OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
ASBURY PARK - With word the iconic B Street Band has politely begged off an opportunity to perform at an inaugural ball, one must wonder the caliber of actual, living, breathing entertainment celebrating the coming of the 45th President. It appears the only acts confirmed may be the River Bottom Nightmare Band, one high-kicking Rockette and, of course, Scott Baio of "Joanie Love Chachi" sitcom fame, if he learns to play the guitar by Friday. Or maybe Ivanka will just bring her favorite high school mix tape.
KEANSBURG - After many years of faithful service and plenty of patience, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno could expect Gov. Chris Christie to stand proudly by as she declares her bid today for governor, right? No clue if he wasn't invited, or declined to show up. You see, Christie is busy, busy, busy, signing an executive order in front of recovering drug addicts in Newark at 11:30 a.m. before heading to the governor's office in Trenton to speak about a very important law at 2:30 p.m. So, there's absolutely no way he can attend the 11 a.m. announcement for his Number Two, to be held at waterfront Mexican restaurant in Keansburg - even though we hear the enchaladas are fantastic.
TOMS RIVER - Maybe Freeholder Director Joe Vicari will be firing off cranky tweets in the wee hours. Anything is possible now that the Ocean County freeholders finally decided social media is not a fad like ... ya know, the transistor radio or indoor plumbing. Until recently, freeholders here didn't even have email accounts. Now, they plan to hire a social media director and give "special permission" to a dozen departments to use this new-fangled communication tool. But only with lots of training and strict guidelines and someone who can figure how to dial-up AOL. County Administrator Carl Block tells the Asbury Park Press: "Social media is a great tool, it just has to be monitored and used properly." Hear that, Mr. President-elect?
ON THE ROAD - When the going gets tough, the tough go to Aruba! Except for a hapless Little Ferry businessman, busted at Newark Airport for owing $1 million in Turnpike and Parkway tolls. State Police scooped him up just before he boarded a flight for a Caribbean island getaway, NJ.Com reports. The 34-year-old trucking company owner allegedly sent nearly 100 trucks per day through toll plazas for 13 months using delinquent E-Z Pass accounts. Now, he faces theft of services charges as he stews in the Middlesex County jail, which does not currently offer breezy ocean views.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
LEBANON, Va. - 1,600 pounds. That's the weight of five wheelbarrows filled with 300,000 pennies that a ticked-off motorist carted to the Virginia DMV to pay sales tax on two cars. The Cedar Bluffs man told the Bristol Herald Courier he wanted to "inconvenience" the DMV like it did to him when he tried getting direct phone numbers for 10 DMV offices in his area. He filed an FOIA request and two lawsuits to get the numbers. But, apparently they aren't for public use. So, he decided to pay in pennies after a judge tossed his lawsuits. Expect DMV staff to be slightly surlier than usual.
STATEWIDE - It looks like the "Greatest Show on Earth" doesn't hold a candle to Donald Trump when it comes to putting on a circus, so Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will do its last performance in May, after a not-so-shabby 146 years in business. To quote Stephen Colbert: "Apparently, the circus doesn't think it could compete against the Trump presidency. What with all the marriages, he does have three rings."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1998 that President Clinton faced sexual harassment charges from... [insert name of latest accuser]
WORD OF THE DAY
Comeuppance [kuhm-uhp-uh-ns] - noun
Definition: Penalization or retribution; getting one's just desserts
Example: The Virginia DMV got five wheelbarrows worth of comeuppance.
WEATHER IN A WORD