Friday, December 24, 1999

Exiting Cannon Mac

Letter to the coaches that I hired, when CM couldn't find anyone to coach. 

Letter from a student who was new to the sport. Thanks Shannon!

Friday, December 03, 1999

Christmas Letter -- 1999

Happy Holidays 1999 from the Palmer/Rauterkus family
108 South 12th Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203

This year has been full of family fun and adventure.

Catherine continued to hold two positions at the University of Pittsburgh. One as a faculty member in the Communication Science and Disorders Department -- teaching and running a research laboratory. The other as the Director of Audiology and Hearing Aids at the University Medical Center. A year into this new combination still shows a love of the challenge and the new responsibilities. Being recognized with the Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award was an honor this year.

Mark continued in his commitment to be home for Erik and Grant. They are happy, confident, and self-assured boys because of it. As if this isn't enough, Mark took on several social action projects throughout the year and became a regular on TV while addressing Pittsubrgh's City Council. Although not all of the causes went our way (it looks like they will be taking down Pitt Stadium), it made the whole family proud to know that Daddy was helping with his input into the future of the city. Mark's grumble, "Feudal Pittsburgh."

Mark started to venture back into swim coaching as Grant started pre-school three days per week in the fall. Our schedules don't always quite work, but coaching is clearly Mark's calling and the swimmers are lucky to have him back. Of course, his coaching never really stopped with Erik swimming width-wise across the pool and Grant jumping in and swimming to a waiting parent. Grant can now be heard calling from the side of the pool, "move back, move back" as he propels himself into the water. Mark went to San Diego for a coaching conference, renewing a lot of old friendships.

Erik is a bright, sensitive five-year old attending pre-school three days a week. Erik and Catherine just began Suzuki Violin and are having a wonderful time with it. A block away from our house is the Market House, a wonderful athletic programs for tykes. Erik has enjoyed baseball, soccer, and hockey as well as ice and in-line skating. Grant is a rough and ready two-year old attending the same pre-school and loving it that brother is only a classroom away. Grant has a wonderful sense of humor and keeps us in stitches most of the time. Judging from his sense of adventure and lack of fear, he also may be in stitches! Grant is part thud, part butterflyer. The boys spent many joyful summer hours in Grandma's back yard (across from our house) playing in the wading pool, discovering bugs, writing with chalk and playing with balls.

Last year was a home year -- and this year we traveled. We worked and visited coast-to-coast in 99.

In March, Catherine ventured to Vermont to lead a workshop. That was the first return there since Uncle Sam and Aunt Barbara got married. It went so well that another group asked for a return visit/lecture. So, the whole family went back to Vermont in the fall. It was a three state adventure that allowed a wonderful celebration of Erik's 5th birthday along with visits to Grandpa (Maine), Aunt Pat, Uncle Charlie, and cousin Sandy (Wellsley, MA), a close UMASS friend (P in Southborough, MA), and then finally Burlington, Vermont. Catherine spoke and the family got to catch up with cousin Susan.

Catherine had a great visit with Aunt Debbi in Florida and Aunt Debbi made it to Pittsburgh to see the rest of the family later in the summer. She is a special Aunt, Great Aunt, and Godmother to Grant.

Erik, Grant, and Mommy decided to take Daddy to Chicago for his 40th birthday in May. We traveled with a babysitter and had a wonderful celebration of Mark's birthday and our good friend's 10th wedding anniversary. We were able to catch up with Northwestern friends during the trip. After years of combining work and vacation, the family went to a week long camp: the Southern Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI). What a magical week for everybody - music, fun, spiritual enrichment. Best of all, cousin Cameron from Connecticut agreed to make the trip with us. Now we expect this to be an annual event.

October saw us back at Mark's sisters annual Hootenanny (eastern PA) and we all slept in a tent -- the boys loved it!

Another conference took Catherine to San Francisco in November and Ed, Lori (Erik's godparents) and Margaret and Gerrit Bratt were wonderful hosts during meeting breaks.

There were several nice visits with Uncle Bob who has a standing monthly call with Erik where they discuss the pros and cons of "The Force" and depending on droids. Both are big Star Wars fans!.

The coming year will see a family trip to Arizona for a little work and lots of play with friends who moved out there from Pittsburgh. The family also will wave bye to Catherine for another solo trip, to Chicago were she is in charge of the research portion of the national Audiology conference. In June 2000, Mark and Catherine are going without the boys to Prague and Vienna for a little work and play.

We hope you will let us know if you are coming near or by Pittsburgh - we'd love to see you.

The extended family was made larger by cousin Katie's birth. We are soon to add a baby from the Majewski family and one from the McLaughlin family. Erik and Grant will boast 11 cousins in all and every one of them fun to play with!

We will be bringing in the New Year with Grandma and Cousin Cameron who will come in from Connecticut. Have a happy, healthy, and safe Y2K.

Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Team Communication and Clarity

 On our first day of practice, Nov. 15, 2001, I passed out a 3 page listing of various activities and such for the team's knowledge.

The HS AD and both Principals got copies of this by Nov. 16. 

Here is one such change to that handout I've made -- so as to be "PERFECTLY CLEAR." 

Reactions and feedback welcomed. 

snip #1 --- A Lesson's Time and Space

There are no optional and no mandatory practices. Those terms hold us back. "Don't let the chains hold us back." Every event is a date. Always act with personal integrity. end snip #1 --- 

Please understand this: Nothing within my program has the designation of "MANDATORY." 

I tell the swimmers and their families that I try as best as possible to look at both the big picture and the small picture. If someone has out of town guest or even travels out of town on Thanksgiving -- fine -- I understand that. That is a look at the big picture of life. Visiting grandma in New York with a family trip is more important than being at a holiday practice. That is my approach. 

Furthermore, I want to know in advance in writing that the athlete is going to be away then -- however. I treat each practice/session/lesson like a "date." I don't like to be "stood up" on a date without advance notice. I want the athlete to tell me and leave me a note -- not the parent. 

This advance notice calls for personal integrity and being curious, I feel. There are fewer rules in my program -- but there are higher expectations as I'm going to hold the kids to higher behaviors from themselves by my expectations and my interactions with them. 

I don't have built in penalties for missed practices and such. I feel that in life, very little in life is "MANDATORY" and most of things are "optional." So too is the lifestyle of being an athlete and striving for personal excellence. 

People get to make choices in the real world. I want my program to be a spring-board to life -- and we want to develop skills for the athletes that are smoothly transferable to other life challenges. On the other hand, my swim program is NOT like an academic program or the operation of the H.S.

Many things in academics are MANDATORY. Rambling off. 

snip #2.

Sun. Nov 21 Join wrestlers at HS for gym and plyometrics at 1:00-2:00. Mark will be there. end snip #2

---- Notice, this event, has been changed on the "official" schedule. It now reads: 

snip #3 --- Sun. Nov 21 Opportunity to join wrestlers at HS for open gym at 1:00-2:00. Mark will be there. end snip #3 --- 

From my perspective, an open gym opportunity for the swim team and divers (as well as other in the greater HS community) -- when we are NOT going to the pool, when we are playing with another squad, when we are there for 1-hour, when it is on a SUNDAY, and when everything in my program is optional --- is NOT a practice. 

The remark from a page in the handbook said the following: 

3. No team representing a P.I.A.A. member school may practice or participate in any interscholastic athletic contest on more than six days in any calendar week during the regular season. Furthermore, this rule is easily side-stepped on many weeks of the season at many different schools when a swim teams compete in weekend meets within their "CLUB" setting. The HS coach has practices Monday through Friday and then the team swims a CLUB meet on Saturday and Sunday. Often the same coach is with the kids on the team(s) day-in-and-day-out months on end, yet alone never for 7 consecutive days. The reasoning -- and it is legit justifications -- is the fact that the HS team is not this CLUB team. Hence, everything is okay. 

Here, at CM, the kids are at a disadvantage because there is such a floundering club that has a counter-effect with the overall program. The kids at USC, BP, Mt. Lebo all have it much better than those at CM. All of those coaches are seeing all of their kids 7-days per week for weeks on end. 

At another time and place in my career, I recall years when I had two days off. One was Christmas, the other day off was Easter. On all other days I was working with the kids in some capacity. 

I am sure that Julie Rocks, a former coach, went to 2-day meets with some of the kids after a week of practices. I think we all agree that we want to be competitive and we want to be within the framework of the rules as well. Both are going to occur without doubt. And, we also need to keep a clear perspective on how we want to build the program for the future as I feel some of the program's infrastructure is in dire need of attention for long-term considerations. 

Hence, the serious attention to the passed memo with the highlighted area that came to me from the AD. 

I hope this makes sense. Thanks for listening.

Monday, November 15, 1999

Big Mac Swimming

Coaching Staff Bios for the Big Mac Winter Sports Program Book

The 99-00 season marks the start of a new era for Canon-McMillian Swimming and Diving program. Mark Rauterkus was hired as the varsity coach, and he assembled and recruited a new staff, including a new diving coach, Danielle, and two assistants, Shannon and Katie. Warm appreciation from the present staff goes to both, former coach, Julie Rocks, as her efforts helped to re-craft the positions, and the new AD, Dan Pallante.

Head Coach: Mark Rauterkus

Mark is ending a second mini-retirement from day-to-day swim coaching to lead this year's Big Mac team. Mark said, "I'm excited to be here -- and now I'm looking for long-term opportunities in coaching."

Mark began coaching in 1976, starting a NEW summer team in east-suburban Pittsburgh. He and fell in love with the sport as an assistant at Greater Pittsburgh Swim Club. He moved to become the head coach for the Athens (Ohio) Swim Club (3-years), assist the Ohio Univ. Men's team (4-years), and get a BS in Journalism (82). Mark went to Baylor Univ. (Texas) for grad studies in HPER as a teaching assistant/coach. Mark took the Peoria, Illinois team to #2 state finishes in both Age Group, and Senior Championships getting a couple of "spirit awards." Mark coached with Bradley Univ., Bernal's Gators in Mass. (then at Harvard), Evanston (IL), New Trier (IL), and Plum High School. In both seasons at Plum (early 90s), the girls team finished #2 in WPIAL Championships, each year winning 3 events with many All-America honors. Mark's swimmers have set state records in 4 states.

When not coaching, Mark has been a stay-at-home dad (recently), sports advocate and a publisher of cutting-edge sports participation titles, working on more than 100 various titles, including 12 swimming-specific books.

Mark hopes to build a program of excellence that includes activities beyond the pool, including a sports lecture series and many high-tech enrichment experiences for our team and community.

Mark and his family reside in Pittsburgh's South Side. Catherine V. Palmer, Ph.D., is the Director of the Eye and Ear Institute and a teacher/researcher at Pitt. Sons are Erik, 5, and Grant, 2 in Dec. 99.

Diving Coach: Danielle Waters

Danielle grew up in the North Hills, graduated from Hampton High School (92) and was a Hampton diver for four years. Danielle received a BS degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Ohio University. While at O.U. she was a member of the Division I diving team for four years, was a Mid American Conference meet qualifier three times, a NCAA qualifier, and a team captain.

Danielle attended grad school at the University of Pittsburgh from 1996-1998. While getting her Masters degree she coached the Hampton High School Diving Team (1997-1998).

Danielle got married in August, 1999, and lives in Bridgeville. She is currently a clinical audiologist for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Assistant Coach: Shannon Pickett

Shannon, 22, is presently a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. She has a B.S. degree in Communication Disorders from Central Michigan University. She swam for fourteen years on a YMCA team where she was named MVP for four years and held many team records in various events. She also swam at the college level at Grand Valley State University for two years.

Shannon's coaching experience ranges from beginning swimmers to high school and was a private swim instructor for adults and children. She also coached for the Special Olympics and swam with the Deaf Olympic swim team. Shannon is very excited about the opportunities to work with swimmers this season.

Assistant Coach: Katie Moore

Katie, 22, is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing a masters in Audiology. She has a B.S.ED. from the University of Georgia in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is a former high school and intramural college swimmer, having swam competitively for a total of twelve years.

Katie has experience coaching beginning and intermediate swimmers on club teams and in private lessons. Her coaching emphasis is in technique, stroke work, and conditioning. She is looking forward to an exciting and productive swimming season this year.

Tuesday, November 09, 1999

Early Season with new team, CM Swimming

Swimming and Diving Team Schedule

Updated schedule on the net at www.FreeTeam.Org/cm

Temporary Two Weeks or So:

Only the first two weeks of the swim schedule are being provided on Nov. 15. In future years after I've got a better understanding of the entire season and other operations, I'll try to have the seasonal schedule presented at the first practice. For now, because the staff is new, we are going to present the seasonal schedule around Thanksgiving / December 1.

A Lesson's Time and Space

There are no optional and no mandatory practices. Those terms hold us back. "Don't let the chains hold us back." Every event is a date. Always act with personal integrity.

Understand This!

Golden Rule: Notify Coach Mark in writing in advance of any out of the ordinary occurrence. Email: Mark@ -- Voice mail: 412-481-2497. The divers are lucky to have the coaching guidance from both Mark and Danielle -- notify them both. Danielle@SportSurf.Net.

Elsewhere Ends

The program revival and gathering of all swimmers begins Nov. 15 -- without exception. This is a change. We'll talk about change in great length. Swimmers who are members of other swim programs take note! Going to a club practice is NOT a substitute for our HS team practice at this time. Club swimmers have more to re-learn, more to re-program and more to benefit from attending all sessions. The assembly-line coaching approach requires that the new system be understood in a progressive way. Drills from one day are expanded upon and embellished in combination drills in the next day.

Furthermore, the behaviors within the optional, pre-season are suspect.

Who is who

One of the key building blocks of our program is inclusion. Another key to success is the advancement of homogeneous training groups. To better control the inclusion and diversity as well as make for suitable challenges and group striving Visitors are welcomed at certain times and places. We want to have the river of life flowing into our program, and we want to be To include those who should be included


  • Team is the entire group of Canon Mac athletes: This includes swimmers, divers, and dual athletes. This includes all ability levels.
  • Swimmers are those who do not dive.
  • Divers are those who do not swim and those who are dual athletes.
  • Dual athletes are those who are able and willing and going to be in swimming and diving events.
  • WPIAL group = swimming athletes who are destined to be in the WPIAL Championship meet. Those that expect to make this time standard are welcome at this time. Later entry into this group is subject to qualification justifications.
  • State group = swimming athletes who are destined to be in the PIAA Championship meet. Those that expect to make this time standard are welcome at this time. Later entry into this group is subject to qualification justifications. Of course, those in the state group are also part of the WPIAL group.
  • Varsity: the bulk of the team is in this group.
  • JV = swimming athletes who are part of the WPIAL and State group are NOT part of the JV group.
  • Upper-class: Juniors and Seniors
  • Underclass: Freshmen and Sophomores
  • Middle-Schoolers = MidS = those who are in grades 7 & 8 and attend either of Canon-Mac's Middle Schools and was interested in being on the school teams while in those grades and is expected to be on the HS swim team.
  • Middle-Schoolers-Plus-Club = Mid+ = those who are in grades 7 & 8 and attend either of Canon-Mac's Middle Schools and who are engaged in on-going swimming training for a club team such as GCSC, Washington Y, Tidal Wave, CV. Grade 6 participants are eligible to attend this group by tryout.
  • NCAA = NCAA athletes = Those that are training at a NCAA program.
  • Alumni = those that have graduated and are retired from Senior swimming.
  • Post Graduates = those who are beyond their HS career, and perhaps beyond their NCAA career too. Those who are still in senior swimming.
  • Masters = those who are still able and willing to compete in swim or multi-sport events.

Divers: Divers join the swim practice when schedule says laps.. was interested in being on the school teams while in those grades and is expected to be on the HS swim team.

Monday: Nov. 15
Swim Practice from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Two swimmers with advance notice okay to exit early for PP Football.
Divers from 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Tuesday: Nov 16
Swim: from 6:00 am to 6:55 am. Please be ready to be in the water at 6 with the Perfect 50. Practice conclusion time 6:55 am.

Swimmers at AM practice get a gift from Coach Mark. It is an autographed copy of the first book he ever published. It has a seasons worth of swim practices from the Univ. of Alabama. Check out the book -- and we'll have a future home work assignement about its contents and such in due time.

Swim: 3:00 to 5:00
WPIAL & State swimmers to 5:45 pm.
Dive from 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Wed. Nov 17
Swim & Dive: Team photos. at pool at 3:00 pm.
Swim: 3:30 to 6:00 pm with assistant coaches to conclude practices.
Dive: 3:30 to 4:30 laps.

Parent Booster Meeting at 7 - 8 pm at Canonsburg Middle School Library.

Thur. Nov 18
Seniors at HS for photo at 3 pm.
All team at High School for conditioning at 3 pm.
Dive from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Fri. Nov 19
Team (all swimmers and divers) at HS for conditioning at 3 pm.
JV kids with assistant coaches at pool from 4-6 pm for private lessons. Email requests to Shannon and Katie@SportSurf.Net.

Sat. Nov 20
Swimmers from 7-9 am.
Sun. Nov 21
Opportunity to join wrestlers at HS for open gym at 1:00-2:00. Mark will be there.
Mon. Nov 22
Team at HS for conditioning, 3:00 to 4:15. Includes divers!
Dive from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Tue. Nov 23
Swim 3:00-5:00
Dive from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Wed. Nov 24
Divers to HS conditioning, 3-4 pm and dive from 4:30-5:15 (requireds).
Swim 3:00-6:00 pm
Thur. Nov 25 (Thanksgiving)
Swimmers: 7:00 to 10 am.
Divers from 8:30-9:00 stretch and condition at pool.
Dive from 9:10 to 10:00

Fri. Nov 26
Swimmers: 7:00 to 10 am.
Dive from 9:00 to 10:30 am with D.W.

Sat. Nov 27
Swimmers: 7:00 to 10 am
Divers from 8:30-9:00 stretch and condition at pool.
Dive from 9:10 to 10:00
Sun. Nov 28

Mon. Nov 29
Swim: 3:00 - 5:00
Dive: 3:00 @ HS.
Dive from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Tue. Nov. 30
Swim: 3:00 to 6:00. Looking for draft of swim line-up please.
Dive from 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Wed. Dec. 1
Swim 3:00 - 5:00
Dive @ HS at 3:00 and Dive at 4:15-5

Thur. Dec. 2
Swim: 3:00 - 6:00 pm
Team Pasta Party after practice to 8 pm. Divers eat first at 6 pm. Dive 7:15 - 8:30 pm

Fri. Dec 3.
Meet vs. McKeesport at HOME at 6:30. Divers to pool by 4:30. Swimmers in water at 5:15. No food at meet. Eat before warmup.

Wednesday, September 29, 1999

Al Gore, Internet, and government money


September 29, 1999-- Vice President Al Gore announced $9.9 million in grants to help working families gain Information Age benefits by bringing computers and the Internet to community centers, public housing, and libraries.

"Technology must be about opportunity for every American family and that means making technology available to every family for education, skills development -- even for young children just learning to read," said Vice President Al Gore. "The world is changing quickly and we must make sure those changes work for our families. Community Technology Centers will bring countless new opportunities to working families -- helping children and adults to help themselves."

He urged the Congress to provide full funding for $65 million for Community Technology Centers (CTC's). The prior week, the House and Senate provided only $10 million, a cut of $55 million.

Aimed at "narrowing the digital divide," the Community Technology Centers will be located near the working families who will use them -- in public housing facilities, community centers or libraries -- and will provide a range of services.

  • Workforce development and employment information -- basic and advanced computer skills training, resume writing workshops, and online access to job databases.

  • Pre-school and family programs available at times when parents can bring young children to use age-appropriate software. Linked to other programs such as Head Start, family literacy or daycare providers without access to computers.
  • After-school activities that will provide structured opportunities for students to use software that offers homework help, academic enrichment, and exploration of the Internet.
  • Adult education -- individually, or in collaboration with existing programs, GED training, English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction, adult basic education, or post-secondary education classes using the latest learning technologies.

"These awards will help parents and students, who don't have computers at home, link learning at school with learning anywhere through technology," U.S. Secretary Richard Riley said. "The Community Technology Centers bring the power of computers and information-age resources to those who have the greatest need."

Forty grants and more looming

The administration has requested $65 million for Community Technology Centers in fiscal year 2000, to support 300 additional grants, and the formation of up to 500 new centers to help more working families.
The Children's Aid Society, Harlem, New York City.
The grant will be used to expand an existing center and build three new satellite centers. Serving the Harlem Empowerment Zone, the centers will work with Computers for Youth to increase home access, improve computer literacy among residents, and increase participant exposure to information technology careers through "Silicon Alley" mentors.

DePaul University, Chicago.
The award provides for the expansion of the existing Learning by Association Community Technology Center. In addition, it will create a new center in one of the most impoverished, mostly immigrant areas of Chicago's Humbolt Park. The center will provide assistance for adult education, after-school programming and small-business start-up assistance through connections with the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development.

Community Technology Centers Program

FY 99 Grant Award Abstracts

Armory (NY) High School Sports Foundation

216 Ft. Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032-3704
Year 1 Award: $305,426
In the Washington Heights section of New York, a Community Technology Center will offer a complete schedule of computer skills building workshops, a technology-infused early language intervention curriculum for pre-school children, and a business applications class. The area to be served has a largely Dominican population with more than 50% of the families receiving AFDC.

Science Museum of Minnesota

Year 1 Award: $211,908
The project will expand STUDIO 3D (Digital, Design, and Development), an after-school outreach program providing computer access for adolescents and their families in low-income, inner-city areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Two new community technology centers will be created and STUDIO 3D will be made available on a mobile lab.

Fairfield (CT) University Psych. Department

Year 1 Award: $166,599
Fairfield University's ABCD Literacy Technology Training Center will provide computer, internet access, and training to low-income families in the Bridgeport, Connecticut Enterprise Community. Building on a collaborative partnership between the University and a non-profit agency, Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc. (ABCD), the project will create "satellite" computer centers in Head Start/School Readiness classrooms that enhance both the computer and "traditional" literacy of parents and children.

Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority (TN)

Year 1 Award: $299,992
A Technical Education Center (ATEC) and three satellite centers will place a special emphasis on increasing the computer literacy of female head of households.

Casa Grande Elementary School District 4

Year 1 Award: $287,473
The centers will serve at-risk children, the working poor, and those without access to computers. Instructional technology at the centers will be used for academic enrichment, workforce development, and GED completion.

United Way of Midlands, Columbia, SC

Year 1 Award: $225,603
Fast Forward will increase access to information technology for adults and children in the inner city. Offer after-school enrichment, adult education, and technical training. Midlands Technical College will teach courses at the centers leading to an Associate's Degree in Computer Science.

Family Investment Center

Year 1 Award: $263,083
The Charles Hayes Family Investment Center will expand its current services in Chicago's Empowerment Zone by creating four new satellite centers. The Chicago Consortium for Higher Education will provide access to an interactive videoconference network run on dedicated T-1 lines.

Blackfoot School District

55 270 E. Bridge Blackfoot, ID 83221 Year 1 Award: $300,000 

A Family Technology Center (FTC) would be built to serve American Indian and Hispanic individuals in a low-income, rural area in southeastern Idaho. The Center would draw students and community members living on the Shoshone-Bannock Reservation and migrant farming community. 

The FTC would have a goal of increasing access to information technology and using the technology to improve academic achievement and job skills. 

Massachusetts Easter Seal Society, Inc.

484 Main Street Worcester, MA 01608 Year 1 Award: $192,129 The Easter Seals Assistive Technology Center, currently focusing on individuals with disabilities, would be expanded to serve the broader community. The center will provide after-school enrichment for students, adult education, and career development. 

Desert Sands Unified School District

 47950 Dune Palms Road La Quinta, CA 92253 Year 1 Award: $192,755 Technology centers will be opened to provide opportunities for a largely Hispanic population in a rural Empowerment Zone plagued by illiteracy and high unemployment. 

Board of Education, Prince George's County Public Schools

14201 School Lane Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 Year 1 Award: $290,067 Focusing on Langley Park, with 700 elementary school children from 36 countries and speaking 21 different languages, a community technology center will provide after-school access and computer-based enrichment exercises in basic math and English. The Center would also serve adults who want to complete their GED, improve their English, or learn basic computer repair skills. Adults will upgrade older computers for donation to needy families. 

Harlem Center for Education

1 East 104th Street, Room 382 New York, NY 10029 Year 1 Award: $353,710 A new center will be created in East Harlem, a designated Empowerment Zone, to better prepare teachers to use technology and provide computer literacy courses to area residents. Services will also include adult education, after-school enrichment, and small business assistance. 

New York City Board of Education

433 West 123rd Street New York, NY 10027 Year 1 Award: $299,908 Community School District 5 in New York will create a Renaissance Community Technology Center. School-to-Work students will gain valuable work experience by reconditioning donated equipment, maintaining center computers, and providing technical support. Using the space of a Parent Literacy Center currently under renovation, the center will offer video-conferencing equipment for distance learning. 

Ganado Unified School District

P.O. Box 1757 Ganado, AZ 86505 Year 1 Award: $279,340 Located in the Navajo Nation, and the Window Rock Enterprise Community, the Ganado Technology Center Project will focus on improving a school-based computer lab, with expanded service to the wider community. Project objectives include increasing student achievement, encouraging the participation of adults in information technology training, and increasing home-access to computers. 

Edudyne Foundation

2232 Salt Air Drive Santa Ana, CA 92705 Year 1 Award: $298,120 A community technology center program will be created in an economically distressed area. The center will help Spanish-speaking students, and their parents, to improve their English-language proficiency and computer literacy. With donations from local industry, home-ownership of computers will be increased. 

The Children's Aid Society

105 East 22nd Street New York, NY 10010-5413 Year 1 Award: $286,657 The Children's Aid Society will expand an existing center and build three new satellite centers. Serving the Harlem Empowerment Zone the centers will work with Computers for Youth to increase home access, improve computer literacy among residents, and increase participant exposure to information technology careers through "Silicon Alley" mentors. 

Mott Community College

1401 East Court Street Flint, MI 48503-2089 Year 1 Award: $177,813 Mott Community College is partnering with several community organizations to serve residents of the Flint Enterprise Community through the creation of three new centers, one of which focuses on serving those with disabilities. Mott Community College will serve as the hub site providing internet access, two-way audio/video conferencing, and technical support.

Family Solutions

2100 Front Street Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221 Year 1 Award: $298,400 Family Solutions, a United Way family service agency with a 78-year history, will develop two community technology centers. One will be located in the Akron Enterprise Community. The center will serve youth and adults who will learn to use information technology tools through digital photo imaging/editing, web page design, and graphic design. 

Peninsula College

1502 East Lauridsen Blvd. Port Angeles, WA 98362-6698 Year 1 Award: $200,000 Peninsula College, in partnership with four Native American Tribes and the Washington Employment Agency, will create a network of community technology centers serving disadvantaged individuals in the remote communities of the North Olympic 

Peninsula. Future Teachers of Chicago

513 W. 72nd Street Chicago, IL 60621 Year 1 Award: $300,000 Future Teachers of Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, and other partners plan to implement project LIFTT (Learning is Fun Through Technology). The LIFTT collaboration will establish computer learning centers in four Park District sites. College participants will gain hands-on teaching experience in the use of technology as they prepare to become inner-city teachers.

YMCA of the East Bay

2230 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612 Year 1 Award: $298,999 In the San Francisco East Bay area, the "digital divide" is particularly pronounced with flourishing Information Technology companies existing near pockets of urban poverty. Targeting communities in West Oakland and South Richmond, a unique collaborative will develop four, linked community technology centers with a focus on after-school enrichment and job training for adults.

Southeast Regional Resource Center

210 Ferry Way Suite 200 Juneau, AK 99801 Year 1 Award: $299,205 Two new community technology centers will be created in Juneau, an Enterprise Community, and Ketchikan, an economically distressed area. These centers will provide access to technology and related learning services. The Centers will be networked with educational institutions and social services agencies to better serve disadvantaged Southeast Alaskans. 

ASPIRA Association Inc.

1441 I Street NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20005 Year 1 Award: $299,769 ASPIRA will replicate their community technology center model, building four new centers in the mostly Latino, Empowerment Zone neighborhoods of Chicago, Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Connecticut and Carolina, Puerto Rico. Existing ASPIRA community centers will be expanded to include computer learning rooms with internet connected computers and educational software.

Chicago Commons

915 N.Wolcott Avenue Chicago, IL 60622-4998 Year 1 Award: $297,242 Three new community technology centers will be created in Chicago Commons settlement houses, which are located in Chicago?s Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community. Each site will have a trainer working closely with settlement house staff to assist residents use information technology to improve their lives.

Detroit International Stake Adult Housing Corporation

16631 Lahser Road Detroit, MI 48219 Year 1 Award: $75,880 The project will expand an existing Neighborhood Networks Computer Learning Center and a new center will be created serving Detroit's Empowerment Zone. Objectives of the project include improving the job skills of adults and enhancing the learning of students in the after-school hours.

Seattle Public Library 

100 4th Avenue Seattle, WA 98104 Year 1 Award: $300,000 A collaborative alliance has been created to expand the services and ensure the sustainability of seven existing community technology centers. The centers will serve low-income communities in Central and Southeast Seattle, part of a federally designated Enterprise Community. 

Capital Area Intermediate Unit 

55 Miller Street Summerdale, PA 17093-0489 Year 1 Award: $205,508 In addition to building satellite centers in neighborhoods that are part of the Harrisburg Enterprise Community, the project will expand Career Cybercafe, where high-school students and other residents learn information technology skills, explore careers in technology, and are connected to e-mentors. Sinte Gleska University P.O. Box 490 Rosebud, SD 57570 Year 1 Award: $280,428 Sinte Gleska, one of the first tribal colleges and located in the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, will open computer learning rooms at four of their outreach extension centers. Project goals include open access to technology, increased information technology skills, and improved retention of high school and college students. 

Texas A&M Center for Housing and Urban Development

College Station, TX 77843-3137 Year 1 Award: $223,216 Texas A & M will partner with numerous State and local agencies to open computer learning labs in nine existing community centers along the Texas-Mexico border. Project goals include increasing the educational level of residents, improving their job skills, and increasing access to technology. Delaware Technical & Community College 1832 N. DuPont Parkway Dover, Delaware 19901 Year 1 Award: $242,404 Delaware Technical and Community College will create a mobile community technology center that will serve distressed urban and rural communities. WHEELS (Working to Heighten Education and Employee Learning Skills) will be a custom designed vehicle capable of bringing directly to those who need it basic education, skills training, and access to computers. Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin P.O. Box 910 Keshena, WI 54135 Year 1 Award: $62,288 Three community learning centers will be created in outlying community facilities to implement a technology-based education program designed to improve high school retention and completion. 

Mercy Charities Housing

1028A Howard Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Year 1 Award: $200,000 Mercy Charities Housing, a non-profit dedicated to building affordable housing, will create NET (neighbors, education, and technology) centers in seven low-income housing developments. Leadership, Education, and Athletic Partnership, Inc. 31 Jefferson Street New Haven, CT 06511 Year 1 Award: $265,000 Leadership, Education, and Athletic Partnership, Inc. (LEAP) currently operates a network of five LEAP Computer Learning Centers. They will expand the learning services at these centers and build two additional centers. The project will focus on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the centers so that they become a permanent community resource, like schools or libraries. 

Des Moines Area Community College

2006 S. Ankeny Blvd. Ankeny, IA 50021-3003 Year 1 Award: $252,927 A large technology center will be established in the heart of the Des Moines Enterprise Community and in a satellite center nearby. In partnership with the State of Iowa Department of Workforce Development, Des Moines Area Community College will open centers that deliver educational technology to disadvantaged citizens in both urban and rural communities. 

100 Black Men of Albany,New York Capital Region, Inc. 

388 Clinton Avenue Albany, NY 12206 Year 1 Award: $296,942 The 100 Net 2000 project will expand the 100 Black Men of Technology Center to satellite centers in inner city neighborhoods. The project is using as a framework the Urban CyperSpace Initiative, of the Center for Urban Youth and Technology at the University of Albany, which focuses on infusing advanced multimedia and telecommunications technologies into under-served communities, using community technology centers to provide opportunities for community and workforce development. 

Community College of Southern Nevada

3200 E. Cheyenne Ave. North Las Vegas, NV 89030-4296 Year 1 Award: $195,871 In one of the most economically distressed neighborhoods of Las Vegas, the Community College of Southern Nevada Neighborhood Educational Center will add 2 computer classrooms with full internet access, online connections to distance learning, and educational software. 

Hudson County Community College 

25 Journal Square Jersey City, NJ 07360 Year 1 Award: $299,563 The Hudson County Community College is forming a county-wide partnership to develop a far-reaching network of community technology access sites. Two core sites, one in Jersey City and the other in Union City, will ultimately be working with 8 satellite centers. 

DePaul University

1 East Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60604-2287 Year 1 Award: $236,050 This project will expand the Learning by Association Community Technology Center at the West Town Association Site and create a new center in one of the most impoverished, mostly immigrant areas of Chicago, Humboldt Park. In addition to adult education and after-school programming, the centers will provide small-business start-up assistance through connections with the Mayor?s Office of Workforce Development. 

Middle Rio Grande Development Foundation

P.O. Box 1199 Carrizo Springs, TX 78834 Year 1 Award: $197,926 The FUTURO project, focusing on a five county area and rural Enterprise Community, will develop five new Technology Centers, open during the after-school hours, evenings, and on weekends. Activities include a pre-school reading enhancement program, interactive videoconferencing for small business development, and webpage design. Fairnet, Inc. 1215 Cowles Street Fairbanks, AK 99701 Year 1 Award: $141,799 FairNet (Electronic Community Network), the Literacy Council of Alaska, the Fairbanks Native Association, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, and other partners have joined forces to develop three new community technology centers and a mobile center to serve low-income neighborhoods. All centers emphasize public access, open lab time, and elder services.

Friday, September 24, 1999

Hampton was looking for a coach. I think we might have talked (flashback)

Mark Rauterkus
108 South 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

web site: http://www.SportSurf.Net
home: 412-
voice mail: 412-

September 24, 1999

Athletic Director
Hampton High School

Dear Athletic Director,

	I’d love to learning more about the open swim coaching position with the district. I’d like to apply to be the team’s coach starting this year. 

	Your district's program might make an ideal match for my situation. As a returning resident of Pittsburgh, my dreams are to raise my family here. It is most probable that I would one day make a long-term commitment to stay with the program for many years. But our short-term advantage is the fact that I am well suited for the job and ready to work with the swimmers right away.

	Getting this position would end a mini-retirement. My most recent coaching stint was for two years as the head coach for the Plum High School Swim Teams nearly a decade ago. I was thankful for the opportunity to work with the students and get back into the swim scene in Pittsburgh. However, that experience was destined as a short-term endeavor.

	A great deal of thinking and planning for swimming opportunities is happening with me for the next year and the long-term future. I’d like to get on the job now and explore the possibilities of moving into a various year-round coaching roles -- beyond just the High School Team. I’d like to have a program that has tighter coordination with other swim sites. I am hopeful that you are willing to entertain ideas and proposals from myself regarding the evolution of the position and duties in due time.

	I’d like to establish valuable community programs and assets beyond a role as swim coach. I’d like to pull together a combination of part-time duties, and build a new position for myself that would keep the program exciting. 

	I am a team player who knows how to set and reach objectives and goals. At Plum, a number of significant goals were reached by the swimmers and divers on our teams. The girls squad, for the first time in school history, placed second at the WPIAL Championships. And, the girls team finished #2 in the WPIAL meet both years I coached the there. Plum beat USC one year and Mt. Lebanon the next year by 3-point and 1.5-point margins, clinching wins in by dominating the 400 free relay, the last event. 

	I feel that I bring a rich set of experiences to the position and would offer the swimmers, parent boosters, staff and other important players in the community dynamic leadership. I know that I have the skills. I can promise a fun and spirited team with plenty of structure and clear ground rules.  The team will have a great deal of customization with individualized training and instruction that offers everyone a great chance for improvement.

	My coaching philosophy, a personal reference list, and presentations on both my background and future programming considerations most suitable for integration are ready for delivery in these meetings with you.

	Thanks for your consideration. 

					Sincerely Yours,

					Mark Rauterkus

	I’m firm, fair and not afraid to communicate my thoughts. I have no doubts that I can run the team in a most responsible manner.

	I would like to start a new programs. Some of these activities would be a result of past and pending books and expert/author contacts. For example, one such possible new program that could become a new revenue source is a swim instruction/training course for triathletes. Another is Underwater Hockey. 

	These programs could flourish in off-hours as priorities and staff growth permits. The leaders and participants in the programs would obtain valuable information from my “high-tech” interactions. 

	There are other ideas that can be explored with you in due time including a weight-training/sprinting seminars with out-of-town presenters, a literacy program for summer reading, a stop-smoking project, ghoul school events for October and Pull Your Own Weight that aims to develop self-esteem.

	Furthermore, I plan getting the job, on making some requests of you before I would accept the job. These are expressed and attached. All points are open-ended and subject to our discussion. I would not feel comfortable unless I first presented these items to you in writing before you decide about my coming to work with you this summer.

	A copy of my professional, swim coaching resume, some of my company’s books and older catalogs are here for you to inspect.

Beyond my rich competitive swim coaching experiences, I am a publisher, a small-business owner, a creative thinker, and a most ambitious person. Marketing and communication are strengths. I understand issues in public education, production and even management. 

Besides the present needs of the swim team, I would like to know if you would be interested in allowing me to take on some new directions by forming and/or expanding a “scholastic press.” The university press model cold be put into effect at a community level. I’ve got new and creative directions that can be implemented in due time. For example, we could publish and sell books to earn revenues and provide a fantastic learning laboratory for the educational community.

I’m eager to learn more of the specifics of district activities in competitive swimming, aquatics recreation, and even information technology.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

				Sincerely Yours,

				Mark Rauterkus

If you want to build an exciting team based upon excellence, where the sky is the limit, let’s start. 

I am interested in working with you, doing further exploration and nurturing a long-term relationship. But before we begin to build, I want to be certain that we agree on the building’s blue-print, and I want to be certain that all the materials for the building are going to be available when they are needed. 
	Beware, because I am someone who can build a program and who already has delivered top-flight teams. Just two years ago, in my first season with an typical, unranked, area high school, as Head Coach, I took the kids to state records, and a 2nd place team finish at the WPIAL championships. Things happen quickly. I’ve taken 1:03 girl backstrokers to :58.8 in one short season.
	As a consultant coach, I’ll be held back, and I will not be able to make sweeping changes. However, at the same time, I will not be in a position to make promises to the kids that I will help them in every way I can and that I will insure that they will be as great as they possibly can be. I will not lead a frustrating experience.

Consultant / Mentor Coach
A consultant coach and/or a mentor coach can present new roles that might be worth some exploration. The new roles provide a safety-net for the club and its swimmers for the short term. Coaching staff development is critical for a growing program. Small group coaching can be cultivated. And, most of all, the long-term upside with a reorganization can lead to an exciting future.

A mentor coach can work a range of hours each week with a range of that time devoted to interaction time with the swimmers. The total time can be 10, 20, 30 hours per week. For the duration of 1998 the head coach position is not expected to be a full-time job.

Beyond contact time with the swimmers at practices and meets, another portion of the services for a consultant / mentor coach can be conducted out of team practice time for meetings, research and behind the scenes, fact-finding efforts. 

One by-product of the early phase of any employment will be the development of a new team handbook. The handbook will be at least 100 pages in length. The book will be edited and published in paper and on-line editions. 

The Swim Team Board should host a parents meeting one evening in the school auditorium or some other suitable setting for a “Introduction Meeting with our Consultant Coach.” Only High School aged swimmers and interested adults should be in attendance. There should be no swim practice while the meeting takes place. All the coaches should attend. Swim club business should be limited to 10 minutes or less. Mark will speak for one hour. 

Club Administration Seminar Sponsors
The Swim Team Board will agree to host a two-part club development seminar for the region’s swim teams some time between November and February. Part one will be a swim coaches seminar directed by Mark Rauterkus, and part two will be an club administration seminar to be directed by Guy Edson of the American Swim Coaches Association. This event needs to be publicized and if properly managed could generate following budget. (See attached.)

Sample Budget for Club Administration Seminar
Fixed Expenses:
	Publicity: 	$200.00
	Room & Hospitality: 	$300.00
	ASCA Director & travel	$1100.00
		Total	($1600.00)

Variable Expenses:
	Materials:	$5.00 per person.
	estimated attendance = 75	Total	($375.00)

	Coaches: 25 x $15.00	= $375.00
	Parent Leaders: 50 x $25	= $1,250.00
		Total	$1625.00

		Profit/Loss Grand Total = $25.00

Further Points of Interest from Mark Rauterkus

	In the event that I am offered the job as head swim coach, I will want the Board to assure the following start-up tasks. Can we coordinate the following points the first month as they are necessary to give this first season a positive start.

A great deal of preparation and homework on all elements of the team is necessary. Assistance with an in-depth study is appreciated. Covering “what is what” and, “who is who” should also include ample opportunity for others to meet me and for them to express ideas that can help the program and further assist the athletes.

1. I will want to have an initial meeting with the High School Athletic Director, the YMCA director(s), the township recreation leaders, the summer club coaches, swim team captain and parents club members and board.

2. I will want to have a brainstorming meeting with the Swim Parents group. Then I will want to have a follow-up meeting with the same group one week later. At that follow-up meeting, we will pick a parent to serve as a communication facilitator for the remainder of the year.

3. I want to have two dry-land seminars with all the swimmers interested in becoming members of the team. We should hold these meetings in a large classroom, perhaps on Saturday afternoons when most of the people are available. We will elect captains, get training handouts, suggest pre-season conditioning programs, and get to know one another.

4. I want to be a part of the process to hire the assistant coaches. I want to be able to have the authority to object to the hiring and be able to dismiss these people at any time without prior approval.
	I am quite hopeful that I’ll be able to get qualified coaches to move to Pittsburgh to be “role coaches” with the program in seasons to come. Given the lack of seasoned coaches in the area, and given the few numbers of coaches now available to the program, I fully expect that I’ll have to find, recruit and re-locate experienced swim coaches.

5. I want to ensure that the year-round swimmers have a suitable opportunity to excel in this program. I am not certain what solutions will be necessary, and everything may already be in place, but these may include optional morning, afternoon or evening practices. I want to guarantee that there will be a place on the team for dedicated swimmers who want to swim to the best of their abilities.

About Mark Rautekus for Introductions:

Mark Rauterkus grew up in the Greater Pittsburgh area,  but he has lived and worked in Swimming all around the USA.

His swimmers have set State Records in Ohio, Massachusetts, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Mark started coaching in 1976 in eastern area of Pittsburgh. Mark’s parents still live in Penn Hills. 

In the old days, Mark was an Assistant Coach with the Greater Pittsburgh Swim Club -- back then it was the #1 team in the AMS. Mark coached throughout his college years, and he has earned many valuable experiences -- from Learn-to-Swim programs in Waco, Texas to interview rooms at the Pan Am Games.

Mark loves to work with Age Group Swimmers, Senior Swimmers AND Swim Club Parents! 

Mark has been an invited speaker at a Coaching Clinics in Northern California. Plus, Mark has formed a good network of authors and experts.

Mark publishes books, and has worked on a dozen books in Swimming. He works with authors who live all around the world, and his books are sold around the world. Mark’s ideas are shared on the internet too.

Mark moved back to Pittsburgh in 1990. Mark’s home and office is in the South Side. He is married to Catherine Palmer, Ph.D. Catherine is a Professor of Audiology at the University of Pittsburgh, the medical school and she leads a clinic and research grants.

Mark and Catherine have two sons -- Erik, age 3, and Grant, 6-months.

Mark wants to sign a 15-year contract. He has some big visions for swimming for us for the long-haul.

- and now let’s welcome him and listen to what he has to say...

Friday, September 03, 1999

Reporting a robbery in progress. AMS did not act.

September 3, 1999
Hi Cindy and Rick,

Here is a friendly heads up and notice. I got your email off of the AMS web pages. This note is being snail mailed to the club's address as well, PO Box 97952, 15227.

The TRA team exists. You should know this. We are aware that some former TRA members might be saying some un-flatternig things about the team's state. Some of TRA's former members might be engaged with your club. Your club might now be home to some swimmers who's parents are the focus of this investigation.

We do not have any problems with the children, but we do have problems with former board members and their duties of stewardship of a non-profit community organization. Furthermore, problems such as these should not be repeated elsewhere, hence the awareness, prevetion, and education.

The TRA team is now pressing matters in a number of different fronts against the miss-use of funds and authorty. Our legal folks are preparing letters to these individuals (not yourself of course) for delivery in September. And, our case is going to be delivered to the AMS executive committee and HOD some time soon as well. With the US Aquatics Convention and Coaching Clinics and such, we can not promise exact dates.

If you want to email me and set up a time when we might be able to meet and discuss this further, please do so.

Thanks for all you do in swimming and sports!

Mark Rauterkus
*NEW* General Manager of TRA

Friday, August 20, 1999

Big League Swimming - with Citiparks

Big League Opportunity with Aquatics Programming and Community Experts

by Mark Rauterkus, 412-481-2497,

TRA's new General Manager & Advocate for Sports

Executive Summary:

This paper explores some of the recreation, instructional and competitive programs offered within the city. Some of the programs are hosted by the city itself. The Aquatics Division has its mission, and another recreation department, more instructional and competitive, is the Big Leage programs. Other programs are hosted by non-city agencies that exist within Pittsburgh, such as with the Three Rivers Aquatics competitive swim team, (TRA).

Finally, Pittsburgh Pubic Schools provides another slew of opportunities for enhanced swimming programs. Those facilities can't be overlooked either, if we really want what is best for our kids.

Great untapped potential exists if only the Aquatics Division, the Big Leage program and out-side experts could be put into better harmony. New programs, growth and great levels of excitment can touch many adults and kids in and around Pittsburgh if Mark Rauterkus is given some freedom and support to from Aquatics and Big Leagues for such endeavors.

Pool Wranglings:

It is the opinion of some that better organization and better programming are possible. Given the lengh and depth of the discussions each year at City Council, it is fair to say that all of the city council members have strong opinions about the swim pools. In general terms, I think widespread agreement would support the notion that the pools and swim programs can be and should be upgraded so as to provide better opportunities for the citizens. The methods of financing these aquatics programs would make for debate, to be sure, but the possibilities for changes and enhancements exist. These changes might include some additional

privatization, agressive marketing, community ownership-stake-holders and even some user-fees endeavors.

Perhaps a way to increase the quality of the opportunities is to re-examine the interplay among the Big League Programs, the Aquatics Division, and our outside groups, such as TRA (Three Rivers Aquatics). The outside groups have specialized interests and motivations in aquatics programming.

With a few modest areas of change, the Big League program can expand into some pilot programming opportunities that have been not explored before within the city. The Big League office can work with the Aquatics Division and with some outside specialized leadership to make this occur in the summer of 2000.

Let's propose and work to create a few specialized centers for:

- competitive swimming,

- masters swimming,

- water polo, and

- underwater hockey.

Other considerations and information are presented as a way to begin the dialog and planning, well in advance of budget considerations. These programs are going to cost very little, but they will be a significant enhancement the offerings to the citizens.


Beyond Baseball at Big Leagues

The City of Pittsburgh's Big League program began with baseball. Of course this is no surprise, as baseball is Lou's passion. It takes a driven leader to make programs successful. Today, the Big League program has grown to include much more than the famous and popular "Rookie Ball."

Kids play baseball at all ages, softball, Air-It-Out NFL-sponsored Flag Football, Deck Hockey and other sports too.

Aquatics Programs:

Open Swims / Lap Swims

The bulk of the city's aquatics program deals with lifeguarding, staffing the facilities and keeping everyone at all the 32 city-run pools safe and happy. Pittsburgh's diverse facilities and its diverse populations make for a challenges in operation that the aquatic's staff handles with the highest-regards and professional outcomes.

Aquatics Programs:

Instructional and Competitive Aspects:

The city's aquatics programs have swim lessons (some free and other for a user fee) and some swim teams. Most of the swim teams are free. New water festivals and some new equipment such as water basketball have been given to the pools in recent years.

There are some aquatic exercise classes at the Oliver Bath House and perhaps at some of the other outdoor pools.

Outside the City Sponsored Programs, TRA

The Three Rivers Aquatic team practices at Oliver Bath House and Highland Park Pool, but these programs are NOT administered by the city. Rather TRA is a separate organization that has its own management, fees, payroll, coaches and sponsorships.

Other competitive swim teams exist too, such as Team Pittsburgh (PITT) and the Jewish Community Center Sailfish.

Areas of Synergy with TRA and the City Aquatics Program

As the TRA program are offered to city kids, and as the program is a success (hopefully more so than in the past) the city's Park's Department realizes some significant benefits to its overall mission.

The TRA team, like the others, offers basic instructional programs to those who can already pass a deep water test. Participants generally need to have swimming lessons before advancing to the swim team.

An attracitve TRA experience is going to help drive more people into the lesson programs.

The TRA team members are often a prime area for the recruitment of city lifeguards. Many city lifeguards on the staff now have been members of the TRA team, as well as its prior name, the D.P.R. (Department of Recreation) team.


End of draft:

Mark Rauterkus

108 South 12th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203


New Role: General Manager of Three Rivers Aquatics

Hosea Holder is still the Emeritus Head Coach for TRA.

Saturday, August 14, 1999

Press Release about visiting swimmer

News Release

August 14, 1999

Local Contact:

Mark Rauterkus

General Manager, Three Rivers Aquatics

Founder, FreeTeam.Org & SportSurf.Net

108 South 12th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226 USA

412-481-2497 = office


The Significance of Byron's Visit to Pittsburgh in 1999

--- The start of bigger plans for 2000 and beyond.

New Lecture Series Tips Its Hand with Preview Encounter

Byron Davis is much like a modern-day Jackie Robinson. A comparison to Tiger Woods applies too in that he excels in a country-club sport. Byron is gearing up to swim in the Olympic Trials again in the year 2000, at age 30, striving to be the first African-American on the USA Olympic Swim Team.

Davis began swimming at an inter-city YMCA at age 8, graduated from UCLA and is an inspirational spokesperson for USA Swimming. Davis visited Pittsburgh for three days as a guest of Three Rivers Aquatics (TRA). Davis and the local swim officials took their story directly to the kids and parents. On Saturday, the crew mingled and evangelized the swimming lifestyle at two meets, visiting the City of Pittsburgh Aquatic Divisions' summer meet in Highland Park as well as the Eastern Zone Championships at Pitt.

Byron's goals for swimming and speaking match well with those of Mark Rauterkus, a former sports publisher and the new general manager of TRA. Rauterkus wants to rev-up the regional swim scene, and announced a new sports-lecture series. Nicknamed, S6, the non-profit endeavor is to be called the Sport, Spirit & Soul Story & Song Summit.

S6 expects to host events in the year 2000 and aims to bring Davis back to Pittsburgh as its first headline speaker following his Olympic Trials quest. For added family appeal, Byron's next trip to Pittsburgh might even be made to include his wife, Annett Buckner Davis, pro-beach volleyball player currently #2 team on the tour.

"By and large, Pittsburgh's kids don't know of Byron, his saga, and his message. Same too for Annett. I'd love to create a vehicle to help change that tide. A goal of S6 is to raise awareness for positive messages of those who strive for excellence," said Rauterkus.

"We call ourselves a sports town, yet I feel we miss out on these types of messages and gatherings. Our kids and our community can learn a great deal about ourselves with in-depth appearances and contacts. Byron, and many others in sports from around the world, present interesting, energizing messages."

What about the players on the Women's World Cup soccer team? Tell us about the relationship with the game of baseball and the rules from a MLB umpire's perspective.

How and why discussions fail as media sound-bites. This concept goes way beyond the ESPN highlights of the 100-Greatest Athletes of the Century.

"We could use additional fun, fresh, enrichment experiences. I want my young boys to grow up with a healthy diet of sport influences that doesn't include the WWF. Sports participation is much more than stadium sitting."

S6's seasonal, if not monthly, occurrences would bring a diverse group of international experts to the area. "Keynote talks, event mingling, technique demonstrations, psyche clinics, sport schmoozing -- all bolstered by literacy components would jazz our perspectives and stretch our spirits," said Rauterkus.

Those connected to schools, civic groups, and companies can step forward now. Individual volunteers from throughout Western Pennsylvania are needed for planning and early stage implementation. This village can host frequent engagements. The call to others who share the vision is here: Email: Mark@SportSurf.Net. Call: 412-481-2497 (extension 2)

Additional information about Byron Davis, the weekend clinics, news on other programs such as a new Swimmers' Zoo Camp is online at: www.FreeTeam.Org/tra.

---- end ----


Photo and interview opportunities on Saturday ONLY with Byron Davis

++ Highland Park Pool -- 8:30 am to 1:00

++ Pitt's Tree's Hall -- 3:00 - 4:00 pm (an awards presentation)

++ On the grounds Outside of Pitt's Swim Pool from 6:00 - 8:30 pm.

Swim Meets occurring at both locations, each with local participants.

Three Rivers Aquatics folks are local, of course, and available at other times as well:

GM is Mark Rauterkus, and

Emeritus Coach is Hosea Holder


Suggested pointers and other news, including an electonic version of this can be found at:




See the invite letter abut NEW directions with TRA

Swimmers' Zoo Camp News

New Lecture Series Tips Hand with Preview Encounter