STATEWIDE – Sure, the world is turned upside down. But this is New Jersey, so pay your taxes, OK? Sen. Paul Sarlo, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, is reminding everyone that property taxes are due May 1, just like every other May 1. So, could the deadline be extended for the hordes of taxpayers who have lost their jobs and have seen their bank accounts free-fall into the basement? “I’m telling you they will not extend the deadline,” Sarlo tells the Bergen Record. But late fees and interest? Perhaps there’s some negotiation during this historic moment, especially for New Jerseyans who are ordered not to work, but still ordered to pay.

STATEWIDE – Take your mind off coughs, curves and COVID-19 just for a minute. Fresh for this Monday morning, you can now share NJ Spotlight’s list of the 10 most common causes of death in New Jersey — in normal times. Heart disease is at the top, taking down about 25% of us, which prompts this question: “Hey, Governor Murphy, how about you open up some parks so more of us can get enough exercise to keep our hearts ticking?” Rounding out the Top 5 are: Cancer, Unintentional injury, Stroke and Chronic lower respiratory disease. See? Isn’t it nice to read about something other than COVID-19?

JACKSON – Forget all that hoo-ha about a ban on big gatherings as the planning board here is being forced to host some real doozies in the next few weeks. An Ocean County judge has ordered the board to hold a new round of public hearings to rethink its denials for 1,100 new homes on swampland off Perrineville Road. And Judge Mark Troncone wants those hearings pronto, despite the state’s coronavirus restrictions, setting a May 11 deadline. The town’s attorney says if Trenton allows “these meetings … the board has no choice but to roll up its sleeves and get this done.” The last time it held hearings on the sprawling Jackson Parke project, the Asbury Park Press says a few hundred residents showed up to oppose it. This time, not only will they have signs, they will have masks.

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TRENTON – State Sen. Michael Doherty is launching a silly online petition that demands Gov. Phil Murphy “immediately” lift his restrictions on people attending religious services “in a thoughtful fashion.” So stupid and counter-productive, but here is the quote from this pandering senator: “When many of us could be at Sunday services today replenishing a much needed sense of hope in these uncertain times, we instead remain separated in our homes from the communities of faith that sustain us in good times and bad,” Doherty said. Yes, senator, we all want to nourish our souls. No one will disagree with your argument that “religion is an essential service and constitutionally protected right.” But, unlike you, the rest of the state is trying to safeguard the health of your constituents during a global pandemic.

BRIEFING BREATHER: Winston Churchill was born in the ladies’ room during a dance.

LAKEWOOD – It’s not a traditional wedding, but, hey, at least you are married. That’s the eyebrow-raising proposal from the rabbi who runs the largest Yeshiva in the world outside Israel, pitching a plan to state officials that could very well be the most depressing party ever. However, it would be a wedding, if the state goes along with this, TAPInto reports. Here is his plan: There would be a “very small COVID-19 regulations compliant religious ceremony,” followed by a “COVID-19 compliant dinner,” with a one-man band, one photographer, one florist and a dinner for only parents and immediate siblings, socially distant. Well wishers would then be invited to shout a “Mazel Tov!” from their cars from the parking lot, with very strict access to the parking lot for each car. Sounds about as romantic as a Zoom call with all your great-aunts and uncles.

KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE DAY

JACKSON - Lions, tigers and two knuckleheads. That sums up the latest caper at Six Flags Great Adventure, as Jackson cops were on the look-out over the weekend for two young men who thought it would make perfect sense to climb over the fence at the safari, full of live 
animals. They broke in last Tuesday, and spent about 30 minutes walking around, perhaps hoping to join a stampede of elephants. The "Safari Off Road Adventure" has been closed since mid-March for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, cameras caught some great images of these two guys as they wandered around. NJ 101.5 posts some clear footage on its news site, earning the pair three knuckles on today’s meter.

KNUCKLEHEAD SCORE: 3 out of 5 Murphies

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

DEERFIELD MI – Boxes and boxes of frozen bull testicles are just waiting to get deep-fried at this tiny Michigan village’s annual “Testicle Festival.” Sadly, this big one-day fundraiser for the local American Legion Post got postponed from March, following the coronavirus outbreak. Legion members are deep-freezing 350 pounds of cattle testicles (“mountain oysters,” as they’re called here) along with 200 pounds of chicken gizzards. They’re also storing 400 cases of beer, 50 cases of canned baked beans and 1,200 souvenir t-shirts. The testicle festival’s organizer tells the Daily Telegram that more than 3,000 people “go nuts to get here … some traveling 400 or 500 miles just come to have a ball.” Yep, those puns are probably intentional. What nutty people.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Great news on this day in 1967 when Mr. Met, Tom Seaver, records his first win as a Met, downing the Cubs 6-1.

WORD OF THE DAY

Peccant – [PEK-unt] – adjective

Definition: Guilty of a moral offense

Example: I am peccant in one minor but irritating way: Demanding two-ply.

WIT OF THE DAY

“We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

- Benjamin Franklin

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Liberate Michigan!”

- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD
Yawn

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun