Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fwd: Hamilton, the musical

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "John H

It was just announced this week that the Broadway musical, Hamilton, the Musical, will be coming to Pittsburgh soon – and I assume to much of the rest of the nation.  This musical has become perhaps the most popular musical ever to play on Broadway and is a must see for everyone who is anyone in politics and business.  However, as the attached article states, it is also a powerful piece of propaganda which substantially misrepresents both Hamilton himself, his policies and his impact upon the nascent nation.  The musical has been adopted by the Democratic Party elite as their defining and confirming ideal – and this is not without merit as the article demonstrates.  But it is important that people who are about to attend this show understand what Alexander Hamilton actually stood for and just how this relates very closely to what is transpiring in the country and the world today.  Much of it represents the very heart and soul of neoliberalism and financialization now impoverishing people around the world, while making the financial wizards of Wall Street modern day kings and queens.  I have added the bold emphasis in the article.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Public Statements: March 20, 2017 to PPS Board and Administration:

Mark Rauterkus, Varsity Swim Coach, Obama Academy.

I lead Swim & Water Polo after-school programs at Westinghouse (Mondays), Obama (Tuesdays & Thursdays), Allegheny (starting on Wednesdays), Arsenal (starting Fridays). Our Saturday Swim School (Oliver HS pool on the Northside) continues from 9 am to 1 pm (most weeks). At 6 am I'm at Sci-Tech three days a week. I coached Manchester Academic Charter School at the Sarah Heinz House and help with Pittsburgh Masters Water Polo and, of course, PPS Summer Dreamers. This year PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim & Water Polo is at King and U-Prep.

These activities are open to new participants, especially the Saturday Swim School. See my web sites at for details. CLOH = Creating Literate Olympians Here.

As we look to the summer, I'm going to be creating a new swimming, water polo and TRIATHLON team, on the Northside on Charles Street with The Pittsburgh Project.

Kids, adults, teachers, … we're hiring. Some of the varsity swimmers help, but we need about 35 as swim instructors, junior captains, guards, and coaches. Much of this work happens with the help of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, and I'm activity recruiting employees.

Applyat the link at

News flash:

Earlier this month, an Obama Swimmer, Sead Niksic, junior, set a new WPIAL Record in the class AA 100-yard backstroke. This is the first time a PPS student in any sport broke a WPIAL record. That news got a mentioned on the PPS home page.

All-in-all, our swimmers performed in brilliant fashion at the WPIAL and PIAA meets. After the snow storm, I took three of the Obama students to the PIAA meet. The Obama boys team finished in the top 20 in the state. All of the swimmers set personal and school records.
This was the 9th consecutive season our PPS kids from Schenley / Obama went to states.
Sead was second in the back and third in the fly. Noah scored 13th in the 500 free in his first trip to states as a sophomore. Amila, a freshman, dropped an additional 1-second in her backstroke, after getting 2nd at the WPIAL championships, having been seeded 10th.

Next news flash:

You, your spouse, coaches, swimmers, lifeguards, PE teachers, and all community members are invited to join in at a seminar and demonstration as well as post-game social to be held in Pittsburgh's South Side starting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the historic, Citiparks' Oliver Bath House. Out of town guest include aquatic experts with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance ( and Kevin McCarthy of Washington state, inventor of the aquatic game, SKWIM. Bring your swim suit and towel as we will put our PA friends into SKWIM games with opponents from around the nation. We'll learn about this terrific game, talk swimming, and find out what you might want to do to help get our kids swimming, more fit and safer in the water. We need to better utilize our facilities too.

After our time at the Oliver Bath House, all are invited to walk to a post game social starting at 9 pm at our home / office at 108 S. 12th Street, South Side, Pgh 15203.

October Reminder
In October 2016, I came to speak. My specific ask was for PPS support for WATER POLO instead of GOLF. The Obama golf team had one kid this year and none have made it to the final city-league match in the past two years. We have dozens of water polo players, and we own the pool. This would be a tremendous help for the students, programs and district in many ways. And, as a switch, it can be “budget neutral.”
I made that request to the board and the top administrators because you are the ones that will have to make it happen.
I find it sad that I have heard nothing about this issue from any of you since then.
Let's fix this for fall 2017.

New & Old Issues:
Furthermore, other matters, not well suited for public comment, need some attention. As we talk about district supported water polo, (we mainly need money for officials, some bus transit to matches and practice times at the school pool), we can share that list. This focused list of suggestions has many repeated requests from the past.  

Fwd: The inner sanctum

---------- Forwarded message
From: John H

This is a bit long, but anyone wanting a glimpse into Trump's inner sanctum will find it to be of interest.  Enjoy!



Monday, March 20, 2017

Fwd: There may be hope, with youth

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John H

For those of us who are prone to giving up hope in this era of despicable political creatures running roughshod over the American landscape, there is a small bit of hope in the recognition that most Americans recognize the corrupt political landscape for what it is.  More importantly, the youth of the nation seem to be motivated for the first time in decades to join in the battle for a better life for all.  The Bernie Sanders Town Hall in West Virginia is but one telling example, but a great one, indicating that given the right direction the American people will rise up to change the system.  Unfortunately this direction will not be found within the leadership of either major political party.  Read the attached articles and see what is happening.



Becoming a Libertarian

Nice read.

Welcome to Pittsburgh, Heather Lyke

New Pitt AD.

Fwd: All too common practice

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: John H
The article below recounts a sad but all too common story these days – a story tied to desperation and despair in many, particularly rural and depressed urban, areas of the nation.  If anyone saw the Bernie Sanders' Town Hall in West Virginia on March 5th, you will recall the attorney talking about the three drug companies listed in the article distributing  4,194,000 opiate pills to Kermit, WV, a town of only 400 people.  This overreach of corporate greed and moral depravity is beyond unconscionable – it is, or should be, criminal.

naked capitalism
March 19, 2017 | By Sarah Anderson, who directs the Global Economy project at the Institute for Policy Studies and is the author of the new report Off the Deep End: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low-Wage WorkersOriginally published at Alternet.
Lambert here:  I have no quarrel with going after Big Pharma CEOs (sadly, well after the fact).  I do quarrel with medicalizing "deaths from despair," which the focus on treatment does, and erasing workplace and community issues (which the story hook of "sport-related injuries" does).  I mean, this is a story about the Teamsters, and are there no truckers in pain, at home if not on the road?  That said, it's good to see some action from a union, since either news of the problem hasn't reached the Acela Corridor (Amtrak's New York to Washington service), or they don't want to hear about it.
Travis Bornstein never told his friends about his son Tyler's drug problem.  He was too embarrassed.
Then, on September 28, 2014, Tyler's body was found in a vacant lot in Akron, Ohio.  The 23-year-old had become addicted to opioid pain killers after several sports-related injuries and surgeries.  Unable to afford long-term treatment, he ultimately turned to a cheaper drug — the heroin that killed him.
"Now I have no choice but to speak out," the elder Bornstein, president of Teamsters Local 24 in Akron, told a crowd of thousands at the union's convention in 2016.  As he shared the unvarnished tale of how a middle-class, star athlete wound up in that vacant lot, Bornstein lit a fire under the 1.4-million-member organization.
The Teamsters pledged $1.4 million for a nonprofit organization the Bornstein family set up to expand treatment for addicts in Ohio.  They're also going after the drug industry CEOs who've been profiting off a national opioid problem of epidemic proportions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription drugs and heroin) has quadrupled since 1999.  In 2015, opioid deaths in the United States hit a record-breaking 33,000.
The labor union is targeting the three largest U.S. prescription drug wholesalers — McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen — for flooding hard-hit areas with the highly addictive pills.
Between 2008 and 2012, for example, these companies shipped 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone opioid doses to West Virginia — 433 for every man, woman, and child in the state.  During that time period, 1,728 people in the state overdosed on the painkillers.
The companies deny any wrongdoing, pointing the finger instead at corrupt doctors and pharmacists who sell pills directly to addicts and dealers.  But as West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin recently told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, "Obviously, they had to know, with a state this size, and that many pills coming in, that something wasn't right."
The Teamsters are using their clout as pension fund investors to demand that drug wholesalers take responsibility for their role in the epidemic, conduct full investigations of their distribution practices, and hold CEOs accountable.
At AmerisourceBergen, for example, CEO Steven Collis hasn't coughed up a penny of the tens of millions of dollars he pocketed as the firm was reaping opioid windfalls — even though the company has paid $16 million to settle a West Virginia case over their negligence.
The Teamsters are demanding that some of the CEO's pay be "clawed back," in the same way that Wells Fargo executives involved in last year's bogus account scandal had to forfeit some of their compensation.
They've made similar demands on McKesson, where CEO John Hammergren's compensation has amounted to an astounding $368 million over the past five years.
Part of the problem with accountability at McKesson, according to the Teamsters, is the fact that Hammergren serves as both CEO and chairman of the company.  The union is filing a shareholder resolution urging the board to appoint an independent chair.
Meanwhile, Travis Bornstein is continuing to speak out, telling his son Tyler's tragic story to students, policymakers, and others as he works to expand the availability of drug treatment for communities ravaged by the opioid crisis.
Since Tyler's death, he's learned that opioid addiction isn't a moral failure, but rather a disease, like cancer or diabetes.  "Now my son is my hero for everything he was able to accomplish with such a gut-wrenching disease," Bornstein said.  "I was the fool."


Friday, March 17, 2017

Fwd: Wikinews-l Digest, Vol 102, Issue 1

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Friday, March 17, 2017
Subject: Wikinews-l Digest, Vol 102, Issue 1

Send Wikinews-l mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Wikinews-l digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. We invite you to join the movement strategy       conversation (now
      through April 15) (Wikimedia Movement Strategy)


Message: 1
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2017 02:36:40 -0400
From: Wikimedia Movement Strategy <>
To: Wikinews-l <>
Subject: [Wikinews-l] We invite you to join the movement strategy
        conversation (now through April 15)
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1; format=flowed

Dear Wikimedians/Wikipedians:

We are starting a broad discussion to define Wikimedia's future role in the world and develop a collaborative strategy to fulfill that role. You are warmly invited to join the conversation.

There are many ways to participate, by joining an existing conversation or starting your own:

        ·       Track A (organized groups): Discussions with your affiliate, committee or other organized group (these are groups that support the Wikimedia movement)[1]

        ·       Track B (individual contributors): On Meta[2] or your local language or project wiki[3]

This is the first of three conversations, and it will run between now and April 15. The purpose of cycle 1 is to discuss the future of the movement and generate major themes around potential directions. What do we want to build or achieve together over the next 15 years?

We welcome you, as we create this conversation together, and look forward to broad and diverse participation from all parts of our movement.

Nicole Ebber (Track A Lead), Jaime Anstee (Track B Lead), & the engagement support teams [1][4]

PS. A version of this message is available for translation on Meta-Wiki:

[1] Organized Groups:
[2] Conversation on Meta:
[3] Individual Contributors:
[4] Track B support team:

* Find out more about the movement strategy process:
* To learn more about volunteering to be a Discussion Coordinator:


Subject: Digest Footer

Wikinews-l mailing list


End of Wikinews-l Digest, Vol 102, Issue 1

Mark Rauterkus
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim & Water Polo Camp Executive Coach
Varsity Boys Swim Coach, Pittsburgh Obama Academy
Recent Head Water Polo Coach, Carnegie Mellon University Women's Club Team
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team

412 298 3432 = cell

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

code fest

Newsletter for states

Dear Fellow Swim Coaches:

Your opinions, feedback and participation are welcomed, at your leisure, as you are able. Thanks for the consideration.

#1. You, your spouse, other helpers with you team, and even a few of your varsity swimmers are invited to join in at a seminar and demonstration as well as post-game social to be held in Pittsburgh's South Side starting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the historic, Citiparks' Oliver Bath House. Out of town guest include aquatic experts with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance ( and Kevin McCarthy of Washington state,  inventor of the aquatic game, SKWIM. Bring your swim suit and towel as we will put our PA friends into SKWIM games with opponents from around the nation, learning about this terrific game that you might want to deploy in your facilities too. Then walk to post game social at 9 pm at our home / office at 108 S. 12th Street, South Side, Pgh 15203.

Tickets / RSVP at

#2. This past season EVERY high school swim meet we hostedin the city had to begin at 2:30 pm, due to officials shortages. Ugh. 

#3. Because we need more community engagement, and officials, I am most interested in starting a wide reaching ALUMNI SWIMMING effort. Sure, there is Masters swimming, Tri swimming, Masters Water Polo and Underwater Hockey. All happen in Pittsburgh. Plus, a few of the largest districts have annual alumni events too. Great. But, I think this is the right time to launch a PA and WPIAL SWIM ALUMNI organization. I will be happy to do the heavy lifting and get this started, but would you be willing to serve on a steering committee and participate in a few conference calls? If so, send an email to 

#4. Another way to expand and improve swimming in PA, that I think we should address, comes with the formation of another CLASS beyond the existing AAA and AA. Let's ponder the possibilities and ramifications of making a legitimate JV Swim Classification. We have city schools, big and small, that do not have swim teams. Plus, we have teams that are fielding teams that are struggling to survive. A new, "JV designation," within the rules, with a few JV focused meets, could be most welcomed addition for the sport in many settings. Ideas? 

Thanks again. Best wishes to you and your teams.

Mark Rauterkus
Pittsburgh Public Schools' Obama Academy

Mark Rauterkus
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim & Water Polo Camp Executive Coach
Varsity Boys Swim Coach, Pittsburgh Obama Academy
Recent Head Water Polo Coach, Carnegie Mellon University Women's Club Team
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team

412 298 3432 = cell