Uniform Code: 25 Years Behind Bars

On the Road: Trucking Vocations

Donate Please

FEMA Assistance

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on September 29, 1999. All rights reserved.

Clean Your Closets: Ditch That Computer

One fast way to get yourself ready for the Year 2000

is to upgrade your computer to one that is Y2K compliant. But don’t

put your outdated computer — or even your worn-out television

set — by the curb for the trash truck to collect. Instead, be

ecologically minded. Gather up all your old electronics and bring

them to the Dempster Fire Service Training Center, 350 Lawrence

Station

Road (off of Quakerbridge Road), on Saturday, October 2, from 8 a.m.

to 2 p.m.

Eligible for disposal on this Computer Drop-Off day are television

sets and almost any piece of office equipment — monitors, CRTs,

CPUs, keyboards, terminals, modems, printers, copiers, cables,

telephones,

telephone mainframe equipment, typewriters (electric or manual),

mainframe

equipment, and mainframe controllers. Much of this equipment can be

considered hazardous waste.

You are eligible to use this drop-off if you have a small business,

are a resident of Mercer County, or represent an agency, a

municipality,

or a school. "Newtech Recycling of Bridgewater will `back haul’

and de-manufacture all the electronic equipment," says Carol

Royal of the Trenton Waste Exchange, who has arranged this

recycling

opportunity with the Mercer County Freeholders. For information call

609-921-3393 (E-mail: twe@bellatlantic.net).

Trenton Waste Exchange is a nonprofit donation broker and a virtual

warehouse, and Royal, the director, helps locate homes for unwanted

but usable surplus. This dropoff is for computers and equipment that

are outdated. If you have a late model to donate, Royal can probably

help you find a suitable nonprofit agency or school.

The New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies also accepts

usable 486 and Pentium computers (732-528-0900; fax, 732-528-0921).

It represents more than 125 nonprofit mental healthcare providers

in New Jersey. Director Debra Wentz says that NJAMHA will help

a donor select the appropriate agency, arrange for the equipment to

be picked up, have a maintenance checkup, and be delivered.

A national list of recyclers and reusers is available from Neil

Seldman at the Institute for Local Self Reliance in Washington

at 202-232-4108 (http://www.iosr.org). This agency’s $15 report

"Plug

Into Electronics Re-Use" tells how to introduce community groups

or entrepreneurs to the recycling marketplace.

Another recycling possibility, as reported in the Wall Street Journal

on September 23, is to stage a computer throwing contest. PC

Connection,

a mail-order retailer in New Hampshire, will sponsor a

"dot-competition"

for frustrated computer users on Saturday, October 16. Contestants

can enter the CPU hurl, the monitor shot put, or the keyboard slap

shot. Other races involve assembling or upgrading computers. The entry

fee: a working PC that can be upgraded and donated to a school —

or $10.

Almost any equipment, if it is in good condition, can be used by a

nonprofit agency, says Royal. She will also help recycle the following

items: Adding machines, air conditioning units, art supplies,

bicycles,

battery chargers, brushes, calculators, clocks, forklifts, hand

trucks,

kitchen equipment, ladders, lumber, microwave ovens, musical

instruments,

paint, paneling, slide projectors, shelving, sound equipment, staple

supplies, tables, vehicles, vending machines, and video equipment,

among others.

Even the parts of outdated computers are valuable, says Royal. Old

computers can be shipped to recycling agencies in China that pay a

nickel per pound. The circuit boards, for instance, are ground up

and put into cement, made into pavers, and sold back to the United

States to be used for patio floors. Better to step on your

once-beloved

old 486 as a patio stone than to let it pollute the town landfill.

Top Of Page
Uniform Code: 25 Years Behind Bars

They call the 1970s the decade of the Me Generation,

when self-absorbed people tried to stake out their individual

identities.

It also represents the birth of the bar code, the pattern of lines

that can instantly identify an item and its price. The Uniform Code

Council Inc., based at Princeton Pike Corporate Center, celebrates

the silver anniversary of the Universal Product Code with a symposium

and reception at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of

American History on Thursday, September 30, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call

609-620-4531 for information (http://www.uc-council.org).

Quoting Dante, William Blake, and Jonathan Swift, the firm sent out

invitations to the event entitled "25 Years Behind Bars:

Celebrating

the Silver Anniversary of the Universal Product Code — Marking

the Past, Scanning the Future." The array of speakers includes

John Nelson of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Bob L. Martin,

past president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s International division, David

K. Allison of the Smithsonian Institution, and keynoter Marvin

L. Mann, chairman emeritus of Lexmark International.

Perhaps the celebration is premature; bar codes might soon be old

technology. Hoping to encroach on the bar code market are companies

working on "smart cards" that can contain much more

information

than bar codes. With this innovation, library books can be checked

out automatically as borrowers walk through an archway, and the entire

history of the cow could be presented on the label of your T-bone.

Whether or not the UCC is dabbling in smart cards remains to be seen.

But it is indeed working in such innovative areas as space constrained

applications in supply chain management. With EAN International, the

UCC is figuring out how to tag loose fruits and vegetables, very small

items, and "variable measure" items, such as sacks of one

pound of walnuts and two pounds of peanuts. The supermarket checkout

clerk won’t have to know the difference between a Macintosh and a

Granny Smith.

Top Of Page
On the Road: Trucking Vocations

If you’re the restless, independent type who doesn’t

like a supervisor hovering over your shoulder, here’s a job

opportunity:

trucking.

Yes, truckers have gotten a bad rap in New Jersey, where many are

being forced off local roads, but new laws have made truckers’ jobs

safer and more enjoyable. Trucking companies are offering recruits

a chance at full tuition reimbursement, unheard of freedom, and

entry-level

pay that beats just about any white-collar job, and in effect, they’re

breaking the mold of the rugged, loner truck-driver, says Eric

Smith, president of Smith & Solomon Truck Driving School.

"They come from just about every walk of life: office workers

bored with riding a desk, professionals and early retirees looking

for second careers, young people looking for a job with a future.

And women are entering the field in record numbers. Many are single

parents. Others are driver’s wives, their children grown and out of

the house, looking to team up with their husbands on long hauls and

see the country," says Smith.

Smith & Solomon is hosting a free trucking careers job fair on

Saturday,

October 2, at 10 a.m. at the school in Edison. Interested people can

talk to recruiters from companies such as Werner, Star, RPS, UPS,

Covenant, Boyd, H.O. Wolding, X-Cel, Gainey and Langer. For more

information

call 800-622-0355.

The U.S. Department of Labor calls trucking the sixth top job growth

occupation, so many companies are pre-hiring, with written job offers

to those who are still in training. Smith, whose grandfather was a

trucker, says the average person can be earning between $30,000 and

$40,000 quickly.

Most importantly, the road is no longer such a harsh place. New laws

keep truckers from driving more than 10 hours at a time, and many

cabs are air conditioned and have room for a TV and refrigerator.

Truckers also get good benefits and can set their own schedules. Short

haul drives can get them home every night, or for the long haul, they

can travel with their spouse. There’s also room for career growth,

says Smith. "The opportunity is there to advance into safety or

supervision, dispatcher, driver trainer, or owner of your own trucking

business," says Smith. A used truck runs about $30,000, he says.

Smith & Solomon courses take approximately four weeks and cost $3,300.

Road safety and travel planning are all covered in the course. Other

than a driver’s license, there’s only one prerequisite, says Smith:

"You have to have a little bit of a sense of freedom to enjoy

it."

Top Of Page
Donate Please

The New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police is looking for

advertisers

for its sixteenth edition of the Police Chief Magazine. Proceeds from

the magazine, delivered to every corner of the state, will be used

to elevate the standards of policing, develop closer relationships

between police and the community, and provide additional training

to members of the police force. Call 609-452-0014.

Top Of Page
FEMA Assistance

Middlesex and Mercer were declared major disaster areas

on September 18 following Hurricane Floyd, and those hit the hardest

are eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

New Jersey victims can apply for a wide range of state, federal and

voluntary disaster assistance programs by calling this toll-free

number

between 7 a.m. and midnight: 800-462-9029. Hearing and speech impaired

persons can call 800-462-7585.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

Bristol-Myers Squibb donated $5 million toward

construction

of a $62 million, 140,000 square-foot children’s hospital on the

campus

of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The 70-bed hospital

will be called the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert

Wood Johnson University Hospital.

It will include the RWJUH’s internationally-renowned pediatric

services,

the region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Heart and

Kidney Transplantation Center, the state’s most comprehensive Child

Life Program, and the Level I Trauma Center. There are plans to add

beds for parents, a Family Resource Center with Internet Access, and

a Pediatric Radiology department. Call 732-937-8521.

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