Sunday, November 23, 2003

Film: Fathers Missing In Action

An American Journey of Broken Dreams and Unpaid Debt was at Showcase Cinemas East. The National Fatherhood initiative was one of the sponsors. Same too with Youthworks, Citizens Bank, Healthy Starts, Hill House, Juvenile Court Project, Twanda Carlisle.

Mr. Mario mcLoid, Mentoring Partnership of SW PA; Mr. Fedor Hernandez, PA Fatherhood Initiative; Mark Edwards, Juvenile Court Project; Eric Vecere, Fatherhood initiative; Mr. Hugh Mitchell Bouvier, writer and director.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Pitt's Athletic Slogan, branding, Commitment, Teamwork, Pride

Pitt's Athletic Slogan: Commitment, Teamwork, Pride

Commitment is needed to the spaces of Oakland. Commitment to listening is necessary. The athletic director needs a commitment to his role as a keeper of Pitt's sacred releationships.

Teamwork is needed between Pitt and our Pittsburgh citizens. Pitt has a poor record in teamwork.

Pitt is one of Pittsburgh's biggest players. If we were to make an illustration with a deck of cards and the card-game of bridge, Pitt and UPMC would be much like the Ace and King of Spades when it comes to our assets these days. There is no doubt that Pitt's star is burning brightly in these times, now overshaddowing the rest. In the game of baseball, the power-hitter of the line-up bats fourth and is affectionatly called the "clean-up hitter."

Without naming names, Pitt is pulling a Barry Bonds. Pitt is being a spoiled player who chokes in the big-games and cranks in the glory and successes when the game is already in the bag. Pitt's TEAMWORK, to use its own slogan against itself, sucks when it comes to the larger picture items in our community.

In the case of the LTV site and the building of the football practice compound, Pitt isn't needed. The developments at the LTV site is, as a basketball player might put it, a "slam dunk." The LTV site is going to be developed in seven years, says the URA Executive Director at a City Council meeting. Pitt can ride the bench at this game and Pittsburgh can still pull out a mighty victory. The LTV site can be a lock.

An official from UPMC, T.D., said at a South Side Steering Committee Meeting in January 1999 that other developers for the site are not going to be found. That miss-information can not be allowed.

What other players did not get to develop at the LTV site because of UPMC's and Oxford's arrival? The URA isn't going to case back-up plans and court developers for places already being developed. The URA puts all its eggs into one basket and gives the cold shoulder to others who might be interested in the site.

If asked, the URA won't have a clue as to who else might be possible developers and tenants for the LTV site, as in their mind the first best bet already got axed too, and that was River Boat Gambling. Well, if River Boat Gambling went sour, UPMC became part of the next best option. The trend is from sour to bland -- and we must go back to the drawing board and get what works and what was ordered.

At the initial news event, UPMC was to take nearly 30-acres of land at the LTV site. Now UPMC is going to get nearly 20 acres. The early projection can be called a speculative land-grab.

UPMC downsided the space plans by casting off the chaft. UPMC only needs to buy the most valuable spaces. The skinny, odd-shaped parcels of land that no developer would acquire are now worthless. No developer would want a tiny, odd-shaped spec of land that sits right next to UPMC as UPMC would be an overbearing neighbor.

At a public meeting, the developer of another portion of the LTV site, said something very interesting. His off-hand comments that came in the question/answer period of his presentation was at odds to what UPMC and the URA seem to say. The residental builder said that it would have rather have had a larger portion of the site to develop. He hinted at the fact that if more of the site was made available to his company, then they would certainly want to develop those sections as well.

An obvious alternative to the sale of land to UPMC for a football practice compound is a second sale of space to Contential. Perhaps more apartments can be built on the site, or perhaps a condo development can be built by the same company, and rather than all rental units, these units can be made available on a for-sale basis.

Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs hit the ball and played a great teamwork game. is an ace in our is he greater good of Pittsburgh by tacking the bigger problems in our society. Teamwork isn't selfishness, and moving a football practice site to that prime river location is total selfishness displayed at its best. Pitt should not cash into a prime spot (such as is the case with the LTV site). Pitt wants to run the final yard and score the touchdown. Pitt can score big-time with a new complex on the river's edge of the Mon at the LTV site.

Pride is won and earned from respect, not acquired by bullies.

The past victories that served to buid Pitt Pride are feelings. Feelings can't be easily bulldozed into a new facility, such as the Steeler's New Three Rivers Stadium. As Pitt Stadium closes, so too goes the intangibles of Pitt Pride.

Tweaking a development to placate special monied interests is the pathway to ruin.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Pittsburgh ACLU Chief Legal Counsel Walczak To Debate National Patriot Act

Televised Duquesne Law Discussion

Pittsburgh, PA- Does the Patriot Act protect our civil liberties or infringe upon them? On Tuesday, November 11th, at 6:00, Pittsburgh ACLU Chief Legal Counsel Vic Walczak and Heritage Foundation Fellow Paul Rosenzweig will debate this highly contentious question at the Duquesne University School of Law. PCTV-21 will broadcast the event.

THE PATRIOT ACT: A CIVIL WAR OVER CIVIL LIBERTIES is sponsored by the law school's Federalist Society Chapter and will be moderated by former Night Talk host John McIntire. The debate, which will raise money for Habitat for Humanity via each attendee's suggested $3 donation, will take place in room 204 of the Law School before an audience of at least 120. The debate will include legal questions from law professors Margaret Krasik, Robert Barker, and Thomas Lizzi, as well as audience members.

"I want to congratulate our Federalist Society for organizing this debate on such an important topic to our nation," said Law School Dean Nicholas Cafardi, who will welcome attendees. "I am looking forward to a stimulating discussion."

"How we respond to the threat of terrorism while continuing to respect cherished civil liberties is the single most important domestic legal question facing America today," said Rosenzweig, who is flying in from Washington, DC. "Public engagement in answering that question and the Duquesne debate are vital in making sure we get the answer right."

"The ACLU appreciates the opportunity to participate in what will likely be an illuminating discussion of these important issues," added Walczak.

"If John Ashcroft is covering up nipples on statues, who knows what else he's hiding?" pondered McIntire. "There's a lot of propaganda by both sides on this issue. I'm very excited about having enough time to sort out the spin."

"We are honored that the Duquesne Law School Chapter of the Federalist Society has associated Pittsburgh Habitat with this program," said Habitat for Humanity's Maggie Withrow. "Habitat never has to debate the overwhelming need for affordable housing."

"The Patriot Act radically alters America's ideological landscape with strange bedfellows and unlikely alliances," said Duquesne Law Federalist Society President Chris Lilik. "We are pleased to provide Pittsburgh with such a stimulating and informative discussion."

Vic Walczak, ACLU Chief Legal Counsel: 412-681-7864 x21,

Paul Rosenzweig, Heritage Foundation: 202-329-9650,

John McIntire, former Night Talk Host: 412-322-1967

Maggie Withrow, Habitat for Humanity: 412-466-6716

Dean Nicholas Cafardi, Duquesne Law Dean: 412-396-6280,

Chris Lilik, Duq Law Federalist Society President: 412-261-1666,

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Varsity Foxes

I got to coach these kids.  (private link page)
Weirdness was that the club team and the high school teams were coached by different people. I went to help with the high school. The club coach didn't step up to take the lead with the varsity teams. So, one decent job took a turn into two bad jobs, among other things. 

Hired some good assistant coaches who would do so if I was the head.