QUINN, GAMBLING KING
Gov. Pat Quinn recently rattled his sword in support of a casino in Chicago and four other sites in Illinois. He also touted the feds giving the OK for Illinois to begin selling lottery tickets online. Then he said with enthusiasm that video poker would be ready to start later in 2012. Quinn in his rush to negotiate a suitable gambling expansion bill for Illinois has now become the “gambling king” in the United States.
What Quinn has not disclosed: in order for the state to be successful at being a gambling winner, you, the citizen, must be the loser. In December the 1.3 million customers of Illinois’ 10 casinos lost $102 for each visit. That is an average figure, taking into account winners and across all levels of gambling amounts wagered.
Pat Quinn used to be in favor of citizen input into public policy issues. But not anymore. Now Quinn consults with legislators who receive millions of dollars in campaign contributions from gambling interests to decide for the “little people” what is best for them.
I am not a moralist opposed to gambling. I play a game of skill called poker with my friends. However, I never would waste my money at a casino on slots which are programmed for the fat cat casino owners and the state through taxes to win.
If Chicago, a proven place of corruption, should consider a casino it should be through a fair referendum of its citizens.
Doug Dobmeyer, spokesperson
The Task Force to Oppose Casino Gambling for Chicago
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
James Krohe’s column, “Just what you want to do,” published in Illinois Times Jan. 12, reflected on the Springfield School District’s new online project, Where Are They Now (www.sps186.org), which allows district alumni to share what they are up to and thank a teacher (or coach, principal or janitor) if they’d like.
Based on his impression of the first three people we profiled – an actress, a physician and a biochemical engineer – Mr. Krohe is concerned about our definition of success and whether schools assume too much responsibility (or credit) for it. He also challenges us by referencing Charles Blanchard, a 1962 Springfield High School graduate and now a New York-based artist and hand-weaver.
“I would think better of the Springfield schools if they didn’t focus so relentlessly on preparing their charges for the kind of life that our Charles Blanchards feel compelled to ditch,” Mr. Krohe writes.
I hope Mr. Krohe gives Where They Are Now and Springfield Public Schools more of a chance. I’d like to think we’d be as proud of a hand-weaver such as Charles Blanchard as we are of the biochemical engineer we featured. What role the district played in anyone’s life is up for them to note. Where Are They Now intentionally follows a first-person format precisely so we wouldn’t be judged for taking any more credit than alumni would give us.
As someone who helped create Where Are They Now, I actually consider Charles Blanchard as perfect a candidate for it as any other. I write this just after finishing editing his profile, which he sent us six days before Mr. Krohe’s article was printed.
Pete Sherman, director of communications
Springfield School District 186
Democracy loses when corporations like GateHouse Media take control of local newspapers. Journalism is dying the death of 1,000 cuts as greed, rather than the public good, is the motivating reason to publish a newspaper. Most GHM executives would not know news if it bit them in the butt. This is the capital of Illinois, for God’s sake, and GHM is destroying what was once a grand institution, the public’s watchdog. Support Illinois Times, the last vestige of independent news in this city.