Monday, May 31, 2010

Chris Chandler has had roots in New Orleans. Recently he moved to California.

New very cool Featured Video at www.chrischandler.org

T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T

June, 2010
New Orleans, LA
Vol issue
By Chris Chandler
5-30-10

Hell Yea! The Gulf oil spill is now the worst ecological disaster in U.S. history, "We're #1! We're #1!"

One hundred and fifty years ago, corporations were granted the same rights as people under the constitution. Absurdly based on the 14th Amendment which was intended to free the slaves, and then used to make sure those former slaves stay indebted servants to a new over-seer: the over-class.

It is called corporate personhood.

For years, the way I saw it was if corperations are people then the Revolutionary War was more of a corporate take over. The Declaration of Independence should read:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one company to dissolve the financial bands which have connected them with another.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all corporations are created equal, that they are endowed by their CEOs with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of profit.

If "corporations" and "people" are synonimes than it is not much of leap to say The Constitution might as well read:

We the corporations of the United States, in order to form a more perfect merger, establish profit, insure domestic product, provide for the common defense, promote the corporate welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to our shareholders…

Ever since "personhood" was established, corporations have been winning court cases granting them due process, equal protection, freedom of speech, etc. chiefly the ability to donate to political causes in the same way that people do.

I have been against this concept for years.

But alas, after this incident in the Gulf of Mexico (soon to be known as The Dead Sea) I see the error in my ways. I say give them full citizenship and treat them as such.

If they want the rights of citizens they should also have the accountibilty of citizens. I mean, I know if my negligence caused the death of eleven people I would be in jail. Not to mention the destruction of Mother Earth they should go to jail for mom -slaughter.

So, I say first, put the entire corperation on trial – everyone on the payroll. How do you like you corperate personhood now? Put 'em on trial for for manslaughter. Mom-slaughter. Put them in jail for poisoning the food chain – 'cos in prison you often do shit where you eat.

I envision not just the CEO going to prison but every congressional appologizer. I wanna see every CEO GO TO PRISON! every CFO, every CIO, CISO CPA and CP3O-- GO TO PRISON. Every VP SVP and VIP for that matter. They are corperate persons afterall.

I wanna see every desk jockey, paper pusher, trader of stock, stock holder, share holder, folder holder, folder stuffer, every secretary to the secretary and secretary to be hired… GO TO PRISON, I wanna see every delivery boy, and office carpet vacumer go to prison just for being corporate persons.

Make an example of them – just like you make an example of the guy sitting in prison for smoking dope in his own apartment in the ghetto.

I wanna see the leathernecks go to prison, the pipe fitters and every oil rig inspector and inspector of the inspectors GO TO PRISON.

And if there is not enough room in the prison, let out the guy who is in there for smoking dope in his own apartment.

I wanna see the writers and the actors in those BS BP ad campaigns "Beyond patrolium, a greener oil company" GO TO PRISON!

I wanna see every gas station attendant and BP convenience store cigarette dealer and car wash brush ceaner GO TO PRISON.

I envision whole gas pumps dressed in orange jump-suits quivering with their little Bristish accents as a large scary man, quoting the 14th ammendment says, "insert prison joke here."

I wanna see every user of every British Patrolium GO TO PRISON. I wanna see every user of petrolium go to prison.

I SHOULD TO GO TO PRISON,

As we all watch the BP bank accounts and the bank accounts of Halliburton and Transatlantic for that matter drained while they are paying the billions,.. quadrillions in reperations.

Instead what we have is a bunch of oil slick lawyers proposing caps on compensation to congress via campaign donations.

Talk about cap and trade.

I thought you guys were against that. But le' me tell ya pal your liability cap blew out when that blow out preventor valve blew and I say it is time to BILL BABY BILL!

I say you should drain your coffers by employing every idle shrimp boat captain and his crew in every idle boat in every port from Gulfport Mississpi to clean up your mess.

Use the community we have.

Even if you spend all of the 14 billion you made in profits last year. All of the 16 you made the year before that – you should spend every dime hiring every out of work oyster fisherman in Pensacola and unemployed seafood resteraunt waiter in New Orleans.

I wanna see your share holders standing on off ramps holding buckets with signs that read "will work to pay locals for their loss."

And as for Haliburton and Transatlantic? Its no wonder Haliburton droped the name "Black Water.".

Transatlantic? You knew your oil rig was too big to fail. That's why you were claiming it was from the Marshall Islands – which is an oil company with a flag.

It should have come as no suprise that Marshall Island inspectors might be a little lax on an oil rig heading to the Americas since America did its nuclear testing there and completely blew one of the Islands off the face of the earth.

But since you did choose to fly the flag of the Marshall Islands, I say it makes you an Illegal Immigrant and I find myself suddenly agreeing with the State of Arizona and you should be deported. All of you.

It makes you a foreigner – and a crime like this – perptrated by a foreginer can only be viewed as foreign eco-terrorisim and the place you should be deported to is Guantinimo Bay where you can sit in your little orange jump suits and be waterboarded – with water, from the Gulf YOU DESTROYED.

Girl Scouts planning to close 6 camps

Girl Scouts planning to close 6 camps: "But interest in those rustic experiences has waned, and Girl Scout membership has declined. Today -- two years before Girl Scouting's 100th anniversary -- only 25 percent of the members of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania participate in camping activities.
Meanwhile, the region's membership fell to 35,500 last year, or 6,500 fewer than in 2007, when five smaller councils merged as part of a national realignment. That's better than the national trend -- 12 percent of eligible girls belong, compared to 9 percent nationally -- but leaders still recognized a need for reassessment."
Get out.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

We have made 9,939 posts to this blog. Running up to the 10K benchmark

This blog post is counted as 9,940. And, it is as good a time as any to consider a 4th of July invite. The 10K posting is a great reason to celebrate this year. What will the 10,000th blog post bring?

<> 
Something to shoot for, 10,000 blog postings!
From Polo

The month of May delivered 107 blog postings. We'll be very close to 10,000 in early July!

Everyone is invited to our home on the evening of July 4, 2010. We're having an open house and a celebration to mark the 10,000th blog post here.

We always have a 4th of July party. We supply the LemonAid and some crafts for the young set and all young at heart. We watch fireworks from our deck after playing in the park and tossing a few water balloons.

Bring snacks to share if you can.

Don't stay much past the end of the fireworks, as we'll be needing to get up to go to swimming practice the next morning. And, don't come before 6 pm either as we'll be cleaning the house then and trying to recover from the past swim practice or 5K or bike ride or river paddle.

Just for the record, I've got other blogs, wikis, photo and video sites as well. I'm not worried too much about a summary of the total postings.

Tech Pointers of Mark Rauterkus = 369 Posts
Sunnyhill-Dot-Org = 248 Posts
eVote Blog = 225 Posts
Erik Rauterkus Blog = 128 Posts
Transportation = 277 Posts
Grant Rauterkus Blog = 147 Posts

Carlynton, SUUSI, ABCs of sports, Market House, Allegheny and a few others are sorta dead and just digital dust.

