STATEWIDE - No one really wants to talk about it. But every time you turn on a household faucet for tap water, its likely messing with a centuries-old system that's possibly leaching lead. And, because of so many World War I-era systems, some parts of the state have an over-abundance of water, while others easily face drought. Of course, upgrading our water infrastructure is terribly expensive. That is why Sen. Bob Smith suggests a "user fee" of about $32 a year that could generate $150 million a year or so, for desperately needed upgrades, NJ 101.5 reports. Sure, you might see a "user fee" as just another tax. You are correct. Open to other options.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - New Jersey is among the worst states when it comes to election security. Perhaps that's just the way our politicos like it. But now, with all this Russian meddling, there is more scrutiny over how we do things in the great Garden State. NJ.com reports the state ranks among the five worst in the nation, with a House report highlighting how we don't keep paper records of the results in our voting machines, making it impossible to know if meddling occurred. The feds have sent New Jersey $9.7 million to begin to address this, with the expectation it will ultimately cost plenty more. Maybe we'll pay attention when campaigns ask you to vote for comrades, not candidates.
TOMS RIVER - Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem thrilled that new Township Councilman Dan Rodrick has switched parties again. A card-carrying Republican for two decades, Rodrick turned Democrat last year, months before winning a council seat with two running mates. Now his return to the Republican Party is "no surprise," says Democratic Chair Ben Giovine, telling the Asbury Park Press: "Dan is only out for Dan," adding Rodrick may think he's got better chances at running for mayor next year. Yet, GOP Councilman "Mo" Hill says Republicans are leery, still sore from Rodrick's "unfair attacks" and "flat-out (campaign) lies." Interesting to see if swapping loyalty for political advantage is the key to victory.
VINELAND - Price rollbacks may be even bigger for Walmart shoppers this week after a worker went berserk, trashing $2,000 worth of snacks, cases of soda and other food stuffs. Police say the 29-year-old employee threw a tantrum after being suspended from his job at the Landis Avenue store. The Daily Journal says the ranting worker stormed up and down aisles hurling cases of merchandise off shelves before leaving. He faces criminal mischief and defiant trespass charges. Meanwhile, now's the time to stock up on those "slightly-damaged" gallon jars of mayo.
KEANSBURG - Beach-goers are used to those planes floating by with ads for happy hours or sports gambling or whatever. So you can imagine the surprise of many on Friday when a single-engine Cessna landed on the beach. The FAA tells the Asbury Park Press the pilot radioed about engine trouble before landing on an unoccupied stretch between Beachway and Belleview Avenues. Two people aboard were rattled, but unhurt. They're certainly welcomed back. Just use a car next time, ok?
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Of course you already know this. So let us join the chorus of wishing you a very, very Happy Blue Cheese Dressing Day! The founder of Buffalo's annual chicken wing festival has concocted this new holiday, in response to a tweet from those crazy people behind National Ranch Dressing Day in March. That post from Frank's Red Hot sauce actually paired buffalo wings and ranch dressing. (Are they mad?) In Buffalo, where this delicious appetizer was created, as well as in most civilized places on Earth, blue cheese is the obvious, preferred dip for wings. Duh. So, in honor of Blue Cheese Dressing Day, fans at the evening's Buffalo Bisons' baseball game will have a chance to bob for wings in pools of blue cheese dressing. Many assume you will be celebrating in similar fashion.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2013 that Ho Chi Minh City in northern Vietnam announced a McDonald's would be open in the next year. Introducing... the McDog with a side of noodles?
WORD OF THE DAY
Garbology - [gar-BOHL-ə-jee] - noun
Definition: The study of garbage to learn about yesteryear
Example: I just pray my kids never conduct garbology on that stuff I haven't yet unpacked from college.
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
a Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun