Jaffe Morning Briefing - January 18, 2017



STATEWIDE - There are nervous parents who insist their cherubic kids get the full meal plan at college so they don't starve themselves. And there are college students, who discover that cold pizza and a few swigs of last night's Busch Light make for a nutritious and balanced breakfast. And then, there's Assemblyman Jamel Holley, noting too many meals are being paid for at dining halls, but are left uneaten. He has introduced legislation that would allow college students to donate unused, non-refundable, non-transferable meal plan funds to local food banks. Sounds like a perfectly sensible idea; will be interesting to see who steps up to oppose it.  

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP - The township has been a punching bag for bad publicity, following its controversial rejection of plans to build a mosque, after 39 or so public hearings over four years. There are lawsuits flying everywhere, even courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice, while the Star-Ledger has assailed Bernards officials as "the face of bigotry." In response, bruised-and-beaten local officials have brought in the big guns - in the form of Burton Trent Public Affairs, a take-the-gloves-off Trenton lobbying firm - to do battle in the court of public opinion. Media can cover this case however they choose - but should now expect to justify every period, comma and semicolon.  

Sign Up for E-News

Morning Briefing staffer Bruno Tedeschi gets some wisdom from New Jersey Hall of Famer Wyclef Jean at the Democratic National Convention in July.TRENTON - To be enshrined in the New Jersey Hall of Fame isn't exactly a lifetime achievement award. This year's 15 inductees include younger folks like soccer player Carli Lloyd, musician Wyclef Jean and talk show host Kelly Ripa. It also includes some beloved New Jerseyans, like the late Al Koeppe, actor Ray Liotta and heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner. And then there's Philip Kearny, who commanded the First New Jersey Brigade and was killed in the Civil War, journalist Connie Chung, singer Connie Francis, musician Tommy James and others. Honorees are diverse and across-the-board; trying to find a pattern has proven completely impossible.

STATEWIDE - Bus companies are one beneficiary of the fledgling Trump Administration, as the state is expected to dispatch about 300 buses on Saturday to the Women's March, NJ.com says. Apparently, a seat on a bus is at a premium, going for about $200 if you can score one. There are an estimated 200,000 people going to this rally, on "Day One" of the new President, with the message that women's rights are human rights. This all generated from one Facebook post, showing the new President that people are watching, closely. Local bus companies eagerly encourage as many rallies as possible. Say, how about a "Daughter's March" next week?  

NEWARK - There are now two members of Congress from New Jersey boycotting the inaugural: Reps. Donald Payne and Bonnie Watson Coleman. Both contend Trump is unfit to lead. Fine. But he has not yet served a day in office and there is (gulp) a chance - albeit slight at most - that he could somehow become the most effective, most inclusive President in the history of our nation. Out of respect for the transition of power, and in desperate prayers for this country, we must give him the benefit of the doubt, until he royally screws up. 


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Inquiring minds demand to know: How high is too high for a pile of chicken poop? The answer: Eight feet. As farmers stockpile the winter waste for use as fertilizer for the spring planting, poultry experts warn the dung should not exceed seven feet. Otherwise, it can explode. We know that for an indisputable fact, after a pile of chicken crap combusted in western Arkansas, demolishing a nearby mobile home. (Editor's Note: Why are people living next to a mountain of bird turd in Western Arkansas?) The fire "hit the sweet spot," explained Karl VanDevender, a self-proclaimed feces expert at the University of Arkansas, describing, in detail, how the mix of moisture, texture and decomposition can ignite a pile of poo.


Everybody knows at least one giant asshole. That indisputable fact made a Donate Life ad promoting organ donation one of the most effective of the past year, and probably one of the most daring pieces of marketing ever-beginning with its catchy title. Enjoy this three-minute film, titled "The World's Biggest Asshole." And welcome to the world of Coleman F. Sweeney. 


It was this day in 2014 that a new world record was achieved when the United Kingdom's Lewis Clarke - just 16 - trekked to the South Pole. Great, but what the heck is wrong with his parents?


Abstemious [ab-STEE-mee-us] - adjective 

Definition: Marked by restraint especially in the consumption of booze.  

Example: With the repeal of Obamacare, will Americans hit the bottle or become more abstemious? 



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - March 23, 2018


TRENTON - It's good to live in a state where the NRA is about as reviled as the act of putting peanut butter on a bagel. That's why we aren't worried about a NRA "alert" to members, urging them to contact Assembly members to vote "No" on a host of bills up Monday in Trenton. That includes sensible legislation that ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 22, 2018


STATEWIDE - It's been excruciating to write about snow; there's only so much you can blindly repeat without sounding like a 24-hour news channel. The final totals: 14 inches in the central and southern part of the state, and at least 5 inches in all northern counties. Yippee.  As of 6 a.m. this morning, the utility companies were ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 21, 2018


STATEWIDE - Utility companies are dragging themselves back into the war room this morning, preparing for another day of downed wires, public scorn and mounting pressure from the governor's office to magically keep all the lights on. One would assume the utilities are still trying to patch up fragile networks from the back-to-back nor'easters that ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 20, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - The governor has targeted The Hub City as the new hub for innovation and technology. Gov. Phil Murphy was in town yesterday to meet with city, business and Rutgers officials to chat about how all the ongoing downtown investment will be a magnet for scientific and technological innovation, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 19, 2018


TRENTON - New Jersey, one of the only employers who pays its workers for unused sick time, and then appears mystified when it struggles to balance its budget, may finally be capping sick-leave payouts.  The proposal, obviously unpopular with labor unions, has been discussed before, but not with traction. It is back in the mix again, to cap payouts ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 16, 2018


ON THE RAILS - Another commuting mess this morning, as the antiquated Portal Bridge got stuck in the "up" position at 4:22 a.m.  That caused a bunch of rush hour trains to be cancelled between Newark and Manhattan for four hours or so.  Both NJTransit and Amtrak riders were completely screwed. You may recall the proposed Gateway ...

Rutgers to close for Wednesday storm

March 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - With the likelihood of more than a foot of snow set to dump on New Jersey, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has declared a weather emergency closure for all three campuses: New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.

School will be closed for students and all non-essential employees from 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 21 to 5 a.m. Thursday, March 22.

Rutgers Student on Front Lines of Orangutan Conservation, Research

NEW BRUNSWICK - Deep in a tropical forest in Borneo 15 years ago, Rutgers student Didik Prasetyo first encountered a young male orangutan that he named “Jerry.”

The great ape was one of several orangutans that Prasetyo and other researchers followed at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area in Indonesia. Prasetyo was skeptical when colleagues said ...

RU police investigate assault on Douglass campus

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University police are investigating an aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault  reported to March 14 at 3:55 a.m. in front of Hickman Hall on the Douglass campus.


The victim, not affiliated with Rutgers University, reported that she was walking with a male whom she did not know in the area of Commercial Avenue and George ...

City opens 6th ‘supportive’ housing complex, 12 units provide aid people who lost homes

March 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – In a continuing effort to eliminate homelessness, city and county officials this month opened 12 units of low-cost and subsidized housing in a complex designed to provide counseling and support services for its residents.

Zebra Way, named for the street on which it is located off Van Dyke Avenue, is expected to have residents move in next month.

Tenants, including ...


DEP Control Ensures Protection for New Jersey's Vulnerable Birds

March 23, 2018

Dear Editor: In January, the Department of Environmental Protection regained control of the state-owned North Brigantine Natural Area when a long-term management agreement with the city of Brigantine expired. DEP introduced new permitting guidelines which will greatly reduce human disturbance and increase protections for shore birds. NJ Audubon applauds the DEP for its efforts to better ...

Congress Passes $5 Million for Delaware River Basin Restoration Program

March 23, 2018

TRENTON – The Delaware River Basin Restoration Program (DRBRP) has received $5 million in funding as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending bill approved by Congress. The bill will now go to the President’s desk for his signature.

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed worked with Congress on the authorization of the Delaware River Basin ...