2003 Libertarian Party of Pittsburgh Holiday Party
Del's Bar and Restaurant, 4428 Liberty Ave., next to Bloomfield Bridge (412-683-1448)
$35 at the door; $30 in advance if received by Dec. 10th
7:00 PM - 7:30 PM - Hors d'oeuvres & soft drinks (cash bar)
7:30 PM - 8:15 PM - Dinner
8:15 PM - 8:30 PM - Dimitri Vassilaros introduces Gary Nolan
8:30 PM - 9:30 PM - Gary Nolan speech, Q&A session
9:30 PM - 11:00 PM - Party time!
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Sunday, November 23, 2003
Mr. Mario mcLoid, Mentoring Partnership of SW PA; Mr. Fedor Hernandez, PA Fatherhood Initiative; Mark Edwards, Juvenile Court Project; Eric Vecere, Fatherhood initiative; Mr. Hugh Mitchell Bouvier, writer and director.
Monday, November 10, 2003
Televised Duquesne Law Discussion
Pittsburgh, PA- Does the Patriot Act protect our civil liberties or infringe upon them? On Tuesday, November 11th, at 6:00, Pittsburgh ACLU Chief Legal Counsel Vic Walczak and Heritage Foundation Fellow Paul Rosenzweig will debate this highly contentious question at the Duquesne University School of Law. PCTV-21 will broadcast the event.
THE PATRIOT ACT: A CIVIL WAR OVER CIVIL LIBERTIES is sponsored by the law school's Federalist Society Chapter and will be moderated by former Night Talk host John McIntire. The debate, which will raise money for Habitat for Humanity via each attendee's suggested $3 donation, will take place in room 204 of the Law School before an audience of at least 120. The debate will include legal questions from law professors Margaret Krasik, Robert Barker, and Thomas Lizzi, as well as audience members.
"I want to congratulate our Federalist Society for organizing this debate on such an important topic to our nation," said Law School Dean Nicholas Cafardi, who will welcome attendees. "I am looking forward to a stimulating discussion."
"How we respond to the threat of terrorism while continuing to respect cherished civil liberties is the single most important domestic legal question facing America today," said Rosenzweig, who is flying in from Washington, DC. "Public engagement in answering that question and the Duquesne debate are vital in making sure we get the answer right."
"The ACLU appreciates the opportunity to participate in what will likely be an illuminating discussion of these important issues," added Walczak.
"If John Ashcroft is covering up nipples on statues, who knows what else he's hiding?" pondered McIntire. "There's a lot of propaganda by both sides on this issue. I'm very excited about having enough time to sort out the spin."
"We are honored that the Duquesne Law School Chapter of the Federalist Society has associated Pittsburgh Habitat with this program," said Habitat for Humanity's Maggie Withrow. "Habitat never has to debate the overwhelming need for affordable housing."
"The Patriot Act radically alters America's ideological landscape with strange bedfellows and unlikely alliances," said Duquesne Law Federalist Society President Chris Lilik. "We are pleased to provide Pittsburgh with such a stimulating and informative discussion."
Vic Walczak, ACLU Chief Legal Counsel: 412-681-7864 x21, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation: 202-329-9650, email@example.com
John McIntire, former Night Talk Host: 412-322-1967 MacYapper@aol.com
Maggie Withrow, Habitat for Humanity: 412-466-6716 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean Nicholas Cafardi, Duquesne Law Dean: 412-396-6280, email@example.com
Chris Lilik, Duq Law Federalist Society President: 412-261-1666, Lilik714@duq.edu
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Naugatuck student get high scores
Naugatuck High School Principal Bill Collins said he know last year's seniors would do well on their Advanced Placement program exams.
He just didn't expect their scores would be as high as they are. "I'm proud of the kids, and I'm proud of the teachers," he said. "I'm very pleased. The kids have really taken it seriously."
Seniors who participate in the program take college-level courses and can generally receive college credit of they score a three or higher on the exam, said guidance counselor and program coordinator, Joseph DiStasio. The exams are graded on a scale of one to five.
Last year in Naugatuck, 92 seniors took 131 AP exams in biology, calculus, English, psychology and U.S. history.
In calculus, all 15 students who took the test scored a three or higher.
In English, 76 percent got 3,4 or 5. In history, 64 percent.
Cameron Palmer, a senior last year who currently attends Middlebury College in Vermont, qualified for the AP Scholar with Honor Award. he took all five exams and scored a five on all of them.
Saturday, September 27, 2003
for the GOP Faithful on Sept. 27, 2003
412-298-3432 Mark@Rauterkus.com http://Rauterkus.com
1. The “Community Unity” event of Sept. 11 is being released for TV and WEB. Jim Roddey spoke as well as a minister and great music. If you have interests in any web site, multi-media content or live in a Community with CABLE Access TV -- please speak to me if interested in helping.
2. Ken Heiss hosted a meeting on Sept. 10 concerning the Mayor’s office in the City of Pittsburgh. I’ve got copies of my open letter that was delivered there. As meeting’s notes are made available, I’ll post them.
3. For personal reasons -- please see me if you live and have any connection to school board members or top administrators in: Fox Chapel, or Baldwin, or Mt. Lebanon.
4. A new, bold effort is about to begin with an internet utility called eVote. We’ll do far reaching opinion polls on many matters. I’d love to be certain that all sectors of our community is a part of this endeavor. My email blast list has 6,000 contacts. This can double by the end of the year. Help by attracting REGIONAL email contacts for like-minded people.
5. The Mayor’s Commission on Public Education report that hit this week is being call -- by me -- “POND SCUM.”
Those that agree or think otherwise, we are going to make a public reactions as citizens, taxpayers, voters and parents. Meeting are about to be called to coordinate public reactions. See me if you are interested.
6. FreeTeam.Org has Personal Computers for “gratis loan” to any candidate in the county of any party who desires. Web and internet consulting is included.
7. The Great Replacement RACE is Sunday. A Hash event -- for free -- is to happen after for those beer drinkers with a running problem.
8. A YOUTH Technology Summit is in being planned. This is a long-range plan that will take years to occur. Nearly 10 idea sessions have been hosted and 20 are expected for round one. We need “board members” or better expressed, “faculty members.” If interested in a role for yourself or your company -- please email. We also want to have “idea planning meetings” around the county in various settings with diverse groups.
9. Personally, I’d love to entertain invites to speak to (and with) suburban GOP Committees. I’d love to attend one of your meetings so as to look at issues and concerns shared between the city and suburban political leaders.
Thursday, September 25, 2003
108 South 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226
412-298-3432 = cell
Key Communicators with the PPS
Dear Fellow Key Communicators and Concerned Citizens,
The Mayor’s Commission on Public Education issued a report this week -- something I’ve called ‘pond scum.’ In my not so humble opinion -- we, the citizens and parents, need to organize quickly and make a measured reply and response to the commission and the media.
The kids and volunteers (as well as others watching this madness now and for the years to come) need to witness and come to know that we are not happy. They need to know that we will work to not only set the record straight -- but work to uphold quality of life issues.
A measured response is necessary in the days ahead -- not weeks or month to come. We need to act quickly.
This media response needs to be much more than a few ‘letters to the editors’ or ‘talk-show rants.’ The put news throughout the Post-Gazette - and on the front page. The media is waiting for our reply and will allow for this story to turn into a healthy debate.
I think the best response from Dr. Thompson, the elected board, principals and staff is “NOTHING.” The scrap that is yet to come can be with the Key Communicators. I want to carry the burden and headaches of a tangle to ourselves so the school people can keep about their business in the care for our children and educational missions.
Perhaps the best way to proceed it to have three planning meetings. If you can attend any one meeting, then you’d be able to have a spot on the agenda for the press event. Then we’d have a reply in the middle of next week with a press event. All meetings could be held at Connelley, perhaps, or else another PERC. Or, perhaps South High School’s cafeteria might be available.
I’d love to get a bit of a boost from the School officials -- in getting the initial call out to the various schools, getting the building permits, and opening up a back-channel email flow of info for those who are willing to contribute ideas.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
To work on behalf of all children,
All parents of PPS,
Leaders, support, advocate, role, citizens, wide-community, lifelong learning, community discussions, help-centers, circullum based, focus, emphasis, holistic, assist parents in developing the skills needed to promote the development of all students / training, structure, partnerships, who are you, raise academic standards for students, equip parents, to become involved in the child's school experience, attend school, commitment, collaborate, intervention, gather parents.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
An Open Letter
Dear GOP Faithful Ones,
My reaction to this endeavor is nothing but “splendid.” Thanks Ken and all the others for launching this discussion. Let’s sustain it on many fronts and in many dimensions.
Tonight I’m at UPMC’s Eye and Ear Institute to introduce a friend from California who is playing at the Grand Opening of the Musician’s Hearing Center. Perhaps I’ll arrive at the end of the meeting to get a copy of the notes from this discussion. On 9-11, tomorrow night, I strongly encourage you to get to Club Cafe by 7:30 pm. The music will be perhaps the best you’ll ever hear. Plus, Jim Roddey is confirmed for 8 pm and Dan at 9 and PCTV 21 will be filming for a rebroadcast.
My thoughts and perspectives the Mayor’s office and candidates are extensive. I’d be happy to sit down with anyone to talk in length and depth about matters. Or, ask via email and the rants and ramblings can be made visible for all to see and ponder.
1. We need an open-source mentality which is a new type of process for leadership and problem solving. We can’t do what Mayor Murphy has done in his closed door meetings and bingo -- 731 are fired off. We can’t be a smoky city where Lawrence and Mellon run the town. When it comes to knowledge, more is always more. We need solution ideas and suggestions to come from citizens of every neighborhood -- from around the world. All the King’s horses and King’s men can’t put Pittsburgh together again -- but all the citizens, with the king’s engagement and leadership can sure try.
Those of us who have been hitting our heads on the wall are going to be in a much different situation after Murphy and the cronies leave. Too many have voted with their feet or just don’t care to waste their time any longer with leaders who can’t and don’t listen. The choice of willing ignorance is going to end -- and we must not field another candidate like what they’ve done.
I don’t want Pittsburgh to be like those in Poland in WWII -- where there was Hitler to the west and Stalin to the east. The citizens will not rush to new leaders unless there is a team that has a process of inclusion and distinction.
Stories, payables and even a book, Compelling Sense, have been crafted to express these fundamental shifts that need to occur in our government’s style and operations. We don’t need to shift the street. No, it is much more. We need to alter our philosophy and then chart new courses and directions.
To win this office from a non-Dem, we’ll need someone who is here to make history and not be a slave of it. We can’t run a person with a program that is like the Ds but better.
2. We need a communicator. Accountants, legal advisors, and bond experts can be obtained. We need a person who writes, speaks, and plays in every setting and every instance. We’ll be talking about modern thoughts with digital friendly attitudes. I’ll go to block parties -- and the high tech council -- and the messages will be understood by the audiences.
3. We need a team player and a team builder. And, the team is with the left, right, and center. We need to go to the faith based community as well as every other community. This web of life in Pittsburgh is still working -- and it needs respect. .
Ken will want a leader who operated a corporation with large budgets. Frankly, I think it is more difficult to coach a swim team with 200 kids and get them to state records and championship levels. Management is hard work and has been ignored. Being direct is not always the most welcomed and flower-filled way. Being brutally honest is a turn off in many situations. But, it is what is called for here. If managers are not doing their jobs -- they need to be written up, benched and / or fired.
This is parenting. We need the mayor to be at our side -- and then on the case of those who stumble in their production. The Ds have lock-step boosterism at work here and reward the ones who follow the predetermined pathway. Rather we need to have managers who grade on another scale that is about service to the customers -- the citizens -- and consider the economics of our time. I’m a tough love manager, parent and coach. Respect will be given to others -- and earned as well in return. The duty of stewardship is hard work and the easy pathways can’t lead us to success any longer.
Of course part of this is coaching, but another part is a regional attitude. We need the next leaders to be in the burbs, in the city, in the state house and in the various sectors of our greater community. Murphy doesn’t play well with others. We need a team that plays well with everyone. And, we need to walk this talk in bold ways.
Prediction and assertions:
I do consider myself as a front runner for the job of Mayor. I’m not campaigning now nor do I have a PAC open. But, I’ll have a role -- and it might be that of pace setter. I’m very ready.
Should the election proceed as the calendar goes, given four year terms and no resignation, then I’m thinking I’d love to be in a five way race in the GOP Primary. I’d want viable opponents. I’d want a hard campaign. I’d want the GOPers to do different things than ever before in terms of heavy lifting in the campaign with issues, platforms, debates, and such.
Furthermore, I think I could not only win the GOP primary -- but I’ll try to be the victor in the Dem’s primary as well as a write in candidate. My goal will be to sweep both primary elections.
For Pittsburgh to soar again, we’ll have to fly with both wings -- (left and right) -- plus the tail feathers, body and head. This GOP focus on the Mayor’s race, to me, given the soaring destination, is much like the strong beak that is capable of cracking the nuts of our yet hidden nourishment. Our opportunity is growing. The tide in the city has now shifted.
Thanks for listening --and let’s continue the open, community wide conversation. Reactions welcomed.
Sunday, August 24, 2003
Friday, August 22, 2003
Things are hot in and around Pittsburgh in many ways. This blast points to invites and actions, plus a grand opening party, and three community events on 9-11. Thanks for the consideration and surfing of the various sites. I hope to see you around town in meaningful ways.
Mark Rauterkus mark@Rauterkus.com http://Rauterkus.com
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Impeachment Petition in PDF format (6 kb)
For the good of Pittsburgh's long-term health, Mayor Murphy needs to resign. With the bailout of the Crossing Guards, two school-issues need attention:
1. The Mayor's office should allow the lighting of the sign at CAPA, the new high school for performance arts. The Mayor finds many ways to suppress news and highlights of the efforts of our kids. Putting a candle under a basket is something that most understand as sinful.
2. The Mayor's Commission on Public Education still hasn't issued its plan, more than a year and a half late. That group needs to go away. The Commission's report should be released directly to a toilet as "pond scum." The process and outcomes are cloaked corruption.
Mayor Murphy is playing a high stakes game of "political chicken" with our children packed into the front seat. We can't tolerate his actions. His moves make dangers that justify the call for impeachment. Mayor Murphy's stay on Grant Street needs to end as he is hurting us all, especially the kids.
Now it is time for the parents, and the regular folks to demand his resignation.
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Keep on eye on the dealings with the "alternative" to the Great Race. Can volunteers coordinate and operate a function to show vitality in the city? The Boston Marathon occurs as an all volunteer endeavor. Will the Mayor's Administration put up road blocks or simply get out of the way?
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West End Elliott Citizens Council Meeting and Candle Light Vigil on Friday August 22 at 7 pm at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church, intersection of Lorenz and Crucible Streets in Elliott.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss ways to save our Zone Four, and all of the Public Safety Personnel (Crossing Guards, EMT, and Police) and to show City Government our disapproval in a peaceful manner.
Pittsburgh Zone 4 Public Safety Council's Emergency Meeting is at 7 pm on Monday, August 25. The meeting is at St Marks Lutheran Church, 933 Brookline Blvd in Brookline.
The purpose is to discuss the closing of one or more Police Stations, and the Public Safety, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation Personnel layoffs. We hope to develop a plan of action, concerning this matter.
Contact Bob Hillen, 412-571-1126, President of Zone 4 Public Safety Council, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday: Public Hearing in City Council Chambers at 6 pm on Tuesday, Aug 26, for the closing of police stations due to a petition from the citizens of Pittsburgh. You can go and speak. Or, call Kim in the City Clerk's office in advance to get onto the agenda, 412-255-2138.
Wed: Pgh Public School's board meeting at 7:30 pm. The bailout of 202 crossing guard jobs makes a tax shift away from Mayor Tom Murphy's responsibility. The continuation of this type of leadership means failures. Stand up for the kids. Fight for the kids. Parents and crossing guards need to toss Mayor Murphy out of office.
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Former Democrat Dan Cohen is running for City Council District 5 seat. The City of Pittsburgh Republican party substituted former Democrat Dan Cohen to run against Doug Shields for the City Council District 5 seat formerly held by Bob O'Connor. Dan Cohen is a real estate agent living in Squirrel Hill who recently changed to the Republican Party over concerns with the City finances, among other things.
Council President, Gene Ricciardi has introducing Shields to protest audiences in council chambers as "Councilman Elect." Woops.
Ricciardi, currently the president of city council, is up for re-election and faces TWO challengers on the ballot. Gene's plans to raise taxes got a "Thanks but no thanks" reply from Mayor Murphy recently. His lifeline to save the jobs of 202 crossing guards by shifting the tax burden to the Pgh Public Schools is a shell game solution.
Another Dem, Len Bodack, now on council filling Jim Ferlo's seat, may have a challenger, (NN), for the election for the 4-year term.
This isn't just outrage about the Mayor's dealings as seven on city council voted for the 2003 budget. Time will tell.
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THREE Special Event(s) are slated for 9-11
A YOUTH Technology Idea Session, #07, is slated for 10-noon on Thursday, Sept. 11 at Wilkinsburg's Hosanna House. http://summit.CLOH.Org.
The Youth Tech discussion is in advance the Warrior Fatherhood event hosted by the National Fatherhood Initiative.
They have a four-day schedule.
An after school event geared to those ages 10 to 30 is slated for 3 pm to 4:30 pm on Thursday, September 11, at Mt. Washington's Duquesne Heights Community Center. We'll have activities and focus on self-expression.
Please save the date and register online for the concert and presentations to begin at 8 pm on Thursday, September 11 at South Side's Club Cafe. http://S6.CLOH.Org
Invited speakers include:
James Roddey, Dan Onorado and Rev. Lynn Brodie. Musical performance by songwriter of the year, Dave Nachmanoff.
Pass out a brochures, please: http://s6.cloh.org/911/handout-2up.pdf
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On Sept. 10, UPMC's Eye and Ear Institute is calling for all musicians and music lovers to join their grand opening for the Musician's Hearing Center.
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Rauterkus.com's motherload of thoughts is open with an outbox archive: outbox: http://Rauterkus.com/pipermail/postings-by-markrauterkus/
We can't heal ourselves and soar with "closed door approaches." Rather, in the case of knowledge, more is always more. To divide and scatter is a ploy for those with fleeting power.
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If you are getting multiple copies via various contact points, sorry. Please let me delete duplicates by providing specific email addresses to NUKE. The pending eVote efforts make multiple messages as multiple ballots. This network has more than 5,500 regional readers. To opt out or in (provide awareness to your friends), just email Mark@Rauterkus.com. Thanks for your understanding.
http://CLOH.Org http://Sunnyhill.org http://www.Deliberate.com
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412-Public-Remarks community news and insights
Thursday, August 21, 2003
News Briefs ARCHIVES, 8/21/2003
So Many Anti-Murphy Protests, So Much Time
Now it's the children's turn
Writer: MARTY LEVINE
"I'm not personally excited about getting all these jobs back," says Mark Rauterkus about the 731 recent layoffs in the city. "As volunteers, we can do things."
The one-time mayoral candidate and perpetual South Side organizer led two public venting and protest prep sessions last week attended by a total of about 70 city people.
"I think this is huge," Rauterkus says. "You add a whole new layer of citizenship. There are some people who are upset and furious and engaged who haven't been there before. I heard, 'We just need to take our kids out and march them on Grant Street.' And I said, 'Well, we've got to talk about this.'"
While the group chose Aug. 18 at 5 p.m. to let the children lead them to the steps of the City-County Building (see photo), a member of city council President Gene Ricciardi's office pointed out that no one would be there to see them. So the group added Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. so they could take their protest to council.
"So now we've got dueling protests for kids," Rauterkus laments. "It's building [but it's] going all which ways." Massing children just as police and emergency medical personnel have gathered may not be the best protest strategy, he says. "We should have a chalk coloring protest on the steps of the City-County Building. We ought to hang 'Extinction: Murphy' signs on the dinosaurs in town. If Murphy says our kids are human pawns in a game with Harrisburg, we ought to play a game of human chess" with them.
The group's evolving plans for a revived Great Race are meeting with a mixed reaction from city officials and the remaining employees, Rauterkus reports. Unionized and longtime city workers may not relish seeing someone else take over their tasks for free, Rauterkus theorizes: "If volunteers can run the Great Race, why the hell do we need these employees anyway?"
He dismisses the city's worries about liability (private recreation programs have long acquired insurance) and public safety. "We're closing facilities and putting kids out on the streets and then we're taking away police officers," he says.
Rauterkus has long been involved in an effort to reopen the South Side's closed Neville Ice Rink on the South Side, which is city-owned. "I offered years ago to run the Oliver Bath House," he adds. "There's going to be a big struggle and tug of war to allow other entities to use these facilities. We've got to be a little more creative now." He suggests the city partner with local colleges, for instance, whose pools are perhaps little used in the summer. He suggests City Paper print the dos and don'ts for being a volunteer crossing guard -- and print an orange flag for them to cut out. "I would like to see the whole [Urban Redevelopment Authority] office move to Mellon Park and run the tennis bubble," he says.
Evoking the rhetoric of his mayoral campaign, Rauterkus concludes: "Humpty isn't going to look the same. And I don't think re-building and healing can occur with Mayor [Tom] Murphy in office."
Monday, August 11, 2003
Okay, I love a challenge. I'll bite.
Editorial theme: The Mayor's Administration needs to resign.
Pittsburgh's healing can not occur until after Tom Murphy and his cronies move themselves to the private sector.
Many in the rank-and-file of both the police and EMS forces are talking of resignation. The Firefighters hold a lynch-pin too. However, this option is only getting mimimal play in the press.
The unions can't back the incumbants any longer. The same-old methods are history. It is going to take all of this city, working together, to make significant changes.
As soon as the upheaval occurs, then folks in Harrisburg will spare some relief for the city's crisis. But, the real cruching is yet to occur. The city leaders on Grant Street have NOT tightened the belt to spending in 2003 as hundreds of thousands in the budget were spent in June on such things as "decorative lighting."
The Tom Murphy ploy for saving $6.5 million on the day he shed a tear and went to the Springstein concert at PNC was just the first drop in the bucket. The necessary amount is $60 million. In 2004 the amount of the gap is $80 million.
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Could I work on an editorial article such as the one hinted above?
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> i think you should have the names, addresses and phone numbers of all
> Allegheny county state representatives and senators available for those
> attending so that they can write to them urging that the house/senate
> adopt the state budget with provisions that will provide the City with
> additional funds.
> i really think the focus ought to be on our state legislators who have
> taken a backseat position on the city's fiscal problems. i would be more
> than happy to draft a "sample letter" if you like.
> thanks again.
> john burke
Better yet.... Can you draft the letter and then bring 40 copies? Can you get the list of contacts as well?
I'm swimming upstream at the moment and could use the involvement of some others. I'll be sure to give you the floor to make some statements.
But personally, I don't feel that the state should bail out Pittsburgh until AFTER Mayor Tom Murphy and his administration resigns. We can't fix Pittsburgh with him at the helm. Too, too many closed door meetings and lies. His policies are wrongheaded too.
If URA officials came out to the neighborhoods now -- it won't be smooth sailing. In a few more weeks, it will be worse if nothing is done on your part as far as measured responses to grass roots folks.
The URA is going to need to get out of its comfort zone. We'll need to privatize the facilities and you'll need to scrap things and shine a light on other issues that are more essential. When we change directions -- and that might need to occur a number of times -- the URA is going to be nimble or else tossed overboard.
How many properties did the URA purchase around the now closed indoor city ice rink on the South Side behind S.S. Hospital. What ones?
The folks in the URA office are going to need to do more. For example: re-install the brand new bubble at the tennis courts in Mellon Park this October -- and run those courts at a profit. Your desks can shift to the trailer out there.
You are welcome. But, Brad, you are going to have to take some 'ownership' of this if it is to work.
Jon Delano can't do it. Mr. Scaife can't, nor can Paul O'Neill, IMHO. We need a trusted media voice to come into town on a white horse -- or a pipped pipper -- or an angel -- whatever.
Perhaps a guy such as Mark Single could help and partner with you and State Senator Jane Earll. You three, together with a CMU Professor and myself -- and we've got a full house of LEADERS to CALL for an ALL-SECTOR, Sustainable, SUMMIT about PITTSBURGH.
As per the CMU prof, leave out Richard Florida for now, please. How about Peter Shane? Or, the guy who co-lead the Pgh 21 task force was in my home last week? He was the COO of Heinz. He might be that bench strength we need as a sixth man.
Give Mark Single my cell phone #, 412-298-3432.
Too bad Joe Paterno didn't retire last year. He'd be perfect for fixing Pittsburgh's ills. :)
(but really..... I'm serious.)
I'll leave you alone now -- but look below for my latest EMAIL Blast that went out to 5,000 + contacts.
I've invited yourself plus James C. Roddey, the Chief Executive of Allegheny County. Mt. Lebo is in the county -- as Pittsburgh is the city within the county. And, Dan Onorado, presently the County Controller, is invited. Both Roddey and Onorado's folks have expressed an interest in attending and speaking.
I'd love for you to speak for up to 15 minutes. We can talk about the content in a phone conversation if you desire -- but really, that conversation is just as a helper and I'll really want you to be free to say whatever you desire.
The headline entertainment for the night is a musical genius who you will love as well, Dave Nachmanoff, http://www.DaveNach.com. He has attended a few UU events (we meet at SUUSI) and even leads some UU services.
The event is now slated for 8 pm to midnight. I don't know exactly when you'd speak -- but -- I'd love for you to be flexible as both Roddey and Onorado are in a regional race for the county executive office and are very, very, very busy. I want to work around their schedules.
Neither of the elected leaders will use the night as a "campaign event." They are smarter than that. So, it is interesting to see them work with the theme 'community unity.'
If you desire, I'd love for you to ask each of the other speakers one of the five questions that they'll be fielding after their presentation. So, you'll be an integrated part of the overall evening.
By all means, a chace for reflection, story, and spiritual mentions are welcomed.
This overall concept is the first in a series of events that I want to do in our region. Later, we'll stive to get a portion of the sponsorship to be sanctioned by our church -- Sunnyhill -- as well as the other UU churces in the area. I want to have this event so we can talk about doing others with a real-live example. It is my hope that the overall vision of "outreach" and "connections to the greater community in meaningful interaction" can be realized by our faith's leaders.
Recently, I went to a Sunnyhill Faith In Action committee meeting -- I'm a member there --- and asked them to approve a statement of support that "encourages" you to attend this 9-11 event. After some discussion -- everyone there (6?) was in agreement to do so.
I'm sending this note to Karen Z -- a board person for her awareness.
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On another matter, SHIM (South Hills Interfaith Ministry) is hosting an event on 9-11 as well. I think that the invite for you is to go on stage all night but speak only 2 lines and offer a Budhist's perspective. I think others can fill that role that ROLE at SHIM that night. We'll be giving a UU
perspectives (not Budist) with longer exposure (15-min talk, not 2 lines) and critically important guests (County Exec.) and wider reach (TV) happening on the South Side. I also feel strongly that this event can set the stage for many great things yet to come with cooperation among the UUs in the area, a shared coffee house kick-off, a way to reach PIIN folks after their meeting and more.
Sunnyhill folks are NOT on the steering committee for the SHIM event. But, I tried. I wasn't allowed to meet with the SHIM steering committee for their 9-11 event as I asked the exec. director that question directly. I mentioned a willingness to work with him and SHIM in mid-summer phone call as soon as I heard of the SHIM event via the grapevine. SHIM's exec. director didn't even know that the UUCSH was a member of SHIM -- yet alone who was the contact. For this time, I really reached out to SHIM and was denied. It is funny that they would now offer in invite -- as I find that hollow.
Oh well. Sunnyhill should have a spokesperson there, on stage, saying two lines. Dean Hazelton might be perfect for that role.
I am going to send an note to The Drummer about the 9-11 event. I'll make it clear that this is a COMMUNITY UNITY event hosted by Mark Rauterkus. It isn't an event sponsored by UUCSH, nor PIIN, nor the Faith In Action Committee. I'd like it to be such, but perhaps next time. Yet, all of these populations, and many more, can come to this gathering.
Furthermore, it is going to be "newsworthy" to have you attend a central gathering where we can stage a "media event." I would expect, should I get your okay, that I could have the TV stations cover the event for the 5, 6 and 11 pm news on Sept. 11. I have working relationships with many of the news directors and reporters. If I ask them to attend -- because a new minister has moved to town -- I think we can get coverage BEYOND the religious editor(s). However, any other week, the news value is gone. So, as part of the evening, should you desire, I'd be willing to stage a NEWS EVENT.
