Letters: Doping In Sports And Restaurant Ownership

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The mother of a student athlete responded to a segment about performance enhancing drugs in sports. Another responds to an interview with Tim and Nina Zagat, who advise aspiring restaurant owners to reconsider.

NEAL CONAN, host:

It's Tuesday and time read from your emails and Web comments. Our conversation about doping in sports prompted this email from Margie Coldinger(ph) in Sacramento: As the parent of a student athlete, I say these drug-using pros should be drawn and quartered. Our son, 25 years ago, was showing great promise as a high school football player, and my husband, a doctor and former college football player, told him to bring home anything the coaches gave him to take. The issue is children's health. Coaches can be fairly ignorant of the effects even now at the high school and college level, whether it's blood doping, growth hormone, you name it. Keep it healthy on the pro and amateur levels.

As part of that discussion, Bill Strickland of Bicycling Magazine told us why he reluctantly changed his mind of Lance Armstrong and performance-enhancing drugs. Katherine McLane wrote on behalf of the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which was founded by Lance Armstrong to assist cancer patients and their families.

She said LIVESTRONG wants to assure NPR's listeners that our organization, though proud of the tenacity and fighting spirit of our founder, is much bigger than any one person. She continued, we fund the studies and develop unique programs to help survivors live healthier lives, and we fight relentlessly, every day, against the globe's number one killer. Each day, more and more people join our cause and we are incredibly grateful that even during a tough economy, the number of people donating to LIVESTRONG continues to rise.

We spoke with Caroline Kennedy about "She Walks in Beauty," a collection of poems that inspired her at different times in her life. Tara Sharps in Virginia listened and wrote: Until his death, when I was 12, my grandfather and I would sit together and read poetry. Each week, I would memorize a poem or two. Reading and discussing poetry with my grandfather was the single, most important factor in shaping who I would become. I love him and will be forever grateful to him.

Finally, Tim and Nina Zagat had some advice for aspiring restaurateurs: Don't do it. Linda Paul agreed. For years, I tortured my son with the desire to open a French country restaurant in Moscow, Idaho. I still have that desire, but don't talk about it out loud anymore. Instead, I ran for Congress as a Democrat in a highly Republican district in 2000. We don't talk a lot about that either.

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