Monday, August 13, 2001

Back float with Erik at the Carnegie Library of Homestead swim pool.Much of swimming is about "body position." Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 10, 2001

McKinley Park opens a Skate Park

Today's ribbon cutting was at 4 pm. I was there with my sons.

Three kids ended up going to the hospital. One broke a bone. One was shot with a B-B gun.

On the opening skate, after hearing about how all the park's users would need to have helmets -- about half of them didn't have on helmets. They were, upon objection, given a 'time out' -- then -- before long, all were back on the boards.

The city is about ten years too late with the opening of a skate park.

I'm suprised that the skate park isn't funded by Dr. Fu -- as he could get a lot of new business from those that play there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Monday, July 02, 2001

Carnegie Library of Homestead -- swim coach for a summer.

Carnegie Library of Homestead swim lesson group. Erik, my son, is in the front on the left. These kids really enjoyed their lessons and made great improvements.

Weed and Seed is nice. But, these kids need to flourish. This was a middle group at swim lessons. I taught older ones and younger too.

Sunday, June 24, 2001

In Pgh - alternative weekly - interaction via LTE

This letter to the editor was sent to In Pgh in reply to some goofy coverage generated by Steve Volk. The In Pgh magazine would soon vanish from the landscape of Pittsburgh. It was purchased by the Pgh City Paper.

Volk's article on Carmine said, "Not only did the party pick Carmine largely because they had no one else, ... "

Wrong! I ran for the nomination and lost. Options were present. The "no one else" statement needs a retraction. Our contested primary made history. Volk's wrongness and ploy at revisionist history can't be tolerated.

Moreover, City GOP committees didn't pick anyone. Voters in the GOP Primary did. PARTY bosses spoke and opted to be neurtral, unlike the Dems. The party put the decision without strings nor pressure to VOTERS.

Pgh's Republicans acted more democratic and with greater inclusion than Democrats. Citizen activists and champions of principles are turning to the GOP side, especially in the city.

Tom Murphy and Bob O'Connor had four closed-door debates. Cronies in the Dem party always try to toss challengers off the ballot.

In the future, only cronies with $1-million PACs but without ideas and hope for self-government are going to be Dem candidates. The Dems killed themselves in 2001 by slamming the door to opposition, so un-american. That was the biggest news. Volk's political story missed what was most important, and in lesser matters, he scored the same.

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Quinn and Rose talk to Carmine

Dr. James Carmine, Republican candidate for Mayor of Pittsburgh, was interviewed today (May 30th) on the Quinn & Rose show. The interview lasted the best part of the final 35 minutes of the show.

I jotted down a few things I heard as best I could (in between phone calls, emails, etc. engineering equations) while listening at work today. Nothing here is verbatim, but I think I got the drift of the conversation for the most part. If you want the full interview or to confirm anything I might have possibly misrepresented then go to Quinn's show archives for today at:

** Offering tax incentives to bring businesses into an area often brings in bad businesses that wouldn't come in otherwise. This policy brings in outsiders at the expense of insiders.

** Tom Murphy is an arrogant man. He's subject to his vision overriding his common sense. All too often he gives away the farm to outside businesses in the form of tax breaks.

** It's bad to buy votes with public funds. Stadiums and a north shore "Disneyland" are examples of this. Democrats have sold out the black community time after time, but they still somehow manage to get their votes.

** The colleges and universities in Pittsburgh are a great local strength. (What would you expect a
local college professor to say?) He sees an opportunity for government to help to keep these
young people here. Quinn cautioned about adopting a "central planning" mindset and suggested just eliminating things like entertainment taxes, but Dr. Carmine didn't seem convinced that a more active government would be bad.

** Quinn said that he'd like to invite Dr. Carmine back for additional interviews to let voters know that there is another candidate out there.

Monday, May 21, 2001

UPMC Eye and Ear Institute Open House

You are cordially invited to an open house to celebrate the newly renovated audiology and hearing aid department.

20-minute hands-on demostrations:

- Noise reduction technology
- Directional microphone technology for hearing and noise
- Disposable hearing aids
- Assistive listening devices
- Video otoscope - come see your own ear canal and ear drum

Monday, May 21, 2001, 1-4 pm

203 Lothrop Street

Evening Program

4:30-4:45 Catherine V. Palmer, Ph.D., Director, audiology and Hearing Aids, UPMC Health System, Welcome

4:45 to 5:30 Mead C. Killion, Ph.D., President, Etymotic Research, Missing Dots: Audibility or Missing Inner Hair Cells -- It's All the Same to the Brain

5:30 to 5:45 Eugene N. Myers, MD, Professor and Chairman, Dept of Otolaryngology, Remarks

5:45 to 6:45 Dinner

6:45 to 7:15 pm Gail Dudmundsen, MA, Gundhear Inc. LOBAT-Standard or Option on All Hearing Aids

7:15 to 7:45 pm Robert Sweetow, PhD., Univ. of California, San Francisco, The Efficacy of Disposable, Entry Leval and Instant Fit Hearing Aids

7:45 to 9 pm, Dessert and reception in the newly renovated audiology and hearing aid department, Eye & Ear Institute, 4th floor

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

InPgh: Tribune-Review Causes Republican To Convert to Liberal Views: Antichrist consults publicist about future

This article ran in the InPgh, an alternative newsweekly, on 5-16-01. It was by Marty Levine
Too late for the primary but far ahead of the general election, presumptive Republican nominee Jim Carmine has had a change of heart about the Citzens Police Review Board and the federal consent decree under which Pittsburgh police operate. He's now in favor of them. And it's all thanks to that bastion of leberalism, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which has not covered Carmine the way ti pushed James Roddey for county executive over Cyril Wecht. A Trib reporter (whom Carmine wishes to keep anonymous, lest the poor man lose his job) asked Carmine some challenging questions that proved a conversion experience shortly before the primary. "yes, indeed, we deserve the consent decree," Carmine now says. "we did some awful stuff in Pittsburgh. We did it, we got it, we earned it." The CPRB is a much more complicated animal -- limping and toothless actually -- but Carmine believes it could work with the right support from the mayor's office. He cites the Garrity warning, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which lets police testify without being prosecuted by such review bodies as the CPRB. "I would indeed be willing to coerce police testimony" using Garrity, Carmine says. "What is happening now is despicable. The police sit there with their hands folded" before the CPRB while the board hands out sentences unenforceable by Chief Robert McNeilly, Jr. under current police contracts. "Which means the mayor's office will be sued." Carmine concludes. "But it makes it very, very clear that the mayor is behind the CPRB." Imagine that.

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

Last mayoral debate stars all 7 hopefuls

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

By James O'Toole, Politics Editor, Post-Gazette

The men who would be mayor traded views on schools, public safety and transportation issues last night in the final debate before next Tuesday's primary election.

For five of the candidates, it was the only chance to share a televised stage with Mayor Tom Murphy and City Council President Bob O'Connor, the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination that has for decades been tantamount to election in Pittsburgh.

"Thank God for public television. We finally have all the candidates together," Democrat Leroy L. Hodge remarked as the 90-minute session opened.

The incumbent was, as expected, the most frequent target of criticism, but the tone of the evening was more earnest than contentious.

O'Connor challenged Murphy's management of the police department, faulting the fact that the city entered into a federal consent decree governing police conduct. The councilman also criticized the fact that last year's police recruiting class had no minorities and only three females.

Murphy strongly defended his management and the department's performance while again criticizing O'Connor for his promise to fire Police Chief Robert McNeilly Jr.

"We've made big changes; we're batting 100 percent on the consent decree," Murphy said. "We've changed the culture."

James Carmine, a Republican candidate, saw a lack of leadership on Murphy's part over police officers refusing to testify before the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board.

Mark Rauterkus, the other GOP hopeful, said he would increase awareness on police issues by televising deliberations of the police review board.

Hodge said he would stress improved education and training for officers and do more to recruit city residents for the force.

In response to a question on the problems of trash and dumping in the city, Murphy said he was considering establishing a special environmental court to increase visibility and prosecution of environmental crimes.

O'Connor said the answer was not a new court but a larger budget for the city's Public Works Department.

"We don't have to reinvent the wheel all over again," O'Connor said.

Earl V. Jones Sr., another Democrat, said that the answer to the problem was personal example."I spent two years of my life cleaning up my neighborhood," said the Hazelwood retiree. "You have to show the people even if you have to do it yourself."

On transportation, O'Connor said that the completion of the city portion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway offered promise in easing congestion in city neighborhoods such as Squirrel Hill.

But Murphy sounded a distinctly skeptical note on the mammoth construction project, which is strongly supported by some of the same labor unions that support him in the coming primary.

"I have not embraced the Mon Valley Expressway yet," he said.

In elaborating after the debate, Murphy said, "The fact of the matter is if you're going to spend millions of dollars on highways, you're never going to have enough money to build a mass transit system like you see in other cites."

On another issue, Murphy said the city had "learned some hard lessons on Plan B," where what he termed "pass-though shenanigans" have allowed the circumvention of promises that a specified portion of the stadium construction work would go to minority and female-owned firms.

Democrat Joshua Pollock called the Murphy administration's record on minority contracting "one of the most disgusting things this city has done."

Tuesday, May 01, 2001


Homewood Brushton Meet the Candidates Forum
Homewood Library Auditorium

Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidates Only

Radio debate notes with James Carmine

Contrast with Jim Carmine

Roles: I'm a citizen. The professor has said that he started his political career.... Carmine ran for office in the past. I've never run for office. And, IMSHO, running for office does not make a career.

Cash: Professor Carmine thinks that big fundraising is ready to occur and serious contributions are expected after he wins the primary. Or, perhaps, after the primary season has ended. I don't. I'm ready to make a lot of waves with very little money. We don't expect to get more than $50 from any one contibutor. We need to bootstrap. We need to run the city on less money. We need to run our campaign on less as well. To spend 1/10th or 1/20th of what the Democrat spends will be a badge of accomplishment.

Role of the City Government: I think that we need to contract the role of city's long-arm and get out of the gross development deals. Carmine has said that government needs to do what the people want.

I think that the prime role of mayor's office is to follow the laws and administer jutice. I advocate a strong embrace for the constitution.

Taxes: Raise, Same, Lower? My answer is short: We'll lower taxes.
Let's start with the deed-transfer tax. There are some wreckless taxes that are holding us back. We need to take away those chains so we can reward and not punish the actions that we desire. To sell and buy your home needs to be rewarded and made easier, not more expensive. The deed-transfer tax hits hardest as it comes as an upfront fee taking money away from the down-payment.
Professor Carmine's long answer as to what he'd do with taxes made a fuzzy approach. He said, "We'll see when we get there," or after he figures out more of the details.

Notes were from from a 30-minute radio debate on the Jerry Bowyer show in the spring of 2001.

Thursday, April 19, 2001

American Academy of Audiology -- convention in San Diego

The 13th Annual Convention and Exposition means a trip to San Diego. We lived large. Got to visit on the convention floor. Had parties with top professionals and celebs.

Took a trip to Terje's home office too. He lives on the island and does impressive computer programs with LISP, mainly.

The dates: April 19 to 22, 2001.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Speech: To Pump & Pittsburgh Next

Talking Notes from Mark's from April 11, 2001

An event at the Downtown Carnegie Library auditorium was held with five organizations including Ground Zero, PUMP and Pittsburgh Next. Pittsburgh Young Professionals ( was involved too.

The event's administration was bogus. Everyond did a fine job as far as being proper gentleman, but the event was silly from the outset. Strong objections to the format were voice weeks ago. All-in-all, the event was another sink and squandered opportunity. The organizers had plenty of clout, but they caved to the heavyweight candidates. They blinked. We all lost. So, these squeeking wheels roll for another day.

Ken Rice, you are a watchdog. You are part of the professional broadcasting media. You need to do your duties. Roles need to be filled. A bulk of the blame rests upon your shoulders.

The downside of the non-debate format includes the lack of will on the part of the young professional leadership for accelerated efforts in the next round. There is little hope that the group will get it right for the General Election if they so badly fumbled this round. This cycle was to be a dress-rehersal for events yet to come in the months of May, June, July, August, September and October -- getting set for the November 6th general.

My advice to the other organizations: Save face and plan your own events for the summer months. And, talk with the candidates or the ex-candidates in depth in advance of the program decisions.

Format Flaws:
Give and take among the candidates is needed. We need follow-up questions. We need to hear each other's replies. We need to run a campaign that isn't in a vacume. We need to get to the issues, and those who prevent that from happening are part of the problem. The Mayor is not being held accountable. The Mayor's show-and-tell is going to unravel as soon as the formats are done with some hints of fairness. There is very little justice at work in this city when there is no justice in the campaign process. It is not fair to be told that I can not listen to what my competitors say. Being closed minded is never a good option.

The news director at KQV said that the event was "worthless." He is right.

As a candidate who is going to trumpet justice, I can not take part in events that are unfair -- such as the one being organized for the next week by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Alliance and the Warhol Museum.

Life isn't fair. But, we need to hold our government in the role of protecting freedoms, rights and fairness. It is the role of government to insure fairness in justice. That is the highest mission of order -- and the justice is lacking with Mayor Murphy and Bob O'Connor.

These themes are not new to my campaign messages. On the very first instance when I shared a podium with three of the other candidates, I made a big point to the hosting organization, then at the JCC, that I was not happy that all the candidates were not invited and provided with equal time. Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice does. At times 99% correct is 100% wrong.



Young man, Young Man!
Your arms are too short to box with God.

My arms are too short to box with God.

The late, great, #8, Willie Stargell had powerful, athletic arms -- and they were too short.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. -- his arms were too short to box with God.

    Mayor Murphy -- He can't even climb into the ring.

  • Lone Voice

    As a single voice, it is impossible to make serious changes against the forces of tides. As a lone voice, they will break you like a twig.

    A Struggle Brews within Pittsburgh

    A struggle is in our midst.

    This struggle is not between the Pirates and another franchise of million-dollar entertainers.

    Not between the spectator and the empty seats and quotas of Nacho consumption.

    Not between Bob O'Connor and Tom Murphy and a cast of sideline characters.

    Not between the Democrats and the Republicans.

    Not between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

    Not even between those that "Have" and those that "Have-Not."

    True, Real, Actual, Serious, Insightful, Wise battle / fight / wages / campaign

    The Real Struggle comes down to The New vs. The Old.

    As a Free-Market Republican, I'm going to claim that this struggle has on one-side: The natural marketplace forces. This is very organic and includes respect for the web-of-life.

    On the other side is what is known as "corporate welfare." Government intrusion for the sake of a few corporate entities. It's eminent domain. authority-driven, top-down attitudes.

    Simple Terms for this struggle I see:

    Those who want to make history or those who are slaves of history.

    The real struggle is about the process: Should it be Bottom-Up or Top-Down.

    Distributed or Centralized power grids.

    Email and Web-Site Campaigns or old-school backslapping.

    Should leaders emerge from the ranks of the ordinary or should they be anointed?

    Should officials act like humble servants or else like pompous incumbents?

    Is the purpose: By the people and for the people -- or else -- to the people?

    Do votes mater and should they even occur -- or -- should work happen with leverage appointments and Authority Boards -- URA, Water-and-Sewer -- Stadium Authority. To a lesser extent, the Mayor has been running a charade with Plan C Task Forces and Riverlife Task Force.

    Are Grant Street actions for the flow and the means -- or - about the Ends? What about Results? Mayor Murphy says what gets done matters most. Murphy's talks say, "Look at the results." The key word in his campaign is RESULTS.

    I care more about HOW things get done rather than what gets done.

    Classic question: focus on the Destination or Journey? This is Government, not Business. When we look long and hard at things, the Mayor's story unravels. The ways, the being, the endeavors and the mingling count most -- not the end-result.

    Mussolini got the trains to run on time. Maglev, more on that later.

    Woops. I was going to have that be my "big line" of the night. It didn't get delivered. I'll have to use it in another setting later.

    Citizenship or cronies, board-rooms, done-deals.

    Open-source software or closed, proprietary, deals where we have to subpoena methodology from Sabre Systems.

    I crave inclusion -- and the Mayor is quick to point out Naysayers.

    Let's level-the-playing field, not perpetuate the status quo.

    I want to heighten our mobility and extend our free flow of thinking. We need to better our decision-making models. Or -- do we want to spin our wheels in a rut?

    A fluid, interactive approach or else dogmatic directions.

    Sustainable development or Nordstroms, Subsidies, TIFs.

    Being Free or being a subject.

    Total wellness or band-aids and triage from the emergency room.

    Proactive -- or too-little and/or too late.

    Behind-the-scenes struggle:

    The struggle takes many perspectives. I hope to share hundreds of them with you all on the web and in a couple of books. We need to take some time and connect the dots. We need to illustrate and come to common ground.

    Republicans and Dems

    I'll deliver the sustainable discussion and content that can take us to new civic insights. That is the message of tonight.

    Republicans, I want a landslide endorsement and support in the primary. Democrates, please read the book, make a donation, copy the handout.

    First Clincher for Courage: Justice

    Those who work on Grant Street have been lacking in their execution and respect for justice. The bulk of our problems center upon justice. When you boil it down, the justice in our lives is wanting. Justice can be the sole reason for toss them out of office.

    Second Clincher for Courage: Imagination

    Beyond justice, the heavyweighs are lacking in imagination. The creativity, the brilliance, the scope and depth of understandings and solutions have been wanting.

    They both pale in both JUSTICE and IMAGINATION.

    Once we engage all of our people in moment -to-moment justice and then inject some short-term and long-term imagination into the political landscape -- Pittsburgh will soar. Pittsburgh can thrive, not just survive.

    We need a plan for success. What Bob and Tom deliver sustains and quickens our declines for opportunities and population growth.


    Voting for Josh and Leroy Hodge is not a wasted statement. Not in the primary season.


    This next session didn't get delivered. I closed with the metion of Humpty Dumpty.

    Imagination for Solving Problems

    Some say that it is not possible to solve problems. Rather, decisions trade one set of problems for another. Some say government has no business solving marketplace problems, rather it only needs to administer justice.

    The Mayor's focus on results, says watch him solve problems.

    When the Mayor becomes a developer, then the developers become the government.

    Insightful leaders, those with great imaginations, choose pathways and make decisions from a long list of alternatives. It takes more imagination to develop that long-list of alternatives. It takes a great deal of inclusion to get all the ideas forward and flowing into the quilt of possibilities.

    Leadership with lacking imaginations often feels that the list of possibilities is short. Our elected officials need to realize that the potential list of creativity and imagination is alive and well within the people.

    There are plenty of other alternatives.

    Think again.


    Courage to Campaign

    To remove Mayor Murphy, we need big investigations into the alternatives. We need to know how the various candidates think and how they act. We need to know where they measure themselves on terms of justice and the matters that count the most.

    Let's play some volleyball with the issues. Let's learn to bump, set, spike.Let's have a contest in this pursuit so we all can win.


    Questions that came from the audience:

    Questions about my experience:

    I've never held any elected office. I'm not with a lot of experiences in stealing the tax-payers money. I prefer to be an open candidate and Mayor. I'm not versed in how to hide money from the public view and deceit.

    As a coach, I'm confident that I can lead and manage. I know how to ask people to perform and work with them to get the best out of us all.

    As a college educated person, I know how to communicate. I have a web-site. I'll use email. The one's who have graced the stage before me don't even have web sites.

    What about the PAT Bus Fares going up?

    Public transportation is a very big item in the city. That is one of the important aspects of making a more livable city.

    The PAT set-up is an Authority. They are low accountability. They are appointed boards. I want to move away from those styles of government.
    We need to get away from the corporate welfare and then we will have a lot of additional nickles in our pockets. The under river tunnel to service the North Side is going to cost some additional $600 Million. We don't need that type of spending.

    Question: What would you do for small business so that my computer firm would be able to compete with another much larger firm? (i.e., Computer Associates)

    I'd hope that if you can make a better widget than the other firms, the world will beat a pathway to your door. As mayor, I'd try to get the city to do some things -- such as cutting away red tape. We can look into ways to make the city vibrant so that you can recruit and retain employees. We can work to cross the digital divide with our citizens. We can provide better high-tech infrastructure, broadband wireless.

    What about Charter Schools, Vouchers, Education?

    The city has some choice in education now with the magnet program. That is good. More choice is better. We have a nice system of private schools. The city has a lot of home-schooled kids n the city as well. I think that there is a lot that the city and the Mayor's office can do right away to toss out some services for the home-school population within the city, such as with Citiparks. I want to retain those families within the city.

    My opponent is going to talk endlessly about Charter Schools. That is fine. He can do it to a fault.

    I think some Charter Schools can be great. Mostly, I'd love to open up 15-new Charter Schools because we have a million-people living within Pittsburgh again. We can open up the new schools with new arrivals to town.

    The Mayor can do a few things for education. For starters, the mayor can look into taking the older buildings that are closing off of the hands of the School District. We can look into making plans for their use in better ways -- sustainable ways.


    Letter to Mark Rauterkus from Rick Santorum, US Senator @ Campaign Finance Reform