Jaffe Morning Briefing - September 30, 2016

b790a85a3a45828f0fc3_935f4d3e5ea6e4397a50_nj-transit-d88163c657e96ec5.jpg
Credits: Stock Photo
b790a85a3a45828f0fc3_935f4d3e5ea6e4397a50_nj-transit-d88163c657e96ec5.jpg

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

HOBOKEN - One would assume that commuter trains travelling into one of the most congested places on the planet would include the latest safety technology. One would assume there would be a system in place to override the engineer and automatically slow or stop the train if it is careening toward the Hudson River. One would assume there are official experts somewhere who are ensuring our safety. Thirty percent of trains in the U.S. have the latest safety measures, with traveling satellites, radio towers and ground sensors. But, maddeningly, not NJ Transit. Maybe now, after tragedy, that will change.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - CNN says Gov. Chris Christie may take over debate prep for Donald Trump. It actually makes perfect sense; insiders report Christie is one of the only people in Trump's inner circle who actually gives The Donald constructive criticism, rather than standing ovations, kneeling, bowing and rose petals. Also, Christie has no problem fighting for ludicrous positions - no matter how harmful to the public - for the sake of appeasing the national GOP base. (See: School Fairness Formula) Besides few other people can be as gruff and sassy as our governor. So, next debate, maybe Trump will suggest voters "take a bat" to his 68-year-old opponent.

Sign Up for E-News

SCOTCH PLAINS - Unclear how many locals visit Bowcraft Amusement Park on Route 22; it always seemed like a relic from an era before 50 mph roller coasters with 360-degree loops and 140-foot drops. TapInto reports Bowcraft will soon be gone; its Route 22 property too valuable for crappy rides and an outdated arcade. The hope was Bowcraft would be replaced by something nice -- maybe a modern family attraction. But, alas, no. Scotch Plains will "welcome" a complex of 200 apartments and condos, a clubhouse, pool and play area, miraculously jammed onto 13 acres. But, don't worry, it won't generate too much rush hour traffic or impact the schools. (Wow, almost wrote that last sentence without cracking up.) Read more here.

POHATCONG - One "creepy clown" down; a bunch more to go. It took no time for cops in this tiny Warren County town to track down the 18-year-old who wore a scary clown getup to startle shoppers and frighten kids Tuesday night. Riding on the hood of his father's old hearse - and yep, dad was behind the wheel - this teenager cruised parking lots at a Super Wal-Mart and Quaker Steak & Lube leering and waving. The kid's father, 42, told LeighValleyLive: "It's a joke that (went) overboard." Cops were not amused. Since wearing sinister costumes is not a crime, they could only give father and son a furious scolding and a ticket for glaring stupidity. Mayor James Kern said "this odd phenomena is happening all over the country," and he hopes other pranksters "would now think otherwise." Us too.

WILLINGBORO - As a kid, he probably swiped his classmates' lunch money and baseball cards. But, now a 47-year-old former high school history teacher and football coach has admitted to pilfering $14,500 in student activity fees to feed his taste for gambling. The Mount Laurel man's deal gets him 364 days in jail. He is also banned from ever teaching again and he must get some professional help for his gambling addiction. The Burlington County Times says prosecutors let him plead guilty to misappropriating student money, instead of official misconduct, which would have meant more jail time.

MOUNT HOLLY - End "double dipping?" Wait! Are we still in Jersey? Freeholders in Burlington County may be the first in the Garden State to flatly prohibit anyone from county jobs if they are getting a federal or state pension. The Burlington County Times says applicants for a county job must be willing to put their pensions on hold. The measure seems to target a Democratic candidate for sheriff who gets an $88,000 state pension, but is running for the $120,000 county post. A recent N.J. Spotlight reports says 16 out of the state's 21 sheriffs now double-dip a county salary with a pension.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

WATERVILLE VALLEY, N.H. - A New Hampshire hotel is ideal for fat cats. Well, at least, one fat cat. Visitors at the Silver Fox Inn are welcomed by a huge mass of fur lounging on the sidewalk. That - believe it or not - is an 8-year-old tabby named Logan, who weighs in at a whopping 31 pounds - about three times the size of a normal, full-grown cat. Logan apparently steals food from the other house cats, as well as whatever he is thrown from hotel guests, who enjoy taking selfies with this blob. Apparently, says, the hotel owner, Logan is in great shape.

YOUR WALLET - Notice all those makeshift Halloween shops cropping up at an abandoned store near you? Well, some shoppers are already looking to December. According to an unscientific and likely incorrect report from CreditCards.com, there are 34 million Americans who are already squarely focused on Christmas shopping. The report says one million over-achieving Americans have actually completed their holiday shopping; maybe they are misers who giftwrap hotel shampoo or have plenty of leftover re-gifts from last year. One part of the study we agree with: About 75 percent of respondents are annoyed that the winter shopping season is somehow creeping into September, when the leaves haven't even turned yet.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2011 that George Michael uttered some careless whispers, cancelling his Australian tour because of "major anxiety." Fans gotta have faith.

WORD OF THE DAY

Woebegone [WOH-bih-gahn] - adjective

Definition: Strongly afflicted with woe : woeful

Example: Scores of George Michael fans shared some quiet, woebegone interludes on this day in 2011.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Wet

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

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

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

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

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

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

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

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

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

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

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

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 ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c434282918aae6656a23_cropped-jackjill-logo-bug2-610x603

Sat, April 21, 8:00 AM

New Brunswick

Travis “TJ” Henry Health Fair - Free Family ...

Carousel_image_f91ed86077ea29dfd56e_image

Sat, April 21

Plainsboro

Project Feeder Watch

Green Home & Garden

Sun, April 22, 11:00 AM

Joyce Kilmer Park, New Brunswick

Mercado Esperanza

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

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.

OPINION

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 ...