STATEWIDE – If New Jersey is truly pro-business, it needs to give a boost to the weary small business owner, the backbone of the state’s economy. These are the people coping with high downtown rents, no advertising budgets, a minimal workforce to cover a mountain of responsibility, and often governmental red tape, especially if they dare seek a building permit to expand.  This week’s guest on the Jaffe Podcast is Dr. Dale G. Caldwell, executive director of the Rothman Institute at FDU in Madison, who chats with us about innovation, the “Entrepreneurial Mindset” and what it really takes to be “pro-business” in such a heavily-regulated state. Click here to listen.

STATEWIDE – They are plump, perky and perfect, and they are all over New Jersey. Of course we are talking about pumpkins, with state agriculture officials gushing over the bountiful crops bursting all over New Jersey farms, thanks to all that July rain. There’s now 11 million pounds of pumpkins in the state, worth $4 million or so, thus ensuring you will be neck-deep in pumpkin-spiced, pumpkin pie, washed down with pumpkin-spiked coffee, before you carve your pumpkin, roast your pumpkin seeds and try to dish off all your extra pumpkins to your neighbors, all of whom refuse to answer their doors, adorned with pumpkins.

TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy is hyping an aggressive plan to transform New Jersey into a 100 percent clean-energy economy by 2050, with plenty of supporters in that quest. Yet significant environmental groups are unhappy with his administration’s reluctance to enact a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects. And now, attacking from another flank, is a notable coalition of business groups urging the governor to slow down. NJ Spotlight reports that a roll call of big-time business interests are outlining their fears of the draft energy master plan, saying it could drive away jobs and drive up energy costs. Yet again, Murphy is reminded he can’t please everyone.

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BEDMINSTER – All are eagerly awaiting the court appearance this morning of a mischievous 26-year-old Milford man who has been making a name for himself lately. First, he is charged with breaking into Taylor Swift’s Rhode Island waterfront mansion over Labor Day weekend, taking off his shoes to be polite, and explaining to cops he just wanted to say hi. Then, he was caught not once, but twice, on two separate days, doing donuts in a car, and blasting music, on the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, causing $20,000 in damage to the 11th and 13th holes, authorities say. Rhode Island cops had politely suggested a full mental evaluation; let’s see if the Superior Court judge agrees.

DOWN THE SHORE – The Situation is getting out of prison today. That’s right. The “Jersey Shore” was absolutely lost this summer without Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, who had been serving eight months in a federal prison in Otisville, NY for not paying his taxes. Reality television had been great for The Situation, who raked in millions of dollars in appearances, but apparently forgot to give Uncle Sam his cut. Now, with an armful of stories from months in a federal pen, expect The Situation to cash in on his new-found life as a hardened felon. A couple of well-placed prison tats will play well in the promotional photos. And perhaps, finally, one of his shows will even have a plot.

NEWARK – Every time the Devils score a goal this year, the Pru Center might reverberate with blazing guitars and soaring vocals of “Howl” by The Gaslight Anthem. Or maybe the crowd will break into rousing choruses of “Ol-leeeeeeeeeeee! Ole! Ole Ole!” – the opening lines to “Ole” by The Bouncing Souls. These great songs from these two New Brunswick bands are among the finalists as the Devils seek an official goal song. For those who can't tell a hockey puck from a Ring Ding, the same song is played at deafening decibels every time the home team scores. The puck hits the net, the place goes nuts, the song is played, you get the idea. The voting ends tonight; the winning goal song will be revealed when the Devils host the Winnipeg Jets for the home opener Oct. 4. The Devils would just need to score. Cross your fingers as you vote here for your favorite tune.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

CENTERBROOK, CT – Joe Heller died; his uproariously funny obit is in Tuesday’s Hartford Courant, which described Heller’s death as “his last undignified and largely irrelevant gesture.” His first dog’s name was “Fart,” his wife was hoodwinked into thinking he was charming with decorum, yet he enriched his children’s moral fiber with the likes of Archie Bunker and Benny Hill. Joe never met a dog he didn’t like, the same could not be said for the “want to-be blue bloods, snoots and summer barnacles” that roamed around town. Joe was a frequent shopper at the local dump, leaving his family with “a full house of crap, 300 pounds of birdseed, and dead houseplants.” He is pre-deceased by his pet fish, Jack, found in the freezer last week.  No flowers please; the family is seeking donations to pay for this “exceedingly long obituary which would have really pissed Joe off.”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2014 when Manhattan real estate lost its mind, with a 200-foot, underground parking space in SoHo selling for $1 million. Meanwhile, the average home price in America was $218,000.

WORD OF THE DAY

Pell-mell – [pel-MEL] – adverb

Definition: In mingled confusion or disorder

Example: When the conference call finally, and mercifully, ended, I joined many others to stream pell-mell out of the office.

WIT OF THE DAY

“I’m on a whiskey diet. I’ve lost three days already.”

- Tommy Cooper

WEATHER IN A WORD

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