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 6 please call (973) 881-4426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Visit Passaic County on the Web at www.passaiccountynj.org Sign up for Home Delivery and get all the latest County news emailed directly to you! 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 year. 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 email@example.com 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 participate. For more information please contact Phil Conroy, Volunteer Coordinator Sponsored by: 2005 Passaic County Fair at (973) 523- 0024 For information please call (973) 881-4427 Monday - Friday or email 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM firstname.lastname@example.org 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, 2004 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 Visit Passaic County on the Web at www.passaiccountynj.org Sign up for Home Delivery and get all the latest County news emailed directly to you!