Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fwd: Mt. Lebo school renovation

for your amusement...from Larry Evans:

Signage of the Times

At recent Mount Lebanon Commission and School Board meetings, exasperated residents have testified that they are practically going out of their minds over all the delaying tactics tossed at the Mount Lebanon High School renovation project.  Well, I'm already there – completely bonkers - over this controversial issue.  Not so much over whether we spend 75 or 113 million – either way we all know that we will get what we pay for. To me this ain't so much about the kids anymore.  It's coming way too late to benefit my two.  What's driving me nutty is a nitwit neighbor of mine trashing my "Save Our School" lawn signs - 3 times now and counting.  Could this sign stalking midnight marauder still be mired in that 70s tune "Signs, Signs, everywhere Signs, blocking up the scenery breaking my mind" (thank you 5 Man Electrical Band) or what?

Now I would argue that lawn signs define our civilization just as usefully as billboards and bumper stickers keep our attention focused on the road.  Sloganeering signage has probably put more dents in fenders than in voter opinion.  The most bold and amusing of bumper stickers I saw in Manhattan. It read "Can't you see I'm on the phone!"  I remember handing out a whole box of McGovern/Shriver buttons in '72 and somehow we still lost that election plus the Vietnam War to boot.  Heck, it was only with this recent Obama election that I morphed from signage challenged to signing on to Barrack's hopemobile. The idea of plopping America's global melting pot poster boy into the White House was just too delicious to pass up for a previously hopeless liberal such as I.

And I was proud enough of my Obama stickers to keep 'em on a whole year until 2010 census work made me cover up my left wing leanings.  I enjoyed my G-man work immensely by the way – wore an Elliot Ness overcoat covering my always at the ready imaginary tommy gun, parked anywhere I damn pleased and made census avoiders scurry like rats into their basements and defiant libertarians spew their bizarre conspiracy theories all over their front porches while peering ever so nervously up to the sky at my hovering black helicopter friends…but I digress.

Let me tell you what happened these last two weeks to my signs.

I placed 2 in my yard on Kurt Drive, another couple on a fellow soccer dad's lawn up the street facing Lakemont Drive, plus gave out two more to Tour de Lebo bikers to place on Folkstone and Sunrise Drives.  Had the neighborhood pretty much covered. So that's 6 signs times 3 thefts which equals 18 signs times $3 per which is a collective $50+ heist. Add my pain and suffering and it's really way over a hundred bucks of virtual visual vandal damage.

Dashed was my dream of that star spangled summer evening round about 3 years down the road when our town's July 4th fireworks  would light up the sky and we Leboites would not have to lay our collective squint on some shoddy, moldy and last century oldie school building – but rather we would instead spy upon a glistening new Lebo High Spaceship lifting our kids and grand children to Emerald City educational bliss and Friday Night Football heights which would make Upper Saint Clair, Bethel and Peters town folk rue their days of excessive haggling over their meager school do-overs! 

When I surveyed the initial theft scene, my first impulse was to simply electrify my next pair of "save our school" signs.

This was a promising plan but then my wife reminded me of the many canines that tended to relieve themselves on our premises and the image of a pee line transforming into a doggie death ray led to her confiscation of my extension chords.

This imposed cease fire got me to thinking "What would Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction do in this situation?" That's right - I would "try real hard, Ringo, to be the Sheppard!"

So I re-set the new placards in the exact same spots but this time attached a brilliant red balloon to each figuring that this kind of guy just might need a balloon and knowing no-one would consciously abuse a red balloon – especially not one just like that kid's in that Red Balloon book we all have most assuredly read several times.

The next morning the sun again rose wondrously over our blue and gold skyline and I peeked out the window and saw that the SOB had run off with my second round of signs - plus savaged them all over the street, red balloons popped.  This was not good. Not good at all.

So I got out my magic markers, and quickly drew up a poster that read "hey (followed by a rough drawing of a screw and a ball)!  Quit stealing our signs!"  And scribbled below that "it's wabbit season" signed E Fudd. Heh, heh, heh.

Plus I got my sledge hammer out and pounded the steel spikes of this looney toon warning and 4 new "Save Our School" signs as far into the ground as they would go figuring that would hinder the next rip off attempt.

 At daybreak, after gathering my PPG and checking to see if Luke Hagy had scored his usual 3 Blue Devil TDs, I glanced towards my signage and there stood practically smoldering  - 4 naked, bent steel towers looking like ground zero. The sign stealer had somehow grasped that the signs actually slipped off very easily from their steel stems…

What was different this time from the earlier attacks was that there was no evidence lying about on the pavement, no chance for retrieval and proper burial. My signs were now hostages in the clutches of an anon nutcase.

The new sign reinforcements weren't in yet so my lawn was to remain a battleground lost for several days…unless I would muster the singular courage to go on the offensive.  So I drew up a second hand made placard showing Bugs Bunny proclaiming "This Means WAR!" (thank you Mel Blanc) and I email blasted a cry for help and found that indeed others had endured similar attacks on their signage as well as veiled threats to their very personhood.  The targets included school board members and mild mannered musicians… Police reports had been filed and suspected bad guys fingered.  Lo and behold two suspects lived right down on Lindendale!

This made me shudder since only a while back I unwittingly precipitated a runaway softball incident that rained down unmercifully on Lindendale folk and it occurred to me that maybe some lindendaleones might still harbor a grudge of some kind...

Are you still reading this?


Here's what happened…It was a dark and stormy evening when I parked my van heading up Kurt Drive so that my fastpitch softballing daughter Jen could run into the house to escape the rain. I got out my driver's side and opened the back hatch to fetch the equipment and was clobbered in the groin by a tumbling ball bag that Jen had hurriedly propped on top of the unstable bat bag and also neglected to zipper up and it plunged onto the street and a good two dozen greenish yellow softballs bounded to freedom past me and down our very steep incline.  Unfortunately coming up the hill were some cars. An elderly man drove the first, and having witnessed the entire episode, stopped in his tracks and pounded his steering wheel hysterically laughing at my pathetic attempt to run down a few of the escapees. A lady in the car behind him, fearing the worst, did a duck and cover.  A third car driven by a teenager tried to do a u-turn but only provided a tempting broadside target for the rapidly accelerating balls. Some of the balls made it clear to the Lindendale curb and bounded right, careening all the way down to Cedar Blvd, I guess to find a waterlogged resting place as close as possible to the softball fields. Others hung a hasty left and were unceremoniously gobbled up by a hungry sewer. Still others catapulted over the curb and into the several yards seemingly safely tucked away far below street level.  The crashing noises and the screaming subsided after only a few minutes and I wondered whether this softball debachle would ever come back to bite me…

So honorable commissioners, this is probably why these few isolated, scared neighbors of mine continue to haunt your chambers to oppose soccer fields, swimming pools and adequate police protection. They obviously detest sports and shiny new buildings and have taken to cannibalizing signage and now are ganging up on your "Commissioner's Parking Spaces"… something I and maybe you never even knew you had and I bet they just found out about as well...

Oh I so long for the daze when we just sipped our tea and acted civilily!

That's all folks!

Larry Evans

Water polo clinic and all stars

American Water Polo is proud to inform you of the 2010 Collegiate Water Polo Association's Eastern's Clinic and All-Star game hosted at Bucknell University on Saturday, November 20th.

 The Eastern's Clinic will begin at 8:45 am and run until 11:15 am. Immediately following the clinic will be the all-star game, starting at 11:30 am. Once again, two-time Olympian Brad Schumacher will be making the trip from California to host the clinic. It is open to male and female athletes ages 10 to 18. We ask that your athletes register by November 5th.

This year the Eastern's All-Star game will be between the Pennsylvania all- stars and the East Coast all-stars. The East Coast all-stars will be comprised of all athletes from all states other than Pennsylvania. The decision to make a Pennsylvania all-star team is based on the fact that the Eastern Championship is hosted in Pennsylvania. Each all-star team will have a roster of 14 players. In order to determine the top 14 players, we ask each coach to nominate 1 to 3 players, in order of rank, and have their nominations in by noon on Wednesday October, 27th. We will be announcing the team by Friday October, 29th. If your team is a public high school, your nominees must be seniors.

The Eastern's All-Star game and Clinic are both great opportunities for your athletes to be scene by college coaches. American Water Polo has specifically coordinated these two events to be held on the same weekend as the Men's Division I Eastern Championship. The top eight east coast programs will be competing to advance to the Men's Division I final four. Your athletes also have the opportunity to witness first hand some of the best water polo being played on the east coast.

Please contact myself or Tom Tracey as soon as possible. We will be selecting the all- star team in the afternoon of Wednesday October 27th. Nominations that are received after 12 pm on the 27th will not be considered for nomination.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,


Alex Bond

American Water Polo, Membership Services

320 West 5th Street, Bridgeport, PA 19405

610-277-6787 Office 610-277-7382 Fax

Monday, October 25, 2010

The death of an open water swimmer in a meet at UAE is so sad.

Wow. We are shocked at this news.
Fran Crippen, 26, died Saturday during the last leg of the Marathon Swimming World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
This is bad, bad news.

My wife and I went to the UAE in May of this year. We did visit a beach but didn't swim in open water -- but -- I wanted to do so. And, we even had a companion, a master swimmer from Omaha, that was about to join us. Swimming around The Palm was in our sights, but, the hours were pressing. We went to the pool instead.

UAE has some places that have great skin diving along a reef.

UAE's tradition also includes lots of pear diving where guys in boats worked with weights tied to their legs to easily get to the depths -- and then are pulled topside with bags while wearing gloves.


We are in South Africa now and did a little swim today at the resort pool. No open water is in our future here -- yet. Durbin would be the place to do it but we didn't have any time there. Just into the new airport and a drive to the Campagne Sports Resort at Drakensberg. Won't be interested in open water in Kruger either.

Our driver the other night told us of some folks who swim to South Africa from the neighbors to the north, fleeing border guards. They travel the width of the river with a chicken on a rope at the end of a stick on the back of a croc. No joke. They use the animal for a ride by climbing on its back.

I asked what about another joining in to grab the chicken before one had covered the width of the river. Then what.

This had been a rumor here, but, was confirmed by a journalist who went to find the area and witnessed such a crossing.

Later in South Africa there is a water polo match and it would be great to find its location and try to get there, but, we'll see.

Had a great talk yesterday with a ENT doctor from Cape Town who had been to Pittsburgh twice. He has two sons, like us, who are exactly the same ages as Erik and Grant. And he is a master swimmer. He would have been in the SA Masters Championships this weekend, but this conference is in the way.

We are at the 46th Congress for South African Society of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery in assocation with the South African Association of Audiologists and South Africa Head & Neck Oncology Society.

Got to run. Tennis under the lights is in ouer future. Played 18 holes of golf today. Grant is hitting par and often 1 over par by a foot. We are hitting the cup with the putt from 10-foot, and it rims out.

RIP Crippen. Peace to all.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Save the date: Nov 8, 9 and 18th at 6 pm

There are some public meetings slated for 6 pm to 8 pm on November 8, 9 and 18th at various Pittsburgh Public School buildings. Details later. Save the date. Your participation welcomed!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fw: Urgent.. Are you attending the Lights On After School Event TODAY?

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: RFlanag@aol.com
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 12:32:04 EDT
To: <rflanag@aol.com>
Subject: Urgent.. Are you attending the Lights On After School Event TODAY?

Show your support for After School Programming.  Attend today's event.




Contact: Stephen MacIsaac, Executive Director                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tel. 412.363.1914 office - Tel. 412.519.6793 cell




After-school programs to be celebrated through national awareness campaign


(Pittsburgh, PA –October 20, 2010) – After-school programming, an essential function of the development of Pittsburgh's youth, will be celebrated tomorrow at the "Lights On Afterschool" event.


This event, one of 7,500 similar events nation-wide, is part of the Afterschool Alliance's effort to raise awareness about the importance of afterschool programming. It is an exciting chance to learn more about programs taking place in the community, and it a great opportunity this year to show support for American youth.


Afterschool programming plays a significant role in Pittsburgh's communities.

·         26 % of Pennsylvania's K-12 children are left unsupervised after school (American After 3 PM, 2009)

·         The hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. show the highest instance of juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2002)

·         32 % of PA Children not in an afterschool program would attend, were one available. (America After 3 PM, 2009)


Activities will include:

·         "Best Practices" Showcase: An opportunity to see afterschool programs in action!

·         Provider Fair: Meet the community partners who make afterschool programs possible

·         Youth Entertainment: Our kids aren't just smart, they're talented too!

·         Guest Speakers: Local leaders share how afterschool programs have affected their lives.


This event is hosted by Wireless Neighborhoods, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Pittsburgh Public Schools and many valued community and faith partners. Attendees will send a strong message to lawmakers and community leaders that Pittsburgh's youth are valued and afterschool programming is recognized and plays in the growth and development of Pittsburgh's children.


                   Where:          Pittsburgh Peabody High School

                                      515 N. Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206


When:           Thursday, October 21, 2010

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.



For more information on Wireless Neighborhoods, please visit www.wireless-neighborhoods.org.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fw: First Tee Mentor Program

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Firstteepitt@aol.com
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 16:16:18 EDT
To: <firstteepitt@aol.com>
Subject: First Tee Mentor Program

Hi First Tee Friends,
The First Tee of Pittsburgh (TFTP) will be starting a mentor program with our friends at East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM) this fall and we are looking for male mentors, (our program for girls will begin in six months).
TFTP is a non profit youth development agency that uses golf instruction as a vehicle to teach kids life skills in four target areas: interpersonal communication, self-management, goal setting and resilience skills.
EECM is a faith based social service agency whose youth programs reach out to kids facing the challenges of delinquency, family dysfunction, social detachment, academic underachievement, and violence in their neighborhoods.
At this stage we are planning to hold our sessions on Thursday evenings from 5:30 - 7:30-ish every other week for a total of 32 sessions.
These sessions will include a First Tee Life Skills clinic, led by one of our coaches who will prepare a complete lesson plan, an informal dinner with the mentees, and opportunities for dinner speakers, mini-workshops, tutorials, and more.
In order to let potential mentors better understand the scope of the program and the commitment we are inviting everyone to attend an informational meeting at the Bob O'Connor Golf Course in Schenley Park on Thursday, November 4 at 7 PM.  At that time we will present all information and answer your questions.
We are very excited to be launching "Phase II" of our mentor program and to have EECM as a program partner.  This is a wonderful way to have a positive effect on a young person that will have life-long impact.
Please share this with any friends or fellow employees who may be interested. We look forward to seeing you on November 4.

Marc Field
Executive Director
The First Tee of Pittsburgh
5370 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
(412) 682-2403
(412) 682-2405 (Fax)


The First Tee of Pittsburgh is a United Way Donor Choice Agency.
You may direct your United Way contribution to #1436656

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A Big Step for the Independent Sports Blogosphere

A Big Step for the Independent Sports Blogosphere

Want To Reduce Concussions NFL? Ditch The Helmets

Want To Reduce Concussions NFL? Ditch The Helmets

The foolish thing about all this is that the easiest way the NFL can actually prevent helmet to helmet hits is to do one very simple, yet controversial thing…get rid of the helmets.

That’s right, get rid of em. Ditch em. Forget about em. There have been a number of studies that show that the helmets themselves are probably the cause of a lot of these injuries, if you wanna read an excellent article on it, check this out from the Wall Street Journal last year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NFL fines Steelers' Harrison $75,000; Harrison: 'It was a legal hit'

NFL fines Steelers' Harrison $75,000; Harrison: 'It was a legal hit'

Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been fined $75,000 by the NFL for his helmet-leading hit that caused Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi to receive a concussion. Harrison was not suspended.

Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10292/1096447-66.stm#ixzz12qMfRHmn

I told my sons that in 10 years, football will be dead. Boxing is. Football is next. Just a prediction. I don't really want to see that come to pass, but all this buzz about head injuries is not to be ignored.

Education Week: Gwinnett County, Ga., Wins $1M Broad Prize

Education Week: Gwinnett County, Ga., Wins $1M Broad Prize

The Gwinnett County, Ga., school district, located just outside Atlanta, has been awarded the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education for 2010. The annual award, announced today, honors large urban school systems that demonstrate the strongest student achievement and improvement while narrowing performance gaps between different groups based on family income and ethnicity.

Fw: [school-discuss] 21st Century Classroom and Slate's crowdsource project

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

-----Original Message-----
From: Joel Kahn <jj2kk4@yahoo.com>
Sender: owner-schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2010 12:51:10
To: <schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net>
Reply-To: schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net
Subject: [school-discuss] 21st Century Classroom

Slate has launched what it calls "a crowdsourcing
project on the 21st-century classroom" here:


I saw one response already that pushed Linux, but
I think it is too limited and narrow. This should
be an important opportunity to connect FLOSS with
a wide range of different educational concepts.
What should terms like "free" and "open" really
imply when we are asking what the word "classroom"
ought to mean over the coming decades?

My own thoughts are very disorganized right now,
and I'm not sure if I'm going to have something
submitted by the October 29th deadline. But many
of you have much better credentials for this than
I do anyway. Some of the threads we've had on
this list lately might be relevant.

I look forward to seeing what happens.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Fw: Do you value after-school programming? Citywide Thursday Event/Job Fair Info

From: "Justin Davis" <justin@bloomfield-garfield.org>

Are you planning on attending the October 21st event that will communicate to all that you want to listen?

After School Programming Is Important!

Do you value after school programming as a way to keep kids safe, healthy, and well educated?

If so, attend the October 21st Lights On Afterschool event and let the world know that you value after school programming.


Have fun at the event…   (See attached for more info)

Organizations: Wireless Neighborhoods, Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, Pittsburgh Public School, and many valued community and fair partners

Encourage those who are seeking employment and those seeking a better job to attend the November 9th job fair at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Liberty. Over 60 top employers will be recruiting workers that day.

>If the job seekers need help getting ready for the job fair call the Eastside Neighborhood Employment Center at 412-362-8580 and ask for Brittany.

Lead Organization: East End Works Collaborative

Ravenstahl says he expects state to take over city pension plan

All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty together again. But, if only all the people worked on the plan, then things would be different. Ravenstahl says he expects state to take over city pension plan

Mr. Ravenstahl said he and his staff have spent nearly two years working on a plan that would parlay proceeds from a leasing parking facilities to a private operator into a pension fund bailout. He said the plan would avert a state takeover that would lead to dramatically higher pension payments that the city could make only by raising taxes or cutting services.

Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10291/1096246-100.stm#ixzz12jpCS33I

MapMyFitness Marketplace - Fitness Sensors

MapMyFitness Marketplace - Fitness Sensors

Blair, smiles and says nothing so as to not offend. Very wise move.

Coach makes "Facebook" curfew .... Blair "no comment" on City League

Blair keeps to self on City joining WPIAL

Former Schenley basketball star DeJuan Blair was in town Thursday night playing for the San Antonio Spurs against the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA preseason game. Shooting the breeze a little with Blair before the game, I told him that the City League is seriously considering disbanding and joining the WPIAL. He hadn't heard of the idea, but I asked him of his opinion.

"That's interesting," Blair said.

I then said, "Well, what do you think? Do you think it would be a good or bad idea?"

Blair said, "I can't saying anything else. I'm going to have to no comment on this one because if I said what I really want to say, it wouldn't come off too good."

Don't know if Blair thinks it's a good or bad idea, but he obviously thought it best to keep his thoughts to himself. Maybe it was a smart move, but I'm still curious what he thinks.

Contest wants students to think about city's future

Contest wants students to think about city's future

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program today will kick off a contest designed to get high school students thinking about the city's future.

Students may work individually or in groups to address the question "What is your promise to Pittsburgh?" Responses must be submitted or postmarked by Nov. 24.

While the city prefers video responses, students may submit essays, photos, artwork or responses in other media. Mayoral spokeswoman Joanna Doven said she didn't want to limit students' creative expression.

Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10291/1096236-100.stm#ixzz12ihf7hAF

Today's Math Homework


Sunday, October 17, 2010

1 killed, 2 injured in shooting in California, Pa.

1 killed, 2 injured in shooting in California, Pa. A post-homecoming party in California, Pa., turned violent early this morning, leaving a Pittsburgh man dead and two injured. The incident happened at an off-campus apartment complex near California University of Pennsylvania.
Jeron Xavier Grayson, 18, of Washington Place, Uptown, was shot and killed, according to the Washington County coroner's office. He was pronounced dead at 2:42 a.m. in an ambulance just before he was to be transported by medical helicopter.
Two others who were injured were treated at Mon Valley Hospital then released, according to Sgt. Chester Kowalski of the Pennsylvania State Police Belle Vernon barracks. While no details were available about the injuries to a young man, police said a young woman sustained facial injuries from flying shrapnel.
This is a good reason why the Pittsburgh Promise should be able to transfer to schools beyond the borders of Pennsylvania. The opportunity to get out of town to a college is great, but for some, it needs to be farther away. Sure, there are mix-ups and trouble in plenty of places out of the region too. However, some of the trouble can be avoided with a fresh start some states away.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Grumbling aside, China's ready for Asian Games - More Sports - SI.com

Grumbling aside, China's ready for Asian Games - More Sports - SI.com

The Asian Games get underway in one month's time in this leafy city of urban bustle and charming alleyways, bringing together more than 11,500 athletes competing in 42 sports. The Olympics-style event is shaping up to be another well-run, well-organized spectacular by the Chinese government, though wide-ranging preparation projects set off grumbling among some residents who see them as an inconvenience and waste of money.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/more/10/11/asian.games.ap/index.html#ixzz12XH476V0

Grumbling aside, China's ready for Asian Games - More Sports - SI.com

Grumbling aside, China's ready for Asian Games - More Sports - SI.com

The Asian Games get underway in one month's time in this leafy city of urban bustle and charming alleyways, bringing together more than 11,500 athletes competing in 42 sports. The Olympics-style event is shaping up to be another well-run, well-organized spectacular by the Chinese government, though wide-ranging preparation projects set off grumbling among some residents who see them as an inconvenience and waste of money.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/more/10/11/asian.games.ap/index.html#ixzz12XH476V0

Parking bidder offers to tweak deal

Parking bidder offers to tweak deal

."Their thought is, OK, we probably see a better way of getting this done. Perhaps we should re-evaluate this lease agreement. Is there a way perhaps to lower the initial payment, decrease the length of the lease, find ways to keep the city more involved?" said Councilman Bruce Kraus, one of those approached by LAZ.

Mr. Kraus and five colleagues -- Patrick Dowd, Bill Peduto, Natalia Rudiak, Doug Shields and council President Darlene Harris -- on Wednesday voted against four bills that would have authorized the lease with private investors led by J.P. Morgan Asset Management and LAZ parking.

Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10289/1095711-53.stm#ixzz12XFJaple
They did well to contact Bruce Kraus as he is one of the most wishy washy of them all. Plus, his sense of purpose as to what government is to do, and not do, is suspect as well. If there is a cause for over-reaching, he'll gladly over-reach!

Here is an idea for Laz: Take one of the downtown garages, buy it outright. Then build a new garage in its place with some small first floor retail to help the pedestrian life, put in a mega bike parking area like that in Amsterdam, some self-storage on a floor near the top, pedestrian cross walks above the street to other corners or buildings around the garage, and a 50-meter swim pool on the roof that can be covered in the winter for hosting swim meet.

Then people will come to the city to swim or watch a swim meet in a fine facility, and would need to park and go out to eat after.

Make sure that there is nice access to some bus parking too, around the building somewhere.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday OpenOffice.org

Ten years ago, on 13 October 2000, Sun released the source code to StarOffice under open-source licenses. Formidable in size and complexity and positioned against a seemingly overwhelmingly dominant competitor, OpenOffice.org was seen as at best, foolish, at worse, boring, fit only for office drones. Browsers, it was said, have more fun.

But we, the OpenOffice.org project community, showed these skeptics to be wrong. We showed the world that a free office productivity suite using open standards, especially what later came to be known as the OpenDocument Format (ODF), is more desirable, more powerful, and more transformative than any browser could be. We, the OpenOffice.org project community, gave the world a set of tools that allows all to participate as equals in the fields of commerce, science, education, government, to name but a few.

We have given the world the tools to do things and to work together. With OpenOffice.org, people produce - and their productions are theirs to keep and do with as they will. That is real freedom.

It is a freedom that today perhaps 100 million people enjoy. In some regions, our product's usage is greater than 20 percent of the office suite userbase. How have we done this? And without spending the expected billions on advertising and other marketing efforts? To a great extent, OpenOffice.org, the application made by us, the community, sells itself, and its good news is spread through word of mouth, not via billboards and the like. Its professional quality and performance is tremendously persuasive. OpenOffice.org works on all platforms and in over a hundred languages, and perhaps most important, it also works well with other suites: our code and our use of the ODF means there is no vendor lock-in. Users, from those in government offices to individuals at home, are free to choose what is best for them without the anxiety they'll be stuck with something they do not much like but costs a lot.

They have chosen OpenOffice.org, and we are sure they will continue to do so in even greater numbers over the next ten years. They choose it today it not simply because it costs them nothing to download from our site, but because of its professional quality and flexibility - as well as its reassuring consistency. Over the last ten years, we have regularly released small and large versions incorporating new features, functionality, and design, all tested and qualified for any user environment. This fall, we are releasing OpenOffice.org 3.3, and the beta is available for community testing. Expect more releases-and also a lot more extensions.

With extensions, there is virtually no limit to what the application can do, and every day the community makes more available under a variety of licenses. These address individual, as well as enterprise, needs. Support, services, and training, offered by Oracle and other large and small companies, is globally available in a host of languages; these all complement the free community support and constitute a portion of the large and growing OpenOffice.org ecosystem.

And our momentum is building, as the size and complexity of the community contributing to the project grows and as more see in OpenOffice.org a future they want to be part of. It's a future of freedom that we commit to, as a community that includes Oracle as well other enterprises, and countless thousands of independent contributors.

Our first ten years have proven the strength of our vision and technology against every imaginable challenge; the next - well, who can say? Only this: we commit to making the tools of productivity, growing the community, and improving the product - open to all to inspect, use, improve, distribute, and we invite the world to join us in our commitment.

Happy Birthday, OpenOffice.org!

On behalf of the OpenOffice.org Project,

Louis Suarez-Potts
Community Development Manager

Teens arrested in Homewood for throwing rocks at cops

Teens arrested in Homewood for throwing rocks at cops: "Two 15-year-old boys were arrested this afternoon for throwing rocks at city police officers who had arrived in Homewood to disperse a crowd of as many as 80 rowdy teens.
Police from the Highland Park station were called to Frankstown and North Homewood avenues just after noon for a large fight and found the teenagers blocking the street and ignoring officers commands to leave."

High school kids had a half-day of school today.

Mayor's parking lease plan rejected by council

Mayor's parking lease plan rejected by council

"At this point, I think it's irresponsible to actually entertain a plan that has been universally panned by the citizens of Pittsburgh," said Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, the first to call for a vote.

Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10287/1095054-53.stm#ixzz12Lcq1Idl
Reform fumbles. Put a fork in it. I'm glad that they are to think again on the parking and pension issues.

Judge upholds rejection of Mt. Lebanon High School plan

Judge upholds rejection of Mt. Lebanon High School plan

The Mt. Lebanon School District filed a court appeal in April, after the three-member zoning hearing board issued an eight-page decision denying the variances. The zoning hearing board wrote that it believed the district could have complied with zoning requirements but for its "overreaching," specifically singling out the athletic field house planned on Horsman Drive across from the main academic building.

Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10287/1095195-100.stm#ixzz12LUyjDOM
So, the over-reaching of the building happens at the athletic field house, exactly where there should be over-reaching.

Zoning problems are a pain.

How about if you put the swim pool and some athletic facilities on the roof, as is done in Hong Kong swim pool at HKU. The swim pool at HKU is over a parking garage. Very nice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How low can they go?

Harry Reid support group launches ad campaign in
in support of fake tea party candidate!

Fellow Patriots,

This is going to flat out send you into a level of outrage.

Do you remember hearing about Scott Ashjian, the fake third party "tea party" candidate who set up a run for Senate to sabotage Sharron Angle's chances of success in the general election?

The problem Ashjian presented is that he was polling around 5 points. Those same 5 points could elevate Harry Reid to a win in Nevada.

All of the Tea Party groups in Nevada came out in a strong way, joining together to oppose Ashjian's candidacy. Ashjian was neutralized for most of the year... until now.

"The deceptively named Patriot Majority PAC, a pro-Reid and clearly anti-patriot organization, is currently running an ad on conservative radio in Reno Nevada were they mention fake Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian 4 times reminding voters that he’s still running and on the ballot."

You can read our full post and listen to the ad audio here.

Groups supporting Harry Reid know full well that Scott Ashjian has a chance to sink Sharron Angle and they're going after it with everything they have.

We must stop them.

Click here to view our latest TV ad.

We've got to step up our fight here in Nevada. We're one of the few groups actually located here in Nevada who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars combating Harry Reid in the media and on the ground.

We can only continue doing this with your help.

Please, right now, consider a contribution to our campaign here in Nevada
. Harry Reid must be defeated.

For Liberty,
-Eric Odom

Free Online Course "Concussion in Sports - What You Need To Know" Now Available

PIAA - News - Free NFHS Online Course "Concussion in Sports - What You Need To Know" Now Available

PIAA is pleased to distribute the NFHS online course, "Concussion in Sports - What You Need to Know". It is a first-of-its-kind complimentary online course designed to familiarize those associated with interscholastic athletics on the signs, symptoms, and treatment related to concussion in sports. The only requirement is a quick and easy registration at www.nfhslearn.com.

This 20 minute course is designed for coaches, officials, parents, administrators and students to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussions and a step-wise process to return to normal activity. Like all courses at www.nfhslearn.com there are printable resources available within the course.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rundown parking garages pose 'no immediate danger' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Rundown parking garages pose 'no immediate danger' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Three deteriorating city parking garages marked for demolition are sturdy enough to endure at least a decade of punishing winters and salt-sprinkled tires, the city's top parking official said Thursday.
Rather than owning the garages and leasing them for 50 years, it would be much better to just sell them now and have the burden and upside of ownership transfer to the new owners. Those garages could be re-built -- by private owners.

Abortion opponents fight for right to use leaflets on cars - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Abortion opponents fight for right to use leaflets on cars - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"That minor inconvenience is all you're talking about," he said.

The 7th, 8th and 9th U.S. circuit courts of appeals have ruled the ordinances unconstitutional. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Catlettsburg, K.Y., ordinance in 2005. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, and six other circuits haven't ruled on the issue, White said.

The city law runs afoul of the Constitution because it includes a penalty for people who hand out literature face-to-face if their activities cause litter, he said.

Kraus said he researched the law and checked with the American Civil Liberties Union before sponsoring the law. He proposed the law in 2008 because fliers had become an eyesore in his South Side district.

Over-reaching gets the city nowhere.

Philly hot spots

Comcast Sets Up WiFi Hotspots In PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia BusinessComcast is allowing its Internet customers to access thousands of WiFi hotspots for free. The Philadelphia-based cable-television, Internet, phone and media company is setting up the hotspots in its home town and neighboring communities.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Saturday, October 09, 2010


PARENTS MAGAZINE RATES PITTSBURGH TOP PLACE FOR YOUNG FAMILIES: "Pittsburgh is ranked number four out of 100 cities in Parents Magazine first ever comprehensive survey identifying the top ten cities to raise babies."

Shanghai tries to charm Ravenstahl, delegation

Shanghai tries to charm Ravenstahl, delegation

One Day on Earth Filmmakers, and I'm one of them, ...

10/10/10 is only a couple short days away! We are thrilled that you are participating in this global initiative and want to make sure that you have all the information you need, and more importantly, a wonderful experience this Sunday!

Below are some final tips and best practices that we suggest you review
before 10/10/10.

*ALL content must be shot during the 24-hour period of October 10, 2010,
local time.

* Feel free to start at 12:01 AM Sunday.

* Introduce yourself! At the beginning of your footage, state your name and
what country you are participating from: "My name is ______________ and I am
participating in One Day on Earth from _______________."
Also, please state the time of day, subject you are filming, and location.

* If asked what you are filming for, here's our suggested reply:
"I'm filming a short film for the One Day on Earth project. It is a global
participatory media project that is documenting today, 10.10.10, in every
country of the world."

* We do not condone the breaking of any laws to capture your footage.
Please follow local ordinances when choosing locations and subjects to
film. If you are asked to stop filming, or to leave, please obey the
request. Be safe, and be courteous.

* Legal forms can be found on our site at:

* Media submissions to www.onedayonearth.org open October 10, 2010 and extend
until the deadline, November 10, 2010.

* Before uploading, please review our media submission guidelines:

* Please only upload content that you have legal rights to.

* Save ALL of your high res footage and back it up.

* Still photography submissions are welcome!

Filming Tips:

* Make sure you have all your equipment (including memory cards, tapes, etc.)
and that your batteries are charged.

* If you have a tripod, please use it. It will steady your shots and allow
you to better control the movement of your camera. *If you don't have a tripod,
please find a way to keep your camera steady.*

* Please hold your shots for at least 12 seconds, meaning: if you are
shooting something, (when possible) stay on it and don't move your camera for
12 seconds -- this will help us in the edit.

* Check your white balance and exposure prior to filming to get proper color
and balance on your footage.

* If you can, appropriately adjust the sound levels on your camera.

* Label your tapes or cards and keep a written log of your shots on 10/10/10.

* Ask a friend to help you film and invite others to film as well.

And. . . Please post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts that you are part
of One Day on Earth. Let's all spread the news of our event leading up to

If you have any questions, please reply to this email and we will do our best
to get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you and have an amazing experience on 10/10/10.

Brandon Litman
One Day on Earth
Executive Producer

Friday, October 08, 2010

Libertarian wants some help in PA. Go Tim Mullen, go!

Good luck. Nice opportunity.
Lou J. writes, "I need your help"

I need your help and it is no time to be shy. We are now being attacked everyday because we are a real threat to put a Libertarian in the statehouse, which would be by far the highest office of any elected Libertarian to date. For every two yard signs that goes up, one is stolen. The fact that the 20 year incumbent is going door-to-door and direct mailing a flier against our candidate should tell it all. This is ours to win and with your help we will. As little as $10 from you would be tremendous help.  Thank you. —Lou Jasikoff

A Libertarian is running for State Representative in Pennsylvania, and needs your help.

You have heard it before. You think a Libertarian candidate can't win. Tim Mullen is different and is viable in nearly every measurable way. He needs your help now and the reasons why are listed below. Mullen is positioned to beat a twenty-year incumbent Democrat and needs your donation to increase his chance for success.

If you too are a Libertarian and ready to donate, click here! Otherwise, keep reading.

Tim Mullen is the one race to watch this November.

Never before have either of the old parties considered the Libertarian to be a threat in this district. Mullen has a chance to make history by becoming the first Libertarian to be elected to the State House in Pennsylvania. The Democrats don't want to face Mullen so they are funding the Republican, hoping to erode Mullen's base. The 20 year Democrat incumbent is directly attacking with a door-to-door flier. We need your help to answer this pamphlet. The Democrat is using fear tactics and lies to scare the voter into voting for her.

If you want to challenge the old parties and are ready to donate, click here! Otherwise, keep reading.

Tim Mullen is being taken seriously by the media.

Instead of the typical “also ran” approach to a third-party candidate, every news outlet in Mullen's district is actively covering his campaign, and has put his campaign on the front page of the paper four times. Mullen is a frequent guest on the regional talk radio station. The League of Women Voters is only covering two races in the region, has identified this race as the most hotly contested, and therefore has invited Mullen to participate in the televised debate.

If you are ready to donate to a viable, winnable candidate, click here! Otherwise, keep reading.

Tim Mullen has a resume that makes him electable.

Mullen is a life-long resident of his district and has a career that is the epitomé of service. His military career spanned 1985 through 2008 and includes Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom and he is a Bronze Star recipient.

If you believe we need a representative that will serve the voter, not a ruler that will control your life, click here! Otherwise, keep reading.

Tim Mullen is dedicated.

Since November of 2009, Mullen has been walking the district with his wife and supporters. Mullen has taken time off from his nursing career for the last two months to dedicate to his best effort to the campaign. This is not a trademark campaign:

If you are excited that a candidate is investing shoe leather in his own campaign rather than merely being a placeholder on the ballot, click here! Otherwise, keep reading.

Tim Mullen is approachable.

Mullen is well-read and knowledgeable on the issues, yet has a speaking style that resonates with the common man. America is saying “no” to career politicians with perfect haircuts and tailored suits. The voters sense that Mullen is “one of them” and understands the problems they face.

If you are ready to support a “real” citizen legislator, click here! Otherwise, keep reading.
Tim Mullen is being endorsed by both sides of the aisle.

"Due to the never ending corruption and stagnant political atmosphere caused by career politicians I am supporting Tim Mullen. Tim will bring a breath of fresh air for the hard working taxpayers of Luzerne County."
—John Cordora, 2006 Republican Candidate, 120th District, State of Pennsylvania

"I fully support Tim Mullen for State Representative in the 120th. Tim has lived in the area his entire life; Tim has done three tours in Iraq; he is a Bronze Star recipient and Tim is NOT a career politician! Tim fought for all of us in Iraq and now it's time we fight for Tim Mullen!"
—Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt Republican Committeewoman, 5th District NE PA/ Luzerne County.

“ I support Tim Mullen for State Representative because I believe Phyllis Mundy has become too comfortable in her position and that we need new representation in Harrisburg. Tim will bring new insight to property tax relief, strong moral values and he will change the old school mentality of our state and local governments."
—Kurt Santayana, Elected Democrat Luzerne Councilman

"I am endorsing Tim because of his Property tax elimination pledge to the people of the 120th. No other candidate will make this pledge"
—Michael J. Baloga Republican Wyoming Boro Coucilman

Of course, Mullen also has the support of freedom-minded groups as well.

"If we had more individuals like Tim who are sincere in bringing back democracy to our country we would be again the leading country in the world. Its been my pleasure to know Tim and to support him in his efforts to change the climate in this State. We’ve only just begun. Thank you for all your hard work."
—Grace Griffin, President CAPTAXES

"Hopefully we can replicate this organization in a number of cities across PA for the 2012 election. It is worth getting the word out about this campaign so others can look at it for ideas and inspiration."
—Mik Robertson, Chair Pennsylvania Libertarian Party

"Putting a Libertarian in the statehouse, breaks the glass ceiling. This is within our grasp. Help us make history and shatter the myth a third party candidate cannot win." We can with your help!
—Lou Jasikoff, Chair Northeast Pennsylvania Libertarian Party, Former Chair NJLP

If you are ready to help a candidate with broad-based support, click here! Otherwise, keep reading.

Tim Mullen is ready to serve you.

No matter where you live in Pennsylvania, Tim Mullen will be your representative in Harrisburg. Tim's goals benefit every freedom lover in the state, not just District 120.

Tell me more about what Tim will do. Otherwise, keep reading.

It's up to you.

We need your help and anything and everything helps to insure success. Together we can do this!

Visit www.votemullen.com and donate today, or call 570-285-3500 or 570-285-3501. Checks and money orders can be mailed to

Vote Mullen
193 Riverside Drive
Factoryville, PA 18419

The following information MUST be provided with donations:

First Name: ___________________ MI: ___ Last Name: __________________________
Street Address: ____________________________________________________________
City: _____________________________________________________________________
State: _________________________________ Zip Code: _________________________
Phone: (____) __________________________
E-mail: ___________________________________________________________________

* Employer name, address and your occupation are required for donations exceeding $250

* Employer: _______________________________________________________________
*Employer Full Address: ____________________________________________________
* Occupation: _____________________________________________________________

Please do NOT send cash. As per Campaign Finance Law, corporate donations cannot be accepted. Anonymous donations are prohibited.

In order to donate please confirm that:
(1) This contribution is made from my own funds and will not be reimbursed by any other person or entity;
(2) This contribution is not made from the treasury funds of a corporation, labor union, or national bank;
(3) I am a U.S. citizen or lawfully admitted permanent U.S. resident (e.g., a "green card holder"); and
(4) I am not personally a federal-government contractor (employees of government contractors may contribute)

Note* - Contributions are not deductible for federal or state income tax purposes

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Pittsburgh Public Schools expand summer literacy, activities camp

Pittsburgh Public Schools expand summer literacy, activities camp: "'Our main theory is that when kids are excited and engaged, they're going to come,' said Eddie Wilson, a camp administrator.
Among the lessons learned this summer, Mr. Wilson said, was the fact that the activities at a particular camp site affected its attendance.
The district, which contracted with 27 different organizations to offer a variety of activities ranging from judo and kayaking to ballroom dancing and arts and crafts, found that different sites performed better than others mostly because of how students took to the activities.
And so for next year, Mr. Wilson said, administrators are considering an activities fair during the first two days of the camp to give students a sense of the activities they might want to sign up for."

Gathering of Swim Coaches in the City of Pittsburgh - PPS System

Free rentals at kayak Pittsburgh

New Meetup: Free rentals at kayak Pittsburgh

Announcing a new Meetup for Pittsburgh Kayakers (ka-"yack"-ers)!

What: Free rentals at kayak Pittsburgh

When: Sunday, October 10, 2010 10:00 AM

Where: Kayak Pittsburgh
6th street Bridge
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Free rentals at Kayak Pittsburgh! This is a RADical Free Day, made possible by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD). First come, first served, 10:00 AM till dusk. This isn't a Meetup trip per se, but if paddlers from the group want to get together, you can mention the time you're arriving in your RSVP, and post comments to work out the details. Kayak Pittsburgh is located under the north end of the Roberto Clemente (6th St.) Bridge, next to PNC Park. If you don't have your own kayak, this is a great opportunity for some urban paddling. Last chance kayak rentals Downtown for the season. And you don't have to feed the parking meters on Sunday. Enjoy!

RSVP to this Meetup:

Bike Clinic with a Pro Woman Cyclist - Cyclocross

Don't forget about next week's non-profit CX clinic, "CX 101 with Barb Howe!" It's on Thursday from 6–8 p.m. and is being taught by pro women's CX champion Barb Howe, and local coach Eryn Hughes. They'll learn you good! :-)   Participants will be getting a "goodie bag" filled with discount coupons, gels, drink powders, water bottles, and more from our sponsors: REI, ProBikes, Orange You Active?, Cedars Acupuncture & Wellness Center, Edible Allegheny Magazine, and others.   More details can be found here: http://bit.ly/9TCLA1   Go directly to pre-registration on BikeReg here: http://bit.ly/aQ5KAB   Let me know if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!   Best regards, Derek Reager Vice President   Koeles Cycling Club USAC Club ID: 13018 http://www.koeles.org derek.reager@koeles.org dreager@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

PIAA director makes new 4A, 5A and 6A proposals for football

Older news:
PIAA director makes new 4A, 5A and 6A proposals for football
But, where did this go?

The WPIAL was firm on only 4 classifications for football so that all the games could be played at Heinz Field.

Will Pittsburgh Schools' Roosevelt Resign? - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh

Will Pittsburgh Schools' Roosevelt Resign? - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh
I don't want Mark Roosevelt to depart at this time, because we are doing athletic reform, finally. Too much is in the pipeline in terms of plans and ponderings to help our students become better and more engaged athletes -- so that they are better scholars.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Libertarian Candidates

We have some great candidates running for office this year, and they could use your support in the final weeks before the November 2 election!

Please visit the websites of the candidates in your area to see how you can help or how to contribute to the campaign. You can get a link to the candidate websites at our home page, www.lppa.org.

Even though our statewide candidates will not appear on the ballot, you can still make a statement for individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government by writing in their names on November 2! A list of those candidates and the district candidates appearing on the ballot is included below.

Thank you all for your continued support!

Michael J. "Mik" Robertson

Chairman, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania

Libertarian Candidates 2010:

Governor/Lt. Governor:
Marakay Rogers/Kat Valleley

US Senator:
Douglas M. Jamison

Representative in Congress, 5th District:
Vernon L. Etzel

Senator in the General Assembly
14th District:
Betsy Summers

28th District:
Ed Gately

45th District (Special Election):
Len Young

Representative in the General Assembly
63rd District:
Michael J. Robertson

64th District:
Vance H. Mays

85th District:
Erik Viker

109th District:
Thomas Anderson

119th District:
Brian Bergman

120th District:
Tim Mullen

196th District:
William Kohler

203rd District:
Mike Muhammad

Friday, October 01, 2010

EXCELSIOR SPORTS: September 2010

EXCELSIOR SPORTS: September 2010

Western PA Trail Symposium | The Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Western PA Trail Symposium | The Pennsylvania Environmental Council

Saturday Bike Ride for Woodland Hills

Tour Du District charity cycling event will be held Saturday morning. The event will be held Saturday, October 2, 2010 . Although the longest route is 30 miles, the hills on the route make the ride feel more like 50-60 flat miles. As a reminder, the 30 mile route will include 3 hills that are some of the highest percentage grades outside of the city of Pittsburgh . The 30 mile route will provide cyclists with a great opportunity to prepare for the Dirty Dozen. The 25 mile route will offer cyclists a great ride without major hills. There will also be a 2.5 mile and 5 mile family ride. After the event, DJ Serbak will be playing music and their will be a raffle with prizes. Please consider participating in this event, we still need riders! For more information, please click on the link below:


October 2010

In ten days, on 10-10-10, our oldest son turns 16!

Now what?

West Ham enters bid to move into Olympic Stadium - More Sports - SI.com

West Ham enters bid to move into Olympic Stadium - More Sports - SI.com