Jaffe Morning Briefing

June 21, 2021

FORKED RIVER – There should be plenty more news today about the proposed state budget, and who may get all those billions of extra dollars. Instead, let’s talk about “Peaty the Peacock,” who is taking Forked River (aka Lacey Township) by storm. The Asbury Park Press notes there have been numerous ...

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TRENTON – The big news is that President Biden signed the federal law creating Juneteenth. But since we are hyper-focused on New Jersey to the point of infatuation, what did the state Legislature do? Well, a bill was sponsored last June in the Assembly by Verlina Reynolds Jackson, Jamel Holley and ...

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RANDOLPH – This local school board can’t seem to help itself; it keeps finding ways to inadvertently make news. First, it makes news by changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Persons Day, angering residents. Then, it makes news by eliminating all holidays on the school calendar, further angering ...

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RANDOLPH – Maybe the people here are getting too much media coverage. After the school board concocted the silly plan to erase all holidays from the school calendar – following a decision to scrub away Columbus Day – reporters have been all over. The story should have run its cycle, yet townsfolk ...

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STATEWIDE – The obvious concern of any parent is how the pandemic has affected student learning, after all those months of remote learning, frenzy and other disruptions. NJ Spotlight reports there’s plenty of work to do, as the state conducted an initial assessment of learning loss. The result? At ...

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TRENTON – And yet more money is flowing into state coffers. Taxpayers are throwing more and more money at the State House, as piles of cash are now being used as doorstops and disposable towels in the restrooms. Yesterday, NJ.com reported that the state had an extra $4 billion sitting around. By ...

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ROSELLE PARK – Free speech or just downright offensive? A municipal court judge is set to hear arguments Thursday at 9 a.m., when a Willow Avenue homeowner is set to plead her case. There are political flags flying, one that blares “Fuck Biden,” while another shows former President Trump raising ...

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ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Tomorrow is primary day, and there’s a contested race among Republicans in the race for governor. One would assume this would be a cake walk for Jack Ciattarelli, the sane front runner with the strong backing of all 21 county organizations. But there are still those chilling ...

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** The Jaffe Briefing is off to celebrate the start of summer on Monday, May 24, returning Monday, June 7 ** TRENTON – Surprise! When the Senate Budget Committee met yesterday, it picked up a relevant nugget of news: The feds dropped $6.2 billion in the state treasury the day prior. But no one ...

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** The Jaffe Briefing is off to celebrate the start of summer on Monday, May 24, returning Monday, June 7 ** BEACH HAVEN – If there’s free money, people will figure a way to get it. And nothing can prove that better than the Paycheck Protection Program, with ProPublica reporting on a number of ...

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STATEWIDE – By the time you are old, toothless and feeble, filling out your final days with solitaire and Jell-O, you can find solace in the fact the tax man may finally be done with you. But, over the course of your life living in New Jersey, he has shaken you down for nearly $1 million for taxes ...

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TRENTON – No masks in Pennsylvania and New York. So, the same deal for Jersey, right? Well, not yet. Gov. Phil Murphy shocked the civilized world by not just following along with our neighbors, who lifted mask requirements for indoor gatherings. Murphy says, “we’re still not out of the woods,” yet.

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STATEWIDE – Fake elections? Fake news? Fake this, Fake that. All would agree we are certainly tired of the overuse of such an inflammatory word. Yet, when it comes to elections in New Jersey, NJ.com is reporting the state is behind others in ensuring air-tight elections. We are just one of six ...

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STATEWIDE – Modified mask mandate? Yes! The feds are lifting the requirement that fully vaccinated people wear masks in most outdoor and indoor places. Of course, mass transit is not one of those places, as it seems people will – and should – be wearing masks on jammed NJ Transit trains until, ...

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NEWARK – It is a grand and interesting experiment. If you hand a low-income family $500 a month, with no strings attached, will it change lives? That’s the big question in Newark, where city officials are following Paterson to launch a two-year money give-away. Funded through private donations and ...

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STATEWIDE – A progressive research group is out with a tax study. OK, that may be the most boring lede ever written. Let’s try again; here we go: If you are deemed rich in New Jersey, you are screwed. That’s according to a new study, that shows President Biden’s proposed tax increases would hit New ...

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LINDEN – As everything seems to begin and end in New Jersey, the national news is a pipeline that runs from Houston to Linden. The Colonial Pipeline – the largest of its kind in the U.S. – is shut down, as a Friday ransomware attack has taken down this massive delivery system that provides fuel to ...

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TRENTON – The simple idea behind “food shortage” is, well, there’s not enough food. But there’s another reason for some pockets of food shortage in New Jersey: simply not enough workers to pull vegetables from the ground. Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher says that current labor shortages are ...

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TRENTON – As New Jersey is now bursting with billions in stimulus aid from Uncle Sam, the big question is how best to blow the cash. The Record is providing some guidance, reporting how other states are spending their new-found fortunes. State officials may want to shift around the shopping list, ...

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STATEWIDE – Live theater. Busy restaurants. Sitting at an actual bar. Yep, it is all coming back with a big, tri-state announcement that puts our entire region back in business beginning May 19. We’re talking about eliminating indoor capacity at restaurants and stores, while ending outdoor ...

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STATEWIDE – The sticky issue of taxing out-of-state commuters has gotten a bit stickier during the pandemic, as many New York-bound workers were able to do their jobs in Jersey. So, should they still be paying New York taxes? Let’s assume New York is saying “absolutely.” But, here in New Jersey, ...

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CRESSKILL – Sure, we can all get a little surly at work. But for a piss-poor attitude to be raised to the level of congressional interaction? Yep. Rep. Bill Pascrell is rushing to the aid of local postal customers, after a petition signed by 300 people complained of “constant belligerence, ...

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STATEWIDE – New Jersey to Biden: Thanks for nuthin’. As the president is eager to spend a trillion here, a trillion there, and a trillion everywhere, he is refusing to give New Jerseyans some property tax relief. There were high hopes among our federal lawmakers that the cozy relationship with ...

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WESTFIELD – Folks here are used to being “Number One” in this, or “Number One” in that, so the fact that the town came in dead last in any national study is a real stinger.  Now, before Westfield people get even more enraged, the study is from “WalletHub,” which is not exactly “scientific” when it ...

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TRENTON – Let the party begin! Well, sorta. Gov. Phil Murphy is vastly expanding the size limits for outdoor gatherings from 200 people to 500 people, while the capacity limits for outdoor sports and entertainment venues will jump to 50% capacity beginning May 10. Great news for proms, graduations, ...

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STATEWIDE – If you run the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission, you need a really thick skin. You need to know how to play defense. And you need to be prepared for anything that can and will happen. And so it is of little surprise the Biden Administration will be nominating MVC Commissioner Sue Fulton ...

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ASBURY PARK – With all these “Top 25” random rankings in all media, all the time, you really can’t expect the good people of Newsweek to actually visit Asbury Park before deeming it one of the best beach towns in the nation. Right? Of course, all would agree with the great recognition. But, when ...

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STATEWIDE – You didn’t know it. We didn’t know it. But Tuesday was another election day in New Jersey. Apparently, there were a small number of school board races, which New Jersey Globe reports as “abysmal.” Gov. Phil Murphy agreed, calling it an “unacceptable level of turnout, no matter which ...

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NEWARK – There’s certainly plenty of aftermath in the wake of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin’s conviction for murdering George Floyd. It is impossible to cover it all in a paragraph or two, so here’s just one slice of it: A grassroots civil rights group is set to gather at 4 p.m.

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FORT LEE – Move over Vegas, there’s now Fort Lee? Apparently, this Jersey town just over the George Washington Bridge has become a gambling mecca for out-of-staters who want to make legal sports wagers in New Jersey. Honestly, we had no idea. But this story has been broken by the Basketball News, ...

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