ASBURY PARK - A $15 minimum wage for teenagers? C'mon, we like our teens as much as you, but the effort by "Make the Road New Jersey" yesterday to circulate petitions for a required $15 an hour for high schoolers dilutes the whole argument. A mandatory $15 an hour is designed to ensure struggling poor families can somewhat afford to live in New Jersey. If employers were also required to pay untrained kids nearly twice the current minimum wage, no matter the work, one thing is certain: Half of them would get jobs.

HELMETTA - In what could be the biggest crime case to ever involve this speck of a town, a local man is in custody on charges of burglarizing more than 60 cars. Because there is likely not 60 cars in his entire town, the 26-year-old suspect needed to stretch his spree into surrounding South Brunswick, East Brunswick, Jamesburg and Monroe, the Home News Tribune reports. Cops found him hiding inside a vehicle at 2 a.m. Tuesday, hauled him to the county jail and thereby reduced the total population of Helmetta to single digits.

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STATEWIDE - Remember the whole mess with the feds limiting write-offs from property taxes to $10,000 per taxpayer? State officials have sued, claiming this new Trump law is a $3.1 billion hit on beleaguered taxpayers in New Jersey, with, as Gov. Phil Murphy says, a "tax hike on our working and middle-class families and seniors." Sickening, right? But the Record notes some additional number crunching in this lawsuit. If the state miraculously defeats Uncle Sam, about 60 percent of the tax benefits - almost $1.9 billion - would go the richest 1.5 percent of state residents - not the poor, huddled masses. In fact, 280 families, with incomes over $10 million, would reap $118 million, or 4 percent of the total. Time for Murphy to modify his talking point.

READINGTON - Peddling pro-Trump t-shirts and buttons out of your car shouldn't get you into too much trouble in a mostly "red" town like this. No permit? No problem, right? Not so fast, police say. The Courier News reports two men ended up in cuffs after setting up a make-shift shop Monday in the Route 22 Kings Food Market parking lot. One, from the Bronx, had a couple of outstanding arrest warrants. Cops found some pot and drug paraphernalia on a second, Roselle man. Police told a third peddler to pack up the Trump 2020 souvenirs and move along. Go make another town great again. 

SEASIDE HEIGHTS - It's going to be hot and sticky today, but don't expect any relief in Seaside Heights. All these heavy rainstorms have been messing with the ocean - scientifically speaking - and the borough is closing its ocean beaches for the first time in more than 20 years, the mayor announced on Facebook. Why? Mayor Anthony Vaz says there has been "negative water quality tests," likely because of all those heavy rains that battered the shore on Monday.  There also happens to be an enormous amount of seagulls, all of whom are extremely interested in your bologna sandwich. Seaside Heights expects to open the beaches to swimmers tomorrow, although you are invited today to play in the sand and get a coupon for a free daily beach badge.


PARIS - Public, eco-friendly urinals, you say? Sounds très bien, except many Parisians wish these new open-air toilets were actually concealed in stalls. Rather, the "Uritrottoir" - a combination of the French words for urinal and pavement - is essentially a box with an opening in the front and a floral display on top, containing straw which transforms into compost for use in parks and gardens. And all these Uritrottoirs are oddly stationed near public schools, the Notre Dame cathedral and tourist boats passing on the Seine. Marketed as the "eco-solution for public peeing," many are peeved. Gotta wonder what kind of model is offered for a Number Two. An orange Home Depot bucket?


It was this day in 1988 that NYC Mayor Ed Koch announced his personal war on street-corner squeegee guys.


Risorgimento - [ree-zor-jə-MEN-toh] - noun

Definition: A time of renewal or renaissance

Example: Seeing all this development in downtown Newark this summer, once must ask: Is the Brick City finally experiencing a Risorgimento? 



A Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun