OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
NORTHFIELD - Maybe there needs to be a memo to Atlantic County politicians: For god's sake, stop posting on social media. This time, it's Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo who is backtracking on a dumb post on Facebook. Claiming he didn't have his glasses on, the assemblyman shared a video titled "Illegal Immigrants Training for the Trump Wall," with images of men using ladders to scale a partition. The Press of AC notes Mazzeo, a Democrat, quickly deleted the post and offered this explanation: "I was scrolling through my newsfeed. I have very bad vision with my reading, and I did share it, but I noticed that I posted it and I took it down immediately." OK, fair enough. The posting came after Atlantic County Freeholder John Carman, a Republican, apologized to an angry electorate for sharing posts that lampooned the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21. At least the bungling is bipartisan.
TRENTON - There's no question that Gov. Chris Christie deserves accolades for his fight against drug addiction in New Jersey. But voters say: Is that it? The latest Quinnipiac poll, which reports his rock-bottom approval ratings, gives him kudos for fighting the good fight, but what about all the other nagging issues that are well-reported, but unsolved? High taxes, affordable housing and public education funding are some hot topics, the poll says. Let's pile more on: Reforming pensions, strengthening the state's bond rating, solving the Atlantic City mess and building a modern, strong infrastructure. All that, it seems, is being punted to the next guy (or woman), the so-called "winner" for the big job this November.
STATEWIDE - What?? Another darn election this month? If you don't know your local fire district holds its elections the third Saturday of each February - trust us - you're not alone. They are New Jersey's most forgotten elections with itty-bitty voter turnouts, weighing in on tax levies and fire commissioners. Assemblyman Ron Dancer hopes to change that, giving fire districts a chance to switch their elections to the traditional Election Day in November. Dancer tells Save Jersey the move would save special elections costs and generate more attention. Dancer's bill has unanimously cleared two Assembly committee hurdles. Could be time to print bigger November ballots.
FRANKLIN LAKES - Underage boozing at an ex-beauty queen's home snowballed from a quirky six-graph blurb in the Pascack Valley Daily Voice to titillating New York tabloid fodder. Police slapped the 47-year-old former "Mrs. Bergen County" with two minor charges after 10 teens allegedly got soused at her home, apparently while she wasn't there. The self-described "fabulous fashionista" told the New York Post "the crazy thing is," she's not sure she really was charged because she was never arrested. Um, well ... sometimes summons do just come in the mail.
NEW BRUNSWICK - More musical chairs on the Middlesex County freeholder board, with the second elected official calling it quits since October. This time it's Deputy Freeholder Director Carol Bellante bidding a fond farewell to "pursue other professional opportunities" rather than seek a fourth term,TAPinto New Brunswick reports. It's now up to county Democrats to pick a replacement for the 11 remaining months of her term. Whoever is chosen is likely to run in November with Freeholders Charles Tomaro and Shanti Narra. Narra is filling a vacancy left when H. James Polos resigned to become executive director of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
PAWHUSKA, OK - Teaching calisthenics to your students? Sorry, but you gotta wear underwear. A substitute choir teacher was arrested for indecent exposure after she did a cartwheel in front of high school students while wearing a skirt, but nothing underneath. The teacher, 34, warned her students she was going commando and asked them to delete any cellphone videos of her gymnastics. Ha. Fat chance. She was arrested Tuesday, formally charged with ridiculous and glaring stupidity and later released on a $5,000 bond.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2014 that New Jersey hosted the most boring Super Bowl in history, as the Seahawks slept through a victory over the half-conscious Broncos, 43-8.
WORD OF THE DAY
Imprecate [IM-prih-kayt] - verb
Definition: To invoke evil on; to curse
Example: I don't imprecate the substitute choir teacher for doing cartwheels in the buff.
WEATHER IN A WORD