WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – Wow! Were people even alive back then? What a thrilling moment for the students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, who got a chance on Monday to see the contents of a time capsule buried all the way back in 1995! Just think back then: Bruce Springsteen was touring, the U.S. had sanctions on Iran, riots were breaking out in big cities and, oh, yeah, OJ was acquitted. For the grand moment of unearthing all of this rich, ancient history, the former mayor travelled all the way from Florida, back to Gloucester County, to dust off the time capsule, as all stood around in amazement. One town official told NJ.com that the contents were in “very good condition.” Really?

STATEWIDE – Three quarters of a billion dollars. That is the total amount that New Jersey betting parlors took in last month in sports wagers. Gambling has become the shiny nickel of the state’s otherwise struggling economy, as New Jersey shattered its own monthly record of $668 million in August. The latest state figures show Atlantic City’s nine casinos and the three horse racing tracks are killing it, as bored, at-home gamblers are throwing more and more wagers on football, baseball, basketball, hockey and perhaps Ukrainian-based golf. Sports betting is keeping the lights on; we’re lucky to have it.

NEW BRUNSWICK – Perhaps the Rutgers football team will be hitching a freight train to play Michigan State next Saturday, as more cuts, wage freezes and job loss are being considered under the university’s $4.45 billion budget. TAPInto New Brunswick reports that RU has already laid off 900 workers, while 6,400 workers are entering “shared-work” programs, a nice way to say “furloughs” and “reduced pay checks.” It is an impossible situation, as RU has seen an immediate decimation of its housing, dining and other critical revenue sources – like people buying tickets for Big 10 football. RU students remain at home, with remote learning, as Rutgers strives to provide them with a valuable, yet distant, education because, quite honestly, those tuition payments are the lifeline. Unless Rutgers starts accepting sports wagers at the RAC.

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NEW BRUNSWICK – It may not be the best time to talk about salaries at cash-strapped Rutgers, but five senior professors yesterday decided to sue the university, demanding pay equity. A busy TAPInto New Brunswick is now reporting that the five women all have stories of inequality and discrimination at Rutgers, and are hoping the Superior Court of Middlesex County can make everything right. The university isn’t talking, as it doesn’t talk about personnel squabbles. “I want equal pay for equal work — to be compensated in accordance with the value that I’ve brought to this university, on the same terms as my male counterparts,” argues Nancy Wolff, distinguished professor in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, one of the five plaintiffs. Equal pay is critical and obvious. The timing? Not so much.

BRIEFING BREATHER

President Coolidge installed a mechanical horse saddle in the White House for exercise.

MENDHAM – We are all pleased former Gov. Chris Christie is on the mend after he spent seven days in the intensive care unit with a concerning bout of COVID 19. And the governor has become a prominent poster child of why we all need to take this pandemic seriously. Christie admitted he was “wrong” to not wear a mask at the White House. (And who knew Christie would say he was wrong about anything?) Christie said the “ramifications are wildly random and potentially deadly,” and no one “should be cavalier about being infected and infecting others,” NJ.com reports. Thank you, governor, for that important message. Here’s hoping other prominent leaders in the Republican Party heed your words.

STATEWIDE – We haven’t exactly gotten through Halloween just yet, but it is already time to begin fretting about Thanksgiving, apparently. Gov. Phil Murphy is telling us that Uncle Mel and Aunt Frieda shouldn’t be invited to New Jersey this year, under his new guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID 19 at the dinner table. Dinner “should not turn tragic,” the governor warned. Instead, Murphy wants the annual feast limited to immediate family members, and perhaps a couple of other hangers-on, as opposed to the typical bash that crams 20 people into the dining room. It will be a great reprieve for those big turkeys that won’t be needed this year; not so for poult.

IN MEMORIUM

NEWARK – The city lost one of its biggest power brokers in generations, as Stephen N. Adubato Sr. has died at age 87. Adubato, a colorful character who would need pages of copy to properly explain, rose to prominence as a North Ward leader in Newark in the 1960s and remained a towering figure in Newark civic life for the next five decades.  No one messed with “Big Steve.” TAPInto Newark has the story.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

ROCHESTER, NY – We can try to describe this in words, but the video really sells the story of the Zamboni that erupted in flames, while the driver navigated it off the ice. “How is he even on there,” one kid shrieked, while a hockey mom kept saying “Oh My God!” The fire erupted Wednesday at a youth hockey practice in Rochester. Amazingly, and unexplainably, the driver was not injured in this blaze, which has so far attracted more than a half a million views on social media.  The problem seems to have occurred from leaking hydraulic fluid, something that you would expect from a crappy Ford Fiesta. Not only did the Zamboni driver get the thing off the ice without injuring anyone, he also extinguished the blaze himself. That’s a pro.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2012 that a bad airbag forces Ford to recall 154,000 Fiestas, forcing Americans to find another crappy car to drive.

WORD OF THE DAY

Poult – [pōlt/] – noun

Definition: A young domestic chicken, turkey, pheasant, or other fowl being raised for food.

Example: She remains unclear in knowing if the plural of “poult” is “poults.”

WIT OF THE DAY

Just imagine turning on the TV, seeing your president, and feeling your blood pressure go down instead of up.”

-Pete Buttigieg

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“I was right again!”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Falling