Thursday, August 1, 2019

“Choose Your Cover” Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Screening!


On Saturday, August 10, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will host “Choose Your Cover," a free statewide skin cancer screening, awareness, and educational initiative, at the Springfield Community Pool (44 Morrison Road in Springfield). You must pre-register to schedule free screening--call the Union County Office of Health Management at (908) 518-5620. 

Sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Union County Office of Health Management, the Regional Chronic Disease Coalition of Middlesex & Union Counties, the Springfield Board of Health, Empire Medical Associates, Atlantic Health System/ Overlook Medical Center, and ShopRite of Union, this free event includes tips on how to keep from being overexposed to the sun. 

See the press release below for full details.





Press Release
For Immediate Release: July 17, 2019

Free “Choose Your Cover” Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Screening Event, August 10

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents to participate in the 2019 “Choose Your Cover” program, a free statewide skin cancer screening, awareness and educational initiative taking place on Saturday, August 10, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Springfield Community Pool, 44 Morrison Road in Springfield, rain or shine.
The event is open to all, but pre-registration is required in order to schedule a free skin cancer screening. Residents interested in a screening should call the Union County Office of Health Management at 908-518-5620 to pre-register. Members of the public who are not pre-registered for a screening are also encouraged to come and learn how to keep from being overexposed to the sun.
Personnel from the Union County Office of Health Management, Springfield Board of Health, and Empire Medical Associates will be on site to provide free skin cancer screenings and help residents learn how to reduce their risk of skin cancer.
“Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “The Freeholder Board is very proud to join with the Chronic Disease Coalition and the Township of Springfield to help the public connect with information and resources that can reduce the risk of skin cancer, and lead to early detection.”
People who work or play outdoors, fair skinned people who sunburn easily, and those with a family history of melanoma are at an increased risk.
Overexposure from the sun is one of the most preventable risk factors for melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Common sense precautions include:
  • Cover up exposed skin with long sleeve shirts and long pants in tightly woven fabrics.
  • Opt for a wide-brimmed hat over a baseball cap for better protection of the head, ears and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB absorption to protect the eyes from sun damage.
  • Look for shady areas or avoid the sun, if possible, during the middle of the day when UV rays are the strongest.
  • Liberally apply a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, and reapply frequently.
  • Avoid indoor tanning beds, which are proven to increase risk for skin cancer.
This event is sponsored by: the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Union County Office of Health Management, Regional Chronic Disease Coalition of Middlesex & Union Counties, Springfield Board of Health, Empire Medical Associates., Atlantic Health System/ Overlook Medical Center and ShopRite of Union.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Voting Machine Demonstrations at National Night Out Events Across Union County


Many of you are probably aware that all the municipalities in Union County will be using the new Express VoteXL voting machines for the fall election on November 5, 2019. Some residents have already used these machines, as they have been piloted in a few towns. At several of the National Night Out events scheduled for Tuesday, August 6 across Union County, hands-on demonstrations of the new machines will take place, with trained staff on hand to answer questions. 

Weekly demonstrations of the new machines are hosted at the Colleen Fraser Building (300 North Avenue East in Westfield) every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. In addition, we want to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the machines, so community groups are encouraged to contact the Union County Board of Elections to schedule demonstrations for their members. Email Administrator Nicole DiRado at ndirado@ucnj.org or call (908) 527-4123. 

I have added below video demonstrations of the new machines (in English and Spanish). 

See the press release below for full details on all the demonstrations across Union County. 

Union County - How to use EXPRESS XL VOTING MACHINE (English)



Union County - Máquinas de votación ExpressVote XL (Spanish Language)




Press Release
For Immediate Release: July 30, 2019


Union County Board of Elections to Hold Multiple ExpressVote XL Voter Machine Demonstrations at “National Night Out” Events Across the County

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Elections has added additional dates to the schedule of hands-on public demonstrations for Union County’s new ExpressVote XL voting machines this summer. Demonstrations will be held at several National Night Out Events across the County in the month of August.
“Union County was among the first three counties in New Jersey to introduce the new voting machines last year, and we are looking forward to having this new technology available in all 21 of our municipalities,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “We encourage all residents to attend one of the upcoming demonstration sessions while enjoying these National Night Out events in their hometowns.”
All demonstrations are open to all Union County residents, voters and non-voters alike. Attendees are advised that photographing and/or video recording of voting machines used by Union County is prohibited. Demonstrations are scheduled at the following events:
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Meisel Park, Springfield – National Night Out
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Summit National Night Out – 356 Broad Street, Summit
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Plainfield National Night Out- 515 Watchung Avenue
5:30 – 8:30pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Roselle Park National Night Out, Chestnut Street (Gazebo)
5:00 – 9:00pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Linden National Night Out, in front of city hall, Wood Avenue
Time: 5:00 – 7:00pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Clark National Night Out – Parking lot next to the Recreation Center
430 Westfield Avenue
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Roselle National Night Out –210 Chestnut Street (Between 1ST and 3rd Ave)
5:00 – 8:00pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Cranford National Night Out – In front of Municipal Building – 8 Springfield Ave
Time: 6:00 – 9:00pm
August 6 – ExpressVote XL Voting Machine Public Demonstration
Scotch Plains National Night Out –430 Park Ave – grass area on Stage House side
6:00 – 9:00pm
Voters in Westfield piloted the new machines in the 2018 General Elections.  Eight additional municipalities started using the new machines starting with the Primary Election on June 4, and the remaining 12 county municipalities will use them starting with the General Election in November.
For those interested, weekly demonstrations are being held every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Colleen Fraser Building in the Union County Complex at 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.  For additional outreach events, visit the Board of Elections’ website at www.ucnj.org/ucboe.
The schedule will be updated on the Elections Board website at ucnj.org/ucboe as events are added. A video demonstration of the new machines is also available in English and Spanish, online at ucnj.org/ucboe.
Please contact the Union County Election Board to schedule a demonstration for your community group by calling 908-527-4123 or emailing ndirado@ucnj.org.

Dispose of Your Household Hazardous Waste This Saturday, August 3!

Union County will host a free event this Saturday, August 3, 2019 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. to enable residents to dispose of household hazardous waste, including household chemicals, mercury thermostats and thermometers, propane tanks, and automobile tires among many other items such as oil-based paint and varnish (no latex paint), antifreeze, aerosol cans, pool chemicals, corrosives, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, thinners, fire extinguishers, motor oil and oil filters, gasoline, batteries, thermostats, fluorescent bulbs (unbroken), and mercury switches. 

In addition (for August only), residents may drop off unwanted ammunition and fireworks.

You may bring your materials to the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools campus at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains. The entire list is available at ucnj.org/recycleSee the press release below for full details.


Press Release
For Immediate Release: July 25, 2019


Household Hazardous Waste Event in Scotch Plains, August 3rd

Bonus: Ammunition and Fireworks accepted – August event only!
Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is offering a simple, easy way for everyone to pitch in and help improve the environment. Residents can safely dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other chemical wastes, by bringing these items to the next Household Hazardous Waste recycling event.  The free event will be held on Saturday, August 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Union County Vo-Tech Schools campus located at 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains.
The Union County Police Bomb Squad will also be on hand at the event to collect unwanted ammunition and fireworks from residents.
“The Household Hazardous Waste event is one of the most critical ways Union County residents can help make a real difference in protecting the environment,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “This event also offers a special opportunity to safely dispose of ammunition and fireworks, helping to keep our communities secure.”
The Household Hazardous Waste event provides Union County residents with a free, environmentally safe way to dispose of outdated or unwanted household chemicals, mercury thermostats and thermometers, propane tanks, and automobile tires among many other items such as oil-based paint and varnish, antifreeze, aerosol cans, pool chemicals, corrosives, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, thinners, fire extinguishers, motor oil and oil filters, gasoline, batteries, thermostats, fluorescent bulbs (unbroken), and mercury switches.
Residents need only drive to the site with their items for disposal. Once at the site, residents stay in their vehicles while workers unload the items.
Only materials in original or labeled containers will be accepted. No containers larger than five gallons will be accepted. There is a limit of eight automobile tires, without rims, per household.
Please note that latex paint (wall paint) is not accepted. Residents wishing to dispose of latex paint are advised to use it up, donate it or share with a neighbor. If those options are not available, the paint can be dried in the can, and/or mixed with kitty litter or newspaper, then disposed with regular household garbage.
For a complete list of the materials that will be accepted on August 3rd as well as all recycling event dates and locations, please visit ucnj.org/recycle.
The household hazardous waste collection will be held rain or shine, for Union County residents only, not for businesses. Proof of Union County residency is required. For more information, please call the Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889.

Free Special Needs "Night Out at Wheeler Spray Park" on Monday, August 5!

The newly-renovated Wheeler Spray Park in Linden (located at 234 West Stimpson Avenue)* will host a free "Night Out at Wheeler Spray Park for children aged 12 and under with special needs on Monday, August 5th, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Union County Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs, this is a free event. However, each child must be pre-registered by 5:00 pm on Friday, August 2--please register online at ucnj.org/opdsn-reg

For more information, contact Director Manuel Ramirez (Union County Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs) at (908) 527-4781 or send an email to mramirez@ucnj.org for more information. See the press release below for full details.

*For GPS, use 248 West Stimpson Avenue).


Press Release
For Immediate Release: July 22, 2019



Weather Postponement for “Night Out at Wheeler Spray Park” Tonight; Event Rescheduled to August 5

Pre-registration for all attendees required for August 5 event.
Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders advises residents that the free “Night Out at Wheeler Spray Park” event for children with special needs has been postponed in anticipation of severe weather this evening, Monday July 22.
Night Out at Wheeler Spray Park has been rescheduled to Monday, August 5, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
All special needs children age 12 and under are welcome.
Each child attending the August 5 event must be pre-registered online at ucnj.org/opdsn-reg by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 2.
Children who were signed up for the July 22 event must also register online at ucnj.org/opdsn-reg in order to attend the August 5 event.
Wheeler Spray Park is located at 234 West Stimpson Avenue in Linden (for GPS use 248 West Stimpson). It is open to all residents Monday through Friday from noon to 6:00 p.m. during the summer months. On weekends and holidays it is open 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
For more information about Night Out at Wheeler Spray Park, and all recreation programs for people with special needs and disabilities, visit ucnj.org/human-services or contact Manuel Ramirez, Director, at mramirez@ucnj.org or 908-527-4781.
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Recycle Your Scrap Metal on August 1 and August 17!

Union County residents have two opportunities in August* to recycle scrap metal: aluminum scrap, aluminum cans, aluminum siding, bicycles, brass, copper, dishwashers, electric fans, fencing (chain/wire), freezers, gutters, irons, lawn furniture, metal cabinets, metal sheds, microwaves, pots and pans, railings, refrigerators (doors must be removed), freezers (doors must be removed), stoves, tire rims, toasters, washers and dryers, window frames (no glass), and wire hangers. 

August dates are Thursday, August 1 and Saturday, August 17 from 9:00 am - 12:00 noon. You may bring your recyclable materials to 151 Kenilworth Boulevard in Cranford (Emergency Services/Traffic Enforcement Building) or to the Service Yard (near the swimming pool) in Rahway River Park (enter at St. Georges Avenue).

The entire list is available at ucnj.org/recycleSee the press release below for full details.

*Residents also may recycle scrap metal on the first Thursday and third Saturday of each month through the month of November.



Press Release
For Immediate Release: July 25, 2019


Union County Offers Free Scrap Metal Recycling in August

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that free scrap metal drop off sites are open all summer long.  A wide variety of metal goods, from household appliances to gutters and sheds, are included in the program.
“This countywide program helps to fill a service gap in some Union County municipalities that currently have no pickup for scrap metal recycling,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “As a community, we benefit across the board by recycling more and throwing away less waste – and we also stand to gain some revenue from the program.”
The scrap metal recycling program is available for use by households, commercial establishments, nonprofit agencies and other organizations. It is available the first Thursday and third Saturday of each month, from April through November.
During the month of August the dates will be Thursday, August 1 and Saturday, August 17.  All programs run from 9:00 a.m. to12:00 noon.  
Scrap metal from any municipality may be brought to either of the following drop-off centers:
  • Cranford: Emergency Services/Traffic Enforcement, 151 Kenilworth Boulevard
  • Rahway: Service Yard in Rahway River Park (near swimming pool), St. Georges Avenue
Acceptable items for recycling include aluminum scrap, aluminum cans, aluminum siding, bicycles, brass, copper, dishwashers, electric fans, fencing (chain/wire), freezers, gutters, irons, lawn furniture, metal cabinets, metal sheds, microwaves, pots and pans, railings, refrigerators, stoves, tire rims, toasters, washers and dryers, window frames (no glass), and wire hangers.
The Freeholder Board also reminds residents to download the free Recycle Coach app for the latest news and information on all countywide and local recycling programs, located at ucnj.org/recycle.
For more information, upcoming dates and directions to all Union County recycling programs and locations, visit the Bureau of Recycling and Planning website at ucnj.org/recycleor call the Union County Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889.
Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities are located at The Green Connection, ucnj.org/green-connection.



