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Freeholders Honor Kathleen Naymola

Union County Freeholder Chairman Daniel Sullivan (L) and Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (2nd R) congratulate Union County native Kathleen A. Naymola on her 35 years of service to the residents of Union County as Director of Community Development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development in Newark. They are joined by Al Faella, Director of Union County’s Department of Parks and Community Renewal.  (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)

Union County Distributes $2.6 Million in Housing Improvement Projects

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that a federal grant of $2,601,755 has been distributed to benefit communities at risk of home foreclosures and abandonment.  Union County received the funding under the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which helps protect communities from the impact of blighted properties.

“This is a significant grant and I am proud of the teamwork by Union County and our partner agencies, which worked together to ensure that our application was accurately documented,” said Freeholder Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan. “I am looking forward to seeing the positive effects that these projects will have in communities across Union County.”

The Freeholder Board also expects Union County to receive additional NSP funding of more than $1.5 million next year.

The $2.6 million in funding is designated for acquiring and rehabilitating existing housing, constructing new housing, and demolishing derelict properties. Approximately 70 affordable rental housing units will be developed, in one-to-four family homes and apartment buildings.

“Aside from restoring blighted properties, NSP funding also puts more people to work in construction jobs, and that helps to draw more customers into local businesses,” said Sullivan. “It’s an important kick-start for the Union County economy.”

As stipulated by the terms of the grant, the funds were targeted to Elizabeth, Hillside, Linden, Plainfield, Rahway, and Roselle. In its capacity as grant administrator, Union County distributed the funds to 84-86 First Street Housing LLC, Brand New Day, City of Elizabeth, Magill Real Estate LLC, City of Plainfield, Domus Corporation, Community Access Unlimited, and Township of Hillside.

Work on the projects is expected to begin this fall.

Children of All Ages Can Enjoy Daytime Programs at Trailside This Fall

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce an exciting array of children’s programs being offered this fall at Trailside Nature & Science Center in Mountainside.

“This exciting fall program schedule, with its nature-related activities, outdoor experiences and new adventures in the world of science, is sure to have something to delight every child,” said Freeholder Vice Chairman Deborah Scanlon, liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

For children, ages 3 or 4, with an adult, Trailside offers “Two of Us,” an interactive program that encourages nature discovery through hikes and other indoor/outdoor activities. This program is offered on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. or Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. beginning Oct. 5. Topics explored this autumn will include bubbles, monarchs, seeds, creating holiday crafts and more.

“Small Fry Days,” a drop-off program for children ages 4-6, is designed to foster awareness and appreciation of the natural world through nature hikes, explorations and related activities. This program is offered on Tuesdays, from 9:45-11:00 a.m. beginning Oct. 5.  Children will have fun learning about squirrels, investigating the Deserted Village on a Halloween Hike, collecting leaves of all colors and sizes, and much more.

Trailside also offers after-school workshops for grade school children. Children entering the 1stand 2nd grades can take part in “After School Explorations.” This drop-off program is designed to acquaint children with nature explorations, hikes and outdoor activities.  Offered on Thursdays beginning Oct. 7 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., children participating in this workshop series have the opportunity to make animal masks, learn about animal tracks and meet live snakes and turtles.

“Trailside Explorers,” a drop-off workshop for children in 3rd to 5th grade, will take an in-depth look into the animal kingdom. Participants will have fun investigating the variety of animal life found at Seeley’s Pond.  Additionally, mammals, reptiles, birds of prey and insects will be topics of exploration this fall. Trailside Explorers is scheduled on alternate Wednesdays beginning Oct. 6 from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

 

A new addition this year is an after-school science program, “Crazy Chemworks,” for students in the 1st to 5th grade. This exciting science series, developed by Mad Science of West New Jersey, is an educational and fun program that will get students interested in science. Conducted on Wednesdays from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., this series begins on Oct. 13.  Children will enjoy manipulating laboratory equipment at their own personal work bench; create slime and participate in the Slime Olympics; practice fast-paced chemistry experiments, and much more.

Fees do apply and pre-registration is required for all programs. Please call Trailside for fee information and space availability. For additional information about any of these children’s programs or about other upcoming programs and special events, please call 908-789-3670 or visit us on the web at www.ucnj.org/trailside.

Trailside Nature & Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road (at Coles Avenue) in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Union County’s Mobile Document-Shredding Program Will Visit Roselle, Oct. 5

ROSELLE, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announces that its mobile paper-shredding program for personal documents will be available for Union County residents on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in Roselle.

“Union County’s mobile document-shredding service helps residents eliminate clutter in their homes and also fight identity theft,” said Freeholder Chairman Daniel Sullivan. “It is a cost-effective way to assist our recycling efforts and it ties in with our other Go Green Initiatives.”

The Oct. 5 shredding event will take place at Warinanco Park, in the parking lot near the Warinanco Ice Skating Center off Thompson Ave. in Roselle, near the border with Elizabeth. NEXCUT Shredding of Teaneck will be shredding documents at the site from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. The shredding event will end before 1:00 p.m. if the shredding truck reaches capacity.

All Union County residents are eligible to use the personal document paper-shredding service. In an effort to accommodate all participants, there is a limit of four boxes per person. Documents should not be bound. Please remove plastic binders and paperclips. Residents should continue to recycle non-confidential papers and magazines with their municipal recycling program.

Documents are put into 96-gallon containers provided by the shredding company. The items are then dumped onto a conveyor belt and put through the shredder. Participants are welcome to view the shredding process via a closed-circuit television. The shredded documents are then recycled, shipped to paper mills and used as pulp.

The last document-shredding event for 2010 will take place on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Alcatel-Lucent facility in New Providence, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in conjunction with a computer and electronics recycling event.

The mobile shredding program is paid for through funds from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Solid Waste Services Tax Grant. Shredding may be cancelled in the event of extreme bad weather. Please call the Recycling Hotline for more information about future events, directions, or event day cancellation at 908-654-9889 or visit us online at www.ucnj.org/recycle.

COUNTY LAUNCHES EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAM

Program to help county contain healthcare costs, and help employees establish wellness plans

 

 

Elizabeth, NJ—Union County Freeholder Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan announced today the launching of a new wellness initiative for County employees. The Employee Wellness Program will provide county employees with support and information system to live healthier lives.

“By providing our employees with these important health tools we hope to contain healthcare costs and provide a helping hand to our employees in their efforts to lead healthier lives,” said Freeholder Sullivan.

To kick off the initiative, throughout the month of September, employees with CIGNA Medical coverage are being encouraged to participate in the Cigna’s Health Assessment.  The Health Assessment is a 15 to 30 minute online questionnaire that will give employees a snapshot of their immediate health picture, highlight what they are doing well and suggest areas for improvement. Employees may even choose to discuss results with their physician at their next visit and start working together towards a healthier future.

“The health assessment is a critical step in guiding our employees and their families to healthy life choices,” said Sullivan. “Once the questionnaire is completed it will give employees and their physicians a clearer picture of what areas they need to improve on when it comes to their health.”

UNION COUNTY TO CONDUCT “SEAT CHECK SATURDAY” ON SEPTEMBER 25TH

Springfield, NJ–Certified child passenger safety technicians will conduct seat inspections at the AAA Car Care Center in Springfield on Saturday, September 25th as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week announced Union County Freeholder Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan.  The technicians, members of the Union County Police Department, will work in conjunction with AAA seat technicians from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. The AAA Car Care Center is located at 135 Route 22 East in Springfield.

Known as “Seat Check Saturday,” the event is held annually during National Child Passenger Safety Week. It is designed to provide hands-on assistance in the proper use of child safety seats.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly three out of four child safety seats are improperly installed in vehicles.

“This is a great opportunity for us to make parents and caregivers aware of the importance of safety seats for their children,” said Chairman Sullivan. “It’s the responsibity of every parent to ensure that their children are properly restrained, every ride, every time.”

According to NHTSA, in 2008 approximately 244 children under the age of five avoided fatal injuries in a car crash because they were properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat. Parents can provide a good example for their children by buckling up themselves whenever they ride in a car.

To maximize child passenger safety, parents and caregivers should follow four basic rules:

* Read the manufacturer’s instructions to both your car seat and your vehicle for proper installation advice.
* Face the child safety seat in the proper direction. Infant seats always face backwards.
* Secure your child snugly in the car seat. Always buckle the seat’s harness system securely to hold your child safely in the seat.
* Secure the child car seat using the proper vehicle restraint system.  Anchoring the seat properly utilizing the vehicle restraint system is critical. A seat that is not buckled securely to the car can tip over, slide sideways or, in a crash, be ejected from the car.

The Union County Police conduct car seat inspections every Wednesday and Thursday, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., excluding major holidays. No appointment is necessary.  For more information you can call the Traffic Safety Program Coordinator at 908-789-6830.

Record Crowd for Union County MusicFest

Train, the band that rocked the country with its smash summer hit “Hey Soul Sister,” headlined two days of nonstop free music on September 11 and 12 at the 13th Annual Union County MusicFest, at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. A record-breaking crowd of 80,000 attended the event, which also featured top performing artists Spoon, The Bravery, Soul Asylum, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and many more, along with family attractions including The County Fair at MusicFest carnival and Kids Kingdom children’s activities.

MusicFest 2010

The band Train performs September 11 at Union County MusicFest 2010 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. MusicFest is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, supported by corporate and community partners. (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)

Union County MusicFest 2010

The band OK GO performs September 11 at Union County MusicFest 2010 at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. MusicFest is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, supported by corporate and community partners. A record-breaking crowd of 80,000 attended the event. (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)

UNION COUNTY “WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE” SOUGHT FOR 2011 AWARDS

Union County, NJ — Nominations are now being accepted for the 19th annual Women of Excellence awards program, sponsored by the Union County Commission on the Status of Women and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

“The Women of Excellence Award honors the many different contributions of women from all walks of life,” said Freeholder Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan.  “When you hear these personal stories of achievement, you gain a deeper understanding of the people who shape our Union County communities and influence our lives.”

The Commission is looking for outstanding nominees who live or work in  Union County and have distinguished themselves in one or more of the following categories: Arts and Humanities; Business/Entrepreneurial; Community Service; Education; Government; Law; Law Enforcement; Medicine/Health Care; Women’s Advocacy.

The Women of Excellence who are selected from the pool of nominees will be honored at a celebratory dinner to be held at The Westwood in Garwood on Friday, March 25, 2011.

To obtain a Women of Excellence Award Nomination Form, call Madeline Brigantino at (908)527-4144 or visit www.ucnj.org to download the form.  The completed form should be mailed to Jane O’Hara, 708 Newark Avenue, Westfield, NJ 07090.

Nominations must be postmarked by December 1, 2010.