News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

 

 

For Immediate Release

July 15, 2024

Somerset County to Host Free Document Shredding Event on July 20

Food Donations Also Accepted

 

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – In an effort to help reduce food insecurity in Somerset County, residents can now drop-off canned food and non-perishable items at the free Operation Secure Shred event on July 20. Donations will be distributed to local food banks.

The shredding event takes place at the Somerset County Public Works Garage, North County Facility, at 411 Chimney Rock Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until the trucks are filled. The event will occur rain or shine.

Drop-Off Guidelines

Residents should be prepared to unload items and to be shredded and food donations from their vehicles. Staff will be available to assist them if necessary.

Proof of Residency

Residents must be prepared to present a current driver’s license, valid lease, tax bill or any other bill that shows proof of a Somerset County address. Pre-registration is not required. Businesses and commercial vehicles are NOT allowed.

 

Attend Any Shredding Event

Residents from all 21 Somerset County municipalities can attend as many shredding events as they like and can participate even if they do not reside in the towns that are holding the events. To view a list of dates and locations for shredding events, visit  www.co.somerset.nj.us/shredding.

Items Accepted & Food Donations

Participants can bring up to six boxes, containers, or bags of documents per visit, but they will be required to take back their receptacles. Staples and paperclips do not have to be removed.

Residents can donate canned food and non-perishable items in reusable bags or boxes.

Items Not Accepted

Junk mail, magazines and newspapers will NOT be accepted.

For more information about “Operation Secure Shred,” contact the Somerset County Public Works Department at 908-203-6018 or email publicworks@co.somerset.nj.us.

Identity Theft

Victims of identity theft can visit the Federal Trade Commission’s online one-stop resource center with downloadable resources, which provides a step-by-step process for recovering from identity theft. To learn more, visit IdentityTheft.gov.

To stay up-to-date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Colonial Park To Host ‘Yoga in the Garden’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 11, 2024

 

 

Colonial Park To Host ‘Yoga in the Garden’

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ – Register for “Yoga in the Garden: Soothing Your Senses,” and enjoy a relaxing class on Sunday, July 28, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The class will occur at Colonial Park in the Fragrance and Sensory Garden, 156 Mettlers Road, Parking Lot A, Somerset, NJ. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $20 per person and is for adults only. No experience is necessary. The rain date is Aug. 4.

Experience peace and serenity when practicing gentle Yoga Nidra postures in a soothing Fragrance and Sensory Garden. Certified yoga instructor Adrianne Rowe will teach participants how to achieve “effortless relaxation” through simple yoga techniques and guided meditation.

 

Items To Bring to the Session

Participants should wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat, blanket, towel, and pillow.

To pre-register, visit www.somersetcountyparks.org or click here. For more information, call 908-722-1200, ext. 5721.

Individuals with hearing and speech impairment can call the Relay Service at 711.

About the Fragrance and Sensory Garden at Colonial Park Gardens

The Fragrance and Sensory Garden showcases a collection of beautiful and fragrant flora, including medicinal and culinary herbs, tropical plants, shrubs, tender perennials, vines, and unusual annuals.

 

Colonial Park Gardens
Colonial Park Gardens is a collection of botanical display gardens located in the western portion of Colonial Park. This property has a rich human history beginning with the first Lenni-Lenape residents and later English and Dutch settlers who established farms. It includes an award-winning formal rose garden, a perennial garden, a sensory garden, and other horticultural collections including ornamental grasses and shrubs. These gardens are situated within a nationally accredited arboretum.

To stay up-to-date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

# # #

County Residents Graduate from CERT Basic Training Program

News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

 

For Immediate Release

July 9, 2024

County Residents Graduate from CERT Basic Training Program

The New Graduates Can Now Join Local and County CERT Teams During Disasters and Emergencies

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County’s Office of Emergency Management graduated 10 residents from their Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training Program. The residents volunteered 30 hours in June to learn about supporting their local communities and first-responders when emergencies and disasters strike.

“CERT teams play a crucial role in mitigating disasters and managing emergencies in Somerset County,” said Commissioner Doug Singleterry, liaison to the Office of Emergency Management. “Each volunteer is a tremendous resource to first responders, their respective communities, and for the people of Somerset County.”

This year’s Spring CERT class included residents from Somerville, Somerset, Branchburg, Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, Bernardsville, and Watchung.

Volunteers trained at the Emergency Services Training Academy in Hillsborough and learned about Disaster Preparedness, CERT Organization, Light Search and Rescue, Disaster Psychology, Terrorism, Fire Safety, Medical Operations, Sheltering Operations, and Stop the Bleed. Following their extensive training, each participant is required to complete a written exam and practical exercise to officially graduate.

Local CERT programs help to train and organize teams of volunteers to assist their families, neighbors, co-workers, and other community members during emergencies when professional responders may not be immediately available.

Before, during, and after disasters, CERT volunteer teams perform basic response activities, including checking in on neighbors, distribution of information to the public, supporting emergency operations centers, and helping to manage traffic and crowds.

The deployment of CERT volunteers to perform these activities enables professional responders to focus efforts on more complex, essential, and often life-saving tasks. CERT volunteers also support their communities by organizing, promoting, and participating in emergency preparedness events, activities, and projects.

For more information regarding the CERT program, please utilize the following link:

https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/public-health-safety/emergency-management/cert-volunteers.

To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

# # #

County to Hold First Saturday and E-Waste Events on July 6 Food Donations Also Accepted

News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

For Immediate Release

July 1, 2024

County to Hold First Saturday and E-Waste Events on July 6

Food Donations Also Accepted

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ – Somerset County residents can dispose of electronic waste, drop-off recyclables, and donate non-perishable food items at the First Saturday and E-Waste Drop-off events on Saturday, July 6. Donations will be delivered to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

“We’ve ramped up Somerset County’s food-donation assistance by implementing more convenient drop-off locations, and we will continue to do so throughout the year and beyond,” said Somerset County Commissioner Melonie Marano, liaison to Public Works. “Somerset County’s Public Works Department has been instrumental in the success of our food donation programs and thankfully they will still help support our new plan to expand food assistance through help with easier access to donation locations.”

Food Donations at Two Drop-Off Locations

Residents can donate non-perishable food donations with their First Saturday and E-Waste recyclables. If requested, cloth bags containing food donations will be returned to the donator, otherwise their bags will be donated to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County.

Proof of Residency Is Required at Both Events

Residents must have a current driver’s license, valid lease, tax bill or any other bill that shows proof of their Somerset County address for both events. Pre-registration is not required. Businesses and commercial vehicles are NOT permitted at either the First Saturday or E-Waste events.

FIRST SATURDAY

Residents can bring recyclables such as newspapers, junk mail and other acceptable items as well as non-perishable food donations to the First Saturday of the Month Drop-off on Saturday, July 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Somerset County Recycling Center, located at 40 Polhemus Lane, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.

Residents should remain in their vehicles: Staff will be available at every station to help residents remove their items.

Items Accepted: Drop off up to eight tires – with or without rims – scrap metal, used motor oil, oil filters, antifreeze, and the usual curbside materials, including chipboard items, plastic bottles and containers marked #1 through #7. Chipboard items include gift, shoe, shirt- and all retail boxes, as well as cereal, cookie, pasta, cake and cracker boxes without the plastic liners, poster board, backing from writing pads, and empty dried-out steel paint cans.

Items NOT Accepted: Somerset County does NOT accept textiles at First Saturday of the Month Drop-off. Residents should continue to recycle used textiles at any local charity donation bin.

To learn more about First Saturday events, call the Somerset County Recycling Center at 732-469-3363. For a complete listing of recyclable items, recycling events and more visit https://bit.ly/Recycling2024.

ELECTRONIC WASTE DROP-OFF

Dispose of items cluttering the home and donate non-perishable food items at the Electronic Waste Drop-off event to be held on Saturday, July 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the South County Public Works Garage, located at 410 Roycefield RoadHillsborough, NJ 08844.

Residents should remain in their vehicles unless otherwise instructed and may need to remove items without assistance and place them on pallets as instructed by the staff.

Items Accepted: Computers (desktops and laptops), monitors (cathode-ray tube and flat panel), televisions (cathode-ray tube and flat panel), copiers, digital cameras, DVD players, e-book readers, fax machines, MP3 players, personal digital assistants (PDAs), printers, stereos, radio equipment, VCRs, audiovisual equipment, typewriters, camcorders, telephones, cellular phones, circuit boards, modems, telephone mainframes, keyboards, mice, scanners, cables, wiring, power supplies, mainframe equipment and controllers.

Items NOT Accepted: Batteries are not accepted. Residents can recycle household hazardous waste, including lithium and rechargeable batteries at scheduled Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off events.

For a complete list of items accepted at the Electronic Waste Drop-off, contact the Somerset County Division of Solid Waste Management at 908-231-7109 or send an email to solidwaste@co.somerset.nj.us.

A complete listing of recyclable items, recycling drop-off events (First Saturday of the Month, Household Hazardous Waste, Rx Medicine, E-Waste) and more, are available at www.co.somerset.nj.us/recycle.

Use the free Recycle Coach app to get personalized and up-to-date recycling information. To download the app, visit https://bit.ly/SCRecycleCoach2024.

About the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, Inc.

Incorporated in 1982, the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, Inc. is a non-governmental, non-sectarian, 501(c)3 not-for-profit public benefit organization. For the past 40 years The Food Bank has been serving the needs of food-insecure families in Somerset County, New Jersey.

To stay up-to-date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

# # #

Seeking Performing Artists, Food Trucks, and Vendors for Somerset County Diversity Festival in September

News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

For Immediate Release

June 26, 2024

Seeking Performing Artists, Food Trucks, and Vendors for Somerset County Diversity Festival

in September

 

SOMERVILLE – Somerset County is seeking musicians, dancers, food trucks, crafters, artisans, and retailers of cultural products for the 2024 Diversity Festival on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 12 to 4 p.m. in Somerville. Applicants should reflect the County’s unique and diverse cultures and communities by providing diversity-related performances, products, and multicultural food. Selected performing artists will be compensated, while crafters and vendors will be able to sell their work. Applications are due by Monday, July 22.

Performing Artists

Selected musicians will perform for 45-minute sets on the “Show Mobile” stage, and dance performances will last for 15 minutes on another stage.

  • Show Mobile performances will receive $200 per musician with a cap of $1,600.
  • Professional or community dance groups will receive $125 per adult dancer with a cap of $1,000.
  • Dance school performances will receive a flat rate of $200.

To download a performance application, click here.

Food Trucks

Food trucks should provide a variety of food options that reflect the various cultures existing in Somerset County.

  • There is a limit of one food truck per cuisine.
  • The food truck fee is $25.

To download a food truck application, click here.

 

Vendors

Vendors must produce high quality, originally designed, unique hand-crafted products, including crafts, artwork, and inedible products, such as herbal products, personal care, and beauty products.

  • Cultural/ethnic/heritage craft traditions are preferred.
  • Website, social media handles, or photos must be submitted along with the application.
  • The vendor fee is $25.

To download a vendor application, click here.

Applications

Applicants of all types can apply online or obtain an application packet via mail or in person. Completed applications must be received by July 22.

To obtain an application packet in person or via email, contact Rheanah Johnson at rjohnson@co.somerset.nj.us or call 908-203-6044 by Friday, July 19.

To stay up-to-date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Environmental Education Center Offers Nature Programs in July for All Ages

Environmental Education Center Offers Nature Programs in July for All Ages

Explore the World of Birds, Bees, Bugs, and Blueberries

 

BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Register for exciting nature programs and learn about birds, bees, bugs, blueberries, and more at the Environment Education Center (EEC), 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. There are a variety of programs for all ages and the cost ranges from $6 to $11 per person depending on the program. Online enrollment is open now.

Program participants will enjoy exploring areas of the environmentally rich Lord Stirling Park, including the Great Swamp as well as rivers, marshes, meadows, ponds, and forests, which contain habitats for diverse plant and animal populations.

The EEC offers the following programs for people of all ages:

 

  • Tuesday, July 9, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wild for Blueberries! – Search for the swamp’s superfruit and learn how to identify wild blueberries, find out what animals enjoy nature’s candy, and sample these sweet superstars. Learn more and register.

 

  • Wednesday, July 10, 3 to 4 p.m.,  Bird in the Nest – Take a leisurely walk on the EEC’s trails to search for different species of birds and their nests while participating in fun and educational games and activities. Learn more and register.

 

  • Tuesday, July 16, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Nectar Sippers – Find out what critters drink nectar produced by summertime blooms and how the sweet treat is used for food. Learn more and register.

 

  • Sunday, July 21, 3 to 4 p.m., Cool Critters! – See some truly cool, live critters and learn what helps these bugs, reptiles and more survive in nature. Learn more and register.
  • Tuesday, July 30, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Bugtastic! –  Scour the gardens and trails to look for critters such as bugs, insects, and arthropods. Learn more and register.

 

Age Requirement
Children under the age of 15 years must be accompanied by a registered adult when participating in programs for “all ages.”

 

The following programs are appropriate for infants and children up to five years of age with a parent:

 

  • Monday, July 22, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Tot Trek – Leave the stroller behind and join a Naturalist for a walk on the trails of Lord Stirling Park to explore the natural world using all five senses. Learn more and register.
  • Sunday, July 28, 10 to 11 a.m., Storytime Adventure – Enjoy nature and animal stories with the focus on raccoons. Learn more and register.

 

For more information about nature programs at the EEC, contact Kurt Bender at kbender@scparks.org or call 908-722-1200, Ext. 5332.  Individuals with hearing impairment can use the Relay Service by dialing 711.

About the Environmental Education Center (EEC) 

The EEC is dedicated to stimulating awareness and understanding of the natural world by fostering a sense of responsibility for its care and use through environmental, cultural, and recreational learning experiences, as well as serving as trustees to preserve, maintain, and improve undeveloped and developed natural areas of the Somerset County parkland.    

 

To stay up-to-date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

# # #

Somerset County Five New Police Academy Scholarships to Help Diversify Local Departments

News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

 

 

Somerset County Five New Police Academy Scholarships to Help Diversify Local Departments

Five Somerset County Residents Will Attend the Police Academy Funded by Somerset County with Guaranteed Positions upon Graduation

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County’s Board of Commissioners and Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald celebrated the third round of police academy scholarships at a welcome ceremony during the recent Commissioners Meeting. The scholarships, funded by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan and overseen by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s office, are focused on helping local police forces diversify to ensure they reflect the local communities they serve.

“This police scholarship program has been an amazing success, helping local residents who may not have been able to afford the academy become police officers in the communities where they were raised,” said Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald. “The program is having its intended effect, diversifying our local law enforcement with highly intelligent, motivated young men and women who truly represent their community.”

Nine departments have selected a total of twelve scholarship recipients since 2022 when the program was launched: Bound Brook, Branchburg, Hillsborough, Manville, Montgomery, North Plainfield, Raritan, South Bound Brook, and Watchung. These departments committed to providing two years of employment as an officer to scholarship recipients who successfully complete their Police Academy training. Seven new officers are already working, and they will be joined by the five 2024 scholarship recipients when they successfully complete their academy training.

“I look at these applicants and know they help ensure that the police officers truly represent their communities, a prime goal of our police scholarship program,” said Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Y. Robinson. “I am particularly proud that eight of the twelve recipients are young women, a significantly underrepresented population when it comes to local law enforcement.”

2022 Scholarship Recipients (All Protecting and Serving)

  • Steffany Marroquin, North Plainfield Police Department
  • Christopher Monrroy, Watchung Police Department

2023 Scholarship Recipients (All Protecting and Serving)

  • Nazceer Whitley, Bound Brook Police Department
  • Sara Harrilal, Hillsborough Police Department
  • Jeff Sumbana, Manville Police Department
  • Alyssa Myrnyj, Raritan Police Department
  • Cindy Aldana, Watchung Police Department

2024 Scholarship Recipients (Entering Academy, Photos Attached)

  • Brianna Robinson, Bound Brook Police Department
  • Joanna Coppola, Branchburg Police Department
  • Vanessa Hunter, Montgomery Police Department
  • Kimberly Vasquez, South Bound Brook Police Department
  • Gianmarco Acevedo, Watchung Police Department

As has been noted by various studies and self-assessments by law-enforcement, the makeup of local police departments is often not reflective of the communities that they serve. Specifically, police departments throughout the State of New Jersey and in particular Somerset County do not have officers that adequately reflect their communities from a racial, gender, or cultural perspective. The Somerset County Police Scholarship Program was created to address this issue.

Somerset County has also been successfully partnering with municipalities and local law enforcement since 2020 to improve the relationships between communities and police. A major step forward was the Community Policing Alliance partnership developed with the Bridgewater Police Department that embedded a county-employed social worker with the police to help individuals and families find help and support to reduce the need for law enforcement and the courts to get involved. This program has been so successful in making a difference in local residents’ lives that it has been expanded to Bound Brook and is currently in discussions to expand to additional communities. More information on the Community Police Alliance is at https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/human-services/operations-planning/community-police-alliance.

###

Park Commission Giving Away Milkweed Plants at Leonard J. Buck Garden

Park Commission Giving Away Milkweed Plants at Leonard J. Buck Garden

 

 

FAR HILLS, NJ – Get free milkweed plants for your garden at the “Milkweed for Monarch Giveaway” beginning Wednesday, June 26, at 10 a.m. The event will take place at the Somerset County Park Commission’s Leonard J. Buck Garden, located on 11 Layton Road, Far Hills, NJ. Each household can receive a maximum of four plants (two of each species), which include swamp milkweed and butterfly weed. Plants will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and while supplies last.

Milkweed Protects the Monarch Butterfly Population

Planting milkweeds in gardens helps protect the monarch butterfly, which is an endangered species. Milkweeds serve as breeding habitats for monarchs and provide a valuable nectar source for other species of butterflies, bees and insects beneficial to the environment.

The absence of milkweed affects the monarch’s reproductive chain because milkweed is the only plant where monarchs will lay their eggs. After the monarch’s eggs hatch into caterpillars, they eat the milkweed’s leaves, which help them grow into a new generation of monarch butterflies.

Perennials
Milkweed plants are perennials, so with proper care and the right weather conditions the plants will rebloom during the next spring and summer seasons.

For more information, call 908-722-1200, ext. 5621, or visit www.somersetcountyparks.org.

About Leonard J. Buck Garden
Leonard J. Buck Garden is considered one of the premier rock gardens in the eastern United States. The land consists of a series of alpine and woodland gardens situated in a 33-acre valley with woods and a stream. The garden, which has reached a breathtaking point of maturity, was developed by Leonard J. Buck in the late 1930s and was donated to the Somerset County Park Commission in 1976 by Mrs. Helen Buck.

To stay up-to-date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

# # #

Community Invited to Cannabis Town Hall & Job Fair at RVCC on June 22

News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

 

Community Invited to Cannabis Town Hall & Job Fair at RVCC on June 22

BRANCHBURG, NJ – A Cannabis Town Hall featuring panel discussions with industry leaders and local and state legislators, a cannabis career fair, and an expungement clinic will be presented. The event will take place from 12 to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 22 in the Event Center at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) on Lamington Road in Branchburg.

This unique gathering combines an educational symposium with a job fair to shed light on the swiftly expanding cannabis landscape. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. and admission is free. Registration is optional at this link: https://bit.ly/3WTCVDa.

This event is sponsored by the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey (CMMNJ) in partnership with a variety of agencies. These include Canna Coverage Insurance Services, Project Clean Slate, Minorites for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), The Glory Firm, NJ Cannabis Consulting, Valley Wellness, Aunt Mary’s Cannabis Dispensary, Future Entheogenic Medicines, Visions and Pathways, and the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board (GRWDB).

“All community members are invited to attend the Cannabis Town Hall,” said Canna Coverage Founder and CEO, CMMNJ Board Member, and M4MM State Co-Director, Nichelle Santos. “It’s your chance to learn and discuss everything about cannabis in New Jersey. Whether you’re a seasoned advocate or just curious about the changing laws, this town hall is for you.”

In 2021, New Jersey became the 13th state in the U.S. to fully legalize marijuana, which expanded access to the drug beginning nearly a decade earlier when legal sales of medical marijuana started on Dec. 6, 2012. There are now more than 130 dispensaries opened in 20 of the state’s 21 counties, according to the N.J. Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC). The state recorded $201 million in adult-use cannabis sales in the first quarter of 2024, and CRC officials predict sales will top $1 billion this year.

Important Panel Discussions

During the June 22 Town Hall – the first of its type in Somerset and Hunterdon counties – a panel of experts will cover topics ranging from legalization updates to the impact these updates will have on local communities. These panel discussions present an opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals and get questions answered during four 40- to 45-minute talks. Topics include:

  • Building the Cannabis Ecosystem in Municipalities
  • Cannabis Tax Revenue: Economic Development, Workforce Development, Social Justice, Tracking and Measuring Accountability
  • Improving Health Outcomes through Medical Cannabis
  • The Psychedelics Market, Research to Retail

“I look forward to talking about improving health outcomes through the use of medical cannabis,” said CMMNJ Executive Director Ken Wolski.

The panel discussions, running from 12 to 4 p.m., will be preceded by vendor networking, and free pizza and water provided by United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW 360), which represents workers from across New Jersey who work in the cannabis industry’s entire supply chain. UFCW 360 Director of Organizing Hugh Giordano said, “We’re here to help workers secure better wages, protection from unfair discipline, and great benefits with a union contract.”

The Job Fair and Exhibitors
Vendors of cannabis-related enterprises will be part of a vendor-hall set up in the RVCC Conference Center. Among these will be multiple businesses with available job openings.

“The mission of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board is to connect employers and job seekers in Hunterdon and Somerset counties” said GRWDB Director Paul Grzella. “We have been supporting businesses in this growing sector for the past few years, and this event presents a convenient opportunity to learn more about working in the cannabis industry at a dispensary, cultivation, or even in the compliance or insurance service.”

Valley Wellness, located at 407 U.S. Route 202 in Raritan Borough, is the proud holder of the title of New Jersey’s premier independently owned and operated cannabis dispensary.

“We organized a similar event last year, but at that time, no other dispensaries had opened yet. It’s truly exciting to have fellow operators like Aunt Mary’s joining us for these occasions,” said Valley Wellness CEO Sarah Trent.

Valley Wellness will be conducting impromptu interviews for various positions within their dispensary, alongside Aunt Mary’s who will be accepting resumes. You can secure your spot for an on-site interview by pre-registering via the QR code in this flyer or by this link: https://bit.ly/450lsej. Walk-ins are also warmly welcomed, and attendees are encouraged to bring their resumes.

In addition, Canna Coverage will be accepting resumes from experienced insurance professionals or college students who are interested in internships. Nichelle Santos said, “We have a great opportunity to reimagine healthcare with cannabis and psychedelics, and the high demand indicates we must scale our workforce to accommodate growth in the marketplace.”

Businesses interested in participating in this event as a one-time vendor or becoming a sponsor of ongoing cannabis-related events sponsored by the Coalition of Medial Marijuana can use the QR code in this flyer, or go to this link: https://bit.ly/3WTCVDa.

Expungement Clinic

The laws around Cannabis have changed dramatically. “Governor Murphy worked to decriminalize marijuana in 2021 as a step in the right direction to end the failed war on drugs against black and brown people that lead to mass incarceration and destruction of communities in New Jersey, said Santos.

“The Expungement Clinic being offered during the Town Hall is critically important to give people a second chance,” she added. Those who may have been convicted of a low level, non-violent cannabis offense, or may have a record for any type of arrest, can meet with attorneys to have a clean slate.”

The clinic will be led by Glory Law Firm attorney Valisha Desir and other attorneys on site. “We are here to help people overcome injustices and become productive citizens,” said Desir. “Many with a record face challenges with employment, housing, and voting, leading to homelessness and a downward spiral towards a life of poverty.”

Those interested in utilizing these services must pre-register by using the QR code in this flyer, or by using this link https://bit.ly/3wEUgoV.

Gaetano Lardieri is co-founder of Future of Entheogenic Medicines, M4MM state co-director, CMMNJ board member, The JUSTUS Foundation board member, and member of the UPENN Affiliate Scholars – PENN Psychedelics Collaborative. “He’s excited over this historic time with the end of prohibition, to move the needle forward and have New Jersey be a global leader for cannabis and psychedelics R&D and clinical trials.”

CMMNJ is a 21-year-old all-volunteer, non-profit, 501(c)(3) educational organization, led by Executive Director Ken Wolski. The mission of CMMNJ is to educate the public about medical marijuana. The goal of CMMNJ is to have safe and legal access to plant medicine for all qualified New Jersey patients.

CMMNJ was instrumental in getting the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act introduced into the New Jersey Legislature in 2005 and signed into law in 2010. Legal sales of medical marijuana in the state began on Dec. 6, 2012.

In 2023, CMMNJ’s Board voted to endorse psychedelic research and the safe use of psychedelics by supporting New Jersey Bill S2283, the “Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act.”

CMMNJ’s current medical cannabis goals include home cultivation rights, insurance coverage, and hospital and institutional access.

 

Opportunity for Scholarships at Cannabis Town Hall & Job Fair
As a bonus, attendees will have the opportunity to enter a raffle and win one of two $500 scholarships for NJ Cannabis Certified. This 15-hour, five-module certificate course, conducted live via Zoom in partnership with RVCC and seven other New Jersey community colleges, is designed for individuals looking to kick-start their career in the cannabis industry or simply expand their knowledge. For details about NJ Cannabis Certified, visit https://njcannacert.com/.

Media Contacts:

 

Valley Wellness

NJ Cannabis Certified

Valleywellnessnj.com

njcannacert.com

Sarah Trent: email contact@valleywellnessnj.com

Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana           

Minorities4medicalmarijuana.org

jodeci@m4mmunited.org

Aunt Mary’s Dispensary                      

Auntmarysnj.com

Rocco Levine: email rocco@auntmarysnj.com

Canna Coverage

Cannacoverage.net

info@cannacoverage.net

NJ Cannabis Consulting

njcannabisconsulting.com

Nick Scalera, CEO: email nick.scalera@njcannabisconsulting.com

Glory Law Firm

thegloryfirm.com

Phone: 732-702-0895

 

Future Ethnogenic Medicine

fem108.comGaetano “Guy” Lardieri: email gaetanothcbd@gmail.com

Farmers Market Vouchers for Seniors Available for 2024 Season

News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Sara Sooy, Commissioner Deputy Director

Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner Ÿ Douglas Singleterry, Commissioner

For Immediate Release

June 7, 2024

Farmers Market Vouchers for Seniors Available for 2024 Season

 

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ – Farmers’ Market Vouchers are now available through the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services for eligible residents who are 60 years of age or above and have limited incomes. Through the New Jersey Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), residents who qualify can receive $50 in electronic benefits to purchase locally grown fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs from local farmers.

Eligibility Requirements
To qualify through Somerset County, individuals must reside in the County, be 60 years of age or above, and have an income of $27,861 or less if single, or $37,814 or less if married. Applicants must show proof of identity, residency, and income when applying.

Voucher Application and Pick-Up Sites

Applicants must make an appointment to apply and pick up their vouchers, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To make an appointment, call the Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services at 908-704-6346 or toll-free at 1-888-747-1122, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Office on Aging and Disability Services is on 27 Warren Street, Somerville, NJ 08876. Parking is available in the visitor lot to the right of the Somerset County Human Services Building.

 

Summer Outreach Voucher Application and Pick-Up Sites

Residents can also apply and pick up their vouchers at the following locations:

  • Franklin Township Library – Thursday, June 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

485 DeMott Ln., Franklin, NJ 08873

  • Franklin Township Community Center – Monday, June 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

505 DeMott Ln., Franklin, NJ 08873

  • North Plainfield Library – Monday, July 1, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.,

6 Rockview Ave., North Plainfield, NJ 07060

  • Food Bank Network of Somerset County – Monday, July 8, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

     7E Easy St., Bound Brook, NJ

  • Hillsborough Municipal Building – Thursday, July 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.,

379 South Branch Road., Hillsborough, NJ 08844

 

Other Participating Farm Stands

Also participating in the senior voucher program are Axcel Farm, Hillsborough; Alsteade Farms, Bridgewater & Bedminster; Melick Town Farm, Bridgewater; Old Village Farm, Watchung; Ripple Hill Farm, Basking Ridge; Norz Hill Farm, Hillsborough; and Montgomery Friends of Open Space Farmers Market, Skillman.

For more information about the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, call the Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services toll-free at 1-888-747-1122 or 908-704-6346.

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program

The Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services receives vouchers through the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), which is a program designed to provide low-income seniors with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs as well as help increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities through farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community-supported agricultural programs, and aid in the development of local agriculture.

To stay up-to-date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

# # #

Translate »