STATEWIDE – For all those out there who deemed New Jersey the most hated state in the nation, you must be woefully misinformed. How else could you explain a recent analysis that concluded that the birthplace of "The Sopranos" and the (alleged) resting place of Jimmy Hoffa is more hated than, say, Wyoming (41), Maine (29) or Mississippi (19)? The editors at Best Life examined a few factors before slapping the Garden State as “The Most Hated State,” but the clincher seems to be a poll conducted by some amateur researcher of his 320,000 Instagram followers. Guess none of them can appreciate a glorious place of boardwalks and bagels, real pizza and Real Housewives, pork roll and pork barrels (Hey, that’s politics in New Jersey). Haters gonna hate.

ON THE RAILS – NJ Transit’s ridership is drastically reduced and hundreds of millions of dollars have been vaporized. Yet the agency just approved next year’s budget – with a happy 10% increase. How so? Let’s thank our lucky stars for $955 million in federal CARES Act money which has more than covered the $860 million in losses over these few crappy months, the Record reports. So, NJ Transit will use all the extra cash to keep investing in a transit system that will eventually be jammed with commuters once again, as NJ Transit execs pray that 2021 will have revenue – either from travelers or, perhaps, another jolt of federal stimulus. One thing is for certain: NJ Transit will eventually be more important than ever to rebuild our economy. Let’s hope the wheels don’t come off the bus first.

BRIEFING BREATHER

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

29% of last year’s freshman class at Harvard University were relatives of alumni.

LINDEN – Donald Trump sure likes slapping his name on everything from luxury hotels to juicy steaks. And, as president, on federal stimulus checks and, recently, on boxes of fresh food the federal government ships to needy families. Now, like POTUS, Mayor Derek Armstead is getting slapped around as unethical for replacing Trump’s self-aggrandizing letter in those food boxes with his own letter to dozens of Linden families. Councilwoman Gretchen Hickey tells New Jersey Globe city workers opened the latest shipment of “Farmers to Families” boxes to swap letters. The mayor says he “always adds a letter” with city deliveries. But, Armstead’s version says the food is courtesy of the “Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services.” About that, Hickey says “trickery, deceitfulness, and theft for votes is very much alive in Linden.”

STATEWIDE – School has been in session for more than a month, yet state education officials still don’t have a full grasp on which kids don’t have Internet and are falling through the cracks. Politico reports that seven months after the virus crippled New Jersey’s public schools, and with a current uptick in cases, the state Department of Education is still getting a grip on which kids “learning remotely” have zero online access. Yes, it seems to be a near-impossible task, with a state official admitting it could take “a few days, a week or a few weeks” to even offer a ballpark figure. In June, the state issued a grim figure that 358,000 students were unconnected, prompting local school officials to devise their own solutions, with a flurry of laptops and prayers for state reimbursements. Has this patchwork of a solution worked? We will be sure to let you know in “a few days, a week or a few weeks.”

MONROE TOWNSHIP – In this Gloucester County town, a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter had a critical assignment: Stand by a ballot drop box all day long and see who happens by. And so she did, beginning in the wee hours of the morning on Virginia Avenue, just outside of the municipal building. Three police officers stopped by first with their ballots after an overnight shift, with one joking he was undercover. Then, as the misty daylight peeked through the town hall trees, other people filtered through: an assistant school principal, a supervisor at a juice company, a teacher, a hairstylist, a bookkeeper and even a married couple of environmental cleanup specialists. Yes, exciting times here in Gloucester County, as the minutes standing in front of the box turned to hours. The reporter’s conclusion? Yes, people are using this one particular box in which to vote.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

SEATTLE – Just when you think pinball can’t get more exciting to play: Now…Introducing….New Pinball. COVID-style! The game has been retrofitted to address our current pandemic by being touchless. Add-a-Ball Amusements closed its doors, giving the employees months to think about how to get the place reopened. One of them, who goes by the name of “Alex…AKA Sleepy…” suggested they put pedals on the pinball machines. (Look Mom! No Hands!)  Alex…AKA Sleepy… then went to work with his fellow employees to build the contraption, with the game now operating completely on pedals. Business at the reopened establishment is booming. Add-a-Ball is also offering drinks and meals in the form of "fine wines" paired with "gas station foods." Alex…AKA Sleepy… is coordinating.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day 10 years ago when the federal government proclaimed if trends in diet and exercise continue, one in three adult Americans will have diabetes by 2050. 

WORD OF THE DAY

Adducce – [uh-DOOSS] – verb

Definition: To offer as example, reason, or proof in discussion or analysis

Example: The earlier debate skills of Donald Trump adduced his performance last evening.

WIT OF THE DAY

 

“On one issue, at least, men and women agree. They both distrust women.”

- H.L. Mencken

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Finally! Suburban women are flocking over to us.”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Same