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Skinny is a blind, deaf jackass?

I don’t know who the blind, deaf jackass was you had covering the dedication of the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden was (“Civic Skinny,” Oct. 1), but I was there and heard the mayor speak and I spoke to him after it was over. Next time, send someone who doesn’t fall asleep on the job.

John A. Gersib
Des Moines


[Editor’s note: Not blind, deaf or sleepy. Skinny clearly was referring to the black tie gala the night before. As previously stated, Mayor Cownie was not there.]


Didn’t Terry do enough damage the first time?

By all means, former Gov. Terry Branstad should run again. After all, last time he was in office, he tried to deny contractually-agreed-upon employee raises, then when the employees went through the courts to force him to honor the contract, he had to not only pay the raises but also the back wages with interest, costing taxpayers extra, besides court costs. He also set a dangerous legal precedent that any teen driver can drive drunk, duck the test until the alcohol has left his system, kill two people and only have to surrender his driver’s license to a proper state authority as punishment. I’m sure his son Eric has since regained a driver’s license. Yes, Branstad is the man we need to run our state.

Jennifer Nosbisch
Des Moines


Iowa, beware the succubus of the silver screen

Tax credit capers and Hollywood-hi jinks have chagrined moo-town’s movie mavens. Second thoughts about underwriting Iowa’s mini-moguls are all the news. An ex-Californian tells all. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., which translates as Hollywood, USA. I know the insider skinny, the score and the skank. SoCal is a regional company town whose ethos and product has always been low-grade schlock with no sacrament. The movies are a scandal-rich and monied up carnival business where fact and gossip conflate, engage and enrage.

From its inception the “Movie Biz” has been a honey trap for gullible investment virgins usually succumbing to sordid accounting chicanery. Its greedy moguls and accounting flexibility is legend, and easily revealed by a competent fiduciary responsibility. Midwestern common sense took a pass or a bribe for the specious and suspect glamour of consorting with Hollywood players. “Lambs to the slaughter” would be a boffo movie title. Before Iowa invests additional hard earned gelt to support the flickers, it might employ private detectives or on-the-lam bookmakers to vet the next round of tax credit commitments.

It would behoove Iowa for an explicative definition and description of the showbiz scene. To paraphrase fellow ex-Californian and noir novelist James Ellroy: “Hollywood, go on vacation and come home on probation.”

Gary Wilson
Des Moines


A few things to ponder about the sculpture garden

I hate to be the one to put a damper on all the joy surrounding the celebration of the Pappajohn Park, but as with the Allen Mansion when it was donated to the State of Iowa (some years ago by the Hubbells), there are several things to keep in mind. Both properties are a bit of an expense to maintain, as the state has learned. Second, I’m sure the tax deduction is well above the original cost. Thirdly, and most important, make sure that the donor’s name will be acclaimed long after the donors are gone. That is a reward that money can’t buy.

Bob Fagerland
Des Moines

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