STATEWIDE – Day Two, and many Trumpblicans are shocked the nation is still intact after 24 hours of this crazy, competent, compassionate leadership. NJ.com reports President Biden is already affecting New Jersey: choosing not to deport 16,480 unauthorized immigrants, limiting oil drilling, allowing unauthorized immigrants to be counted in the Census, promoting better fuel economy standards and allowing us to travel, once again, to countries with Muslim majorities. Let’s see what else happens today to further infuriate the far right. It’s gonna be good.

ASBURY PARK – Great news, Asbury Park: you are getting a medical marijuana dispensary! And that is news to city officials, who said the company has not yet bothered to inform them or state regulators about the big plans. The Asbury Park Press reports the company splashed the news on Instagram about plans to occupy an undisclosed location. Response from Mayor John Moor? “We never got a phone call from anyone.” City officials have been overrun by more than 70 businesses seeking their support to open dispensaries. All received the same response: The city won’t consider any requests until the state issues regulations. So, this company’s grand announcement is, shall we say, premature?

NEWARK – Sure, there are many of us in New Jersey thrilled to welcome the first female vice president. But perhaps no one more than Assemblywoman Shanique Speight, sporting a one-of-a-kind inaugural gown filled with photos of Kamala Harris. Why? Speight explains that “over the past year, our nation has been through so much,” InsiderNJ reports. But the Newark-based assemblywoman believes a huge victory arrived with Harris, who “changed the narrative of our country.” As well as this legislator’s formal wardrobe.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

It takes a week to make a jelly bean.

CARTERET – Could this be the next hot town for NYC-bound commuters? There’s been talk for years of ferry service to Manhattan, creating a type of affordable commuter hub in Carteret that can change the whole look of the Arthur Kill waterfront. The borough has taken a big step forward, with a $5 million grant from the state to build the ferry terminal, NJ.com reports. Ferries are the key to ease all the maddening traffic off the New Jersey Turnpike and further congesting rail tunnels and other clogged arteries on any given weekday morning. And with a ferry on a 10-acre site next to Waterfront Park, it could only mean one thing: condos, offices, restaurants, businesses and all the other exciting things that serve those persnickety NYC-based workers.

METUCHEN – As Native American mascots, nicknames and imagery are being scrubbed away by other towns, schools, businesses and sports teams, the “Brainy Boro” is bucking that trend by actually embracing its Indian heritage. The town’s namesake is 17th century Lenni-Lenape chief “Metuching” (sometimes spelled “Matouchin”). Mayor Jonathan Busch tells the Criterion-Sentinel his town is seeking new ways to honor its history. It is celebrating its first ‘Indigenous People’s Day’ this October and vowing the good chief’s image won’t vanish from the borough’s seal and police insignia. Local historians say it's not a disparaging caricature; it accurately depicts a 1693 sketch of the Lenni-Lenape leader. Busch says: “Social justice is about much more than a logo. It’s about what we teach our kids.”

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

BEAVERTON, Ore. – You know you’re a bad parent when the guy stealing your car drives back to reprimand you. It happened here in Beaverton, where a car thief was surprised to find a toddler in the backseat of the car he just stole. So, he did a quick U-turn, taking the car back and then chastising the mom for being so reckless with the unattended child. After dropping off the kid, berating the mom and threatening to call the cops on her, he then zipped off in her car, police said. It happened Saturday, when the mom ran into a grocery store, leaving the 4-year-old child inside with the engine running and the vehicle unlocked. Mom’s SUV has since been found, but not the thief.

GRAND ISLE, VT – The safest place to escape COVID-19? Grand Isle County in Vermont’s northwest corner bordering Quebec. This county has the nation’s lowest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, just 78, and no fatalities, says 24/7 Wall St. No surprise since Vermont is also America’s safest state with only 10,321 confirmed cases and 163 deaths. Why? Well, Vermont has strict quarantine rules and limits on out-of-state travelers. Second, more white-tail deer than people live in Grand Isle County. Its 7,200 residents are clustered in five towns on a chain of islands in the middle of Lake Champlain linked by causeways and bridges. So, it doesn’t really get many visitors. Until, of course, this blurb runs.

BAR GRAMMAR

Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1998 that Bill Clinton denies all news reports of an affair with an unknown intern in the Oval Office.

WORD OF THE DAY

Gulosity – [goo-LAH-suh-tee] – noun

Definition: Excessive appetite; greediness

Example: Is it gulosity to ask for a dull president who just does his job?

WIT OF THE DAY

“It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.”

-H.L. Mencken

BIDEN BLURB

“We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.”

-Joe Biden

WEATHER IN A WORD

Warming