Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Football or Swimming

The water will always win. The water is undefeated. It has not lost a game yet. And, I don't think it ever will. So, I better get used to working with it.

Stykz is out and could help in simple coaching annimations

Stykz • Home

Completely Free - No Strings Attached
Stykz is freeware, meaning it's completely free to download and use to create animations that you can show off to others or import into other applications. No hidden costs, license or permission are required to use Stykz to its fullest.

Multi-Platform Animating
Stykz is the first multi-platform stick figure animation program in the world (as far as we know), so you'll be able to use Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux* to create, edit and preview your animations. (*Linux is in internal beta but will be available soon.)

Education Policy Update Breakfast in Oakland on Dec 9, 2010

Dear Colleague:

Attached are your invitation and RSVP Form for the next PENNSYLVANIA EDUCATION POLICY FORUM in Pittsburgh.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Continental Breakfast  -  8:00 a.m.
Program  -  8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Holiday Inn Select - University Center - Oakland

Update on Gates Momentum Grant for Teacher/Principal Evaluation Project of the Pennsylvania Department of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has received a “Momentum” grant from the Gates Foundation to start the consensus-building process to reach agreement on criteria to be used to measure teacher and principal effectiveness, appropriate student growth factors and their weighting in the overall evaluation systems.  A Stakeholder Steering Committee is currently working on this project, with the following goals:  1) Determine criteria to be used to measure teacher and principal effectiveness; 2) Develop tools to measure teacher and principal effectiveness and pilot them in participating schools and districts: 3) Develop and pilot professional development module for principals in evaluating teachers and for superintendents in evaluating principals; and 4) Determine the correlation between the teacher and principal effectiveness measures tested and the impact on student growth.  Update will be provided by PDE staff and consultant (Sharon Brumbaugh and Terry Barnaby).

While there is no registration fee, seating is limited and an RSVP is required.

You can RSVP on-line at http://www.eplc.org/forum_westernpa.html or by faxing the attached form back to EPLC.

I hope you will be able to join us. 

In addition, please feel free to share this information with colleagues who may like to attend.

Ron Cowell
Ronald Cowell
The Education Policy and Leadership Center
800 North Third Street, Suite 408
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Thanks to our Sponsors
Western Pennsylvania Regional Breakfast Series – Pennsylvania Education Policy Forum

A+ Schools
AFT Pennsylvania
Association of Pennsylvania State College and
     University Faculties
Center for Educational Leadership - University of
     Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
Educational Testing Service (ETS)
OnHand Schools
Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and
     Secondary School Principals
Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units
Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools
Pennsylvania Association of Pupil Services                            
Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators
Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and       
     Curriculum Development
Pennsylvania Council for the Arts
Pennsylvania School Boards Association
Pennsylvania State Education Association

Braddock Mayor Arrested, Cited For Trespassing - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh

He wasn't in a protest. He was trying to strike up a conversation.
“I went down there with no press release, no media notification whatsoever. It was a sincere effort on my part to restart the dialogue,” Fetterman told Channel 11.
Yeah, if I'm not there, on the sidewalk, start without me.

Come on UPMC.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Heads in the Game: Football dads don't let fear keep their sons out of sport

Heads in the Game: Football dads don't let fear keep their sons out of sport


Coach Ellis, in new Philly pool, formerly of Pittsburgh

There was an attempt by some in Pittsburgh to get the Salvation Army grant from the Krock Foundation, but it was a fleeting try. One site talked about in Pittsburgh was the site of the former Penguin practice ice in the South Side.

The statement by Coach Ellis about access to facilities is the sticking point to what we face in Pittsburgh in the past. We have pools. We don't have clear access to the swim pools. We can't get pool permits and a facilities use agreement that makes any sense to the students, citizens and taxpayers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Collier: As we evolve, our sports must evolve, too

Collier: As we evolve, our sports must evolve, too: "This is where we are: With an epidemic of concussions blazing through schoolboy football (22,000 a year in Pennsylvania alone), and a leap forward in the clinical understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (the likely scientific answer to questions like 'What killed Mike Webster, Terry Long, Andre Waters, et al.?'), we are now viewing football through a new prism of risk. Which is why I wanted to talk this week with Dr. Micky Collins, who walks on both sides of that prism."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hey, you. Get off of my cloud.

Spanish woman claims ownership of sun: "After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner - a woman from Spain's soggy region of Galicia says she has registered the star at a local notary public."

After billions of years the Sun finally has an owner - a woman from Spain's soggy region of Galicia said onFriday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.
Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our Solar System.
There is an international agreement which states that no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it says nothing about individuals, she added.
"There was no snag, I backed my claim legally, I am not stupid, I know the law. I did it but anyone else could have done it, it simply occurred to me first."
The document issued by the notary public declares Duran to be the "owner of the Sun, a star of spectral type G2, located in the centre of the solar system, located at an average distance from Earth of about 149 600 000km".
Duran, who lives in the town of Salvaterra do Mino, said she now wants to slap a fee on everyone who uses the sun and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government and 20% to the nation's pension fund.
She would dedicate another 10% to research, another 10% to ending world hunger - and would keep the remaining 10% herself.
"It is time to start doing things the right way, if there is an idea for how to generate income and improve the economy and people's well-being, why not do it?" she asked.

PA Leadership starting in 2011

Senate Republican (Majority) Caucus Leaders are:

* President Pro Tempore – Joe Scarnati (R-25)
* Majority Leader - Dominic Pileggi (R-9)
* Majority Whip – Pat Browne (R-16)
* Caucus Chair – Mike Waugh (R-28)
* Caucus Secretary – Bob Robbins (R-50)
* Caucus Administrator – TBD
* Appropriations Chair – Jake Corman (R-34)
* Policy Chair – TBD

Senate Democratic (Minority) Caucus Leaders are:

* Minority Leader – Jay Costa (D-43)
* Minority Whip – Michael O’Pake (D-11)
* Caucus Chair – Anthony Williams (D-8)
* Caucus Secretary – Christine Tartaglione (D-2)
* Caucus Administrator – Lisa Boscola (D-18)
* Appropriations Chair – Vincent Hughes (D-7)
* Policy Chair – Richard Kasunic (D-32)

House Republican (Majority) Caucus Leaders are:
* Speaker of the House – Sam Smith (R-66)
* Majority Leader – Mike Turzai (R-28)
* Majority Whip – Stan Saylor (R-94)
* Caucus Chair – Sandra Major (R-111)
* Caucus Secretary – Mike Vereb (R-150)
* Caucus Administrator – Dick Stevenson (R-8)
* Appropriations Chair – William Adolf (R-165)
* Policy Chair – Dave Reed (R-62)

House Democratic (Minority) Caucus Leaders are:
* Minority Leader – Frank Dermody (D-33)
* Minority Whip – Mike Hanna (D-76)
* Caucus Chair – Dan Frankel (D-23)
* Caucus Secretary – Jennifer Mann (D-132)
* Caucus Administrator – Ron Buxton (D-103)
* Appropriations Chair – Joe Markosek (D-25)
* Policy Chair – Mike Sturla (D-96)

On the road again. Musings and mutterings by David Batzofin: Open water action at Heia Safari this weekend.

Insights into an open water swim in South Africa. They have a series of events at this setting. This would be a great excuse to return there -- and enter Erik and Grant into the race.
On the road again. Musings and mutterings by David Batzofin: Open water action at Heia Safari this weekend.: "Open water swimming enthusiasts can look forward to some exciting swimming at the Time Freight Heia 1000 Series 2 that takes place at Lake Heritage at Heia Safari Ranch near Muldersdrift on Sunday 28th November 2010.
The Time Freight Heia 1000 is the second event that will be held at the Heia Safari Ranch this summer and is an official seeding event for the world famous aQuella Midmar Mile which takes place at the Midmar Dam near Howick on the 12th and 13th February 2011."
On another front, it would be FANTASTIC if we could host an open water series in Pittsburgh too.

Friday, November 26, 2010

When government doesn't respond, volunteers make calls to city hall

When government doesn't respond, volunteers make calls to city hall

When Knoxville activist and Democratic Committeeman Thomas Coppola needed help getting a lot cleaned up, he spent months pleading with the city's Bureau of Building Inspection and other officials.

Then he called Donna Wielock and Arlene Trost. Within a week, the lot had been tidied.

"I hear they don't even get paid up there," Mr. Coppola said. "They're volunteers."

It may be difficult to fight city hall, as the saying goes, but Ms. Wielock and Ms. Trost can help even the odds. From noon to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, they staff City Councilman Bruce Kraus' satellite office in Arlington.
Why not buy the lot? Own it. Fix it. Clean it. Do it yourself.

The BBI (Bureau of Building Inspection) does not act as a clean up crew. Bark up the wrong tree and get nothing done. Or, bark up the right tree and get tidy. Or, just don't bark at all and tidy and get tidy.

Volunteers are great. I love volunteers. Volunteers are a key to fixing the ills of the city government and city schools. But we need some wisdom too. Nagging isn't really what I'd call volunteering. Nagging can be a step on that pathway, but it isn't all there is to it. But, within the Democratic Committee in the city, nagging is the heart and soul of purpose.
Longtime residents and community activists, Ms. Wielock and Ms. Trost acknowledged knowing who to call to get something done -- but declined to give any specifics. The two have been known to break bureaucratic logjams with sweet talk, heart-rending tales and appeals to civic pride.

"By the time you get off the phone with them, you don't even know what you've agreed to," said Matt Hogue, Mr. Kraus' chief of staff.

Each of the city's nine council members has a small office and staff in the City-County Building, Downtown. The city budget makes no provision for satellite offices, so a council member generally meets constituents at coffee shops, senior centers or similar venues to spare them a trip to Grant Street.

In April, at the suggestion of Ms. Wielock and Ms. Trost, Mr. Kraus established a satellite office -- a room in the Allegheny County Adult Probation's Day Reporting Center at 2320 Arlington Ave.

The county provided the room rent-free. Ms. Kraus came up with a computer and phone, then turned Ms. Wielock and Ms. Trost loose. The results, he said, have exceeded his expectations.

Mr. Coppola said he spent months trying to help a neighbor who wanted a contractor to clean up the broken concrete and other debris left behind after a city-ordered house demolition.

While city officials told him, "It's done. It's over. It's acceptable," Mr. Coppola disagreed. "You could not run a lawn mower over the property," he said.

After encountering Ms. Wielock and Ms. Trost at a community meeting, he said, he decided to ask their help. About two years after walking off the job, Mr. Coppola said, the contractor returned to tidy up.

Ms. Trost said she and Ms. Wielock "made some phone calls."
They declined to give any specifics. Modesty, perhaps. Closed source, doubtful. Generous with the wisdom, but only with in-person, in-party, in-problemed, on-phone issues.

Matt Hogue offers up a great quote of cluelessness. "By the time you get off the phone with them, you don't even know what you've agreed to," said Matt Hogue. Come on Matt. You gotta know. Don't be a puppet. Don't flap in the wind.

The expectations of Mr. Kraus are out paced by two volunteers, a free rent office, a computer and a phone. What does that say about his expectations?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fw: Register now for Post-Turkey election integity event!

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: VotePA <pennsylvaniavoter@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 11:40:02 -0500 (EST)
To: <mark@rauterkus.com>
ReplyTo: pennsylvaniavoter@comcast.net
Subject: Register now for Post-Turkey election integity event!

     VotePA Vertical Image

Please come to the
Third Annual Pennsylvania Voters Coalition Symposium

Building a Voter-Friendly Election System

Thursday, December 2, 2010

9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Rachel Carson State Office Building · 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pa 17101

Building a Voter-Friendly Election System is the theme of the Pennsylvania Voters Coalition third annual symposium on Thursday, December 2 in Harrisburg. There will be plenty of discussion on the future of election reform, with guest speakers and panelists including Secretary of State Basil Merenda and legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle.  The transition team representing Governor-elect Tom Corbett has been invited too.

Come and bring your concerns and questions.
Workshops will include:  Building a Voter-Friendly Election System;  Strengthening Relationships with County Election Officials; Election Protection and Policy Solutions; Protecting the "Voting Vulnerable"; and Making PA's Voting Machines Safe and Accurate.

VotePA founder Marybeth Kuznik will facilitate the session on voting machines; we invite you to participate because in the past year there have been many new developments (and threats) regarding the equipment and methods through which we cast our votes.
To register, see this brochure.  Deadline is listed as November 25, but it is likely that limited seating may still be available after that date.

Come, learn, and help shape the future of Pennsylvania's elections... Sign up today!
Support VotePA

As we approach the holidays, please remember that VotePA has been working hard for open, accessible and accurate voting in Pennsylvania. To continue doing this, WE NEED YOUR HELP.

You can make a one-time donation or pledge much-needed monthly support HERE.

If you prefer, please make your check or money order payable to VotePA

and mail it to:


6093 Pleasant Valley Road

Irwin, PA 15642

Please -- do this today. And thank you for your support of fair and accurate elections in Pennsylvania! 

VotePA is a non-profit, non-partisan alliance of groups and individuals dedicated to voting rights and election integrity. We are the leading statewide advocacy group specializing in voting machines and voting systems. Our goal is to protect every vote in Pennsylvania with a paper ballot and audit every election.

For more information about us, please visit our website at VotePA.us .

You can also connect with us here  Find us on Facebook  and here  Follow us on Twitter

VotePA is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. As such we are free to lobby for changes in our laws to improve our elections, but donations are not deductible for tax purposes at this time.

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Going beyond the fork. Weight lifting for kids.

The Benefits of Weight Training for Children
(from NYtimes) November 24, 2010, by GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Back in the 1970s, researchers in Japan studied child laborers and discovered that, among their many misfortunes, the juvenile workers tended to be abnormally short. Physical labor, the researchers concluded, with its hours of lifting and moving heavy weights, had stunted the children's growth. Somewhat improbably, from that scientific finding and other similar reports, as well as from anecdotes and accreting myth, many people came to believe "that children and adolescents should not" practice weight training, said Avery Faigenbaum, a professor of exercise science at the College of New Jersey. That idea retains a sturdy hold in the popular imagination.

As a recent position paper on the topic of children and resistance training points out, many parents, coaches and pediatricians remain convinced that weight training by children will "result in short stature, epiphyseal plate" — or growth plate — "damage, lack of strength increases due to a lack of testosterone and a variety of safety issues.

"Kids, in other words, many of us believe, won't get stronger by lifting weights and will probably hurt themselves. But a major new review just published in Pediatrics, together with a growing body of other scientific reports, suggest that, in fact, weight training can be not only safe for young people, it can also be beneficial, even essential.

In the Pediatrics review, researchers with the Institute of Training Science and Sports Informatics in Cologne, Germany, analyzed 60 years' worth of studies of children and weightlifting. The studies covered boys and girls from age 6 to 18.

The researchers found that, almost without exception, children and adolescents benefited from weight training. They grew stronger. Older children, particularly teenagers, tended to add more strength than younger ones, as would be expected, but the difference was not enormous.

Over all, strength gains were "linear," the researchers found. They didn't spike wildly after puberty for boys or girls, even though boys at that age are awash in testosterone, the sex hormone known to increase muscle mass in adults. That was something of a surprise. On the other hand, a reliable if predictable factor was consistency. Young people of any age who participated in resistance training at least twice a week for a month or more showed greater strength gains than those who worked out only once a week or for shorter periods.

Over all, the researchers concluded, "regardless of maturational age, children generally seem to be capable of increasing muscular strength.

"That finding, which busts one of the most pervasive myths about resistance training for young people — that they won't actually get stronger — is in accord with the results and opinions of most researchers who have studied the subject.

"We've worked with kindergartners, having them just use balloons and dowels" as strength training tools, "and found that they developed strength increases," said Dr. Faigenbaum, a widely acknowledged expert on the topic of youth strength training. (His most recent book is in fact titled "Youth Strength Training.")

But interestingly, young people do not generally add muscular power in quite the same way as adults. They rarely pack on bulk. Adults, particularly men but also women, typically add muscle mass when they start weight training, a process known as muscular hypertrophy (or, less technically, getting buff). Youths do not add as much or sometimes any obvious muscle mass as a result of strength training, which is one of the reasons many people thought they did not grow stronger. Their strength gains seem generally to involve "neurological" changes, Dr. Faigenbaum said. Their nervous systems and muscles start interacting more efficiently.

A few small studies have shown that children develop a significant increase in motor-unit activation within their muscles after weight training. A motor unit consists of a single neuron and all of the muscle cells that it controls. When more motor units fire, a muscle contracts more efficiently. So, in essence, strength training in children seems to liberate the innate strength of the muscle, to activate the power that has been in abeyance, unused.

And that fact, from both a physiological and philosophical standpoint, is perhaps why strength training for children is so important, a growing chorus of experts says. "We are urban dwellers stuck in hunter-gatherer bodies," said Lyle Micheli, M.D., the director of sports medicine at Children's Hospital Boston and professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard University, as well as a co-author, with Dr. Faigenbaum, of the National Strength and Conditioning Association's 2009 position paper about children and resistance training. "That's true for children as well as adults.

There was a time when children `weight trained' by carrying milk pails and helping around the farm. Now few children, even young athletes, get sufficient activity" to fully strengthen their muscles, tendons and other tissues. "If a kid sits in class or in front of a screen for hours and then you throw them out onto the soccer field or basketball court, they don't have the tissue strength to withstand the forces involved in their sports. That can contribute to injury.

"Consequently, many experts say, by strength training, young athletes can reduce their risk of injury, not the reverse.

"The scientific literature is quite clear that strength training is safe for young people, if it's properly supervised," Dr. Faigenbaum says. "It will not stunt growth or lead to growth-plate injuries. That doesn't mean young people should be allowed to go down into the basement and lift Dad's weights by themselves. That's when you see accidents." The most common, he added, involve injuries to the hands and feet. "Unsupervised kids drop weights on their toes or pinch their fingers in the machines," he said.

In fact, the ideal weight-training program for many children need not involve weights at all. "The body doesn't know the difference between a weight machine, a medicine ball, an elastic band and your own body weight," Dr. Faigenbaum said. In his own work with local schools, he often leads physical-education class warm-ups that involve passing a medicine ball (usually a "1 kilogram ball for elementary-school- age children" and heavier ones for teenagers) or holding a broomstick to teach lunges safely. He has the kids hop, skip and leap on one leg. They do some push-ups, perhaps one-handed on a medicine ball for older kids.

(For specifics about creating strength-training programs for young athletes of various ages, including teenagers, and avoiding injury, visit strongkid.com, a Web site set up by Dr. Faigenbaum, or the Children's Hospital Boston sports medicine site.)

As for the ideal age to start weight training, Dr. Faigenbaum said: "Any age is a good age. But there does seem to be something special about the time from about age 7 to 12. The nervous system is very plastic. The kids are very eager. It seems to be an ideal time to hard-wire strength gains and movement patterns." And if you structure a program right, he added, "it can be so much fun that it never occurs to the kids that they're getting quote-unquote `strength training' at all."

Achievement gap on pace to disappear in 40 years

Achievement gap on pace to disappear in 40 years

The latest report by A+ Schools revealed that the achievement gap between White and Black students continues to decrease. However, at the rate it is narrowing, it would take 40 years to be eliminated.

Fw: holiday humor and memories from Larry Evans, certificate holder and that

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: leifevans@comcast.net
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 17:06:06 +0000 (UTC)
To: <jonijohn2@verizon.net>; Racic, Stanko<STANKO@katz.pitt.edu>; Rafail, Paul<rafailp158@gmail.com>; Rahuba, Mary<Merahuba@aol.com>; raja, commish<raja@mtlebanon.org>; rangel, liz<rangel@verizon.net>; rapisarda, greg<grapisarda@hotmail.com>; Rauterkus, Mark<mark.rauterkus@gmail.com>; reibach, stacey<sreibach@gmail.com>; reich, steve<reichpm@aol.com>; Reidy, Mykie<mykiereidy@comcast.net>; reimer, mike<becks91215@comcast.net>; renner, keith<kingref69@aol.com>; resslers, mighty<mkressler@verizon.net>; retersdorf, jaime<jretersdorf@chatham.edu>; reuss, phyllis<musketgirl@yahoo.com>; Revitsky, Jill<jill@discoverorganizing.com>; ricciuti, ann and roger<ricciuti1343@verizon.net>; rice, mona<mrice@mtlsd.net>; rita, cindy<RitaCindy@aol.com>; roberts, mighty<pghjenn2000@yahoo.com>; rogans, mighty<roganspgh@verizon.net>; Romero, Guillermo<ggr@pitt.edu>; rooney, kathy<me@krooney.net>; ross, stephanie<sross@mtlsd.net>; Rossi, Karen<karen_rossi@comcast.net>; Rothermel, Joyce<JRothermel@pittsburghfoodbank.org>; roy, mike<ismwr@pannier.com>; rubinstein, Ayellet<mrubinstein4@verizon.net>; rubinstein, mike<rubinsteinm4@aol.com>; ruef, dave<druef@crossgatesinc.com>; rush, molly<molly.rush@verizon.net>; rudoy, holly<hrudoy@verizon.net>; Saba, Shelly<SSaba@mtlsd.net>; sadler, linda<lcsadler@msn.com>; samuels, mighty<freyasam@verizon.net>; sanchez, annette<annettesan@yahoo.com>; sartorio, ann<annsartorio@comcast.net>; schoonmaker, lori<lorischoon@gmail.com>; scott, howard<cahoscott@aol.com>; seager, moe<moeseagers@yahoo.com>; sharpe, jeff and Patty<psharpe@northwood.com>; simonetti, val<valsimonetti@msn.com>; sklar, paul<sklarfamily@verizon.net>; small, rich<richardmsmall@comcast.net>; smith, matt<mhsmith@pahouse.net>; smith, sandy<lloydysmith1111@aol.com>; smith, steve<ssmith2@bcps.org>; smith, jeremy<JSmith12@bwiairport.com>; smith, scott<ssmith@americanfsb.com>; smolenski, lou<lsmolenski@mtlebanon.org>; sollenberger, barbara<pghlglbgl@gmail.com>; solomon, beth<bethmsolomon@gmail.com>; spicuzza, dave<davespicuzza@verizon.net>; staltari, sal and laura<lwholey@verizon.net>; Stegmaier, George<george_stegmaier@troweprice.com>; stetz, tom<tstetz@zoominternet.net>; stevenson, mighty<calliestevenson@gmail.com>; Stevenson, Thomas<tlstevensonassoc@verizon.net>; stevenyellen<stevenyellen@gmail.com>; stoehr, peggy and mike<mstoehr5@verizon.net>
Subject: holiday humor



See below my original draft of a "Next Page" article which will appear in this sunday's Pittsburgh Post Gazette (no doubt edited unmercifully). I got an award for starting the Northside chronicle last nite and after those folks read this on sunday they may storm my Mt. Lebanon home with pitchforks and torches but who can blame them?....happy TG.

Recollections from Larry Evans, founder and managing editor of the NORTHSIDE CHRONICLE (a monthly community newspaper celebrating its 25th anniversary at a banquet last week)

My adventure in journalism actually began in my hometown Baltimore where I "worked" as a cub reporter briefly under PJ O'Rourke, then the esteemed Editor of the underground newspaper "Harry", about which I'm sure Chronicle readers know pretty much next to nothing. I thought PJ was the funniest dude alive and he thought I was an expendable idiot so I was dispatched far and wide to duly cover endangered early 70s rock festivals in the jungles of Louisiana and — bingo! — the outskirts of Pittsburgh, where I met so many people just as hyper-activist as me. 


I was out in the far flung fringe getting so radicalized that I went and got me a job with US Steel and started the magical Mill Hunk Herald Quarterly Magazine in my basement office at 916 Middle Street in 1979.  O'Rourke promptly blessed the trouble-making Hunk, saying I could use whatever I wanted from the National Lampoon Magazine (where he got his next job), only that when I started making tons of money, he'd bleed me white with lawsuits. 


              In Pittsburgh's mill shutdowns era - why this was a prime time opportunity for shiftless radicals such as I - folks like Studs Terkel, Pete Seeger and Kurt Vonnegut began applauding the sizzling spunk of the Herald and Middle Street began reelin and a rockin out many a fun fundraiser like the Mill Hunk Ball at the Allegheny Starlight Ballroom just across that hiway there where all those houses used to be, a Mill Hunk Funk Disco at the long gone Islam Grotto, A Mill Hunk Junk flea market, Mill Hunk Munch dinner (to the appropriate accordion music), A Run of the Mill 10K, a Mill Hunk Dunk swim party (with or without…), Mill Hunk Bunk Pajama party (with or without… strange poetry) and the Mill Hunk Haunt Halloween Party at the Mattress Factory and so on …That's right, we beat it to death.

As the Mill Hunk poster boy, I also wrote some pithy, pro-labor op-eds for the Post Gazette and occasional features for In Pittsburgh newsweekly, Z, the Progressive and Pittsburgh Magazines. I appeared in two Tony Buba movies in Braddock back when they actually had a functioning hospital.


After getting laid off from doing anything truly useful on this planet (making steel is actually a very good feeling), my Steel Valley High School teaching wife Leslie and I steered our productivity inwards and made us a son, the "Duck," named after Ducky Joe Medwick, the last National League triple crown winner (and you thought I might not have my priorities straight…).


So to keep our darlin' deep in Pampers and Crispix, I began working 2 or 3 part time jobs just to come somewhere close to my steelworker wages. I drove a morning delivery truck, was a nite counselor for emotionally disturbed kids (actually they were disturbing – I was the one disturbed) and on sunny afternoons edited the Bloomfield Garfield Bulletin, a bi-monthly community newspaper edited by a nun – Sister Sally Witt – a tough act to follow for any lay do-gooder. To prove myself worthy, I hand delivered my first issue to every home in Bloomfield and Garfield and lived to tell about it.  After working with such outstanding BGC community organizers like Aggie Brose (part Mother Theresa/Mother Jones) and the irrepressible Ricks Flannigan and Swartz for a few years, and upon reading my wife's battered copy of The Martian Chronicles and noting the striking similarities with our Northside life, I began publishing the Northside Chronicle just as the Mill Hunk mag was running out of steam.


The Northside Chronicle experience got me much more deeply familiar with East Allegheny all-stars like eventual school board head/city councilwoman Barbara Burns, devoted VISTA Volunteers like Sheila Weirth and Val Washington and economic development rising stars Mark Schneider and Tom Cox. And never to forget yodelin' alkie A-Ooo Elmer who reminded us that miller time was all the time. Then there was passionate War Street veterans like Randy Zotter and Mz. Northside Conferencer Nancy Schaefer and majestic Manchesterites Will and Susan Thompkins and Stan "Forever Feisty" Lowe; Troy Hillers like the brilliant Horgan brothers and the simply historic Mary Wohleber; and of course Perry North Avenuers/City Councilmen "Don't Bum Rap Da Nor'side" Baldy Regan and Sir Tom Murphy (who somehow never got around to hiring me as his publicist).  BTW, the Northside must eventually erect a statue to former mayor Tom Terrific maybe near the Priory to form an artful triangle of swamp thing resemblages in the Mayor Caliguiri/Mister Rogers milieu.


The Chronicle instantly inspired neighborhood poets, scribes and go-getters like Don Walko, Nick Kyriazi, Bill Conway, Sue Stein, Wilana Carter, Jesse Cavileer, Carol Montgomery, John Freed and would have never gotten off the ground except for timely seed funding from the Community Technical Assistance Center.


Our early editorial meetings attracted much of the same riff raff that the Mill Hunk managed to wash ashore but the issues debated were a bit more grounded, sometimes even subterranean. They had a lot to do with community survival and self determination in the Grand "Old Allegheny City" and preserving its unique heritage and  kind of grass root beerish flavor. You see Northsiders have a deep foreboding and rather accurate sense of being perpetually screwed by Burgh bigwigs and thus they carry a chip the size of Honus Wagner's bat on their shoulders. They got wowed then wounded by the 60's Urban Renewal demolition derby which gutted their town center, threw up a nifty urban mall that thrived then dived and later slapped a massive highway through the heart of the community which provided a quick escape outta town to bigger and better malls, leaving Allegheny Center and surrounds quite emptyish. Hometown historian John Canning chronicled the ups and downs of this "new village within a city" seeing in his 2010 eyes the ghosts of promises past – Sears, A & P, Woolworths, IBM et al  – and wondered if there will be yet another resurrection anytime soon via plans for a newer and shinyier town center.  And this…just as the disgusting Garden Theatre and Apache Lounge are finally getting some decades-overdue rehab up on North Avenue, in coming is a friggin' Hustler strip joint to overlook the Chateau!   


Lordy - is the Northside some sort of covert sociological experiment or what? 


Hey - I do know that the Northside is not kind to motor vehicles, especially to my mill car – an almost classic 65 Dodge Dart slant 6.  The doors did not lock well due to the rust factor and it got unmercifully joy ridden right out from under my doorstep – not once, nor twice - thrice. I remember that last time being awakened in the middle of the night by a PD #9 paddy wagon and the dreary-eyed officers telling me that my Dart was involved in a chase up Pig Hill only to be found wrapped around a tree. Two dudes split out each side door and disappeared into the Troy Hill thicket leaving behind a luded-out teenie bop gal with no shoes on still trying to find a decent station on my car radio. My Dart was totaled and all that gal would utter was that everything is "F—kin' Louie's fault."  Okay – flash forward a few months and my wife and I are walking back home in our fineries after ushering at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre – something she insisted I do to smooth out some of my "rough edges". We suddenly observed a car full of kids in hot pursuit of a shaggy-haired, black-jacketed, chain-rattlin' creature in full gallop. A girl occupant of the car tossed a beer bottle at the refugee screaming something to the effect "you glue-sniffin' mother f--kin' LOUIE!"


The driver jumped out of the car and winged a baseball bat – it looked like a 35", thick handle Willie Stargell to me – at my man Louie as he scampered into Thropp Way, an alley any Nor'sider with half a frontal lobe would look every which way before entering. In a surprise move unanticipated by the lumber-chucker, Louie swaggered out of the darkness with a smirk on his face and bat in hand. "Now who's got the F—kin' bat", quoth Mr. L.  Wife Leslie and I frose in our non-combatant pose as the chase reversed itself back to the car. The driver got in safely but Louie was able to encircle the unlucky vehicle and brutally shatter every window to the horror of the occupants. Louie got carried away in his spiteful revelry and went a second time around the car to administer some body work and broke the bat clean off the handle. The car doors then sprang open and the occupants with renewed resolve chased Louie back down Thropp and – rumor has it – into a quick dip in the Allegheny River out from which he was flushed and later checked in to Huntington prison (his alma mater).


              Sorry but I had to get that off my chest…This would have been my Dart's 45th anniversary (sniff).

              Anyway, for the Chronicle and the Northside, t'was a good thing a steady guy like the late John Lyon stepped up to take over the newspaper  because, being a defrocked crock of a steelworker, I was to be soon high stepping it over to Rutgers on a gravy graduate fellowship that would take me headlong into my life's traveling stage where I eagerly exploited exotic new sister city playgrounds like Donetsk (Ukraine), Novokuznetsk (Siberia), San Isidro (Nicaragua), Plzen (Czech Republic), and union advocacy gigs in Washington, D.C. and Baton Rouge, La.  Let's just say I didn't sell many band uniforms and it is a wonder that I am still alive. But a life's lesson imprinted on my dented cranium is that community publications contribute tons to our fragile democracy. They are the Paul Reveres for our struggling neighborhoods. This is especially true at a time when corporate naming rights for the 2012 Fall Election Classic apparently are being peddled by some guy named Murduch. It is a blessing that in my old digs something as homegrown and pure as the Chronicle is still kickin'. Though the Mill Hunk Herald blasting away at plant shutdowns and right wing shannigans lasted only one exhausting decade late last century, I have since had to apologize repeatedly for folding that mighty mag to countless languishing poets and scribes who have confronted my writer's block in various eateries around town.  For some reason, I get the most poignant finger wags from rust belt rebels hangin' out at the Waterfront Eat n Park in Homestead. Alright already, so maybe 24/7 shopping is not the answer…go figure.

So there you have it. Today, while former soccer star son Ducky (27) bounces between Manhattan and LA making really bad reality TV, my new wife Karen and I (going on 64 and Kar keeps humming that Beatles song about needing and feeding me) reside in Mount Lebanon with our Duck-add-water current soccer daughter "Sunny" Jen (14), nicknamed after "Sunny Jim" Bottomley, a teammate of Ducky Medwick's doncha know. My ex Leslie is a tri-athlete who took up mountain climbing with new hubbie Greg in order to get as far away from me as possible.  From the mid 90s to present, I managed a few suburban indoor soccer centers and sold synthetic grass (the kind you play on, not turn on to, damn it) doing my part to fulfill "The Graduate's" profound prosperity prophecy... "Plastics!" 


              And yeah, I and my whole liberally extended family got involved in the Obama campaign by organizing Citizen Athlete SoccerFests at Robert Morris and Chatham Universities in election year Ought 8 and a Pittsburgh v Persia coed Soccer match at CMU during the G20 to stick it to all things Talibanish.  Currently, as a Mount Lebanon Democratic Party Committeeman, I am of course very busy lickin'  my wounds from the recent midterm election backlashing.

              Now I am semi-retired - and a veteran enumerator for the 2010 census.  I enjoyed my G-man work immensely by the way – wore an Elliot Ness overcoat covering my always at the ready imaginary tommy gun, parked anywhere I damn pleased and made census avoiders scurry like rats into their basements and defiant libertarians spew their bizarre conspiracy theories all over their front porches while peering ever so nervously up to the sky at my hovering black helicopter friends…but I digress.  

Here is one last thingy that just might say it all. 


At one of our dark and stormy late nite editorial gatherings at 916 Middle (of the Northside Universe) Street our blatherings were interrupted by desperate pounding at my front door. There stood a teenage lad in a somewhat catatonic state. His quivering voice asked "are you the community newspaper guys?" We all nodded affirmative and then noticed he was pretty much bleeding to death from gunshot wounds. Got him to Al Gen just in time - he had only minutes according to the doc. He survived and his dad cried as he delivered a thank you basket of booze which of course made me cry.  Memories like this of the Northside make me smile in that maybe we goofballs laying out a funky newspaper could help some dude get 25 years older and wiser and hopefully - living a good life just as we all strive quite ardently to do.


God bless, publish on and pass the mighty pens!

Larry Evans
417 Kurt Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15243

Fw: 4 events. Municipal savings, governance, and business bottom line

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: "Sustainable Pittsburgh" <info@sustainablepittsburgh.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 13:00:38 -0500
To: <undisclosed-recipients>
Subject: 4 events not to miss! Municipal savings, governance, and business bottom line

Upcoming Events (Please scroll down to view each one.)


1. December 1 - On the Road: Sustainable Roads Maintenance, Operations & Technologies

2. December 2 - Issues in Local Government: Community and Legislative Perspectives

3. December 7 - Business Leadership in Managing Energy Usage

4. December 8 - Energy Saving Opportunities in Municipal Buildings & Facilities






On the Road: Sustainable Roads Maintenance, Operations & Technologies

A program of the Sustainable Development Academy

In partnership with the Local Government Academy and Sustainable Pittsburgh in cooperation with the Washington County Commissioners and the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Washington

Wednesday, December 1
9:00 am - Noon
Alpine Room at Alpine Club Lanes, 735 Jefferson Avenue, Washington 15301
Cost: $10. Representatives from Washington County municipalities can attend for free.
More information

Sustainability is an important quality of today’s public works departments. Everything your public works’ directors, foremen and building maintenance personnel do should be done with practices that conserve resources, comply with state and federal regulations, and protect the quality of life in your community. Implementing and enforcing sustainable practices will save your local government money on materials and equipment. You can’t afford to not be sustainable.

Instructors for this program will provide participants with the most up-to-date information on sustainable practices that can be easily implemented in your public works department. Consideration will also be given to state and federal mandates that currently or will soon affect fleet management, street maintenance and other public works functions.

Other topics that will be covered include:
• Fleet Management Practices, including fuel efficiency, emissions regulations and more ways to green your fleet
• Street & Road Operations, such as alternatives for street lights and coordination of traffic signals as a way to save energy

Speakers Include:
• Next Generation Oil
• Fossil Free Fuels
• G.A. Wozniak & Associates
• City of Pittsburgh, Lindsay Baxter

More speakers to be added.

Both the private and public sectors have a responsibility to the communities they serve to ensure that public works departments are implementing sustainable practices that, over time, will save money and protect valuable resources.






Issues in Local Government: Community and Legislative Perspectives

Thursday, December 2
7:30 am - Noon (continental breakfast included)
August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Avenue, downtown Pittsburgh
Free and open to the public; advance registration required
Register here
Invitation letter, signed by Dan Frankel, Grant Oliphant, and Fred Thieman
Draft Agenda
Questions? Contact the Institute of Politics at (412) 624-1837        



Federal, state and local governments are in the midst of an extraordinary financial crisis. Local governments in the Commonwealth will undoubtedly be forced to make difficult decisions on topics such as government reform, consolidated services, expenditure cuts, unfunded mandates, and the constant struggle to maintain revenues. This second forum in a series is designed to facilitate thoughtful and comprehensive discussion of local government challenges and possible methods of confronting them. The program will begin with an overview of findings produced by the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics' Fiscal Policy and Governance Committee's report, "Key Challenges for Local Government," as well as a presentation of the civic engagement work being done through The Pittsburgh Foundation's Allegheny Forum website. State and local elected officials will have the opportunity to comment on the observations and suggestions of both reports.

The following State officials have confirmed that they will be participating: State Senator Dominic Pileggi, State Senator Jay Costa, State Representative Frank Dermody, and State Representative Mike Turzai. Local officials who have confirmed are Beaver County Commissioner Charlie Camp, Perry Township Supervisor A.J. Boni, and Mr. Lebanon Commissioner D. Raja.






Business Leadership in Managing Energy Usage

Presented by: Champions for Sustainability (C4S), a program of Sustainable Pittsburgh, the Business Climate Coalition, and the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative

Tuesday, December 7
8:30 am – 11:30 am
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Place, Oakland 15213
Cost: $25 for C4S/Sustainable Pittsburgh Members; $35 Nonmembers; Students: Special Rate
Breakfast provided
Registration and agenda
For questions and student registration information, please contact: Jake Baechle, BCC Coordinator at (412) 258-6652 or jbaechle@sustainablepittsburgh.org


This event, designed to inspire businesses in Southwestern Pennsylvania, features leading firms that are being proactive in managing how they use energy. Participants will have a chance to interact with a range of internationally-recognized businesses that have demonstrated cost savings and innovative practices in energy measurement and savings. After the interactive panel discussion, participants will gain resources and make connections to enable them to track their energy profiles and cost savings.

Attend this event and learn how to gain a competitive edge through energy efficiency. Everyone is invited to intend. Those who stand to particularly benefit include sustainability professionals; facilities and operations managers/directors; corporate management; partners of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, and members of the region’s business and nonprofit leadership.


Panelists include:

Renee Cowell
Regional Environmental Manager
Del Monte Foods


Lowell Cisowski
Coca Cola


Tom Dingo
Bayer Business and Technology Services
Bayer Corporation  


George Hoguet
Native Energy


Daniel Kreeger
Executive Director
Association of Climate Change Officers


Evolve Architecture


Apple White
Environmental Sustainability
BNY Mellon


Businesses that track and report their energy usage:
· Demonstrate their commitment to sustainability
· Save money by saving energy
· Improve transparency
· Qualify for incentive programs
· Are enabled to set well defined goals
· Reduce legal risk due to a changing regulatory environment
· Build market share
· Take action that illustrate their commitment to best management practice






Energy Saving Opportunities in Municipal Buildings & Facilities

A program of the Sustainable Development Academy
In partnership with the Local Government Academy and Sustainable Pittsburgh in cooperation with the Washington County Commissioners and the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Washington

Wednesday, December 8
9:00 am - Noon
Alpine Room at Alpine Club Lanes, 735 Jefferson Avenue, Washington 15301
Cost: $10. Representatives from Washington County municipalities can attend for free.
More information


An energy audit is the first step in the process of improving the energy efficiency of your municipal buildings. This program will provide you with information on conducting an audit, including developing specifications and a Request for Proposals. Additionally, speakers will also discuss what to expect from the auditing process and how findings can be incorporated.

The program will also demonstrate opportunities to save money through the way power agreements can be constructed as well as funding opportunities available through the power grid supplier and utilities.

A portion of the program will also focus on funding incentives, including those provided for in Act 129, low-interest loans that are available for small businesses to help purchase energy efficient equipment.

Speakers include:
• Bridgeway Capital
• G.A. Wozniak & Associates
• Clear Choice Energy
• Premiere

Please feel free to share this program information with others in your municipality, including public works and building maintenance personnel and finance officers. Additionally, please invite your community’s library staff, as they often face the concept of how to incorporate energy savings practices in older buildings.



Sustainable Pittsburgh

425 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1335

(412) 258-6646

fax (412) 258-6645




Does your municipality have a handle on these and other essentials? 

Safe Streets – Clean Air – Diversity – Green Space – Housing Choices – Transit Options – Balanced Budget – Recent Energy Audit

Participate in a Sustainable Community Rapid Assessment to rate your community!


Sustainable Pittsburgh affects decision-making in the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality bringing sustainable solutions to communities and businesses.

Become a Sustainable Pittsburgh member and simultaneously become a member of Champions for Sustainability (C4S) and the Sustainable Community Development Network (SCDN). These networks build capacity around the region for sustainable business and community solutions. Visit www.sustainablepittsburgh.org  for more information.

 Stay abreast of sustainable development news and events by subscribing to 3E Links, Sustainable Pittsburgh's weekly e-news. To subscribe, reply to info@sustainablepittsburgh.org.

Looking for something to do outside? Visit www.wallsarebad.com for a resource on outdoor recreation in southwestern PA.