, it is our
expectation that prisons will
be a safe place, both for the
prisoners and the employees. Our
community leaders must work together
to do everything they can to provide
a safe, effective environment
within the criminal justice system,
free of corruption and intimidation.
As governor, you can rest assured
that I will continue to work with
the Department of Corrections,
AFSCME and the general public
to ensure that we have a criminal
justice system based on restorative
justice, not retribution. It is
one of my top priorities to make
sure the problems brought to light
in this article are addressed
and the persons responsible are
held accountable for their actions.
It is distressing to think that
incidents like the one involving
the dead raccoon take place in
broad daylight in front of the
Iowa State Penitentiary, in full
view of the guard towers and security
cameras, and still the persons
responsible cannot be identified
and brought to justice. Ms. Szczepanski's
work in bringing these issues
to light is an excellent first
step towards improving our criminal
justice system and the public's
awareness of the system's inner
Rep. Ed Fallon
Culver welcome, legal
With regard to your "sources"
about Chet Culver doing his announcement
at Hoover (Civic Skinny, Nov.
17), please let them know that
we would welcome any other candidate
who wants to use our public spaces
as long as it doesn't interfere
with the school day. Schools in
Des Moines have hosted candidates
of every party: George W. Bush
at the Downtown School, Al Gore
at Jefferson Traditional, Charles
Grassley at Hubbell, Tom Harkin
at Moulton, Doug Gross and Tom
Vilsack each visiting a Des Moines
school on the same day during
the 2004 campaign, and Leonard
Boswell at Capitol View. The Republican
Governor's Conference in Des Moines
had a downtown school classroom
filled with GOP governors. We
always open our doors to the people
who do or may represent us. We
typically allow government class
students to attend these events
on a voluntary basis; it is a
great way for students to see
our American system of democracy
at work. All other students were
in their classes hard at work,
as usual. This event followed
the models used by other metro
schools to welcome elected officials
to our schools.
Principal, Hoover High School
Jon Gaskell's profile on Jerry
Spargur was awesome (Nov. 17).
I have known Jerry since he started
doing some public awakenings.
I have no doubt in his gifts.
He is a healer. He is the "real
deal." My sister was diagnosed
with Stage-4 ovarian cancer years
ago. He did a healing on her.
And she is still with us, and
thriving. I lost my dog of 18
years Nov. 2. Jerry was there
for me. I was an emotional mess.
He told me, "If you aren't
doing better tomorrow, I am going
to take your emotions from you."
He did a healing on me Nov. 4
and he totally took away my emotionality.
Even my joints felt better (a
person's stress can manifest itself
in the body anywhere). He has
proven his gifts over and over
again. He will begin having public
Awakenings again soon. They involve
spirits coming through to give
messages to the people who attend
them. He is just an incredible
individual. He has given proof
to many that life doesn't end
just because of death, and that
the spirit continues. Again, I
am happy you chose to profile
Jerry - especially for the many
people who will benefit as a result.
West Des Moines
He's no shaman
Big Chief Tent Pole sez, "There
ain't no such thing as a Mohawk
from southwest Iowa (Profile,
Nov. 17). The tribe is located
in St. Regis, in upstate New York,
aka Akwesasne, with part of its
reservation in Quebec. Also, Shamans
don't sell dream catchers, blankets
or jewelry. Real shamans don't
even admit to their status. It's
supposed to be a secret. Heap
lot of bullshit!"
No Tom tomorrow, or the
I was one of the many readers
who wrote in the last time you
dropped "This Modern World,"
and because enough of us wrote
in you reconsidered your decision
and brought the comic strip back
briefly. But, you've obviously
forgotten all the previous letters
you received and have unceremoniously
dropped the strip again. Your
reasons for dropping the strip
are as dubious as Dubya's were
for going to war. The only thing
that has lost its edge in the
pages of Cityview is the editor
and the staff themselves. Bring
back "Tom Tomorrow"
today and Justin Kendall, too,
while you're at it.
No place like home
I lived in Des Moines for 10 years
before taking a job to travel
the country, hitting 86 cities
in the past two years. A lot of
people ask me, "What is your
favorite city that you have been
to?" And I always say Des
Moines, Iowa. I tell them that
the housing prices are reason
alone to live there, and the small-town
feel with lots of big city things
to do is a secret little gold
mine. I sent this article ("No
place like home," Nov. 24)
to everyone I know. I am so thankful
that it was finally put into words.
People need to stop whining; they
have no idea how GOOD they have
it in Des Moines.
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