Monday, December 30, 2002

Saturday, November 23, 2002

First Annual: City League All Stars vs. Northern Area All Stars (WPIAL) Football Classic

The first football game was held on Saturday, November 23, 2002 at 1 pm at Cupples Stadium, $5. per head. Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Area Dodge Motor Company.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Community Summit on Fatherhood -- Bridging Fathers, Schools and Communities

Planning Committee:

Erik Vecere, Director, National Fatherhood Initiative of Greater Pittsburgh
Paul Lyons - Counselor, Pittsburgh Public Schools
Melvin El - Project Coordinator, Healthy Start Male Initiative Program
Mark Rauterkus - Activist, Coach (Parent Education Resource Center Board Member)
Steve Johnson - Youth Specialist, Mothers to Sons Program
Linda Cuttler - Juvenile Court Project, County Bar Association

Review of Forum Summary
Discuss Backup Location Possibilities
Establish List of Speakers and Breakout Sessions Leaders
Targe Audience
Timeline / Logistics

Event Overview

Theme - Bridging Fathers, Schools and Communties

Purpose - Create a comprehensive action plan to involve and engage fathers socially and educationally in their child's school in order to enrich families, schools and communities.

Structure -

Open with two prominent keynote speakers representing the education sector (Dr. Thompson and K Leroy Irvis were suggested). Topics would focus on the importance of father and family involvement for schools and communities.

Following the opening presentations, participants will move into break out work sessions. Suggested breakout sessions may include: 1) the PERC program; 2) Mechanisms for Father Involvement in Schools; 3) Fathers and the Educational Milestones of their Children; 4) Communities Coming into the Schools / schoolsGoing Out to the Communities; 5) utilizing Fathers Inside and Outside of Schools.

Each breakout session will develop action points that will get plugged into an overall action plan.

At the conclusion of the breakout sessions, all participants will reconvene for an open forum and to discuss the next step.

Resource tables will be available for the community to foster collaboration among various organizations.

Date - Targeted for December 5, 2002 from 11 am to 5 pm.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Slogans for the effort!

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.
Jim Rohn

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Notes of Thanks

This thank you note was delivered at the end of the day on Tuesday to the four people with the DU Athletic Department who had been part of the interview process on Monday. I rushed a bit and it slid to fit on three pages plus an attachement of additional swim references.

Traditional letterhead details snipped.

Thanks to those at Duquesne University on the swim coach interview team!
Dear _____,

Thanks for the interview and insights concerning your mens swim coaching position. It was splendid to meet with you given your busy schedules. I'm excited about the possibilities and opportunities. With every conversation, it was clear that a drastic change in directions is desired. I was happy to learn of your serious concerns and assessment of the situation. Hiring me is a certain pivotal step to making a serious difference with the team.

The flurry of interviews in a brief period uncovered just a few of the challenges ahead as well as our past approaches in similar situations. Please allow me a moment to reflect on the different conversations.

Key expectations from the Duquesne officials seemed to be:

1. Performances worthy of a competitive Division I team.

2. Ongoing supervision and coaching of the team.

3. Recruiting and outreach to insure talent enters the teams.

All of the above, in the hands of an aggressive coach, should not be a problem. My ambitions exceed that of most in swimming, sports and education. Providing a master plan with a vision and details in a sensible style can be delivered. As an engaged, driven, creative, organized and effective coach, I'll want the Athletic Department and my swim coaching peers to, in turn, offer insights, feedback and support of these presented ideas.

As well, the athletes I coach have always been and are expected to be highly successful because they internalize a trust with me (their coach) and seek to perform for intrinsic reasons.

The "mind - body - spirit advertising campaign" of Duquesne University is clever and fits to a small degree in the Pharmacy classrooms. However, in the natatorium, we get to live the lifestyle and associated challenges in moment-to-moment pursuits. The refreshing part of swimming -- personal, group and team engagements -- gives student-athletes their top rewards.

Travis said he still wants to be on a swim team. His drive to be with the sport comes from deep within. I want to coach him for all the right reasons. I won't need to toss existing swimmers off the team. I'm not the type of coach that needs to worry about such matters. Squad size can stay at or near present levels, as desired. Travis swim faster this season than he even expected.

For those associated with the team, now and in the future, I'll help to make those reasons for participation clear. Many young men will enroll in D.U.'s program after Travis graduates. Those who take his place will enter with measures of A10 standards. They will choose to be a part of this styled program.

Before yesterdays interviews, worries concerning D.U.'s accommodation of my personal insistence upon excellence within the sport of swimming were unresolved. Today, that outlook has changed. I had been sure that I'd be able to do a fabulous job for Duquesne. What's more, now, I'm sure that your setting can be home to fabulous swim programs.

Consider prior turnabouts as selecting the next coach. My background has been filled with rapidly progressing teams brimming with improvements. I bring new excitements to these programs and leapfrog most of the competitors.

Duquesne presents risks to coaches resumes. David C. Salo, USA Swimming's Coach of the Year, asked me, "Do you want THAT job?" I'm creative enough to see a way out of these situations and confident enough to trust in my abilities. The biggest risk rests with you as a department in its decision on hiring. An individual with a world-view, rich experiences in fast swimming, as well as a command of excellence and philosophy is called for now.

In Peoria in August 1983, PAWW had 25 swimmers and was in last place in the Lincolnland Conference. By October the team swelled to 200. I hired and trained seven assistants. The reputation changed and word-of-mouth buzz shifted from splashing on inter tubes to practices with teaching, training, and real swimming.

In 1984 at the Illinois State Senior Championships the PAWW girls 400-Free Relay clocked a 3:40.12. That performance, a Junior National Cut, happened with Erica, Beth, Katie and Jennifer, grades 7, 8, 8 and 9. The five of us flew on Peoples Express from Peoria to Syracuse, NY for a first Jr. National experience for that team. Rapid improvements to blistering speeds make a recurring theme in my past.

Both "A" and "B" relays from Peoria and men and women were soon headed to Juniors. We broke a number of state records and were sending kids with scholarships to Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, Bakersfield and beyond. The excellence snowballed. We were not just getting a few kids to states, we were dominating races at elite venues. And, we grew from scratch.

The 02-03 DU women's team may clobber its 3:40 team record in its first dual meet. Performance facts were raised to a former Athletic Director on the bluff at an interview some years ago. Before Wayne Becker was the coach, I came to understand that no swim coach had much hope of thriving. Gladly, times and circumstances have changed today. I hope we all choose to work together and capitalize on these changed outlooks.

The quick build to excellence happened in more recent times and locally at Plum High School. Plum hovered at tenth place in the WPIAL Championship meet the year before my arrival. I coached the squad from November 15 to March and Plum's 400-free relay clocked 3:35.66, dropping more than 10 seconds from the prior year. Those kids (Karen, Erica, Karin, Katie) shattered their own expectations.

Moving an unranked team to second in Western PA and sticking there the second year speaks to the nature of the results I'll expect to attain.

This year's women's team at DU may beat the 3:35.66 in the 400-free relay the A10 Championships. I'll hope to be there to cheer them on to do so.

Deliberate, organized, structured programs of excellence yield fast times. My team will become masters of our space, time and relationships and seek groove performances in our athletic pursuits. Furthermore, we learn skills and make efforts to transfer these quests of mastery into lifelong activities.

Recent academic advancement of the DU women swimmers is terrific. As a team internalizes concepts of excellence, limits to potential vanish. A natural outgrowth is academic performance. To soar, we'll need to strive in holistic ways. Of course the classroom perfection sharpens as well. I'd like to learn more of the academic standings of the DU men, and help them advance too.

The Ohio University ascent from 8th to 3rd from 1978 to 1982 in the ten team MAC highlights the same trend, but in the NCAA Division I setting.

My habit of crafting clear instructions necessitates extra steps. I take those steps and deliver those messages. To explain why things need to be done in certain styles makes the burden of teaching five times greater, but outcomes are pushed so perfection come near.

In my interview with Dave and Rick, questions of drugs and alcohol among the team's members surfaced. I said that the members on the team that I've coached have never had a problem in those areas. Within the season, the OU swimmers made a promise and didn't drink. Athletes I'm engaged with won't want to drink. We'll be quite busy with other, more important activities. Those striving to treat ourselves with great care won't drink. Some of the greatest programs with great individuals don't drink. For DU, squad members won't drink because other championship programs do the same and because we'll behave in the right manners for all the right reasons.

Thanks again for the time and for everyone's full consideration about the job.

Sincerely yours, Mark Rauterkus

Additional swim references:
These folks could help ease specific worries you might encounter with your decisions in the days to come.

- Bill Wadley, Head Coach of the Mens Swimming Team at Ohio State University

- Tim Welsh, Head Coach of the Mens Swimming Team at the University of Notre Dame

- Paul Blair, Head Coach of the Arkansas Dolphins

- David Salo, Irvine NOVA, USA Swimming's Coach of the Year, 2002

- Al Ledgin, former Lincolnland Conference coaching peer, Y coach north of Chicago

Friday, October 11, 2002

From a former boss, Retired AD at Bradley University

Ronald H. Ferguson was the Athletic Director at Bradley University when I was hired as the interim swim coach.

dear mark, i have sent a hand written letter to Crian Colleary who I met many years ago. It was a very positive letter and I hope it helps. Let me know how it turns out and if there is anything else that I can do. We had a great time in Prague, Salzberg and Munich where we took in the last night of the Octoberfest. Got home wed night pretty worn out. Thanks again for your help at Bradley and the best of luck. sincerely,

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Applied for the swim coaching post at West Mifflin

October 9, 2002
Athletic Director 
High School
West Mifflin School District 
Pittsburgh, PA


Dear Mr. Relich,
Please consider this letter, resume and associated information as an application for the open position of Varsity Swim Coach for the Swimming and Diving Teams.
I am excited about the possibilities of becoming a member of the Titans Athletic Department. I believe my qualifications and goals match the position.
A few weeks ago I met Steve at the pool in an informal setting and passed him my resume. I was impressed with the activities at the pool and the number of assistants he has engaged with the overall programs. Plus, of course, the new facility is wonderful.
Steve wants to do some special things with the overall programs and I believe that I can bring such excitement and pursuits to the studentathletes. I look forward to talking with you about such plans and the overall vision.
Thanks for your consideration.
Sincerely Yours,

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Letter to Editor, published in the P.G., about Ellen Goodman's article & parenting

My letter was published in the PG, date unsure. This is the day I sent it in. The letter said:

Re: Ellen Goodman's article, "Recognizing that motherhood is a job, too," on Oct 2, 2002.

How silly to fabricate such a thing as the "mommy wars." Please call it a "parental war." I've been a stay-at-home dad for eight years. The article misses the mark in that dads were ignored. Many dads are doing much more in giving care to their young children.

When the media wakes up to the dad's side of parenting, the life of our children is sure to improve by factors far more dramatic than the results from any At-home Infant Care governmental program.

Mark Rauterkus, Pittsburgh's South Side.
As a stay-at-home dad, Rauterkus ran for Mayor, City of Pittsburgh, 2001 GOP primary.

See the comments for a retyped copy of the original article.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Duquesne Univ Swim Coach Interview

This sage, in 2002, was the second time I sat for an interview at Duquesne University. The first was interesting, but our Peoria relay with a 7th grader, two eighth graders and one ninth grader was about 5 seconds faster than the DU women's school record at the time. 

The 2002 sage would end with the head women's coach taking the men's duties too. Soon after, the men's team would be cut.

Notes and bits of my resume.

My cover letter for the DU swim coaching job

Brian Colleary
Director of Athletics
Duquesne University
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282

Dear Mr. Colleary,

Please consider this letter, resume and associated information as an application for the open position of Head Coach for the Men's Swimming and Diving Team and Aquatics Director.

I am excited about the possibilities of becoming a member of the Duquesne Athletic Department. I think my qualifications and goals match the position.

I've coached NCAA Division I Men's Teams for six seasons. Additionally, the aquatic management position matches my desires and experiences. I have the necessary CPO (Certified Pool Operator) as well as CAM (Certified Aquatic Manager) credentials.

The combination of positions with coaching and aquatics is exactly what I am looking for at this time. As you will see from my resume, I have a strong background in coaching and pool management.

When I met my wife and moved back to Pittsburgh I was combining my love and knowledge of coaching and swimming with my degree in journalism into a book publishing business. When we decided to start a family, I decided to take the lead role in our children's care while my wife pursued tenure at the University of Pittsburgh. In the past year my wife has received tenure and our boys are school age. I had decided to go back into coaching full time and as you can see, I have re-certified in all necessary areas.

The posting of his job comes at an ideal time -- a time when I want to coach at the college level, run a pool in a manner that includes service to the community, and stay in the Pittsburgh area where we are surrounded by a large, wonderful family.

This is an ideal opportunity. I know many of the elements of the community and live less than one mile from the campus. I think my background and awareness of local matters will be a great asset.

The Rauterkus family has a strong history at Duquesne University. My grandfather, Joseph A. Rauterkus, Ph.D., was asked by the President of the University to found the School of Music. He did so and continued to teach and develop programs for DU and the larger community for many years. His son, my father, graduated with a teaching degree from DU and spent his career teaching in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

My participation at DU has included assistance to the Head Volleyball Coach in the development, publishing and duplication of his team's playbook for a number of seasons. I worked at volleyball events and was the announcer for some matches.

I'd love to join your team in the Athletic Department, I think the match is going to be warmly welcomed as my talents and approach blend well with the mission of DU. I have applied myself in efforts to prepare others by stressing broad, well-balanced, integrated education and perspective of themselves and the world. These messages are woven into my being and the DU mission. The mission to disseminate knowledge within a moral and spiritual framework in order to prepare leaders has always been central in my life.

I'll be a dependable and effective recruiter, promoter and outreach advocate for Duquesne University on many fronts. I hope to make a lasting impact with the institution that extends well beyond the successes for the Men's Swim Team.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely Yours,

Mark Rauterkus

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Notice of the open swim coaching position at D.U. was seen

A friend from Illinois, and then from Michgan, sent me this email.
Subject: Check out Duquesne University Men's Swimming - Official Athletic Site
Hey Mark,

It lterally showed up this morning. I check most swim sites daily. I hope that it pans out for you. I checked out the Duquesne Mens web site and it appears the coach had been there for 16 years with moderate success. They split the mens/womens coaching duties 3 years ago and have about 15 male swimmers including 3 freshmen on scholarship. The team includes swimmers from around the USA as well as Canada.

I truly hope that this works out for you as it appears to be the kind of team that would benefit from your experience and passion.

Keep me informed.


Al Ledgin

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Job Posting for DU swimming


DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY, located in Pittsburgh, PA and a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, has an immediate vacancy for the position of Head Men's Swim Coach/Aquatic Director. This is a full-time, 12 month position, salary commensurate. Responsibilities include total operation of a Division I men's swimming program, including training program, strength training, recruiting, team travel, scheduling, meet management and other duties relevant to the position of Head Men's Swim Coach. Additional responsibilities include operation of the University's pool, including maintaining, hiring staff, and scheduling. Qualifications: Bachelor's degree required, as well as all licenses and certifications required to operate a pool in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Three years of successful college/club coaching experience preferred. Effective communication, organization and administrative skills required. Knowledge of NCAA, Duquesne University and Atlantic 10 rules and regulations required. Interested candidates should submit letter of interest, resume, and names and phone numbers of three references to Brian Colleary, Director of Athletics, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Screening will begin immediately and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Duquesne University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Off the table
The Auqatic Director role was taken by the existing womens coach and news of this came to me on Sunday morning before the Monday interview.

Friday, August 16, 2002

American Swim Coaches Association - payed $745

The ASCA World Clinic, Las Vegas, in September 2002, cost $745.00. 
Also attended the Certified Pool Operator's Course and the Certified Aquatic Managers Course. 

Audio tape for sale:
Single, $10
Set of 12 for $96
Set of 24 for $168
Set of 36 for $216
All 45 tapes, $225

Monday, July 29, 2002

Swim lesson cheer at Homestead

Everywhere we go,
People want to know,

Who we are,
So we tell them.

We are from Homestead,
Mighty, history Homestead.

We're no stinkers,
We all are thinkers.

We will lead,
We love to read.

Sound off,

1, 2, 3, 4 ... 3, 4.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

County Taxes

The 2002 Tax Levy for our property was 4.690 mills or .4690 per $100 valuation.

The Assessed valuation at full market value was $106,100.

The net Tax was $487.66 and the Gross tax was $497.61.

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Read & Swim, Carnegie Library of Homestead, 510 Tenth Ave, Munhall, 15120

Level 1:
Monday & Thursday, 8:30 am, or
Tuesday & Friday, 8:30 am.

Level 2:
Monday & Thursday, 9:30 am, or
Tuesday & Friday, 9:30 am.

Level 3:
Monday & Thursday, 10:30 am, or
Tuesday & Friday, 10:30 am.

Pay $50 at first class. 

Lots of waiting lists as the classes filled at 12 slots.

Level 5 & 6 had 23 kids.

I think it went for 6 weeks or so (June 14 to August 9) in the summer of 2002. Budget income = $50 x 12 x 3 x 2 = $3,600. I think it was a single coach and one lifeguard. 

Crazy thing is, when the fall came, we were going to do it again but better with a home-school swim team and the success blew them away and they choked. Ended the program because there were kids anxious to come who were from outside the service area of the library. The library is a REGIONAL ASSET, and got RAD money even. Remember the Regional Asset District. Ugh. Go figure. 

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Public Statement by Mark Rauterkus - No Toll Road to Pittsburgh

Against the Mon Valley Toll Road

My name is Mark Rauterkus. My family and I reside at 108 South 12th Street on the South Side. I have a home on the internet, Rauterkus.Com.

My internet site has a copy of this statement and additional information about my stands on this and other transportation projects. This statement makes mention of only a few points -- other observations are on-line.

The Mon Valley Toll Road has a few different parts. Each part has its own merits and strengths. And, as a organic web of life -- the sum of the parts needs to be considered as well.

What has already been built is fine. The thrust of what I hate is what has NOT been built and what has been shown about in some of the Turnpike Plans. What is already there now is much different situation to what is present among the plans.

The treatment of the city's fabric, the brownfields, the river, and the tax burden are matters of a different color. What is NOT yet built in the plans for the Mon Valley Toll Road is a bad idea.

The Toll Road is NOT prudent and far too costly.

The thinking from the Turnpike folks needs to be extended. They need to be told, "Think Again." They need to be pulled out of their narrow focus.

West End

Recently in the West End, Pittsburghers were passing around the hat to collect money to purchase a traffic signal at a dangerous intersection. We have kids getting run over. The city is in such a way that it can't afford to buy a stop light. This toll road is going to run us over too. The steam-rolling agenda has been set in place. The disparity is wide.

The costs for the Toll Road are too great. The pricetag per mile is wreckless with our tax money and bonds. This solution is too expensive.

This solution is full of corporate welfare. I understand that there are 17 engineering companies needed to finish this project -- as there are 17 sections to be built. This is amounting to HIGHWAY Robbery.

The taxes and debt to pay for this road is going to be a burden for my kids's kids. The costs are going to prohibit us from doing other things -- as we are blowing our wads on this.

I call myself a Free Market Republican. That is much unlike the overspending Democrats and much unlike the corporate welfare Republicans. The toll road is a big subsidy. And, the subsidy is NEVER going to pay off for the region.

There are many other more prudent options. The Mon Valley Toll is NOT prudent in the slightest.


Buy out the railroads.

At a public hearing in these chambers it was mentioned that there are 65 miles of rail road track and right of way that could be obtained for a price. None of the leaders are exploring that option in meaningful ways.

Rail service goes to all of the Brownfields. Meanwhile, the Toll Road misses them all.

We can run trains from Century Three Mall --- up and down the Mon Valley and into Town.

In today's landscape, the trains are NOT going to be for bringing workers into town for day jobs. Rather, what is needed is rail service so city-residents can be workers in new jobs created in the brownfield locations. This is an inverse to the trian of thought (pun intended) for existing leaders.

Case in point: Eco Star in McKeesport

At a recent job fair at Goodwill, EcoStar recruiters were present. They had hoped to hire 1,000 employees as soon as possible. The office space is in McKeesport. A friend I know who has been out of work for the past year wouldn't consider that as a viable option because of the commute to McKeesport. We need to put him, in the city, onto a train, and taken to work in McKeesport. Then he can come back again, live car-free, enjoy the city life and thrive.

The rail road rights of way can be converted (if we must) to light rail. This can connect with the right of way on the East Busway. This can be connected to the Overbrook Line in the South Hills.

Another alternative

Fix and maintain what we have.

The intersection at Bates and the Parkway East is a complete mess. The frontage road in the Second Ave area was done poorly. Fix it. Don't make it more of a mess by terminating a four-lane superhighway there.

The intersection at Streets Run has to be the worst in the world. This is getting repaired now -- on your watch. It is a massive nightmare.

The Glennwood Bridge went out for repairs -- and now the on-ramps. Perhaps they could have been better coordinated.

The McArdle Roadway bridge has been out for years. That leads to the Liberty Bridge, Liberty Tunnel -- and helps the South Side and Mt. Washington. There is no excuse for this outage.

We should not be building any new roads until these are fixed.

Fix the Birmingham Bridge. It was built with two other exit ramps at the South Side. we can't even fix the bike bath sidewalk to drop into the park behind the Libary and swim pool.

We should be building pedestrian bridges, roundabouts, and better managed elements to ease the bottle-neck trouble points.

Think Again.

News from Saturday, May 25, 2002:

Jim Ritchie of the TRIBUNE-REVIEW wrote in part:
The cost of building the state-endorsed Mon-Fayette Expressway route through Allegheny County is $788 million cheaper than the only other alternative, according to a long-awaited government document released Friday.

There are plenty of other alternatives that cost much, much less. The article is accurate when there is a total lack of imagination. Of the two alternatives, one is $1.xB. The other is $2.xB. To write as if one is a $788 M cheaper is cheap journalism.

Informational meetings hosted by PA Turnpike:

  • June 13, 1-8 p.m., Monroeville Expo Mart

  • June 18, 1-8 p.m., Braddock Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 Social Hall

  • June 25, 1-8 p.m., Burgwin Elementary School in Hazelwood

  • July 9, 1-8 p.m., West Mifflin High School Public hearings

  • July 16, 1-9 p.m., West Mifflin High School

  • July 23, 1-9 p.m., Burgwin Elementary School

  • July 25, 1-9 p.m., Monroeville Expo
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2002

    Game vs. the Rec Center Staff

    This is the end of a fast-break... Dan K took the photo. We used to have a couple events at the Market House each year with a parents and volunteers play against the Market House staff.

    A softball game was played each summer as well.

    Now, you can't have such games games as the staff had all be fired.

    It always took a village -- staffers and volunteers to make the programs work as they did. Those were the days.

    Friday, March 15, 2002

    Trophy time....

    Market House Family Fun night -- action photo from Dan K

    Parent's play against the kids in a final family fun night at the Market House. In the photo above, that's Grant with the white helmet about to push the puck near the mouth of the goal. I'm playing defense -- in case he hits is wide of the post, I guess.

    Thursday, February 14, 2002