Jaffe Morning Briefing

January 18, 2019

TRENTON - When you find yourself paying $10 for some pancakes and a cup of coffee, thank state lawmakers. On one hand, news that the state will be steadily raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 is tremendous for many struggling families. But someone has to pay for it. That, of course, ...

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NORTH JERSEY - Not everyone is man enough to be a Girl Scout. That's quite evident in the latest episode of the Jaffe Podcast, in which we chat with the CEO of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, serving seven counties. Natasha Hemmings says there's this myth that Girl Scouts exist just to sell ...

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NORTH JERSEY - On this day, 20 years ago, we got our first look at a modern-day gangster, cigar in mouth, driving down the New Jersey Turnpike, to a funky beat. We saw the refineries and the tank farms. And we saw Interchange 13 in all its glory, the airplanes out of Newark, the pizza joint, the ...

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WAYNE - Back in the day, a "Cannabis Institute" at a New Jersey college typically comprised a bong, a couple boxes of half-eaten pizza and some R.E.M. But this is a new generation, and now colleges are eager to create "Institutes" about pretty much anything. And, so, prospective students at William ...

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MARLTON - New Jersey doesn't need DPW crews; it needs goats. A local farmer is collecting her neighbors' discarded Christmas trees and feeding them to her pack of 12 hungry goats. Philly.com thinks this woman may have struck gold. Why should we all have to pay to haul away our holiday trees - and ...

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STATEWIDE - Property taxes across New Jersey jumped by another $639 million in 2018, reaching nearly $30 billion. Consider yourself damn lucky; this is apparently "good news." The average tax bill went up just $77, the lowest annual increase that anyone can remember, giving the "average taxpayer" - ...

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STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, we've heard all the Jersey jokes. "The Armpit of America" and a lot of other stuff. Har-Har. You would think our streets are filled with trash, as we sit it in our diners, smoke cigarettes and gaze at our tire piles. But the true, hard fact is that New Jersey is one of the ...

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WINSLOW TOWNSHIP - Should a homeowner be allowed to adorn his front lawn with toilets? A local resident says "Of Course," and is now suing his hometown for violating his civil rights, the Courier Post reports. The self-proclaimed Trump supporter is claiming "malicious prosecution" after township ...

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WANTAGE - New Jersey has its first udderly cute story of the year. It began in the wee hours last Thursday night, when a pregnant cow fell off the second level of a truck headed to a slaughterhouse in Paterson. "Brianna" fell eight feet onto Route 80 and wandered around the highway until Skylands ...

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TRENTON – On Christmas Day, George Washington will once again be crossing the Delaware River. And let’s assume he is downright sick of of these reenactments. Every year, for 242 years, he bundles up and begs soldiers to row through ice and stiff winds on a national holiday, for Chrissake. Really, ...

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STATEWIDE - 565 towns in New Jersey. With property taxes so high, and climbing by the moment, perhaps it is high time we knock out those itty-bitty towns and eliminate some redundancy. Sen. Vin Gopal agrees, pushing a bill that requires towns with less than 1,000 residents to consolidate with their ...

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ANDOVER - You can have "emotional support" dogs and "emotional support" cats. But don't dare keep "emotional support" chickens within the boundaries of Andover, population 606. A local resident was hauled in front of the judge, admitting that he has been housing these "non-domestic" animals, and ...

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TRENTON - First there was Rocky, then Rocky II, and then many, many more Rockys. Speaking of rockiness with staying power, the dyspeptic relationship between Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney went another round yesterday when the governor vetoed a bill of which Sweeney was a prime ...

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HOBOKEN - Throw hundreds of drunken Santas on the streets and - Wow! - you better watch out and you better not cry. Police tell us why: By early yesterday morning, there were at least 14 Santas under arrest and 33 others got tickets for peeing on the street or for overwhelming drunkenness. Santas ...

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TRENTON - In his 30 years or so in print journalism, Charlie Stile knows his readers. This stalwart columnist at the Bergen Record knows what his readers will find interesting, how they like to be told a story and even when they are most likely to read his columns. Usually, that time is Friday ...

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TRENTON - Even with a joint committee on legalizing cannabis in New Jersey, it looks increasingly doubtful that there will be a vote in 2018. It really seemed like recreational marijuana would have been legalized this fall, but there's a lot of smoke hanging arond. How should the state tax the ...

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JERSEY CITY - For some, the chronic traffic at the Holland Tunnel is not what's really ticking them off these days. Rather, they are infuriated with the holiday décor. Someone at the Port Authority decided to stick a triangular tree over the letter "N" instead of "A" - and made the crossing a ...

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MENDHAM - Not too long ago, the job of White House Chief of Staff was highly-coveted and well-respected for its massive influence within the Beltway. Now, it's the place you go to kill your career. There is a big "Help Wanted" sign hanging on the door knob at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., likely scrawled ...

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ON THE ROADS - Well, duh. A new report shows that North Dakota is the top state in the nation when it comes to driving. Well, of course. No one lives there. You can speed for miles and miles and not see a soul. And other great states to drive in? Well, duh, again. Those "top states," according to ...

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PRINCETON - If you add up all the brain power at Princeton University, it could figure a way to teach trigonometry to a flea. Yet the university has been struggling with all the bicycle thefts around the leafy campus. NJ.comreports the latest effort is for police to create "bait bikes."  They are ...

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STATEWIDE - Does New Jersey hate Christmas? Of course not, but that's not stopping one of those clickbait online survey companies from ranking the state 47thout of the 50 states in our level of bah humbug. This "source," called GetCenturyLink, was even nice enough to slap New Jersey with a Grinch ...

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PRINCETON - Princeton's all-male acappella group, the Tigertones, is apparently off-key in this era of #MeToo. And that's why it is no longer performing the song "Kiss The Girl" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid." You may recall that Prince Eric sang the song in the 1989 cartoon, when Ariel's voice ...

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THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - When political scientists look back at the 2018 midterm elections, it will be impossible to ignore the suburban moms who helped turn the tide in the 7th and 11th Congressional districts. These highly-educated and highly-engaged women were stunned over the election of President ...

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ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - As all sights are set on "Trump 2020," political factions are dealing with a new normal: a truly engaged electorate. State officials will be making the results of last month's election "official" in New Jersey today, showing the largest voter turnout in a Congressional ...

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STATEWIDE - Technically speaking, it's called the "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act." Not exactly the sexiest name in the history of state law, but New Jersey's potheads are unfazed. That's because this 147-page document, to be debated today in Trenton, is the ...

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OLD BRIDGE - The guy with a massive Christmas display has made national news this morning, as everyone seems entranced by his ongoing war with township officials. The lights go on Saturday night, for the 15th straight season, but the town is demanding Tom Apruzzi pay $2,000 a night for security and ...

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ON THE RAILS - Is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo our savior? He heads to Washington today to try and knock some sense into President Trump about the obvious and desperate need for a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Cuomo says he is "tentatively" scheduled to meet with Trump and his ...

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STATEWIDE - By now, you know it's Giving Tuesday. Your email exploded for hours with requests from every worthy New Jersey organization desperate to fight through the clutter to capture your fleeting attention. Yes, you care about the elderly, about the sick, about the poor, about the hungry, about ...

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Happy Thanksgiving! The Jaffe Briefing will return Monday, November 26 TRENTON - Weed smokers have been waiting years - even decades - for this moment. And it may seem like a mirage in all the fuzzy haze, but state lawmakers have circled Monday, Nov. 26 as the ...

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MAHWAH - Books can be bulky, dusty and may cause paper cuts. But, that's not why public school kids here have new limits on how often they can check-out library books. The school district just wants to put more emphasis on "technology instruction," and less on good, old-fashioned reading.

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