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Union County Encourages Municipalities to Attend the NJ Film Ready Workshop 2024

In anticipation of the 2024 Film Ready New Jersey Workshop, the Union County Board of County Commissioners would like to encourage elected officials in Union County, as well as county and municipal employees, to attend the NJ Film Ready Workshop on Tuesday, April 23rd, at the Morris Museum in Morristown from 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. to learn more and discover the economic benefits of embracing film, TV, and movie productions in their communities.

“Union County had the honor of hosting last year’s Film Ready NJ Workshop. Since then, we have witnessed firsthand the effectiveness of this workshop in preparing and training our community to attract and accommodate film and television production companies,” said Union County Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “As of this year, Berkeley Heights, Cranford, Plainfield, and Rahway have been designated as Film Ready Communities by the NJEDA, and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this initiative. We encourage other towns throughout Union County to become certified.”

The Film Ready New Jersey Program, an initiative of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission (NJMPTVC), is a five-step certification and marketing program designed to educate and prepare municipalities on the basics of motion picture and television production. During the workshop, participants will receive guidance and training from industry professionals and NJMPTVC staff on how to market and structure themselves properly to become desirable hosts for film and TV production crews.

Since Governor Murphy expanded the Film and Digital Media Tax Credit program in 2023, New Jersey has seen a significant increase in entertainment production revenues, with earnings soaring from $67 million in 2017 to over $650 million in 2022. Major industry players like Netflix and Lionsgate plan to establish cutting-edge facilities in neighboring Monmouth and Essex counties, indicating a promising future for the industry’s growth statewide.

Several major productions have already been successfully filmed in Union County, including “The Walking Dead,” “Wu-Tang: An American Saga,” and “It Ends With Us,” among many others. Cities and counties designated as “film-ready” experience greater economic growth, increased tourism, and more job opportunities.

The Film Ready certification program has made a significant impact in Union County, with numerous films, TV shows, and other productions filmed in the last few months alone. Plainfield, the first city in the county to receive the certification, has experienced notable economic benefits from hosting film crews and supporting local businesses. The success of Plainfield has continued to inspire neighboring municipalities to pursue certification.

Union County is on the brink of a cinematic renaissance, leveraging the Film Ready NJ Program to promote the county and establish partnerships with producers. It is rapidly emerging as a premier destination for filming and production on the East Coast.

To register for the Film Ready NJ Workshop: www.events.morriscountyalliance.org/FilmReadyNJWorkshop. For more information on the Film Ready New Jersey Program, please visit www.nj.gov/njfilm/filmready-nj.

For information on Union County’s Motion Picture & Television Advisory Board, visit www.ucnj.org/ucfilmtv.

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Union County Holds Its First-Ever “Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit” on May 18th

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce that the UC STEP Civic Engagement Project for this year will be a “Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit.” Unlike previous years, Union County has decided to combine all three projects into one powerhouse initiative. The summit is scheduled to take place on May 18th at Oak Ridge Park, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Further event details to follow.

“We are so proud of the dedication and creativity demonstrated by our high school students. The collaborative project they worked on this year is a great example of the power of teamwork in improving mental health and well-being,” said Commissioner Chairwoman and Liaison to the Mental Health Advisory Board, Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “The students’ ideas were innovative and thoughtful, and have the potential to benefit so many people in our community. Witnessing such inspiring teamwork among our young people is remarkable, and we are excited to see the positive impact this project will have on our community.”

Thanks to the extraordinary responses from our community, ideas presented by teams Light Green, Gold and Maroon will be featured as key components of the final community engagement project- the first ever Union County Stepping Up to Mental Health Summit.

Team Light Green’s idea of hosting a mental health summit will be the main feature of our culminating event. Other activities, including team Maroon’s Embrace(let)s project that focuses on embracing feelings whether they are good or bad will be included at the summit. Participants will make bracelets to spread mental health awareness to emphasize that “it’s okay to not be okay.” To honor Team Gold’s project, Union County will create an online resource portal connecting our youth to mental health resources. By making resources readily available online, we can empower individuals to take proactive steps towards managing their mental health.

Each of the three projects presented at UC STEP address different aspects of mental health and in raising awareness. By pursuing all three initiatives simultaneously, our hope is to create a more holistic strategy that addresses the diverse needs of individuals struggling with mental health challenges.

Students will still have a chance to win the $1,000 START NOW Grant from the Union County Board of County Commissioners.

For more information, please contact Judith Guest, Community Engagement & Diversity Coordinator at (908) 527-4388 or via email at Judith.Guest@ucnj.org

For more information about UC-STEP, please visit ucnj.org/uc-step/

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Union County Ready to Move Forward With Briant Pond Hydro-Raking Project

Today, the Union County Board of County Commissioners announced the beginning of the Briant Pond restoration project in Summit. This significant initiative is in response to concerns voiced by Summit residents regarding the environmental condition and recreational potential of the pond. Scheduled to kick off on or around April 17, 2024, the project is expected to unfold over the course of several weeks.

“We share the concerns of Briant Park users, which is why the County of Union has been collaborating with the NJDEP to secure necessary permits. This investment in restoration emphasizes our commitment to attentively addressing issues and enacting meaningful change,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “By undertaking this project, we are not only preserving natural habitats but also enriching recreational opportunities for our community. This endeavor highlights our commitment to environmental stewardship and genuine community engagement.”

In a competitive bidding process, T. R. Weniger, a contractor with experience in similar endeavors, was selected to lead the hydro-raking project. Providing oversight and management of the operation is Colliers Engineering, a firm known for its expertise in Engineering & Project Management.

The hydro-raking process represents a critical step towards revitalizing Briant Pond, aimed at improving its ecological health and recreational value. Summit residents can look forward to positive transformations resulting from this comprehensive restoration effort.

Central to the project is the utilization of specialized equipment, including an eight-ton excavator mounted on pontoons, equipped with a front rake. Operations are scheduled on weekdays, Monday through Friday, ensuring minimal disruption to park users while maximizing efficiency. The proven track record of T. R. Weniger in executing similar projects across New Jersey instills confidence that Summit residents will witness tangible improvements.

To keep the community informed and engaged, a general overview of the project timeline and potential impact on park activities has been provided. The hydro-raking operation promises to be a visually captivating endeavor that underscores Union County’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community well-being.

Summit residents and members of the broader community are encouraged to stay updated on the progress of the Briant Pond restoration project by visiting www.ucnj.org.

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Union County Launches Community Outreach Program

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is proud to announce the launch of the Community Outreach Program, an initiative aimed at strengthening community engagement and providing vital resources to residents. This program marks a significant step forward in enhancing communication and support within our diverse communities.

“The Union County Community Outreach Program will see dedicated teams actively engaging with residents throughout the county, delivering valuable information and resources directly to their doorsteps,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Our outreach teams are committed to ensuring that every resident receives the necessary support and information by directly connecting them to county resources and essential services.”

The outreach teams will be visible in the community, wearing distinctive safety vests and carrying identification for easy recognition. Residents can expect to encounter these teams from Monday through Thursday, between 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM, as well as on Saturdays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Through these regular hours and visible presence, the program seeks to maximize accessibility and ensure that residents can easily engage with the outreach teams.

Union County residents are encouraged to engage with the outreach teams, ask questions, and provide feedback to help shape future initiatives and services. The County of Union remains dedicated to building stronger, more resilient communities, and the Community Outreach Program is a testament to that commitment.

For more information about the Union County Community Outreach Program, please contact our Department of Human Services Action line at 908-677-5405 or visit our website at www.ucnj.org/outreach.

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El Condado de Union Ofrece Trituración Gratuita y Segura de Documentos Personales

La Junta de Comisionados del Condado de Union invita a todos los residentes a traer sus documentos personales y confidenciales a los eventos gratuitos de trituración de papel.  El próximo evento gratuito de trituración de papel se llevará a cabo el miércoles 10 de abril, de 9:00 a.m. a 1:00 p.m. en el parque ‘Black Brook Park’, ubicado en 349 North 19th Street en Kenilworth.

“Nos complace ofrecer un servicio de trituración gratuito y seguro para ayudarlo a deshacerse de cualquier documento confidencial que pueda tener. Este servicio es una forma sostenible de contribuir a los esfuerzos de reciclaje del Condado de Union. Esperamos que este servicio les resulte útil a medida que participan en su limpieza de primavera, actividades de organización y más,” dijo la Comisionada Presidenta Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded.

A su llegada, habrá una amplia señalización para dirigir a los residentes a los sitios de trituración. El evento de trituración comienza a las 9:00 a.m. y concluirá puntualmente a la 1:00 p.m., llueva o truene, a menos que los camiones de trituración se llenen hasta su capacidad, en cuyo caso el evento terminará antes. Se recomienda a los residentes que lleguen lo más cerca posible del comienzo del evento para asegurar sus lugares en la fila. Estos eventos son solo para el autoservicio y sin contacto; Los residentes deben permanecer en sus automóviles mientras el personal descarga sus documentos, que se trituran en el lugar en un camión triturador móvil.

Se recuerda a los participantes que no se aceptará papel previamente triturado, húmedo o mojado. Se deben quitar las ataduras, los clips grandes de plástico o metal y otra parafernalia antes de llegar al sitio de trituración.

Los eventos de trituración gratuita del Condado de Union están destinados únicamente a documentos personales, confidenciales y generados residencialmente. Los residentes pueden reciclar revistas, correo basura y otros residuos de papel con su programa municipal de reciclaje. Para obtener más información, visite https://ucnj.org/recycling/municipal-recycling-coordinators/.  No se aceptarán negocios ni documentos comerciales en estos eventos; En su lugar, las empresas pueden comunicarse con la Oficina de Reciclaje y Planificación del Condado de Union a través del formulario en línea en ucnj.org/recycle para obtener más orientación.

Para conocer el calendario completo de trituración de papel para el 2024 e información sobre todos los programas de reciclaje organizados por el Condado de Union, visite ucnj.org/recycle o llame a la Línea Directa de Reciclaje del Condado de Union al 908-654-9889. Para obtener las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre todos los programas de reciclaje municipales y del condado en el Condado de Union, descargue la aplicación gratuita Recycle Coach. Más información disponible en ucnj.org/recycling/recycle-coach-app.

Enlaces rápidos a todos los programas y actividades ambientales del Condado de Union están disponibles en ucnj.org/green-connection.

El programa de trituración de papel móvil se paga a través de los fondos de la Subvención de la Ley de Mejora del Reciclaje, que son solicitados por el Condado de Union y recibidos del Departamento de Protección Ambiental de Nueva Jersey.

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Union County Launches Next Street Smart NJ Pedestrian Safety Campaign in Roselle on April 10th

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is announcing a Street Smart NJ pedestrian safety education campaign in the Borough of Roselle. This education campaign is aimed at changing unsafe behavior and reducing pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes at the intersections of W. Second Ave. & Chestnut St. and W. Second Ave. & Locust St in Roselle.

“Ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents remains a top concern for Union County,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “The Street Smart NJ campaign will help educate drivers and pedestrians about the safe use of our roadways and is part of a broader set of initiatives to make our community safer.”

The campaign will kick off on Wednesday, April 10th, at 5:00pm in front of Roselle Borough Hall near West Second & Chestnut Street. Speakers will include Bette Jane Kowalski, Union County Commissioner and NJTPA Trustee; Mayor Donald A. Shaw; Cindy Thomas, Council President; Councilwoman Isabel Sousa; Helder Freire, Acting Chief of Police; Dr. Nathan Fisher, Superintendent of Roselle Public Schools, Michael Rizol, Director, NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety, and Lisa Lee, Director, EZ Ride.

Street Smart NJ, initiated in 2013 and managed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), is a statewide collaborative effort between public, private, and non-profit organizations. The campaign reminds people that everyone has a role in making our streets safer. Drivers must obey speed limits and stop for people crossing; people walking or biking must use crosswalks (marked and unmarked) and cross with the signals; and everyone must avoid distractions. Street Smart NJ is one of many initiatives working to reach zero pedestrian fatalities and more than 240 communities in NJ have successfully implemented the campaign.

EZ Ride, the Transportation Management Association serving Union County, will manage the local campaign and work with the municipality, county, schools, and community partners to educate and distribute safety information. Large educational signs will be displayed at the intersections, and local and County police will enforce traffic and pedestrian laws as part of the campaign.

Pedestrian safety is a concern nationwide, but it is particularly important in New Jersey. On average, one pedestrian is killed every two days in New Jersey, and 12 are injured daily. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, New Jersey ranked 18th in the US in pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people, and pedestrians comprised 30 percent of the 699 traffic fatalities in New Jersey in 2021, far more than the national average of 17 percent. The two focus intersections for this campaign were selected due to recent pedestrian crashes and a fatality in December 2023.

“Through initiatives like Street Smart NJ, we’re developing a culture of safety so that every resident can navigate our streets with confidence,” said Commissioner Bette Jane Kowalski. “It will take statewide efforts to eliminate accidents and injuries, but we are dedicated to working toward that goal.”

Anyone interested in helping to promote the Street Smart NJ message in Union County should contact Lisa Lee at 201-939-4242 ext. 123 or LLee@ezride.org. Learn more at bestreetsmartnj.org. The campaign is also on Facebook and X (@njstreetsmart).

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Union County Clerk Announces Availability of Sample Ballot & Vote by Mail for Westfield School Board Election

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi is pleased to announce that a sample ballot for the upcoming Westfield School Board election on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 is now available for viewing on the Clerk’s website.

“This resource allows voters to familiarize themselves with the choices they will encounter on Election Day, enabling them to make informed decisions that reflect their values and priorities for the education system in Westfield,” said County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi. “I encourage all eligible voters in Westfield to take advantage of the resources available and participate actively in this important election. By exercising your right to vote, you play a vital role in shaping the future of education in your community.”

The sample ballot provides voters with essential information regarding the candidates running for the School Board as well as details on the question included in the Westfield Election. Furthermore, Clerk Rajoppi would like to inform voters that vote by mail ballots are currently being mailed out to eligible voters. This convenient option allows individuals to cast their votes from the comfort of their homes, ensuring that all voices are heard in this critical election.

For those who prefer to vote in person, vote by mail ballots will also be available at the Clerk’s office in Westfield starting tomorrow, April 3rd. This option provides flexibility and accessibility for voters who wish to participate directly in the democratic process.

It is important to note that the Westfield Election encompasses not only the selection of School Board candidates but also includes a question regarding education.

For additional information and updates regarding the Westfield School Board election or information on all County Clerk programs and services, visit online at www.ucnj.org/county-clerk or call 908-527-4787.

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Spanish Press Releases

Los Eventos de Reciclaje de Chatarra del Condado de Union empiezan este jueves 4 y sábado 20 de abril

La Junta de Comisionados del Condado de Union invita a los residentes a traer sus artículos de metal viejos o no deseados a las primeras fechas de entrega gratuita de chatarra de la temporada 2024. Una amplia variedad de artículos metálicos, desde electrodomésticos hasta canaletas y cobertizos, se aceptan en dos sitios de recolección en todo el condado en Cranford y Rahway dos veces al mes de abril a noviembre.

“El programa de reciclaje de chatarra sirve como un recurso valioso para ayudar a abordar las brechas en el reciclaje de chatarra en todo el Condado de Union. Al aumentar nuestros esfuerzos para reciclar más y reducir los desechos, podemos contribuir efectivamente al mejoramiento de nuestra comunidad en su conjunto,” dijo la Comisionada Presidenta Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “Alentamos a los residentes a asistir al evento de reciclaje más cercano para sus productos de chatarra viejos o no deseados.”

Se aceptará la entrega de chatarra el jueves 4 de abril y el sábado 20 de abril de 9:00 a.m. a 12:00 p.m. en dos centros de entrega:

  • Cranford: Edificio de Servicios de Emergencia, 151 Kenilworth Boulevard
  • Rahway: Rahway River Park (siga Park Drive, Rahway desde St. Georges Avenue hasta el patio de servicio frente a la piscina)

La chatarra de los residentes de cualquier municipio del Condado de Union puede llevarse a cualquiera de estos sitios. Los siguientes eventos de chatarra se llevarán a cabo el jueves 2 y el sábado 18 de mayo. Para recibir alertas de horarios, y para mantenerse actualizados con los programas de reciclaje locales y del Condado de Union, descargue la  aplicación móvil gratuita Recycle Coach.

Los residentes deben permanecer en sus vehículos en todo momento.  Los materiales deben colocarse en el baúl, en el área de carga o en la plataforma del camión y deben ser de fácil acceso para que el personal los retire del vehículo.

Los artículos aceptables para reciclar incluyen acondicionadores de aire, chatarra de aluminio, revestimiento de aluminio, bicicletas, latón, cobre, lavadoras de platos, ventiladores eléctricos, cercas (cadena/alambre), congeladores, canaletas, planchas, muebles de jardín, gabinetes de metal, cobertizos de metal, microondas, barandas, refrigeradores, estufas, llantas, tostadoras, lavadoras y secadoras, marcos de ventanas (sin vidrio) y perchas de alambre.

Para obtener más información, próximas fechas y direcciones para todos los programas y ubicaciones de reciclaje del Condado de Union, visite el sitio web de la Oficina de Reciclaje y Planificación en ucnj.org/recycle o llame a la Línea Directa de Reciclaje del Condado de Union al 908-654-9889. Enlaces rápidos a todos los programas y actividades ambientales del Condado de Union están disponibles en The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.

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Spanish Press Releases

El Condado de Union Ofrece Trituración Gratuita y Segura de Documentos Personales

La Junta de Comisionados del Condado de Union invita a todos los residentes a traer sus documentos personales y confidenciales a los eventos gratuitos de trituración de papel.  El próximo evento gratuito de trituración de papel se llevará a cabo el miércoles 10 de abril, de 9:00 a.m. a 1:00 p.m. en el parque ‘Black Brook Park’, ubicado en 349 North 19th Street en Kenilworth.

“Nos complace ofrecer un servicio de trituración gratuito y seguro para ayudarlo a deshacerse de cualquier documento confidencial que pueda tener. Este servicio es una forma sostenible de contribuir a los esfuerzos de reciclaje del Condado de Union. Esperamos que este servicio les resulte útil a medida que participan en su limpieza de primavera, actividades de organización y más,” dijo la Comisionada Presidenta Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded.

A su llegada, habrá una amplia señalización para dirigir a los residentes a los sitios de trituración. El evento de trituración comienza a las 9:00 a.m. y concluirá puntualmente a la 1:00 p.m., llueva o truene, a menos que los camiones de trituración se llenen hasta su capacidad, en cuyo caso el evento terminará antes. Se recomienda a los residentes que lleguen lo más cerca posible del comienzo del evento para asegurar sus lugares en la fila. Estos eventos son solo para el autoservicio y sin contacto; Los residentes deben permanecer en sus automóviles mientras el personal descarga sus documentos, que se trituran en el lugar en un camión triturador móvil.

Se recuerda a los participantes que no se aceptará papel previamente triturado, húmedo o mojado. Se deben quitar las ataduras, los clips grandes de plástico o metal y otra parafernalia antes de llegar al sitio de trituración.

Los eventos de trituración gratuita del Condado de Union están destinados únicamente a documentos personales, confidenciales y generados residencialmente. Los residentes pueden reciclar revistas, correo basura y otros residuos de papel con su programa municipal de reciclaje. Para obtener más información, visite https://ucnj.org/recycling/municipal-recycling-coordinators/.  No se aceptarán negocios ni documentos comerciales en estos eventos; En su lugar, las empresas pueden comunicarse con la Oficina de Reciclaje y Planificación del Condado de Union a través del formulario en línea en ucnj.org/recycle para obtener más orientación.

Para conocer el calendario completo de trituración de papel para el 2024 e información sobre todos los programas de reciclaje organizados por el Condado de Union, visite ucnj.org/recycle o llame a la Línea Directa de Reciclaje del Condado de Union al 908-654-9889. Para obtener las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre todos los programas de reciclaje municipales y del condado en el Condado de Union, descargue la aplicación gratuita Recycle Coach. Más información disponible en ucnj.org/recycling/recycle-coach-app.

Enlaces rápidos a todos los programas y actividades ambientales del Condado de Union están disponibles en ucnj.org/green-connection.

El programa de trituración de papel móvil se paga a través de los fondos de la Subvención de la Ley de Mejora del Reciclaje, que son solicitados por el Condado de Union y recibidos del Departamento de Protección Ambiental de Nueva Jersey.

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Union County Offers Free Paper Shredding for Personal Documents to Residents in April

The Union County Board of County Commissioners invites all residents to bring their personal documents and sensitive papers to the County’s next free paper shredding event, taking place at 9:00 A.M. on Wednesday, April 10th at Black Brook Park, located at 349 North 19th Street in Kenilworth.

“We are pleased to offer a free and secure shredding service to help you dispose of any sensitive documents you may have. This service is a sustainable way to contribute to Union County’s recycling efforts. We hope that you will find this service helpful as you engage in your spring cleaning, organization activities and beyond,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded.

Upon arrival, there will be ample signage to direct residents to the shredding site(s). The shredding event begins at 9:00 A.M. and will conclude promptly at 1:00 P.M., rain or shine, unless the shredding trucks fill up to capacity, in which case the event will end earlier. Residents are encouraged to arrive as close to the beginning of the event as possible in order to ensure their places in line. These events are drive-up only and contact-free; residents must remain in their cars while staff unloads their papers, which are shredded on-site in a mobile shredding truck.

Participants are reminded that pre-shredded, damp, or wet paper will not be accepted. Bindings, large plastic or metal clips, and other paraphernalia should be removed prior to arrival at the shredding site.

Union County’s free shredding events are intended for personal, sensitive, and residentially generated documents only. Residents can recycle magazines, junk mail and other waste paper with their municipal recycling program. For information, visit https://ucnj.org/recycling/municipal-recycling-coordinators/.  Businesses and business documents will not be accepted for shredding at the events; businesses can instead contact the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning via the online form at ucnj.org/recycle for further guidance.

For the complete 2024 paper shredding schedule and information on all recycling programs hosted by Union County, visit ucnj.org/recycle or call the Union County Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889. For the latest news and updates on all municipal and countywide recycling programs in Union County, download the free Recycle Coach app. More information is available at ucnj.org/recycling/recycle-coach-app.

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities are available at ucnj.org/green-connection.

The mobile paper shredding program is paid for through Recycling Enhancement Act Grant funds, which are applied for by Union County and received from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.