STATEWIDE – Welcome to World Math Day! And why are none of us remotely excited? That’s because New Jerseyans – by and far – can’t stand math. Don’t take our word for it. Take the word of a random Internet source known as Brainly, a math tutoring company. Their PR team lists the states with the most math lovers and the states that akin calculus to a communicable disease. And the state that despises math the most? Tennessee. And Number Two? Yup, that would be New Jersey, followed by other math haters in Virginia, Arizona and Maryland. We would try to prove that the Brainly study is statistically incorrect, but, um, that would require math. And we hate that.

ON THE RAILS – Weary, downtrodden and beaten commuters are suddenly looking unto the heavens. The black clouds are slowly parting, and a glimpse of glorious sun is peeking through, finally. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. At least for the daily riders on the ugly stepchild of NJ Transit, known as the Raritan Valley Line. It looks like direct midday train service into New York will be restored on Nov. 4, after the popular program was disbanded more than a year ago, after NJ Transit couldn’t find any trains or engineers to drive them. Thousands of midday riders will benefit, while the rush-hour riders will still trudge between trains in Newark on the daily trek. All should celebrate a move in the right direction. Onward.

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TRENTON – Wanna own a bank? Gov. Phil Murphy thinks the people of New Jersey deserve one. When he was on the campaign trail, he vowed to set up a public, state-run bank. The idea, explained the former Goldman Sachs honcho, was that it would counter the excesses of Wall Street, offer low-cost services to a wide range of people and leverage the millions of dollars in taxpayer deposits that no longer would be parked in the commercial banks. But, as NJ Spotlight explains, setting up a public bank hasn’t been easy, even for our Wall Street whiz in the governor’s office.

PATERSON – Fallout may drag on for years from the recent federal conviction of seven corrupt city cops. Defense attorneys for anyone these cops ever arrested may try overturning their sentences and sue the city. The Paterson Press reports city legal fees and insurance payouts for civil judgments or out-of-court settlements could be outrageously eye-popping. And some criminals could go free. To “rebuild faith” in the police, Mayor Andre Sayegh now suggests reforms: Body cameras for cops, hiring outside consultants to “audit” police activities, and a new citizen advisory board with subpoena powers (and, yep, its own lawyer) to probe wrongdoing. All fine ideas, just too late for this round.

ON THE ROAD – Love is in the air for amorous bucks and does. Yep, it’s mating season once again for New Jersey’s deer population, as some “bachelor stags” seek to sow some wild oats before winter. Maybe you noticed more of them frolicking along the Parkway and other major highways. Perhaps you thought: “Darn, I left my trusty rifle at home.” Police and state officials have other thoughts: First, bear hunting began Monday, not deer season, so no blam-blam. Second, they tell the Asbury Park Press, drivers should be extra careful during the “fall rut.” Lusty bucks won’t look both ways before darting across roads after a saucy doe, raising chances for vehicle collisions. Stay alert, and just let nature take its course.


EVERYWHERE – Most anyone with a taste for Scotch whisky would say it’s great either rocks or neat. So, after all these generations, why mess with it? That is the question of the morning for Glen Livet, which is marketing a truly bizarre substitute that is creating quite a stir. Meet the whisky pod. It is a strange edible packet of booze, offering a tiny whisky cocktail. It is an edible capsule concocted from seaweed, so there is no need for a glass, ice or a cocktail stirrer. It looks exactly like a Tide pod, which we are all now urged to consume and enjoy. We thought this was all a joke; perhaps a SNL parody. But then Glen Livet double-downed by releasing a YouTube video. Why, oh why?


It was this day in 1986 that the U.S. government shuts down. Also, on this day, Marie Osmond gets married. Related? You decide.


Chary – [CHAIR-ee] - adjective

Definition: Slow to grant, accept, or expend

Example: I’m chary with my words. Nothing more to add here.


“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

- Benito Mussolini (as retweeted by Donald J. Trump)


“The lion shall lie down with the calf, but the calf won’t get much sleep.”

― Woody Allen



A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun