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Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 09:46 am

Letters to the Editor 01/13/11


Last week’s cover image was by Jessica Gottstein, a Springfield graphic artist.

Thank you, Bill Parker, for writing the article about my mother, Frances Richardson [see “Remembering the lives they lived,” Dec. 30]. Thank you to all who continue to remember what a remarkable woman she was. I was really missing my mom this week and with all the snow in Chicago I decided to go sledding down the local hill in remembrance of her. She did it all the time. I thought I could do it too, no big deal. Let me tell you, I’m 45 and it hurt. She was in better shape than any of us. She walked to work, downtown, most days, went to an aerobics class twice weekly, was a volunteer at Lincoln Memorial Garden taking schoolchildren for hikes through the woods.

This Christmas, my parents were together in Heaven, and we all know that was the one thing missing from her life, she never got over the loss of my dad. My mom always told us, her three kids, just love one another, be kind to others, and everything else will work out.

Beverly Benyamin
Villa Park, Ill.

I am writing to express appreciation to Debra Swihardt, owner and operator of D’Lynn’s Delights Café, a new cafe at Fourth and Monroe streets. Debra used to weigh 550 pounds but lost 350 pounds by eating smaller portions of healthy, low-calorie meals. Now she is offering these options at her cafe. Best of all for me, her menu provides options that are safe for celiacs (people with gluten-intolerance), diabetics and vegans – this in addition to an extensive regular menu of sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts. She offers gluten-free breads, which allow me to order a real sandwich and even get a cupcake without worrying about gluten! Delicious inexpensive food that is healthy and safe – what a great addition to downtown Springfield’s eateries!

Bonnie Ettinger

The Presidential Museum is awesome even to me, a lifelong Sprinfieldian who has lived and breathed Lincoln. Driving up to the museum it looks impressive until you get to the front. Who the heck would board up, block the view, of the front? The wall of window on the front only lets you see a wall of boards. Would the public not enter if people could see a little something from the windows? Well if nothing else it does cause many people to laugh, thinking of the cost of the windows that really do nothing. Oh well, it is Springfield.

M. Vasconcelles

The article by Fred Gottheil regarding the immorality of legalized gambling in local communities [see “Illinois loses at the blackjack table,” Guestwork, Jan. 6] incorrectly cites specific theoretical analogies of placing a $50 bet at a blackjack table, once a week for 30 weeks results in an annual loss of $1,500 for the patron. This is a gross exaggeration.

Typical blackjack games yield a house edge of six percent. The mathematical expectation of a $50 wager on this game is a loss of $3. Over an extended period the casino will grind out $3 for every $50 this patron wagers. Obviously many variables affect the short-term expected value, including variance of standard deviation, skill level, rules, etc. Further, the writer completely discounts the patron’s probabilities of winning, and instead tells his reader that the patron will lose 30 of the 30 wagers he places. Though the probability of this outcome is feasible, it is most unlikely.  

I understand the point Mr. Gottheil was attempting to illustrate to his readers. His attempt to persuade readers with inaccuracies is wrong. He is just as guilty of using smoke and mirrors convincing his readers that they will lose 100 percent of their wagers, as the casinos are guilty of poorly disclosing the truths regarding house edge in their games. Thanks, from a professional gambler.

Greg Jackson

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