TRENTON – So you're telling us there's a chance? It may be more than a million, but Gov. Phil Murphy is telling us there may be a chance that we can all celebrate Memorial Day four weeks from now. “I know what it normally is and I love it, and I hope it can be some form of that,” the governor said. It really all depends on how many of us keep heeding all the warnings and remain at home, with our businesses closed. Memorial Day also hinges on the state vastly increasing the amount of testing, as restrictions are gradually lifted without a spike in infections. “It stinks,” Murphy said, referring to life as we know it. “The alternative is worse.” Hopes ring alive for some sort of summer, as the Walls. Keep. Closing. In.
STATEWIDE – Now’s the time to test out that new 2020 Porsche. Of course there’s no money to actually buy it, but the state has adopted some nifty new rules when it comes to potential customers going for test drives. If you order a car online or over the phone, the dealer will throw you the keys for what could be a terrific afternoon up and down the Parkway. You just need to be alone in the car as you zoom around, mile after mile, and must hand it back to the dealer cleaned and sanitized after a fun day on the road. How about a Ferrari tomorrow?
ON THE ROAD – A group of advocates are telling the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to put the brakes on its $24 billion plan to widen highways and invest in other capital projects, NJ Spotlight reports. Anyone who has needed a chiropractor appointment after driving on the Garden State’s bumpy roads knows they always need work. The advocates agree; spend money upgrading existing infrastructure. But they argue it’s time to move beyond planning that only results in more cars, more sprawl and more pollution. Instead, the advocates argue, sink some real money into mass transit, electric vehicles and environmental justice. Of course, the group has a plan of its own, one that promises 1 million new jobs — which could go a long way toward appeasing construction unions and independent contractors who realize (quite correctly) that a big chunk of that $24 billion will be headed their way. Thus far, the Turnpike Authority and the governor’s office have declined to comment.
LONG BRANCH – It wasn’t Little Bo-Peep who lost her sheep: just a Hoey Avenue homeowner who kept a woolly pair grazing in the backyard. Problems arose when Flossy and Petunia escaped the other day, causing startled neighbors to call police to round up these ruminant runaways. The Asbury Park Press says Officer Tracy Widdis quickly found the sheep and managed to shepherd them back to their worried owner, who got slapped with a summons because livestock are not allowed within city limits. The homeowner was also ordered to bring them to, you know, an actual farm.
BRIEFING BREATHER: The human foot perspires a half a pint of fluid a day.
TOMS RIVER – The school superintendent is making a grand promise: There will be high school graduation, no matter what. The big event may just be postponed, perhaps even to Thanksgiving break or winter break, as the Class of 2020 finally gets what it richly deserves, a graduation ceremony, with gowns and tassels, and the presentation of diplomas in front of giddy friends and weepy parents. “One way or another, we're going to do it,” Superintendent David M. Healy tells the Asbury Park Press. The graduation is still on the Toms River school calendar for June 18; now is the time for figure out any and all contingency plans to give these kids the proper send-off from high school. We’ll be sharing all grand ideas here.
KNUCKLEHEAD OF THE DAY
BORDENTOWN – A pizzeria owner now selling $4 face masks along with takeout orders also happens to be one of Gov. Phil Murphy’s earliest “knuckleheads.” The owner of a local pizza joint, a 50-year-old Freehold man, faces seven years in jail and a $26,000 fine for allegedly coughing on and harassing workers at a Manalapan supermarket back in March. A customer at his Route 130 pizzeria recognized him from published mugshots and sent photos of a box of black masks to The Trentonian. The owner later confirmed, by phone, the masks were selling like hotcakes until he realized he was speaking with a reporter. He suddenly said: “We are no longer selling them. I ran out.” He later called the Bordentown police to complain about the tabloid’s inquiry.
KNUCKLEHEAD SCORE: 1 out of 5 Murphies
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
LONDON – OK, it’s boring inside. But one London man made the most of it, able to continuously clap his hands for 24 hour straight hours. Not only did he complete the challenge on Sunday, he used all the effort to raise money for emergency responders through a Go Fund Me page. He had hoped to raise £5,000, but ended up with more than £8,000. He described all the clapping to be “physically painful, mentally draining and exhausting,” but noted that health care workers are working 24-hour shifts, so he was able to suck it up and clap for that same length of time. That’s worth another round of applause.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2001 that the first space tourist spent $20 million to travel to the International Space Station, disappointed the flight only offered small bags of pretzels.
WORD OF THE DAY
Nabob – [NAY-bahb] – noun
Definition: A person of great wealth or prominence
Example: If the shore is closed for Memorial Day, where will nabobs swill martinis?
WIT OF THE DAY
“I never made a mistake in my life. I thought I did once, but I was wrong.”
- Charles M. Schultz
“Blame the Democrats for any `lateness’ in your Enhanced Unemployment Insurance.”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD: Beauty
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun