Jaffe Morning Briefing - January 26, 2017



TRENTON - It's like shutting the barn door after the prize Clydesdale escapes. But making future presidential candidates disclose their income tax returns before their names are allowed on New Jersey's ballot sounds like a capital idea. Assemblymen John McKeon and Troy Singleton want the Garden State to join five other states that have similar laws, saying it restores transparency. Coincidentally, their proposal comes just as our unpredictable President fesses up he's never ever releasing his tax returns. Ever.  

METUCHEN - Next time you ride your horse down Route 27 through Middlesex County's "Brainy Borough," don't count on watering your thirsty steed at Woodwild Park's historic horse trough. The 116-year-old cast iron landmark is gone. It's getting refurbished at an Alabama ironworks, part of a $60,000 restoration to the stonework, driveway and sidewalks at the undeveloped 3.5-acre park and wildlife sanctuary. The Edison-Metuchen Sentinel says there's one hitch: The non-profit group that manages Woodwild Park has only raised $21,000 so far. To help, visit www.woodwildpark.org. Your horse will be grateful.   

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STATEWIDE - It really wasn't that long ago that New Jersey had two area codes: 609 and 201. But then, with the explosion of fax machines, cell phones and internet phone numbers, it seems like every living, breathing thing has its own New Jersey phone number and area code - even if he or she lives nowhere near the state. So, now we have 908, 973, 551, 732, 848, 856 and 862. But, darn it, that is still not enough. State officials are now considering a new area code to help out 609, as it appears that area code will run out of numbers by the third quarter of next year. At this rate, every county will soon have its own area code.

STATEWIDE - Wondering why you never have any money? Perhaps it is because property taxes increased yet another $700 million across New Jersey last year - the biggest jump in six years. NJ 101.5 has crunched the numbers, showing the average taxpayer is coughing up another $200 for the honor and privilege to live in the state. You may recall that Gov. Chris Christie instituted a 2 percent cap on tax hikes. But there are exceptions to pay for stuff like pensions, debt, health insurance, construction and anything deemed "an emergency." So, pay up.  

MIDDLETOWN - Eight hundred residents made their presence known last night to rage against a plan to build a 10-mile-long, high-voltage power line through residential neighborhoods. They called themselves "R.A.G.E.," or "Residents Against Giant Electric." (Pretty clever.) And they are immensely ticked off by the $111 million proposal that cuts through Holmdel, Hazlet, and Middletown, connecting substations in Red Bank and Aberdeen. Residents are talking about health issues, aesthetic issues, real estate values and all the other top "NIMBY" concerns. Such a project is needed to ensure reliability in the power grid, we assume, but why does it have to be routed through neighborhoods?  

SECAUCUS - Make sure you don't leave your toothbrush in the hotel room. Oh, and also don't forget your stash of pot. That's the mistake a trio of North Jersey residents made, forgetting a one-pound vacuum-sealed bag of marijuana in their Plaza Drive hotel room. The housekeeping staff at the Residence Inn made the discovery. Cops then tracked down the proud owners: a North Bergen woman and two Union City men. The trio now faces various possession charges; two were released with summonses and one remains a guest of the Hudson County jail. No mints on his pillow this morning.


BEIJING - Hard to tell what is a real tweet from our President or what is completely fabricated by a crazy person. But, apparently in China, there has been plenty of fake tweeting on websites, in which, you too, can create messages at a fake @realdonaldtrump. These websites even have his avatar and a real-time timestamp. Here are some tweets being generated in China, by people having an absolute blast:  

- @realdonaldtrump's "favorite boy band" is the South Korean group GOT7: "They are so cute!" 

- @realdonaldtrump thinks Shanghai Jiaotong University is better than its crosstown rival. 

- @realdonaldtrump wants to buy a jianbing (typical Chinese street food) and wants Mexico to pay for it.  


It was this day in 1979 that we first witnessed two unemployed hicks speeding around the dirt roads of backwoods Georgia in a 1969 Dodge Charger, with dumb cops in full, reckless pursuit, as CBS unveiled the "Dukes of Hazzard."  


Barbican [BAR-bih-kun] - noun 

Definition: A tower at a gate or bridge  

Example: The President is going to build the biggest, greatest barbicans for the shark-infested moat surrounding the United States of America. 



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New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - June 19, 2018

TRENTON - It is June. That must mean our state lawmakers are yelling at each other over the proposed state budget, which must be adopted by the end of the month or government shuts down. Some media is refraining from coverage of the daily blow-by-blow, as the typical resident just assumes taxes will go up, no matter what. But, here is the latest. Gov. Phil Murphy has his proposed ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 18, 2018

DOWN THE SHORE - If you see all those mega-mansions on the beach, and admit to being just a wee bit jealous, here's something to quietly smile about: All of those glorious homes will likely be underwater.  NJ Spotlight reports rising sea levels make the New Jersey coast particularly vulnerable, with the Garden State ranking second to Florida with the biggest chronic risk ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 15, 2018

JERSEY CITY - Should topless women be allowed in the city?  That's the big issue consuming the City Council these days, as members continue to debate 1980s-era obscenity laws. There was supposed to be a vote at the council meeting on Wednesday, but it didn't happen. Before there is a vote, it appears the goal is to wrangle support of all nine members of the City Council. The nagging ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 14, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD - The typical sports fan in New Jersey has until 2026 to get excited about professional soccer. That's because the Meadowlands could be the epicenter of the soccer world, a contender to host the World Cup. It could be  an amazing coup for New Jersey, although expect worldwide marketers to try to convince everyone that the big game would be played in "New ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 13, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY - When the Hard Rock Café and Casino opens June 28, a strip club will also open on the property. But this isn't your typical, dark titty bar. No, it is 36,000 square feet of space, about the size of a typical Marshalls. So, figure the place is wall-to-wall strippers, each jiggling for money. That could equal about 300 jiggles per minute on a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 12, 2018

STATEWIDE - Perhaps it is time for the state to upgrade to Windows 95, as the second big computer crash in a week spelled disaster for the state's computer systems. The biggest hit came to the state's Motor Vehicle agencies, jamming efforts to renew driver's licenses, or for people to get titles or register vehicles. This mess somehow made the lines at the MVC even longer, the ...

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Rutgers-led “Tick Blitz” finds exotic Longhorned Ticks statewide

June 5, 2018

New Brunswick, N.J. - Researchers at  University–New Brunswick’s Rutgers Center for Vector Biology have found exotic longhorned ticks in four New Jersey counties – and confirmed that these northeast Asian ticks have been present in the Garden State since at least 2013.

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Rutgers football stadium has a new name

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So, now, Rutgers is officially home to "HighPoint.com Stadium" for the 2018 ...

Composer lyrisicist Sondheim at Rutgers, tells would-be writers ‘it’s hard work’

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“It’s not about waiting for inspiration. It’s not about talent,” Sondheim said Friday while speaking before an audience at Rutgers University’s Nicholas Music Center.

“You ...

Couple netted $8M from fake Uggs, designer bags, prosecutor says

June 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Plainsboro couple could face charges of of selling counterfeit designer shoes and handbags, netting $8 million and sending $3 million to people in China, authorities said today.

Yan Shi, 36, and her husband, Weiping Liu, 40, were arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy to violate the New Jersey Trademark ...


Hearing Loss Common in School-Aged Children

May 30, 2018

With close to 15% of U.S. children ages 6–19 experiencing hearing loss, New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA) notes that May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month is the ideal time for parents to learn more about the sometimes-subtle signs of hearing loss, ways it can affect school-aged children, and where to find help.

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The events will include kitchen tours, demonstrations, tastings, raffles and prizes. Tours and activities ...

Ensure Safe Sleep While Traveling with Baby

June 6, 2018

As we approach the summer, there will be plenty of expected travel for families, from visiting grandma at the beach to heading out on a long, well-deserved vacation. 

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