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Updated: October 2, 2013 6:24AM



Parks Foundation shouldn’t donate land for shelter

I oppose the Porter County commissioners’ plan to ask the Porter County Parks Foundation to donate land for an animal shelter at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. It is a terrible idea and does nothing to support our fledgling county park system.

I am a 50-year resident of Porter County, a life member of the Parks Foundation, and a former county Park Board member. Using Parks Foundation assets for non-park purposes is contrary to its mission and conflicts with the purposes for which it was granted IRS nonprofit status.

Agreeing to the commissioners’ request would also adversely affect the Parks Foundation’s reputation, and adversely impact its pivotal role in keeping the Barn project alive. It has successfully secured substantial donations over the years to benefit our Porter County parks.

Could potential donors rely on the Parks Foundation commitment to its mission in the future if it caves in now? For the Parks Foundation to dip into its assets for requests that do not support our Porter County parks would set a terrible precedent.

Charlotte J. Read

Valparaiso

Is sportsmanship obsolete?

A baseball manager recently said, “It’s not cheating if you don’t get caught.”

A NASCAR driver said, “If you aren’t cheating, then you aren’t trying.”

Football and basketball players are given acting lessons so that they can convincingly fake falling to make it look as if an opponent has knocked them down.

In amateur snow ski racing, racers are allowed to manipulate their racing results to allow them to move into easier racing divisions to increase their chances of winning.

Even in local speed-walking competitions, runners not good enough to win as runners are able to enter as walkers so that they can win by running or jogging just enough to beat the walkers.

I was brought up believing that much of the value of sports is learning sportsmanship; that is, playing fair, appreciating the value of practice and preparation, and learning that hard work and dedication are rewarding.

I was taught that cheating to win is wrong and not something to be proud of. I was taught that sportsmanship includes respecting your opponents and congratulating them when they win.

It seems that our youth are being taught that sportsmanship, fitness, effort and hard work are for people not smart enough to “use” the system to win.

I believe that this attitude is harmful to society as a whole, because the cheaters will carry their beliefs from sports to work and school.

Also, I don’t see how a person can be proud of his or her efforts when they win by cheating. I think we should be teaching athletes and their coaches what’s really important: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

Bill Leavitt

Valparaiso



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