Monday, May 30, 2011

Revolution in Spain—15M: from Anger to Action Crossing The Sun Door

_______________________________________________
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Project-Censored-L@lists.sonoma.edu
https://mailman.sonoma.edu/mailman/listinfo/project-censored-l
By Concha Mateos, PhD in Social Communication

Faculty at one public University in Madrid.

Something that looked impossible is happening.

Not a miracle: there
is no God acting, no divine intervention. Only human will and the crowd.

Thousands of people were there, with the same ideas, the same
objectives, the same desire for
change. They lived in different places and cities and countries, but they were
in reality at the same Puerta del Sol, although none of them did know.

One day of May 2011 they happened to gather together driven by the
same and only cause.

Have you ever taken a decision together with thousands of people in
which each person's opinion is
heard and treated equally?

Thousands of people were there, in the same ideas, in the same
objectives, in the same need
of changes, in the same Puerta del Sol, but they didn´t know it.

The companions have meet together.

Have you ever taken a decision with thousands of people considering
them all the same?

The square, whatever square, has become a school in democracy – pure,
radical, real, and effective
democracy. (Democracia real ya – real democracy now – is the name of
one of the groups making up the
movement.) While corporations try everyday to captivate audiences sat in front
of the TV, swallowing garbage TV entertainments, the protest is in the form of
an acampada (camp) in the squares. There you have people listening to
each other sitting on the ground taking and sharing the
floor. The sun assembly shines every night at Puerta del Sol.

We build agreement where politicians want rivalry.

We look for solutions where politicians want oppression.

We don't fight: we presist, we protest creatively. Consent,
participation, respect (for one another,
for animals, for the environment), dialogue are our methodology. We raise our
hands and shout: these are our weapons. And work hard and patiently to reach
agreement.

After thousands of years of human civilization, one system of
production has appeared in the last
period and managed to oppress more people and destroy more resources than ever
before.

Beyond its plastic face, capitalism has brought ruin to the way of
life of millions of human beings, as
well as those regarded as sub-human, the immigrants trying to survive within
the sub-democracy, without rights, a place to live or the entitlement to vote,
living on a pittance, a dishonor for them but a cause of shame for the
rest of us.

The welfare state is being destroyed, huge areas of the planet are
condemned never to become part of
it.

Another system is possible. Stop lying with your corporate media.

This Spanish revolution is a revolution because people have been
changed in the process.
That is the first and the main step forward in any protest, the transformation
it brings about within the individual.

We were angry at the beginning. Capitalism has wasted four centuries
spreading out reasons for the
protest, barriers we have climb over to get a job, to get a house, to get an
education, to get healthcare, to win political, social and cultural
rights, real rights, to defend our dignity.

Corruption, privilege, politicians paid by corporations to manipulate
the economic system, putty in
corporate hands, TV entertainment offered us instead of participation.

Capitalism planted the seeds of the anger of the indignados. But
outrage is not our goal. We are not doing this to remain angry.

The indignation we felt was identified a long time ago. But who were
"we"? Nobody knew. But we do
now. We discovered this "we" in Puerta del Sol on 15th May, 15th, we
discovered that our indignation is wide spread, we are thousands of people, a
booming process of collective conscience.

A new political subject has emerged. We are the first to be
transformed. That is because this
is a revolution.

We have rescued that word from TV and cultural theory. We are giving
back its meaning to the people,
ordinary people throughout Madrid's various neighborhoods made their voices
heard in meetings held last Saturday (May 28). Hundreds of local assemblies
held throughout Spain, with women, men, mothers, grandfathers, students,
professors, workers, immigrants, real people living a real democracy taking
shape in their local areas for the first time in their lives.

Indignation became joy. And now that joy is seeing us through to organizing.

Anger plus joy produces
strength. Strength plus organization is the start of structural change.

Yes, we camp. We have camped and we will camp into the future.

The Puerta del Sol camp is not going to fade away; it is going to
explode, to set up camp deep in
the thinking of people. No police force or government can remove it
from the mind
of the new political subject that has burst onto the stage shouting Democracia
real ya.

Remove the current electoral system, get rid of the economic
privileges the political class has allowed
itself, make the corporations responsible for the crisis pay for the crisis,
stop the economic reforms dictated by international economic power, and let our
reason govern our world, not the capitalist reason. Claim, support and defend
all this through democratic meetings, horizontally, and peacefully.

It is happening, and it is not a miracle. It is something more
powerful, a lot of people have
experienced the pleasure of recovering the political sense of our lives. Debate
and decide in assembly.

We held two general assemblies yesterday, May 29. The assembly of
local committees in the morning
and the general one at night, lasting more than four hours each. The need and
the plan and the dream of restructuring the camp at Puerta del Sol, a camp that
is a symbol and reference point for so many people. We connected live with
companions in Athens and Paris. We condemned the police actions against them.

Have you ever taken a decision with thousands of people in a public
square? Have you ever experienced
the energy of that collective will and responsibility?

It is hard work. To turn anger into joy, and joy into agreement for
action. Truly hard labor, but
the only one that can give us back our dignity.

Concha Mateos has a PhD in Social Communication and is on the faculty
at a public University
in Madrid. She has been actively involved with Project Censored since 2009.

--
--
Ta.


Mark Rauterkus Mark.Rauterkus@gmail.com
http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com
http://FixPA.wikia.com
http://CLOH.wikia.com
412 298 3432 = cell

Use of force by city police declines

A news article from the Post-Gazette reads, in part:
Use of force by city police declines'There is a percentage of people out there who will fight the police at the drop of a hat,' Officer Wright said. 'They don't care.'


Some folks are just so full of rage that they can't control themselves. They don't care if they get wild and are put back into safe distances or into positions where they can't hurt others. Sure. That's out there. Drugs can do that to a person. So too, especially, can booze. Some are fearless and think that they can leap out of tall buildings too. Some just snap or have already snapped when the police arrive.

But, a report is a report and to say that "a percentage of people" is to say very little at all. What is that percentage. How many zeros come after the decimal point? Is it one percent? Is it two percent? Is it point zero three percent?

I like the report and I like the numbers, but I don't like the quote as it tells next to nothing.

Chair Memorial Day Message

MEMORIAL DAY 2011


Dear Fellow Libertarian,

Memorial Day, first just a day and now a weekend, is a time to remember those past and present that serve -- and have served -- their country and communities with honor and dignity. These men and women have done this so that others can enjoy the freedom and liberty we call the American dream.  There is so much I want to say, but for once it will not be political. 
Long before I was a Libertarian, a distinction I grow more proud of every day, I was first American.  Long before you were a Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Independent, Liberal, Tea Party, or Green you were, and are, Americans first.  Let's remind ourselves of that often. 
On this Memorial Day, my prayers go out to all those that are currently serving in the armed forces, especially those serving in combat areas around the world. These prayers extend to POW's and missing in action, asking for a speedy and safe return. 
I pray our leaders find the wisdom in the words of our founding fathers and hear their warning to avoid entangling alliances, so that our troops can come home now. There is a better way. 
Above all, to those families and friends of fallen soldiers, I say a special prayer today that you find solace and comfort knowing that your loss will not be forgotten, and they are at peace with those few that gave their all for the greater good of mankind. 

          With this Memorial Day blog, I would also like to acknowledge an individual that has risen above all odds to give hope, encouragement and a voice to those that fight daily with mental health disorders.   I know first-hand all the obstacles, self doubt, anxiety, and ups/downs this recently announced Citizen of the Year has gone through over the years because it is one of my sisters, and one that I am most proud of, Christine Jasikoff.  (
http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2011/05/07/news/doc4dc5e513a653f529109024.txt )
We are all here for but a speck of time, so why not make the most of it?  In the scheme of things will anyone really remember, or care that you got that report out on time, or made that sales quota?  When you have reached your later years is that what you will remember, or be proud of?  Of course not!
So make that difference now.  Get involved.  Trust me on this, we all have something.  It could be drinking, drugs, gambling, over-eating, too much shopping, the list goes on and on.  None of us is perfect.  Except Libertarians , of course  LOL!  Oh, I forgot I said no politics today, so enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Hopefully you take some time to be with yourself, family and loved ones. The craziness begins again tomorrow!
In Liberty,
Lou Jasikoff, Chair – Libertarian Party of PA
REMINDER: The next State meeting is on June 11 in Harrisburg.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Ride, as per the rain date

We are riding on the RAIN DATE - Memorial Day - 6:45 AM (morning)

Who: Cyclists -- road, recreation, commuter, race, triathlon. All who legally share the road.

What: The Pittsburgh arm of the worldwide Ride Of Silence™ bike
rally. See http://rideofsilence.org

Why:
• to honor those cyclists injured or killed on public roadways
• to raise awareness of cyclists on the road
• to demonstrate responsible road sharing
• to show that cyclists are not going away

When: Monday , May 30 , 20 2011 , 6: 45 AM . We roll out at 7:00 AM sharp.

Pittsburgh start location: Southside - 26th & Sidney (behind REI).

Route is 10 miles, roughly http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/34042598/

THE RIDE OF SILENCE WILL NOT BE QUIET
• On the third Wednesday of May around the world, cyclists will take to the roads in a silent protest of the carnage taking place on the streets. (In Pittsburgh, we ride on Memorial Day mornings!)

• Chris Phelan organized the first Ride Of Silence in Dallas in 2003 after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was killed by a passing bus mirror on an empty road.

• The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride at a slow pace and remain silent during the ride.

• The ride hopes to raise cycling awareness during bike safety month to motorists, police, traffic engineers, insurance companies, and city officials. The ride is also a chance to mourn, in funeral procession style, those who have already been killed.

• The ride requests black arm bands be worn, red only if you have had a bike/motor vehicle accident. Helmets are required; bright clothing and lights are highly recommended for the ride home. There are no fees charged anyone to participate.

How we will ride in Pittsburgh:
• Double file, side by side, keeping to a single lane, and to the right of the yellow line where it exists. (Most of the roads we will use do not have lanes wide enough to safely share) Stop and wait at all red lights - we're a big group and will undoubtedly be breaking up and regrouping as we go along. If there is slower traffic in the lane, we'll just wait for it.
• Please bring bikes in good repair, as there will be no official mechanical support or transportation.
• Helmets are required. Ipods and the like are frowned upon.
• Children aged 12 and under should be in trailers, trail-a-bikes, tandems or the like, not riding independently.
• This ride takes place on city streets, with potholes, surface hazards, motor vehicles and other cyclists riding in close proximity.
• Participants must use their own judgement and be responsible for their own safety. If at any time, you feel that you can no longer participate safely, please pull off the route and wait until the rest of the ride has passed.

Pittsburgh Ride of Silence Contact for 2011: Lyle Seaman (lwseaman@hotmail.com)

The Pittsburgh Ride of Silence is endorsed by Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen, Bike Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club.
The endorsers and organizer are bearing

Citizens with video camera to receive $75,000 in Blawnox settlement

WOW - I'm in shock...Melina called to ask for help. Weird they settled
like that "at the insistence of their insurance carrier." They must
have been bound to lose big time!

Forwarded message from {PghAction}

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11147/1149599-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml

Women to receive $75,000 in Blawnox settlement
Friday, May 27, 2011
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A lawsuit accusing Blawnox of illegally restricting public
participation in, and recording of, meetings has been settled, with the
borough agreeing to change its policies and pay a total of $75,000 to
two women and their attorneys. Blawnox Council approved the settlement
Thursday.

Peggy Albright and Melina Brajovic sued last year over a series of
events beginning in 2008. They said the borough council had barred
comment at some meetings; ordered the arrest of Ms. Albright for
disorderly conduct; made non-specific threats when controversial issues
were raised; and barred Ms. Brajovic from filming meetings without
signing up a day in advance and remaining in a designated area.
When the disorderly conduct charge against Ms. Albright was
dismissed in Common Pleas Court, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala
Jr. took the unusual step of appealing to the state Supreme Court --
but lost.

The borough will now allow public comment at both its business and
agenda meetings and lift the restrictions on videotaping, according to
Frederick B. Goldsmith, who, along with the American Civil Liberties
Union, represented the plaintiffs in U.S. District Court.
"Although the matter has been settled, the borough officials deny
any liability" for any violations of state open meetings laws or
federal civil rights, according to a press release from Blawnox. The
release quoted Mayor Thomas M. Smith as saying the settlement was made
"at the insistence of the borough's insurance carrier."

Both women, along with their attorneys, will get portions of the
settlement amount, Mr. Goldsmith wrote in a summary of the settlement.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11147/1149599-100.stm?cmpid=latest.xml#ixzz1NaUeQJH2


--
--
Ta.


Mark Rauterkus Mark.Rauterkus@gmail.com
http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com
http://FixPA.wikia.com
http://CLOH.wikia.com
412 298 3432 = cell

Rant in school newspaper about education funding

Pierotti’s Point..Thanks, Governor Corbett. An education down the drain

One gym, one budget, and one new school. Those are the only three things that pop into my head when I think about Obama Academy. This year has been out of control with school funding, budgets, and cuts. We as students shouldn’t have to worry about where our education is coming from. For example, we are moving to Peabody, and we may get a new gym, new sporting equipment, and new uniforms with our school colors but what about other things?  For instance, if you’re in journalism, you know that we started off this year with 26 laptops, and now, on May 24th we have just 12 left.  We are willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on a gym but we have no supplies for school?

Full link: http://www.obamaeagle.org/in-depth/2011/05/26/pierottis-point-thanks-governor-corbett-an-education-down-the-drain/

Bad news for K to 12th grade education in PA. Poor get poorer, sadly.

First this news from the Duquesne School District then a school newspaper rant.

Duquesne schools face teacher cuts
Extracurricular activities also may be eliminated
Friday, May 27, 2011
By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Under a preliminary budget approved Thursday, the Duquesne City School District will see its teaching staff cut from 51 to 29.

Also, all extracurricular activities and after-school programs will be eliminated and its administrative staff pared to a principal and an assistant principal.

And that's the good news.

That's because the $14.26 million budget approved by the state board of control overseeing the district is still $2.52 million short.

The board adopted a preliminary budget that is out of balance because it couldn't bear to make any further cuts to the educational program in the K-8 school for 413 students the district still operates.

Also, its members warned they may not vote to adopt a final budget that contains the bare-bones program presented in the preliminary budget.

"This board will not accept this as a reality," said Juan Baughn, a special assistant to the state education secretary and the newly appointed chairman of the board of control. "This is not over, and we are not going to let it be over until our kids are taken care of."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fw: Apply Now! EPLC's 2011-12 Education Policy Fellowship Program

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


From: Ron Cowell <cowell@eplc.org>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 15:55:01 -0400
To: Ron Cowell<cowell@eplc.org>
Subject: Apply Now! EPLC's 2011-12 Education Policy Fellowship Program

 

2011-2012 PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATION POLICY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

 

Applications are available now for the 2011-2012 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP).  The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).

 

With more than 300 graduates in its first twelve years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  Act 48 credits are available to individuals holding Pennsylvania teaching or administrative certificates, and State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.

 

Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders.  Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.

 

The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 8-9, 2011 and continues through June 2012.

 

Applications are being accepted now.  

 

Click on http://www.eplc.org/leadership_fellowship_about.shtml to see:

 

·         2011-12 Schedule

·         20110-12 Application

·         Past Speakers

·         Program Alumni

·         More Information

 

Since space is limited to approximately 30 positions, it is advisable to submit an application as soon as possible.  The application may be copied from the EPLC Web Site, but must be submitted by mail with the necessary signatures of applicant and sponsor.

 

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the Fellowship Program and its requirements, please contact Ron Cowell at 717-260-9900 or cowell@eplc.org.

 

 

Tuesday Evening Photos at the ACA Cycling Events

From: Fred Jordan

There are several links associated with last night's racing.

The main gallery: http://fredjordan.smugmug.com/Sports/ACA-Races-at-the-Track-Women/17217251_tFT76V#1306421848_r9GWZ9K

A short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVRkTVCh3nM&feature=channel_video_title



A brief blog entry: http://www.fjordanphoto.com/blog/

It was a beautiful night, and both races had strong turnouts.

Fred

Fwd: Another Chance to Speak Out on the PATRIOT Act


Begin forwarded message:

From: Dave Nalle <chairman@rlc.org>
Subject:
Another Chance to Speak Out on the PATRIOT Act






 

Rand Paul Has Bought Us More Tome on PATRIOT Act
 

Dear Liberty Activists:

After the debate and amendments to the PATRIOT Act were shut down by a cloture vote in the Senate late Monday, today Senator Rand Paul (RLC-KY) carried out a heroic seven-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate to buy time to fight back against the proposed four-year extension of the PATRIOT Act. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other leaders in the House and Senate still don't want to hear debate or consider amendments to the bill, but we now have another day to put pressure on the Senate and probably two more days to try to influence House members.

For a report on Senator Paul's filibuster see the coverage in The Hill, which explains the details of the procedural process which the PATRIOT Act will now have to go through before it gets renewed. You should also visit Senator Paul's website for a summary of what is in his proposed amendments to the PATRIOT Act. While it would be ideal to see the PATRIOT Act disposed of once and for all, the proposed amendments offer a compromise which would address some of the worst violations of civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act while not fully repealing it. The protections for gun owners privacy and other fourth amendment rights are particularly important. We wouldn't normally send out another email so quickly on an acti vism issue like this, but events are moving incredibly fast and there's a real opportunity to have an influence. Many Senators and Representatives are on the fence. On Monday our calls and emails convinced several Senators to change their votes and there are reports that many House members are also wavering. In his weekly newsletter Representative Allen West wrote:

"Let me make myself clear, there is no one more focused on the security of the United States, but I also believe in preserving the liberty of our citizens. The record checks and roving wiretap provisions cause me concern, resulting from my research and query of local and federal law enforcement officers. Over the coming days, I will be reviewing documents to make a careful assessment so I can determine my support or opposition to this further extension to the PATRIOT Act."

Like others he is aware of the public concern over the PATRIOT Act and he appears ready to be convinced to do the right thing and vote to restore our Fourth Amendment rights. I hope you can take time to call and email your Senators and Representatives on Wednesday morning. Ask them to demand that the leadership allow debate to take place and amendments to be considered in both the Senate and House.

Edmund Burke wrote that "All government – indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act – is founded on compromise and barter." The proposed PATRIOT Act amendments are a reasonable compromise to offer to those Congressmen who are not ready to fully oppose renewal. If you have time, please also email Sen. Paul or call his office at 202-224-4343 to express your support for his heroic efforts on this issue.

Make sure your voice is heard! Just click on this link to find contact information for your representatives.


Keep fighting for liberty,
Dave Nalle
National Chairman
Republican Liberty Caucus
Republican Liberty Caucus
www.rlc.org • 202-239-6207

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NCAA Market - Robert Morris needs a head women's ice hockey coach

NCAA Market - Job Search: "Robert Morris University is accepting applications for the position of Head Coach of Women’s Ice Hockey. This is a full-time position with responsibilities to include all aspects of coaching and recruiting in the sport of women’s ice hockey.

Qualified candidates should submit a letter of application, current resume and a list of three references to Human Resources, Robert Morris University, 6001 University Blvd, Moon Township, PA 15108; or e-mail to jobs@rmu.edu.

Visit our website at www.rmu.edu for additional information about Robert Morris University.

Robert Morris University is committed to increasing diversity in its community and actively pursues individuals from all backgrounds. Additionally, RMU complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws and provides equal opportunity in all educational programs and activities, admission of students and conditions of employment for all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or national origin. EOE"

NCAA working with HBCUs to clear APR barriers - NCAA.org

NCAA working with HBCUs to clear APR barriers - NCAA.org: "HBCU advocates say the reasons for the downward movement are complex and extend beyond a lack of resources, though that factor is cited most often as a reason for poor academic performance. Where many institutions with more funding can hire academic advisors, tutors and other people to ensure their student-athletes go to class, many HBCUs just don’t have that kind of cash on hand."

Fw: [DW] Global Transparency Research - FreedomInfo.org -Special Report, May 24, 2011

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Clift <clift@e-democracy.org>
Sender: newswire@groups.dowire.org
Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 15:51:16
To: <newswire@groups.dowire.org>
Subject: [DW] Global Transparency Research - FreedomInfo.org -Special Report, May 24, 2011

From: "Toby McIntosh" <TMcIntosh@bna.com>
Date: May 24, 2011 3:00 PM
Subject: FreedomInfo.org -Special Report, May 24, 2011
To: <FREEDOMINFO@hermes.gwu.edu>

FreedomInfo.org - Special Report, May 24, 2011

First Global Conference on Transparency Research Held

A FreedomInfo.org special report covers many of the 130 research papers, on
a wide variety of transparency topics, presented during the two-day meeting
at the University of Rutgers-Newark. Highlights include:

Overview: What happened at the conference, including calls for more
attention to womens transparency needs and for more transparency of an
international climate change fund; plus reports on macro-views of the
transparency movement.

http://www.freedominfo.org/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=5730

Future Research: A call for more research from the donor community.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/donor-community-eager-for-deeper-research-tisne-says/

Plus, recommendations from conference participants.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/next-steps-on-transparency-research-sketched/

Africa: Explanations for the comparatively few FOI laws in Africa.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/transparency-researchers-gather-at-rutgers-conference/

Theory: Papers presented on the theory and philosophy of transparency.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/theory-philosophy-of-transparency-explored/

Influences: What affects passage and implementation of FOI laws?

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/foi-passage-factors-elucidated-in-research/

Mexico: A new study on FOI implementation in Mexico.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/mexican-rti-case-study-looks-at-facilitating-factors/

Local e-Gov: Evaluating e-government at the municipal level.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/transparency-researchers-gather-at-rutgers-conference/

Open Data: Evaluating the Open Data movement in Latin America.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/researchers-examine-future-of-open-data-in-latin-america/

Corruption: Is transparency working?

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/is-transparency-losing-in-fight-with-corruption/

Trust: Does transparency build trust in government?

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/transparency-trust-dynamic-explored-in-new-studies/

China: The development of transparency in China.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/papers-probe-drivers-of-transparency-in-china/

South Korea: New studies on transparency in South Korea.

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/studies-explore-transparency-performance-in-south-korea/

WikiLeaks: A new chapter for transparency?

http://www.freedominfo.org/2011/05/is-wikileaks-a-new-chapter-in-transparency-history/

Link to all stories from the overview story here:

http://www.freedominfo.org/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=5730

Read more at http://www.FreedomInfo.org

Follow us on twitter! http://twitter.com/freedominfoorg

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Pressing onward, or not, with Pittsburgh Public Schools in the wake of the times of the day.

This is a great slide. It comes from Dr. Linda Lane in a presentation about Pittsburgh Public Schools in the wake of the budget crisis.


We know that Dr. Lane stands right in the same place that Mark Roosevelt stood. She wants to plug along and do the work that has begun. She wants to stay the course.

With this in mind, I wonder about sports reform then. Mark Roosevelt put a priority upon those efforts for sports and afterschool in his fifth year. Sports, so I was told, was on the back burner until then. But in 2010, it came to be important. The sports discussion moved off the back burner.

This month a report was sent to the school board of Pittsburgh Public Schools. So now it seems as if sports goes right back into its slumber, or not? Are sports and after school efforts going to get some attention? Is the sports reform element part of the overall district wide reform agenda?

I think that athletics and activities are a huge part of a community and school life and that PPS has had serious problems in this realm. This is an area that calls for reform and is part of the overall package of changes for PPS.

But, now what?

I do not want 'sports reform' to go away just because the times are tough. Perhaps a few administrators need to be given their dismissal slips and seek employment elsewhere. PPS should not try to build a new stadium with capital money as teachers are being released. Perhaps teams can live another season in their existing uniforms and families will need to do what they can to help boost the programs. Fine. But let's not quit. I don't want to 'give up' on the hope of system-wide sports reform for PPS just because some administrators at the Board of Education are elsewhere.

We need to increase sports participation because we need to elevate school spirit because we need to expand community involvement because we want to insure more kids study and stay in school and graduate. We want to push and pull each other to higher levels of fitness, lower our body fat, increase our metabolic rate, strengthen our bodies and sharpen our minds with better transferable skills developed with movement and sports.

We want a longer school day because more should be getting better instruction after the last period by being part of a team with positive peer pressure and demanding challenges that matter greatly to the kids, where they can test themselves.

In the talk that Superintendent Lane gave she said it was 6 pm and she hoped that all the kids were out of school and at home and doing homework. No way! At that time of night, I don't want my kids at home. I want them on the court, in the swim pool, on the bike trails, playing with their friends. I want them to be under the guidance of excellent coaches and instructors in past-times that require lots of energy, stamina, strength development and challenges. And, I'd love for this to occur more so at facilities that we own, such as our schools.

At 6 pm I want our kids hitting the showers after a grueling workout. I want another set of kids prepping for a game that evening. I want more people headed to our gyms and facilities to play in Rec Leagues -- so we can RE-CREATE our city. That recreation allows for better scholarship in the days to come. That recreation allows for better cognitive advancements in the classrooms the next day.

This statement comes in her talk in the video below at 3:44 in the timeline.

WDUQNews: Civic Arena Hearing

WDUQNews: Civic Arena Hearing Civic Arena Hearing
Pittsburgh City Council held a public hearing in Uptown to hear testimonials from residents about whether the Civic Arena should stay or go.

If city council grants the arena historic status, it could save the building from being knocked down. And a lot of people have a lot to say about that.

On Monday night over 70 people had something to say about it – either in favor of re-purposing the building, or knocking it down and redeveloping the land. A little more than half believed the arena should be saved. They gave testimonial to five council members in a church sandwiched between the old arena and the recently constructed one.

Among the speakers was Sala Udin, former councilman and actor who wants the building to come down.

'The redevelopment can begin the healing process to preserve the people,' he said.

From its inception, the arena and the 28 acres surrounding it has been controversial – displacing 8,000 Lower Hill District residents and destroying a community. Last year, after the arena was shuttered for a new neighboring complex, the Sports and Exhibition Authority voted to knock down the building.

Local groups have filed for historic status. Among them, Preservation Pittsburgh, which helped organize a 50th Anniversary of the arena celebration just before Monday’s meeting. Scott Lieb, president of the group said although the arena is a remnant of urban renewal, it is here now and should be used to benefit the community. He also said the building is unique and is part of the fabric of the city.

"This building was revolutionary when it was built in 1961. It was the first retractable dome building in the US. It really is a part of Pittsburgh’s brand, it uses technology from Westinghouse, from US Steel, from American bridge," he said at the celebration.

The city’s historic and review and planning commissions have already rejected historic status.

Council has until mid-August to take a final vote.

Bakersfield Releases Coaches, Combines Programs & Encourges them to Re-Apply

Bakersfield Releases Coaches, Combines Programs & Encourges them to Re-Apply: "Bakersfield Releases Coaches, Combines Programs & Encourges them to Re-Apply"

CSU Bakersfield Athletic Director Jeff Konya met with members of the CSUB men's and women's swimming and diving programs, informing them of a new coaching model that will be in place starting next season. Unfortunately, much of the details of this were misreported over the weekend in published reports about the coaching futures of men's coach Chris Hansen and women's coach Pat Skehan.

Responding to the misleading reports, Konya says CSUB is not renewing the current contracts of both coaches and will have both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams coached by a single head coach or "coaching director." This new position will then assemble a coaching staff that will assist with the programs' needs. He says both current coaches have been encouraged to apply, something that was never mentioned in previous reports.

According to Konya, this coaching model is common in Division I swimming and includes top-25 programs such as Auburn, Florida, Arizona, USC, and Virginia. All of which have one head coach for both programs.

"This is something we needed to due in order to operate more efficiently while still maintaining a quality product in the pool, Konya said. "If this is something that a top-10 team like Auburn can execute, or USC, than why shouldn't we do the same here?"

Another underreported aspect of this decision is the necessity of the move in order to maintain current funding levels for student-athlete scholarships. According to Konya, during these tough economic times, moving forward with one less head coach was much more attractive than limiting the opportunities for student athletes to pursue their education while swimming at CSUB.

"It's very similar to when corporations restructure and cut management positions in order to maintain a series of other jobs that keep the company running," Konya commented. "Without our student athletes, we are nothing, I wanted to protect that and make sure they had the same opportunities next season."

As far as the coaches are concerned, both Skehan and Hansen were encouraged to apply for the newly-created coaching position and Konya says they will be heavily considered. Responding to earlier reports, he also said that claiming they both "won't be returning," is misleading and at this time, false.

"We haven't decided on the future yet, we know we will have some quality candidates in-house and hopefully some outside interest as well," said Konya. "We are starting the search this week and hope to have the position filled shortly so we can build on the success we had in that sport this past season while we move forward in a more efficient manner."

Separate Men's and Women's Programs that still remain include:
California-Berkeley
Columbia
Harvard
Massachusetts
Miami (Ohio)
Michigan
Northwestern
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Princeton
Purdue
Southern Methodist
Stanford
Tennessee
Texas A&M
Texas
Air Force Academy
Naval Academy
Yale

Division III
Carthage
DePauw
Ithaca College
Kenyon College
TCNJ
New York
Tufts University
Washington & Lee

Address 'protocol' causes stir in city

Address 'protocol' causes stir in city: "'At this juncture, our advice is that council request that the Address Committee begin sending all recommendations to the body in formal bill form,' associate city solicitor Yvonne S. Hilton said."
Of course. This is a no-brainer. Pittsburgh City Council always wants others to do the jobs of the council for the councilors. The duties of crafting the legislation are going to be passed down to others, such as an address committee. Have the guys in Public Works who sit on that committee, or a 9-1-1 operator, or a firefighter, write the darn law. City council is there to vote on the written works of others, not come up with the laws too.

The proper thing to do is have the member of council who is also a member of the city address committee do the work and write the legislation. After the legislation is written, it should be presented to the address committee for prior approval. Then it should go to City Council for a full vetting among members and the public.

And, the law office does not need to be a referee among workers of the city.

Upper St. Clair budget slashes middle school sports

Preliminary Upper St. Clair budget slashes middle school sports: "Mr. O'Toole said there is about $25,000 left for middle school sports, meaning that most teams will no longer be able to travel to other schools. He said he will work with booster groups and coaches to determine which programs will be eliminated, scaled back or modified."

Wow. Imagine this, a school board and administration working with its boosters. Sad news to need to curb much of the middle school sports program. But, great news in that they are doing so with a cooperative spirit.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh Public Schools, our booster organizations are, how do you say, "frail." And even if they are "robust," they are seldom put into a collaborative setting with school and district administration.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fwd: Save Community Broadband

An awful bill in North Carolina could destroy efforts
by towns and communities to build their own high-speed Internet networks.
The bill was rammed through the state legislature, and is
now sitting on the desk of Governor Bev Perdue, who has until tomorrow to
decide whether to veto it.

If signed into law, it would have repercussions far beyond North
Carolina. The phone and cable companies are waiting to see the outcome
of this bill before they introduce
similar measures in statehouses across the country.

We must stop it now, or we could face a national campaign to kill
community broadband:

Call North Carolina Gov. Perdue and urge her to veto the Level
Playing Field/Local Government Competition Bill (H129).
<http://act2.freepress.net/go/4151?akid=2529.8833392.r_xEin&t=1>
The legislation is sponsored by — guess who? — Time Warner
Cable. It wants only two choices for North
Carolina, and the rest of the country: Second-rate
broadband provided by big cable, or none at all. And it is willing to pour cash
into the election coffers of local legislators to move these sorts
of bills swiftly through statehouses.
North Carolina has long been recognized as a
national leader in community broadband. Networks built by towns and cities
across the state are providing fast and cheap Internet access to local
citizens, including
those in rural and poor areas that have been ignored by Time Warner Cable.
Predictably, Time Warner Cable is up in
arms at the thought that local communities would want to create a homegrown
broadband option.
But we can't let Time Warner Cable legislate away our choices. Call
Governor Perdue and tell her to veto.
 <http://act2.freepress.net/go/4151?akid=2529.8833392.r_xEin&t=2>

What happens in North Carolina could happen in Pennsylvania. If Time
Warner Cable and its cronies are allowed to stop the movement for
community broadband in North Carolina, they'll be emboldened to squash
similar projects in states across the country.
At its core, this fight is about our right to access information.
Don't let big corporations block it.

Please call Gov. Perdue now and urge her to stand up for all
Americans and veto this bill.
<http://act2.freepress.net/go/4151?akid=2529.8833392.r_xEin&t=3>
Thanks,

Josh Levy

--
--
Ta.


Mark Rauterkus Mark.Rauterkus@gmail.com
http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com
http://FixPA.wikia.com
http://CLOH.wikia.com
412 298 3432 = cell

Economic event at Pitt, May 24th, 7:30-9pm

Here's something of likely interest to all.

Where
William Pitt Union, Dining Room B University of Pittsburgh

Lectures, conferences and public forums
Created by office@thomasmertoncenter.org

Description
Forum: Capitalism Hits the Fan -- Understanding the Global Economic Meltdown

5/24/2011 7:30 to 9:00 PM William Pitt Union, Dining Room B University
of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, 15260

"CAPITALISM HITS THE FAN -- The Global Economic Meltdown and What to
Do About It" Filmed lecture by noted Economist Richard Wolff followed
by open discussion.

--
--
Ta.


Mark Rauterkus Mark.Rauterkus@gmail.com
http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com
http://FixPA.wikia.com
http://CLOH.wikia.com
412 298 3432 = cell

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Libertarian and Green Parties slam GOP

News Release
For Immediate Release—May 19, 2011
 www.lppa.org,
 www.gpofpa.org
Contact: Lou Jasikoff at ljasikoff@gmail.com or 570-677-2607
Carl Romanelli at cjromanellii@yahoo.com

Libertarian and Green Parties slam GOP
Judicial Choice
Stabile not deserving for Superior Court Judge

Wilkes-Barre, PA—Pennsylvania Libertarian Party chair Lou Jasikoff
declared the GOP's choice for Superior Court Judge as nothing short of
shameful.  Mr. Stabile led the charge to get Libertarians knocked off
the ballot in 2008 and was recently quoted as being pleased by efforts
to keep the Green and Libertarian Parties from appearing on the
statewide 2010 ballot.  "Mr. Stabile cloaks himself in the American
flag while trampling on the very cornerstone of our democracy and
should not be rewarded under any circumstance with a judgeship on
Pennsylvania's Superior Court," insisted Jasikoff.
Green Party representative Carl Romanelli stated, "The last defense of
democracy and the Constitution is the judiciary.  When it is corrupted
or co-opted, it represents the most significant threat to the
principles that once made America the grand protector of liberty.  The
shame and disgrace of Stabile should not only be rejected by victims
of his partisan decisions, but also by his peers.  The lack of
meaningful review reflects as poorly on justice in Pennsylvania as
does Stabile's blatant obstruction of our rights.  It is sad to think
that the cradle of democracy, Pennsylvania, has now become its
graveyard."
Romanelli, the US Senate candidate in 2006 for the Pennsylvania Green
Party, has long contended that his own removal from the ballot could
not have been accomplished without the aid of partisan judges.
Romanelli, a retired employee of the Luzerne County Courts, added,
"Stabile's comments, and record in ballot access cases, prove that
both old parties are equally corrupted at the judicial level.  The
prevailing attitude is that anything goes in keeping other voices out
of political debate and participation.  Judges remain in violation of
the Judicial Canons with such partisan behavior."
Ken Krawchuk, the Libertarian candidate for Pennsylvania Governor in
1998 and 2002, was shocked to hear Victor Stabile was running for
Superior Court Judge.  "This is the same man who led the failed
challenge to have the 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate removed
from the statewide ballot.  When someone is so ignorant of the law as
to mount a frivolous challenge, or so inconsiderate of the voters of
Pennsylvania to attempt to limit their choices on the ballot, it's
clear he lacks the knowledge, character and integrity to serve as a
judge at any level."  Krawchuk, who is the Libertarian representative
to the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (www.PaBallotAccess.org),
added, "If Mr. Stabile had any sense of justice at all, he'd be
working with us to reform Pennsylvania's atrocious ballot access laws,
which are among the worst in the nation, not exploiting them for
political gain."
"Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation where judges elected in
partisan elections determine which candidates may appear on the
ballot," said Oliver Hall of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for
Competitive Democracy. "Now that Pennsylvania courts have begun to
assess costs against candidates just for defending nomination
petitions that they are required by law to submit, it is more
important than ever that judges demonstrate a commitment to protecting
candidate and voter rights to participate in free and equal elections
– rather than the partisan interests of the judges' campaign
contributors."
Wayne Allyn Root Vice-Presidential candidate on the 2008 Libertarian
ticket concluded, "Ballot access is a fundamental right we enjoy as
Americans.  We can no longer allow or tolerate political operatives
like Mr. Stabile to subvert that right; simply put it is Un-American.
To purposely disregard laws on the books that allow for candidate
substitution, or applaud efforts that totally ignore voter intent is
unconscionable.  Mr. Stabile is the face of everything wrong with
Pennsylvania's ballot access laws and his flawed and biased judgment
should not find its way on Pennsylvania's Superior Court."

The Libertarian Party along with the Green Party and groups like the
Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition, Free and Equal Organization and
other liberty groups in Pennsylvania intend to make ballot access a
major focus of conversation this election cycle.  Only when all
Americans can freely compete in the arena of ideas will we be able
break the back of corruption that has so permeated our political
system.


--
--
Ta.


Mark Rauterkus Mark.Rauterkus@gmail.com
http://Rauterkus.blogspot.com
http://FixPA.wikia.com
http://CLOH.wikia.com
412 298 3432 = cell

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two days of water polo come Saturday and Sunday

Day one is at North Allegheny High School pool. Day two uses two pools at Chartiers Valley High School.



Grant will "cap up" for high school games on Saturday, starting at 9 am. Then he has a full day of action on Sunday. He plays 3 games in the morning and then plays as part of the house league in the 2 pm to 4 pm period. There will be two games there, at least.

Shaler's team, with some city kids, is team #4 in the Sunday League, Sunday 2-4 pm. But, Morgan and Erik won't be present.

Monday, May 16, 2011

newly elected Chair for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania: Lou Jesikoff's first letter

My name is Lou Jasikoff and am your newly elected Chair for the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. I would appreciate you taking time to read this letter as I believe it is important to you as a Libertarian and for our future in Pennsylvania as citizens and for our Party.

I would like to thank Mik Robertson for all the work he has done with LPPa as Chair for over four years now. Having been a former Chair myself for two years in New Jersey, I understand first-hand the enormous amount of personal time and resources it consumes. Mik has been a friend and always helpful to me in the past, and I will rely on his knowledge and expertise in many areas as I move forward to build on his successes.

We, as Libertarians, are presented with enormous opportunities, not only this year but for years to come, to make the LPPa a force to be reckoned with in the politics of Pennsylvania. Never before have we heard the word “Libertarian” used as much in the media and press. It was not so long ago when I told people I was a Libertarian, they would look at me and say, “Huh? Liberal, librarian, what is a Libertarian?” Today Libertarians are in vogue, it is ‘chic’ to be a Libertarian. And so it should be. No other party talks of limited government, personal responsibility, and individual rights like Libertarians do. Tell me what other party understands the true meaning of “property rights?” I, for one, am damned proud to be a Libertarian and hope you feel the same. Collectively we can make a real difference, and collectively we will, but it takes us all to make it happen.

So for those who don’t know me, or little of my background, let me fill you in on what you are getting. I have a degree from Fordham University in Accounting and have been pretty much self employed most of my life. Started and built a small restaurant and motel in Montana, where we raised our family for over 20 years. Returned back east in the 90’s and after a successful but brief stint in the corporate world once again went the private business route and built a nice transportation company with 50 employees, in Totowa, NJ. In 1994 went to my first Libertarian meeting, (almost my last, but that is a different story for another day). In 1995 was asked to put my name on the ballot as a paper candidate for NJ State representative and in 2006 was asked to run for Congress as the Libertarian candidate.

Can you imagine that? Was I excited! I was going to run for Congress and have the full backing of the Libertarian Party behind me! Life was great! It was later that year I realized we needed to be better organized and looked for ways to make that happen. After the election, I was nominated for Chair of the New Jersey Libertarian Party and promised myself to give it everything I had to help build that organization. I believe most feel I did that. We marched across the state in support of medical marijuana, found a way to have an office right on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, qualified for the “clean and fair” election program in New Jersey (yes, an oxymoron), ran candidates and partnered with Jim Babb and the LPPa for first combined convention NJ ever had. We were active and people knew who we were. And that was years ago, when people never heard of Libertarians and had a biased NJ media that once told me there is no room at the table for you Libertarians (but quite honestly it is New Jersey you know, must we say more?). The opportunities here in Pennsylvania and in this current political atmosphere are one hundred-fold with what we had to work with in NJ.

More recently, I served as Eastern-Vice Chair for LPPa and Chair for the Northeast Pennsylvania Libertarian Party. A little over a year ago I got together with longtime activists Betsy Summers and Brian Bergman to form the NEPA Libertarians Group. What a great group we have here and growing! Tim Mullen ran as a Libertarian in a very competitive three way race for State Rep in the 120th District. Although finishing third, it was the second highest vote total a Libertarian received in a three way race this past year in the United States. But more importantly, all these NEPA candidates are running again this year. They are known, well-liked and we are in the media all the time. This same enthusiasm and success are what we will bring to you and your groups throughout Pennsylvania.

So what is the call for action, what can you do to help make us as an organization be successful? Since this is the first letter you are receiving from me, let’s keep it simple. Visit our website and join, or re-join the LPPa if you are not a current member. Many receiving this letter have either expired memberships or just dropped out. Expect a welcome call from me shortly. I promise you this: I will give it my all and hope you do the same to ensure our success. Contact me anytime with the good, bad and the ugly. If you would like me to come to your Libertarian organization and help build your local membership, let me know and I will show up. If you have things you would like to implement to get your groups moving, let me know. Our goal is to assist and help, not put up roadblocks. Your ideas are important, so let me know what you are thinking. The only thing holding us back is ourselves. The future is ours and the future is now. Help us make the Libertarian Party one to be feared and relevant in the politics of Pennsylvania. The state and country needs us now more than ever to be heard.

Lou Jasikoff
Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
lou@jasikoff.com
www.lppa.org
www.nepalibertarians.org

Cycle to JCC Sailfish practices in Monroeville


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Sports Reform: Business as usual is not welcomed, then. But now?



In the spring of 2010, Mr. Lopez, one of the top administrators of Pittsburgh Public Schools, hosted a meeting to talk about sports reform.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fw: [PURE Reform] New comment on Athletic recommendations released.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


From: Anonymous <noreply-comment@blogger.com>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 12:02:42 -0700 (PDT)
To: <mark.rauterkus@gmail.com>
Subject: [PURE Reform] New comment on Athletic recommendations released.

Anonymous has left a new comment on the post "Athletic recommendations released":

We continue to talk as though kids cannot be motivated to learn unless extrinsically rewarded or punished. The reality that we've lost sight of is that every kid inherently wants to learn and in fact IS learning all of the time. Poor grades, suspension, detention, expulsion, 10th periods, "interventions", removal of music, arts, athletics only serve to further marginalize, ostracize, drop out, alienate, victimize, disenfranchise, etc. our young people. Opportunities to develop productive futures based natural talents, desires, goals are closed off by school administrators in PPS who believe that "one-size--fits-all" and that negative consequences will somehow 'turn on lights" motivate, inspire, and prepare students for productive futures. It does not work for the vast majority. How many failures, drop outs, jails do we need to see before we begin to change our educational systems in ways that produce intelligent, educated, athletic, artistic, creative, productive, successful adults?

Post a comment.

Unsubscribe to comments on this post.

Posted by Anonymous to PURE Reform at May 11, 2011 3:00 PM

Two Athletic Reform Documents

Two documents from last night's school board meeting with Pittsburgh Public Schools' Education Committee are now available.

The executive summary is 13 pages:

PDF

Slide share:


The presentation was put onto video tape that night but is going to take some time to put onto the web. There were a number of questions from the board members, naturally.

The longer document is 71 pages and in PDF format.

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/aforathlete/images/e/ef/Athletics_Reform_Recommendations.pdf

Or here in SlideShare.



Tip: Click the button on the lower right corner to expand the document to your full screen size. Press the "Esc" key to return the computer screen to continue.

City League, WPIAL merger still far off - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

This is a concern from an educator:
City League, WPIAL merger still far off - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "'What would it mean, in terms of what time kids would have to leave in the afternoon to go to games? What would our costs be for the transportation? What about our families who don't have access to a car? How do they get to watch their daughter play basketball if it's not here in Pittsburgh? Those are some of the things we need to think about.'"
Her concern is unfounded.

To join the WPIAL is just what students, teachers, coaches and families need when it comes to missing less classroom time.

Presently, in the PPS City League, (District 8, not WPIAL), the sports schedules include plenty of games and matches at 2:15 pm. The kids need to miss their last period, at the least, even if playing a HOME game. The kids who are going to play the game at another school's pool, gym or field depart earlier and often have to miss most of the afternoon of classes.

Meanwhile, afternoon games -- while kids are still to be in classes -- do not happen on a daily basis within the WPIAL schedule. The WPIAL is filled with evening games. Then parents can get home from work and go to watch their children play. And, above all, the students don't need to be pulled from classes.

In the city, we play a lot of 2 pm games because if the kids when to a whole day of school, then had to care for themselves for a couple of hours and get on a bus at 5 pm or so, some whould not show up. And with an evening game, there are other time problems too, such as a return trip to home at 10 or 11 pm, often on a school night.

The abundance of 2 pm games on the PPS sports schedule is not 'fan friendly' nor 'family friendly.' Getting younger siblings to the high school games are often impossible too.

With the current system, plenty of athletes miss plenty of classes, and those coaches who are teachers miss as well. I've heard of baseball coaches who are also teachers in core subjects who have to miss two consecutive weeks of classes with those in periods 6 and 7. They are in the building until the team needs to go to play a game, either home or away, with a 1 pm dismissal. That isn't fair to the students who have those periods with those teachers to miss so much instructional time.

In the city league, those afternoon games are a big problem. Moving to evening and night games makes another set of problems, no doubt. But, when it comes to missing class time, there would be a lot less of that going on with a move to the WPIAL.

We talked in the athletic reform committee about a few elements that would need to occur to make the move to the WPIAL work for the PPS student athletes in terms of the schedule adjustments to evening matches.

+ Night games and longer bus rides in some instances means that the kids get back to the school at later times. Arrival to the school at 9, 9:30, 10, or 10:30 pm is not out of the question. Consider a Friday night football game that starts at 7:30 pm. Those kids are getting back to their home school after an away game at 11 pm or so. The rub is with PAT, the public bus schedules, and a city-wide magnet. Students get to their home schools after the game but these are not NEIGHBORHOOD schools any more. A kid who goes to a North Side or East Side school might live in the other end of the city, say the South Side. We know that the bus schedules have been greatly reduced. The non-peak times of buses are on a schedule that is often one hour between pick-ups, if the bus runs at all. Using mass transit and getting from Peabody or Westinghouse at 10 or 11 pm to the North Side or West End after a big game is asking plenty.

As a solution, we'd need to work hard to drop off kids at various parts of the city from the team bus on the way home and the bus would need to have to make a run out to various points after visiting the home school. Car pools are necessary too.

+ Night games are fan friendly. They'd attract more people. It is dark. In the winter, it is also cold.

+ The student athletes need places at the schools to be open for them upon their return. Getting dropped off by a team bus and waiting outside is not prudent.

+ The student athletes need places at the schools open to them for non-playing time situations. Kids need places to hang and be productive from 2:30 pm (end of school day) to they depart at 5 pm for an away game or are due to hit the locker-room for their home game at 6 pm. Team rooms, weight rooms, cardio rooms, training facilities, student lounges, on-school coffee shops, library access and rec room settings are needed. Getting into the library to do homework after school is a problem now. To extend library time to 6 pm, only now and then as homework is due and as the team needs it -- while eating even -- is a dreamworld fantasy the way things operate now.

+ The student athletes need to be concerned with nutrition and food. We are hungry. We need a good meal. We need to eat after school on game days and practice days. We need to hydrate. We need more than a vending machine. Kids should not need to sneak to find access to a microwave oven just to have something warm to eat before or after practice and games.

With an evening game, many of the kids won't have the time to go home after school, eat, do homework, and return for the game. They'll need to be productive at the school in places where they don't get into trouble.

People have been known to freak out when a single McDonalds wrapper comes back into the school's doors. I'm talking about PRINCIPALS. Sure, kids need to put their trash in the cans, but expectations and hospitality at the schools for being a place for our young people to settle and be secure are far from ideal within PPS. They've been promised student lounges in the past and they've never been delivered, unless there is a whole building re-hab as is the case at Sci-Tech. Even there, getting access to a student lounge in odd times is doubtful.

We need to care for our kids well beyond the end of the school day or the end of the last play in the game. And often, the kids face hostilities around their schools even from within. Perhaps this is part of the duties of the boosters and volunteers, granted. But those in PPS have a lock it and leave it mentality that can't work with a reform agenda that keeps our kids productive settings.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Erik's TV interview about Sports Reform in Pittsburgh Public Schools

This is part 2 of the interview that should run on TV soon. Erik Rauterkus, 16, (proud dad moment injected here), sophomore, gives a sit-down interview with activist and show host, Kenneth Miller, about sports reform pending before the board of directors of Pittsburgh Public Schools. The conversation is pressing as the matter goes to the Education Committee, a sub-group of the board, tonight. The decision is pressing in light of the state budget cuts and the outward migration of many in the city.

The city schools are shrinking! Families that desire great opportunities for their children often move out of Pittsburgh, in large part, in my not so humble opinion, because of the lack of quality offerings in sports, music, after-school activities and holistic living beyond the end of the school day.

Watch this show segment and hear from me again, at the end of the clip.



The other part of the interview will be put online as time permits.

WPIAL, here we come, perhaps, sorta, we hope, one day, maybe.

Monday, May 09, 2011

On the Elimination of Osama bin Laden

Ron Paul's remarks make sense to me, again.
On the Elimination of Osama bin Laden: "Last week marked an important milestone in the war on terrorism for our country. Osama bin Laden applauded the 9/11 attacks. Such deliberate killing of innocent lives deserved retaliation. It is good that bin Laden is dead and justice is served. The way in which he was finally captured and killed shows that targeted retribution is far superior to wars of aggression and nation-building. In 2001 I supported giving the president the authority to pursue those responsible for the vicious 9/11 attacks. However, misusing that authority to pursue nation-building and remaking the Middle East was cynical and dangerous, as the past ten years have proven.

It is tragic that it took ten years, trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of American casualties and many thousands of innocent lives to achieve our mission of killing one evil person. A narrow, targeted mission under these circumstances was far superior to initiating wars against countries not involved in the 9/11 attacks, and that is all we should have done. This was the reason I emphasized at the time the principle of Marque and Reprisal, permitted to us by the US Constitution for difficult missions such as we faced. I am convinced that this approach would have achieved our goal much sooner and much cheaper.

Schenley musicals go out on high note with spunky 'Seussical'

Now that's drama.
Schenley musicals go out on high note with spunky 'Seussical': "Because I'm writing an elegy as much as a review, let's anoint the Cat the animating spirit not just of this musical or even the Schenley musical comedy tradition but high school musicals in general, which have to use their wits in the struggle to survive in the jungle of budget cuts in competition with the bigger, more voracious beasts of sports."
Yeah, right. Sports in the city are not so voracious nor beasts.

Others can divide between music and sports -- but that is not my mission. I fight for both. I want cooperation among the productions -- from the athletic venue to the stage.

This Tuesday is a good example. One of my sons will be in a competition and the other is in a school music event. But both -- or all kids -- should have great opportunities for whatever they should desire in structured, energetic, educational endeavors.

Koch files ethics, but not court, complaint against Bruce Kraus, hypocrite

Bruce Kraus fumbles, big time.
Koch files ethics, but not court, complaint: "Bruce Kraus is a hypocrite who refuses to follow his own laws. How can we trust him with the welfare of the city of Pittsburgh when he cannot follow the very laws that he wrote and is subject to? Its deceptive, hypocritical and reveals a dangerous proclivity to say one thing, do another and violate the law for his own benefit.

Mr. Koch is considering all possible avenues in an attempt to address this matter. He is filing his ethically sound financial disclosure reports to the Allegheny County Board of Elections by todays deadline."
I was there when this law was hatched. I helped it NOT occur in an earlier edition. Then I was put onto the task force to help craft the law.

Some of what I wanted did NOT make it into the law. Some did.

But with this fumble from Bruce Kraus, if it was up to me, and I speak as a member of the task force appointed to study and craft a bill for city council, I would have the guilty with a scarlet letter punishment. This means that Bruce Kraus would not get any more pay checks. He could keep his seat, but the controller would suspend his pay until he resigned. Then if he did resign, he'd be able to run again the next time. Or, he can choose to not follow the rules and serve out his term -- but not get paid anything to do so.

Furthermore, those that paid the extra money to the candidate would be on a black list and those people and firms would not be able to get any money from the city either. Once Kraus was out of office, they'd be okay to resume business with the city.

In the city, we choose to not sell property to anyone who has an outstanding property tax due to the city. That is a good policy. This punishment option I suggest is similar. The city should choose to not do business nor make city payouts to anyone that choose to break the campaign finance laws of the city.

2 Political Junkies: Campaign Shenanigans

2 Political Junkies: Campaign Shenanigans: "Campaign Shenanigans"

Doug Shields is toast.

Come Live Over Here - Moving to Pittsburgh

A woman on Linked In posted:
I will be moving closer to Pittsburgh with my son. Need neighborhood advice.

I would like to know which areas of the city is quiet, inexpensive, and low crime rate. Could anyone in the group give me advice?
A nice discussion unfolds.

Some highlights:

Ed wrote: I just moved to Pittsburgh last July. I have 2 sons that are 15 and 13.
We moved into the Avonworth School district which is a hightly rated, small Class A school in the North Hills. My kids adapted great and made good friends right away.
There are several areas to live with a wide range of home prices so I am sure you could find something either in Ohio Township, Emsworth, Ben Avon or Sewickley.
Steeler Chris Hoke and Penquins Coach Dan Blysma both have kids attending
the in the Avonworth School District. I highly recommend it!
Summary: Making friends is important, as are sporting families in the neighborhood. And my take: Sports is a way to make friends. Plus, being in a highly rated yet smaller school is prime. Avenworth is a smaller-sized WPIAL school. Avonworth is a bit larger than Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, and the boys at CAPA. But not as big but very near to the classifications of Pittsburgh Sci-Tech, Pgh Oliver, Pgh Langley or Pgh U-Prep. Avonworth High School would not be highly rated if it played sports against all the biggest teams in the WPIAL.

Another voice: Leon posted:
Like Ed above I moved in July of last year. I have a 12 & 17 yr. old. We did extensive research on schools and looked at Upper St. Clair, Mt Lebanon and Hampton. We came from Indianapolis area and chose Hampton (20 minutes north of downtown) due the schools.

What sealed the deal was the visit to Hampton. Smaller but very tight knit, excellent academics, decent sports & music. The teachers and admin staff were very open and welcoming. Based on the kid's progress this year it was a good decision.
See how "decent sports and music matter to people.

Then Lu from Monroeville posted about having 5 neighborhood pools that are volunteer run, and kids only have to swim a length to be on a team (ours gives 6 weeks of daily lessons for 45$). Most neighborhoods are attached at some point to a park; ours has a dog park and a walking trail in the woods. Lately people have been down there playing cricket. So it's an interesting place!

Right on! Swimming and international sports. See the trend yet?

Pittsburgh Public Schools has some way better than 'decent' music and sports opportunities -- but its hit or miss. And, at times, things in those realms can suck.

People are moving to the area, but not to the city so much, based upon some clearly seen opportunities to play well with others and all that sports brings to their lives. Pittsburgh needs some type of sports reform in these matters.