NJ Transit was able to pull off a major feat, meeting a federally-imposed Dec. 31 deadline to install emergency braking on locomotives. But before the first victory lap - fueled by a train actually running on time - NJ Transit is now hopelessly backlogged with repairs. Bloomberg reports the Herculean effort prompted 

JERSEY CITY - Just as a new bar is pulling its first draft, it's already being tagged as racist. Many are raising eyebrows at the bar's oddly specific dress code. To attempt to access The Ashford, one was told not to wear oversized jeans and shirts, head gear, ball caps, work boots, gym sneakers, shorts or athletic apparel, sweatpants or joggers, cargo pants, oversized jewelry and chains, sunglasses, camouflage, low or baggy pants or headphones. Belts also must be worn with pants, NJ.com reports. It all seems, well, a bit racially specific, especially this ban on oversized jewelry, low and belt-less pants, and head gear. As social media backlash mounts, the bar is now calling the dress code "an oversight," blaming people working "100 miles an hour" to open the place and not thinking things through. The bar now proclaims: "Everyone's welcome."

NORTH JERSEY - The bad news for residents of Bergen and Hudson counties: Suez Water, which provides public water, has discovered elevated levels of lead in what people drink from the tap. And it's just the beginning. The company doesn't know how extensive the problem is, leaving some 800,000 customers staring suspiciously at that glass of tap water they just filled. It doesn't end there: Suez suspects that lead is leaching into the water from old pipes between the customer's house and the mains under the street. And if that's the issue, it's up to customers to pay for remediation, which costs between $3,000 and $6,000. This might be a smart time to invest in bottled water companies. Guzzle up this story in today's NJ Spotlight.

STATEWIDE - Culturally diverse leadership has come to more New Jersey towns, with new mayors reflecting evolving local populations. In Montgomery Township, for instance, Democrat Sadaf Jaffer is now the state's first female Pakistani-Muslim mayor. Palisades Park made history as Gov. Phil Murphy swore-in Bergen County's first Korean-American mayor Christopher Chung. Murphy also administered the oath to Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah, a Syrian-American Muslim. And, in wealthy Chatham, Republican Tayfun Selen became our America's first mayor of Turkish-descent. An educator and businessman, Selen worked as a gas station attendant after immigrating in 1996. He tells the media: "My election is a slap in the faces of white, far-rightist Americans ... I'm (convinced) voters electing a Turk would send an important message (to) the Republican Party."  He certainly has our attention.

 

HOWELL - Nerd Alert! One of New Jersey's last large comic book and music stores is about to close. "The Record Store," a Route 9 landmark since 1988, originally sold only vinyl LPs and cassette tapes (remember them?). Owner Jeff Lega introduced a huge line of comic books in the '90s when his music sales took a nosedive. Lega tells Jersey Shore Online he no longer gets a big bang out of his business and is fed up with a comic book industry that "uses gimmicks" to boost sales. So, he's selling off everything before Feb. 3, including the enormous cassette tape sign on his store's roof. Hurry in, to make your final mix tape.

 

WASHINGTON - Fake news! Really, it's fake news! (No, really.) Bogus editions of The Washington Post claiming that President Trump was leaving office hit the streets yesterday. The print papers - dated May 1, 2019, and looking amazingly similar to actual copies of The Post - were filled with anti-Trump stories, which also appeared on a website that mimicked the official Post site. (Honestly, it's hard to tell the difference these days.) Anyway, the Post's PR department felt compelled to release a statement on Twitter: "They are not Post products, and we are looking into this." The lead story - "Unpresidented" - reported Trump left a resignation message on a napkin in the Oval Office and fled Washington for Yalta, the Crimean resort that was the site of a meeting of Allied leaders during World War II. Hey, it could happen.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

 

BOISE, Idaho - In a surprising twist, a local woman is throwing out the mom pants, after doctors learned she had a 50-pound tumor growing in her body for decades. So, no, all that weight really had nothing to do with those quarts of Ben & Jerry's "Chunky Monkey." KTVB reports the woman figured she was adding the tonnage because of age, but starting feeling unwell about eight months ago. A CAT scan quickly revealed this monster tumor had actually squeezed aside some organs and was cutting off critical blood supply to her brain. Doctors spent 2 ½ hours pulling out the growth, in a colossal tug-of-war with her innards. It was well worth it; the woman instantly dropped 65 pounds.

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

 

It was this day in 2017 that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno announced her bid for governor. Her boss at the time, Gov. Chris Christie, was no where in sight. Christie was busy, busy, busy, signing an executive order in front of recovering drug addicts in Newark at 11:30 a.m. before heading to the governor's office in Trenton to speak about a very important law at 2:30 p.m. So, there's absolutely no way he could attend the 11 a.m. grand announcement from his Number Two, who had served him for eight years.

 

WORD OF THE DAY

 

Comeuppance - [kuhm-uhp-uh-ns] - noun 

 

Definition: Penalization or retribution; getting one's just desserts 
 

Example: Will there be comeuppance for continually writing about former governor - and now famous author - Chris Christie?

 

WIT OF THE DAY

 

 

"I am not young enough to know everything."

 

- Oscar Wilde


 

 

WEATHER IN A WORD

 

Biting