OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

EVERYWHERE - Monopoly is definitely a Jersey board game, based on real Atlantic City streets since 1935. So, shouldn't its eight silver player tokens scream: Garden State? Instead, Hasbro just launched an online contest to let fans select the upcoming edition's newest tokens, offering dumb ideas like an emoji, a hashtag and a cellphone. Yawn. Well, we've got some Jersey-centric ideas for Hasbro. How about a Boardwalk jitney or Lucy the Elephant? Or, the Jersey devil, a handcuffed politician or a Jersey tomato? Maybe an incandescent light bulb, a Hoboken drunk, or .... perhaps a suspiciously familiar, scowling millionaire turning out his trouser pockets? Let's have a voice here, dammit; voting runs until Jan. 31 at www.VoteMonopoly.com.  

STATEWIDE - Extremely unknown to us is the fact that sexually-transmitted diseases are festering across the state. NJ101.5 reports some genuine alarm from state health officials, who report 40,000 new cases in 2015, a spike of eight percent over the previous year. We are talking the likes of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis itching their way into your community; the worst the state has seen in 25 years. The state is now targeting a public awareness campaign among the prime targets - people under the age of 24, now standing awkwardly at the prescription counter of the local Rite-Aid. What's really alarming is this fun fact: Half of all sexually active people in New Jersey will get a sexually transmitted disease by the age of 25. Ouch. 

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ROSELLE PARK - Ding-Dong! You're busted! Video from a clever little doorbell camera helped police detectives track down a phony deliveryman who allegedly swiped a package from a Walnut Street home. Police charged a 23-year-old Bayonne guy with multiple theft counts after finding him in Elizabeth along with the missing Amazon parcel and a bunch of other packages in his van. The Roselle Park News says he pretended to deliver a small box to the Roselle Park home on Monday, but the hidden video shows a bigger package being taken off the doorstep. He is free as he awaits a court appearance.

STATEWIDE - If you want a full-time job, with benefits, it's here for you. That is the big message from Amazon, which is quickly expanding throughout New Jersey. The company just announced its latest hiring spree, looking for 2,500 more people to work in its gigantic fulfillment centers across the state. Amazon already has 11,000 people working at its seven sites in the state and is primed for even more expansion. Amazon spread the word yesterday through a press release announcing 100,000 full-time gigs available in seven states, including New Jersey. Time to DVR the afternoon soaps.  

GALLOWAY - Too darn bad. Suck it up. That's basically what a Superior Court judge, and now a state appeals court, has told a former councilman, tossing out his lawsuit claiming he was unfairly forced to resign in 2012. Dennis Kleiner sued his town, saying his due process and free speech rights were violated when he quit because of rumors and false allegations of sexual harassment and threatening a fellow councilman, NJ101.5 reports. The court called the Democrat's lawsuit "pointless" and ruled that First Amendment retaliation protections do not cover politicians targeted by negative comments: "Such political disputes are best left to be resolved in voting booths, not courtrooms." Better luck next time.  

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

PITTSBURGH - Among the many, many reasons not to wear a man bun, police identified a suspect vandalizing cars because of his ridiculous coif. Countless surveillance cameras saw this 22-year-old alleged moron kicking in the sides of cars and jumping on their side view mirrors in the city's South Side, reports WTAE-TV. One neighbor told the news station: "What motivates someone to do that, I have no idea." We assume she is talking about the bun.

JIAXING, China - Expect war to soon break out with China by, say, mid-February. Or, at least as long as Chinese businesses keep manufacturing giant inflatable roosters, some as tall as 16 feet, that oddly resemble the President-elect. Yifang Inflatables, a factory in the city of Jiaxing, near Shanghai, is having a banner year, as sales are going through the roof. Chinese state media - likely enjoying all this entrepreneurism - have described the rooster as "sporting the President-elect's signature hairdo and hand gestures." Our take: This is just another example of China taking our jobs. Good, hard-working Americans should be manufacturing these Trump roosters. Stop the madness! 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was this day in 1979 that there was at least one organization not boogying to Village People's "YMCA." It was the YMCA, announcing its libel suit.

WORD OF THE DAY 

Effrontery [ih-FRUN-tuh-ree] - noun 

Definition: Shameless boldness  

Example: Someone asked me if I knew of any national politician who consistently displayed sheer effrontery. "Hmm," I replied. 

WEATHER IN A WORD 

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