CAMDEN - It was in 1997 when City Clerk Luis Pastoriza took a second jobas the registrar of vital statistics. And now he thinks it's about damn time he gets paid. Pastoriza is demanding to plead his case to a jury, claiming in a lawsuit that he has been flatly denied compensation for those 22 years of extra labor, reports TAPInto Camden. Not only that, he thinks Camden should throw in some extra coin to pay his lawyer and for damages. Apparently, the city clerk has been asking for the past two decades to get a paycheck for his second job. On five separate occasions, he claims, the city shook its head and said "No." Pastoriza now gets about $125,000 a year as clerk, and the registrar of vital statistics job could earn him up to $75,000 more, if the city would finally decide to pay him.
TRENTON - It's a long, long way to Halloween, but the state Board of Public Utilities is now throwing a real scare into small-business and residential customers - especially those on limited incomes. The BPU has requests for $12 billion in rate increases, and that doesn't include the billions in subsidies when utilities wade into offshore wind farms, NJ Spotlight reports. Utilities need money to upgrade their outdated power grids, move to cleaner sources of energy and roll out the infrastructure for electric vehicles. Good stuff; but someone has to pay for all this. Oh, and the BPU announced residential customers of Atlantic City Electric will see their monthly bills rise about $7 in April. Read all about it in NJ Spotlight.
STATEWIDE - You are eager to make ends meet, with your exciting and rewarding career in fast food, when opportunity strikes: Another restaurant owner notices your magic in salting French fries and wants to bring you on board with a higher hourly wage. Yet there's this crazy "no-poach" rule in the world of fast food, in which one franchise owner can't recruit an employee from another franchise owner within the same string of burger joints. It's totally unfair, which is why State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal was pleased to announce that four fast food chains have agreed to end the despised practice. No longer will Arby's, Little Caesars, Five Guys and Dunkin' Donuts restrict job prospects for their employees. Time for franchise owners to end the practice across the board, no matter how skillfully someone flips a burger.
NEW BRUNSWICK - You rarely see a sports story in this space, and that's because most sports stories are more entertainment than "news." But there's no way you can ignore Anthony Ashnault, the undefeated 149-pound wrestler for Rutgers. He's the program's very first No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, to be held next week in Pittsburgh, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. To put this in perspective, the last time a RU wrestler got close to the No. 1 seed was in 1952, when a guy named Emil Perona landed in the second seed at the NCAA Championships that year. This year, Ashnault beat up on the No. 2 seed from Ohio State, the No. 3 seed from Duke and the No. 4 seed, Matthew Kolodzik, from Princeton. So, yeah, this No. 1 tourney seed for Rutgers is definitely "news."
METUCHEN - Funny things happened on the way to the Forum Theatrein this "Brainy Boro." Officials got a brilliant idea: Buy it! They're paying $1.4 million to turn their locally beloved theater into "the centerpiece" for a downtown arts district, Mayor Jonathan Busch tells the Home News Tribune. A few I's must be dotted and T's crossed, but the officials moved ahead this week to acquire the 450-seat, 1928 movie house and vaudeville venue. Using grants and developers' fees, they also hope to buy an empty gas station next door as an "outdoor event space and dining area." So, it seems, the show will go on.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
JACKSON, Miss. - A state agency in Mississippi has yet to figure when to cut bait, already blowing nearly $18,000 to challenge a $200 fine from another state agency. (What?) The Clarion Ledger is trying to find the logic in this obvious pissing match between the Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Narcotics. The narcs had some questions about the state's drug policy, which weren't provided. A state politician, who made the original request for information, then complained to the Mississippi Ethics Commission, which fined the Department of Public Safety for not responding. That department finally coughed up the information, but is spending $18,000 to challenge the $200 fine in court. It's all about arguing when a draft document becomes a public record, or something like that.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1914 that Henry Ford announced he had a new way to build cars, decreasing the total time from 12 ½ hours to just 93 minutes.
WORD OF THE DAY
Olecranon - [oh-LEK-rə-nohn] - noun
Definition: The point of the elbow
Example: Don't you dare stick your olecranon at me, pal.
WIT OF THE DAY
"Reality continues to ruin my life."
- Bill Watterson
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun