HOBOKEN - Aww, c'mon. That's really the only thing one guy can say, after Google Maps somehow caught him in mid-fall. Up through 8 p.m. yesterday, if you typed "725 Willow Ave. Hoboken, New Jersey" in Google Maps and clicked "street view," this is what appeared. Really, what are the odds?
TRENTON - Cash remains king in New Jersey, even though all those trendy restaurants, coffee houses and boutiques are eager for you to pay with your smartphone or other fancy device. Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that requires New Jersey businesses to still accept cash at brick-and-mortar locations, no matter how modern they try to appear. Murphy said that businesses that run on cashless commerce disenfranchise people who have bad credit or no bank account. Of course, this demographic is not exactly the target customer base for most businesses. But the governor is right in ensuring these customers can have full access - as long as they bring the bucks. New Jersey joins Massachusetts as the only two states with this requirement, showing, yet again, how special we truly are.
TRENTON - Despite marijuana's reputation as a mellowing influence, there were plenty of frayed nerves at yesterday's hearings on what is succinctly known as the "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Modernization Act." The measure was voted out of committee by both houses, but pols from both parties were angry that a final version wasn't available before the vote, that some lawmakers dropped "yes" votes and then ran off to deal with other business, and that the public didn't get a chance to weigh in on the revised legislation. Whatever the case, assume the governor just wants a bill to sign already. After all, he is already counting on $20 million in weed-related revenue for his fiscal 2020 budget. Read more in today's NJ Spotlight.
PATERSON - It is a simple, effective charity: come in, try on some prom dresses and, if you can't afford it, no problem. But one mother and daughter duo got greedy on Sunday, caught on surveillance video carting off with 20 or so dresses, in two trips, loading them into a luxury SUV and then speeding off from the charity event in nearby Haledon, CBS reports. Organizers with "Paterson Cares," which gives away up to 500 dresses for those with valid student IDs, say they will only file charges if the dresses aren't returned. Perhaps some mandatory hours of community service are warranted.
CAMDEN - They are called "ghost guns," and they are finally getting off New Jersey streets. State officials announced four Lindenwold men were busted under a new law that makes it a crime to purchase, manufacture, possess or distribute these untraceable guns, TAPInto Camden reports. The arrests were part of impressive-sounding "Operation Stone Wall," a year-long investigation that spanned across Camden County and into Pennsylvania, netting 12 arrests. State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal says the arrests underscore this black market of ghost guns, with no serial numbers, that are purchased over the internet without background checks. Ghost guns are often shipped 80 percent complete, with the remaining parts assembled using parts sold by the manufacturer and online instructions. They are impossible to trace, ideal for criminals and thankfully banned in New Jersey.
WANTAGE - A white goat and a black lamb have thrilling tales (tails?) to tell and a new home at the 232-acre Skylands Sanctuary & Animal Rescue. NYPD officers corralled the young goat on a South Bronx street Sunday after its daring escape from a nearby slaughterhouse. And, the New York Post says, a NYPD cop rescued the lamb he found darting in and out of traffic on the busy Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn. Police believe the lamb fell or leaped off a truck. Obviously, March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.
HAMILTON - No cakewalk for Kelly Yaede, as she seeks a third term as mayor. Yaede is facing a surprise GOP primary challenge from gadfly David Henderson. He tells the Trentonian he can't watch his town "run into the ground by mismanagement and corruption." His bid comes days after Yaede's harshest Town Council critic, Republican Ileana Schirmer, threw in the towel for re-election, saying she "no longer respects" Yaede's leadership "defined by bullying, intimidation, retaliation, secrecy and self-absorbed attitudes." And only eight more months of this until Election Day.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BERLIN - Unclear how truly drunk a train passenger was on Sunday, when he took a fire extinguisher and smashed it through the driver's window of a high-speed train running from Frankfurt to Paris. The message from this drunkard: Slow down this train! Police say the 30-year-old passenger ripped a fire extinguisher off a wall and smashed it through the glass door that separates the driver from all the drunken nut jobs with fire extinguishers. He then told the driver that he was there to save all the passengers, and the train must slow down. Federal police were all over the unidentified passenger, now facing more charges than there's space here to list.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2015 that a San Diego donut shop unveiled the "Big Poppa Tart Donut," a gigantic, one-pound donut stuffed with Pop Tart filling. The thing is two square inches of glob, stuffed with strawberry jam and a strawberry Pop Tart, then topped with diced Pop Tart, sprinkles and drizzled jam. They sold in 2015 for $4 a pop; the shop owner tells the Orange County Register that 150 were sold a day. No clue if any customers survived the heart attacks.
WORD OF THE DAY
Cockalorum - [kakh-ə-LOHR-əm] - noun
Definition: A self-important yet irrelevant person
Example: What kinda cockalorum thinks he's too good for a Big Poppa Tart Donut?!
WIT OF THE DAY
"Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age."
- Jon Stewart
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun