Friday, August 31, 2007

Pittsburgh’s New Arena: Back to the Future? | News | Architectural Record

Pittsburgh’s New Arena: Back to the Future? | News | Architectural Record “The Penguins have never been a friend of the Hill District, as far as I’m concerned,” Lois M. Cain, a long-time Hill resident and activist, said at a public meeting in June. As to any agreements about community benefits and accommodations from a new stadium, she warned, “You better make sure it’s legal and it’s in writing.”
Don't get me started, again.

The demand of, "Your papers, please." must be stopped now in PA

The "Real ID Act" Rebellion is hitting full stride in Pennsylvania -- now. Your help is needed.

In 2005, Congress passed the "Real ID Act" in attempt to make a SINGLE form of identification linked to all sorts of personal information. Across America, states are in OPEN REBELLION against this infringement of both personal and state's rights!

Now the Bush Administration has unveiled plans to tie the United States, Mexico and Canada into an information-sharing "North American Union." Hey folks – let's share all our personal information with Mexico!

Pennsylvania is not amused. Our state is NOW CONSIDERING H.B. 1351 by Rep. Sam Rohrer that would REJECT the implementation of Real ID in the Keystone State. If passed, we would be the 5th State to outlaw the outrage, while another 16 have passed some form of resolution against it.

WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO GET HB 1351 PASSED IMMEDIATELY!

Call your state legislator and ask him/her to CO-SPONSOR HB 1351. (The numbers below get you into the clerk's offices of the House and Senate.) Ask for your representative/senator, or go to www.legis.state.pa.us to look up your member by name, district, or zip code.

The message is simple: VOTE YES ON H.B. 1351!

House Clerk #: 717-787-2372
Senate Clerk #: 717-787-7163

Ron Paul Grabs Attention of Alienated Voters

Web Helps to Amplify Presidential Campaign Of Iconoclastic Texan
By JACKIE CALMES

Computer engineer Jonathan Morey says, "I have never voted for a Republican, ever." Nathan Hansen, a lawyer, says, "I've been a Republican all my life." Yet a political meeting in St. Paul, Minn., brought the 31-year-old friends together for the first time -- in support of presidential candidate Ron Paul.
QUESTION OF THE DAY

Officially, Mr. Paul is a Republican, elected to Congress 10 times and now running for the party's presidential nomination. But the party label hardly describes the obstetrician from south of Houston. And it certainly doesn't explain his appeal to a growing, if still small, number of voters across the political spectrum, many of them much younger than their spry 72-year-old idol.

The iconoclastic "Dr. Paul" is a libertarian advocate of minimalist government, a foe of the Federal Reserve and anything else not explicitly allowed by the Constitution, and perhaps the most antiwar candidate in the race. Thanks to the unprecedented number of early debates, he has been able to share the stage with his better-funded Republican establishment rivals.

But it is the Internet that has amplified his message and introduced Mr. Paul to voters alienated from both parties. His rise, though modest, is testament as well to the power of his noninterventionist message, even in a party led by President Bush.
[Jonathan Morey]

As polls track the public's disaffection, political strategists are on alert for a third-party movement. Paulites insist their man can win the Republican nomination, though he has gone from zero to just 2% in polls. If he can't, their fervor suggests they would push him to run independently. But having run as a Libertarian in 1988, when he took just 0.47% of the vote, Mr. Paul has discouraged such speculation.

The Web "is redefining what a grass-roots campaign looks like," says Mr. Morey, the computer engineer. More than other candidates' fans, Paul supporters take matters into their own hands, planning events and raising money in a decentralized process that parallels Mr. Paul's vision of what government should be. Aside from his own Web site, there are free-lancers' DailyPaul.com and RonPaulLibrary.org ("the world's largest collection of writings by Ron Paul"), among others, MySpace "friends" groups and YouTube video-sharing.

It has meant $3 million to Mr. Paul, making him fourth among eight Republicans in fund raising and first among the five dark horses in cash on hand. But the netroots' bottom-up energy poses challenges, too, for a campaign trying to channel if not control it. "We're running a campaign, and we'd like to think we know what we're doing," says deputy campaign manager Joe Seehusen. "And then there's this thing called the Internet, and that has a life of its own."

Messrs. Morey and Hansen met late last spring at a local Paul gathering they had learned of through Meetup.com. Such social-networking Web sites have become an organizing and fund-raising tool for other campaigns, but they are particularly valuable for shoe-string operations such as Mr. Paul's.

RIDE A DARK HORSE

• The Man: Rep. Ron Paul barely registers in presidential polls, but the Republican's libertarian, iconoclastic positions draw growing support from across the political spectrum.

• The Plan: Through the Internet, fervent 'Paulites' have built the candidate's modest warchest and helped raise his profile in straw polls.

• The Upshot: Paul remains among the longest of longshots in his party, but supporters insist the Internet has empowered grass-roots efforts such as theirs.

The men recall about 30 people at that meeting, a number that grew at subsequent gatherings to more than 200 before members began breaking into subchapters. The pair still occasionally attend Minneapolis-area gatherings, but mostly they have taken to acting independently. Though from different parties, they got behind Mr. Paul for similar reasons: They share his stands against what they see as an illegal war, erosion of individual rights and a government that is too big, secretive and corrupt.

Mr. Morey, who bikes to work in T-shirts he emblazoned "Who is Ron Paul?," drove alone to Iowa in June, after learning online that Mr. Paul was being excluded from a Republican debate co-sponsored by the Iowa Christian Alliance and Iowans for Tax Relief. Organizers said Mr. Paul didn't have enough support. In Des Moines, Mr. Morey joined about 1,000 others responding to online alerts. Outnumbering the debate audience, they marched past shouting "Ron Paul! Freedom!" and drew sympathetic media attention statewide.
[Nathan Hansen]

In early August, on a lark, Messrs. Morey and Hansen drove south to Iowa State University for state Republicans' straw poll, a traditional barometer of candidate strength in the state with the first nominating contest. The decisions of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson not to actively campaign for the poll raised the stakes for underdogs like Mr. Paul.

Rivals, especially wealthy former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, bought thousands of the $35 tickets that supporters need to vote. Paulites launched "Adopt an Iowan" online and raised more than $19,000 for tickets. While Mr. Romney had buses, hotel rooms and meals for his supporters, Messrs. Hansen and Morey came at their own expense, as did hundreds of others from as far as New York, Nashville, Tenn., and Seattle, even though only Iowans could vote.

Arriving on the Friday before the straw poll, the two headed to a live-music club on the campus for "Ronstock" -- Paulites' Woodstock of local bands, though the men were too late to catch Mr. Paul's brief appearance. Mr. Paul punctuated his stump speech -- "Regardless of what happens, the fight continues" for "national sovereignty and to defend our Constitution" -- by urging supporters to have fun.

On Saturday, Messrs. Morey and Hansen pulled into a parking lot alongside Romney buses. As mostly older passengers marched off in line behind Romney aides holding "Follow Me" signs, the two men chuckled at the contrast with the free-thinking, free-lancing Paulites.

The Iowa Republican Party rented space to candidates. Mr. Paul had one of the smaller, most isolated locations, but his tent was among the most crowded despite scorching heat.

Unsure how to help, the friends drove to a Sam's Club and spent $100 on bottled water. They walked around with a cooler in their "Who is Ron Paul?" T-shirts, doling out bottles to parched Republicans. That night, long after most people left, scores of Paulites stayed for the straw-poll results: Mr. Paul was fifth of 11 candidates, with 9.1% -- nearly twice the tally of absentees McCain, Giuliani and Thompson combined.

On Aug. 23, the men learned from a Meetup group of a Minnesota straw poll, sponsored by Republican state legislators for $100 a ticket, to be held that night. "I was a little hesitant to go and spend a hundred bucks," Mr. Morey said, "but I'd driven all the way to Iowa for a straw poll, so..."

They joined roughly 150 voters, he said, and Mr. Paul came in third with 16%, behind Mr. Thompson's 21% and Mr. Romney's 20%. Mr. Paul has placed high at a series of local party straw polls this summer, given such self-motivated fans, and has high hopes for tomorrow's Republican straw poll in his home state.

Messrs. Morey and Hansen insist Mr. Paul "absolutely" has a shot at election. Mr. Morey says he used to lose sleep thinking of the country's problems. "Now I sleep fine at night," he says, "because I'm taking action."

Ravenstahl hush-hush on findings by Pittsburgh ethics panel - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Be open. Be honest.
Ravenstahl hush-hush on findings by Pittsburgh ethics panel - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The mayor received those recommendations in the form of a letter from the board Tuesday, but he has kept it secret.
Rule #1 in public life: "Don't keep secrets."

I hate secrets. Everyone in Pittsburgh hates them too. We are nebby.

Luke, it isn't going to work. It looks bad. It is bad policy. It is not what public officials are to do.

Here are the four cornerstones of my ideal and what I want to be and project:

I care. I think it is important to have care and concern for others and our shared spaces. And, I want to be able so say I offered care too. I care for my kids as a stay-at-home-dad.

I want to be loving. Love is what makes the world go around -- beyond the science of it all. I love the city. The love I have for family and friends should not be questioned. I offer tough love advice -- but they come from a love of coaching and a love for the hope of improvements. I'd love to make this world better. I love to talk about and advance solutions, mine and from elsewhere.

I am open. There is nothing to hide when you do you best and give your all. When things are open, things can improve. Issues can be talked about, in the open. The best solutions can be found -- when things are open. Be open for business, remarks, attacks and contributions.

I want to be honest. Facts, data, research and objective observations are necessary. We can't fool ourselves and others. We can't ignore issues, problems and people for any reason. Lies stink. So do half-truths.

Update: The letter was released by the Ethics Hearing Board today.

Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review On the 'Watch List': The Mark DeSantis campaign. Pittsburgh's Republican mayoral nominee has named a seven-member policy team. And with it, a bunch of catch slogans. But two months before the Nov. 6 election, there remain no specific policy proposals. The time for those proposals to be unveiled was weeks ago. Time is running short. Specifics, Mr. DeSantis, specifics.
Watch, watch, watch how much coverage the Trib gives to specifics I've put forth for the city controller's race.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hey Buco! What are you doing for Labor Day? It isn't half as cool as what Ken is up to. And, he needs Pittsburgh's help.

Hear recent podcasts, On Your Mark. Click the top segment in the blue TalkShoe box in the left column.

The Sports & Exhibition Authority is doing too little and it is too late.

With Friends Like These ... - Even Ravenstahl's backers may be having doubts - Views - Vox Pop - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh

With Friends Like These ... - Even Ravenstahl's backers may be having doubts - Views - Vox Pop - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh... This town is full of high-minded, well-intentioned wimps.
I'm not a wimp. But, I'm not in the majority either. Jon is right. There are a lot of wimps. And, many wimps are 'smart.'

My question then is, are the wimps wimpy because they are smart. And, because I am NOT a wimp, does that make me not smart?

Perhaps the wimps are smart enough to know that blow back, backlashes, and other repercussions exist. Payback is a bitch, buddy, weenie-wimp.

Jon thinks, perhaps, that the wimp behavior is from a sense of civility and politeness.

Kenneth Foster Lives

He was due for his execution in Texas. The Governor said he can live.
Kenneth Foster, Jr. (born October 22, 1976) is a prisoner formerly on death row in Texas. He was convicted of murdering Michael LaHood in August 1996. His conviction and execution were contested because he was convicted under a law of parties, not for physically committing the crime. He got a reprieve from the Governor of Texas only a couple hours before the execution, which was supposed to take place on August 30, 2007.

Tony for Mayor Blog

Tony Oliva, L, candidate for mayor, has opened a web site and blog.
Tony for Mayor The Time is Now"
The site is a free one hosted at GoDaddy.com.

http://tonyforpittsburgh.com/

Republic Magazine - features Ron Paul. Get bulk copies for $1 each.

This is a good deal.
Republic Magazine - Home On September 10th, the Patriot community will get it's second installment of the REPUBLIC MAGAZINE. This special issue features the cover story on Ron Paul. While Dr. Paul is continually being downplayed and ignored by the mainstream media, patriotic Americans and even Canadians are rallying behind this Texas Congressman.

Learn why you should also listen to what this presidential hopeful has to say and why we feel that he is the only candidate worth voting for in this election. Could he be the savior of this great nation? Find out in the coming issue.

Also featuring: 60 Second Activism, Activist Profile- “Ron Paul MeetUp Austin”, Learn how to live 'Off the Grid' with this feature on Organic Gardening, 9/11 Six Years Later, Constitutional RE-Education and The End of the IRS Pt 2.

Find patriot owned businesses with products and services that could help you live out the dream of our forefathers in our patriot pages.

PRE-ORDER YOUR BULK ACTIVIST COPIES NOW. We have opened the doors for you to pre-order 25, 50, 100 copes or more of this special issue. Republic Magazine is the perfect tool to wake up the American people to the evil acts that are methodically eroding our freedoms. Order now before we sell out!

Camp Wellstone to come to Pittsburgh

Wellstone Action is a non-partisan non-profit based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Based on the late Senator Paul Wellstone's model, we integrate grassroots organizing, electoral organizing, progressive public policy and ethical leadership.

Video and hype:



Camp Wellstone runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, September 14-16 in Pittsburgh.

Many people in power today - regardless of political party or ideology - could do a better job of improving our communities. We need new leaders who understand what it means to send a loved one off to war, teach in a classroom without textbooks, or have to choose between paying for healthcare or buying diapers.

We can't sit around and wait for those leaders. It's up to us to make a change. Join Wellstone Action for a training in Pittsburgh!

Camp Wellstone is a weekend-long training that develops grassroots organizing skills for people interested in making change on issues, electing progressive candidates, or running for office themselves.

Get the skills you need, to make the change you want to see in your communities.

There are skills for everyone’s needs. Check out the different tracks:

* Candidate track. This is for people who have made the decision to run for office.
* Campaign track. This track focuses on how to be an effective staff or volunteer member of a winning progressive campaign.
* Citizen activist track. For people interested in citizen lobbying, issue advocacy, and community organizing, this track provides skills in how to win on issues.

To register.

The cost is $100 or just $50 for students, low-income, or unemployed participants. Camp participants are responsible for their own accommodations. The training location will be announced to registered participants.

If you have questions about Camp Wellstone training, contact Jen Haut at or call 651-645-3939 or www.wellstone.org.

Water Main Break Turns Centre Ave. Into River - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh

Water Main Break Turns Centre Ave. Into River - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh PITTSBURGH -- A water main broke Thursday along Centre Avenue and N. Craig Street in Oakland. A witness told Channel 11 that water was up to the wheels of vehicles along Centre Avenue.
Hope that the Steelers were not taking a shower at the time and the water pressure for the team went low.

Perhaps we could train Steely McBeam to fix water main breaks -- like a modern John Henry or Joe Magarac.

The "infrastructure" of the city looks bad -- and is bad -- next to what UPMC is doing with its finances and investments. UPMC's CFO (Chief Financial Officer) was on Grant Street today, in city council chambers, talking to PA Senators, about investments in capital that the "health empire" (so says Jim Ferlo) is and has made in recent years.

Meanwhile, the city of Pittsburgh has had recent years with $0 in its capital budget. ZERO.

Make last splash best of the season - CNN.com

Orange is the new pink, just as Libertarians are the new reformers!
Make last splash best of the season - CNN.com Tutera, host of 'Party Planner with David Tutera' on the Discovery Home Channel, has created Gatsby-esque pool parties in white and patriotic tributes in red, but he says, orange is the shade of the moment.

Handout at today's Act 55 hearing with PA Senate

Statement and Advance Notes to the PA House Finance Committee

Pittsburgh Public Hearing , August 30, 2007

From Mark Rauterkus, Libertarian

candidate for Pgh Controller & Pgh City Council, district 3.

Vice Chair of the Allegheny County Libertarian Party

Mark@Rauterkus.com http://Elect.Rauterkus.com http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com

The full statement will be sent to the committee via email.

  1. Welcome to Pittsburgh.

  2. I protest the fact that I was NOT able to speak at a PUBLIC HEARING.

    1. Advance notice was given.

    2. Only 4 minutes was requested.

  3. I have experience in professional life with nonprofits:

    1. Work settings include: Gov, nonprofit sports/athletics, public schools, private schools, private clubs, public universities, private universities, religious universities

  4. As an advocate, I worked to fight against UPMC's expansion on the South Side, 1999

  5. Our Libertarian Party, the party of principle, has different perspectives and they need to be told as the solutions of Geo-Libertarians provide common sense.

  6. I've called for the Pgh Service Fund (nonprofit co-op) to issue a self-imposed moratorium on land expansion.

  7. Problem is not the tax free status, rather the swelling of the nonprofit footprint. The expansion of un-taxed land needs to be reversed. The way to 'tighten the belt' or 'get a grip' is to have the nonprofits inventory of land be understood, documented with strong, clear inventory.

    1. That is the work of the City Controller.

    2. That is an open source process and solution.

  8. The nonprofits need to reduce total land holdings by 1% each year for 15 years.

  9. Messing with Act 55, without getting to the root of the problem would cause more serious problems.

  10. Politicians in Pennsylvania are great at the creation of new taxes, not new wealth nor opportunities.

    1. Tax anything that moves

    2. Tax most things that are not moving that are valued – like parking

  11. As taxes increase and conditions change, people vote with their feet and depart the region and state.

  12. Many institutions have departed the city:

    1. Shady Side Academy, a prep school, is not in Shadyside. (see comments)

    2. North Catholic, Luke's old school, is moving out of Allegheny County.

    3. Alcoa moved its corporate headquarters to NYC.

    4. MN's Mayo Clinic, like UPMC, has branches in Florida, East Coast, etc. OUTSIDE home state.

    5. UPMC can open other non PA sites. UPMC can move. UPMC moved it admin to USX Tower, downtown. Moved Children's Hospital out of Oakland. Purchased hospitals in Braddock, and elsewhere.

  13. Nonprofits should build UP – not out. Curtail land expansion. Make urban density.




News coverage from the event, as per the Post-Gazette.
State Senate reviews nonprofit law State Senate reviews nonprofit law Thursday, August 30, 2007 By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette State senators faced off with hospitals today in an early round of what could be a lengthy debate on how much nonprofit organizations pay to local governments. The occasion was a senate fact-finding hearing in Pittsburgh Council Chambers on Act 55, the 1997 law defining nonprofit groups and their payments to governments. 'The act has worked very well,' said Thomas Boyle, a lawyer for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney who represents hospitals including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pitt News covers Tony Oliva and his race for mayor. Front page coverage

Pitt student in race for mayor - News: "Tony Oliva is a straight-shooter - a self-proclaimed non-politician. And he's running for mayor."
The news of the Libertarian was on the front page of The Pitt News today. The article gives some nice insights to Tony Oliva. He has plenty of good connections with Pitt.

The article includes a photo of Tony and a mention of myself.

Who among us have heard of ultimate frisbee?

The rest of the story:
Oliva, a 27-year-old Pitt student, is running on the Libertarian ballot on Nov. 6 against current Democratic mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, Republican candidate Mark DeSantis and Ryan Scott of the Socialist Worker's party. He replaced Libertarian Mark Rauterkus on the ticket.

In 1997, Oliva came to Pitt as a freshman football player. After a devastating car accident during his sophomore year, his injuries forced him to quit football and take time to heal. Now, he is back. He has replaced football with Ultimate Frisbee and is working on his second degree at Pitt.

"[The accident] really taught me the lesson that you can't just go through life thinking everything's going to be great," Oliva said. "You have to be ready to deal with and overcome adversity in any form."

In the wake of his injury, another tragedy struck. Sept. 11 inspired Oliva to join the army and become an airborne paratrooper.

But in 2003, Oliva made his way back to Pitt.

"I'm originally from New York, but something about Pittsburgh latched onto me, and I had no other desire to go anywhere else," he said.

This loyalty to Pittsburgh, coupled with Oliva's fatigue with the current status of the city, made him decide to run for mayor.

"We need some new ideas and new thinking because things are broken," Oliva said.

His Libertarian viewpoint gives tax cuts a significant position in his agenda - but Oliva is very specific about where he thinks Pittsburgh's money should be saved and where it should be spent.

"It's a party that wants to stay out of your pocketbook and out of your social life," said Oliva, who cites his inability to understand why the government keeps "needing money, but not changing anything."

"I like low taxes," he said. "I think that people can use their money in more productive ways than government can oftentimes."

Though an advocate for people controlling their own money, Oliva says he is opposed to cutting social programs - to an extent.

"A person may stumble or trip, and it's always good to have someone there," he said. "I just don't think we should carry someone for their whole life."

If elected mayor, Oliva pledges to make his priorities known. For example, he said that one of the ideas that had been run through Pittsburgh legislatures involved cutting funding for police and firefighting forces.

"Yes, the city could gain money," he said. "But it could also burn to the ground."

As a Pitt student, Oliva says he understands the post-graduation predicament that many face: stay or leave?

"Pittsburgh has become an old town," he said. "A large number of kids are forced to leave because it's not financially viable to stay in Pittsburgh."

His plan? To draw businesses back to Pittsburgh and jumpstart the flow of both jobs and money, thereby appealing to a younger generation. And again, this leads back to lowering taxes.

"We have driven small businesses out with high taxes," he said. "I want to draw them back so people can have opportunities to work in good, well-paying jobs."

And on the other end of the spectrum, Oliva also wants to appeal to the younger demographic by proposing an ordinance to keep bars open until 4 a.m. on weekend nights.

Oliva sees his age and his student status as a way of relating to the voters.

"I want people to see in me what they would always hope to see in their political leaders - not what they do see, what they hope to see," he said.

And if students see something they like in Oliva, he hopes they won't conform to the apathetic stereotype of a college student that "the old parties," as he calls the Democrats and Republicans brand them with.

"This isn't a national election," Oliva said. "Students have the power to change the face of the city, the face of politics. Hope comes with change."

iCommons.org: The iSummits. Next road trip is to Japan

To sustain the conversation I helped to guide at a Pittsburgh PodCamp session on the contrasts of the free and open source movement to the closed world, perhaps we should pack our bags for Japan!
iCommons.org: The iSummits Once a year, about 300 people from over 50 countries come together at the iCommons Summit, to celebrate and strategise around a free Internet for all.Here, leaders of the Creative Commons, free software, open education and access to knowledge communities talk about their vision for the future and discuss strategies for building a free global culture that is rich - both in terms of economic viability and geographic diversity.
In other podcast buzz, seems that some are turning negative to iJustine.

I would never stand up and tell another to 'get a life.' So, I'll just hit the 'publish' button on this blog and send its counter to 6,707 postings here.

Classmates at PHHS 77 - Questionnaire form for program

Alternative: Same questionnaire as published Google document.

Penn Hills Class of ’77 30th Reunion
Questionnaire

To Publish in

Program

Book, place an X*




Name:



Address:



City:



State:



Zip Code:



Phone:



e-mail:



Web site:



Blog:


*Only items checked above will be included in the 30th Reunion Program. Items not checked will be retained by the reunion committee for future reunions.


Information entered in the boxes below will be included in the 30th Reunion Program if at least the name is checked above. Please send as much info as you like but we will be editing what information appears in the booklet. Please e-mail to: seversol@aol.com ASAP or by October 15, 2007 at the latest.

  1. Family Info: Spouse, Kids, Pets, etc.


  1. Career Info: Where you work, what you do, etc.


  1. What is your favorite school memory?


  1. Personal Footnote/Accomplishments?




We may have a PHHS ’77 web site. X the box to the left if you want the information Xed in the top table and items 1-4 to be included on the site.

Ms. Adventures on the Mon - giggles

Ms. Adventures on the Mon NO COVERAGE WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT A NOD TO OUR FAVORITE UNDERDOG, MARK 'SPITZ' RAUTERKUS, ...

Road Trip in April 2008 to DC for techie confab

PodcampDC - April 18-20, 2008 / Registration Podcamp DC - April 18 - 20, 2008

Cost To Repair Pa. Bridges Adds Up To $11 Billion

kdka.com - Cost To Repair Pa. Bridges Adds Up To $11 Billion(KDKA) There is now a price tag for the repairs that need to be completed on the thousands of Pennsylvania's bridges in bad condition. Officials say new figures show the cost to repair our state's bridges is $11 billion.
How about if we repair and rehab what we have BEFORE building new roads, infrastructure and tunnels that all are going to require upkeep as well.

Don't build the tunnel under the river.

Don't build the Mon Valley Toll Road.

Take care of the existing bridges.

Fix McArdle Road and its bridges.

From planning-urban

Troy Hill is on the loose

Go figure. He is from Penn Hills too.
kdka.com - Police Search For Penn Hills Stabbing Suspect Police Search For Penn Hills Stabbing Suspect Police believe Troy Hill, 18, fatally stabbed his brother Tyron Hill, 11, and injured another brother. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Troy Hill is urged to call police immediately.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Penn Hills Reunion -- PHHS Class of 77

Calling all classmates:
The Penn Hills Class of 77, 30th Reunion will be held on November 23, 2007, at the Radisson Hotel at the Monroeville Expo Mart. There will be a buffet dinner and dancing and the chance to catch up with old friends!

Advance tickets are $60/person if received by October 1, 2007. After October 1, tickets are $75. Please make checks payable to PH Class of 77 Reunion and mail to PH Class of 77 Reunion, c/o Gina Calabro, 7 Joshua Valley Road, East Lyme, CT 06333

We have also setup a block of 50 rooms (to begin with) at the Radisson for $89, or $109 (suite). Please call (888) 201-1718 or (412) 373-7300 and request the "Penn Hills Class of 1977 Reunion" rate by November 1, 2007. If the block of 50 rooms goes we will have the opportunity to block more rooms if they are available so act quickly!

If you are planning to attend please mail in your check and information. Advance counts will help us in the planning.

See you at the reunion!
Gina Costa Calabro

Carnegie Library & RAD

Message from Glen Walsh:
The following are excerpts from the grant application, requesting funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District for The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, for Fiscal Year 2008. I have divided these excerpts into two categories: "Good News" and "Bad News."

BEGINNING OF EXCERPTS

GOOD NEWS

Library Capital Improvements $5,382,000

4. ADA Compliance $850,000

Several older and non-renovated branches have ADA compliance issues specific to entrance access points, restrooms, handrails, door hardware, circulation desks, signage, etc. While there are several more branches with ADA compliance issues, Beechview, Mt. Washington, and West End are targeted here since these facilities are unlikely to be fully renovated through the capital improvements program in the near future.

4. HVAC Upgrades $1,500,000 [Note: whoever wrote this grant proposal made the mistake of using the number 4 twice; henee, there are two "number 4" items.]

Several branches are not air-conditioned and other branches have aged systems. The mechanical and electrical infrastructure supporting these upgrades would also need to be upgraded to accomodate the new systems. Work would include but not be limited to electrical service upgrade, roof support, new/existing duct considerations along with the procurement and installation of the systems. Branches considered for this project [GAW Note: Note they use the word "considered"] are Beechview, Lawrenceville, Mt. Washington, South Side, and West End. This investment is considered at this time since these facilities are unlikely to be fully renovated in the near future.

[GAW Note: Note the Carnegie Library news release of Aug. 8, temporaily closing the four historic branches due to lack of air-conditioning, during the very hot
weather:

http://www.carnegielibrary.org/about/pressroom/2007/CLP_Closing_extremeheat.pdf

5. New windows $135,000

Windows are original in several branches. To ensure energy efficiency once the HVAC upgrades are completed, new windows are a logical investment. Branches considered for this project are Beechview, Lawrenceville, Mt. Washington, South Side, and West
End.

6. New Overhead Lighting $225,000

New energy efficient lighting is needed to replace 50 year old ceiling mount strip fixtures. Electrical service would need to be upgraded also to accomodate lighting. Branches considered for this project are Beechview, Knoxville, Lawrenceville, and South Side.

7. New Roofs $50,000

Roofs at the Knoxville and Lawrenceville branches are in need of replacement as they are at least 40 years old. Roof replacement will eliminate leaks and related damage.

8. Exterior Repair $90,000

The exterior of the Mt. Washington facility has age-related missing mortar joints and repointing issues which result in water seepage into the building. Power washing and repainting of the library's exterior are needed.

9. Interior Painting $85,000

Interior painting of several branches is overdue. Project anticipates patching, prep work and painting of Beechview, Knoxville, Mt. Washington, South Side, and West End.

10. Restore Ceiling $32,000

Remove dropped acoustical ceiling and restore the West End branch's original ceiling, which has historical and aesthetic value.

BAD NEWS

Service Points/Facilities

Initiative 2.1
Conduct rightsizing plan to evaluate number and location of library, administrative, shipping and storage facilities.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will launch a Commission on Libraries in 2008 that will explore the factors that influence the success of libraries in urban regions which will be critical to understanding various future scenarios for CLP in the Pittsburgh region. The outcomes from the Commission will assist the Library in evaluating dedicated funding strategies and best practices for libraries and how they might impact the future structure of our Library system.

Initiative 2.2
Complete neighborhood revitalization program to renovate/relocate all eligible CLP facilities, based on rightsizing plan.

Neighborhood Libraries Revitalization

The next renovation project of CLP's capital improvement program is the Hill District Library. Carnegie Library consolidated the two locations in the Hill District (MLK and Dinwiddie Street) and will build its first new Library since the early 1980s at the corner of Centre and Kirkpatrick Street. The official groundbreaking occurred on April 19, 2007 and is likely to reopen late Spring 2008. Another new library on Pittsburgh's North Side will begin construction in early 2008 to replace the Allegheny Regional branch which was permanently closed due to a lightning strike in 2006. Renovations also will begin in late 2008 to CLP's East Liberty branch. As was done with all recent library renovations, a community process is part of the planning. Several public meetings are held to help determine the elements and configuration of each library. The process in the Hill District is complete. The process for both the North Side and East Liberty is underway.

>>>>>>>END OF EXCERPTS

The Good News seems good for some of the historic branches Carnegie Library still operates. However, the word "considered" in several of the proposals is a definite concern. This means that they may or may not institute the proposed improvement for the specified library branches.

Concerns are further amplified by the beginning of some type of Commission on Libraries process that will result in a rightsizing plan, and improvements may then only be "considered" for "eligible" library branches.

Originally, Carnegie Library had planned on a groundbreaking for a new North Side library building [to replace the very historic Allegheny Regional Branch--first *publicly-funded* Carnegie Library in the country, in the neighborhood where Andrew Carnegie grew-up] this Autumn. Now, they say that construction of a new North Side library will begin next Spring.

From everything I have heard [including the Library Director's public comments before City Council in December and the RAD Board last March], Carnegie Library STILL does not have enough private funds to match the State funds they have, in order to build a new library on the North Side. Carnegie Library received a "cardboard check" from the Governor last year, during his re-election campaign, for $7.5 million for the Library system. However, Carnegie Library has to match every penny of that State grant, dollar-for-dollar, to be able to use the State money. As of July, a Carnegie Library staff person told me that the Library has still not raised enough private money to build the new library building.

In the meantime, I have heard that planning meetings "with the community" are ongoing for this new North Side library. However, it seems that these planning meetings, if they exist, are "invitation-only" possibly coordinated by the North Side Leadership
Conference. The general public is not invited to these meetings as several people [including me] might complain that they should reopen the original Allegheny Regional Branch Library--as I and several others did complain at the one public meeting they did have several months ago.

Athletes not sure how to train for Olympic sized pollution problem - Tuesday August 28, 2007 5:39PM

SI.com - Athletes not sure how to train for Olympic sized pollution problem ...Others are concerned the dirty air might cost them a legitimate shot at a medal.
The dirty air will not cost anyone a medal. All the medals will be given at every event. Some are going to medal. Some -- and most -- won't.

And the air is the same for everyone.

At the start of the race, everyone will (or should) have an even start.

The one's who go the fastest, highest and score more points are going to win.

My $.02, if anyone cares to listen. Don't stay far away when staying away. Get into China. Get close enough so the jump to Beijing is a two hour drive. Visit the city for a day. See the venue. Set up camp. Depart. Train for another week elsewhere. Adjust to the food and heat. Get cozy with the team. Then waltz into Beijing and perform the next day.

So, anyone know of a nice bed and breakfast about 2 hours on the upwind side of Beijing?

If Pittsburgh was Beijing, I'd take the team to Seven Springs. If Chicago was Beijing, go to Rockford. If using L.A. for the example, go to Big Sur.

Pack a lot of peanut butter. Bring a bread maker and flour. Well, the white powder stuff might not work through customs. Nix that. Ship in Ritz crackers.

Frankly, the air won't be nearly as big of a problem and worry as the food.

Food issues with the IOC drug testing are also of high concern.

Bring camel backs so you can easily lug your own water throughout the day and evenings. If you have a camel back and the presence of mind to make good choices, the water is a snap to deal with.

School Days Arrive -- as does new heights for spending. Mostly on buildings. Bad for brains and budgets.

Public schools are important to me and my family. My dad is a retired teacher with the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Likewise plenty of others in my family. I come from a teaching family, to say the least.

Everyone is in the back to school swing. Our kids resume school on Thursday. Other districts have already begun.
Where has all the money gone?

Libertarian Party of PA responds to Policy Report on Education

For more information contact: Doug Leard (Media Relations) or Michael Robertson (Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS / chair@lppa.org

Harrisburg, PA – A recent policy report by the Commonwealth Foundation has provided additional support to the Libertarian Party’s spring analysis of government school spending.

In an April media release, the LPPa reported that “According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Report Card on the Schools, school districts in the five-county southeast Pennsylvania region increased spending per student by an average of 32%, or $3372 from 2003 to 2007. During the same period, average SAT scores dropped 32 points.”

According to the Commonwealth report, over the past two decades, per student spending for public education has increased 72% after adjusting for inflation while student SAT scores have declined. The report attributed some of this increase to an increased percentage of school budgets being diverted from instruction to construction of facilities.

Michael Robertson, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) Chair, commented "While Governor Rendell may believe more money is the answer to solve the problems of the current system of public education, the evidence is clearly to the contrary."

While Pennsylvanians seek tax relief and particularly property tax relief (the primary funding mechanism for our schools), Rendell has just signed a budget that increases education spending by $760 million, over half of the $1.4 billion increase in general fund expenditures.

Concludes Doug Leard, LPPa Media Relations Chair, “government run education is crumbling before our eyes. While costs spiral out of control, quality remains stagnant. The only way to improve quality and reduce costs is to provide parents with more educational options. Government has failed. It’s time to dis-empower politicians and empower parents with responsibility for their children’s education.”

kdka.com - Millvale Flood Victims Voice Frustrations In Ross

kdka.com - Millvale Flood Victims Voice Frustrations In Ross: Millvale Flood Victims Voice Frustrations In Ross (KDKA) ROSS TOWNSHIP Flood victims from Millvale gave officials in Ross Township an earful Monday. They believe development in communities upstream of Girty�s Run is responsible for causing the devastion to their homes and businesses. According to residents, more development means more trees are cut down, which in turn causes more runoff. Therefore, when it rains, towns downstream, such as Millvale, become flooded.
Yep. Sprawl in suburban areas hurts the urban areas in many ways.

Solid Letters to the Editor about Ron Paul

The GOP, McNickle & Paul get two letters in today's Trib:

Dan Sullivan wrote one:
The GOP, McNickle & Paul II - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Colin McNickle called Congressman Ron Paul "a flop on defense, hardly a niggling thing if you swear fealty to the Constitution." Did McNickle "read" the Constitution?

Article 1, section 8, allows only Congress to declare war and limits appropriations for an army to two years, because Americans rightly feared standing armies.

Jefferson wrote, "I am ... not for a standing army in time of peace, which may overawe the public sentiment; nor for a navy, which, by its own expenses and the eternal wars in which it will implicate us, will grind us with public burthens, & sink us under them. I am for free commerce with all nations; political connection with none; & little or no diplomatic establishment. And I am not for linking ourselves by new treaties with the quarrels of Europe."

Mark Twain predicted that militarism would destroy us:

"Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people's liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons."

And now, here we are.


The second letter:


Colin McNickle stated in his column "Speaking truth to mockery" (Aug. 26 and PghTrib.com) that it is not yet time to stick the fork in the Republican Party.

Mr. McNickle, read my lips: "The fork is in!"

Conservative Republicans are a fiscal disaster. These conservatives are for big-government solutions just like the liberals.

The Republicans borrow and the Democrats tax. Democrats want costly wars on poverty just like the Republicans with their stupid war on drugs along with the billions of dollars they burn in the Middle East.

From the average citizen's viewpoint, we pay for this folly. Thus, the majority of eligible voters refuse to vote. Those who do show up in 2008 will take the Republicans down because they had complete control of the government and failed.

The only hope for the Republicans would be to nominate Dr. Ron Paul, the Texas congressman, because he always opposed the occupation of Iraq and all this global police work so popular with the neocons. He would end our interventionist foreign policy and save the taxpayer a lot of money.

Paul is not "a flop on defense," As McNickle said. He wants to defend America, not a global empire. I ask Mr. McNickle -- before he takes any more potshots at Ron Paul -- to read the U.S. Constitution and please explain to his readers how it guarantees defending a global empire.

Ron Rosenberger, Shaler

Metroblogging Pittsburgh: DeSantis "Policy Team"

Metroblogging Pittsburgh: DeSantis "Policy Team" DeSantis 'Policy Team'

Deadline doesn't bother Ravenstahl

He is at odds with the truth. The resignations are at his desk but not formally accepted. Jeepers.
Deadline doesn't bother Ravenstahl - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Ravenstahl said he hasn't 'formally accepted' the directors' resignation letters, but he has kept them in his desk. He said he expects to accept some of the letters after his staff completes a national search for potential replacements.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rights are rights -- always on -- never off. Any shutdown of rights is wrong. Your rights and mine are linked and the same.

The issue of gun rights are such that, as a topic, it does NOT really knock my socks off with excitement. But, as a principle, it is something to pay close attention to. Rights are rights and can't be messed with. It is wrong to start short-changing rights.

I hate the direction that the state is taking with this move. Now the state wants to suspend rights for four days. Later it could be for four months or four years.
Pennsylvania Bureaucrats to Suspend Gun Purchases

Individual rights downgraded by computer database upgrade

Press Release from the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania on August 27, 2007.

Harrisburg, PA - The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa) strongly objects to a state plan to suspend self-defense rights for gun purchasers over the upcoming Labor Day weekend. The Pennsylvania State Police will be upgrading their computer database used for criminal background checks. During that time, estimated to be four days, they will not be able to perform criminal background checks, so gun purchases and gun changes of ownership will be suspended.

Michael Robertson, LPPa Chair, observed, "Inherent and indefeasible rights are not subject to suspension. The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State needs to be upgraded. The utter disregard of the Pennsylvania constitution should concern all Pennsylvanians, gun owners and non gun owners alike."

Official state bureaucrats have taken the defensive position that this outage is nothing to be concerned about and that only a few gun dealers and state lawmakers have complained. The reality is that this is a precedent where individual freedom has been sacrificed for the mere administrative convenience of state bureaucrats. The primary function of government is to protect our rights - not to disregard them at a whim so bureaucrats can function easier.

LPPa spokesman, Mark Crowley, added, "Ignore for the moment, the outrageous premise of suspending a constitutional right to simplify a bureaucratic chore. Credit cards issued from hundreds of banks will perform millions of transactions each and every day. But Pennsylvania will not be able to process about 4,000 gun purchases over four days? And this same government wants a greater role in dictating our health care, educating our children and spending our taxes."

The debasement of any individual right because of an administrative chore is a dangerous power to give any government because government incompetence becomes a justification for expanding that power. The LPPa urges Pennsylvanians to contact their state representatives and to strongly object that an individual right has been downgraded below the status of a computer database upgrade.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in both Pennsylvania and the United States. Nationwide there are over 200,000 registered Libertarians with organizations in all 50 states. Libertarians serve in hundreds of elected offices throughout the nation. Please visit www.LP.org or www.LPPA.org for more information.

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, 3915 Union Deposit Road #223, Harrisburg, PA 17109. Call 1-800-R-RIGHTS. Email: info@lppa.org.
For more information contact: Doug Leard (Media Relations) or Michael Robertson (Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS / chair@lppa.org.

Swimming Programs suffer with reduced staffing

Swimming Programs The following six Citiparks pools will remain open through Labor Day (Monday, September 3, 2007)
Today, the swim pool at Highland Park isn't going to open until 3:30 pm.

Sandcastle is closed today too.

5 local swimmers qualify for Olympic trials

5 local swimmers qualify for Olympic trials 5 local swimmers qualify for Olympic trials Two Dietrichs among those with Beijing in their sights for 2008
Swimming is different from most of the ball sports, of course. However, people are smart. Many people know enough about swimming to respect it. It isn't right to say, "People don't know anything behind the scenes or how it goes."

Certain people might not -- like athletic directors and school superintendents -- should there be an axe to grind. But even those people are able to be educated.

The priorities of a swimmer are different. They take years to be established. But still -- people and the community can have a sense of wisdom that can't be denied.

Great article otherwise. Great swimmers. Great sport. It is wonderful to see the kids and teams reach for the stars.

kdka.com - Search Underway For Mt. Oliver Shooting Suspect

Not good. Very bad.
kdka.com - Search Underway For Mt. Oliver Shooting Suspect A search is underway for the gunman who killed a deli clerk during an attempted robbery in Mt. Oliver. Police say around 9 a.m., a customer walked into the A & E Deli Food Mart on Brownsville Road and found 28-year-old Jamal Muzaffar on the floor.

Bloggers target public officials in Philly - Tango goes beyond two

Some mainstream media (MSM) coverage about the mixing of bloggers and politics in the other half of PA.
metro You don’t have to travel too far across the Internet to find politicians being criticized, but Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark B. Cohen says a local blogger has gone too far.

Cohen — a regular on local messageboard Phillyblog.com — has been a topic of recent posts on Philadelphia Will Do, a blog hosted by local newspaper Philadelphia Weekly. The blog’s editor, Dan McQuade, has written several humorous articles about Cohen’s posts to Phillyblog.com.

Cohen, however, isn’t laughing. He’s posted comments in response to McQuade’s writings on Will Do, claiming to be the victim of malice and libel, legal terms for the willful destruction of an individual’s reputation often accompanied by a lawsuit. Other users of the site have responded to Cohen’s allegations with lewd, political and downright bizarre comments of their own.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

iPhone bill is as thick as a novel - Telegraph

Justine is getting coverage from the UK now.
iPhone bill is as thick as a novel - Telegraph

As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes - New York Times

As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes - New York Times Public health is reeling. Pollution has made cancer China’s leading cause of death, the Ministry of Health says. Ambient air pollution alone is blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water.
An interesting article.

However, this line is total hogwash: This scarcity has not yet created a culture of conservation. Hogwash.

The China culture, through and through, is all about conservation. They waste nothing. They conserve in almost every manner.

This is a big concept quagmire that needs to unravel to be understood. Conservation to the citizen in the US is unlike that of conservation to the billions in China.

Another statement in the article that is a huge assumption that does NOT fit with reality: China cannot go green ... without political change. That's crap NY Times reporting.

What is 'political change?' Is that like switching the house from R to D? Is it a change in the five year plan where natural resources and environment are mentioned 200 times rather than 80, in a 'state of the union?'

Furthermore, lots of China had alredy gone green. Much of China was always 'green.'

For example, billions buy fresh fruits and vegies, locally. That's all they do. That's green as it gets. Americans don't do that. They do.

Ron Paul Wins Straw Poll in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA)

Reported by: Tom Kawczynski
Today, I attended the Republican Committee of Allegheny County’s (Pittsburgh, PA) Annual Summer Picnic. The admission cost including lunch was $10 per person and $20 per family. Upon arriving at the event, I learned that a straw poll was being held there that was administered by the Plum Borough Republican Committee.

We had a booth there being manned by myself and another member of the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group, and upon learning this, we made the call so that others of our group would attend and be able to participate in the event. We came to talk to Republicans and to spread our desire to work to promote the Constitution and received a friendly response from the many people who were there today.

As Andy and I talked to the Republicans gathered about our shared message of small government and fiscal responsibility, a number of our members showed up and we began making an impact upon the poll. Not knowing about this event ahead of time, we were able to mobilize, and by the time the event concluded, here was the final tally out of 62 votes cast:

FINAL RESULTS

Ron Paul – 28 votes (45.2%)
Rudy Giuliani – 9 votes (14.6%)
Mitt Romney – 9 votes (14.6%)
Fred Thompson – 8 votes (12.9%)
Mike Huckabee – 2 votes (3.2%)
Undecided – 2 votes (3.2%)
Sam Brownback – 1 vote (1.6%)
Duncan Hunter – 1 vote (1.6%)
John McCain – 1 vote (1.6%)
Colin Powell (write-in) – 1 vote (1.6%)
Newt Gingrich – 0 votes
Tom Tancredo – 0 votes

We were very pleased by the fact that we were able to mobilize our members, and to show the organizational strength of Ron Paul in Pennsylvania. The list of victories continues to grow, and we know we are doing our part to spread the word. Believe me, people are beginning to notice as I saw firsthand and this is making a huge impact.

Who are the terroist now? Did you hear about the threat at the Ikea with the drinkers with a running problem?

These guys and gals run around and mark the course with a sprinkle of flower. They are called 'hashers'. They drink after the run -- if not while they run. Known as drinkers with a running problem, they are fun, fit, social, and like a challenge.

So they sprinkle some flower and a big meltdown from the authorities unfolds.

The terror makers are the public officials -- the police czars. Who pushed the panic button? It wasn't the runners. The button isn't found in some harmless flour that washes away by the wind or at the worst, with the next dew the following morning.

Meanwhile, in the Sunday paper's lead story, we learn all about how to learn how to live with disease -- type 2 diabetes. A side-bar (article, not drinking stop) covers the rebound of health from an ex-300 pound politician.

Health and wellness matters to me and to our society. We need to run. We need to be fit. We need to avoid disease such as type 2 diabetes -- a sickness that is preventable.

Furthermore, we need to not go into a tizzy when the hashers wing by to mark a route on the sidewalk with a touch of white powder.

FOXNews.com - Race Planners Charged for Causing Bioterror Scare at Connecticut IKEA - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News Race Planners Charged for Causing Bioterror Scare at Connecticut IKEA Saturday, August 25, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge.

The sprinkled powder forced hundreds to evacuate an IKEA furniture store Thursday.

New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who is visiting from Hamburg, Germany, were both charged with first-degree breach of peace, a felony.

The siblings set off the scare while organizing a run for a local chapter of the Hash House Harriers, a worldwide group that bills itself as a "drinking club with a running problem."

"Hares" are given the task of marking a trail to direct runners, throwing in some dead ends and forks as challenges. On Thursday, the Salchows decided to route runners through the massive IKEA parking lot.

Police fielded a call just before 5 p.m. that someone was sprinkling powder on the ground. The store was evacuated and remained closed the rest of the night. The incident prompted a massive response from police in New Haven and surrounding towns.

Daniel Salchow biked back to IKEA when he heard there was a problem and told officers the powder was just harmless flour, which he said he and his sister have sprinkled everywhere from New York to California without incident.

"Not in my wildest dreams did I ever anticipate anything like that," he said.

Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said the city plans to seek restitution from the Salchows, who are due in court Sept. 14.

"You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know," she said. "It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We're thankful it wasn't, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out."
The charges need to be dropped. Fellony. The charges should go to the ones who pushed the alarm without thinking. The runners should get medals for advancing fitness, fighting for wellness, and helping local brewers.

If I'm elected City Controller -- I'll bring these folks to town and buy them entry into the Pittsburgh Marathon. But, they'll have to buy their own beer.
'It's scary and a big change': "'It's scary and a big change' Learning to live with the disease"
A big change -- is that a PUN? B-I-G, as in H-U-G-E, as in too heavy.

Dispatches from the Culture Wars - headed to a GOP picnic with this fact

If you have not figured this out yet, I like Ron Paul for president in 2008. Dr. Paul is a Republican. So, I am going to drop in to visit with some people at a GOP picnic today. (See my Google Calendar for insights).
Dispatches from the Culture Wars Giuliani at Ground Zero, Take Two Category: Salon.com decided to find out exactly how much time Rudy Giuliani actually spent at Ground Zero and do some comparing. Here's what they found: On Friday, a New York Times story examined Rudy Giuliani's schedule in the months after 9/11 to verify his controversial claim that, like rescue workers, he'd spent long hours at ground zero, and so was 'in that sense ... one of them.'

In fact, the Times found, he only spent 29 hours at the terror site between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16...

By our count, Giuliani spent about 58 hours at Yankees games or flying to them in the 40 days between Sept. 25 and Nov. 4, roughly twice as long as he spent at ground zero in the 90 days between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16. By his own standard, Giuliani was one of the Yankees more than he was one of the rescue workers.
I used to be a Republican. I joined that party to work hard to make sure Tom Murphy would leave office. I ran for Mayor in 2001 because I hated with the D party leaders were doing to Pittsburgh.

I left the R party the day I saw that some suburban Republicans, headed by Mike Turzi, R, of the PA House, had a plan for Pittsburgh's future. Their plan was NEVER discussed with me or any city Republicans. They wrote up a 16 page document and didn't share it with us at all. And, I had been calling upon them for discussions for months, repeatedly. I determined that they were no friends of mine -- nor the city.

I'll return to the Republican party ranks after the election, about November 7, 2007. I'll want to give my vote to Ron Paul in the GOP Primary in 2008. Then again, I expect to switch back to my Libertarian party registration after that deed is done.

I made a decision in 2007 to NOT run against any Republican in the races I am engaged. There is no Republican running for Controller. There is no Republican running for Pittsburgh City Council, district 3.

I did NOT want to run in the race for mayor in 2007 -- after it was known that Mark DeSantis, R, would be a real candidate. I'm happy to let DeSantis run -- without me to contend with.

Report: Penguins And Sabres To Play Outdoor Game - Sports News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh

This trend to turn back the clock is a splendid movement within sports.

A hockey game is slated for the outdoors on New Year's Day in Buffalo, NY, at a NFL stadium, home of the Bills.
Report: Penguins And Sabres To Play Outdoor Game - Sports News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh Penguins And Sabres To Play Outdoor Game
An outdoor game could be played in Pittsburgh. Wouldn't that be great. They could set up a hockey rink at Heinz Field or PNC Park. But I've got a better venue for such a game -- and I don't mean on the frozen Allegheny River near the Convention Center.

The Penguins could play an outdoor game, under the stars, in the Civic Arena. Retract the roof! Fix it. Have fireworks -- BEFORE the the game.

The Pirates have fireworks following the games in the summer. But the Pens, in the winter months, could have fireworks before the game. Or better, at the break following the first period.

With the roof open, people in their seats would be able to see the fireworks without a problem.

The problem is, the Pens and the city didn't take care of the classic gem of a facility, the Civic Arena.

For the amount of money it would take to set up the ice in the outdoor stadium, and then repair the turf again after the rink departs, the roof could be made to retract again.

It was great being in the Civic Arena for an event and having the roof open. It was great. They'd push one button and about two-minutes later, the dome is folded back within itself with only a small slice of the pie still in place.

Just a year ago or so I was making noise that the Penguins should build the new arena out by the airport, near the fans, away from the city and the new residents. Then the Civic Arena could be saved, and fixed, and used for civic events.

They could even hold one, or a few games each year at the old venue -- under the stars -- for turn-back-the-clock night. Triple the ticket prices for those nights, if necessary.

The region does not 'progress' when it churns. To advance the region means it must grow.

Do the math: +1 -1 = 1 in the end. That's one new arena with a subtraction of one old arena giving the region one arena.

I'd rather see one new arena built and one old arena retained so at the end of the cycle there are two arenas, not just one.

The same happened with the stadiums. Think about it. We lost Three Rivers Stadium and the debt didn't go away, just the asset. And we lost Pitt Stadium. Those two venues were replaced with Heinz Field and PNC Park.

We should have kept Pitt Stadium, kept 3RS and build a new baseball only park -- something like Forbes Field! (giggle)

We could play outdoor hockey at Pitt Stadium. Then Pitt's Hockey Teams (both men and women) could have home-ice venue. Oh well.

And to refresh everyone's memory, to round out the discussion with talk of 'roundball' -- The Pete, Pitt's new basketball venue, the one with the new roof and mega cost overruns, should have been built in Hazelwood, near the Parkway East, Panther Hollow and graduate student housing at Pitt's River Campus.

My plans are viable, sustainable and much better for the region.

If I was the controller and with a staff and elected position, I'd be able to issue the reports with the finance data to make sure we had more accountable leadership and directions for the region. I'd be happy to stand up to the Rooney family, the professional teams, the stadium authority, and other special interests.

The oldest arena in the NHL, the Civic Arena, now called the Mellon Arena, is a liability, so they said. Ha, ha, ha. The joke is on them. Now the NHL has learned that the game could be played outdoors. New will be a liability in the future.

The Pens will get a new venue and wish they had an old one.

The Pirates built a new stadium that was made to feel like an old, classic stadium.

First Fruits: Fifth/Forbes corridor shows signs of progress at last

First Fruits: Fifth/Forbes corridor shows signs of progress at last The anchor for the $32 million Market Square Place project will be the Downtown YMCA, which will move from its current location on the Boulevard of the Allies. Millcraft also is planning 46 upper-floor apartments priced to attract residents earning $40,000 to $50,000 a year.
This is churn for the YMCA and YWCA. It is a net loss of space.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Aaron Russo - DEAD. He died yesterday

Ouch.
Aaron Russo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Aaron Russo (February 14, 1943 – August 24, 2007) was an American entertainment businessman, film maker, and libertarian political activist.
At Pittsburgh's BootCamp in the spring, I provided a DVD handout to people who wanted it. The DVD Handout was of Aaron's film, Freedom to Fascism.

He was way to young to die.

Do you remember the movie, The Rose, with Bette Midler?

YouTube debate among presidents has been saved. What about local debates?

The online world wears a big smile with the saving of the Presidential YouTube debate among Republicans.
We won the first battle. Because of online grassroots activists like us, we saved the Republican YouTube debate.

Now we as Republicans need to actually WIN the debate by the encouraging everyone to submit their questions, online and off. Please ask the candidates your question at:

http://www.savethedebate.com/submit.php?s=stf

And sign up to be a Video Volunteer to collect questions in your community at:

http://www.savethedebate.com/VideoVolunteer?s=stf
I can help you get your question put in to the candidates -- or put into the mix to be picked by organizers before being shown to the candidates.

But frankly, I'm a little worried about the local debate scene. When Roddey and Onorato were in a race, they gathered hundreds of times. When Murphy and O'Connor were in races, they were on TV dozens of times -- in debates and with extended interviews.

The debates must be booked NOW. They are not going to materialize, I fear.

And the next question comes, debate inclusion.

Closed for the summer

What's up with the City's outdoor swim pool at Ormsby? Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer and the pool is empty. No water?

In other open and closed news:
Kennywood will open at 5pm on Friday, August 31, but will be closed from August 27 through 30.

Kennywood will have regular park operating hours over Labor Day Weekend, as well as our September Bonus Weekends on the 8, 9, 15, and 16.

CQ Today - Hill Computers Used for Thousands of Wikipedia Edits

CQ Today - Hill Computers Used for Thousands of Wikipedia Edits Political spats, petty vandalism, cleft chins and Rep. Rahm Emanuel’s (fictional) death by shark attack — Wikipedia users on House computers clearly have a lot of time on their hands.

A new online tool has made it possible to see a full archive of edits to the popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, organized by the computer network from which they originated. The list of categories includes major corporations, media outlets, and, of course, Congress.
I've been watching this for some time.

Web 2.0

View Mark Rauterkus's profile on LinkedIn

The Pittsburgh Comet: Crime and No Punishment

The Pittsburgh Comet: Crime and No Punishment
See my interaction with a fellow blogger, Bram. Look into the comments section.

Bram snines new light onto the Department of Public Works within the city. He gives a rather bold opinion. Check it out. My approach is more, Potter-like. And, that isn't "Chris Potter" emulation.

Return to work not easy for stay-at-home dads - Your Career - MSNBC.com

Return to work not easy for stay-at-home dads - Your Career - MSNBC.comIt appears men who make the decision to become stay-at-home dads may be in even more career hot water.
I've been a stay-at-home dad. This article cuts close to the bone.

At the outset, I'd bicker with the concept in the lead paragraph of doing nothing to update their skills.

It might be bad to stay at home and do nothing. Sure. But, I didn't. While I was at home, my resume took a serious hit. however, my skill creation efforts did not shrink.

Working on the internet and going to work on community efforts present different opportunities for establishing skills while I was an at-home dad. This overlooks the whole challenge of being an at-home dad too.

When I was an at-home dad, my professional career was jolted. No doubt. But skill crafting does not need to STOP.

The root of article says men have added problems as we try to return to work. You bet. I feel that Pittsburgh's society, by and large, doesn’t give much credit to a recent at-home dad. Some do. Many don't. Some women are the worst. There is a bit of unspoken discrimination, sad to say. But, the “unmanly” tag isn't the hurdle. Unworthy for interviews and unworthy of job offers is more of a hit than being called 'unmanly.'

“In our culture, we look at work and family issues as women’s issues and don’t acknowledge men have at least the same kind of concerns about their families.

This is where I have a strength -- issues. I care about family issues. I care about healthcare, wellness, schools, parks, pedestrian life, parenting, and -- discrimination.

We've fully accepted the uncommon family structure in our house. Sadly, the rub comes with the plug-in to the greater community and wide-perceptions, especially the media. If I gave a damn what others thought I'd be a basket case.

Men face more prejudice when they decide to return to the workplace than women do. Save the males!

Men also face more prejudice when they are in school, before the workplace, as men's swim teams at many universities are axed.

Are there firms in Pittsburgh where men take "vacation leave" instead of "Family Leave" with the birth babies?

Stay-at-home dads usually have little support. But the real need for support isn't at the workplace nor within the family. Rather, it is within the community. Few guys made the same choices. More are doing so. But we're few and far between. The support I valued the most was on the internet among other at-home dads.

I agree that it is important for men to have the support of other men. This can't be overstated. Dads need playgroups. Dads need other dads to lean upon, just as women have had for the ages. Validation isn't nearly as important as plain old fashioned tips and socialization among adults.
Men get that support from men’s groups where men get the fathering, the wisdom and the tough love they need to make unpopular decisions,” says Wayne Levine, a clinical psychologist and founding director of BetterMen.org.


The article says stay-at-home pops are in uncharted waters. That's right where I want to be. I want to make my own, original mistakes, not repeat the mistakes of others.

Sometimes being a guinea pig can play in your favor.

Podcasting to spin into action shortly. Heavy Or Not, let the round up and shake ups flow

video

The fall is going to be busy. Two programs are going to swing into action: Heavy Or Not, and Take Your Mark.

Blogger has some new features that give more muscle to bloggers.

This is a test. For the next 20 seconds, this blog will experience a test of the button on the far right side of the screen shot in the image below.
From signs

Friday, August 24, 2007

UPMC announces $618 million profit, fends off critics - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This is great. Michael Lamb came out of his slumber and gave a quote to the media. Wonderful.
UPMC announces $618 million profit, fends off critics - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb, the Democratic nominee for city controller, wondered whether UPMC pays its fair share for city services, a recurring theme among critics. 'They do have the state law regarding nonprofits on their side, but given the fiscal situation of the city, we want to ensure everyone pays their fair share. The question is, what is their fair share?' Lamb said."
I sent an email to the reporter that wrote the article.

Hi,

I see you give ink to Michael Lamb, D, candidate against me in the controller's race. I am so glad you did. He has been absent in recent months. He has nothing to say. And, what he said in the article you published is perfect -- as it is nothing but the sound of him scratching his head wondering what in the world is going on.

If you'd like more quotes -- call me or email. I have a very close relationship to UPMC. Plus, I have a real plan that can be deployed throughout the city with UMPC and the other nonprofts.

My main running mates!

Grant and Erik get political with their t-shirts
yesterday at Idlewild Park.

Grant's t-shirt reads, "Freedom Loving Pennsylvanians support Ron Paul for President in 2008."

Erik's says "Save Ginny!"

A bunch of folks are headed to Kennywood for Ron Paul day on Saturday -- all wearing their Ron Paul t-shirts.

I'll be at the Pitt student activities fair at the Student Union. Welcome to town undergrads and graduates.

Crews Rescue Kayakers From Loyalhanna Creek - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh



Update: Comment from a parent is found within this thread.

This is sorta funny.
Crews Rescue Kayakers From Loyalhanna Creek - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. -- Emergency crews were called to Loyalhanna Creek in Westmoreland County Thursday afternoon to rescue a group of kayakers.

Channel 11 has learned that 35 freshman from Seton Hill University were on an orientation field trip when a girl began suffering from stomach cramps.

Offiicals said she panicked and then her kayak turned over. One other student was pulled from the water. They were both taken to a local hospital for observation.

No other injuries were reported. Students told Channel 11's Alan Jennings they were lost and their instructor did not know where they were going.
So, we learned that two students were lost in the woods for 45 minutes after they split from the group. Okay, lesson one, -- stay with the group. Lesson two, -- on a kayak trip, don't go walking around the woods.

I don't want to defend the kayak trip leader, but jeepers. Emergency rescue and the news crew might be "overboard" (pun intended) for a tummy ache. On the other hand, did anyone check to see if she is pregnant, given the outcome of the back to school story from Mercyhurst of a few days ago.

Story has video on the news site.

The War on Drugs get a new 'surge' with IOC plans tougher sanctions for doping cheats - Friday August 24, 2007 1:27AM

The war on drugs faces new, harsher blowback from the International Olympic Committee. What used to be a six month ban for athletes might be taken to a four-year ban.
SI.com - Olympics - IOC plans tougher sanctions for doping cheats - Friday August 24, 2007 1:27AM Rogge told a news conference Friday that such a penalty could effectively amount to a four-year ban for athletes.
Once again, the drug war is going to be a fruitless effort.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Buzzword 'bacn' clogs e-mail arteries

First published on this blog on, 23 August, 11:50 pm.
Buzzword 'bacn' clogs e-mail arteries Buzzword 'bacn' clogs e-mail arteries
Now that the word, BACN, has made it into the mainstream media on the other side of the world, I can blog my 'bacon' story about our time in New Zealand.

Stay tuned.

By the way, I dished out a little bacn myself last night. I now have 52 new friends on my LinkedIn page.

To set the stage, did you hear about the news from band camp at a Western PA school?
kdka.com - High School Band Eats Cookies Laced With Laxatives High School Band Eats Cookies Laced With Laxatives (KDKA) Some members of the Connellsville Marching Band were sickened after they ate cookies apparently laced with laxatives. Practice came to a halt on Thursday when students became ill. Former band members, who have graduated, served the batch of tainted cookies. School police are investigating and so far, school officials aren't commenting. The students who were sickened weren't seriously ill.
In New Zealand, they speak English, of course. Yet some of the words of the Kiwis are not easily understood by Americans.

For instance, going to the swim pool, you always want to bring your togs. Togs? Swim suits are called 'togs.'

While coaching swimming in New Zealand, we had a wonderful opportunity to go on a team trip in a ... stay tuned.

Mon/Fayette Expressway funding triggers debate in West Mifflin

The Daily News - Mon/Fayette Expressway funding triggers debate in West Mifflin A pitch for state and federal funding for the Mon/Fayette Expressway north of Jefferson Hills triggered a debate among West Mifflin councilors about Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

An interview of me -- Mark Rauterkus -- while at PodCamp Pittsburgh

blog.myspace.com/phyllostachys PCPGH2 Interview 1 - Mark Rauterkus

I've been involved and presented at all three events in Pittsburgh.

The first event was PodCamp. I talked about how I do my outreach with my give-a-way CDs.

The second event was BootCamp, geared more to the novice techie and those just starting up with blogs. I co-presented with Jen English and we talked about the landscape of political online interactions. We went from A to Z -- or Announce blast lists to wikis.

This PodCamp, in August, I presented on license issues covering Creative Commons and other open source, free, and public elements with tools, content and data.