STATEWIDE – New Jersey's congressional delegation is raising some eyebrows over the $1,200 stimulus check that most of us will be getting. Hey, it’s not that we aren’t collectively grateful – although we expect to be paying back this check with interest for generations to come. The question is cost of living. All would agree that it costs a heckuva lot more to live in, say, Jackson, NJ than Jackson, MS., or Springfield NJ than Springfield, AR. Yet, why are we all getting checks for the exact same amount? NJ.com reports that New Jerseyans should be getting $1,581, if you take a moment to compute cost of living. As Congress plans to dole out more cash – for our grandchildren to repay – New Jersey’s Congressional delegation is asking for some parity here, with future checks accounting for glaring, obvious economic differences between here and there.
STATEWIDE – New Jersey’s public college students have been getting a unique education this spring, learning how a pandemic can stall their academic career, sending many of them back home to parents and that annoying little sister. And now they are learning about government bailouts, including the potential of tapping into $238 million for Garden State students who need help with course materials, food, health care, technology and other fees, NJ.com reports. These students at two- and four-year colleges never dreamed they’d be recipients of emergency hand-outs from the federal Education Department – now part of the coronavirus curriculum for Spring ’20.
ATLANTIC CITY – If today’s 70 mph winds don’t blow down the decrepit Trump Plaza, a Superior Court judge is demanding another demolition plan. In fact, the Press of AC reports that the current owner, billionaire Carl Icahn, has been given about six weeks to present a public plan to knock the thing down, finally. The city sued Icahn’s company, demanding that it tear down the 36-year-old building that has become a public health risk, as opposed to just a glaring eyesore. Trump Plaza is falling apart; you’d be crazy to walk anywhere near it. Icahn’s people told the court they are well on their way to demoliton, although no one has yet to apply for a city permit. Still, they vow, “substantial efforts” have been made. So there.
TRENTON – The state Legislature is meeting today - well, remotely. And that is good enough right now, as the state Senate will be considering bills that would give small businesses $1,000 in tax credits and allow them to delay tax payments to the state, including sales and use taxes, as well as unemployment and workers’ comp contributions. It’s all good, and all helpful. It’s just daunting to watch the state and federal governments bankrupt themselves to keep everything afloat for a few more weeks. A painful reminder to New Jersey’s business community: Somehow, some way, we will have to pay all this back. Eventually.
STATEWIDE – Cabin fever? Another Monday at close quarters with your all-too-nearest and dearest? Can’t get a delivery slot from the liquor store? Those kinds of annoyances pale beside the devastation the coronavirus pandemic is causing so many. NJ Spotlight reports that food banks and food pantries across the state are under big pressure. Demand is way up, but food donations are sharply down. To complicate things further, social distancing has slowed down operations. At a food pantry run by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Long Branch, one man who’s been laid off from his restaurant job, said, “I wouldn’t be able to eat if it wasn’t for places like this.” Just keeping perspective about what is really important.
BRIEFING BREATHER: The Baby Ruth candy bar was named after Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth, not the baseball slugger.
KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE DAY
SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Cops are on the hunt for the knucklehead who called more than a dozen pizzerias and restaurants across the state, placing massive orders, claiming they were intended for local police departments. Of course, the pizzerias were stiffed. Moreover, the knucklehead berated the employees when they called him back, yelling about how Italians should get coronavirus. NJ.com identifies him as Sudeep Khetani, 34, whom police think is living in the Orlando area, on probation for selling bogus Disney tickets. A five-star knucklehead.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
MIDDLEBOURNE, Ohio – So, now you want to shoot the Easter Bunny? Apparently, in this town about 95 miles east of Columbus. Cops say a local man brandished a gun at a guy dressed as the Easter Bunny, who was happily waving to motorists from an interstate overpass. The 49-year-old gunman was arrested Wednesday afternoon, The Daily Jeffersonian reports. Deputies found the suspect and another man sitting inside a camouflage-painted pickup truck parked at the edge of a field shortly after receiving a call about the big Easter Bunny threat over Interstate 70. A .22-caliber handgun and an open 12-pack of beer were seized. Deputies said the gunman slurred his words about the Easter Bunny and reeked of alcohol. Drunk? Naaah.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1992 that Crystal Pepsi entered test markets in Providence, Denver and Dallas. Sounds like a thrilling concept.
WORD OF THE DAY
Expiate – [EK-spee-ayt] – verb
Definition: To make amends for
Example: Although my mistake in ending a Zoom call before my friends were done talking can’t be expiated, I have high hopes for forgiveness.
WIT OF THE DAY
“Let us remember the ones who lost their lives to COVID19. Please try to connect with family, friends & loved ones this year. Take care of yourselves, keep your spirits high. We are all in this together.”
- Melania Trump, Easter 2020
“The Opposition Party (Lamestream Media) and their partner, the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, have put their political game plan in full swing. “Whether he is right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. Criticize 'Trump' for everything, and don’t let the public see Biden. Hide him.”
-Donald J. Trump, Easter 2020
WEATHER IN A WORD: Deluge
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun