OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

HARVEY CEDARS - Let's assume he was humming "Message in a Bottle" when a LBI man discovered a wine bottle on the beach containing a note from some guy in England. He tells the Asbury Park Press that the note was written on stationery from the Cunard cruise line. It read, "Found the bottle? Read this note? I'm Stuart, if you wish, call or mail me. Speak or mail soon. England Stuart." The LBI man called and emailed, based on the info on the note. So far, no response from the U.K.  

JERSEY CITY - We'll never get serious about property taxes in New Jersey so long as public employees are allowed to "retire" and then take new public jobs. The latest double-dipper is the "retired" Hudson County jail chief, collecting a nice pension of $89,765. He's now back on the county payroll, this time accepting an unadvertised job as assistant county administrator, earning $127,434. How? The Jersey Journal explains his pension is with the state Police and Firemen's Retirement System, known as PFRS. But now the retired worker is a "civilian." Luckily, there is at least some regulation here. He is not earning credits in the civilian pension system, as he already collects a pension elsewhere. Happy retirement.  

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TENAFLY - There's not a lot of action out of this small, wealthy, Bergen County enclave. But one brave resident, Council President Mark Zinna, has had enough and has emerged as a Democratic candidate for governor. Never mind that the video announcing his candidacy is poorly lit, spoken from a dark, leather chair in a room that resembles an escape room and filmed in portrait mode (hello? turn the iPhone on its side!), he does make some good points fighting for a single-payer health system, women's rights, and affordable higher education. Here's some free PR, Mr. Zinna. Good luck.

Happy Working Naked Day - whatever that means  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - If you ask Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno about her campaign to get promoted, she would likely talk about how she is steadily marching toward the GOP nomination on the shoulders of cheering red, white and blue Republicans. She has released a list of personal endorsements from 100 state, county, local and Republican Party officials across the state, saying all this love is "truly humbling" and certainly worth the effort of writing a press release. 

TRENTON - The New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus Foundation has a new fearless leader, with Assemblyman Jamel Holley getting the unanimous nod as the next chairman. The hard work begins now, as Holley will lead the charge to raise money and awareness about the non-profit, promoting a stronger African-American voice in government. 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

JUNEAU, Alaska - It's a trip to the bathroom that has become international news. The Associated Press reports about a conference call for the Alaska Marijuana Control Board, with about 40 very serious people listening to a discussion about enforcement. Suddenly, there is was a strange ruffling noise, followed by the "WHOOOSH" of a toilet. Board member Mark Springer stopped the meeting, admonishing the unknown flusher for being rude. It was then entered into the record that when participating on a conference call to kindly mute your phone to take a, uh, break.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was this day in 1992 that New York finally increased its unemployment benefits to $300 per week, allowing residents to expand their cardboard boxes in midtown.  

WORD OF THE DAY 

Gravid [GRAV-id] - adjective 

Definition: Pregnant  

Example: Gravid?! Wow; I thought she was pregnant. 

WEATHER IN A WORD 

Snow-less