Hi All,
        See the letter at in the middle of this discussion,please.

At 05:46 PM 10/22/96 -0400, you wrote:
>From:  Dave Farley, Grants and Development Officer, Office of the Mayor,
>Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We all know who you are, obviously you missed a few posts.

>        I tried hard to ignore this latest set of distortions from Phil, but
>upon reflection I felt it really cried out for a response.  These periodic,
>self-serving messages from Phil about how awful things are in Pittsburgh are
>designed mainly, I believe, to provoke and self-justify the condescending
>view Phil has of the world.  Most of the time lately I've been strong and
>have resisted responding to them, since they're such arrant nonsense.

Who were those Blue Cross and volunteers? You know, the ones who make me out
as the evil big mouth! Please spare the list, your picture of me is an
uninformed opinion based on a bunch of crap fed to you by, who cares.  

>        However, if someone who's not on to Phil's game, yet, would hear
>about all the great things he's doing and how the rest of us are stupid
>knaves, they could get sucked into his orbit.  I, for one, believe that
>would be a cruelty of mephistofelian proportions.  Fact is:  Phil's not
>really got anything going, so far as I or others involved in community
>networking can determine.

I think you should try again. You put words into my mouth I never have
spoken. But considering your present post to this list, maybe I should think
of you as as a stupid knave. Consider, my sites and associated sites are at
least as informative as anything the city has up.  My technology, by the
city's own admitance, exceeds yours.  My contacts and collaborations are at
least as good as yours.  And all with no support!  I don't have the
attitude, nor have I demonstrated the attitude you so casually ascribe to
me.  Indeed, what are you besides a title, which of course, you show off as
often as possible.  Now who are these other "un-named others" you speak of.
I wasn't aware, at least according to you, that the city was directly
involved in community networking.

I have just found out you attended a few of the Healthy Pittsburgh/Allegheny
meetings before I came on the scene.  It seems you contributed nothing.  Not
my words, but the founder.  I suggest the list contact him for the truth
([log in to unmask]). In fact I think he has recently subscribed to this list.
In fact, he was also at our one meeting.  Mr. Farley, we have many witnesses
to my accomplishments and those of my associates. What exactly have you done
lately besides defend an undefendable position?  Once again, because you're
not aware, I must not be doing anything, right!

If he does, then he should show it, and I've
>asked him more than once.  All that has occurred, though, is a lot of
>verbiage and insulting talk from Phil.

Once again, let me repeat, because I believe you're a bit slow, what we done
was with no support from you, although we have had help from many others.
What exactly do you want.  A web site, well we have that. A visioning, well
we have that.  A powerful Block Watch. Been there. A clothes exchange, a few
thosand pieces. A neighborhood daycare, yeah man. Worked with kids, yep. Got
rid of the gangs in my community. You bet.  Citizens patrol, made the paper.
Gave talks, nationwide. Published, you can count on it.  Taught classes,
yeah we did that too.   I've done as much as I could with what I have. Do I
need to make a list, naw you would just call me a liar anyway.  We have
offered much. In fact, your actual association with me amounts to one
meeting.  I know now that it is doubtful you understood very little in that
meeting.  But then, that's the nature of government, always behind and
always passing the buck. The truth of the matter is Mr. Farley, it is you
who do little and you're on the taxpayors' penny for even that. 

>        So, here's my response inter alia.   
>At 02:16 PM 10/20/96 -0400, you wrote:
>>Hi All:
>>        Sunday, October 20, 1996 The Post-Gazette "A Creaky Structure" " The
>>latest PG Benchmarks study of Pittsburgh shows the region ranks dead last in
>>"smart government" amoong 15 similiar-sized metropolitian regions" ...
>        Totally agree.  Although the article dealt mostly with problems of
>county and small municipal governments, as I recall, and focused on such
>things as the lack of a coherent 911 emergency system for Allegheny County
>(something the City of Pittsburgh had back in the early 1970's, and, indeed,
>is still a successful model for such municipal systems.)
>>        Mr. Farley responded to my passionate attack, perhaps he can respond
>>to the independent 12 page, researched investigation recently published
>>today in our very own and "usually sympathetic" home town newspaper.
>>        You all can read (I will send copies of the article on request)the
>>article for yourself, however one interesting statement made by "a leader"
>>was "Pittsburgh is about 10 years behind."
>        I agree with most of the perspective expressed in the article.  I
>don't believe it offers any really useful solace to Phil, however, since the
>City's involvement in the projects that we've been talking about on communet
>is way more creative than most municipalities in this or any other state
>(and, I'm finding out increasingly, than many other countries besides.)
>Actually, the article said the Pittsburgh region's rank would have risen to
>*2nd* out of all comparable regions, if the small municipalities that
>surround us and our county government, too, would get their acts together.

Sure, and we want to keep the Pirates in Pittsburgh because they will be
contenders next year. That article was a statement of symptoms, real bad ones!

>>Now I simply ask the very logical question "Is their any reason to
>>believe that this institution and its associated organizations and
>>corporations can tackle our new medium (which changes very quickly indeed)
>>successfully when they can't even "clean their own houses?">

>        Sorry, but the logic of that question escapes me.

I imagine it does.  You must be applying the same logic when you state I
don't, didn't, never had and imply never will have "anything going".  In all
truthfulness arguing with you is getting boring.  Visit my site, I have had
some nice compliments on it.  Do a little research on your own, instead of
listening to only your self-serving associates.  

This city has some problems, people like you are one of them.  You want
residents to get involved and when they do, you make light of it or worse,
when perceive them as a threat, you defame them.  You are such a little
person to be in such a big position.

>>The problem in Pittsburgh is "the process"? For the most part it's
>        You are quite right, and over that particular observation I imagine
>we could have a strong partnership.  I am committed to changing that, and am
>willing to work with anyone who has something to contribute besides
>unremitting condescension and argumentativeness, which in the business of
>building constituencies are usually giant wastes of time.

As long as they play your silly little games, in your silly little way. You
met me once and never followed up, I called several times.  You say you want
to work together but could offer nothing but bad advice and "the city can't
give you any help"  just advice.  You talk like a politician.  While I was
contributing (and still am) you talk, when my wife received the PA Govonors
Award, the city sent nobody to stand with her (all the others were
represented by their mayors, police chiefs and other officials), when we had
the largest visioning ever, one city official showed up (after the fact and
it wasn't you), etc. 
Hell you obviously don't read the papers or watch the news, both of which we
were on or in a while back. In fact Mr. Farley, I welcome your response with
open arms, it only goes to prove how far your head is buried in the sand (or
perhaps some place else). 
To end, let me quote from what Mr. Farley now says was an unauthorized
letter from the city of Pittsburgh (unathorized because he wasn't ever
mentioned or included in these meetings). This letter is on City Letterhead
and from the Office of the Mayor.

" Dear Mr. Lauro
        Your Skill Cell Theory and Methodology packet has been circulated
among several department representatives and the Mayor's Office Staff. The
response has been positive. This kind of resource and communication tool
will help facilitate community building.
        However, due to our own information and computer priorities, we
conclude that this is not an appropiate time for the city to be partnered in
such a project.
        The base of our information sharing within the city is still in the
development stage.  It is just to early to discuss applications such as
yours, we must first set the hardware and connection foundation, establish
protection and protocols, and set usage priorities.  I am sure you
understand the need to get these priorities in order.
        Now that several departmental representatives are aware of your
project, however, there remains a good opportunity for collaboration in the
future.  For the interim, I am sure we could make arrangements for your
project to utilize access sites throughout the city, such as recreation or
senor centers.
     Please let me know if you are interested in including a set of sites in
your project network. ...." 
 The letter is dated January 26,1996 and was delivered after 4(or five)
meetings with city officials, Mr. Farley wasn't at one of them, in fact I
did'nt know who he was until someone asked me, as a favor, to contact him
and set up a meeting!

Notice Mr. Farley, it said application, now I wonder where they got that
idea? It said several departments reviewed I believe and something about
positive response. What don't I have to offer.  You little little man, your
ignorance is legend in these parts.  Of course, (I must inform list) the
letter was "unathorized"!
>>This is not to say all government or corparate officials are
>>bad. It doesn't mean Mr. Farley doesn't want to fix "the system" or large
>>funders like Heinz don't really want to "help people".  It's much worse than
>        Not sure I completely understand.  Is Phil paying me and others a
>left-handed compliment, here, or is he suggesting that I and others really
>don't want to fix the system; and as if that weren't bad enough, there's
>something worse?  What could possibly be worse than that?

Don't try and figure it out, you just don't get it, do you.  I live here, my
children have to grow up here.  I want this city to be better. 

>>It means that the decision making processes, the way issues are
>>researched and community intervention strategies are designed are inherently
>        There's absolutely no evidence for any *inherent* flaws in how
>research and community intervention strategies are designed in Pittsburgh,
>but I do agree with the statement below.

Of course not, that's why everything is going so well in Pittsburgh.  Like
the school system, the government, the tax base, the corporate base, etc.
It's because everything is just perfect!

>>A recent letter to the Observer (another local newspaper)asked the
>>basic question (not quoted), how come the same 20 or so people seem to sit
>>on all the major boards (decision makers for community outreach) but nothing
>>ever seems to get done? I am not proposing "nothing ever gets done" some
>>good projects do, but not nearly enough!
>        Totally agree.

Gee, thanks a bunch.  Might we want to do something about it?

>>You only have to read the paper in this town to realize several
>>important and powerful individuals who were beyond reproach a few years
>>back, are now considered nothing more than simple criminals.  But in their
>>time nobody in their right mind would go up against them.  I am not implying
>>that our current leaders are all criminals or that they even did anything
>>illegal.  What I am implying is the processes for decision making they
>>espouse retards community development in many ways.
>  Well, you ARE implying some vague, negative connection between the
>involvement of government officials and exclusionary decision making, a
>style that is admittedly characteristic of the private business and
>philanthropic communities in Pittsburgh, and which predates significantly
>the rise of any influence by local government.  I agree that the debate
>needs to be opened up. 
>>When Mr. Farley puts forth statements of the ilk Blue Cross
>>Officials and other volunteers said Phil Lauro did such and such ... he's
>>assuming the truth of such statements because of the source, not based on
>I presume their statements are based on fact.

You presume wrong.

>>It's hear say about something he was never directly (or indirectly, as
>>far as I know) involved in.
>         Phil may not know that I was among those asked originally by the
>Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health to
>host Dr. Trevor Hadley, the progenitor of the *healthy cities movement*.  I
>participated very early on in discussions about this effort.  I'm quite
>familiar with the approach and the public health philosophy that underlies it.

Yeah, and Treavor was the one who told Ian Rawlson and Chris Keane to get me
involved, not to mention discussions I currently have with Len Duhl.  Your
initial outing didn't work so well did it?  You didn't hang around for the
successful one.  So successful, it hurt your friends feelings and they
pulled out and tried to start their own little show.  I guess us community
people can be good but not too good.  Yeah you understand ok, but you
couldn't be bothered to even attend the most successful application of the
process in the country (as stated by Dr. Treavor Hancock in a letter to us,
one of the letters of support you must have missed!) You see Mr. Farley, I
don't talk about it, I live it.

>>Indeed the positions of people like Mr. Ian
>That's Dr. Ian Rawson, a distinguished member of the Pitt faculty
>and an administrator at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Yeah, the guy who went around telling people not to get involved with me
after sneaking into the Visioning (he couldn't produce or help with) at half
time.  See, he didn't like me because I treated him just like any other
person, just like I want to be treated. I should have realized he was
superior to me and beg forgiveness for not recognizing his holy presence.  I
never knew he was one of the high and mighty until it was to late.

>>and Ms. Lois Michaels (two people I know have very little nice to
>>say about me)assure people like Mr. Farley will ASSUME their words are true
>>even though very little research would demonstrate this is not the case. In
>>other words, my word is simply not as good as theirs!
>        That's about it.

Well that's a pity.  Right after the visioning (the one where Ms. Michaels
said "let's see if he can produce") Ms. Michaels disappeared off the face of
the earth.  Six months later Chris and I met with her, but she didn't
understand networking or its worth.  She knows about as much about me as I
do her, nothing actually. However, I did the work, not her, she didn't help
at all, or support us at all. 
I may be a lot of things Mr. Farley, but I have never been dishonest or as
ugly as these two.

>>I am not saying these and other individuals have not done anything
>>good for communities.  In fact they have over the years propbably did plenty
>>for many.  However, when powerful individuals use their positions, titles
>>and reputations to wrongly damage others and projects which are inherently
>>good, what can be done?  When the very process is based on the infalibility
>>of such individuals, how can "an outsider" ever get into the circle no
>>matter how much good or potential for good exist?  I can't fix the system
>>alone, but then neither can they, obviously.  Perhaps together we could!
>>However, the word collaboration has a very narrow focus for far to many of
>>"our leaders".

>Why bother, when Phil doesn't believe we have brains or creativity?

Get it straight Mr. Farley, I never said that.  But perhaps perhaps this
statement reflects what you have to face in the mirror every morning. You
use the imperial we, I'm responding to you. You don't have any idea what I
believe or don't believe.  But you you want to take a shot at what I
believe, we can compare past histories next and see who measures up in the
action versus talk category.  Your talk about me in the third person,
interesting posture, almost political.  

>>My organization sees networks as a powerful communications tool, not
>>a project in and of itself.

>        Certainly.  And so do most thoughtful people on this subject.  That
>insight isn't unique to Phil, nor does it set him apart as somehow more
>enlightened about these matters.

But our paradigm on how to do it is.  At least a lot of people think so.  Or
maybe we are invited to present these things because the organizations feel
sorry for us.  Well it must be a mistake because "we don't have anything
going on" do we Mr. Farley!  And all the positive feedback is a mistake
because the people we present to just don't know me like you do Mr. Farley,

>>It's true worth can only be realized through
>>integration into communities in a community-defined manner consistent with
>>the self-generated definition of community for each specific community.  We
>>have always said we are not an access project, access to us is money,
>>hardware and lines.  That is not rocket science, given those three things
>>access is a breeze.
>>        Our goal is a system of communication and coodination defined by the
>>communities and enhanced via networks.  It is ment to stimulate
>>intracommunity collaboration through a system of common skills.  It's a
>>sophistaicated bartering system in other words.  And it works!  It's not a
>>virtual thing, it's a physical thing with real people helping each other
>>through application of their own self-defined talents, wants and desires.
>>        Virtually, it's a sophisticated interactive visual database using
>>community-defined (user-defined) interfaces to make it usable for
>>coordination, administration, etc. which is "web enabled"  It can and will
>>reduce redundancy and help communities form practical collaborations with
>>others that can help them without confusion or the administrative nightmares
>>imposed on all of us now.  It creates an informed populace!
>        Maybe one or two good ideas in all that stuff above, but it strikes
>me as a big cloud of steam mainly to soften and divert the reader's
>attention from all the bitching, innuendo, and name-calling Phil did
>earlier, and, by the way, is about to do, again, now, following this section
>(see below.)

See, you're getting me mixed up with your city pals again.  I don't blow
steam Mr. Farley.  I always deliver, it's my trademark.  Name calling, I was
being nice. The fact you don't know much about communities or networking is
not my problem.  
>>During the past two years I spent a lot of time listening to
>>advisors telling me not to piss off certain people, "please to get them
>>mad".  I spent a lot of time "dumming down" presentations and proposals
>>because my advisors said "its too complicated for them" and still afterwards
>>"they didn't understand, especially the technology part".
>There isn't a thought that Phil could express that'd be too
>complicated for me and many others.

Once again, what makes you think so?  I'm simply stating what I ran into, no
more no less.  As far as knowing things you don't, before you run your mouth
some more, I suggest you do some research on my background.  I doubt very
much if you could even begin to understand the types of science I was
trained in, let alone the knowledge I brought with me from Ft. Bragg
(Special Forces training). And as far as my intelligence goes (I assume
that's what you are refering to) in comaprison with me and my associates,
you wouldn't even make the third string. 

>>The problem is,
>>what we, you, all of us want to do requires a high degree of sophistication
>>and coordination.  It requires; community members to illustrate how "THEIR
>>COMMUNITIES" work, knowledge of hardware and software,  interface
>>management, teaching, etc.  It's avery sophisticated problem which many will
>>have to work on.
>        Absolutely true. And we are moving toward that objective quickly.

Sure, see quoted letter earlier in the post.

>>I did not want to be or ever envision being a community activist.  I
>>learned how to be by practical application because my own community was
>>going to hell.  My skills were aquired because of necessity which hit close
>>to home.  I became involved!  I never envisioned this becoming my life!
>        God forbid.

Please, spare me the insults.  You really are unimaginative.  Believe or not
Mr. Farley, you and that circus you call the city government work for us,
not the reverse.    

>>I was approached by most of the organizations I ended up talking with because
>>of what I was doing, not saying.

>Not in my case.  Phil approached the Mayor's Office about funding.

Please, I approached you because I was asked to.  Five times before I met
with people from the city, to include the Mayor's office and you were
nowhere to be found (I guess at that time you didn't have your current
position).  Somebody at Pitt (I'm not sure who at this time) told me to call
you when I told them I had met with a Mr. Schmidt (or something like that,
nice guy) at the city.  After the letter from "the Mayor's Office" even you
might imagine why I was hopeful despite warnings about getting involved with
city government.  In fact I met with Alan Hertzburg twice also.  Once was
about a proposal I gave to him and sent to Crown Communications about
putting up a dish for wireless Internet communications in Sheraden.  I knew
some people at CMU involved in this area and thought we might get something
going.  That was about a year ago.  Still haven't heard a thing from the
city.  That was right after I had sent a proposal to TCI, I met with the
councilman on that too.  

>>Unfortunately, I do things a little
>>differently and never learned to be anything but frank and honest.
>        And self-serving, don't forget.

If I was self-serving, I wouldn't have given up my other business. Maybe you
oaught to research that too. Motivated, maybe, aggressive, definitely, self
serving, I don't think so. Self-serving people tend to announce thier
credentials just before ridiculing others accomplishments.

>>After all, many of the people I had to interact with were paid to interact and
>>attend meetings.

>        Phil should understand that we're not doing this work merely because
>we're paid to do it.  My belief in the efficacy of community networks and
>information sharing strategies generally has a long pedigree, and I do take
>umbrage at these kinds of pissant, insulting references from the likes of Phil.

Bullshit!  You have done nothing for community networking.  You don't work
in the community, you're not a programmer, you understand very little about
communications and act in an absolute government capacity, which basically
means you help decide where tax dollars get doled out.  You let your
simple-minded emotions get in the way of progress and you take on faith the
word of anyone you perceive as powerful.  You start your post on this list
with your position and title, as if it adds something to your credibility or
>>I didn't have the luxury of being in such a position.
>        It's not luxury.  One must put in very long hours (including many
>hours for which there is no pay.)

If your looking for sympathy, forget it. We all work long hours Mr. Farley.
Some of us actually accomplish something.

>>I also didn't know "how important" some of the people I talked to were!

>        Shame on Phil, then, for not doing his homework.

That was sarcasm Mr. Farley, one of my real problems is I always know
exactly what I'm dealing with. It's a real problem when some of the "less
than scrupulous people" have impressive titles and positions.  

>>In fact, I treated with the same respect as I would anyone.
>        Saints preserve us!  If that's how Phil behaves in his community,
>it's no wonder it's, as he said earlier, *going to hell*.

Was going to hell Mr. Farley.  In fact, there are some people who have a lot
of respect for me.  Others don't. I really don't care.  As we all know,
anytime someone comes along with something new and innovative, there's
always people who react badly.  As I recall, our meeting went very well, it
wasn't until you began spewing crap on this list that I got fed up.  In
fact, I don't recall ever having any other physical meetings with you. I'm
not aware you ever even visited with us in Sheraden.  Heinz and Pappas did,
they were impressed. But hey, when you have a title, who needs truth.  You
say it, it's true.  I'm finally beginning to understand.  

>>Unfortunately,I also didn't hesitate to jump on, what I considered
"classical bullcrap" either.

>        And neither will I in this and similar instances from Phil, when he
>seeks to aggrandize himself and create a distorted picture or our efforts
>and our motives in Pittsburgh.

You don't talk for Pittsburgh Mr. Farley!

>>I just never learned how to kiss ass

>        Phil also has difficulty with the truth apparently.

You say I lie. Let's have a public debate Mr. Farley.  I don't lie, never
have, never will.  You, on the other hand are the worst type of person, you
actually think you know the truth, but all of your information is second
hand. We can use your topic for the debate, Phil hasn't done anything and
has nothing to offer. Next you'll be saying my partner Dr. Christopher Keane
is a liar.  Then maybe Dr. Treavor Hancock.  You sir are either the most
uninformed person I have ever seen or a complete idiot.  
In any case, gallant list of community networkers, stay tuned. It's going to
get interesting.    
The only difference between qualitative and quantitative information is volume.