STATEWIDE – As if Mondays aren’t grim enough, now we learn white supremacists and other homegrown armed wackos are a bigger threat to us than al Qaeda or ISIS. Foreign terrorists got downgraded on New Jersey's latest Terrorism Threat Assessment, The Record says. This comes after last year’s big leap in the spread of pro-white propaganda; after a nutjob urged fellow neo-Nazis to vandalize synagogues; and after two extremists killed four people at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City. The state's new 2020 homeland security report was released days after our nation’s two largest teacher’s unions demanded an end to active-shooter drills in schools, saying they’re frightening the kids. New Jersey requires schools to hold one such drill monthly. And yep, the drills probably are scary. But this latest version of “Duck and Cover” is sadly needed.

MARGATE – Rebuilding an oceanfront boardwalk sounds nice. But, it’s touched off a squabble as residents accuse elected officials of “using fear tactics” to thwart their proposal. Margate had a boardwalk until a hurricane wiped it out in 1944. A citizens’ committee hopes to build a new 1.6-mile-long version connecting with boardwalks in neighboring Ventnor and Longport. The group is now pushing for a ballot referendum after city officials claim a boardwalk would just make it easier for transients and criminals from Atlantic City to commit more crimes. Proponents tell CBS News that’s “an old bugaboo designed to strike fear in the hearts of Margate residents … without any facts, (just) innuendo, suspicion and bias.” One question: Where does Lucy the Elephant stand on all this?

 

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METUCHEN - Strawberry Fields? Nope. Abbey Road? Wrong again. The long and winding road inexplicably led Paul McCartney to this 2.8 square-mile borough that's home to about 14,000 people. Residents who happened to stroll down Main Street on Sunday afternoon were stunned to see the former Beatle, whose wife, Nancy Shevell, grew up in nearby Edison. One resident, John Manzo, tells NJ.com that he slowed down to take a photo of McCartney standing in front of the Buttery Bake Shoppe. Before driving off, he yelled out, "You are awesome." Paul replied, "No, you are awesome." Now that's a day in the life!

Photo credits: John Manzo 

 

BRIEFING BREATHER

Michael Jordan was originally cut from his high school basketball team. 

 

MORE FROM METUCHEN – Would-be criminals shouldn’t be too bossy with their hired help. That’s how borough cops apparently nabbed a 26-year-old guy alleged trying to sell 300 cheap knock-offs of pricey designer purses, bags, belts, shoes, jackets and hats. The Home News Tribune says officers were flagged on Middlesex Avenue last week by a man claiming he was being harassed by a young fellow who hired him move some cartons from Metuchen to Piscataway. When cops took a closer look, they found a stockpile of knock-off women’s accessories, apparently shipped here from overseas. And, the pushy young man ended up arrested for forgery and possession of counterfeit items. The lesson: Always be nice.

TRENTON – The DEP just held its first public information session on Protecting Against Climate Threats (NJ PACT) — not to be confused with NJPAC. This is good news; the Garden State is getting more serious about climate change. Yet the enviros say it’s all too little, too late, too slow. They want Gov. Phil Murphy to issue an emergency executive order that stops the clock on any future permitting of sources of greenhouse gases. Perhaps that would help slow the rate of sea-level rise, which is expected to reach 6.3 feet above 2000’s levels by the end of the century, NJ Spotlight reports. Of course, the chances of the governor signing any such order are right up there with a snowball’s chances in Trenton in August. Still, the enviros do add a much-needed sense of urgency to NJ PACT. (not NJPAC) 

 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

MARFA, Texas - Can Happy Hour help a small-town paper survive? How about a book club, or even the occasional wedding party? This quirky town, more than four hours’ drive from the nearest city, feared the worst when its beloved century-old newspaper, The Big Bend Sentinel, sold last year to a married couple from New York. But the Sentinel has avoided following nearly one-fifth of local American newspapers into bankruptcy by opening up (literally) - turning the paper’s former office building into a trendy new café and cocktail bar, called Sentinel. Five wedding receptions and countless bottles of Lone Star Lager later, the businesses are thriving, say the new owners, who’ve shored up the Sentinel’s newsroom with profits from the event space. “If people come in and buy a coffee and buy something from our shop, rent the space, buy a cocktail, whatever it is, their dollar isn’t just going to that,” co-owner Maisie Crow told The New York Times. “Their dollar is going to support something larger.” Like a profit margin.

 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Egos abounded on this day in 1994, when Indians owner Richard Jacobs pays $10 million to name the new stadium “Jacobs Field” in his honor. (Nothing like that would ever happen at Jaffe Communications.)

WORD OF THE DAY

Pontificate – [pahn-TIF-uh-kayt] – verb

Definition: To speak or express opinions in a pompous or dogmatic way

Example: Expect me to pontificate at great lengths on the issues that mean the least to you

 

WIT OF THE DAY

“The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”

     -Maximilien Robespierre

 

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“There’s zero chaos.”

-Donald J. Trump

 

WEATHER IN A WORD

Spring!