Thursday, April 08, 2021

A Profit Deal & Alternative Schools

Move To Online Gambling a Bad Deal for Iowans
Nicholas Johnson
Iowa City Press-Citizen (online), Letters, 4th position, April 7, 2021,

Gambling, once illegal in Iowa, is now online. TV commercials encourage record-breaking sports betting. As a former sports law professor, gambling’s impact on the integrity of collegiate and professional sports concerns me. More concerning, Tom Coates (Des Moines Consumer Credit) believes the odds are good that Iowa will see more bankruptcies, suicides, divorces and other fallout due to the spike in sports wagering. [Photo credit: Kinnick Stadium video display, Riverside Gambling Casino advertisement, Nicholas Johnson]

I was introduced to gambling as a pre-teen. The family was visiting friends in a large house in San Francisco. The grownups wanted adults’ conversation, so I was handed our host’s straw hat filled with nickel slugs, told to go to the attic and play the slot machines. Never without a little notebook, pencil and curiosity, I kept track of the number of slugs that went into the machine and the winnings.

My conclusion? I’ve never given a dime of my own to the gambling industry. Like Steve Martin’s character in the movie “The Jerk,” I wrote in my little notebook, “I get it, this is a profit deal.”

For Iowans tempted to further enrich the gambling industry, it’s a line worth remembering — along with the phone number 1-800-BETS OFF.

Nicholas Johnson, Iowa City
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Need For Alternative Schools Has Been Met
Mary Vasey
Iowa City Press-Citizen (online), Letters, 3rd position, April 7, 2021,

Thank you, Republicans, for considering the need for alternatives to traditional schools for students who are or may be falling through the cracks. While Republicans may not intend to leave this impression, it does make me wonder why they consider this an “unmet need.” [Photo credit: Iowa City Community School District]

Having taught at Metro High School for over 20 years, I encourage those legislators to learn about Cedar Rapids’ Metro High School, Iowa City’s Tate High School and the many other fine alternative schools throughout the state and across the nation. Legislators will find this is a need that has been identified and successfully served for years by the dedicated educators in Iowa school districts’ alternative schools.

Mary Vasey, Iowa City
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Tags: a profit deal, alternative schools, gambling, Metro High School, online gambling, public education, sports gambling, sports integrity, Tate High School,

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