OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON - Pretty sneaky there, governor. Gov. Chris Christie says the media should stop being so darn interested in his future with the Trump Administration and just believe he has the full intention of serving out his term. Fine. Got it. So why then would he send out a super-vague media alert yesterday morning, inviting reporters to a "press announcement" with no questions allowed? Seems like it would be a landmark announcement. So, the media comes to the Statehouse. State legislators wonder what it is all about. People chatter. And then the governor uses this shower of self-made attention to announce an expensive project to fix the Statehouse. Ha. Ha. Fooled you, media. Look at me. Hey! Look at ME!
TRENTON - So, with all this fresh attention, let's talk about the Statehouse. The building is 220 years old and apparently in really bad shape. Although only 0.1 percent of the public actually uses it - and that includes all those bored kids trudging through on class trips - apparently action is needed now. You can figure where the governor's mind is on this: Press row would be booted from the Statehouse, maybe to an unheated trailer in Ewing. And the next governor - likely a Democrat - would not be able to use his office for the entirety of his first term, as renovations drag on. But, says the governor, New Jersey cannot afford to wait.
EAST RUTHERFORD - Booze is all part of the tailgating experience. How can you really be expected to eat a hamburger without washing it down with something sudsy? But state athletic officials are saying you had better leave the beer behind if you plan on attending this weekend's high school championship games. Even though the games are in the booze-soaked Meadowlands, this is a high school event. State officials reason: if you can't bring alcohol into a school, why should you be allowed to bring it to any other high school activity? They are right, of course, we have to admit. In any case, expect to see plenty of those red Solo cups.
WOODLAND PARK - Perhaps in preparation for a new Republican world, basking in all the joys of the Second Amendment, a local shooting range is planning a massive expansion. At "Guns for Hire," apparently the 19 shooting ports are just not enough to accommodate the growing demand. So, with a planned $12 million expansion, we are now talking 60 shooting ports and a museum dedicated to guns, in a gleaming 55,000-square-foot addition slated for completion in June, the Record reports. Guns for Hire will be able to better handle police training, as well as fabulous family fun featuring firearms.
WEEHAWKEN - Plenty of teens have their heads in the clouds, but none as much as thrill-seeker Justin Casquejo, who at age 16, scaled the Freedom Tower in 2014. Now the New York Post says the Weehawken 18-year-old is again climbing skyscrapers, recently posting a video from atop a Central Park South high-rise. In the past year Casquejo also posted images of himself and friends scaling skyscrapers in Times Square, Columbus Circle and near the Empire State Building. After Casquejo's Freedom Tower stunt, a judge slapped him with 30 days of community service, mandatory counseling and an essay assignment. The judge said she was impressed by Casquejo's "sincerity, remorsefulness and willingness to accept responsibility." Sucker.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NEW YORK - You need to pity the judge who has to deal with this case, as a beer company and a winery fight over the use of the "Menage a Trois" trademark. Shmaltz Brewing Co., a Jewish company with unorthodox names for its beers, uses "MANNAge a Trois" for the sale of its Hop Manna, Hop Mania and Hop Momma India pale ales, part of its He'Brew line. Sutter Home Winery doesn't find the humor, claiming the line is "confusingly similar" to "Menage a Trois," which it began using in 1997 and trademarked in 2006, Reuters reports. The line is big business, generating $1 billion of Menage a Trois red, white, rose and sparkling wines since 2009. Sutter Home is demanding triple and punitive damages, and a name change. Perhaps to "Oy Veh."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Maybe Donald J. Trump is a student of Swiss politics, as it was this day in 2014 that Switzerland restricted annual immigration to 0.2 percent of the population, or just 16,000 people. Bad news for any Americans planning to flee on, say, Jan. 20.
WORD OF THE DAY
Adhocracy [ad-HOC-ra-see] - noun
Definition: A disorganized form of government with little or no structure.
Example: Get ready for some adhocracy in action.
WEATHER IN A WORD