Friday, July 31, 2009

PDF of Water Polo Handout. Feel free to post far and wide!

Play & Learn Water Polo
Practices & Game Play

Begins August 10, 2009

Day Time Practices:

M-F, 11 AM to 12:30 PM, outdoors, with Citiparks & Ammon Rec Center, 2217 Bedford.
Cost $0.


Evening Practices:

M-F, outdoors, for 3 weeks at Jewish Community Center, Monroeville.
Cost $50 for swim team kids. $75 for adults non JCC Members. $10 per day.

Attend what you can, one or both. On site registration or call or online RSVP.

Boys, Girls and Adults welcome.

Clinics geared to rookie players, but like an All-Star Team. Instruction, drills, skill development, conditioning, game situations, tactics, scrimmages, a DVD, plus a friendly test match / competition. Get new respect for this Olympic sport, team-play and friends.

Sat, Aug 29, Friendly Test Match at IUP vs. The Lawrence School, a Prep School in New Jersey.
Four expected games: Varsity boys, Varsity girls, JV boys and JV girls.

These open, community clinics, both Citiparks and JCC, are coached activities. No need to be from any specific school. A water polo team is starting at Schenley High School this fall.

Organizer: Coach Mark Rauterkus - 412 298 3432,

Above as a Google Document:

Water Polo comes to Citiparks and YOU are needed as a player

This could be you starting next week at a Citiparks Pool, Ammon Rec Center, from 11 am to 12:30, Monday to Fridays.
Summer isn't over yet. You'll get into better shape for fall sports or else keep the stamina you built in the pool from the summer training.
We need players. We've got the pool, the goals and desire to have community water polo begin in earnest. This is a real outreach for engagement and the success of this summer's program can go a long ways to getting more kids fit, into productive activities and opening more opportunities at our pools elsewhere.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm not buying this CBA stuff. Better to Lay the Shovel Down.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Kevin Acklin: CBA Remarks Before City Council from Acklin for Pittsburgh on Vimeo.

Here are some of my thoughts, from Facebook and Twitter.

Pittsburgh's future has certain keys to its long-term wellness. Our public life needs to change. We must begin to Lay the Shovel Down. Change, of course. I'm for change. But, how that change unfolds is an important conversation.

I think the mayor candidate needs to think again about being a leader of free people. People of Pittsburgh do not want to choose between a devil we know and one we don't. We'll stick with the one we already know and understand by now. We'll avoid the backlashings.

Likewise Pittsburgh's citizens do not want to choose between two different flavors of dictators, as was the case in Poland in World War II. Hitler was to the west and Stalin was to the east. Having no reasonable option means people will sit it out and, if possible, vote with their feet.

At the hearing today in City Council for CBAs (Community Benefits Agreemets) remember that it is always helps to advance your cause if you are eloquent, moving and inspiring, and in a big group, err, mob. These rules apply, most of all, when you are trying to spend other people's money.

At its root, a CBA is an agreement to take. It is with less force than taxes. But, it is another type of taxation. CBAs will and do offer pause for private investors.

The pragmatic solution to all CBS rests with politicians and accountability among voters. We need elected stewarts of the public purses to have the balls to say 'no.' I don't want anyone to give bribes with government funding, ever. If that is imposible, we'll then it needs to be where we head for the next five years. We need less. We need to nuke give-a-way avenues.

The real purpose of government is to insure freedom first.

As, or if, the City of Pittsburgh was to exit itself from all handouts of public funds to developers and sports teams, then city life would get much more simple on Grant Street.

I'd have a CBA litmus test. Kevin Acklin doesn't want one. He is WRONG. My litmus test is with a focus that no public money should be given to private developers. Then, with that policy, there is no need for CBAs.

"It's tremendously bad policy for mayor to just say categorically that [the Hill District agreement] was a one-shot deal," Kevin Acklin.

Pittsburgh needs to wake up to the concepts at hand that government can not create jobs. Well, to be fair, it can create jobs with patronage. But, it can't generate wealth and sustainable living. And, with the government jobs, we get deeper into debt with those pension funds. (see below) The city needs to stop with the building of subsidized office buildings, and subsidized sports stadiums too. But they worry that only people with subsidized housing can take the jobs in subsidized buildings. Golly. End the give-a-ways to the developers. End the churn for the builders by making sure that they pay for what they want without any of our public money.

If you want more proof (pun) that Pittsburgh politicians can't BRIBE businesses to move and stay in the city, consider Iron City Brewing. The water bill there was huge. Promises were obtained. But they went down the drain (another pun). Tough luck to Patrick Dowd. Iron City Brewing hurled on us despite a pledge to do otherwise, just as Lord & Taylor did, Lazarus, and the rest of the greedy ones that manage to take public money from more than willing politicians.

In similar news, Bill Peduto said, as quoted in the Philly paper, "We'll never dig ourselves out with the tools that we've been given," He is exactly right. But, how we go forward is where we part ways. I sing, "Lay the shovel down!" Peduto sings for better tools -- as he did with the arrival of not one but two sets of Overlords. He wants more government and bigger law books. I want a purpose for our government that insures personal liberty.

The long term fix isn't a crew of bulldozers to raze worn out houses in Hazelwood either. The fix is a return to the land value tax. Government needs to tax the land, and not the buildings. As it is now with our property taxes, those that let buildings go into disrepear are given a tax break with lower taxes. Meanwhile, those who are fixing up their homes are given a punishment with higher taxes. Gov needs to end the rewards to the owners of buildings who promote dump status. When the land value tax is embraced again, the dozers are going to be paid for by private owners.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Couch surfers isn't an online dating service.

Us Now from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

Better than mom's meeting online -- is stay at home dads holding a national convention. :) Been there, done that, about 7 years ago.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Invite from Rick F and the BGC with a new space

Celebrate a new collaborative approach to creating regional change!

You are Cordially Invited…

Bloomfield Garfield Corporation Youth Development Center & The Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center
Grand Opening Celebration

Shared Space - New Management Structure

Thursday July 23, 2009
5321 Penn Avenue

Picnic Lunch - 12:00 pm

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Remarks
by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl - 1:00 pm

Please send your RSVP to Rick Flanagan at
Too bad the mayor can't share space in the parks and swim pools.

Water Polo: JCC August 09 - for Country Clubs

Play & Learn Water Polo

Practices & Game

August 10 to August 28, 2009

Evenings, M-F, outdoors, for 3 weeks at Jewish Community Center, Monroeville

Cost: $50 for swim team kids.

On site registration or call or online RSVP. Drop in fee is $10 per day.

Boys, Girls and Adults welcome.

Clinic geared to rookie players. Learn about this Olympic sport. Instruction, drills, skill development, conditioning, game situations, tactics, scrimmages, a DVD, plus a friendly test match / competition.

Get new respect for the sport, team-play and friends. Like an All-Star team, yet nearly everyone is a water polo rookie.

Organizer: Coach Mark Rauterkus - 412 298 3432,

2009 JCC Monroeville Water Polo Sessions:
Monday, August 10, 6:30 to 8 pm
Tue, Aug 11, 6:30 to 8 pm
Wed, Aug 12, 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Thur, Aug 13, 6:30 to 8 pm

Monday, August 17, 6:30 to 8 pm
Tue, Aug 18, 6:30 to 8 pm
Wed, Aug 19, 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Thur, Aug 20, 6:30 to 8 pm
Fri, Aug 21, 6:00 to 8 pm (intra squad scrimmage)

Monday, August 24, 6:30 to 8 pm
Tue, Aug 25, 6:30 to 8 pm
Wed, Aug 26, 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Thur, Aug 27, 6:30 to 8 pm
Fri, Aug 28, 6:00 to 8 pm (intra squad scrimmage)

Sat, Aug 29, Friendly Test Match at IUP vs. The Lawrence School, a Prep School in New Jersey.
Four expected games: Varsity boys, Varsity girls, JV boys and JV girls

Rain or shine.

Swimming ability expected: i.e., swim 100 yards in deep pool.

Sign up and pass the word to lifeguards and athletes.

$50 for KIDS who are members of any Swimming or Water Polo Teams
$50 for JCC Adult Members - $75 for non members
$10 per day for drop in participants.

This open, community clinic and JCC program for members and nonmembers ages 10 and above (even with masters/adults) is a CLUB activity, not a school specific activity.
But, we are starting water polo at Schenley High School this fall.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Call for Action for Northside & PIIN

PIIN = Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network.
PIIN members, supporters & friends:

Please Join PIIN on Thursday July 23, 2009, at 5:30 pm to help us fill Calvary Methodist Church on the Northside as we stand with Northside United and other supporters to demand a Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) from Continental Development. Our message flows from the Holy Ground Campaign. The city and state are giving millions in land and money to millionaires on the Northshore while our young people are dying in Northside neighborhoods.

PIIN believes that anytime major development takes place in a community, the community should have a voice and benefit from the development. Mayor Ravenstahl has said that the Hill was an exception and there will be no more CBAs in Pittsburgh. We need to win a CBA on the Northside to set/confirm the precedent now so that when development is proposed for other neighborhoods CBAs are the norm not the exception.

Please announce this in your congregations over the weekend and ask friends, family and members of your congregation to come support the justice we are fighting for on the North Side!

Action is being taken to fight for this CBA. Now it's PIIN's turn to weigh in and act on what we believe is fair and just!

The July 23rd Event:

PIIN with Northside United will take the lead on a July 23rd Thursday evening rally at 5:30 pm at Calvary. We are asking your congregation to come out in support of the Northside which deserve some benefit from the development happening in their neighborhood. After a brief program at the church we will we will go by bus or on foot down to the hotel site just a few blocks away to symbolically claim the site as Northside.

Background and Issue

Northside United with the support of Pittsburgh United (PIIN, SEIU, Workers United, Sierra Club, League of young Voters, ACORN, NAACP, One Hill and Northside Common Ministries) has been working for more than a year to get a community benefit agreement from the Rooneys and Continental, their developers of a hotel and amphitheater near the stadiums. Continental developed and manages the Waterfront which brings no benefit to the Homestead community and is a huge collection of low paying jobs. The Rooneys and Continental received the Northside land for 1/10 of its value ($8/square foot) and then got $2.5 million from the state for the project.

Blocks away from this multi-million dollar give-away is the rest of the Northside community which puts up with the negative consequences of the ‘North shore’ development and has been consistently told by Mayor Ravenstahl that there will be no community benefit agreement for the Northside. The city conveniently changed the name of the area closest to the rivers and downtown to the ‘Northshore’, but it has always been part of Manchester and Allegheny (Northside Neighborhoods). Continental and the Rooneys have also consistently refused to even meet with the community.

The remaining leverage the community has is to too put enough pressure on the mayor and city council that they will step in and force an agreement. The community is asking for first access to the jobs at the hotel and amphitheater, that they be family sustaining jobs and for reinvestment in the rest of the community which will suffer the additional traffic, parking problems, pollution, noise and other consequences of this development and the Casino.

Banners and fliers all focus on ‘taking back the Northshore -— reclaiming it as Northside’. Northside United has asked for a meeting with the Mayor and the City Council has already scheduled a public hearing for Monday, July 27th. Northside United members blocked the doors of the DelMonte building on the Northshore which is managed by Continental. Four people sat in front of the doors and got arrested.

Please join us and help create the pressure needed to get this agreement!

Friday, July 17, 2009

More details of water polo, just approved, for August 2009 - PILOT needs your help for PR and playing

Do you want to play some water polo in August?

This new progam offers 14 practices in August in the evenings at the outdoor pool (50m x 25y) at JCC Monroeville. That final approval just arrived for this an open, community clinic and JCC program for members and nonmembers ages 10 and above (even with masters/adults).

This is a CLUB activity, not a school specific activity.

Time for me to promote the program with PR and marketing materials and get some participants.


2009 JCC Monroeville Schedule for JCC Water Polo Sessions: Monday, August 10, 6:30 to 8 pm
Tue, Aug 11, 6:30 to 8 pm
Wed, Aug 12, 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Thur, Aug 13, 6:30 to 8 pm

Monday, August 17, 6:30 to 8 pm
Tue, Aug 18, 6:30 to 8 pm
Wed, Aug 19, 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Thur, Aug 20, 6:30 to 8 pm
Fri, Aug 21, 6:00 to 8 pm (intra squad scrimage)

Monday, August 24, 6:30 to 8 pm
Tue, Aug 25, 6:30 to 8 pm
Wed, Aug 26, 7:30 to 8:30 pm
Thur, Aug 27, 6:30 to 8 pm
Fri, Aug 28, 6:00 to 8 pm (intra squad scrimage)

Sat, Aug 29, Friendly Test Match at IUP vs. The Lawrence School, a Prep School from New Jersey


$50 for KIDS who are members of any Swimming or Water Polo Teams (kids fee)
$50 for JCC Members - Adults
$75 for non members
$10 per day for drop in participants

Thursday, July 16, 2009

G-20 Logo for your use

The G-20 talk is heating. It will be over before you know it. Feel free to use this logo on your site and pound away at the G-20 wiki too.

Told ya. Come on people. Let's get together already.

I asked weeks ago for a decision about closing schools and the school district for the days and week of the G-20. Close the schools, throughout the district, for three days, W-Th-Fri. Let everyone know now. Get out of town.

I asked / told weeks ago that South Side's closed South Vo Tech High School be put into use for feeding the security workers. Allow all the police to go there for cafeteria food, around the clock. The G-20 folks can buy it. Overflow can go to the Market House too.

Furthermore, South Side's Stadium / Cupples Field, could be used as a detention site. Football games that week should be played on WPIAL sites.

Furthermore, it might make good sense to keep the Rodgers Middle School kids out of downtown, not only for this week -- but forever. It was always a bad idea to send dozens of yellow buses downtown twice a day to transport the middle school kids to CAPA as a 6-12 grade school.

Asked about the possibility of school closures, Mr. Berdnik said, "I don't think we have a firm answer on that yet." Ms. Fischetti said she'd heard no discussion of closing all district schools.

District officials confirmed that the first lady's office had inquired about the possibility of an event involving the district, but they declined to elaborate.

The school board Wednesday will vote on spending $10,000 to provide G-20 training to district security officers. Mr. Berdnik said the training will help the district enhance security at schools near the summit and anticipated protests.

"I would not underestimate the impact of this event," Mr. Berdnik said, noting summit planners might ask to use closed schools as dormitories for out-of-town police or for other purposes.

Read more:
Michelle Obama should speak at Schenley / Pittsburgh International High School. That's the place she is expected.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Folly of City Council

I posted at this comment:

Just as Doug Shields did in his fight to pull the plug on the Curfew Center because it was NOT part of the 5 year plan and would have to cost too much, $.5M in 2009, -- so goes this chapter.

The Curfew Center should go away because the laws are discrimination. It should NEVER BE illegal to be alive and out.

Doug Shields should have moved to take the curfew laws off the books -- and then we'd have no need to have a $.5 M per year Curfew Center Boondoggle.

Likewise with the ZBA, Shade Tree Commission, Planning Goobers, and the other dozens of rubber stamps that are woven through the authorities and commissions and appointments in this town.

The Zoning Board is a huge problem. The board is stacked now. I'd move to NUKE it.

I like the older approach finally championed by Alan Hertzberg. He came around to the idea in his last seasons. ELIMINATE the URA.

But no. Bill Peduto wants to create a bigger government -- with the arrival of the stimulus overlords.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A family birthday ends in tragedy, when a little boy ends up in trouble.

Las Vegas: 4-year-old drowns during family pool party

The four-year-old ended up under the water at the Camden Bel Air apartment complex, near Gowan and Tenaya, on Saturday afternoon.

The little boy had been celebrating a sibling's birthday with family and friends, before he was found at the bottom of the complex's pool.

According to Metro, everybody had just got out of the pool for lunch, but nobody saw the 4-year-old go back into the pool.

"This is known as a silent death. We don't hear the splashes. We don't hear the screams. We don't hear the cries," said Lt. Ray Steiber, with Metro Police.

Adults by the poolside dialed 9-1-1 after the boy was found unconscious.

CPR was unsuccessful on the young child. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

"It's really sad. This has gotta stop. Enough is enough, how many kids have gotta die before things change," said Cameron Azgar, who lives near the pool where the child drowned.

The 4-year-old is not being identified at this time.

Metro spent most of Saturday afternoon interviewing witnesses who were nearby at the time of the drowning.

This marks the seventh child drowning in Las Vegas so far this year. Last year's total was seven for the entire year.

Metro says the only way to stop this startling trend is constant supervision.
Constant supervision is necessary. But, same too, instructional swimming for everyone. Boys and girls age 4 can swim. That's young. But, it is possible. And, with the swim instruction comes the lessons of being safe, of screaming for help, of respect for the water.

Learning to swim is a public safety issue. And, getting those lessons to the kids is the duty of all of us.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lance and Robin on Tour

robinandlance.AVI -- powered by

Hitler chimes in on recent trades of Pittsburgh Pirates

It just never ends.

Crippling. Who is crippling whom?

"The city rolls are replete with people who've done the same thing that Paul has," said Len Sweeney, his attorney. "If they suspended every city employee who was arrested, it would have a crippling effect on the workforce."

Read more:
Does the work force cripple the city? Or, would a work force without legal hangups be so thin as to cripple the city? Or, do laws that punish without victims cripple society? Or, is the city work force and the sheer size of government so massive that the economy is crippled due to government sprawl?

Mike's big story on corruption in Western PA and with the Catholic Church
In 1985 or 1986, Sister Dorothy ventured to diocesan headquarters to voice her concerns about Wellinger who served as assistant pastor at St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Clairton, PA. Sister Dorothy served as the principal. Sister Dorothy reported to diocesan officials that Wellinger would inappropriately touch children. Diocesan leaders did nothing. It’s important to note that Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua, now the leader of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, was bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese at the time of Sister Dorothy’s complaint.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

WQED announces layoffs

WQED announces layoffs: "WQED announces layoffs"
QED can go into nothingness for all I care. Too much cooking. Too much Do-Whop. Too little politics.

Not a single debate in the spring for the mayor's race. Nothing for other candidates. That is part of the charter of what public telivision should be doing.

I've been slamming QED since Jim Roddey was on the board there. That's why he wouldn't sign my petition to help me get onto the ballot in 2001. QED has been a major disappointment to Pittsburgh for the past decade or more.

US Serviceman departs Afgan, but leaves big waves behind

Afghanistan Water Polo: A Coach Leaves, Big Demands, and Delays: "A Coach Leaves, Big Demands, and Delays

Monday, July 06, 2009

Saturday, July 04, 2009

ÜberTwitter - michaelsally - Some fun in the park with @Rauterkus

ÜberTwitter - michaelsally - Some fun in the park with @Rauterkus

New G-20 Logo

This is in the public domain.

Resumes of Hopeful New School Board Members

Resumes on the web as a Google Documents. Plus, links to their wiki pages, with photos too, at As more info is obtained, the wiki pages can be freely updated.

Pick one Mayor Luke

Hey Mayor -- pick one.

As you all have probably heard, Heather Arnet is resigning from the school
board. The mayor will appoint a replacement that will hold the seat until the
next municipal election in November 2011. Two members of the PURE Reform
Steering Committee, Stephanie Tecza and me, Kathy Fine have submitted our names to the Mayor to be considered for this appointment. Please find attached the resumes of both candidates and I encourage all of to call, write or email the
mayor's office to voice support for one or both of these candidates:

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor’s Office
Room 512, City-County Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Pirates rank . . . last. Surprised?

ESPN the Magazine ranks all 122 pro sports franchises. The Pirates ranked last (#122) in commitment to winning, 'nuff said.

There was a time when I was a Pirate season ticket holder. I have attended only 4 games in the past five years. This season I was going to make the commitment to attend more games, buying into management's latest "Five Year Plan."


My son, who use to go to the games with me, refuses to go. We have been bobble-headed, fireworked, and concerted out. What we would like to see is a competitive BASEBALL team, ideally the home team. ESPN has only confirmed what Pirate fans have known for seventeen years; you want to see a top class organization watch the Penguins or the Steelers, you want to watch a loser go to PNC Park.