Friday, August 12, 2022

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Your View

Gartner’s story was enlightening to The Des Moines Register’s history


Thanks, Cityview, for “Michael Gartner’s Memories of 715 Locust” (May 30). That was one of the most informative, insightful and entertaining articles your paper has ever published. From the descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells of the downtown Des Moines of my youth to the insight into the workings of a rapidly disappearing (or at least vastly changing) local newspaper industry.

There is a certain amount of unguarded honesty that those of us at or near retirement are willing to share, and Mr. Gartner did just that. His willingness to give the readers a glimpse of the personalities most of us knew only by name reaffirmed my belief that individuals are infinitely more interesting than the organizations for which they work. His honesty in decisions made and resulting regrets was enlightening.

The realization that the newspaper that claims to have shaped history (check out the paved road article in a recent Sunday Register) so easily threw out its own history — “throwing out decades of clippings and photos that filled rows and rows if files…” — is disappointing at best.

I would love to see similar articles from other Iowa leaders and business representatives from a time when personal relationships were at least as important as the price of a product or service.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Gartner. I have almost forgiven you for shutting down the afternoon Tribune.

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa
Mike Rowley


What about consumer responsibility?

In reference to “Water, Water Everywhere” (Your View by John Hicks of Des Moines, May 23) that pointed out the bad water and smell in Iowa “caused by the politicians, etc.” — as if the money that is being referred to comes out of thin air: Due to the drought last year and the heavy rains this year this is a water quality situation. There is also a lot of agriculture that can cause a smell which the author blames on money from the agriculture industry. Where does that money come from? It comes from the consumers (not the agriculture industry) who buy and consume some of the lowest cost food/byproducts in the world. Even the individual who wrote the comments I’m sure buys food and other agricultural byproducts (ethanol, for example), and that is where “the money comes from.” If the consumers wish to pay more for these products, then they can let everyone (farmers, legislators, voters, etc.) know this and insist everything become pure and sweet-smelling so as not to offend anyone or have to pay for water treatment. (There still will be water treatment costs to add fluoride, chlorine, etc. and etc.)

Bottom line: For any products, how much is the consumer willing to pay?

Norm Metcalf


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