ATLANTIC CITY – The big moment has finally arrived. By the time this newsletter plops in your inbox, the Trump Plaza will be just a pile of smoking rubble. At 9:07 a.m., the big red button was pressed, within three seconds destroying this gaudy, lingering monument to 1980s excess that has arrogantly blocked the city from its ocean for decades. (Great news for the local strip club, now with a glorious view of the Atlantic.) Bader Field opened at 7 a.m. for eager onlookers, who paid $10 a car to observe the carnage. Other casinos took advantage, like Caesars, offering great rooms to observe the demolition, as well as some exciting late check-out packages which, let's assume, include mimosas. The city also livestreamed the action. Unfortunately, the pandemic is preventing more hoopla, like 13 years ago when the Sands demolition was a big, Friday night party with 100,000 onlookers. But lets all keep the eye on the prize: Trump Plaza, finally, is no more.
AT HOME – Your slippers are worn through from countless trips from the kitchen coffee maker to your home office. Yep, it is 2021 and you are neck-deep in a “work from home” mandate that’s kept you away from live people for practically a year. Now, the state is eager to learn the impact, proposing a Remote Work Study Commission. Bureaucrats are obviously interested in taxes and making sure the right entities are getting hit under this new normal. There are other issues like overtime – as you spend 13-14 hours a day in front of the damn screen because, frankly, what else is there to do? And are you more or less productive? And is your employer struggling because of this ongoing, unforeseen arrangement? And what about childcare? And workplace stress? And commercial real estate? And support businesses, like diners and delis? No question, there are plenty of pros and cons to remote working, which is why the state is so eager to discover how it all eventually impacts the state economy – the good, the bad and the ugly.
Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite (perhaps used for Trump Plaza).
MIDDLESEX BOROUGH – If you are a public official and want to touch campaign money… don’t. If you are a public official and want to be treasurer of a local charity… don’t. If you are a public official and a real estate developer is offering an “interesting” deal… run. There have been countless stories of New Jersey politicians hauled away to prison when they get a little too close to the money. Former Middlesex Borough Mayor Ronald J. DiMura is the latest, headed to state prison for seven years after stealing $75,000 from numerous local political campaigns. We would say this is “news.” But, by now? Nah.
STATEWIDE – After months and months of this pandemic, we must ask: Is wearing one mask enough? Not for Gov. Phil Murphy, TAPInto Newark reports. After emerging from self-quarantine yesterday, he removed two masks before speaking to reporters. “That’s the new norm, unfortunately, that we’ve got to live with,” the governor said. “It won't be forever, but a double-mask is the strong advice.” We went to the source on this one – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – which released a report in early February saying exposure to potentially infectious aerosols decreased by about 95 percent when a cloth mask was worn over a medical procedure mask. Now you know. Next up: Three masks?
AT THE LIQUOR STORE – As we continue to stock up at the store to help endure a brutally boring, pandemic-filled winter, our good friends in the state Legislature may want to help out. Senate President Steve Sweeney believes we are being overtaxed on hard cider and other low-alcohol booze, like those undrinkable White Claws and the canned cocktails that are all the rage on Zoom calls. He is looking to cut the alcohol tax to the same level as beer, at 12 cents a gallon, Politico reports. Currently, liquor with less than 8 percent alcohol is taxed at the same rate as hard booze at $5.50 a gallon, which is pretty steep. Senate Democrats say the Treasury will hardly notice this tax break, as New Jerseyans have been chugging these low-alcohol brands with growing verve.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
STOCKTON, CA. – At first, it seemed the crime of the young century. Body parts floating in the water next to a highway ramp prompted the full force of the California Highway Patrol, likely including Ponch and Jon. A passing trucker on Highway 99 caught the grisly sight, calling 911 to report dismembered bodies bobbing in the water. Cops arrived to the sight of arms, legs, heads, torsos – a real massacre. That was until investigators began poking around, quickly ascertaining the bodies were made of plastic. Mannequins, actually.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1985 that the price of postage went from 20 cents to 22 cents; grandmas are outraged.
WORD OF THE DAY
Limn – [LIM] – verb
Definition: To outline in clear, sharp detail
Example: This newsletter often limns how politicians – so different in background – can get thrown in jail for the same crimes.
WIT OF THE DAY
“There are as many opinions as there are experts.”
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened."
WEATHER IN A WORD