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					Volume 2, Issue 4

Winter 2004
                                      The Passaic County Update
                                          A Publication of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders

                                     Winter Looks a Bit Brighter for the County’s Seniors & Disabled
                                     On November 10, 2004, Passaic County
                                     senior & disabled residents broadened
                                     their opportunities to remain active during
                                     the long winter months ahead thanks to
                                     the Passaic County Board of Chosen
Passaic County Board of              Freeholders. Freeholder Lois Cuccinello,
Chosen Freeholders                   Chair of the Health and Social Services
Elease Evans                         Committee is pleased to announce that
Freeholder Director                  plans were finalized to extend the hours of
                                     operation for Para Transit services and to
Lois A. Cuccinello, Chair            eliminate the two-week waiting period for
Health & Social Services             appointments.                                      Seniors boarding a Para Transit bus after
                                                                                            spending the day at Camp Hope.
Peter C. Eagler, Chair               Para Transit is now operating on a 12
Administration, Finance & Law        hour schedule from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM,          awarded Certificates of Appreciation
                                     Monday through Friday. The additional           by the Passaic County Board of
James Gallagher, Chair               two hours of service will allow Para Transit    Chosen Freeholders at their meeting
Planning &                           to transport seniors and disabled               on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 for
Economic Development                 residents to Holiday shopping excursions,       their cooperation in providing
Michael G. Mecca, Jr.                late doctor & dialysis appointments,            expanded services while not adding
                                     movie matinees, and early bird dinners.         to the burden on the pocketbooks of
Walter W. Porter, Jr., Chair
Education &                          A special thank you was extended to the         county taxpayers.
Community Services                   dedicated Para Transit staff and drivers        Freeholder Director Elease Evans
                                     who willingly changed their work hours to       enthusiastically exclaimed “This
Sonia Rosado, Chair
Public Works
                                     accommodate the seniors and disabled            extension of much needed Para
                                     residents of Passaic County without any         Transit services is what I envisioned
                                     additional costs to the County.                 would occur when we combined
Inside This Issue:                   The Para Transit professionals were                                     (continued on page 2)
2-1-1 First Call For Help        2
Para Transit Expands Hours       2

What’s New & Noteworthy          3            The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders

Passaic County Notables          4
                                                                want to wish
                                                     all the residents of Passaic County
Upcoming Events in PC            5
                                                          a joyous Holiday Season
Heating & Utility Bill Help is   5
Available for County Residents                    and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Preakness Honors Volunteers      6
Youth & Government Day
                                             To contact the Passaic County Update or Editor, Lauren Vande Vaarst
                                             please call (973) 881-4426 or email
Page 2                                                                                  Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders

2-1-1 is now the “First Call For Help” in Passaic County
“First Call For Help” is a program       phone number to call for the First respect. With bilingual staff and the
that was created by the United           Call For Help system in our county.   use of a telephone interpreter
Way of Morris County in 1982 as a                                              service, calls can be handled in any
                                         Per the agreement, First Call For
way to eliminate the confusion                                                 language. Deaf or hard of hearing
                                         Help will answer calls 24 hours a
and frustration experienced by                                                 individuals using a TTY machine can
                                         day, seven days a week and will
people in need of help in finding                                              access 2-1-1 as well.
                                         offer an enhanced 2-1-1 program
where to go for assistance. The
                                         that will be able to assist people in The following services will be
program connects callers with
                                         Passaic County including those who provided to county residents that call
trained Community Resource
                                         are facing rent, public utilities, or 2-1-1:
Specialists who answer the calls
                                         housing crises. With winter’s cold
and direct callers to the                                                          Senior Services
                                         weather drawing near these            ♦
community resources they need.                                                 ♦   Support Groups
The program has been operating                                                 ♦   Child Care
with a traditional 11-digit phone                                              ♦   Employment Programs
number but the new easier to                                                   ♦   Substance Abuse
remember 2-1-1 number has now                                                  ♦   Food & Housing Assistance
been put into place. Dialing 2-1-1                                             ♦   Health & Medical Needs
is a quick way to connect individu-                                            ♦   T ime ly re sp onse f or an y
als and families in need with local                                                individual (or family) calling with
information and referral services                                                  a housing crisis, 24 hours a day.
without their having to remember                                               ♦   Monitoring of shelter bed
the specific name of an                             Dial 2-1-1 as the              availability on a daily basis.
organization or an 11-digit phone
                                                   First Call For Help
number.                                                                       Passaic County is pleased to be
The Passaic County Board of              services become even more crucial joining Union, Morris, and Bergen
Chosen Freeholders is pleased to         to individuals and families in need. counties as the only counties in the
announce that beginning in 2005                                               state of New Jersey to offer this
                                         All Passaic County calls will be
the Passaic County Department of                                              innovative and easy to access 2-1-1
                                         answered by trained Community
Human Services will be partnering                                             program to its residents.
                                         Resource Specialists who will treat
with the United Way of Passaic
                                         the callers with courtesy and
County to provide 2-1-1 as the

Winter Looks a Bit Brighter for the County’s Seniors & Disabled
(continued from page 1)                                   Where to call to Schedule for Para Transit Service
Seniors Services, Disability
Services & Veteran’s Affairs into                   Please call the phone number for the town in which you reside.
one department, and I am
delighted that we are able to                Clifton (973) 470- 2235                             Paterson (973) 881-0058
make life a little easier for our            Passaic (973) 365- 5754                             West Milford (973) 728- 2863
senior and disabled citizens”.
To schedule for Para Transit                For the towns of Bloomingdale, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon,
services customers need to call               Pompton Lakes, Prospect Park, Ringwood, Totowa, Wanaque, Wayne, and
the number, in the chart at right,                             West Paterson please call (973) 305- 5756.
for the town in which they reside.                 All phone lines are open Monday- Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Volume 2, Issue 4                                                                                             Page 3

What’s New and Noteworthy in Passaic County

              County Freeholder Appointed                               County Legislators Spearhead
                 to Highlands Council                                       Flu Vaccine Efforts
Freeholder Lois Cuccinello was recently nominated to           Legislators from Passaic County’s 34th and 35th
serve on the Highlands Water Protection and Planning           Districts were proud to spearhead efforts to insure
Council. Freeholder Cuccinello also served as a member         that those who truly need to receive the influenza
of the Highlands Task Force, which put together the            vaccine will get it. Freeholder Peter Eagler, who
goals and objectives that became the framework for the         represents the 34th District in the State Assembly,
Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act that was           said, “ it was important to have legislation enacted
signed into law on August 10, 2004.                            to make sure that the flu vaccine got to those
The Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act                people in our county and state who are most at
provides for oversight of the 1,250 square mile Highland       risk. Doses need to be available for our elderly, very
Region located in northern New Jersey and                      young children, and for those with chronic disease,
encompasses communities in the counties of Bergen,             because they are the ones most susceptible to the
Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex and               ravages of influenza.”
Warren. The Council will have a number of                      Joining Assemblyman Peter Eagler in this important
responsibilities including the adoption of a regional          effort were other Passaic County residents who
master plan for the Highland Region, to comment on any         represent the 35th District; State Senator John
application for development in the Region that is before       Girgenti, Assemblywoman Nellie Pou, and
a local board, to preserve and protect water, land and         Assemblyman Alfred Steele.
environmental resources in the Highlands Region.
Freeholder Lois Cuccinello, a long time advocate for
open space and the environment said “I was honored to
be a part of the original Highlands Task Force and I am
pleased to be given the opportunity to continue the             According to the Centers for Disease Control and
important work that we are doing to insure the quality                         Prevention (CDC):
and availability of the water supply generated for
millions of New Jersey residents from the Highlands              “ Hand washing is the single most important
Region while maintaining the natural beauty of the area          means of preventing the spread of infection.”
for all.”

                              County Collects Millions in Forfeited Bail Bonds

Passaic County Counsel, William Pascrell, III is pleased to announce the collection of over $1.7 million dollars
from forfeited bail bonds in just the first half of 2004 alone. The amount collected thus far in 2004 is more than
double the total amount collected in 2003.
The higher collection rates for 2004 can be attributed to former Governor McGreevey having signed in January a
new law that went into effect immediately. This new law gave counties in the state of New Jersey wider
powers in their ability to collect bail bond forfeitures. Before this new legislation, loopholes existed that allowed
over $80 million dollars to remain uncollected. The new law has certainly enabled the Passaic County
Counsel’s office to collect more than it has in the past. Pascrell lobbied hard for the passage of this law last
summer because he knew how instrumental and important it would be for the taxpayers of Passaic County.
Mr. Pascrell, recently reappointed to a third term as County Counsel, has made the collection of these forfeited
funds a top priority because any revenue that comes into the County from bond forfeitures is considered
miscellaneous revenue and goes straight into a general County fund that offsets the tax levy of the subsequent
Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders                                                                                                     Page 4

  Passaic County Notables
                                               2004 Bookmark Design Contest Winners
  The winners of this year’s contest sponsored by the Passaic County Office of Recycling and Natural Resource Programs in
  cooperation with the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders were presented with certificates and prizes at the
  October 26th meeting of the Freeholder Board. The contest is open to all Passaic County school children in grades 1
  through 8, and contest information is sent directly to all the schools. “Our office sponsors a contest every year to help
  reinforce the importance of cutting down on the amount of waste we create,” said JoAnn Pares, Passaic County District
  Recycling Coordinator. “We encourage recycling, energy & water conservation, and to remind everyone not to litter”. The
  winning bookmark designs were printed on a color poster that was distributed to all Passaic County schools, libraries, and
  municipal buildings. The overall winning bookmark , which was designed by Jessielyn Palumbo of Wayne, is pictured below.

