Monday, March 28, 2011

Fw: WMF Nomination Form ARENA

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-----Original Message-----
From: Rob Pfaffmann <>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 22:28:55
To: robadmin Home<>
Subject: WMF Nomination Form ARENA

Thanks to Hal Hayes, who has been working in NYC on the TWA Terminal and brought this opportunity to our attention. The nomination text is a quick rework of earlier writing by Rob & Jeff for DOCOMOMO Rotterdam 2008 and the HRC nomination 2010.

We will fight this till the wrecking ball swings (Senator Ferlo we are ready to join you even without the Sphinxes ;)

"Pittsburgh: the Crucible of Modernism"
If we lose this fight, we will make sure those responsible for this loss are well documented on the web for posterity and future political campaigns. Like the Syria Mosque (still a parking lot we might add in the hottest real estate in the region), it will become our Pennsylvania Station.

We will then use this as the rallying cry for "Pittsburgh Moderns" a chapter of DocomomoUS that will fight on for Pittsburgh's modernist buildings not as curated objects but as useful and inspirational parts of 21st century Pittsburgh.

We will not forget.

Rob Pfaffmann, AIA, AICP
Reuse the Igloo
and on facebook groups: Reuse the Igloo

Public Transit and Private Investments - Dan Sullivan's mentions

Brian O'Neil of the P-G wrote about a Libertarian friend, Dan Sullivan:

Though hard to believe, private transit was worse
Sunday, March 27, 2011
By Brian O'Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If ever you get to thinking an idea is new or will solve all problems, read some history.

Take public transit. (And take it quick, before your route is axed.)

Why not privatize it? The very word evokes a cleanup, like Simonizing the car or deodorizing your armpits.

But Pittsburgh had private bus service for a very long time. Only old-timers would remember the almost annual fare hikes in the 1950s, and fewer still would know that the Pittsburgh Railways Co. spent much of the first part of the 20th century in and out of bankruptcy proceedings.

Allegheny County's Port Authority took over Pittsburgh Railways and other transit lines, each with its own fare structure and no transfer privileges, in 1964 -- when these private carriers were circling the drain.

Dan Sullivan, 61, is an Oakland resident who rode the private trolleys as a kid and has been poking the powers on Grant Street for most of his adult life. But he isn't nostalgic for private lines.

A student of local history, Mr. Sullivan reminded me that Christopher L. Magee, Pittsburgh's 19th-century political boss, became nationally famous by artfully ripping off this city through the streetcar lines he owned.

Lincoln Steffens, the great muckraker, outlined that history in 1903 in "Pittsburg: A City Ashamed.'' (So many people were stealing from the city then that someone evidently absconded with Pittsburgh's "h''.)

Pittsburgh long has been allergic to a genuine two-party system, so a Republican machine ran the city then. Mr. Magee, a charming rogue in partnership with the harder-edged William Flinn, ruled all but absolutely.

"The city has been described physically as 'hell with the lid off,' '' Mr. Steffens wrote in McClure's magazine in May 1903. "Politically it is the same with the lid on.

"Magee wanted power, Flinn wealth. Each got both those things; but Magee spent his wealth for more power, and Flinn spent his power for more wealth.''

Rail, specifically the Pennsylvania Railroad, was king then. In Pittsburgh and in Harrisburg, its lobbyists distributed railroad passes to politicians. (Until Super Bowl tickets were invented, lobbyists had to make do.)

Rail barons became so adept at seizing land through eminent domain, Mr. Sullivan says, that America gained a new verb, "to railroad,'' meaning to rush something through. But the Magee-Flinn machine was too canny to just give plums away. The bosses kept the lion's share for themselves and the two men made ridiculous money.

"Magee did not steal franchises and sell them. His councils gave them to him. He and the busy Flinn took them, built railways which Magee sold and bought and financed and conducted, like any other man whose successful career is held up as an example for young men.''

Mr. Magee's Consolidated Traction Company was capitalized at $30 million at a time when the city's public debt was $18 million, Mr. Steffens wrote. Yet Pittsburghers not only tolerated this legal graft for a quarter century, they revered Mr. Magee. When he died in 1901, they began pitching in for his monument.

His memorial stands near the Carnegie Library in Oakland. Dedicated in 1908, when it attracted a crowd of 2,000 people, this bronze-and-granite tribute to Christopher Lyman Magee was one of the final works of the great sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Magee-Womens, the hospital Mr. Magee founded in honor of his mother, stands at the site of one of his old railway administration buildings.

There is a Citiparks swim pool also called Magee.

Mr. Sullivan's website,, has a long section under the heading "Private Railroads and Plunder.'' He believes "forward-thinking plunderers are recognizing that the era of the automobile is coming to an end, and want to get their transit back.''

I don't buy predictions of the car's demise, nor of any wholesale switch from public to private transit. But it's clear the Port Authority can't continue as a vital way to get around without a massive overhaul.

On Friday, the head of the transit union offered the equivalent of 13 percent in wage givebacks (with some of that diverted to the pension fund). The Port Authority board rejected that offer and decided Saturday to move ahead with the route cutbacks that take effect today.

And there's no talk of building any monuments to anyone.
He refers to Dan's website. The pertinent link is:

This is what I will touch on at the conference in Minnesota, where several transit experts will speak on funding transit through land value capture.

Dan's Note: Our objection to privatized transit is that it consists of licensed monopolies. Truly private enterprise is either unlicensed or based on open licenses to all who can meet safety standards.

Harold wrote: I wish Brian had explained the basis of Magee's "legal graft" - one assumes it was through city and borough councils giving him bankrupted trolley and bus lines for free, rather than making him and Flinn pay the market price through a public auction, but it'd be nice to know for sure.

Navigate to this link:

The end point from Dan on the page above says: If public transportation is to function properly, it must be placed completely under public control and funded from the land values it creates. 

I support the "Land Value Tax."

But to the point of public transit, I also think that the PAT, an AUTHORITY, is wrong on a number of critical matters. First off, I don't think any authority is really under public control. The board members are appointed and are not accountable to the voters. I would love to see authority board members face 'retention votes' so that they must pass a layer of public review at the ballot box to retain their appointed positions. Last week I squeaked about this to Chelsa Wagner.

Furthermore, the public authority is too big and itself a monopoly. If we must have public transportation, allow for a bit of competition among the public entities. For example, PAT should be split into a bus company, a rail / light rail company, and then a tunnel and bridge and busway company. The third would be a physical asset company, more like a PAT Pike.

If PAT's busway, or PAT Pike, was a stand alone company, then I am sure that we'd have bikes on the East Busway and through the tunnel under Mt. Washington. I'm sure that we'd have the Presidential motorcade hit the busway for mid-day trips into and out of the city without jamming the Parkway West for a full day. And, I'm sure that the operation and maintenance of the tunnel under the river would not be seen as a wise investment as each rider would have to pay far more than $20 a trip. Plus, we'd get real transit hubs with small business development that made sense -- far beyond a few park and ride stations.

How to Design Neighborhoods for Happiness via Neal

It's been a while since I last posted, though the forum came to mind late last week when we (Shareable Magazine) published a story by Jay Walljasper entitled:

How to Design Neighborhoods for Happiness:

This is a great short post about how to design pocket neighborhoods. I hope it's helpful.


ps. more neighborhood stories and how-tos can be found on your neighborhood channel:

Neal Gorenflo

About Neal Gorenflo:

View full topic, share on Facebook, Twitter, etc:

Help our volunteers in Christchurch, New Zealand with post-quake forum outreach:

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Losing Our Way -

Losing Our Way -

So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flurry of Education Bills hit PA Senate

Thanks Ron C.
On March 22, the chairmen of the Senate Education Committee, Senator Jeff Piccola (R-15) and Senator Andrew Dinniman (D-19), announced the introduction of an 18 bill package aimed at providing mandate relief for school districts. The following bills were introduced:

Senate Bill 202 (Sen. Dinniman, D-19) would allow alternative certification pathways for principals and teachers; 

Senate Bill 293 (Sen. Eichelberger, R-30) would increase the thresholds for bidding contracts to $25,000;

Senate Bill 296 (Sen. Brubaker R-36) would increase the thresholds for bidding contracts to $25,000;

Senate Bill 329 (Sen. Dinniman, D-19) would suspend non-essential reports from districts to PDE in years in which state 
education funding declines;

Senate Bill 537 (Sen. Rafferty, R-44) would require a 2/3 vote by school boards to raise property taxes;

Senate Bill 612 (Sen. Folmer, R-48) would allow school districts to furlough for economic reasons and require proportionate reduction of administrators;

Senate Bill 801 (Sen. Waugh, R-28) would allow districts to bid single prime;

Senate Bill 802 (Sen. Piccola (R-15) would allow school districts to hire either school certified nurses or registered nurses;

Senate Bill 803 (Sen. Piccola, R-15) would allow districts to advertise from a menu of options including the internet;

Senate Bill 814 (Sen. Corman, R-34) would reauthorize the Mandate Waivers program and allow bidding for school construction projects both multi-prime and single prime;

Senate Bill 844 (Sen. Dinniman, D-19) would allow districts that are making AYP and showing adequate PVAAS growth be waived from PILS administrator training requirements;

Senate Bill 857 (Sen. Smucker, R-13) would repeal language that requires school districts to use increases in basic education funding for new programs and expansion of existing programs;

Senate Bill 858 (Sen. Waugh, R-28) would allow districts to hire certificated superintendents or candidates who have degrees in business or finance;

Senate Bill 869 Sen. Alloway (R-33) would no longer require school districts bordering Pennsylvania to provide transportation for students to attend out of state private schools;

Senate Bill 870 (Sen. Eichelberger, R-30) would repeal sections of the School Code that require 10 paid sick days and paid sabbatical leaves;

Senate Bill 871 (Sen. Brubaker, R-36) would suspend continuing education and professional development for teachers for 2 years;

Senate Bill 872 (Sen. Brubaker, R-36) would remove requirements for the establishment of concurrent enrollment committees and quarterly meetings;

Senate Bill 873 (Sen. Brubaker, R-36) would require the Secretary of Education and the State Board of Education to review and overhaul the PlanCon process for school construction and reimbursement.

The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to consider this package of bills on April 5.

2011 NCAA Division I Men's Championships

Fw: My underwater hockey team IN a commercial!!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 22:18:04 +0000
To:<>; Amy Ramage<>; AndreaMcQueen<>; Arlene Kensinger<>; Barb Gutzwiller<>; Ben Holtzman<>; Betty Davic<>; Bev Bradford<>; Beverly Kerkam<>; <>;<>; Carol Lewis<>; Carrie McDermitt<>; Char Morris<>; Cindy Byers<>; Cindy Reisser<>; Dale Wagner<>; Dave Sherrieb<>; <>; Dawn Gilson<>; Dianne Gabel<>; Dianne Wagner<>; <>; <>; Gail Pebworth<>; Gary Torick<>; Georgianne Barry<>; <>; Grant Butson<>; Gregory McQueen<>; Guillaume Besson<>; Heath Wagner<>; Helen snead<>; Jack Ramage<>; Jack Beaulieu<>; Jay Ammon<>; Jay Egar<>; Jeff Grover<>; Jeff Banyas<>; Jerry<>; <>; Joe Humbert<>; John Wagner<>; Jordan Wallace Ramage<>; JoycePratley<>; Judy Wagner<>; JudyGoodhart<>;<>; karen Lucovich<>; KathyNevins Green<>; Larry Kuremsky<>; Len Schoettker<>; <>; LindaHeery<>; Linda Nath<>; LindaNeugebauer<>; Linda Schulte<>; <>; Martha Smith<>; Mary melick<>; <>; Matt Leisie<>; Max<>;<>; <>; MichaelKernan<>; Michelle Ramage<>; Mike<>; <>; <>;<>;<>;<>; Phil Bell<>; Pohla Smith<>;<>; robert neubert<>; Robin Hazelgrove<>; RoseMcQueen<>; Ryan Mcdermitt<>; SallyRadke<>; Sam Gonzalez<>; Shirley Golden<>; Stan Patterson<>; Stephanie Kingston<>; Steve Davis<>; Susie Fleming<>;<>; Tom James<>; Tom Swogger<>
Subject: My underwater hockey team IN a commercial!!
FINALLY!! Our Pine Richland Underwater hockey team is featured for FIVE minutes on this Utube/ facebook commercial just out. We helped film it last October but I couldn't tell very many till now. TOTALLY cool & so proud I didn't wind up on the "cutting room floor"!! Didn't know if they'd include a WOMAN fighting underwater with this "jock" or not!!  Love, Deb

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In the army now?

I saw this on Facebook and it makes sense to repeat:
1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people.

2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects -- such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.

3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.

4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.

5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.

9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.

10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

Organizational Chart for Pittsburgh Public Schools as of March 2011


Discussions are best at another blog:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fw: Next Week is Big!

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From: "Ron Paul" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 14:20:39 -0700
To: Liberty Activist<>
Subject: Next Week is Big!

Dear Liberty Activist,

Congress is out of session next week, and I plan to take full advantage!

I will be making two important trips, one to Iowa and one to New Hampshire.  People are really paying attention, and I hope that if you are in the area, you will attend some of my public events.

On Wednesday, I will be traveling to Des Moines, Iowa to hold several key meetings and speak on the steps of the State Capitol to the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, a wonderful group representing homeschool families.

Support from the homeschool community was key to Mike Huckabee’s victory in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, so this is an important speech.

There is no bigger supporter of homeschool education than I, and I am confident we can forge a great relationship with this group. Just last week, I introduced the Education Improvement Tax Cut Act, which would provide $5,000 tax credits to homeschool parents. I am looking forward to sharing my vision to protect Liberty in education and give parents freedom to escape government schools and raise their families as they see fit.

My speech will be at 12:00 pm CT on the steps of the Iowa Capitol. There will be a lot of press and a lot of attention, and every single supporter that can turn out will help me. Please consider attending if it fits your schedule.

I will also be traveling to New Hampshire on Thursday and Friday for more important meetings, plenty of press opportunities, and two public events.

The first event will be a speech and rally at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Thursday, March 24th, co-hosted by Young Americans for Liberty and the UNH College Republicans.  The event will begin at 3:30 pm at the Memorial Union Building right in the heart of campus.

Always remember that our strength lies in our numbers, and just by turning out and showing your enthusiasm for Liberty, you can send a powerful message. I very much hope to see you there!

I will also be speaking to the Dover City GOP at their annual dinner on Friday, March 25th, at 5:30 pm.  This function will help support New Hampshire GOP Chairman Jack Kimball, a TEA Party leader who has so far really impressed me.

It would be great to turn out as many folks as possible, because, as we all know, money talks, and helping to make their event a financial success will send the Republican Party a powerful statement about the strength of our movement.

You can get more information on the event here.

March is shaping up to be a great month for our efforts. Of course, I have you and all the supporters of Liberty PAC to thank for making these trips possible.  Your financial support means the world to me, and these trips are only the beginning of where your generous gifts will allow me to take our message.

To help keep our momentum going, please consider a gift of any size, up to the maximum legal contribution of $5,000. As I always say, our strength lies in our numbers, so contributions of $100, $50, $20.12, or even $10 make a real difference.

Please consider joining me as we fund Liberty PAC to lay the groundwork for our political action in the 2012 cycle.  Together, we can reclaim our Liberty and restore our Constitution.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul

P.S. Your support is critical in guiding my 2012 decision making and guaranteeing a successful political operation so we can elect the type of President who will take our country back from the statists. Please, click here to make a contribution of $500, $250, $100, $50, or even $20.12 today.

Paid for by Liberty PAC.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Message: Get in the game.

Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know.

Sunshine Week as a national effort is spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors. The key funder has been the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with significant support from ASNE Foundation. In 2011, The Gridiron Club and Foundation contributed $10,000.

Though created by journalists, Sunshine Week is about the public's right to know what its government is doing, and why.

Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger.

Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan, non-profit initiative.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fast Times at CMU High!

wats:ON? Festival-School of Architecture - Carnegie Mellon University

wats:ON 2011: Speed

Event: The Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts

Date: Thurs., March 17-Sat., March 19

Curated by Pablo Garcia and Spike Wolff

Notions of speed in contemporary culture are often tied to technology and its impact on everyday life. Information dissemination and interactions are accelerating, and with it hopes and fears of the future change with every new invention or discovery. Our culture of speed harnesses energies beyond our comprehension, while calling into question the nature of our everyday reality.

Speed is not merely acceleration, but a magnitude of velocity, fast or slow. It becomes a measure of time and space, of dislocation and change, of transformation and evolution. The extremes of fast and slow heighten our awareness of our surroundings, creating a seamless interface between the visceral and the subliminal. Speed creates a blur between what is real and what is imagined.

wats:ON 2011 will examine speed in relation to the production and presentation of creative work encompassing a range of interdisciplinary events.

The Jill Watson Festival Across the Arts (wats:ON?) was created to honor the life of Jill Watson, whose interest in the arts inspired others through her work and her teaching. The festival celebrates Jill's commitment to an interdisciplinary philosophy as an artist and celebrates her accomplishments and reputation as an architect. Jill Watson was a Carnegie Mellon University alumna, adjunct faculty member in the School of Architecture and acclaimed Pittsburgh architect who died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash on July 17, 1996.

For a complete schedule of events, visit

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fight for Public Media at NCMR

Free Press
Right now, NPR, PBS and your local public radio station are facing unprecedented threats. They're being targeted by extremists in Congress, ambushed by dirty tricks, and vilified on cable news.
These attacks fly in the face of the fact that public media in America enjoy broad public support. This April, public media supporters are coming to the National Conference for Media Reform to discuss ways we can rescue public media and build new support for hard-hitting journalism that is free of partisan politics.
We'll tackle these issues — and a whole lot more — with people like Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Salon's Glenn Greenwald, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz; award-winning journalists David Shuster and Carole Simpson; Free Press co-founders Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols; and people from news organizations like Mother Jones, Oakland Local, Brave New Films, FRONTLINE and The Nation.
Want to join us? Register for NCMR 2011 now.
Here's what you'll find:
  • The Fighting for Public Media session will feature multimedia presentations from leaders like Paula Kerger of PBS; Laura Walker, president of New York Public Radio; David Fanning, executive producer of FRONTLINE; and Maxie Jackson of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.
  • Public Media's Innovators will demonstrate the apps, tools and programs that are helping to capture the history of our communities in new ways.
  • And the organizers and advocates who fought for more than 10 years to pass the Local Community Radio Act will be there. Meet them and find out how you might build a radio station in your hometown.
That's just the top of the list. The full program — which covers technology, media policy, politics, social justice, music and much, much more — is now online.
When it comes to the future of news and democracy, it’s clear that there’s a lot to talk about. But there's even more to do. Register for NCMR 2011 now.
See you in Boston,
Josh Stearns
Associate Program Director
Free Press
P.S. The full program and list of presenters is now online. Check it out!
P.P.S. Hotel rooms in Boston are selling out fast. Go here to reserve a room.
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Learn more at

PA Education Policy Breakfast

Thursday, March 17, 2011 with Continental Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and Program from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Holiday Inn Select - University Center - Oakland

SUBJECT: Governor Corbett’s Proposed Education Budget for 2011-2012

Governor Corbett will deliver his 2011-2012 state budget proposal to the General Assembly on March 8. This Policy Forum will be an early opportunity to get up-to-date information about what is in the proposed education budget, the budget’s relative strengths and weaknesses, and key issues.

Ron Cowell of EPLC will provide an overview of the Governor’s proposed budget for early education, K-12 and higher education. A representative of the PA Budget and Policy Center will provide an overview of the state’s fiscal situation, a reality that shapes the state budget in any year. The overviews will be followed by remarks from a panel representing several statewide and regional perspectives concerning state funding for education and education related items. These speakers will discuss the impact of the Governor’s proposals and identify the key issues that will likely be considered during this year’s budget debate.

While there is no registration fee, seating is limited and an RSVP is required.

You can RSVP on-line at

I hope you will be able to join us.

In addition, please feel free to share this information with colleagues who may like to attend.

Tea Party Activist, Tom, ponders teachers

Tom Kawczynski 2011

When I started working with members of the Tea Party movement back in 2008, I was joining a movement I thought was about stopping huge corporate bailouts on the taxpayer dime, about protecting choice in health care options, and looking out for the regular person. Those were important fights, and the Tea Partiers took positions that I supported, along with many others.

Today is different.
Teachers are not the bad guys. Read it.

Beyond Books - News, Literacy, Democracy, and America's Libraries - MIT - 6-7 Apr 2011

Assessing the common mission of journalists and librarians April 6-7, 2011 / MIT Center for Future Civic Media





For three centuries, in American towns large and small, two institutions
have uniquely marked a commitment to participatory democracy, learning and
open inquiry - our libraries and our free press. Today, as their tools
change, their common missions of civic engagement and information
transparency converge.

Economic and technology changes suggest an opportunity for collaboration
among these two historic community information centers - one largely public,
one largely private.

But How? The capability of newspapers to provide community information is
declining. Library budgets are under challenge. At the same time, informal
sources of local information are rapidly increasing.

On Wednesday and Thursday, April 6 and 7, 2011, Journalism That Matters,
LLAMA, the Office of Information Technology Policy of the American Library
Association, the MIT Center for Future Civic Media, the Media Giraffe
Project at UMass Amherst, the New England News Forum, the Donald W. Reynolds
Journalism Institute and the Cambridge Public Library invite you to join in
a work session for civic information transparency that builds from and
beyond books.

Our intention is to assess shared purpose -- and now shared channels and
technologies -- among librarians and journalists to promote civic engagement
and open access to information. More and more, libraries are becoming
"community information centers" -- an evolution broadly supported in the
recommendations of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of

Libraries and legacy media have always shared a common purpose -- helping us
acquire the information we need to be engaged, informed (and entertained)
citizens. They used different tools - newspapers, broadcast stations and
books. Now the tools are converging - web search, data taxonomies, database
creation and analysis, social networks - as librarians and journalists
together foster civic literacy and engagement.

Librarians want to expand public access to accurate information, including
trustworthy local news. So do journalists. How do we expand libraries as
community information centers beyond books - perhaps even beyond their four
walls - facilitating and engaging with journalists? What can libraries and
journalists do - together - to foster improved access to community

Thus, as the tools and mission converge, it's time to ask: "What's possible
at the intersection of libraries and journalism that serves the information
needs of communities and democracy?"

Via a pre-event social network, an evening agenda-setting dialogue, a day of
roundtable planning and closing action commitments, we'll discover what's
possible at the intersection of public spaces, open documents, citizen
reporting and journalistic purpose. Among the questions we may ask:

* What does engagement mean to journalists and librarians?
* What might libraries do to facilitate community social news
* Must free speech be absolute within a taxpayer-supported
* How do we define the boundaries between engagement and
* Are libraries poised to become public-access media centers as
cable fades?
* Should a library operate a news collective, non-profit or
citizen-journalism service?
* How can libraries help preserve a free digital information


If you are a graduate student in library or information science, a
technologist or journalist with relevant experience to our purpose, you may
apply for a travel/lodging stipend. Stipend awards will be made based on
need around March 15. To apply, register now and choose the "request
stipend" option.


Among our growing list of collaborators are(alpha order): Joe Bergantino
(New England Center for Investigative Reporting), Jessica Durkin (New
America Foundation fellow), Mike Fancher (RJI / Seattle Times-retired),
Fabrice Florin (NewsTrust), Renee Hobbs, (Temple Univ.-Media Education);
Marsha Iverson (ALA and King County libraries), Library Leadership &
Management Assn. (LLAMA), Alan Inouye (director, Office of Info Tech Policy,
ALA), Barbara Jones (ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom); Nancy Kranich
(Rutgers Univ., chair ALA Center for Public Life), Lorrie LeJeune and Andrew
Whitacre (MIT C4FCM), Leigh Montgomery (SLA news-division chair-elect,
Christian Science Monitor librarian), Donna Nicely (Knight
Commission/Nashville Public Library), Patrick Phillips (Vineyard Voice),
Josh Stearns (, Colin Rhinesmith (Univ. of Illinois) and Bill
Densmore, (New England News Forum/Media Giraffe Project/Reynolds Journalism


Email or call Bill Densmore at the the New
England News Forum, 413-458-8001.

Bill Densmore, director/editor
The Media Giraffe Project / Journalism Program
108 Bartlett Hall / Univ. of Massachusetts
Amherst MA 01003
OFF: 413-577-4370 / CELL: 413-458-8001

Group home for Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire:

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Summary of Governor Corbett’s Proposed Education Budget from Ron C.

FY 2011-12 for Basic Education

The Education budget for 2011-2012 proposed by Governor Tom Corbett on March 8, 2011 has Pennsylvania students bearing most of the burden of his budget cutting ideas. It is very likely that this budget proposal, if enacted, would be harmful to students in early childhood programs, elementary and secondary grades, and higher education.

The effect of the budget proposal would be to starve K-12 programs for resources and drive tuition up at higher education institutions in Pennsylvania. It is important to remember that Pennsylvania starts out with one of the nation’s most inequitable funding systems for K-12 resources across our 500 school districts; has among the lowest levels of state support for K-12; has a $4.6 billion funding shortage to get to “adequate” funding for all students to have the opportunity to become proficient relative to state academic standards (2007 Costing Out Study); and has some of the highest public higher education tuition rates in the nation.

School districts would lose more than $1 billion of state and federal stimulus funding.

* Basic Education Subsidy reduced by $550 million. The $5.226 billion currently being proposed by the Corbett administration represents the 2008-2009 level of funding.

* Accountability Block Grants are eliminated, a loss of $259.456 million. Much of this was used by districts to support early education.

* Charter school reimbursement to districts is eliminated, a loss of $224.083 million. These payments reimbursed school districts for about 25% of their charter school costs.

* Special Education would be flat-funded for the 3rd consecutive year at ($1.026 billion).

* Career and Technical Education was level funded at $62 million.

* Other cuts to school districts amount to more than $50 million.

These other basic education items are eliminated entirely:

* Basic Education Formula Enhancements ($1.984 million)
* Dual Enrollment Payments ($6.959 million)
* School Improvement Grants ($10.797 million)
* Education Assistance Program ($47.606 million)
* Science It’s Elementary ($6.910 million)
* Mobile Science Education Program ($1.6 million)
* Intermediate Units ($4.761 million)
* School Entity Demonstration Projects ($600 thousand)
* High School Reform ($1.762 million)
* Lifelong Learning ($825 thousand)
* Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic ($69 thousand)
* Job Training Programs ($3.442 million)

Additional information and analysis about the budget will be posted on EPLC’s website as it becomes available.

The EPLC Education Notebook (current and past editions) also is available by visiting the EPLC website at

Proposed education cuts termed 'catastrophic'

Proposed education cuts termed 'catastrophic'

"You're breaking people's dreams," said Kaitlyn Grzywinski, 19, of Saxonburg, a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. "This decision will ruin some people's chances of going to college. Cost is a huge factor."

Read more:
Great quote.

Transit Cut protest rally slated for Sq. Hill on Saturday

Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) is having a rally to protest the unfair service cuts proposed by Port Authority. This rally will be held on Saturday March 19th @ 12p in Sq. Hill at the corner of Beacon & Murray. We ask that everyone assemble at this location a few minutes before noon; once the crowd has gatheres we will march with signs to the intersection of Forbes & Murray for a demonstration.

They are hoping for a large turn-out and can use as much support from us as possible to fight these cuts! As members and/or friends of the Black and White Reunion we ask you to join us in supporting this cause because there is not one organization, community, or business in the city of Pittsburgh that does not benefit from transit so please urge all of your members, friends, interns, students- whomever you know to come to this rally and add their voice to this movement. We hope to see you there.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Pittsburgh school election needs higher voter turnout, group says

I don't think so.
Pittsburgh school election needs higher voter turnout, group says

Pittsburgh school election needs higher voter turnout, group says
Monday, March 07, 2011
By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A+ Schools, a public education advocacy group, today launched a campaign aimed at increasing voter turnout in the upcoming school board primary election in Pittsburgh.

Four seats are up for election this year: District 2, held by Dara Ware Allen; District 4, held by Bill Isler; District 6, held by school board president Sherry Huzuda; and District 8, held by Mark Brentley Sr.

According to A+ Schools, voter turnout in those districts ranged from 14 percent to 26 percent in 2007. The organization has set a goal of increasing voter turnout by 26 percent or 6,000 voters.

"Our community consistently lists education as a top concern, but each year the turnout rates remain pitifully low. If we expect the Pittsburgh Public Schools to improve performance, we -- the voters -- must show the board we are paying attention and hold them accountable by voting," said Carey Harris, A+ Schools' executive director, in a news release.

In the campaign, volunteers and partner organizations will help get voting pledges. A+ Schools also will conduct a candidate forum and publish a voter guide.

The primary is scheduled for May 17. Candidates must file their petitions by March 8.
Education writer Eleanor Chute: or 412-263-1955.

Read more:

If you don't know who to vote for, don't vote. It isn't bad to skip questions on a ballot.

What is needed are public discussion and public candidate debates. We should zap ignorance. Vote totals that are elevated only to increase ignorance is -- well -- just more harm than good. It is far worse to ask for uninformed voters to vote than almost anything else.

UK scrambles to explain SAS Libya blunder: News24: World: News

Where is James Bond when you need him?
UK scrambles to explain SAS Libya blunder: News24: World: News

UK scrambles to explain SAS Libya blunder
Frankly, I don't think they need James Bond. What is needed and what is wanted may be different.

China: Tibet won't fall apart if Dalai Lama dies |

China: Tibet won't fall apart if Dalai Lama dies |
the order was conveyed verbally, as is often the case with official directives that the government does not wish to defend or explain.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee will Vote on Castle Doctrine Bill on Monday, March 7

This Monday, March 7, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee will vote on important legislation. Introduced by state Representative Scott Perry (R-92), House Bill 40 (Castle Doctrine legislation) would permit law-abiding citizens to use force, including deadly force, against an attacker in their home and any place outside of their home where they have a legal right to be.  If enacted into law, it would also protect individuals from civil lawsuits by the attacker or the attacker's family when force is used. 

In 2010, both the state House and Senate overwhelming passed this important self-defense legislation, which was vetoed by anti-gun Governor Ed Rendell before he left office.

Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee today and urge them to support a Pennsylvanians right to self-defense by voting for HB 40. Contact information for the House Judiciary Committee can be found on thw web at
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Here is how some ask for money for a cause -- at the end.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Parker: Don't take RWC away - the-press |

Those who will be missing the NFL next fall can turn a lonely eye to Rubgy.

Parker: Don't take RWC away - the-press |

Christchurch is ''utterly'' committed to holding its Rugby World Cup matches, despite the damage wreaked on the city by last week's earthquake, Mayor Bob Parker says.

Questions have been raised about whether the city will be able to host the event, given predictions that it may take months to get essential services up and running following last week's 6.3-magnitude quake.

Christchurch is scheduled to host five pool games and two quarterfinals in the Cup which begins on September 9, 2011.
The comments in the article are interesting. They want to bring in cruise ships to give housing to the guest when the world cup for Rugby comes. But why wait. Thousands are without homes and safe sleeping quarters now. Bring in the ships to Christchurch now and then you'd have some support for the tourists in the months to come.

In other news, icebergs now cover a quarter of the 5km by 2km Tasman Lake, which is about 200km west of Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island.

Harpers hits a home run with story on Julian Heicklen

Splendid job!

The Obstinate Dr. Heicklen
By Scott Horton

The New York Times reports on the case of Julian P. Heicklen, a 78-year-old retired chemistry professor from New Jersey, who now faces federal criminal charges. What has the mild-mannered Dr. Heicklen done?

Since 2009, Mr. Heicklen has stood [at 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan] and at courthouse entrances elsewhere and handed out pamphlets encouraging jurors to ignore the law if they disagree with it, and to render verdicts based on conscience. That concept, called jury nullification, is highly controversial, and courts are hostile to it. But federal prosecutors have now taken the unusual step of having Mr. Heicklen indicted on a charge that his distributing of such pamphlets at the courthouse entrance violates a law against jury tampering.

Federal prosecutors in New York have reached the alarming decision that informing individuals on the street in front of the courthouse (some of whom may be en route to serve on a jury pool) about the doctrine of jury nullification is a criminal act. Their view would find no sympathy among the authors of America’s constitutional system.

Jury nullification has a long and noble history in America. William Penn’s trial in 1671 is often taken as the first textbook case illustrating the doctrine. Charged with “breaching the King’s peace” (more or less the charge that prosecutors previously tried against Heicklen) because he convened a gathering of Quakers in London, jurors were charged to convict Penn. They steadfastly refused. There was no doubt that Penn had broken the law. The jurors’ quarrel was rather with the prosecutors who brought the charges and the judge who ran the court, whom they viewed as instruments of repression, and with the law itself, which, as it was being applied, was manifestly unjust. In the end Penn and the jurors all went to prison, but the injustice of the entire process belongs to the chain of events that presaged the American Revolution and led the nation’s founders to embrace nullification.

At the sedition trial of journalist John Peter Zenger in 1735, Andrew Hamilton recounted the story of the Penn trial to a New York jury and admonished them that whatever the law and facts, they had the right to acquit Zenger if they held that to be the just result. They followed his advice in an outcome that laid the foundation for American press freedom.

America’s Founding Fathers made their case to juries arguing for nullification. John Adams, when defending John Hancock in 1771, insisted that the juror has not merely the “right” but actually the “duty to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court” and its understanding of the law. Conscience should serve as a safety valve, he argued, against unjust laws, or against just laws, unjustly applied.

Since then, jury nullification has been used to block the prosecution of those who helped slaves flee captivity or who simply offered them education; to free those who faced prosecution for resisting military service in unpopular wars or whose conscience forbade them to bear arms; and to end the prosecution of women who sought abortions and the doctors who served them. In the December 1926 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Walter Lippmann made the case for the use of jury nullification to address some of the extreme prosecutions resulting from the Volstead Act. In the December 1995 issue, Paul Butler argued that minorities should use jury nullification to press social issues.

The “controversy” relates not to nullification as a doctrine but to a far narrower issue: can the jurors be told that they have this right? Prosecutors and judges detest this notion because it strikes at the core of their power to interpret and guide the application of the law. No doubt about it: nullification makes their lives difficult. Consider the recent dilemma of prosecutors and judges in Montana, unable to find a pool of jurors willing to convict anyone for possession of marijuana, no matter the evidence.

Julian Heicklen’s conduct is remarkably like that of the seventeenth century pamphleteers whose obstinate insistence on rights and fair process belongs to the animating background of the American Revolution. Consider the case of John Lilburne, for instance, who was repeatedly arrested and tried for distributing pamphlets articulating a vision of natural rights and whose stout defiance of prosecutors and judges led directly to the notion of the right of confrontation and the exclusion of secret evidence. Consciously or not, Heicklen even embraces their tactics—like Lilburne and early dissenters, he kept his silence in response to questioning from the bench. Heicklen is just the sort of defendant that jurors in days gone by would have recognized as a victim of persecution and would have acquitted. And the federal prosecutors, no doubt aware of this fact, are eager to keep his case before a judge who shares their belief that jurors must be kept ignorant of the existence of the doctrine of jury nullification.

Shortly before his death, Thomas Jefferson noted with disdain that judges were working hard to bury jury nullification. It reflected a pernicious “slide into toryism,” he remarked in a letter to James Madison in 1826. In Jefferson’s view, judges and prosecutors who rejected the jury’s right of nullification were betraying the values of the Constitution and instead embracing those of the British Crown. “They suppose themselves… Whigs, because they no longer know what Whigism or republicanism means.” The fundamental question to put to the “tory” prosecutors who have brought the Heicklen case is simple: what about the First Amendment?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

More students to be sought for after-school programs - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

More students to be sought for after-school programs - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Board member Thomas Sumpter said the planned reduction is "inconsistent" with the district's plans to improve and expand arts education.
This is GREAT to have a board member question a policy and do something about it. Well done.

Julian's progress report

Hi Tyranny Fighters: (date unsure)

1. Homeland Security Criminal Case in New York
Since my second letter to Attorney General Eric Holder the following have occurred:
I have been invited to speak at the Harvard University Law School. by William F. Weld Professor of Law at Harvard Law School Charles Nesson.  I will be at Harvard University on March 28 and 29, 2011.  

I have accepted an invitation from the New York Lawyers Guild to meet with its members.  No date has been set yet.

The Federal Defender's Office of the U. S. District Court has several people working on my case under the direction of Attorney Sabrina Shrock.  They have just purchased my new book entitled "The Non-Trials."

An attorney from Florida has entered the case on my behalf.

The American Civil Liberties Union has not indicated any interest in my arrests.

The American Jury Institute has disaffiliated itself from me, terminated my membership, and returned my dues for 2011.

2. Robin Hood
Robin Hood is a human rights group headquartered in Formosa (Taiwan).  It has submitted a request to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to become an intervener in my criminal case in Newark.  It intends to submit a habeas corpus brief on my behalf to the U. S. District Court of New Jersey in Newark, NJ.  In addition it is contacting me about other civil liberty cases in the New Jersey area. It has taken an interest in the case of Chris Busche, who is incarcerated in Essex County.  Tyranny Fighter Joseph Dunsay is helping Chris.  If you are interested in helping Chris, contact Joseph Dunsay, and send copies to me and Paul Mass.  E-mail addresses are:

3. Florida Tour
I will arrive in Fort Lauderdale, FL on Tuesday, March 8, at 1:47 pm.  Bruce Toski (Spartacus) will meet me at the airport, and be my chaperone for my stay in Fort Lauderdale.  His e-mail address is: We will proceed to the Broward County courthouse in Fort Lauderdale for a Fully Informed Jury distribution from about 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Please join us if you can.

On Wednesday, March 9, 2011, He and I will spend the day distributing literature at both the county and federal courthouses in Fort Lauderdale.  Again you are invited to join us.

Wednesday evening I will give a talk about the war on drugs at the Broward County Libertarian Party monthly meeting.  It is my 79th birthday.  There will be "surprise" party.  You are commanded to appear, so that you can surprise me.  Contact Don Sheldon (E-mail:, the President of the Broward County Libertarian Party, for details.  My new book will be on sale at a discounted price.

On Thursday March 10th, I will drive to Orlando where, on Friday, March 11, at approximately noon I, and anyone who wishes to join me, will distribute FIJA material at the Orange County Courthouse, 425 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801.  Chief Judge Blevin Perry, Jr. issued an  ORDER forbidding the distribution of jury information literature on or near public court property.  Distributors of literature may be arrested and found in contempt of court.  Contact Mark Schmidter (E-mail: for details.  

The ACLU of Florida has filed a legal challenge to Judge Perry's ORDER. Cooperating Attorney Lawrence G. Walters and ACLU of Florida lawyers Randall Marshall and Maria Kayanan are asking the Fifth District Court of Appeals to vacate the January 31, 2011 order that bans the distribution of materials, oral protest, education, or counseling "intended to influence summoned jurors on any matters" which is, or may be pending before that individual as a juror.

I have no definite plans for the rest of the weekend, as I may be in jail.  When released I plan to travel to any of the cities listed below if other Tyranny Fighters in those locations will join me:
Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Clearwater, FL, as well as Atlanta, GA and Montgomery, AL.

On Friday through Sunday, March 18–20, I will attend the Save America Foundation Convention, where I will sell and sign my book.

On Tuesday, March 22, I will leave from Tampa to return to my home in NJ.  For those of you who may wish to contact me in Florida, my cell phone number is 814–880–9308.

4. LWRN Radio Broadcasts at
February 5, 2011
Robert Frommer, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, discusses some recent law suits prosecuted by the Institute. I discussed the showdown that is coming between the people of the United States and their government.  I also reported on blatant incidents of kidnapping by the Keene, NH courts.  

February 12, 2011
I interviewed Mark Schmidter about his jury nullification outreach in Florida and separately interviews with Pete Eyre on his recent arrest and detainment after wearing a hat in Keene, NH district court as well as the subsequent imprisonment of Adam Mueller for contempt of court.

February 19, 2011
Roger Roots, a lawyer and member of the Advisory board of the american Jury Institute discussed jury nullification.

February 26, 2011
Pastor William Temple, Chairman of the Freedom Fest 2011 National Tea Party Nominating Convention being readied for Kansas City in October, discussed his entry into politics and religion.

March 5, 2011
John Chambers, Founder of the Save America Foundation discussed the coming collapse of the economies, global financial systems, and currencies
around the world.

March 12, 2011
I will discuss the nullification of the U. S. Constitution, the transformation of U. S. courts to courts of inquisition, and the possibilities of reclaiming a free society.
5. Future Activities
The Coalition for Medical Marijuana of New Jersey usually holds its monthly public meeting on the second Tuesday at 7:00 pm  in the Lawrence Township Library (Mercer County) Room #1.

Campaign for Liberty of Orange County will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday evening, March 10, 2011.

The Save America Foundation Convention will be held in Tampa, Fl from March 18–20, 2011.  

6. Suggested Books
A new book, "The Non-Trials" by Julian Heicklen, Ishi Press (2011) discusses his arrest at the Isaiah Wall in Manhattan, NY, in 2007 and the subsequent legal activity. It is now available for $25.95 at, Barnes and Noble, and probably other booksellers. Chapter V is a discussion of jury nullification.  You should read it and also the Regas brief at:
I am planning on a book tour for 2011 and am available for book sales and/or speeches at any conventions.  Let me know if your organization is interested.  Books will be available for sale at a discounted price at the Save America Foundation National Convention in Tampa, FL from March 18–20.

"Actual Innocence" by Barry Scheck, PeterNeufeld (co-founders of The Innocence Project), and Jim Dwyer (a writer for the New York times), a Signet book (2001).

"Ordinary Injustice" by Amy Bach, Henry Holt and Co. (2009).  Amy Bach is an attorney and journalist who spent eight years investigating the widespread courtroom failures that each day upend lives across America.

Michael Badnarik gives a course about the U. S. Constitution using his book "Good to be King."

  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.

At some unspecified future date each of you will have a quiz by the U. S. courts on the material in these books.  Failing that quiz will lead to a long prison sentence.

7. 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.

However a U. S. court recently has ruled that  If the government wants to see your emails stored by an Internet service provider, they first will have to get a warrant.  See:



Yours in freedom and justice—Julian