Friday, September 28, 2012

Fwd: South Side Cares: Paint-Out 13 October

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "South Side Community Council GRAFFITI WATCH Action Group" <>
Date: Sep 28, 2012 9:32 AM
Subject: South Side Cares: Paint-Out 13 October
To: "Graffiti Watch" <>

ON SATURDAY 13 October

ANY ONE INTERESTED IN PREVENTING AND REMOVING GRAFFITI ON THE SOUTH SIDE IS welcome. This work is ongoing and we need new volunteers.  


Date:  SATURDAY 13 October

Time:  9:00 AM

WHERE:  We will meet at 2132 Sarah St.  Entrance behind building on Larkins Way


Graffiti Watch
phone: 412-496-2272

            South Side Community Council GRAFFITI WATCH

Fwd: Education Notebook - #12-19 - 9.28.12

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Education Policy and Leadership Center <>

EPLC Education Notebook
Friday, September 28, 2012
In this issue
The EPLC Education Notebook (current and past editions) also is available by visiting the EPLC web site at

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Senate returned to Session this week on Monday (September 24) after a summer recess that began early in July. Fewer than ten session days are scheduled by the House and Senate before the November 6 General Election.

Governor Corbett 
On August 15, the Corbett Administration's Program Policy Guidelines (PPGs), which provide direction for the preparation of agency budget requests for the Governor's 2013-2014 Executive Budget, were published in the Administrative Circular.

"The 2013-14 Budget is to be predicated on the fact that the Pennsylvania economy is still in recovery and has not yet emerged from the "Great Recession." Additionally, continued increases in pension obligations and other cost drivers, such as Medical Assistance, prison costs and debt service obligations, are projected to consume an even greater share of the Commonwealth's budget next year. Therefore, agencies should not assume funding increases for the 2013-14 fiscal year and should continue to evaluate current programs and recommend changes that will improve program management and operations reduce costs and optimize direct services."

The Governor's policy directive is a good indicator of the Administration's plans for continued austerity seen in previous Corbett budgets.

To read the full text of the PPGs, click here.

On August 22, the House Education Committee, hoping to build a strong case for additional state funding for public school libraries when discussions begin for the 2013-14 state budgetheld an informational meeting on the study conducted by the State Board of Education pursuant to HR 987 of 2010.

HR 987 urged the State Board of Education along with the Department of Education "to conduct a study of public school library resources and services in this Commonwealth for students in kindergarten through grade 12, measuring and comparing funding, facilities, access to print and electronic resources, professional support and programming and instruction in the use of information and research among this Commonwealth's public schools and districts and evaluating how these elements are allocated in relation to student and community circumstances, such as poverty, disability, race and English language ability."

In order to meet the requirements of HR 987, the State Board collected data on library resources, services, staffing, and funding currently available in the schools via an electronic survey tool. After collecting the baseline data, the board partnered with the University of Pittsburgh to conduct the analysis. In addition to the data collection, the board also held roundtables to solicit public input on the draft of the School Library Study. The draft report, along with the public feedback, was then presented at a public meeting of the State Board of Education for further review and comment prior to the adoption of the final report (September 2011).

At the House Education Committee hearing, state lawmakers received testimony from Mr. Larry Wittig, Chairman of the State Board of Education and Mary Kay Biagini, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh, on the work and findings of the board pursuant to HR 987.

Among the findings highlighted at the hearing:  
  • Of the 2,180 schools participating in the survey, 94 percent have school libraries.
  • 128 schools have no library and 103 of those are in the School District of Philadelphia.
  • Schools with libraries show higher academic success.
  • While 95 percent of schools have librarians, only 44 percent of them are full time.
  • For the ten-year period from 2000-2001 school year through the 2010-2011 school year, the largest percentage of libraries (39%) received between $1 and $10 per student, and an additional 21% of libraries received district funding between $11- $15 per student.
  • In 2010-2011, 3 percent of libraries received no district funding for library resources.
  • The 2011 Guidelines for Pennsylvania School Library Programs, published by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, set a benchmark for funding at $41 per student for elementary schools, $45 per student for elementary schools and $50 per student for high schools.
Following Mr. Wittig's and Ms. Biagini's presentation, the Committee heard from the following individuals representing various statewide organizations and agencies: Sandra Zelno, Education Law Center; Julie Lesitsky, President of the PA Parent Teacher Association (PTA); Eileen Kern, President of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association; Matthew Hutcheson, Superintendent, Jeanette City School District; Graig Henshaw, School Librarian in York City School District; Allison Burrell, School Librarian in Southern Columbia School District; Debby Malone, President of the Pennsylvania Library Association (PLA), Kristy Oren, junior at Hamilton College; and Sean Gregory, 2012 graduate of Danville High School. Written testimony was submitted by Martin Hudacs, Superintendent of Solanco School District and Alice Lubrecht, Secretary, Office of Commonwealth Libraries, Pennsylvania Department of Education.

To watch a video account of the House Education Committee's informational hearing on school library funding, click here. To read the testimony submitted, click here.  

On August 20, the House Select Committee on Property Tax, chaired by Rep. Thomas Quigley (R-146), held its first informational meeting pursuant to House Resolution 774. The select committee is tasked with studying the interrelationship between all taxes affecting municipalities and school districts, with an emphasis on property taxes. Prime sponsors of several property tax reform bills were invited to brief members on their proposals and to respond to questions. The proposals include:  
  • House Bill 2230 (Rep. Grove, R-196) would amend "The Local Tax Enabling Act" to allow counties to enact through voter referendum a one percent sales tax at the local level for the purpose of reducing the property tax levels in the county's school district. The bill would also allow counties, municipalities, and schools district to enact a personal income tax or an earned income tax as a replacement for property taxes.  
  • House Bill 2300 (Rep. Maloney, R-130) is a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow a local taxing authority to exclude one hundred percent of the assessed value of a homestead in determining property tax. Article VIII Section 2(b)(vi) of the Pennsylvania Constitution currently provides that the General Assembly may authorize local taxing authorities to exclude from taxation an amount based on the assessed value of homestead property. The exclusions authorized by this clause shall not exceed one-half of the median assessed value of all homestead property within a local taxing jurisdiction. This legislation deletes the phrase "one-half of the median assessed value of all" and replaces it with "100 percent of the assessed value of each" homestead. In order to amend the Constitution, legislation proposing the Constitutional amendment must be passed by the General Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions and be advertised in newspapers upon each passage before being submitted to the electorate for approval.  
  • Senate Bill 1400 (Sen. Argall, R-29) would establish an act known as "The Property Tax Independence Act." SB 1400 proposes to eliminate school property and local school nuisance taxes across the Commonwealth and replace those taxes with funding from a single state source.  
The committee announced it will conduct an additional three hearings focusing on the school property tax, municipal property tax and the county property tax. The select panel also intends to invite the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) to share their findings of its review of House Bill 1776 (Rep. Cox, R-129) which is identical to SB 1400.

On August 15, the House State Government Committee held a public hearing to receive input on a package of bills introduced by Representative Brad Roae (R-6) that would: allow students attending a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) university to opt out of student activity fees; prohibit free or reduced tuition for spouses, children, same sex partners, or relatives of employees of PASSHE institutions; eliminate paid sabbaticals for PASSHE professors; and impose a construction moratorium until June 30, 2014 on non-emergency construction and improvements at PASSHE universities. These bills (HB 2442, 2443, 2444, and 2446) are part of a larger package of bills that the prime sponsor believes will keep the cost of attending PASSHE schools affordable.

Testifiers included: John Robe, Administrative Director, Center for College Affordability and Productivity; Dr. John Cavanaugh, Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education; Student Trustee Shane McGrady (Millersville University); Kenneth Mash, Vice President, Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty (APSCUF); and Nathan Benefield, Director of Policy Analysis, The Commonwealth Foundation. Written testimony was also submitted by The Center for Higher Education.  

To read the written testimony submitted, click here. A video account of the proceedings, is available for viewing by clicking here.
On August 14, the House Finance and State Government Committees held a joint public hearing on the issue of pension reform legislation. Executive Directors of the Public School Employees' (PSERS) and the State Employees' (SERS) Retirement Systems testified about proposed legislation to change the current defined benefit system to a defined contribution system. In addition to the PSERS and SERS representatives, the Committee members also heard remarks from the Office of Attorney General on matters related to the state's Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act. The following organizations also presented testimony: American Enterprise Institute, Keystone Research Center, and the Commonwealth Foundation. Written testimony was submitted by TIAA-CREF. Click here to read the testimony.

  • On August 7, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced that it has met the highest level rating possible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as determined by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). This year marks the fifth time in the past six years that the state has received this rating. Pennsylvania is the only large state, among the seven-largest states ranked by number of students with disabilities, to achieve the "meets requirements" status for five of the past six years, as well as one of the 14 states overall to receive this determination. The IDEA directs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities from birth to age 18 or 21 years. The USDE began evaluating states in 2007 and considers each state's annual performance report, performance plan, and information obtained through federal monitoring visits, as well as other public information, as part of its review. To view PDE's Federal Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Performance Report, click here.

  • On August 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced the award of $6.9 million in federal School Improvement Grants to 10 of Pennsylvania's lowest performing schools. The purpose of the School Improvement Grant program is to assist local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise student achievement in their lowest performing schools. The PDE awarded the grants through a competitive application process and were reviewed and scored by a panel of peer reviewers who then made award recommendations. In order to be eligible, schools must adopt and implement one of four reform models developed by the federal government: Transformation, Turnaround, Restart, and School Closure. To read more about the four reform models and to see a complete list of grantees for the 2012-2013 school year, click here. 

The first meeting of the State Board of Education's Advisory Committee on Financial Recovery (Chapter 18) was held on September 6 in Harrisburg. The committee is responsible for

the implementation of provisions in Act 141 of 2012 directing the State Board to promulgate regulations establishing criteria the Secretary of Education may consider in designating a school district in financial recovery status. A discussion and review of Act 141 and its charges to the Advisory panel were led by the Chair of the advisory committee and State Board member Maureen Lally-Green and Amy Morton, Executive Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). In addition, a presentation was made by Brian LaForme, staff at PDE, regarding the recently published Early Warning System guidelines(Chapter 731). Please refer to Pennsylvania Bulletin section of the Notebook for further explanation.

The Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet once a month (October 18, November 14 and December 6). The panel plans to have draft regulations ready for consideration by the Council of Basic Education by the end of December 2012 before presenting them to the full Board for its consideration. The draft regulations will include, at a minimum, the 15 factors for financial recovery status as specified in Act 141, plus any additional factors or criteria the Advisory Committee deems appropriate.

Also noteworthy, the PDE has launched a new web page with information on districts currently in financial recovery status.

On September 8, guidelines (issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Education) relating to Early Warning System for financially troubled school districts were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin (
Vol. 42, No. 36). According to the notice, the goal of Chapter 731 (relating to Early Warning System- Statement of Policy) is to identify and provide technical assistance to school districts to prevent them from becoming Financial Recovery status school districts under Act 141 of 2012

On August 1, the U.S. Department of Education announced that more than $21.5 million in grants has been awarded to 43 states to cover all or part of the fees charged to low-income students for taking the Advanced Placement tests administered by the College Board and the International Baccalaureate Organization. Grants under the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program are expected to be enough to pay up to $38 per Advanced Placement exam for as many as three exams per student. Levels of funding per state were calculated on the basis of state estimates of the numbers of tests that would be taken by low-income students. Under this federally-funded program, Pennsylvania was awarded $487,964. Click here to view the complete list of states and their award amounts. 

EPLC will host its second annual Arts and Education Symposium on Thursday, October 11 (8:00 AM- 5:15 PM) at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Do not miss this chance to join fellow arts educators, artists, arts advocates, school and community leaders, and state and local policymakers to share information about:

*    State-level and local advocacy.
*    The development of new teacher evaluations.
*    National core arts standards.
*    The role of arts education in preparing a Pennsylvania workforce with twenty-first century skills.

The Symposium will feature Ayanna Hudson, Director of Arts Education at the National Endowment for the Arts, as Keynote Speaker and Remarks by Sandra Ruppert, Director of the Arts Education Partnership.

Registration is $25 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and all Symposium sessions. Click here to register. 

  • The Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators will hold its annual Workshop for Career and Technical Education Adult/Continuing Education Coordinators on September 27-28 at the Nittany Lion Inn in State College. Click here for details and registration.

  • The Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing on Diabetes care for students on Tuesday, October 2 in Harrisburg at 10:30 AM.

  • The Public Employee Retirement Commission will hold a public hearing on topics of Pension Reform and Funding Status on Wednesday, October 3 in Harrisburg at 1:00 PM.

  • The PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools will hold its annual conference October 7-9 in Lancaster. Click here for more details and registration.  

  • The House Education Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 2464(Bullying and Cyber-Bullying Prevention) on Wednesday, October 10 in Harrisburg at 11:00 AM.  

  • EPLC's 2nd Annual Arts and Education Symposium will be held on Thursday, October 11 in Harrisburg. Click here for more information. 

  • "Give Kids Good Schools Week" will take place on October 14-20. During the week, communities around the country host events and activities to encourage people to learn, vote and act in support of public education. Click here to learn more. 

  • The House Select Committee on Property Tax Committee will hold a public hearing pursuant to HR 774 on Monday, October 15 in Harrisburg at 9:00 AM. 

  • The Public Employee Retirement Commission will hold a public hearing on topics of Pension Reform and Funding Status on Tuesday, October 16 in Harrisburg at 1:00 PM. 

  • The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) will hold their joint annual School Leadership Conference on October 16-19 in Hershey. Click here for details and registration.  

  • Save the Date: EPLC's Annual Education Finance Symposium will be held on Friday, November 16 in Harrisburg.  

  • Save the Date: The Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development 62nd Annual Conference "Power Up: New Perspectives" will be held November 18-20 in Hershey.

For information on upcoming events, please visit and click on "Events Calendar".

EPLC Education Notebook is published by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).  Permission to reprint or electronically redistribute the Notebook in whole or in part is granted provided attribution to EPLC is provided.  The Education Policy and Leadership Center is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit organization.  The Mission of the Education Policy and Leadership Center is to encourage and support the development and implementation of effective state-level education policies to improve student learning in grades P-12, increase the effective operation of schools, and enhance educational opportunities for citizens of all ages.
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Fwd: Pittsburgh Promise Goes For Broke

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: allegheny institute for public policy
Date: Friday, September 28, 2012
Subject: Pittsburgh Promise Goes For Broke

Policy Brief (Volume 12, Number 49)

Pittsburgh Promise Goes For Broke


September 28, 2012)--The Pittsburgh Promise program was launched to great fanfare in 2006 as the panacea for what ails City schools. It was claimed that by offering scholarships to virtually all graduates of City high schools, the program would stop the District's hemorrhaging enrollment, persuade people with children to stay in Pittsburgh and entice people to move to the City and improve student achievement.

On every objective, the Promise has been a total flop. Enrollment continues to fall, population in key age groups continues to slide and PSSA scores took a sharp dive in this year's testing and it is very likely that scores from previous years were over stated. The Allegheny Institute predicted all of this failure when the program was announced on the basis of common sense analysis that was roundly derided by the in-the-know crowd who seem to believe all problems can be solved by tossing more money at them.  

So, what does the program's brain trust decide they need to do now? If you said—as most thinking people would—they should help figure out what needs to be done to raise the City schools' abominable academic performance, you would be wrong.   If you said they should need to figure out why their efforts to keep Pittsburghers from leaving and their efforts to get regional residents to move into the City have had no success, you would be wrong again.

Amazingly, the Promise management has opted for the fall back solution so prevalent among the cognoscenti—those who believe more money can solve all problems—and that is to cast a wider net. Remember the Regional Renaissance Initiative? Levy an add-on sales tax in 11 counties to pay for new stadiums and other projects to be directed from Pittsburgh.  It was sent down in flames by the voters.  One might recall the Power of 32 project that seeks to create various policy agendas over 32 counties in four states. Where are the grand policy prescriptions covering 32 counties or even a large percentage of the 32 counties?  The solution, according to those whose money throwing efforts don't work, is that more area needs to be brought into the mix. No amount of failure on either score is enough to disabuse people of their flawed thinking.

The Promise Director's version of the Regional Renaissance Initiative is to recruit Hispanics to the City by casting the recruitment net over the region lying within a 300 mile radius of Pittsburgh. The enticement? The $40,000 scholarship that will be available to any Hispanic student who graduates from a City high school is predicted to be a powerful draw.  According to the Director, Pittsburgh has jobs for those who come, cost of living is low and there is a decent housing stock.

Let's think about this. First of all, which Hispanic families would move 300 miles to take advantage of the Promise scholarship? And, what other enticements in the form of guaranteed employment, moving cost expenses, etc. will be required?  Families with very young children are unlikely to move in order to take advantage of a program that they will not benefit from for twelve years or longer. Families with 8th or 9th graders would be the most likely to come since they will only have four years to wait for the scholarships—assuming their children get through and graduate.

Second, where are all the jobs? The City's unemployment rate is 8.2 percent. Low wage, menial, entry level jobs are probably available if the parents meet the legal migration criteria and maybe a few in other categories, especially health related. Hispanic medical professionals might be tempted if they have children in the age group that can benefit in four years, or there are other monetary enticements.  Who will cover other monetary inducements?

Third, with a sizable increase in Hispanic students, will school costs rise? The school district might have to hire more dual language teachers and offer English as a Second Language programs. Answering these questions in advance of launching the recruitment would be prudent.

Fourth, why is a recruitment of Hispanics program necessary?  If all the enticements the Director claims Pittsburgh has are not working to bring in Hispanics now, it would be great to first ascertain some reasonable explanations of why Hispanics are not already flocking to Pittsburgh to take advantage of all Pittsburgh offers.

Fifth, it looks like desperation time has arrived at the Promise Program—or will it soon be called the Promesa Programa?  One would assume that some of the big donors to the Promise are getting a little nervous about the inability to fulfill any of the promised objectives. And that nervousness has management brainstorming to find any reasonable sounding solutions. However, the Promise appears to need a lot of rethinking.

Jake Haulk, Ph.D., President

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Progress Report from Julian

PROGRESS REPORT OF SEPTEMBER 24, 2012 from Julian P. Heicklen
Jury Nullification 

On October 19, 2009, I started distributing fully informed 
jury information at the U. S. District Courthouse in Manhattan, 
NY. Antonio Musumeci (Bile) photographed the event. We 
were both given citations: Bile for photographing on federal 
property in violation of U. S. Regulation 41 C.F.R. Sec. 
102-74.420, and me for distributing literature on federal 
property in violation of U. S. Regulation 41 CFR Sec. 102– 

Bile contacted the ACLU which challenged his citation in 
court, his case was dismissed, and the U. S. government paid 
expenses and a punitive reward for violating Amendment I of 
the U. S. Constitution. I ignored my citation and did not make a 
court appearance. Instead I repeated my appearance 14 more 
times at the same courthouse, piled up 11 citations, and ignored 
them all. The U. S. attorney dismissed all the charges, thus 
negating the regulation. However, he filed a forged grand jury 
indictment against me for jury tampering. See for evidence 
of forgery. After 17 months of pretrial correspondence 
the federal court dismissed the case in April, 2012, because the prosecution 
could produce no tampered juror, even though at least twice it 
sent an undercover agent to try to entrap me. 

Meanwhile, I had been distributing fully informed jury 
literature at 39 other federal courts and was cited at 3 of them. 
The citations were dismissed or ignored. Also I distributed the 
literature at 8 county courthouses. There was considerable 
publicity, and Tyranny Fighters was organized. Many other 
individuals joined me or ran their own distributions at 
courthouses in FL, NJ, PA, TX, NH, and probably elsewhere. In 
NH every county courthouse was targeted. In FL, James Cox 
and Mark Schmidter distributed continually and often. 

Likewise regular distributions occurred in PA. Jim Babb 
and George Donnelly accompanied me on the first visit to the 
federal district courthouse in Allentown, PA. George was 
arrested for photographing and resisting arrest. His case was 
settled in a plea bargain. Then George and his family moved to 
NH, the free state. There were no arrests nor interactions with 
the guards on several subsequent distributions in Allentown. 

In Orlando, FL Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. issued court 
orders forbidding distributing literature on the Orange County 
courthouse property, except for two small free speech zones 
away from pedestrian traffic. The Fully Informed Jury 
Association (FIJA) disapproved of challenging the Orange 
County Court order by arrest, claimed it would hurt membership 
and fund raising, and asked us to obey the court order. I refused, 
so by mutual agreement I dropped my membership, and we 
discontinued our affiliation. Mark Schmidter and I continued to 
distribute FIJA literature at courthouses in FL. 

In Orlando, FL, both Mark Schmidter and I were arrested 
on separate occasions for distributing information at the Orange 
County (Orlando) Courthouse in defiance of court orders. Both 
of us were found guilty of contempt of court by Judge Belvin 
Perry, who issued the orders and was the judge and prosecutor 
for the cases where we were denied jury trials. These decisions 
now are on appeal in the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal 
in Daytona Beach, FL. Also, we have sued the judge in a civil 
suit in federal court under “42 USC § 1983 -Civil action for 
deprivation of rights” for violation of our First Amendment right 
of free speech. 

Recently the NH legislature passed a law allowing juries to 
be notified of the right to nullify the law. During these 3 years 
at least 3 jury nullification trials have occurred. 

Missoula MT District Court: Jury pool in marijuana case 
stages ‘mutiny’ 

A funny thing happened on the way to a trial in Missoula 
County District Court last week. Jurors – well, potential jurors , 
staged a revolt. 

They took the law into their own hands, as it were, and 
made it clear they weren’t about to convict anybody for having a 
couple of buds of marijuana. Never mind that the defendant in 
question also faced a felony charge of criminal distribution of 
dangerous drugs. 

The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching 
Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for 
some members of the jury panel. 

No, they said, one after the other. No way would they 
convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce. 

Reported on December 19, 2010 5:20 pm by GWEN 
FLORIO of the Missoulian. Read more at: 

New Hampshire Jury Acquits Pot-Growing Rastafarian

A jury unanimously acquitted Doug Darrell, a 59-year-old 
Rastafarian charged with marijuana cultivation, after his lawyer, 
Mark Sisti, argued that a conviction would be unjust in light of 
the fact that Darrell was growing cannabis for his own religiousand medicinal use. More remarkably, Judge James O'Neill 
instructed the jury that "even if you find that the State hasproven each and every element of the offense charged beyond areasonable doubt, you may still find the defendant not guilty if 
you have a conscientious feeling that a not guilty verdict would 
be a fair result in this case." 

Full story reported by Jacob Sullum Sep. 14, 2012 1:00 pm 

Minnesota farmer cleared in milk case 

A soft-spoken Minnesota farmer was cleared of violating 
state laws for distributing raw milk Thursday, a verdict 
advocates for such foods called their first major legal victory. 

After a three-day trial and more than four hours of 
deliberation, a Hennepin County jury found Alvin Schlangen not 
guilty of three misdemeanor counts of selling unpasteurized 
milk, operating without a food license and handling adulterated 
or misbranded food. 

The trial highlighted a deep national divide between raw 
milk advocates who contend unpasteurized dairy products can 
relieve allergies and prevent illness and public health officials 
who warn that raw milk can cause serious and sometimes fatal 
diseases, such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria. 

"It's a big step in the right direction," Schlangen, 54, said 
Thursday, flanked by celebrating supporters. "I have a hard time 
understanding how this basic freedom has been so hard to 

The raw milk debate emerged in Minnesota two years ago, 
when eight people were sickened by E. coli bacteria in raw milk 
that was linked to Minnesota producer Mike Hartmann. 
Hartmann faces similar charges as Schlangen did and is 
expected to be tried this fall. He also faces a lawsuit filed by the 
father of a boy who got sick from drinking raw milk. 

Schlangen, an organic egg farmer from Freeport, Minn., 
doesn't produce milk himself but operates Freedom Farms Coop, 
a private club with roughly 130 members who buy various 
farm products, including raw milk. Schlangen picks up the milk 
products from an Amish farm and delivers them to members. 

He was charged in 2010 after Minnesota Department of 
Agriculture (MDA) inspectors discovered his products at 

Traditional Foods, a south Minneapolis natural foods outlet. 
Under Minnesota law, milk that hasn't been pasteurized (heattreated 
to kill harmful bacteria) can be sold only in limited 
amounts on the farm where it's produced. Schlangen, who 
testified on his own behalf, maintained that he was operating a 
private cooperative and not a business. He also noted that no one 
got sick from the milk he distributed. 

Assistant Minneapolis City Attorney Michelle Doffing 
Baynes argued at trial that food safety laws are in place to 
protect consumers, but declined to comment after the verdict.

 Reportred by Abby Simons, Star Tribune. Updated: 
September 20, 2012 -11:27 PM at: 

How all of this happened 

All of this did not happen overnight. It took 3 years of 
constant agitation to accomplish this. Plus I organized Tyranny 
Fighters to participate in the program and spread the word. I 
enlisted a legal advisory panel of over 30 attorneys and court 

I did everything I could to get as much publicity as 
possible, both on the internet and in the conventional press. I 
gave many speeches. Bile and I ran an internet radio program 
on LWRN for a year. I was the host. He was the producer and 
webmaster for the Tyranny Fighters web page and maintained it 
during and after we discontinued the broadcasts. 

Ultimately the NY Times ran an editorial and three full 
column stories on the first page of the second section about my 
jury tampering case. It listed this case as one of the 10 most 
important cases to watch in 2012. 

In just 3 years, we got hundreds of people distributing fully 
informed jury literature at courthouses, enormous publicity, the 
NH legislature to pass a law permitting the courts to notify the 
jury of its right to nullification, at least 3 jury nullifications in 
state courts, 2 federal regulations declared unconstitutional, a 
federal court to declare it legal and permissible to distribute jury 
information on federal property, especially at courthouses. And 
we still have 2 court cases pending in Florida regarding court 
orders infringing free speech rights. 

Occupy Wall Street 

It was not easy nor all fun. It required persistence, 
publicity, patience, and support from many other Tyranny 
Fighters. Which brings me to Occupy Wall Street. It has a 
much larger following, more demonstrations over about the 
same time period, much more publicity, and many more police 
abuses than we had. Yet it has not been successful in 
accomplishing much of anything except exposing police 

The reason is that we had a one-issue project that we can 
sell. Occupy is a hodge-podge of many different complaints, but 
no reasonable solutions. What it really needs are jobs. 
Demanding more taxes from the rich is not a solution. If it
could be effected, it should be used to reduce the national debt, 
not feed the unemployed. Meanwhile it just aggravates the rich. 
Blaming people for what went wrong will not lead to a solution. 

Occupy Wall Street can be very successful, if it sticks to its 
one main objective—jobs. In my opinion, there should be two 

1. Legalize drugs and release the 40% of prisoners with drug-
related crimes. They will start legitimate businesses growing 
and selling drugs and pay taxes on their sales and income. 
Prison expenses will be reduced. Furthermore drug gangs 
will vanish and violent crime will be reduced. 
2. Demand that the federal and state governments invest heavily 
in infrastructure repair, which is needed. This will put lots of 
people to work, remove them from government subsidies, and 
provide taxable income. 
A $100 billion yearly additional investment in 
infrastructure will produce about 1 million new jobs directly, 
plus many more as result of the additional 1 million employed 
and spending. This would reduce the unemployed from 12.5 
million in August, 2012 to under 11 million. Recreational drug 
users could add several hundred thousand additional legitimate 
jobs, since there are an estimated 96 million people over the age 
of 18 in the United States who have smoked marijuana 

All the other issues such as the wars, foreign policy, police 
crime, trampling on the Constitution, abortion, gay rights, 
women’s rights, illegal immigration, the death penalty, ersatz 
money, irresponsible financial institutions, veteran benefits, etc 
are important, but, except for ersatz money, they are not going to 
destroy America immediately. The economy and the prison state 

Upcoming November election 

The two major political parties are completely out of touch 
with reality. Both of them support the war on drugs, the foreign 
wars, and increases in the national debt (the Democrats by 
increased spending, and the Republicans by reduced taxes). 
Vote against them in the upcoming election by voting for a third 
party or none of the above. Burning your ballot sends the 
message that you are inconsequential and can be ignored. If 
10% of the vote goes to not Republocrat candidates, the major 
political parties will have to absorb your demands or lose in 
future elections. 



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Teachers do, a nice story in the P-G.

P-G article with a nice story

But it is built on a falsehood that the school yards empty now that school has begun.

My $.02 posted via FB:

Great story and article. Many in my family have been teachers and I get those questions on a regular basis about my dad, uncle, cousins, grandparents. Fun and rewarding.

One quibble, the start of school does not and should not mean and end to school yard times. School sports and recreation at school facilities after and before the bells ring are IMPORTANT. We as parents and community must coach our kids below their heads. Fitness, metalwork, and the heart are too often discounted in non academic times, and we all are less because of that evil practice.

Now that school has started, get fit, let's use the schoolyards, let's coach play and sporting opportunities.