                                 OVERALL WINNER                    Jessielyn Palumbo, 6th Grade      Schuyler Colfax Middle School   Wayne

                                 1st Place, Lower Grades           Diana Nardolilli, 4th Grade       E.G. Hewitt School              Ringwood

                                 2nd Place, Lower Grades           Briana Cruz, 2nd Grade            School No. 2                    Little Falls

                                 3rd Place, Lower Grades           Alexander LaSaracina, 2nd Grade   Mario J. Drago School No. 3     Passaic Park

                                 Honorable Mention, Lower Grades   Lana Scibona, 2nd Grade           St. Andrew the Apostle School   Clifton

                                 Honorable Mention, Lower Grades   Adrianne Trastoy, 2nd Grade       School No. 10                   Paterson

                                 Honorable Mention, Lower Grades   Brooke Demeri, 2nd Grade          Jefferson School                Hawthorne

                                 Honorable Mention, Lower Grades   Denise Hernandez, 2nd Grade       School No. 17                   Paterson

                                 1st Place, Upper Grades           Michelle Cortese, 7th Grade       Lakeside Middle School          Pompton Lakes

                                 2nd Place, Upper Grades           David Nardolilli, 8th Grade       M.J. Ryerson Middle School      Ringwood

                                 3rd Place, Upper Grades           Iliana Vargas, 7th Grade          Pope John Paul School           Clifton

                                 Honorable Mention, Upper Grades   Angelique Witmyer, 6th Grade      St. John Kanty School           Clifton

                                 Honorable Mention, Upper Grades   Victor Mendoza, 8th Grade         St. Anthony School              Paterson

                                 Honorable Mention, Upper Grades   Marija Kamceva, 5th Grade         School No. 5                    Clifton

                                 Honorable Mention, Upper Grades   Nancy Nakhle, 8th Grade           St. Paul School                 Clifton

  Freeholders Honor Passaic County Hispanic Leaders
  The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders presented proclamations to Hispanic leaders in Passaic
  County at the October 26, 2004 Freeholder meeting in recognition of
  National Hispanic Heritage Month.
  Pictured left to right: Freeholder Director Elease Evans; Victor Santiago of Passaic, a
  3-term member of the Passaic Board of Education and Director of the Downtown
  Merchants Corp.; Yolanda Esquiche of Prospect Park, a trustee of Passaic County
  Community College and founder of the Peruvian Teachers Association; Maria Magda
  O’Keefe of Paterson, Executive Director of the Hispanic Multi-Purpose Service Center
  and the first Hispanic Councilwoman and Council President in Paterson;
  Assemblywoman Nellie Pou of Paterson, the first woman and first Hispanic to represent
  the 35th District in the New Jersey State Legislature; Juan L. Jimenez of Paterson, a past
  President of the Dominican Empowerment Political Action Committee; Freeholder Sonia
  Rosado, the first Hispanic elected to serve as a Passaic County Freeholder; and (seated)
  Roberto Ballestas of Paterson, who created a National Hispanic Park at Market and East
  26th streets in Paterson.

To contact the Passaic County Update or Editor, Lauren Vande Vaarst
please call (973) 881-4426 or email
 Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders                                                                                       Page 5

Upcoming Events in Passaic County

                                                                            Passaic County Student Film and Video Festival
       Volunteers Needed
       for the 2005 Passaic                                                           Saturday, April 16, 2005
          County Fair                                                                    9:00 AM- 12 Noon
                                                                                  Passaic County Community College
                                                                                       Public Safety Academy
        If you enjoyed last year’s Fair then come and be a part of                       300 Oldham Road
             making the 2005 Passaic County Fair even more
                                                                                              Wayne, NJ
                      fun, exciting and memorable!
                                                                              ♦Deadline for Entries– February 1, 2005
                  Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas.
                                                                              ♦All entries should be no more than 10 minutes in
              Join us and be a part of this wonderful event that
                        showcases the people, diversity,                       length.
                        and the pride of Passaic County!                      ♦Students who live and/or attend High School or
                                                                               College in Passaic County are eligible to
                            For more information please contact
                            Phil Conroy, Volunteer Coordinator                     Sponsored by:
                                 2005 Passaic County Fair
                                      (973) 523- 0024                         For information please call (973) 881-4427
                                      Monday - Friday                                          or email
                                      8:30 AM - 4:30 PM                      

Utility and Home Heating Assistance is Available for Passaic County Residents
With the cold weather of winter fast          for electricity and natural gas. If you   $300 that will be paid directly
approaching, there is help available          pay utility bills directly to a single    to their home energy provider. In
for Passaic County’ residents who             utility company, a $225 credit will       order to receive Home Energy
need financial assistance in order            appear on your bill. If you receive       Assistance Benefits, the household
to pay their home heating and utility         service from two different compa-         must meet the eligibility
bills. Two programs that provide              nies the $225 credit will be split        requirements and be a resident of
this assistance are Lifeline and the          equally between the two utilities. If     the State of New Jersey. The
Home Energy Assistance Program.               the cost of your utilities is included    application deadline for this
Lifeline, is a utility assistance             in your rent, you will receive a check    program is March 31, 2005.
program that offers $225 to those             for $225.
persons who are eligible to receive           Lifeline pertains only to your
                                              primary place of residence.                      To find out more about or
the Pharmaceutical Assistance to
                                                                                                       to apply for
the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) or               The Home Energy Assistance
who receive Supplemental Security             Program provides assistance to                         Lifeline and the
Income (SSI). This includes utility           eligible households in offsetting the                    Home Energy
customers as well as tenants                  rising costs of home energy that are                 Assistance Program
whose utility bills are included in           excessive in relation to their                        please contact the
their rent. Only one tenant in a              household income.                             Passaic County Office of Aging
household is entitled to this                 Eligible households, based upon                            at
assistance.                                   monthly gross income limits, will                   (973) 881–4950
Your Lifeline benefit provides only           receive a one time payment of
 Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders                                                                                            Page 6

Preakness Healthcare Center Hosts Luncheon to Honor Volunteers
Preakness Healthcare Center’s                   volunteer group from 1987 until                donated their time and labor to
annual Volunteer Luncheon, held at              her passing in 2003. Ms. Manzi’s               Preakness. These include William
the Wayne Elks Lodge, gave the                  family and friends were joined by              Paterson University Campus
healthcare facility an opportunity to           dignitaries from both the County               Ministries; Immaculate Heart of
say thank you to the dedicated                  and Preakness Healthcare Center                Mary Church; DePaul, Wayne Hills
volunteers who work with the                    in honoring her and this year’s                & Wayne Valley High Schools;
residents and make Preakness the                group of outstanding volunteers.               Passaic County Elks Cerebral Palsy
special place that it truly is! This            Volunteers were honored for their              Center; and the Wayne Christian
year’s luncheon paid a special                  contributions of 300, 400, and in              Assembly.
posthumous honor to Emily Manzi.                one case, over 500 hours of                      If you are interested in volunteering,
Ms. Manzi co-founded the                        volunteer service! Also recognized             please call Preakness Healthcare Center
Preakness Auxiliary in 1965, and                were a number of church, school,                          at (973) 904 - 6097
served as President of this                     and civic groups that have                               for further information.

Youth & Government Day in Passaic County
This year, twenty-one Passaic                 and state legislators. They also                 when the students took the places
County High School students were              toured the Great Falls, the Dey                  of the Freeholders, Clerk to the
selected by their respective schools          Mansion, county golf course, county              Board of Freeholders, County
to participate in Youth &                     college and the headquarters of the              Administrator, and County Counsel
Government Day. The students                  Passaic County Sheriff. The                      at that evening’s meeting of the
made their way to Paterson to learn           students even had time to enjoy                  Board. The students did an
firsthand about the duties,                   lunch at the magnificent Hamilton                outstanding job and everyone was
functions, and responsibilities of            Club!                                            impressed with their ability to run
government. The students met with             The real work of the day began                   an excellent Freeholder meeting!
county officials, department heads,

Youth & Government
 Day Participants

Clifton High School
Nisha Mirani
Payal Patel

Hawthorne High School
Gerardo Pecoraro
Nicholas Capalbo
Eastside High School                 Pictured left to right : Curtis Eatman , Landon Wodson, Hannah Janowalla, Ruben Henriquez,
Joy Ann Small                       Randi Windt, J’Koi Hailstock, Mwikali Muyanga, Joseph Fitzgerald, Nisha Mirani, and Payal Patel

Kennedy High School                Manchester Regional High School      Passaic High School                   Rosa Parks High School
Asja Ward                          Saher Almaita                        Hannah Janowalla                      Curtis Eatman
Mwikali Muyanga                    Steve Myers                          Landon Woodson                        Vesna Marinkovic
Lakeland Regional High School      Passaic County Technical Institute   Passaic Valley Regional High School   Wayne Valley High School
Larissa Winters                    J’Koi Hailstock                      Joseph Fitzgerald                     Christopher Salloum
Sarah Walton                       Raymond Guzman                       Ruben Henriquez                       Randi Windt

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Description: Newsletter Winter English Winter Protection