Case in point: Today's Tribune Review had me as a "newsmaker." That could be done for you too.
c) continue to pay employees with little responsibility
Right. It's called "management" and "supervision." There is little of that going on. Performance evaluations. Honesty is nice to have on hand too. Frankly, there is a good deal of dead weight. Furthermore, the system is so ridgid that the deadness can be covered and protected. Plus, there is no sense of ownership so as to be free to fix things and rock the boat a bit.
People who raise issues are tossed out.
I think we need a whistle-blower achievement attitude. We don't need to do silly kickbacks and bonus money to employees who SAVE money -- up to 10% -- as per Gene R's absurd measure (now tabled). But, we need to set new attitudes.
There is a time to make lemon-aid -- so to speak. That time could be now in terms of Recreation and Aquatics. These are areas I LOVE and understand with professional experiences.
The majority of the swim pools are closed and the others may close forever too. However, we can re-open them when we are good and ready and when we have a real viable plan that includes some being privatized, all being overhauled with programming. We have to pull our own weight. But, we can do so, so, so much better than what was being done.
Get this: The AQUATICS TASK FORCE was a JOKE -- like everything else this administration has tried to do and failed, (Fifth & Forbes Downtown Collaborative, etc.)
Frankly a few others are fired up about this. I hope to get others joining in the cause.
Planning meeting: Monday, August 11 at 6 pm.
Community meeting: Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 6:30 pm.
Hi Project Rebirth Staffers,
In Pittsburgh, PA, USA -- I'm hosting a 9-11 special event for "community unity." If you had something that was presentable -- I'd love to have it as part of the showcase we are organizing.
Case in point: Do you have a slide show that could be run from various computers throughout the night?
Do you have any give-a-way info on the project that we could make available?
I'd love to get you some extra exposure -- but we don't have any organizational money for a purchase. But, we'd be happy to solicit for you.
I apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail!
Thank you very much for your interest in Project Rebirth and thank you for your 9/11 presentation. I hope everything is going well.
Unfortunately, we do not have anything to give you right now. Although we have footage from the rebuilding we are not releasing it in any public capacity for a while, most likely, not until the World Trade Center is rebuilt.
We are in the process of upgrading our website and hope to have a short edited piece of time-lapse footage on the website. The new site is due to launch in early 2004.
I'm sorry I cannot be of further assistance. Thank you, again, for your interest and I wish you success in all your endeavors.
Croi McNamara Line Producer Project Rebirth Inc.
Great article today on the political courage to alleviate the crisis. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/news/s_149035.html
I'm in the streets. I talk to many and go to lots of meetings. The first thing we need to do in Pittsburgh is rescue the truth. We might need to do a revival of the truth as it has been lost for some years now. But, --- we can't let truth be slashed again and again now that the jobs are being cut as well.
To do this -- truth revival -- we need a lot of heavy lifting in the media as well as in person.
Mostly the PG, but on rare times the Trib too, the real story isn't being told, and it is riddled with holes or fibs. But the call is for HEAVY lifting. This isn't just about great newspaper coverage -- it is much, much more.
If the TRIB's executives and reporters were to take this issue on like a bull by the horns -- I'd be willing to help. Pittsburgh would be much, much better off. And, frankly, it is going to take someone like yourself -- Brad -- to do this. You come into the scene from Harrisburg. You don't have much poitical dead weight around you. You have more of a global view. We need a trusted figure to take on this quagmire for a six-month challenge. And, all the resources of the company would need to enter into the fray -- with a host of other partners.
We need a week's worth of citizen summits to really vent. We need video cameras. We need lots of coverage every day. We need to get the unions and the rank-and-file there.
Joe King of the Fireman's union is part of the problem. Same too with the FOP brass. A big split in the FOP is present. But mostly, truth is getting hijacked. The citizens don't know 1/10 of what they need to know. And, the citizens are still very aware of what is going on. The citizens are sorta smart and can smell the stench from the Mayor's office.
We'd need to have NIGHTLY meetings. We'd go INTO the closed REC Centers around town on a day-by-day basis. We'll need to be engaging, open and tireless.
I would like to partner with you, Brad, and the TRIB so as to hold a business / editorial meeting in Pittsburgh with all of your power brokers.
Pittsburgh has to heal. It's long term health is at the brink. And, we need to take charge and monitor the truth. Lies are not allow. For half-truths to be spoken -- then we need to document them and challenge them. Sadly, the miss-info occurs and occurs and occurs again. Closed door meetings are NOT going to allow for the fixes and the healings.
My vision is for a massive dance with and among the public. All sectors. A real "grass-roots summit." And, it has to go on and on for weeks and months.
If you can get an editorial board meeting and allow me to challenge you all with these ideas for some such venture --- let me know.
Dear Friends of Technology and Neighborhoods,
I'm hosting a few meetings and would love to get your support and help in the promotions.
Monday, August 11, 6 pm, open planning meeting at Armstrong Park on 12th Street, South Side. Bring your own lawn chair.
Tuesday, August 12, 6:30 pm, OPEN Community Meeting at Armstrong Park. Bring your own lawn chair.
Essay contest for 9-11 begins this week. Details to be posted at CLOH.Org
On Thursday, September 11 from 10 to noon, Idea Session 07 concerning the pending YOUTH Technology Summit is slated for the east end in conjunction with a fatherhood event.
A Community Unity event starts at 8 pm on Thursday, September 11 at Club Cafe, 85 South 12th Street. High level offiicals as well as a recent songwriter of the year are expected. See http://S6.CLOH.Org. S6 =3D Sports,
Spirit and Soul Song and Story Summit.
In the months to come, the S6 event series can be constructed to raise money for technology and the co-op. I still want to talk with the finance committee about this.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
> Well Wendell, if you can raise a few million dollars to back my candidacy for mayor of this backward city, I can assure you that MANY things would change around here, all for the better.
But short of those millions, I thikn it'll be the same old sad story around here. :/
I beg to differ. (PUN intended)
You don't need to spend a few million to get a $90+K per year job.
Both Bob O' and Tom M spent about $35 per vote in 2001 -- just in election efforts.
They both spent dearly in terms of stadiums, "neighborhood needs" (WAM, i.e., Walking Around Money), and other city-funded buy-offs for votes as well.
Face it, to get someone to vote for you on election day costs $0. Face it again -- who would vote for someone who leveraged a life's fortune (or many life fortunes) to get a job that pays <$100k?
The next Mayor's race isn't going to be like the last one if I have anything to say about it.
Let's NOT set up a prior assumption that you need a FEW MILLION to run for mayor -- or else it will be the same old story. I have more hope that that and will be even more outspoken when others around here soil our shared well of democracy.
So, do you care to re-state what you think so it can be unraveled in more specific ways?
If the ourselves is meant to be me, personally, then I'd say that I demand more openness with myself than I expect from my denomination. But, I'm overboard and an advocate for being more open.
If ourselves is meant to be my local congregation -- then I would say that I demand openness on both fronts equally to the best extent of my power.
Furthermore, I think that the question is a bit of a red herring. Yes, we CAN demand more of our organizations than of our indiduals. A person has rights -- including that of privacy. Meanwhile, an organization, much like a corporation, has no rights unless they are granted from the collective of individuals. I don't put corporations nor organizations onto the same status as an individual human. So, the charter to operate and run the non-profit service organization should be held to a higher level of "openness" than that of an individual. Perhaps it is fair to say that the more the organization is with power in its capacity -- then the more prudent it is to insist upon its openness of operation.
Saturday, July 05, 2003
To make an effort as to WHY so many people leave -- well -- would be to call for a brutal self-examination. The people on Grant Street can't even be honest with the passing of a city-budget yet alone introspection. The fluff is going to continue as there isn't much depth.
People vote with their feet. Or, they don't vote. The opportunities for freedom and real self-determination are better elsewhere.
Living in a one-party town is undesirable. Seeing big money subsidies go to the corporate elite is undesirable.
To reverse the trend, develop democratic (small "d") communities again. Put citizens on the same level again among themselves and among the corporations and institutions. When actions are not fair, and when justice is thin -- people see this and depart.
When the Citizen Police Review Board can't meet bacause the Mayor and Council have NOT put enough members onto the body -- something is so wrong that flight becomes the best option.
When council votes to wait and NOT investigate the policies of SWAT -- because the Chief is away -- we have no hope of INTROSPECTION. We can't even look at ourselves in the mirror. We can't assess what we are doing as the power grabbers have trampled common-sense duties.
To get a legitimate tax base again, don't make more TIFs, more back-room deals, more red-tape.
Sure, the failures of the city schools need serious attention. But, for Grant Street to do that -- no way. The Mayor's Commission on Public Education is a classic example of pond scum thinking. The process was a joke and sorry -- I'd have to say that starting there is not prudent. We'd need to get there, but we need a system that is capable of being engaging and straight.
The dismal quality of the public services are in dire need of a benchmark system. Many here don't know what we are missing and should be able to receive.
The city is not a place working families want to live anymore, until that changes nothing will be resolved. -- YES.
Here is a great Tom Murphy Type Excuse:
"White flight to suburbs was/is a problem everywhere and wasn't necessarily caused by any bad policies the City of Pgh made."
The City of Pittsburgh is full of bad policies. The rest of the nation didn't shrink in size by 50% in the past decades. Many, many of our woes are our own doing. If you think otherwise, you must not be in Pittsburgh much.
Here is another flash of falsehood:
"However, the politicians have seemingly little to do with the Board of Ed tax and spend policies."
Board of Ed members -- like previous Board of Ed cronies (Barbara Burns and Valerie McDonald) are politicians. Politicians have nearly EVERYTHING to do with the tax and spend policies. The board makes up the policies.
When a discussion goes so far off the radar of truthfulness -- I sense a MOLE.
Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Immediate Release: April 30, 2003
Contact: Mark Rauterkus
New efforts put forth by Alpha Chimp Studios and instigated by Mark
Rauterkus hope to engage thousands from all sectors.
Technology and local YOUTH can energize our shared civic landscapes and economy.
Mark Rauterkus, an activist and former candidate for Mayor, City of Pittsburgh, 2001, is launching a far-reaching community endeavor that needs volunteer participation -- a YOUTH Technology Summit.
Pittsburgh needs a YOUTH Technology Summit so various people can come together under one room. The academics, business leaders, technology firms, teachers, parents and neighborhood players need to celebrate, stimulate and challenge our youth.
Pittsburgh spends too much time, effort and money on trying to recruit high tech workers and firms from other parts of the country. Rather, let's investing in our own. We can grow a brilliant work force that embraces technology here at home. A new priority can be ourselves. As our marketplace becomes vibrant, others will choose to come live over here to mingle with our talented, grounded and healthy neighbors.
Pledge from facilitators, Alpha Chimp Studios
Alpha Chimp Studios is run by a husband and wife team, Managing Director, Diane Durand, and Creative Director, Peter Durand. The principals made a pledge to volunteer their collaborative space, talents and host energies for 20 first round planning sessions, 15 second round meetings for strategies and 10 third round implementation meetings.
The work of each session is transformed into art as ideas are discussed. A transcript is typed and posted on the internet. Final documents and a handbook is being prepared for future rounds.
Each brown-bag lunch or breakfast session lasts two hours. Email TechLunch@CLOH.Org to reserve your spot. Up to 15 participants with diverse backgrounds are to attend each session.
Efforts are low cost, easy access and open to anyone. To witness the creative artwork in the collaboration space is worth the investment of time.
Mark Rauterkus, a retired publisher, has worked in the open-source movement. The content and approach put forth is in harmony with Open Source Software -- not propriety. Commercial applications and businesses are going to be involved, but the grand scope is fully open and to be run with democratic votes among any with interest. Technology tools beyond email and web pages, such as eVote, are to be deployed.
The list of those already expressing an interest stretches from Harrisburg to local school teachers and high tech firms in other parts of the country.
SchoolForge, an international open-source software advocacy group hopes that the Pittsburgh event can evolve into a model that can be replicated elsewhere.
Doctors, coaches, fatherhood advocates, and those who operate the state site, InventPA.Com, are set to attend meetings and offer input. Bankers, journalists, home-schooled kids and neighbors are interested and helping to create a buzz.
Mark Rauterkus is a stay-at-home dad who resides with his family on Pittsburgh's South Side. Rauterkus is on the GOP City Committee, the council at the South Side Market House Childrens' Athletic Association, the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network's Youth and Recreation Task Force.
A prime instigator for planning a Regional YOUTH Technology Summit, ttp://Summit.CLOH.Org. Rauterkus host other sites including eVote at Deliberate.Com, a UU Church site, Sunnyhill.Org and the Community Learning Outreach Hub, CLOH.Org.
The home office for Rauterkus.com is at 108 South 12th Street. Cell: 412-298-3432.
Monday, April 28, 2003
Sunday, April 27, 2003
Monday, April 21, 2003
LinuxPR: FreeTeam.Org's Outreach to Candidates Seeking Public Office
Mark Rauterkus, a citizen activist and former candidate for Mayor, City of
Pittsburgh, 2001, is opening a new service in conjunction with FreeTeam.Org
and some of his other web sites.
Candidates for city council, county council, school board and other elected
offices throughout the region can apply for a no-charge, personal computer
on loan from FreeTeam.Org.
Candidates can apply and pick-up the computers on a loaner basis without realizing any costs. Furthermore, the candidates who seek a computer, as well as any other candidates who don't care to receive the in-kind donation, can get access to a slew of other consulting and online services, all without cost.
Candidates for judge and other positions outside of the legislative and executive branches are not eligible. Election law stipulates limitations on judge races.
The application is simple and requires a personal interview. Associates establish a desire and intent to run a campaign and get onto the ballot. Candidates from any party are eligible. Allegheny County candidates get a preference, but others from the region are eligible pending availability. A meeting is also necessary in the South Side office so as to take delivery of the equipment. Assessing technology skills of those involved in the campaign and customization of needs and services unfolds in the application and interviews. Ongoing support is guaranteed via email.
Candidates who have their own computers are still eligible for the consulting assistance. Pointers and tips are delivered to any who seek this info by appointment.
Twenty nine computers are presently in transit to the South Side and are being made ready for pickup. The computers were donated from a private corporation in the D.C. area and were made available via a board member of Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is the internet's oldest producer of FREE electronic books (eBooks or eTexts).
Project Gutenberg and its cadre of volunteers makes important texts freely available to everyone in the world. A total of 6,267 volumes have been released, mostly into the public domain.
Mark Rauterkus, a retired publisher, has worked in the open-source movement and released various titles into the public domain throughout the past decades. Rauterkus authored Compelling Sense, a work-in-progress, political book with a loose framework that stems from Thomas Paine's Common Sense, 1776. Political books and candidate web sites make splendid opportunities for additional content for Project Gutenberg's efforts.
Dozens of the computers headed to the candidates are loaded with licensed versions of Windows 98 and Microsoft Office. However, as soon as possible, most of the inventory will be converted to free and open source software to give greater performance boosts, reliability and cost/benefits.
A frustration exists as too many candidates don't have web sites and broad access with email. In return, too many elected officials are out of touch with modern communication efforts. Hence, our region's performance suffers as we are less effective and efficient. Citizen and voter frustration is high. People want to see candidates schedules, platforms, news releases, bios, photos, timely reactions to current issues, and even hear audio snips.
Candidates who have their own computers are still eligible for the consulting assistance. Pointers and tips are delivered to any who seek this info by appointment.
FreeTeam.Org is not a corporation. Rather, as a fully-owned hobby endeavor of an individual, donations can be made directly to candidates. Corporations, non-profits and other individuals could make equipment, in-kind or cash donations to FreeTeam.Org and Mark Rauterkus. In turn, supplies can be replenished and additional support extended. Donations would NOT be tax deductible.
Candidates and political action committees that enjoy gifts, services and gratis rentals of computers will reveal the market rate values of the items on candidate financial disclosure forms that are filed with the County's Election Board at specific instances throughout the year. Simple $25 or $50 donations are needed now so as to better outfit the loaner computers with CD-readers and CD-Writers. Interested donors can contact Rauterkus. Supply is limited. As more computers are made available via donations, more computers will be put into the field with willing candidates.
In the past, Rauterkus served as webmaster for the campaign of James Carmine, Ph.D., in the general election in 2001 for the race for Mayor of Pittsburgh.
Many additional services exist on the Internet for candidates and issue campaigns. Part of the consulting efforts is to get candidates aware of some of the better opportunities that exist. Public calendars, groupware, eVote polling, and a wide mix of discussion groups are presented to the candidates and working relationships can be forged.
Poise, sensitivity, polished speaking skills, astute business sense, capable administrator, a commitment to self-improvement, and a sense of humor are the traditional qualities of a person who would make a good candidate for public office. Ask yourself if you are energized by campaigning. At the end of a long day of speech making, strategizing and meeting new people, are you still as ready-to-go as you were the first thing in the morning? Can you build upon the efforts of previous folks and take efforts to the next level?
Good writing skills or else available and trusted proof readers are necessary in today's on-line world. Professional web site hosting makes others take note and more willingly volunteer. Strong reach in getting ideas out to various populations, quickly and in an affordable ways is key to building platform planks and a host of followers willing to make key contributions. All of the online work needs access to a computer, and hours or days can't go past without actions being monitored.
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Meeting at 7:30, Thursday, March 6, 2003.
This meeting was organized by Mark Rauterkus and others in Citiparks, hockey-community, Market House and the community. Nearly 35 people attended.
Thursday, February 27, 2003
To run with this idea would be a worthy challenge if the Director of Citiparks obtained initial meetings with the folks of Water Technologies Inc, as well as the four foundations that own the 177 acre site in Hazelwood (Mellon, McCune, Heinz and Benedium) as well as RIDC (nonprofit developers) and UDA (Urban Design Associates) principal architech, Don Carter.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
I am Kellie Ware of New Life A.M.E. Church in Homewood and co-chair of PIIN's Youth and Recreation task force.
I graduated from Peabody, and am a freshman at Pitt.
I'm 18, and I vote.
Problems loom for our city's youth.
Undirected energy and too much idle time allows kids to
get hooked on drugs,
become gang members and
end up on the coroner's table.
Our youth do NOT have sufficient access to web-connected computers.
The growing digital divide is deep and wide. The lacking technology and literacy in the neighborhoods threatens to bury our youth!
Kids without computers are headed toward the junk heap of life.
For our youth to be competitive for decent jobs, we need access to technology?
PIIN do you hear me? (repeat)
"PIIN, DO YOU HEAR ME?"
Frisbee Rant (Spoken by Mark Rauterkus)
(Left hand prop.)
This is a Frisbee, a flying disk.
(Right hand prop.)
This, my friends of faith, is a CD-ROM. Insert this disk into a computer with a CD BURNER and store digital information.
A Frisbee is a low-tech toy.
Burning a CD represents technology and a key to the future. Entire libraries, such as with Project Gutenburg e-text, can be stored here. Tens-of-thousands of volumes can fit ranging from the classics with Plato -- or the Bible.
Spreadsheets, databases, image manipulation tools, animations, and email are represented with technology. Open source software, programming, languages, text-to-voice, music and editors SWIRL here -- power-ing creativity.
Being digital, it can snap to you. Or to Shenango Valley, or California. And, all at the same time.
My name is Mark Rauterkus. I’m the volunteer webmaster for my family’s place of worship. Our UU Church has an online home at Sunnyhill.Org.
When I was a college freshman, like Kellie is today, only the computer science majors touched computers. They used PUNCH Cards, not CDs. Our kids today can't use the same excuse.
The Mayor wants to spend $100-thousand-dollars on the building of three ULTIMATE Frisbee fields.
The money is for bulldozing and landscaping in Highland Park.
To the Mayor, Ultimate Frisbee is hip and cool. Professional young people enjoy it.
Say with me, "We want technology."
Let's take less than half of that amount and INSIST that the next generation of high-tech citizens are grown in literate ways within our neighborhoods.
We want technology.
The Mayor should NOT spend precious resources on Ultimate Frisbee FIELDS.
We want technology.
Our most valued resource is our children. And they are hanging out right now at Citipark Rec Centers all around this town. They need this investment so they can be competitive and successful for the rest of their lives.
We want technology.
If our youth get computers now, the Pittsburgh Police may not need their computers in the future.
We want technology.
Sadly, the Administration has a Youth Policy that amounts to Truancy Abatement rather than Technology Empowerment.
We want technology.
The focus of the Mayor's Office is on "sweeping kids off the streets" rather than "keeping them online and building excellence and scholarship."
The Solution (Spoken by David Dunn.)
We, as faith-based communities, need to take action for the youth like Kellie and the younger people she represents.
A few years ago, the city's leadership had a vision for establishing fully functional computer rooms for public use in many of the city's Recreation Centers.
A great idea! We love this idea!
Some of the Rec Centers have been remodeled with NICE computer rooms, with good lighting, new carpeting and quality furniture and swivel chairs.
Yet today, the computers are missing and the few that were installed are broken. Plus, connections to the internet never occured.
For two years these beautiful rooms have been missing the computer hardware and net connections to be of any value.
We have pictures on our web site!
Her future should not be as empty as these rooms.
