OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
WASHINGTON - There were all these visions about gubernatorial candidates squaring off on the "Walk to Washington" train, each vying for attention in those jam-packed cars. But it seems that Phil Murphy and his wife were the only ones aggressively bouncing around, smiling, taking photos, pressing flesh and making sure to reach every single passenger, if somehow possible. Sen. Ray Lesniak was also there, with a strong presence. But there were plenty of no-shows for a variety of legitimate reasons, giving Murphy, as frontrunner, some easy access. All received a "Murphy for Governor" bag on their seats and were welcomed by Murphy campaign volunteers as they boarded the runaway train.
ENGLEWOOD - This city is going soft on nudity. The City Council agreed to tone down an ordinance that restricts displays of nudity - including works of art - as part of a settlement deal with a local art gallery owner. She filed a lawsuit against the city after being threatened last year with $1,250 in daily fines and jail for refusing to remove a painting depicting woman's buttocks that hung in her gallery. The Record says city officials also agreed to pay Borghi $36,000. She has since moved her gallery to more tolerant Closter, where the local populace embraces buttocks.
TOMS RIVER - Apparently, there is nothing to worry about. Just quietly accept those pills from the Ocean County Health Department, offering free potassium iodide tablets to people living or working in 18 towns within 10 miles of the Oyster Creek nuclear plant. Potassium iodide, common in table salt, is used to treat radiation-induced hyperthyroidism. Health Coordinator Dan Regenye tells the Southern Ocean Times the giveaway is a "preparedness measure, not a response to any imminent danger or threat." Okay, um, good to know.
PISCATAWAY - Some college students think paisley, polka dots and stripes make for one fine look, apparently the reason why Rutgers began banning students from a job fair for violating basic good taste. The fashion police blocked students who showed up with blue suits, colored shirts, brown shoes or other apparently grotesque violations of a strict new dress code for the Feb. 10 event at the Rutgers Business School, The Daily Targum reports. Apparently, only black or dark gray suits allowed. And no ruffles, bell bottoms, platform shoes or crushed velvet. Sorry, Mr. Wonka.
TRENTON - Let's forgo any of the real issues facing New Jersey for a moment, sit back and enjoy this gem from Gov. Chris Christie: "The Phillies suck. Let's just start with that. They're from Philadelphia. They're an awful team. They're an angry, bitter fan base and it's not safe for civilized people to go to Citizens Bank Park if you want to root for the other team."
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BISMARCK, N.D. - Rutgers is not the only place with an active fashion police, as North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum was thrown off the state Senate's floor for wearing jeans. He was posing for a photo with some students on the Senate floor Wednesday, when he got the boot for violating chamber rules. Burgum also wore jeans at his inauguration last month, rather than a tux, ticking off all those North Dakota legislators with their suits and ties.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1995 that a federal judge allowed a lawsuit that claimed U.S. tobacco makers know nicotine is addictive and designed their products to get people hooked. It followed another landmark suit, claiming the sun is yellow and bright, and can be found, sometimes, in the sky.
WORD OF THE DAY
Voluble [VAHL-yuh-bul] - adjective
Definition: easily rolling or turning
Example: Standing on the "Walk to Washington" train, I felt generous and voluble, feeling my way through conversations as if curious about what I will come up with next.
WEATHER IN A WORD