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Adeline Ashley

Los Angeles native Adeline Ashley is founder and president of a new website http://www.cleverparties.com. With over 15 years experience in the gourmet foods, corporate gifts, catering and event planning industries, she has become an expert in providing creative gifts and event planning ideas. Special artistic care goes into creating extraordinary celebrations and fabulous gifts to deliver that extra “WOW” factor—hence, she has a long list of celebrity and corporate clients from Oprah to Aerosmith and Boeing to Warner Bros.

Adeline’s business background along with a passion for entertaining was a natural transition for her to create Clever Parties. Through recent planning of party events, both personally and professionally, she saw an opportunity to develop a unique online resource for planning, sharing, and creating clever parties and events. She wanted to build a site that was cool, fun and easy to use with helpful tools and social networking capabilities.

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Best Boomer Towns Columns

Golf Threatens The World

Bob Lipsyte is misinformed. Bob is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Unfortunately that makes Bob a misinformed individual with a national platform.

Bob dislikes golf. In a recent USA TODAY “Opinion” piece, Bob takes issue with everything he finds distasteful about the game and discusses why golf threatens the world.

Here are a few of Bob’s – ahem – insights:

“Golf helped get us into this economic fix.”

“Bernard Madoff [the Ponzi scheme investment guy] was a golfer.”

“…it [Augusta National, home of The Masters] gave up millions of dollars in TV sponsorships rather than give in to a campaign to admit at least a token woman.”

“Golf is an environmental nightmare, a waste of space, of fertilizer, of water. Think of the vegetables that could be grown on those useless lawns, bathed in pesticides to keep those fairways looking unnaturally like carpeting. Think of the lovely meadows, walking trails, wildlife sanctuaries.”

Like many “contributors” with an agenda and desire to be noticed, Bob would rather not let facts get in the way of his writings. Sadly, when a reputable publication like USA TODAY prints an article like Bob’s, even under the heading “OPINION,” people assume the article’s contents are well researched and contain facts. But then, comedian Dennis Miller might say of the idea USA TODAY is a reputable publication “Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.”

So, here are some facts Bob may want to consider and USA TODAY should check out before printing future pieces and then hiding behind the claim that “Well, it was just Bob’s opinion.”  Following each fact is a suggested headline for an “opinion” piece I may submit to USA Today, which if it follows past policy, will not bother to check for accuracy:

• Fact: In addition to providing open space, golf courses create jobs, supply tax revenue, invest in capital equipment/projects, and purchase materials locally. Bob’s “Lovely meadows, walking trails, wildlife sanctuaries,” while pretty to look at, do few if any of these things. Additionally, in many cases, zoning laws require golf course land must remain a golf course or stay undeveloped. Suggested headline -  “Bob Opposes Healthy U.S. Economy, Zoning Laws”

• Fact: The golf industry accounted for $3.5 billion in annual charitable contributions, more than any other sporting activity, according to the “2005 Golf Economy Report” conducted by Stanford Research International. Suggested headline – “Bob Opposes Charitable Giving”

• Fact: Golf in 2000 was a $62 billion industry, bigger than the motion picture and recording industries combined, according to Golf 20/20. A follow-up report in 2007 confirmed that golf had grown to become a $76 billion industry, with a total impact on the U.S. economy in 2005 of $195 billion.
Suggested headline – “Bob Opposes Growth In U.S. Economy”

• Fact: An average of 10 gallons of water are used per square foot of golf turf in Colorado compared to the average home or commercial bluegrass lawn, which requires 18 gallons per square foot for the same area, according to a 2002 Colorado State University study. In fact, the nearly 16,000 of U.S. golf facilities provide communities with valuable green space. The widespread benefits of golf course landscapes are delivered with the minimal use of water, with golf courses accounting for only one-half of one percent of U.S. annual water consumption. Suggested headline – “Bob Encourages America To Waste More Water”

• Fact: Most golf course superintendents have bachelor’s degrees in agronomic disciplines. Many have advanced degrees. Federal, state and local authorities regulate what and how much fertilizers/chemicals course superintendents can apply. Homeowners, on the other hand, are subject to no such restrictions or oversight. Homeowners, like Bob, could put hundreds of bags of fertilizer and pesticides on postage stamp-sized lawns without worry. Suggested headline – “Bob Encourages Homeowners To Apply Massive Amounts Of Chemicals To Home Lawns”

• Fact: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the lead-off hitter in our nation’s Bill of Rights, ensures “freedom of association,” the legal basis for the formation of male, female, ethnic, religious and other private clubs that follow local, state and national laws. Augusta National follows those laws. Suggested headline – “Bob Opposes U.S. Constitution, Bill Of Rights”

Bob also mentions he rides a bicycle, which is made out of scarce resources that could be used to build schools, hospitals and bridges. His bike was made at a factory that has to rid itself of waste materials into our environment. And while Bernard Madoff may have played golf, Hitler rode a bike. Suggested Headline – “Bob Opposes School, Hospital and Infrastructure Construction, Favors Pollution, Praises Hitler”

Bob also writes for a newspaper that kills trees to make the newsprint that hold his “opinions.” Suggested Headline -  “Bob Advocates Killing More Trees”

But, I suspect, and this is only my “opinion,” that Bob would say his resource-robbing/environment-polluting bike and tree-killing publishers are okay because, well, they are Bob’s.

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