OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
PARAMUS - ALERT! It has come to our attention that YOU WILL NO LONGER be able to purchase all of your marvelous Ivanka Trump products at the Neiman Marcus at the Garden State Plaza! Yes! We are shocked, too! And what awful timing, with Valentine's Day just around the corner. Neiman Marcus is pulling all of Ivanka's amazing items from the store, as well as from its website, Yahoo News reports. The tragic news comes on the heels of an announcement from Nordstrom, which also pulled the line, citing terrible sales. Obviously, these high-end stores have no clue about good taste or luxury. Harrumph.
ON THE CLOCK - It's none of our darn business if our mayors spend their workdays getting pedicures while watching MASH reruns or actually doing municipal business. Apparently, elected officials can keep their work schedules a big secret. That new ruling from the state Government Records Council ends the Jersey Journal's two-year quest to track what Mayor Steve Fulop does all day long. The council's decision - similar to its earlier one about Gov. Chris Christie's hush-hush schedule - says elected officials may choose to make all or part of their day public, but aren't under any obligation to do so. Of course, a judge might feel differently.
BRICK - Now that VHS tapes have gone the way of typewriters, rotary telephones and kids playing outside, it's no surprise New Jersey's last video rental store - at least it's thought to be - is closing Friday. Bob's Video Time has only a few remaining customers, mostly seniors who'd rather fire up their VCRs than dial up one with them newfangled online movies. Owner Bob Karpodinis, who started his Lanes Mill Road store in 1990, tells ShoreBeat: "Back then, it was a glamorous business ... like owning your own piece of Hollywood and it was very profitable." Not so much anymore.
ATLANTIC CITY - If someone has some dollars they want to throw at Atlantic City, we should warmly embrace this investor, perhaps with tearful hugs, kisses and rose petals. So, even though many have strong opinions about Carl Icahn, it was odd that the state Legislature tried to prevent him from reopening the Trump Taj Mahal. According to Politico, the bill would have banned the owner of any casino that "substantially" closed after Jan. 1, 2016, from obtaining a new gaming license for five years - a law targeting Icahn. Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the legislation, saying it "represents the Legislature at its worst."
The governor added, for good measure: "This ill-conceived and poorly worded legislation that shamelessly backs one side in a labor dispute between private parties without regard to any legal, practical or collateral consequences far exceeds the scope of acceptable legislation and has no place in our state's laws."
STATEWIDE - If you are thinking about buying a house and assume it will easily be worth a million bucks or so when you retire, think again, bud. Rutgers University reports that Millennials just don't have the cash to buy that fancy house of yours when you are ready to skip down to Florida and eventually die. These folks - born between the early 1980s and late 1990s - were buried in the recession and just don't have those fat bank accounts to drop a wheelbarrow of cash on your front door. For many, renting makes much more sense than buying. And what does that mean for you?
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - At first, a Mississippi man noticed he had an ingrown hair. And then he got fat. And doctors just assumed he was a fat guy getting fatter. Like 140 pounds fatter, and gaining more weight by the minute. Until one California doctor figured all this weight gain was from the super-infected ingrown hair, which somehow developed its own blood supply and swelled to incredible proportions, KERO-TV reports. It got so big that it dragged on the floor; the poor guy couldn't move from his recliner all day. Stuck in Mississippi, of all places. Luckily, a doctor at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital figured it all out, prompting the man to take a 2,000-mile, 40-hour drive to central California in a chair bolted to the floor of a cargo van. After surgery, the grateful man says he can once again see his feet.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Heard about a food company called "Findus"? Likely not, after it was this day in 2013 that the European company had to take its ready-made lasagna off the shelves after it was learned the beef was horsemeat.
WORD OF THE DAY
Extremophile [ik-STREE-muh-fyle] - noun
Definition: An organism that lives under extreme environmental conditions
Example: With all this fun talk of Hillary Clinton running for NYC mayor, she is no doubt an extremophile in the dark, unforgiving world of politics.
WEATHER IN A WORD