Sunday, February 28, 2010

Analysis: NHL needs more control in Olympics

Frozen brain logic with the Post-Gazette with Olympics, as expected.
Analysis: NHL needs more control in Olympics And it was on cable.
Bettman has pointed out that Sochi is 'eight time zones away from the Eastern time zone' as one concern about the airing of Olympic hockey in 2014, but the more pertinent question would appear to be: If NBC could not be bothered to carry a U.S.-Canada game in Sunday prime time over non-medal ice dancing, what makes anyone at the NHL think it will bother to carry any hockey from Sochi?
So, again, why go?
The only thing worse than NBC when it comes to coverage of the Olympics is the Post-Gazette.

The NHL does not need more control of Olympic hockey as the problem is not that of the Olympics nor the NHL. Rather, the problem, if there is one, is NBC.

The game was on cable. It was on. Cable is widespread. Sure, it isn't universal. But, there is more to NBC than just one TV station. To say the game was not on, except for MSNBC is to say one has a brain freeze. Games were on.

The NHL should continue to go to the Olympics. The NHL should steer clear of efforts to control the Olympic Hockey Tournament. And, if you need to pay the cable bill -- do it or else watch it elsewhere.
To grow the game?

That, too, seems to be happening on its own: USA Hockey's amateur registration is at an all-time high, rinks are popping up across the southern belt, and places like Pittsburgh no longer raise eyebrows when they produce an NHL draft pick.
Let's grow the game in Pittsburgh, in the city of Pittsburgh, here:

Let's cover this roof cave in, P-G, and the failed Request for Proposals from the city years ago too.

From hockey hell

Good luck in court Dan. He got taken by police with G-20 mess but wasn't protesting at all.

Dan wrote on a public list.

I appear this Tuesday before Judge Gallo, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, to appeal my summary conviction. I had not been part of the protest, but had been walking from my house to a garage-workshop that I rent, and my route intersected with the confrontation between police and protesters. The police went right past me, knowing that I was not a protester, but I was arrested anyhow after making a comment about excessive force used by the police. Anyhow, I am supposed to be at the County Courthouse at 8:30 AM. The trial could be at any time thereafter. I was originally charged with three misdemeanors, but they were reduced to a summary charge. I believe the reduction was in hopes that I would not appeal, but the charges were ludicrous, and I feel like it's my duty to appeal. Also, anyone who pleads guilty to a lesser charge loses all rights to sue for wrongful arrest. The DA said he was going to dismiss the charges against most of the protester until he got word that the ACLU was looking into pressing charges against the police. Then he refused to dismiss any charges and pressed for plea bargains.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


Convictions against four G-20 protesters upheld
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
An Allegheny County judge on Monday upheld the guilty convictions of four people arrested during the G-20 summit in September.

Five people had hearings before Senior Common Pleas Judge Robert C. Gallo to appeal their convictions on summary charges of disorderly conduct.

Four of those who appealed their convictions were arrested during a mass sweep on Sept. 25 on Schenley Plaza in Oakland.

Judge Gallo affirmed convictions of:

• Peter Vankoughnett, 20, of Minneapolis, who had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and was ordered to pay $423.50.

• Anna Rasshivkina, 21, of Pittsburgh, also pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $223.50, and

• Jonathan Latourelle, 26, of Pittsburgh, was found guilty at trial and ordered to pay $223.50.

Judge Gallo did not sustain the conviction of Jason Muley. Mr. Muley, 22, of Pittsburgh, also previously pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $373.50. But the judge on Monday found that prosecutors were unable to proceed with specific testimony regarding Mr. Muley's actions on the plaza.

One other person appealed a disorderly conduct charge from the Sept. 24 afternoon protests in Lawrenceville.

Karen Switzer, 37, of Pittsburgh, was found guilty at trial of one count of disorderly conduct, and ordered to pay the court $154.50. Judge Gallo affirmed that conviction, as well.

More than 100 people were arrested the night of Sept. 25 in Oakland after, police said, a large group that had gathered failed to heed instructions to clear the area.

Many of those swept up by the hundreds of police officers who had gathered in the area in riot gear were students at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Allegheny County district attorney dropped charges in some of those cases. In dozens of others, students agreed to complete community service to have their cases dismissed by the court.

Still others who were charged agreed to plead guilty and pay fines.

More appeal hearings are scheduled today.

Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620.

Read more:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Something: Something in the water. It is hard work!

Something in the water: "'There's something about Western Pennsylvania kids that's a little bit special,' he said. 'There's a certain toughness in kids from this area that seems to lend itself to high-level athletics.'"

Big splash: WPIAL swimming & diving championships

splash: WPIAL swimming & diving championships
: "'Having better
swimmers is always the final thing that dictates the times,' West Allegheny swim
coach Bob Miller said. 'I'm not sure how much the suits helped. I think the
suits help confidence-wise. The kids feel fast if they are told it is a fast

First commercial jetpack to go on sale for £50,000 | Mail Online

First commercial jetpack to go on sale for £50,000 | Mail Online: "A company is set to produce the first commercial JETPACKS - and one could be yours for just £50,000.The traffic jam-beating packs will be manufactured after a multi-million pound deal was signed with an international aircraft company this week.
Martin Aircraft Company, in Christchurch, New Zealand, aims to make 500 packs"
Pot holes? No worries.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympic Speed Skating Snafu From a Coach's Perspective, Plus Article on Filtering Your Goals

by Chris Carmichael, Founder/CEO, Carmichael Training Systems

As a coach, I watched in horror as Dutch speed skating coach Gerard Kemkers mistakenly directed skater Sven Kramer into the wrong lane during the 10,000-meter event at the Vancouver Olympic Games. Kramer, already the gold medalist in the 5,000-meter event, was well on his way to another gold medal. Indeed, only a fall or a mistake was going to keep him from earning gold, and it was a mistake that did him in. I ve been in positions similar to Kemkers on the infield of a velodrome, in the driver s seat of a team car, in the racers ears over the radio and the pressure is tremendous. I gave my share of good and bad advice in the middle of major competitions, but thankfully I never made a mistake as costly as Kemkers . All over the world, I think everyone in the coaching community said a relieved, There but for the grace of God, go I. when they saw the looks of despair on both Kramer and Kemkers faces.
Coaches and athletes are human and they make mistakes, but in the middle of competition a coach has to be even more careful than normal. In the heat of competition, athletes rely on techniques and habits formed over months and years of training. This enables them to stop thinking about some aspects of the sport, thereby allowing them to focus more intently on a smaller number of variables. Sven Kramer has skated the pattern of a 10,000-meter race thousands of times, and while skaters occasionally lose focus and forget what lap they re on or what lane they re supposed to be in, the pattern tends to be one of the more automatic parts of the event. Similarly, in the 4,000-meter pursuit on the velodrome, once the riders have left the start line they expect to follow a well-rehearsed pattern of pulls and recoveries.

For his part, Sven Kramer handled the situation with a lot of maturity. Yes, he was visibly upset, but that is to be expected. An almost certain gold medal just had just slipped through his fingers, and not because another competitor was faster. When talking with the media, however, he took the high road, saying that the final responsibility rested with him since he was the athlete. Kemkers accepted full responsibility for the error as he should have. Kramer was headed toward the correct lane until Kemkers vigorously directed him to the wrong lane at the last second. It was probably the worst moment in either one of their careers.

A coach can play an important role in helping athletes adjust their performances, but you have to be careful to stick to the communications athletes expect to get from you. In timed events on the velodrome, athletes expect to see and hear a coach on the apron giving them pre-determined signals that tell them if they are above or below their goal pace. If the coach is out of place or giving unexpected signals, athletes even really intelligent ones get confused. As an athlete, especially in timed events, you learn to rely on patterns and routines so you can focus all your energy on going faster. The last thing you want is information you're not prepared to evaluate and deal with; it instantly destroys your rhythm and causes you to doubt what you re doing. Your brain goes from focusing on speed and power to trying to figure out what s going on.

In the end, I m heartbroken for Sven Kramer because did everything right in terms of preparing for his Olympic races, and then he lost a gold medal when it was only a few laps away. And although there won't be much sympathy for Gerard Kemkers around the world (and certainly not in the Netherlands), I feel bad for him, too. There is no worse feeling for a coach than when you realize you've failed an athlete. If there s one piece of advice I could give to Kemkers, and every other coach (because if you haven't made a mistake yet, you will), it's that your mistakes will make you learn and become a better coach, precisely because they will haunt you.

On a completely different note, it s late February and I ve been encountering athletes all winter who have yet to establish clear goals for 2010. So I forwarded CTS Senior Coach Abby Ruby, who spent a lot of time researching goals and goal setting while writing her doctoral dissertation on Exercise Addiction in Ironman Triathletes , one of the many questions I've been receiving about setting appropriate goals for the season. Check out her response here. And remember, you can send questions to I can t promise an answer to every question, but I ve been working my way through them as best I can.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pittsburgh’s Apologists Return with Bad Policy Suggestions

Policy Brief

An electronic publication of

The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy

February 24, 2010 Volume 10, Number 11

In 2003 a duo of the City’s elite chaired a task force known as the Hillman/Roderick Committee to study Pittsburgh’s financial problems and to recommend solutions. Of course, this was before the City formally entered Act 47 distressed status or was under the watch of a state appointed oversight board. The task force identified the usual fiscal maladies—stagnant revenues and too much spending. They recommended substantial tax increases and spending cuts and the creation of a state-appointed review board.
Now nearly seven years later with the City still floundering the apologists for (and too often enablers of ) the City’s self-inflicted fiscal wounds are back with a Post-Gazette opinion column claiming the City has made the Committee’s recommended $40 to $45 million in spending cuts but the revenues from the new taxes have been inadequate to fix the City’s problems. The Committee’s leaders are asking for still more revenues on the grounds the City is the regional hub and the region’s fortunes are inextricably tied to the City’s well being.
But what the authors fail to acknowledge is that having the region forever subsidize profligate and irresponsible financial and economic behavior is neither sustainable nor desirable for the future of the City or the region. And it is also curious that they say not a word about the City’s recent adoption of an economy stifling, government expenditure boosting prevailing wage bill or the looming living wage legislation.
Let’s review what has happened regarding the City’s financial situation since 2003 when the Committee convened. In 2003, the City had $378.4 million in operating expenditures and revenues of $349.3 million. Seven years later in 2010, Pittsburgh has budgeted expenditures of $446.5 million along with nearly equal projected revenues. Even adjusting for the roughly $20 million increase due to an accounting entry change that started in 2005 for state pension funding, the City is still spending about $50 million more than in 2003.
To understand better Pittsburgh’s financial problems, in 2004, the Allegheny Institute created a benchmark city against which Pittsburgh’s government finances and operation could be compared. Four geographically dispersed cities were chosen for the benchmark, Charlotte, Columbus, Omaha and Salt Lake City. The comparisons were very illuminating. Pittsburgh government was spending almost $1,200 per resident compared to $803 for the benchmark city, a difference of nearly $400 or 48 percent. At the same time, Pittsburgh had 11 city employees per 1000 residents, while the benchmark city had only 8 per 1000 residents, a gap of 37 percent.
Moreover, in 2004, Pittsburgh’s bond payments per capita were three times the amount paid by the benchmark city. And, the City’s pension plans had already fallen to 50 percent funded compared to 89 percent for the benchmark city.
On the revenue side, Pittsburgh was collecting $898 per capita in taxes from all sources, far higher than the benchmark city’s $551. Non-tax revenues were fairly close at $287 per capita for Pittsburgh and $234 or the benchmark.
In short, Pittsburgh in 2003 and 2004 was spending and collecting taxes at levels far exceeding mid-sized cities across the country.
Now fast forward to the Institute’s benchmark update in 2007. Pittsburgh’s tax collections rose significantly to $1,037 per resident in 2007 and benchmark taxes per resident climbed to $615, boosting the gap between Pittsburgh and the benchmark city sharply from $347 to $422. Interestingly, Pittsburgh’s tax collections in 2007 were $45 million above the 2004 level thanks to the new taxes and mandated changes in existing taxes required by the legislature’s reform package—almost exactly the amount the Committee had wanted to see. Total revenue, including non-tax sources, climbed from $354.7 million in 2004 to an adjusted $428 million in 2007, a $73 million increase. The nearly $30 million jump in non-tax revenue was accounted for by money from gaming taxes, Commonwealth grants, the non-profit contribution and other miscellaneous line item increases.
Meanwhile, after adjustments to account for the transfer of debt service sinking funds into the PAYGO capital improvements and other one time transfers that were included in the operating budget, spending in 2007 still rose compared to 2004 rather than falling by $45 million the Hillman/Roderick Committee has claimed. The point is that while Pittsburgh was enjoying a strong three year rise in revenues of over 20 percent, the inability to rein in spending meant the fiscal problems of the City did not go away. Moreover, Pittsburgh’s employee count per 1000 residents still stood 35 percent above the benchmark city.
What’s worse, the situation has not improved since 2007 despite the City’s being under the financial oversight of an Act 47 coordinator and the ICA board. Although 2010 budgeted expenditures of $446.5 million compared to 2007’s actual spending of $434.5 would appear to indicate a modest $12 million rise over three years, the elimination of the PAYGO transfers of previous years to the general fund budget resulted in $55.2 million fewer dollars in the non-departmental Citywide line item in 2010 than in 2007. In other words, the other expenditure categories combined jumped by $67.2 million in just three years led by a $30 million (27 percent) hike in personnel benefits. But many other expenditure groups climbed by double digit percentage increases including; law, controller’s office, city planning, police, fire, and public works. All told, 2010 budgeted spending stands $50 million above the 2004 level with further planned increases in coming years.
So much for reining in Pittsburgh’s expenditures. The last three years have seen a virtual abandonment of any pretense at checking the growth of expenditures. Combined with an overwhelming legacy cost problem and a huge debt load, the inability to reduce other outlays on a continuing basis puts the City right back where it was seven years ago, except that it now has a panoply of new revenue sources, which we are being told yet again are not sufficient. It would seem fairly obvious that unless expenditures are curtailed by far more stringent efforts than we have seen to date, the City will never get its financial house in order.
These are the same folks who lobbied for the RAD tax, the regional renaissance tax, higher occupation tax, and the business payroll tax, among other revenue enhancements, again arguing that more taxes on non-residents are needed to solve the City’s fiscal difficulties once and for all. Bear in mind it was the City’s government officials who created this intractable financial mess with the tacit support of Pittsburgh voters. And it was the same civic leadership who now wants more taxes that perennially failed to bring pressure on the City to act responsibly. It is no good for them to argue that binding arbitration prevented the City from holding the line on police and fire contracts. They could have gone to Harrisburg and lobbied for Act 111 reform. That did not happen either. Nor did they fight the enormous and losing bets the City placed on publicly funded developments that have added to the poor financial situation.

To be sure, the City does serve as a regional core. But why should the burden of propping up its government fall ever more heavily on those living outside the City while the City fails miserably and continually to act in a prudent manner financially or in terms of economic policies? Those who work in the City pay one the nation’s highest parking taxes and the Local Services Tax (the former occupation privilege tax). Their employers pay the payroll preparation tax; their companies pay property taxes either directly or indirectly through rent. County residents and visitors to the county pay RAD sales taxes that heavily support the City and its amenities—which by the way, is one of the main reasons Pittsburgh remains the sports cultural and entertainment center of the region. Perhaps the Committee leaders have forgotten that.
Folks venturing into Pittsburgh for a sporting or entertainment event pay an amusement tax on the tickets they purchase as well as the parking tax. Commuters and non-residents pour enormous revenues into the City’s coffers that are well in excess of their use of services. Yet they are for some, always the scapegoats for Pittsburgh’s problems.
Those living outside the City did not agree to the egregious pension benefits and legacy costs that threaten to sink City finances. They did not elect the officials that caved into union demands or placed stifling mandates on businesses. The City has done little to help itself as budgets and obligations continue to grow, even under financial oversight.
Finally, why do the Committee leaders not call attention to the glaring fact that the City and County have made virtually no progress in the last five years to reach accords on consolidating services despite the recommendations of many task forces over the years? So much time and effort was wasted pushing the full governmental merger of the City and County. A push doomed to failure from the outset.
The time for making excuses and blaming others for Pittsburgh’s problems is long past.

Jake Haulk, Ph.D., President Frank Gamrat, Ph.D., Sr. Research Assoc.

For updates and commentary on daily issues please visit our blog at

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The Allegheny Institute, 305 Mt. Lebanon Boulevard, Suite 208, Pittsburgh, PA 15234

Chartiers Valley residents seek board president's resignation

Chartiers Valley residents seek board president's resignation: "The fallout from two Jan. 22 senior skip day parties in Collier continued Tuesday night in Chartiers Valley when residents presented a petition demanding that Patti Figorski resign as board president.
The two parties resulted in criminal charges being filed by township police against 30 students and the suspensions of seven drill team members from two performances.
Say what? What's the story here?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We Can Put an End to Word Attachments - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

We Can Put an End to Word Attachments - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF): "Don't you just hate receiving Word documents in email messages? Word attachments are annoying, but, worse than that, they impede people from switching to free software. Maybe we can stop this practice with a simple collective effort. All we have to do is ask each person who sends us a Word file to reconsider that way of doing things."

Upper St. Clair students may not have to make up snow days

Upper St. Clair students may not have to make up snow days: "Upper St. Clair students may not have to make up snow days"
Time will tell.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Makes sense:

Congressman Ron Paul - Government Stimulus, One Year Later - Texas Straight Talk American people know that more government spending obviously equals more government.

Creating Literate Olympians Here

From curling
Pittsburgh Fat Man Aspires to Curling Gold

(Reuters) Pittsburgh, PA - Unemployed former accounts receivable clerk Dan Bujokowski is aspiring to Olympic gold.

"You know, I was there watching NBC at 3 in the morning and they were showing highlights from the Team USA's curling match against one of them foreign countries, and one of those players on the US Team is, like, 300 pounds. I thought to myself, as I was noshing on a three day old Twinkie, that I could be an Olympic medalist too."

Mr. Bujokowski is one of many Americans who, because of nearly wall-to-wall coverage of curling in order to fill up airtime, suddenly believe that they have what it takes to be a professional curler.

Originating in Scotland, curling is a team Olympic sport in which stones are slid across a sheet of carefully prepared ice towards a target area.

Steve Buffington, a Director of the Pittsburgh Curling Club, says there's more to curling than being an overweight guy on ice. "Curling involves strategy, balance, good sportsmanship, and the ability to hurl a 42 pound stone down 100 ft ice. While it is accessible to a wide variety of people, it's not a game that just anyone can be an expert in overnight... unless you're willing to buy the first two rounds of beer."

Mr. Bujokowski remains undeterred.

"Michael Phelps eats a 20,000 calorie diet and smokes pot. If he can east twice as much as me and be an Olympian, well, I think I'm guaranteed at least a bronze medal.

From curling

Winter Classic: Is hockey in PNC Park's future?

Winter Classic: Is hockey in PNC Park's future?: "Winter Classic: Is hockey in PNC Park's future?
Better than playing hockey in PNC Park with a bunch of Canadians on the ice, and a few from the USA and elsehwere, let's play scholastic sports at PNC Park. Let's hold some football games at PNC Park in the fall. These could be done after the baseball season.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fw: Americans For a Free Republic

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Nelson Hultberg <>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 14:32:02 -0500 (EST)
To: <>
Subject: Americans For a Free Republic

The Daily Bell 

Guest Interview of Nelson Hultberg 

1/3/2010 - with Scott Smith

     TCR cover

Launching the Conservative American Party! 


The editors of The Daily Bell are pleased to publish the following interview with the libertarian-conservative writer and free-market activist, Nelson Hultberg. These are excerpts; to see the full interview, go to The Daily Bell website.

Mr. Hultberg is a freelance journalist in Dallas, Texas and the Executive Director of Americans for a Free Republic. His articles have appeared in such publications as The Dallas Morning News, the San Antonio Express-News, The American Conservative, Insight, The Freeman, Liberty, and The Social Critic, as well as numerous Internet sites. 


Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us. You have a new book, and some exciting news - and we'll discuss that in a minute. But let's jump right in. Your latest book is titled, The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It. Can you give us a brief overview of what the book is about?

Nelson Hultberg: In simplest terms, the book is about how to save our country from the political madness taking place in Washington. Anybody with a lick of sense realizes that there's no real difference between Democrats and Republicans anymore. Both are lackeys to the special interests. No matter who wins, we always get more spending, more taxes, more bureaucracies, more wars, and less freedom. So America desperately needs to open up the process and establish a third choice. But it can't be a Libertarian style party that preaches utopianism to the choir. It must be a real third-party that poses a genuine threat to the status quo.

This is the main purpose of the book -- to show Americans how to form a third-party that can get 15%-20% in the polls in 2012 and qualify for the national TV election debates, where it can dramatically challenge the corruption and obtuseness of the Demopublican establishment. Then build on this to get 35% by 2016 and win in a three-man race.

Daily Bell: You write that it is a fallacy that third parties cannot work in America. This you say is because all third parties throughout the past century have made two disastrous mistakes in strategy that always doom them to failure. What are these two mistakes and why are they so important?

Nelson Hultberg: The two major mistakes that all third parties make are what I call "marginalization" and "cloning."

1) "Marginalization" is the flaw of the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party. This takes place because these two parties attempt to instantly implement an ideal vision of how society should be constructed through the political process. They ignore the fact that politics is a game of incrementalism, that it is not an arena in which an "ideal society" can suddenly be voted into place. Because they try to do this, they are perceived by the public as not living in the real world.

For example, whenever they are asked what tax policy they advocate for the country, Libertarian and Constitution Party members reply that the income tax should be totally abolished and government should be stripped down to a minimal state funded by tariffs. Now this is a wonderful "ideal" that could perhaps be achieved in 100 years. But it's not a credible political platform to be gained through a political campaign. Libertarian and Constitution Party members are blind to the damage this does to their image in the minds of the voters. As a result, both parties are marginalized as utopian. They end up getting at best 1% of the vote every year and remain obscure fringe voices.
A couple of Libertarian Party candidates recently complained to me that I was being unfair with the above assessment. For example, in the last election they had modified the tax proposals of the LP and ran their local individual campaigns on just a simple flat tax, and still they got nowhere. So according to them the LP's problem was not its radical idealism; it was basic voter apathy and the unfair rules set by the major parties. But what these LP candidates overlook is that the national Libertarian Party ideology has been around for 35 years, and it has firmly cemented into the public's mind that the LP stands for abolition of the income tax with no replacement. Seeing that the Federal Government took in $1.42 trillion in revenue from the income tax in 2008, the LP stand on taxes means that there will be $1.42 trillion less in government services. This paints a picture of extremism and unreality to the people; it is a threat to the stability of their lives that they will reject overwhelmingly. This is the image of the national Libertarian Party, and it taints all individual candidates no matter what they say to voters. This is why Libertarians get only 1% of the vote. The national Libertarian Party has the "mark of Cain" on it, and no amount of individual side-stepping in local campaigns will remove the mark. LP candidates don't understand that the national party has marginalized itself over 35 years, and anyone associating with it will be stuck with the image of extremism and unreality. Unfortunately the Constitution Party succumbs to this same error.
2) "Cloning" is the flaw of groups like the Reform Party that Ross Perot founded (and also John Anderson's independent candidacy in 1980). Because they wanted to win the Presidency right away, the Reform Party couldn't risk espousing any radical policies. They had to copy the basic approach of the Demopublicans and thus became nothing but a clone, offering only more of the same statist pabulum of the two major parties. In other words, while the Libertarian and Constitution Parties project too much radicalness, the Reform Party projected no radicalness and became just another "big government party." This meant they had to run on the notion that they would somehow govern the monster welfare state better because they would bring "better personnel" to Washington. Their bureaucrats would supposedly do a more professional job of confiscating our money and throwing it down the rat holes of political boondoggles. In the end, the voters didn't see the need for still another big government party. So the bottom line was that because the Reform Party campaigned on a platform designed for instant victory, it became nothing but a clone and failed.

Any third-party challenge of the Demopublicans must avoid these two mistakes. A third-party must offer radical enough change to separate itself from the Demopublicans, but not so radical that it becomes marginalized like the Libertarians and the Constitutionalists.

Daily Bell: What is the name of this new third-party, and how far along is it in its formation?

Nelson Hultberg: The name is the Conservative American Party, and we plan on officially launching in the next few months. This is what Americans for a Free Republic in Dallas is all about. Our website is: We're an educational organization set up to inform the people about why the Conservative American Party is so desperately needed, and also to explain the unique political strategy that we have designed. We want to bring millions of disenchanted Republicans, Democrats, and Independents together to support the cause.

Daily Bell: Your book's main emphasis is formed around what you call the "Two Pillars Strategy." Can you tell us what this strategy entails?

Nelson Hultberg: The "Two Pillars Strategy" is the foundation of the Conservative American Party. It is designed to put in front of the American people two crucial political reforms that will stop the relentless growth of government and begin the restoration of the Republic.

These two crucial reforms are: 1) Ending the Federal Reserve's power to inflate the money supply at will, and 2) Ending the government's power to progressively tax its citizens. These two powers give government the ability to steal wealth from the people by debasing the currency and by confiscating the earnings of our most productive citizens through progressive tax rates. The 

politicians then use this stolen wealth to buy votes from the special interests, which leads to all kinds of corruption and tyranny as we can well see around us today.

So if we really want to stop the tyrannical growth of government in America, we have to stop the Fed from expanding the money supply in excess of the growth of goods and services. And we have to enact an "equal-rate" income tax so that government can't redistribute the people's wealth in order to buy votes with subsidies and handouts.

Thus Pillar #1 is to enact Milton Friedman's 4% auto-expansion plan for the Fed. This will mandate by law that the Fed only increase the money supply by 4% every year. Monetary expansion will be taken away from the FOMC's arbitrary discretion and be computerized, which will keep money supply growth equivalent to the growth of goods and services, which will reduce price inflation to zero. This will end the Fed's irresponsibility and allow time for the people to be educated as to the necessity for a gold standard, which might require 30-40 years. Such an auto-expansion plan is not perfect and not a permanent solution, but it will stop the destruction of our currency. It is a vital interim policy until gold money can be re-established.

Pillar #2 is to enact an equal-rate income tax of 10% for everyone (i.e., a genuine flat tax). If we are to uphold "equal rights" in America, then we must have "equal rates" in our tax system. And all citizens must be assessed the tax. No exemptions. Period. Only in this way can we have a responsible electorate. When all people have to pay proportionally for their government services, they will begin to vote for less government every year at the polls. A 10% equal-rate tax for everyone will be revenue neutral, and thus not threaten the stability of the voters' lives. And because all the people will have to pay the tax, the overwhelming majority will demand that the 10% rates be lowered every year. We could have a 5%-7% tax in a decade or two.

Once these "Two Pillars" are enacted, the dangerous growth of government will be stopped because government will no longer have the ability to arbitrarily create money, and it will no longer have the ability to redistribute earnings so as to promise massive pork and privileges in return for votes.

Daily Bell: Wouldn't a 10% "equal-rate" tax for everyone place a heavy burden on the low-income earners who presently pay zero taxes? How would you overcome the massive resistance to this problem?

Nelson Hultberg: First of all, it is not true that a 10% equal-rate tax will hurt the low-income earners. I show in the book that it will not impose a net burden on them at all. In fact, it will actually increase their standard of living because of the explosion of economic productivity that will accompany enactment of the Two Pillars. This I show by figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce, along with the work of John Williams at, and a wonderful study by the political scholar James L. Payne titled, Costly Returns: The Burdens of the U.S. Tax System.

With enactment of the Two Pillars, low-income earners presently paying zero taxes will gain a 16% increase in their standard of living. That nets out to an increase of 6% after assessment of the 10% tax. Once the American people are made aware of this, a large portion of them will begin letting common sense guide their vote instead of the massive guilt that has been heaped upon them by liberal professors and pundits over the past 50 years.

Daily Bell: You say the main strength of the Two Pillars Strategy is that it will eliminate "infinite demand" for government services. Will you explain this concept of "infinite demand" and what we must do to eradicate it?

Nelson Hultberg: "Infinite demand" for government services comes about because the progressive income tax permits large groups of voters to pay zero taxes and equally large groups to pay next-to-zero taxes. These two constituencies comprise 50% of our voting population today. IRS figures show that the upper 50% of income earners in the U.S. pay 96.03% of all taxes, while the lower 50% of income earners pay only 3.97% of the tax load. The bottom 25% of income earners pay zero taxes. Figures are from IRS Statistics of Income Division, September 2002.

Thus a progressive income tax spawns a something-for-nothing voter mindset that dominates all elections. It creates an irresponsible electorate that demands a steady expansion of government services. This is basic human nature and one of the cardinal laws of economics. If government benefits are free (or nearly free), demand for them will be infinite. This is why the voters constantly vote for more and more government; 50% of them get their services FREE, or for pennies on the dollar.

Overcoming this "infinite demand" will be impossible until we radically reform the tax system and eliminate its something-for-nothing aspect. This means adopting a simple "equal-rate" income tax that doesn't convey favors or exemptions to anybody. Once we have an equal-rate tax in place, all voters would then have to pay for their government services proportionally out of their own pockets. This would kill their desire for all the pork and subsidies. The voters would begin to favor politicians who advocate reduction of government instead of its constant expansion, because this is the only way they could get their own taxes reduced and more freedom into their lives. They would begin sending Ron Pauls to Congress instead of Chuck Schumers.

Daily Bell: Getting the necessary 15% in the polls to qualify for the national TV election debates plays a very important role in the "Two Pillars Strategy"? Please explain why.

Nelson Hultberg: The Demopublican elites control the political process in America to a great extent through control of the national TV election debates. Only Democrats and Republicans are allowed. And they propose only statist / imperialist policies to the people. But once the Conservative American Party is in the debates, its candidate would then be able to explain the cause for freedom and limited government to 70 million voters.

As things stand now, the freedom message is totally shut out to the voters at election time. They never hear about any alternate vision of governing. They never hear what is really causing their problems. They never hear about fiat money, debasement of the currency, and why progressive tax rates cause "infinite demand" for government services. They never hear about why we should return to a mind-our-own-business foreign policy that the Founders advocated. But with the Conservative American Party in the debates, we could have a third voice that would tell the people how corrupt and tyrannical the Demopublicans have become.

To give you an example of how powerful the national debates can be, imagine an articulate Conservative American Party candidate giving one-half hour lectures prior to each debate like Ross Perot did in 1992. Only this time the lectures will be about how the Fed is stealing 5%-10% of our savings every year through currency debasement, and how progressive tax rates create "infinite demand" for government services.

The Conservative American Party approach would dramatically transform the field of politics. I believe that 15%-20% of the American people will support the "Two Pillars" of honest money and equal tax rates, which will get the party into the debates in front of 70 million voters in 2012. And then that 15%-20% figure can be built to 35% by 2016. This would force the Demopublicans to enact the two pillars into law. Because if they didn't, the Conservative American Party would be able to capture 35% of the vote and achieve victory in a three-party race. So either way, the Conservative American Party wins.

Daily Bell: What important platform planks other than the "Two Pillars" of tax and monetary reform does the Conservative American Party advocate?

Nelson Hultberg: We advocate two subsidiary planks which are: 1) the restoration of a mind-our-own-business foreign policy and 2) a thorough crackdown on illegal immigration that will stop its flow into our country and return the majority of the illegals to their country of origin. The immigration plank will also return us to the pre-1965 legal immigration levels. These are the four cornerstones of the party -- tax and monetary reform, along with foreign policy and immigration reform. The rest of the platform is to be conventional Republican fare. This is very important because we must avoid becoming marginalized like the Libertarians.
Daily Bell: Why should we not work within the Republican Party and try to convert them to a limited government philosophy? Wouldn't it be easier to convert them instead of trying to build a new party from scratch?
Nelson Hultberg: In order for the Republicans to convert to a limited government philosophy, there has to be a mandate from the people to do so. No such mandate will ever arise, however, until all citizens are taxed proportionally for their government services with an "equal-rate" tax. As long as 50% of the voters get their services FREE, or for pennies on the dollar, they will continue to demand more government spending. Republicans will never propose the necessary tax reform to change this because they know that proposing an equal-rate tax with no exemptions would doom their re-election chances. They want to return to Washington every year, and they have to compete with Democrats who continually offer more and more spending programs to the people. So Republicans join the crowd and do likewise.

Consequently no REAL reform toward limiting government will ever come from Republicans. Only a third-party that doesn't crave immediate victory will propose an equal-rate income tax with no exemptions, which is what is necessary to stop government growth. Republicans crave immediate victory, and thus can never do this. But since the Conservative American Party candidate's goal is not immediate victory, he will be able to do it. His goal is to win, but only by offering the "Two Pillars" of tax and monetary reform to the people and be elected after these reforms have won them over. T`is can be(orchestrated wpectacularly through the national TV election debatas.

An equal-rate tax for everyone will not get 51% support at this time, but 15% of Americans will support it. This will get the Conservative American Party into the debates where the Two Pillars can be presented to 70 million Americans every election year. No longer will the Demopublicans be able to ignore the truth about America's problems in front of the voters. A third voice will be present to tell the people how the Demopublicans are causing our problems, and why we must adopt the "Two Pillars" of tax and monetary reform if we are to save America. This will dramatically change the nature of American politics.

Daily Bell: Can you please expand further on this issue of why we cannot reconfigure the Republican party and must instead start a new party?

Nelson Hultberg: For over 40 years, conservatives have been attempting to reshape the Republican Party into a party of liberty by working to elect "better, more conservative" candidates to turn Congress into a true limited governing body again.

The flaw in their strategy is this: When such conservative political aspirants start out on the campaign trail, almost all of them have noble motives and truly wish to slay the prodigal beast that rules Washington. But once they become entrenched on Capitol Hill, they get bit by the power disease and realize that it is much easier to win votes by playing the pork and subsidy game, that it is much easier to get big campaign donations by conveying special privileges to the corporations. They quickly succumb to the sordid favor dispensing game and join the ranks of the Demopublican big spenders.

The fundamental problem is that without a third-party in the election debates, there is no counteracting force to mandate that the Republicans continue to try and distinguish themselves from the Democrats. Without the people being aware of another vision (e.g., that of honest money and equal tax rates), they will not demand that the Republicabs change their stripes. If there is no demand from the voters, then these "better, more conservative Republicans" slowly get consumed by the Washington beast of big government That ol' devil human nature gets in the way of their original, noble aspirations. They end up choosing another term of acquiescence to statism (with all its celebrity in Washington) instead of fighting for true tax reform, which will bring them defeat on Election Day and a return to the obscurity of life in Midville.

Thus the conservatives we send to Washington continue to be bought off by the system as fast as we can send them. This will not change until we reform the tax system that buys them off. But only a third-party can genuinely reform the tax system because only a third-party like the Conservative American Party (that doesn't fear defeat on Election Day) will be willing to put an "equal-rate" tax in front of 70 million voters.

Daily Bell: What are the differences between this party you propose and the Constitution Party?

Nelson Hultberg: We agree in principle with the Constitution Party's stands on abortion, national defense, education, the environment, foreign policy, health care, immigration, religious freedom, social security, state sovereignty, trade policy, terrorism, and welfare. We just disagree with their strategy of how to go about convincing America to adopt such stands. At present we must concentrate on stopping the Gargantua of government. Tomorrow we can concentrate on cutting him down to size. Therefore we at AFR believe it is best to concentrate on the "Two Pillars Strategy" of tax and monetary reform, and leave other radical reforms for the future -- like abolishing the income tax, the Education Department, welfare, social security, etc. In this way, we do not threaten the people with the dissolution of the welfare state. This will allow the Conservative American Party to get the necessary 15% in the polls to qualify for the crucial national TV election debates.

The Constitution Party marginalizes itself like the Libertarian Party because it threatens the people with the dissolution of the welfare state. It assumes radical, ideal stands on the issues rather than practical, achievable stands. This is political death. The Constitution Party will never get into the national TV election debates with such an idealistic platform, and thus it will remain an obscure fringe party. The debates are everything. Without participation in them, no political party can ever be truly effective.

Daily Bell: In the last depression during the 1930s, the government increased its power over the American economy and the lives of Americans tremendously. What makes you think it can be different this time?

Nelson Hultberg: I think it can be different this time because we have the vast power of the Internet. In addition, we've had 60 years of free-market education put forth in this country outside the school system from thinkers like Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and several others. There are now millions of articulate voices out there who believe in free enterprise. They're not going to go along so eagerly with the collectivists and authoritarians as Americans in the 1930s did. This is AFR's mission -- to attract all these free-market voices into a dynamic party of patriots who want to restore the country to the Founders' vision.

Daily Bell: What do you say when critics claim that nothing can be done to reform the system because a corporate-bureaucratic-banking triad controls the economy, and they have far too much power to be defeated at the polls?

Nelson Hultberg: I tell them to check their history. All progress in forming better, freer societies comes about because there are certain people in this world (the Thomas Jeffersons and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyns) who just don't allow immense power structures to bother them or dissuade them from their goals. The reason why is because of a very dynamic force that all tyrannical systems lack, and all rational revolutionaries possess -- and that is MORAL TRUTH. This is what brings the most powerful of tyrannies down. No matter how ruthless they are, they are always vulnerable in face of men and women who are willing to take a moral stand against overwhelming odds. Moral truth is the key. That's what we who advocate freedom and limited government have on our side. We just have to design the right strategy to implement it.

Recent polls show that 40% of Americans consider themselves to be "conservative." An additional 40% of Americans consider themselves to be "independent." These are the two constituencies that will build the Conservative American Party into a power that can challenge the liberal / statist elites in Washington. We have the opportunity here to do something very profound. We can inject the two greatest issues of our day -- honest money and equal tax rates -- into the living rooms of 70 million Americans every election year. This would be big time, TV oriented, major league politics. It would stop the growth of the Leviathan cold, and it would begin the restoration of the Republic. That's what we have the power to do with the Conservative American Party and its Two Pillars Strategy.

Daily Bell: Where can our readers get your book?

Nelson Hultberg: They can buy the book with a credit card at the AFR website, Callers from within the United States can also call our toll-free number 1-888-404-2155 if they wish to order over the phone. Or they can send a check for $14.95 + $3.00 S&H (Total $17.95) to: Americans for a Free Republic, P.O. Box 801213, Dallas, TX 75380.

Daily Bell: Thank you for your time and especially for your disciplined and gracious lifelong commitment to freedom. Good luck! We look forward to sharing your columns with our readership.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Meet Jordan Wells

Jordan Wells coordinates the Sweatfree New York Campaign, which works toward procurement policies that support just and safe working conditions in factories producing for public entities. He also directs the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign, which seeks the removal of the legal exclusions that deny New York farmworkers the basic rights other workers enjoy: overtime for extra hours, a day of rest, collective bargaining protections, disability insurance, etc. Before these roles, he assisted in research leading to the publication of "No Holds Barred -- The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing" (Economic Policy Institute, 2009). Since 2007, Jordan has served on the board of SweatFree Communities.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fw: Russ Diamond Published Position on Prop. Tax abolishment

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From: "Bob Logue" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 09:29:05 -0500
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;><Invalid address>
Subject: Russ Diamond Published Position on Prop. Tax abolishment

Since January, 2002, a grass roots group called STOP  (Stop Taxing Our Properties) has been fighting to abolish all property taxes on primary residences.
The group of like-minded citizens does NOT endorse candidates.  But, we have in the past and will continue in the future share the views of various candidates on this issue, educating the voters as they decide if they desire to support those candidates.  We encourage all of you to challenge all candidates for state and local government--whether incumbents or challengers,  to publicly state their position on this issue.  Learn more about the STOP Primary Residence Protection plan at   and  Hit on the S.T.O.P page.  Please forward this message to your current elected local and state officials, and all candidates for office.  Also forward it to everyone on your E-mail list and ask them to do the same.  Bob Logue, STOP Primary Residence Protection Plan. 
    The following is the plan of Candidate for Lt. Governor, Russ Diamond  for totally eliminating all property taxes in Pennsylvania: 

Transcript of an argument for eliminating property taxes
presented at a debate held by Citizens' Caucus on April 18, 2008

Good morning. Let me begin my argument by reading Article I Section 1 of the Pennsylvania constitution:

All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursuing their own happiness.
I want to underscore that this is Article I, Section 1 of our state constitution. Not Article V. Not section 23. It's Article I Section 1. There's a distinct reason why our right to acquire, possess and protect property is one of the very first among many inherent rights listed in the Declaration of Rights. And let's be clear - these rights are declared. Nobody was asking permission for the right to acquire, possess and protect property. The framers declared these property rights, using this exact wording from the very beginning in 1776.

The reason that property rights are listed at the beginning of the Declaration of Rights is because the people who founded this commonwealth and created our frame of government clearly understood that private property is the cornerstone of a free society. Without property, there is no freedom. Without property, none of our other inherent rights make much of a difference.

But don't take my word for it. Section 124 of John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, written in 1690 and pre-dating the Pennsylvania Constitution by nearly a century, states:

The great and chief end… of men's uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of their property.
With the importance of our right to acquire, possess and protect property firmly in mind, let me read some highlights of a letter recently written by a deputy sheriff to David Baldinger of the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition:

Imagine having someone knock on your door as late as 10:00 P.M. You answer the door and are faced with two or more Deputy Sheriffs in full uniform with a marked sheriff's car outside. The local police may also be on hand in the event of a problem. The neighbors may be watching. One of the deputies presents you with a court order stating that you are being evicted from your home due to unpaid property taxes.

You're advised that you have fifteen minutes to vacate the premises. Your wife starts crying, your kids are screaming and it gets ugly. Emotions are at their highest. You're followed through your home and allowed to pack a few bags before you're escorted off your property. Your vehicles may be seized as well, forcing you and your family to leave on foot. A latch and lock bolts are attached to the doors of your home and notices are posted that your property is now available for Sheriff's Sale.

This is a real life reenactment of what we do. It's dirty, disgusting and shameful.
Now if the chief reason for creating government is to preserve our property, how is it that agents of that very same government are assigned the task of taking our property from us? To me, this is an indication that somewhere along the line, the tables have turned. We are no longer treated as free individuals with inherent rights, but as subservient subjects begging for privileges.

This ultimate obliteration of our inherent right to acquire, possess and protect property is enough reason alone to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania. But if we need more ammunition, then all we need to do is examine the way that tax is assessed.

I don't believe there's a single person in this room who could argue with a straight face that property tax assessments in Pennsylvania are uniform or fair. Uniformity, it should be noted, is required for all methods of taxation by Article 8 Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Even when this unfairness is officially recognized, as it was by a Lebanon County judge who recently ordered the county to reassess all properties by 2012, the so-called solution guarantees no more uniformity or fairness than the problem. Ask anyone who knows - the result of any reassessment process is that one-third of the properties will be given a fair assessment, while the remaining two-thirds will be assessed either too high or too low.
And don't forget the cost of assessing properties for the purpose of taxation. It's estimated that the upcoming process in Lebanon County will cost as much as 3 million dollars, or about 55 dollars for each parcel of property in the county. Is a final report that's 67 percent wrong really worth 3 million dollars of our hard-earned money? No other form of taxation carries such a high cost just to determine what the taxable base is.

But let's not place blame for this problem with those who aren't at fault. Although school directors, county commissioners, city council members and township officials have no incentive whatsoever to make sure that property taxes are uniform or fair, they are only trying to do the best they can with the tools they have. For the most part, these local officials are prohibited from using other methods of taxation to raise revenue.

The finger of blame should be pointed squarely at Harrisburg, as the property tax problem is a statewide problem and can only be addressed by statewide action.

For more than four decades, efforts have been made in Harrisburg to ease our property tax burden. Various revenue replacement and/or rebate schemes have been suggested and tried, but all have failed to satisfactorily solve the problem. Certainly, none have even come close to putting government in the position of unquestionably reestablishing our right to acquire, possess and protect property.

If we really want to eliminate property taxes once and for all in Pennsylvania, the only proper way to do it is with a constitutional amendment. If we choose instead to use statutory law, there is nothing to prevent the General Assembly from reversing that law and reinstating property taxes. And as we witnessed with the Supreme Court's ruling on the slots law in 2005, such a reversal could occur without any debate or notice whatsoever. A constitutional amendment, on the other hand, would require a vote of the people to overturn.

To be successful, such an amendment should include three key features.

First and foremost, a constitutional amendment to eliminate property taxes must not be dependent upon any particular revenue replacement scheme. Usually when I speak on this subject, the most common question I hear is 'how do you propose to replace the revenue?' The correct answer - and I don't mean to be flippant at all - is 'I don't care.'

No matter what revenue replacement scheme we end up with, it is sure to be more uniform, fair and less expensive than property taxes. But we cannot continue to allow various special interests to divide and conquer us based on the method of revenue replacement. In fact, doing so is like putting the cart before the horse.

For this reason, the second key feature of any constitutional amendment to eliminate property taxes is a set period of time - I propose up to five years - for the General Assembly to address the revenue issue. During this time, our well-compensated best and brightest in Harrisburg can engage in great debate with the understanding that they absolutely, positively must come up with an answer, because we the people have given them a firm deadline.

The third key feature of such an amendment is a protection against any taxing authority taking unfair advantage of taxpayers during the interim period.

With these things in mind, the wording for such a constitutional amendment could be relatively simple, as follows if one were adopted today:

Taxation, assessment or valuation of real property by any taxing authority or jurisdiction within the Commonwealth shall be prohibited after June 30, 2014. Until that time, no taxing authority or jurisdiction shall increase property tax rates, assessments or revenues by an amount greater than a localized combination of inflation and population growth.
To sum up my argument, property taxes must be eliminated in Pennsylvania in order to protect our inherent and declared right to acquire, possess and protect property, the cornerstone of a free society. It is imperative that we accomplish this with a constitutional amendment that is independent of any particular revenue replacement scheme and sets a firm deadline for the General Assembly to react.



Monday, February 15, 2010

High School Swim Meet Results

Date unsure:

Boys Meet:

Central = 113
Schenley = 116
Brashear = 55

Girls Meet:

Oakland = 154
Schenley = 93
Brashear = 49

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pittsburgh's Uptown. Plan for the August 28, 2010 Festival

Uptown Partners is hosting a community festival in Uptown on Saturday, August 28, 2010. It will be similar to last year's "Pop-Up Pittsburgh: Uptown on the Move."

Share your ideas about entertainment, food, and other features to make this event a success with the Festival Committee. It is meeting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, February 24, at Uptown Partners office, 710 Fifth Ave, Suite 1000.

This meeting will be the first of a series of monthly Festival Committee meetings. Join for one or all of the meetings!

Geography Game with Countries. Most of these places are not doing well in the Winter Olympics

Drag the country's name onto the map. Don't be afraid to make an error. Once you finish the puzzle, you will be far more educated about this part of our world.

Fw: Reassessment stupidity & waste continues

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From: "Bob Logue" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 16:57:50 -0500
To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:;><Invalid address>
Subject: Reassessment stupidity & waste continues

Tioga County seeks $150,000 for failed reassessment
Williamsport Sun-Gazette
February 10, 2010

WELLSBORO - As the result of an independent consultant's report, Tioga County Commissioners have filed a lawsuit seeking about $150,000 for the failed 2008 county property reassessment.

Real property assessment and valuation consultant Bruce Sauter of Brewster, Mass., gave his report to the commissioners Tuesday, basically saying that 21st Century Appraisals had "failed" to fulfill its contractual requirements with the county and also "failed" to meet assessment performance standards laid out by the International Association of Assessing Officers in a reassessment it was hired to do.

County solicitor Raymond Ginn Jr. said based on Sauter's findings, the county has filed a lawsuit in the court of common pleas for the $140,000 paid to 21st Century, plus the costs of mailing notices to 27,000 property owners when the commissioners rescinded the reassessment, which amounted to about $10,000.

The cost of hiring Sauter, which to date amounts to about $10,000, was not mentioned as being part of the suit.

The problem began when 21st Century missed its January 2008 deadline to file the reassessment figures. Notices were mailed out to property owners in July without being examined by county officials, Commissioner Sue Vogler said.

Public outcry over the reassessment figures, which Sauter said were "skewed" to make those properties at the lowest end of the scale seem to be worth much more than they really were, was enormous, and a public meeting drew more than 400 people to the courthouse.

In his report, Sauter said 21st Century showed "substantial bias" in its "value estimates," which he said were based more on data and less on actual field visits.

"If the 21st Century values had been implemented, taxpayers with the least ability to pay or contest their assessments would have paid a disproportionately higher share of the real property tax burden," he said.

Sauter said that at the same time 21st Century was conducting Tioga County's reassessment, it also was conducting one for Luzerne County, which has 165,000 parcels and was paying much more for the service.

"I think maybe they probably put more effort into evaluating there than here, being a small company with limited resources," he said. "They (21st Century) probably chased the bigger bucks."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pittsburgh Public Schools Summer Dreams Camps

You won't find Swimming and Water Polo camp, nor Olympicpedia, nor Junior Lifeguard Camp, nor Sports Manager Camp. Those were two of my suggested camps. But, here is the line-up of what was picked.

Afternoon Activities

Facilitated by: Allegheny Youth Development

Camper capacity: 40*

*Special Scheduling Note: Boys only are eligible for this program

Location: Pittsburgh King

Culminating Activity: Camp concludes with a mini-judo tournament

How would you like to test your physical limits in a contact sport that’s exciting, safe, and most of all, fun? The Olympic martial art of judo might be perfect for you. Judo teaches you how to use an opponent’s own force and momentum to throw or subdue him. You’ll learn amazing throws, quick foot-sweeps, strong pinning techniques – all the tools you’ll need to compete in real judo matches. You’ll also build the courage, sportsmanship and self-control that this sport demands. So kick off your shoes and join us on the mat. Hajime!

Ultimate Frisbee: Catch The Spirit!
Facilitated by: Camp Spirit of the Game

Camper Capacity: 100

Location: Pittsburgh Obama (in the Reizenstein facility)

Culminating Activity: Campers will participate in an Ultimate Pentathlon

Discover what millions of young people already know: the sport of Ultimate Frisbee is easy to learn, outrageously fun, and richly rewarding. Play games, make friends, get fit--and take home key lessons about how to succeed in life. Learn teamwork, dedication, respect and integrity. Earn trophies and prizes. Get a professional quality flying disc to keep, a hi-tech sport shirt, and a medallion for completing the Camp. Learn more about Ultimate at and about the SDA Ultimate Camp at

Artists and Scientists Camp

Facilitated by: Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Camper Capacity: 80

Location: Off-site at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art – campers from Pittsburgh Obama (in the Reizenstein facility) will be eligible

Culminating Activity: Campers create pieces of art and/or graphic displays of scientific phenomena

Imagine having your work displayed at a museum. After activity-filled afternoons at both Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art, you’ll create a project for display in the same building that is home to Tyrannosaurus rex and works of Vincent van Gogh. If you’re ready to explore your community, try science research and artistic expression, and then share your project with an audience beyond your school, this Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh camp is the place to be!

On Stage

Facilitated by: Community College of Allegheny County

Camper Capacity: 90*

*Special Schedule Note: This activity will take place Monday – Thursday. Campers will be able to choose fun academic electives and workshops to participate in each Friday.

Location: Pittsburgh CAPA

Culminating Activity: Culminating activities include short skits, songs, or oral reports

Are you ready to experience the magical world of playwrights, actors, musicians, singers, dancers, costume and set designers? Through “On Stage,” you can enjoy performances by a variety of local artists and interact with the performers. Then you can go on to write an original skit or a song, learn more about the life of a favorite entertainer, perform in a short play, choreograph a dance, design a costume, or learn more about the technical aspects of theater. If you are ready to practice in the world of performing, this is the place for you!

Green Architecture, Community Design, Theater, Cartooning

Facilitated by: The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Camper Capacity: 20

Location: Off-site at The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh – Campers from Pittsburgh King will be eligible

Culminating Activity: Campers will build boats and create cartoon illustrations and posters designed to help others conserve energy

The PPS Summer Dreamers Academy at The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh will engage students in fun and exciting activities including: green architecture, community design, theater and improv, cartooning and a fun filled week of Museum exploration.

Young Playwrights

Facilitated by: City Theatre

Camper Capacity: 120

Location: Pittsburgh CAPA

Culminating Activity: Campers will create a compilation of 10 plays

Wouldn’t it be fun to create a world filled with characters of your own? Who act and speak just the way you want them to…about what means the most to you? Every day, playwrights create characters and tell stories that audiences experience under the bright lights of the stage. City Theater Young Playwrights will give you a chance to dream up a world of your own. Learn about the great writers who came from Pittsburgh – such as August Wilson and George S. Kaufmann; see how they create vivid characters and action-packed stories, and then use the playwriting tools you learn to tell a story of your own!


Facilitated by: Frick Art and Historical Center

Camper Capacity: 22

Location: Off-site at the Frick Art & Historical Center – Campers from Pittsburgh Obama (in the Reizenstein facility) will be eligible

Culminating Activity: Campers create, design and curate an art exhibition

Your art in our museum! artSLAM takes you behind the scenes at the Frick Art and Historical Center. Work alongside curators, artists, and educators to develop an exhibition that showcases your creativity. Make the art, write about it, organize and install the exhibition, and celebrate with a museum opening for your family and friends.

K.R.U.N.K. Mini-camps

Facilitated by: Gateway to the Arts

Camper Capacity: 30 at each site (120 total)

Location: Pittsburgh Brashear, Pittsburgh CAPA, Pittsburgh King, and Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers will perform their K.R.U.N.K. production at the end of the camp at the August Wilson Center

K.R.U.N.K mini-camps-If your dream is to be a hip hop musician, producer, dancer, or technician, the K.R.U.N.K. movement (Kreating Realistic Urban New-school Knowledge) will teach you what it takes and how to make it happen. You’ll learn about the music, how to make it, record it, dance to it, and you’ll have the chance to put it all on stage.

World Music and Dance

Facilitated by: Gateway to the Arts

Camper Capacity: 20

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers perform an original dance that they learn during the camp

The nomadic Romany people travelled from India to Europe, picking up the pulsating rhythms and unique instruments of the countries where they lived. Fluid arms, pounding feet, rapid rhythms, played on the Rabel, Oud, and Bazouki. Learn how to dance and play in the many moods of this spirited ancient people. If you love to move this class is for you!

NASA: Journey into Outer Space

Facilitated by: Mad Science of Pittsburgh

Camper Capacity: 320*

*Special Schedule Note: This camp will be offered two days each week in two sessions. 160 campers will participate in Session 1 each Monday and Wednesday and 160 campers will participate in Session 2 each Tuesday and Thursday. Campers will have the opportunity to choose a second exciting academic elective or workshop to be led by camp coordinators on the days they do not attend Mad Science.

Location: Pittsburgh Brashear

Culminating Activity: Culminating event includes all campers firing rockets made in camp

Join the quest for exploration from our Earth's atmosphere to the outer reaches of our universe. We'll create comets, discover planets, uncover stars and more! We'll explore the four forces of flight, the challenges of living in outer space and participate in a grand rocket launch!

Reading with Rumba and More

Facilitated by: Mercy Behavioral Health

Camper Capacity: 60

Location: Pittsburgh King

Culminating Activity: Culminating event is a dance recital and oral presentations

“Reading with Rumba and More” is a replication of the “Dancing Classrooms” program that is already popular in 6 of our elementary schools. When Reading meets Rumba lives will change. The integration of literacy, reading, writing, journaling, and book discussions with learning the tango, fox trot, swing, meringue, and electric slide can lead students to see the connection between thinking beyond what they normally see and hear, learn to appreciate differences, and gain from someone else’s experience in life. By infusing a literary curriculum with ballroom dancing students double the opportunity to experience growth in self-knowledge, self-respect, respect of others, social skills, communication, and just plain fun.

Art Activism! Youth Peace Rally

Facilitated by: MGR Foundation

Camper Capacity: 20 at each camp site (120 total)

Location: Each camp site

Culminating Activity: Campers participate in a peace rally

Tired of the violence in your schools and communities? This summer is your opportunity to take action and silence the violence. First, learn about Pittsburgh’s struggle for peace by reading stories about youth violence along with interviews with Pittsburgh peace activists. Then, create works of art, spoken word, raps, dances, and speeches to promote peace as you plan and lead the city-wide 2010 MGR Youth Peace Rally!

Youth Cycling: Positive Spin

Facilitated by: MGR Foundation

Camper Capacity: 40

Location: Off-site – Campers from Pittsburgh King and Pittsburgh CAPA will be eligible

Culminating Activity: Camp ends with a 60 mile bike ride to Ohiopyle State Park to camp overnight

Do you want to spend the summer outside with the sun at your back and a cool breeze across your face? In Positive Spin, you will explore Pittsburgh’s riverfronts on two wheels, learn bike safety and maintenance, become a bike advocate, and explore alternative forms of exercise like rock climbing, rowing, yoga, and break dancing. You will even get to build and keep your own bicycle! End the summer with an unforgettable journey: a day’s ride up the Youghiogheny River Trail with an overnight camping adventure!


Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 15

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers create a gallery exhibition of their photographs to be placed on a C.D. or jump-drive

Find your creative side and discover your artist's eye through photography! In this program you'll learn how to operate a camera and how to use a variety of photographic tools and techniques that express your thoughts and feelings. We'll be getting down to basics so you’ll learn how to take better pictures while exploring your unique visions of family, friends, community, and the whole world that surrounds you.

Ceramic Mosaic

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 15

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers will create ceramic mosaics to demonstrate in an exhibit.

Join in on the mosaic madness and help create a large-scale public mosaic that will be around for centuries to come. You’ll also learn valuable marketing skills while creating your own sellable mosaic creations that include handmade ceramic tiles.

2-D Sampler

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 15

Location: Pittsburgh South Brook

Culminating Activity: Campers host an exhibition of their artwork

Tell your stories and interpret your world using a variety of 2D media and creative writing techniques. Drawing, painting and collage will combine with poetry, prose, songwriting and creative non-fiction to create rich and varied narrative visual works that document aspects of our own personal histories and experiences. Daily discussions and critiques as well as an end-of-program exhibition will be included as well.

By Hand: ECO ART Fashion Art

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 15

Location: Pittsburgh South Brook

Culminating Activity: Campers develop a runway show or photo installation of their Eco-friendly fashion

Are you a budding fashionista? Think Project Runway with a focus on the environment -- participate in a "green" fashion show. Embellish and make your own designs and accessories using recycled clothing, plastic bottles, shopping bags, and found objects. Old toys can become jewelry, stuffed animals can become a furry coat . . . . Learn new skills such as crocheting, hand-stitching, therma-bonding, and linking to create exciting pieces of clothing that all your friends will want to wear!

Fabric Fashion and Design

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 30

Location: Pittsburgh South Brook

Culminating Activity: Campers create their own unique clothing

Begin to take control of your own fashion sense and create what inspires you. Make your own fabric by employing a variety of decorating techniques. Bring out the old clothes that have been hiding in your closets for so long and freshen, alter and embellish them for a new look. Who knows? Your ideas may catch on… Whatever the case, you will be creating your own wonderful one-of-a-kind clothing!

Mosaic Storytelling in Glass

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 30

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers create glass mosaics for all to see

Come join us to learn the ancient form of mosaic art. Using colorful, tumbled glass, you will make your own mosaic creation to take home. Then we will work as a group to make a story window from one of your summer reading list books. Together we will create a beautiful and permanent stained glass mosaic window that you'll be able to show to your own children and grandchildren!

Portraits: A Multi-Media Exploration

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 15

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers create puppets to be displayed at exhibition

Are you interested in drawing people and faces? Would you like to practice and learn some new techniques? In this art program you will express yourself in a variety of materials and mediums as we explore portraiture. From 2-D to 3-D, with paper, metal and tile mosaic, we will create a variety of portraits from realistic to abstract and have a whole lot of fun along the way. The camp will culminate in a final exhibition displaying campers’ art.

Sketchbooks of Nature

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 30

Location: Pittsburgh South Brook

Culminating Activity: Campers build their own websites

Are you fascinated by stars or volcanoes or whales or bugs? Would you like to learn more about how everything in the Universe is connected--yourself included? If you'd like to explore nature through storytelling, writing and different kinds of art, this could be the class for you. Develop your relationship with the world around you in your own personal way, and participate with the rest of the class in designing a website to share your creativity.

Improvisation and the Creative Impulse

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 30

Location: Pittsburgh South Brook

Culminating Activity: Campers create murals and drumming performance compositions

Get ready to listen, observe, and react in a class that combines the energy of a drum ensemble with four parts at once, along with the voices of spontaneous soloists! Then see what happens when we collaborate on free-style mural projects. This unique class explores ways to be more adaptive, creative and inventive by using the principles of design through both music and art.

How Artists Get Ideas: Create Sculpture!

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Camper Capacity: 15

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers create and display sculptures

Sculpture: art that you can view from all sides. Meet famous Pittsburgh sculptors and experiment with fun!

How do artists get ideas to use wood, clay, wire, metal and other materials (even JUNK) to make fantastic objects? We will explore 3-dimensional design and different methods of fabrication, making small sculptures and models for very large pieces.

Eco-Warrior Camp

Facilitated by: Pennsylvania Resources Council

Camper Capacity: 25*

*Special Schedule Note: This activity will take place Monday – Thursday. Campers will be able to choose fun academic electives and workshops to participate in each Friday.

Location: Pittsburgh South Brook

Culminating Activity: Campers wrap up the Eco-Warrior experience by developing and implementing a service learning project

Eco-Warrior Camp offers campers an inspiring diversity of earth-centered activities investigating environmental themes and issues that are critical to the health and welfare of the planet and its inhabitants. Each week of Eco-Warrior Camp offers a combination of education, outdoor and indoor fun, and creative expression through related field trips, projects, art, service-learning, presentations by experts in the field, university visits, and journal writing. Other activities include hiking the watershed, organic gardening, composting, constructing and using a solar oven, making paper, creating recycled art, building and using a vermicompost bin, creating DIY non-toxic personal care products, eco-photography, and participating in the Recycled Olympics. Eco-Warriors will become enthusiastic, empowered community-minded individuals as they come to understand environmental issues and ways in which we can work together to effect positive change among individuals, the community and the planet. Through exploration of eco-friendly actions and lifestyle choices, campers will emerge as Earth stewards and informed, responsible citizens, ready to lead the charge toward a cleaner, healthier future. Campers will wrap up the Eco-Warrior experience by developing and implementing a service learning project.

Design For Success (D4S)

Facilitated by: University of Pittsburgh Learning, Research, and Development Center

Camper Capacity: 45

Location: Pittsburgh Obama (in the Reizenstein facility)

Culminating Activity: Campers design and build a useful product that could help others

Hey kids, don’t you hate it when you have an awesome idea but no one will listen to you? Well, if you’re the creative type or like to make things, solve challenging problems, or have a vast imagination, then Design for Success (aka D4S) is the right camp for you! At D4S you’ll learn how to think outside the box and design and build products that help people, such as an “acne detector" that signals you before a breakout, or an "object grabber” to help a physically challenged person do simple things that we take for granted, like picking up a bottle of Pepsi… or whatever YOU can think of. The possibilities are endless! Feeling excited yet? There’s still one more thing to do: sign-up. Space is limited so be the first to reserve a spot!

Pittsburgh Young Leaders Academy (PYLA): Summer Step Up!

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Cares

Camper Capacity: 100

Location: Pittsburgh Obama (in the Reizenstein facility)

Culminating Activity: Campers showcase their accomplishments with a service reflection project

Do you want your voice to be heard? Would you like to explore and challenge your potential? Do you enjoy going on field trips? In a society that often overlooks the power of youth, Pittsburgh Young Leaders Academy (PYLA): Summer Step Up! will equip you with the training necessary to problem-solve, speak out, and take action. It will also help you to channel your leadership abilities and creative skills in productive ways. Pittsburgh Young Leaders Academy (PYLA): Summer Step Up! promises to be an experience you will never forget! Campers will have the opportunity to participate in fieldtrips, service projects, leadership development activities, along with many more great activities.

Musical Theatre: “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh CLO

Camper Capacity: 50

Location: Pittsburgh Brashear

Culminating Activity: Campers perform in the musical production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”

Do you want to be a star on the stage? If you have an interest in singing, dancing and acting, have a passion for performance, and enjoy musical theater, the Pittsburgh CLO has the perfect summer camp for you! Experience professional musical theater training as you learn, rehearse and perform one of the most beloved musicals of all time: "Disney's Beauty and the Beast".

Design, Explore, Create (Camp DEC)

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation

Camper Capacity: 20

Location: Pittsburgh CAPA

Culminating Activity: Campers present their ideas to City Council representatives and professionals for making downtown more kid-friendly.

Would you like to explore the downtown Pittsburgh area on foot, by kayak, bike, incline, and bus? Are you interested in how buildings are designed and constructed and in improving our city? If so, sign up for Camp DEC (Design, Explore Create). You'll strengthen your reading, drawing, and design skills; explore skyscrapers, green spaces, and historic landmarks; develop creative ideas for making our city better; and become familiar with the professions of architecture, interior design, construction, engineering, city planning, and historic preservation.

Go Wild!

Facilitated by: Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Camper Capacity: 100*

*Special Scheduling note: There are two-12-day sessions for this program. 50 campers will participate in each session and will choose a second academic elective or workshop to explore for the second half of the camp.

Location: Off-site – Campers from Pittsburgh Peabody will be eligible.

Culminating Activity: At the end of the program, campers will have a journal with drawings and writing entries to share with friends and family

You can GO WILD this summer as you spend each afternoon at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, meeting African lions, polar bears, sand tiger sharks, stingrays, African elephants, and some of the cutest — though still very WILD — African painted dogs on the planet. You will talk to the keepers who will tell you how much these animals eat each day, how big they grow to be, what their WILD habitat is like and the threats the animals face there. So, sign up for afternoons at the Zoo. And GO WILD!

Exploring Theatre

Facilitated by: Saltworks Theatre

Camper Capacity: 50

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody

Culminating Activity: Campers participate in a the performance of "Us & Them"

Students will have a ton of fun as they explore literary works and learn life skills through theater classes. Campers will learn valuable study skills and confidence in front of an audience through basic acting. Learn monologues, work in a small group to develop scenes and finally rehearse a play to perform the last week of camp. If you like to play and are willing to try new things in a safe environment, this is the place for you.

Joy of Arts

Facilitated by: Sarah Heinz House Boys & Girls Club

Camper Capacity: 42

Location: Off-site at the Sarah Heinz House – Campers at Pittsburgh King will be eligible

Culminating Activity: Campers demonstrate hip hop dances, art installations, and original music creations at the final "An Art Explosion" event

Love to dance? Are you creative? Does music fill your soul? Join us in our state-of-the-art facility at the Sarah Heinz House Boys & Girls Club to improve your skills and have a ton of fun. Choose dance - ballet, hip hop, and jazz, art - graphic design, sculpture, and installation art, or music - make your own CD's, form a band, learn how to make your own beat. Learn new skills, fine tune your talents and get on your way to reaching your dreams!

Pittsburgh Youth Radio Corps

Facilitated by: Saturday Light Brigade

Camper Capacity: 24

Location: Off-site – Campers from Pittsburgh King will be eligible

Culminating Activity: In the end, campers will capture oral histories of community members to be shared in broadcasts and "Storyboxes"

Sharpen your speaking, listening, writing and reading skills by becoming a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Radio Corps. Students will work in the professional broadcast and recording studios of The Saturday Light Brigade, a national award-winning radio program syndicated to six stations in Pennsylvania and Ohio. SLB staff will provide instruction encouraging core literacy skills, self-expression, creative thinking, and audio production. Student projects will be distributed by broadcast, CD and Internet.


Facilitated by: Three Rivers Fencing

Camper Capacity: 36

Location: Pittsburgh South Brook

Culminating Activity: Scenes from literature will be acted out each week and a final research report on the history of fencing will be created

Discover why fencing is one of the USA's fastest growing sports! Sometimes called physical chess, fencing combines power, finesse, strategy, speed and balance to form an exhilarating sport that is enjoyable for a lifetime. Try this Modern Olympic sport, and see what the buzz is about!

Adventures in Rowing

Facilitated by: Three Rivers Rowing

Camper Capacity: 40

Location: Off-site – Campers from Pittsburgh CAPA will be eligible

Culminating Activity: At the end of five weeks, campers will have mastered three types of rowing

No Experience Necessary! Learn to Row, Dragon Boat and Kayak all in five weeks! All three sports are loved by colleges and can even earn you scholarships. They offer great exercise that is also fun and you will meet new friends. You don’t even need to know how to swim to get a new experience on Pittsburgh’s rivers!

Build Your A Game: Video Game Creation

Facilitated by: Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

Camper Capacity: 100

Location: Pittsburgh Brashear

Culminating Activity: Campers will present the video games they’ve created to parents and camp guests

Do you love playing video games? Have you ever wondered what it takes to actually make a video game? And did you know that many popular games and attractions have been developed right here in Pittsburgh? At “Build Your ‘A’ Game,” you can stop wondering and come spend your summer making video games! In our introductory game development course, you will learn real world practical skills that involve teamwork, storytelling, role playing, making real time choices as well as other aspects of video game making. On your path to becoming a video game developer, you will team-up with other campers and work with local game-making professionals to create your own computer game. Your team will be guided through every step of the game creation process - from coming up with the storyline to publishing it. And, you’ll get to see up close how real game studios do the same thing right here in your own city! Pittsburgh is a great city for video game development, and this camp is a great opportunity to learn about the local industry. At the end of your learning adventure, your game will be published online for all your friends and family to play. How cool is that?!

Venture Outdoors - Biking, Kayaking, Fishing, and Climbing in Pittsburgh

Facilitated by: Venture Outdoors

Camper Capacity: 100

Location: Off-site – Campers from Pittsburgh King will be eligible

Culminating Activity: Campers' culminating event will be leading a group of students in an activity

Venture Outdoors wants to get you outside to explore and learn about some of the great outdoor recreational activities Pittsburgh has to offer. We'll explore the city by bike, kayak and foot. Each week will be a new adventure as you paddle and fish the rivers, bike the trails, climb a rock wall, and hike to hidden treasures using GPS technology. It’s okay if you’ve never tried some or all of these activities—by the end of five weeks, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to show your friends how to get outside too! Discover new sights, new ideas about your world, and new skills within beautiful destinations close to home. All gear and instruction provided by trained leaders.

Health Smart

Facilitated by: Wireless Neighborhoods

Camper Capacity: 100*

*Special Scheduling Note: Campers will rotate between 5 activities sponsored by Wireless Neighborhoods, Bloomfield Garfield Corporation, Centre Avenue and Hazelwood YMCA branches, Eastminster Church, Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center, and Kingsley Association. Campers will participate in a different activity each week and will spend two weeks off-site with the Kingsley Association and Eastminster Church.

Location: Pittsburgh Peabody and off-site locations

Culminating Activity: Campers create journals and portfolios of the experience

Health Smart, a camp for 100 East End middle school students, will be set up in five separate stations, with each partner delivering a one-week health experience for the children. Students will spend their summer participating in physical fitness activities, playing different sports, swimming, learning healthy eating habits and exploring careers in health. The program helps young people build healthy habits and healthy decision-making practices in very fun, interactive ways.

Summer Performing Arts

Facilitated by: Youth Enrichment Services, Inc.

Camper Capacity: 20

Location: Pittsburgh Obama (in the Reizenstein facility)

Culminating Activity: In a culminating activity campers will do a 3-5 minute analysis of a play, poem, or short story

Youth Enrichment Services, Inc. will provide campers with an innovative and creative approach to an educational summer camp by using the performing arts to increase literacy. The students’ experience will be unique, thrilling, and theatrical.