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Archive for February 12th, 2009

MIDDLESEX COUNTY – The nationwide economic meltdown has led to increased demand for all types of social services. At the same time, however, federal and state funding for these services is decreasing as a result of budget cuts.

County officials and about 100 representatives from non-profit organizations met last week to share strategies for effectively serving clients with fewer resources. Key issues discussed were improving communication and collaboration between agencies and the possibility of sharing services and cooperative purchasing, two areas in which the county has found success.

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MILLTOWN—The United Way of Central Jersey is seeking nominations of outstanding volunteers who have shown extraordinary dedication and creativity in helping their neighbors and community to honor as Hometown Heroes.

Nominations are due Friday, Feb. 27. Awardees who most exemplify the true meaning of volunteerism will be announced on April 21, at Hess Corporate Center on Route 1 in Edison.

Volunteers come from all walks of life and can be nominated as an individual or as a group. Recognition is given in the following categories:

  • Student Volunteer (grades K-8) and (grades 9-12)
  • Student Volunteer Group (grades K-12)
  • Individual Adult Volunteer
  • Adult Volunteer Group
  • Individual College Volunteer
  • College Volunteer Group
  • Family Volunteer Group (must be 2 or more people from the same family)

Hometown Heroes celebrates the actions of local folks who pursue their interests and volunteer in their community. United Way of Central Jersey’s Volunteer Center actively recruits community volunteers and also serves as coordinator for all Middlesex County organizations that need volunteers. The Center has an online database of volunteer opportunities available to the public. United Way also arranges “Days of Action” for corporate partners and members of the community.

For information on volunteering, visit United Way’s web site at www.uwcj.org or call Elise Mannella at (732) 247-3727 X11.

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pastBy Diane Norek Harrison

SOUTH AMBOY-In 1942, at O’Connor’s Confectionary, which was located at 142 North Broadway had a card shop assortment for Valentine’s Day.

In the 1960s, while attending St. Mary’s Grammar School, a member of each class had to make and bring in a big cardboard box decorated mostly with aluminum foil and red heart cut outs on it. It had to have the mail slot cut into it. As the students came into class they would put their Valentine Day cards for class members in the slot. Later in the day the teacher would then hand out the cards.

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Inside_the_StatehouseBy Assemblyman Joseph Vas

With each New Year, we must take stock of past accomplishments and turn our sights to future challenges. There is no doubt that our economy is struggling, and if past history is an indicator for New Jersey, we will emerge stronger. New Jerseyans are all feeling the pinch. The economic turmoil is devastating much more than just our bottom lines—but also it is our jobs, our homes, and our college and retirement savings that are endangered. 

In 2008, New Jersey lost a total of 59,800 jobs—the biggest one-year loss since 1991, leaving New Jersey with a 7.1 percent unemployment rate. In order to spur job growth and create a business friendly environment, I was proud to sponsor InvestNJ, a $120 million incentive-based program, created to encourage New Jersey businesses to grow their operation during these tough economic times. Incentives include offering $3,000 grants to businesses for each new job created and retained for one year and Capital Investment Grants awarding up to one million dollars toward new construction, equipment and renovation.

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Tax Tip Of The Day: What’s New?

 By Gregg Semanick-New Jersey‘s IRS Spokesperson

Before you sit down to do your taxes, check out the latest changes.  Recent tax changes are posted on the IRS.gov Web site; in the Form 1040 instruction booklet; or, IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax Guide. Time spent reviewing the changes could result in claiming credits and deductions you are entitled to receive when preparing your return and save you money.   

For more information on IRS tax tips, go to the IRS.gov web site at www.irs.gov.

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