Saturday, April 28, 2007

NET Social Run

What to get in shape but don't know how? Come join NET members for a jog around the Allentown Parkway. Learn proper stretching techniques from an experienced runner. All running levels welcome. Open to NET members and nonmembers.

The run will be an out and back (15 minutes out, 15 minutes back) so the distance you will run will depend on your own ability.

When: Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m.

Where: Allentown Parkway, meet at the Road Runners Clubhouse

Admission: FREE!!

Contact: Dan Morick at

Friday, April 27, 2007

Join NET members online via social networking

We have groups on both facebook and myspace. Join us and meet new friends.

What exactly is NET?

Formally, the Lehigh Valley Network of Young Professionals "fosters awareness of employment possibilities, welcomes new young professionals, supports community organizations, provides professional development opportunities, and engages in social networking."

Yeah, yeah you say. But what exactly does that mean? Let's look at it piece by piece.

One of the most active parts of our organization is social networking. Our First Thursday events consistently draw 60-80 people, sometimes more. Although we don't define "young professional" generally NET members hover in age between 21 and 45, with the average age being 28.

Although we certainly like to cut loose and have a good time, we are not a party or drinking club. However, many members go out together after our events which generally let out around 9 p.m.

We provide employment and professional development opportunities through events like our Connect: Business Card Exchanges. Held at art galleries, lofts and hip restaurants around the Valley, these events provide a more formal, business atmosphere which usually attract 20-40 people. Other professional development events we have held include business lunch etiquette and entrepreneurial events.

In addition to professional development, we also occasionally host educational classes of interest to young professionals like first time home-buying and financial planning seminars.

We support and volunteer for various community organizations, including Musikfest and the American Lung Association. And every year we collect cans for our November First Thursday for a local food bank. In addition, we are involved with Renew Lehigh Valley, an initiative to promote smart growth and revitalization in the Lehigh Valley. Community leaders are listening to young professionals, since we are vital to the future of this region.

Finally, the NET is the unofficial welcoming committee for all young professionals new to the area. The NET is a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people and get out into the region. We hold activities at a variety of locations, and will be able to help orient you in no time.

So what exactly is NET? It's what you make of it. If you just want to hang out, make friends and have a good time, fine. If you want to further your career, beef up your resume, and impress your boss, you can. Or if you want to get involved in the community and make a difference great! You can do all of the above. It's up to you.

Miller-Keystone Blood Center: Cruise to England

Each year, more than 500 passengers "set sail" on the Blood Center's Cruise Aboard the LifeLine, where they experience the excitement of life at sea without leaving our Lehigh Valley port. They dine on exquisite cuisine from area caterers, experience the thrill of games of change, and enjoy fabulous entertainment, all while supporting the Blood Center's crucial mission as the exclusive blood supplier to our regional hospitals.

When: Friday, May 11, 6 - 11 p.m.

Cost: $75 per person

Contact the center for more details.

West End Allentown Block Party - 19th Street Fair Tomorrow

Please donate some baked goods to the NET bake sale! Items can be dropped off at 1716 K Sherwood Court, Allentown. Contact Vanessa for more details

19th St. Theater April/May Movies

Cannes Film Festival winner European Film Award winner

The Wind That Shakes the Barley
In 1920 Ireland, Damien (Cillian Murphy) abandones his bourgeoning career as a doctor to join his brother, Teddy, in a dangerous and violent fight for Ireland's independence, which will put both men and their loyalties to the ultimate test.

Apr. 21-29

19th Street Theatre

Academy Award nominee European Film Award nominee

After the Wedding
In this powerful drama, a Danish man is summoned to Copenhagen to meet the mysterious benefactor of an orphanage he runs in India. When the man accepts a seemingly innocent invitation to attend the wedding of the benefactor's daughter, devastating secrets, surprises, and confessions are revealed that will forever change the lives of everyone involved.

Apr. 28 - May 6

19th Street Theatre

Avenue Montaigne
Jessica (Cecile de France), a beautiful young woman from the provinces, comes to Paris and lands a job waiting tables at a chic bistro on the famed Avenue Montaigne. As Jessica unknowingly rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, her guileless and completely unintimidated engagement in their lives has a transforming effect on her celebrity customers — and ultimately her.

May 5-13

19th Street Theatre

Academy Award nominee Cannes Film Festival winner
Independent Spirit Award nominee

Days of Glory
During WWII, four idealistic North African men join the French army to defeat the Nazi menace, but they soon discover they have a second enemy they must fight: the discrimination against them by the French soldiers they're trying to help.

May 12-19

19th Street Theatre

Cost: $5 for members on Tuesdays, $7 for nonmembers

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Knight to Remember

Lords and ladies, maidens and masters—usher in spring at the Museum and honor the special exhibition Knights in Shining Armor: Myth and Reality, 1450-1650. Travel back in time with a talk by Daniel Weiss, president of Lafayette College and leading authority on the art of medieval Europe in the Age of the Crusades. Visit Renaissance England with Lady Celia Beaumont of Kit’s Kaboodle Interactive Theater and delight in the sword-play of performers from the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. An engaging evening full of adventure— surely a “knight” to remember.

When: Thursday, May 10, 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Where: Allentown Art Museum

Cost: $10 for NET members, $15 for non-NET members

NET Beginners Fencing Class

Join Family YMCA Fencing Club class to observe fencing and learn the basics of this fascinating sport. Fencing is one of the four sports that has been featured at every modern Olympic Games. The term 'Fencing' derives from the expression, "The Art of Defense", meaning the art of defending one's self in combat.

Fencing focuses the mind, tones the body, and teaches coordination. Please dress appropriately. Sweats or workout pants, t-shirts, and Sneakers are suggested. No shorts!

When: Thursday, May 10, 7:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Where: Family YMCA of Easton, Phillipsburg & Vicinity, 1225 West Lafayette Street, Easton, PA 18062

Cost: FREE

Contact: Joe Marcus at

Hydroelectric Dam saught for Beltzville Lake

Lehighton Borough Council will apply for $16 million in interest-free Clean Renewable Energy bonds to build a hydroelectric plant at Beltzville Dam that could eventually lower costs for the borough's 3,000 electric customers.

The plant would generate 2.9 megawatts a day, about a third of the borough's energy needs, said Borough Manager John Hanosek.

Sands BethWorks to build concert hall, not ArtsQuest

Festival Hall was to be the Lehigh Valley's answer to the Hollywood Bowl or Red Rocks amphitheater near Denver. It was to be a place where the world's best music acts would come, not to play before stadium crowds, but for the privilege of performing at the foot of the massive Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces.

Yet even before the first brick in the SteelStax cultural complex is laid in south Bethlehem, the concept for the $50 million concert arena is on the cutting room floor because Sands BethWorks is about to build its own concert venue, near its slots casino.

Sands BethWorks is to begin demolition this week to make way for its casino, hotel and retail shop complex that is scheduled to begin opening by the end of next year. A key element of that is the events center, which would attract the kind of large trade shows, conventions and concerts the Lehigh Valley has not been able to host.

Currently, the Holiday Inn at Fogelsville has the largest room in the Valley, but its 12,000-square-foot facility seats no more than 800 people. Stabler Arena in Bethlehem seats 6,500 people, but it's an outdated building with no kitchen facilities and isn't near any hotel.

''We turn down requests for meetings and conventions on a weekly basis,'' said Michael Stershic, president of the Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau. ''That doesn't even include the business we're not going after. We simply have no place to put them.''

Mayor John Callahan said while he was excited about the possibilities of Festival Hall, the Sands BethWorks center is a better deal for the Valley. Because ArtsQuest is in the middle of a capital campaign for Phase 1, it probably couldn't begin raising money for Festival Hall until at least 2009, putting construction at least four years off.

''Festival Hall was going to be a very ambitious undertaking that was going to require millions and millions of dollars of public money,'' Callahan said. ''This way we get it sooner, and it's entirely privately funded.''

Bonnie Brosious, marketing director of the Allentown Fair who has booked acts for 25 years, noted the challenge Festival Hall would face. ''The investment must be worth the risk, and right now, it's tough out there,'' she said. ''We struggle. It's not an easy business; it can be a losing business.''

Tony Hanna, Bethlehem's director of community and economic development, said no one should think the city is settling for less. ''The success of [Las Vegas Sands] was built on their expertise in the convention business,'' he said.

Las Vegas Sands is spending $2 billion to make its Las Vegas hotel and convention center the largest privately operated convention center in the world.

''This is not an afterthought,'' Sands BethWorks President Robert DeSalvio said. ''This is the backbone of our company.''

Easton's Riverwalk Condos gets historical approval

Easton Parking Authority's much maligned Riverwalk condominium and transportation hub planned for along the Delaware River got City Council's approval Wednesday to build in the downtown historic district.

The 4-1 vote followed months of wrangling that started when a handful of residents began questioning the size and scope of the project. Their opposition culminated with nearly 100 people showing up Wednesday for Council's vote to issue a certificate of historical appropriateness.

Council members Sandra Vulcano, Pam Panto, Ken Brown and Dan Corpora said their votes of approval were based on the expertise of the city's planning, zoning and historic boards and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission -- all of which signed off on the project over the last two years.

Corpora said although he realizes the vote is ''very unpopular,'' he believed it was the correct decision based on the city's historic district ordinance.

Historic District Commission member Lynne Holden, who cast the only vote against the recommendation to allow the certificate, said the Zoning Hearing Board ''blew this out of the water for some misguided reason'' by granting the project a height variance not consistent with the neighborhood.

Several residents also said there were inconsistencies in the project with previous studies and plans, that call for slowing traffic along the Delaware River to promote the use of the parks and pedestrian traffic.

Riverwalk will add several hundred vehicles to one of the busiest intersections near the Northampton Street free bridge.

Riverwalk, which could cost as much as $55 million, has received commitments of about $9 million in public funding from the federal, state and city governments. The authority also will rely on funds from existing parking facilities to support it.

Allentown city beefs up police to keep the streets safe

Allentown expects to enter the summer with 35 to 40 more police officers than it had last summer, allowing the department to expand patrols and start special divisions, including an anti-gang unit.

Police Chief Roger MacLean and Mayor Ed Pawlowski swore in the 10 newest officers Wednesday. They are in various stages of training, some at the police academy and some on the street with veteran officers.

When their training is complete, the city will have 198 officers, near its budgeted force of 202, MacLean said.

He expects the city to have the final four recruits within a few weeks to a few months.

Pawlowski and MacLean said the additional officers will allow the city to re-create its motorcycle and bicycle divisions; provide beat officers to walk through neighborhoods; increase patrols downtown; and revive a traffic division to deal with double parkers, speeders and cars blasting stereos, ''things that are just real quality-of-life issues that we haven't been able to address because we didn't have enough manpower,'' Pawlowski said.

As it deploys more officers, the city also is proceeding with plans to install outdoor surveillance cameras, the first of which will be 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.

The city also is providing grants to help small-business owners install their own surveillance systems.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

NET Organizational Meeting

This is when we discuss the business side of the NET. Have a good idea? Want to volunteer? Have questions? Please attend to discuss.

All Members and non-members welcome.

When: Wednesday, May 9, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Where: Wired Cafe, 520 Main Street, Bethlehem 18018

Admission: FREE!!

Contact: Laura Ulbrich at

NET First Thursday

If you've heard about the NET and would like to see what it’s about, this is
the event for you. Refreshments will be served.

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

When: Thursday, May 3, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

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

Admission: FREE to NET members, $3 for non-members

Contact: Wendy Gerlach at

Lehigh Valley bike trail maps available on google earth

Last night, in front a small group of NET members, Steve Schmidt of the Coalition for Appropriate Transportation (the "bike guy") unveiled CAT's new interactive website, which maps bike trails in the Lehigh Valley. The content is very Allentown focused at the moment, and CAT is looking to expand the trails mapped. If interested please contact Steve at who will lend you a navigation system in order for you to map your favorite trail. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ethnic Eats: La Lupita

La Lupita
4 W. Fourth St.
Bethlehem PA
Food type: Mexican

From Beyond Scrapple:

"From what I can tell, La Lupita is traditional in its offerings and preparation. I usually get a good feel from reading the menu. If there are egregious spelling errors, it's usually a sign that the proprietors grew up outside of the United States. The "meet" and "chiken" on the menu gave me a level of comfort."

From the Morning Call:

"Portions are good-sized and very fresh, prices are low and much of the food is an adventure."

NET Home Buying Seminar

Learn the basics of the home buying process from inspections to financing.

Speakers include:
Century 21 Keim Realty – Allentown, PA
Allied Home Mortgage – Allentown, PA
MearHoff Insurance – Bethlehem, PA
LightHouse Abstract – Allentown, PA

Sponsored by Allied Home Mortgage and Network of Young Professionals

When: Tuesday, May 8, 7 - 9 p.m.

Where: Bethlehem Brewworks, 569 Main St., Bethlehem, (610) 882-1300

Cost: FREE

Contact: Joe Scorese at

Please make some goodies!

Join NET in the West End for their very first block party! Volunteers are needed to supply baked goods and man the table. Please drop off baked goods at 1716 K Sherwood Court, Allentown on Friday, April 27 from 5:30 – 7:30, or Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Items must be pre-wrapped (ie Saran wrap or baggies). No cupcakes.

When: Saturday, April 28, 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., rain reschedules for Sunday, April 29

Cost: FREE

Contact: Dan Morick at

Monday, April 23, 2007

Disc Golf hike moved to April 28

The Disc Golf Hike scheduled for Sunday, May 6, has been moved to Saturday, April 28. All other details to remain the same.

Financial Planning 101: Keep Grocery costs down

There was a time when dashing into the supermarket four or five times a week to pick up a few things was time-consuming but not financially deadly.

But with food prices rising faster than really good bread dough, even the smallest supermarket mistakes can show up in dollar signs at the checkout.

If you are careful to avoid making these six common grocery-shopping mistakes, you won't get burned by the high price of food.

Mistake: Sticking to name brands

An extensive survey by Consumer Reports magazine of 65 common grocery-store items determined that switching from name brands to store brands can cut your grocery bill in half without sacrificing quality.

In fact, they discovered that, in many cases, the store brands contained the name-brand product but with a different label and a lower price. Remember: The name brands have to work the high cost of marketing and advertising into the cost of the item.

Mistake: Ignoring unit pricing

Most grocery stores and supermarkets post labels on the shelf that show the item's price and the price per unit -- per ounce, per serving and so forth. It gets confusing if you are attempting to compare ''per ounce'' with ''per serving.'' That's when it's good to have a calculator handy. Don't assume the larger size is automatically the better deal. Often it's not, but you won't know that if you don't watch the price per unit.

Mistake: Acting on impulse

There's a reason that everyday staples such as milk and bread are at the back of the store. It makes picking up milk and bread a challenge because you will pass so many opportunities to pick up other stuff on the way to the milk: the bakery, deli, seafood counter, etc.

If you're not careful, you'll load up on all kinds of things you hadn't planned to buy. Everything about a supermarket is designed to facilitate impulse buying.

Mistake: Being unprepared

Grocery shopping without a list is risky. Your memory isn't as good as you might think. Without a plan, you'll find yourself coming back to the store for what you forgot -- and that starts the mistakes all over again.

Mistake: Daydreaming at checkout

Surveys indicate that consumers lose $1 billion to $2.5 billion each year because of scanner pricing errors. Most states and counties have enforcement personnel who go to stores to check the accuracy between stated prices and what rings up at the register.

But it's up to consumers to watch out for their own charges and to reconcile their receipts right there in the checkout line. Don't assume anything, and make sure you take care of scanner errors right when they happen.

Mistake: Shopping with kids

Effective grocery shopping is tedious work. Done right, you have a list made up of items that you knew would be on sale before you ever got to the store. Once in the store, you're looking for unadvertised specials, matching coupons with sale prices, comparing unit pricing and staying focused so you are not getting tripped up by impulse buys. If you have children with you, watching them trumps all of the things you should be doing. Whenever possible, shop solo.

Lehigh Valley #43 in business says Forbes

The Lehigh Valley made it into the top 50 on Forbes magazine's Best Places for Business and Careers list.

Forbes said the rankings were based on a variety of factors, including the cost of doing business, the cost of living, the number of colleges in the area and the percentage of people with college degrees. Quality-of-life issues, such as crime rates and recreational opportunities, also factored into the calculation, according to the magazine.

Drive-Ins opening for the season

Drive-in's are not only fun and nostalgic, but inexpensive. Where else can you see a double feature for less than the price of a Saturday night movie at the mega-plexes? They usually have family shows, although Becky's has two screens and one usually features more adult movies. Movies generally start between 8-9 pm and with a double feature it'll be a late night so plan accordingly. Drive-in's, which peaked in popularity in the 50s and 60s, are becoming scarce, but we here in the Lehigh Valley are lucky and have two to choose from: