OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Farmers' markets are great places to try some Jersey-grown food and drink, just don't expect to buy beer. Apparently, the state is concerned that people who hanker for heirloom tomatoes, gluten-free, 15-grain bread and 18 different types of raw honey don't have the maturity to purchase a jug of craft beer. NJ 101.5 reports that can soon change, as state lawmakers are reconsidering the ban at 135 or so farmers' markets. With a proper permit, local craft breweries would be able to introduce their products to more people. But, sorry, folks, no beer chugging would be permitted - (unless the suds are organic, beet-infused and brewed from artesian well water.)  

BRIDGEGATE - Some colorful Jersey testimony was heard yesterday in the Bridgegate trial, with former Christie staffer Christopher Stark sharing a story of the governor's battle with Republican Monmouth County Freeholder John Curley. Apparently, Curley was ticked that Christie was taking credit for Superstorm Sandy recovery in Monmouth County, the Asbury Park Press reports, According to Stark's testimony, Curley said, referring to Christie, "Who does that fat (d)uck think he is?" Christie then called Curley. "Who the (d)uck do you think you are calling me a fat (d)uck?" Stark testified Christie said. "I'm the (d)ucking governor of this state." Christie then ordered Curley to be at an event in Keansburg the next day or "I will (d)ucking destroy you." Curley, reached by the newspaper, corrected the story, saying he recalls asking Christie staffers, "So... where is that fat mother(d)ucker?" 

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TRENTON - Hard to tell if this will mean anything, but the State Senate yesterday put some brakes on the proposed 23-cent gas tax, with the governing body not mustering the 30 votes needed to pass it as an emergency measure. But both houses of the state Legislature vote again on the plan tomorrow. (Yes, this is manically confusing.) Supporters see yesterday's vote as a minor speed bump, detractors see it as relevant as a GWB traffic jam, vowing to ultimately get this tax hike killed.

IN THE CLASSROOM - The least New Jersey could do is lavish our best teachers with a treasure trove of sports cars, hot tubs, salon makeovers and Bahama getaways. But, no. Check out the lackluster haul that Bergen County music teacher Argine Safari is getting as state "Teacher of the Year": A six-month sabbatical to attend dreary conferences, a one-year car lease, and a tepid handshake from our lame duck President. Hoboken parochial school teacher Colleen Nguyen, the "Nonpublic" Teacher of the Year, gets a rinky-dink plaque and a paltry cash prize. Still, Safari and Nguyen told NJ.com that they're "honored," "humbled" and "proud." We're proud of them too. So, where's the swag bag? 

WYCKOFF - Maybe we should blame all those creepy clowns. Someone needs to answer to the vandalism at a historical cemetery, where dozens of centuries-old gravestones were toppled. The discovery was made Tuesday at the Wyckoff Reformed Church Cemetery Association, who said that 50 headstones had been knocked over. The Record reports the damage will cost tens of thousands of dollars, as a crane needs to be brought in to reposition these heavy headstones. Cops are scanning surveillance video for leads, perhaps those attempting to rest in peace can also do some haunting. 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

HOBBS, N.M. - What's the harm with grabbing a donut? Nothing, really - unless you happen to be a fugitive from justice. The Hobbs News-Sun - perhaps America's least-known newspaper - reports the guy was arrested Monday after police learned he stole a donut from a bakery. Cops, who obviously take donuts very seriously, rushed to the scene, discovering the sugar-slobbering suspect is wanted on numerous charges, including cruelty to animals, fleeing police and 10 or so other charges in two states. And, of course, theft of a donut.

STARDATE 2016.280 - Red alert! Shields up! Lock phasers on Donald Trump and fire! Fearing a Trump presidency would be as perilous to human life as a Borg invasion, a united federation of Star Trek actors, directors and producers has launched photon torpedoes at the mouthy mogul. Their first salvo is a "Trek Against Trump" Facebook Page, urging legions of geeky fans to elect Hillary Clinton, if they hope to live long and prosper. Saying Star Trek's future-vision has always been one of hope, optimism and inclusion of all alien life, they fear that Trump would take America "backward, perhaps disastrously." Their prime directive: Resistance is NOT futile, so vote! 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was an epic freak show on this day in 1991, as Michael Jackson's LA estate served as a backdrop for Elizabeth Taylor, as she made her eighth lifetime commitment in matrimony to some guy named Larry Fortensky - only on his third marriage. They met in drug rehab. Tabloid shocker: the couple was divorced by 1996. 

WORD OF THE DAY 

Invective [in-VEK-tiv] - noun 

Definition: insulting or abusive language  

Example: With Election Day just 32 days away, expect the campaign to descend into a nasty brew of invective, slurs and wackiness. 

WEATHER IN A WORD 

Awesome