Saturday, July 29, 2006

Water Polo Clinic - August 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, 2006

Monday to Friday, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am

at Crafton Swim Pool in Crafton Park on Steuben Street

Cost: $5.
On site registration. Pay $5 at first practice and remainder of week is without charge.

Boys, Girls and Adults welcome.

Clinic is geared to novice players. Learn about the great Olympic sport of Water Polo. Plenty of instruction, drills, skill development, conditioning, game situations and tactics. Get new respect for the sport, team-play and friends.

Swimming ability expected: i.e., swim 100 yards (4 lengths of the pool) in less than 3 minutes.

Rain or shine.

Program's organizer and coach is Mark Rauterkus, 412 298 3432,, publisher of Tactical US Water Polo by a 4-time Olympic Coach.

Pass the word to lifeguards and other athletes.

US Olympic hero Hall survives shark attack

US Olympic hero Hall survives shark attack: "US Olympic hero Hall survives shark attack

Five-time Olympic swimming gold medal winner Gary Hall survived a shark attack while spear fishing with his sister off the Florida coast.

Diven's chief of staff charged in name game - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The other shoe falls. More below.
Diven's chief of staff charged in name game - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The chief of staff for state Rep. Michael Diven was charged Friday with providing false signatures of eight people -- at least five of whom are dead -- on nominating petitions for the Brookline Republican.

Debora Lynn Romaniello, 51, of Beechview (thanks JP), is accused by Allegheny County Police of verifying an election nominating petition containing the forged names of eight people, mostly from the Baldwin area, and submitting the papers to the county Elections Division in March.

Romaniello and her husband, Pittsburgh Public Schools board member Dan Romaniello, did not return calls yesterday.

Diven said the charges are politically motivated and that Romaniello made an honest mistake. Diven said he will keep Romaniello as his chief of staff.
Perhaps Mrs. Romaniello will be vindicated and perhaps this is the worst of the worst of a political hit job. I can see those statements of defense being true.

However, here is the rub in a global sorta way. Diven is in the state house. Those in the state house can make laws that can change election laws. We've got some serious troubles with our election laws as they now stand. Diven has done little if nothing to change the election laws in his tenure.

Diven could be putting together a sheet of dead people's names onto a petition to get himself onto the ballot to prove a point that dead people can show up to the polls to vote! But, he didn't do that.

Diven could be putting dead people's names onto petitions himself -- to prove that it numbs ones mind to need to get hundres and hundres if not thousands and thousands of names on nomination papers to just get onto the ballot -- say to run against Rick Santorum or Bob Casey or Fast Ed Rendell or Lynn Swann.

Diven could be putting the names of the dead people onto a petition to make a stance about things that are NOT election specific -- as another sign of protest. How many died in Diven's district because they could not afford health care? How many died because they were elderly and could not face the stresses of moving out of an older home into a nursing home situation? How many died in PA because they got struck by a car because our streets are not safe and speeding limits are a joke and without enforcement?

Or to use a Brookline specific example, how many have died because they didn't have a warm community center / senior center to keep themselves social and healthy? There is a big senior center spat in Brookline as to where they should build and who's going to benefit.

Frankly, I think senior centers are going to be gone in a few years. They are throwback facilities that the next generation isn't going to use like the centers still around today. But, that's another story with another set of principles and visions that just doesn't flow from the likes of Diven.

I'm not saying that Diven should spin this news. He can't. He has nothing to spin as he has made little stances on strong issues that resonate with people, protests and principles. He has to quickly say that the opposition is throwing mud as that is all he has to fight back with himself.

Just as Diven is confident in Deb -- and the other guy did it who isn't yet named -- I'm confident that the system is broken and won't get fixed under Diven's watch.

Diven could have even gone around and picked up 100 signatures for the guys and gals in the next blog mention who are holding a press conference in Harrisburg on August 1. That could have been his contibution to make matters right again. And, he could stand up and say -- these petition requirements are a joke. And, this is the law that I've introduced to change it so the ones that come next year don't have these hurdles to navigate.

Libertarians support political choice in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Libertarian Party is major participant in Harrisburg Ballot Access Rally
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Libertarian Party in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition ( will present a "New Choices for Pennsylvania" Rally on Tuesday, August 1st at noon inside the Harrisburg Rotunda of the Main Capitol Building at Commonwealth and Forster.

This Rally will mark the end of the petitioning season in Pennsylvania as all petitions are due August 1st.

Speakers for this event will include

· Tom Martin, Libertarian Party candidate for US Senator

· Russ Diamond, Independent candidate for Governor

· Hagan Smith, Constitution Party candidate for Governor

· Marakay Rogers, Green Party candidate for Governor.

Also in attendance will be Jim Babb, Libertarian candidate for the 157th State Representative district and Jeff Brindle, Socialist Party candidate for the 26th State Representative district.

The rally celebrates party voices and opinions outside the two old parties because they may be silenced after August 1st. Due to the ballot access crisis in Pennsylvania, this may be the last time they can identify themselves as candidates.

All independents and parties other than the Democrats and Republicans must obtain an astronomical amount of petition signatures to be included on the Pennsylvania General Election Ballot. This number varies every year in Pennsylvania based on an arcane formula of two percent of the highest state-wide total from the last election. The required number this year is 67,070 which makes Pennsylvania the second worst state in the nation for ballot access.

By contrast, statewide Democrat and Republican candidates always need only 2,000 signatures to qualify for the Primary Election ballot, and the winners need no additional signatures to be listed on the General Election ballot.

The Ballot Access Coalition has been pursuing a legislative remedy to this problem. Our bill, the Voters' Choice Act, is based on Delaware's reasonable ballot access law. Unfortunately, the VCA is locked in our legislature's State Government committee

Another consortium of Pennsylvania political parties is pursuing a legal remedy. Their appeal was heard on July 10th in Federal Court and they are awaiting the decision.

Thus, this is your last chance to hear the above individuals speak as candidates since Pennsylvania's incumbent protection policy is at work to officially exclude them from your November ballot.

For further information on the New Choices for Pennsylvania rally, contact 610-543-8427

Wal-Mart submits superstore plans to Nashville

Wal-Mart submits superstore plans to Nashville Wal-Mart has submitted plans to build a Supercenter in Nashville, town Planning Director Gene Foxworth said Friday.

'Wal-Mart plans to build a 155,017-square-foot store on more than 16 acres next to the new State Employees' Credit Union,' he said.

The State Employees' Credit Union is under construction. Three more parcels are also shown on the plan, but Foxworth said nothing has been submitted for more businesses at the site.

Blog, blog, blog -- a thon -- or -- how to recycle electrons and spin one's wheels without a life

I love blogging. But, I love life. When blogging goes over the line, then we have to call the move as 'out of bounds.'

I won't be doing a 24-hour blog-a-thon. Count me "OUT" of that madness. Sure, I've been glued to my keyboard in the past -- for a spell, and I can't spell. Sure, I've pulled many all-nighters too, working on the computer. There was a time in my life when I published books that I would often work all night long for 2 or more days to put a book to bed. Those were the days of PageMaker 1.5 and Quark and LaserWriters that went one page every six minutes it seemed. I'd have four or five days of regular eat-sleep cycles and then crunch for 2-3 days and make serious gains on projects.

Often these projects were 'arts' efforts. Staying up and not getting sidelined was even a treasured passion. I'd feel good in getting the work accomplished and holding the book's pages that were just days ago scratches of a manuscript.

My best crash and burn story was with Kevin DeForrest and his book, The Treasure Within. That was one of my last books. He was an old friend from Illinois and was then coaching swimming at Penn State. He came to our house after the kids were sent home for Christmas and we worked up until Christmas Eve, about 4 days. He left and I knew what was to go on each page and all the chapters were edited. He departed to see his mom in St. Louis. By New Years Day I had 250 copies of his 150 page book on a plane headed with him to the Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic in Napa, California.

The outcomes of the work all-night efforts were NOT blog posts however.

If your going to do the 24-hour thing -- go for it. To each his own. That isn't what I'm about these days. I'm going the other way even.

This blog is going to take a bit of a vacation. We train the house-sitter today on how to care for our cats and old house. Then we hit the road on Monday, after a softball game, to Maine. We'll be gone for a week. I'll try to get to the Wikifest at Harvard's Law School on Friday too.

Later in August I'll be off line for two weeks as we go to Canada for a swim camp, They have dial up. I'll be further offline in the heart of Cottage Country (3-and-a-half hours north of Toronto) than when we went to China. I don't expect blogger to be blacklisted in China, but I'll be with 120 guys on the edge of a lake.

Perhaps I could do a fundraiser -- a blog off! I get paid to NOT talk about a certain topic or else to not blog at all for a spelll.

Friday, July 28, 2006

September 16, 2006.

Super Genius -- Brilliant -- really -- ya ha

These radical guys use a book tour for outreach and on-going organizing and recap efforts with this golden insight:
An organizer we met in Pittsburgh offered the useful definition that the task for radical organizers and organizations is twofold: Build Dual Power, Confront State Power.

That is, we must develop our own power—by building coalitions, political infrastructure, and visionary, alternative institutions that prefigure the types of social relationships we desire — while simultaneously confronting the state, right-wing social movements, and other forms of institutional oppression.

One without the other is insufficient.

This twofold approach can also address what an organizer in North Carolina identified as the gap between opposition to something and action around it—a chasm that is solved by a feeling of empowerment, the belief that people can actively contribute to making change.
I would love to continue to build alternative institutitions with visionary directions and inspired political thought. And, I continue to battle the big-boys by getting on the ballot and face off against institutional oppression.

I'm running against Wayne Fontana, a Democrat, because he ran a campaign that was so negative a year ago that I had to hold my nose after seeing its first postcard. I'm running because he isn't 'progressive' in the slightest. I'm running because he is part of the problem and feels good to introduce Ed Rendell in the House for a state of the union address while sitting on the stadium authority and voting, without question for new seat construction with taxpayer money.

Political hacks need to be challenged. That's the exercise and drill for the other side of the sword. We need dual missions. We need to build the new insitutions and support them as they sprout -- and we need to take wind-up swings at old-school cronies too in straight up battles on legit grounds when the limelight can't melt the devotions.

Consultant plans 3 meetings to get public's wishes for pool

Perhaps one of the meetings should be held at in the grass near the snack bar of Dormont's pool.
Consultant plans 3 meetings to get public's wishes for pool: "Consultant plans 3 meetings to get public's wishes for pool

Thursday, July 27, 2006
By Laura Pace, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Before officials in Mt. Lebanon jump into plans for a multimillion dollar outdoor pool, they want to know what people want.

As part of a $32,000 feasibility study, consultants from Counsilman-Hunksaker, of St. Louis, will conduct three public meetings beginning in September, recreation director William Moore said.

Other methods of public input could include a blog, which is shorthand for a Web log, a method of posting comments online in journal form.

The goal is to find out how to replace Mt. Lebanon's 650,000 gallon outdoor pool, an aluminum structure built in 1976 to replace its original pool.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Presentation to Atlanta's school CIO about open source software

Daniel Howard made presentations to the CIO of Atlanta Public Schools on his case study at Morris Brandon Elementary School. He posted some of the many slides generated over the year in efforts to convince the school administrators to switch to K12LTSP, which finally happened by just doing it and showing the results.

Two Open Office presentation files can be used to convince your school IT folks of the benefits of Free and Open Source Software.

Presentation to Atlanta's CIO:

Lots of slides used to convince school officials to make the switch:

Third slide says enough:

By converting Brandon technology to Linux thin clients and Open Source Software:

The number of working PCs at Brandon was tripled

Maintenance problems all but disappeared

Teacher satisfaction with and use of technology went from nearly zero to 100%

Cost of technology was reduced by 90%

Academic performance and productivity saw significant improvements

Carl Romanelli for US Senate - website

Carl Romanelli for US Senate | Carl Romanelli for US Senate 'The only wasted vote is one that is not cast with your values and beliefs behind it. Let's stop wasting our votes on candidates that serve interests other than ours.'

City superintendent appoints 23 to task force on improving high schools

City superintendent appoints 23 to task force on improving high schools Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt has appointed 23 people to a task force on high school improvement.
Travel to high performing schools around the country... Oh, I've got so much to say.

Keystone State Wrestling Alliance Krazy Bog: Welcome K.S.W.A. Krazies

Keystone State Wrestling Alliance Krazy Bog: Welcome K.S.W.A. Krazies

Thanks to all the fans for all of their well wishes and emails pertaining to the concussion I received at Wrestle Rock at the hands of Biker Al as well as his cohort, "The King of Millvale" Del Douglas. I have been told by the best doctors in Pittsburgh that I will be out of action for a little while. I will have more to say as soon as the doctors tell me I'm okay.

Statement released on behalf of Ring Announcer Trapper Tom

Last Summer Meet -- All Stars: We won by 26 points

The All-Star Swim Meet was last night. I left before all the counting of points was finished. Today I saw Coach Mike with another tall trophy, a 2-foot hunk of hardware. We won. The Crafton Swim Team won all its dual meets, and both the Championships and All-Star Meets. Plus, we even won the Relay Carnival Meet.

We are the Champions! :)

The meet was good. We had a few older kids while the other team's didn't. That would have given us some decent points.

Very few of our kids had DQs. In the Champioship meet, our team had only 2. That was the least among the entire league. We were legal as well in the All-Stars, mostly.

Today was our first day of a three day water polo clinic at the end of the regular swim season. We had 11 kids play. It was fun. Grant learned how to do the egg beater kick. He said on the way home that 'You were right. It is a lot easier with the egg beater.'

Did some passing drills: Pick up the ball from the bottom. Pass to the other player's head with a high loop. Receive the ball by reaching high and absorbing the pass. Then we played 5 on 5 half court with 8 outs to an inning. When another person cam, with a red cap, she became all time offense. We matched up man-to-man by size and had 7 year olds to adults and a few of the big guys too in there. It all worked.

Today we played without a goalie. Our goals are the guard base of the guard chairs. The third rung of the ladder is the cross-bar. So you have to hit below there. I marked it with a bit of orange duck tape. I might make cardboard goals yet. Then it would be more clear if the ball hit the right spots for a goal.

2006 Tour de France - Tour de France winner Landis gives positive drugs test - Thursday July 27, 2006 10:27AM

Nuts. - More Sports - 2006 Tour de France - Tour de France winner Landis gives positive drugs test - Thursday July 27, 2006 10:27AM LONDON (AP) -- Tour de France champion Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race, his Phonak team said Thursday on its Web site.

The statement came a day after cycling's world governing body said an unidentified rider had failed a drug test during the Tour. - Power Struggle On Grant Street With O'Connor Gone - Power Struggle On Grant Street With O'Connor Gone Delano reports power struggles like this are relatively normal but when the whole community is uniting in their prayers and good wishes for the mayor, it's still surprising to see the mayor's team squabbling -- even if, so far at least, the squabbling has not affected city operations.


Bev, a nurse at Children's Hospital on the "Hard Head Patrol" that checks kids for bike/skating helmets reports that children from ages 1 - 20 with ill-fitting or broken helmets or lack of helmets, can get free ones, fitted, from Children's Hospital.

Tonight (July 27) is a fitting & giveaway from 6 - 8 pm in Mt. Oliver at the Family Care Connection, 1630 Arlington Avenue.

For those kids who have fitting helmets and wear them, Wendy's coupons are available. Also, as adults set the best example. They can get a fitted for a helmet, too. The last event this summer is Thursday, August 3rd from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Children's South 1300 Oxford Drive, Bethel Park. The kids have to be there for the fitting.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Slippery Rock Univ. not alone on Title IX issues

This is shameful.
Slippery Rock Univ. not alone on Title IX issues July 26, 2006 - By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

While a federal judge has ruled that Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania doesn't provide equal opportunities in sports for men and women, the state school isn't alone in violating the federal law -- known as Title IX -- guaranteeing such equity.

Across Pennsylvania, many schools don't meet federal standards, according to a report issued last year the Women's Law Project, a Pennsylvania organization that provided free attorneys for the Slippery Rock students. The report on 112 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania concluded they 'are failing miserably in providing proportionate athletic opportunity for women.'
Why does PA need to be so backwards?

Here is where "RUN, Baby, RUN" needs to kick up some dirt.

Are you ready for some polo? A meeting is slated for 4:30 pm today to give the green light to a week long water polo clinic I'll lead from August 7 to 11, 2006 at the Crafton Swim Pool. I'm not going to be at the meeting, as tonight is the "All-Star Swim Meet" at South Fayette.

D-day nears for lesser-known candidates

If this is D-Day, then I'm about to parachute behind enemy lines some 48 hours before the other troups storm the beach. Frankly, I'll be hitting the beach on August 2, as we take a week long trip to the east coast to see family.

But my petitions are now notorized. I've got more flowing into me from some other sources. They'll go out in a next day envelope on Thursday, I expect.
Philadelphia Daily News | 07/26/2006 | D-day nears for lesser-known candidates D-day nears for lesser-known candidates
Deadline's Aug. 1 for nominating papers
By BOB WARNER 215-854-5885

Time is running out for independent and third-party candidates hoping to get onto Pennsylvania ballots in November.

With less than a week to file nomination papers before an Aug. 1 deadline, none of the potential statewide candidates has yet assembled the 67,070 voter signatures needed.

Russ Diamond, a founder of the PA CleanSweep campaign to dump state lawmakers who supported the legislative pay boost last summer, said yesterday that his campaign for governor has only 25,000 signatures in hand.

Hundreds of petitions with additional signatures are still making the rounds, but Diamond described it as 'a close call' whether he'll collect enough.

'This is the week we're standing by the post office box, waiting for the stuff to come in,' Diamond said.

Pa. gaming board gets loan to keep running NewsFlash - Pa. gaming board gets loan to keep running HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania's slot-machine gambling agency has received an infusion of more than $10 million in loans from two other state agencies to keep it afloat, a Treasury Department spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Treasury Department signed off on Monday on the transfer to the Gaming Control Board of $6.6 million from the Revenue Department and $3.85 million from the State Police, said Treasury spokeswoman Karen Walsh.

The funds come from $36.1 million the Legislature appropriated for the startup of slot-machine gambling in Pennsylvania, a project still in the developmental stage that backers hope will generate $1 billion annually for property-tax relief.
Tax relief, right. Such a joke. What they are doing and what they promised are not the same. This is shameful.

Voters may see plans to downsize council - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Voters may see plans to downsize council - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Motznik said a seven-member council would cut costs, increase efficiency of government and still allow enough seats for minority representation across the city. A five-member council would be too small, he said.
Motznik's plan is a hedge. It is less political, because it is less urgent. So, it is less effective in its roll out. The theme of too little and too late comes to the forefront again from this council.

I still think that council and every elected official in the city should be living on half of its pay until the OVERLORDS are removed from the landscape. We've got ICA and Act 47 still here. Once they are gone, then normal pay could resume. And, the ICA and Act 47 folks should only get their full pay once the job is done and the city stays OUT of its financial crisis. Pay them a small retainer and put the funds into escrow.

I think the real problem is yet to be addressed. City council needs to be a legislative body. They need to write ordinances. They don't need to follow-up on pot holes. They need to oversee the spending. They need to write a budget and plan on financial matters. For the reasons that are obvious, they fail at what they are to do and then go ahead and do other things that they should NOT be doing.

Council needs to stick to its jobs. The Mayor needs to stick to the administration's jobss. But, we've had TOM MURPHY that fired the Mayor's Complaint Center staff. And we've had council folks who gladly filled those roles because they didn't understand what really needed to be done.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

USA Swimming - 20 Questions for David Salo

USA Swimming - 20 Question Tuesday Archive Dave Salo has gone from a high-profile club coaching job to being the head coach at the University of Southern California. He talks about the challenges he faces, and what it means to hear from his former swimmers in this week’s 20 Question Tuesday with special correspondent Bob Schaller.

Judge orders Slippery Rock to reinstate female teams

Pushing polo into the front page.
Just last night we introduced dozen of kids on our swim team to water polo, playing an organized game of keep-a-way with caps and a ball in the last half-hour of a swim team pool party. Then the next day, the P-G runs a story on water polo on its front page.

Our three day water polo clinic is to start on Thursday this week.

We swim against the community team in Slippery Rock. This winter we went to SRU and had a meet and we all talked about this program closing a good bit. I sent along a letter to the school speaking my displeasure of the decisions.
Judge orders Slippery Rock to reinstate female teams Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania must reinstate its women's swimming and water polo teams after a judge ruled its decision to drop them violated federal Title IX guidelines. Eight Slippery Rock University swimmers and head coach Jim Yeamans have sought legal methods to preserve their program. In January, the University announced the elimination of the men's and women's programs along with six others in an effort to shave $350,000 from a $2 million deficit. Rachael Bienias, Beth Choike, Heather Walbright, Jessica Student, Liz Penning, Laura Sanford, Emily Campbell, and Sarah Sander, along with four other non-swimmers are seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting Slippery Rock from cutting the sports. The suit was filed in District Court in Pittsburgh with assistance from the Women's Law Project.

Soccer: Extreme Makeover for USA next spotlight team - SI Exclusive - Soccer: Extreme Makeover - Tuesday July 25, 2006 1:08PM A year out from World Cup 2007, the U.S. women's team is younger, more creative -- and as brash as ever

After the U.S.'s disappointing first-round exit at the recent World Cup, the attention of U.S. Soccer has already shifted toward the new-look women's team, which is in the midst of a six-month residency outside Los Angeles in preparation for the 2007 Women's World Cup in China. And while the purpose of its three-game exhibition series this month is to develop chemistry among the many new players on the roster -- the Americans will look for their fifth straight win of 2006 when they meet Canada this Sunday in Cary, N.C. -- forward Abby Wambach can't help but take a playful dig at her male counterparts. 'We're trying to get a couple of games under our belt,' says Wambach, 26, cracking a wry smile, 'and give some of the American fans a good soccer team to watch.' (Ouch, babe.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

TalkShoe - Talkcast - The Vigilant American

TalkShoe - Talkcast - The Vigilant American: "The Vigilant American"


Combined Team Scores

Place Team Points

1 Crafton Crocodiles Swim Team - CROCS - 999
2 Scott Township Swim Team - SCOTT - 791
3 Mt. Lebanon Piranhas - LEBO - 679
4 Green Tree Swim Team - GT - 546
5 South Fayette Summer Swim Team - SF - 342

Are all created equal -- or not?

Podcast in MP3 format from Russ Diamond.

Jumping into the fun!

Heroic in the wake of Katrinia -- and fallout since. This Doctor had been at UPMC

My Friends:

I write, with regret, to inform you that one of our dear friends and most respected colleagues, Dr. Anna Maria Pou, is in urgent need of your support. Please read this message and join me in helping her.

Anna is a distinguished surgeon and teacher who has earned national recognition for her contributions to the field of Otolaryngology. Anna was on duty at New Orleans’ Memorial Medical Center during the week of hurricane Katrina last year. The city was inundated with flood waters, the hospital was left without power in 100-degree-plus heat, and the prevailing conditions were absolutely desperate. As most people know, there was no rescue for people left behind until almost a week after the hurricane.

Dr. Pou worked tirelessly for nearly six days helping the seriously ill patients and also the hundreds of people who sought shelter in the hospital. The conditions were unspeakably poor, and in the soaring temperatures with no water or food, many patients (nearly 40 individuals) died, despite great effort to save them. The majority of those patients were elderly people who had been admitted to the hospital’s LifeCare unit, a place typically reserved for long-term care and for terminally ill persons. Some of the others who died were frail older people who had been transferred to Memorial from area nursing homes. A few were younger people who succumbed to lesser illnesses that were exacerbated by the extreme state of affairs.

By personal accounts from nurses, doctors, administrators, and support personnel who knew Dr. Pou, and had worked with her closely in the months before Katrina, her work during the crisis was “heroic”, “selfless”, and “distinguished”. With a handful of other dedicated doctors and nurses, she worked without sleep and without nourishment, and she declined an early opportunity to evacuate the hospital in order to care for those who still needed help. At great self-sacrifice, she prevented further loss of life and has been credited with saving multiple people from dying.

Apparently there were a few individuals in the hospital who could not understand why so many people were dying. Allegations were made, egregiously accusing Dr. Pou and the others of giving too much narcotic pain medication, even using the word “euthanasia”. This attracted national news coverage which became absurdly sensationalistic. Because of the widespread news coverage, an official investigation was launched.

Dr. Pou has now been arrested and accused of 2nd degree murder, along with several nurses. The reaction of experienced legal and medical observers is that the investigation was handled unprofessionally, conducted outside official jurisdiction, and that the conclusions have been based on disputable information.

It is my expectation that once all the facts are known, Dr. Pou will be recognized as one of several compassionate, dedicated professionals who did the best they could do under absolutely desperate circumstances, and that all allegations of misconduct will be shown to be unfounded.

However, her defense will be very costly, and it will not be covered by malpractice insurance. Therefore Dr. Pou’s professional reputation AND her personal assets are at substantial risk. Remember, this kind of thing could happen to any of us who happen to be on call when a disaster strikes.

We have organized a legal defense fund to help her fight this battle. I am asking you to consider making a contribution of $500 to $1000, or more if you can do so, as soon as you possibly can.

Donations can be sent to our office at the address below.

Please make checks out to:

Anna Pou MD Defense Fund

Please help.

Respectfully submitted,
Daniel W. Nuss, MD, FACS
Professor and Chairman
LSU Department of Otolaryngology
Head and Neck Surgery
533 Bolivar Street, 5th Floor ENT Suite
New Orleans, LA 70112

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Proposal for Relay Carnival as part of the SHSSC, South Hills Summer Swim Clubs

This did not get approved, but the existing relay carnival meet was a downer, IMHO.

Comcast Kiss-Butts. Testing 1, 2. Testing. Did anyone hear that?

Shortly after PA's infamous Great Pay Raise of July 7, 2005, the leader in the fight against the legislature recorded a 5 minute interview to be aired
across Pennsylvania on the CNN Headline News channel.

But Comcast never aired it.

Could it be that Comcast was loathe to show a government critic after they got $40 million in "economic development" aid from the state? Could it be in deference one of their most famous employees, a governor-turned-sports commentator? Or could it be that they were afraid to offend Comcast Newsmakers' biggest population of interviewees - incumbents running for re-election?

We'll let you decide for yourself.

Can meat be green?

We'll find out today at our Sunday Church Service at Sunnyhill. Break a leg Lee.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Blog from Anne Feeney's Relation -- and Leaving Lebanon on a Turkish Highway

Great cities have died, New Orleans and now Lebanon. This is tragic.

This pointer came in Anne Feeney's blast email. She was due to travel there. Once the fighter jets leave and the smoke clears, Lebanon is going to have hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to repair just to get back to a base to rebuild the economy. The tourism industry will be set back another 10 years. And to finance this reconstruction, Lebanon will be forced to borrow heavily from international institutions largely dominated by the US. So as the Lebanese begin to gather their lives back together, Israel�s closest ally will take on an increasingly influential position in Lebanon.

Teen hero 'just doing my job' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Laurel was at the Championship Swim Meet this morning and we talked. She is also a member of the Green Tree Great White Sharks (swim team). I was a volunteer coach and board member with that team last year, when she was also on the team.

Laurel is a hero. Sure, she did the job in the right way in the right time as a lifeguard. But there is more. She is a solid person and with a great attitude and a gem to be around.
Teen hero 'just doing my job' - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review A member of the Keystone Oaks Girls swim team, Martinez has been an avid swimmer since she was 4 years old and hopes to continue swimming competitively in college. She is a lifeguard at the South Hills Jewish Community Center in Scott.

Amy Torcaso, manager at Dormont Pool, is proud of the way her lifeguards responded to the incident.

'Laurel did what needed to be done. They all did,' Torcaso said. 'This reinforced the fact that we have trained them well.'

The lifeguards' work impressed Jane Mitchell, a regular swimmer at the pool.

'They didn't stop for even one second,' said Mitchell, 74, of Dormont. 'Everyone ought to be proud of the lifeguards we have here.'

Undefeated -- and victors at Championships

The Summer Swimming Championships were held today -- and we won! The Craton Crocs won by more than 200 points, over Scott Township, Mt. Lebo, Green Tree and South Fayette.

The meet was run well and hosted at Scott. Hats off to all the volunteers.

Our squad was solid without any weakness, despite the usual rash of vacations.

For the family, in the 11-12 boys breastroke -- Erik won and Danny (also of Crafton) got 2nd. Erik's Medley Relay won too.

Grant's 8-under free relay won as well.

The All-Star Meet is slated for WEDNESDAY.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pew Internet - Bloggers, new storytellers

Pew Internet: Pew Internet - Bloggers Bloggers: A portrait of the internet's new storytellers

Summary: A national phone survey of bloggers finds that most are focused on describing their personal experiences to a relatively small audience of readers and that only a small proportion focus their coverage on politics, media, government, or technology. Blogs, the survey finds, are as individual as the people who keep them. However, most bloggers are primarily interested in creative, personal expression – documenting individual experiences, sharing practical knowledge, or just keeping in touch with friends and family.

Blog readership is up, way up. But same too is blog authoring. Most bloggers are unpublished elsewhere -- but I find it more telling that 44% say that they have published elsewhere.

I think that there are some major distinctions to understand. For example, some kids can swim while other kids are swimmers. Likewise with blogging. Some bloggers are writters while others are story tellers. For many bloggers, they tinker with the tools of the times and have little to say. Meanwhile some are brief because they don't craft the story nor do they resemble sotry-tellers.

Here is another example. Some can play music on a CD player. Others can make music -- by singing along. Yet the singer/songwritter is a musician who can compose, communicate and craft works that make culture.

Same too with blogging, blog readership, commenting and authoring to a degree. It takes all sizes and shapes, but at first blush it is not obvious as to who's up to what because.

Most bloggers do not think that they are doing 'journalism' and that is depressing. We need more citizen jouralists. We really need them in Pittsburgh.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Steroids' side effects keep O'Connor in the hospital

Steroids' side effects keep O'Connor in the hospital
One of the things that is going to stink about this -- as far as a human interest story -- is the MAYOR's CUP. That's a tournament of baseball and softball games with various ages. In a couple of weeks they'll play at PNC Park. Hope Bob can attend. Bob is a big supporter of baseball.

S. Side group backs Station Square casino plan

File this under the category: "You can't bite the hand that feeds you."

I didn't attend the press event at 10 am at Cafe Allegro, but would have wanted to had I not been at swim practice until noon. Reactions from others welcome, about the facts.

I don't put a lot of 'faith' into the acts of the SSLDC. I've been at odds with them most of the time. They don't really represent citizens. Yet they (SSLDC) would try to grab that power and credit. They are a group in our community. But the SSLDC does not represent the community.

The SSLDC has been pushing the "south sider bus," funded by the Station Square money. Remember the folly of the Ultra Violet Loop. We're talking same sillyness.

The SSLDC must figure, and perhaps rightly so, that the Station Square project has some upside. But, if they are on the outside, their wishes won't get the play. So, they've sold their soul to the devel -- or just sold out by taking the first land grab.

Them theirs gold in thar hills -- and we're grabbing for it.
S. Side group backs Station Square casino plan: "S. Side group backs Station Square casino plan
Community group to receive money from developer

Thursday, July 20, 2006
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The South Side Development Co. today endorsed Forest City Enterprises' proposal for a slots casino at Station Square and agreed to work with the developer on the impact of the casino if it is built.
Months and months ago, folks were trying to sway me to embrace the Isle of Capri plan by coming out strongly against the Station Square location for gambling. That thinking is twisted in its own way too.

I'll need to get to the heart of the matter in the next posting, as to if they are putting on the pressure to do the right things -- or just worry about facade elements and roofs that are not black. So, my question to my neighbors and the SSLDC folks -- is this a skin deep endorsement as expected or is there some real issues that are being tackled?

Man taken from Dormont Pool in ambulance

Just two days ago I was at Dormont Pool getting signatures for the ballot and talking to swimmers. I know the pool manager there, Amy. She is a wonderful resource for the community and does a fantastic job. She taught the Lifesaving class I was in this spring for my recertification.

What I heard second hand, and what the P-G and radio was reporting are different. The better news is printed here and with the P-G. So, I'll let it rest at that.

Let's stay safe out there folks. Here is my far-fetched wish: If you are going to answer the call for the big guy or gal in the sky, do it on the lawn chair and not in the deep end.
Man taken from Dormont Pool in ambulance: "Man taken from Dormont Pool in ambulance

Thursday, July 20, 2006 by Dan Majors, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A man was taken to the hospital after being pulled out of the Dormont Pool unresponsive at 3:10 this afternoon.

The man, who is 32 or 33, according to Dormont police Chief Russ McKibben, did not respond to resuscitation attempts by lifeguards who had pulled him from the deep end of the pool. He was taken to St. Clair Hospital, then transferred to Mercy Hospital.

The pool was fully staffed today with 14 guards, with nine to 11 on duty at a given time, according to the chief. More than one guard responded to the man, who was in 9-foot-deep water.

Chief McKibben said he could recall no drowning at the pool in his 26 years in the borough.

Allegheny County homicide detectives are investigating."

Ohio Learn and Earn

Ohio Learn and Earn: "Learn & Earn will be funded by proceeds on slot machines at 9 venues in Ohio (7 at existing racetracks). Did you know that Ohio has lost billions of dollars in gaming revenue to our neighboring states? Learn & Earn will reclaim this money to invest in education and jobs here in Ohio!

LC says "park it" -- what's up with that?


LC is appointed to the parking authority and TV 11 news reports he said, "park it" to Big Ben regarding his motorcycle.

Do we appoint new authority board members just to fill Ben's mind with messages of safer living?

What about the pressing parking issues that fill our city and neighborhoods? Does LC have something to say about those matters? Will the reporters even ask?

And the quote from LC is backhanded too. Along the lines of, "I don't have any adivce for him, but if I did I'd say 'park it.'" So the advice is given.

LC, talk about parking, please. Meanwhile, I'm going to relaunch a campaign saying we don't need authorities and we should NUKE the entire Parking Authority.

Taxpayer education - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Taxpayer education - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review A big problem with reining in government's grotesque spending is that to the average taxpayer, the exact conscription of wealth isn't fully realized. There's no clear 'impact' of the cost of government's growing greed -- which incidentally is no accident.

Going to work -- and -- what time is it?

Fingerprint time clock angers city works union

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The workers who patch and clear Pittsburgh's roads, maintain parks and repair public buildings may soon have to start and end their work days by being electronically fingerprinted.
News article hit on Tuesday. Heard Honz Man interview Koch Tuesday afternoon. Posted this on Wednesday. But it appears to be with a Thursday time stamp -- to prove a point.

No matter what, the technology and rules can be adusted and broken. People will out-fool the fool proof. And this isn't even billed as being fool proof.

If a worker lies about when he or she shows up and goes home -- send the person home forever. Termination would work wonders.

I happen to give the benefit of the doubt to Mr. Koch, our newest member of city council, who has been a public works employee for 25 years, when he said that there was NEVER any instance of one worker signing in for another in his Public Works Division.

But I'm all for an embrace of technology. Let's use it in an area where there will be a better bang for the buck.

A $70,000 fix for a problem that doesn't exist to much of a degree that could be fixed with a pink slip that costs a nickle is not worthy. How about if the $70k went to something more significant.

The folks in Hazelwood area I talked to a couple nights ago were tickled to get $5,000 for a ball field fix up from a grant. That came as a kid wrote a letter that talked about the horrid conditions of the fields she and her friends needed to play on. That $70 k could go a long way when applied to 14 various ball fields, for example.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Too many Steelers have died in 40s and 50s -- Roids? KDKA news

The Steelers get some good coverage with Big Ben doing a music video with the local band. "I'm mister right now!"

Then the KDKA TV coverage at 11 pm went into the more fatal news of the number of ex-Steelers who have departed this Earth. Dr. C. W., ex-coroner, chimed in too and put the issue on the table about steroids. Or, does steroids get mentioned out of envy?

My question for others to research: How many of the former athletes in East Germany have died? Are those numbers greater or less than that of the Steelers?

Lyle Alyzato (sp?) died and he was gulping a lot of pills in his day. A chapter in a book I published had a first-person encounter with him and his pharmacy. Toxic to say the least.

Wonder if that story will have any legs? Links welcomed.

Another call for signature helpers from Harold & David Posipanka

Dear Fellow Libertarians:

David Posipanka, of Homestead (Allegheny County's Mon Valley area), is the only Libertarian in the Pittsburgh area running for office under the LP label. He's running for the State House, district 35, against the incumbent Democrat, Marc Gergely.

David needs at least 300 valid signatures on his nomination papers, and spent much of last weekend out gettting them for himeself. But, he has only until Aug 1st to get them all turned in to Harrisburg. He could use lots of help. Below is a letter he sent me, asking for help.

Running candidates is what we're supposed to be doing as a party. So, I ask you to consider whether a few hours of your time on a weekend (or weekday) is too much to ask. I hope you'll make every effort to get out and collect some signatures for him. He's an excellent candidate -- someone you'd be proud to have represent your views to the public.

He'd be happy -- no, ecstatic -- to have you call and ask him where a good place to petition would be. Two years ago, I got lots of signatures for him at a Giant Eagle behind Kennywood Park. But he will likely have some better ideas.

His contact info is in his letter below.

Subject: signatures
From: posipanka, david

Harold...just an FYI...I have 125 signatures so far. I'm working till 5 this evening & intend to go back to Longfellow Drive in Munhall (I should get there about 5:20) to canvass till about 8:00. I'm getting about 25 signatures per hour there! Please forward my phone numbers to anyone interested in helping out. Home (412) 464-0660 evenings. Work (412) 673-1992 ext. 219 daytime. Cell (412) 983-5451 - weekends & when I'm getting signatures! Maybe you can send this e-mail to all on your distribution list. All Libertarians in the PGH area - please help! Thanks.....Dave.

Town Hall Meeting on Abuse of Power - Pittsburgh :: American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania

Town Hall Meeting on Abuse of Power - Pittsburgh : American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania

Join the ACLU and your fellow citizens for a town hall meeting about the ongoing abuse of executive power - and what we can do to fight back.
This meeting is Thursday night. I hope to attend so as to get signatures to get onto the ballot.

Funny to have Doug Shields on the line-up. I'll be interested, sorta, to hear what he has to say. City Council has fumbled its power. It is becoming marginalized. I wonder what slant Doug will take -- other than the long and winding road approach.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tuned In: Couric to emphasize context when she anchors CBS news

Does blogger have a "context" shortcut widget? How do I get one and adjust its volume?
Tuned In: Couric to emphasize context when she anchors CBS news Among the approaches: A heavy online component, including daily, on-demand, Web-exclusive interviews; a blog; a radio simulcast of the newscast's first segment on CBS Radio News, and a 4:35 p.m. one-minute look at the day's top story that will be broadcast on 500 CBS affiliated radio stations nationwide.

Water Polo Clinic for 3 days to close out Crafton's season

Playing water polo and looking for the goal.

I've got the 'green light' to go ahead and promote a three day water polo clinic I'll be hosting at Crafton with our swim team.

The final two swim meets of the summer for the Crafton Crocs are the Championship Meet on Saturday, July 22 and the All Stars on Wednesday, July 26. However, the final swim meets do not mean everything ends. The coaches have been cooking up a few extra events. Thanks for the consideration and quick feedback.

Soon after talking about these season ending activities, we've got to think about swimming in the fall and throughout the year as well. For now, here is a close look at the final stages of the summer season.

Monday, July 24.

7:30 to 9 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School
9:30 to 11:30, swim practice at Crafton Pool

Swimmers who are NOT in the All Star Meet can still come to swim practice at
the High School, and/or come to practices and conditioning at Crafton
from 9:30 to 11:30.

Monday EVENING, July 24 -- CRAFTON Swim Team Fun Night at Crafton Pool at 8 pm.
All swimmers and families can attend.

Tuesday, July 25.
7:30 to 9 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School
9:30 to 11:30, swim practice at Crafton Pool

Wednesday, July 26.
7:30 to 9 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School
9:30 to 11:30, swim practice at Crafton Pool

Wednesday, July 26, All Star Swim Meet in the EVENING at South
Fayette. Swimmers show up at 5:15 pm.

Thursday, July 27
7:30 to 9:30 am, swim practice at Carlynton High School (Last practice
at the High School this summer.)

9:30 am to 11:30 am, WATER POLO Clinic and WORKOUT at Crafton Swim
Pool with all coaches. Open to all swimmers who want to play water polo.

Friday, July 28
8:30 am to 10:00 am, WATER POLO Clinic and WORKOUT at Crafton Swim Pool with Coach Mark. Open to all swimmers who want to play water polo.

Saturday, July 29
9:30 am to 11:30 am, WATER POLO Clinic and WORKOUT at Crafton Swim
Pool with Coach Mark. - Scrimmage Saturday Open to all swimmers
who want to play water polo and were able to attend on one of the
previous two days.
Swimmers who attended the clinic can be part of the scrimmages.

Sunday, July 30,
Swim Team Banquet for the Crafton Swim Team is at 6 pm at Crafton Park.


From Monday, August 7 to Friday, August 11, Coach Mark is hopeful that we'll be able to hold another water polo clinic at another facility, such as the city's MOORE PARK swim pool on Pioneer Avenue, OR at Dormont's pool, or Green Tree's pool or the Crafton Swim Pool? Those clinic times would be in the morning. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Viral video killed the reality TV star - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Mike gets some ink in The Trib.
Viral video killed the reality TV star - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Michael D. Rechtenwald, an English professor and postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, thinks he knows where the road ends: mostly nowhere.

'I don't think this is a lasting fame,' he said. 'This moment, it's perhaps a flash in the pan.'

Rechtenwald, a culture maven who teaches a counterculture summer course, 'The Beats to Hip-Hop,' and has appeared on MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country,' said what's unique about the viral video phenomenon might not last for long. The viral video star has total control over his material and distribution, and is capable of gaining for himself 'lots of exposure with minimal cost' because of the limitless possibilities of the Internet.

We're No. 5! We're No. 5! - A sober look at population growth via Pheonix

We're No. 5! We're No. 5! No one could accuse Phoenix of having the nation's fifth-best health care system. That honor might go to Pittsburgh, with 46 hospitals and 336 doctors per 100,000 people. Metro Phoenix has 38 hospitals and 199 physicians per 100,000.
Pittsburgh is a place to heal, rehab and get an upper hand to wrangle with sickness.

Rauterkus rips plans for makeover of Point State Park while Fonata and Wheatley nod like bobblehead dolls

Press release just sent to PA Politics.

Leaders hope mayor's illness doesn't slow city's progress

Leaders hope mayor's illness doesn't slow city's progress Pittsburgh trying to sustain civic momentum
So, close Point State Park for a year. That will help sustain civic momentum.

This front page article ran on the same day that the news hit about Point State Park's year-long closing that nixes the Regatta, fireworks, Jamboree, and the Three Rivers Arts Festival. And, the event organizers were not told about this pending closure -- until the newspaper reporters told them seeking comment.


The optimism comes with behind closed door decisions from the Allegheny Conference about PARK spaces. Who voted them as stewards of our public spaces?

Let's call for a vote on those plans and I'm sure my side will win 90-10 -- without a dime in the budget for PR needs.

The public face of new optimism got a black eye on the same front page news coverage on July 13th -- must have been an unlucky day, if not week, for the city. This bad luck I rant about now comes on the heels of the worse news of Mayor O'Connor's health. So, the joy in Mudville is fleeting, for sure.

Point State Park renovations = ABSURD

Foolish looks like this:
Point State Park renovation to displace big events: "Arts Festival, Regatta, fireworks, Dollar Bank Jamboree to be shut out"
Really, really foolish looks like Fontana and Wheatley giving slaps on the back to each other for bringing home the pork in yet another project that won't have any hope of improving our lives.
Jeepers. These guys are clueless.

On the same day, the P-G had an article about Point State Park closing to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, fireworks, Jamboree, and Regatta -- it had another article in the wake of the All-Star Game about sustaining the forward progress the city had made in cration of some 'buzz' with tourists and the hoopla.

The All-Star Game and Fanfest and that 'big sport spectator-ville, red-carpet hype' has little appeal to me from the outset. It isn't what I'm about, yet I can appreciate its glitz as a pathway to a destination of 'Tickle-town USA.' Big farting deal to that, yet to each his or her own.

But then we are to let another turd into our common well of community with the year-long closing of Point State Park and allow them to call it 'progress.' What's up with that? And let's do the 'big dig' tunnel at the same time.

Before one was able to ride from Mt. Lebo and get off the T-stop at Gateway Center, go to a pep rally at Point State Park, and walk to a Steeler game over the Ft. Pitt bridge, on the sidewalk, with a fresh funnel cake from the push carts that could have been at the entrance of Point State Park.

In seasons to come, the Black & Gold nation pep rally will be held at a Park-and-Ride in Peters Township, with door-to-door service to Heinz Field so as to skip the downtown pedestrian hassle.

Think again.

But with the true cost of the ride on the T factored in, we might as well try to license passenger service for that ride from suburbia to the stadiums to the Hooters franchise. And while we're at it, lets insist that all ticket scalpers stand next to the Nacho vendors on the jail-trail keeping an eye out for the rewards for narking on the hidden homeless who missed the call from homeland security sitting service and private security guards employed by the casino.

The web they are weaving is getting tighter on our collective choke points.

Raj For Congress

Raj For Congress: "Take the Biden Challenge & Contribute Today" wiki tops 1,000 pages and 122,148 home page visitors

Tell us about, who you are, where you live, work, play, organize and worship, and what organizations you watch and interact with.
Your input is welcomed. Go to the Wiki,, and start editing. The famous Wikipedia effort has a NPV, (neutral point of view). Meanwhile, my -- err, our wiki project, has a different slant in that it takes ALL POINTS of VIEW. So, you can feel free to put your rants about people, places, issues, solutions, and visions on the wiki on their own page or else blended with the discussion pages.

Furthermore, feel free to set links to your blog rants on suitable pages within the If you've ranted about 'Highland Park' or 'Bill Peduto' -- you can add your blog link under the Links --> Blogs of suitable pages.

On the road again. New footnotes from life with and among the Running Mates

I've got to attend this event in the Boston area next month. Anyone else what to join me there? We won't be able to travel together, but I'd love to hook up with folks at that event. I'm not sure I'll be able to attend all three days, but I do want to go.
Road trip expected to Wikimania in Cambridge, Mass, in August 2006 (click for more insights).
Today I gave a kiss and hug to my wife and kids -- and they left town for a week. They are attending our annual church camp without me. This is the first time we've done this split for such a long time. So, I'm home alone with two cats. Grant was sad to leave his kitten behind, by the way.
Amy Carol Webb at the SUUSI bookstore in a past year.
Missing SUUSI is a big deal for me. I'll miss concerts by some of our best musical friends: Amy Carol Webb, Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway, and Mindy Simmons. Mindy and her son spent last night with and she's in a mini-car caravan with my wife as they make the 7 hour trip to Blacksburg. She left only AFTER I got a copy of her new CD, "If It Were Up To Me." It is wonderful and very politically engaged.

The title song, If It Were Up To Me, the world would be... Then Alice, after Alice In Wonderland, about the war. The tune, One World, that has been on my campaign CDs is the third track. Then, Try A Little Faith. Perhaps I should blog about the CD in length later. It is great. Her songs can be very pointed -- but not too over the top. Her voice is like silk.

Last night Mindy joined us along with Don Anderson to talk about an event in the fall -- we hope. Mindy does a 2-hour concert, a tribute to PEGGY LEE. Don Anderson and I were able to noodle about a special event -- and Don does a good job doing Sanatra. Don is a much better singer than Sanatra these days as Sanatra is dead. Today Don Anderson is at the Borders up 28 at Mills. He shared some of the backstage details of his act with Mindy and I and they traded insights.

Seems Peggy Lee and Frank Sanatra did perform together in real life. It could happen again.
Miss Mindy Simmons -- looking the part of Peggy Lee without the mole.

A local politician, state rep Michael Diven, a former opponent of mine in the PA Senate race in May 2005, has gotten into some hot water for getting dead people to sign his nomination petitions to get onto the ballot. This is old news to the political junkies out there. But the new news is the fact that I'm not going to overlook the dead people when it comes to my campiagn in 2006. No sir! I'm door knocking in heaven -- with the help of the spirit of Peggy Lee. If dead people are going to vote on November 7, 2006, I'm going to count on their support and vote.

I'm not asking them to sign my petitions, however.

Speaking of getting signatures for access to the ballot for the next election, that's where I should be now. One of the reasons I stayed home and didn't attend the weeklong out of state camp is because I'm going to hit the streets, fulltime, to get voters' signatures on my nomination papers. This act helps me, of course, as well as fellow INDEPENDENT candidate, Russ Diamond. Diamond is running for Governor. I'm the only Independent candidates in PA that is running for PA Senate on the Russ Diamond ticket. Others throughout PA are seeking PA House seats.

Today I'm hopeful to attend events in Polish Hill, South Side Works, Schenley Park (grand prix), Crafton (movie) and hit a swim pool or another park along the way. I already went to a church service too.

But, I could really use some company at these events throughout the week. Anyone want to help on WEDNESDAY night -- or SATURDAY morning, especially, let me know. We've got swim meets then and I'm sure I can get another 50 to 100 signatures in an hour or two at both instances.

On Saturday morning, we had our biggest swim meet of the season, a dual meet at Scott Township -- and our team, The Crafton Crocs, won! It was great to see so many of the kids on our side do so well. The depth of our team really showed. Many first year swimmers really got the hang of the sport this year and are putting together some inspirational races with smooth strokes and strong conditioning.

Crafton won by about 70 points. It was close for a swim meet.

This was the year Scott was to win it all, so they hoped. On paper, at the outset of the year, they had a good chance. But, we really have had a good summer of pushing our kids to faster times and it showed. In some races Scott got first place, but Crafton got 2nd, 3rd and 4th. So, looks like Crafton is going to win the dual meet championships again, in our 5 team league.

We practiced all week, to prep for the Scott meet, without starting blocks. But, we show up and they've got blocks installed. It was the first time ever. Great gamemanship there!

Grant, my 8-and-under breastroke speedster, did have a bit of trouble again, navigating to the 2-handed finish. Ouch. Rob Perkey, a state swimmer who just graduated, put his feet on the deck on a flip turn too. So, we'll have to do some extras to prep for the Championships, next Saturday, also at Scott.

My wife and kids will be home Friday night, we hope. Then Saturday is the Championship meet. So, their one-week taper takes hold while at camp.

Seems one of the traditions of the Crafton team is a team banquet slide show. Can't wait. Hope to get a copy of that one disk and share it here or at another URL. I'm not so swift at taking photos and coaching at the same time. Stay tuned.

The team photos did come, and they look splendid. Stay tuned 2. Erik was on his trip to an Amish vegie field on team photo day -- so some "GIMP" touch-ups are necessary to get his head in there. I don't use Photoshop. GIMP is the open source alternative.

Last year I was finishing the Pittsburgh Triathlon and then sleeping in the car as we drove to SUUSI, my wife behind the wheel. I was spent after the race and we arrived a bit late. But this year the triathlon is in August. But, it seems I'll be out of town for the race in 2006.

85 years young -- today

Sunday is a birth day.


Tip, its not a person.

Tip 2, its double hard until you figure its summer-time birth, (of course) and that many in the area are sure to know this ....

Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/15/2006 | Court says campaign cash limit is invalid

I wonder if Bill Peduto will now get off his do-nothing stance and do something about campaign finance reform in Pittsburgh. Puduto has fumbled the ball for YEARS now on this topic.

Peduto thinks that Philly law and Pittsburgh law are connected. They are different. So, he used the excuse of the court challenge of Philly's campaign finance reform law as reson to not proceed and even hold a public hearing about the hoped for activities to clean up some of Pittsburgh's political process mess.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/15/2006 | Court says campaign cash limit is invalid: "Court says campaign cash limit is invalid
Former Controller Jonathan Saidel challenged the ordinance. The judge said it failed to define 'candidate.'

By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Staff Writer

The city's campaign-finance limits cannot be enforced against one potential mayoral aspirant because City Council did not define the word candidate when it wrote the ordinance, a judge has ruled. - More Sports - Gunmen kidnap Iraqi Olympic committee chief - Sunday July 16, 2006 12:49AM

Sports Illustrated Gunmen kidnapped the head of Iraq's Olympic committee and more than a dozen employees Saturday after storming a meeting of sports officials just days after the coach of Iraq's national wrestling team was killed.
Sports happen in a complicated, networked, society -- where they should be hosted.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Why vote palm cards

The Pittsburgh League (of Pissed Off Voters) is putting together a new palm card and we need help to fill in the "Why Vote" section. We are having a contest between today and Friday, July 21 at 5 PM for the hippest, BRIEF, statements about why it is in the interest of young people to go to the ballot booth twice a year for the rest of their lives. Send us your witty catch phrases. The winning statements will be used on the palm cards, which will be distributed throughout the Southwestern PA area.

Please send all entries to Jeremy at by Friday, July 21 at 5 PM.

My top suggestion:

Voting makes your teeth whiter.

My wife's suggesting: "So we don't have a president like we've got now."

That seems to be enough of a reason to go vote -- continually.

Charter School Public Hearing in Pgh

A public hearing has been scheduled by the Pittsburgh Board of Education for the resubmitted application for the Education InnovationsLAB Charter School.

We are seeking your support as we bring what will be the best K-12 public school in the District. For more information about the school, please visit

Your testimony will go a long way in helping us get the school started. If you cannot make it, we can submit a short email from you as your testimony. However, you still need to call the District to be placed on the agenda. The number to call be placed on the agenda is: 412.622.3600. They will ask for your name, address, and telephone number. Make sure they know you want to be on the eiLAB Charter School public hearing agenda.

The meeting will take place: Monday 17 June 2006, 6:30 PM at the Pgh Board of Education Administration Building, Conference Room A, 341 South Bellefield Ave, in Oakland.

Again, put yourself on the agenda, even if you can’t make it. if you won’t be making it, email us your testimony ( and we will submit it on your behalf.

Also notify ifif you have placed yourself on the agenda.

Tom Lingenfelter says “LET’S KICK BUTT”

Gov. Ed Rendell stated in April that he signed the pay raise because
sometimes “YOU HAVE TO KISS A LITTLE BUTT” – but Lt. Gov. Candidate Tom
Lingenfelter thinks Gov. Rendell has it all wrong and has made a campaign
promise to be the first butt kicking Lt. Gov. in PA history.

Lingenfelter and his running mate, Independent for Governor Russ Diamond, must clear the first hurdle of getting 67,070 voters to sign petitions to get on the ballot by July 29. This legislative requirement is 65,070 MORE signatures then needed by Rendell and Lynn Swann to get on the ballot!

Lingenfelter said his petition drive “Let’s Kick Butt” is asking concerned Pennsylvanians to get off their butts and get a little exercise collecting signatures to put Independent butt kickers, Diamond and Lingenfelter, on the ballot.

Ed Rendell has made it clear that his vote is for sale. Lingenfelter said “the midnight pay raise that legislators gave themselves, supported and signed by Rendell, has shown Pennsylvanians that the buying and selling of power must not be tolerated., founded by Diamond to “vote ‘em all out” is leading the charge to clean house in Harrisburg.

Fifty encumbent lawmakers have already been kicked in the butt and will not be returning next year. The chief payjacker, Ed Rendell, also needs to receive a swift one where it will do the most good. Lynn Swann, the GOP candidate, who has aligned himself with ousted payjacker Senator Jubelirer and the other half of the political duopoly, will not be doing any kicking.

Butt, it all comes down to 67,000 signatures. Lingenfelter, a former USA Counter-intelligence Special Agent and a real butt kicker said, “if you want to ‘kick butt’ give him a call at 215-230-5330 or check-in at and join Pennsylvania’s Butt Kicking team.

Amanda plans to compete in fourth Olympics - Olympics - Beard�plans�to compete�in fourth Olympics - Friday July 14, 2006 8:13PM Amanda Beard is aiming for her fourth Olympics. Beard made her debut at 14 at the 1996 Atlanta Games, collecting a total of two gold medals, four silver and one bronze. Now 24, Beard is training for Beijing in 2008.

Baseball Begins to Listen to Sweatshop Foes

Baseball Begins to Listen to Sweatshop Foes Dave Zirin & Derek Tyner

Major League Baseball's All-Star game is supposed to be a breezy exhibition of the sport's brightest stars. It's also a place for baseball's corporate patrons to be wined, dined and reassured about the current state of the game. reports that N.J. budget ills force cuts to Rutgers Swim Team

This sucks. The casinos can remain open, but apparently not the swimming team. Following a turbulent week that saw the state government shut down over the legislature's inability to pass a spending bill, the Rutgers Board of Governors today approved a universitywide budget for the 2006-07 academic year that includes the elimination of men's swimming. The cuts are a part of a larger $50 million package of spending cuts across the state university.

The Scarlet Knights have been enjoying growing success under Chuck Warner. The men's team has moved to the top half of the Big East while sending swimmers onto NCAA's in three of the past four years. More importantly, the institution is New Jersey's flagship university.
There is plenty of talk in our region about how gambling is going to bring in all this money. Well, in Jersey, home of Atlantic City, what is going on there? They've had gambling. Now they get this mess up.

Gambling is bad. But the ill that comes in the wake of gambling's discussions are very bad for folks far from the slots and casinos. This is bad for everyone. We can't put a fire-wall around the gambling backlash crud that has already shown its face and is going to get worse.

If you hate gambling -- as I do. We've got to fight. One candidate for governor wants to NUKE the gambling law, by the way, Russ Diamond.

Any Rutgers grads, swim fans or common sense folks out there in or around Jersey want to fight for that swim program -- jump on board too.

Just "LAY THE SHOVEL DOWN" -- and say NO to the North Shore Tunnels

The light rail line on the North Shore, as it is going to be constructed, can't even pass around the north side of the WEST END BRIDGE. So, going down the North edge of the Ohio to the airport is just another 'false hope' and 'pipedream.'

This plan sucks. It should be stopped.

To go to the airport with light rail, use the blasted airport bus way for goodness sakes.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Small Brain Behaviors are NOT welcomed in our public arena

Clean Sweeper on a bike and feeling tidy.

Question: Shouldn't the goal be to get elected and THEN you could push for changes from the inside?

Not for me. And, not for the sake of my kids, their peers, and their kids.

I want to live in a world where there are NOT "insiders" and "outsiders." I want a world where people stand and fall on their own merits. When that happens, our public life is going to be much better.

When we are more able to elect great candidates regardless of the person's party designation, then we're going to soar in Western PA and throughout the state. When people have the real freedom to associate without fear of being less effective, then we'll be stronger too.

So, part of this fight, for me, is to fight against small brain behaviors from fellow citizens who are too quick to put labels on others and keep tiny, neat, small boxes around people and ideas that should NOT be there.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Concerning the drive for 5 on council -- from 9

We need people to write laws. Those people should be on city council. Then we need managers. They should be in the Mayor's Administration. Then we need journalist watchdogs. They should work at various places with editors who can see the big picture. Finally, we'll need voters to hire the right people for the right jobs.

Recently, our city council has been doing to much work for individual constituents. This happens because the Mayor's office has been kissing but with PNC, gambling, and the Rooneys -- All Stars, etc.

Then we have overlords who are out to lunch and bailouts that are worthless. The whole system is a mess.

My hope is that a cut to five on council will work to make council do only what it should -- and not be the mayor's complaint center (which all got the ax).

Garner puts All-Star Game in motion

Great game-coverage.
Garner puts All-Star Game in motion: "Phil Garner managed an All-Star Game in Pittsburgh the same way he played in the city a quarter-century ago. His NL players got their uniforms dirty, ran the bases aggressively, even pushed each other out of the way to get to popups.

The man once known as 'Scrap Iron' was tired of hearing how the AL had a tremendous advantage in talent and motivation, and he pushed nearly every button possible to try to squeeze out a surprise victory.
You all come back now, you hear.

Notary Rejection

This came in via email:
A volunteer for the campaign of Russ Diamond attempted to get a petition notarized in the office of Rep. Stanley E. Saylor (R-94)
today, but was refused. The constituent lives in the 94th Assembly district.

A call to the Cape Horn Plaza office by David Lynn, the campaign's Assistant Treasurer (that's me) confirmed that the staff was unsure whether or not nominating petitions could be notarized by the Assemblyman's staff.

If you think that's as ludicrous as it sounds, send Rep. Saylor an email at You can also call him and tell him what a great job he and his staff are doing. You can also call him at 717-244-9232 (Red Lion, PA) or 717-783-6426 (Harrisburg, PA.)

If possible, I plan to seek this notary's commission. If I'm not mistaken, a notary should be able to notarize any legal document, regardless of its content.
I'm going to take a few pages of my petitions to a local state rep in the next day or two to see if I get the same treatment.

Monday, July 10, 2006

PoliticsOnline - News, Tools & Strategies

PoliticsOnline - News, Tools & Strategies 'The on and off-line world of politics are no longer separate
realities...the leaders on the web are leading the world.'
- Phil Noble, founder PoliticsOnline
Call for this year's list of the 10 who are changing the world of internet and politics.

By the way, don't nominate me. I don't want to go to Paris France in October -- as I'm still scratching my head about the sportsmanship shown in the World Cup match with that head butt. So, I'm going to renew my "France, no thanks, pledge" that has served me well my entire life.

Besides, I'm going to be working to change the world in October with my own campaign for PA Senate. I don't need to take time out of that race for the award, this year.

Where is the award going to be given in 2007? By then, the wiki might hit 2,000 pages.

Jerry Bowyer - PittsburghPlatform - On-air hosting career is finished

Jerry Bowyer sent out an email saying that he has turned a new leaf and is now into coaching. Welcome to the profession, Jerry.
Jerry Bowyer - PittsburghPlatform When a football player blows out a knee, if he knows how to, he coaches. That’s what I’m going to be doing. Coaching the amazing and wonderful Susan Bowyer on how to manage a media company, and coaching seven astonishing kids on life and faith and entrepreneurship.
To me, coaching isn't quite as described in the email -- but I get his point.

Russ Diamond for Governor gets an endorsement

Russ Diamond for Governor The American Reform Party (ARP) has endorsed Independent Russ Diamond for Governor of Pennsylvania. The endorsement, conferred by the national ARP leadership, was jointly announced by the Diamond campaign and the ARP.

Bad News: Mayor O'Connor Diagnosed With Cancer

Bob O'Connor has been diagnosed with primary central nervous system lymphoma.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Legends & celebrities: Fun and a game ... but mostly fun

Another reason why swimming is so much better than baseball will ever be.
The legends & celebrities: Fun and a game ... but mostly fun 'The best thing about the whole day is showering with the former players.'

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The life of party probably isn't you - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

So the media gets to go and, the coverage is built so as to rub it in on the locals. Big whup.
The life of party probably isn't you - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The life of Pittsburgh's party probably isn't you

By Richard Byrne Reilly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW Saturday, July 8, 2006

Pittsburgh's best All-Star parties are the ones you probably aren't invited to.

Friday, July 07, 2006

All bets off in New Jersey

All bets off in New Jersey
How long the casinos will be idle is not known, but all hotels, restaurants, retail stores, nightclubs, spas and bars that are not on the gambling floor remain operational, authorities said.

Tourism is expected to be harmed by the shutdown.

'The summer was anticipated to be a huge draw for the resort because of all the expanded casinos and new non-gambling attractions, like the $200 million shopping and dining complex, The Pier at Caesars, which debuted last week,' said the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The government crisis involves an impasse between Governor Jon S. Corzine and state lawmakers who were $1 billion apart on a balanced budget.

Sick and tierd of "redding up" for all-star company, n at.

Ready or not, here they come. Now Bob O'Connor needs a wake up call to catch his "get well soon card."

Perhaps he can turn a double-play faster than 6 to 4 to 3 with #9 on second.

So, what is that, Gene Alley to Maz to Donn Clendenon?

Flick N Float at Crafton Park's Swim Pool

Flick N Float
proceeds benefit the Crafton Swim Team

This year's movie: Sky High

Gates open at 8 pm on Monday, July 10 at Crafton's outdoor swim pool.
Movie begins at dusk. Snacks and refreshments available for purchase.

Cost: $3 per head.

Movie plays on the screen so you can watch while on a float in the water. Lifeguards reserve the right to admit or deny the various floats. Note: only “one man floats” are permitted. Keep mega floats at home as they are not permitted to enter the pool.

Feel free to pass the word and tell a friend and neighbor about this fundraiser and our presently undefeated, defending champion swim team.

Rejection, Dave Copeland's latest project

Rejection If you are not big enough to lose, you are not big enough to win.
I understand a bit about rejection too. I ran for office, three times. This most recent time was the first I didn't come in last place.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Some footnotes of our life

Yes, the wi-fi plan for Pittsburgh still sucks. They can try to put lipstick on a pig, but you still end up with nothing to brag about. If you want to blog about it -- do so, please.

That relay meet that was on the weekend -- and I wasn't at all excited to attend -- is over. We won by one point. Wow. I'm still not that happy about the meet's format, in general. There are better thing to do for the meet and I'll try to write up something for other members in the league for next year. And, I'd love to have that done in a few weeks, in advance of the championships.

Last night, we (Crafton) beat Mt. Lebo. I love beating Mt. Lebo. The meet was at our pool and was well run -- and we beat them by more than 200 points. Lebo did do a good job in a number of their races -- but mostly, it was our night.

Grant, my 8 year old, needed to swim up an age group as 10 and under. He still got first place in the 25 breast. Way to go.

Erik was in a very tight IM and cooked the competition in the breast and the pushoff to freestyle. Very Phelps-ish. But, he didn't have the killer finish that was needed to pull out a charge and win by a stroke. It was a touch, and I'm not sure who won, to be honest. Results and ribbons to come in a few days.

We purchased three lifejackets. We'll need them shortly.

The kids also got some new swim suits and I got a new pair of open water swim goggles. Toys are good.

I'm getting a nice pay day for all this coaching I'm doing. It does take a toll on getting to go elsewhere, like to City Council meetings.

Okay -- the 4th of July and the visit from Russ Diamind was a big success. We walked in the parade in Brentwood with the STOP folks. Lots of people came out -- even in the rain. Enjoyed some time elsewhere with others as well.

The press conference photos and message from me will come online shortly.

Our house party was a lot of fun as well. We got the four badminton courts put up on the park, as usual. Had lots of folks bring in the munchies. Nice mix of folks from neighbohood to church to university to political friends to our special guest, Russ Diamond.

Russ had some interesting discussions with a few other friends as well. One with Dan Sullivan on the 3rd and another with Wilburn Hayden about healthcare issues on the 4th. Those were important conversations and much more may come of those ideas. We were planting valued seeds.

We went to the fireworks on the 3rd in Cranegie -- and got 50 or more signatures and had lots of fun conversation with voters at the park.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

After the fireworks -- it was lights out for Grant. A swimmer needs a lot of sleep.

Jessie -- and friend.

Cookies and rug rats go together at our house.

Ice balls by Patricia.

C.D. was going wild at the crafts table making a red-white-and-blue wind sock.

4th of July House Party photos

Catherine, Leo, Audrey, and Russ Diamond. That's my wife and parents with Independent Candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania -- on the 4th of July, 2006.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ballot access show down in Philly soon

e appeal of the ballot access lawsuit will be heard at 1 PM on Monday,
July 10, at the federal courthouse at 601 Market St. in Philadelphia. There will be a rally immediately before the hearing in front of the courthouse starting at 12:15 PM and concluding about 12:45.

According to Richard Winger, a big audience at the hearing would really help. He cites a 1984 case in US District Court over the Wyoming ballot access law, where the state's attorney said, "Your honor, the Libertarian Party has no organization in this state". But the courtroom was filled with Libertarians. The judge said, indicating the audience with a gesture, "Looks to me like they have an organization in this state." The Libertarians won the case.

For more info about the lawsuit, visit The case number is 06-2241, and I'll forward a courtroom number once I have it.

- Ken Krawchuck

Rendell's late budget -- again

An animal of a different color:
Rendell's call broke state budget gridlock The budget, which had been approved about four hours earlier by the state House, was then approved (in the senate) 28-21, with Democrats providing most of the votes. In Western Pennsylvania, senators and representatives voted mostly along party lines with all Democrats voting for the budget and all Republicans voting against it except Rep. Michael Diven, R-Brookline.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Gladly in a chain gang -- them, not me

Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/01/2006 | Blinq | Gladly in a chain gang: "This is the back story to why Richardson is taking a couple weeks off from his job - with his boss' OK - and heading to a park in Mundys Corner, Pa., about an hour and 20 minutes outside Pittsburgh, where today he begins his Survivor-style stunt for a cause.

He'll leave his son with his in-laws, and with his wife's blessings, join 13 other animal lovers who are trying to do without books, TV, radio, showers or cigarettes.

They must wear collars. They get a half-hour a day to call home or receive visitors. They share four tiny port-a-johns.

Some contestants have said they'll donate the car to an animal charity. Aija Nicole Gillman, 18, of Pinckneyville, Ill., explained in her application why she's competing: She feels, 'as Gandhi did, that you can tell a lot about a country by the way it treats its animals.'"
Keep you eye on the road, little doggy. Next someone will be asking for doggie helmets and doggie seat belts for cars. Wait, one of those has already been suggested. See the comments for the answer.