The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!
STATEWIDE - Should public school students be allowed to attend schools in other towns? That's the big, controversial question in a lawsuit filed against the state that looks to end what some consider to be the worst school segregation in the nation. The plaintiffs - the Latino Action Network and the NAACP New Jersey State Conference - could potentially reshape the entire school system in the state, NJ Spotlight reports. Of course, this is a lawsuit that pits the haves vs. the have-nots. You have the people who can afford $1 million or so for a house for top-notch schools. And you have those who can barely afford rent, with their children stuck in god-awful districts. It's an issue that drives deep into the entire socioeconomic structure of the state, forcing people to recognize and publicly defend some very personal beliefs. This will get messy.
AT THE STYLIST - Bet you didn't know New Jersey is one of only 13 states that requires hair braiders to be licensed cosmetologists. It's true! Also, you might not know aspiring hair braiders must complete 1,200 hours of approved instruction in cosmetology and hair styling. Well, a new proposal bumping through the state Legislature would end all that. Instead, braiders just need to register with the state, and that's a good thing, according to an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Licensing makes it expensive for aspiring entrepreneurs to start a new business, and tuition to attend beauty school could cost as much as $20,000 for a 10-month program. But who wants rogue, uncertified, unqualified, untrained hair braiders working underground? Certainly not your typical New Jerseyan.
CHERRY HILL - So much for the clever prom slogan. The principal of Cherry Hill East High School is apologizing for his school's prom tickets that includes an attempted cute Revolutionary War reference. To build up the excitement for the event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the school featured tickets that urges attendees to "Party like it's 1776," an apparent reference to the fun, Colonial-era teenage vibe that was a hallmark of our country's birth. The slogan ticked off families whose ancestries weren't exactly partying in 18th century America, according to the Courier Post. Whoops. The whole thing prompted a written apology from the principal, who acknowledged that "not all communities can celebrate what life was like in 1776." Seems like he learned his lesson, and the school is re-printing the tickets without the slogan. And, apparently, celebrating the independence of our country is now, officially, insensitive.
TRENTON - When, oh, when, will our pork roll obsession end? Now, it's even got the Trenton Thunder trading in their usual uniforms to become the "Thunder Pork Rolls," at every Friday home game until their season ends. These new uniforms - with "Pork Roll" splashed in icky pink across them - debuted at Friday's game against the Bowie Baysox. (Those swines!) It's really just a pitch for Case's Pork Roll, a six-generation family business, that sponsors the Thunder and hosts the ballpark's annual pork roll eating contest. Perhaps, the new uniforms are lucky. The Pork Rolls now lead their Eastern division with a 26-14 record. We just hope they aren't playing dirty, or pulling any pork.
LINDEN - Dirty politics? Or, just silly season? Whatever the reason, it led to a quarrel that ended with Councilman John Roman accusing Mayor Dereck Armstead of simple assault. The councilman tells NJ Advance Media: "It's dirty in Linden, but never like this," saying the mayor angrily confronted him at last week's council meeting. They traded barbs nose-to-nose. And, Roman claims the mayor bumped his shoulder, spurring him to file a police report. Armstead, who was not charged, denies the assault: "It's silly season in Linden. That's exactly what it is." Roman is backing one of two Democratic councilwomen challenging Armstead in the June primary. Expect things to get even sillier, if possible.
WASHINGTON TWP. - Always thrilling when cops deliver babies, so let's ooh and ahh for Officer James Vernon who performed an emergency C-section on a dead deer to save its fawn. Vernon and animal control officer Robert Lagonera realized the fawn was still moving inside its mother, struck by a car on a Warren County road at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. After the emergency surgery, NJ 101.5 says Lagonera took the fawn home to dry it off, warm it up and even massage its chest to help its underdeveloped lungs. He's made a friend for life.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NEW YORK - Ralph Kramden always sent Alice to the moon. Now another prominent New Yorker is offering the same trip. Just buy his $85 million apartment. WNBC reports the condo owner is desperate to unload his 15,000 square-foot duplex located on the entirety of the 45th floor of the Atelier building on West 42nd street in Manhattan. Because of the somewhat steep price tag for the 10-bedroom, 11-bathroom apartment with endless amenities, the seller is also throwing in two seats on a trip to outer space. If you act now, he will also include two Rolls Royce Phantom luxury cars, a Lamborghini, courtside seats for Brooklyn Nets games, a mansion in the Hamptons for the summer, a live-in butler and a private chef. Even Ralph would be impressed.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
A Whopper of news on this day in 1994: Fast food sell-out Dan Cortese, 26, marries Dee Dee Hemby, 26.
WORD OF THE DAY
Besot - [bə-SAHT] - noun
Definition: To make dull or stupid
Example: The never-ending onslaught of reality television has the tendency to besot most of America.
WEATHER IN A WORD