Jaffe Morning Briefing - November 29, 2016



TRENTON - Unclear the mystery, but Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to make a "press announcement" at 11:30 a.m. today in the Statehouse rotunda. No more details from the governor's press office, except there will be no reporter questions allowed. The AP is quick to note the governor has not held a news conference in two months, like it matters anymore. Perhaps it is about a Trump appointment. Fingers are crossed.  

NEWARK - There's some big international news at 10:18 this morning, as United Airlines launches its first commercial flight to Havana from Newark. There will now be, apparently, regular daily flights from the Garden State to Cuba, an anticipated 3-hour-and-35-minute trip. Or, from Newark, a nine-hour journey, when you add in the late-arriving planes, traffic on the tarmac and efforts to jam as many humans into one aircraft as possible. But at least weary passengers can finally breathe freedom when they touch down in Havana.  

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ATLANTIC CITY - There has been also this buzz that, somehow, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve would include a concert at Boardwalk Hall. But, alas, no. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on a three-year deal, worth $11.25 million, with dick clark productions and the Miss America Organization to promote Atlantic City on the big stage. But the New Year's Eve concert was cancelled, says the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, due to "scheduling conflicts and other considerations." Silver lining: Atlantic City doesn't have to deal with Ryan Seacrest.

TRENTON - The plum job of being a state judge may soon be handed out to 20 winners, as Senate President Stephen Sweeney is calling for 20 new judges to help handle new criminal justice reforms to be enacted in just five weeks. Adding 20 more black robes to the roster of 443 judges isn't that simple, of no surprise to anyone, as it requires a change in state law. The cost would be $9.3 million, NJ101.5 reports. Add in a heavy dose of politics, and a sprinkling of partisanship, nepotism, and horse trading, and perhaps the new judges will finally be sworn in by the middle of 2017.  

TRENTON - If you have served time in jail, the Trenton Housing Authority has a job for you: Security Guard. The Trentonian reports the authority is hiring ex-cons, as opposed to trained law enforcement officials, to patrol low-income housing complexes. City officials say this is about giving people a second chance, which is laudable. But residents must wonder why they aren't entitled to security guards who don't know exactly when morning chow is served at the Mercer County lock-up. 


ALBANY, N.Y. - We all love New York, but apparently the Federal Highway Administration has a big problem with more than 500 "I Love NY" signs that dot state highways. Next month, the feds are meeting with state officials in Washington to hash out a plan to remove the signs with the iconic slogan. If the state balks at this stupid demand, the feds vow to cut nearly $1 billion in funding, according to Newsday. Oof. Uncle Sam says the signs don't comply with standards and are distracting. New York's response? Have a heart.


It was this day in 2012 that Barack Obama received one of the golden perks of being President, having a new species of fish named in his honor. America welcomed a darter fish, enthusiastically named "Etheostoma Obama."


Cabbage [KAB-ij] - verb 

Definition: to steal  

Example: All those Jill Stein supporters are somehow convinced Donald Trump cabbaged the election. 



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New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018


PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 17, 2018


AT THE POLLING BOOTH - Guess what? New Jerseyans don't like the Trump tax plan. It's also not surprising that a potential voter revolt could flip all five of the state's Republican House seats, according to a new Monmouth University poll. NJ.com reports that the new federal tax bill disproportionately hurts taxpayers in New Jersey ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 16, 2018


TRENTON - As Gov. Phil Murphy was in Cleveland to celebrate his buddy, Jon Bon Jovi, who entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, the paperwork is piling up at the office. NJ.com is quick to note we are approaching the end of the first 100 days of the Murphy Administration and there are a gaggle of bills to sign or reject. Lots of ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 13, 2018


STATEWIDE - One would think Gov. Phil Murphy, as our powerful chief executive, would be paid among the highest of all state employees after, of course, the Rutgers head football coach. But the Asbury Park Press has revealed a startling fact: there are more than 1,060 government employees who earn more than the governor. Murphy makes a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 12, 2018


TRENTON - Senate President Steve Sweeney wants to teach the new governor who is really in charge of the Statehouse, blocking confirmation votes for at least two of Gov. Phil Murphy's Cabinet members. This smack down could delay the approval for at least two months for Lamont Repollet, the acting education commissioner, and Zakiya Smith Ellis, ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 11, 2018


TRENTON - Sure, New Jersey loves the idea of free community college and expanded pre-K education. But are we willing to pay for it? Gov. Phil Murphy's proposed $37.4 billion budget is now getting picked apart in the state Legislature - with criticism even coming from Democratic circles. That's because of a net $1.5 billion in tax increases ...

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Arts & Entertainment

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

School board incumbents win re-election amid low voter turnout

April 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Three incumbent school board members Tuesday won their bids for new three-year terms on the school district’s governing body.

Board members Edward Spencer, Diana Solis and Ronald Hus easily finished on top in a field of seven candidates.

They were the victors with less than 4 percent of registered voters going to the polls. New Brunswick has 20,261 ...

High-Tech Gadgetry Fuels the 35th Anniversary of the World Series of Birding

April 6, 2018

BERNARDSVILLE – For any real competitor, there’s the ultimate competition: think the Final Four. Or the Super Bowl. Or the biggest cucumber at the state fair.

For birdwatchers, the not-to-miss event is the annual World Series of Birding, to be held Saturday, May 12. It’s a proud New Jersey exclusive.

Individuals and teams fan out across the state for a ...


Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

Spring Boutique in East Brunswick April 22nd

April 15, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK - Come and shop for Mother's Day, Father's Day and End-of-Year gifts for your favorite teachers & school staff. The Sisterhood of Temple B’nai Shalom will host its Spring Boutique on Sunday, April 22, 2018, from 9:45 am to 3:00 pm.  A variety of vendors will be participating.  Items available for shopping will include fashion jewelry, handbags, ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...