Jaffe Morning Briefing - October 10, 2016



MONTCLAIR - It's an awful time to be a clown in New Jersey. With all these crazy, rogue clowns scaring the bejesus out of people, the mainstream clown community is hunkering down, bracing for discrimination far and wide. Case in point: The Montclair schools are banning students from coming to school in "clown-related costumes," while Roselle Park officials are urging residents to not dress up like clowns in the wake of this public panic. Such outright discrimination is painful for the clown community, which has enjoyed the freedom of expression since the founding of this great nation and are now suffering socially and financially. No one, it seems, wants a balloon animal or to squeeze a red nose. (Sorry; just clowning around here.) 

ATLANTIC CITY - Just a month to go before the election, and "the eighth wonder of the world" is closing on the Boardwalk - just another epic real estate failure in the wake of Donald Trump. The Trump Taj Mahal closed for business at 5:59 a.m. this morning, as fellow billionaire Carl Icahn couldn't figure how to squeeze a profit. That means, of the five shuttered casinos on the Boardwalk, two of them feature the "Trump" brand. Expect Trump workers, and crowbars, to hurry over to the Taj Mahal to ensure the glorious "Trump" name is no where to be seen on a once-stunning building that mimicked the famous Indian palace. There are 3,000 workers, or so, losing their jobs, the latest victims of New Jersey's casino industry.  

Sign Up for E-News

PATERSON - A few famous Patersonians fell between the cracks when school officials drafted a list of people who might deserve to have brand new School 16 named for them. Sure, there are a half-dozen ex-school board members and educators, the most prominent is "Crazy Joe" Clark of "Stand By Me" fame. They've got baseball Hall of Famer Larry Doby and elected officials like Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. But, where's native son Floyd Vivino, star of PBS's long-running "Uncle Floyd Show," or comedy legend Lou Costello? Heck, nothing would scream "Silk City" like naming the new 20th Avenue grade school after Real Housewives star-turned-jailbird Teresa Guidice. And, where-oh-where is the city's favorite rapper, Fetty Wap, in the big decision?

TOMS RIVER - Few things raise people's temper faster than rising parking fees. At the risk of getting chased down Robbins Street by motorists flailing tire irons, the Town Council just doubled on-street meter fees to 50 cents an hour. That's just for the first two hours. Meter costs jump exponentially every hour thereafter. So, eight hours of on-street parking in downtown now cost $14.50, the Toms River Times says. Parking garage meters, near the library and Town Hall, triple to 75 cents an hour. There are ... ahem ... dandy reasons for higher fees, says parking director Pam Piner: They haven't gone up since 1993, plus the authority hopes to replace its 30-year-old, virtually indestructible meters with those fancy electronic ones. So, higher parking fees to pay for new meters? How inspiring. 

MIDDLESEX COUNTY - The domino effect is hitting Democratic circles here after H. James Polos pulled the lever on his freeholder ejector seat. With Polos set to become the director of the county Improvement Authority, someone needs to fill the 26 months left on his term. TAPinto New Brunswick says that someone could very well be North Brunswick Councilwoman Shanti Narra, whose star is rising here. If she's picked at an Oct. 18 meeting, that would also mean North Brunswick Democrats get to scramble for Narra's replacement. The legal aid lawyer just got re-elected to her third council term last fall, so she too would leave a 26-month vacancy. 


ANN ARBOR, MI - Besides the Rutgers football team, there was another huge loser in Saturday's bludgeoning by Michigan. On Friday, the Ruth's Chris Steak House had announced that diners would get a break off their total food bill equal to the final winning point differential in the latest football game. Then, the very next day, Michigan beat up on Rutgers, 78-0. Luckily, the discount is capped at 50 percent and - shrewdly - does not include booze. Yesterday, the Ann Arbor restaurant said it is completely booked through Michigan's next game though this high-steak promotion. So don't call, OK?


It was this day in 1995 that Dutch phone numbers went from seven digits to 10 digits, devastating for the entrepreneurial shoe maker whose phone number proudly read, "BUY CLOG."


Roister [ROY-ster] - verb 

Definition: To engage in noisy revelry  

Example: Plenty of roistering at the Ruth's Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor.  



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 26, 2019


MENDHAM - How long are New Jersey taxpayers going to pay for Chris Christie?  WNYC reports there is a $250,000 line item in the state budget for "gubunatorial transition." Christie still has expenses: the staffer to help him with his waning responsibilities, rented office space near his home and that darn $85,000 portrait, the highest ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 25, 2018


TRENTON - New Jersey now has the most sweeping equal pay legislation in the nation, a terrific headline, following the governor's bill signing yesterday. The question is enforcement. Women and minorities need to know it is illegal for employers to offer them less pay and benefits than others, and that they have the full backing of the state.

The Jaffe Briefing - April 24, 2018


STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, New Jersey has really high taxes. And, yeah, it is super expensive to live here. So, yet another study is out, with the American Legislative Exchange Council ranking New Jersey second-to-last among states in economic performance and 46th in economic outlook, ROI-NJ reports. The study, called "Rich States, Poor ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 23, 2018


STATEWIDE - First, there was a turkey in every pot. Then there was the "Square Deal," the "New Deal" and now Sen. Cory Booker says it is time for government to offer a, uh, great deal: A job to anyone who wants one. He is proposing federal grants that would select 15 "local areas" in which adults could get a job at $15 an ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018


ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018


PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

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 ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.


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 ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

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 ...