JERSEY CITY – This city’s school board won’t be shaming kids with unpaid lunch bills after it saw the thrashing other school districts, like Cherry Hill, got in the national media. The board scrapped one member’s proposal to withhold hot meals from students whose lunch bills aren’t paid up. The district is owed $65,000 for unpaid meals from the last year. But, BOE President Sudhan Thomas says lunch debt policies are hugely emotional, political and civil rights issues, telling the Jersey Journal it “will be addressed with the compassion and sensitivity it deserves. There will be no lunch shaming in Jersey City; not now, not ever.” Good, okay. But how does Jersey City handle the ongoing debt?

BELVIDERE – Hard to imagine Vice President Mike Pence merrily decking his halls with boughs of holly or anything else. It’s even tougher picturing Pence buttoned to his eyeballs in a starched flannel shirt, stiffly scouring the 170-acre Wyckoff Christmas Tree Farm, in this Warren County town, for trees worthy of his official DC residence. Nah. That daunting task falls to the national Christmas tree-growers trade association. WFMZ News says that group asked tree farmer John Wyckoff to deliver a 15-foot Fraser fir and six smaller firs to the veep’s house at the U.S. Naval Observatory. The Pence family wasn’t home, but Wyckoff is going back for a December banquet to honor our nation’s top tree farmers. By then, those trees should be all decked out in fifty shades of gray.

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SECAUCUS – One might assume there are plenty of mobsters in the Meadowlands, y’know, in places we don’t talk about. Capiche? The Meadowlands Exposition Center is the picture-perfect backdrop for a Sopranos convention this weekend. (After all, Emil Kolar, is buried in Episode 1, season 1 in the Meadowlands.) Together, we will kiss the rings of the state’s favorite shake-down artists who always seemed to be facing charges of “wire fraud.” So, stop by Saturday or Sunday to meet 45 of the original cast members, like Paulie Walnuts and Uncle Junior, as you begin your experience by walking through a toll booth and emerging from a mock-up of the Lincoln Tunnel. Then, check out all the memorabilia you can handle. But remember: know your place.

TRENTON – You think things move slowly in Trenton? Take a look at a piece of legislation that Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz is trying to get heard by the Assembly health committee. It’s a proposal that would essentially put nurses in charge of decisions about nurse staffing-level at hospitals. According to NJ Spotlight, proposals to tackle staffing ratios have been kicking about since — drum roll, please — 2003. Watch this space for legislative updates. No rush, really.


ST. PETERSBURG, FL. – Just think how far this one guy had to sink, busted on charges of hiding his meth stash in his belly button. Cops arrested the 380-pound man with a needle at a McDonald’s in Clearwater, hauling him in on methamphetamine possession. It got worse during his intake at the Pinellas County Jail, where sheriff’s officers detected a “small bag of crystal powder substance wedged deep within [his] belly button cavity.” The man explained he was “just being dumb and not thinking,” Fox Newsreports. So, his charge of drug possession has been quickly escalated with two felony charges for introducing contraband into a correctional facility and more drugs. One must ponder: What else is this guy hiding? And where?

LAKEHURST – Well, that’s it. There are no more survivors from the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. That news just happened, as Werner Gustav Doehner, the last among 62 passengers and crew who escaped the May 6, 1937 fire, died at 90. He was an eight-year-old boy who suffered severe burns to his face, arms and legs before his mother managed to heave him and his brother from the burning airship. His sister and father died in the Lakehurst disaster, and Werner rarely talked about the fateful zeppelin ride from Germany to New Jersey. 


Finally, and thankfully, the feds banned smoking on most domestic flights on this day in 1989.


Noisome – [NOY-səm] – adjective


Definition: Noxious, harmful


Example: Many still recall the noisome aromas on a cross-country flight filled with cigarette smoke.


“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not.”


― Mark Twain


“I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.”

- Donald J. Trump



A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun