Friday, May 04, 2007

Top Ten Things to Do Outdoors in the Lehigh Valley

The warm weather has finally arrived in full force so it's time to get outside and enjoy it! Here are some suggested activities:

Southside Film Festival Fundraiser: Red Hots Burlesque Show

Enjoy great food, entertainment, dancing, movies, silent auction, and MAGIC!

All proceeds benefit the SSFF 2007.

Enjoy burlesque fun in the part of town formerly known as Sin City! (Really!)

NOTE: A couple of people have asked us how "burlesque" the show will get. Burlesque dancing is an art form, all about the tease and an ode to vaudeville and sideshow burlesque traditions, but with a knowing wink. The new burlesque is accepting and celebratory of all genders, sexual orientations, and body shapes and sizes. Underneath the tease and comedy is self-respect and confidence... real glamour!

When: Friday, May 11

Where: Comfort Suites of Bethlehem, 120 W. Third St., Bethlehem

Cost: $25

Takeover at Drinky's

Join Takeover Lehigh Valley at Drinky's this month.

They have extended happy hour from 6:00 to 9:00. This includes $3.00 off martinis and wine, $2.00 Bellinis and beer specials. They have an awesome Tapas menu all under $10.00 and will be providing free samples. There is plenty of room and they are going have plenty of bartenders. In fact there is an attached bar called “The Standard” which opens out right onto the square so you can sit outside and enjoy the weather. They will also have DJ Matty Matt spinning house and top 40 all night for us.

Parking is free on the street after 6:00 or there is a parking deck right behind the Crayola factory.

PS: If you want to really splurge you can reserve VIP European bottle service (with your own lounge area and bouncer) online or by calling 610.252.3800

When: Friday, May 11

Where: Drinky's, Easton

Volunteer with NET for Ben Franklin Technology Partners i xchange

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania is looking for a few good ushers to assist at our sixth annual i xchange to be held the evening of Tuesday May 22, 2007 at Lehigh University’s Zoellner Arts Center.

In return for your assistance in taking tickets and handing out programs, we offer you the opportunity to participate in what has become the premier business networking opportunity in northeastern Pennsylvania. Last year, more than 600 technology entrepreneurs, business people, venture capitalists, educators, students, bankers, lawyers, and accountants attended.

The i xchange begins at 5:30 pm with lots of hors d’ouerves and a cash bar (for wine and beer); soda and water is on the house. We need volunteers to take tickets from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm. You are then able to join the audience for the presentation of Ben Franklin’s annual Innovation Awards followed by the keynote address to be delivered this year by Sir Ken Robinson.

Ushers need to be at Zoellner Arts Center by 6:00 pm for a brief orientation session (10 minutes). Required dress is business casual. If you’d like to be an usher for our i xchange, please email Louise Brong – by May 10.

When: Tuesday, May 22, 6 p.m. orientation

Where: Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University, Bethlehem

Cost: FREE with volunteering

Contact: Louise Brong at

Bethlehem mayor wants more funds dedicated to city parks

With nearly $2 billion in proposed development, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan has a plan to extract ''millions of dollars'' more from developers to pay for park upgrades, fields and other recreational programs.

Exactly how much that new recreation fee will be, Callahan is still researching. But, between the Sands BethWorks casino and redevelopment of Martin Tower, Callahan said upping the city's fee -- now at $200 per residential unit -- will stockpile so much cash that the city can get a head start on future parks such as the greenway, a two-mile linear park along a old railroad bed, and a 100-foot boat launch on Sand Island West.

'The parks are in need of improvements, and this is the fair way to do it,'' Callahan said.

On Thursday, city officials will unveil a new recreation plan draft to the Planning Commission, and City Council could vote to adopt in as early as two months. There's nothing new in the recreation plan, written by Urban and Research Development Corp. of Bethlehem. Much of the plan had been laid out in smaller, master plans over the years, but city officials say it provides the city with a bigger, long-term look at what the city should be doing for its parks. The city will continue to work out the fee amount, which will likely include both residential and commercial developments.

The higher fee must be in place before subdivision plans are approved. That means structures like the $50 million North Street Tower won't be subject to a higher fee. But projects like the BethWorks development and $300 million Martin Tower residential development are still on the table, city officials say.

It's difficult to say how much money the city could reap from higher fees, though the mayor estimates ''millions.''

City planner Darlene Heller said the city hadn't added many homes for decades, but since 2003, the city has approved 1,488 new homes. That comes out to $297,600 with the current fee. However, if the city imposed the same fee Bethlehem Township has -- $1,500 per residential unit -- that comes out to $2.2 million.

Young Professional running for Allentown City Council

Voters will elect at least two new members to Allentown City Council this year, with three seats open and two incumbents not running.

Council writes laws that govern everything from how high your grass can grow to how your tax money is spent. And plenty of issues must be dealt with as Allentown seeks to position itself as an attractive city for businesses and families.

The Republican Party has an uncontested primary May 15 because only two candidates, incumbent Councilman David K. Bausch and Robert E. Smith Jr., a school director and former interim councilman, are seeking their party's nod for three seats. They will move on to the fall election.

Democratic incumbents Martin Velazquez III and Louis Hershman are not seeking re-election. Hershman is running for controller. Five Democrats are vying for 3 spots on May 15. One of them, Peter G. Scheweyer, is 28 years old and an Allentown native. This writer says he shares the title of "Mr. Allentown" with West End Blog's Damien Brown. Both are young and passionate about Allentown.

Schweyer's primary goals are to dismantle violent street gangs, protect taxpayer money, make government records more accessible, improve customer service and create programs to attract businesses and jobs.

''We have to start acting like a city and stop acting like a sleepy little borough,'' he said.

That means acknowledging there always will be crime in a city and attacking the problem with the best-available technology and tools. He said an initiative could be something as simple as hiring a clerk to gather data for the fight against gangs. More officers also should be hired.

Schweyer supports continuing to sweep streets year-round, and does not support training police to enforce federal immigration laws.

He supports Pawlowski's initiatives, but said he hasn't agreed with all of the mayor's decisions and wouldn't hesitate to go against him as a councilman if he disagreed with him on an issue.

He said the city should set up a center to direct residents' calls for assistance, and follow up with callers to confirm they were helped.

Schweyer, who worked briefly as a middle school teacher in Philadelphia, said government could improve neighborhoods by working more closely with the strong organizations already in place, such as block watches and recreation groups. He said the city could advise on fundraising, recruitment, insurance and other issues.

Schweyer said the city needs to take better advantage of its housing to attract families and homeowners. It could encourage businesses to offer programs such as one offered by Lehigh Valley Hospital, which provides forgivable loans for down payments and closing costs, and money for facade improvements to employees who buy homes nearby.

Schweyer has never held public office but his career is in politics.

He ran unsuccessfully for state representative in 2002, losing to incumbent Pat Browne, now a Republican state senator for the 16th District. He works for state Rep. Jennifer Mann, D-Lehigh, as chief of staff, after working previously for state Rep. Steve Samuelson, D-Lehigh and Northampton, and Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th District. He also was a member of Pawlowski's transition team.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Join the NET Team for Rally in the Valley

Join the NET team for the third annual Rally in the Valley. The rally is a timed and measured road course that includes a scavenger hunt for specific pieces of information. It is not a race! Teams will be scored on accuracy of complete travel time and distance, correct answers to questions and the ability to solve puzzles. Exciting prizes will be awarded to the top finishing teams.

Upon completion of the rally course, participants will enjoy a sumptuous picnic meal, prepared by Brew Works, accompanied by their fabulous handcrafted ales.

RSVP to Vanessa at no later than Friday, May 25th.

Sponsored by United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and Brew Works Restaurants

When: Sunday, June 10, 11 a.m.

Where: Under the Hill-to-Hill Bridge in Bethlehem

Cost: $25 per person, which includes the game, picnic lunch and accompanying brewed beverages or soft drinks.

Contact: Vanessa Williams at

NET Beginner Swing Dance Lessons

Learn the basics of swing dancing with members of Network of Young Professionals. Ken of “And Suddenly I Was Dancing,” will instruct on basic dance steps and several patterns. Partners required. Pre-registration and prepayment required via paypal to by Thursday, May 24. Or checks may be sent to:

Network of Young Professionals
Attn: Swing Lessons
PO Box 90561
Allentown, PA 18109-0561

Space is limited. First come, first served.

When: June 1, 8, 22 & 29, (4 Fridays) 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Where: Trexlertown Fitness Center, a 24-7 Fitness Club, 6900 Hamilton Blvd. (Route 222) at Trexler Mall - Trexlertown, PA 18087. PLEASE NOTE: NOT Trexlertown Health Center

Admission: $45 for 4 lessons NET and 24-7 Fitness Club members, $55 for 4 lessons non-members

Contact: Vanessa Williams at

Dorney Park opens this weekend!

Enjoy the nice weather and head on out to Dorney Park this Saturday for opening day.

Tunes at Twilight: A New free concert series

With the coming of warm weather comes a new free concert series in the Lehigh Valley: Tunes at Twilight. Held every Thursday at 6 p.m., in the Sun Inn Courtyard off of Main St. Bethlehem, music featured will range from classical to rock. Free validated parking will be available. For more information call 610-841-5831. If it rains, concerts move to Wired Cafe.

The series includes:
  • May 3 - Electric Farm (rock)
  • May 10 - the unpronounceable (rock)
  • May 17 - Paul Thiessan Band (folk rock)
  • May 24 - Cambiata (renaissance)
  • May 31 - The Rifters (rock & roll)
  • June 7 - Eric Mintel Quartet (jazz)
  • June 14 - Dan DeChellis Trio (jazz)
  • June 21 - Stardust Cabaret with Bob Cohen and Richarrd Groman (pop)
  • June 28 - Godfrey Daniels Open Mic Night

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

NET Ultimate Frisbee

Come try out the exciting game of Ultimate Frisbee in Allentown's beautiful Little Lehigh Parkway. No experience is necessary.

Ultimate can be as physically demanding or as effortless as you like, and is a blast either way. The social aspect of the sport makes it a great way to meet new people in a very relaxed environment, and the game is usually followed by a refreshing cool-down at J.P. O'Malley's on Union Street between 15th and 16th in Allentown.

Contact Cory at for any questions on the game, scheduling, or directions.

Directions: I-78 to Lehigh St. Go north towards Allentown. Left on 15th St./Jefferson St., 1 mile to a wide open 5 way intersection. Left into park.

When: Tuesday, May 8th, 6 p.m.

Where: Little Lehigh Parkway (Allentown, PA)

Cost: FREE

Contact: Cory Crawford at

Promenade Shops now welcomes Fido too

Promenade Shops recently unveiled dog-friendly stores and amenities.

To prepare for the dog-friendly environment, bag dispensers, to be used for collecting doggie droppings, have been installed all around. Merchants who choose to allow dogs into their stores have been given stickers to post on their windows.

Elizabeth Laubach, an assistant manager at Yankee Candle, said her store's managers chose to participate because they all love dogs. ''We signed up right away,'' she said.

Laubach is a little worried -- but not terribly so -- about happy tails knocking some glass-covered candles to the floor. Other than that, everything is safe on the shelves, she said.

Deborah Frick, owner of Deborah's Interiors & Gifts, said she's welcoming dogs that can be carried. ''We all love dogs here, and so many people love their animals. Of course we want them here. But I didn't put the sticker on my window because of my tiny restriction,'' she said.

Dina Pizolato, owner of Monograms on Main, said she put up a sticker and plenty of dogs have been in to say hello already. ''People walk their dogs around here all the time. We're happy to have them,'' she said.

The occasional leakage problem is inevitable. ''We're not like some other stores. We don't have carpet. We have a ceramic tile floor, so it's an easy cleanup if there's an accident. It's just fun to see all the dogs,'' Pizolato said.

Dennis Wargo, owner of the Promenade's only pet store, Paws to Tail, said he is happy to honor pets.

Steel property development underway

Bricks and steel crumbled to the ground Monday as crews began demolishing former Bethlehem Steel buildings in south Bethlehem to make way for the $600 million casino, hotel and events center to open next year.

Most of the major demolition won't come until early June, after work crews reroute utilities and relocate museum pieces still being housed in buildings to be razed. Nearly two dozen other buildings will be saved, at least in part, including the five blast furnaces, the stock house and the electric repair shop that will house the museum.

Sands BethWorks expects to open its casino by the end of 2008. A 300-room hotel, an events and concert center and several restaurants and shops would open by the middle of 2009.

Bethlehem Pothole Hotline

Bethlehem has just activated a pothole hotline: 610-865-7053.

Volunteering is Always in Fashion

Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley presents a Fashion Show, Luncheon & Raffle.

When: Wednesday, May 16, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Where: Best Western Lehigh Valley Hotel & Conference Center

Cost: $45 per person

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Support NET's Secretary as she walks against cancer

From Laura Ulbrich:

Can you believe that more than 1.3 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year? Those are staggering statistics, but there is hope. Each of us can do something to save lives and help those already fighting this disease. That's why I've decided to take action against cancer by supporting the American Cancer Society Relay For Life® event right here in Easton, PA.

I want to invite you to show your support in the ongoing fight against cancer by visiting this site and make a donation to support our efforts. You will make a real difference in the lives of people facing cancer and in the lives of the people who love them. Thank you!

Grads Find Building New Ties Daunting - but NET can help

Ultimately, for a successful work life and a satisfying personal life most new grads will need to develop new social networks in what will -- at first -- prove to be unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations.

The first time you meet anyone, it's pretty unrealistic to expect that he or she will connect you to a job or become your best friend. And people would rather deal with their friends than with strangers. But all friends were strangers at some point; it's just a matter of time, manners, and occasions to bring a relationship about. We all have some interests -- sculpture or drag-racing or private equity or tennis -- and enthusiasts usually converge somewhere on a routine basis.

It's not always easy to do. For people who, until now, had networks created for them, from the classroom to the dorm room, entering the wide world beyond school cliques can feel like being dropped into a shark tank, or an abyss.

"People our age are at a disadvantage," says Annabel Mangold, 26 years old, a San Francisco Bay area native who has been living in Anchorage, Alaska, for the last year. "We're like toddlers, trying to figure out who we want around us."

It isn't just moving to a strange place that can produce feelings of loneliness or social angst. It can also be tough returning home.

"It's like going to another city than the one you left. You're starting over," says Brian Kirkvold, a 28-year-old business development associate in Minneapolis.

After he graduated from Kenyon College, he returned to his hometown. "I had no college friends around, my old friends had gone away or were still in college somewhere, and I had no high school friends ... It was really frustrating," he says.

Mr. Kirkvold says he first immersed himself in his job, working 60 to 70 hours a week for a couple of years at the expense of making friends. Craving a social life, he scaled back to 50 hours a week and "slowly, but surely, started to meet a couple of people here and there."

Over time, the socializing came easier to him.

"It was much more fun to get out and enjoy life, rather than spending every day doing exactly the same thing," he says.

These days, Mr. Kirkvold meets new people training for marathons and triathlons, waterskiing, and in his part-time MBA classes at the University of Minnesota. "My circle of friends is not just made up of people my age," he says, "and they have so many different perspectives."

Mr. Kirkvold believes it's important to constantly expand your circle of friends and colleagues and pursue interests outside of work. "If work becomes the primary focal point, what happens when the job doesn't work out? You could find yourself in a precarious position of no job, no contacts, and no prospects."

Christine McKay, a senior career adviser at Harvard Business School, suggests the best way to start out in a new place or a new field is to tell everyone you know what you're about to embark on. "Most of us have a connection somewhere, within a geography or within an industry. Let everyone know what you will be doing -- professors, friends, parents' friends, family -- and ask them for help. People love to help other people be successful."

The next step is to reach out to people you don't know. That means getting involved in industry organizations, joining alumni groups or participating in organized activities like you'd find at a knitting or rowing club -- things you do to get some face-to-face contact going. The new people you meet might become friends, mentors or heroes. "Self-motivation is hard, and we tend to require external influences to motivate us," says Ms. McKay, 40. "That strong external motivation is what separates really successful people from others."

This is a summary of a larger article from the CareerJournal.

Reach out to the NET and get some face-to-face contact at our upcoming events.

Vegetarian Gourmet Extravaganza

Event includes a four-course epicurean dinner with dessert and beverages - entirely vegan! Guests will also receive a gift bag and raffle ticket. There will be a cash bar featuring signature creations.

Tickets can be purchased at TC Salon Spa, 3017 W. Tilghman St., Allentown, PA 18104 or call Allison at 610-439-1581 or

Some proceeds benefit ASPCA.

Sponsored by Lehigh Valley Vegetarians

When: Monday, May 7th, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Grille 3501, Allentown

Cost: $50.00

Ellery Royal Memorial Golf Tournament

The National Association of Purchasing Managers of Lehigh Valley is having their annual scholarship fund raising Golf Tournament at Silver Creek Country Club. Please consider coming out and having an enjoyable day.

All net proceeds go to worthy students from our area.

Golf Includes – Deli Lunch served at 11am followed by full round of golf at 12:30pm concluding with Banquet Dinner and Awards presentation at 6:00pm.

When: Thursday, June 14, 2007

Where: Silver Creek Country Club

Cost: $110

Ethnic Eats: Mexico Lindo

Mexico Lindo
20 Main Street

Food type: Mexican

From Beyond Scrapple:

"It's a small, end-of-row restaurant with limited signage. It's worth looking for."

Clock in For Equality - Tuesday, May 15

Even though recent polls show that close to 90 percent of people in the United States think lesbians and gay men should have equal rights in the workplace:
  • There is still no federal law that expressly forbids sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination in the private sector.
  • There is no statewide law providing express protection against sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace in 32 states.
  • There is no statewide law providing express protection against gender identity discrimination in the workplace in 42 states.
What does this mean? You can get fired for your sexual orientation in this country.

On May 15, 2007, thousands of people across the country will do something to support workplace fairness. Click here to learn more.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Do you search the web? Then use

Here's an easy way to help NET raise some much-needed funds: is a new search engine that donates half its revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. You use it just as you would any search engine, and it’s powered by Yahoo! Go to and enter "Lehigh Valley Network of Young Professionals" as the charity you want to support. Then use the search engine as you would any other. It doesn't cost you a dime!

Allentown Block Party a Success

Though it was cloudy on Saturday, the third annual 19th Street Fair drew a record number of attendees to the West End Theatre District.

There were several businesses there hosting tables, but I must say the NET's was one of the more elaborate. Several people came up interested in the NET. The stand was a definite success.

There was live entertainment all day long from several local college groups including ButterJive who was excellent.

Easton and Northampton County Council Candidates Night Tomorrow

On Tuesday, May 1st, 6:30 PM, the South Side Civic Association will sponsor a candidates' night at St. Paul's Lutheran Church (610 W. Berwick St. Easton).

Invitations have been extended to Easton mayoral hopefuls, city council wannabes, NorCo council prospects, and mini-judge candidates in Easton's south side magisterial district, which also includes Williams Township and Glendon Borough.