I've made 7,712 edits since October 28, 2004 to Wikia.com wikis. The FixPA.wikia.com site, formerly Platform.For-Pgh.org has 4,788 articles. The A for Athlete wiki has 1,793 articles since May 2008. I've got 147 videos on YouTube. Viddler holds 360 videos. Blip.TV has 159 videos of mine. I've got 467 friends on Facebook and have no clue as to how to count the number of updates I've made there -- and I don't play farm nor mafia games either.

At twitter, @Rauterkus has made 4,739 tweets, follows 1,999 (but I'm stuck at the darn 2K limit), and with 1,207 followers. @Rauterkus_p0 has has 67 tweets but I get to follow another 1,076 there.

With Picasa, my one photo site, I'm way over quota with 127 albums and 5767 MB of storage.

How many times have I posted at other people's blogs is unknown. I've been enjoying PureReform recently since a number of the others have quit.

Before the internet, I published books. But I always used recycled paper, even back in the early 1990s. Now, I always choose to use recycled electrons.

Excellence for All meeting in May 2010 with Mark Roosevelt

Mark Roosevelt visited with a group of parents on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at Pittsburgh Obama. This is the monthly "Excellece For All" meeting organized by Mark Conner, the district's leader with parent engagement.

Containers and tasks.


These are great meetings if you care about our schools and the overall district. They will resume in September 2010 and are worth the effort of attending. And, they generally provide a decent meal for all the busy parents on the night of the meetings.

I didn't run the video on the start of the meeting as it was more of the same song and dance that we've all come to know. But, as the meeting got past half way, and as the questions would arrive -- I pulled out the camera.

Comments welcome, of course.

Stuff on teacher data:



Adolescent Literacy:



Performance Pay



Parent portal, community learning outreach hub, summer months and open schools:



School Security and safe travels on buses.


Labor relations and first questions. What about closing of schools? Peabody, IB mentioned. What about Gifted? What about getting more African American kids into Gifted programs?



Questions part 2 has to do with central staff, union cooperation, but bunk about the union cooperation with sports, and getting the union contract out of the coaching of city sports teams.



Sports is in there as something that needs attention.


Final part of the Q&A. It is 23 minutes so I moved it off of YouTube. The first part goes to the skeleton plan that just passed the PPS Board that week about CTE. The rest of the CTE is pending. Questions of process were raised.





Summer fun:


This might be a plug for CTE, (as in Vo Tech), and the culinary arts programs. Plus, part two is for another CTE offering, cosmotology. Perhaps our school board should spend some quality time this summer watching TV, especially, this network, to get some ideas as to what programs to put into the mix for Pittsburgh's Career offerings in the years to come.

How UPMC's overseas operations blossomed in 14 years

Way to go UPMC.
How UPMC's overseas operations blossomed in 14 years: "You wouldn't know it from the 1,300 employees running 14 operations in six foreign countries and the nearly $100 million in annual revenue from records management, cancer centers, general hospitals, biomedical research and a transplant center, but UPMC did not have any grand strategy when it started its international efforts nearly 14 years ago."
So the next time the Mayor of Pittsburgh wants to do something silly -- like a student or sick person tax, beware. They may take their toys and go away.

Alle-Kiski Valley's human-powered boats boom in popularity - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Alle-Kiski Valley's human-powered boats boom in popularity - Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewWhile powerboating has been popular for years in the Alle-Kiski Valley, the real boom regionally has been in human-powered boating.
The Kiskiminetas River, which forms the border between Westmoreland and Armstrong counties, has seen tremendous growth in kayaking and canoeing.
Neill Andritz owns River's Edge Canoe and Kayak Rental in Gilpin with his wife, Evelyn. The outfitter offers 22-mile runs down the Kiski from Avonmore to the Schenley section of Gilpin, where the Kiski enters the Allegheny River.
He said his business just keeps getting busier. The Andritzs outfitted 800 customers in 2007. In 2009, the number jumped to a 2,000.
'It is due to the fact that the Kiski has made such a miraculous comeback,' Andritz said.

Rand, Korea, AZ law, and better shows

Kelly Awards: Creative high schoolers give it their all

Way to go Schenley!
Kelly Awards: Creative high schoolers give it their all: "That seemed especially true this year, when the talent and the awards were so evenly spread. At Saturday's gala, the 16 awards were spread among nine schools, with only Pine-Richland (4), Pittsburgh Schenley (3), and Central Catholic and Baldwin-Whitehall (both 2) winning more than one."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cycle in a Ride of Silence - Memorial Day

Thanks to Jim Logan for this:
Ride of Silence - Memorial Day - 7 AM - In memory and tribute of cyclists killed by vehiclesAdd a comment »
Started by Jim Logan, VP Product Engineering at Vocollect Healthcare Systems, Inc.
What is a Ride of Silence?
Cyclists riding slowly (no faster than 12 MPH) in silence (public assembly) and in the below goals:
o Mourning those cyclists killed or injured
o Cycling is not going to be chased or intimidated off the streets we legally share
o Cyclists want only to share the road with motorists
o Making motorists aware of the life long legal, as well as life changing, problems that can ensue from killing a cyclist



On Thursday May 27th Donald Parker, 52, of Clearfield Rd, Hampton Twp, was struck by a car and died while commuting. The Western PA Wheelmen and Bike Pgh are endorsing a Ride of Silence (http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php) that will ride portions of Don's commuting route. We will start at the Waterworks Mall in Fox Chapel and ride to the Intersection of Harts Run Rd and Saxonburg Blvd. At that point the we will turn around, and the official Ride of Silence will start, as Don was struck and killed climbing the hill on Harts Run Rd from Saxonburg Blvd to Dorseyville Rd. Approximately there-and-back mileage is 16 miles.

You are encouraged to wear a black arm im memoriam of riders killed, and a red arm band if you have been injured by a motorist.

Plan:
- We assembly at the Waterworks Mall Parking in Fox Chapel lot near the Dollar Bank end of the parking lot at 6:45 AM, leaving at 7:00 AM.
- We ride the 8 miles to Harts Run Rd and Saxonburg Blvd.
- Those who wish to ride a shorter distance should meet us at the intersection of Harts Run Rd and Saxonburg Blvd at approximately 7:45 AM.
- On the return, we will ride silently from from Saxonburg Blvd to Harts Run Rd in memory of Donald and other riders killed by vehicles.
- We will ride as a group, slowly there and back, at least until we get to the top of the descrent back down Fox Chapel Rd.
- Please treat this ride with the dignity it deserves.
- Helmets required.
- We will recruit road marshalls for the front and rear of the group the day of the event.

Jim Logan

Obituary: Gary Coleman / Star of 'Diff'rent Strokes' who wanted to be more

Obituary: Gary Coleman / Star of 'Diff'rent Strokes' who wanted to be more: "Mr. Coleman was among 135 candidates who ran in California's bizarre 2003 recall election to replace then-Gov. Gray Davis, whom voters ousted in favor of Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Fitness and Wellness Tests

Maybe you can take a look at this system: http://www.fitstatsweb.com/

It incorporates fitness and wellness tests from nationally recognized protocols and also let you add your own tests and standards. There is an adult wellness version available and it's made for large testing programs.

Francois Gazzano, Moncton, Canada

WOMEN AND MEN IN SPORT PERFORMANCE: THE GENDER GAP HAS NOT EVOLVED SINCE 1983, JSSM-2010, Vol.9, Issue 2, 214 - 223

WOMEN AND MEN IN SPORT PERFORMANCE: THE GENDER GAP HAS NOT EVOLVED SINCE 1983, JSSM-2010, Vol.9, Issue 2, 214 - 223: "women will not run, jump, swim or ride as fast as men."
Take that, Title IX.

Who are the real “crazies” in our political culture?

Mark Rauterkus, Erik Rauterkus, Ron Paul -- at an event in Northern Pittsburgh.






By Glenn Greenwald  Salon.com - May 29, 2010

One of the favorite self-affirming pastimes of establishment Democratic and Republican pundits is to mock anyone and everyone outside of the two-party mainstream as crazy, sick lunatics. That serves to bolster the two political parties as the sole arbiters of what is acceptable: anyone who meaningfully deviates from their orthodoxies are, by definition, fringe, crazy losers. Ron Paul is one of those most frequently smeared in that fashion, and even someone like Howard Dean, during those times when he stepped outside of mainstream orthodoxy, was similarly smeared as literally insane, and still is.


Last night, the crazy, hateful, fringe lunatic Ron Paul voted to repeal the Clinton-era Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy (or, more accurately, he voted to allow the Pentagon to repeal it if and when it chooses to) – while 26 normal, sane, upstanding, mainstream House Democrats voted to retain that bigoted policy. Paul explained today that he changed his mind on DADT because gay constituents of his who were forced out of the military convinced him of the policy's wrongness – how insane and evil he is!


In 2003, the crank lunatic-monster Ron Paul vehemently opposed the invasion of Iraq, while countless sane, normal, upstanding, good-hearted Democrats – including the current Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Senate Majority Leader, House Majority Leader, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, and many of the progressive pundits who love to scorn Ron Paul as insane – supported the monstrous attack on that country.


In 2008, the sicko Ron Paul opposed the legalization of Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program and the granting of retroactive immunity to lawbreaking telecoms, while the Democratic Congress – led by the current U.S. President, his Chief of Staff, the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the House Majority Leader – overwhelmingly voted it into law. Paul, who apparently belongs in a mental hospital, vehemently condemned America's use of torture from the start, while many leading Democrats were silent (or even supportive), and mainstream, sane Progressive Newsweek and MSNBC pundit Jonathan Alter was explicitly calling for its use. Compare Paul's February, 2010 emphatic condemnation of America's denial of habeas corpus, lawless detentions and presidential assassinations of U.S. citizens to what the current U.S. Government is doing.


The crazed monster Ron Paul also opposes the war in Afghanistan, while the Democratic Congress continues to fund it and even to reject timetables for withdrawal. Paul is an outspoken opponent of the nation's insane, devastating and oppressive “drug war” – that imprisons hundreds of thousands of Americans with a vastly disparate racial impact and continuously incinerates both billions of dollars and an array of basic liberties – while virtually no Democrat dares speak against it. Paul crusades against limitless corporate control of government and extreme Federal Reserve secrecy, while the current administration works to preserve it. He was warning of the collapsing dollar and housing bubble at a time when our Nation's Bipartisan Cast of Geniuses were oblivious. In sum, behold the embodiment of clinical, certifiable insanity: anti-DADT, anti-Iraq-war, anti-illegal-domestic-surveillance, anti-drug-war, anti-secrecy, anti-corporatism, anti-telecom-immunity, anti-war-in-Afghanistan.


There's no question that Ron Paul holds some views that are wrong, irrational and even odious. But that's true for just about every single politician in both major political parties (just look at the condition of the U.S. if you doubt that; and note how Ron Paul's anti-abortion views render him an Untouchable for progressives while Harry Reid's anti-abortion views permit him to be a Progressive hero and even Senate Majority Leader). My point isn't that Ron Paul is not crazy; it's that those who self-righteously apply that label to him and to others invariably embrace positions and support politicians at least as “crazy.” Indeed, those who support countless insane policies and/or who support politicians in their own party who do – from the Iraq War to the Drug War, from warrantless eavesdropping and denial of habeas corpus to presidential assassinations and endless war in the Muslim world – love to spit the “crazy” label at anyone who falls outside of the two-party establishment.


This behavior is partially driven by the adolescent/high-school version of authoritarianism (anyone who deviates from the popular cliques – standard Democrats and Republicans – is a fringe loser who must be castigated by all those who wish to be perceived as normal), and is partially driven by the desire to preserve the power of the two political parties to monopolize all political debates and define the exclusive venues for Sanity and Mainstream Acceptability. But regardless of what drives this behavior, it's irrational and nonsensical in the extreme.


I've been writing for several years about this destructive dynamic: whereby people who embrace clearly crazy ideas and crazy politicians anoint themselves the Arbiters of Sanity simply because they're good mainstream Democrats and Republicans and because the objects of their scorn are not. For me, the issue has nothing to do with Ron Paul and everything to do with how the “crazy” smear is defined and applied as a weapon in our political culture. Perhaps the clearest and most harmful example was the way in which the anti-war view was marginalized, even suppressed, in the run-up to the attack on Iraq because the leadership of both parties supported the war, and the anti-war position was thus inherently the province of the Crazies. That's what happens to any views not endorsed by either of the two parties.


Last week in Newsweek, in the wake of the national fixation on Rand Paul, Conor Friedersdorf wrote a superb article on this phenomenon. While acknowledging that Rand Paul's questioning of the Civil Rights Act (and other positions Paul holds) are “wacky” and deeply wrong, Friedersdorf writes:


Forced to name the “craziest” policy favored by American politicians, I'd say the multibillion-dollar war on drugs, which no one thinks is winnable. Asked about the most “extreme,” I'd cite the invasion of Iraq, a war of choice that has cost many billions of dollars and countless innocent lives. The “kookiest” policy is arguably farm subsidies for corn, sugar, and tobacco – products that people ought to consume less, not more. . . .


If returning to the gold standard is unthinkable, is it not just as extreme that President Obama claims an unchecked power to assassinate, without due process, any American living abroad whom he designates as an enemy combatant? Or that Joe Lieberman wants to strip Americans of their citizenship not when they are convicted of terrorist activities, but upon their being accused and designated as enemy combatants?


He goes on to note that “these disparaging descriptors are never applied to America's policy establishment, even when it is proved ruinously wrong, whereas politicians who don't fit the mainstream Democratic or Republican mode, such as libertarians, are mocked almost reflexively in these terms, if they are covered at all.” Indeed, this is true of anyone who deviates at all – even in tone – from the two-party orthodoxy, as figures as disparate as Dennis Kucinich, Noam Chomsky, Howard Dean or even Alan Grayson will be happy to tell you.


* * * * *


The reason this is so significant – the reason I'm writing about it again – is because forced adherence to the two parties' orthodoxies, forced allegiance to the two parties' establishments, is the most potent weapon in status quo preservation. That's how our political debates remain suffocatingly narrow, the permanent power factions in Washington remain firmly in control, the central political orthodoxies remain largely unchallenged. Neither party nor its loyalists are really willing to undermine the prevailing political system because that's the source of their power. And neither parties' loyalists are really willing to oppose serious expansions or abuses of government power when their side is in control, and no serious challenge is therefore ever mounted; the only ones who are willing to do so are the Crazies.


Thus, for the two parties to ensure that they, and only they, are recognized as Sane, Mainstream voices is to ensure, above all else, the perpetuation of status quo power. As Noah Millman insightfully pointed out this week, those on the Right and Left devoted to civil liberties and limitations on executive power find more common cause with each other than with either of the two parties' establishments. The same is true on a wide array of issues, including limitations on corporate influence in Washington and opposition to the National Security State.


That's why the greatest sin, the surest path to marginalized Unseriousness, is to stray from the safe confines of loyalty to the Democratic or Republican establishments. To our political class, Treason is defined as anyone who forms an alliance, even on a single issue, with someone in the Crazy Zone. That's because breaking down those divisive barriers can be uniquely effective in enabling ideologically diverse citizens to join together to weaken power factions, as Alan Grayson proved when he teamed up with Ron Paul to force the uber-secret Fed to submit to at least some version of an audit (backed by several leading progressives joining with Grover Norquist and other Crazies to support it), or as Al Gore proved when he brought substantial attention to Bush's war on the Constitution by forming an alliance with Bob Barr and other right-wing libertarians. Preventing (or at least minimizing) those types of ad hoc alliances through use of the Crazy smear ensures a divided and thus weakened citizenry against entrenched political power in the form of the two parties. Obviously, the more stigmatized it is to stray from two-party loyalty, the stronger the two parties (and those who most benefit from their dominance) will be.


If one wants to argue that Ron Paul and others like him hold specific views that are crazy, that's certainly reasonable. But those who make that claim virtually always hold views at least as crazy, and devote themselves to one of the two political parties that has, over and over, embraced insane, destructive and warped policies of their own. The reason the U.S. is in the shape it's in isn't because Ron Paul and the rest of the so-called ”crazies” have been in charge; they haven't been, at all. The policies that have prevailed are the ones which the two parties have endorsed. So where does the real craziness lie?


Just to preempt non sequiturs, this isn't a discussion of Ron Paul, but of the irrational use of the “crazy” accusation in our political discourse and the effects of its application.


I'll try this one more time: for those wanting to write about all the bad things Ron Paul believes, before going into the comment section, please read and then re-read these three sentences:


There's no question that Ron Paul holds some views that are wrong, irrational and even odious. But that's true for just about every single politician in both major political parties . . . My point isn't that Ron Paul is not crazy; it's that those who self-righteously apply that label to him and to others invariably embrace positions and support politicians at least as “crazy.”


This is a comparative assessment between (a) those routinely dismissed as Crazy and (b) the two party establishments and their Mainstream Loyalists who do the dismissing. Assessing (a) is completely nonresponsive and irrelevant without comparing it to (b).


One other point: intense, fixated mockery of marginalized, powerless people has the benefit of distracting attention from the actions of those who are actually in power.
By the way, there are few points where Ron Paul is wrong. It is said in the article that some of Ron Paul's views that are wrong, irrational and even odious. Which views are those, really? None are perfect. But, let's not agree that Ron Paul is irrational just to prove a point against the crazy handle.

196 Pittsburgh workers' pay tops $100K - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

196 Pittsburgh workers' pay tops $100K - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Last year, state Rep. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, sponsored legislation to eliminate overtime from the pension equation. Smith estimated it could save the county's retirement fund $36 million over more than 20 years."

Thank goodness teachers do not get overtime. Otherwise, the state would be bankrupt already.

However, teacher overtime comes in the form of coaching duties. Some might argue that our sports programs in the city are bankrupt.

Regardless, teacher contracts do put coaching duties and that pay into the mix when calculating retirement pay.

It would be great if coaching was NOT part of the retirement formulation for pensions of teachers.

Obama to speak at Carnegie Mellon University on Wednesday - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Obama to speak at Carnegie Mellon University on Wednesday - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "President Obama is scheduled to visit Carnegie Mellon University on Wednesday, a White House official said Friday.
Congressman Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, said the president will talk about small businesses and the economy.
'He will be making similar stops across the state,' Doyle said.
More details about Obama's visit were to be made available today. The White House and university officials declined to provide a reason for the visit, its location and who would be allowed to attend."

Friday, May 28, 2010

Infinonymous

Infinonymous: "The Victorian brick manse at 5325 Wilkins Avenue in Pittsburgh contains six bedrooms and seven bathrooms among its 6,500 feet of living space on three-quarters of a high-end landscaped acre in the city's East End. Its current owner paid $1.2 million dollars for the property, but pays taxes on an assessed value of $625,000. This inaccuracy -- declared unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, immoral by anyone with a conscience -- saves the owner nearly $3,000 annual in county property taxes, perhaps another $12,000 annually in school and municipal taxes."

City_Tourn - some photos from city volleyball finals

City_Tourn: "City_Tourn (51 images)"

Winter Classic -- Outdoor Hockey -- Let's see if we can think again.

The Penguins of the NHL could be playing outdoor hockey all winter long if they only kept the Civic Arena and opened the roof. Duhh.

So, we'll build a new arena and still not use it -- instead -- play a game at the football field.

I'd much rather see the Pittsburgh City League Championship game played at Heinz Field rather than the NHL's Penguins. The City League Title is played at South Side's Cupples Stadium.

I'd much rather see the city league team of Perry play its HOME football games on a gridiron set up at PNC Park too.

So, if the Steelers play a home game after January 1, 2011 -- then what????

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fw: Fwd: Pennsylvania's Elaborate Scheme against Free and Fair Elections

You betcha Ed! One of my suggested solutions is posted here.

I have a simple idea as a solution in part. In every uncontested election, the option of NONE OF THE ABOVE be put on the ballot automatically.

Mark R.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


From: Ed Bortz <ebbortz@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 May 2010 07:02:35 -0400
To: <mark@rauterkus.com>
Subject: Fwd: Pennsylvania's Elaborate Scheme against Free and Fair Elections



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ed Bortz <ebbortz@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, May 26, 2010 at 3:33 PM
Subject: Pennsylvania's Elaborate Scheme against Free and Fair Elections
To: gppa-delegates-discuss@gpofpa.org, gppa-discussion@gpofpa.org, awc_discuss@googlegroups.com


 
Pennsylvania's Elaborate Scheme against Free and Fair Elections

by Ed Bortz, Green Party candidate for Congress, 14th District Pennsylvania (http://edbortzforcongress.org)

 

The system used to challenge ballot access petitions for candidates in Pennsylvania is fundamentally arbitrary and unfair. The process does not err on the side of registered voters who wish to support a candidate's right to be on the ballot, but rather, it favors the challenger of the candidate's petitions via an elaborate maze of "invalidating" criteria.(1)

Here are some of the pitfalls/issues that are used to invalidate voters who sign candidate ballot access petitions:

nicknames, middle initials, voter registration address (sometimes at odds with "place of residence" as the petition asks for), street names (particularly variations regarding numbered and directional streets), lack of a signature record in the statewide SURE voter database, reversing signature and printed name on the petition, differences between new mail addresses and previous Rural Route addresses, "illegible" signatures or addresses that may be arbitrary based on the reviewer's ability or bias.

A fundamental flaw of the ballot access "challenge" process is that the system relies almost exclusively on the challenger's "evidence" against the candidate.  In addition, the actual act of filing a challenge is commonly acknowledged to be the initiative of a competing candidate in the same election. This kind of system invites arbitrary even vindictive ballot access challenges.

The ballot access challenge process favors challengers with economic and legal resources to eliminate competing candidates of limited financial means. In addition, for candidates who defend their petitions in Pennsylvania courts, there is the ominous prospect of court imposed court costs and challenger lawyers' fees that the challenged candidate will be responsible for if his/her defense fails. This atmosphere of financial retribution discourages candidates from defending themselves if challenged, as well as discouraging independent and minor party candidates from even running.

A related but separate issue on ballot access, is the inequality between major party vs. minor party/political body/independent signature requirements.(2)

The year 2010 brought at least 88 ballot access challenges in Pennsylvania, primarily among the Democratic Party primary candidates. It appears that the challenge "virus" has moved into the main body politic of Pennsylvania adding to the chilling effect on democracy, free and fair elections.

An independent ballot access petition review and authorization commission made up of impartial major party, minor party, and independent voters would be an improvement over the present challenge process that Pennsylvania is presently burdened with.

Other ballot access reform measures are needed in Pennsylvania (PA Senate SB-252) in order to give minor parties with a modicum of support based on voter registration, the opportunity to run candidates through their convention process selections rather than by petitioning.

_________________

(1) Protocol for Signature Review, Aug 24, 2006, challenge on Carl Romanelli;

http://ebbortz.blogspot.com/2006/11/green-roots-harrisburg-blues.html

(2) 2010 signature requirements: U.S. Senate, Joe Sestak (D) 2000; Mel Packer (G) 19,082

2010 signature requirements: Congress 14th CD, Mike Doyle (D) 1000; Ed Bortz (G) 4847

*********************************************


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BBC Sport - Disability Sports - Making the best even better

BBC Sport - Disability Sports - Making the best even better: "Taking charge of an already successful elite sporting programme might not seem like the toughest of jobs.
You have well-thought-out and researched plans and systems already in place, plus a pool of athletes with the potential to succeed although, in the race for medals, there is no room for complacency."

We could use the Civic Arena as a cornerstone to a new sports complex in Pittsburgh

The same thing can happen in Pittsburgh with the Civic Arena and the Consol Energy Center..

Portland Action Sports Complex and Resort | A Conceptual Vision

Portland Action Sports Complex and Resort | A Conceptual Vision: "The Rose Quarter, including both The Rose Garden and the historic Portland Memorial Coliseum, has long represented professional sports in Portland; residents and fans come to large, multi-functional buildings to watch professional athletes compete."

Boys High School Volleyball - Schenley, City Champions set for PIAA action

Martin, Jan, Christopher. Three sport athletes, each on teams that won the City Championships this year too.

Schenley High School's boys volleyball team, coach by Mr. Vitti, plays the first round of the PIAA tournament on Tuesday at 7 pm at Brashear High School. The Schenley Spartans play the loser of the WPIAL battle between North Allegheny and Fox Chapel. NA vs. FC is played on Friday night at LaRoche College.

Be there, at Brashear High School @ 7 p.m. The teams play a best of five game match.

The Schenley boys are going to Minutello's restaurant after school on Tuesday for a pregame pizza party. Their bus departs Reizenstein at 5:45 p.m. for the match.

The winner of the match on Tuesday heads to Penn State on Thursday to play on Friday at the PIAA Final Tournament.

The tickets for the game are $6 for adults and $3 for students. This goes to the PIAA.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Screening of documentary: GASLAND

Upcoming Pgh Event: Screening of Josh Fox's documentary, GASLAND

June 5, 2010 — 7–10pm | Doors open at 6:15 pm Cash bar | Live music by Smokestack Lightning Byham Theater, Pittsburgh, PA Free admission

Winner of The Special Jury Prize for Documentary at 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Josh Fox's GASLAND chronicles the largest natural gas boom in history.

Join Clean Water Action, the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities (CHEC) of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, & many others as we follow Fox on his 24-state journey to uncover the deep consequences of natural gas drilling.

This free film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Q&A. Contact CHEC for more information: chec@pitt.edu, 412-624-9379.Event flyer: http://www.chec.pitt.edu/images-t/GaslandFlyerforWeb-6-5-10.jpgBy Samantha Malone, MPH, CPH, Communications Specialist at University of Pittsburgh.

Democracy Rising Says.

he grand jury that spent the past two years investigating the legislature has reached the same conclusion as 72% of our citizens, our leading political columnists and dozens of the state's newspapers: PA must have a Constitution convention because the legislature is "utterly incapable of reforming itself."Click here  ( http://www.postgazette.com/pg/pdf/201005/20100525grandjuryreport.pdf ) to read the report and here  ( http://www.postgazette.com/pg/10145/1060594-454.stm ) for today's story by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Tracie Mauriello.Questions:• Why hasn't Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett, who presented the evidence to the grand jury, reached the same conclusion?• Will Allegheny County Executive and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato make a Constitution convention a central part of his campaign?• What do your own representative and senator think of the grand jury's report? Do they agree or disagree with the grand jury?• Will your representative and senator let the people decide by putting a referendum for a convention on the ballot in November? Click here  ( http://www.drisingpa.com/petition/petition.php ) if you haven't already signed the petition for a referendum this fall.The grand jury's recommendations are sweeping, in some cases going even beyond what integrity advocates have discussed since the Pay Raise of 2005. In addition to a Constitution convention, the grand jury recommends:• Return to a part-time legislature with lower pay.• Change the terms of representatives from two years to four years.• Eliminate partisan caucuses.• Reduce staff by eliminating incompetents and ghost employees. The grand jury found that one caucus could reduce its staff by more than 60% without affecting legitimate operations.• Prohibit comp time for legislative staffers.• Ban legislative workers from campaign offices during working hours.• Prohibit staff from splitting time between legislative work and campaign work.• Cut constituent services in district offices that duplicate services already being provided by other agencies of government.• Prohibit campaign work on legislative time.• Eliminate leadership accounts that are not for specific purposes.• Limit lawmakers to one district office with satellites in public buildings.• Stop per diem abuse. To be clear, DR supports a convention to discuss improvements to more of state government than just the legislature. In our view, the executive and judicial branches need to be examined, as do issues such as qualifications for public office, local government reforms and the rights of independent and minor-party voters and candidates."Protect the Institution"It's a phrase that newly elected lawmakers hear from the beginning of their service. No matter what else happens, they are expected to "protect the institution." The institution, they are told, has been around for hundreds of years. It is the job of lawmakers to make sure that nothing happens to change the fundamental character of the legislature.New lawmakers are susceptible to this argument because they don't know that the fundamental character of the legislature has changed many times in the past. PA spent centuries with a part-time legislature before "professionalizing" into a full-time legislature in the 1970's. Our original 1776 Constitution, on the advice of former Speaker of the House Benjamin Franklin, also did not include a Senate. That wasn't added until 1790.As the movement for a Constitution convention grows, lawmakers are hearing this phrase again and again from their leaders. Publicly, some lawmakers want citizens to fear "unintended consequences," but what they really mean is that lawmakers themselves fear the intended consequences that the grand jury proposes and that the phrase "protect the institution" intends to prevent."Protect the institution" means protecting it from citizens who want a better and different legislature. It means protecting the pay, perks and power of those who are content with one of the most expensive, secretive, staff-heavy, and criminally prosecuted legislatures in America.Questions to ask your lawmakers:• "Protect the institution" from whom? Citizens?• "Protect the institution" for what? The status quo?• How does bringing the General Assembly into the 21st Century on matters of public integrity jeopardize the institution?• Whose institution is it, anyway?

Democracy Rising Pennsylvania can be reached at: P.O. Box 618, Carlisle, PA 17013
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Pittsburgh looks at Electronic Signs

CITY OF PITTSBURGH
ZONING CODE REVISIONS
ELECTRONIC SIGNS
Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
First Floor Conference Room
200 Ross Street
The City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning will be conducting a public meeting to discuss revisions to the Zoning Code to address the use of Electronic Signs in the City of Pittsburgh. Both off premise (advertising signs / billboards) and on premise electronic signs will be considered. Public input is very much desired.
Contact Dan Sentz (412) 255-2233

Pirates fans do not show up to PNC Park. We should bring back Three Rivers Stadium

During the 1990 through 1993 seasons at Three Rivers Stadium Pirates’ attendance averaged 1.9 million. And, during the last four years of play at Three Rivers Stadium, 1997 through 2000, attendance averaged 1.6 million. So it is safe to say that after ten years, PNC Park has not proved to be the answer to Pirates poor attendance. Maybe an apology to taxpayers who opposed using tax dollars to fund the park is in order.

United Nations World Environment Day 2010 Pittsburgh

United Nations World Environment Day 2010 Pittsburgh: "Pittsburgh has been selected as the North American host city by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to join World Environment Day 2010. Pittsburgh-area government officials, business indexes, organizations and individuals will schedule a series of World Environment Day events, as well as events taking place during the six weeks that “bridge the gap” between Earth Day on April 22 and World Environment Day on June 5. The events will highlight the theme for celebrations in Pittsburgh, “Biodiversity — Ecosystems Management and the Green Economy.”"

Man who banned himself from casino must forfeit jackpot

This is a kick in the teeth. When I say "opt out" -- they really mean it.
Man who banned himself from casino must forfeit jackpot A man who won a $2,001 slot machine jackpot at Erie's Presque Isle Downs & Casino will forfeit the winnings, and be charged with trespassing, because he had previously banned himself from the casino under a state program to help problem gamblers.
The state police have not identified the 55-year-old Waterford Township man who won the jackpot Friday, sometime between 10 a.m. and noon.

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy: "Easy-to-understand information about mental illnesses, mental health care, diagnosis, treatment and recovery."

Fw: sweet little project in Mt. Lebo for August for Athletes of different ages

From: Larry Evans

Here's the skinny on a unique Mount Lebanon Village Intergenerational Games set for Saturday, August 14 at Mount Lebanon Park and the Cedar Blvd fields. The softball games will be using the 16" leather Chicago Softball!    Should be a gas!               

412-445-2951

Mount Lebanon Village Intergenerational Games

This summer, there is a new game in Lebo town -the Mount Lebanon Village Intergenerational Games being held on Saturday, August 14, 2010, 9am-2pm in Mount Lebanon Park.  Mount Lebanon Village (MLV) is a community oriented, non-profit organization established in 2009 to give residents of Mount Lebanon 50 years and older the practical means, confidence and peace of mind to enjoy life in their own place of residence and in an environment they value as they grow older.

The MLV Games present a way to get to know our neighbors, to enjoy a day of playing together and to celebrate our common bonds. The Village Games are designed to bring together old friends and new acquaintances, pairing people of different ages and generations.  The idea is to partner adults over 50 with someone under 50.  The pairings could be with a son, daughter, grandchild, friend or neighbor – or maybe even some husband and wife teams!  Partners will spend the day participating together in the activities of their choice.  It will be a fun packed day of gently competitive team sports, individual pursuits and group games, followed by a picnic and prizes. Participants will be given a chance to win prizes for every event in which they partake.

The Village Games will open with a 9am "Chase Your Elders" one mile fun run/walk in Mount Lebanon Park where older folks start first, followed by a staggered progression by their younger partners so that all may finish at about the same time. 

From 10am-1pm in Mount Lebanon Park, choose from a wide variety of friendly co-ed, intergenerational team sports including volleyball, softball, soccer, basketball, tennis & bocce as well as measure your athletic skills in a 50 yard dash, punt, pass and kick, free throws, target toss & radar gun stations, plus enjoy old fashioned games  like a treasure hunt, relay races, water balloon toss, horseshoes, shuffleboard, hula hoops , scrabble, checkers & chess.  You can also engage in creative activities such as an inter-active story-telling session led by the Pittsburgh Wing and a Prayer Interplay Troupe.

Beginning at noon, enjoy an old fashioned picnic provided by Pittsburgh Barbeque at the Mount Lebanon Tennis Center Founder's Room and Deck. Enjoy delicious food to live music. Ted Sohier of WQED will be picnic MC and prizes will be drawn throughout.
REGISTER at http://mtlebanonvillage.org/. by JULY 31st to receive a nifty Mount Lebanon Village Games T-shirt!       http://www.mtlebanonvillage.org Further Information: 412-343-4054

Larry Evans
417 Kurt Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
c412-445-2951
h412-341-1486
f412-571-1647
leifevans@comcast.net

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mellon Arena roof may open one last time

This is bullshit.
Mellon Arena roof may open one last time: "Officials are exploring the idea as part of a grand finale for the 48-year-old building, which will close this summer and give way to the Consol Energy Center, which is opening across Centre Avenue. Mr. Roberts said SMG is pursuing a 'couple of options' for a final act."

No, they want to close the Civic Arena. But, it won't give way to the new Consol Energy Center. When a mother gives birth to a new child -- the parents do not commit suiside. These are not cars where you buy a new one and trade in the old one with the dealer. These are places -- and the new building can sit next to the other one. They are not in the same place.

They did not need to tear down Pitt Stadium to build a new basketball venue. Pitt could have built the new basketball venue along the river in Hazelwood, by the Parkway East. Pitt did build a new baseball field and is going to use the old field for a track. Jeepers, there was a fine track within Pitt Stadium.

The Pirates could have built PNC Park -- woops -- the Pirates didn't build PNC Park. PNC Park could have been build without the need to tear down Three Rivers Stadium.

Dubai drops out as host of 2013 swimming worlds - USATODAY.com

Dubai drops out as host of 2013 swimming worlds - USATODAY.com: "Swimming's world governing body is looking for a new venue for the 2013 world championships after Dubai dropped out as host.
FINA said it had agreed with officials in Dubai on Saturday not to proceed with the bid, which Dubai won last year ahead Moscow and Hamburg.
FINA said Dubai wanted to focus on developing swimming at grass-roots level rather than stage a second world event inside three years.
Dubai will remain as host of the short-course world championships scheduled for December.
Shanghai is hosting the biennial world championships in 2011."

Ten Minutes, Ten Calls: Help Stop State Budget Cuts

From: "Ron Cowell"

We are happy to share this Action Alert from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. The increased funding for school districts proposed by Governor Rendell and included in the budget approved by the House of Representatives, and many other education and human services funding items, will be in serious jeopardy if the Legislature balances the 2010-2011 budget by cuts alone. Please call your legislator today! Please forward this Action Alert to your friends and colleagues.

http://www.eplc.org/

ACTION ALERT @ Pennsylvania State Budget
Tell Harrisburg: No More Cuts! End Special Interest Tax Breaks to Preserve Jobs and Services

This week, the state House will vote on a bill that will reform the tax system, raise needed revenue, and preserve health care, education and human services.

Today, take ten minutes to make ten calls to ten legislators who will be critical votes on HB 2435:

Rep. Harry Readshaw 717-783-0411
Rep. Jarret Gibbons 717-705-2060
Rep. Deb Kula 717-772-1858
Rep. Frank Burns 717-772-8056
Rep. Rob Matzie 717-787-4444
Rep. John Evans 717-772-9940
Rep. John Hornaman 717-772-2297
Rep. Mike Hanna 717-772-2283
Rep. Frank Farry 717-260-6140
Rep. Kate Harper 717-787-2801

Then forward this alert (today) to ten people -- staff, clients, friends, neighbors -- and ask them to make ten calls!

Don't Forget to Call Your Own Lawmakers

If you haven't done so already, call your own lawmaker to ask for their support of HB 2435 and then follow up with an email to your legislator.

Need your rep's phone number?

Find your House member by county or zip code

Access an alphabetical list of House members

Access a list of House members by county

Here's What to Say

I am a constituent and I want you to support HB 2435.

Before making additional service cuts that will hurt Pennsylvania families and our fragile economic recovery, please raise new revenue.

Solving the budget crisis with cuts alone will leave thousands more Pennsylvanians vulnerable and will cost jobs.

We can no longer afford tax loopholes and special tax preferences.What Does HB 2435 Do? HB 2435 will end Pennsylvania's last-in-the-nation status on taxing smokeless tobacco and bring us in line with other energy-producing states by enacting a gas extraction tax. HB 2435 will close corporate tax loopholes and end a special tax break -- the vendor discount -- that gives $9 a year to small businesses but $12 million to 10 lucky billion dollar companies. Read more about HB 2435. Learn more about the Better Choices for Pennsylvania coalition The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a non-partisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families. Learn more: http://www.pennbpc.org/ .

Fw: Help from the South Side Community Council

From: Andrew Lang of Oxforddevelopment.com
Subject: FW: Help from the South Side Community Council

South Side Residents and Others...  Below in red and attached were forwarded to me from Bryan Woll who works in the office of Councilman Bruce Kraus.  This event Tuesday June 8th starts at 9:45am at Station Square could be worth attending if you are interested in what can be done to improve our neighborhood.  Online registration is at www.RHIevents.org/Forum/PA or call Alexis Hahalis at 831-469-3396 ext. 2.




As you may know, the Councilman is hosting a Responsible Hospitality Institute Regional Forum in Pittsburgh on Tuesday June 8th at Station Square. This one day event will give stakeholders on the South Side and throughout the city and region an opportunity to learn about managing mixed-use neighborhoods with daytime and nighttime economies, as well as residential areas nearby.


Thanks,
Bryan Woll, Office of Councilman Bruce Kraus
Pittsburgh City Council, District 3
City-County Building, Suite 510
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-255-2130
Fax: 412-255-8950
Oxford Development, a firm that wants to tear down the Civic Arena, is working with this HOSPITALITY Zone thingie. Great. And, an intern runs it all.

PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATION POLICY FORUM, Free, Breakfast, this week

If you have not already sent your RSVP, there is still time!

You Are Cordially Invited to Attend

PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATION POLICY FORUM

“Western Pennsylvania Regional Breakfast Series”
Sponsored by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC)

Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Holiday Inn Select - University Center - Oakland

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
There is no fee for the forum, but please RSVP as soon as possible since seating is limited.
You may RSVP for the May 27 Forum by using our easy on-line reservation system which is available by clicking on http://www.eplc.org/forum_westernpa.html  or faxing the attached form..
Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues, but everyone must RSVP to attend.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Current and Hot State Education Policy Issues Update and Discussion led by EPLC Staff and Guests
§ The 2010-2011 State Budget Debate
§ School Employee Pension System Proposals
§ PA Fiscal Challenges and Proposed Tax Changes
§ State Board Proposed Regulations Concerning Nutrition
§ State Board and Common Core Standards
§ Special Education Funding Reform Proposal
§ Charter School Legislation
§ Empowerment Act Legislation
§ PA’s “Race-to-the Top” Re-application

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Join us for an informative and robust discussion about current education policy issues that are being actively considered by state officials now and will be addressed during coming weeks before the Legislature adjourns for the summer!

Be ready to add your voices to those who will demand a responsible state budget for the 2010--2011 fiscal year that begins on July 1.

Learn how you can become active with the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign that urges the Governor and General Assembly honor the six-year K-12 education funding reform plan begun in 2008.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thanks to our Sponsors!

The School Finance Project of The Education Policy and Leadership Center is currently supported by generous grants from The Maurice Falk Foundation, Fulfilling the Dream Fund, and the William Penn Foundation.

The Western Pennsylvania Breakfast Series of the Pennsylvania Education Policy Forum is also supported by additional financial support from the following organizations:



A+ Schools
Association of Pennsylvania State College and
University Faculties
AFT Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators
Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units
Pennsylvania Association of Pupil Services
Administrators
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools
Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development
Pennsylvania School Boards Association
Pennsylvania State Education Association
Center for Educational Leadership - University of
Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
Educational Testing Service (ETS)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
There is no fee for the forum, but please RSVP as soon as possible since seating is limited.
You may RSVP for the May 27 Forum by using our easy on-line reservation system which is available by clicking on http://www.eplc.org/forum_westernpa.html or faxing the attached form..
Please feel free to share this information with your colleagues, but everyone must RSVP to attend.

Swim clinic (week long practice opportunity) for Pittsburgh Public School kids

PPS Swimmers Offered Opportunity to Practice with Stingrays Week of 6/21

The Kingsley Stingrays swim team would like to congratulate elementary, middle-school, and high-school swimmers in the Pittsburgh Public Schools on their accomplishments over the past school year and to offer them a way to continue developing their swim ability this summer.

During the week of June 21st, 2010, selected swimmers from the PPS will have the opportunity to practice with the Stingrays and to receive additional targeted coaching from Coach Hosea Holder in order to improve their swim technique. The program will run from 8:30-11:00 on Monday-Friday at Highland Park Pool.

Interested swimmers should e-mail kingsley_stingrays@yahoo.com or call 412/687-3494.

Coach Holder was recently profiled by WQED-TV for his teaching and technical expertise, which routinely help swimmers become stronger, more fit, and more focused. (The show can be viewed online at http://wqed.org/ondemand/onq.php )

Kindly forward this information to all PPS swim coaches and athletic directors so that they can share it with interested swimmers and parents.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Kingsley Stingrays Swim Team
kingsley_stingrays@yahoo.com

Nanny State goes global | The Barr Code

Considering the OUTLAW of HAPPY MEALS?
Nanny State goes global | The Barr Code: "Santa Clara County recently voted to outlaw the sale of McDonald’s “Happy Meal” toys and a host of other novelties (including coupons from which a patron might download a song) provided by restaurants as a bonus for customers who purchase certain drinks or food items."

Mark Brentley's barbs strike Pittsburgh school board

P-G has an article on Mark Brently, Pittsburgh Dad and elected member of the Pgh Public Schools Board of Directors.
Brentley's barbs strike Pittsburgh school board A board member since 2000, Mr. Brentley, 53, who represents North Side and Hill District residents, is known in city politics and education circles for his consistent and searing commentary on how the inequities of race and class affect the quality of public education and life in Pittsburgh.

Sports Mgt Camp for big boys

If you know any current or former athletes interested in sports as a career, there's a great opportunity this summer in New York you may want to pass along to them.The Diamond Sports Big Apple Career Camp will be offered from July 25th to 30th, providing student-athletes a rare opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the field, and meet executives from ESPN, HBO Sports, the NY Mets and more, at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Red Bull Arena, and Madison Square Garden.A career in sports is the "next best thing" for millions of student athletes looking to make their mark off the field.  If you know any students who may be interested, here's a great way to support them.Make sure they mention they heard about this from the National Coach Survey, and they will receive a Special Offer: 25% discount off the registration fee. Deadline: June 14th.Seating is limited, for more information www.NYSportsCareers.com or 914 872-4036.John KellyPublisherNationalCoachSurvey.org57 Todd Hill CircleGoldens Bridge, NY 10526www.NationalCoachSurvey.orgJKelly@NationalCoachSurvey.org
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fw: Instructions to Jurors

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


From: Julian Heicklen <jph13@psu.edu>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 17:31:42 -0400
To: Michael Salvi<PhillyC4L@gmail.com>; bile@landofbile.com> Libertarian Party<bile@landofbile.com>; Viz*<gitm0de@residentbush.com>; Joann Ellis<joannell@camden.rutgers.edu>; Garry Reed<greededitor@aol.com>; Barry Dively<weneedjohngalt@yahoo.com>; Kathy Harper<AdvPayTec@aol.com>; John deLaubenfels<jdelaubenfels@keymark.com>; Iloilo Jones<aji@fija.org>; The Staff<ransom4all@juno.com>; Jim Babb<jamesbabb@mac.com>; Drew Freeman<drewfreemanrph@gmail.com>; Restore The Republic!<alerts@restoretherepublic.com>; Michael Benoit<mblibertarian7@earthlink.net>; Libertarian Party<info@lp.org>
Subject: Instructions to Jurors

INSTRUCTIONS TO JURORS

If called to jury duty accept eagerly.  This is your chance to save the country.  During jury selection, you will have to answer the following questions?
  1. Will you uphold the U. S. and state constitutions? Certainly.
  2. Will you uphold the law as the judge gives it to you? Certainly.
  3. Are you related to or know anyone in the trial? No
  4. Have you read about or heard about this case? No
  5. Do you have any opinions about the laws involved? No
  6. Can you judge this case impartially? Yes
  7. Any other questions: give the answer the judge and lawyers want.  Remember they want the stupidest, unknowing, and most pliable jurors that they can find.  Your answers should be yes or no.  Do not qualify your answers.
In any trial involving consensual acts by mentally-competent adults, you vote not guilty.  This is upholding the Ninth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution and probably some clause in your state constitution.

In any trial in which the judge does not provide copies of the U. S. and state constitutions and a printed version of the laws in question to each juror, he has not given you the law. This constitutes reasonable doubt.  In criminal cases, which require guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you must vote not guilty (even for the most grisly crime you can imagine).

The law that the judge gives from the bench is meaningless.  I have been involved in about 50 civil and criminal cases as either a plaintiff or a defendant.  The judges have no idea at all of what the law is.  They just make it up.  They love to quote other judges, who also do not have any idea of what the law is.  Many U. S. Supreme Court decisions are 5–4.  This means that at least 4, and probably all 9, Supreme Court judges do not know the law.  Judges, lawyers, and even Supreme Court Justices (more lawyers) all make mistakes.  You can see this when you look back at some of their wrong opinions in cases of slavery, right to free speech, and other issues.

Do not pay any attention to what the judge tells you from the bench. Read the law yourself, check if it is constitutional and appropriate, and then make a decision. Consult your own conscience, and your own sense of justice.  You are there as a juror to make sure justice is served.

The jury is the person's last defense against a tyrannical government.  Remember the duty of the jury is not to uphold the law, but to see that justice is done.  That is jury nullification, a well-established pillar of free societies.  It is the method by which we obtained freedom of religion and freedom of the press, among other freedoms. (See: http://www.personal.psu.edu/jph13/JuryNullification.html)

It only takes one juror to hang a jury.  If you are that juror, you will take a lot of grief from the other jurors.  Do not give in to the pressure from other jurors.  You may never have another chance to save the country. You may be saving the life, family, and livelihood–as well as the reputation–of the person on trial.

There is no hope of recovering our country through any of the formal branches of government.  They are too corrupt.  However we can restore our country through the jury; one juror at a time.  You can be that juror.  This will be a difficult and slow process.  Success requires determination, persistence, and patience.  You should also expect abuse and agony.

The day is short.  The task is difficult.  The jurors are sluggish.  If not you—then who?  If not now—then when?

Freedom is not given to you.  It must be reclaimed in every generation.

Warning: You should know that The Federal Protective Service, and possibly the FBI, is intercepting my e-mails. Another violation of our civil liberties. Be prudent if you write to me.  

Mike Benoit has written a book entitled "Sham and Shame of the Federal Income Tax."    You can purchase it directly from him for five dollars. His E-mail address is in the header of this E-mail.

I will be distributing FIJA literature at the U. S. District Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan, NY on Tuesday, May 25, from 11:45 am until 1:15 pm (or I am arrested).  Please join me if your can.

 THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE

THE PRICE OF JUSTICE IS ETERNAL PUBLICITY
    
   Yours in freedom—Julian

Fw: [DW] New publications on open government data in Canada and around the world

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Clift <clift@e-democracy.org>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 16:33:09
To: newswire<newswire@groups.dowire.org>
Subject: [DW] New publications on open government data in Canada and around the world

From: Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray@okfn.org>
Date: Sun, May 23, 2010 at 4:17 PM
Subject: [open-government] New publications on open government data in
Canada and around the world


These links to two recent documents on open data from the Canadian
government might be of interest to folks here!

 http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2010-14-e.htm
 http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/2010-15-e.htm

....

Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation
http://blog.okfn.org

http://twitter.com/jwyg
http://identi.ca/jwyg

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