OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON - Winning a seat in the state Senate is pretty much a job for life, as our incumbents are great at holding power. But winds of change are blowing through the Statehouse, and five longtime state senators are finally moving on. Among them, Sens. Diane Allen, Joseph Kyrillos, Raymond Lesniak, Kevin O'Toole and Jim Whelan leave with a combined 124 years of experience in the Legislature, NJ 101.5 reports. That's one-eighth of the Senate and perhaps there may be other shifts if an incumbent or two actually loses in November. It all makes for a very interesting - and expensive - election day, as the governor's seat and all 120 seats in the state Legislature are up for grabs.
EDISON - Apparently, life in the suburbs is uproariously funny. (Actually, it is.) And that is likely the reason HBO is working on a dark musical known as "Edison." Amy Poehler is producing this comedy, which will focus on the life of a real estate broker in his hometown of Edison, who has desperate dreams of being a fancy broker in Manhattan. But he can't quite make the move across the Hudson and is stuck, like the rest of us, in the burbs.
NEWARK - The Byzantine world of Newark politics is hard to follow unless you are deeply immersed in all its treacherous glory. Here's a quick guide to what happened yesterday in the 29th Legislative district, where Blonnie Watson, appointed last year to replace L. Grace Spencer, has opted not to run for a full-two year term. Mayor Ras Baraka had at least two candidates to replace Watson: South Ward Councilman Patrick Council and one of his top aides, Tai Cooper. Then Shanique Speight, a former Newark school board member who was supported twice by the North Ward Democratic machine, threw her hat into the ring, reports TAPintoNewark. Here's the curve: Speight also operates Happy Hands Day Care Learning Center. A day or so before Speight went public on running, the Baraka administration took a keen interest in her business. On Tuesday, they shut the place down, citing numerous safety violations, according to TAPintoNewark. Another curve: The city owns the building and Speight hasn't been paying rent or water bills for the last year. Hmm. That fact didn't seem to bother Democratic leaders who picked Speight last night to run for the seat, says TAPintoNewark.
ON THE AIRWAVES - By now, you have likely seen Gov. Chris Christie's TV ad promoting a new hotline for drug addicts to seek help. Christie says the ads have been very successful, of course, with calls going up by 50 percent to 844-REACHNJ, which opened last month as a one-stop resource for people seeking help from heroin and opioid addiction. It's refreshing to see our politicians in TV ads talking about something other than political opponents who raise taxes, accept bribes, sleep around and never show up for work.
FLEMINGTON - We all recently celebrated the birthday of Adele Dunlap - the oldest American. We are sad to report Adele has passed, at age 114. She was born Dec. 12, 1902 in Newark, when the first Roosevelt was President. Adele was a teacher and the proud mom of three. She had been a widow since 1963.
PARAMUS - In this alternative universe known as the Trump Administration, the leader of the free world and one of his senior advisers are weighing in on the decision of a store to pull a clothing line. President Donald Trump slammed Nordstom for pulling Ivanka's clothing line, tweeting she has been treated unfairly. And then Kellyanne Conway went on "Fox and Friends" to say, "Go buy Ivanka's stuff. It's a wonderful line. I own some of it. I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online." Later, Conway was "counseled" by the White House on her remarks, while the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is looking into obvious ethics violations.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
MIAMI - Pretty soon, expect Kellyanne Conway to be back on "Fox and Friends," wearing a Miami Marlins baseball cap and urging everyone south of Virginia to buy season tickets. That's because Jared Kushner's family - thought neither him nor his father - is in talks for buying the Marlins, ESPN reports. Price tag? $1.6 billion.
ST. BONAVENTURE, NY - It was a brutal night for the Saint Louis University men's basketball team. First, they lose Wednesday's game by 70-55 to the Bonnies, then they lose the team bus. The dejected Billikens trudged out of the arena to learn the 56-year-old driver decided to take off. While cops looked for the bus, the players took naps, played cards and, according to one tweet, "chilling in the Reilly Center while we try to find our missing bus." The bus was found 40 miles away, using the head coach's iPad as a GPS device. The driver was drunk, of course, about five times the legal limit.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2009 that Russian and American satellites collide over Siberia. Apparently, someone didn't stay to the right.
WORD OF THE DAY
Carceral [KAHR-suh-rul] - adjective
Definition: Suggesting a jail or prison
Example: Snowed in, I felt I was in a carceral state.
WEATHER IN A WORD