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Common Enemy

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating the CIA for rendition (or torture) practices. The CIA did not like that. They decided to spy on the Senate Intelligence Committee. And 'round and 'round it goes ... 

031814 Common Enemy

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Waivers can create doubt but also offer opportunity - 03-17-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Being a professional hockey player is a transitory profession. Relatively few athletes can set down long-term roots in a city for too long.

Trades and free agency are the most common avenues towards changes in a player's address.

A distant third on that list is waivers. In most cases, once a team puts a player on waivers at noon, that player must wait 24 hours to find out if he was claimed by another team or not. That's what happened earlier this month with right winger Chuck Kobasew who was ultimately assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

There are a variety of reasons for putting a player on waivers. In some cases, it's a procedural move to recall or assign a player to the AHL. In most cases, it's an attempt to clear a player and his salary off your roster.

For the player, that 24 hours can be rough. Unlike a trade which can happen in an instant (from the player's perspective) or free agency where the player has control on what team he joins, waivers gives you an entire day to stew over your own game and to ponder which team might make a claim for your services.

Recently, four of the current members of the Penguins talked about their experiences of being put on waivers.

Craig Adams (right), right winger - "It’s tough. It all depends on what kind of situation you’re in with that organization. If you’re a young guy, you might be going down [to the minor leagues] for a different reason and you don’t want to get picked up. That’s your team. You know you’re going to be back soon probably. Then there’s other situations where you feel you’ve run your course with that organization and you want a chance to get out so you’re hoping someone will pick you up. Not knowing where your going is nerve-wracking too. You know maybe the best thing is for your is to be picked up by someone else and play somewhere else, at the same time, you don’t want to pick up and leave your wife and your kids. You don’t know what to hope for. You kind of want to stay where you are but that’s obviously not in the cards."

Jussi Jokinen (top), left winger - "It was three times. In 2008 was the first time. The first time is probably the toughest. That was the biggest surprise. You always take pride in yourself being a good player for your team. You’re going to give everything you have to your team. When that happens, they don’t have any faith in you. As a player, it’s tough to take for sure. You’re feeling pretty down when you’re on waivers. If somebody picks you up, it’s great. It’s probably the best feeling to know somebody has faith in you. I’ve been on three times and nobody took me. That’s not a good feeling. You feel nobody wants you and stuff like that. In those times, it’s important to have the right people around you to support you. You just have to have confidence in yourself that you’re still a good player and work extra hard. When you change teams after that, you have that extra motivation that you want to prove them wrong. .. If you have kids in school … you have friends off the ice… and you’re owning a house, that makes those things tougher. You have no idea where you’re going for the next 24 hours. That’s the tough part for sure."

Chris Kunitz (right), left winger - "The first time, I was coming through camp, I got a taste of the NHL. They got some new management, new coaches, new owners. I thought I was playing well at camp time but maybe they had a different philosophy or whatever it might be. They told me I had a good chance that I might be picked up on waivers by somebody. Not knowing who, I headed back to the Chicago area and picked up some of my stuff. My agent called me the next day and told me I was picked up by Atlanta. You’re starting all over. … You got to a place where you didn’t know where you fit with the coaches systems. You’re not familiar enough with the league to understand the business side of stuff. I kind of still thought it was a knock on [my] playing ability. So there’s a lot of disappointment. Going there, it was chance to go out and bring some energy. As it worked out, I was paired in and out with one of the fighter guys. I knew that was the kind of style I played in the pros. There was some hard moments."

"A lot of doubt goes through your mind of what goes on and your ability to play at the next level. That being said, I went back through waivers when I found out Atlanta didn’t want to keep me there. They told me Anaheim would probably pick me back up which they did. I went to back to the minors where I was familiar with some guys. I went and picked up my stuff, took a long drive out to Portland, Maine with one of my college buddies who had some time off work and just talked. Maybe there’s something else to this [college] degree that I have. I might be using it soon. Just went to Portland with an open mind to have fun. Never know how long it was going to go. ... After that, I played with an open mind in the minors and a belief that maybe I wouldn’t be able to play pro hockey my whole life. But it turned out to be a good thing I went back down. The team wasn’t doing so good in Anaheim. They made some changes and I got called back up."

Taylor Pyatt, left winger - "I woke up and got a phone call around 12:30 p.m. that I got put on waivers. There’s a lot of thoughts going through your mind. Are you going to get picked up? Are you going to the [AHL]? A lot going through your head for 24 hours. I got a call the next day just after 12 o’clock saying Pittsburgh had picked me up. It’s always a bit of a shock when you hear it [being put on waivers] but it was a little bit of a relief for me just to get out of that situation [with the Rangers]. I enjoyed my time in New York but it wasn’t working out anymore. I’m happy how things turned out here in Pittsburgh.

(Photos: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images, Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press; Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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My Appearance on KDKA's "Pittsburgh Today Live"

Written by Natalie Bencivenga on .

Check out my clip from KDKA’s morning show, “Pittsburgh Today Live” where I discuss SEEN, my blog, and how I want the column to evolve in the future. It was a great show, and I look forward to being on again soon!

Follow Pittsburgh Today Live on Twitter: @CBSPittsburgh

 

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Phipps Children's Summer Camp opens enrollment

Written by Doug Oster on .


Here's a great opportunity to get your kids involved in gardening. Looks like a lot of fun.
 
 
Enrollment Now Open for 2014 Children’s Summer Camps at Phipps
New program line-up at Pittsburgh’s premier public garden immerses kids in the natural world.

Pittsburgh, Pa.  Enrollment is now open fornature-based summer camps at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens— a premier Pittsburgh educational resource center. Perfect for children ages 2 – 7, these dynamic programs touch on healthy living, art, science and sustainability in fun, participatory ways, and are held, in part, in the classroom inside of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes— a toxin-free, health-promoting green facility on the public garden’s Oakland campus.
   The 2014 line-up of camps featuring immersive activities and nutritious snacks includes:
  •    Little Sprouts: Ages 2 & 3
I Eat Plants: A program all about plants: how they grow, where they are found and more
My Five Senses: A hands-on exploration of garden sights, textures, smells and tastes
We Like Dirt: A thrilling investigative look at soil, mud and life under ground      
  •    Seedling Scientists: Ages 4 & 5
A Bug’s World: An expedition to find crawling, buzzing and flying garden friends
Groovin’ in the Garden: A movement-based experience highlighting yoga and dance
Storybook Forest: An imaginative interpretation of favorite stories through garden activities
  •    Budding Botanists: Ages 6 & 7
Art Outside: A chance for kids to discover their inner artists among beautiful blooms
Bugs in the ‘Burgh: A time of insect-themed Conservatory exploration
Plant Your Plate: An awesome opportunity to grow and create delicious veggie snacks
   Phipps summer camps are held in June, July and August. Prices range from $56 – $130. For dates, times, complete descriptions and registration, parents and caregivers can call 412/441-4442, ext. 3925 or visitphipps.conservatory.org. More details can also be found atphippsscienceducation.org.

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Franklin Graham: Putin right on gay 'propaganda' law

Written by Peter Smith on .

Decision 2014 03 CoverA month after defending Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's comments against homosexuality, evangelist Franklin Graham is now affirming Russian President Vladimir Putin's signing of legislation in 2013 that effectively bans the "propaganda" of homosexuality to minors.

Rev. Graham, who is scheduled to preach a three-day revival in Pittsburgh in August, commented on Russia's legislation in a cover story in the most recent issue of Decision, the magazine of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Franklin Graham heads the organization, which was founded by his evangelist father.

The article cites recent controversies over Russia's hosting of the Winter Olympics but likely went to press before Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region. 

Rev. Franklin Graham wrote:

"To be clear, I am not endorsing President Putin. To survive in the KGB and rise to power in Russia, you have to be tough. His enemies say he is ruthless. To some, he is a modern version of a czar. His personal life has its own controversies.

"Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue—protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda—Russia’s standard is higher than our own?"

Rev. Graham contends that during the Cold War, "America held the high moral ground" in the Cold War standoff with "godless communism."

But "times have changed!" Rev. Graham said, citing protests by President Obama and others to the legislation.

Rev. Graham wrote: "In my opinion, Putin is right on these issues. Obviously, he may be wrong about many things, but he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda."

Critics of Russia's legislation say that, under the guise of protecting children, it muzzles free speech and advocacy for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people: “With the stroke of a pen, the authorities have endorsed debilitating restrictions on the right to freedom of expression, in the name of so-called ‘traditional values’,” said a Human Rights Watch statement.

 

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