STATEWIDE – Before we even begin with this, bar owners are outraged. They’ve begged and borrowed for the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to secure a precious liquor license. With this backdrop, Sen. Vin Gopal is suggesting a new kind of liquor license, in which other eateries would be allowed to serve just beer, wine and cider for a fee of just $4,000 or so. It is not a new plan; there have been demands for reform banging around the State House for years, as the state tries to blow the dust off this arcane system of dispensing liquor to the thirsty masses. Many restaurants are bounced out of the competition, with the limited number of liquor licenses and the high price of entry. With Gopal’s proposal, consumers would certainly win, as businesses would no longer need to charge $8 for a pint of so-so beer, just to try and cover costs of the liquor license. But this would be awful news for established bars and other businesses, who have invested heavily and need the exclusivity to maintain their profit. That’s why Gopal is also suggesting that businesses with full liquor licenses would receive tax credits for the next 10 years to compensate for any decrease in value, NJ.com reports. Sounds good. But, then again, we don’t own a bar.

TRENTON – New Jersey is warmly welcoming a new state education commissioner: Angelica Allen-McMillan. All we can say is “good luck.” This former Morris County superintendent, who begins serving in an “acting” capacity this morning, is inheriting the leadership of a statewide public school system that is begging for direction and consistency. Some school districts have kept kids at home since March, others have kids masked and sitting at their desks in school. Others have various hybrid models. Schools keep opening and schools keep closing. And, there’s other stuff, like the fact that some remote students are still struggling to have Internet access and – oh, by the way – the state is flat broke, borrowing billions. Yet this acting commissioner must now lead a charge to provide every student in this state with a “thorough and efficient” education, pandemic or not. “We have been knocked down and will continue to stumble on occasion as we work to stand tall in our fight against Covid-19,” Allen-McMillan said.  Again, good luck.

LBI – Aaaah. That’s the moment when you have battled through all the Jersey Shore traffic, turned off at Exit 63, headed east in this stop-and-go backup with maddening traffic lights, and finally see it: The Causeway bridge. We all know it: That glorious, three-mile span that connects Manahawkin to LBI, and the final obstacle between you and your well-deserved vacation. The America’s Transportation Awards has noticed the Causeway as well, naming it one of 12 finalists in the “People’s Choice” category, NJ.com reports. The Causeway actually has a formal name, which no one knows. It is called the “Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge” and, if everyone votes for the Causeway as a winner, the state would get a $10,000 prize for scholarships, donations to help pay back billions in borrowing. So, be a part of Jersey tradition and vote all you want through Oct. 25. Make Dorland J. Henderson – a state engineer who died in 1996 – proud.

Sign Up for Bloomfield Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

BRIEFING BREATHER

The buzz of an electric razor plays in the key of B flat.

STATEWIDE – New Jersey’s favorite Halloween candy is obviously Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, right? No? Then, M&Ms, obviously. Nope? According to a study done by CandyStore.com, with 13 years of internal sales data, New Jersey’s hands-down favorite candy this holiday is Tootsie Roll Pops. The state licks to the center of 141,782 pounds of candy this year. That makes plenty more sense than all those crazies across the Hudson; as Sour Patch Kids are the favorite Halloween candy of New York, for some reason. Other oddities: Hot Tamales for New Mexico, Dubble Bubble for Montana and Blow Pops for Ohio.

ON THE ROAD – The next time you see a gas-guzzling Hummer on the road, you may hold back on shaking your head in disgust. Sure, it still remains ridiculous to require a military-grade, all-terrain vehicle just to head to Home Depot for drain cleaner, but Ford says it has found a future for the Hummer: As an electric vehicle. The new-and-improved Hummer can now travel 350 miles without a new charge, with some completely unnecessary new features, like diagonal off-road movement and a digital cockpit designed by Fortnite creator Epic Games. Seems the perfect vehicle for young men who have not yet grown up, and their parents are still on the hook for the electric bill. Next up for this market: the Tesla Cybertruck.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

LAS VEGAS – And, speaking of impractical, expensive vehicles, let’s celebrate the coolness of the SSC Tuatara, recently clocked at 331.151 mph on Nevada State Highway 160, capturing the record for the highest speed a car ever achieved on a public road. Now, time to cash in: The company said it plans a production run of 100 Tuatara cars to be sold commercially, which is an absolute must for Cape May commuters who need to be in NYC within, say, 30 minutes.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

New Jersey crawled out of the 20th century on this day in 2013, becoming the 14th state to allow same-sex marriage.

WORD OF THE DAY

Desideratum – [dih-sid-uh-rey-tuhm] – noun

Definition – Something wanted or needed

Example: There’s one thing that all politicians can agree upon: Power becomes its own desideratum. 

WIT OF THE DAY

“Just as we move into the final weeks of the Presidential campaign, the focus shifts to the undecided voters. To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked."

-David Sedaris

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“I am pleased to inform you that, for the sake of accuracy in reporting, I am considering posting my interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, PRIOR TO AIRTIME! This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about.”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Gray