STATEWIDE – There are plenty of stories of how the privileged class in New Jersey has figured ways to score a COVID vaccine, perhaps as wealthy donors to medical providers. Good for them. Yay. But state officials say New Jersey won’t beat this pandemic if we ignore the low-income communities – home to plenty of people who serve all those wealthy, lucky people every day. TAPInto reports the state wants temporary vaccination centers in towns “disproportionately impacted,” operating seven days a week for two weeks, and then returning for second doses. Gov. Phil Murphy says appointments will strictly be for local residents, handled directly through the community organizations, places of worship and local leaders who know who belongs and who doesn’t.

STATEWIDE – Joey may be having a banner year on his high school basketball team, but many don’t know it. But now – with approval of his school district – Joey’s parents can finally be allowed into the games this season. Gov. Phil Murphy is now permitting parents to attend the games, limiting spectators to two parents per athlete, as long as there are no more than 150 people in the stands to cheer on Joey and his pals. Again, it is up to school districts to decide their local policies, but now, maybe a college scout or two will be encouraged to come see Joey play. Because Joey is worth a look.

FAIR LAWN – Be it the Birthday Cake Oreo, the Oreo Thins, or just a plain Oreo, it doesn’t matter. The good people of Fair Lawn have been double stuffed by Nabisco, which is closing its plant this summer after 60 years of baking cookies and providing hundreds of local jobs. In response, the Record reports, there is a growing, informal boycott among Fair Lawn residents, who are now refusing to eat an Oreo, leaving that ice cold milk undunked. Not only are Oreos a victim, so are other well-known Nabsico goodies, like Chips Ahoy and Ritz. The Record reports real estate developers are already sniffing around the soon-to-be-shuttered factory, so it will hopefully remain a job site for local workers. But, without Oreos? It leaves a bitter taste.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors. 

WASHINGTON – Now that Congress was unable – or unwilling – to convict the former president for his efforts to rally his nutjob coalition to attack the Capitol, a Jersey guy says this is far from over. Former Gov. Thomas H. Kean – a Republican who co-chaired the 9/11 commission – wants another blue-ribbon panel to investigate how the heck these “patriots” were able to attack the very core of our democracy. Kean is calling for an independent investigation to identify the flaws and develop recommendations on how we can actually protect our members of Congress from tattooed crazies dressed in make-up, armed with bats and perhaps wearing Viking helmets. Kean and others on the 9/11 commission say a full accounting is sorely needed – far beyond the rapid Senate trial and GOP-fueled acquittal.

SANDY HOOK – The more facts that come from the Springsteen arrest, the more ridiculous it seems. The Jersey icon – or his representatives – are scheduled to go before a magistrate on Feb. 24, NJ.com reports, after a bored park ranger made a name for himself by slapping Springsteen with a DUI charge. By this point, everyone has heard that the Boss reportedly took a shot of tequila with fans while sitting on his motorcycle, but was clearly not drunk. Such senseless charges are quickly dismissed in municipal courts every day. But since it is Bruce, this is a national circus; his Jeep ad already pulled from the airwaves. And now everyone has Feb. 24 circled, as this should be the quickest acquittal on record. Yet the damage is already done.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

ORANGE CITY, FL – The romantic proposal fizzled, as cops hunt for a local man who stole an engagement ring and wedding bands from a former girlfriend to propose to a current girlfriend. Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies are on the hunt for the 48-year-old man. It all started in January when an Orange City woman told detectives that her lovely boyfriend was actually engaged to another woman. She then looked up the “other woman” on Facebook, finding a photo of her wearing rings that looked exactly the same as the ones she had from a prior marriage. Then, things get weird…. She ran to the jewelry box, finding the rings and some other stuff – totaling $6,270 – had vanished. She reached out to her former fiancée, who admitted, that, yeah, he took the stuff, including a diamond ring belonging to her grandmother. He returned some items, but used the rest for his big proposal to the other woman. He remains at-large. Cops say he has an identifiable feature: a tattoo that reads “Only God Can Judge Me.”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1979 that Billy Joel won a Grammy for “Just the Way You Are.”  Don’t go changing…

WORD OF THE DAY

Somnambulant – [sämˈnambyələnt] – adjective

Definition: Resembling or characteristic of a sleepwalker; sluggish.

Example: Courtesy of The New York Times: “Mr. Castor, the first to speak, delivered a rambling, almost somnambulant defense of the former president for nearly an hour.”

WIT OF THE DAY

“Our goal here is to go around the outrageous Iron Curtain of censorship and get facts to the American people."

-Rudy Giuliani

BIDEN BLURB

“There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and 9/11.”

-Joe Biden, referring to Giuliani 

WEATHER IN A WORD

Sleet