OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
PATERSON - Why let a pesky federal bribery conviction stop you from being this city's next mayor? That's how Chauncey Brown III feels, saying he hopes to unseat Mayor Joey Torres in the 2018 election. Back in 2007, then-school board member Brown got swept up with 10 other public officials in a federal corruption sting. He pleaded guilty to taking $13,000 in bribes and spent 21 months in federal prison before his 2011 release. While state law prohibits anyone convicted of crimes involving public duties from holding office again, a defiant Brown tells the Paterson Press that law took effect after his conviction: "I'm grandfathered in." Sounds like a campaign slogan to us, AND fits on a bumper sticker.
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS - It's nothing personal or ... wink, nod ... even political. It's just that the new Republican mayor will be damned if a former Democratic mayor's name remains proudly displayed on Borough Hall. So, this week, the name of late Mayor Joseph Parisi Sr. got pried off the building's exterior. Mayor Mario Kranjac tells the Record that naming Borough Hall for Parisi - mayor from 1976 until his 2005 death - was never officially approved. Kranjac claims the late mayor's son, Joe Parisi Jr., who succeeded his father as mayor and served from 2005-15, just took it upon himself to rename the building for dear old dad.
ANDOVER - Did a political hoedown turn into a throw-down at The Barn? That's what a municipal judge somewhere may decide if there's ever a hearing on accusations that roughhousing went awry between a political consultant and Committeeman John Burke during a Sussex County Republican fundraiser last Oct. 28. NJ.Com says consultant Bill Winkler allegedly put Burke in a headlock at The Barn in Hillside Park, saying: "Come here, stay with me, show me the love." To avoid conflicts of interest, simple assault and harassment charges against Winkler have bounced between three municipal courts. Now, Winkler's lawyer wants the case heard outside North Jersey entirely. Maybe it's also time to rethink open bars at these fundraisers.
HOPATCONG - You may recall those silly brothers who went to the police department in November, for one to turn himself in on an outstanding warrant. One brother was shooting video; the other was dressed in a full-scale bunny costume and blasting an air horn in the lobby. You may also recall the viral video - now with 45,000 views - showing a humorless cop slapping the bunny. (The cop was then charged with assault.) Well, according to the New Jersey Herald, the very public incident has encouraged prosecutors to drop many of the charges against the brothers because of "insufficient evidence." But the bunny is still looking at disorderly conduct charges for the stunt.
PAULSBORO - The mayor's firefighting skills were put to the test when he happened upon a burning home Tuesday and helped rescue a woman who was asleep inside. Mayor Gary Stevenson was leaving a funeral home and heading to Trenton when he told WTXF-TV that he saw smoke billowing from a West Broad Street house. Stevenson, a volunteer firefighter since 1984 and fire chief for 12 years before becoming mayor, banged on the home's front doors to get her up. After getting her outside, Stevenson and other do-gooders checked inside for other occupants before the fire spread. Expect Stevenson to have at least one guaranteed vote when if he runs for re-election. (The mayor posted some nice pics on his Facebook page.)
WEST LONG BRANCH - A great coup for Monmouth University - it is set to launch the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, making the school the official archival repository of Springsteen's written works, NJ.Com reports. The announcement was made yesterday when the Boss offered a human touch, during a 90-minute forum talking about his great body of work. The school already houses "The Springsteen Collection," with more than 14,000 documents from a career with 314 songs, give or take. Expect this new center to get many more visits, than, say, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in California, even with its recent $15 million overhaul.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BERLIN - A train conductor alerted police when it was discovered a man was in a train bathroom with a knife, ZDF reports. The story got weird from there. Apparently, the 22-year-old man was found fully naked. And he was using the knife to engage in what German authorities call an "intimate shave." And he claimed he was tending to himself on the train because he was not wanted at home. And he was "quite annoyed" for the disruption and reluctantly dressed himself. And he didn't even buy a ticket. Why he chose to use a knife for such delicate work remains unclear. And why he chose to sneak on a bumpy train to conduct such detailed work also remains a mystery at press time.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1813 that the first pineapple was planted in Hawaii.
WORD OF THE DAY
Beguile [bih-GHYLE] - verb
Definition: To deceive by cunning means
Example: The salesman beguiled me to buy the rust-proofing package for my iPad.
WEATHER IN A WORD