Category Archives for Come Live Over Here

Citiparks closed all the parks

This is our backyard. it is presently to be closed. The yellow tape didn't stop everyone from recreational activities.

Allegheny County Park put in more port-a-johns

Way to go Allegheny County Parks Department. Thanks! Recreation = Re-Creation.

Update: March 30, 2020

The city has issued more news on the closing of parks in a more stringent way. No basketball nor sports is to be played. The first attempt was a bit weak and not well followed. 

Keep your social distance, even when on the bike paths

COVID-19 message from Mark Rauterkus

Basketball hoop with wooden block

Buck up. Be serious. Stay away. Insist others do likewise. The hospitals are going to get swamped. Pains me to post this. — feeling annoyed.

Historic flashback to the 1918 flu in Pittsburgh, via posting and history book

My source was via Facebook, and John J. Chapman

A friend posted the following from the book The Point of Pittsburgh: Production and Struggle at the Forks of the Ohio by Charles McCollester. This excerpt chronicles the 1918 flu pandemic in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh received an order from the State Health Commissioner on October 4, 1918 closing all places of amusement in the state, including saloons, college football games, movie houses, and public funerals. The order provoked near universal protests by politicians, newspapers and the general public. From October 4 to 7, there were 284 reported cases in the city; on the fifth day, October 8, 453; and on the sixth day, 784. Hospitals were overwhelmed, and any patient capable of being sent home was cleared out. The mayor cancelled all church activities and closed the playgrounds. Churches, clubs, and settlement houses became sick wards. A tent hospital of 300 beds was set up in Washington Park. The deaths began piling up: on October 15, 39 died; October 16, 61; October 17, 75; October 22, 121; October 23, 133. The city was soon struck with a shortage of gravediggers and coffins as well as hospital beds.

Many surrounding towns were worse off than Pittsburgh. Elizabeth had 900 cases. Coal patch and mill towns with their close and cramped quarters were hit especially hard. In Rossiter, Indiana County, one out of five residents had the flu. Carnegie Steel had 2,600 workers off sick. Bishop Canevin of the Catholic Diocese ordered relief stations to be set up in all 27 city wards; sisters served as nurses, and church buildings became infirmaries. On October 29, the death toll crested at 176, and within days, movie houses, saloons and some politicians began pushing hard for an end to the restrictions on gatherings. On November 6, the death toll dropped below 100; two days later, new cases declined to 189 from 585 a week earlier. There was a spike in infections following the November 11 Armistice signing that ended the war and triggered mass celebrations. When it was over, Pittsburgh counted 4,500 dead with 700 children orphaned. Altogether, in Pennsylvania, 40,000 died.

Many in the South Side got to party like the end was near

Photo from East Carson Street on Pittsburgh's South Side on the Saturday night of St. Patrick Day as posted by Peter Werowinski on the Facbook group, South Side Secrets.

Brendan Reene posted:

FYI this garbage can is a perfect metaphor for what our hospitals are gonna be like when everyone who refused to socially distance gets sick enough to need medical treatment.

Pittsburgh’s City Council had a post agenda about the new parks’ tax and outcomes

They didn't allow for feedback, yet

The public could not speak at this meeting. However, a public hearing is in the works for the weeks or months to come. If you have something to say, do so in the comments below or on the comments at the YouTube video as well. 

All the videos from Pittsburgh's City Council are posted on this YouTube playlist. 

New Pittsburgh Parks Tax needs to come to a rescue and re-absorb Fowler Park Pool as a Citiparks facility

Photos to put some context into what happens in the summers at Fowler Park's pool, once called Pleasant Valley, operated by The Pittsburgh Project

Zack with the disk about to take a shot at the SKWIM goal.

Game play engages with sportsmanship, teamwork and swimming skills too. 

Coach Mark talks to the campers at the pool.

Coach Mark leads game-play with SKWIM at the pool of The Pittsburgh Project with campers.

Lifeguard staff

Ms Jackie and the lifeguard staff at The Pittsburgh Project pool in Fowler Park on the Northside.

Deep end action at The Pittsburgh Project

Robust play in the deep end of the pool is always fun, many learn to swim here. 

Job postings for recruiting positions. Working with kids and families.

Click the job title to see the details.

Recruiting Coordinator with Phase 4

Phase 4 Learning Center
5850 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15206

Job Title: Recruiter, Pittsburgh Summer Learn and Earn Program (multiple positions)

Compensation:  $12 - $15/hour (Based of education and experience)

Start/End Dates:  March 10, 2020 – May 31, 2020 (Possible hours of operation in June 2020)

Status: 20-30 hours/week

Submit resume and cover letter to:

                                                                  Lead Learn and Earn Recruiter

Background: Phase 4 Learning Center is assisting with the recruitment phase of a summer internship program for youths between the ages of 14 and 21. The Phase 4 will assist with identifying youths whose families meet certain income requirements and who wish to participate in the Pittsburgh Summer  “Learn and Earn” Program. Phase 4 will assist youths in completing an on-line application and submitting all supporting documentation to Partner4Work to qualify for the program.

Job Summary: Be part of a recruitment campaign team charged with attracting participants to the Pittsburgh Summer Learn & Earn program. Each recruiter will guide potential participants in completing the application process, help coordinate promotional mailings, visit Pittsburgh high schools, conduct phone canvassing, and work a flexible office schedule to maximize the success of the recruitment efforts. Applicants for this position should be creative, highly motivated, self-directed and personable, with a passion for engaging with young people coming from all backgrounds.


  1. Conducting visits to Pittsburgh-area high schools, various community events, and youth serving organizations to identify and gain the interest of potential participants.
  2. Supporting youth and their families apply for the Learn & Earn summer program.
  3. Assist families in submitting copies of all documents required to confirm the eligibility of any applicant to the Learn and Earn program.
  4. Review applications and confidential supporting document.
  5. Partner with other recruitment agencies to achieve a goal of 1,000+ completed applications for the Learn and Earn program.
  6. Coordinate events at sites in the East End community aimed at promoting the Pittsburgh Learn and Earn recruitment campaign.
  7. Conduct mailings and door to door flyer distribution.


  • Strong communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of database, spreadsheet, and word processing applications
  • Current (or ability to quickly obtain) Act 33/34 and FBI clearances
  • Reliable transportation

Learn & Earn Eligibility Field Service for City of Pittsburgh


Job Title: Learn and Earn Eligibility Field Service Agent

City of Pittsburgh Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program


Hourly Rate: $15.00 per hour- hours may be flexible (March thru July, 2020)

Report To:   Program Supervisor

City of Pittsburgh

Department of Human Resources/Pittsburgh Partnership 

304 Wood Street, 5th Floor, 

Pittsburgh, PA 15222.


Phone:  412-255-0863

Fax:  412-255-2112


Send Resume and Cover Letter To:

SUMMARY:  Assists higher-level administrators within the City of Pittsburgh’s review of applications to participate in the summer youth employment program known as Learn and Earn.  

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

    1. Assists in the recruitment of eligible applicants; explains the Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program and distributes applications.
    2. Reviews applications and confidential supporting documentation that has been submitted to the on-line Learn and Earn Application portal.
    3. Determines the correctness and completion of an application and its supporting documentation and certifies the application as eligible, ineligible, or incomplete.  
    4. Determines eligibility of Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program applicants in accordance with eligibility guidelines from, and or required by the City of Pittsburgh, Partner4Work, or other government agencies.  
    5. Enters or modifies electronic data pertaining to Learn and Earn applicants into a central data base. 
    6. Uses spreadsheets to produce reports and track internal information.
    7. Interacts with applicants and their parents, guardians, or other family members by email, text and telephone, to obtain additional supporting information or documentation that may include: financial background and family income and the applicants’ age, address, legal citizenship status. 
    8. Assists in conducting in-service training for other Learn & Earn Summer staff
    9. Identifies problems and recommends and implements, when necessary, approved corrective action
    10. May monitor other program and operational components to ensure compliance with applicable guidelines, laws, regulations.
    11. Assists with other applicant and participant services as need or directed.
    12. May travel to other recruitment facilities or centers in the City of Pittsburgh.



Knowledge –

  1. Knowledge of public administration, organization and management principles
  2. General knowledge of CDBG regulations applicable to the Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program
  3. Interviewing and counseling techniques and skills 
  4. Knowledge of database, spreadsheet and word processing applications

Ability to – 

  1. Prepare written reports, to compile information, and to maintain accurate files and records, both manually and by computer 
  2. Use a computer data base and spreadsheet applications
  3. Perform work assignments in accordance with established policies and  procedures 
  4. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing 
  5. Establish and maintain effective working relationships with supervisors, associates, outside agencies and the general public 
  6. Obtain Pennsylvania Act 33/34 Clearance

Education Required: Two years college or university study preferred, or equivalent

Experience: 1 year of work experience in customer service, management, business, human or social 

services, or personnel administration, or an equivalent number of years of education and practical 


Successful candidates will actually be employees of Goodwill of Southwestern PA.   Drug testing and orientation by Goodwill required. 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Ability to perform job effectively and safely by utilizing required equipment and to be able to move boxes of promotional materials up to 10-25 pounds.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: General Office. May work evenings or weekends and holidays when needed or necessary (rare occurrences).

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: Training on the application data base and any training as required by City of Pittsburgh or it’s Learn and Earn partners such as Goodwill of Southwestern PA and Partner4Work.


PPS Summer Dreamers — proposal for 2020 SKWIM & Water Polo

Check out the proposal for SKWIM  & Water Polo. It is being made with the cooperation of The Pittsburgh Project.

This is a draft, and some changes are expected.

Application for PPS Summer Dreamers Academy 2020 for SKWIM & Water Polo with
The Pittsburgh Project and Coach Mark Rauterkus

Cover Page:

SKWIM & Water Polo

by Coach Mark Rauterkus and The Pittsburgh Project

Activity Name: SKWIM & Water Polo

Desired Number of Campers Per Block: 120.

Desire only double-block. Desire 60 campers at Camp South Hills and 60 at Camp PCA.

Preferred Block Type: Only interested in doing double block activity. Transition time is needed to change into and out of swim suits.

Preferred Site: Only interested in holding SKWIM & Water Polo at schools with pools.

For 2020, this includes both: Camp South Hills with access to the on-campus pool at Brashear High School and Camp PCA.

On Site: Activities are 95% on-site, with the exception of limited, off-site/cross-site, game-days & water carnival competitions.

Preferred Grades: Grades 3, 4, 5. Older students are preferred. Grade 2 is okay, but less desired. We want the greater majority of the kids to be tall enough, to be able to stand in the shallow end of the pool.

Total Proposal Cost: $266.60 x 60 students x 2 sites = $31,992

Total Proposal Cost per 75-minute block = $133.

Descriptive Blurb:

At the always productive and popular SKWIM & Water Polo Camp, directed by Coach Mark Rauterkus, students learn and improve swimming abilities, knowledge of aquatic game play and fitness. SKWIM (played with a disk) and water polo (with a ball) are teamwork games. We race, dive and stress passing, defense, sportsmanship, water safety, goal setting, and online literacy. Plus,we keep an eye on the daily sports news leading to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan.

Cover Letter:

Coach Mark Rauterkus
Head Lifeguard at The Pittsburgh Project
2801 N Charles Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15214

412-298-3432 = cell

January 22, 2020

Dear Administrators and Selection Committee for PPS Summer Dreamers:

Students in SKWIM & Water Polo gain valuable, life-saving skills that can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment in-and-around the water, as well as future employment as a lifeguard.

Too many kids can’t swim. The number of deaths in the water, both a pools and in natural settings, are too high. The statistics report that the water is especially dangerous within the ranks of the poor, African-Americans and adolescent males. We need to teach all our kids how to swim and gain a respect for the water for public safety sake.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning is the leading cause of accidental dealth for children under the age of 4 and second leading for children under that age of 14. Seventy-nine percent of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have little-to-no swimming ability. Research shows that 64% of African-American children have little to no swimming ability.

Formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. Furthermore, Summer Dreamers in water polo are always able to swim in the deep end by the end of camp, and often by the second week. Our high expectations and use of googles, fins, paddles, kick-boards, individual and group challenges and the clever e-course, Get Your Feet Wet – Swimming, zooms our progress. Many lessons and examples of the supporting digital learning are of our own show-off students, helping to connect the learning.

Knowing how to swim, and swim well, have so many benefits. Our efforts that advocate for more aquatic opportunities for kids includes the release of a list of more than 160 reasons why students should join their schools’ swim teams. This list (see true for this offering at Summer Dreamers. The quality experience and the consistency of practices at SKWIM & Water Polo Camp rivals the rigor and excitement provided to those who participate in theirPPS middle-school swim teams.

SKWIM and Water Polo game-play acts like rocket-fuel for the overall experience. Game-play engages and reinforces far more with our students than what the races of competitive swimming provides. We race too. The values with the sportsmanship, teamwork and rules coding changes are wonderful problem solving situations to witness among the youngsters.

In 2020, we want to return water polo to the PPS Summer Dreamer line-up because the staffing situations have been resolved through long-term persistence and partnership efforts from efforts with a large cadre of others that include: Lifeguard Workforce Development / Learn & Earn, Citiparks Aquatics, Allegheny County Parks, The Ellis School, Chatham University, International Swim Coaches Association, American Water Polo, SKWIM USA and by far, the most important, our hosting sponsor, The Pittsburgh Project.

In the recent summers, swim instruction and pool operations on the Northside at The Pittsburgh Project has been successful. Capacity building efforts with staffing and procedures now allow for the necessary guards and instructors. We are excited to offer the programs again. Water polo was part of the first eight years of PPS Summer Dreamers.

Thanks for the opportunity to serve our children, again, in 2020.

Sincerely yours,

Coach Mark Rauterkus

412-298-3432 = cell

Boys, girls, camp coaches at swim pool.

Rohan, Toby and swimmers with Swim & Water Polo at PPS Summer Dreamers at Highland Park Pool.

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