Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday: Comin At Ya

It's been a long race, getting past financial problems, trying to change corporate disinterest, rejecting dead ends and moving on toward a finish line, but after a five-year absence, the Pittsburgh Marathon likely will return next year. (P-G, Steve Levin)


Before its demise, the marathon had the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as its title sponsor. But UPMC's pulling out of that role following the 2003 event brought an end to the race.

We did not know that.


Of course, this campaign at its heart was always about discrimination. The dead giveaway was the inclusion of language extending the same-sex ban to "the functional equivalent of marriage," which one doesn't have to be an activist judge to interpret as civil unions. Banning civil unions would have nothing to do with preserving the sanctity of marriage. It would have everything to do with a powerful majority imposing its will on a vulnerable minority. (P-G, Edit Board)

Good point.


Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton's adversary and the media's darling, vaulted to the front of the Democratic primary pack by promising to heal our wounds and mend our divisions. But this man who would transcend America's tragic history of racism had as his pastor and "spiritual adviser" a man of the cloth who preaches racial hatred.

Hypocrisy creates the need for irony, but don't point out this disappointing situation to Mr. Obama's college-aged believers, however, or they will call you, weeping at your cynicism. Sigh.

You take a big step from childhood to adulthood when you realize that things are often not at all what they seem. (P-G, Ruth Ann Daily)

Sigh, indeed.

Does it not matter that Barack Obama publicly and vehemently rejected the offending sentiments, expressing to us all the points of his disagreement with extreme specificity? Are all pro-choice politicians who attend the churches of pro-life pastors also base hypocrites? How about the ones who believe in contraception? There are a multitude of reasons to attend church, or to be part of any particular religious community. To ascribe to Barack Obama one particular set of motives and understandings strikes us as a bit ungenerous.

More importantly -- with this ever-present tone of condescending, wholesale dismissal of the great bulk of Obama supporters -- we are beginning to realize that ageism runs both ways, and is outright approved of in one of them.


Some political insiders believe the relatively pricey fundraiser will line Ravenstahl's campaign coffers to the point where no one will dare challenge him next year, when he has to run for a full term. (Trib, Whisper People)

Other political insiders believe that even a trillion skillion bo-billion dollars won't keep a whole swarm of sharks away from this juicy morsel.

Madonna and Young conclude that Matthews is likely to run. "And if he runs, he will start the race well known, highly motivated and well financed. He deserves to be taken seriously."

Chris Matthews will never be taken seriously. However, being a Democrat and all, we may well wind up voting for him anyway. We would need someone to make Al Franken appear serious.


Applications for more than 250 summer jobs for Pittsburgh residents 14 to 18 are available online at and, or at the Downtown office of the Student Conservation Association, 239 Fourth Ave., Investment Building, Suite 1007. (P-G, Team Effort)

Councilman Burgess has been outspoken in the media touting this endeavor, along with Mayor Ravenstahl.


One last big rally for Schenley High School is being organized to coincide with today's School Board meeting. The cause of Frick Middle School is somehow in the mix as well.

When: Monday, May 12 [today] at 7:00 PM
Where: 341 S. Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (Between 5th and Forbes)

Presumably, they are less concerned with the handsome building than with the actual school inhabiting it.


  1. Frick isn't "somehow" involved -- it is being killed, but, without votes, of course. That's how the administration does it.

    Frick Middle School is a very good school. The administration (Mark Roosevelt) wants to close Frick. Again, they are closing the best schools and doing NOTHING for the failing schools.

    The break what is working and do NOT fix what is broken.

    The district is about to topple. Mark Roosevelt's reforms suck. They are failing. The future is worse than the past failures. Folly isn't strong enough of a description.

    The kids in grade 6, 7 and 8 that go to Frick will one day need to go to Reisenstein. Perhaps the year after next, fall 2009.

    Meanwhile, in Aug 2008, those that are now in 8th grade at Frick who expect to go to high school will STAY at FRICK. Go figure.

    I.B. High = Riesenstein.

    Teachers and students have been fleeing Frick for a few years now. It is so sad.

    Families don't like being yanked (jacked) around.

    FUD = Fear, uncertainty, doubt.

    FUD is what Roosevelt is best at delivering.

    They should REPLICATE what works. Expand Frick. Make a new Frick / International Studies middle school. Expand CAPA. Expand Rodgers. Expand I.B. by making a second IB program.

    Scratch what does NOT work.

  2. BTW, this won't be the 'last rally' for Schenley. There will be another month in this cycle. And, it won't even end with next year's plan.

    Some struggles won't die an easy death.

    Schenley was slated to be closed with Roosevelt's "right sized plan" three years ago.

  3. I don't know much personally about Frick and why it is of great value, so I don't want to jump on the bandwagon blindly -- but your description of how it is being killed "without votes" strikes me as typical.

    I only described th rally as a "last, big rally" because that is how it was described to me on a student invitation. Is the final vote really not occurring for a month? That is good, I think.

  4. Often they just wear you down. Death by a thousand paper clips.

    The don't repair a leaking roof. They don't insist that the windows really open. They let the walls crumble. They hire the specialized language teachers after school starts -- saying 45 in a classroom is good enough for one teacher.

  5. Ha! Love the picture. "Kick, punch, it's all in the mind!"

  6. i loved fisa!! from what i remember. it'd be a shame to see a good school close.

  7. Yes, just to clarify (late) Roosevelt is to make his recommendation on the building itself on the 19th and the board is to vote on that recommendation in June.

    The programs have already been moved for next year -- a move that some board members interpreted as being for one year (since it had 2008-2009 in the title it wasn't a big stretch) but were laughed at for having believed that at a more recent meeting.

    It's my sincere hope that at some point the rest of the district wakes up and sees what's coming. All district choice (which I honestly don't have a problem with in theory, though I'm not sure I trust them to come up with an equitable way of running such a program -- you know some areas would fight it kicking and screaming) is one, the future of comprehensive, 9-12 high schools is another. How many themed schools have to be opened before a high school or two or three have to be closed? Do they just die through attrition or is there a plan for this?

    IF (big IF) the new schools succeed, we'll have more smaller schools -- which will come with fewer electives, fewer sports, fewer of all the things that make a comprehensive HS, well, comprehensive. They assure us that those sorts of cutbacks aren't in the plans, but, uh, you're paying for new buildings, more buildings, more programs...and you'll find ways to fund sports and electives in all these smaller schools, with fewer kids to participate. Uh huh.

    If they'd followed through on their promises to the ALAs, if they'd made good attempts to help the kids shoved into the IB program this year, if if if, we might feel more inclined to trust their current promises. But they haven't and we don't.