Jaffe Morning Briefing - October 6, 2016



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. 


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! 


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. 


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. 



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New Brunswick

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 ...

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 ...

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Arts & Entertainment

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

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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

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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

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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

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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 ...