Friday, April 04, 2014

Fwd: Graffiti Watch Paint-Out Saturday 12 April

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "South Side Community Council GRAFFITI WATCH Action Group" <>
Date: Apr 4, 2014 4:04 PM
Subject: Graffiti Watch Paint-Out Saturday 12 April
To: "Graffiti Watch" <>


JOIN US in our effort to prevent and remove graffiti on the South Side.

South Side Community Council Graffiti Watch, formed in 2007, is a dedicated group of community volunteers who continue to work together to prevent and remove graffiti from the South Side.

 Keeping a community free of graffiti has required a sustained effort and continues to be one among may examples that the South Side Cares and is a caring community. 



Date:  SATURDAY 12 April

Time:  9:00 AM

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

Graffiti Watch
Phone: 412-254-8226

South Side Community Council GRAFFITI WATCH



Sunday, March 30, 2014

This weekend accomplishments with Grant Rauterkus, student athlete at PPS. Waves in Water Polo

Hi all,

Grant Rauterkus, 16, South Side resident and 10th grade student athlete from Pittsburgh Obama Academy, participated in two national events since Wedsday to Sunday.

First was a research poster he was first author with based on sound quality measurements with musicians hearing protection of fellow classmates in the school's steel drum band to the American Academy of Audiology annual conference, branded Audiology NOW! ( in the Orange County Convention Center is Orlando, Florida. The scientific and professional meeting is the largest event for that profession with more than 7,000 registered, including a 2014 NFL Super Bowl player, Derrick Coleman, of the Seattle Seahawks, and spokesperson and user Duracell hearing aid batteries. 

Second, Grant traveled to the Dallas area to be a starter for the A team for the Northeast Zone (includes Pa to Md, to Maine) team as part of USA Water Polo's Olympic Development Program, East/West Boys Regional Championships playing for the Red Squad, grades 9 and 10. His team won 2 matches on Saturday beating the Mountain (includes Colorado) and Pacific Northwest (includes Seattle) squads by greater than 10 goals in each game. A two goal loss came in Sunday's first game to the Southwest (includes Texas) team. The final game was a win, 16-8, over Southeast (includes Florida). Grant scored on a play from the 2 post on a man up opportunity.

Third, Throughout the water polo tournament the USA National Team Coaches evaluate all the players and make invitations to a "USA Water Polo Selection Camp" to be held in May in California. Results of those tryouts make players that are put onto the various Junior USA squads for future international tournaments. This invite to the selection camp, the first ever earned by Grant, puts him in the final stages for opportunities to join USA squads for his age group. This pathway eventually leads to the picking of USA Olympic Games Team and helps tremendously in becoming a blue-chip recruit for college water polo teams and scholarships.

Background: Many other players and coaches from the greater Pittsburgh area participated this weekend with the boys and last weekend in Salt Lake City with the girls event. Tiger Water Polo's squad had players in all age groups and helped the Notheast Zone win its third consecutive championship game in the oldest age group of 11th and 12th grade players. 

Other sources are available for follow up, after contacting me including: 

Mr Starsenic, Tiger Club President and Northeast Zone coach for 7th and 8th grade players. His son Max, 11th grade, was 2013 PA water Polo player of the year for State Champions, North Allegheny High School. They are going to the west coast to visit UCLA, USC and other possible colleges for Max in 2 years.

Grant's Club Coach, Nikola M, of Tiger Water Polo. 

Grant's zone coach, Chad, assistant at GWU.

Grant's father, me, Mark Rauterkus, is also Grant's varsity swimming and golf coach. On Saturday morning, I was in the Bayor Medical Center in Grapevine, Texas with surgery to remove my appendix, so I have no photos to send at this point.

Coach Greg Kinzler of the Plum area who was an assistant coach with the Northeast Zone goalies. Is son, Greg Jr, played too and is now in 11th grade.

Rick Swartz, CEO of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, sponsor of the Summer Dreamers Swim and Water Polo Camps that will operate with nearly 200 PPS students at Langley, Carmalt and Faison schools.

Jeffery Igims, Grant's Elem PPS PE teacher and an activity camp coordinator for the Summer Dreamers site at Pittsburgh Langley K-8.

Grant and some of his PPS and club mates has been coaches with PPS Summer a Dreamers Swim & Water Polo Camps. 

Grant travels on Monday back to Pittsburgh and should be at school on Tuesday. 

In the weeks to come 4 USA Water Polo Olympians will lead a clinic at University of Pittsburgh. A squad from Greenwich, Ct, will be in Pittsburgh to give some games to the Pittsburgh players the day before the weekend clinic.

Thanks for your interest. Feel free to follow up. I will do my best to assist. 

Mark Rauterkus


Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Polo visitor to Pittsbugh

We also have 4-time Olympian, team captain, gold medalist from London 2012 Brenda Villa coming to NASH on Sunday. For everyone that is not sure how important Brenda Villa is, I will just say that we have done a training exercise named after her. The aquatics complex at her hometown is named after her and she is only 34 years old. She is Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson combined of women's water polo. She is a living legend. I promise that the 2 hours spent with her on Sunday morning will be a memory for life. Again, its Sunday 9:30am-12:00 pm and its $30 per player. Please bring cash or check named to Tiger Water Polo. Mrs Rubio will help us collect the fees.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fwd: Sanctions? How About Sanctions Against the United States?

--- Forwarded message -
From: Andy Piascik <>
Subject: Sanctions? How About Sanctions Against the United States?
This article was posted Friday at Znet
                             Sanctions? How About Sanctions Against the United States?
                                                                               by Andy Piascik 
            As the United States imposes sanctions on Russia and moves to do likewise to Venezuela, it’s essential to keep in mind which country it is that’s the most destructive and dangerous in the world today. When such questions have been posed in international polls in recent decades, the answer overwhelmingly is the United States. Not Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia or any of the many other nations the ruling class and corporate media here regularly demonize, but the United States.
People in the global South know this all too well from the long and brutal history of US foreign policy. Because we live in such a closed society, however, where critical analysis of imperialism is by definition excluded from discussions in Washington and the national media, people here must search long and hard for such information. Should information of this sort seep into the mainstream, ruling elites invariably vilify it and those imparting it just as they vilify international figures they regard as enemies.
According to Washington, sanctions are being considered against Venezuela because of repressive measures and violence that is attributed almost exclusively to the government. In reality, counterrevolutionaries are responsible for the majority of those killed including at least one death of a motorcyclist decapitated by wire strung across a street. This tactic was suggested by retired General Angel Vivas, who has become a hero of the counterrevolution for his armed defiance of the government’s attempt to arrest him for the motorcyclist’s death. Simultaneously, the US has imposed sanctions against Russia and is threatening military escalation in response to the incursion into Crimea. Conveniently left out of the narrative is any connection between Russia’s actions and the coup in the Ukraine led by fanatically anti-Russian neo-fascists, an effort supported by the US to the tune of $5 billion, according to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Also excluded from discussions are the many military stations the US and its allies have close to Russia, as well as the fact that practically every member of the former Eastern bloc now belongs to NATO.
As always, these events are presented in unambiguous black and white, where we are the unquestioned good guys standing up for freedom, democracy and liberty and the other side is evil incarnate. Hillary Clinton, for example, played the always handy Hitler Card in reference to Vladimir Putin, a card that in recent decades has been applied to Noriega, Milosevic, Qaddaffi, Chavez, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Assad and Ahmadinejad, to name just some. The Hitler Card has never been used against Mass Murder Inc, the US’s longstanding club of dictators that includes the Somozas, Suharto, Diem, Savimbi, the Duvaliers, Mobutu and others too numerous to list, since they were loyal servants of Western business interests. And it goes without saying that the Hitler Card doesn’t apply to us even though in the world today it is US foreign policy that most closely approximates the Third Reich’s.   
In fact, the black/white narrative collapses immediately both when today’s situations are probed and when history is reviewed. Since documenting acts of direct US aggression and additional crimes committed via financing, armaments and diplomatic support to client states would require several large libraries, let’s restrict ourselves to just the 14 years of this century.  In 2001, the US invaded Afghanistan, ostensibly in response to the 9/11 attacks even though none of those involved was Afghan and most were Saudi. Invading Saudi Arabia wouldn’t do, however, since it’s a staunch and very important ally. As Noam Chomsky has documented, the Taliban offered to assist the US in tracking those responsible for 9/11, including bin Laden, on the condition the US present evidence. Because the US was determined to wage war no matter what, the offer was rejected and the invasion of Afghanistan commenced. Thirteen years and trillions of dollars later, the killing goes on, expanded under Obama to include indiscriminate drone strikes, with no end in sight.
In 2002, reactionaries representing Venezuela’s Super Rich put tens of millions of dollars of funding from the CIA, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy and undoubtedly other US sources to use by overthrowing the democratically-elected, immensely popular government of the late Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan people immediately rose up and defeated the coup but the funding, sabotage and subversion have continued. Angry and frustrated at continual losses at the polls and in the streets, the old oligarchs fight on absent any international support other than that of the US and neighboring Colombia. The violence that began last month is the most serious moment in Venezuela since the failed 2002 coup, and despite its complete isolation the US has ramped up its 15-year propaganda war against the Bolivarian Revolution.
In 2003, the US illegally overran Iraq, demolishing the country as well as the argument used to justify the invasion that Hussein was a powerful threat because of weapons of mass destruction. The US knew no such weapons existed and the invasion has resulted in what some  international reports say is more than one million Iraqi deaths.  Coming on the heels of the 1991 US invasion and the ensuing years of Sanctions of Mass Destruction, Iraq has been largely destroyed and is now plagued by bitter internal fighting. Central to that fighting is Al-Qaeda, which had absolutely no presence in Iraq but is now a formidable force thanks to the invasion.
After hammering Muammar Qaddafi for decades to turn over Libya’s weapons, the US illegally invaded that country in 2011 not long after he complied. At least 50,000 people were killed as a result including Qaddafi, and Libya was plunged into chaos that continues to this day. Elsewhere in the Mideast, the US continues to support Israel’s ever-expanding occupation of Palestine and again finds itself on the same side as Al-Qaeda and other terrorists in Syria as it attempts to do there what it did in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.
Since the 1990’s, the US has supported mass killer Paul Kagame in Rwanda while presenting him as a hero. In reality, the war in Rwanda began with the 1990 invasion from Uganda by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, an army Kagame soon became head of. Four years later, with peace talks underway, the RPF killed Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana by shooting down a plane on which he was returning from a negotiating session. Thus began the most horrific period in the region, with mass killings on all sides and the US undermining peacekeeping efforts and several potential settlements so the RPF could win a complete victory.
Former UN Secretary General for one puts the blame on the US for its support of Kagame and the RPF. As reported recently in Counterpunch by Robin Philpot, Boutros-Gali has said that “the Rwandan genocide was 100% American responsibility.” Reports by a number of international organizations, including several by the UN, concluded that the RPF is responsible for more than one million deaths and possibly several million in Rwanda. In addition, UN and other reports have found the RPF responsible for the most serious atrocities during years of warfare in the neighboring Congo. Edward Herman has called Kagame a “double genocidist” while underscoring that the US made the killing possible and business interests benefited most from it.
In Latin America, in addition to supporting counterrevolution in Venezuela, the US continues to lavish millions on Colombia in a decades-long War on Drugs that is, in fact, a war against the people designed to destroy opposition to domination by global capital. And in 2009, the US was virtually alone in the world in recognizing the coup government that came to power in Honduras in 2009 by overthrowing democratically-elected reformer Manuel Zelaya. The coup and two fraudulent elections have restored the oligarchy’s power while opponents are being killed in alarming numbers by the military, paramilitaries and others suspected of ties to the coup regime. The eradication of opposition is necessary to the smooth operation of mining multinationals in particular, and Western investments have increased dramatically since the coup.
US violence is not restricted to other nations. Domestically, that is best illustrated by the massive imprisonment of African-Americans. With the highest incarceration rate in the world and the vast majority of prisoners black as well as ongoing police and vigilante violence aimed almost exclusively at blacks, the US is not so different from apartheid-era South Africa. Perhaps international sanctions are in order to turn the US into a pariah, and diplomatic isolation would help the world’s most dangerous state get a dose of civilization.
The people of the US bear a special responsibility to oppose both its government’s aggression and its funding and arming of subordinates engaged in terror.  During the US-financed Central American killing fields of the 1980’s, a campesino at the New York stop of her speaking tour implored people here to “help us by changing your country.” Those words echo louder than ever today and come from every part of the world; it remains to be seen whether our collective reply to those cries is in the affirmative.
Andy Piascik is a long-time activist and award-winning author who writes for Z Magazine, The Indypendent, Counterpunch and many other publications and websites. He can be reached at        

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell