Ray Jr on Sports

pitt pix1

  1. As we all know; the Pitt Panthers basketball team is looking for a new head coach after the departure of longtime head coach Jaime Dixon. And the search is on.
  2. But that search will not include Sean & Archie Miller, Pittsburgh natives (the former being a Pitt native) who reported that they’re not interested in the Pitt job.
  3. Sean Miller left a statement, saying that he’s very content being the HC at Arizona & Archie is cool at Dayton-and for good measure was just given a contract extension at the school.
  4. Pitt assistant coach (and former player) Brandin Knight made it known that he’s also interested, but not much more is known about that.
  5. Here’s who Pitt is possibly looking at to replace Dixon: Valparaiso’s Bryce Drew, USC’s Andy Enfield, Alabama-Birmingham’s Jerod Haase, Butler’s Chris Holtmann, Monmouth’s King Rice, George Washington’s Mike Lonegran, Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Linc Darner, Arkansas-Little Rock’s Chris Beard, Rhode Island’s Danny Hurley.
  6. From what I read, I would choose either Drew or Enfield. Why? Their qualifications. Drew has a 123-48 record & has been to the NCAA Tournament in years past. Same with Enfield-and the locals would really like him because he’s a Shippensburg native.
  7. As for Dixon, he has made TCU very happy, but the question is, can he turn around their fortunes? There’s a reason why TCU’s football team is what make’s that school’s athletics. Once the celebration dies down, the school will need to be patient with Dixon because they will need some work.
  8. I also appreciated how Dixon left Pitt-the right way. He had been talking to the AD, and had a talk with his players-and recruits. That’s how you do it.
  9. As for the NCAA tournament, it’s Sweet 16 time now & there are 6 teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference(ACC) among those 16. That’s an NCAA record.
  10. North Carolina, Virginia, Duke, Miami, Notre Dame &. I still can’t believe it Syracuse will be battling to get to the Elite Eight. Pretty impressive.
  11. My pick to win it all is North Carolina. Why not stick within the conference? Of course, provided they can get past #1 overall Seed-Kansas.
  12. As for the NFL; let’s be honest: When don’t they make news? Of course it’s still the free agent period and QB Robert Griffin III has found a new team. The Cleveland Browns.
  13. No offense to Brown’s fans, but come on Robert, ‘let the buyer beware.’ It’s not easy being a QB in Cleveland. The other 24 QBs who played for that team since 1999 can certainly tell him that.
  14. So apparently the chop block is now gone, eh? How will those offensive line men live? Plus, a player will now get ejected if he has 2 personal fouls in one game.
  15. Nothing going on with the Steelers lately. It seems like they may have slowed down from Free Agent shopping-at least until after the NFL Draft.
  16. It’s very noble that Steelers WR Martavis Bryant publicly apologized for his year-long suspension. That’s a sign of maturity. Now the other sign is getting his life in order.
  17. As for the NBA, the playoffs get even closer, and of course the Golden State Warriors are still the best at 64-7-just 8 more wins to tie the Chicago Bulls 1995-96 record 72-10 season. Can they do it, I still doubt it, but it will be close.

18.San Antonio is still second best at 60-11. They can also still finish the season with 70 wins, now that would be something.

  1. On the flip side, the Philadelphia 76ers are 9-63. They have a shot at losing 70 games, something I’m sure they’re trying like everything to avoid. 12 wins can do it.
  2. Sad to hear that New Orleans Pelicans C Anthony Davis is out for the rest of the season due to injury. He’s truly the NBA’s ‘next’ prayers for his healing & recovery & that he’ll bounce back next season.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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Eating Foods High in Vitamin C Cuts Risk of Cataract Progression by a Third Research on UK twins is first to show that diet, lifestyle may outweigh genetics when it comes to common eye condition


Research on UK twins is first to show that diet, lifestyle may outweigh genetics when it comes to common eye condition

Cataracts occur naturally with age and cloud the eye’s lens, turning it opaque. Despite the advent of modern cataract removal surgery, cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness globally.1 Researchers at King’s College London looked at whether certain nutrients from food or supplements could help prevent cataract progression. They also tried to find out how much environmental factors such as diet mattered versus genetics.
Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO – A diet rich in vitamin C could cut risk of cataract progression by a third, suggests a study being published online today in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The research is also the first to show that diet and lifestyle may play a greater role than genetics in cataract development and severity.

The team examined data from more than 1,000 pairs of female twins from the United Kingdom. Participants answered a food questionnaire to track the intake of vitamin C and other nutrients, including vitamins A, B, D, E, copper, manganese and zinc. To measure the progression of cataracts, digital imaging was used to check the opacity of their lenses at around age 60. They performed a follow-up measurement on 324 pairs of the twins about 10 years later.

During the baseline measurement, diets rich in vitamin C were associated with a 20 percent risk reduction for cataract. After 10 years, researchers found that women who reported consuming more vitamin C-rich foods had a 33 percent risk reduction of cataract progression.

Genetic factors accounted for 35 percent of the difference in cataract progression. Environmental factors, such as diet, accounted for 65 percent. These results make the study the first to suggest that genetic factors may be less important in progression of cataract than previously thought.

How vitamin C inhibits cataract progression may have to do with its strength as an antioxidant. The fluid inside the eye is normally high in vitamin C, which helps prevents oxidation that clouds the lens. More vitamin C in the diet may increase the amount present in the fluid around the lens, providing extra protection. Researchers noted that the findings only pertain to consuming the nutrient through food and not vitamin supplements.

“The most important finding was that vitamin C intake from food seemed to protect against cataract progression,” said study author Christopher Hammond, M.D., FRCOphth, professor of ophthalmology at King’s College London. “While we cannot totally avoid developing cataracts, we may be able to delay their onset and keep them from worsening significantly by eating a diet rich in vitamin C.”

Genetic and Dietary Factors Influencing the Progression of Nuclear Cataract,” Yonova-Doing, et al. Ophthalmology, article in press, March 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.01.036. For a full copy of the study, please contact the Public Relations Department atmedia@aao.org.

For more information on cataracts, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® public information website, http://www.aao.org/eye-health.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest membership association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 ophthalmologists, we are passionate about protecting sight and fighting preventable blindness. For more than 120 years, we have been educators, innovators and advocates for the public and our profession to ensure the highest-quality medical and surgical eye care. Our EyeSmart® program is a preeminent source of eye health information for the public and empowers people to preserve their vision. For more information, visit http://www.aao.org.

About Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, publishes original, peer-reviewed, clinically-applicable research. Topics include the results of clinical trials, new diagnostic and surgical techniques, treatment methods, technology assessments, translational science reviews and editorials. For more information, visit http://www.aaojournal.org.

The Clinton Dynasty


It all started in 1975 when Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham got married. Both of them were politically active for a long time and that’s why many political experts predicted bright future for this couple at least when it comes to politics and it seems that they were right. Bill Clinton has an impressive career. He was the 50th Attorney General of Arkansas (1977-1979), 40th and 42nd Governor of Arkansas (1979-1981; 1983-1992) and 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001). On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was politically active all the time so besides being the first lady of Arkansas and the first lady of the United States, she also served as a United States Senator from New York (2001-2009) and the 67th United States Secretary of State (2009-2013).

This couple had experienced their Golden Age in the 1990s and early 2000s when they were known as the Clinton Machine because they were able to eliminate their political opponents as a team. Unfortunately, their careers were not spared from scandals and this is especially true for Bill Clinton. He was one of the rare presidents who actually increased their popularity when they were finishing the first term. However, this popularity rapidly dropped once the Monica Lewinsky scandal became official. This made Bill Clinton the second US President to be impeached. What is interesting is that this scandal didn’t affect the Clinton dynasty and the marriage was unaffected too. Of course, privately, this scandal made their relationship more complicated, but the fact that they had one child together (their daughter Chelsea) made them stay together. There are some people who claim that this marriage was kept alive because of the public image especially because of the ambitions that Hillary has as a politician.

bill and hillary

In any case, after 2001, Bill Clinton remained active, but wasn’t directly involved in any process as a politician. He worked for the UN and regularly shared his opinion about current political events in the public. In 2008 he supported his wife Hillary as a presidential nominee and he is also doing this for the 2016 presidential race.

If we take a close look at their political careers, we will see that it looks like Hillary continued where Bill stopped. 2001 is the year when she became a senator and her political career is becoming more and more successful every year. editor@urbanmediatoday.com

NOTE:Hillary Clinton to open first Pennsylvania campaign office in Pittsburgh

A new era in Pitt basketball begins in earnest


Last Week, after yet another disappointing early NCAA Tournament exit by the Pitt Panthers basketball team as they fell 47-43 to the Wisconsin Badgers the talk started, mostly from the fans that they wanted to see longtime head coach Jaime Dixon fired, that his game plan no longer worked for what had been known as one of the more successful basketball programs in the nation-except they haven’t been so successful lately.

I was even asked last week did I think Pitt was going to fire Dixon, and I quickly replied ‘No.’ Like the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Panthers basketball team does not fire head coaches. They didn’t fire Dixon’s assistant Ben Howland in 2003 (He left for UCLA, his dream job), as unsuccessful as Ralph Willard was, even he wasn’t fired (He left for Holy Cross, his dream job) and to be honest, Pitt didn’t technically didn’t fire Paul Evans in 1993, his contract just wasn’t renewed.

So if those former Pitt Head Coaches didn’t get fired, then there was no way Dixon was going to get fired. In fact, I figured the only way that Dixon would depart from Patties if he chose to depart from Pitt. (Especially after just extending his contract making him the highest paid Pitt employee-ever. Oh-and they included a buyout worth $10 million.)

Pitt wins over Notre Dame

And what was ‘figured’ actually came true Monday March 21st, 2016 as Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes announced that Dixon was indeed leaving Pitt to coach his alma mater Texas Christian University (TCU).

“On behalf of the University of Pittsburgh, I want to thank Jamie for his tremendous service to not only Pitt basketball but our entire institution. His impact on our university went well beyond his coaching responsibilities. Jamie has always represented Pitt, and the game of college basketball, in exceptional fashion. For all of these things we are eternally grateful.”

“In recent weeks, Jamie and I engaged in a number of conversations regarding his long-term personal and professional aspirations. In accepting the job at TCU he is, in many ways, returning home. We all wish him and his family the very best in his new endeavor.”

Every head coach wants to get that opportunity to coach at the school they played their particular sport. Like Willard, like Howland, like Paul Chryst in Football (Wisconsin) and now Dixon. There’s no place like ‘home.’

It’s hard to believe that Dixon’s only head coaching job was a Pitt-a testament of not only how long he coached here, but also how successful he was, and admit it or not, he was very successful.

In his 13 years as Pitt head coach, Dixon led the Panthers to 11 NCAA Tournaments. He finished his Pitt tenure with a 328-123 record (.727). That also included the historic 2008-09 season in which he led the Panthers to their first-ever #1 Top 25 ranking and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He also led Pitt to their first Elite Eight in Big Dance that year, just missing the Final Four in a crushing loss to Villanova. He also led Pitt to another #1 NCAA Tournament seed in 2011.

In 2009 Dixon was the head coach for the FIBA Under-19 2009 gold-medal winning United States national basketball team for which he was named the 2009 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. Dixon was named Big East Coach of the Year in 2004, Naismith College Coach of the Year in 2009, Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year in 2010, and the Sporting News National Coach of the Year award in 2011.

He won 188 games in his first seven seasons, tying the NCAA Division I record for most wins in the first seven seasons of a head coaching career. Previously, Dixon’s 162nd win, which came in the 2009 NCAA Tournament over Oklahoma State, broke the NCAA Division I record for most victories in the first six seasons as a head coach formerly held by former North Carolina State coach Everett Case.

He also coached 7 future NBA Players (Steven Adams (12th overall pick of 2013 NBA Draft, Sam Young (36th overall pick of 2009 NBA Draft), DeJuan Blair (37th overall pick of 2009 NBA Draft), Aaron Gray (49th overall pick of 2007 NBA Draft), Chris Taft (42nd overall pick of 2005 NBA Draft), Brandin Knight (Assistant coach under Dixon), Lamar Patterson (48th overall pick of 2014 NBA Draft).

He was a good coach for Pitt. But unfortunately he wasn’t as good as years past as his teams had only won just three NCAA tournament games in the past six seasons, missing the tournament twice in that span. A move from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013 has been challenging. And when his alma mater called, he answered. And although Pitt didn’t throw him out of the door, they did hold the door open for him.

Pittsburgh AD Scott Barnes says the school “softened” Dixon’s buyout, helping him move to TCU. ““He felt there was a small window of opportunity,” Barnes said. “Jamie’s head and heart was moving toward TCU.”

Dixon played at TCU from 1984-87. TCU fired coach Trent Johnson last week after the team finished 12-21, including 2-16 in Big 12 play. So unlike when he took over at Pitt for Howland, Dixon will have a reclamation project waiting for him at TCU.

But Pitt also sees this as an opportunity to move on ““A new era in Pitt basketball begins, earnestly,” Barnes said.

Barnes didn’t mention any possible names to replace Dixon yet, but he did say this ““If you’re an AD worth your salt, you better have a list of candidates in your pocket,” he said. “This is a fantastic job. I think it is viewed that way by coaches around the country. We have an opportunity to revitalize, get better.” Barnes said he is looking for a coach who also is a noted recruiter. “We’re looking for a guy that can absolutely recruit his tail off,” he said.

Like the class act that he is, Dixon also met with his players before the big announcement. He also spoke to the recruits as well. He knew when his time was up and Pitt also knew when it was time to move on. Needless to say, the 2016-17 season will be an interesting one for both.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Best new business to start

new business

It seems that many people across America are looking for a way to start a new business for better income and to avoid having a boss above them. But, in many cases they are not sure what the best new business to start is. This is not a surprise because there are literally hundreds of different businesses out there. If you are looking for an answer to this question, you should know that there is no universal answer. This depends on many factors, but what is important to understand is that you can analyze the effects of your decision only if you go for it. If you perform a brief research related to the market today, you will notice that some seemingly simple products and services are very popular among consumers. This gives hope to many prospective businesspersons that they can become successful too. While it is true that no one can name a specific business and tell you that if you choose that business you will become successful, it is also true that there are some business ideas that look promising. We will now share some of these ideas with you.

According to many experts, entering the pet business can be a great idea for a small business. This is a great option for people who actually enjoy spending some time with animals. Latest statistics show that the number of pet owners is growing constantly and rapidly in the last 15 years and this trend won’t change in the near future. Anything from establishing a professional dog walking service to pet food supplying can work. Every city has thousands of pet owners who are interested in investing in anything that can make their dogs, cats, lizards, parrots, pigs and other animals happy and healthy. These people don’t hesitate to spend a lot of money for their pets.

Another good business idea is to start a business related to green practices or green technology. Besides the number of pet lovers, the number of people who are becoming eco-aware is increasing too. These people are looking for a way to contribute to preserving our nature. If you have the money, you can start a recycling company or set up a removal service. You can also sell any kind of green products. If you want to be even more specialized you can focus on e-waste or electronic waste which is becoming a huge problem these days.

new business2

While we are talking about modern technology, we should also mention some other tech-related business ideas. You can start a repair service for computers, smartphone or other devices. In case you are looking for a way to start a new business with great potential and without huge initial investment, we suggest opening a website. You can become a successful internet marketer by establishing an e-commerce website and sell your products or someone else’s products for a commission (affiliate marketing). The business opportunities found on the internet are virtually limitless and you should definitely consider some of these business ideas.


10th seed Pitt’s Season ends in a 47-43 loss to 7th Seed Wisconsin


The secret to the Pitt Panthers success in the 2015-16 season is when they were consistent. Excellent play on offense when they were able to make baskets, (especially timely ones) and when they were able to play effective defense and make free throws. The key to Pitt’s failure? When their performance was exactly the opposite.

Such of a case happened in their first round of their NCAA Tournament game vs. the 7th seeded Wisconsin Badgers. The 10th seeded Panthers underperformed and fell to the Badgers 47-43 in St. Louis. Wisconsin moves on to play the winner of #2 Xavier/#15 Weber State, and the Panthers season ends.

Make no mistake, both teams didn’t play well as it was one of the lowest scores in NCAA Tournament history. Pitt shot an awful 37.5%(18-48) floor and an even worse 27.3% (3-11) from the 3-point line. But surprisingly, those numbers were slightly better than Wisconsin’s 32.1%(17-53) from the floor and 21.1%(4-19) from the 3-point line. But the most important stat that the Badgers fared better than Pitt-was on the scoreboard. And when they needed key baskets, they made them.

The best the Panthers could get was 13 points from F Jamel Artis. He was the only Panther who scored in double figures. Plus, he had all of Pitt’s 3-pointers, plus a huge one that got them within a point with over a minute left in the game. Meanwhile, the rest of the starters combined for 19 points as G James Robinson had 7 points and F Mike Young and G Chris Jones combined for 6 points.

Robinson’s subpar production hurt the Panthers the most as he was only 3-14 from the floor and missed all 3 of his three-point attempts. He also had a chance to win the game for Pitt with seconds left, but his attempted layup bounced off the rim. He did lead the team with 11 rebounds and 4 assists. This loss to the Badgers officially ends his college basketball career.

The Panthers were able to get 9 points off the bench from F Sheldon Jeter, but F Cameron Johnson could only muster 2 points which also didn’t help their cause.

Robinson actually gave Pitt a 2-0 lead with a jumper and he was very instrumental on defense. Artis then scored to make it 4-0, but the Badgers quickly made it 4-3 when F Zack Showalter hit a 3-pointer. Artis and Robinson then extended Pitt’s lead to 10-3 with key baskets, then Jeter joined the scoring party with baskets and suddenly Pitt had a 13-3.

But Pitt wasn’t done. After Wisconsin added 2 points, Artis hit his first 3-pointer and after Jeter and Jones scored, Pitt had a commanding 20-6 lead. Then back came the Badgers as G Charlie Thomas, Nigel Hayes closed Pitt’s lead. And when G Vitto Brown hit a 3-pointer, Pitt’s lead had shrunk to 22-16, which was the halftime score.

In the second half, Wisconsin got the scoring started when F Ethan Happ scored on a jumper. Jeter then made a layup on his own, but Happ was just getting started as his second layup and a free throw closed Pitt’s lead to 24-21. After Brown closed Pitt’s lead to 24-23, Happ was at it again, this time on a dunk which gave the Badgers their first lead of the night at 25-24.

Pitt quickly took back the lead on Young’s layup until Happ scored again, giving Wisconsin a 27-26 lead. Then Johnson scored his only points of the game, returning the lead to Pitt at 28-27. Artis then hit 2 free throws to extend Pitt’s lead to 3.

The score was 34-31 until Hayes’ 2 free throws closed Pitt’s lead to 1. Young then extended Pitt’s lead by 3 on a jumper, but then Hayes would score again to close the gap to 36-35. It would remain that way until Brown would hit a huge 3-pointer to give the Badgers a 38-36 lead, but Artis would strike again-hitting a 3-pointer of his own returning the lead to Pitt at 39-38.

The score was tied at 39 when Robinson would give the Panthers a 1-point lead, but that would turn out to be Robinson’s final points of the game as the rest of his attempts failed to reach the basket. Then the Badgers would put the final hurt on the Panthers when Brown would hit another huge 3-pointer, giving the Badgers a 42-40 lead.

After a Pitt timeout, Artis would give the Panthers hope as his 3rd 3-pointer would pull Pitt to within 1 with seconds left on the clock. Pitt would get the rebound, drive the length of the court and miss a potential game-winning layup. The Badgers would eventually get fouled and add 2 more on free throws, and seal the 47-43 victory, giving Pitt another early exit in the Big Dance.

Happ would lead all scorers with 15 points, and also led his team with 9 rebounds and 3 assists. They weren’t exactly great in this game, but they were great when they had to be, and that’s why they will advance to the field of 32.

The Panthers will now lick their wounds as their offseason begins. They say goodbye to Robinson, (Graduate Transfers) Centers Rafael Maia, Alonzo Nelson-Ododa and G Sterling Smith, and reserve G Mike Lecak. As a result, they will probably need to retool with more graduate-transfers and will be welcoming a new class of recruits for the 2016-17 season. It will also help the Panthers as their leading scorers return in Artis and Young, but here’s hoping that they use the summer to hone their skills in an effort at being more consistent. If they can improve, the Panthers will improve.

In conclusion, it was a good season for Pitt because after facing their struggles during the regular season, they still managed to make the NCAA tournament for the 13th time in 15 seasons, but this would’ve been a better season if they would’ve held onto beat the Badgers.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Ray Jr. on Sports


  1. March Madness is here, and that means the NCAA tournament where we see 68 teams decrease to 4, and then 2-in about 3 weeks. That’s obviously what adds to the ‘Madness’ part. But make no mistake, it’s truly a fun time of year.
  2. If I had a favorite team, it would be the Michigan St. Spartans, who spent the earlier part of the college basketball season ranked #1, and finished the season 29-5 (13-5 Big Ten) and they won the Big Ten Tournament. As a #2 seed, they will take on Middle Tennessee St. on Friday. HC Tom Izzo always has his team in it, and this could be their year.
  3. Of course, that depends if MSU can get past the #1 overall seed in the Kansas Jayhawks (30-4, 15-3 Big 12) who finished the season ranked #1 and also won the Big 12 tourney. HC Bill Self’s team looks pretty dominant right now, but they know as well as anyone that regular season success doesn’t always mean success in The Big Dance.
  4. How about the highest ranked Local team? that would be the 2nd best Big 12 team in the West Virginia Mountaineers (26-8, 13-5 Big 12) who are a 3rd seed and will take on #14 Stephen F. Austin on Friday. HC Bob Huggins has been here before and knows how to prepare his team. This could continue to be a very special team for the Mountaineers if they can keep it going.
  5. And then there’s the Pitt Panthers (21-11, 9-9 ACC) who got their ticket punched despite having several underachieving moments during the regular season. I’ve said it many times before: The absence of Louisville (postseason ban) really helped Pitt, but they also beat a ranked team in Duke and won at least an ACC tourney game to convince the voters.
  6. Nevertheless, the Panthers are a 9th seed and will take on 7th seeded Wisconsin (20-12, 12-6 Big Ten) Friday. The Badgers have had their challenges during the regular season as they’ve had to deal with the sudden retirement of HC Bo Ryan, but here they are and they’re trying to get back to the Final Four, which the made a year ago.
  7. The Panthers are hoping to advance further than they did 2 years ago when they lost to Florida in the Second Round. I would like to see them beat the Badgers, which would advance them to the next round to face the winner of #2 Xavier/#15 Weber State.
  8. I think the keys to a Pitt win will be what has been a success to them all season: Consistency and getting off to a strong start. If their top 2 scorers (Jamel Artis, Mike Young) can lead the way, and if G James Robinson can also contribute. Pitt won’t be stopped. Bank on it.
  9. As for the Women’s NCAA Tournament, you have to be proud of Robert Morris and Duquesne, who earned trips to the Big Dance this season. 16th seed Lady Colonials (20-12, 11-7 NEC) won the NEC conference and are in their 3rd NCAA Tournament. Make no mistake, they are in for a challenge as they take on the #1 overall seed in UConn (32-0, 18-0 American) The Huskies are legendary and are aiming for their 3rd-straight National Championship.
  10. Meanwhile, the Lady Dukes (27-5, 13-3 Atlantic 10) are in the Big Dance for the first time in their history (My wife is very proud alumni). As a 9th seed, they will take on #8 Seton Hall on Saturday. I hope they win, as it will truly be a boost for the school. And to add to the drama, if they win and if Robert Morris finds a way to meet UConn, they will face each other in the secon round. Wishful thinking.
  11. As for the Men’s Duquesne team, they’re in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and have already won their first round game when they beat Nebraska Omaha 120-112 at the Palumbo Center.
  12. Kudos to HC Jim Ferry for having his team play in third tournament, which has been labeled taboo in some circles, but it’s still a chance to play in the postseason. They certainly can take example of Pitt playing in the CBI in 2012. The Panthers took advantage of that opportunity and won the CBI Championship that season. Hopefully the Dukes can do the same.
  13. No onto the NFL, as Free Agency continues. The Pittsburgh Steelers are actually a little active this year as they’ve re-signed G Ramon Foster, CB William Gay and have went outside and signed San Diego Chargers TE LaDarius Green and T Ryan Harris from the SB Champion Denver Broncos.
  14. I think each of those signings are significant, as they’re filling needs. the additions of Green and Harris are very critical and I think they will benefit the team in 2016. Green will probably replace the retired Heath Miller as starter and you can never go wrong if you can get a starter from a SB Champion team, which the Steelers have done in Harris.
  15. The Steelers have also said goodbye to a few free agents as DT Steve McClendon (NY Jets), OT Kelvin Beachum (Jaguars) and Sean Spence (Titans) moved on to sign deals. I’m not mad at any of them. I wish them the best as they move on.
  16. Former Steeler WR Mike Wallace returns to the AFC North Division as he signed a deal with the Baltimore Ravens. I think he’ll do well there, being that Joe Flacco is a good QB and can get him the ball. Plus, hopefully he has matured.
  17. And then there’s the disappointing news about Steelers WR Martavias Bryant, who is suspended by the NFL for a second time, but this time it’s for a year. So if he remains a Steeler, we won’t see him until 2017. He once again violated the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy.
  18. I hope Bryant gets the help that he needs-not just for his NFL career, but for his life. He’s too young to miss out on a great opportunity. As for the team, they’re behind him 100%, but they now have to find a WR to fill in for Bryant-and it will probably be 2nd year man Sammie Coates, who looked pretty good in the preseason and part of the regular season.
  19. As for the NBA, the Golden State Warriors keep it going as the best team in the sport with a 61-6 record. They need to win 11 games to eclipse the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team of 72-10. Will they do it? I doubt it, but they will come close. It almost makes the 57-10 San Antonio Spurs record seem mortal. Ditto for the 48-19 Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavs.
  20. As for the worst team in the NBA, the 9-58 Philadelphia 76ers are about as awful as they can get, but they’re up against the worst NBA teams of all time: the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats that went 7-59 the Philadelphia team in ’72-73 that went 9-73, and the 11-71 Denver Nuggets from ’97-98. If they’re ‘fortunate,’ they’ll tie the Nuggets team.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Health tips for spring workout


In case you belong to the group of people who have decided to spend some me-time and find a type of training that suits their needs and capabilities, make sure that you have the necessary knowledge before you starting working out.

Spring is just around the corner and gyms and fitness centers are slowly becoming one of the most crowded places. What is very important is to perform moderate training and to be active for a long period of time because workout should bring you joy and pleasure that will become a routine and part of your lifestyle.

So, if you are one of those people who are ready to wake up from winter hibernation, you should take a few things into consideration. The following health tips will help you get the best spring workout ever.

  1. Seek advice from true professionals

It would be perfect if you can ask for advice from true professionals in this field. Talk about your goals and current physical preparedness and don’t forget to mention some former injuries, some fractures and physical difficulties that you have gone through. Don’t hesitate to ask questions because the answers to your questions will help you find the perfect spring workout and perform every exercise in a proper way.

  1. Warm-up

Regardless of the time of the year, we should always warm-up before starting with any intense physical activity. This is especially true when it comes to spring because winter is the time of the year when people are usually inactive. Start warming up with some mild exercises that must be repeated several times in order to warm up your muscles and joints and improve your blood flow. Avoid sudden and rapid movements.

  1. Be careful with the pressure

Obviously, people who are starting their spring workout routine will be excited and ambitious and they will want to achieve their fitness goals fast. However, adding to much pressure will affect the joints. For instance, the use of heavy dumbbells can quickly tone your muscles, but if you want to lift more weight you must be sure that you are physically ready because otherwise you may hurt your joints and spine. Stay away from injuries and be careful.

  1. Proper breathing

Don’t forget to check your breathing rhythm when you are performing these exercises. It is completely wrong to perform several repetitions in one breath because in this way you are disrupting the proper work of your heart, you are quickly getting tired and create tension in the body. Proper breathing can increase lung capacity and allow proper distribution of oxygen to ever body part.

  1. Follow your instructor

In case you have a trainer, make sure that you are carefully listening to what he has to say. It is very important to understand which muscles you are using for each exercise and which body part is active in order to avoid unnecessary pressure in the spine, neck and joints.

  1. Diet

You should never change your diet drastically in a short period of time. However, spring is the ideal time to introduce more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. editor@urbanmediatoday.com


Pittsburgh Mayor Announces Funding, Plans for ‘Smart City’ Transportation Grant


“This is where the world is going —the world isn’t going back,” says Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “It isn’t going back to build more highways, it isn’t going back to widen highways. It’s going to find ways for people to get to places smarter, more efficiently, more effectively, more equitably, so that it helps everyone. That is the challenge.”

The United States Department of Transportation has placed Pittsburgh as one of seven finalists in this particular challenge, the “Smart City Challenge,” which will award one US city a total of $50 million in funding through 2018, with $40 million from USDOT, and an additional $10 million from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Philanthropy, to be used to address transportation challenges presented by the rapid growth of mid-sized cities like Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh will face off against Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California, cities chosen from the 78 submissions received by USDOT during the initial round of proposals. The seven finalists, announced at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival on March 12, will receive $100,000 in funding to refine their proposals before the May deadline, providing “detailed technical and budget application,” prior to the final selection, expected to be announced in June, 2016.


“Ideally, the winning city will view Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), connected vehicles and automated vehicles as the next logical step in its existing, robust transportation infrastructure,” the USDOT says in a description of the program. “It should also aim to have critical systems in vehicles and infrastructure that communicate with each other, allow for active citizen participation, and integrate new concepts that leverage the sharing economy.”

Additionally, the winning proposal will highlight public-private partnerships to address challenges similar to the one Pittsburgh shares with Carnegie Mellon University, which is working with the City on the challenge. The proposal is a continuation of an existing partnership which has already begun to provide high-tech traffic solutions in areas around the City like the SURTEC sensors in East Liberty and Shadyside which evaluate traffic buildups, turning signals green to facilitate the dispersal of traffic queues and lessening pollution from vehicle emissions.

The initial proposal, Peduto says, “basically breaks down into four areas. It’s the modes of transportation and the way we are going to be able to provide them; the technology, and how it can become greater; the ability to overlay transportation with new energy options; and an ‘open platform,’ so the information we create can be shared and used to not only change Pittsburgh, but to change the world.”

“If you look at where we want to get to, Vision Zero is a safety system for all of our transportation, for our streets, where there are no casualties, where people aren’t killed walking down our streets, riding a bike, driving a car,” Peduto says. “A reduction in the emissions of 50 percent by 2030; and corridors of opportunity, creating different areas of the City that have been part of Pittsburgh’s history, part of Pittsburgh’s basic way the City has been growing and developed for centuries, where there are more opportunities” than previously for economic growth.

Peduto says the infrastructure of Pittsburgh was based on a “field to market” economy, with roadways, rails and riverfront traffic patterns designed to move products like steel from the factory to its customers.

“Around the 1950s, with Mayor David Lawrence, we began to think about how to get people downtown, to become a corporate work center,” Peduto says. “In the 1970s, we were the third largest corporate center in the United States. It was New York, Chicago, then Pittsburgh. But that was all based around the automobile.”

Peduto says the building of roads, parking garages, tunnels and bridges for automotive use “saw the City hollow out, and what was left was decline and sprawl all around.”

Now that people are moving back to cities “all over the world,” Peduto says, “what are the options for a 21st Century City, and how can we utilize technology, and other factors, to help us get there?”

“When we look specifically at Pittsburgh, we are looking at an infrastructure that is at the same time antiquated, but the opportunity to create a new model for cities around the world,” Peduto says. “When we look at the North Shore, where a district energy plan is already in formation — you might have seen the power plant that is over by PNC Park, uses steam in order to heat buildings on the North Shore. We are working to create a co-generation of steam and gas in order to create heat and electricity and be able to connect the ‘T’ into a program of interconnectivity to Downtown.”

A steam-powered plant Downtown has the ability to create an entire energy system for all of Downtown, Peduto says, and “on top of that, we want to create a complete streets model for Downtown that allows all modes of transportation to be able to effectively get around without the friction that is there presently.”

“Creating new opportunities for technology, to be able to have new smart signalization to end gridlock and congestion, and move all modes of transportation around effectively” is a goal, Peduto says, as is to have “Downtown connect out along the Allegheny River through a ‘green boulevard plan’ all the way out to the Highland Park Bridge and eventually out to the Allegheny Valley.”

“Next, along the Monongahela, a new vision for Second Avenue and the ability to create solar power at a parking garage roof to be able to have electric vehicles charged with the sun, to have ‘Electric Avenue’ all the way down to Hazelwood, 178 acres of development that will be fueled by renewable energy, and where buildings will be built that will use less energy than they produce,” Peduto says. “The entire Mon Valley will be reconfigured as a renewable center of electricity and electronic vehicles.”

Peduto also cites the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as part of the plan, “down through the heart of it, with stops in Uptown and SoHo to see the neighborhoods redeveloped, and an eco-innovation district that will help to be able to create the sustainability standards we are looking at.”

Peduto says the plan includes connecting Oakland and Hazelwood using “autonomous [driverless] electric vehicles with the ability to run people back and forth” between the universities and the technology centers along Second Avenue, with a public transit system to serve the people of Hazelwood to ‘new economy’ opportunities in Oakland and then connect over to the Busway, connecting Homewood and East Liberty to Lawrenceville, Hazelwood, Downtown — all of these systems being interconnected and all of them using sensor technology, which will allow vehicles to join ‘caravans,’ and the caravans will run through corridors where the signalization between the sensor that is already in the car today, and the sensors that will be in the public infrastructure, will create more efficient ways for people to get from one place to another.”

“And all of that being developed in Pittsburgh,” the Mayor says.

“It doesn’t happen through City government,” Peduto says.  “It happens through City government that is able to reach out and find partners, many partners, to put together a plan where everyone has a part, and all of the parts fit like pieces of a puzzle.”

“Portland, Austin, San Francisco, Kansas City, Denver, Columbus — when was the last time you heard Pittsburgh mentioned in the same category as those cities,” Peduto asks. “These are all the ‘Boom Cities’ with record growth. What makes Pittsburgh’s story different is that we haven’t seen growth in 50 years, but we are going to begin to see it, and as we plan and build for it, we will have a transportation network that is a part of a 21st Century City that will lead the world. And it’s because of our partners, which those other cities just don’t have.”

In addition to CMU, the City is partnering with Allegheny County, the University of Pittsburgh, the Port Authority of Allegheny County and various non-profit and community stakeholders to “build on existing work by the Traffic21 and Metro21 initiatives at CMU; the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center formed by the City, Allegheny County and the University of Pittsburgh and other initiatives.”

A memorandum of understanding with the United States Department of Energy has already set parts of the plan in place, Peduto says, also allowing their incorporation as a component of the Smart Cities application.

“We believe that the Smart City technologies outlined by the Mayor can make Pittsburgh not only one of the smartest cities in the country, but one of the smartest cities in the world,” says Raj Rajkumar, Director of CMU’s Metro21 and Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation Centers.

A vision of the Hillman Foundation’s Henry Hillman, says Rajkumar, was the basis for Traffic21, “back in 2009, basically to identify, develop and implement technologies to improve traffic conditions in Pittsburgh, where we actually are constrained by topography: Rivers, tunnels and hills, and where if you wanted to build new lanes, we don’t have the space to build them.”


“Mr. Hillman’s philanthropic vision resulted in us actually forming the University Transportation Center, sponsored by USDOT, which subsequently became the National University Transportation Center on Safety, the only such center in the country,” Rajkumar says. “So, in Pittsburgh, thanks to civic leadership, thanks to philanthropic leadership, and my colleagues at Carnegie Mellon for their technology leadership, we are able to basically put forth a comprehensive plan to make Pittsburgh a Smart City.”

“We look forward to good news, of course, but whether or not we win the award, the march does not stop here,” Rajkumar says. “We will continue to make things happen with support from the City, the state, the Feds and various funds. We have had significant outreach from various cities and countries around the world asking what we are doing so well, and what they can learn from us, so this is only the first step of a long journey.”

“This is really pulling together all of the City’s talent,” Peduto says. “If we are selected, we will receive $40 million from the Department of Transportation to begin all of these projects; we will receive $10 million from Paul Allen’s Vulcan; and there will be an additional $1 million from Amazon as well as several million more in ‘in-kind’ services from other companies. That $50-$60 million, I consider ‘match funds.’ We will go out to corporations and others who want to be a part of each of these different developments, and challenge them to match these dollars we will be receiving. Through the course of a decade, we will see this City transforming.”

“We don’t have a price tag yet. We have received $100,000 to hire consultants to help us figure that out,” Peduto says. “We aren’t being limited in creating a $50 million plan. We are creating a vision for this City and where it needs to go for 21st Century smart transportation and then we are going to do it. Winning this will take us there much faster, but we are still going to do it.”

In addition to the city which is granted the $40 million funding, all 77 entrants in the original round will continue to receive support from USDOT to continue efforts to update their own infrastructure.

“But we want to win this, let me be very clear about that,” says the Mayor. “We have to be different than six other cities, we have to be able to provide something they are not.”

“Number one, we don’t just look at transportation, we look at transportation and energy. Number two, they want to see sustainability as a factor, and we have that baked right in,” Peduto says. “We are also creating what is called an ‘open platform,’ so that the information that is created for this will be able to be shared in cities around the country, which is a benefit to USDOT. And fourth, we have the technology because of the talent we have in the City to be the leaders.”

“There are other programs we want to see too, because we want to see this help all of Pittsburgh,” Peduto says. “We want to create an education program, following what Baltimore did with ‘Rec to Tech,’ turning our recreation centers into after-school technical training centers so that kids who don’t have an opportunity in this new economy will start at a very young age here, in our most needy communities first. We want to partner with the Energy Innovation Center and with Community College of Allegheny County to train the workers who are going to be putting these sensors all throughout the City, to have the first crack at the jobs which then will be part of a new economy as well.”

Peduto says the proposals he heard from all the other cities’ mayors were very similar, “but Pittsburgh has something different. When people looked at the list of finalists and saw ‘Pittsburgh,’ they said ‘Why?’ We are going to show them why, and we are not going to be known as the Smoky City, but the Smart City.”

By Nancy Hart


Twitter: @nhart543



Not ready to retire, but not finding work

The Washington Post

One big reason people plan to work later in life, including in retirement, is that they have not saved enough for retirement. (Maximkostenko /iStock)

By Rodney Brooks Columnist March 12

A friend recently called to tell me he had been laid off from a company where he worked for more than a decade. He’s 60 years old and not ready to retire, either financially or emotionally.

He is, however, prepared for the reality of the situation. He recognizes that he has a tough road ahead. He knows he probably won’t ever earn the salary he had. And even for a much lower-paying job, he’ll be competing with people half his age.

Rodney A. Brooks writes about retirement and personal finance for The Washington Post. Rodney has had a long and distinguished career in financial journalism. He previously worked at USA Today from 1985 until his recent retirement. View Archive
Need proof of that? A GAO report in 2012, the most recent available, said unemployed workers 55 and older were the least likely to find another job.

“I speak to a lot of big audiences of people over 50 looking for jobs,” says Kerry Hannon, career expert and author of “Getting the Job You Want After 50 for Dummies.” “I feel and I see the palpable fear. The job market has not improved for this set of people.”

“It’s not a pretty scene,” she says. “What happens is people say they will keep working, but for various reasons, including health, they don’t keep working.”

Employment consultant Sara Rix says surveys show that up to 80 percent of people think they will work in retirement. A much lower percentage of people actually do (19 percent, according to the AARP).

People don’t continue working for many reasons: layoffs, health and unexpectedly becoming a caregiver are just a few.

Those still able to work can face tremendous difficulties finding a new job. The elephant in the room is age discrimination.

“We are struck by the data that show it takes an awful long time for older workers to find new employment after losing a job, over 40 weeks,” says Daniel Kohrman, senior attorney with AARP Foundation Litigation, “and that’s consistent with our experience from working in legal cases over many years. Part of the challenge is that there are a lot of stereotypes out there about older workers.”

One big reason people plan to work later in life, including in retirement, is that they have not saved enough for retirement.

Fifty-seven percent of retirees reported having less than $25,000 in savings and investments, not counting their homes or traditional pensions. Twenty-eight percent said they have less than $1,000, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates.
So they think they will keep working to help make up for the money they did not save. It just doesn’t work out that way.

And because they are so unprepared financially, many forced into an early retirement are taking Social Security earlier than planned. That can cost them thousands of dollars over a lifetime. If you apply for benefits at 62, your benefit will be 25 percent less than had you waited until full retirement age.

“If they get laid off in their late 50s or early 60s, the odds of finding a job paying what that existing job did are slim,” says Timothy McGrath, managing partner at Riverpoint Wealth Management in Chicago. “It would not be unusual for a client making a half-million a year to have to find a job making $100,000.

“We can’t plan that we are going to always work or work till 65,” he says. “There is a good chance they will not work where they want to. They may find a lower-paying job, but that might meet their retirement objective.”

Television personality Rene Syler, former co-host of The Early Show on CBS from 2002 to 2006, lost her job when the show was revamped.

“You are either being forced out or you leave on your own volition,” says Syler, 54, now an author and founder of goodenoughmother.com. “I think those numbers are really growing. What is happening to people like me? It’s not like we will be able to have a job and career that we retire from, and have a pension and live happily ever after. I never had a pension. I expected to do it longer than I did.”

“The older the population gets, their careers may be over, but they have to continue with their lifestyle,” says Marty Welch of the Legacy Franchise Group. “It can be a challenge with people who are not able to live off their Social Security or a pension. This generation is living longer, into their 80s, so a lot of times they will need income.”

McGrath says people always think they want to work, but when they get older, they often want to do it on their own terms.

“I have clients who love their jobs in their 40s and hate it in their 50s,” he says. It’s an adviser’s job to bring up things that a client can’t imagine.

“Most people who are making good money, there is a reason,” he says. “When you get in your late 50s and 60s, it’s usually not fun. They get laid off or can’t take it anymore, and then they want to something different.”
Rix, meanwhile, says people often leave voluntarily, thinking they will easily find another job.

“If you are planning on working in retirement, having something lined up before you submit your papers to your employer is a good idea,” she says. “Not only is it easier to keep a job than to find a job, it’s easier to find a job if you have a job.

Planning will play a big part in preparing you for life after a forced or unexpected retirement. “You’ve got to start planning at 55 what you want to do at 60,” Hannon says. “People don’t. They don’t think that far down the line.”