Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Network looks for chance to volunteer

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
The Express-Times

BETHLEHEM Members of the Network of Young Professionals identified affordable housing and juvenile issues as the Lehigh Valley's most pressing social concerns Tuesday.

And they sought a way to create volunteer opportunities to alleviate the problems.

The group listed mentoring, financial literacy, clean and crime-free neighborhoods, after-school activities and bolstering food banks as activities young professionals could pursue.

"It all starts with a full belly," NYP President Abraham Nemitz said. "You think a lot better when you're not hungry."

The network was created to keep young professionals in the Lehigh Valley. The group has about 900 participants, ranging between 22 and 40 years old.

Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham, a Lehigh Valley native, said he has heard the hackneyed adage that the area is a great place to raise a family but it's a tough place to be young and single. "I see you all nodding," he said to the 25 NYP members gathered in Hotel Bethlehem. "But I see that changing."

Lehigh and Northampton counties are among the fastest growing regions in Pennsylvania, Cunningham said, and the young professionals are a "vibrant, important part" of the Valley's development strategies. "Ten years ago, we wrestled with how to develop," he said. Now "the human services and social needs are not going away in the wake of prosperity."

Cunningham said affordable housing and juvenile issues are the top two "major issues on the horizon." "Solving the needs issues in your community can't be the sole responsibility of the government," he said.

United Way spokesman Phil Hayne affirmed Cunningham's suggestions by providing Valley statistics. Fifty percent of low-income families cannot afford a two- bedroom apartment, he said. At minimum wage, the family would have to work 112 hours per week, 52 weeks a year in order to afford a $750 per month two-bedroom apartment. "The working family is now a struggling family," Hayne said.

More than 1,000 students drop out of school each year, he said, with 75 percent coming from the three urban districts -- Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. Students begin thinking about dropping out as early as fifth grade, Hayne said.

"We, as a community, need to join together to address these issues. It's not about throwing money around. I'm interested in making lasting changes in people's lives," Hayne said.

Nemitz said in a NYP-conducted survey last year, 80 percent of its members identified the need for more volunteer opportunities.

"We tend to be a civic-minded bunch," he said.

Article courtesy of The Express-Times

Monday, June 12, 2006

South Side Film Festival 2006

Showcasing Independent films of all styles, genres, countries of origin and year of production. Each year we choose a new culture and a new genre as a side focus to broaden our horizons and appreciation for all the varied disciplines of making great films.

When: June 15-18, 2006

Where: Bethlehem, PA

Visit for more information

2006 Official Selections & Invitationals:

Acting Like a Thief by Shashwati Talukdar and P. Kerim Friedman
Almost Gone by Marc Reed and Richard Behrens
Anamnesis by Brendon Foster-Algoo
Angel by Martin Doudoroff and Anna Frants
Anna und der Soldat by Christian Prettin and Soeren Hueper
Arrest Assured by Michael McCormick and Robert Taylor
Arrowhead by Christopher Holmes
Bathtime in Clerkenwell by Aleksey Budovsky
Be a Man Kill The Fish by Yuriy Gavrilenko and Michael Shraga
The Big Bad Swim by Ishai Setton
Bikers Against Child Abuse: Breaking the Chains by Katrina Markel
Billy Nayer by Cory McAbee
Billy's Balloon by Don Hertzfeldt
Binta and the Great Idea by Javier Fesser
Brothers Quay short films
Calling All Stations by Guillermo Martinez and John Slater
Candy Venery by Sergey Aniskov
Caracas by A. Blaszczyk
CCCP vs. St. Valentina by Sergey Aniskov
Checkout by Dan Eckman
Chickens in the Cityby Christie Herring
Clara by Van Sowerwine
Command Z by Vincent Cafarelli and Candy Kugel
Crime & Punishment (ZBRODNIA I KARA) by Piotr Dumala
Darfur Diaries:MessagefromHome by Adam Shapiro, Aisha Bain, and Jen Marlowe
Davy and Stu by Soman Chainani
Dear Sweet Emma by John Cernak
Departing Once Again by Scott Balles
El Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) by James Keeshen
Do Not Adjust Your Set by Joan Randazzo
Don Quixote of Bethlehem by Anisa George and Petra Costa
Don't Fuck With Love by Rachel McIntosh and Jim Starace
Empty Building Short Stories: Benny Confronts His Childhood (vol. 1) by Giovanni Sanseviero
Equilibrium by Adrean Mangiardi
The Exchange by Byron Karabatsos
Fable by Daniel Sousa
The Fantastic Flower Shop by Pawel Partyka
Faust by Jan Svankmajer
Flow by Scott Nyerges
Flyaway by Danny Oakley
Franz Kafka by Piotr Dumala
Fried Ham by David Johnston
Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot by Dave Chai
Fur and Feathers by Maria Vasilkovsky
A Gentle Spirit "Lagodna" by Piotr Dumala
Gluttony by NG Safko
Growing Democracy by Keya Lea Horiuchi
Guatemalan Handshake by Todd Rohal
Hadacol Christmas by Brent Green
A Half Man by Firas Momani
Hard To Get by Matthew Montemorano
The Honeyfields by Matt Gordon
Howdy Partner by Christie Herring
The Hunter (Okhotnik) by Hitoshi Hirano
I Must Destroy You by David Johnston
Ichthys by Marek Skrobecki
Jen Jackson's Apartment by Kevin Kiernan and Stephen Wilt
Leftovers by Timothy Reckart
Level by Krzysiek Kiwerski
Loose Change by Lee Rubenstein
Los ABCs: !Que Vivan Los Muertos! by John Jota Leanos
love by Vladan Nikolic
Missing Pages by Jerome Olivier
Moongirlby Henry Selick
Moving by Mike Foodman
My Zombie Morning by Tom Morton
Nalini By Day, Nancy by Night by Sonali Gulati
The Offering by Paul Lee
The Organistas by Bert Shapiro
The Other Side by Bill Brown
Pink and Pong by Alina Bliumis
Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea by Jeff Springer and Christopher Metzler
A Question of Loyalty by Randall Wilkins
Reflection of Self by Becki Halloway
Rejected by Don Hertzfeldt
Shut Up, and Listen to Me by Adrianne Finelli
Sleepwalking by Angela How
Starry Night by Irra Verbitsky
Stars by Eoghan Kidney
Stay Awake by Blerime Topalli
Tanzmaeuse by Maren Erdmann
Terminally Ambivalent Over You by Aleksey Budovsky
To A Man With A Big Nose by Cecilia Aranovich
The Ultimate Decline of the Industrial Revolution by Matthew Lotti & John Simone
Ursa Dream by Kate Brown
Voodoo Doll by Roberto Minervini
The Walking Ink by Thomas Barndt
What Lights Nate by Mel Halbach
Where's My Smile Cutie Pie? By Kevin McCorry
The Whisperer by Andrea Odezynska
The Wraith of Cobble Hill by Adam Parrish King
Womanby Signe Baumane
Zombie-American by Nick Poppy
Zoopraxiscope by H. Neuman