Lewis Leads House Dems in Sit-in for Action on Gun Control Legislation

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Harkening back to his days as Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and his lifelong quest to create “The Beloved Community,” United States Representative John Lewis called his fellow Democrats to the well of the House of Representatives and has begun a sit-in.

Lewis, and the more than two dozen fellow Democrats who have joined him, have promised to remain in place until the Republican leadership of the House calls a vote on proposed gun restrictions following the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.

One of the bills, called “No Fly, No Buy” by Democrats, would restrict gun purchases by those on the No Fly List, which may have prohibited the gunman in Florida from obtaining his weapon and ammunition. Similar bills, including tightening of background checks, in the Senate were brought to a vote last week following a 15-hour filibuster by Democratic Senators demanding they come to the floor, but House rules prohibit such a filibuster.

After Maryland Representative Donna Edwards spoke against the gun lobby, excoriating fellow House members for listening to the NRA rather than the American people, accusing pro-gun factions of “forcing a false choice between Constitutional rights and safe streets,” Lewis took the podium, calling his colleagues to come forward and join him.

“For months, even for years, through several sessions of Congress, I wondered what would bring this body to take action,” Lewis said. “What would finally make Congress do what is right, what is just, what the people of America have been demanding, and what is long overdue?”

“We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence,” says Lewis. “Tiny little children. Babies. Students and teachers. Mothers and fathers. Sisters and brothers. Daughters and sons. Friends and neighbors. And what has this body done? Mr. Speaker: Nothing.”

“We have turned deaf ears to the blood of the innocent, and the concern of our nation. We are blind to a crisis,” Lewis says. “Mr. Speaker, where is our heart, and our soul? Where is our moral leadership? Where is our courage?”

“Those who work on bipartisan solutions are pushed aside. Those who pursue common-sense improvement are beaten down. Reason is criticized. Obstruction is praised,” says Lewis.

“Newtown. Charlestown. Orlando. What is the tipping point? Are we blind? Can we see,” Lewis asks. “How many more mothers, how many more fathers, need to shed tears of grief before we do something?”

“We must be headlights, not taillights,” Lewis says. “We cannot continue to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the reality of mass gun violence.”

“We must remove the blinders. The time for silence and patience is long gone,” Lewis says. “We’re calling on the leadership of the House to bring common-sense gun control legislation to the House floor.”

“Give us a vote! Let us vote! We came here to do our job. We came here to work,” Lewis says. “The American people are demanding action. Do we have the courage? Do we have raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America?”

“We can no longer be patient. Today, we come to the well of the house to drum the need for action: Not next month, not next year. Now. Today,” Lewis says.

“Sometimes, you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way,” says Lewis. “We have been too quiet for too long. There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise. When you have to move your feet.”

“This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. We will be silent no more. The time for silence is over.”

With that, Lewis took a seat on the floor in front of the podium, joined by colleagues including Pennsylvania Representative Mike Doyle. As the Dems made it clear that they would not give up the demand to vote, chanting “No Bill, no break,” Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ordered the C-SPAN cameras recording the business of the House to be turned off, and the House was recessed until noon.

House members immediately began to communicate their message via Twitter and Periscope, urging voters to contact Republican House members to bring the bill up for a vote prior to recessing Congress for the July 4 holiday. By noon, the number of Representatives either sitting on the floor of the well, or in chairs surrounding it, had grown to more than 100.

Republican Representative Ted Poe, acting on behalf of Ryan, returned to the Chamber shortly after noon and attempted to call the House to order. After the opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, Dems began once again calling “No bill, no break,” Poe declared that “The chair finds that the House is currently not in a state of order, due to the presence of members in the well who are not recognized. The chair would ask members to leave the well so the House may proceed with business and decorum.”

When his request was shouted down, Poe put the House in suspension and again silenced the cameras and microphones.

The Democratic Representatives continue to Tweet, Facebook Live and Periscope from the Chamber, despite the Republican leadership asking the Sergeant-at-Arms to enforce the rule prohibiting such activity. Immediately, those involved in the protest organized a vote to suspend the House rules, which passed, and opened the floor to members to speak on the matter.

Some members also left the chamber to hold a press conference on the Capitol steps, with members relating stories of gun violence in their districts and lamenting the fact that nothing can be done without a vote.

“There is no scream more primal or more pathetic than the sound of a mom who has learned her child has been shot,” says Representative Nancy Pelosi, shortly before rejoining her colleagues and many Democratic Senators who joined them, including Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, to call for the votes in between speeches relaying stories of gun violence and calling Republican leadership to return, turn on the microphones and begin to consider the legislation.

In a Tweet, Casey says “some people believe there is nothing our nation, the most powerful in the world, can do to confront gun violence. I refuse to accept that.”

“We’re a nation of people who have always sought solutions to difficult challenges,” Casey says. “The scourge of gun violence should be no different.”

Ryan, who was absent from the Capitol on other business, issued a statement saying that House business cannot proceed while the protest continues. He can direct the Sergeant at Arms to censure and/or remove the legislators, an impractical solution considering the numbers, or suspend the House for an indefinite period.

“Sometimes you have to get in the way,” Lewis says in a Tweet. “You have to make some noise by speaking up and speaking out against injustice and inaction.”

“#goodtrouble”

By Nancy Hart

Nhart543@gmail.com

Twitter: @nhart543

(photo credit: Twitter/@repjohnlewis)

Camping Advice For Those Who Love The Outdoors

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People of any age can enjoy the fun and excitement of camping. You can ensure you and your family have a wonderful time on your next trip by applying what you learn from this article. Consider the tips that follow for use during your next camping trip.

If you have little ones camping with you, pack a few art supplies. When you get to your site, show them how to do leaf rubbings. There are always a variety of leaves in all shapes and sizes, so trying them all out will take a while. The kids will be happy and you will have some peace and quiet while you relax and watch them.

When you’re getting a brand new tent for your camping trip, take it out and set it up at home before you go camping. By doing this you will be able to make sure that your tent does not have any missing parts. Furthermore, such a task will help to reassure you that you know how to errect your camping tent properly. You don’t want to waste time at your destination, so this will make you well prepared.

If you are going camping with your pets or children, you need to take a few extra precautions. Try to teach your kids the basics of camping safety. They need to know what to do if they get lost and should each have a small survival kit. Make sure you have leashes for any pets and make sure they are current with all vaccinations.

While camping, cook easy dinners like “hobo stew”. Simply bring potatoes, ground meat, and veggies. Cut the veggies and potatoes at your campsite. Using tinfoil like a bowl, put the ingredients inside and fold the foil over until the food is covered. Place foil on hot rocks or the coals of the campfire, and eventually you will have a tasty “stew”.

Make sure to bring duct tape on your camping trip to fix almost any problem. It is great for patching your tent, repairing your shoes, fixing your insect netting and various other tasks.

Save space in your bag by leaving mixing spoons and containers behind, and instead just bring plastic zip-lock bags. Place the foods or liquids that you want to mix in the bag, and ensure that the zipper is well closed before mixing. Not only do the bags take up considerably less space than bowls and spoons, but they’re much more lightweight as well!

Do not dump any type of food waste on the ground. This is a great way to attract unwanted bugs and animals. The best way to get rid of excess food waste is to dump all of it into the fire pit. It is also not a good idea to bury them.

Be sure to choose the right site for your camping experience. The camping site can make or break your trip. Try to choose a site that is not too far away from help should you need it. Choose a site that is flat and somewhat apart from trees. You want a location that is far from critters and close to aid.

When you’re finished camping and ready to go home, you should pick up after yourself. Keeping nature clean and preserved can allow future campers to enjoy it too. Before you leave, clean up any messes, you’ve made at your site and try your best to leave nature as you originally found it.

Do not leave your sleeping bag rolled up until right before it is time for you to get some sleep. Lay it out right away so that it can loft up and give you the highest level of insulation. Do the same for any sleeping pads you have brought along.

Zip-lock bags can be very handy in a camper’s tool chest. Don’t worry about hauling mixing bowls in your gear. A gallon size zip-lock bag is great for mixing foods together and is much easier to carry in your pack. Just secure the top of the bag very carefully, then squeeze, knead or shake the ingredients together. Then discard for super-easy cleanup too!

A utility knife can serve you well on your camping trip. The versatility of a utility knife makes it priceless when you are out camping. Bring one to slip into your pocket and throw a backup knife into your bag. You never know when your utility knife will come in handy!

A camping trip could be fun and relaxing, or it could easily become a hellish nightmare. How your camping experience turns out is down to one key factor: preparation. If you know how to prepare for everything that may pop up, you’ll be able to better enjoy your trip.

A polite thing you can do for the campers who follow you is leaving wood for them. Think about how difficult it can be to find some wood if there is none on the campsite, especially when it is dark. So, be courteous to others and leave as much wood as you can.

Never hike alone. It may sound juvenile, but always use the buddy system. It can be easy to get lost or turned around in nature. You could slip and hurt yourself. In instances like these, it is best to have someone along. Even if you have your cellphone handy, you may find it doesn’t get reception in the woods.

Since the tent is one of the most important parts of your camping trip, be sure the one you get is appropriate. Figure out how many people are coming on the trip so you can get a big enough tent. Also, make sure the tent you get prevents moisture from getting inside.

If you have more than three people camping with you, take along more than one tent. You are going to want to have some privacy at one time or another. The additional tent will make it possible to get some “me” time while at the camp site. It also gives you additional storage to keep animals out of your supplies.

Many different kinds of people love to go camping. For the best and most stress-free camping trip, it is essential to have a little know-how. After reading this article, you now have insights for how to make the most of your next camping trip.

Pebbles of Possibility Build Ladder to Corporate Equity and Inclusion

Tim Stephen

Pebbles are small by definition, but, gathered together, can be used to create a “step up.”

That is the idea behind the theme of the 4th Annual Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable (CEIR) hosted by the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence (CAV) on Monday at Duquesne University’s Power Ballroom.

Leaders from business, government, education and non-profits were invited to share experience and expertise focused on “Creating Pebbles of Possibilities for Ladders to Opportunities” in order to increase opportunities for people of color, particularly African-Americans, in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“It is time for each of us to be challenged to act in response to the ongoing negative statistics of our region impacting the economic conditions of African-Americans and people of color,” says Tim Stevens, B-PEP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The good news is there are many initiatives in the Pittsburgh region that have begun to make a difference.”

According to data provided by CEIR, Pittsburgh was reported to be “dead last” in indicators of racial and economic parity by the Post-Gazette in 2010.  In 2012, an analysis by the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board reported that African-Americans are paid less than other groups for the same work. A comparison of professional workforces finds the second-lowest percentage of minorities holding such positions in Pittsburgh when compared to 42 other cities. All of these factors have contributed to the largest wealth gap between whites and minorities in the last 25 years, with white wealth measured at 20 times that of African-Americans, and 18 times that of Hispanics.

In addition to the networking opportunity provided by the conference, focus was placed on both the “Hybrid Rooney Rule,” which is based on an NFL policy requiring that any team hiring a head coach must consider minority candidates as part of the process. In business, the rule would apply not only to executive hires, but to all hiring decisions, as well as to the awarding of supplier and service contracts.

Another focus is on “Ban the Box” initiatives, which ask that employers remove questions about an applicant’s previous felony conviction from the initial form, allowing fair consideration of an individual’s qualifications prior to allowing the individual to explain those convictions later in an interview process. The City of Pittsburgh adopted this policy in 2012, and was joined by Allegheny County in 2014, as have 13 states, the District of Columbia, and nearly 70 other cities and counties. Both Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto have encourage local organizations to do the same, saying such a ban would “continue to support our region’s growth and ensure that our workforce statistics reflect a demographic as diverse as our economy.”

Master of Ceremonies Bill Flanagan, Chief Corporate Relations Officer for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, says “it’s clear that there are people who have been left behind through our region’s transformation over the last generation, especially since the ‘great recession.’ That’s what [CEIR] is about: To make sure nobody is left behind, and everybody has an opportunity to participate.”

Flanagan says the local economic recovery has removed any opportunity for excuses to exclude those who want to participate in success.

“We are a little bit different — maybe a lot different — than we were five years ago,” before the first CEIR was planned, says Fitzgerald. “There were opportunities that were starting to occur back then, but when we look and see where we are now, those opportunities are even greater, as far as jobs and how many people are working; the diversity of our economic opportunities. We need to match that with the diversity of our workforce. I think that is starting to happen.”

Fitzgerald says that as local workers begin to retire, a large number of jobs will become available which, through using “best practices,” could create a far more diverse workforce.

“Our membership told us loud and clear during our last planning cycle that the number one issue they face is that they can’t find enough people to meet their replacement needs, much less their growth needs,” says Dennis Yablonsky, Chief Executive Officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. “We have been working on that for a while, but one of the things we have done over the last year is to really get the facts. We have always known where the jobs are today, but we have never known, and frankly, no other major metro area in the country has known, where they are three, five and ten years from now.”

Working with a consultant who analyzed job postings using details rather than just titles, Yablonsky says “we now have the first of its kind in the country: A forward look at where the jobs are going to be. The good news is, there is opportunity for everybody. The bad news is, if we don’t all pull together on this, the challenge is going to be overwhelming.”

Yablonsky says that, in addition to the nearly 400,000 “Baby Boomers” who will retire in the next ten years, an additional 50,000 new jobs will be created.

“If every kid who comes out of our pre-K to 12 educational system graduates, gets educated and stays in the region, we are 8000 a year short,” Yablonsky says. “That’s a pretty optimistic number, so the opportunity is there. The issue is, how do we address it?”

Yablonsky says a baseball analogy, “ERA,” which stands for “Elevate, Retain and Attract,” is part of the solution.

“Job One is that we have over 100,000 people in this region who are unemployed or underemployed. Many of those people are ready, willing, and with maybe a little bit of ‘up training,’ able to work.”

“The second piece is retention,” says Yablonsky. “We graduate 40,000 young people from our 61 institutions of higher learning in this region every year. Right now, about half of them are staying — about 40 percent from the four-year degree programs and about 62 percent from the two-year. The good news is that that 50 [percent] is a lot better than it was five or ten years ago. The bad news is that other regions retain 60, 65, 70 percent of their graduates.”

“Of the three, the attraction strategy is the most expensive, and the most time consuming,” says Yablonsky. “The easiest way to solve this problem is to elevate and to retain.”

(The report, complete with open-source data, is accessible at alleghenyconference.org/ – News)

Yablonsky also cites “up-credentialing” of job requirements, like requirements for 3-5 years of experience, as barriers.

“Most of the people working at those companies who already perform those jobs would not qualify,” Yablonsky says. “I believe these companies began to write job descriptions because they were in a ‘buyer’s market.’ The second thing that needs to happen is more internships, not only at the four-year baccalaureate level, but also in high schools, so that young people get a better handle on what works for them and what doesn’t. It’s also a great way for businesses to evaluate individuals. “

The Allegheny Conference is also encouraging its member businesses to become more involved with schools from pre-K throughout high school, to help guide those formulating curriculum to including valuable skills.

“We just don’t have enough people here,” Flanagan says. “If we don’t find ways to get more people plugged into the workforce, we really face a challenge. We have to find new and different ways to do things, and it’s important from the human side as well as the economic side.”

John E. Wetzel, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, offered a Keynote addressing that human side. Wetzel, who was appointed by then-Governor Tom Corbett, was asked to retain his post by Governor Wolf, and is considered a national expert on the effects of incarceration, particularly after reentry.

Having more jobs than people isn’t a problem, but an issue, Wetzel says, and local “ban the box” efforts have created interest not only statewide, but nationally in the criminal justice community.

“Over the past three or four decades, nearly one-third of Americans have a criminal record,” Wetzel says. “The notion that you would exclude one-third of potential applicants — how could that even happen?”

“It is a truism of our approach to criminal justice that it is resulting in the disproportionate incarceration of poor people, of people of color, and that is data, not philosophy,” Wetzel says. “It’s important that we dig a little deeper into that concept, and the concept of how we dig ourselves out.”

“Our prison population in Pennsylvania is going down. Over the past two years, our population has gone down about 1500 inmates, and when I inherited this job, it was growing by 1500 a year,” says Wetzel. “We have been fortunate, with the aid of a lot of partnerships, to start reducing that trend. What that means is that more and more people are coming out of prison, probably at least 2000 people, coming back to [southwestern Pennsylvania], 1000 in particular to Allegheny County. It’s a large number, and they are disproportionately poor and people of color.”

“[Disproportionate incarceration] impacts the community: We break up the family, we break up the community supports that keep people on the right track, we decimate the population,” Wetzel says. “How do we bounce back? We focus on building social community support and economic opportunity, and you have a really unique opportunity.”

“When I hear ‘Ban the Box,’ it’s us, as a community, saying that people are worthy, and that people have humanity, even if they are incarcerated,” Wetzel says. “We have 50,000 people incarcerated, and 90 percent of them are going to come back home. Some of those people are going to move into neighborhoods close to you, and an important question to ask ourselves is, how do we want those people to come back? Do we want them coming back with no skills, and no opportunity other than committing crime?”

Wetzel says he would rather consider the $42,000 per year spent to incarcerate an inmate an investment by providing skills and services to facilitate successful re-entry.

“We have the ability to provide training, and develop skills they can use,” Wetzel says. “We created six programs across the state to develop the skill sets for people to work on gas pipelines. We can partner with anybody. We can set up a program where individuals can come back and get plugged in to the workforce. We are committed to creative solutions,” although he admits not all 2000 who return will be employable in all industries.

“It’s essential, because it’s the right thing to do,” Wetzel says. “What Ban the Box does is give us the ability to not pre-judge people. Interview them, and make your judgment based on the totality of the facts, not just a box that is checked on a paper. Horrendous public mistakes are not a legacy. Individuals re-entering can join in strategic partnerships that businesses should be embracing.”

“We are all collectively invested in this,” Wetzel says.

Several panel discussions were hosted to inform audience members about other ways to create and promote diversity in the workplace, from hiring decisions to choosing suppliers and contractors. At the conclusion of the roundtable, Stevens urged those in attendance to contribute a pebble, a commitment to make positive change to increase economic involvement for everyone.

“Change is about to begin,” Stevens says. “Change begins with pebbles of possibilities. With initiatives that are aimed at making a difference in our businesses, in our colleges, in our universities, in our non-profits, in our communities.”

For more information about the Corporate Equity and Inclusion Roundtable, including links to resource materials, visit b-pep.net/ -! blank/um691.

By Nancy Hart

Nhart543@gmail.com

Twitter: @nhart543

Tips For Becoming A More Successful Parent

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When you just don’t know what to do and you are having doubts about your parenting skills, you may feel like you’re all alone in the world. You’re not! We’ve all been through it and we’ve all come through the other side better people and that includes our kids. Here are some tips on how we’ve dealt with a variety of parenting problems and survived.

Have someone besides mom introduce the baby to a bottle if needed. A baby who is being breastfeed will be less likely to take a bottle from the mother as they want what they are used to. The process will go much smoother if a dad or other caregiver gets the baby used to a bottle.

In order to be a good parent, you must not watch every single thing that your child does. This will smother them and only push them further away. If you give them some freedom, they will in turn put more truth into how they are feeling and how they are living their life. This way, the children are less likely to rebel.

Being around your children a lot can be very stressful. Make sure you take time out for you. Plan a dinner date with a good friend, go for a long walk to go to the movies by yourself. That little time away will be enough for your to recharge and be the best parent you can be.

While going through a divorce with younger children, it is important to give them only the information that is necessary for them to understand. No excess information should be given to the young children or it could hurt their impression of the parent. Your kids should not feel any effect of their parents divorce, even though they always do.

A great parenting tip is to admit when you’re wrong. Don’t think that just because you’re older, that you’re smarter and always know what’s right. Admitting when you’re wrong will make your child respect you more and they’ll be more likely to listen to you when you have something to say.

A great parenting tip is to involve the whole family when it comes to making decisions. Start having family meetings. This will make every member of your family, including your child, feel more responsible and helpful. Don’t just think you’re the only authority and that you should make all the decisions.

When your child is acting out, ask yourself if he or she possibly needs some one-on-one attention. If you have been caught up on the computer or phone or have otherwise been occupied, give your child ten undivided minutes of your time. This may ward off a full-blown tantrum and reminds your child that he or she is worthy of your attention.

Remember what is happening today will be over with tomorrow. If your kids messed up your clean living room, know that it won’t stay that way, it will be clean again tomorrow. Having this viewpoint will help you to move on.

When you are going to a place where there will be large number of people, dress your children in colorful clothing that will be distinctive from a distance. You might want to consider matching clothing for the adults in your party. It will help prevent you and your children becoming separated in a crowd.

When your child starts school it is important to make sure that they know what to expect. If at all possible you should take your child on a tour of their school before they attend. This will help them to feel prepared and may help relieve some of the anxiety they may be experiencing.

When a child acts out it is important to take their privileges from them within reason and that the punishment match the crime. You do not want to take all of a child’s privileges for a minor wrongdoing. If you do, it will not motivate them in the desired way.

One way you can prevent tantrums (and sneakily encourage self-determination at the same time) is by offering your child a choice between two equivalent alternatives. The chance to make his or her own decision will please your child. By presenting equally valid choices you can avoid any disagreement. Often, a well-prepared choice can entirely eliminate arguments and dissension.

Do not spend too much on routine rewards that you give to your young child. If you buy a child a toy every time he behaves well, your pocket book will suffer. Young children do not understand the monetary value of things. So, even a small reward, like a special sticker, will mean a lot to him.

Shampooing the hair for your children can be a trying experience for parents. You can make this fun by pretending you are a hairdresser and your child is your customer. By making this into a game, your child will not consider washing their hair an unpleasant experience. Avoid to get shampoo in your child’s eyes.

If your child is being bullied, talk to them about it. Have family members share their own experiences with bullying and how they handled it, and make sure to support them unconditionally. Also contact the school and see what methods are in place for teachers and staff to help the situation.

A great way to spend time with your children on a regular basis is to have a family game night. Pick out a game that everyone will enjoy or let family members take turns choosing a game. Playing a game together as a family is a fun alternative to sitting around watching TV or each one going off and doing their own thing.

Just hold tight, breathe deeply and remember that tomorrow is another day. Implement the techniques we’ve supplied and come up with some of your own. Parenting is the hardest job on earth and there is no handbook or training that can truly prepare you for it. The beauty is that the foundation you are laying for your child, is well worth the effort!

Cavs Upset Warriors for 1st NBA title; LeBron Named Series MVP; Pirates get swept by Cubs

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They were down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the city hadn’t won a sports championship in 52 years, 2 days later the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to kill 2 birds with one stone-or basketball.

The Cavs did the impossible by rebounding from that 3-1 deficit to beat the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7-in front of a hostile environment at the Oracle arena, home of the Warriors. They are the first team in NBA history to do so and they won their first championship in Cleveland since the Browns in 1964.

They needed the leadership of one man, and they got it. F LeBron James, who returned to Cleveland to bring them their first title, came through on his promise by scoring 41 points in Games 5 & 6 and then had a triple-double in Game 7 for the right to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy for the 3rd time in his career.

Just one year ago, these same Cavs fell short to the Warriors in 6 games and even though James did all he could, but the rest of his team just wasn’t there-with G Kyrie Irving and F Kevin Love missing the playoffs with injuries.

James led the Cavs with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists to join HOF James Worthy and Magic Johnson. a healthy Irving added 26 points, including a huge 3-pointer to give the Cavs the lead for good and JR Smith added 12 for the newly crowned world champions.

James was named unanimous NBA Finals MVP and a tearful James boldly shouted “Cleveland, this is for You!!”

LeBron James cradled the shiny gold trophy and struggled to sum up what might be his sweetest championship yet, the one he is so proudly bringing home to his native northeast Ohio just as he promised to do when he returned to the Cavaliers two summers ago.

Later, flanked by his three children on Father’s Day, a cigar between his lips and winning net as a necklace with the lingering stench of champagne, James began to understand the magnitude of his accomplishment for Cleveland after a half-century wait.

”I’m coming home with what I said I was going to do,” he said, adding, ”I can’t wait to get off that plane, hold that trophy up and see all our fans at the terminal.”

James and his relentless, never-count-them-out Cavs pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback, and Cleveland is title town again at long last.

.In a testy series of blowouts – and a few blowups – the winner-take-all Game 7 provided the thrilling finale with James as the finals MVP disarming two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry and his record-setting Warriors.

The native of Akron rattled off moments from the lengthy list of Cleveland sports heartbreak and said what it meant for him to personally bring the Cavaliers their first championship.

Playing his sixth straight finals, James almost single-handedly carried the Cavs back into this series and finished with 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as the Cavs gave their city its first major sports winner since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964. He also had three blocked shots, including a key one of Andre Iguodala on a fast break in the final minutes.

An emotional James fell to the floor when this one ended with a second win in a week on Golden State’s imposing home floor, surrounded by his teammates. Only moments earlier, he went down in pain with 10.6 seconds left after being fouled by Draymond Green while going for a dunk, then came back out to make the second of two free throws.

After four successful seasons in Miami and two titles with the Heat, James came back to the Cavs in hopes of winning the title this franchise and championship-starved city so coveted. It took a second try against Golden State after Cleveland lost to the Warriors in six games last year.

Similar to the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins, Cleveland did it after a coaching change, with Tyronn Lue taking over in January for the fired David Blatt.

Kyrie Irving scored 26 points to cap his brilliant finals, including a 3-pointer over Curry with 53 seconds left. Curry sat briefly on the bench to take in the scene after the Warriors made their last basket with 4:39 left.

Green had 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, but the Warriors’ record-setting season ended without the only prize this close-knit ”Strength in Numbers” crew cared about from way back in the beginning – through the record 24-0 start as Coach of the Year Steve Kerr was out, Curry’s second consecutive MVP campaign, and the 73 regular-season wins to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ mark.

As Cleveland celebrated in the trophy ceremony, Green returned to the floor to congratulate the Cavs. He stopped by the winning locker room, too, and Warriors general manager Bob Myers brought in the freshly cut nets.

Golden State might always be remembered as one of the best teams ever that couldn’t close it out, and Green is taking at least a good share of the blame after he sat out Game 5 on Monday night suspended for flagrant fouls.

The Cavs staved off elimination twice to force Game 7 back at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors went up 2-0 with a pair of lopsided wins to start this series. Cleveland became just the fourth team to win an NBA Finals Game 7 on the road.

Curry – who said beforehand he needed the best game of his career – scored 17 points on 6-for-19 shooting, while Splash Brother Klay Thompson added 14 points while making 6 of 17 shots.

President Barack Obama, an avid basketball fan, returned to Washington aboard Air Force One late Sunday as the game entered its final, tense minutes. He watched until the end and did not come down the stairs until moments after the Cavs won.

This time, it will be Cleveland hosting the victory parade on Wednesday. A year ago at home, the Cavs had to watch Golden State win its first title in 40 years.

Notes: Veteran Richard Jefferson is ending his 15-year NBA career on the highest of notes. While celebrating winning a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, a 93-89 Game 7 win over the Warriors, Jefferson announced that he was now going to retire. Earlier in his career, Jefferson played in two NBA Finals with the then-New Jersey Nets, but fell short of winning a ring in both of those appearances. He then had a journeyman career, making stops in San Antonio, Milwaukee, Utah, Golden State and Dallas before landing in Cleveland this year.

In the MLB: The Pittsburgh Pirates struggles continue as they lose to the Chicago Cubs once again, this time in a 10-5 blowout in a 3-game sweep. The Pirates are now a season-low 33-36 with their postseason hopes in serious jeopardy for the first time since late 2012.

 Prized Cubs prospect Willison Contreras received a standing ovation as he made his way to the plate in the sixth inning for his first major league at-bat. One pitch later, the Wrigley Field crowd was back on its feet demanding a curtain call.

Contreras crushed the first pitch he saw in the big leagues for a two-run home run, Kyle Hendricks struck out a career-high 12 in six innings and the Chicago Cubs completed a sweep of the fading Pittsburgh Pirates with a 10-5 victory Sunday night.

Contreras, called up from Triple-A on Friday, pinch hit for Hendricks in the sixth and sent A.J. Schugel’s changeup an estimated 415 feet to center. The cheering didn’t let up until the 24-year-old Venezuelan catcher hopped out of the dugout and tipped his cap. A fan even returned the ball to Contreras, which sat in his locker.

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit consecutive home runs in the third and Javier Baez added a solo shot for the Cubs, all off rookie Jameson Taillon (1-1). Addison Russell hit a two-run shot in the seventh for the Cubs, who have eight homers in two games.

Josh Harrison’s solo home run was the lone blemish off Hendricks (5-6), who walked none and allowed seven hits. His previous career high was nine strikeouts.

Starling Marte returned from injury and had a two-run triple off Adam Warren in a three-run seventh for the Pirates, who have lost 17 of 22 and fell 15 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central. Chicago’s overall division lead jumped to 12 1/2 games over St. Louis with Contreras providing the latest feel-good story.

Contreras arrived from Iowa on Friday and played one inning of defense. Madden announced before the game that Contreras would get his first start at catcher Monday. Rizzo added two RBI singles for the Cubs, who completed their seventh series sweep of the season.

Chicago jumped on Taillon after the rookie took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a victory Tuesday against the New York Mets.

Bryant and Rizzo crushed misplaced fastballs, marking the fifth time this season they’ve homered in the same game. That was overshadowed by Contreras becoming the first Cubs player to homer on the first pitch he saw since Jim Bullinger in 1992.

Of course, Contreras is still a rookie, and the team’s No. 3 catcher. Once the curtain call ended, he had to get back to warming up pitchers.

Notes: LHP Jeff Locke (5-5, 5.92 ERA) starts Monday night to open a four-game home series against San Francisco and Giants ace Madison Baumgartner (8-2, 1.91). Locke has lost his last two starts. C Jacob Stallings, son of new University of Pittsburgh basketball coach Kevin Stallings, started and went 0 for 4 in his major league debut.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

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Ditch The Bad Vacations With These Travel Tips

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Traveling is a popular hobby with huge benefits, from learning about other cultures to creating memories that last a lifetime. Whether you visit the next city over or fly to far-flung continents, though, traveling can be a lot more enjoyable if you keep a few things in mind. Read on for some tips to enhance your travel experiences.

If you love to travel but have a chronic illness, don’t fret! Your traveling days are not over. Just remember to travel smart by having all of your necessary medical supplies and emergency information readily accessible. You’ll feel more comfortable leaving home and be prepared for any emergency situation!

Always make sure that you have a set location for your important paperwork and documents when traveling. It is easy to lose or misplace these things. Determine a safe pocket or pouch ahead of time, and always take them out and put them back in this same location.

A useful tip for travelers is to make certain to have sufficient health insurance in place to cover medical expenses in case of injury or illness while abroad. It is often the case that domestic health insurance policies do not provide extensive coverage for treatment and hospitalization in foreign countries. Therefore, it is important to procure such coverage for the entire duration of your trip.

If you are traveling overseas or even to a part of the country you’ve never visited before, it’s a good idea to let your bank and credit card company know. Many credit cards are equipped with fraud protection, which could block transactions that the company isn’t sure the card holder authorized. Travelling far from home is an almost certain way to trip these sensors.

When planning your vacation, try to be flexible on your destination. While it may be fun to revisit your favorite spots, having some variety will ensure your vacation is more memorable. Choosing a new place to go might save you some money.

Make sure to pack your vitamins when you travel and remember that vitamin C is a great energy and immune booster. Taking a vitamin supplement can help you prevent or lessen the effects of jet lag on your body, strengthen your immune system against the multitude of germs you will come into contact with, and generally make you feel better. Clear any supplements with your doctor before taking them if you have underlying health issues.

Make a portable washing machine with a plastic bag. Save money by skipping expensive coin-operated washers and dryers when you travel by using a do-it-yourself tip. Find or pack a large and sturdy plastic bag, and add a little laundry soap and water. Put your clothes in the bag, and shake. Drain the soapy water and repeat the process with clean water, then hang the clothes to dry.

Replace the lock on your luggage with a combination lock. Many pieces of luggage come with locks and keys. Keys get lost. Not that it matters. The locks are so cheaply made, they can be broken right off. It would not be a bad idea to discard them entirely and replace them with a sturdier combination lock.

For safety, when you are packing to go on a trip you should always include a first aid kit. You should also put a pair of tweezers in your suitcase in case of any splinters that get picked up along the way. You always want to be prepared for any emergency.

While traveling, request peppermint tea or bring some along for your own use. Pack along some peppermint lozenges or candies. Peppermint is soothing and can help settle an upset stomach due to new culinary delights or motion sickness. In a pinch, it can also act as a breath freshener if you are caught out in the wild without a toothbrush or run out of toothpaste.

Before you go anywhere, check if you have any of those extra rewards miles on your credit card. These miles can really help you save money and you might not even know that you have all these reward miles on your car. So next you go anywhere, check your resources.

When packing for a trip use space management techniques that make the most of your luggage space. For instance, consider rolling your clothing items instead of folding them. This will cut down on wrinkles and make additional space so you can fit a few more items in each piece of luggage.

If your destination has a visitors bureau, call them at least three months before travel to inquire about coupons or special packages. To attract more tourists, many of these locations have made deals with local attractions and service providers to offer steep discounts and special rates to visitors. You can save a lot of money and plan your time accordingly.

While they can be bulky to pack, sleeping might be more pleasant on your own pillow. Traveling can mess up your sleep pattern so having your own pillow brings a bit of comfort to a strange location. If you are driving this is easy to do. When flying, try bringing it in your carry on, as you may want to sleep on the flight as well.

Before you fly anywhere in the world, check both the weather forecast for your the airports of departure and arrival. If you see some lousy weather in the forecast, check the airport websites too and make sure they haven’t already made an announcement. Weather delays are no fun and they’re made even worse if you don’t prepare for them.

Search for an airline that will credit you the difference in cost if the ticket that you have booked drops after you have bought it. There are some airlines that will match the lowest price of the flight if it was to decrease between the time that you book the flight and when the flight actually departs.

Now you’re ready to hit the road, board the plane, hitch a ride or get on that train to whatever destination it is that tugs at your heartstrings. Using these smart travel tips and a hearty dose of common sense, your future trips will all have a great chance at being dream vacations.

Ray Jr. on Sports

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  1. Well, well, well…the NBA Finals are tied at 3 after the Cleveland Cavaliers beat up on the defending champion Golden State Warriors 115-101 in Game 6. F LeBron James once again led the way with 41 points.
  2. It’s amazing that the Cavs were able to rebound from at 3-1 deficit. I honestly thought that they were done after they went down 2-0 and then 3-1, but it’s obvious that this Cavs team were stronger and healthier than last season, but it’s not over yet as they have to now travel to Oakland for the 7th and deciding game.
  3. Do the Cavs have a chance? I think they do as they’ve obviously swung the momentum, but there’s a reason why most home teams win Game 7 in the history of sports. The Warriors know that they have to get their mojo back and the Cavs know they better start strong when the series resumes Father’s Day Sunday.
  4. Of course, folks want to yell ‘fix’, OK, you’re entitled to that, but the Warriors were down 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals to the OKC Thunder-see, Warriors fans seem to forget about that.
  5. And I have always had great respect for Warriors G Steph Curry, but when he fouled out and threw his mouthpiece that hit a fan, well Steph. That was a bit much.
  6. Unfortunately, it just got worse for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they have lost another one to the NY Mets, this time 6-4. They lost Wednesday night 11-2 after shutting them out 4-0. The difference between the wins and losses? Pitching.
  7. I’ve honestly had it up to here with starting pitcher Jeff Locke. he basically has the ugliest 5-5 record in MLB. Why is it ugly, you ask? His 5.92 ERA answers that question. he just doesn’t have it, but the Pirates continue to keep sending him out there. Apparently Juan Nicasio doesn’t either, as he was bombed on Thursday.
  8. Now which Pirates pitcher does have it? The one who almost no-hit the Mets in a 4-0 shutout on Monday, and that gentleman was rookie Jameson Taillon, who was only making his 2nd MLB start. The man overcame Tommy John Surgery and has basically waited forever to get promoted-and is easily the best Pirates pitcher right now.
  9. The Pirates should’ve known this would happen after basically holding the door-and watching the likes of pitchers JA Happ, Joakim Soria, Joe Blanton and Antonio Bastardo (Yes, I included him) after winning 98 games last season. But they’re always ready to take on reclamation projects instead of quality talent to help them win.
  10. They think pitching coach Ray Searage is responsible for ‘fixing’ everyone. Well, the man has worked wonders, but he’s a pitching coach, not a doctor. Anyway, the Pirates are now 33-33 and are in 3rd place in the NL Central. And yes, if the season ended today, the Pirates would not be in the playoffs.
  11. Anyway, my focus switches to a team that will make the playoffs-in fact will probably win the NL Central division in the Chicago Cubs, home of MLB’s best record at 44-20. They responded well after winning 97 games and have been on fire since the start of the season. They lead the Pirates by 12 games (the 2nd place St. Louis Cardinals by 9) and will welcome the Pirates to Wrigley Field this weekend. Oh boy.
  12. As for the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins are still on Cloud 9 after winning their 4th Stanley Cup championship by beating the San Jose Sharks 4-2 in the Best of Seven series. It was a delight to see another sports championship return to Pittsburgh, something that hasn’t happened since the Penguins last won in 2009.
  13. And the Penguins did it in a very unselfish manner. It wasn’t about C Sidney Crosby or G Evangi Malkin and it definitely wasn’t about G Marc-Andre Fleury, who each did their parts during the regular season, but it was a group of youngsters who got it done in the postseason, without allowing the spotlight to get too much for them.
  14. Especially 22-year old Matt Murray, who won 15 postseason games including the Cup-Clenching game Sunday night. He was also an impressive 7-0 after a loss and much kudos for HC Mike Sullivan for putting him back in after he and Fleury each lost vs. Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  15. As for Fleury, he had his time in Pittsburgh, now I think it’s time for him to move on. And I hear that the Calgary Flames are the first team to speak to the Penguins about acquiring him, because their only weak spot is goaltender. Stay tuned.
  16. As for the NFL, you really can’t expect much right now, right? Well, NFL Mini-Camps are happening now, the first combination of the rookies and veterans. And this will be the last set of practices before NFL Training Camps in July.
  17. As for the Steelers, they announced that they will once again wear their 1934 throwback uniforms next season, this time vs. the NY Jets at Heinz Field October 9th. It honestly doesn’t matter what uniforms they wear-as long as they win, but I think the Steelers should leave those uniforms back in 1934.
  18. The SB Champion Denver Broncos received their championship rings this week, and they look pretty impressive. Last week the NFC Champion Carolina Panthers also received their rings as well. Of course they’re not as elaborate as the SB rings, but they’re also pretty impressive and well earned.
  19. In college football, apparently it’s predicted that the Pitt Panthers now have the ACC’s best uniforms since they’ve returned to the script and the football team adding that blue helmet (which is my favorite)
  20. I admit those uniforms are nice, but we know the basics: The uniform is only part of the battle, what matters is what they do in them.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Looking For Tips About Employment? You’ve Come To The Right Place!

JobOpenings

Job hunting can be difficult. There are so many employers out there, and there are so many people looking for jobs. You may wonder how you are ever going to be able to get a good job, in a reasonable amount of time. This article can assist you in thinking differently. Check out the employement tips below, and feel better about looking for work.

If you are looking for a job, the most important thing to remember is to stick with it. Treat it like you have the job of looking for a job! Dedicate a set number of hours to it every day so that you can really focus on it. That way, you’ll get a job sooner.

LinkedIn is a great place to find information about employment. You can demonstrate your industry knowledge and skills by participating in the popular Questions and Answers feature. You can ask others about the company they work for, jobs they do or just for job searching help.

Ensure that all of your initial points of contact with potential employers are appropriate. When prompted to leave a voice message, what do callers hear: your name and instructions, or a clip of your favorite pop song? As for your email, do you use a professional address? If not, it’s time to adopt a more grown-up moniker. Avoid usernames containing offensive words, misspellings and unflattering language.

When writing a resume, be sure to include all of your important contact information. This makes it much easier for employers to get in touch with you if they need to. Important information for them includes your full name, your email address, your street address, and your phone number.

If you’re writing a resume, try picking a format that suits the position you want. There are many types of common formats like a chronological, targeted, or combination resume. Take some time to see what works best for you. If possible, try to create your own format that gets your information across in a clear and concise manner.

When looking for a job try to find one that fits your personality type. For example, if you are shy and like working on projects alone, a job that requires you to be part of, and contribute to a larger team may be a bad choice. Carefully assess who you are, and find a job that fits that perfectly.

Do not bring your phone with you when you are going on an interview. The last thing that you need to worry about is your phone ringing or people texting you on the day of your interview. You should only have one thing in mind on the day of your interview.

Try not to socialize too often at work with friends. Keep things as professional as possible and always stay on task. When you bring in a personal element, more conflicts and drama can ensue in the workplace. Remember that blurring the personal-professional line can have dire consequences for your career.

If you are looking to move up in a company don’t be shy to talk to management when you have an idea. At the same time, don’t overdo it. By going their with genuinely good ideas that you believe will help the company, they will naturally want you closer to them to assist, as such increasing your pay scale.

Keep yourself in a good mindset. Look for a job constantly, and don’t get too discouraged. Do not rely on unemployment benefits, or you may become too comfortable in your current position. Instead, set goals and deadlines for yourself in respect to how many applications you fill out.

While it is nice to have connections, remember that you should never think that someone else will get a job for you. You are your own best representative. Work hard to make your dreams happen. If you sit back and hope things will fall into place, they probably will not.

The Internet is a great resource, but you need to search for a job in other places as well. Social networking sites can sometimes help, but the best approach is to research companies of interest, find out if they have any available positions and get your resume out there for people to see.

Keep in touch with your former employers if you left in good standing. You never know if a job opening will come up in which you are qualified for. Keeping your established business network healthy will prevent you from being forgotten. In addition, it is easier for a former employer to give you a glowing recommendation if they remember you.

When you are applying to companies online and they respond to you, make sure that you get in touch with them immediately to set up an interview. Rarely will a company wait on you, as you will need to take the initiative to get this done. This will help to set yourself up for an interview and potentially your next long term job.

Have a mock interview. Enlist a friend to help ask you questions an interviewer would ask. That way, you can get a critique on your answers and your body language. This is a great way to make you feel comfortable during the real interview, because you can fix any flaws you have.

Always bring a list of references with you to a job interview. Make sure the information is up to date and that your references are expecting to be called. You need three references typically, so don’t list more than that. Include people who have been your superior, co-workers or even co-volunteers, if you must.

If you don’t get a job, ask why not. This can be an invaluable way to determine if you’re doing anything wrong. You can simply send a short email or letter inquiring about whether there was anything more you could have done. This may also make you feel better about not getting the job.

With this information under your belt, you can better prepare yourself for interviews, cover letters and resumes. You can present a better picture of yourself to employers, and you have a better shot of getting hired. Take the information here and make sure you use it, so that your job search can end with a great job.

The Best Parenting Advice You Will Ever Read

Purposeful-Parenting-101

It is common to hear people say that they hope they never raise their children like their parents did, however, more often than not, this ends up happening. If you wish to learn some of the best parenting advice, from a wide variety of sources that does not include your parents, this article is for you.

An important tip for parents is to become acquainted with your children’s friends as well as their parents. By getting to know your children’s playmates and also their moms and dads, it is possible to develop a sense of comfort and confidence in the types of influences to which your sons and daughters are regularly exposed.

Be wary about introducing pacifiers to your breastfeed baby. Pacifiers are designed to take care of a baby’s need to suck, however the reason a baby needs to suck is because that is how they breastfeed. If they can satisfy their need to suck elsewhere it will hurt your breastfeeding relationship. Limit pacifiers for at least the first 6 weeks.

You can make your disciplinary efforts far more effective, by trying to shift the focus of your words from only highlighting the child’s wrongdoing to using positive language. Children who are repeatedly criticized, have a natural tendency to resist discipline, which in turn, leads to increased instances of fits, discipline problems and poor conduct.

Any child who walks to classes each day ought to have reflective fabric on their clothes or book bags. You can find reflective material that can easily be applied with Velcro strips to any surface. Retro-reflective materials, whether Velcro or tape, make children more visible if they’re walking prior to sunrise or after dark. No matter what time of day it is, wearing reflective materials draws drivers’ attention to your children’s presence and makes road accidents less likely.

A great parenting tip is to not always let your child get what they want. If you let your child get what they want all the time, they’ll go through life thinking they’ll never have to hear the word “no”. Be reasonable with your child and tell them “no” when you need to.

If you are a new mom of twins, ASK FOR HELP! Not asking for help is one of the worst things that moms of twins do. Having newborn twins is not the same as having one baby. Take anyone and every one’s offer of help whether doing some grocery shopping, running the dishwasher, or just sitting with the sleeping babies for you to get a break. You will be a better mom for it.

A great parenting tip is to always utilize disciplinary techniques as a way of shielding your child from harm instead of using them as punitive tools that may harm self-esteem. In this way, you will also be able to instruct your child in the things they ought to be doing instead of dwelling on what they should not.

A great parenting tip is to involve the whole family when it comes to making decisions. Start having family meetings. This will make every member of your family, including your child, feel more responsible and helpful. Don’t just think you’re the only authority and that you should make all the decisions.

Giving firm and clear instructions can help when you have trouble getting a child to listen to you. Asking your child to do something generally gets poorer results than when you firmly tell them to do something. For example, a common problem that many parents have is getting their child to brush their teeth at night. Asking the child to brush their teeth is not going to be as successful as telling them it is time to brush their teeth.

Make sure you monitor the computer activity of your teenager. Thousands of teenagers chat with people online and they can get themselves in a questionable situation. This could be prevented if more parents followed their child’s computer activity, and stopped them from using the computer if they are chatting with strangers.

A good relationship with your Child’s teacher is very important. It is important for the teacher to feel as though you are working with him or her as a team. They should be able to contact you if they have any concerns and you should take them into careful consideration.

Going back to the basics is sometimes an important thing to do with your child, no matter how boring it might seem to them. By ignoring today’s technology and fast pace you will give your child lifelong immeasurable skills. Some things that you can do with your child include sewing, camping, hiking and building. These are all activities that will teach your child basic skills that can be carried with them throughout their lifetime.

Be aware of what your children are doing in school. Whether class work or trouble-making, it’s natural for a child to seek attention through various institutions in their life. Sometimes they feel stress or rigor and refuse to ask for help from their parents due to external influences. Asking about school life can open up a channel of conversation to help a child reveal their emotions.

Getting your kids to do chores can be an opportunity for positive character-building rather than an ordeal. If you keep records (like a chore chart) of your expectations and encourage your children to meet them, you can foster a sense of accomplishment and actually make them look forward to helping out around the house.

For better parenting performance, you should remember that your life as a parent and as a worker are not separate. If your job tends to give you stress, avoid taking that stress out on your children at all costs. When a parenting situation tempts you to be angry or disappointed, keep in mind the other stressful factors in your life that may contribute to your attitude.

In conclusion, you want to make sure that you are doing what is best for your children. Parenting is a passion of yours and it is imperative that you are not just following what your own parents did, but are providing for your children in a way that caters to them, specifically. Use the advice in this article for your advantage.

Best Beaches for Families

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In your college years, spring break has all been about partying into the early morning hours of several of the craziest and wildest vacation destinations. However, now that you already have your own family and got kids, spring break and hot spots like Cancun and Miami would not just cut it. Nevertheless, it does not mean that you need to give up all the excitement and fun to escape several days from the ho-hum and chill situations of Pittsburgh. There are lots of great spring break getaways, which are conveniently located within just few hours of downtown Pittsburgh, most of which, offering lots of family-friendly relaxation and fun. Pack up your car and your suitcases, and treat the entire family to a spring break vacation in one of these destinations considered the best for Pittsburgh families.

  1. Camelback Mountain Waterpark – Get wild and wet at Camelback Mountain Waterpark. It is the largest waterpark in Pennsylvania. You will forget that you are in the Pocono Mountains when you are slipping and sliding on more than 37 different water slides, rides, and attractions amidst its 84-degree and climate controlled temperature. The Aquatopia indoor waterpark is ideal for the entire family, as it is offering fun for all ages, ranging from the Camel Kid Theme Park, up to the family rides for the little ones, and the rushing thrill rides especially designed for bigger kids.
  2. Rehoboth Beach – Nothing says spring break, such as a trip to the beach. With that, the Rehoboth Beach in Delaware is among the favorite seaside stops of Pittsburghers. It is family friendly, welcoming, and clean. Rehoboth is offering a resort feel without all of the craziness that you would see at common spring break beaches. As a matter of fact, it is a great place for kids because of it numerous boardwalk activities, parks, and restaurants.
  3. New River Gorge National River – There is no place like the New River Gorge National River in Virginia, which you can take in great outdoors. The entire family is going to enjoy endless days of having to explore the mountain region of the state with everything from hiking and camping up to white water rafting. Younger children are going to love the Youth Arts in the Park events, the Junior Ranger program, along with the Science Youth Nature Camp. Get yourself surrounded with the beauty of nature with this about 4-hour drive south, in Glen Jean.
  4. Delaware Beaches – The Atlantic coast is offering sun-craving Pittsburghers with an easy ocean escape. In the southern Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach is drawing a younger crowd because of its renowned party vibe and nightlife.
  5. Jersey Shore – Just like the beaches in Delaware, the Atlantic coast in southern New Jersey is an approximately 7-hour drive from Pittsburgh, offering a wide range of beaches, from the urban boardwalk and famous casinos of the Atlantic city to the amusement parks  and calm Victorian beauty of Cape May in Wildwood.

Get ready for what you would need for the summer, while thinking about which among these best beaches are really best to drive with families. editor@urbanmediatoday.com