Wednesday, February 24, 1999

Dear Fellow Parents, Neighbors and Friends of Youth and Sports,

Alarm bells are ringing and red flags are waving with me in recent weeks within certain political circles when it comes to issues we all know and love at the Market House.

Your help is needed in urgent ways. We must swell our base of influence and support among ourselves and in the community.

Standing Meetings

The Market House Athletic Association has regular meetings on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm. Your attendance at these meetings is welcomed.

Special Meeting to Address Critical Opportunities

Please attend a community meeting at the Market House on Tuesday, March 9 at 7:30 pm.

Reasons for Alarm and Input:

  • A Coalition among many sports, fitness and recreation groups has been formed.
  • A $30 Million Sports Performance compound by UPMC is in planning stages.
  • A Grant of new funds of $30,000, now inflated to $75,000, has been mentioned.
  • The building of additional fields and upgrading existing fields is possible.
  • The expansion of the bike-path and river walk is going to occur.
  • Green-space enhancements are expected.

Aggressive, Global Insights Put Forth by a Position Paper Need Discussions:

  • A New Aerobics Center for Seniors is being suggested.
  • A New Indoor Aquatics Center is needed in Pittsburgh.
  • A New Parking Garage, being denied by the Mayor, is possible for the South Side.

City Council and Public Schools Issues Surfacing:

  • After-school activities are getting more attention from in the wake of recent shootings.
  • The removal of all Swim-Pool Fees for all citizens (or kids only) is being voted upon.
  • An out-of-town ballplayers' tax to raise more than $250,000 is earmarked for a new Public Parks Trust Fund.

Tuesday, February 23, 1999

"Death is always a great pity of course but it's not as though the alternative were immortality."

"Death is always a great pity of course but it's not as though the alternative were immortality."

Tom Stoppard

Killing the UPMC Plan for the LTV Site

Squashing UPMC's development plan slated for the LTV site is possible.

Could Happen
The UPMC plans could fail to reach the necessary votes at the city council level.

The South Side Planning Forum nor its LTV Site Steering Committee is expected to move against the UPMC plan. The locals, acting under a charter of consensus, won't want to "rock the boat" and would rather "rubber-stamp APPROVAL" and "stay at the table" than create a hassle. Besides, the Local Development Corporation of the South Side has a spot on the LTV Steering Committee and it conducts business with the URA in other developments, so it has a conflict of interest in raising a negative vote and opinion on the UPMC plan. The LDC needs to get along with the URA for a number of other proects. A no vote could jeopardize the LDC's "working relationship" with the URA. But, with strong reasons presented here and elsewhere, the local leadership of the South Side could express its voice of serious concern and aim to delay the developments for further study.

Squashing UPMC's development plan would go against wishes of:

  • UPMC's planners
  • University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department Personelle who wanted to move
  • Steelers who wanted out of the North Side
  • Oxford Development people who despise re-design efforts
  • the URA leaders that love have their own ways in spite of themselves
  • perhaps the Mayor.

Prepared Statement to South Side Planning Forum on Feb 23, 1999

Prepared Statement to South Side Planning Forum on Feb 23, 1999

From Mark Rauterkus, South Side Market House Association, and Convener's Chair of the sports and recreation coalition.

The following was submitted to the Planning Forum Chair a day following the evening meeting on February 23. A prepared statement memo was utilized so as to be a part of the minutes, but to not occupy the time of those present at the meeting. Furthermore, because a seat at the FORUM table is not designated to the Market House Association, nor the new Nonprofit Coalition, nor any other agency with a primary mission for the sports, fitness or recreation industry, there isn't a suitable representative to pass along these messages. Hence, Mark Rauterkus, a frequent visitor to the South Side Planning Forum Meetings since at least the time of the announced plans of UPMC Sports Performance Compound, submits the following:

Update after the fact: To the best of my knowledge, this information was not made available to the various members of the South Side Forum. The approval of the reading of the minutes at those meetings occur without reading, postings or handouts.

Thanks for the Invite

The LTV Steering Committee extended an invitation to Mark Rauterkus, concerned citizen, for a January 1999 meeting with officials from UPMC, Oxford and the U.R.A. Thank you.

In my opinion, access to the closed steering committee meeting was granted after repeated one-to-one requests for additional information and additional meetings were made to each committee member, the URA and UPMC. Attendance at the meeting was a gesture, as a number of specific requests were not forthcoming before, then or since.
    For example, as of Feb 23, a map or site plan has not been forthcoming after repeated requests since November.

Nebbier Than Others

Since November, 1998, investigation, talking and side-line planning has occurred, including the formation of a new coalition for sports, fitness and recreation. Listening comes first as the UPMC plans are revealed, however, it is fair to say that red flags are being waved for the UPMC Plan.

It is disheartening that we all are not on the same page and working for the best interest of the community in these matters. I feel that UPMC, the Pitt Athletic Department, Oxford Development, the URA, the Steelers, our City Councilman, the South Side Planning Forum (perhaps the Mayor) and grass-roots sports and recreation participants are NOT in harmony. Obviously the bigger players can team together and overpower the citizens.

Improved collaboration to enhance every one's position and relationship sounds fine, but serious dialog and effort is necessary. The powers that be are not interested in slowing down their development process to engage.

Disgruntled Nonmember

The South Side Planning folks have much different opinions from myself and those who I'm representing.

Mark Rauterkus does not have a seat at the table with the forum. The fact that I am an outsider to these groups with no official role or capacity granted herein makes a small hurdle compared with the roadblocks of idea input opportunities. The most staggering disappointment to me comes from the Chair of the Planning Forum who wants to distance myself from the process, and sums it up when he said, "Mark, you are being too global!"

Now Swimming Uphill

In Mark's opinion, opposition appears justified for selected aspects of the proposed UPMC Sports Performance compound. Furthermore, opposition to the planning process and its integrity of a dynamic forum to champion a free-flow of ideas is certain.

Global Sticking Points

The biggest sticking point is community access opportunities.
    Many concerns exist.
  • The UPMC plans do not fit into the associated sporting communities:

    1. the NCAA,
    2. student-athletes in the area, and
    3. everyday participants.

  • The UPMC plans are not fair:
    • unjust allocation of resources/assets, and
    • decisions grossly favor mega institutions

  • The UPMC plans are substandard in that better-integrated solutions that stretch our imaginations are possible.

      Living with these decisions for days on end in the future is not wise nor prudent when viewed in light of alternatives and additional ramifications.


    Mentions to Mark:

  • Carrie Harris, South Side Local Development Committee, Forum Member, Steering Commitee, said about the NCAA rule restrictions for member institutions that prohibits professional and college athletes from sharing the same facility at the same time, "That is Their Problem."

  • Hugh Brannon said at a LTV Site Steering Committee Meeting, "Mark, You're Being Too Global."

Petitions Circulating South Side as of Feb 23

Petition A

Request for a public hearing on the URA's sale of land on the LTV site to UPMC for a Football Compound.

Petition B

City Pool Fees for Adults, Kids and Pending Policies - or lack thereof.

Update: This petition was not submitted to the City Clerk's office. No public hearing is needed as there is no pending legislation and a new aquatics planning process is slated to being with the Parks Department.

Petition C

Save Our Stadium, Univ. of Pittsburgh Student Government to save Pitt Stadium. To sign that petition, go to the sixth-floor of the Wm. Pitt Student Union and go to the reception desk at the Student Goverment office.

Coalition Meeting Where Everyone is Welcomed

The Market House's convened coalition for Sports, Fitness and Recreation welcomes anyone interested to a gathering on Tuesday, March 9, 7:30 pm, and/or 9:00 pm. The meeting will include a presentation and discussion of "The Position Paper for Developments in Pittsburgh and the South Side -- Logical Happenings in the Shadows of PLAN B."

See the Web Site or Send Email for Specifics

Closing Frustrations

It seems that a grant offer from UPMC is climbing in its total amount. UPMC started by offering to build a new ballfield. The ballfield could have been built, so said UPMC officials, on space other than the space slated to be purchased by UPMC. That offer was bogus, and was shot-down on the spot as there is not enough room on the LTV site for a ballfield. The space does not exist. If the space did exist, why would UPMC need to build non-regulation sized fields?

Then UPMC said that the donation of a ballfield could be made in other parts of the South Side. Perhaps an existing ballfield could get an upgrade. Ballfield donations, such as that being considered here would cost about $30K. So, a $30K grant for any fitness and sports location was mentioned by UPMC officials.

Then on Feb 23, 1999, the $30K grant grew to an amount of $75K. This money, seems to me, to be a way to sway the opinions of the concerned citizens.

The offers of "community access opportunities" at the planned UPMC compound are slim and tiny. UPMC knows it, and UPMC can try to buy support with an offer of a grant.

The offer from UPMC can be listened to, for now.

However, the gall of the South Side Planning Forum to even discuss the notion of a role with that grant as some type of funding agent, or even to brokering some type of transactions along with a needs review issick.

Get this: All money for community-based sports and recreation for local citizens needs to go directly from UPMC to the Market House Athletic Association, if not its convened coalition.

Monday, February 22, 1999

SS Planning Forum

The LTV Steering Committee issued a report at a meeting I attended.

The LTV Steering Committee had met twice since the Feb 9 Planning Forum Meeting. On Feb 17 the committee met with Dr. Mulu Birru, Exec. Director of URA to review the planning process being used for the LTV site and discuss current projects and challenges. Dr. Birru reaffirmed the URA's commitment to working on the South Side Planning Forum and the LTV Steering Committee and expressed his confidence in the process.

The committee met again on Feb 22 with representatives from UPMC and IBEW to review the status of their proposals.

UPMC Sports Medicine Complex

It appears that the peices are in place to insure that UPMC will be making payments to the URA at the same rate as commcercial property taxes for as long as the property is owned by them. Further, the URA is committed to adding a covenant to the deed of the property to insure that the future non-profit owners would be under the same arrangement. A letter to this effect has been received and was distributed at the last Forum meeting. The Steering Committee has indicated to the URA and UPMC that it would like to insure tht the final PILOT (payment in leu of taxes) documents reflect these considerations.

UPMC has indicated that it would be open to considering community access for structured uses of the site. That is, the fields could be made available to specific community programs, though a lease or reservation system. The proposed 4 outdoor football fields will be limited to use by the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers football teams, however, there are possibilities for uses of the indoor field -- which is full size. UPMC will consider a request from the Forum or another designated community group to run a specific number of programs each year. A group and individual point person would need to be identified to handle this planning. As evidence of the above commitment, UPMC will bring a list of current community programs that use UPMC facilities.

In addition to above, the Steering Committee discussed options for a proposed investment to South Side recreational facilities by UPMC. Ideas will be discussed at the Forum meeting on February 23. The Steering Committee agreed to have a formal response to the offer ready prior to the April 8th URA board meeting, when the project will be presented for final approval.

Also, the URA agreeded to provide an analysis of the job projections for the UPMC use of the portion of the site versus the flex office space use outlined in the master plan.

With regard to the approval process, after the presentation to the Forum on teh 23rd, the URA board would like to vote on accepting a proposal from UPMC at a special board meeting, to be held as early as February 26. The SSLDC's Design Committee will review the project at their March meeting. The project will go before Council for a motion to sell the property in March. On April 8 the URA board would like to vote on the final projet and the financing.

IBEW Complex

The committe also met with the IBEW and their architects to review changes to the design as suggested by the LTV Steering Committee and SSLDC Design Committee. Although the group has elected not to move the parking from the frst level of the building, they have implemented several design enhancements to improve the appearance of the first floor of the building. These include changes to reduce the scale of the front elevation cornice and consideration fo the use of offset brick to break up the surface at street level. IBEW has also agreed to investigate using non-reflective glass on the building and would like to avoid using reflective glass. An East Carson Street entrance to the building has been added, with more development being don t the landscaping of this entrance. The curb cut into the site has been moved to be consistent with the contunuation of Sidney Street.


The Life Sciences building plans and the Final Land Development Plan for sub-district B will be presented to the Forum on March 9.

Saturday, February 20, 1999

The URA's Life-Science Building

The URA's Life-Science Building

Jerry Williams of the URA presented some of the facts at a public meetings.

Much of the speculation and delivery of the information below is not from the URA, but rather is opinion and fuel for in-depth discussions to come.


The building is going to be owned by the URA. This building increases the URA's land-lord role to a higher level. The URA already owns many buildings around town such as 200 Ross Street. Some of these building built by and maintained by the URA are viable commercial buildings that should be sold into the free marketplace. The public money is being spent, and this expense needs to be justified.

Building Specifics

    plans call for:
  1. 45K square foot in size
  2. costs $10.7M
  3. 2 stories tall
  4. next to the ugly UPMC-warehouse-distribution site by Stoffer (closer to SS Biz)
  5. located near the Electrical Union building
  6. corner of Sarah Street Extension and East Carson Street
  7. has parking behind the building

Purpose of the Life-Science Building

  1. biomedical incubator
  2. ideal for professors who start a business while keeping their teaching jobs
  3. building to be open around the clock with much work getting done in evenings due to nature of the inventors schedules
  4. flex-office space
  5. shared lobby and entry with rest-rooms in the center of the building.


    Some red flags come to mind when trying to visualize the building and a flow of traffic and visitors to and by this building.
  • Most of the traffic is going to come from Oakland.
  • Most of the traffic is going to use the new bridge.
  • Parking is in the back of the building on a surface lot.
  • the construction of a parking garage is expected in later phases
  • Because Sarah Street Extension is not going to cross over the RR tracks, all traffic leaving the building is going to have to go to East Carson Street.
  • A short cut road from the back of the Life-Science Building across the back of the lot of the IBEW property would allow for cars to avoid East Carson Street.
  • The decisions to move all of the UPMC Sports Performance compound to the river-side of the RR Tracks, and to NOT build a costly bridge over the RR Tracks, hence splitting the land of the site, is costly to the fate of this building. All traffic into and out of this building might be forced to drive onto a bumper to bumper traffic on East Carson Street. Driving on East Carson Street, even for one-block, only to turn onto the new Gateway Blvd. is not good. That street has gridlock on a daily basis now, with zero development on the LTV site due to folks driving to and from Brentwood, Baldwin, the valley and to and beyond the Saw Mill Run areas.
  • The lack of a bike way and foot traffic across the bridge is going to greatly hinder this building's success. People will not be able to walk across the bridge from Second Avenue. Nor will people be able to ride a bike from Oakland to this building.
  • Connections within the site are important so traffic does not need to pour out onto East Carson Street and making gridlock all the way to Station Square.
  • Connections from one side of the river to the other side of the river for walkers and bikers are important to the success of this building and the entire site. The construction of parking garages is costly and should not occur until after the bridge has been made to pass foot and bike traffic.

Other Points:

  • Inventors of Sterioids, Andro, Ergo-genic aids, Supplements and masking agents can easily reach the football players for research studies and then in turn, the marketplace, with the drug warehouse, as both are neighbors.
  • This is the third building to be done by IKM on this site. Another sign of in-breeding and a lack of diversity.
  • This is NOT a grand landmark building, nor is is as ugly as the existing UPMC Drug Warehouse building either. The building has a long, low, warehouse feel none-the-less.
    "To combat that look, we sheared it in half and pulled half down in an offset, using a series of brick and glass facade pannels."

    Pannels, without doors, simulate storefront spaces.

  • Some trees in part of the front.
  • Smart set back from the street allows for later widening of East Carson Street.

Job Points:

  • Expect 100 people to work there.
  • Not new jobs, but more of incubator work expansion jobs.

What is the Real Deal?

The URA folks know who is going to occupy a good portion of this building, but the URA officials declined to comment on who that could be.

High Tech Business Incubators have been build and in operation in other parts of the US since the 1970s. In the early 1980s, Northwestern University had such a building, but it was not a brand-new building. Rather the space was a converted warehouse that was in a part of town behind the college that was able to be gutted and re-used as a high-tech space.

Rehab or Build New Buildings
Why not pick-up a few of the older buildings that are for sale and on the market for many years now in the South Side and convert those into high-tech spaces? The old police station has been sitting on 13th Street for more than a decade. The free market is not going to reclaim that building, and the URA should. The old Emerald Art Glass building is vacant on the South Side. Same too for the old Bingham building. These buildings could serve as flex office space for bio-medical outfits.

Then, when the company starts to take off, the company could build its own building in new space.

The overhead of new building space for a start-up company is suspect. Unless, of course, there is a hidden agenda. Perhaps a specific company or department at a university wants to have the URA build a building and only pay rent to them, dodging the capital and finances.

The URA has asked for a $25M TIF cap for finances on the LTV site. The URA can build a lot of buildings based upon this source of funding.

Comparison Speculation:

I'd love to see an alternative plan put forth where the URA acquires three, vacant buildings in the South Side and does a major rehab on those properties to be used for bio-tech incubator space. In the end, the cost would be much less than what is going to occur in these plans. Furthermore, the benefits would be much greater to the area as well.

Alternative Plans

Let's take the last steps for the development of the Life-Science building, get final approval, and then pause for 12 months. In the pause, let's uncover some alternatives with existing structures on the South Side. Then let's see how much it would cost to renovate those spaces and what issues are discovered. Then let's look to see what other type of developement would be possible for that section of the LTV site.

Perhaps a large community recreation center, like a YMCA or a Jewish Community Center, should be built by the URA on the site that is now slated for the Life-Sciences Building? It would not be possible to retro-fit an existing police station to a large gym space, with locker facilities and with ample parking.

Perhaps an expansion of the retail district is possible on the space? Then the building won't have to be made to look like retail space, but it could be retail space for small business.

Perhaps the demand for bio-tech incubator space is so great that both the rehab of the existing buildings could advance and then the Life-Science building could be built too?

Approval Process Ahead

The Life-Science Building seems to be another example of another project that is expected to get the approval of the LTV Steering Committee and the SS Planning Forum, (of course).

The South Side Forum and Steering Committee is fully justified in approving this project as the spirit of the preliminary plans of past years are being considered. The Life-Science Building has the hope of job creation. The ownership issue is suspect however. The traffic problems are highly suspect too.

City Council could insist that the Life-Science Building be built and opened with a "For Sale Sign" planted firmly in the middle of the front lawn of the building. Go so far as to put up the sign and note a clear asking price as well.

If the building is built and opened and then sold, all the better. Then the money can be turned into other endeavors.

To Pittsburgh Planning Commission
The Life-Science Building is going to be a topic of discussion at the Pittsburgh Planning Commission meeting in early April. The URA is going to submit Final Land Development Plans for subsection B. That includes the three IKM buildings.

Thursday, February 18, 1999

Shared facilities between Pitt and the Steelers, NCAA and NFL -- a rule breaking arrangement


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From: "Batson, David" 
To: "''" 
Cc: "Cuka, Kathy" 
Subject: RE: Planning Issues: NCAA & Professional Facilities
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 15:57:19 -0600
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From: "Batson, David"


	Thanks you for the e-mail.

	Question 1 and 2:

	The NCAA National Office does not compile a list of institutions
sharing facilities with a professional team.  You may want to contact the
appropriate professional sports association to see if they can provide such

	Question 3:

	You are correct that the NCAA wants to maintain a line a demarcation
between college athletics and professional sports along with maintaining the
amateur status of the student-athletes by limiting their involvement with
professional teams and agents.  However, legislation permits some limited
involvement between a member institution and a professional sports team such
as permitting a professional team to rent institutional facilities subject
to normal institutional contractual agreements and permitting Institution's
to host and promote an athletics contest between two professional teams as a
fund-raising activity for the institution.  However, the former
Interpretations Committee had determined that the member institution's team
and the professional team may not use the facility jointly at the same time.

	I hope that this information is helpful in your research.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Mark Rauterkus []
> Sent:	Saturday, February 13, 1999 7:27 AM
> To:
> Subject:	Planning Issues: NCAA & Professional Facilities
> Dear NCAA Enforcement Folks,
> I need some clarifications, please, on some general rules issues about the
> build in measures that are in place to create some distance (firewall, if
> you will) between PROFESSIONAL athletes/organizations and Div. I NCAA
> programs.
> I gave a few calls on the phone to you all last week, bouncing between
> enforcement and membership voice mail boxes-to no satisfaction. Thanks for
> your attention to this email.
> Who am I? This is always one of your first questions-so I'll tell you.
> I'm a publisher of many sports releated titles (books, etc.) as well as
> Internet Journalist-as well as local advocate for some community issues as
> per sports/fitness and such. I'm also leading a non-profit coalition of
> sports agencies in the tri-state area, meeting with school boards and
> such.  So, I'm not affiliated with any NCAA member institution-and it is
> okay to treat me as a media person as what is discovered will be reported
> upon in different position papers and perhaps news releases or public
> committee meetings.
> Mark Rauterkus, 412-481-2540
> 108 South 12th Street
> Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226
> email:
> Questions:
> 1.	What Div. I football programs share PRACTICE FACILITIES on a day to
> day basis with PROFESSIONAL (NFL) FOOTBALL Teams?  Are there any?
> 2.	We realize that there are some NCAA programs that share stadiums
> with pro teams:
> 	Tampa Bay NFL & Univ. of South Florida
> 	Army/Navy Game at Veterans Stadium
> 	Rutgers Univ. at Meadowlands
> What others am I missing? 
> 3.	We realize that there are some strong rules in place with NCAA
> institutions to distance themselves, their athletes and even the recrits
> from PRO teams, agents, and such. With this in mind-does it make sense to
> share practice facilities on a day to day basis with pros and college
> athletes? Would it be permitted or not by the NCAA?
> Thanks.
> Mark Rauterkus
> 412-481-2540

Wednesday, February 17, 1999

Mark to City Council

Mentions Before City Council on February 17, 1999


The opportunity to address the council is appreciated. May this be a first step as some pressing issues loom large.


I'm here to wave a flags of concern about UPMC buying nearly 30 acres of property from the URA at the heart of the LTV site.
    I'd like to float 3-specific requests out to council now:
  1. A hightened awareness;
  2. some extra nudging throughout the system for the next couple weeks;
  3. and then around March 1st -- the request is for your individual and collective brain power to consider our pending POSITION PAPER.


My nane is Mark Rauterkus. I live in the city on the South Side. Councilman Ricciardi represents our neighborhood with great dilligence and insight.

Councilman Riccciardi and I are both are parenting 4-year old children. My second is one. I'm a stay at home dad.

FWIW, My wife is a professor who works in the Health Sciences. We've been here and together for 9 years after meeting Chicago. I have family roots in Allegheny County.

Sports Connection & Profession

Sports, recreation, and fitness my entire career. I've coached swimming in six states from Park Districts to IVY League. Travels and work perspectives include Colorado Springss' USA's Olympic Training Center, the Australian Institute of Sports, the UK.

I've been an independent publisher of sports magazines in mid-west, and then LA. Then I turned to doing books and multi-media titles from volleyball, water polo, weight lifting, sports psych, competitive swimming, triathlon-ing -- even sports philosophy.

That's the concerned citizen. Next comes the political advocate and knowledge base organizer. As part of the South Side Markethouse Athletic Association, we're a booster group that runs a lot of programs with City Parks, we convening a non-profit coalition. We're organizing, investigating, making priorities, and challenging people to integrate various opportunities -- within sports, fitness, and community. These efforts need some additional grass-roots input from other concerned people in these areas. We welcome ideas and input from anyone.

Send email to: --- or, our meeting schedule is posted in the South Pgh Reporter -- or at the Markethouse.

The outcome of these efforts is an offering of some creative solutions -- detailed in a POSITION PAPER.

The flags of concerns with UPMC and the URA at the LTV site. ----
Simply put -- We should be scratching to reach our potential...

I'm a positive person.
Yes, this is a 25-30 Million $ development.
Yes, bulldozers and graders are already pushing dirt around the site today.
Yes, another public meeting is slated for next week --- But, I can't get a site plan out of the people at Pitt or the URA.

First worry

In November the URA inked a deal for a 90-day open discussion period -- and I'm not satisfied at all with that open-ness.

The South Side has a Planning Forum -- and a Steering Committee --- but mind you, they're charter stipulates a concensus. With one disenting vote --- they are beached. When push comes to shove, by committee -- and with a consensus -- they can change a lightbulb.

I salute them for that accomplishment.

When your only tool is a hammer --- everything tends to look like a nail. They have been given a "rubber stamp."

They can change a light bulb. And they've been doing it for a long time -- and things are fine. They work hard and are goof folks.

Our worry is not the ligh-bulb -- but it is finding the switch.

Who is going to throw the switch and make sure it goes in the right direction. We need a switch to the kids, the graduates, the people. The folks in the community are our prime asset -- and they need attention.

Dive In Example

On 10th Street in the South Side -- we've got the Oliver Bath House -- the only indoor pool that the city operates. I've been there hundreds of times. That facility served us well. The Bath House is NOT ADA compliant.

Furthermore -- on the same block we are going to have two new neighbors -- a new Comfort Suites Hotel and a Red-Roof Inn-like hotel complex is about to start it construction. They are building a pool too.

Pittsburgh should not be in the only city in the world to have two terrible pools confined to the same city block.

Why does the developer have to put up two nice hotels -- and wedge in the plans a new kidney shapped hotel pool, plunk in a couple exercise bikes in the corner -- all next to (litterally touching against) our relic --- The OLIVER Bath House.

We need to pull some strings on a more "global" level -- more vision.

How about a nicer 8-lane adult lap pool to serve the guest, and our seniors -- open 24 hours a day, staffed by the city guards, -- quid pro quo -- so everyone wins. Then the bathhouse can be a wonderful re-positioned use -- like a grand-concourse resteraunt, ball-room, perhaps.

But, we've got something even better that this in our Position Paper.

The sky box fans, the game-day ball-players seem to be taken care of. Seems Dr. Fredie Fu wants to work his magic on injured gladiators of the gridiorn so we can keep the point-spread respectable --- but there is a higher calling about to come forth, and I hope to do more integrating.

so we can shine a brighter light -- in certain critial spaces for our kids and citizens.

We'd love a brainstorming session with the (NEW) director of Parks, Can we get an audience with the director of the URA -- and perhaps some URA board members?

Consider better integration with:

  • the Pgh. Public School Board and Administration
  • the County, and
  • the grass-roots players, organizers and those in the sports participation field.

    To Pitt / UPMC say: #1. community access issues are important -- and #2, a secluded compound behind a fence of arrogance is NOT going to FLY here.

    Pitt already screwed up the development and building of an indoor football practice facility this decade. That's proof enough that they have trouble changing light-bulbs.

    We are looking to stretch our potential -- from here on in --- and wellness counts big time. --- And, the roads that UPMC can pave on URA lands -- as a TIFF -- well it can wait if need be so we can do it right. I'd rather have intermural fields move the South Side -- and let the PITT football team can play in its indoor practice fields -- or else on the grass that surrounds the Cathedral of Learning. The rugby and lacross players can come on down.

    PS --- stop

    Design Competition -- Yet alone Local Consultant

    No design competition, and the developer refutes the planning documents. Goes counter to "flex-office space" and "job creation" Mr. James Goldman, local, -- retainer. PS2 Jay, moved to W.VA. Polo - 4th River

  • ----

  • Background and Backyard web site:

    The Citizen Call to City Council for a Public Hearing
    Signatures Submitted

    As per city requirements, more than 25 people have signed a petition thereby expressing and interest to hold and attend a Public Hearing on the pending sale of land presently owned by the U.R.A. to U.P.M.C. for a Sports Performance compound to be built on the South Side's LTV site.

    A wide range of people from many sections in the city choose to sign the petition to request the public hearing. Pettitions were passed around at the University of Pittsburgh, at the South Side Market House and at a high-tech firm, US Web Pittsburgh.

    Regional Issue

    This issue is important as the proposed plans play on the city-wide stage and have regional consequences. The impact of these decisions goes beyond the South Side to Oakland (looses the day-to-day activities of the football team at Pitt and some 800+/- jobs) to the North Side (looses the day-to-day activities of the Steelers football team and the Steelers' corporate headquarters) and to all the corners of the city. The happenings on the LTV site can set the stage for later efforts at the 200+ acre Hazelwood site, Nine-Mile Run and other URA developments. What happens on the South Side, and why it happens, impacts many corners of the city.

    Because of the regional and city-wide impact, it is most important for all the members of city council to give the plans and the alternatives careful consideration with an open minded approach.

    The graceful custom of City Council to often cast votes based upon the desires of the individual City Council Memeber who resides in that district is not suitable here. Everyone on City Council needs to be fully aware of this development plan and the related issues. Please do not opt to base voting decisions according to some "default decision methods."

    Many people who live outside the city expressed and interest to sign the petition, but could not do so because of the stipulated rules. Some would like to speak at the public hearing.

    Philosophy, Policy and Planning

    We want astonishing developments to occur. This pending transaction and policy approach is sure to impact city residence for decades. The endeavor is similar to the building of the new stadiums on the North Side. in that everyone is called to make a space that impacts all city-council districts.

    Plan B Fallout

    Now that the finance hurdle of the two stadiums has been crossed, let's gather ourselves and look into the looming shaddows of Plan B's future. Now it is time to move onto the next decisions. Earnest discussion begin because:

    • There is a natural fallout and aftermath of Plan B.
    • The training facilities took a back-seat to the discussion of game-day facilities.
    • The scope of focus widens to training, citizens and institutions.
      There is much to do beyond the new building issues and corporate convention center scheduling. Now it is time to give a care about the players who are NOT under professional contracts with agents.

    Advanced Discussions in Meaningful Ways

    The goal is to be positive and to present uplifting solutions to some difficult challenges. Version 1.0 of the Position Paper and the delivery of the petitions for the Public Hearing to the City Clerk are coupled events. Knowledge of the hearing and knowledge of the position paper should make for more fertile discussions to come.

    People need to take the microphone to make public statements and public promises on many issues that circle these plans.

    • Let's wait and see if the owners of the Steelers show up and assert the claim that the Steelers are to make a permanent move of its corporate headquarters out of the North Sie and onto the South Side to be a tennant at the proposed UPMC site.

    • Let's wait and see if the University of Pittsburgh football coach can stand to see his athletes manage pressing schedules as student-athletes with daily trips out of Oakland. The proposed site means a trip off campus, down Bates Street, up Second Avenue, across the unopened Hot Metal Bridge, and along River View Drive to the football practices, tudor/study sessions, rehab, film reviews, conditioning practices. The commute times (plus rush hour, plus hurt limbs, plus need for personal cars, plus closing of the Glenview Bridge for 18 months and the Ft. Pitt Bridge for additional time) are sure to burn hours out of players' days.

    • Let's wait and see who says what when the NCAA compliance officers prohibit the sharing of the same facility at the same time with professional athletes, as clearly stated in the NCAA Manuals.

    • Let's wait and see what amount of money UPMC wants to grant to the South Side athletes.

    Prelude to City Council's Public Hearing and Vote

    Much work and education should be slated with the help of City Council before the formal public hearing even occurs.

    Telivised Round Table Discussions Are Welcomed

    Let's schedule open discussions and informational sessions that can lead up to the Public Hearings. I'm sure that the citizens would like to know what is slated with the pending UPMC plans. Let's give the URA and UPMC television opportunities to outline and detail the pending plans. Understanding a $30-Million development with various buildings, new road-way construction, complicated site challenges takes time. Only the informed can expect to get beyond the glitz of a new complex to see the flaws and troubles. Unknown plans can't garner objections nor improvements nor outside recomendations. Wiser to dismantle and re-assemble plans rather than buildings and roads, yet alone the river and flood-plane issues.

    Case in point, the present location of Dr. Freddie Fu's Sports Medicine office includes a therapy pool. The aquatic's pool, built into an existing building on Baum Blvd., and the extensive remodeling for Sports Medicine occurred in 1990. Seemingly, the hydro-therapy pool doesn't fit its present location and reportedly is constantly under reapair. UPMC remodeled the building at considerable costs. To retrofit and accomidate specialized sports equipment, i.e., swimming pools, is both new and abandoned properties is expensive. Let's ponder the plans and see if UPMC is going to repeat past mistakes like the ones at the existing Sports Medicine offices or like the ones at its indoor football practice facilities, The Cost Center.

    Video Tape and Broadcast the URA Board Meeting

    The URA staff should make a technical presentation to the URA board on the sale of land to UPMC in the days ahead. Let's capture that presentation on tape and on the web site so we can review the details before the public hearing. Another show-and-tell session that covers the A-B-Cs is not needed as the troubles happen more in mid-stream near L-M-N-O and P.

    I'd like to request the broadcasting of a number of meetings before the public hearing.

    The city-wide cable can be used as a before the Public Hearing and before the eventual City Council vote on this issue. This is an extra consideration that does not need to be granted by the Sunshine Law and such. I'd like to see City Council go the extra mile for me now so we can facilitate some extra communications on these on-topic issues.

    When the stage is set for a public hearing, certain things can be accomplished, but other items and issues flounder. Speakers with an opportunity of a three-minute sound-bite can't address philosophy, global issues, nor any lengthy first hand accounts. A public hearing can be a forum to display a watershed of pent up ideas in support for specific legislation about to be enacted. But, a public hearing is not a debate. Otherwise, let's call a public hearing and get to the roots of society's ills.

    Give and Take Is Needed For Excellent Planning

    A lot of give and take is needed to craft philosophies and to uncover both the basics and the spectacular. There isn't any give and take within the process with the minute expections of:

    1. The URA Director gets asked some questions by City Council at Working Meetings on Wednesdays.
    2. The URA Board gets together to sign-off on the projects that the staff submits.
    3. Tame community groups are tickled with tidbits and ponder window-dressing design conerns.

    If UPMC and Pitt make a $30 million mistake with its move and development to the South Side, they can then, in-turn, choose to close Pitt Stadium. That then becomes another mistake with a possible price tag of $200-$300 million. The people of our city suffer and the people have to pick-up the pieces, such as is the case with UPMC arch-rival AHERF's $1.6 billion bankrupcy.

    Pitt already built an indoor football practice facility in the 90s. Let's let them use that one for a while longer.

    UPMC isn't a private corporation, but a public-non-profit hospital in a volitile health-care industry. Let's talk about little leagers, scholastic sports and wellness issues. Let's talk about employee fitness, day-care responsiblities and improving access. Let's talk about Pitt too, its state funding, its tenure record, its public space policy in Oakland.

    License Plates, made my those in prisons


    On Feb. 17, 1999, Gov. Tom Ridge unveiled a new look with a website address for the Pennsylvania license plate. Our Commonwealth kicks into high gear for a 'New Pennsylvania.' With our web address, a strong and positive signal says that Pennsylvania is high tech, high energy and ready for the new millennium.

    Our website is a gateway to important information for tourists, motorists, families, employers and students. "People who may someday visit or even move here."

    What about the people that already live here! What about the South Siders who have complained for years about the over-crowded parking problems? What about the people who want to develop new businesses with new technologies? The people in our area don't have the props from the locals in high-tech start-ups and technology insights, and we need a Passion Park, a small-business convention center, a high-tech hang-out.

    The state replace the 9 million license plates over a three-years - at no cost to motorists, ha, ha, ha. Who pays, the taxpayers. Gee, some of them might be motorist too.

    Pennsylvania's $1.9 billion-a-year Motor License Fund will absorb the cost of the license-plate replacement, expected to total about $32 million. PennDOT will not charge motorists a fee for the new license plate unless they want to buy one before their scheduled replacement time. Motorists who want a new plate sooner will pay $7.50.

    Gov. Ridge, let's tap into the Motor License Fund to build Passion Park. It is going to cost less than $10 million. Correctional Industries will manufacture the new license plates using reflective-sheeting technology, resulting in greater visibility. The existing plates use a "beads-on-paint" system, in which only the numbers and letters, not the background, are reflective. Once completed, PennDOT expects the statewide license plate replacement to result in a 4 percent to 5 percent increase in vehicle registrations. This is because motorists must have a valid registration to receive the new license plate from PennDOT. PennDOT estimates this boost in registration fees would generate about $13.8 million a year - more than covering the cost of the re-issuance within three years.

    PA License Plates


    On Feb. 17, 1999, Gov. Tom Ridge unveiled a new look with a website address for the Pennsylvania license plate. Our Commonwealth kicks into high gear for a 'New Pennsylvania.' With our web address, a strong and positive signal says that Pennsylvania is high tech, high energy and ready for the new millennium.

    Our website is a gateway to important information for tourists, motorists, families, employers and students. "People who may someday visit or even move here."

    What about the people that already live here! What about the South Siders who have complained for years about the over-crowded parking problems? What about the people who want to develop new businesses with new technologies? The people in our area don't have the props from the locals in high-tech start-ups and technology insights, and we need a Passion Park, a small-business convention center, a high-tech hang-out.

    The state replace the 9 million license plates over a three-years - at no cost to motorists, ha, ha, ha. Who pays, the taxpayers. Gee, some of them might be motorist too.

    Pennsylvania's $1.9 billion-a-year Motor License Fund will absorb the cost of the license-plate replacement, expected to total about $32 million. PennDOT will not charge motorists a fee for the new license plate unless they want to buy one before their scheduled replacement time. Motorists who want a new plate sooner will pay $7.50.

    Gov. Ridge, let's tap into the Motor License Fund to build Passion Park. It is going to cost less than $10 million. Correctional Industries will manufacture the new license plates using reflective-sheeting technology, resulting in greater visibility. The existing plates use a "beads-on-paint" system, in which only the numbers and letters, not the background, are reflective. Once completed, PennDOT expects the statewide license plate replacement to result in a 4 percent to 5 percent increase in vehicle registrations. This is because motorists must have a valid registration to receive the new license plate from PennDOT. PennDOT estimates this boost in registration fees would generate about $13.8 million a year - more than covering the cost of the re-issuance within three years.

    Tuesday, February 16, 1999

    South Vo Tech event

    South Vo Tech to Host Regional Competition

    South Vocational Technical High School is hosting the regional competition for industrial arts students in grades 11 and 12 on Tuesday, February 16, 1999, 9 to 11 a.m. The competition, which also includes state and national meets, is sponsored through VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America).

    Students from Pittsburgh Public Schools will compete against students from programs in Western Pennsylvania Career and Technical Centers, including Somerset, Green, North Fayette, Fayette, Central Westmoreland, Western Area and Mon Valley.

    Superintendent of Schools Dale E. Frederick said the competition is held in Pittsburgh once every eight years. "We are proud to host this activity for students at our vocational education magnet school," he said. "Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership and applied skills in a variety of technical concentrations such as Cosmetology, Commercial Baking, Sheet Metal and Welding.

    Many of these areas have incorporated computer technology. Student projects will be judged by community volunteers. First place winners advance to the state competition in the Spring along with other areas that are classified as "byes" and automatically qualify for the state meet.

    Monday, February 15, 1999

    Seeking Sports and Fitness Advocates for a newly forming Coalition

    Dear Friends and Folks with connections to the 'burgh!

    Advance Notice. Call for LOCAL (Pgh. PA) Political Action, No $ Solicitation

    Seeking Sports and Fitness Advocates for a newly forming Coalition

    Those with brain-power to spare with political, grass-roots, and community access interests are most welcome to join the South Side1s Market House Athletic Association as we convene a coalition to champion ideas and issues central to sports participation opportunities.

    Today: The URA (Pittsburgh, PA's Urban Renewal Authority,, and UPMC (Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center,, have begun a 90-day OPEN DISCUSSION period. A $25-30M sports-medicine / sports-performance compound is on the drawing board for a large section of the LTV site on the South Side.

    Yesterday: At the Washington1s Landing development, the URA invested $3M in tennis courts and park space. Furthermore a .9 acre site is leased at nominal charge to the non-profit Three Rivers Rowing Association,, for its boathouse, fitness center and offices. Gems like these found in other development projects are uncertain -- quote: community access issues are nebulous at best -- when it comes to the LTV site.

    Tomorrow: Ideas and voices needs to be organized and shared.

    Please send email to: Backyard@SportSurf.Net

    Get further information and a kit geared to getting yourself, community agencies and regional businesses into this extended planning process.

    Mark Rauterkus

    Thanks for listening. This advance notice was posted by Mark Rauterkus, convener's chair, The message went to a number of contacts such as yourself via BCC. Your address is part of Mark's personal email address listings. News agencies, thanks for NOT publishing, rather wait for the pending OFFICIAL Press Release. Feel free to forward this message others you know who might be keenly interested. Please do NOT post as spam or broadcast to USENET Newsgroups.

    Sports Provide for Life -- or Not

    Sports Provide for Life -- or Not

    Newsweek Letters Section, Feb 15, 1999: Response to Jan 25 cover story on Michael Jordan's retirement.
    Gayle Mitchell of Lakewood, Colo.
    "I can't tell you how ridiculous all the players, coaches and other poepole on the sidelines look studying their charts so seriously with their little headsets on, as if they're doing something important. You'd think that they were launching a rocket or contemplating brain surgery. If all that money and effort were used for something worthwhile, we could probably cure cancer or end poverty."

    Mail Call from others without attribution:
    Is it really that earth-shattering that a basketball player called it quits?

    A Professional athlete's contributions, even Jordan's, are minimal.

    The fact a person can run, kick or throw some ball means nothing.

    The Run, the Kick and the Throw Means Nothing

    Very true.

    People everywhere are confused about the role of sports. The media does not have a clue. Many school administrators have lost a grip on this imporant, fundamental, philisophical understandings too. The ADs are to lead the coaches who are to lead the athletes. To many are floating in the sea of sports without a rudder.

    We wonder what the AD at Pitt would say about sports philosophy and other global points of life this week. No doubt a philosophy can be stated by the Pitt AD. But, how long that statement is left to stand on its own in words and deeds is another issue too.

    The Pitt AD has proven that his word can be altered easily, as per the November publication with quotes. See: AD speaks pageSports is a business. Sports is entertainment. Sports is to build character. Sports is for recreation. Sports is for fun. Sports is a ticket to a scholarship. Sports is an income/job/advertising medium. The views are diverse.

    The Poison Paper

    This effort, called a position paper, is going to feel more like a "poison paper" if a vision is built upon the sandy soil of a shared understanding of sports. Sports are a passion, and this passion can be poison-free.

    Get a poison-free perspective on sports by getting things right from the start. First things first. Sports are games of time, space and relationship.

    Great athletes have a special sense for grace in time, space and relationship. Roberto Clemente roamed right field and made it looked easy. The Clemente relationships lives today, such as too with Arthur Ashe, Jimmy V, and countless others.

    Being #1

    In the field of psychology, many studies have examined successful people. Research has tried to find the keys to success. Are the keys located among the common elements of personality, development, genetics and such?

    Being #1 is a bogus objective in most instances in sports. On the other hand, being #1 works in politics to a much better level of success. Being #1 in an election means getting the most votes and getting to keep or get a "job." For a politician, being #1 is job security for being a politician.

    An ultimate athlete strives to be and to do his or her best. Meanwhile, a politician does strive to be #1. A politician who strives to do the best and to be the best is not a politician in the true sense of personal definitions as that person would be called a leader.

    Being #1 is not the stated objective of this position paper. Being #1 is not the same as being successful. Rather let's examine the number one trait of being successful. The #1 being for success is risk-taking. Restated: the top trait of successful people is their willingness to take risks. The key to success is in risk-taking decisions.

    Releasing this position paper, submitting your feedback to these positions, striking up conversations about these issues, calling elected officials and going to public hearings are all acts that have some degree of risk. Speaking your mind is scary and this can freeze many people in their tracks.

    The same too goes for changing your direction and altering your course of direction. If the Pitt Athletic Director can be made to see some of these positions and should this revelation alter his opinions for what should become the best actions for the student-athletes at the University of Pittsburgh --- and should this include the continued operation of Pitt Stadium --- then what?

    Would it be too risky for the Mayor to change his mind and instruct the URA to NOT proceed with the sale of land on the South Side to UPMC?

    Success Include Elements of Risk

    This position paper attempts to stake out some positions. This position paper contains a lot of information. Some of it might be wrong or might be unknown or might be unproven. The hope is to be accurate and to be passionate and to aim for the highest and best outcomes for the long-term good of the greatest number of people.

    If there are errors in fact or judgement, they won't linger.

    Wednesday, February 03, 1999

    Too global! Guilty as charged.

    The Observation and Associated Guilt for Being, "Too Global"

    Gulp, You Are Right, Hugh.
    Global Perspectives Do Fill These Messages.
    Hugh Brannon, director of the South Side Planning Forum, was right on the mark when he told me I was being, "too global." His valid observation was stated on February 3, 1999 at a meeting with the LTV Site' Steering Committee (a sub-group of the South Side Planning Forum). The four members of the "steering committee" were present. Also present at that meeting were people from UPMC (prospective owners), Oxford Development (partners with UPMC in site development) and the URA (Urban Redeveloment Authority, a City of Pittsburgh agency).

    Too Global -- An Insult and Compliment

    Being global is not okay in the eyes of the chair of the South Side Forum.

    Guest Attendance and Worn-Out Welcome

    The opportunity to attend a South Side Planning Forum Steering Committee Meeting was a special occurance. These meetings are generally closed to "concerned citizens." The closed door policy is something that needs to be changed.

    Inner Sanctum

    The opportunity to raise questions and express some concerns at the meeting held in early February came about after I had expressed a great desire to attend such a meeting since November. I had begged repeatedly to every member of the committee for a chance to have some meetings to discuss some thoughts on these issues. I had made at least 20 specific requests to have a meeting, any type of meeting, with these people before I was granted such a meeting.

    It took a long time and a lot of work to get a chance to have a meeting, and then it was at a higher-level than expected.

    I'm guilty of being too global. Yes, the point was made and understood.