Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fwd: [ACA Google Group] Protocol when crashes occur at the track

Chris posted:


I'm sorry to report that there were two crashes at the oval last
night. While I wasn't there first-hand, I understand the officials did
an excellent job of maintaining calm and tending to the injured

I'd like to remind all of our members that when a crash occurs, please
keep the following in mind:
If you're anywhere near the crash, please don't turn your head, slow
or change your line. Just keep moving forward and get away from the
accident as soon as possible.
If you're down, stay down. The officials will do their best to clear
the track or stop the race if necessary. Do not attempt to get off the
track for the sake of the race. No race placement or finish is more
important than rider safety.
If you're tending to an injured rider, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOVE THE
RIDER off the track. Riders should only be moved after it's deemed
safe. The officials or marshals are there to take measures to keep the
riders from any injured parties. Again, no race placement or finish is
more important than the safety of a rider.
The race officials are in charge. Regardless of your experience or
medical background, the race officials are the most qualified to
command the situation. If you think you can help, please work under
the guidance of the race officials to determine how you can help. DO
NOT take it upon yourself to take control. You will only add confusion
and disruption to the race officials responsibilities. Your help, I'm
sure, will be appreciated but too many people attempting to take
charge will cause more harm than good.
If a crash has occurred behind you and you come back around to the
accident, please slow or stop to avoid the riders. It's ridiculous to
think about a race finish when a crash occurs. I can assure you it's
easy to restart the race if necessary.
And lastly, it's very strange to have so many crashes this far into
the season. I believe we've had four or five now in the last few
weeks. Please remember that personal responsibility is critical to
safe racing. Riders jumping out of line, intentionally blocking,
riding outside of their capacities or not maintaining their equipment
can cause accidents. It's understood that bicycle racing is an
inherently dangerous sport. However, some accidents can be easily
avoided by using common sense.

Thank you and let's hope we don't have any more accidents through the
end of the year. The summer picnic is only two weeks away and we
should be celebrating the sport we love.

Chris Popovic
2011 ACA President


Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Libertarians say Obama's Afghanistan policy is a failure

Posted by: "Peace And Prosperity Partners"  

WASHINGTON - Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle responded to President Obama's June 22, 2011, speech with the following comments::

"President Obama's speech was disappointing, but not surprising. The withdrawals he announced are painfully inadequate. Obama's withdrawals, even if they are carried out as he described, will still leave about 70,000 American troops in Afghanistan, probably for years to come. The president is commander-in-chief of the military. He has the power to end the war now, and withdraw all American troops, and that's what he should do."

The U.S. has no business fighting a war in Afghanistan. Nearly three years ago, our Libertarian National Committee adopted a resolution ( withdrawal- resolutions ) calling for the withdrawal of our armed forces from Afghanistan. We are saddened and angry that there are now more troops there than ever."

Obama talked about 'ending the war responsibly. ' I think the word 'responsibly' is a weaselly escape hatch in case Obama doesn't want to withdraw more troops later. He will just say, 'That would be irresponsible -- I need to keep the war going strong.'

"This war causes the Afghan people to justifiably feel a greater hatred toward America. It makes American taxpayers poorer. And it emboldens other would-be aggressors, who can point to American intervention in Afghanistan whenever they feel like doing the same elsewhere."

There are two big winners from the continuation of this war: Our military-industrial complex, which seems to have the president in its back pocket, and the Afghan government, which continues to enjoy tremendous benefits at the expense of the American taxpayer.

If anything, Republican reactions to the president's speech were even more ridiculous than the speech itself. Republican Senator John McCain fretted that this withdrawal was not 'modest' enough. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, feeling the need to criticize Obama despite the fact that they basically agree on everything, complained of an 'arbitrary timetable.' Republican House Speaker John Boehner worried about losing our 'gains' in Afghanistan. All these comments show an inability to comprehend an intelligent, modest foreign policy, as well as a serious lack of respect for American taxpayers.

The Libertarian Party platform includes the following:

International Affairs American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fwd: Ballou Skies Charity Ride - July 9th @ Noon

From: Joe Vallese

Family and Friends -

I wanted to pass along some important information on an upcoming
charity bike ride that that we are currently organizing for July
9th beginning at noon.

If you are not already
aware, for the 2011 triathlon season, I'm not only racing for
myself, but for Ryan Ballou and others that have been afflicted
with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  Since
birth, Ryan has been afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
(DMD), a degenerative muscle disorder that affects all muscles
within the body. There are over 40 different variations with this
type of muscular dystrophy which only affects boys.  It is
sometimes a challenge for Ryan and he always seems to pull
together and deal with whatever test is put in front of him from
this disorder. However, we feel that it should not stop there. Not
only can those afflicted deal with the disease, but together we
can also combat this disease by spreading awareness.  For more
information on the cause, please visit

So if you're free on July 9th, come out for a good time and a good
workout!  This will be our teams second charity ride and the first
ride raised $5000 dollars!   Hopefully we can raise more with this
second ride. This is also a ride for all abilities so dust off the
old Schwinn and come on out for a nice relaxing afternoon ride!

Even if you do not ride a bicycle or the mileage is a little
daunting,  you can still join us afterward for lunch and
refreshments. We are looking for as many riders as possible and
our goal is to get 50-100 riders in total.   Please forward this
email and please let others who may be interested know about this
event.  It will be a nice day filled with fun, friends, and good

We have two ride courses. A 25 mile course and a more challenging
50 mile course.

50 mile course route -
25 mile course route -

Old Economy Cafe
1198 Merchant Street
Ambridge, PA

We will raise funds by asking those attending to make a $25.00
donation to BallouSkies.  You can also help support Ballou Skies
by picking up a container of Ballou Skies Peanut Butter that can
be found at most Giant Eagle Stores through out the Greater
Pittsburgh area.

PS - Even if you cannot make it out to the event, you can always
donate to the Ballou Skies Chairity through the website or by making out a check to "Ballou
Skies".  If you'd like to send a check, you can send it (made out
to Ballou Skies...not me) to 148b Foxwood rd Coraopolis PA 15108
and I will make sure it gets in the right hands.

Thanks again for all of your continued support!

Shoeless Joe!


Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

Fw: Fwd: Ballou Skies Charity Ride - July 9th @ Noon

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Joe Vallese <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 18:33:37 -0400
Subject: Fwd: Ballou Skies Charity Ride - July 9th @ Noon

Family and Friends -

I wanted to pass along some important information on an upcoming charity bike ride that that we are currently organizing for July 9th beginning at noon. 

If you are not already aware, for the 2011 triathlon season, I'm not only racing for myself, but for Ryan Ballou and others that have been afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).  Since birth, Ryan has been afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a degenerative muscle disorder that affects all muscles within the body. There are over 40 different variations with this type of muscular dystrophy which only affects boys.  It is sometimes a challenge for Ryan and he always seems to pull together and deal with whatever test is put in front of him from this disorder. However, we feel that it should not stop there. Not only can those afflicted deal with the disease, but together we can also combat this disease by spreading awareness.  For more information on the cause, please visit

So if you're free on July 9th, come out for a good time and a good workout!  This will be our teams second charity ride and the first ride raised $5000 dollars!   Hopefully we can raise more with this second ride. This is also a ride for all abilities so dust off the old Schwinn and come on out for a nice relaxing afternoon ride!

Even if you do not ride a bicycle or the mileage is a little daunting,  you can still join us afterward for lunch and refreshments. We are looking for as many riders as possible and our goal is to get 50-100 riders in total.   Please forward this email and please let others who may be interested know about this event.  It will be a nice day filled with fun, friends, and good food!

We have two ride courses. A 25 mile course and a more challenging 50 mile course.

50 mile course route -
25 mile course route -

Old Economy Cafe
1198 Merchant Street
Ambridge, PA

We will raise funds by asking those attending to make a $25.00 donation to BallouSkies.  You can also help support Ballou Skies by picking up a container of Ballou Skies Peanut Butter that can be found at most Giant Eagle Stores through out the Greater Pittsburgh area.

PS - Even if you cannot make it out to the event, you can always donate to the Ballou Skies Chairity through the website or by making out a check to "Ballou Skies".  If you'd like to send a check, you can send it (made out to Ballou Skies...not me) to 148b Foxwood rd Coraopolis PA 15108 and I will make sure it gets in the right hands.

Thanks again for all of your continued support!

Shoeless Joe!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dress Code of Student Athletes

In light of the numerous discussion we had during the past year about
things that could be done with next to no well as how our
students are perceived...please read the following story and realize
the issue is problematic across all levels of competition among
student/athletes...and there's always someone able to make an excuse!

Hat tip to J.T.

Fw: You're Right. AT&T Is Wrong.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: "Timothy Karr," <>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 16:15:49 +0000
To: Mark Rauterkus<>
ReplyTo: "Timothy Karr," <>
Subject: You're Right. AT&T Is Wrong.

Free Press Action Fund

Defeat AT&T's Lies: Donate Today

Dear Mark,

You were just dissed by AT&T.

After tens of thousands of Free Press activists told the FCC to oppose AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile, one of the company's top lobbyists had the gall to tell the media that our opinions don't matter.

Can you believe it? Nine out of every 10 people commenting to the FCC are against the mega-merger, and the higher prices and lack of choices it would force upon us. You have been so successful in protesting this bad deal that now AT&T is attacking you.

Donate $20 to help us convince Washington that you're right and AT&T is wrong.

AT&T has become so desperate to spin this merger as good for Americans that it's resorting to lies, bribery and deception:

  1. When pressed about the overwhelming public opposition to the merger, AT&T lobbyist Bob Quinn said, "It's not a public opinion poll," and that our comments don't matter!1
  2. AT&T has pressured not-for-profit groups that collectively receive $62 million in funding from the company to sign form letters in support of the merger, despite strong opposition from their members.2
  3. When Free Press confronted AT&T with indisputable evidence that the gobbling up of a competitor will result in fewer choices, not more, AT&T doubled down on its lie, claiming that we were "long on rhetoric and short on substance."3

It's clear that AT&T can't win approval of this deal by telling the truth. That's why it spent more than $200 million on lobbyists and campaign contributions over the years — to get Washington to look the other way and do whatever AT&T says.

This deception has to stop. I urge you to donate $20 to support our newest push to expose AT&T's lies and educate more people about the harms of this mega-merger.

Here's a glimpse of what we're working on:

Our online communications team is developing a video series lampooning AT&T's laughable distortions.

Our policy team is preparing a report to the FCC that extensively debunks AT&T's crazy claims about the benefits of this deal.

Our research team is uncovering the AT&T money behind the organizations that signed Astroturf letters.

Our web team is designing online graphics to explain how this merger would hand far too much control to one company.

We need your support to make it all happen. No contribution is too small. Already the media have begun to cast doubt on the deal and to question whether we should let AT&T become the gatekeeper to the mobile Internet.

By giving as little as $20, you can help us gain the upper hand.

Thank you,

Timothy Karr
Campaign Director 
Free Press Action Fund

1. AT&T claims that its FCC filing will stress broad support for T-Mobile merger, AdWeek:

2. "Is AT&T Buying Nonprofit Support for T-Mobile Merger?" Politico:

3. "AT&T Wireless: Less competition means... lower prices?" Consumer Reports:

Free Press Action Fund is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Learn more at

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fwd: cityLIVE! 37 - Moving People, Not Cars - TONIGHT, Monday

Have you ever thought you'd like to ride your bike to work, but it
seems too dangerous? Do you wonder what life would be like if your
children could walk to school, and you wouldn't have to drive them?
Do you admire cities like New York, with its miles of city bike lanes,
or Paris, with its 20,000 bikes to rent? Do you hate the fact that
you need to drive your bike to a good trail? Would you like to live
in a city that is built for people, not cars?

On June 13, Gil Peñalosa will show us how! Mr. Peñalosa is the
executive director of 8-80 Cities, and a founder of the famous Bogotá,
Colombia Ciclovia event. He is an internationally renowned livable
city expert dedicated to the transformation of cities into places
where people can walk, bike, access public transit and visit vibrant
parks and public places. What does 8-80 Cities stand for? Cities
which are accessible to everyone, from 8 to 80 years old.

We'll have some local experts on hand to answer any questions you have
that are particular to Pittsburgh. They include Scott Bricker,
executive director of Bike Pittsburgh; Robert Hampshire, assistant
professor of Operations Research and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon
University; Lynn Heckman, assistant director of Transportation
Initiatives, Allegheny County Economic Development; Patrick Roberts,
principal transportation planner for the City of Pittsburgh, and
Darija Wiswell with Allegheny County's Health Department.

Be there or be square.

And a very big thank you to Traffic21/CMU
<> and the Hillman
Foundation for supporting this event, and bicycling!

cityLIVE! airs every Monday night at 7 pm
on Comcast Channel 21,
Verizon Channel 47 and at PCTV <>


Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

How to fix PPS, IMHO.

Plenty of new evaluation and pondering is being put forth by others now in terms of our schools. So as to aid in this global conversations, here is my two cents.

My solution for Pittsurgh Public Schools calls for a "horizontal cut." Then re-slice with vertical cuts by region of the city for the younger grades. So, in the end, what is now one PPS for grades pre-K to 12 would become at least four distinct school districts.

Face it, as of now, PPS is too big. It is too remote and big for any hopes of accountability for the families. And, PPS has a board and adminisration with too many different challenges.

The fix, cut it up. But how he cuts happen is important to this plan and the eventual success of the city's educational landscape.

PPS stays but turns into a district just for grades 9 and older. Include 13th grade and adult education, plus community enrichment. Kids from all around the city would be able to go to any high school in the city as the borders of PPS do not change. Raher the scope of PPS changes as it gets a new focus for students of High School and older ages.

Then, make new K-8 school districts by region. I am flexible as to how many districts to craft and where the borders should reside as well as what to name them. Perhaps, for the sake of this illustration we call for the establishment of: Pgh K-8 Northern, Pgh K-8 Western, Pgh K-8 Southern, and Pgh K-8 Eastern.

Each district has its own elected board. Each has its own budgets, tax base, adminisrations and options to merge services or not with each other.

At present, voters in Pittsburgh elect 9 to the school board. With this new solution, each household would elect two board members as one would be devoted to the stewardship of K-8 grades and the other would be on the board with a focus on High Schools.

As a whole, rather than 9, Pittsburgh would have 36 new, elected, accountable board members for a total of 45. These are volunteers. None get paid. All have a duty to set policy for the administration to follow and carry out.

We need more oversight. We need more eyes watching smaller realms of operations. We need more engagement. We need more direction from those who live here, and those who pay the bills.

Most of all, we need more confidence that our students are not falling in between the cracks of a massive district that is out of control and can shaft whole chunks of students at a blink of an eye.

Our present PPS board does not worry about Vo Tech nor HS sports much because it is so over taken with other issues. They have so much on their plates that closing a school, such as Oliver High School (it could be the next school on the chopping block) happens with one 15 minute discussion.

As a clincher to the long term vision of this plan, I think, in the decade to come, it would be wise to some how, some way stage a merger with new PPS (focus of education for those beyond the 8th grade) and CCAC. Interaction among those associated with PPS and CCAC branches is not as fruitful as I expect. There is plenty to do and talk about when thinking about the systems and CCAC too.
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peabody Swim Pool, home of our Summer Dreamers 2011 Swim and Water Polo Camp

Camp begins on July 11, 2011. We'll have an afternoon Swim and Water Polo Camp that runs for nearly five weeks and meets from 12:30 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Also, the morning has a 90-minute session as well. And, about 20 kids are doing both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Peabody, now it is only a building as the school is history

Don't should-a upon yourself.

A blast from the past from a community meeting in 2009 about the fate of Peabody High School.

Fathers deserve some extra credit from city schools

Fathers deserve some extra credit from city schools: "Fathers deserve some extra credit from city schools"
Then comes the five comments from the other article, linked to from the New Pittsburgh Courier:

Better Leadership

written by Evans , June 06, 2011

The bottom line is Linda Lane is scared of her shadow. This superintendent has been too busy mananging risks and retrenching programs to think about innovative ways to better our district. This district supposeldy prides itself on implementing evidence based practices, so how in the world is cutting out a day that brings thousands of parents into school buildings across the district for the good of our children? Research shows that students with engaged parents do far better than than those who's parents aren't enagged (like we needed research to know that). So why the fear Dr. Lane? Why not figuire out how to capture that energy and turn it into a positive for the schools? Invite men into help with cerical work, ask us to come in and read to the students, etc. Set up a system for more of us to get clearances...we'll pay for it just help us through the process. This is poor thinking from a leader who should be fixated on bolstering student achievement. Stop being scared to innovate Dr. Lane. Save our children's futures and invite us into the process.

Fathers get no respect.

written by Robert W. Flanagan, June 05, 2011
73% of black families are made up of single mothers, WOW. About 21.5 million children have never seen or know who their father is. Pittsburgh is number 2 in having the most families with single mothers and we are moving up the list in having the most young black murder. These facts alone should scare us in trying to have father's include in our kids lives. I have went to many different graduation from Wilkins burg, Penn Hills and Westinghouse and the bottom line is the lack of black men aka step fathers, real father or just black men as role models there at the graduations. With major cut backs and education being put on the back burner, why is it that issue the main topic? The Pittsburgh Promise is prime example, with young black women graduating at a all time high, young black men are either drop outs, incarcerated or DEAD, so who does the Pittsburgh Promise benefit. Most of our young black men are on the corner looking or selling drugs to older black men, but we want to criticize the bring a father to school day. This is the reason I say that older black men (fathers) and older black women (mothers) are having problems, we are so divided. The nerve to say that why don't mothers have a bring a mom to school day, we all know how mothers involved, so the need for this day is essential, important and necessary. We need to stop arguing with each other and look out for the best interest in the kids. Just this week Shaquille O'Neal retired, he is working on his Doctorate and thanks no his real dad, but his stepdad, DADS can play a role in kids life. As a dad i am appalled with these comments and you are just feeding into the stereotyped that black men have to dead with. Why is being a good father so hard??

written by ellima, June 03, 2011

This is a great program and I hope it will continue, in spite of minor obstacles.

Big Ball of Confusion!!!!

written by Renee Aldrich, June 02, 2011
If what Superintendent Lane says in her letter is true, that there is no participation from these dads at any other time of year, and that they are not involved in their children's school/education/activities at school any other time; (and 5000 of them participated this year) her comments alone seem like justification to HAVE THE DAY.. that is if school administrators' teachers, and counselors REALLY believe a father's role in a childs education is important. and REALLY WANT TO SEE THE CHILDREN BENEFIT. I BELIEVE rather than complain about THE DAD'S lack of participation at any other time throughout the year and use it as a reason to 'attack' this event that brings them out--Perhaps they should look to adding MORE DAYS for dads. Yes, I suppose it isn't easy..Uhh so what, do the work it takes to manage all those issues you are concerned about, like custody, and whatever. I'd also like to add at the same time, i feel it is ludicrious and over the top that Board Member Brentley would recommend a 'day for moms'. Excuse me, did he not start this because Dads were overlooked in so many aspects of their children's lives??? This entire matter is very confusing. You got the superintendent lambasting the day for bring out all these dads, because they don't participate any other time; and you got the gentlemen with the foresight to start this ball rolling because fathers don't get the forums that moms get, now trying to add yet another level of capacity for 'moms'. Something is turning quite convoluted with this... it really is

written by Undisclosed, June 02, 2011

Sounds like some bull to me. There must be to many of them showing up, they probably thought that these kids fathers didnt care and wouldnt be there, now its a problem.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fw: good videos on Ron Paul for President in New Hampshire

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Mike Benoit <>
Sender: Mike Benoit <>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 23:56:00 GMT
To: <>
Subject: good videos on Ron Paul for President in New Hampshire

Presidential candidate Ron Paul in tv town hall interview in NH. Check it out I am sure you will be impressed and then join the San Diego Ron Paul for President meetup. See the links below.
Part 2
Mike Benoit

Road Cycling League - Results: Tour of Mt. Nebo

Erik Rauterkus listed as 22nd out of 36 in his first ever road race finish. He raced in Cat 4.
Road Cycling League - Results: Tour of Mt. Nebo: "22 432 Erik Rauterkus Team Citius"

Fw: NASA Swimming Announces The "Greatest Coaches Clinic On Earth"

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 12:58:58 -0400 (EDT)
To: <>
Subject: NASA Swimming Announces The "Greatest Coaches Clinic On Earth"

Hello Coaches,
We are pleased to announce that the National Age Group Swimming Association, along with Speedo and All-American Aquatics will be sponsoring "The Greatest Coaches Clinic On Earth", Wednesday through Saturday, August 24-27, 2011 at the Marriott Suites on Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, Florida.
The "The Greatest Coaches Clinic On Earth" will feature some of the top club coaches and swimming experts in history, past and present.  Speakers already scheduled include Randy Reese, Eddie Reese, John Morse, Mike DeBoor, Chris Davis, Tim Bauer, Glenn Mills, Rachel Stratton-Mills, John Ivy, Dick Jochums, Keith Dickson and Debbie Meyer.  We have many more that will be announced in the next couple of weeks.
The clinic each coach the opportunity to have fun and learn from the best in an intimate setting at a beautiful venue.  Furthermore, the cost of the"The Greatest Coaches Clinic On Earth"  is very affordable and the date is very user friendly to coaches that would like to start practice on the last Monday in August or the first week of September.
"The Greatest Coaches Clinic On Earth" topics are applicable to what the majority of age group and high school swimming coaches are looking for by giving them relevant information and tools on how to coach and develop their athletes.
Please click here to download a pdf copy of the flyer (10 pages).
We hope you can join us in Clearwater!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Libertarians -- and Gay Pride Week in Pittsburgh

Have a great weekend!
Libertarians say marriage equality only one step toward ending legal discrimination | Libertarian Party: "Libertarians say marriage equality only one step toward ending legal discrimination

While supporting steps taken over the past several years to end the unequal treatment of gays in the area of marriage, Libertarians say a just society is one in which no law depends on one's sexual identity.

'Permitting couples to marry when they are of the same gender is a step in the direction of equality before the law, but a truly free society would not have government in the business of defining relationships at all,' said LP Chair Mark Hinkle. 'Frankly, the idea that someone's legal rights should depend on whether they've entered a government-approved relationship ought to be repugnant to all of us.'"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Fw: DR News: Size matters, but how much?

The real solution, in my humble opinion, is to get rid of all the staffers. That is where the dead weight resides mostly. That is where bonusgate lurks and lurked. That is here folks like Jane Orie gets her muscle.

Furhermore, the staffers make the elected ones look beter than they really are. Where would we be with Rep from NY if a staffer did all his tweets?

Finally, the elected ones are the accountable ones. He or she should do the work. The work includes making laws and voting for bills. Too many other things are done by those legislatie critters because the staff allows the mission creep to unfold. A one person office won't be able to over-reach, take too much time with lobby junkets, nor dish out ribbons and trinkets at taxpayers expense.

Mark R.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Democracy Rising PA <>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2011 15:10:29 -0400 (EDT)
To: <>
Subject: DR News: Size matters, but how much?

Democracy Rising Pennsylvania


Size matters, but how much?

Between budget updates, one particular constitutional issue keeps surfacing: the size of PA's General Assembly.

There now are eight different bills (listed with links below) that would begin the three-to-four-year process of amending the PA Constitution, which currently provides for 50 state senators and 203 state representatives. Click here  and scroll to Section 16.

Among the eight bills, there are proposals to reduce the Senate to as few as 30 members and the House of Representatives to as few as 121 members. Most proposals have effective dates of 2021, following the next census in 2020, but two proposals draw out the process to 2053.

Much of the interest comes from the recognition that PA has the largest full-time legislature in America with the largest complement of full-time legislative staff. This gives rise to two motives among the bills' sponsors.

One is efficiency. This is the stated goal of the proposal by House Speaker Sam Smith, Jefferson, who proposes a House consisting of 153 members while leaving the Senate unchanged. Smith's stated reason for his proposals is that a smaller number of representatives would be easier for legislative leaders to manage.

The other motive is saving tax dollars. Half of the proposals include mandates for cutting the budgets of the House and Senate by 20% or 40%, depending on how many seats are cut from each chamber.

No proposal includes an idea that is being discussed across the Commonwealth: eliminating one chamber or the other. This is not a new idea either in the United States or in PA. In 1776, the Commonwealth's original Constitution included only one legislative chamber. Benjamin Franklin in particular believed in a unicameral legislature. The Senate was not added until years later.

Nationally, Nebraska eliminated its state Senate during the Great Depression. It is the only state with a unicameral legislature.

Also missing from any of the proposals is the question of how many constituents each member of the General Assembly should represent. This may be the most important, if not the easiest, question to answer.

The trick is to strike the right balance between having legislators represent enough people to be efficient but not so many that citizens cannot develop a relationship with their state lawmakers. Complicating the discussion is whether the internet has made communication so easy that it can substitute for face-to-face relationships and thereby increase the number of constituents each lawmaker can serve effectively.

Here's the list of bills. Unless otherwise stated, the proposals would take effect in 2021.

  1. SB 269  (Pippy). House = 161, Senate = 40. Mandatory 20% cut in House and Senate budgets.
  2. SB 457  (Vogel). House = 131, Senate = 30. Mandatory 40% cut in House and Senate budgets.
  3. SB 952  (Argall). House = 153 in 2053; Senate = 45 in 2033. Also increases the length of House terms to four years. No mandatory budget cuts.
  4. SB 1079  (Schwank). House = 121; Senate = 40. No mandatory budget cuts.
  5. HB 153  (Smith, S.). House = 153. No reduction in Senate. No mandatory budget cuts.
  6. HB 183  (Godshall). House = 121; Senate = 30. Mandatory 40% cut in House and Senate budgets.
  7. HB 876  (Kauffman). House = 153 in 2053. No reduction in Senate. No mandatory budget cuts.
  8. HB 936  (Reese). House = 151; Senate = 40. Mandatory 20% cut in House and Senate budgets.

None of these proposals has received a hearing in the State Government committees of the House or Senate.

The variety of ideas and approaches to this subject make it ripe for debate at a Constitution convention. This is as it should be.

The size of the General Assembly is a matter for the people of PA to decide, not lawmakers. A Constitution convention is the best place to debate all of the options and issues, leading to a recommendation for citizens to accept or reject after the convention.

While each of the proposals above require voters to ratify them by referendum, it is not enough to give the House and Senate exclusive control over what goes on the ballot. Too many ideas will receive no hearing at all in the legislature, even if lawmakers pass one of the proposals.

It's time instead to let the people decide whether to have a Constitution convention by placing a referendum on the ballot this fall. House Bill 763  by Rep. Scott Conklin, Centre, is the best approach. Now is the time to pass it. Click here  to sign the petition for a referendum.


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Rs in PA have it wrong. Prevention is too costly this time. Rather, make some efforts to punish the cheaters.

Sadly, the Republicans in Pennsylvania are pushing for this as a position plank:
Protect Voter Rights – Photo ID and Election Day Operations
We have taken active steps to restore integrity in the election process and prevent voter fraud by creating a dynamic rapid-repsonse team that can be dispatched to solve legal issues on Election Day and ensure that every vote counts, but only once. We also support "Photo ID" legislation which requires all voters to present government-issued photo identification at the polling place.
Here is a case where it is a ton of work for the prevention and only ounces for the cure. The age old twist in logic happens.

Catch a few of the cheaters and toss them in jail for 10 years.

There is next to nothing done when folks scam the system of democracy. If you get caught voting twice, go to jail for 10 years. If you put names onto an absentee ballot that isn't yours, go to jail. If you get dead people to sign nomination papers for candidates to get onto the ballot, go to jail.

Fraud in the voting realm is never punished and seldom caught.

Start with this simple measure: Point those red-light cameras and security cameras that are watching bridges and airport travelers and have them view the voters enter and exit the polling places. A simple security camera that they use at 7-11 or in a school can be obtained for election days. All that video can be put into the public domain. Then people will think twice about going into multiple places to vote.

99% Satisfaction

Pennsylvania's education secretary says there's something wrong with a system of rating teachers and principals that gives 99 percent of them "satisfactory" scores.

Secretary Ron Tomalis said Wednesday the results from the 2009-10 school year have him concerned the ratings may have little relevance to what happens in the classroom.

He says the current system makes it very difficult to rank an educator as unsatisfactory, and he's calling for an overhaul.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, says many teachers who get a second unsatisfactory evaluation resign rather than go through dismissal procedures.

Black & White Reunion Cookout

The Black & White Reunion Cookout/Fundraiser
Date: Saturday July 9, 2011
Time: 11 am -7 pm
Location: Schenley Park – Overlook Shelter
Food - Family Fun – Games

Join The Black & White Reunion for this cookout fundraiser in support of the Alliance for Police Accountability and the Johnny Gammage Scholarship. We ask each person to bring a donation of $5 or $15/family to help support the fight against racism and police brutality.

For more information on this event and how you can get involved please visit Or

Twitter in the classroom in East LA

CNN did a nice bit with a teacher who asks students to bring in their own technology for everyday classroom work.

The final statement of the segment talks of Twitter teaching the students at 140 chars at a time. Frankly, that seems wrong. Twitter is not so much the teacher but rather a new communication avenue to and from the teachers, students and community. Twitter isn't teaching just as WWI isn't teaching. It is a subject area but as far as housekeeping, i.e., remember to put in the hash-tags. The teaching comes from the teacher, mostly. The teaching comes from the students themselves, as always. That's self discovery, self expression, self growth.

I think we need to get rid of the hard, fast rules of NO CELL PHONES ALWAYS. There is a time and a place for everything, generally.

Now, we need to go back to CNN and tweet that the broadcast news folks are making a huge mistake by taking away the voice of Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico. CNN isn't letting him onto the debate stage in New Hampshire even when he is a candidate.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Share the road

I would like to thank the local media for the immediate and continued coverage with respect to the two cyclists who were hit by a coward driving recklessly on Memorial Day. This driver's lack of action is reprehensible: Rather than be a responsible citizen, the driver chose to leave the scene of an accident without learning if the cyclists were injured or dead. Seemingly, the driver did not much care.

Motorists have a "privilege" to be on the road and are "required" to share the road with cyclists. Before yelling obscenities or writing letters to the editor, please familiarize yourself with the PennDOT Drivers Manual. Chapter III, Page 46 confirms that a "bicyclist has the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as you."

I understand there are plenty of bike riders who are not obeying the rules of the road and they give a bad rap to cyclists who do obey the law, just as a driver who mows down two cyclists with no apparent regard for their lives gives a bad rap to motorists.

Cyclists, please respect drivers and ride safely; use appropriate hand signals, be courteous and visible.

Drivers, please remember that cyclists have the same rights as other motorists and the obligation to follow the same rules of the road. Also, it is "illegal" to force cyclists off the road. I know some people like to see how close they can come to hitting a cyclist, but remember, that person also has family and friends, and I am fairly confident you do not want to kill someone because you think he or she is in your way.

Let's all remember that cyclists are not going anywhere and are increasing in numbers. Both camps need to understand and respect the rights of each other. We need to ride in harmony.

Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen

Read more:

Critics in Education for Broad, and PPS has em too

Bills to End Teacher Strikes Introduced in Harrisburg, AI Policy Brief

Policy Brief

An electronic publication of

The Allegheny Institute for Public Policy

June 8, 2011 Volume 11, Number 33

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more:” A Shakespearian cry from Henry the Fifth urging soldiers to take advantage of an important military opportunity that could soon be lost. And so it is that Representatives Metcalfe and Rock are proposing a package of bills that would outlaw teacher strikes and impose sizable monetary penalties for teachers who violate the no-strike statute.

Such bills have been proposed before and have yet to come close to becoming law. But now the Republicans have a significant majority in the House and Pennsylvanians have grown weary of the spectacle of teacher strikes, the disruption they create and the imbalance of negotiating leverage strikes and threats of strikes give to the unions. This is perhaps the most favorable opportunity to pass such legislation that has been seen in Pennsylvania and it is an opportunity that could slip away in a short period of time.

As we have reported on several occasions, Pennsylvania led the nation in teacher strikes for the decade ending in 2010. Indeed, during much of that period Pennsylvania accounted for half of all teacher strikes in the country. Only 13 states allow strikes and only three—Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois—have had substantial numbers of strikes. From 2000 to 2007, Pennsylvania recorded 82 strikes. Ohio was a distant second with 23. There were only 137 strikes across the nation.

Meanwhile, 37 states plus the District of Columbia do not allow strikes although there are rare occasions when illegal strikes have occurred in a handful on no-strike states; Indiana and Massachusetts for instance each had one. Counted among the states with no-strike laws are all but one of Pennsylvania’s closest neighbors; Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and West Virginia. Ohio alone has permitted strikes, but in legislation signed by the Governor in March the right to strike has been eliminated. Undoubtedly, legal challenges to the legislation will be forthcoming.

In New England only Vermont permits teacher strikes. Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut prohibit teacher strikes. In short, Pennsylvania’s opponents of no-strike laws cannot appeal to the actions of its neighboring states or the generally liberal northeastern states to make a case that strikes are necessary to protect teachers and their compensation.

In declaring their strong opposition to the strike banning legislation, the PSEA (the state’s largest teachers union) is quoted as arguing the legislation will; single out teachers, tip the balance in favor of school boards, increase the pay gap between educators and other professionals, and be punitive. And then in the piece de resistance, the PSEA spokesperson said, apparently with a straight face, “Teachers don’t like strikes any more than the rest of the community.”

Consider these extraordinarily weak arguments in turn.

1) The law singles out teachers. Correct. That’s because it aims to stop teacher strikes. Schools cannot or have not been able to operate when teachers are on the picket line. A walkout by lunch room staff can be dealt with. But, if the teachers are saying “broaden the bill to include all school employees and we can support it”, then by all means the language should be extended to cover all school employees. That should not take very long.

2) The law would tip the balance in favor of the school board. That raises an important question: Who should the balance of power favor? The school board represents the interests of students, taxpayers and employees. Since the taxpayers are paying for the schools should they not have an equal or greater voice and influence in the financial decisions of the schools? Boards must also consider the welfare and educational progress of students. That means they must have ultimate control of curriculum and significant management authority regarding work rules, etc. How is it possible that so many states seem to get along just fine with no threat of strikes hanging over school boards?

3) The pay gap between teachers and other professionals will increase. That is an assertion and not an established fact. Besides, on an hourly rate basis, Pennsylvania teachers already make more than many white-collar employees. And in any case, professionals who make more than teachers in a market driven economy are the beneficiaries of their own productivity and value as determined by what employers can afford and are willing to pay. Supply and demand in a free competitive market works. On the other hand, in a public school monopoly setting with a union on one side and a school board on the other, compensation is not determined by competitive forces. The union has enormous non-market power because the schools are required by law to provide 180 days of education per school year and school age children are required by statute to attend, with punishments for parents if they do not. With teachers having the legal authority to strike, these statutory education requirements create an intolerable imbalance of negotiating power in favor of the unions.

4) The law is punitive to teachers. Any law that proscribes an activity and carries penalties for violations of that law by definition has a punitive component. But arguing that the law is punitive in the sense that outlawing strikes will impose a punishment on teachers is fatuous. No-striking would be a condition of employment. Only in a world where one believes the right to strike any employer, public or private, is a basic right that supersedes all other economic rights of all other citizens is it possible to argue that taking a way the right to strike is punitive. Sadly, there are many who live in that world. But it is not a sustainable world—at least not for long periods.

5) Teachers don’t like strikes any more than the rest of the community. This is a prima facie case of self-delusion, assuming the spokesperson actually believes the statement. If teachers disliked strikes as much as the taxpayers who must cough up the money for their pay and benefits or the parents and students who are greatly inconvenienced by the strikes, strikes would never happen, period. Teachers don’t dislike strikes. They relish them. It is their way of exercising the power they feel they so richly deserve. Besides, what’s not to like from their viewpoint? There is no loss of pay in a strike as is the case in private sector work stoppages. The 180 days have to be made up somehow through cancelling holidays and days off for students or prolonging the school year—so teachers who strike will get paid in full for the school year’s contract amount. No down side for them. Little wonder the Commonwealth is the perennial national teacher strike leader. Moreover, just the threat of a strike can do marvelous things to get school board members in an obsequious state of mind come bargaining time.

All things considered, the new legislation from Metcalfe and Rock is thoroughly justified and certainly long overdue for adoption into law by the General Assembly. The legislation’s opponents have no credible arguments. They are best described as self-serving and not convincing. To be sure however, the union’s political clout in the past has been the determining factor in Pennsylvania’s failure to join the overwhelming majority of states in banning teacher strikes. Perhaps a new day is dawning.

Jake Haulk, Ph.D., President

For updates and commentary on daily issues please visit our blog at If you have enjoyed reading this Policy Brief and would like to send it to a friend, please feel free to forward it to them. For more information on this and other topics, please visit our web site: If you wish to support our efforts please consider becoming a donor to the Allegheny Institute. The Allegheny Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are tax deductible. Please mail your contribution to:

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Any solution will have to address the illegal gun flow that puts powerful weapons in the hands of dangerous people. Unfortunately, state and federal lawmakers don't have the backbone these days to tighten state or federal laws and curb even illicit firearms. Education programs, job training and the hope of opportunity for black youths also must be part of the mix, but those elements are beyond the power or control of a city police chief.

Nate Harper's biggest contribution toward putting a brake on the tragic monotony of black-on-black homicide could be his willingness to shine a light on the problem and his openness to try things that could work in Pittsburgh.

Fwd: RenewPittsburgh: Deloitte Impact Day in Sheraden and Esplen, Friday June 10th!

Dear friends:

We are very pleased to announce that RenewPittsburgh is joining
forces with Deloitte in managing their annual IMPACT Day this Friday,
June 10th.  We have been working over the past few months with
residents and community leaders in Sheraden and Esplen, and have
organized a dozen
exciting projects for 350 Deloitte volunteers to make a lasting impact
in these great Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Sheraden Community Coffee Shop (future site), 1009 Adon Street
Sheraden Skate Park, Tuxedo Street
Sheraden Swimming Pool (reopens June 16th), Adon Street
McGonagle Field, end of Allendale St.
Sheraden Senior Center, 720 Sherwood Ave.
Schaeffer Intermediate School, 3128 Allendale Street
Re-Paint Boarded-Up Buildings, Sheraden
Real Estate Appraisal, Sheraden
Esplen Vacant Lot Conversions, Esplen
Goodwill Plaza, 612 Hillsboro Street
West End Library, 47 Wabash Avenue
Sheraden Library, 720 Sherwood Avenue

If you would like to volunteer this Friday, please contact
RenewPittsburgh at 412-404-6630 or email me at

Best regards,

Kevin Acklin
Executive Director

350 Deloitte Volunteers to Converge on Sheraden and Esplen June 10

June 10, 2011 – Big 4 accounting and consulting firm Deloitte LLP
will help give Sheraden and Esplen an extreme makeover on June 10 by
spearheading 12 community service projects for the west-end
neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh.

About 350 Deloitte volunteers will help create an upscale
community-based coffee house in the heart of Sheraden, help usher the
re-opening of the Sheraden swimming pool, refurbish a neighborhood
little league park, convert vacant lots and re-paint vacant
properties, and provide  consultation and recreational activities to
senior citizens, among many other efforts.

It's all part of IMPACT Day, Deloitte's national day of community
service.  Across the country on June 10 about 35,000 Deloitte
employees will support more than 800 non-profit service projects in 70

"Instead of holding different projects across the entire city, we
chose to focus our efforts into one community, which will have greater
impact," said Bob Denove, managing partner of Deloitte's Pittsburgh
office, who noted that last year the office focused on the South Side.
"We feel our efforts can start the process of creating long-lasting
change to Sheraden and Esplen, communities
that are rich in culture and history to Pittsburgh."

In planning its IMPACT Day approach for Pittsburgh, Deloitte
teamed up with RenewPittsburgh, Inc., a non-profit organization
working to revitalize the city's neighborhoods.

Executive Director Kevin Acklin and his team worked for several
months to engage the community and help Deloitte plan a series of
projects that could produce the most benefit to Sheraden and Esplen.

"We appreciate that Deloitte is being strategic with its
community service efforts, wanting to contribute to projects that can
increase the quality of life for residents in the Sheraden and Esplen
neighborhoods," said Acklin.  "At a time when we are focused on
improving volunteerism in our city, it's also revealing that Deloitte
is donating both manual labor and their skills as
business consultants and advisors – it underscores that companies have
a variety of ways to give back to our city."

All projects are being guided by the leadership of City
Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, the Sheraden Community Council and
the Sheraden Kiwanis Community Foundation.

With the Sheraden Community Coffee Shop project, about 40
Deloitte volunteers will refurbish the exterior of a run-down
structure as part of a broader effort to transform the building into a
community-based coffee shop.  The effort will be in conjunction with
Project Coffeehouse, a non-profit agency working to enliven
neighborhoods by launching coffee shops as a place to foster
and business development.

At Sheraden Swimming Pool, 25 Deloitte employees will repaint and
provide landscaping to the parking lot, in anticipation for a June
16threopening after being closed for several years.

At McGonagle Field, volunteers will paint the dugouts and
bleachers and repair the fencing in getting the facility ready for
Sheraden's little league baseball team.

And in demonstrating the range of Deloitte's approach to
volunteerism (brawn and brains), about 25 Deloitte business advisors
will provide free financial consultation to residents of Sheraden
Senior Center, including advice related to taxes and estate planning.

Another 40 Deloitte professionals will also conduct a detailed
assessment of houses and real estate properties in Sheraden, ranking
each property according to its condition.  The information will help
real estate agents in promoting home and business ownership in
Sheraden while giving the City of Pittsburgh a list of unsalvageable
properties to be demolished.

IMPACT Day Fact Sheet

IMPACT Day is an annual celebration of Deloitte's year-round
commitment to volunteerism.
This year marks Deloitte's 12thAnnual IMPACT Day.
On IMPACT Day, all of Deloitte's 50,000+ personnel are
encouraged to participate in about 800community service projects in
more than 70 communities. Each volunteer project is organized by local
Deloitte personnel to meet the needs of the nonprofit it supports.
IMPACT Day is unique among corporate volunteer days in that, in
addition to doing lots of traditional volunteerism, we also offer the
skills and innovative thinking of our people to help nonprofits deal
with their strategic, operational and financial challenges.
Approximately one-third of Deloitte's IMPACT Day volunteer
projects are skills-based and require business knowledge. We also
participate in traditional, hands-on volunteer activities such as
painting and beatification projects.

About Deloitte
As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP and
Deloitte Services LP.  Please see a detailed
description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP.


Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

2 minute film festival without any entry fee

Filmmakers: submit your finest—and shortest—video to Carnegie Museum
of Art and your work could be featured in "The Labor Party: A
Two-Minute Film Festival," held on July 21, as part of the Pittsburgh
To get started, use "The Labor Party" as a prompt to create a video
short using media of your choice (camera, camcorder, cell phone,
animation program, etc.). Whether live-action or animated,
documentary, mockumentary, fictional, or non-narrative, your video
should be two minutes or less in length.

There is no fee to enter, and anyone over 18 is welcome to submit. The
deadline for submission is June 20. The Two-Minute Film Festival
audience will be encouraged to vote for their favorite film, and the
Viewer's Choice award winner will be announced at the end of the
evening, with the winner receiving a free one-year individual
membership to Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Be sure to attend the
screening event in case your work is the Viewer's Choice!

Promotional support provided by Pop City Media.

How to Submit



Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

[DW] Summer of neighborly online love - Major Neighbors Forums presentation, webinar, links

---------- Forwarded message
From: Steven Clift

We have exciting news to share about our recent neighborhood Issues
Forums momentum:

Our "Neighbors Forum" model combines civic engagement from our
city-wide "online townhalls" (started in 1998) with very local
neighborhood "community life" online communities. The hybrid is pretty

We embrace openness, civility and inclusive outreach with our
neighborhood public spaces that cover areas with 5 to 20K in
population. We don't ban local "politics" or virtually close the gate
behind a password. This maximizes engagement with elected officials
and the community institutions we support with our tax dollars or as

In my own neighborhood - , we have just over
~17% of households participating - over 700 members. Take a look and
ask what you can do to build something similar for your own
neighborhood.  You may have to believe it to see it.

* Neighbors Forums Presentation

Here is a brand spanking new presentation with slides, extended audio,
flyers, links, etc. to go in-depth:

* Effective Outreach to Diverse Communities

Crucially we've launched the third generation of our diverse community
outreach positions (as we experiment with methods to build inclusive
participation in lower income, highly diverse/high immigrant areas) as
we seek to find ways to leverage minimal resources for maximum impact:

This all feeds into our summer campaign for online neighborhood
participation focused on the Minneapolis and St. Paul: (Twin Cities)

With support through the end of the year from the Ford Foundation, the
Knight Foundation's donor-advised fund at the St. Paul Foundation, the
Digital Inclusion Fund at the Minneapolis Foundation, and the Blandin
Foundation (for coming second generation outreach with our rural
Native American majority community forum) we've just launched a major
outreach campaign to recruit many more participants (Goal: 1000 total)
as well as launch over 10 new all volunteer-led forums.

(This is on top of our local volunteer-led, unfunded effort in
Christchurch New Zealand to open 25 forums for post-quake community
recovery - .)

* Lesson Sharing

With the Ford support we will be packaging up our lessons and sharing
them later in the year and in 2012 we seek opportunities to take our
Inclusive Social Media - - training
and outreach to far more communities. We'd rather not be lonely. The
lack of activity at the intersection of raising diverse community
voices online - particularly those that build bridges among
communities locally - and digital inclusion must be addressed.

To learn about future webinars and other involvement opportunities,
here are some places to tune-in:

1. E-Democracy Blog - - E-mail option on left

2. Projects Volunteer Group -

3. Locals Online - A peer to peer online community of practice -

Steven Clift

P.S. I've left out my this is soooo much more than simply slapping up
a new Facebook Page for a neighborhood commentary. Creating quality
community public space more effort and better design than essentially
opening a virtual strip mall location off in the far corner of the
parking lot and expecting it to attract real community engagement.

Steven Clift -
  Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org


Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Early debates that exclude are poison to our political process. CNN can fix it's evil ways.

If concerned Americans don’t protest the exclusion of Governor Johnson from the debate, he will surely not be included. However, if we let folks know what our opinion on the matter is, they are more likely to give him consideration.
Please request to hear Governor Gary Johnson in the debate!
• There is now a grassroots petition being signed up online which will be sent to media and GOP leaders.
• Call WMUR at (603) 669-9999 and fill out their contact form.
• Call the NH Union-Leader newspaper at (603) 668-4321 or fill out their news tip suggestion box. You can also e-mail them.
• Call CNN at (404) 827-1500 or (202) 898-7900 or text CNN (space) and your news tip to 772937. You can also submit your comment online.
• Post your comments at CNN’s article about the debate.
Another option is to contact the Advertising Departments for each of these outlets and inform them that you will not be purchasing anything they sell until Gary Johnson is included in the debate. If the Advertising Department believes they will lose customers, they will pressure other departments to change their strategy.
If prospective GOP voters do not get to hear from Gary Johnson, it’s one less liberty advocate providing the solutions our country needs.

Wave At The Bus: Day 150 - Graduation Season

Wave At The Bus: Day 150 - Graduation Season: "' A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps ..."

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The noctilucent clouds

ELECTRIC-BLUE CLOUDS: The 2011 noctilucent cloud (NLC) season has begun. For the past few nights, observers in northern parts of Europe have spotted velvety, electric-blue tendrils rippling across the sunset sky. NLCs are a summertime phenomenon first reported by polar observers in the 19th century.  In recent decades, for reasons no one fully understands, the clouds have intensified and spread  as far south as Utah and Colorado.  Visit today's edition of for photos and observing tips.

CHANCE OF MAGNETIC ACTIVITY:  NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of geomagnetic activity on June 4th when an incoming solar wind stream and a CME might deliver a double blow to Earth's magnetic field. High-latitude sky watchers in both hemispheres should be alert for auroras.  Aurora alerts: (voice) or (text).

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Division III Schools Flex Their Sports Muscles -

Division III Schools Flex Their Sports Muscles - "The NCAA's Division I has seen a net loss of 106 wrestling teams, 72 men's tennis teams and 18 men's swim teams over the past 20 years. On many teams that remain, scholarships are becoming scarce. As schools rush to comply with Title IX, men's D-I tennis teams usually only have about four scholarships per team (or fewer) while women's teams generally have twice as many."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

House Leaders Kill Libya Withdrawal Resolution - Blogcritics Politics

Look again as to who your peace loving friends are again.
House Leaders Kill Libya Withdrawal Resolution - Blogcritics Politics: "This afternoon as the House was getting ready to vote on a resolution demanding that President Obama pull US troops out of Libya when the Republican House leadership had the bill pulled fromt he docket. The apparent reason for this action was that it looked like the bill was getting too much support and might actually pass, while GOP leaders just wanted it to come close to passing to put pressure on the administration.

The reasoning behind this action seems to be pretty convoluted and perhaps somewhat despicable. They apparently want President Obama to take the blame for the war in Libya while not actually going so far as to actually stand clearly against his actions and perhaps even end the war. They had assumed that the resolution would only be backed by Democrats, but to their surprise many Republicans who don't like the idea of an unconstitutional war, were going to vote for the resolution.

This is a perfect example of the effects of the change in the Republican majority coming out of last election. There is now a core group of Republicans who aren't willing to play games and who are serious about issues like making war without even following the guidelines of the War Powers Act, much less the Constitution."

You go long.

Registration opens for Tomlin's Father and Kids Experience: "'All of us at Family First and All Pro Dad are excited that this event continues to be an annual outing for dads and kids,' said Mark Merrill, founder and president of Family First. 'Just as in years past, again this year we are bringing new themes and insights into the program, so the format remains familiar, but the concepts are fresh for returning dads and kids.'"

Wondering if Mr. Lopez still stands by these concepts?