Friday, November 13, 2020

History teaches prudent lesson on Pitt stadium. Hey Brian O'Neill

PG, April 4, 1999
Brian O'Neill Column

History teaches prudent lesson on Pitt stadium

"Pitt stadium will be razed..."

Sorry to see you feeding into the "done deal mentality." And, its nine-time national champions, not six.

Some of the mentions in the opinion article include:

  • money corrupting games
  • venerable structure
  • tradition
  • there was no innocent days of yore!
  • obscure novel, Stadium, 1931


  1. Pitt Stadium was built with bonds. Big deal. Lots of businesses and buildings are built with bonds.

  2. "The students, fervid old grads and townspeople who had nothing else to do, came to the stadium on Saturday afternoons, but seldom with enthusiasm."

    Yea. Yawn. So what is the point. The fans are not going to get excited when the home team losses all national significance. This is a timeless understanding. People would rather win than not.

Productive people don't spectate, they live

Pittsburgh should cater to the busy people in our communities, and not spectators anway. We, the citizens, want among other things, more spaces to engage with one another. These are high-level playgrounds. We like the idea of sports performance complexes, but they need to server citizens with much better cost/benefits.

One can live while in the role of a spectator too. In the stands one can build releationships. One can also appreciate a struggle of time, space and releationship in others, and learn for themselves.

Desirable for Bettering Releationships

Pitt needs students, old grads and idle townspeople to come to its campus on Saturdays. Pitt does not need empty seats on the North Side on Saturdays.

The Game and the Process of Games

The NCAA handbook has swelled in size from the times of Sutherland. Pay to players was not formalized in scholarships as it is today. Pay to players is nothing new. Scholarships of this era are under the table too, as they are not out in the open. Ask a coach or the athletic department to publish their scholarship levels telling who is funded and to what level. Ask a baseball coach, or a sports coach with another cap on scholarships if those numbers are public knowledge, and they are not. There are privacy reasons, sure. But todays ills are the same as those of the past. Scholarships are given and taken in an under-the-table maner as they are not out in the open. These scholarships are formalized and legal documents, but are not out in the open on the top of the table for sure.


Who said anyting about being pure? Why not argue and refute virginity as a reason to raze Pitt Stadium. The Brian goes on to write, "Better players engorged the stadium." Snicker. Seems you do have a dirty thought -- engorged!

Beano Cook

Beano is a pigskin prognosticator of national stature, and that makes him a gambling advocate, in turn less pure, in turn of under-the-table transactions. To say what Beano says is anything but a "gambling" perspective is unwise. If Beano says Pitt should move to the new Steelers stadium, I'm of a heart to say that the move should not happen all the stronger. You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. Just above you had a purity thread, and then below you switch to a source of the worst kind for purity.

Beano = Gambling
Gambling = Not Pure
Beano = Raze Pitt Stadium

I say do the inverse of what Beano says. For example: The CHOKE folks worked withing the system with the County Health Department to prohibit the opening of a new coke plant in Hazelwood. The Health Department uses consultants who are engineers who get paid by the polluters. Its the corporations that spend to keep their operations alive. Beano Cook is one of the polluters in sports today. His opinion has an inverse effect on what is right. He is biased won't say anything otherwise to go counter to the "done-deal mentality."

Same to with the PG. Thanks for helping in the arguements to keep Pitt Stadium.

Case in point: I've talked to a number of journalists and reporters in Pittsburgh in the past months. More and a couple have told me that they think that the closing of Pitt Stadium is a terrible idea. They are dead-set against it. However, they don't want to loose their jobs. They don't want to loose press-passes once the new stadium opens. They do not want to buck up against these vindictive leaders who are on the other side of the arguement.

Sad for them. Sad for us. Sad for my neighbors too.

Gambling Stinks

Think of it in a perspective of the definition of sports as advocated here. Sports are games of time, space and releationship. Gambling is not a releationship builder. Gambling is not a space sensative activity, as it happens around the world. And, gambling is not much of a time game either. Gambling is anti-sport as it sets out to lessen all values of the game, time, space and releationships. Gamblers can't even bet upon who is going to win -- there are "favorites" and they change the rules of the games themselves as a team can win by 2 points -- and not cover the spread. How defeating.

Gambling is not sports and it greatly hurts sports.

Tainted but Valid Somewhere

Beano is a Pitt grad. Beano is a friend of Pitt and Pittsburgh. Beano has many releationships that might have some roots due to sports. There is much to build upon there, to make a sports person's opinion ring true, but the tainting is going to take great amounts of drilling to get to the sports person within Beano.

Dad's funeral

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Wear your shoes as there is glass everywhere. Message from the leader at The Ellis School!

Friday note from Macon - November 13, 2020

by Macon Finley


US Community Homeroom 11/11/20

Good morning students. I want to take a moment to
acknowledge and celebrate a remarkable moment in our
nation’s history - the naming of Kamala Harris this past
weekend as our country’s Vice President-elect.
Regardless of our political affiliations, I hope we can all
pause to recognize the significance of this moment for
women in our country, and especially for women of color.
We are witnessing some firsts that will go down in the
history books, as Kamala Harris is the first woman to be
elected to this office, the first Black person, and the first
South Asian person.

The sense of possibility Vice President-elect Harris’s
election represents is enormous. I want to be sure each of
you feels that same sense of possibility for yourselves - I
hope you hear it from your families, from your teachers,
from your friends and classmates. And I especially want
to be sure you hear it from me. Each of you is a gift to this
school community and to the world. Each of you is going
to make a real difference in your life, each in your own
unique way. Some of those will be highly visible, publicly
recognized contributions, like serving in public office or
leading a startup or doing groundbreaking research.
Others will be quieter, more locally impactful contributions,
like healing patients in a hospital, or creating exhibits in a

museum, or managing a team in an organization, or
writing for a local newspaper. You don’t need to know yet
how you will make your mark. But I want you to know that
you can, and you should, and that our goal at Ellis is to be
a community where each of you knows and feels that
about yourself and your future, in which we lift each other
up and work together to create only more possibilities for
all girls and women. My favorite social media quote this
weekend referenced the glass ceiling that has been
shattered by Kamala Harris, and goes like this: “For all the
girls coming behind us. Be sure to wear shoes...there's
glass everywhere.” You all are those girls. I want you to
hear me say “Go for it. When it’s your time, I hope you’ll
get out there and shake the world!" 

Dancing in the streets for Biden now, but what about in 1 or 2 years?

 John H posted:

Now that Joe Biden has been declared the victor by the media and people have been euphorically dancing in the streets in eager anticipation of the wonders of a return to normalcy in America, perhaps it is time to take a good look at just what a Biden/Harris administration will actually look like.  It may well be that all of the dancing and celebrating may not be as happily remembered a year or two down the road – only time will tell.  It may be that the new normal Biden is promising to bring to the nation and the world will be much too much like the old normal which gave us Donald Trump to begin with – and that could bring him back in 2024, or even something much worse.


“Organized Greed Always Defeats Organized Democracy."  --  Matt Taibbi

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Fwd: Grab a friend and see who gets more matches!

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: <>
Date: Sun, Nov 8, 2020 at 9:11 AM
Subject: Grab a friend and see who gets more matches!
To: <>

Don't forget: new activities each week.
November 08, 2020 View Online
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Mark Rauterkus 
Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association,
Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3)
The Pittsburgh Project - swim coach and head lifeguard
Coach at The Ellis School for Swimming, T&F and Triathlon
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters)

412 298 3432 = cell

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Fwd: The election is over . . . well almost over

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John H
Date: Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 9:46 PM
Subject: The election is over . . . well almost over

Now that the election is (almost) over it may be a good time to evaluate just what the American public has bought into this time around.  If, as it appears at the moment, Joe Biden prevails and the Republicans hold onto control of the Senate we can probably expect essentially nothing but more corporate and financial profiteering and more wars and interventions around the world for the next four years.  There will be almost no likelihood for any positive legislation benefitting Americans not so fortunate to reside within the lofty confines of the top 1%.  At the same time, due to the pandemic and the utter failure of the powers that be to adequately address the economic and medical consequences we are very likely to see even more deaths and a prolonged economic depression for the majority of the nation – if not the world.  Fortunately, for the corporate and financial elites, the Federal Reserve has already stated that it is prepared to use its full panoply of options to insure that the "economy" does not crash.  This, of course, does not translate into jobs and income for most Americans only protection for financial institutions, Wall Street and mega-corporations.  So be prepared, these will indeed be interesting times ahead – not that they aren't already. 


I don't believe that there was ever going to be a beneficial outcome from this election regardless of the outcome, though I do concede that Biden is marginally better than Trump, but this almost guarantees that Biden will be nothing but an ineffectual placeholder and that economic conditions in the next two to four years will almost certainly lead to a Republican sweep of both the House and the Senate in 2022 and the Presidency in 2024.  If the Democrats has simply bothered to put up a candidate and some policies addressing the very real needs of the American people in this election – jobs, healthcare, student debt, climate catastrophe, etc. I believe that they would have won in a landslide.  As it turned out Trump almost won by appealing to people on the economy and, had the pandemic not occurred and had he not botched it so badly, he almost certainly would have won handily.  Identity politics may make people feel good, but its not a winning appeal when people are struggling economically and unable to access healthcare reasonably.


I strongly urge you to read the attached articles.  The first contains two excellent short pieces, the first by Chris Hedges and the second by Jonathan Cook.  The second is a longer piece from Naked Capitalism which is also quite good.




"Organized Greed Always Defeats

       Organized Democracy

Matt Taibbi




Mark Rauterkus 
Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association,
Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3)
The Pittsburgh Project - swim coach and head lifeguard
Coach at The Ellis School for Swimming, T&F and Triathlon
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters)

412 298 3432 = cell

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Fwd: Carlow's St. Agnes - petition

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Melissa McSwigan <>
Date: Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 11:00 AM
Subject: Carlow's St. Agnes - petition
To: Melissa McSwigan <>

A number of people have expressed their concern regarding the former St. Agnes Church that Carlow University is planning to demolish as part of their 5th Avenue development.


Below is one actions to take if you would like:


#1) Petition to Save St. Agnes


To sign:



Carlow has released their Institutional Master Plan (IMP). The IMP is required by the City of Pittsburgh. Carlow stated that they will be approaching the Planning Commission in November regarding the plan.


We believe that options should be explored for incorporating St. Agnes Center (the former church) into Carlow's plans for their Lower Campus/5th Avenue Development.  There is an adjacent parking lot that will be part of the development and a taller building could go there.  We believe that it is possible to spare the church and use it as a historic and cultural anchor for the new development.



For more info on Carlow's Institutional Master Plan (IMP)


Mark Rauterkus 
Webmaster, International Swim Coaches Association,
Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3)
The Pittsburgh Project - swim coach and head lifeguard
Coach at The Ellis School for Swimming, T&F and Triathlon
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters)

412 298 3432 = cell

Fwd: Thought you’d be interested

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Alyssa Mahramus <>
Date: Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 10:45 AM
Subject: Thought you'd be interested
To: <>

You do not want to miss this amazing opportunity on November 17th
Teach the Whole Child  |  Browser View
Future Goals Hockey Scholar

Good Morning,

As someone who believes deeply in the power of equitable education, I thought you and your students would be interested in this exciting opportunity with the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers and United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania are hosting a live 45-minute virtual panel discussion moderated by Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture Museum Curator of Sports, Dr. Damion Thomas on Tuesday, November 17th at 11 am to celebrate and bring awareness to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), explore how strong character is essential on and off the field at every age, all while exploring various career paths.

To secure your spot at this event:
  1. Have your students please complete the 20-minute lesson, Analyzing Influences, of the EVERFI Character Playbook course. (This must be completed prior as key concepts will be covered!) Simply go to your catalog in your EVERFI dashboard)
  2. RSVP to hold your spot + receive more information.
Can't attend? Still RSVP anyway and we'll send you the recording.
Copyright 2020 EVERFI. All rights reserved. Manage Preferences

Mark Rauterkus 
Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3)
The Pittsburgh Project - swim coach and head lifeguard
Coach at The Ellis School for Swimming, T&F and Triathlon
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team & Renegades (Masters) 
Coach of the Duquesne University Club Swim Team

412 298 3432 = cell