STATEWIDE - You think you are being environmentally-sensitive, as you drag your recycling to the curb every other week. But you also have very little idea about what is happening in China, which has been refusing to accept whatever garbage the USA is passing off as "recyclable." And that means that your hopelessly-soiled pizza boxes, your flimsy, useless plastics and all the other junk that you throw in the green recycling bin is simply ending up with everything else: in a landfill near you. Recycling companies used to actually pay for your trash; now it is your municipality absorbing the cost to get rid of it all. Now is the time, finally, to get educated on what is actually a recyclable in New Jersey. It's all here.
STATEWIDE - There's even more environmental guilt: very soon, you may walk into a supermarket and pile your cart with a heap of groceries. And, very soon, there may be absolutely no bags at the cash register to haul your stuff to your car. Huh? Why? There's a bill in the state Senate that would ban the use of all those single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene food containers. You want a way to drag all that stuff to your car? It would cost you a 10-cent fee for each paper bag that is mercifully sold to you. The message here: Start bringing your own reusable bags to the store, because all those plastic bags we carelessly discard are ending up in our streams and ocean for a few decades or so.
DOWN THE SHORE - As Muffy gazes out from one of her glorious balconies overlooking the Jersey Shore, enjoying her third martini of the morning, she breathes a content sigh: Not one member of the huddled masses is disturbing her view of the tranquil sea. Ahhh. But that is all about to crash down on Muffy and the state's other wealthy elite: The governor has signed a law that affirms the ocean, bays and rivers are common property kept in trust by the state for the use of all people. Sorry, Muffy: This is a legal doctrine that dates back to the Roman Empire. And that means that any member of the public - any member at all - can walk on "her" beach, sit in "her" sand and enjoy "her" air. The fact is: the beach, finally, is for everyone.
TRENTON - Does Gov. Phil Murphy hate firefighters? OK, Let's assume not. But NJ.com is wondering why his administration is suggesting that $33 million from a fund that helps the state firefighters and their families in times of hardship - a program that has been in place for 134 years or so - be diverted into the general state treasury. Of course, the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association is rightfully furious, saying that fund has paid the burial for fallen firefighters, hospital bills and in-home health care, among other support services. They say the money comes from out-of-state insurance companies and is used as a safety net, not to fill budget holes. State treasury officials say the fund will still have plenty of money - even after this raid - and the $33 million, in part, will help shore up the firefighter pension system. Fine, but this is the experience: If Trenton raids a fund, it will raid and raid it again. (See Transportation Trust Fund.)
AT THE POLLS - President Trump doesn't seem that bothered about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Just the other day, he and his Russian bestie Vladimir Putin agreed in a cozy phone call that the whole biz was more a molehill than a mountain. Assume they didn't discuss evidence that Russian hackers targeted or scanned election systems in 21 U.S. states that year. New Jersey was not one of those states - even though New Jersey's voting system is considered among the worst in the nation. So it's reassuring to learn from NJ Spotlight that the state is working to upgrade election infrastructure and systems in the state, although it seems there's a long way (and a lot of dollars) to get everything ship-shape. Go straight to NJ Spotlight for the details; no need to hack.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
HARRISBURG, Pa. - In what may be one of the most severe cases of panty fetish ever, police have found the two suspects who made off with $21,000 worth of Victoria's Secret underwear last month, WPMT-TV reports. Lower Allen cops have nailed a teen-aged women and a juvenile, after they went into the Capital City Mall and somehow stuffed 2,000 pairs of panties into a bag. (Assume plenty of G-strings.) Apparently, they also hit a Victoria's Secret store in Bethesda, Md., thus ensuring an impressive stash-house of panties, offering the black market every color and size.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1975 that the A's release the Major Leaguer with perhaps the easiest job ever, as pinch runner Herb Washington played 104 games without ever batting, pitching or fielding. Yet he somehow stole 30 bases and scored 33 runs.
WORD OF THE DAY
Coruscant - [kə-RUSS-kənt] - adjective
Definition: Sparkling or gleaming
Example: The light was brilliant and coruscant through my stolen pair of Victoria Secret's panties.
WIT OF THE DAY
"Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly; devils fall because of their gravity."
- G.K. Chesterton
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun