Friday, September 30, 2011

Fw: Register Now for EPLC's Arts and Education Symposium, October 13:The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Ron Cowell <>
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2011 16:04:37 -0400
Subject: Register Now for EPLC's Arts and Education Symposium, October 13: The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Please share this invitation!



You are invited to


The Education Policy and Leadership Center’s




Thursday, October 13, 2011

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA 17120


Keynote speakers:

Dr. Jonathan Katz, Chief Executive Officer, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

Dr. Mary Ann Stankiewicz, Professor of Art Education, Pennsylvania State University


Plus 9 Workshops with prominent Pennsylvania and national arts and education leaders.




Join arts and education leaders from across the state and nation to participate in discussions about the policy implications of the arts in Pennsylvania’s schools and communities.  Symposium discussions will inform the work of EPLC’s Arts and Education Initiative (AEI), which is generating a report including actionable policy recommendations for legislators and other audiences to be released in February of 2012. 


Click here for more information about the agenda and to register online with a credit card, or to print and mail a registration form with payment by credit card or check.


$25 registration includes continental breakfast and lunch.  Scholarships are available, as well as Act 48 credits for teachers.  Email with questions.


The Arts and Education Symposium is presented by EPLC in partnership with Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, the Pennsylvania Art Education Association, and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association


The Symposium is made possible with the generous support of The Heinz Endowments, the William Penn Foundation, and the Buhl Foundation.


EPLC is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization based in Harrisburg, with programs and activities across Pennsylvania. 

The mission of EPLC to encourage and support the development and implementation of effective state-level education policies to improve student learning in grades P-12, to increase the effective operation of schools, and to enhance educational opportunities for citizens of all ages.







Pittsburgh councilman Lavelle charged with perjury - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh councilman Lavelle charged with perjury - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Pittsburgh councilman Lavelle charged with perjury
Time to resign for both Wheatley and Lavelle.

Got a present 8th grader? What about those in 7th grade too?

If you have kids in middle school, you might want to swing by Pgh Obama on Saturday, tomorrow, to visit with people at the magnet fair.
Did you know that last year Pittsburgh Public Schools sent its graduates to some of the top universities in the country, including: Stanford Yale Penn Michigan CMU Pitt Honors And dozens of others... As you may or may not know, part of my role at PPS is to manage our magnet programs in the District. Tomorrow we are holding our annual Magnet Fair at Pittsburgh Obama (in the Reizenstein facility.) We will have tables open from some of our most popular programs including Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Pitttsburgh Obama International Baccalaureate, Pittsburgh Sci-Tech, Pittsburgh Liberty Spanish, Pittsburgh Linden Mandarin, Pittsburgh Montessori, Pittsburgh Dilworth Traditional and others. Even if you are not considering PPS, think about stopping by. You may want to reconsider us! Additionally, learn more about the Pittsburgh Promise, a $40,000 college scholarship program for any PPS graduate, regardless of income.
This is a good way to do one-stop shopping if you are a parent. And, talk to others that are in the same boat as you -- and talk to those who did this in the last couple of years as well. Network. Talk to the PPS folks -- then talk to the women selling popcorn.

Fwd: Conservative Evan Feinberg likely to Challenge Tim Murphy in Repblican Primary for Congress in 18th

Tim Murphy Gets a Challenger

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor, Politics PA

<> <>

Evan Feinberg, a future candidate

Rep. Tim Murphy will face a primary challenge next spring.

Months of recruiting efforts by a small, dedicated group of conservative activists has yielded challenger Evan Feinberg, a 26 year-old native of Washington County who spent the past five years working for various conservative causes in Washington, DC.

"I'm taking the necessary steps to consider a primary challenge against Representative Murphy," Feinberg confirmed. "The people of western Pennsylvania deserve a true conservative who will put the interests of the country and his constituents before his own."

Feinberg told PoliticsPA that he resigned his position in the office of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Wednesday. He, his wife and infant son will move back to the district on Monday. And as if to ensure he won't be drawn out of Murphy's district, he's moving to the Congressman's home turf in Upper St. Clair, Allegheny County.

"If I decide to run, I'm going to have going to have very extensive local and national support and I look forward to making this decision in the coming weeks."

Sources close to Feinberg say that his run is definite.

I like a Republican who is not afraid to criticise a Republican plan that is clearly a big government plan.

Remembering Who Opposed President Clinton's Education Plan

by Dan Lips <> and Evan Feinberg <>  08/16/2007

Before No Child Left Behind, President Clinton <> had his own plan for education reform. While it is not surprising that many Republicans opposed the Clinton plan, what is striking are the similarities between the Clinton plan and the (often) Republican-backed No Child Left Behind.

In 1999, President Clinton unveiled his education reform strategy in his State of the Union Address. He called on Congress to use federal funding to spur school reforms and "to support what works, and to stop supporting what doesn't work."

Texas Governor George W. Bush was sharply critical. "The federal government should be a limited partner, not a general partner," he explained. "If they feel like sending money back to the states, fine. But don't tell us how to run things."

It is funny how times change. Reviewing the Clinton plan, one can't help but notice similarities to No Child Left Behind, a centerpiece of President Bush's domestic policy.

President Clinton's plan called on Congress to attach five "strings" to federal education dollars. First, states would be required end social promotion. Second, states and school districts would be required to reform or close low-performing schools. Third, they must establish teacher qualification requirements. Fourth, parents must be given greater information in the form of district-issued school report cards. Fifth, states and school districts would be required to implement school discipline policies.

Congress didn't enact President Clinton's education strategy during his administration, but its spirit lived on.

Consider how core elements of No Child Left Behind resemble President Clinton's proposal. NCLB was meant to combat "the soft bigotry of low expectations" by ending the practice of automatically passing kids to the next grade. NCLB also defines a "highly-qualified teacher." The law mandates different school reforms for each additional year a school is deemed low-performing, including restructuring or closing schools after five years of failure. Moreover, NCLB requires states to test all students annually and to publish student performance data to provide greater information to parents.

President Bush's original proposal for No Child Left Behind did include some conservative ideas-like trimming bureaucracy, providing state flexibility, and promoting private school choice-but these provisions didn't survive congressional negotiations with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Representative George Miller <> (D-CA). What emerged was a law that has increased spending by 41 percent, expanded federal authority and bureaucracy, and created 7 million hours per year worth of new regulations and paperwork for state and local authorities.

The Bush Administration has taken full ownership of No Child Left Behind. Last summer, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said it was "like Ivory soap…99 percent pure."  President Bush has made reauthorizing the law a top priority of his remaining tenure.

But Republicans should remember that they-and George W. Bush-once opposed expanding federal power in education-when it was being proposed by President Clinton. Back in the 1990s, conservatives on Capitol Hill <> fought to limit federal intervention and to return authority to state leaders to create a reform environment that minimized bureaucracy and fostered real improvement.

In the 1990s, Republicans supported the "Academic Achievement for All Act" (commonly called "Straight A's) which would have allowed states to enter into performance agreements with the federal government that would give them the opportunity to consolidate federal programs and redirect funding toward state initiatives to improve student learning. In exchange, states would establish performance objectives and administer state tests to measure student achievement.

The Straight <> A's bill drew the support of 128 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 20 in the Senate. Florida Governor Jeb Bush testified in favor of the bill, asking Congress to "Imagine what our states could do if we could spend more of our time and energy working to improve student achievement, rather than tediously complying with a dizzying array of federal rules." A pilot version of the bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 215 to 213.

President Bush incorporated the Straight A's approach in his original blueprint for No Child Left Behind. The White House recommended creating a "charter option" to give states and school districts freedom from federal regulations and bureaucracy if they entered into a performance agreement with the Department of Education, but it was whittled down by Congress into a weak funding transfer program.

In 2007, conservatives on Capitol Hill have proposed legislation that follows the original Straight A's approach and the "charter" option. Senators Jim DeMint (R-DC) and John Cornyn <> (R-TX) have proposed the A-PLUS Act, which would allow states to opt-out of NCLB and enter into performance agreements with the federal government. Their plan would give states freedom from federal bureaucracy and red tape if they agree to establish academic goals and maintain a consistent, transparent testing system over time to determine whether students are learning. So far, the Bush Administration has been silent on the DeMint-Cornyn plan.

President Bush was right when he said that the federal government should be a "limited partner, not a general partner" in education. The time has come for him and Republicans in Congress to return to their principles on education reform, rather than continuing to champion Bill Clinton <>'s education strategy.
Mr. Lips is education analyst at The Heritage Foundation <>.
Mr. Feinberg is a research assistant at The Heritage Foundation <>.

412 298 3432 = cell

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Can't Langley be turned into a City-Wide Magnet to focus on PUBLIC SAFETY? Let's call it Pgh Sci-Service Magnet, 6-12

Hi Board Member McCrea,

I think that there is plenty of merit to the plan championed by Pgh City Councilwoman, Theresa Smith, for PPS.

If the City of Pgh buys PCA/Greenway, then the city can put all the public service enterprises into that building and avoid paying more
than $1-M per year in rent. So, the city has the cash-flow to float such a deal.

Then the PPS sells a building for more than $1.

Then PPS can move the Pgh Gifted Center to another building, perhaps back into the Hill District, something central. That is a simple move.
Same too for staff training uses.

Then PPS can move the Greenway/PCA students and staff to another building -- such as Langley in part.

Langley HS can be a High School magnet, grades 9-12, for those that are interested in working and training and studies that are central to public safety.

Furthermore, Langley can be a 6-12 school with general education for local kids in grades 6, 7 and 8. It could be PCA as is, but in a
different home.

Then the HS kids can do projects and more with the city EMS, building inspectors, firefighters, police, and others that can be put into that building. The Greenway building and Langley are not far from each other for a high school student.

To me, a public safety focus for a magnet could be very interesting
for the students. Good for environmental studies, lifeguarding, CPR, First Aid, Biology, physics. I see advance sciences at that school so kids that want to take Pre-Med in college could get a leg up at this school.

Furthermore, the city firefighters and the city police who have to send their kids to private schools while residing in the city limits could then have a school to be stewards with the PPS faculty and administration. Those families are seemingly sending many of their children to Catholic or other private schools. If we make a good alliance with city workers and that school -- we could get more engagement in after-school offerings and other efforts to insure that the school functions with gusto.

I'd even suggest that the SCIENCE Department at Sci-Tech could be duplicated at this public safety magnet at Langley, if it is up to everyone's standards. Rather than Sci-Tech, the Langley could be Sci-Service Magnet.

Perhaps too, if there is room, the Citiparks Aquatics Department and other parts of Citiparks might be able to move into Greenway as well. If that was the case, and the city had a year-round swim pool, I would not be opposed to the selling off of the Oliver Bath House by the City of Pittsburgh.

From Frick-swim

Finally, on a different note, I think the name WESTINGHOUSE should be retained with the school. The blue color and the name Bulldogs are fine too. But by all means, don't rename the school away from the inclusion of the name, Westinghouse. Westinghouse Academy Blah-blah-blah is fine. But keep Westinghouse. In my humble opinion, the whole name switch from Schenley to Pgh Obama has been a real thorn in the side of the school and its students. Sure, each school has its own situation -- but Westinghouse is still at Westinghouse. It will
cause years of confusion to make a name change. That's the last thing PPS needs now, confusion and alumni disrespected so as to never offer
to engage again.

Wouldn't it be great to send a message that the city and the schools are working together on a venture for the interest of the kids and taxpayers.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Abolish the Federal Education Department - Ron Paul has new allies

Forwarded message From: "Huchrowski, Frank" <>

See the Fox News article below my comments.

To all of you who fought OBE (Outcomes Based Education) with me in Harrisburg, you know that we were really fighting the Federal Department of Education, not the bureaucrats at 333 Market Street, Harrisburg PA.  Back in about 1994, in Mars PA, Helen D. Wise, Deputy Chief of Staff for programs for Governor Casey, said/wrote - and I paraphrase from my memory -

- Now that we have passed these [OBE, revised chapter 5] Regulations, we are more likely to get Federal grant money from Goals 2000.

If there were no Federal Department of Education handing out millions of dollars, our state bureaucrats would not have fought so hard for OBE.  I have personally spent tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours fighting OBE.  Just take a look at the archive of my old 1999 web page  I will not vote for any candidate for President that does not favor the Elimination of the FEDERAL Department of Education.  So, it is so nice to see this idea making a comeback thanks to Ron Paul.  

I gave Rick Sanrorum $250 back in 1992 when he ran for Congress promising to shrink the Federal government. 
Santorum started out good and voted against - 

H.R. 1804 [103rd]: Goals 2000: Educate America Act 
But, then he started voting to increase the size of the Federal Department of Education by voting for these 3 big bad bills -
H.R. 2884 [103rd]: School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994
H.R. 1385 [105th]: Workforce Investment Partnership Act of 1998 
H.R. 1 No Child Left Behind Act of 2001   

Santorum talks about small government, but votes for big government.

In 2000, I supported NH Senator Bob Smith for President. Smith pledged to Abolish the Department of Education - see his 2000 flyer.
Then in 2002, Santorum helped knock Smith out of the Senate by endorsing his opponent in the primary election - this violates the rule that you endorse your party's incumbent in the primary (ie. Arlen Specter excuse).

My one complaint with Ron Paul is his wording, he says he wants to "Eliminate the Department of Education".
I think he should say "There are 51 Departments of Education, I want to eliminate the FEDERAL Department of Education in Washington, and leave the other 50 State Departments of Education free to work without interference from the Federal Government."

Frank Huchrowski      
Abolish the Education Department? Abandoned Idea Gets New Life

Published September 23, 2011 |

Like many Republicans, Atlanta's Stella Lohmann -- a blogger, teacher and former journalist -- is fed up with mandates, funding requests, lawsuit avoidance and a one-size-fits-all approach to education and says the federal government has undertaken a massive overreach. 

Now, her question on what Republicans are going to do about it – asked during the Fox News/Google debate on Thursday night -- has re-ignited a once-novel debate over eliminating the U.S. Education Department. And judging by the GOP candidates' reaction, the option may come back in vogue, if not into reality.

"I am going to promise to advocate the abolishment of the federal Department of Education," said former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

"What I would do as president of the United States is pass the mother of all repeal bills on education," said Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. "Then I would go over to the Department of Education, I'd turn off the lights, I would lock the door and I would spend all the money back to the states and localities."

"You need to dramatically shrink the federal Department of Education, get rid of virtually all of its regulations," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich chimed in.

Indeed, all of the GOP candidates said they would either get rid of the department -- created in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter -- or seriously diminish its function. Their uniform responses earned wild applause during the debate.

But the idea isn't new, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, pointed out, and Republicans haven't met words with actions. 

"In 1980, when the Republican Party ran, part of the platform was to get rid of the Department of Education. By the year 2000, (that issue) was eliminated, and we fed on to it," Paul said. "Then ... Republicans added No Child Left Behind."

Indeed, every year from 1980-2000, Republicans included in their platform the plank: "The federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the market place. This is why we will abolish the Department of Education," read the 1996 platform that accompanied the presidential nomination of then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole.

But by the mid-1990s, abolition was no longer a priority, recalled Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government. "I don't think they saw it as a big winner as such. They were looking for political talking points not policy." 

Whatever the reason the plank has slipped from the platform – whether because Republicans have moved onto other agenda items, or because Americans did not find it palatable, prudent or possible -- the department continues to grow from its statistical collections and college loan processing.

By 2002, it had added a massive new mandate with the blessing of President George W. Bush. Aimed at increasing performance through testing, the bipartisan No Child Left Behind is in part responsible for exploding the education budget.

President Obama's 2012 spending request for the department is $77.4 billion for discretionary spending – up from $46.2 billion 10 years earlier. The department itself notes it has the third largest budget despite having the smallest staff of 15 Cabinet agencies. 

The spending has conservatives shouting mad in the era of debt and deficit. But liberals, too, complain No Child Left Behind is too burdensome on teachers and school districts.

On Friday, Obama announced that he was going to propose an opt-out.  

"We're going to let states, schools and teachers come up with innovative ways to give our children the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future. Because what works in Rhode Island may not be the same thing that works in Tennessee -- but every student should have the same opportunity to learn and grow, no matter what state they live in," Obama said.

Despite distaste for the program, the president's move brought criticism from both sides. 

"Advancing a controversial waivers plan will not only hamper efforts to chart a new course, but will prolong the failed policies of the past," wrote Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee in an op-ed in The Washington Examiner. 

"In the absence of congressional reauthorization, we understand why the Obama administration is taking this action; we are keenly aware of the calls from parents, teachers and administrators for change -- sooner rather than later. Waivers are an imperfect answer to the stalemate in Congress and, at best, can provide only a temporary salve," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.

Though the union and many Democrats are unlikely to sway from supporting the Education Department, Wilson said getting rid of No Child Left Behind may be the avenue to abolishing a major bureaucracy.

"Any law that has automatic waivers you gotta question why it was passed in the first place," he said.

Wilson suggested that Congress could eliminate the department through an evolutionary process adopted by a bipartisan committee tasked with choosing which programs are worth retaining and where they would be placed. He proposed a three-to-five-year dissolution plan that gives everybody time to adjust programs on the state and local level and to give federal workers at the department time to find their next job. 

The odds are long, he admits, though they could go up "substantially" in 2013.

"Anything in this town is going to be less than 50-50," Wilson said. But, there is an "increasing ideological convergence from both the left and the right that there's a real problem that has to be addressed. … Given where we're going and all the indications, by 2013 the finances are going to be in such dire situation that they're going to have to look at bold moves."

1996 Republican Party Platform  "Our formula is as simple as it is sweeping: the federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in school curricula or to control jobs in the work place. That is why we will abolish the Department of Education, end federal meddling in our schools, and promote family choice at all levels of learning. We therefore call for prompt repeal of the Goals 2000 program and the School-To-Work Act of 1994, which put new federal controls, as well as unfunded mandates, on the States. We further urge that federal attempts to impose outcome - or performance-based education on local schools be ended."

If you are still reading, you may want to see this -

Department of Education Timeline of Growth by Chris Edwards

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rob ponders: What should the legacy of the Igloo's demolition be?

- Forwarded message From: Rob Pfaffmann -

In 1992 Senator Ferlo was arrest at the demolition of the Syria Mosque
signaling the problem of anticipatory demolition (tearing a building
down before a new proposal is in place). It is still a parking lot and
Preservation Pittsburgh still fights when others run. What should the
legacy of the Igloo fight be?

While the Igloo will be gone next Spring, the MEMORY will not.

We will bring the issue of reform of planning and development policy
to every ELECTION CAMPAIGN and public forum.

We will root for TRULY transformative development of the Lower Hill

We will fight for TRANSPARENCY and reveal conflicts of interest:
Forbes Ave, The Strip, Teardowns, St Nicholas.

We will campaign for REFORM of Section 106/State History Code/City Code.

We will NOMINATE other key post war structures before they are theatened.

We will push to get the PreservePGH plan out of the shadows.

We will advocate for preservation as a key component economic
development and sustainability.

We look forward to a spirited and professional dialogue! Send us your
ideas, thoughts for reform and transparency!

These are the types of events I would want to host with S6

Mention in Post-Gazette today about water polo within the article about North Allegheny

Hi Friends,

Today's (Friday) P-G, has a sports article about water polo that gave
nice mention to our efforts in the city, now called Pittsburgh
Combined. Cut-and-paste of the news article is below.

For the past two years, we did play waterpolo games under the banner
of Schenley Water Polo, On Facebook, join the open group, Pittsburgh
Schenley Waterpolo.

The new coach at North Allegheny HS is great. He is mentioned in the
P-G article and moved to Pittsburgh after being an assistant at Navy
and with the USA national team. They are offering some support for us
in the city with more cooperation to come, I expect. This Sunday, our
players are invited to NA High School for some less-informal games /

A few different projects are in the works with program expansion in
the city in swimming and water polo. Grant applications have been
submitted and interviews are here. Specifics await, and participation
results remain to be seen -- but I am hopeful that we can get this
city swimming in vibrant ways for neighborhood kids in the months to
come. Help is welcomed.

Have a safe weekend!


Mark Rauterkus
412 298 3432 = cell

Friday September 23, 2011 Updated:

Water Polo: District's only team must travel to play
Friday, September 23, 2011

By Diana Saverin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

At North Allegheny High School, students take their time spent in the
water seriously.

Beyond the team's successful swimming teams -- both boys and girls --
students have donned swim caps to take on another aquatic sport at
full speed ... water polo.

Last weekend, North Allegheny played host to its annual Tiger Classic.
The girls team swept four games and the boys won four out of five,
losing one game to Cumberland Valley.

While "home-pool advantage" certainly applies, it has taken on a new
meaning for this high school team. Since the program began in 2001,
they have had to travel significant distances just to find an

The nearest team has been in Erie, about 75 miles away. Recent
tournaments have taken place in Mechanicsburg and Reading; game
attendance means overnight trips on weekends for the team.

"It's challenging for the students," said Nikola Malezanov, the team's
coach. "But they bring their books, and they study and socialize on
the buses, so they aren't missing too much."

Despite the obstacle of having virtually no local competition, the
team is strong. A few of the players are on national training teams
for their age groups, said Malezanov, who began coaching the team last
month. He is optimistic about their chances this season.

"North Allegheny [water polo] is growing and growing, thanks to the
coach before me [Rob Semanchik]," he said. "We are now in the top
three or four in the state, and I think we have a shot to go all the
way and win states."

Malezanov's ambition is not limited to his own team. After the success
of North Allegheny's team, one of his goals is to develop water polo
programs at surrounding high schools in the Pittsburgh area. He says
that while a handful of middle school and summer programs exist, he is
still working with contacts at high schools to develop their programs.

"There are pools around, so the infrastructure is in place," Malezanov
said. "Having a water polo team offers a good opportunity to the

One water polo team, Pittsburgh Combined, started last year with
athletes from several Pittsburgh Public Schools and Shaler Area. The
team competed this past weekend in Ohio Cup Junior Varsity Water Polo
Tournament hosted in Worthington, Ohio, where they placed third.

But that program is just starting, and because it is not an official
high school program, the team cannot participate in an interscholastic
league in Pennsylvania.

Part of the success of North Allegheny's water polo team is linked to
its swimming and diving program, which is one of the best in the
state. Just last year, the girls team won the WPIAL Class AAA team
championship, while the boys team came in second. The water polo
program keeps top swimmers in the water throughout the offseason.

The strength of the water polo team is also related to a year-round
club team that feeds into the high school program, Tiger Water Polo
Club. Malezanov, who also coaches Tiger Water Polo Club, says 95
percent of the players are at North Allegheny high school or middle
school. They compete against other club teams, including the Navy's.
Like the high school team, playing currently means traveling: they
drive as far as Annapolis, Md., and Connecticut for tournaments.

The schedule for this season projects a similar high mileage series of
weekends, and will continue until Pittsburgh becomes the water polo
town Malezanov hopes it will.

First published on September 23, 2011 at 12:00 am


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dolphins taken from the wild

Hotel room at a Singapore resort: $253.
Discounted tickets to watch wild dolphins suffer in captivity: Priceless.
Mastercard is offering discounted tickets to the infamoous Resorts World Sentosa, a resort in Singapore that recently kidnapped 27 wild dolphins for an exhibit. Two of those dolphins have already died, and the 25 other dolphins are being held in brutal conditions until construction of the exhibit is complete. The surviving dolphins' risks of illness and death increase with each day of captivity.
100,000 members have already called on Resorts World Sentosa to release its captive dolphins. If Mastercard cancels its ticket discount promotion, it will put big financial pressure on the resort to finally set the dolphins free.
Statistics for captive dolphins are bleak. While dolphins in the wild usually live for 45 years, more than half of all captured dolphins die within their first two years of captivity. 
In tanks, dolphins swim around in circles. They can't hunt. They're exposed to bacteria that have been known to cause blindness and death. 
Resorts World Sentosa has canceled ocean animal exhibits from public pressure in the past. With 100,000 members already calling for the resort to free its captive dolphins, financial pressure from Mastercard could push the resort to finally take action.
Please sign the petition to ask Mastercard to cancel its ticket promotion to Resorts World Sentosa:
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Michael and the team

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Day in Pittsburgh Without Violence at St. Benedict the Moor on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Ann Trondle-Price <>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2011 13:26:39 -0400
To: <><Invalid address>
Subject: A Day in Pittsburgh Without Violence at St. Benedict the Moor on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A very last-minute message from PIIN (the event is tomorrow), but thought it might resonate with some of you, especially if you're downtown around noon. See below and click within the message to see the flyer.


Begin forwarded message:

From: "Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN)" <>
Date: September 20, 2011 11:44:14 AM EDT
Subject: A Day in Pittsburgh Without Violence at St. Benedict the Moor on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
PIIN community,

International Day of Peace - A Day in Pittsburgh Without Violence
Wednesday, September 21
Events scheduled all day culminating in events at St. Benedict the Moor starting at 7pm
Please  click here to see the flyer with all the events during the International Day of Peace.

The focus of the theme "A Day in Pittsburgh Without Violence" is on gun violence and bringing an end to this terrible act that is devastating our communities.  This is an issue that we in PIIN are diligently working on through the dedicated leaders of the PIIN Gun Violence Task Force.

Rev. Glenn G. Grayson, co-chair of the PIIN Gun Violence Task Force and pastor of Wesley Center A.M.E. Zion Church, will be giving the "Witness Against Violence" at 7:20pm.

Please join us to support Rev. Grayson and send a message that gun violence has no place in our communities and that more attention and resources need to be given to the different ways to end to gun violence.

Peace & Blessings,


Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN)
707 Grant Street
Gulf Tower, Suite 1346
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412.621.9230
Fax: 412.621.1057
Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN)
This email was sent to by |  
Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) | 707 Grant Street | Suite 1346 | Pittsburgh | PA | 15219

Ann Trondle-Price

CMU biz event: NSF SBIR Invitation

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

-----Original Message-----
From: Cleah Schlueter <>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2011 13:56:59
Subject: NSF SBIR Event Invitation

Hello friends of Project Olympus -- I invite you
and all early-stage companies to attend Innovation
Accelerator @ Carnegie Mellon -- an important NSF
SBIR event. On Friday, October 14, 2011 from
8:30am-3:30pm, in Posner Center (#18 on the campus
map which can be found at,
CMU is hosting this innovation summit, sponsored
by the NSF and its private partner, the Innovation
Accelerator. I ask that you send this invitation
to your entrepreneurs, early-stage companies, and
to anyone who you think would be ever interested
in applying for an NSF SBIR award.

The purpose of the Innovation Accelerator @
Carnegie Mellon is to stimulate the innovation and
entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pittsburgh and to
support Carnegie Mellon's leadership role in this
system. The summit will provide detailed
information about the NSF SBIR program directly
from the leaders and Program Managers of the NSF
SBIR program.

In addition, Innovation Accelerator is bringing in
four live NSF SBIR case study companies to tell
their stories about what the SBIR funding has
meant to their startup companies. Each case study
will feature a company executive, the NSF Program
Director, and an Innovation Accelerator
representative and moderator. The case study
companies' industries include medical devices,
software, advanced manufacturing, and robotics.

I outline the agenda for the day's events below.
Attendance is free but advance registration is
required. To register please email Cleah
<>, copied on this email.

Specific questions other than registration can be
directed to me, Babs Carryer,
<>. Please send to
your portfolio companies, to interested parties,
and help me get the word out!

Agenda, NSF/Innovation Accelerator Innovation
Summit, Friday October 14, 2011

9-10:30am -- GENERAL SESSION - Overview of NSF,IA;
Role of innovation and SBIR Program to the U.S.

10:45am-12:00pm -- Case studies 1 & 2 run

12-1pm -- LUNCH (provided)

1-2:15pm -- Case studies 3 & 4 run simultaneously

2:30 -3:30pm Wrap up and networking (refreshments


Babs Carryer

blog: <>

Adjunct Prof, Entrepreneurship

Embedded Entrepreneur, Project Olympus

Innovation Advisor, Institute for Social Innovation

Carnegie Mellon University

412 310-3502



Cleah Schlueter

Project Coordinator, Olympus:
Project Coordinator, The Alice Project:
Administrative Assistant to Lenore Blum and Gary Miller and James Morris.
Carnegie Mellon University
School of Computer Science
5000 Forbes Avenue, 4113 Gates Hillman Complex
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412.268.9656
Mobile: 412.728.2854
FAX: 412.268.5576

Monday, September 19, 2011

A new website has been launched for the Pennsylvania Political Campaign Management Database (PPCM)

Contact:  David Lynn, President, DAL Services, Inc.

The new website,, is now the home of the PPCM, free
software to run political campaigns in Pennsylvania.

"Running for office should be free," said David Lynn, President of DAL
Services, Inc., the company that created the software.  "I hope that the new
site attracts more visitors and that more people download the software to
run their campaigns at the local level."

"The PPCM can import the voter file to track voters, and can file reports on
text files or paper acceptable to the Pennsylvania Department of State,"
Lynn continued.  "It also has a number of other features, including voter
demographic segmentation, that I am confident will stand up well against any
paid package."

"My goal is to level the playing field," said Lynn.  "Elections have become
big business in Pennsylvania, and I want to assist candidates, especially
new candidates, of any party, in gaining the advantages of entrenched

According to Commonwealth FTP files downloaded and analyzed by Lynn,
$229,723,476.83 in cash and in-kind contributions were reported to the
Pennsylvania Department of State in 2010.  $282,718,119.31 was reported
spent during that same period.

DAL Services, Inc. is a Commonwealth-approved vendor of campaign finance

On the web: PPCM -
Media Kit -

Pittsburgh Combined gets 3rd at Ohio Water Polo Tournament - beats Upper Arlington 11-6

Sports News - RESULTS - Water Polo Pittsburgh Combined, with high school athletes from Pittsburgh Public Schools and Shaler Area, finished in third place in the Ohio Cup Water Polo Tournament JV hosted in Worthington, Ohio, with a victory today, 11-6, over Upper Arlington. The Pittsburgh team took a 5-0 lead in the first quarter with the excellent work of junior goalie, Christopher Reese of North Point Breeze. Coach Mark Rauterkus said, "Chris Reese might be the only water polo goalie in the nation score two goals in one tournament against different teams with neither shot a buzzer beater. I nominated Chris for all-tournament-team even though there were varsity, collegiate and masters teams in the event." The Reese goals came in a 6-13 loss to Mason and the final 11-6 win against Upper Arlington. Goals scorers for Pittsburgh Combined include: Erik Rauterkus, junior, Pittsburgh Obama, 18 goals, and Morgan Harris, sophomore, Shaler Area, 6 goals, Tobias Rather, junior, Pgh Obama, 2 goals and Chris Reese, junior, PPS, 2 goals. Pittsburgh Combined played games against Milford HS, Mason HS, (both from Greater Cincinnati), and three Columbus area schools, Worthington, Upper Arlington and St. Charles, a boys prep school. The Saturday and Sunday tournament, hosted in a three pool complex, marked the first time a Pittsburgh team traveled to Ohio to compete in scholastic water polo. Pittsburgh Schenley High School, now defunct, used to sponsor water polo and could play against other PA teams. In 2011, the squad must travel out of state for games until a new school sponsor files a letter with the PIAA.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

: Keep the pressure on Barnes & Noble!

---------- Forwarded message ----------

A few weeks ago, we asked you to reach out to Barnes & Noble about
their Nook eBook reader. Many of you did, and while Barnes & Noble
has yet to formally respond, we can continue to put pressure on them.

The current news is that Amazon plans to launch a color Android
device, much like the Nook color. If we continue to put pressure on
B&N, we can use this increased pressure from Amazon as a reason to
make the Nook a device for everyone, not just large book publishers.

Here's a selection of messages to Mary Ellen Keating at Barnes and Noble:

 "If I buy a book (be it an ebook or a hard copy) *I* should own it."
  -- Bryan Cuneo

 "This is not progress. Rather, it is an attack on society and on our
  rights."  -- Jason X. Self

 "If you use DRM, we will be forced to turn a blind eye to your
 products, and your company." -- Maki

 "I had considered purchasing a Nook until I read about the DRM. Now
 I won't buy a Nook unless you drop DRM. The device is usable, but in
 my opinion, hamstrung by DRM." -- L Mease

We've moved our blog post on the subject to our new Nook hub,

We've also responded to this blog post: <> -- where
someone claims certain books for the Nook are DRM-free. Once again, we
tried to get some answers out of Barnes & Noble on this, who told us
that only public domain books from Google Books are DRM-free, and any
books downloaded from Barnes & Noble have DRM.

In the meantime, if you haven't written to Barnes & Noble, please do:

* Do you use Twitter? Let @nookBN know that you won't buy a Nook until
 they drop DRM. To use Twitter without JavaScript, hook it up to your
 StatusNet or account!

* Tag the Nook Color and Nook on Amazon with
 "defectivebydesign". Don't forget to follow up your tagging with
 discussion in the tag forum --

* Email Mary Ellen Keating -- <> -- Senior Vice
 President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Barnes &
 Noble, and ask Barnes & Noble to drop DRM from the Nook. Be sure to
 BCC us at on any emails you send!

Follow us on at

Subscribe to our blog via RSS at is a project of the Free Software Foundation

412 298 3432 = cell

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fwd: IRS v. Benoit civil suit, or the government stealing my house suit

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Benoit

For those who have been interested in my case where the IRS is stealing my home for taxes I don't owe, I am still in the house even though at the last report I was told to vacate in 40 days on July 29th. I have motions pending requesting a stay but the reason I am still in the house is the government forgot to list my mortgage holder as a party to be paid off at sale so they had to file a motion to amend the order which gave me this addition time. I am so glad the government is so incapable. They succeed by force alone.
I have learned much by studying other court cases such as the Lloyd Long trial, Vernice Klugman and Tommy Cryer's case just to name a few. I have also learned on my cases and this one is no exception. I have downloaded all the documents so far which total over 100 and I am willing to let them go out to anyone who is interested is studying them for a fee of 100 hundred dollars. Or you could get the first 20 for 20 dollars and then decide if you want more. This is basically covering my cost.
If you want hard copies there will be a mailing charge. If you are interested email me back or call me at 619-449-8540 <tel:619-449-8540> during the day.

412 298 3432 = cell

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mark Rauterkus invited you to join him on Google+

Mark Rauterkus invited you to join him on Google+
Join Google+
The Google+ project makes sharing on the web more like sharing in real-life.
The easiest way to share some things with college buddies, others with your parents, and almost nothing with your boss.
Let friends know you're free for a video hangout, any time, anywhere. Then catch up, watch YouTube, or... just hangout.
A feed of just the stuff you're really into, so when you're free, there's always something waiting to be watched, read, or shared.
You received this message because Mark Rauterkus invited to join Google+. Unsubscribe from these emails.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Schenley sports will live on - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Schenley sports will live on - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The first-year football coach at now-closed Schenley High School is trying to assure opposing coaches the Spartans' athletic program is alive and well for the 2008-09 school year.

'Everything is basically the same,' Bell said. 'Just the building is different.'

The entire Schenley sports program, including 14 varsity teams, will compete this season despite Wednesday's 5-4 vote by the Pittsburgh Public School Board to shut down the 92-year-old school."

By John Grupp
Saturday, June 28, 2008

Buzz up!
Post to MySpace!
StumbleUpon Toolbar

Jason Bell's phone keeps ringing this week.

The first-year football coach at now-closed Schenley High School is trying to assure opposing coaches the Spartans' athletic program is alive and well for the 2008-09 school year.

"Everything is basically the same," Bell said. "Just the building is different."

The entire Schenley sports program, including 14 varsity teams, will compete this season despite Wednesday's 5-4 vote by the Pittsburgh Public School Board to shut down the 92-year-old school.

story continues below

After the 2008-09 school year, no one is quite sure the fate of Schenley athletics, which has produced star basketball players such as Maurice Lucas, DeJuan Blair and Kenny Durrett.

"We know for certain that (this season) we are going to be OK," said Ken Saybel, Schenley's athletic director. "Beyond that, we're all a little bit confused about this whole thing."

City League director of athletics Mike Gavlik said the 2008 football schedule includes the Spartans. Schenley opens the season Aug. 29 against Westinghouse at Cupples Stadium.

Shady Side Academy football coach Dave Havern called Bell on Thursday regarding the school's closing and the impact on their August scrimmage.

"He was upset," Bell said. "A lot of people don't realize (we're still playing)."

Here is how it works: The students will be sent to the former Reizenstein Middle School in East Liberty, Frick School in Oakland, University Prep (the former Milliones Middle School) in the Hill District, or Peabody High. But they will all be considered Schenley students -- except for the incoming Peabody freshmen.

The official name is now Pittsburgh Schenley at Reizenstein.

"We'll just keep it Schenley," said Bell, noting that the same red and black uniforms will remain.

The football team will continue to practice on the field behind University Prep, being bussed from Reizenstein, where the vast majority of the varsity team will attend.

John Tokarski, a rising senior in football and baseball, said his Schenley teammates are wondering how it will work out.

"It kind of annoys me," he said. "I'm a captain on both teams, and I'm supposed to have leadership. (My teammates) ask me questions, and I don't have answers.

"I don't want to say it's an inconvenience, but compared to being at Schenley ... Now the locker room will be at (University Prep). What if we need some equipment cleaned or worked on? We're at Reizenstein. I think it wasn't thought all the way through."

Tokarski's sister Leeza will be a freshman this fall at Frick, where she will play soccer. But most of her teammates will be at Reizenstein.

"How's she supposed to bond with the team when she doesn't see them except for practice?" John Tokarski asked.

But Bell said the Spartans will get improved facilities, including a new locker room at University Prep. Many of the athletic facilities at Reizenstein are superior to those at Schenley. Vacant since the end of the 2005-06 school year, Reizenstein will have an enrollment of about 690 students in grades 10 through 12.

"It's a beautiful building," Saybel said. "As far as athletics go, it's positive."

At least half of the school's varsity sports will practice and play at Reizenstein, including basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball and wrestling, Saybel said.

Kevin Reid, a second-year boys' basketball coach, isn't excited about the new setup. He called the gym at Reizenstein "inadequate" even though it has similar seating capacity to the facility at Schenley.

"It's going to be almost impossible to run a sports program from four schools," he said. "But all of the coaches are going to try to get it to work."

Students who play for Schenley will take school buses to their practice site and, if needed, be given PAT bus cards to return home after practice.

As for the future of Spartans athletics, Saybel said it is futile to predict.

"We are in the dark now," Saybel said. "We don't know if kids from University Prep will play for us or if they will have their own team."

Bell, who expects about 65 players in the football program, is optimistic.

"Our kids will persevere," he said. "We had a tough year last year. One of our kids' house caught fire (during) practice. Another one of our kids was at a JV game when he found out his mom had passed away. Our kids have been through a lot. We'll take this in stride. We'll be OK."

John Grupp can be reached at or 412-320-7930.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Fw: [PURE Reform] New comment on Articles on the start of school at Westinghouse.

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Mark Rauterkus <>
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2011 10:38:33 -0700 (PDT)
To: <>
Subject: [PURE Reform] New comment on Articles on the start of school at Westinghouse.

Mark Rauterkus has left a new comment on the post "Articles on the start of school at Westinghouse":

Globally, I have no problems with the efforts to keep the police and the judges, as well as the overlords from where ever out of, or at arms length from our students, classrooms, schools and districts.

Adult matters, different response. Heartbeat.

However, transparency matters greatly.

And, IMNSHO, transparency matters far more than privacy, as we are dealing with communities where elements get mixed easily among the kids, quickly and freely. So, info to others is often the best policy, rather than ignorance in the name of privacy, or worse, dirty little secrets.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Join the Western PA Wheelmen on Fall Rally - Sept 11 - 35, 65, 100 mile routes

WPW Fall Rally – Sunday Sept 11 – North Park – Come ride with us! <>

Posted on 08/15/2011 <> by jimlogan <>

The Fall Rally starts in North Park at the Olympia Grove, at the intersection of Pierce Mill and North Ridge drive. Registration opens at 6:30 at the site. Maps and cue sheets will be available. Please feel free to start as soon as you register. The following starting times are recommended so you will not be too early (or late!) for any of the rest stops.
100 miles 7:00 am
65 miles 8:00 am
35 miles 9:00 am
Family Fun 10K 11:30 am

Route: The Century riders start off on the 35 mile course, which loops to the north and passes back through the start area for the first rest stop. The 65 mile, Metric century loop is to the north and west of the park. This loop has two rest stops. The first at Riverside high school and a second at Brush Creek park. The courses are similar to last year's, with a few changes to avoid roads and bridges that are under construction. While we recommend taking a cue sheet, all routes will be marked with arrows on the pavement at frequent intervals.

Food: There are two rest stops on the 65 mile loop, and we will provide a post ride lunch at Miller Grove in North Park. There will be water and snacks available at the ride start.

Support: A sag will be available to pick up those who can\'t finish due to bike problems or fatigue. (You and your bike are expected to be in good shape before the ride starts. And please … carry a spare tube.) The cue sheet will have a sag phone number.

Free to WPW members. WPW memberships available day-of for $20. Members can bring their family for the Family fun 10k.

Contact: For bike ride information contact VIA E-MAIL:


412 298 3432 = cell

Fwd: [DW] Sustainable civic hacking - mySociety, App contests beyond the bandwagon

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steven Clift
Date: Friday, September 2, 2011
Subject: [DW] Sustainable civic hacking - mySociety, App contests beyond the bandwagon

Two great articles:

How to create sustainable open data projects with purpose
Tom Steinberg on making a website vs making a difference.
by Tom Steinberg  | @mysociety  | +Tom Steinberg  | Comments: 4 | 30 August 2011

Everyone jumped on the app contest bandwagon. Now what?
The next wave of government app contests need to incorporate
sustainability, community, and civic value.
by Alex Howard | @digiphile  | +Alex Howard  | Comments: 5 | 19 August 2011

My comments below ...

As the likely original person suggesting FixMyStreet should be
FixOurStreet to my friend Tom ;-), I enjoy his laser focus on the end
user. I do want to counter and say that I do see a continuing problem
with narrow, often one-time online experiences, from my community
builder perspective. If "my" marketing and a focused problem-solving
service brings more people into a service, how do you leverage that
engagement as an organizer for broader civic purposes/good? What I
really really like about FixMyTransport is that it really is that by
definition it is a broader -OUR- public service. So "my" marketing
aside, it will be interesting to see this effort unfolds.

One quick lesson, our city-wide "online townhall model" - - attracts some 1% of households for
engagement that often lasts _years_. As Tom might say, most people
don't wake up and say, I want to engage my city government today. Too
abstract. On the other hand, in a few neighborhoods in Minneapolis,
our model using the exact same technology, rules, facilitation, etc.
as a "neighbors forum" is attracting 20% household participation (or
over 800 members in my neighborhood - ).
Someone loses a pet, joins us, then finds their pet ... 9 times out of
10 they stay on our general purpose neighbor-to-neighbor exchange and
are exposed to the serendipity of local exchange they would not have
click on or searched out. The silos of local interest can and must be
broken at a level where the common interest in protecting or building
your very local community trumps differences in ideology, ethnicity,
income, etc. which often divide us.

To me this points out the missed opportunity for mySociety and many
other break through projects - you have place-based participants, why
not put some trust into those who want to connect for more generalist
local purposes and channel them into spaces so they can reach critical
mass? I am continuously amazed by the capacity of local people, once
they have an ice breaking online public space, to not just ask someone
else to fix something for them, but to share ideas and take action.

Steven Clift

Steven Clift -
  Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org
  Follow me -
  New Tel: +1.612.234.7072

Group home for Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire:

Replies go to members of Newswire - Steven Clift's Democracies Online Newswire with all posts on this topic here:

412 298 3432 = cell

New bike shop in town to do electric bikes

From china - bike
If I had some money, I would have done this three years ago.