Will Mayor Tom Murphy please come to the microphone?
Swing Section (optional -- spoken by David Dunn)
Pittsburgh Public Schools is installing on-line access for parents. Parents will be able to use an internet-connected computer to see their student's schedules, homework assignments, attendance, quiz-and-test scores and announcements.
Many parents do not have computers in the home. Many parents have work schedules that prevents regular access to their child's teachers.
Rec center computers will serve the youth by giving parents access to their child's schoolwork and attendance on a day-to-day basis.
This quote comes from the Mayor's Youth Policy (1999, Errika Fearby Jones):
"... those who have studied the root causes of juvenile crime report unanimously that poor school attendance is the first step into the spiral that leads many young people into the criminal justice system." We agree with that!
The mission of PIIN's Youth Rec Task Force goes beyond giving youth "something to do." Let's empower parents to better keep the kids out of trouble, out of the criminal justice system, out of the truancy offices.
Installing computers can give parents tools to hold their children
Mr. Elbert Yaworsky, Chief Technology Officer of Pittsburgh Public Schools is in the house tonight.
Earlier today Mr. Yaworsky informed us that:
Pittsburgh Public Schools would be happy to supply all the necessary equipment for this demand. The issues of 32 computers, the networking, and the installation are solved.
High School students from Peabody’s I.T. Essensials Course will do the installs. This course is offered at four schools.
Getting computers into Rec Centers is an effort matches the Digital Divide efforts of the Pgh Public Schools.
As of today, all the technology required -- except the physical wires from the telephone pole, is going to be covered -- at no charge to the city.
Let’s have a great PIIN Welcome and to Mr. Yaworsky.
Is all of this accurate Mr. Yaworsky?
In prior positions, Mr.Yaworsky worked at Quaker Valley School District. There, all the students have laptop computers.
Prior, he was responsible for wiring all the libraries throughout the Carnegie System.
He knows just what we hope to accomplish. And, he knows just how to do it. His consulting is going to be very valuable to all the kids as well as citizens thourghout Pittsburgh -- and the region.
The PIIN (spoken by Kellie Ware)
Deputy mayor Tom Cox, do you speak for the mayor?
Deputy Mayor Cox, please answer "Yes" or "No" to this reasonable, anticipated question.
By September 1, 2003, will you fulfill the city's vision of establishing fully functional computer rooms with each to have at least 4 web-connected computers for $40,000 in the following Recreation Centers:
THREE other sites to be determined in dialogue with PIIN's Youth and Recreation Task Force?
That is EIGHT Locations (and Citiparks has 17 Rec Centers) with four or more computers in each location. We are asking for at least 32 computers.
YES or NO please.
Thank you Mr. Cox (or Mayor Murphy),
you now have 30 seconds to speak about how you will address this issue.
Shake hands and photo opportunity.
On behalf of this city's youth, we thank you for this investment in our future.
If NO: (spoken by Kellie)
The Hill House computer center is private and going "wireless." Meanwhile, the City Rec Centers can NOT even get a wire.
PLEASE sit down.
If NO AUTHORITY: (Spoken by Dave Dunn)
Deputy Mayor Tom Cox: Are you saying that you do not speak for the Mayor?
Are you saying that you have no authority in this matter? Why are you here?
Are you in a position to agree to any of our demands?
+ + + + +
If NO SHOW:
(Spoken by Dave Dunn)
Mayor Murphy promised us that either he or his spokesperson, Deputy Mayor Tom Cox, would be present this evening. We're very disappointed that he is NOT here tonight.
We are NOT disappointed for ourselves, we are disappointed for him.
We're giving him the opportunity to step up to the plate and make a commitment to our youth. If he were to do so, he would be hearing cheers instead of jeers! Most of all we are disappointed for her and our youth.
If we get a REFUSAL: (Spoken by Dave Dunn.)
Can we count on you for a few dozen computers for our youth?
Close (Spoken by Kellie.)
Please, take your CD and scribble on it. Write a statement to the Mayor -- right now. We're passing pens around. We'll collect the disks in an offering basket. Thank you.
(Optional -- housekeeping spoken by Mark.)
If you don’t have a CD and want to express your message to the Mayor, grab any disk and write on the flip side or just add to it.
Chair and Reverend Monroe, the next task force can come to the microphone.
Monday, February 17, 2003
Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network
2905 Centre Ave. 2nd floor
Pgh, PA 15219
Dear PIIN Members:
This letter comes as an interim report on the three items you asked us to review.
1) Computer in our recreation centers would cost us in the range of $600,000 to $700,000 over five years. This would cover capital costs, maintenance, and support. We would be happy to consider this item in our budget deliberations with City Council for 2004 budget.
2) With respect to the request for information on police performance we do not keep the kind of records that would enable us to have the information necessary to respond to your request. Perhaps if you could elucidate what it is you are looking to accomplish we could work out hot to be helpful.
3) I am still working with OMI on the citizens complaints request and should have something by the end of this week.
Thomas E. Cox
Sunday, February 16, 2003
Friday, February 14, 2003
A snow storm predicted for Pittsburgh arrived a day late. The heat is going to rise this week as a public action slated for Thursday night is going to turn up the heat on public officials.
Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network's first 'Public Action' is 7 pm on Thursday, Feb 20, 2003 at Wesley Center A.M.E.-Zion Church at 2701 Centre Ave. Please lend your power to this less-than-perfect organization and its Youth & Recreation Task Force.
We're striving for modest computer labs and internet connections within some Citiparks Recreation Centers. The rooms, security, carpets, plugs, lights, desks and chairs have been there for a couple years. Splendid spaces are sitting empty and idle -- used as oversized coat rooms.
The Mayor of Pittsburgh wants $100,000 for three "Ultimate Frisbee" fields in Highland Park. Let's establish better priorities. Help show the world that Pittsburgh has its heart in the right place. We care about our youth and not just fleeing CMU Grads and attracting young professionals from elsewhere.
Access to technology and existing facilities be extended in Rec Centers. Computer placements would provide a purpose in the mingling of youth, the business community and even seniors.
Pittsburgh can install computer labs so as to inspire and grow our own high-tech workers. Computers at Rec Centers is a worthy investment as opposed to job training at prisons and computers in police patrol cars.
I hope to see you Thursday night. Help raise the volume in a chant, "We want technology!"
PS #1: No admission charge. No need to RSVP. A V.I.P. table for check-in is going to be at the door.
PS #2: "Those who succeed in public life are those who take the risk of standing by their convictions."
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Background article ran in the Sunday's Tribune Review, http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/pittsburgh/s_118767.html
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
"The flowering of human society depends on two factors: the intellectual power of outstanding men to conceive sound social and economic theories, and the ability of these or other men to make these ideologies palatable to the majority." Ludwig von Mises
Four issues are expected: I've devoted most of my attention to the Youth & Recreation. Others are Education, Economic Development and Social Justice.
Saturday, February 01, 2003
Communicating, connecting, caring about our future.
Come to the Youth Recreation Task Force Youth Summit from 1-3 pm on Saturday, Feb 1, 2003 at Allegheny UU Church, 1110 Reseca Place, (at North Ave. Northside).
Sponsored by Pgh Interfaith Impact Network, PIIN.
This was a nice meeting. Mark Rauterkus helped to organize it.