WASHINGTON – For this one fleeting moment, New Jerseyans Whitney Houston, Grover Cleveland, Albert Einstein, Walt Whitman, Annie Oakley and Frank Sinatra have all been named to the “National Garden of American Heroes.” Sounds great for this group, as well as the 238 other great Americans who have been named. Except the designation was from President Trump, out of the job at high noon tomorrow. And you can bet the incoming administration may have some more pressing matters to deal with, other than fulfilling Trump’s last-minute National Garden of American Heroes. Still, what a lovely honor… for today or so.
ATLANTIC CITY – After all the hype to auction off who blows up Trump Plaza, all bets are now off. Carl Icahn – who owns the soon-to-be-demolished casino – isn’t joining in all the fun to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City. So, what to do with the current bid of $175,000 for the honor of pressing the demolition button? Icahn will donate it to the charity, but won’t facilitate this big event to level this glaring eyesore. Bidding was scheduled to end today. Silver lining: this fat hulking tribute to 1980s greed and subsequent failure will finally be erased from the city’s shoreline.
TRENTON – So, that marijuana bill is signed by now, right? Well, not exactly. Despite the fact that three Democrats run the state government and voters strongly supported legalization in a ballot question, the sausage makers at the State House have still not gotten to the finish line. It’s all still in the haze. There was a “compromise” bill last week that went nowhere and there was a “leadership meeting” that also didn’t light anyone up. Recreational weed is supposed to be legal in New Jersey, as part of the constitutional amendment that took place Jan. 1. But without a law to regulate it and tax it, an entire new industry remains dazed and confused.
MAHWAH – “A Boogie Wit da Hoodie” will have some answering to do, after a local couple is suing this Bronx-based rapper for messing up their home when he rented it back in 2017. Yeah, there would likely be less news coverage here if the defendant wasn’t called “A Boogie Wit da Hoodie,” but the couple has legit concerns about clogged toilets, a wide open front door, extensive water damage, sewerage leaking through ceilings, two abandoned vehicles and other damages, stains and tears, the Record reports. The couple is demanding $263,592. Meanwhile, no comment from Mr. Wit da Hoodie.
The Least Interesting Day in History was April 11, 1954. Nothing happened on the planet, except that a soccer player named Jack Shufflebotham died and a Turkish academic named Abdullah Atalar was born.
PASSAIC – Any politician who turns down a bribe couldn’t possibly be from New Jersey. This is, after all, proudly the Sopranos State. Turns out, we’ve got at least two gutsy pols lauded for helping authorities slap cuffs on a would-be culprit. Passaic Mayor Hector Lora and former Fair Lawn Mayor John Cosgrove – both on the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission – didn’t hesitate to alert authorities that an employee offered each a $1,200 payoff in return for a better-paying promotion. The Record reports Cosgrove ended up wearing a wire to help the state build its case. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal now says a 39-year-old Hillside accountant faces up to a decade in prison and a hefty fine. So, no graft? What are we? New Hampshire? Sheesh.
SOUTH BRUNSWICK – From our “nobody deserves to win more” file comes siblings C.J. and Brittany Hendricks. The local brother-sister team walked away with $910,266 from last week’s episode of NBC-TV’s “The Wall,” the game show’s biggest-ever winners. The Home News Tribune says C.J. Hendricks, the township high school’s baseball coach and a phys-ed teacher, spearheaded a 2017 relief effort that shipped 29,000 pounds of clothing, blankets and medical supplies to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. About his big win, Hendricks says: “I don’t know if its karma … I just think when you do good things, maybe they come back and help you later on.”
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
PARIS – Jeanne Pouchain is as dead as a doornail. Yep, no one is deader than she. One small problem: This woman is still alive – something she has been trying to prove for three years, after a court deemed her officially dead. A snowball of judicial errors basically declared Pouchain dead in 2017, during a nasty legal dispute with a former employee. You will be spared the legal details, because, frankly, we can’t understand why a court would decree someone dead when they are clearly alive. Yet, being dead, authorities seized her car and she suspects her furniture to soon follow. Being dead, no one is allowed to access the family’s bank account, as debts pile up. “I no longer exist,” Pouchain told the AP. “I don’t do anything... I sit on the veranda and write.” Meanwhile, the court – which could easily end the ordeal with quick and obvious verification – is consumed with other pressing matters.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2012 that Kodak declared bankruptcy. Could there be no more need for camera film?
WORD OF THE DAY
Modicum – [MAH-dih-kum] - noun
Definition: a small portion or limited quantity.
Example: Will today’s newsletter generate a modicum of interest?
WIT OF THE DAY
“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“I know masks have become a partisan issue — but it’s a patriotic act. Experts say wearing a mask from now until April will save more than 50,000 lives.”
WEATHER IN A WORD