OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
NEW BRUNSWICK - College Avenue was bursting last night with protesters, enraged by the President's immigration policies and mirroring the fury that has taken place in cities and college campuses around the country. TAPInto New Brunswick was in the thick of it, as Rutgers President Robert Barchi joined a list of speakers to denounce Trump's policies, singling out Muslims. "Every one of them deserves our respect, our protection and all the rights that we can provide," he said. One protester shouted out, "Am I, as a Muslim woman, worth less than any of you?" The answer? A resounding, throat-burning "No!"
TRENTON - Likely the last thing that Gov. Chris Christie is reading this morning are polls, which chronicle his freefall in popularity over the past couple of years. But we can't take our eyes away. Quinnipiac says the governor now has a 17 percent approval rating. "It's interesting, in an unfriendly way, to wonder how low Gov. Christopher Christie's job-approval numbers might drop," says one Quinnipiac pollster. If Christie actually spoke with the Jersey press corps, he may mention that the beloved Gov. Brendan Byrne once scored that low, after passing a state income tax, yet still won re-election. Our response to this fictional exchange: Governor, you're no Brendan Byrne.
LEDGEWOOD - Throw in a T-shirt, not the towel. That's how the owner of historic Tom's Diner hopes to trigger new interest in a crowdfunding drive to restore his family's dilapidated eatery. Tom Seretis needs $200,000 to repair the Route 10 landmark his father ran from 1958-2004. It's one of New Jersey's last 1930s Silk City Dining Car diners; Cyndi Lauper famously used it in her "Time After Time" music video. Since October, his Gofundme page raised only a paltry $1,375. So, Seretis tells the Roxbury Register he's now offering "Restore Tom's Diner" T-shirts for $30. Authentic grease stains would cost additional.
SOUTH ORANGE - You gotta love this local Girl Scout, with her own candid reviews of the cookies. Her story has now gone viral and appeared on NBC's "Today" show, generating a ridiculous fortune in sales. Her pitch: "The Girl Scout Organization can sometimes use false advertisement." So, here are her personal thoughts:
The "Toffee-tastics" are "a bleak, flavorless gluten-free wasteland. It is flavorless as dirt. I give it a 1 (out of 10)."
The classic Trefoil? "I would give it a 6 because alone, it is sort of bland."
Thin Mints? "Delectable chocolate/mint combination. I give it a 9 for its AMAZING flavor!"
And the brand-new S'mores? "If you have a wild sense of adventure, try this. No one has tried it, so I cannot rate it."
Read her full review here.
WOODBRIDGE - Township school officials are offering what could best be described as the perfect school bond referendum. They want to spend $75 million for a host of goodies, like full-day kindergarten for the entire district, new classrooms, better technology, renovated schools, updated security, etc., etc. Total cost to taxpayers? Zero. Total impact on the tax bill? Zero. Huh? How? Leveraging funding from all over the place. Voters just need to show up at the polls on March 14, sometime between 2-8 p.m. Finally, an easy decision in the voting booth.
TRENTON - As the state Senate considers a ban on the sale of supplemental baby mattresses - which most retailers refuse to sell because they are an obvious suffocation hazard - a Jersey-based, non-profit group is speaking on Capitol Hill this morning to showcase the proposed ban and explain why it is needed nationwide. Joyce Davis, of Keeping Babies Safe, is set to go before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce staff meeting to laud New Jersey lawmakers and proclaim that government regulation is not burdensome when it is directed at saving the lives of babies.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - There were plenty of "Hail Marys" in a Tallahassee bedroom - until a man came home and found a prominent pastor having sex with his wife in his daughter's bed. The Tallahassee Democrat reports that Pastor O. Jermaine Simmons grabbed his scepter and fled the apartment naked, cowering behind a nearby privacy fence. The husband grabbed the pastor's clothes, wallet and car keys, only agreeing to hand it all back following negotiations with police. Sweet Jesus.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2012 that American Airlines announced it would slash 13,000 jobs, prompting this line over the loud speaker: "Thank you for joining us on this morning for our 4-hour, 10-minute flight to Denver. But, before we take off, do we have any volunteers to fly this thing?"
WORD OF THE DAY
Ataraxia [at-uh-RAK-see-uh] - noun
Definition: A state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety
Example: This morning, I have a great feeling of ataraxia, because spring training starts in only 14 days.
WEATHER IN A WORD