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Archive for December 9th, 2008

cold_thermometerELIZABETH—When Union County residents are in need of emergency shelter, services are available to help. The 24-hour Homeless Assistance Hotline takes calls at 908-756-6061, every day of the week.

“If you know of someone in need, please let them know that the hotline is there to help them,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada, “Our staff can provide referral to emergency shelter and other forms of assistance.”

The Homeless Assistance Hotline is a service of the Union County Division of Human Services. It provides referral and assistance for all Union County residents and families, including single men and women, two-parent families with children, single parents with children, and childless couples.

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STATE—With the cold weather upon us and the holiday season fast approaching, New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard reminds all residents that it is not to late to get a flu shot.

“When the weather gets colder and people begin socializing indoors, it creates a perfect environment for the spread of all infectious diseases, but especially influenza,” said Howard. “Even though many people get flu shots in October or early November, people who have not gotten a flu shot should do so. It is the best protection against the flu.”

The flu leads to an estimated 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Influenza can have serious complications, especially for older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions.

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santa-makes-an-early-stop-in-linden-1212081Santa Makes An Early Stop In Linden—Santa Claus arrived in Linden’s 8th Ward for an early visit on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the 8th Ward Community Center. Councilwoman Michele Yamakaitis hosted the event where the children received free pictures, goodie bags and snacks.

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The Shapiro ReportBy  Michael M. Shapiro

It was only six months ago that gas prices were setting records in the United States, topping off near $4.00 per gallon.  In recent weeks, they have steadily and significantly decreased to the point that gas is now hovering near $1.65 per gallon.  Credible explanations for this steep price cut are hard to find.  

The most common explanation being offered is that given the economic turmoil in the United States and elsewhere, OPEC realizes $4.00 per gallon is simply unaffordable.  However, it appears that the real reason for the sudden drop in cost is that, given the high price of fuel and the slumping economy, the American people had finally begun to coalesce around the idea of supporting alternative sources for their energy needs.  The gas producers, recognizing that their future was in jeopardy, slashed their prices to maintain their market share and lull the American people into believing that skyrocketing gas prices are a thing of the past.  

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Looking Back At 2008’s Successes

Inside_the_StatehouseBy Joseph Vas

As 2008 quickly comes to an end, and with the holidays upon us, it is important that we give thanks for all that we have been able to achieve. There is no doubt that the tough economic climate has affected every facet of our lives. I am proud of the Legislature’s success in moving our state forward, notwithstanding the tough hurdles that we have been forced to overcome. During the past year, the Legislature has been working diligently to undertake the challenges that many would not envy. There is much that has been accomplished in which we can take great pride.   

As Chairman of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, I am proud of an economic package that will help those homeowners who are one payment away from facing foreclosure, and will ease business taxes through the creation of new business grants. I am also proud of the heating and property tax relief being offered for disabled and elderly citizens. 

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