Friday, October 20, 2006

Attention Sales Associates - Rally for the NET!

The Network of Young Professionals is an entirely volunteer run non-profit corporation. A key to our ability to continue to produce excellent events that our members have come to know and love is through financial support.

Through the next year one of the NET's primary goals is to raise enough funds to increase the quality of the events and for the first time retain staff support so that more can be done to retain and attract young professionals in and to the Lehigh Valley.

To this end, the NET is currently seeking Sales Associates to act as NET crusaders and help us meet our financial goals through the next year. If you are a talented young sales professional and want to help with this crucial effort please contact our president, Abraham Nemitz at

Financial Planning 101: How to save funds for a rainy day

Financial Planning 101 will be an occasional series featured on Fridays.

Whether you call it a rainy-day fund, an emergency fund or a cash cushion, making plans to have significant cash available when bad things happen is fundamental to financial planning.

But what exactly constitutes an emergency fund? The most conservative definition — and most repeated advice — is cash equal to three to six months of living expenses sitting in a safe account earning minuscule interest.

Today, fewer than four in 10 Americans have an emergency savings account of at least three months of living expenses, according to a June survey by But those who have a cushion account take it seriously. They keep an average of $21,938 socked away.

So while it's true that cash is king for the safest emergency fund, some unconventional alternatives are available to the huge stash of cash. You'll have to decide what's right for you:

  • Save for bare-bones expenses. During a crisis, such as a job loss, spending should drop dramatically. The focus should be on such expenses as food, mortgage or rent payments, car payment and utilities. So using the rule of thumb, you actually need access to three to six months of spending on necessities, which is likely to be far less than monthly spending during flush times.
  • Start small. If you have high-interest debt, especially credit card debt, building a huge cash emergency fund is not a good idea. Paying off that debt is a higher priority. But it might be helpful to have a minireserve of cash to avoid adding more charges to the credit card. One idea is to save $1,000, or one month's worth of necessary living expenses, whichever is larger. Then attack and eliminate the high-interest debt before beefing up a cash emergency fund.
  • Consider the two-income safety net. Two-income families have less of a need for a large emergency fund, especially if both earners make about the same amount of money. That's because a job loss, among the most serious of emergencies, doesn't wipe out the entire household income. A one-income family needs a larger contingency fund.
  • Raise your credit card limits. Using high-interest credit cards is a very common but lousy way to address a financial emergency. If you're responsible with credit cards and rarely carry a balance, however, it couldn't hurt to ask your card company to raise your limits if you do it right. You must ask them to raise your maximum charge limit ''without pulling my credit report.'' That way, the request will not damage your credit rating. In fact, it could help if you're successful, because part of the credit score is based on the amount of used credit compared with the amount of available credit. A second advantage is the higher limit gives you a source of cash during a temporary cash-flow jam.
Summary of an article available at

Open Space: Northampton extends span on canal path

Follow the winding, paved path along the Lehigh River's banks, heading south through Northampton Borough's Canal Street Park.

Go through the flock of geese, past the tiny parking lot at the park's south end, and there it is: a gleaming, 100-foot bridge of steel and wood spanning the mouth of Hokendauqua Creek, inviting walkers and joggers to cross and … well, stop right there.

For now, the new pedestrian bridge — which has been in planning for nearly a decade and cost more than $371,000 — leads only to a short strip of asphalt and a small, muddy field. But someday, officials say, the span will lead toward North Catasauqua, forming part of a 165-mile path stretching from Wilkes-Barre to the Philadelphia area.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, established in 1996, traces the historic path of coal shipments from northeast Pennsylvania toward factories in the Lehigh Valley and the Philadelphia area, said Scott Everett, the commission's stewardship and trail manager.

When it's complete, Everett said, the corridor will stretch 165 miles across five counties, leading from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, which is between Philadelphia and Trenton, N.J. About 130 miles of the corridor are done or nearly done, he added.

The segment leading to North Catasauqua is in ''the end stages of the design phase,'' Everett said. The planned 8-foot-wide walkway of finely crushed stone will trace the Lehigh Canal tow path in North Catasauqua, Everett said.

More on this here.

Hellertown becomes a more walkable community

After meeting with state Rep. Robert Freeman last Friday, PennDOT has agreed to lower the speed limit from 35 mph to 30 mph on the street's most dangerous area, from Cherry to Walnut streets making the area safer for pedestrians.

