Consensus Is Clear

Hi Ron!

I enjoyed your article in the PRB Week-Ender (Is College Worth It?). I find it shocking that when I graduated from college in 2005, my student loan balances were very similar to what they still are today. Makes you wonder why you spend that much on education, but you are correct—I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Julianne Chadwick

Recreation Supervisor

Jaycee Park Center for Arts & Crafts

Greenville, N.C.

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I read your article about the true worth of a college education. You were so on the mark.

I did not need a college degree to get into the career path I chose—working for the federal government. However, I always thought that a well-rounded person should be further educated if possible. I worked full time and went to school a couple of nights per week for several years and eventually graduated from the only college within commuting distance where I lived—a community college. Yep, got my AA and was proud of myself for that accomplishment. I then kept on taking classes because they were there and they were interesting. That is what an education is worth to me—KNOWING stuff, being exposed to ideas. You never know what you like or are good at until you try things. College is ideal for that.

It was refreshing to read your article.

Betty Phillips

Carmichael Park, Calif.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- WhiteWater Parts Now Online

WhiteWater’s new e-store allows you to order spare and replacement parts for WhiteWater products online. Find factory-authorized nets, hose jets, platforms, hand wheels, water guns etc., for AquaPlay and SCS interactive play structures. Shock absorbers, springs, etc. for our waterslides also are available. For more information, call (604) 273-1068, or visit .

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Field Notes

BSN SPORTS , a direct marketer and distributor of sporting goods to the school and league markets, has completed the acquisition of Spokane Athletic Supply based in Spokane, Wash. Prior to the acquisition SAS was a member of the SPORTS INC. buying group.

John T. Wiggins retired from Community Professional Loudspeakers earlier this year as vice president after 41 years with the company.

As part of their focus on improving dealer and customer support, Terex Environmental Equipment now offer a structured training program for their global dealer network.

The Synthetic Turf Council (STC), the national trade association for the synthetic turf industry, has launched its new brand identity, including a new website and new logos. The organization is commemorating 10 years of accomplishments and service to the synthetic turf industry.


Propane Council Extends Incentive Program

Washington —The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) recently extended its Propane Mower Incentive Program through 2013, giving landscape contractors another full year to apply for more than $1 million in incentives toward the purchase of new propane-fueled commercial mowers or propane mower conversion kits.

Applicants accepted into the program can receive either $1,000 toward each newly purchased propane-fueled commercial mower or $500 toward qualified mowers converted to run on propane. The incentive can be applied toward up to 25 mowers per applicant, including both new and qualified conversion propane mowers. Program participants must report to PERC on the equipment’s performance and usage for one mowing season.

For more information, visit


Read All About Free Play On Scholarpedia

Harrisburg, Penn.—The National Institute for Play, with support from the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) has published the first round of academic research surrounding the benefits of free play on the newly-created Encyclopedia of Play Science. The encyclopedia establishes the field of play science and is free and open to the public, providing valuable resources for those interested in the science behind the free play movement. Free play is the state in which children combine creative, imaginative and social play in an unstructured environment as in nature or at a local playground. The Encyclopedia is live on Scholarpedia, a wiki-based online encyclopedia housing peer-reviewed academic articles. It is the first-known database of scientific, academic research that demonstrates the scientifically proven benefits of play.


In The Market For A Golf Cart?

Augusta, Ga.—Pre-owned golf cars can be great investments, or they can be rolling money pits.

According to Ray Bentley, director of aftermarket sales and operations at Club Car, most pre-owned golf cars sold by wholesalers and dealers are former fleet electric cars, reconditioned for personal use. This often includes a speed upgrade. “Make sure the car you buy has a maximum speed of 20 mph. Anything over that can lead to legal and safety concerns,” Bentley says.

Additional recommendations:

1. Identify a clear serial number. This reveals the origin of the vehicle and when it was made. If the number has been hidden or removed, the seller may be trying to hide something.

2. Determine the age of the batteries. The batteries are the most expensive components on electric cars. Lift the seat and find the month and year of manufacture. Look for a car with batteries that are no more than two years old. Months are represented by letters, with A for January and L for December. Years are designated by numbers, with 1 standing for 2011, 2 for 2012 and 3 for 2013.

3. Check the batteries. Look for leaks and corrosion and make sure the battery fluid is clean and clear. Inspect the battery cables and ask if the charger shuts off automatically when the batteries are charged. This is a better option than a manual timer.

4. Inspect the body and frame. Look for misuse, rust or body damage. Look underneath the car for welds or other signs of frame damage. If possible, buy a car built on a rustproof aluminum frame.

5. Make sure the vehicle has tail lights, turn signals and other safety gear required for street use.

6. Look for tire wear.

7. If the vehicle has a canopy, make sure it is secure. Shaking the canopy will help determine if something is loose or broken.

8. Test drive the car. Watch for noises and vibrations and test the brakes, acceleration and turning stability.

9. Make sure the vehicle is made by a reputable manufacturer. If it’s not, parts and service can be a problem.


Word On The Web

On “September 11, 2001: Our First Duty Is To Remember” Week-Ender blog:

Thank you for your heartfelt article.

As others, I will always remember the day. I was is West Lafayette, Indiana and of all things setting up our display exhibit for our State of Indiana–Parks & Recreation Association’s Annual State Conference. Small American Flags (purchased at the local Wal-Mart) were provided to each exhibitor and with good old duct tape, these flags were taped to the drapery posts at each exhibitor’s booth. The trade show aisles were lined with American flags; it was a stunning site. This most tragic event brought folks together regardless if you were a salesperson (the “V” word–“Vendor”) or a parks and recreation professional, everyone banded together at our IPRA State Conference—one that many of us will never forget.

Thank you again for your wonderful article.

Dan Downey

Miracle Recreation Sales Representative

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Having had two of my sons serve in Iraq—one a Marine, and the other with the 82nd Airborne—your message resonates loudly in my heart—we must always remember!

Richard Heaton


On “Creating Hurdles” August 23 Week-Ender blog:

Just wanted to say that I really enjoy the Week-Ender and look forward to it each week. I have been in parks and recreation a long time and I enjoy the different perspective that you provide. I do not always totally agree, but your writings do inspire thought and in some cases, action.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

John Kennedy

Parks and Recreation Director

Raymore Mo.




1-3 West Virginia Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Twin Falls State Park;

8-10 National Recreation and Parks Association National Congress, Houston, Texas

16-18 10 th Annual World Aquatic Health Conference, Indianapolis, Ind.—Hyatt Regency Downtown;


5-7 Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Columbus, Ga.

17-21 Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association Conference, Chattanooga, Tenn.

25- 26 Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference & Tradeshow, Montville, Conn.--Mohegan Sun Hotel & Convention Center;


6-10 American Sports Builders Association Annual Technical Meeting, San Antonio, Texas;