Saturday, October 28, 2006
Allentown Public Library
1210 Hamilton St.
Bacio Italian Restaurant
1259 South Cedar Crest Blvd.
1731 Airport Rd.
Dan's Camera City
1439 W. Fairmont St.
3100 West Tilghman St.
SW Coffee Blends*
4128 W. Tilghman St.
4325 Hamilton Blvd.
Bethlehem Public Library
11 West Church St.
437 Main St.
4 Campus Square
Lehigh University Library
27 Memorial Dr. West
Moravian Book Shop
428 Main St.
3301 Bath Pike
Wired Gallery & Cafe
520 Main St.
Wise Bean Coffee and Espresso Bar
634 North New St.
7001 N. Rt. 309
Cosmic Cup Coffee Co.
520 March St.
Easton Coffee Exchange
321 Northampton St.
Stiltskins Coffee House
117 North Third St.
1301 Chestnut St.
Lower Macungie Library
3450 Brookside Rd.
Cyber Station Cafe
756 Main St.
Missing your favorites? Add them to the list!
When: Saturday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m.
Where: Whitehall Public Library's Community Room, 3700 Merchanicsville Road, Whitehall
Sponsored by Lehigh Valley Idea Web, Rita Guthrie, 610-437-4732
Friday, October 27, 2006
Highlighting the show will be the showcasing of fall fashions from a selection of popular designer brand outlets. The event includes strolling models presenting seasonal apparel and accessories from more than 20 outlet stores, as well as displays of merchandise from select tabletop outlets at the center. The afternoon will also consist of light refreshments, prizes and more.
When: Sat. Nov. 11, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: Binney & Smith Gallery, Banana Factory, Bethlehem
Sponsored by the Banana Factory’s Special Events Committee.
Tickets are available until Nov. 5 at 610-332-1300.
Q : I just applied for a mortgage and found out that my credit score is much lower than I thought. What makes up a credit score?
A: One of the worst times to find out that your credit score is lower than you'd estimated is when you're sitting across from a mortgage lender. But you're not alone in guessing wrong.
In a recent survey from LivingWithBadCredit.com, an educational Web site, more than three-fourths of people surveyed reported not knowing their credit scores within a 200-point range. Nearly half of them had never checked their own credit report and score, while 17 percent hadn't checked in several years.
Knowing your credit score is the first step in improving your credit standing. But unlocking the mystery behind credit score calculations is somewhat more elusive.
The most commonly used credit score is the Fair Isaac Corp. score, or the FICO score. The score runs from 300 to 850. A score above 750 is generally considered good and a score below 620 is considered risky. The range between the two depends on the lender looking at the score.
FICO uses information from your credit report, which is compiled by three major credit reporting agencies, to calculate your credit score.
FICO looks at five categories, each weighed differently, to determine your score.
Payment history: This category is the most crucial and accounts for 35 percent of your total credit score.
FICO monitors both revolving loans like credit cards as well as installment loans like student loans or mortgages. Making consistent, timely payments is one of the best ways to improve your credit score overall.
Debt amounts: This category makes up 30 percent of your score and deals with your total outstanding debt.
In this category, revolving accounts weigh more. Unlike installment loans where the debt amount is already determined, revolving accounts allow a person to borrow as much or as little as she wants up to a limit.
To insure a higher credit score, keep credit card balances low. The amount you owe shouldn't exceed 30 percent of your credit limits, recommended Robert Anderson, co-founder of Focus Inc., which runs LivingWithBadCredit.com.
Length of credit history: FICO looks at the amount of time each account has been open and the amount of time since the account's last action. This makes up 15 percent of your total score. More credit history paints a more accurate picture of long-term financial behavior.
New credit and credit mix: Each of these make up 10 percent of your score.
Even if you're new to credit, don't open too many accounts at once. Doing so could indicate that you're in financial straits and need access to a lot of credit. Only take on new credit when you absolutely need it or when it makes financial sense.
To avoid unpleasant surprises when applying for a loan, check your credit report and your credit score at least once a year.
Every person is entitled to a free credit report annually from one of the three credit reporting agencies, although it costs a minimal amount to receive a credit score.
Summary of an article taken from mcall.com.
When: Thursday, Nov. 9th, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Where: Allentown Art Museum
Cost: $15, or free if you an Allentown Art Museum member
State Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton, is seeking her third term. She is opposed by Bonnie Dodge, a Republican from Northampton.
The state House race is open because of the retirement of Rep. T.J. Rooney, D-Lehigh, after seven terms. The candidates in that race are former Northampton County Councilman Joseph F. Brennan, a Democrat from Fountain Hill; Catasauqua Area School Board member Dawn M. Berrigan, a Republican; and Green Party candidate Guy M. Gray of Bethlehem.
The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sayre Hall at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Location: Behind Memorial Pool off of Illick's Mill road.
Directions: The park is located off of Illick's Mill Road. You should look for signs for Memorial pool. Park in the memorial pool lot and the park is located behind the pool. You can get to Illick's Mill Road by exiting route 22 at Shoenersville road south. Illick's Mill road will be on your right in about 2 miles.
"Betcha didn't know..." will be a weekly series on Thursdays featuring little known Lehigh Valley amenities and other interesting facts.
More about the Starbucks invasion in the Valley here.
When: Thursday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Scottish Rite Cathedral, 1533 W. Hamilton St., Allentown
Cost: $25 general admission; $10 students with valid ID
Sponsored by Penn State Lehigh Valley, 610-285-5018.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Lehigh Valley leaders today will announce that the South Side's recovery from the loss of Bethlehem Steel takes another giant step with a 2.5-square-mile wireless ''hot zone'' that covers virtually every piece of the city south of the Lehigh River, said Lehigh University's director of technology management services, Roy Gruver, who has been helping PPL Telecom fine-tune the system for the past year.
Dozens of access points have already been installed on utility poles, and a partnership that includes the city, the university, the Ben Franklin Partnership and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. is ready to provide access — for a fee — to anyone with a laptop computer.
"This is a significant advancement in the development of south Bethlehem,'' Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan said. ''This will help grow what I'd call a knowledge neighborhood throughout the South Side. It's pretty exciting.''
Full story here.
UPDATE: The 2.5-square-mile network covers virtually all of south Bethlehem and gives high-speed Internet access to anyone willing to part with $20 per month, carrying the South Side a step closer to becoming the ''knowledge neighborhood'' city officials envision.
In fact, even as the news conference to announce the network broke up at Northampton Community College, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan was talking about expanding the new wireless district into the north-side business district.
''Live, work and play, right here,'' Callahan said. ''That's what it is all about. That is what we are building.''
And if you live in north Bethlehem, wireless access may soon be coming to a utility pole near you.
''When people on the north side see this, they're going ask, ''What about me?'' Callahan said. ''Well, we're already talking about that. Why not them, too?''
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Bethlehem City Council's community development committee will review a proposed renewal of the city's tax-abatement program during its meeting at 7 tonight in Town Hall. The 20-year-old LERTA, or Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, program would apply to new properties under changes pending approval from the city, Bethlehem Area School District, and Lehigh and Northampton counties. Approval would continue the program for two years.
LERTA has two components: for new development and for rehabilitation projects. Both eliminate property taxes for the first year on the amount the property's assessment increases over the pre-improvement assessment.
In Bethlehem, a mural is planned for the side of the Wildflower Cafe and Gallery, 316 S. New St., and four are planned throughout Easton. Last month, the Arts Community of Easton completed a mural on the side of a meatpacking warehouse in the 1200 block of Northampton Street that had been the target of graffiti.
In Philadelphia, which has one of the most established mural programs in the country, murals have not only helped beautify empty lots in beleaguered neighborhoods, but also helped spur recovery in areas and create tourist destinations.
"What happens with a mural is it's the 'broken window theory' in reverse,'' said Brian Campbell, assistant to the director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project.
''Good things can lead to good things. Especially when the community has a voice in the mural process. They have a hand in it being created and they embrace it,'' he said.
Using the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project as a template, artist Norberto Dominguez created the nonprofit Lehigh Valley Community Mural Project in 2004, cobbling together funding and partnerships with numerous nonprofit agencies and civic-minded foundations.
''The goal was to bring a mural project that would truly involve the community from the inception, but the work that would be created would have to be of the highest standard,'' Dominguez said.
Although Allentown's Weed & Seed program gave a small amount of money, the city's tight financial situation makes it unlikely it can fund mural projects anytime soon, said Betsy Levin, director of community development.
But, she added, it's one of the top 10 items on her department's budget ''wish list,'' Levin said.
''I think they're fantastic. They transform a space,'' said Levin, who can see the Symphony Hall mural from her office. ''I love to see grass-roots action. It's wonderful when everything isn't initiated by the city.''
This is a summary of an article that can be found at mcall.com.
- Coalition for Appropriate Transportation - An educational charity which works to improve mobility for everyone. Improved walking, bicycling and transit mean a stronger economy, a higher quality of life. More transportation choices mean less congestion, reduced pollution, fewer auto crash deaths and life changing injuries, too. Curbing our use of the automobile fights suburban sprawl, obesity and increasingly high medical costs.
- Emmaus Main Street Program - The basic premise of Main Street Program is that traditional downtowns are the "heart" of a community that from malls, superstores, and strip malls, traditionally downtown retail centers began to decline in the 1970's and 1980's. Typically, as blighted downtown storefronts began to empty, crime, vandalism rose and property values declined not only in the downtown district, but in the surrounding residential neighborhoods as well. Main Street Programs incorporate historic preservation, community consensus building, and volunteer effort to attain community and economic development.
- Wildlands Conservancy - Since 1973, Wildlands Conservancy has been working to protect and enhance the quality of place that we all enjoy here in the Lehigh River watershed. Its mission is to preserve, protect and enhance the land, water, ecological and recreational resources of the region.
Other opportunities are available at the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley's website.
When: Monday, Oct. 30, 12 p.m.
Where: Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center, Routes 512 & 22, Bethlehem
Cost: $12 per person
Sponsored by Nazareth, Whitehall and Slate Belt Area chambers of commerce, 610-759-9188.
When: Saturday, Oct. 28, 8:15 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Where: Lehigh Valley Hospital Muhlenberg, 2545 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem
Sponsored by the Community Action Committee of Lehigh Valley, 610-691-5620.
The $14 million, five-level facility will include 500 parking spaces, a surface lot, a 16-bay bus terminal and retail stores. It is being built on Sixth Street in Allentown, across from The Morning Call which used to serve as Morning Call parking.
Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski said the new center would be an important link in efforts to revitalize the Allentown dowtown area.
Monday, October 23, 2006
If you wish to volunteer your time, please register with Donna Fowler @ 610 966 4343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: Saturday, Oct. 28, 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.
Where: Lower Macungie Township, the intersection of Mill Creek and Spring Creek Roads at the open field
If you participate in this or any other volunteer activity please notify the NET Marketing Chair, Vanessa Williams at email@example.com.
When: Friday, Oct. 27
Where: The Farmhouse, 1449 Chestnut Street, Emmaus
Admission will be charged.
Pawlowski, who first broached the idea of surveillance cameras in April, said the city is also talking to Muhlenberg College and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation about tapping into their network of cameras to extend its surveillance reach.
''Now we will have this massive network of cameras,'' Pawlowski said.
The first step will be to install eight to 10 cameras in the downtown business district and surrounding blocks in the Weed and Seed area, which stretches from the Lehigh River to Eighth Street and from Hamilton to Tilghman streets.
Pawlowski also has included $250,000 in his capital budget to expand the program in concentric circles.
"If you contact Baltimore and Wilmington, they have seen drastic reductions in the crime rate in the areas where the cameras have gone up,'' said Capt. Daniel Warg, who is heading up the initiative on the law enforcement side for the city.
More on this here at mcall.com.
- Drop Me A Line Costume Shop, 1050 Lehigh St., Allentown - 610-435-7481
- Scaramouche, 201 E. 3rd St., Bethlehem - 610-868-7060
- The Paper Outlet, 3145 Lehigh St., Allentown - 610-797-1222 - For all your Halloween party needs.
- Dan Schantz Greenhouse & Cut Flower Outlet - Union Blvd, Bethlehem and Lehigh St., Allentown - Get your pumpkins and mums here.
- Christmas Barn, 4186 Easton Ave., Bethlehem - 610-861-0477 - Don't let the name deceive you, the Christmas Barn stocks their home decor according to the season.