Hellertown police have also been giving out more citations to drivers who don't yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Police Chief Robert Balum devised a tactic called ''blitzing,'' which he compares to drunken driving road checks, to catch violators. During a blitz, a PennDOT-certified volunteer road crew member walks three feet into a crosswalk, then police cite drivers who don't yield to the ''pedestrian.''

This is good news to young professionals who choose to locate primarily in a center of a region. Neighborhoods with higher density, mixed uses, interesting streets and walkable destinations can make a region more competitive for talented young workers.

For more on Hellertown click here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Are you in Advertising? Marketing? PR?

If you're in the advertising, marketing or public relations sector then the NET needs you! Vanessa Williams, the new Marketing Chair of the NET, is seeking a small army to form the Marketing Committee and get the word out about the NET. Possible tasks include:
  • Design and execution of advertisements, flyers, signs and other print materials
  • Oversee the website reformat and redesign
  • Maintenance of "The After Work Chronicles," the NET's official blog
  • Act as a NET representative at area career/job fairs
  • Promote the NET through PR efforts including press releases and media events
This is a great way to expand your portfolio with professional pieces for a worthy cause. There is a special need for graphic designers. Interested parties please contact Vanessa at

NET November First Thursday

If you've heard about the NET and would like to check it out, this is the event for you. Come meet and network with NET members.

Come alone, bring your friends, introduce someone new to the NET, introduce yourself to someone new. Expand your network.

As is tradition for our November First Thursday, this month we will offer free admission to anyone who bring in canned goods to be donated to a local food bank. Please bring one or two cans if you are able and we'll take care of the rest.

November's First Thursday will be at Starters Riverport in the upstairs lounge.

When: Thursday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where: Starters Riverport, 17 W. 2nd Street, Bethlehem

Admission: Members: Free (Non-Members $3 or free with one canned good.)

Not a member? Join here.

To get the latest news about NET events and more sign-up for our weekly e-mail list here.

Never Rule without a Magician, a Sage and a Fool

Leadership is easier when leaders enlist three key advisors—Magician, Sage, and Fool. Magicians contribute unwavering focus on vision, Sages, deep knowledge and commitment to rule of law, and Fools love leaders enough to tell them the truth. Never Rule Without a Magician, a Sage and a Fool: How Great Advisors Help Leaders Soar While Keeping Both Feet on the Ground, taps history to reveal who a leader's advisors should be and how they ensure success .

You MUST register at least 4 days in advance of the event.

When: Thursday, Nov. 2 7:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where: Wood Dining Room, Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University, Bethlehem

Admission: Members $25, Non-members $30

Not a member yet? Join here.

RSVP to Helen Bobeck - 610-758-3401.

Haunted Happenings in the Lehigh Valley

Ghost Tours:

Rotary Ghost Tours, Jim Thorpe - A one-mile, one-hour walking tour around Jim Thorpe's historic district with a costumed storyteller as a guide.

Old Moravian Cemetery Historic Walk, Bethlehem - Discover why Bethlehem was an important early American community as seen through the lives of the people buried in God’s Acre, Bethlehem’s oldest cemetery.

Tunnels and Other Tales: Walking Tours of Phantoms and Fables of Nazareth
, Nazareth - Learn about Nazareth's urban legends and history in this guided walking tour


Jayne Mansfield - One of the most famous actresses of the 1950s, Jayne Mansfield starred in such successful films as "The Girl Can't Help It," "The Wayward Bus" and "Kiss them for Me.

Jim Thorpe - A famous Native American athlete, an Olympian and baseball player.

Haunted Historic Places:

1753 Bachmann Publick House, Easton - The 1753 Bachmann Publick House is Easton's only surviving 18th century tavern and oldest standing building.

Carbon County Jail, Jim Thorpe - Tour the jail and see the mysterious hand print left on the wall by a former inmate.

Amusement Parks:

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown - Dorney Park transforms into a giant haunted playground for HalloWeekends, a family friendly event - you choose your scares, from mild to wild! Best of all, your favorite rides are open for an end of season spin.

Terry Hill Water Park, Breinigsville - The Valley's original 3-D haunted tours and hayrides.

Haunted Houses:

Hotel of Horror, Saylorsburg

Your favorite spooky Lehigh Valley attraction missing? Post a comment and suggest some more!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Name Allentown's Triple-A Team

The highest level of professional baseball next to the Major Leagues will begin play in a new stadium located near the Lehigh Valley International Airport in April of 2008.

Out of the more than 3,500 name entries submitted for the team officials have selected the following:
  • Iron Pigs
  • Crushers
  • Gobblers
  • Keystones
  • Plantastics
  • Phillies
  • Vulcans
  • Woodchucks
Now they want our opinion. The public can now vote for its favorite name here. The vote won't determine the team's name, but will help team officials decide on one for the first affiliated baseball team to play in the Lehigh Valley since the Allentown Red Sox left town after the 1960 season. The name is expected to be announced the week of Nov. 12.

Dinner Party Dilemma

At some point in our twenties, many of us are ready to graduate from the keg party to the dinner party. But without a big budget, a big apartment, matching chairs or sometimes even a table, how can we make the leap?

We need to work with what we have in terms of time, money and space. However boot-strapped the dinner party turns out, there's still that gratifying feeling of adulthood when you gather at someone's home, instead of a bar, or act as the host of your own soiree, planning the menu, dolling up the crash pad, carefully crafting your guest list.

For more read the Wall Street Journal here.

Need a hand? Here are some Lehigh Valley resources:
Or try the Allentown Farmers Market for many yummy prepared foods.

Don't forget to pick up your favorite wine from local wineries.

Attention Muhlenberg Alumni: The NET needs your help!

Join fellow Muhlenberg alumni in the Lehigh Valley for an evening of Alumni/Student networking with the City of Allentown. Muhlenberg College and the City of Allentown have a common goal to help improve and grow the standard of living. They want to provide an atmosphere that generates a business-to-business opportunity or even job placement for current students.

The NET needs to be a part of this conversation. Please consider attending and promoting the NET to your fellow alumni, and help make local businesses aware of all the great things we are doing in the Valley.

Register online at or by phone at 800-464-2374.

: Muhlenberg College, Seegers Union - Great Room

When: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Admission: FREE!!

Sponsored by the Muhlenberg Lehigh Valley Regional Alumni Club.

Kutztown Harvest Festival & Craft Show

Pumpkin Painting, Scarecrow making, Rope Maze, Mask Making Crafts & More. A family fun day with a Fall & Halloween Flavor.

When: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21

Where: Renningers Farmers & Antiques Market, Kutztown

Admission: FREE!!

A Time of Thanksgiving Festival

Featuring Native Drumming, Storytelling, Craft & Jewelry Vendors, Native Foods & Lifeways Demonstrations, Dancing, Singing, and a Children's Table.

When: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22

Where: Museum of Indian Culture in Allentown

Admission: $5

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

NET member in the news: Vanessa Williams

Vanessa, who serves as Marketing Chair for the NET, is currently featured on the homepage of She, along with other Pennsylvania residents, created "playlists" or a lists of activities to do across the state. Vanessa was asked to join the project through a friend who is responsible for Pennsylvania tourism promotion.

"When I was asked to participate I jumped at the chance," she says. "I think Pennsylvania is a great state to live in, and with a little digging and some help there is plenty to do here in the Lehigh Valley and beyond."

The NET agrees, Vanessa.

Monday, October 16, 2006

NET October Dine-Out at Mangos

Savor the tastes of the Mediterranean at this month's dine-out at Mangos. Please check out their website, for a detailed menu and wine list. Please RSVP on the NET events page so that reservations can be made. All young professionals welcome.

You MUST RSVP to attend this event.

When: Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m

Where: Mangos, 3750 Hamilton Blvd., Allentown

Cost: Expect to pay $20-$40 depending on your order

To get the latest news about NET events and more sign-up for our weekly e-mail list here.

Home Buyer's Seminar

First-time ownership. Topics include preparing for home ownership, the importance of good credit, shopping for a home, obtaining a mortgage, the closing process, and what to expect as a home owner.

When: Saturday, Oct. 21, 8:25 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Where: Lehigh Valley Hospital Muhlenberg, 2545 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem

Admission: FREE!!

Sponsored by the Community Action Committee of Lehigh Valley at 610-691-5620

Sunrise Toastmasters Open House

Monthly meeting. Toastmasters offers a proven way to improve your communication skills. By participating in a fun and supportive Toastmasters group, you'll become a better speaker and leader and gain confidence to succeed in whatever path you've chosen in life.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 18, 7:15 a.m. - 9 a.m.

Where: Parkland Restaurant, 2702 Walbert Ave., Allentown

Contact Allen Knowles, President for more information at 610-366-9345.