STATEWIDE – An alleged shortage of White Claw hard seltzer could mean one of two things: Either the company’s complete misunderstanding of supply v. demand, or one of the most coordinated schemes of marketing genius ever seen. With a “shortage” of this tasteless, yet strangely popular, alcoholic drink, timed perfectly at the end of this “White Claw Summer” – when many of us booze bags switch over to real vodkas and wines – the demand for this weak, carbonated drink is higher than ever. So, is there a real shortage, or just a terrific hoax? (Our most trusted source – the woman working the bar last night at Garwood Lanes – explained the company ran out of its specially-sized cans, creating the shortage.) Whatever the truth, it really doesn’t matter at White Claw, with marketing gurus giddily watching us frantically pull their products off shelves like jugs of milk before a snow storm.

TRENTON – Now here’s something that taxpayers have been wishing for — an actual, living, breathing decrease in health-insurance premium rates for New Jersey’s public workers. Well, it seems Wish Number One is about to be granted, according to NJ Spotlight;new premium rates have been approved and in most cases are lower than last year. As for Wish Number Two, taxpayer savings are anticipated but state Treasury officials aren’t talking yet about the dollars. What a cliffhanger.

EAST BRUNSWICK – It seems far-fetched that 40 bias crimes happened in this quiet suburban town last year. It has nice neighborhoods, good schools and a residential base that is a portrait of diversity. Yet, when NJ 101.5 did a deep dive into State Police crime stats, East Brunswick topped New Jersey for 2018’s highest number of bias crimes that were reported. It outpaced Newark, with just one reported incident; Jersey City with four; and Elizabeth, Paterson and Trenton – yeah, right – didn’t report any. The next-highest numbers were 22 in Evesham and 20 in Lakewood. East Brunswick cops didn’t respond to media inquiries about their stats, which is certainly understandable. Let’s assume East Brunswick’s very high numbers are because the police actually report the incidents, or categorize them correctly.

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CHERRY HILL – Muhammad Ali is back in the news this morning. Sure, the boxing king died in June, 2016, but his multi-million dollar home has been rocking, as of late. The Philly Inquirer says the home, on otherwise tranquil Winding Drive, is now home to rocking parties going late into the night. Blame Airbnb for this one, as the legacy of Ali is prompting many fans to rent the house, throw some crazy bashes, get in fistfights and jam Winding Drive with cars. Of course, local residents are apoplectic over all this, as they moved to Cherry Hill to be tucked away in a leafy enclave, not to accommodate tourists looking for some heavyweight partying.

NORTH JERSEY – You would think that young millennial women would flock to a career promising a lifetime of poverty and virginity. But, as the Record reports, the number of nuns has shrunken since the 1960s, when there were nearly 182,000 of them giving up all their worldly possessions for life in the church. Those numbers are now down to 44,000 or so, with a huge majority of them taking their vows in the 1960s and gearing up for retirement. The Record found some new nuns, who are trying to freshen things up, using social media, newsletters and e-mail blasts to reach the masses.  The calling is still as strong as ever, they say, and thankfully they are willing to make the lifetime sacrifice.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

UP IN THE AIR – It’s not a bird or a plane, or even Superman. Apparently, a gullible one-third of Americans – that’s nearly 110 million of us – believe UFOS are actually strange visitors from another planet. A new Gallup Poll says most believers are under 30, and from hippy-dippy states like Arizona, California and Oregon where people will believe just about anything. Of course, us hardened New Jerseyans are skeptical of UFOs, just like we are skeptical of those electronic Parkway signs that claim only 32 minutes to the Lincoln Tunnel. (Yeah, sure.) The poll also says nearly 70 percent of Americans do believe the U.S. government “knows more about UFOs than it tells us.” But recently Sen. Bernie Sanders made a podcast pledge to blow the whistle about extraterrestrials, like himself, if he somehow gets elected president. 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

True, lifetime love was in the air on this day in 1994, when the MTV Awards features newlyweds Michael Jackson and his blushing bride, Lisa Marie Presley.

WORD OF THE DAY

Petrichor – [PET-trə-kor] – noun

Definition: The fresh, pleasantly earthy scent in the air after a summer rainfall.

Example: State lawmakers may now tax the petrichor.

WIT OF THE DAY

“You can tell how smart people are by what they laugh at.”

- Tina Fey

WEATHER IN A WORD

Perfect

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun