Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Connecting the dots

Jim Motznik trivia: Did you know he collects political buttons?

Back at ya.
The People's Republic of Pittsburgh Raising A Glass to My Fellow Bloggers

Reach Arena Deal By Friday

Humm.... Out in the open talks. Can you say LEAK? - Officials Hope To Reach Arena Deal By Friday One source says there's been major discussion over just who will pay a $10 million debt the Pens owe to their former gaming partner Isle of Capri.

The state, county and city have refused to foot the bill, but the same source says the city and county may buy the central medical building from the Pens to partially off-set that cost.
Who is going to pay for the tearing down of the civic arena, another $7-million cost?

Who is paying for the remediation of the building of its toxic building materials now?

Kissing butt, a time honored tradition.

PG Chat - Should laws prevent spanking by parents of children

Noon kick off on Thursday.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Chat Thursday, February 01, 2007
Should laws prevent spanking children? Chris Chandler's song, Letters, (<5 minutes). Dear Mom & Dad, ... I'm being sent around the world to ... in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The first letter is from Alex. The second letter is about Alex. Tune and story told by a Great American Storyteller.

Public comments before Pgh City Council

Introduction of a new CD, "How to Run." Welcome to Jim Motznik for starting a web page. I feel Luke Ravenstahl, Bill Peduto and Jim Motznik, since Bill said so, are all like peas in a pod. End statement with wonders about video cameras at City Planning Meeting about the Bar Bill.

UPDATE: Jim Motznik's blog had its plug pulled.

From Picassa

UPDATE 2: Someone, hours later, re-opened the dead Motznik blog.

CHURN: Prudent people don't sanction such wasteful spending -- before deals are signed

Haste makes waste.

It makes little sense to knock down 11 buildings for a new arena before a deal is signed. Good stewardship does not look like this.
Arena deal or no deal? Clock is running - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority after Feb. 8 could begin demolishing 11 properties it purchased between Centre and Fifth avenues to prepare for a new arena.

'Market at Fifth' center of Downtown makeover - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The root of the problem: piecemeal.
'Market at Fifth' center of Downtown makeover - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 'They didn't want to do it piecemeal,' he said.
I'm a big fan of piecemeal. Walk before running. Crawl before walking.

The distinction is between "whole" and "hole." Or, wholistic and holistics.

Ex-Mayor Murphy grow to be all about mega developments. They choked the city. They were too big. They were growing city governement, something that is already too big.

Rather, more marketplace respect is needed. The city needed to rush to get out of the way of private investments.

It is great that the existing buildings were saved. It is great that the Pgh History & Landmarks is doing a deal. It is great to have Tom Murphy out of government.

The funny thing about these concepts came from an elevator ride I once had with the guys from Chicago who were in town to work with Tom Murphy's concept of a downtown mall with cinemas and Nordstroms. They were from Urban Retail Properties. They and Murphy talked about the need for an 'anchor.' They thought there was a need to subsidize the biggest businesses. The guy said that the development needed 'a whale.' And, that the public funds would have to feed this whale.

No joke.

Their thoughts claimed that once Pittsburgh bagged a whale, then all the other fish in the sea would somehow follow and create specialized, small business outlets.

I told him whales eat plankton and that he should take his blueprints and back to sixth grade science class.

Pop City - Pittsburgh as a Foreign City

Pop City - Pittsburgh as a Foreign City Pittsburgh as a Foreign City
We took Abby, our former house guest from Chengdu, China, now a Ph.D. student at Pitt, to one of Pitt's football games this fall. I had asked her, what did she know about American Football. She said, "Only what I've seen in the movie Forest Gump."

So, it is one thing to be from abroad in Pittsburgh as in Pop City's article. Here we go international. Plant seeds of opportunity abroad about Pittsburgh. Then have "follow-up" and become part of the gang-plank so others can land among us in Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

World Crises |

World Crises | Congress can stop Iraq war, experts tell lawmakers
Wish they would. But, they're mostly chicken. Ron Paul isn't. But the rest are content to just say, not more troop build-up.

Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of PEAS in POD

From texture - foods

I came back from California to Pittsburgh and seem to have entered, T h e T w i l i g h t Z o n e. Two peas in a pod. What kinda the time warp or worm hole did we just enter? Yesterday I pointed out that LUKE and BILL are two PEASs in the same pod. (scroll down) Now we've got a third pea identified, thanks to Bill, Jim.
Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of blog attack: "'Luke Ravenstahl and Jim Motznik are two peas in a pod,' Mr. Peduto said."
Something smells fishy.
From texture - foods

So sorry if you happen to be reading this blog on an empty stomach. I'm just about to upgrade this Running Mates blog to version 2.01, the one with scratch and sniff features turned 'on.'

Now to the semi-serious content of Peduto's recent sound bite:
Peduto questions mayor on knowledge of blog attack: "He asked what the public would be saying 'if Tom Murphy was arrested and put in handcuffs.
Yes. What about that? Why wasn't Tom Murphy put in handcuffs when he was mayor? Tom Murphy should have been arrested. But, Bill Peduto and Luke Ravenstahl and the third pea in the pod, Jim Motznik, were all too busy kissing up to Tom Murphy to have him arrested. By law, Tom Murphy needed to submit a balanced budget. He was known to fudge the numbers and even make phantom budgets that BILL PEDUTO SIGNED.

I would have been sure to have Tom Murphy arrested for making a TV campaign commercial for Ed Rendell for Governor right in the Mayor's office.

Next question: Bob Mayo's report and the web page from WTAE are not exactly the same. Did Luke ask Jim to not blog. Or, did he ask Jim to not blog any more about the handcuffs incident?
City Councilman Attacks Peer With New Blog - News Ravenstahl told WTAE Channel 4 Action News that he has asked Motznik to refrain from blogging any further on the issue.

Update with another MSM pointer to the peas in pod mention:
Pittsburgh blogs foment controversy - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 'I think most folks understand that Jim Motznik and Luke Ravenstahl are two peas in a pod,' said Peduto, who denied spreading rumors about Ravenstahl's run-in with police. 'There are no truths to what Jim Motznik is saying. It's probably (being done) to protect his best friend, Luke Ravenstahl.'

Get a grip Luke. No tennant -- no new arena

Earth to Luke, come in Luke.

We've got an arena. We have a tennant problem. We don't have a signed lease for next year from the Penguins.

So, if we don't have a major tennant -- we can't afford the $7-million to tear down the Civic Arena and the $300-million to build a new one in its space. If the Pens depart -- we won't be getting a new facility.
Arena deal or no deal? Clock is running - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Ravenstahl yesterday responded to Hill District community leaders who are concerned that residents were being excluded from talks about how to use gambling money to redevelop their neighborhood. He plans to meet this week with state Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr., D-Hill District, and others.

'We will include the residents of the Hill District in the discussion,' Ravenstahl said. A new arena is 'one of the most important components in the redevelopment of the Hill District.'

Postcard and Handout

Needing tags for the new blog

Once blogger came out, I asked them to allow for tags. Now they've arrived. But, I'm not sure what tags to deploy?

I've got the four themes for campaign mode:

Future, Freedom, Fitness, Flow

I could just make them up as I go along:

Candidate, housekeeping, call (or invite), etc.

I might want to use the tag field to link back to the

Advice welcome.

From texture - foods


Dawida's point of being a friend of the schools gets my attention. Is he a friend of the school buildings, the teachers union, the kiss-butt foundations, the new superintendent, or -- the kids in the school buildings. Or, is he a friend of education? Who knows?
"... I'm at a point in my life where I can say and do what needs to be done," the 57-year-old Carrick resident said. "At this point, I just want to help my city."
So, Dawida would want us to think that others are not to that point in their lives now -- such as him. Or, is he to have us think that his past service as an elected official was more about helping himself and not wanting to help his city.

Does this make Dawida qualified? He understood that before he wasn't able to do what was in the best interest of the city -- and now that phase is just a memory.
A state representative and then senator from 1978 to 1995, Mr. Dawida is perhaps best known for his role as the lone Democrat on the Allegheny County Board of Commissioners from 1996 through 1999.
That sums it up. His career is known for nothing but personality. Is this Skrinjar talk?
Less than half way through a four-year term, he joined with Republican Bob Cranmer in crafting a bi-partisan majority that froze out the GOP's Larry Dunn. They then cooperated with Mayor Tom Murphy to put together the financing plan for PNC Park, Heinz Field and the new David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Blogger 2.0 upgrade has occured here

I've gone to blogger 2.0. Notice the Google Ads now run at the very top of the page, where the search field used to reside. And, the Google Calendar seems to peek into a tiny horizontal box at the top of the posting area -- where the Google Ads used to reside.


I've changed my blog archives to weekly, not monthly.

This blok has had 4,652 posts.

War costs Americans $10-Billion per month in Iraq & Afghanistan

Congressman Ron Paul reports:
Since 2001, Congress has spent more than $500 billion on specific appropriations for Iraq. This sum is not reflected in official budget and deficit figures.

Congress has funded the war by passing a series of so-called supplemental spending bills, which are passed outside of the normal appropriations process and thus deemed off-budget.

This is fundamentally dishonest: if we're going to have a war, let's face the costs -- both human and economic -- squarely. Congress has no business hiding the costs of war through accounting tricks.

As the war in Iraq surges forward, and the administration ponders military action against Iran, it's important to ask ourselves an overlooked question: Can we really afford it? If every American taxpayer had to submit an extra five or ten thousand dollars to the IRS this April to pay for the war, I'm quite certain it would end very quickly. The problem is that government finances war by borrowing and printing money, rather than presenting a bill directly in the form of higher taxes. When the costs are obscured, the question of whether any war is worth it becomes distorted.

Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank have a cozy, unspoken arrangement that makes war easier to finance. Congress has an insatiable appetite for new spending, but raising taxes is politically unpopular. The Federal Reserve, however, is happy to accommodate deficit spending by creating new money through the Treasury Department. In exchange, Congress leaves the Fed alone to operate free of pesky oversight and free of political scrutiny. Monetary policy is utterly ignored in Washington, even though the Federal Reserve system is a creation of Congress.

The result of this arrangement is inflation. And inflation finances war.

Economist Lawrence Parks has explained how the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 made possible our involvement in World War I. Without the ability to create new money, the federal government never could have afforded the enormous mobilization of men and material. Prior to that, American wars were financed through taxes and borrowing, both of which have limits. But government printing presses, at least in theory, have no limits. That's why the money supply has nearly tripled just since 1990.

For perspective, consider our ongoing military commitment in Korea. In Korea alone, U.S. taxpayers have spent $1 trillion in today's dollars over 55 years. What do we have to show for it? North Korea is a belligerent adversary armed with nuclear weapons, while South Korea is at best ambivalent about our role as their protector. The stalemate stretches on with no end in sight, as the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the men who fought in Korea give little thought to what was gained or lost. The Korean conflict should serve as a cautionary tale against the open-ended military occupation of any region.

The $500 billion we've officially spent in Iraq is an enormous sum, but the real total is much higher, hidden within the Defense Department and foreign aid budgets. As we build permanent military bases and a $1 billion embassy in Iraq, we need to keep asking whether it's really worth it. Congress should at least fund the war in an honest way so the American people can judge for themselves.
Honesty is the best policy. Peace makes for another great policy as well.

House Party to Play Peacemaker -- anyone?

This new game is due shortly. How about if we hold a house party and play this with a small group one evening.


Luke and Bill are TWO PEAS in the Same Pod

From texture - foods

There are lies, and then there are bigger lies. This is a big MSM lie, thanks to the Trib.
The two men battling for Pittsburgh's top job have little in common beyond their allegiance to the Democratic Party.

Councilman Bill Peduto, 42, of Point Breeze, is a bachelor with a dozen years of experience in city government. He's challenging Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, 26, who has been married since 2004, spent most of his life in the North Side and has worked three years for the city.

An analysis of their votes when the two served together on City Council reveals stark political and philosophical differences.
Stark my ass.

Just as Bob O'Connor and Tom Murphy where two peas in the same pod, so it is with Luke and Bill. Today's peas are a different crop. But, the similar methods and global understandings are far more of the same than otherwise.

From texture - foods

Neither are proactive. Neither are bold leaders. Neither are the type to rock the boat. Neither are open. Neither are against wasteful, big-ticket spending such as the twin tunnels under the Allegheny River to serve the stadiums. Neither are prudent. Neither are interested in growing the region. Neither advance freedom. Neither are really independent. Neither are parents nor with any morsel of concern for young people. Neither are adverse to going to court to solve problems. Neither are strong supporters of the democratic process. Neither want to offend friends in high places. Neither are scholars, researchers nor understand public education in the city. Neither have stood up to tax breaks for the special. Neither respect the market place.

Neither are against tax breaks for the rich for downtown housing with additional tax breaks for the cars of the rich.

Peduto's no vote on the TIF to PNC was based on the lack of standards for decorative lighting on the building or some other tidbit of lost power for city hall -- not on the principle of rejection corporate welfare. Peduto has been PRO-TIF throughout his career. He even pushed for TIFs at Lunar Square and in Shandyside.

From texture - foods

Peduto's bubble bill was a good example of how the two are different, yet very much the same. In the end, the bubble bill went pop. In the end, it didn't matter. In the end, they both were useless. Nothing changed. Sure, Peduto was quick to be against free speech. Ravenstahl was against freedom to choose. Neither worried about the big issue -- women's health. This was sidewalk politics only as big as a sign can be. Both were very happy to be in a cloud of dust that saw no net gain in any front -- except more enemies for the city and increased frustrations.

Neither worry about enforcement. Neither made strides with the citizen police review board. Neither made strides with the ethics commission. Neither made strides with the tear down of a house in Hazelwood that then caused additional damage after a fire. Oakland is a pit, has been a pit, and now that there is an election -- will become a pit stop for false promises. Neither give a rats ass about enforcement -- speaking of rodent control.

Neither have returned radios, yet alone cell phones, to the crossing guards.

Neither have worked to re-open the closed indoor ice rink.

Neither have pledged in this campiagn to debate 88 times, once in each neighborhood, and face all candidates each appearance.

Twanda Carlisle's questionable spending practices is proof enough that they both are not proactive. Neither objected to the $1-million slush fund that each member of council had been given by Tom Murphy as a pay-off for support. Both kissed up to Mayor Murphy in the past. Neither watched spending with a keen sense of urgency.
From texture - foods

Ravenstahl spokesman Dick Skrinjar said "the single most important vote" of the candidates' shared time on City Council was Jan. 3, 2006, when Ravenstahl was unanimously elected council president -- a job that positioned him to become mayor if O'Connor could not serve out his term. O'Connor was diagnosed with brain cancer six months later and died Sept. 1, 2006.

"Remember, they both voted for the same guy, and that's why we're here today," Skrinjar said.
If anyone had confidence in Dick Skrinjar before he said that -- then consider how Skrinjar thinks. Skrinjar's most important value is the man. Skrinjar is about the personality and the power. Skrinjar would fit well with royalty and the court and the expression, "Long Live The King."

Hey Dick, it isn't really all about you, Luke nor Bill.

I'm here today because I haven't walked away. Some of us have not departed, and some are still standing firm -- because we know it is about bigger concepts. For some, life and government is about the greater good, the values of being an American, being free, being with liberty.

From texture - foods

Skrinjar points to the zenith -- a vote for a person. That's because there isn't a single vote in their history where either Luke nor Bill made a vote for freedom. The Grant Street gang cares about celebrity and personality -- not Pittsburgh.

Neither Ravenstahl nor Peduto nor Skrinjar care about the big picture, such as the consititution, rights, freedom and JUSTICE FOR ALL. Their worries are special interests. Some are more special than others, so they seem to think.

When an honest evaluation occurs, Bill Peduto and Luke Ravnestahl are much like two peas in the same pod, while a big frost settles on the landscape.

From texture - foods

Fun, fun, fun -- without the t-bird. Do You Know the Way to Monterey?

News at 11. That's on the 11th. Been there. Done that.

Day started with 'jazz church.'

At the aquarium, M was sure that Grant should go first in the shark bite simulator. Grant was going to try it with his left arm if not his foot.

Perhaps the Pgh Bloggers could get a pool of money together and approach the Pgh Zoo and Aquarium and offer to sponsor a local version of the shark bite simulator.

A women, while at the otter exhibit said that she didn't know of a place where people could swim with otters. Grant said, "Lady, have you ever heard of the ocean?"

Today's agenda: Erik wants to go whale watching. Redwood sightings are possible. The boys said they wanted to 'sleep in' and just relax to start the day. But, at 5:30 am they were putting lumps in our bed, here at our Hotel Califorinia. Perhaps we'll eat Rice-a-roni and commute on the cable cars for kicks and stroll in Aquatics Park. Catherine expect to peer around with and at the seals as well on Pier 39.

We took both a city tour and a boat tour in San Francisco.

Didn't eat Rice-a-Roni.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hitting upon every hot button of my campaigns

Who is to blame:The economic ignorance of Pittsburgh's elites.
The Regional Asset District and the Urban Redevelopment Authority -- Richman would put them both "out of business." And he'd defy civic groups like the Riverlife Task Force and the Parks Conservancy to transform any more economic places to merely esthetic spaces.
Right on. I'm in favor of NUKING all four organizations.

Well, the later two need a drastic change of course and purpose. It is a bit harsh to call for them to be NUKED. But, they do HURT the public landscape, in my humble opinion. And, they are hangouts for economic ignorance of Pittsburgh's elites.

Redd Up Uniforms

New Home Jersey for Buccos
The Cardinal and Trojans, shown below, wear red too. But, that isn't Upper St. Clair's USC. It is Univ. of Southern California.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Swim Meet: USC and Stanford

Took some photos at a swim meet today. Click for a larger image.

Photo shows the end of the 200 backstroke:

200 back finish

Image shows 200 back finish. Video shows the 200 fly race. Click images for expanded views.

Be sure to watch the end of this race.

Swim Meet Today: Stanford had USC, and there was no doubt about it.

We were there. Photos shortly.

No. 2 Stanford Men Overpowers No. 6 USC, 141-95

Fueled by double victories by Shaun Phillips (500 and 1650 free) and Dwight Dumais (1-meter and 3-meter diving), the second-ranked Stanford men's swimming and diving team overpowered sixth-ranked USC, 141-95, in a Pac-10 dual meet on Saturday afternoon at the Avery Aquatic Center.

Phillips swam the 500 free in a time of 4:27.71 while chalking up a time of 15:10.15 in the 1650 free. Dumais captured the one-meter diving event with 336.82 points, and three-meter diving with 356.40 points.

Thirteen events were contested, and Stanford captured ten events. Other individual Stanford winners included Ben Wildman-Tobriner in the 50 free (19.97), Jason Dunford in the 100 free (44.28), Andy Grant in the 200 free (1:37.57) and 200 back (1:47.28) and Hongzhe Sun in the 200 fly (1:46.51).

The victory raised Stanford's season record to 4-0, including a 3-0 mark in the Pac-10. Stanford's next dual meet is Feb. 10 at California.

The meet was also the final home event for eight Cardinal senior swimmers and divers. The list included Matt Crowe, Andy Grant, Kevin McLean, Keenan Newman, Shaun Phillips, Kyle Ransom, Hongzhe Sun and Ben Wildman-Tobriner.

The Stanford 400 free relay team of Andy Grant, Jason Dunford, Kyle Ransom and Matt Crowe had a season-best and NCAA qualifying time of 2:58.55 ... The 400 medley relay team of Hongzhe Sun, Paul Kornfeld, Jason Dunford and Ben Wildman-Tobriner had an NCAA qualifying and season-best time of 3:13.40.

Team Score: Stanford 141, USC 95
Meanwhile, we missed the swim meet with Carlynton, Blackhawk and Slippery Rock.

Krawchuk's Letter to the editor: Ballot Access

To the Editor:

State Representative Josh Shapiro advancing the cause of good government? That'll be the day! Your editorial last Sunday missed the mark by miles. I can tell you from personal experience that Shapiro is more the typical flip-flopping politician than rising star.

About a year ago, I contacted him regarding badly-needed ballot access reform in Pennsylvania. Did you know that last year the law required only 2,000 signatures for a Democrat or Republican to get on the statewide ballot, but third parties and independents needed over 67,000? This atrocious law flies in the face of the constitutional mandate that "All elections shall be free and equal". Fortunately, there is a cure for this bad ballot situation, the Voters' Choice Act ( which would restore the equality of elections.

As a sitting member of the House State Government committee, Shapiro was in the perfect position to advance the cause of good government, so I personally delivered a copy of the Act to him and asked if he would support it. He replied in writing (sic): "I support Free and Equal elections and I will vote in favor of the Voters' Choice Act." Yeah, right. Less than two months later, once hearings for the bill began, he changed his tune and refused to support the Act at all. He still refuses.

One doesn't have to look very far to find out why. Last year there was only one third-party candidate who had the moxie to climb that 67,000 signature wall, but Shapiro and his fellow Democrats would have nothing of it. They pounced on his petitions and had him thrown off the ballot for their own specious, self-serving reasons. Worst of all, they then fined the would-be candidate almost one million dollars for having the temerity to attempt to give Pennsylvania voters a third choice.

Where was Mr. "Good Government" Shapiro? Did he raise his voice in protest? Of course not. No doubt he was out celebrating with his fellow Democrats and slapping each other on the backs for having choked off democracy at the ballot box so thoroughly.

Pardon me, but this sort of behavior won't wash. Either you're in favor of good government or you're not, and Shapiro has now twice weighed in on the topic, both times on the wrong side. If he can be seen as a "rising star", then darkness must certainly have fallen in Pennsylvania.

Thirteen years ago, I ran for the very same state rep seat now occupied by Shapiro. Given his continued rejection of good government and his lack of the basic decency democracy demands, perhaps the time has come for me to give it another try. Or will he simply threaten to fine me a million bucks too?

Ken V. Krawchuk, Abington

Oh My Gosh: Ohio U Bobcats -- CUT Men's SWIMMING -- Worst cut since, .. well ... PAT's cuts

This stinks.

Update from the OU Swim Coach:

Dear Swimming & Diving friends and family:

First let me take this opportunity to thank you for your phone calls, voice messages, e-mails and letters. Your support is amazing and has not gone unappreciated. I would also like to apologize for this informal e-mail and for not getting back to the majority of you. I simply do not have enough time in the day to do so. Hopefully I will in the near future.

Well the rumors have been swirling for sometime now and unfortunately they have proven to be true. Men's Swimming & Diving, Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field and Women's Lacrosse are the latest victims in this nationwide epidemic. I am not going to go into the exact reasons why; however, a complete transcript can be found at Basically, financial and gender equity issues were cited.

There seems to be a few inconsistencies in the rationale, enough that I believe we can fight this decision. It is my opinion that other strategies were not thoroughly visited before this option of last resort was chosen. Whether or not this decision can be reversed or not remains to be seen; however, I have given the current team (men and women) my pledge that I will fight it. At the same time I give my pledge to all of you as you have earned it.

I have already enacted a plan that includes current team members, alumni, parents, faculty and industry specialists that have been involved on other campuses. This plan is still in the infantile stages, but is becoming much more aggressive each and every day. I will be contacting many of you and asking for your assistance as you are a critical element in the reinstatement of this storied program.

STRATEGIES - We have a few options here.

Gender Equity must be addressed and can via roster management techniques, fundraising and endowment. We are currently 137 female student-athletes short of compliance with the proportionality prong of Title IX. We can reduce the size of ALL men's programs and increase the size of ALL women's programs to meet in the middle or we can add 137 women (more expensive and less likely). We can also fund raise to cover operating budgets and scholarships (another prong of Title IX). The last, most secure and ideal option is to endow the programs. I say "endow the PROGRAMS" as it does us no good to only endow the men's program. We must endow the men and the women to keep the men.

Fiscal adherence is another consideration as a projected $4,000,000.00 accumulated deficit could be realized by the end of this fiscal year. Regardless if Swimming and Diving is or is not responsible for this deficit, it is still present and present due to philosophical priorities that did not and do not include Men's Swimming & Diving. Annually covering our own expenses is a theory but endowment is the key to this option. Accountability to those areas that got us into the red (and those individuals responsible to ensure accountability) is necessary for the future well being of the entire Athletic Department.

Posturing and marketing of our program is another strategic consideration. If we can show that Swimming & Diving is more integral to the academic, athletic and fiscal mission of the Athletic Department and to the university than other sports, then we could possibly save our sport. Obviously this option is not desired or popular as it simply replaces Men's Swimming & Diving with another sport.



Please refrain from personal attacks or comparisons with other programs. We will not win in this scenario. It is natural to do so, to want to identify a villain or to give blame. But remember, the same people that we are asking to reverse their decision are the very ones we are insulting and attacking. In order for us to be reinstated we must rely on facts and logic. Additionally we must become unified and streamlined. The gnat theory works for only so long and then it becomes annoying and will make the administration defensive. Use your time and energy to gather support and commitment from your former teammates, family and friends. I will come calling in the near future and ask for your collective support. Our goal is to get a "stay of execution" so to speak and to be provided with the option to utilize one of the previously listed strategies. BE READY AND WILLING!

I will be forming committees that will streamline, spearhead and represent our communication. I will also ask a few of you to lead in the endowment project as well as an operational fundraising option. The marketing and posturing option will need a few leaders as well.

Money does talk on college campuses and I appreciate all of your past, present and future support. We must show that we are active and influential in this area.

Thank you for your patience and support and please feel free to make any suggestions or communicate any concerns.


Greg Werner
Head Coach
Ohio Swimming & Diving

Author & Publisher reunion at Stanford

From Mark Rauterkus

How To Run participants get CD from Mark Rauterkus with invite to join as Running Mates

A new CD is hitting the streets today, just about now.

They were given to the organizers fron the League of Women Voters for a seminar, How To Run For Public Office, held today at Point Park. Dozens of people gathered to gain insights and share ideas on being a candidate. Each got a CD with my comments and messages.

Did you go?

What did you think?

If you could NOT attend, but would like a copy of the CD, leave me a note here -- or send me an email.

I spoke at this event in the past and was slated to appear today to offer pointers about running as a third party candidate and some of my tech tips for candidates.

Steve Bland finds himself out on a limb

So sad.
Gratta from the about silence of leaders.
The age old saying is, "Measure twice. Cut once."

PAT didn't measure. Or, to be more clear, the data that they used to measure is a total shot in the dark. They are clueless in terms of understanding the value decisions.

The scorecard is wrong and, to use a Mario term, "offensive."

Steve, I was there.

PAT's current plan at operational cuts is institutional suicide. There are so many things that are wrong with this thinking, that it is hard to begin to list them.

Steve Bland is a hatchet man. He's a hack. He should get no support. What is being proposed can't be defended with common sense. What PAT proposes has no historical understanding of being accurate. PAT's track record is not able to be defended either. And, PAT's track record begins with the lack of justifications for the two tunnels PAT is hoping to build under the Allegheny River for a tiny extension of light-rail to service the stadiums.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Come With Me, song to consider for title track for CDs in 2007

Joe Jencks sings the title track for for 2007 -- at a house concert in Pittsburgh in 2007.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

City Paper goes more podcast-ish with political interview

The new direction of City Paper with use of audio links.
PEDUTO IN MAYORAL RACE: NEW YEAR, NEW DIRECTION (News Briefs) By: Chris Potter - January 25, 2007
New campaign manager puts South Hills in play too
Well done Chris Potter.

MySpace to distribute Amber alerts -

I've been publishing Amber Alerts for a couple of years.
MySpace to distribute Amber alerts - MySpace to distribute Amber alerts
POSTED: 9:59 a.m. EST, January 23, 2007
Another blogger beyond PA asked if others saw any irony of My Space doing Amber Alerts. I agree.

Notebook: PIHL all-stars ready to take ice - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If the Pens leave and do NOT renew a lease, then the Civic Arena could be used for our kids in a more regular way.

The city could use a low-cost venue.

You don't need corporate box seats for a local hockey game.
Notebook: PIHL all-stars ready to take ice - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review The PIHL hopes to eventually have its all-star game at Mellon Arena, but that building won't be used until the championship games March 24-25.

'We'd love to play an all-star game at a facility like that, and we talked about it, but we're just not ready yet' Sam said. 'Whenever we can herd more people into the seats and make it financially viable to do, then we'll end up at Mellon Arena.'

Fire chief nominated for public safety director

Fire chief nominated for public safety director The mayor said there was no formal selection process that led to the new pick.
Okay, if there wasn't a formal selection process -- was it informal? Did he hold interviews at a picnic? Did he draw straws?

Process matters.

The city is ravaged with software problems -- not hardware problems.

Is it too much to ask to have a 'formal process' when hirnig the solicitor and operations director? And, BTW, don't hire the acting solicitor who has already given bad advice. And, stay away from the county's solicitors too. They (Alegh County Assist-Solicitor) are in hot water in my opinion given their lack of judgement in allowing for poll watchers while votes are tabulated.

Hail to the chief! Good luck. Way to go. Nuff said.

The Burgh Report -- pondering Peduto

Good insights from another blogger about Bill Peduto have been floated at his blog. He did two long posts with value that are worth pondering.
The Burgh Report
My extension of the conversation goes to a different conclusion. Look at place and time. These campaigns make a 1-2-3 combo. Its past, present and future.

Perhaps I should have posted this rant on his blog and not mine. That would have honored the thread, but it grew too long. And, I might want to later fix some spelling goofs. So, .... here goes.

In my not so humble opinion, Candidate Peduto stepped into a big trap when he said he has pledges of $500k.

This time, 2007, is not the last time. Now we've got the second stage. And, to be honest, in the spring primary, we've got the first act in the second stage. Think two acts within the second book of a trilogy.

Last election was "Bob's turn." The naysayers, plus Bob's being there leveraged Tom Murphy into the private sector. Yes! One down.

The city's Dems were NOT ready to jump from Tom to Bill in 2005. Didn't happen.

The city's Dems might be ready to jump from Luke to Bill in 2009.

Tip to Bill. Save HALF of what is raised in 2007. Then use it at the end of 2008 to mount a campaign where real contrasts can be illustrated.

In 2007, Bill needs to build political capital and live to fight another day. Bill needs to be a gentleman, schmoozing, unfrazzled and the gracious DEMOCRATIC Party alternative.

Bill's hyper campaign of 2005 edged him past Michael Lamb. That put Bill's stock in good position in 2007 to enable him a sit-down Delano interview with chump change in the bank.

I feel that the energy of Peduto 2005 was a great investment and wise then, but not now. Peduto 2007 has to have a statesman's persona, even like Lamb 2005.

Luke 2007 is going to be like Bob 2005 -- inside lane on the track, don't trip, don't self-destruct.

If a big wedge is driven between Luke and Bill, only 10,000 people will care enough to vote in the May 2007 primary and another 100,000 will vote with their feet and move out of the city before 2009.

A big wedge between Luke and Bill will make their careers crumble.

If Peduto rocks the boat in 2007 but still keeps his oars in the water -- he'll be able to go to the Congress or something that's a lot of fun for him in due time.

If Bill makes fireworks -- they'll backfire.

Luke has a temporary term (now). Then there is a short term through 2009. The REAL Ravenstahl vs. Peduto showdown should be, IMNSHO, in 2009 for the 4-year term that begins in January 2010.

Keep cool everyone. A long view is needed.

Bill should re-issue a statement saying that he meant to raise $500,000 for the upcoming campaigns -- plural.

Prediction: If the 2007 D primary goes with only Luke and Bill -- then Luke wins. But, I feel that if there was another champion D in the contest, such as Jim Ferlo or Jack Wagner, plus Luke and Bill -- then Luke could get third.

I think Candidate Peduto would do much better and could win if there was a three-way race. Bill, Luke and a heavyweight would erode Luke's base of support in the D primary. Plus, a heavyweight could make for more news cycles and a quicker conversation in the market place of ideas. Bill is going to have to slow dance on Luke's timing given a 1-on-1 race. I think it is going to be hard for Peduto to find a groove with a match-up against only Luke.

I'll post predictions about the spring 2007 primary. But count me out of the talk, here, when it comes to predictions for the fall's general election. I'm available for consulting to either, or ANY campaign, including media. Right now, none of them are taking my calls. They never have pulled me in for a Vulcan Mind Melt, yet alone a tuna melt. But if they do, trust me, I'll chat about it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Key for retaining the Penguins

I want to grow the region. Give the Penguins the development rights of 500 or 600 acres -- not 30 acres -- by building the new arena out of the city and by the airport.

There are plenty of other places in Allegheny County that would allow for the Pens to make a lot of additional money. The Pens can't make enough money in the lower Hill District.

The lower Hill District wasn't the right place for the slots parlor. The lower Hill District is a mess today -- in part -- because of the Hockey Nights in Pittsburgh. The excessive traffic at your doorstep means people won't live there. The Hill District can thrive after the Pens go elsewhere and after Barden's money, $350-million, gets leveraged, say for a new streetcar line that connect downtown to Oakland -- through the Hill District.

Build by the highways, near the river, near the rails, near the customers.

There is space by McKees Rocks and more space, brownfield space sitting idle, in McKeesport. Build two Olympic Villages. Build two arenas -- with their private money, of course. And this can be done with the income from the value that they'd generage by being part of those new neighborhoods. Then you could link the sites (McKees Rocks & McKeesport) by train, with stops along the way.

From planning-urban

Point is, we need to be creative so as to grow the region. The Hill District needs to grow. There are other better places for the Pens where the value of the team, and the region, can skyrocket.
PITTSBURGH - Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato singled out the economic development around the Pittsburgh International Airport as one of the county's success stories last year and a key to ensuring future economic growth in the region.
Right. Four warehouses make his booming success story. Joke. There are now 600 acres of development land -- waiting for a Penguins Village.

Could look like this:

From Pens Village

From Pens Village

Or, you can keep to plan B, and plan C -- and try to squeeze a new arena into this space.

Xplosion hit rock bottom with 107-72 loss

More proof that Pittsburgh needs a new arena. The Xplosion has been stinking up the joint. <;0
Xplosion hit rock bottom with 107-72 loss The struggling Xplosion dropped to 2-20 with a 107-72 loss to the Yakima Sun Kings (18-7) at Mellon Arena.

Mayor to tap Huss for public safety post - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Mayor to tap Huss for public safety post - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl tapped fire Chief Michael Huss as the city's new public safety director.

News: John Kerry is NOT going to run for president in 2008

From Art from friends

Will someone be sure to tell Ralph Nader that he should not run for president in 2008 as well.

From Art from friends


Can anyone name the figures in the top red graphic?

Can anyone tell what type of art is displayed in the top red graphic?

Can anyone reveal the local connection to the candidate for US President?

We might run into this guy this weekend

The boys and I are getting on a plane on Friday. We might run into this guy.
From people & vips
Blog postings might slow a bit on local matters and be a travel blog, of sorts, again.

Running Mates can step forward. More running mates are always welcome, as well as comments.

And another we might be able to visit this weekend -- along with her mate, Matt.
From family - travels

Ravenstahl backs blight bill - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Let's talk about this bill.
Ravenstahl backs blight bill - Pittsburgh Tribune-ReviewPittsburgh lawmakers could begin requiring vacant property owners to register their deserted domiciles so the city can ensure they are sealed, demolished or renovated.
From people & vips

The first priority of both City Council and the Mayor's Office should be to redd up their own properties.

From playground - usa

The city owns a lot of wasted spaces that are 'wasted away Margaritaville.' Closed Recreation Centers. Closed swim pools. Falling down stairs. Broken streets. You name it. The city's inventory of bad spaces needs to be made public. At the top of the city's fumbles needs to be the city owned ice rink on the South Side that still has not seen a R.F.P. promised months ago and years ago.

From playground - usa

The city needs to get its own house in order before they go into the neighborhoods and get on the case of property owners who have paid their taxes.

Then, if the city has a problem with property owners who have bad buildings, use the building inspectors.

Carl Sutter went into City Council this week with photos of a building that has been a mess for years. YEARS. These guys know of it. They do nothing.

Enforcement sucks. The problems are known. They don't need a new list. The requirement for property owners to do something else is worthless until there is some follow-through with their own duties that mount.

We don't need to demolish properties that are worth saving. Everyone can't buy a condo downtown, for Pete's sake. We've got affordable housing in the neighborhoods that needs to be kept when possible.

The fire in Hazelwood that took down a vacant property and some nearby properties was no secret to the folks on Grant Street. There were complaints made monthly. It sat and nothing was done. Then a tragic fire occured. The fire caused losses that didn't need to occur.

But the point of the matter is that the list was there. A new ordinance isn't going to help put out that fire. A new ordinance is worthless.

To fine building owners $300 a day is insane -- because they don't submit for the list!

From playground - usa

Let's fine Pittsburgh Public Schools $300 a day for its vacant South Hills High School. That building sits in a neighborhood. For months, -- NO -- FOR YEARS, there was a deal that was to happen so that the city's URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) was to purchase the property from the Pgh Public School District. Just this week at the school board meeting one of the board members, Skip Mc., asked a URA official -- "why in the hell didn't the URA purchase that property already?" -- Skip didn't say "hell" -- but I did. Its my blog.

Screw the URA for screwing the city school budget for so long. The deal with that property was done years ago. The URA is the problem. The city is the problem. There are developers who want to take the building and they've been stalled forever.

From playground - usa

We should charge the URA $300 a day for their blunders and folly.

Recently, 22 schools were shut. Some are getting re-use as other schools. But dozens of school buildings were already in mothballs.

From playground - usa

Gladstone Middle School for example. What about South Vo Tech High School? Nothing is being done there. Beltzhoover needs help. The asset is sitting there, idle.

If the city wants to work on blight, then the city needs to light a fire under the URA. Work on the pressing needs of the school district. Work on the other public assets that are rodent havens.

It is the URA properties that make for the biggest pimples in our neighborhoods.

From playground - usa

Len Bodack and Dan Deasy -- get off the backs of the private citizens and get to work on mending the properties that the city owns. Be good stewards with your acts with your own spaces.

Other empty buildings owned by public agencies.

From playground - usa
Can you name this building, along the river. What good is that? Perhaps we should use this as a Youth Hostel? Perhaps this is the site that is given to the Pens for a new arena.

The Ideas Bucket: Speaking of Bloggers... Peduto Hops on the Blog Wave.

Comments about technology and blogs follow.
The Ideas Bucket: Speaking of Bloggers... Peduto Hops on the Blog Wave."The internet is the future," you wrote.

What about the present?
From Art from friends

Jeepers. Two days ago I went to PAT's second Public Hearing and Bob Grove, PAT's media guy, wouldn't give me a press kit. Then yesterday at PAT's public hearing, a PAT Police Officer took me out of the room to say I could not video tape the public hearing from my seat with my little video camera. This a a public event about a public agency that spends lots of public money. Its about public transportation!

Then today, I get the message, screen shot show above, from a campaign blog. Bill Peduto's blog is off limits to me, for now.

Things up and down on the internet all the time. Content moves and changes. Edits are fine and good. No big deal. So, I expect that this "Do not enter sign" is just a temporary bit of housekeeping with the blog. Let me know when the stop light changes to green as I don't want to generate an automatic traffic violation nor get a citation in the mail from some internet highway 'red light camera.'

Now to look for the YouTube action.

Pop City - The Philadelphia Story

A BID is a "Business Improvement District." Bids are a way to raise taxes without representation. BIDs do the job that should be done by government, because government is corrupt and failing to provide services.

If Philly is doing so well, why did Comcast need PA Taxpayers to give them $300-million to build downtown?

Philly's BID zone is 120 blocks. How many blocks are in our downtown? What, about 30?

Those community service reps with radios should be crossing guards. In Pittsburgh, we've taken the radios away from the crossing guards. I'm not interested in downtown ambassadors to help direct an adult with a briefcase around a homeless person.

Rather, let's hire some algebra teachers for the kids in school who are failing then out on the streets. Rather, let's hire some coaches and motivate them to be fit, to compete, to learn about teamwork and giving an extra effort in gangs that we control. I'm fine with gangs, such as an orchestra and a swim team.
Pop City - The Philadelphia Story The 120-block district formed when city business owners agreed to create a special taxing district; extra taxes would be levied on businesses in the area to clean up graffiti, beautify streets and sidewalks with seven-day-a-week uniformed service, enhance landscaping and lighting, and increase police protection in the area.

Now, the 3-square-mile area of the 100-square mile city is Philadelphia's economic engine, Levy says. The center city tax on more than 2,000 businesses raises $14 million a year for such amenities as community service representatives with radios to notify police of problems.

'Little changes in the environment can create big psychological changes in how people think of downtown,' says Paul Levy, president of Philadelphia’s business improvement area dubbed the Center City District.
Another way to get the economic engine on overdrive without a BID is to shift back to the land-value tax. Don't reward folks who create blight. A surface parking lot in a downtown space that occupies the same footprint as a ten or twenty story building should be taxed equally as the building. When you tax the land, development skyrockets. Poor performing places are sold rather than sit idle for later spculation.

I don't stand for tax breaks for rich developers for their rich people tennants so they can move out of neighborhoods and live downtown with subsidized parking spaces.

I want a mixed community. That means kids are welcome.

Serious crime in Philly was and has always been far worse than in Pittsburgh. They need to copy what Pittsburgh does. They get crime more under control to come up to our standard -- and then we want to copy their remediation?

Computerized crime mapping would make for a great tech investment and it should be mission critical and paid for by taxes for everyone's benefit. I don't want "Pay To Play" on basics, such as crime watch.

Did the crime move from the business district to the next neighborhoods?

In Pittsburgh, they'll make a sweep and pile certain problems from one area into another. That's not progress. That's elitism. That's called a blind spot. The laws on the books in Pittsburgh do not allow for the feeding of folks in Market Square. So they eat on the Blvd. of the Allies, except in All-Star Weekends. Then they get steaks and eggs in Carnegie, I guess.

Fix the problems -- the root problems. These ventures and our history shows that the current crop of politiciians are happy to bat at the leaves of the tree of suffering, not attack at its roots.

Pittsburgh has plenty of BID experiences. Not sophisticated at the application of band-aids. We don't need that type of sophistication -- err -- governmental remediation.

Philly might have great reform schools too. That's something I don't envy because I want our kids in real schools. We should aim to do the right things at the right times in the right places -- as a normal course of operations.

Their reform complicates matters and amounts to a deformity. That's DE-FORMED. That's because they screwed up so badly over the years.

We, in Pittsburgh, have a challenge to fix what we got. We have to do better with what we have.

I don't want a 120 block B.I.D. I don't want any BIDs. Then what! We'll be the envy of cities everywhere because we govern as we should.

We should be safe everywhere. We should look without blind spots. We need to deal with problems in an honest way.

BIDs are a sign of bad government. I'm against BIDs because I'm for good governement.

BIDs are a sign of BIG Government. I'm against bigger and bigger government -- and would rather have smaller, more limited governement.

I don't want tax bills from BID liabilities to come and pile on other tax bills from the city, schools, county, state and feds.

Foundation people that want to toss money around can spend it as they wish -- in private sectors. Go nuts. Don't come asking for special services and special treatments because you are rich and buy and sell police and politicians and public service workers.

We're Pittsburgh. The worth and dignity of everyone counts in these parts, still, thankfully. Let's make sure of it.

Police chief claims cameras at red lights would help police

Police chief claims cameras at red lights would help police Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper endorsed the concept of putting enforcement cameras on traffic lights yesterday, saying automated ticketing could help the bureau 'do more with the amount of officers we have.'
The problem is, I don't want the police to do more. The goal isn't do more. The goal is safe streets.

The army general or a hawk president can give the order to invade another land to 'do more' -- and that would get to that outcome. But, why?

And if the cameras are doing the work, are the police really doing MORE? Or, are the police going to be taking time to do camera work and not police work?

The doing of more is by an outside firm that installs, operates and maintains the camera -- not the police. So, our police work is being done by others who are NOT police. Privatization of enforcement needs to be examined for what it is. This is a step away from a merger of services among city police, county police, PAT Police, Housing Police, State Police, Sheriff, University Police, and now -- traffic camera police?

No doubt, the police always want the toys and expensive utility. But, this takes us down the pathway to the police state.

The alternative, crossing guards that issue tickets. I'd rather invest in a person on the corner with radios, with communication devices, with back-up, with training, with a voice and judgement.

These cameras are put in for revenues. And, with this plan, the incomes are put only into a container. We don't need new trust funds nor do we need new commissions.

I'm not dead set against this effort. But there are a number of ways it can be improved upon.

Internet becoming crucial tool for political campaigns

Internet becoming crucial tool for political campaigns Internet becoming crucial tool for political campaigns

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bar Bill plays to packed planning meeting

It was standing room only at a second public meeting this afternoon. On the South Side, there was a meeting from 10 to afternoon about PAT's service cuts. Meanwhile, South Siders jammed into the City Planning Meeting at 200 Ross Street for an afternoon session about the Bar Bill. The turnout from fellow citizens was fantastic.

I don't like the proposed bar bill. It isn't good for a lot of reasons. But, I love the fight. I love the effort. I love the spirit of citizens getting an upper hand on what is happening in the neighborhood.

The bar bill provides a new beach head for the war over our city and urban lives. That is good. We've opened another front and this will be an avenue for some to use to fight back.

One simple question, perhaps my first of many, is, "What about the upward measurement?"

The bill calls for no additional establishment (bar) to be built within a 150 foot distance of another bar, as measured from closest corner of the property to the other location's closest corner.

If, for example, the USX Tower had a pub on the first floor and then a TOP OF BUILDING nightclub wanted to open. Then what? Or, are they both within the 150 feet rule? The property lines overlap.

I want density. I want bars on the roofs and top floors of taller buiildings. I want street-level places too. If a new hotel is built -- say six or eight stories at South Side Works, then I'd love it if that building could have a club on the top floor and another on the first floor. But, the bar bill might prohibit such acts.

From china - bike ...

What do you think? How did the meeting go?

I did notice a lot of questions from the planning committee about other parts of town, not the South Side. They were more interested, it seemed, in Shadyside, Sq. Hill, and other neighborhoods -- not the South Side.

Hats fly into ring for city controller, council

Hats fly into ring for city controller, council Tom Fallon, of Morningside, a member of state Sen. Jim Ferlo's staff, said yesterday that he plans to run for the council seat held by Len Bodack. Pittsburgh School Board member Patrick Dowd is also challenging Mr. Bodack.

A New Aquatic Center for Mt. Lebanon…

This should be fun.
A New Aquatic Center for Mt. Lebanon… ... four scenarios that the consultants who conducted the feasibility study for a new aquatic center for Mt. Lebanon have recommended for consideration. The scenarios include concepts and projected costs for three outdoor aquatic centers and one indoor natatorium.

Jason Phillips has a new job and won't run for city council

Jason Phillips is working for a state-wide campaign for judge. This new role is exciting for him. So, he won't be entering the race for Pittsburgh's City Council District 3.

Jason ran in the special election as a member of the Green Party. He then re-joined the D party and is on the local D committee.

If I get the specifics as to who's campaign he is working for -- I'll be glad to post them, or he could do that in the comments himself.

I'm too angry to post about this at the moment. Interaction with a detective / PAT Police at public hearing.

A women came to me while I sat in the front row of the 3rd public hearing hosted by PAT about its looming service cuts. I had testified a few moments ago. The place was packed, but they were running ahead of the slated agenda time. I spoke quickly about the Octopus Card. These electronic bus passes would provide PAT with much better data on trip "segments." Better access to data would lead to better decisions on routes and price adjustment options. (More later.)

This women comes to my side. "I'm from Achieva," she said. "Could you come with me?"

Well, okay. I packed my coat, briefcase and camera. I had heard about 10 folks give their rants. Its is all 'rip your heart out' insights, as Steve Bland was quoted in the radio news today about yesterday's experience. As a speaker ended, I moved from my seat to the back of the room. She wants me moving faster, and then wants me to move with her out of the room and down the hall and away from everyone else.

"No way. I'm not going into some private room with you, woman. What is it you'd like from me?"

She insists, but I'm just outside the door to the main room, and I'm not moving. Then she shows me her badge attached to her belt. She idenitifies herself, now, as a police officer.

Fine. Now that I know you are a police officer, and not working for Achieva, a nonprofit agency that owns the building where the hearing is hosted and does wonderful work with special needs populations -- I'm still not going down that hallway and leaving this public gathering.

You can whisper what you'd like to tell me now.

She says, "We were talking, and my camera is making people uncomfortable."


"Yes, I've got my I.D," I tell her. I easily offer my name, address, a peek at my check-book that was handy in my back pocket. "No, you don't need to see my drivers license. No, you don't need my social security number either, for your report."

I stay cool, but puzzled and say I'll keep my camera in my bag and go back into the meeting. Clearly, she doesn't want any video of the meeting.

I let uon the I think it must be Steve Bland, PAT's CEO, that has become uncomfortable. PAT is a public agency. The detective grunted.

I wish I had the camera running when I went back into the room for an additional 20-minutes or so. PA's Auditor General, Jack Wagner, showed up at the meeting. And, I wish I had the pep talk presentation from Ken Z, the dude who is yacking at every hearing from the transportation committee of the Allegheny Conference. Oh well.

At City Council's meeting today, also at 10 am, I had just talked about cameras. (More on this blog about that later.)

I've got another meeting on "red light cameras" to attend at 1:30 today.

For the fourth meeting today, there isn't any public coverage concerning the 2 pm meeting at 200 Ross Street about the South Side Bar Bill, in City Planning.

The PAT public forum today was packed, just like the prior two hearings. Bring your camera if you dare.

Gotta run, and do a cool down. Her name is Kerr, and she works for the PAT Police. And, I don't want to read about this in some Yapper blog in two years. For what its worth, I wasn't handcuffed.

(First posted at 1:15 pm.)

Blogger is tossing all sorts of errors. Not able to update easily.

I've got to pull the switch to get to blogger 2.0. Or, I should re-locate the blog to my own site. But now, I'm getting a lot of errors, sadly.

Form letter from Dan Onorato about the silly spending of the tunnel under the rivers

January 22, 2007

Dear Mr. Rauterkus:

Last week during my monthly radio program on KDKA-AM, Marty Griffin shared your e-mail regarding the North Shore Connector. Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the project.

The North Shore Connector has been in development for a decade and was supported by prior County administrations. The federal government has committed to paying for 80 percent of the project, a level of subsidy that will not be available for future transportation projects.

I requested the money to be used for another project in Allegheny County, but was told by the Federal Transit Administration, in no uncertain terms, that if we did not move forward with the twin tunnels under the Allegheny River, the $348 million in federal funding would be transferred to a transportation project in another region. Please be assured that I am also working with County Council to limit the County’s financial exposure on this project.

The North Shore Connector will be a crucial link in the regional transportation network in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The extension will serve regional assets including CCAC, Carnegie Science Center, Heinz Field, PNC Park and the new Majestic Star Casino. The project also represents the first leg of building light rail from downtown to Pittsburgh International Airport, as well as possible light rail extensions to the North Hills and Allegheny Valley.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your comments. I truly appreciate your input.


Dan Onorato
Allegheny County Chief Executive
This doesn't wash with me. A decade ago Dan was on City Council -- in that part of the city. Then he became County Controller, and had the ability to audit the agency. Dan helped to make this project occur.

The airport is on the other side of the river, last I checked. If this is the first leg to the airport, then we're talking about the first blister on a million mile march.

The design of the light rail takes it to an end at the West End Bridge. The rail lines will NOT be able to navigate around the West End Bridge without another serious investment.

Furthermore, I'd not be so upset about the extension of LTR's system if the stops were placed at CCAC and Allegheny General Hospital. But these stops are for the stadiums. With some effort they could have taken the line to the business district up farther on the North Side.

Raw video of first day of PAT Hearings from Oakland event

Watch the Video Nothing special. About 13 minutes.

WAS: Russ Grimm -- still available to run for at Large Seat on Allegheny County Council -- as Libertarian

UPDATED on Jan 24, 2007: --- NEVER MIND. ---

Russ. Give me a call.

If you are looking for something meaningful to do in the fall, other than football, I've got a great challenge that might be perfect way to shape your future. Let's do a rush on liberty. Let's protect the constitution. Let's huddle and then call plays with the people.

Perhaps we can get Lynn Swann on the team as a policy advisor or finance guy. Swann could build his resume and distance himself from the neo-cons.

You know, Chuck Knoll got a number of write in votes in the November 2006 election. No joke.

UPDATED on Jan 24, 2007: --- NEVER MIND. ---

YouTube - Bill Peduto for Mayor ad

YouTube - Bill Peduto for Mayor ad Bill Peduto for Mayor ad
Are we still up the creek? Is Bill a paddle?

Will messages like this get more than 200 visits this time around?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pittsblog: Sports in Perspective

Pittsblog: Sports in Perspective: "Sports in Perspective"
My comments posted at Pittsblog.

Nice article.

Thanks for the pointer.

But you know, what Mayor Tom Murphy and Tom Cox did in Pittsburgh is worse. Way worse. No joke.

The Pgh Interfaith Group had lined up free computers, free service, free install, free support, free network connectivity -- and a plan to put 4 PCs into 6 Rec Centers in the city. Tom Murphy, MAYOR, said no. The city's cost was $0.

He said the cost would be more than $200k and that if the demand was there he'd put it on the list for Citiparks to do in a year or so.

Six months later he closed all 32 outdoor swim pools and 16 rec centers. Closed. Locked down. Stayed that way for more than 6 months. Only then did we pry the keys off him to open a few centers where there was booster money and skin in the game for our kids.

From playground - usa

These were and still are -- OUR FACILITIES.

Meanwhile, Tom MURPHY promised to make Ultimate Frisbee Fields in Highland Park, near the bike oval. That was a broken promise, but Tom needed to get the support of the ignorant young people. They bought it hook, line and sinker -- until I showed them the light of day.

Then, Bob O'Connor said if he was elected mayor, he'd open ALL the swim pools. Yeah, right.

The All Star Game came and there was a red carpet from the downtown hotel to PNC Park for convertables and million-dollar ball players.

Little has been done.

Pittsburgh does not need to take a back seat to anyone in terms of the lost opportunities we steal from our kids.

No wonder people vote with their feet. No wonder the Pgh Public Schools are shrinking faster than expected. No wonder our kids shoot each other -- as there is nothing else for them to shoot for!

P.L. is a natural at this. Try it. It is hard to do.

But how do you make these images look better? They seem too fuzzy to me.

Blast from the past: T-shirt story

From S6 Concert Hall
Thanks L for the tip. At the Pgh Podcamp I asked her if she had any Libertarian t-shirts and she said, "No." The PG is looking for your t-shirt stories
Posted on 01.20.07 by Lindsay @ 12:40 pm

I saw this little post on the website for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today. I thought this might be of interest to some of our blog readers. I am not sure if they are only looking for Pittsburgh stories or for stories from all over. I think I might submit my story about myIheartPGH t-shirt. I am looking forward to reading this article when it comes out.

Seeking Your Help: Your favorite T-shirt
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Every favorite T-shirt usually comes a with good story on why it’s so special to you. Maybe you were wearing it when you met your future spouse. Or you got it at the best concert you ever attended. Or it’s from a special reunion. No matter how old or how tattered, you’ll never give it away. We’d like to hear your stories about your favorite T-shirts. Please send your reflections to Virginia Linn at Include your name, home town and daytime phone number.

I made up a batch of t-shirts last year before the Steelers won the SuperBowl XL.

But there is more to this story as I was a candidate for Pittsburgh City Council in a special election on March 14, 2006, as a Libertarian. And the t-shirts went to everyone who attended our first ever house concert. Johnsmith, singer from Wisconsin, was here with his song, "Don't Put Me In a Box" (another theme of the campaign).

An opponent, Bruce Kraus, D, who didn't win -- thankfully, stood up at a community forum hosted at City Theater and said that all the different neighborhoods in the district have all sorts of different needs. What the people need in Allentown is different from what they need on the South Side Slopes. The needs in Oakland are so much different from what the people want on the South Side Flats. All this diversity presents a big range of needs to a city councilman to fill. One size does NOT fit all he claimed. Blah, blah, blah.

In the line of candidates, when it was my turn to speak, I stood up and blasted the concepts put forth by Mr. Kraus. I said, "I can't disagree more with Bruce Kraus. He is wrong because I feel strongly that one size does fit all. The Founding Fathers had it right. We need freedom, liberty and justice for all. That fits me well. That fits my neighbors well too -- regardless of the neighborhood residence. Liberty is what everyone in Pittsburgh needs, and that comes in one size. I want Extra Large Liberty, Liberty XL.

The affinity of the XL from the SuperBowl -- made the shirts popular and warm to all. One gal took the shirt to Detroit with her to wear to the game -- under the black & gold jersey, of course.

Of course the Steelers won, but I didn't win the election. But my message scored a touchdown. The t-shirt history lesson did make the goofy candidate for city council change his tune. He didn't campaign and express those silly thoughts again. Not with me around, at least.

See this image of the t-shirt:

And look around the photo album of our S6 House Concert venue -- in our game room.

All my images are in the public domain.

Mike Tomlin - Wikipedia

Mike Tomlin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Mike Tomlin (born March 15, 1972 in Hampton, Virginia), is an American football coach and is the new head coach of the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mayor pledges clean campaign

Where is this 'pledge' exactly? Is it a headline, or a real promise? And, what if the promise is broken? Then what?
Ravenstahl pledges clean campaign - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
If the pledge can't be put into the news article, I'm not sure how we can expect the thing to be followed.

To promise a clean campaign is much like a redd up campaign.

The League of Women Voters is as spicy as ginger. The pledge that they offer is not that bold as they are not that bold. Expect pledge breakers to be scolded with a frownie after lunch.

I can't rant in a negative way because the pledge is a nice step, and because I'm slated to speak to the League of Women Voter's meeting this weekend on How To Run for Public Office.

I'd like a pledge with the media. I'd like a pledge with the parties. I'd like a pledge with the unions. When the fur flies, the ones on the stump can generally shrug and say that it wasn't his fault. Michael Diven and Wayne Fontana were negative as hell. They didn't sign such a pledge, but if they had, they just give an excuse that the money flowed from other political sources, not their direct campaigns.

By the way, the League of Women Voters as well as the non-partisan watchdog thingie org that came out in 2005 spring were asked to engage in elections beyond the mayor's race primary. But, they choose to stick to the knitting, go after the headline and not rock the boat in other races in our region.

What statements would you like to see in a pledge?

Can We Achieve Peace in the Middle East?

Can We Achieve Peace in the Middle East? Practically speaking, our meddling in the Middle East has only intensified strife and conflict. American tax dollars have militarized the entire region. We give Israel about $3 billion each year, but we also give Egypt $2 billion. Most other Middle East countries get money too, some of which ends up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists. Both sides have far more military weapons as a result. Talk about adding fuel to the fire! Our foolish and unconstitutional foreign aid has produced more violence, not less.