The Jaffe Briefing is (finally) on Vacation Monday, Aug. 27, returning Tuesday, Sept. 4

WEEHAWKEN - The official worst job in New Jersey has been identified: Working as a crossing guard during the $90 million reconstruction job of the Interstate 495 bridge, which began Friday night. Your job duties: Attempting to keep pedestrians safe and the intersections clear, as bumper-to-bumper traffic clogs the roads leading to the Lincoln Tunnel. Lanes are now closed in both directions, as livid motorists look for anyone, anywhere, to yell at. Crossing guards, in their yellow vests and large "Stop" signs, are ideal targets for the barrage of verbal abuse and colorful hand gestures, while they try to get little Susie across the street in one piece through puddles of muck and a fog of diesel exhaust. Keep it moving, folks. Keep it moving.

ON THE ROADS - By now we all know: Don't drive drunk. But with marijuana use becoming all the rage (and likely to become legal in New Jersey),  motorists now need to know: Don't drive high. The National Highway Administration has announced an ad blitz running through Labor Day: "If You Drive High, You Get a DUI." The feds say studies show as much as 42 percent of drivers killed in crashes test positive for drugs. So give those Lincoln Tunnel crossing guards a break. Try out this slogan: "Be Stoned at Home."

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PATERSON - Firefighters made a second dramatic rescue in as many weeks, again from the Great Falls gorge. This time, they saved a man who fell into the chasm Saturday while trying to retrieve a precious smartphone he dropped. The Paterson Press says the middle-aged man clung to rocks and vegetation for an hour before being hoisted to safety. A week ago, a fire captain rappelled 80-feet off the Great Falls footbridge to recuse an abandoned pit bull. Firefighters named that dog "Paterson" and adopted it as their firehouse mascot. The man, who presumably has his own name, probably just went home to spend more quality time with his smartphone.

TRENTON - The City Council continues to entertain. Now, some members are accusing Councilwoman Robin Vaughn of secretly recording phone calls with them. While it's perfectly legal to tape your conversations, Councilman George Muschal tells the Trentonian that council members worry their words may get "twisted and turned." Vaughn insists she doesn't make recordings: "Did he get (this) idea from Fox News?" Vaughn also says she barely speaks to her colleagues because, she claims, they've been obnoxious. All quite amusing, but it's not good government.

LONG BRANCH - It seems like Pier Village should just be renamed "Kushner Village," as the developer is aggressively looking to expand the footprint. You are likely familiar with the company's glossy advertising barrage, as it constructs a $283 million addition to the mixed-use mecca. Now, NJ.comreports, Kushner has purchased two adjacent properties for $4.15 million, of which we can all assume will be maximized for construction, further cashing in on the oceanfront views. It's all great news for a city that has been trying to redevelop for decades; investment breeds investment.



PLYMOUTH, MA - An amateur golfer's handicap may become all too real after his thumb got bitten off, down to the knuckle, by another duffer. A brutal brawl between the two golfers broke out Friday at Southers Marsh Golf Club, one of New England's best-rated public courses. Staff swiftly put the severed digit on ice for surgeons to reattach. (Hopefully, no handicap.) The Boston Globesays police have charged the 47-year-old assailant with "mayhem," defined as "malicious intent to maim or disfigure." Conviction would mean a 20-year prison term; no Mulligans.


It looked like Strawberry Fields Forever on this day in 1966, when the Beatles are pelted with rotten fruit at a Memphis concert. Why? Because John Lennon claimed the band was more popular than Jesus.



Imperturbable - [im-pər-TƏR-bə-bəl] - adverb

Definition: Marked by extreme calm, impassivity, and steadiness

Example: While facing - what I'm told - is a "sudden" and "completely unexpected" deadline for her AP Government summer homework, I wish my daughter would be imperturbable.



A Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun