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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 12:45 PM

Hate waiting at the DMV? Ditch the lines and take your Driver’s Exam at the Cindy Cohen School of Driving.

PennDOT has authorized a limited number of non-DMV locations to conduct PA Driver’s Exams. Cindy Cohen School of Driving is one of the very few approved Third-Party Testing Centers in southwestern Pennsylvania and the only one in the City of Pittsburgh. Now, instead of having to schedule an exam weeks ahead of time and then go to a PennDoT Driver’s License Center, you can schedule your exam as little as 48 hours ahead of time with CCSoD.

The road tests begin and end in the parking lot of CCSoD’s 3131 West Carson Street testing site. Exam routes are comparable to those of the state test centers. CCSoD examiners have been qualified, approved, and verified by PennDOT, and tests are conducted and scored according to PennDoT standards. The testing center serves anyone with a valid Pennsylvania learner’s permit.

Besides the driver’s exam, Cindy Cohen School of Driving also offers lessons for new drivers, previously-licensed adults, and internationally-licensed drivers. In the past eight years over 30,000 drivers have learned safe driving techniques from CCSoD. For lessons the school accepts most valid state learner’s permits. The school can also teach international drivers.

Behind-the-wheel lessons place a student on the road with an approved Pennsylvania driving instructor, licensed through the Department of Education. CCSoD instructors are recognized for their technical expertise and dedication to safety, as well as for fostering a positive learning environment which helps inexperienced drivers overcome the nervousness that often accompanies learning to drive. Driving lessons are generally two hours long and cost $150 per lesson. Lessons can include basic vehicle control, specific maneuvers (such as three-point turns and parallel parking), defensive driving practices, and more advanced topics (lane-changing and merging, highway driving, adverse conditions, etc). Students can sign up for one or as many lessons as necessary to become a safe, confident driver.

CCSOD is client-driven, offering individualized instruction catering to pupil-specific skills and needs. The number of lessons necessary to reach an acceptable level of driving proficiency varies for each client, depending on experience, aptitude, and other factors. They offer brush-up lessons for licensed or permitted drivers who may have severe driving anxiety. They have transformed many fearful individuals into confident, safe drivers. The school offers a practice test to prepare clients for the driver’s license exam at CCSOD. Senior observations are offered to help those suffering from illness or injury to continue driving safely. There is also an online driver’s education course available through the CCSoD website, www.drivingbuythebest.com.

Thanks to Cindy Cohen and her staff, new drivers are hitting the roads confidently and safely, through a quick and friendly process. Take lessons and/or schedule your driver’s exam today by visiting www.drivingbuythebest.com or calling (412) 580-0027.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Posted By on Sun, Mar 3, 2019 at 8:13 PM

Looking to get the kids out of the house this summer? Pittsburgh City Paper has your back with the 2019 Summer Camps list. These camps are jam packed with games, activities, and events that will keep your kids busy all summer long! Here's part one of our summer camps list.

1. Gaynor School of Cooking Summer Camp

We offer a large selection of age appropriate children’s programs throughout the year in cooking, pastries, and baking. Our major objective during these programs is for the children to discover the fun of cooking and to realize that there is more to enjoy than just hamburgers and pizza. In creating meals themselves, they are often willing to try some foods that otherwise they would turn their noses up at. By starting early, not only do we hope they will develop a passion for good healthy food, but also discover a lifelong joy of cooking.

Learn more about the camp and how to participate here.

2. Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh Day Camps

C O N N E C T I O N S • V A L U E S • G R O W T H • F U N: Prepare your children for life’s journeys by sending them to JCC Day Camps. Campers ages 2 to 16 will swim, climb, zip-line, explore nature and STEM, hone sports skills, learn archery, stage a musical, make friends. Programs include traditional day camps, performing arts, travel and specialty camps at our 100-acre Family Park in Monroeville and in Squirrel Hill and the South Hills.

Learn more about the camp and how to participate here.

3. Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Summer Camp

Art camps for school-age children and teens begin June 17 on our beautiful Shadyside campus. With over 80 offerings in studio and media arts, campers can explore drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, podcasting, fiber arts, filmmaking, video game design, jewelry making, animation, coding and much more at PF/PCA this summer.

Learn more about the camp and how to participate here.

4. Carnegie Museum of Art

Learn how Monet made his masterpieces and then make your own, or learn from a real paleontologist how to dig for dino bones! There’s so much to create and discover at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History summer camps. Use the museums as a classroom and learn from real artists, architects, and scientists in these innovative, week-long camps for ages 4 through high school.

See details, registration, and scholarship opportunities at camps.artandnaturalhistory.org.

5. Citizens Science Lab

We offer fun, hands-on camps for grades 4 through 12. With a full range of science and engineering adventures — including robotics, outer space, zoology, microbiology, DNA, and drones — there’s sure to be something that excites and inspires the budding scientist in your home.

Locations both Downtown and South Hills. Learn more at https://www.thecitizensciencelab.org.

6. Stage Right

Does your child love to perform on the stage? Stage Right is a theater company based in Aspinwall that is in its fourth year providing summer theater camps for kids.

Intro to Theater camp for ages 4-6. Runs June 17-20 from 2-4 p.m. Shakespeare exploratory camp for ages 7-13. Runs July 15-19 and 22-24 from 2-4:30 p.m.

Visit www.stagerightpgh.org to learn more.

7. Humane Animal Rescue

Humane Animal Rescue is proud to offer camps at both our Wildlife Center and East End Shelter locations! Camps serve to educate children about the wild animals that surround us, as well as the companion animals living in our homes, in an engaging and fun way!

Learn more about the camp and how to participate here.

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Friday, December 28, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2018 at 11:57 AM

Encountering an active shooter isn’t easy to prepare for. In light of the recent mass shootings seen around the country and here in Pittsburgh, groups are finding more and more of a need to train for the unexpected. In response, active shooter trainings are popping up across the country, teaching schools, offices, and religious centers tactics to recognize and react to mass homicide.

But one local company has been leading the field since 2003 — INPAX Academy. “Since inception, it’s been our mission to empower people and organizations with the same skills used to protect public figures,” says Sam Rosenberg, the company’s founder.

A former Marine Officer and bodyguard to celebrities, dignitaries, and business leaders, Rosenberg has dedicated his life to protecting people and organizations, and for the past 16 years, is teaching them to protect themselves. “It’s good to have a lifeguard, but better to know how to swim,” is the central philosophy of INPAX’s comprehensive training programs. The veteran-owned establishment instructs and empowers across a full spectrum of personal and travel security to self-defense, defensive firearms, and active shooter response, the goal being to build a safer community through individual empowerment.

Universally, federal, state, and local law enforcement recommends two things to combat mass homicide: have a plan and get training. For an active shooter situation, the universal plan stands on three actions: run, hide, or, as a last resort, fight. But are any of us truly prepared for this situation? If we have to run — Where?  And if we need to hide — How? Most importantly, what do we do if we come face to face with an armed intruder and have no choice but to fight back?

“We don’t rise to the occasion, we fall to the level of our training,” Rosenberg explains. Our physiological response to danger absent training, is to freeze or panic. It’s a natural reaction from the central nervous system, but it takes surprisingly little training to begin to recondition that response and give people real solutions. “The goal of training is not to turn you into a ninja. It’s to ensure you can think under pressure, make good decisions, and be able to take action.”

INPAX is open to the public and is located just north of Ross Park Mall off McKnight Road. INPAX offers a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range, retail store, and full-spectrum personal security academy offering fitness, self-defense, and firearms training for individuals, corporations and law enforcement agencies. For more information visit LiveWithConfidence.com.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Local Food Matchup

Posted By and on Mon, Nov 12, 2018 at 3:07 PM

Photo: Jamie Colecchi
Photo: Jamie Colecchi
Last time you visited at restaurant in Pittsburgh, did the server mention the name of the farm where the chicken was raised? Or did the specials menu include the location of the producer who grew the fresh beets? Or did you enjoy a locally crafted beer?

Farm-to-table dining is more than a fad. As more and more Pittsburgh area restaurants begin sourcing locally, the ripple effect is impacting everyone in the region. The carbon footprint of the food transportation and refrigeration and packaging is drastically reduced; the regional economy is stimulated as dollars from restaurants are fed back into local farms; and most noticeably, foods are fresher and contain fewer preservatives, which makes them taste better. Better tasting food makes for more and for happier customers.

But with all of this local sourcing, have you ever stopped to wonder: how do restaurants and local farmers actually meet? Allegheny County has more than 400 farms, and more than 3,000 accommodations and food services establishments, according to recent census data. Is there some kind of speed-dating where these symbiotic enterprises can lock eyes across a crowded room?

Yes, actually, there is.

The fourth Local Food Matchup is a semi-annual matchmaking event that brings together farmers and restaurants, as well as growers, food and beverage producers, institutional buyers, retailers, and service and resource providers. On December 3 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Threadbare Cider, these local entrepreneurs can rub shoulders, exchange business cards, enjoy cider and snacks, and most importantly, build relationships that benefit their businesses, customers, and the region.

“We made some terrific contacts at the 2017 Pittsburgh Local Food Match-Up, which were instrumental in building our business,” recalls Steve Loevner of Allison Park’s Goat Rodeo Farm and Dairy (known for their award winning cheese). “We’re looking forward to this year’s event, and to further expanding distribution.”

Steve is far from the only one who noticed the benefits of the Local Food Matchup. Dozens of businesses on both the production and hospitality side turned out last year, and even more are expected to show up for what’s certainly going to be the most productive matchmaking session in Pittsburgh this season.

“One of the best ways a restaurant can connect the social and environmental aspects of its operations is through how it sources its food,” says Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program manager Rebecca Bykoski, one of four event organizers. “Responsible sourcing means that a restaurant understands the value in supporting local farmers and businesses, providing guests with fresh, quality products, reducing environmental impacts by streamlining its supply chain, and contributing to a stronger local economy.”

Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants is an initiative of Sustainable Pittsburgh that champions and supports local restaurants and food industry businesses by coordinating events and leading sustainability initiatives throughout the city. Their most public-facing initiative is their restaurant designation, where restaurants complete a self assessment of sustainability practices to earn recognition for their commitment to economic, environmental, and social actions that benefit the region.

Joining Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants in planning the event are three well-known organizations that are equally dedicated to the health and future of the Pittsburgh region:

● Farm to Table Western PA is a business-to-business networking group that hosts events and networking opportunities to help encourage people to eat and support local food.
● The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission is a forum for public planning and collaboration for the ten counties that make up southwestern Pennsylvania, offering numerous programs and service, including some geared toward helping small and medium-sized businesses.
● The City of Pittsburgh Sustainability and Resilience Team spurs collaboration to help promote a healthy environment and equitable economic landscape throughout the Pittsburgh region.

“Agriculture is a very important part of our regional economy,” said Jim Hassinger, the executive director of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission. “Support for local food production and sales advances our region’s plan for more resilient communities.”

Joining in on the Local Food Matchup is a great way for restaurants to start. For more information and how to register, visit EatSustainably.org.

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