Monday, July 29, 2019

Focus on the Special Needs Community: Paint by the Pond on Sunday, August 4th!


Paul Cézanne, The Pond, 1877-79, Oil on canvas, 47 x 56.2 cm. 

Tompkins Collection - Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
This year, Mindowaskin Park in Westfield (located at 385 E. Broad St.) will be the site for the kickoff of "Paint by the Pond." This event, designed for the special needs community, will take place on Sunday, August 4th, with two sessions (morning: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm; afternoon: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm). 

Sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Union County Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs and the Town of Westfield, this is a free event. However, you must pre-register—please visit ucnj.org/opdsn-reg to sign up. Call Manny Ramirez (Union County Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs) at (908) 527-4781 or send an email to mramirez@ucnj.org for more information. See the press release below for full details.

Press Release

For Immediate Release: July 26, 2019

Freeholder Board to Sponsor “Paint by the Pond” for Special Needs Community at Mindowaskin Park, August 4th



Union County, NJ — Union County residents of all ages with special needs are invited to participate in Paint by the Pond, on Sunday, August 4, at Mindowaskin Park, located at 385 E. Broad Street in Westfield. This event is free and sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Union County Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs and the Town of Westfield.
“Union County has hosted Paint by the Pond for the last few years at other County parks and it has received an enthusiastic response from the public,” said Union County Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “The Freeholder Board is proud to offer our special needs residents the opportunity to participate in this program that encourages their creativity while enjoying yet another beautiful park within our County.”
The Paint by the Pond project encourages participants to express themselves and create art by s painting cardboard model houses. The cardboard houses will be floated on the pond and participants will be allowed to take their creations home with them.
“I am thrilled to see the Paint by the Pond event come to my hometown,” said Freeholder Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “This collaboration with the Town of Westfield helps our special needs residents explore their artistic side.”
Paint by the Pond will have two sessions available for participants to choose from. The morning session runs from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the afternoon session runs from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event is free to attend and is open to special needs residents of all ages, but pre-registration is required. To pre-register, residents should visit ucnj.org/opdsn-reg.
“We are thrilled to host Paint by the Pond in Westfield for the special needs community,” said Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle. “This is a terrific initiative that supports one of my administration’s key priorities to ensure that Westfield is accessible and inclusive for all. I am grateful to the County for providing programs like this for the benefit of our residents and taxpayers.”
For more information on the Paint by the Pond program, please contact Manny Ramirez at the Union County Office for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs by phone at (908) 527-4781 or email at mramirez@ucnj.org.
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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

FREE "Shakespeare in the Park" Sunday, July 28 at 12:30 PM


Today, Sunday, July 28 at 12:30 PM, Shakespeare lovers can get a taste of Elizabethan comedy at this summer's free matinee of Shakespeare in the Park with "Verily, Madly, Thine" at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield, sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. 

Performed by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's Shrewd Mechanicals Troupe, this year's Shakespeare "stew" once again provides audiences with an eclectic sampling of the Bard's greatest works. As noted by the troupe: 

"... the hour-long program will focus on the special brand of temporary madness that overtakes people when they fall madly in love! ...this year’s production, entitled Verily, Madly, Thine will feature a wonderful array of moments from Shakespeare’s plays as well as a few selections from more contemporary authors who have been inspired by one of Shakespeare’s originals. Verily, Madly Thine also features a delightful sprinkling of music, and in total, these 60 minutes about falling in love will make you fall in love with this delightful and entertaining collection of scenes inhabited by the victims of Cupid’s arrows."

So, head over to the Shakespeare Garden area with your lawn chair and your picnic meal, and enjoy an afternoon of Shakespeare!