STATEWIDE – You’ve waited three long months. Now is the time to get out some of that pent-up aggression. Under the governor’s latest mandate, beginning on July 2, you can do many cool things once again. Go get a gun and blast off some rounds. Take a bat and smash something. Kill invading aliens with your bare hands. And throw a heavy ball as hard as you can, hoping for even more chaos. Thank you, Gov. Phil Murphy, for re-opening shooting ranges, batting cages, arcades and bowling alleys. We really need it. Also, for more passive activity, the governor is opening museums, aquariums, libraries and fitness centers for those with better emotional control.
STATEWIDE – Fireworks can be a real blast. But, with so many communities canceling their annual patriotic pyrotechnics, more people – not just rowdy kids – are getting a charge out of blowing stuff up. They aren’t even waiting for July 4 to set off illegal fireworks. Loud barrages are now a nightly nuisance in many New Jersey towns. Hey, we get it: Everybody’s ready to blow a fuse after being trapped home. And, there’s some guilty pleasure from lighting up the night sky or sending yappy neighborhood puppies into a tailspin. But, municipal officials want to douse this nightly surge of rockets-red-glare. Even Gov. Phil Murphy weighs in, saying illicit fireworks are “no way to blow off steam.” Cops in Hoboken, Jersey City and West New York, as well as other towns, are now prowling after dark for fire-cracking crackdowns.
STATEWIDE – New Jersey’s fireworks fascination wasn’t a factor considered by WalletHub when it, once again, deemed our state as America’s least patriotic. This is the fourth consecutive year those nerdy, nearsighted data-crushers put us dead last – in their opinion – for red, white and blue pride. Never mind that we’re home to the Statute of Liberty. Or that we have seven separate towns named Washington, who seemed to sleep everywhere in New Jersey. Forget our historic role in the revolutionary fight for freedom, and that famous row across the Delaware. Nah. Wallethub blindly trashed us using irrelevant metrics: our number of active military personnel and veterans; our number of 2016 voters; our number of people who didn’t wiggle out of jury duty; and (for unknown reasons) our number of Peace Corps and AmeriCorps volunteers. And so, we finish last again. If you’re wondering, New Hampshire – the “Live Free or Die” state – is their choice for most star-spangled state of all. In response, we officially deem WalletHub “dead last” in the bait-and-click, fake study industry.
About 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.
SOUTH JERSEY – Now who doesn’t love a political brawl, Jersey style? NJ Spotlight checks out the slugfest among two GOP hopefuls in the primary for the 3rd Congressional District. Way back when, Kate Gibbs and David Richter were thick as thieves — strike that, BFFs. But when Richter jumped from the 2nd District to declare his candidacy in the 3rd, Gibbs accused him of carpetbagging. Richter responded by blasting Gibbs’ several run-ins with the law. There was the shoplifting from a Kohl’s in Cherry Hill; the arrest with drug paraphernalia in Long Beach Township and the booze on the beach in Sea Bright. Gibbs’ explanation: She was young. She made mistakes. She learned from them. And then came the YouTube Snooki ad, which quickly cut between video of Gibbs and Snooki from “Jersey Shore.” The narration spelled it out: “Gibbs parties hard, and she’s got the criminal record to prove it.” Gibbs’ response was near nuclear, a TV ad condemning Richter’s business ventures in hostile countries — China, Syria and Libya — when he was CEO of Hill International. Your move, Richter. Meanwhile, pass the popcorn.
STATEWIDE – All would agree: New Jersey’s economy can’t rebound if people can’t go to work. But where do you put the kids? The state’s child care industry is on life support, forced to shutter for months because of the virus and now allowed to open under impossible restrictions. NJ 101.5 reports that child care center owners testified before state lawmakers yesterday, describing how they are required to have PPE, more staff and more regulation, while the number of enrollees has dropped and revenue has plunged. Strangling child care is no way for the state to recover. It is another area desperate for government intervention, policy experts say, as basic economics dictates that less money and higher expenses forces any business to shutter – even “essential services” like child care.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
STATEWIDE – There’s plenty of “pandemic puppies” pouncing around the neighborhood these days, as all this time at home has been ideal to pick up a pup. But as we now look lovingly into the eyes of these little guys, one must wonder: How long will they be with us? How about 20 years? That’s what’s happened in Tennessee, where a golden retriever is being hailed as the longest-living dog of her breed. That’s according to the GoldenHeart Golden Retrievers Rescue, which says “Augie” is going strong at 20 years, 61 days and counting. Augie was adopted at age 14; her breed is only expected to live from 10-12 years. And, with some dietary restrictions, she’s going strong in her third decade of life.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Unclear how it was possible to play tennis before 1947, when the “tennis shoe” was introduced.
WORD OF THE DAY
Omnipotent – [ahm-NIP-uh-tunt] – adjective
Definition: Having absolute power
Example: We elect public service representatives, not sovereign, omnipotent leaders.
WIT OF THE DAY
“When life gives you lemons, order the lobster tail.”
-Ziad K. Abdelnour
“Obama destroyed the lobster and fishing industry in Maine.”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD