WAYNE – What a waste of state resources. Once again, a court has to step in and block municipal officials from ignoring Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Orders to try to keep people safe. This time, a judge issued an injunction to stop the Wayne mayor from hosting two high school graduation ceremonies this week, blocking the township from having any events with more than 100 people attending, the Record reports. This comes after another silly move from Asbury Park, where the City Council tried to open restaurants for indoor dining in an effort to usurp the governor’s mandate. A judge stepped in on Friday, ordering them to cool it. C’mon people…

NEW BRUNSWICK – Nothing screams romance more than applying to the Rutgers University chancellor to get permission to continue to date, but that is the deal under new rules the university has adopted to curb sexual harassment. Moreover, RU professors and anyone else who teaches at the school are now clearly blocked from dating any undergraduates, no matter their age, etc. And professors can’t date the graduate students either - if there is even a whiff of conflict, NJ.com reports. This is a huge step from the old policy, which really didn’t do anything, stating the university “strongly” discouraged such dating. So, what happens to those happy couples – even the ones who are married – within the university community? They have 30 days to apply for an exemption from the university chancellor, who apparently has some metrics to decide whose love is allowed to bloom freely. And for those lovebirds caught violating the policy? The faculty member could get fired.

DOWN THE SHORE – The assumption is that beach rentals will be scarce this summer, as most vacationers have little option these days if they don’t want to jump on a plane. But NJ 101.5 reports there are still plenty of beach houses for rent later this summer, as some jittery renters are expressing concern about lingering COVID-19 as these houses quickly flip from one occupant to another. There seems to be a lot of properties available for late July and early August, following the initial rush of the summer and restrictions continue to ease (hopefully.) Maybe you will get a vacation after all.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

Vermont has the only U.S. state capitol without a McDonald’s.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Penmanship isn’t a big focus in school these days. That’s what makes this new federal court ruling about signature problems and mail-in ballots in New Jersey so timely. Basically, regardless of the unreadable scrawl you sign your mail-in ballot with, state election officials have been instructed to accept it, NJ Spotlight reports. And if there is a truly indecipherable problem - like if you decide to sign your ballot with your left hand even though you’re right-handed – you may get a friendly note to please come down and straighten the problem out. The catch? Right now, the federal ruling only applies to the July 7 primaries. The court is still hearing arguments about upcoming elections. Bottom line: If the court is going to make it this easy to exercise your right, then there’s no excuse not to vote. Consider it a practice run for November.

HOWELL – It wouldn’t be nice, polite, or legal to describe the agony that anyone deserves for stealing, starving, burning and burying four puppies. Sadly, filing a bundle of animal cruelty and theft charges against two young residents is the worst that the Monmouth County prosecutor can do. He tells NJ 101.5 that this pair allegedly swiped four, sickly, three-week-old German shepherd puppies from a Somerset County farm in May. Veterinary care was too expensive, so, they figured, why not just starve the puppies to death? It then got worse. Police later found two charred, emaciated bodies in a fire pit on land where this couple lived in a camper. Two more malnourished corpses were buried nearby. The guy was arrested and, sadly, gets three meals a day at the Monmouth County jail. His girlfriend remains at large, for this fleeting moment. 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

AT THE MARKET – Brand mascots derided as racially insensitive stereotypes are going the way of Mr. Clean’s hairline. First it was Aunt Jemima, then it was Uncle Ben. Now comes word that Mrs. Butterworth might be disappearing from supermarket shelves, according to a report from USA Today. Company officials say their signature female-shaped bottles are meant to evoke images of a loving grandmother, but “we can see that our packaging may be interpreted in a way that is wholly inconsistent with our values.” When asked about this long-awaited spate of packaging changes, Tony the Tiger reportedly said, “They're gr-r-reat!”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1989 that John Wayne Bobbitt married Lorena Gallo. What could go wrong?

WORD OF THE DAY

 

Conflate – [kun-FLAYT] – verb

Definition: To confuse

Example: I often conflate Washington in Bergen County with Washington in Burlington County with Washington in Gloucester County with Washington in Morris County with Washington in Warren County (which has Washington Borough surrounded by Washington Township.)

WIT OF THE DAY

 

“[Trump’s] thinking was like an archipelago of dots (like individual real estate deals), leaving the rest of us to discern — or create — policy. That had its pros and cons.”

-John Bolton

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Wacko John Bolton’s “exceedingly tedious” (New York Times) book is made up of lies & fake stories. Said all good about me, in print, until the day I fired him. A disgruntled boring fool who only wanted to go to war. Never had a clue, was ostracized & happily dumped. What a dope!”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Unsettled