TRENTON - New Jersey lawmakers want the governor to spend, spend, spend. And it seems sane, in this case. The U.S. Census only comes around every 10 years, and an inaccurate count could cost the Garden State billions of dollars in federal aid, as well as a seat in Congress, which is what happened in 2010. Legislators think the $2.45 million Murphy wants to pony up for a multilingual, multimedia outreach campaign is a bit chintzy. They're arguing that $9 million is a much better number, which works out to about $1 for every person in the state. One key reason for the expenditure: The U.S. Supreme Court may allow a citizenship question on the 2020 forms. Given the state's significant undocumented population, the question could result in an undercount of 500,000 people. Read it all in NJ Spotlight.
TOMS RIVER - It's been as few weeks since the media last covered a stoned school bus driver in New Jersey, so here's a catch-up. Yet again, a school bus driver has been busted for DWI - this time, a 57-year-old driver who was under the influence of prescription meds smacked her bus, carrying 28 kids, into another bus as she tried to pull up to the Ocean County Vocational Technical School yesterday morning. The driver, who has been working for the Lacey schools for nearly a quarter-century, was hit with a bunch of DWI charges, while eight kids suffered minor injuries, WPVI reports. Personal injury lawyers, once again, are salivating.
OFF THE RAILS - NJ TRANSIT calls him the very first "Customer Advocate & Chief Customer Experience Officer." Others may call Stewart Mader a public punching bag, as his job is dedicated to "monitoring and improving the customer experience statewide at every customer touchpoint," says an agency press release. Gov. Phil Murphy jumped on this PR train, saying as NJ TRANSIT rebuilds itself into "a world-class mass transit agency," Mader will ensure the voices of riders are heard, as they wait on platforms for trains that never arrive, or are herded into overcrowded cars where some slob is sprawled, half-asleep, over three seats. Murphy is applauding NJ TRANSIT for "prioritizing" all those voices, chock-full of colorful language.
STATEWIDE - Betcha didn't know of the existence of "The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council." And you certainly didn't know that the council is working diligently with Rutgers on the creation of new, exciting types of Jersey peaches to keep the state competitive with the onslaught of other peach products out there. NJ 101.5 reports the Peach Promotion Council is in cahoots with two "peach experts" at Rutgers to create that perfect Jersey peach. There's about 30 or 40 different type of peaches in New Jersey, no one really knows for sure. But the good people at the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council want to ensure various peaches are ripe throughout the season, all the way through September, giving us many opportunities to enjoy local produce. Sounds peachy.
STATEWIDE - First, Burger King introduced a fast-food hot dog, and New Jersey groaned. Now, the chain is doubling down, with a vegetarian version of the Whopper. It is being branded as the "Impossible Whopper" and all the genius researchers at Burger King think that the plant-based eaters who have ignored the restaurant for decades will suddenly flock through the doors. Having vegetarians suddenly embrace fast food - especially a place that entices customers by smelling like flame-broiled red meat - seems, well, Impossible.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ONLINE - For those who may not exactly be fans of hardcore porn sites, there's at least one that's giving you a chance to stand up and cheer. Just in time for May, PornHub has created a "Beesexual" channel, featuring titillating coverage of good bees gone bad. The site shows very explicit footage of bees baring it all, as they pollinate flower after flower, again and again. PornHub vows to make donations to bee conservatories and other pro-bee charities to help "ensure bees continue to fornicate and pollinate."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1982 that Rod Stewart was mugged, with the gunman stealing his $50,000 Porsche. Yet, Stewart's hair remained fantastic.
WORD OF THE DAY
Anathema - [ə-NATH-ə-mə] - noun
Definition: A person or entity utterly disliked, loathed or cursed
Example: There's no way Jersey peaches are my anathema.
WIT OF THE DAY
"A two-year old is kind of like a blender, but you don't have any top for it."
- Jerry Seinfeld
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun