Union County News

Debbie-Ann Anderson, Former Exec at Plainfield’s HomeFirst, Appointed Director of Human Services for Union County

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Debbie-Ann Anderson, appointed Union County's Human Services Director Credits: County of Union
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UNION COUNTY, NJ - Debbie-Ann Anderson, the former Executive Director of HomeFirst Interfaith Housing Services in Plainfield and a former Executive Vice President of the United Way of Greater Union County, has been appointed Human Services Director effective today, Oct. 30, County Manager Alfred J. Faella announced.

"Debbie-Ann brings both experience and enthusiasm to the position of Human Services Director,” said County Manager Faella. “As an executive of two non-profit agencies that have collaborated with County government,  she brings a familiarity and knowledge of our government operations and the non-profit world that will greatly assist her in running the department.”

Anderson succeeds Frank Guzzo, the former director who retired earlier this year after having run the department for the past 27 years.

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"I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the many dedicated public servants in our 10 different divisions and offices that provide services and respond to the quality of life needs of our residents,” said Anderson. “I am grateful to the County Manager for his support and appointment, and I look forward to working with our Board of Chosen Freeholders.”

Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen welcomed Anderson to County government.

"The Department of Human Services is an essential agency and safety net of County government that touches all our different populations, and in particular, those who need it the most---the elderly, poor, unemployed, underemployed and youth populations,” said Bergen. “We are pleased to have found someone in Debbie-Ann Anderson who is prepared to lead the department and understands these challenges, and we look forward to working with her.”

The Department of Human Services, with 747 full and part-time employees, is County government’s largest agency, and contains the following units: the Division of Aging and Disability Resource Connection; the Division of Planning; the Division of Social Services (in Plainfield and Elizabeth); the Division of Youth Services; the Office of Veterans’ Affairs; the Office on Women; Paratransit (and Route 22 Shuttle);the Contract Unit; Workforce Development Operations (One Stop Career Centers, Elizabeth and Plainfield offices)  and Cornerstone Behavioral Health Hospital of Union County.

Anderson had served the past two years as Executive Director at Homefirst in Plainfield. Homefirst serves over 2,000 clients on a yearly basis by providing social service programs and community-building practices that strengthen families including transitional, permanent and supportive housing, homelessness prevention, emergency assistance, and family support services.

Prior to that, she worked for seven years at the United Way of Greater Union County, serving the last three years of her tenure as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Anderson has a diversified background in programs serving families as well as extensive experience in corporate, non-profit and community affairs organizations. Her professional career began in 1997 and has included sales and marketing as well as governmental and public affairs while working with top law firms and a variety of government agencies.

Anderson began her professional fundraising career in 2004 at the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in Towson, Maryland.  In just eight months, she rose to the Executive Director role and relocated to manage the Northern New Jersey chapter of MDA. Her strategic development efforts for the chapter led to them achieving the highest percentage of revenue growth in the nation for two consecutive years.  

Anderson joined United Way of Greater Union County in 2008 and during her tenure there she garnered a reputation as a dynamic strategic developer to revenue growth. Within a year, Debbie-Ann was instrumental in securing the organization’s first major gift of $1 million dollars from a private family foundation. Ms. Anderson focused on integrating emerging fundraising markets, incorporated a more tactical use of technology, which included migration toward digital platforms to increase awareness of UWGUC among donors and Union County communities. She also managed and assisted staff in strengthening collaborative partnerships.

Anderson has a Bachelor’s of Science in Business and Marketing from Mount Saint Mary’s College and currently serves on the following nonprofit boards Habitat of Humanity Greater Plainfield and Middlesex County and Plainfield Community Outreach Organization.

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Union

Rec on Wheels Cancelled for Tuesday Due to Heavy Rains

July 17, 2018

 

UNION, NJ - Due to inclement weather, the Rec on Wheels event scheduled for Tuesday at Joe Collins Park is canceled. 

The program will resume on Wednesday, July 18 at Sgt. Herbet Davis Park located at 940 Arcadia Place, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., with a variety of outdoor games and activities.

Union Rec to Host Instructional Co-Ed Basketball Clinic

UNION, NJ - The Union Recreation Department will host an instructional, co-ed basketball clinic Wednesday, Aug. 15 and Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Davis Park, 940 Arcadia Place.

The clinic, featuring fun drills and games, will run from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for participants in third- through fifth-grade and 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Participants must be Union ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:t

Monday, 7/09

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Let's Create: Perler Parlor, 1:00 p.m., Union Public Library
Adult Prize Bingo, 2:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 5:30 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Beatles: The BeAginnings, 6:30 ...

Upcoming Events

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Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

First Baptist Church of Vauxhall, Vauxhall

Free Diabetes Self-Management Workshop Series

Education Health & Wellness

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Tue, July 17, 12:30 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, union

Tai Chi - Free Exercise Program For Mature Adults

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Tue, July 17, 2:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Tuesday at 2 Movie: "Beauty and the Beast"

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Wed, July 18, 10:15 AM

Union Public Library, Union

Chair Yoga in the Library

Union's Mayor Talks About Streetscapes

The Township Committee and I are excited to announce that the second phase of the Streetscape Project has begun.  After the successful completion of phase one that yielded great results, we have already seen an increase in foot traffic, which is essential in jump-starting Union Center and bringing in the higher caliber retailers that residents are looking for in the Center.

Following the ...

Stacy Fortes of Union Graduates from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child

July 5, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ,  — Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child held its 90th commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 10, on its 11-acre campus in Summit. The 63 graduates kept with school tradition and donned white gowns and gloves, and carried pink roses.

Union graduate Stacy Fortes will be attending Kean University in the fall.

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child is a ...

Roselle Man Charged in Animal Cruelty Case      

July 11, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month has been charged with more than 30 criminal offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Rahway Mayor Giacobbe to Attend Grand Opening of First Wawa Store in Rahway; Free Coffee Offered Through July 16

RAHWAY, NJ - Rahway Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe will be on hand to cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. Thursday. July 12, for the new Wawa store's grand opening at 280 St. Georges Avenue in Rahway.

The 24-hour Wawa store will officially open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, with the grand opening ceremonies to follow. Free coffee will be offered at the store through July 16. Wally Goose, the ...

Former Linden Police Chief to be Appointed as Union County Undersheriff

LINDEN, NJ - Former Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham is set to be sworn in as a Union County Undersheriff, this Friday.

As a member of the Linden Police Department for nearly 25 years, Parham has served in each rank from Officer to Captain before his promotion to Chief in September of 2016. 

During his first month as Chief, Parham along with other Linden Police ...

Traffic Advisory: Accident on GSP South Causes Closure Near Clark Circle

July 17, 2018

CLARK, NJ - A multi-vehicle accident on the southbound Garden State Parkway shortly beyond exit 135 has been causing major delays on the roadway.  Clark Police issued a warning that the southbound entrance to the parkway is closed at the Clark Circle due to an accident investigation taking place on the parkway at this time.  Motorists are advised to avoid the area.  ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

15th Annual Maplewoodstock is this Weekend: July 14 and July 15

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The 15th Annual Maplewoodstock Music and Arts Festival, a free, two-day, live music and arts event, will be held this Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15, from noon until 10 p.m. each day in Memorial Park.   

The 23 bands performing were selected from a record-high 109 applicants in 2018, who radiate from Maplewood/South Orange to other musical ...

Video: Mail Truck Careens into Warinanco Park Pond

ELIZABETH/ROSELLE/LINDEN, NJ - Police, Fire, and Rescue units responded to a U.S. Mail truck that drove head-on into the pond in Warinanco Park on Thursday afternoon. 

Sometime after 2 p.m. responders were called to the scene to find the mail truck in the water. A park worker said that while he did not see the truck go into the water, he did arrive just in time to see who he believed to ...

Springfield's Meisel Field Turf Project Almost Complete

SPRINGFIELD, N.J.- Over the last several weeks, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have started construction on a new turf surface at Meisel Field. Freeholder Bruce Bergen talked with TAPinto and answered questions about the project.

In a phone interview, Bergen, who is also a Springfield resident said that the decision to turf the field came as part of a larger plan to turf multiple ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 17, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Award-Winning Senior Art Exhibited at Freeholders Gallery

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to present a new exhibit of award winning artworks by local artists age 60 and up, now on display at the Freeholders Gallery through August 29. Each of the 13 works received first place honors in the countywide Senior Art Exhibit held earlier this summer in the Atrium at Liberty Hall in Union Township.

“Each in their own unique way, ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1 taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series is presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

“We look forward to seeing everyone at Echo Lake Park ...

FLEEK Program Provides a Summer of Art and STEM for Union County Students 

Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholder Angela R. Garretson visited students and teachers at the Future Leaders Excelling in Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (F.L.E.E.K) Summer Youth Enrichment Program at The Patrick School in Hillside earlier this week. They were joined by Nathalie Hernandez, the Coordinator of the Union County Office of Community Engagement & ...

Columns

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

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'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

What Union is Reading: Month ending June 2018

July 6, 2018

It is summertime and a great time to get in some reading! Many great new books have topped the list in June. The top circulating print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in June 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category; download the app today and start borrowing books from home to read or listen on your phone or tablet at the ...

Body Pulled From Delaware River

July 9, 2018

KINGWOOD, NJ – First responders were on the scene at the Delaware River and pulling the body of a man from the water Friday.

“The worst has happened,” said Greg Crance, who owns Delaware River Tubing, a popular nearby tubing, rafting, kayaking  and canoeing outfitter on the river.

However, the victim is not one of his customers, Crance said.

The body was ...

Letters to the Editor

Letter to Residents of the 20th Legislative District

July 3, 2018

To the editor,

When I decided to run for state Senate, I committed to make the residents of the 20th Legislative District my top priority in Trenton.  I am proud of the FY 2019 budget and believe it is the product of a pledge I made to my constituents.  This budget is a reflection of how hard I have been working to increase funding for our schools, our municipalities and our ...