** The Jaffe Briefing will be on Spring Break Beginning Wednesday, April 5, Returning Monday, April 17 **
OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE - If psychology were easy, anybody could do it. That's seems to be what a 49-year-old South Jersey man was thinking. So, with no doctorate, no state license, and just his winning smile, this pretend-psychologist had adults and children spilling their guts for money on a chaise lounge in his office, the Press of AC reports. Now, he faces criminal charges that could put him in jail for a decade: a great place to offer psychological help for 5 cents.
LAKEWOOD - The chronic mess that is Lakewood was expertly summed up in Sunday's Star-Ledger, as Mark Di Ionno took a moment to explain why the school district is chronically broke, and gave some perspective on the perceived winners and losers. The problem runs as deep as the basic structure of local government, showing how it can all be manipulated to send funding to one group, while taking it from another. It's all too complicated to explain within these happy little news nuggets, which is why the column is a must read. It also calls into question whether the state Legislature can truly safeguard equality for all.
NEWARK - The proposal to reduce the city's payroll tax for Newark businesses that hire city residents sounds great from a political perspective. Heck, says the mayor, we're creating Newark jobs for Newark residents, right? But it fails to recognize that businesses - like government - succeed by hiring the most qualified person for the job. If that person happens to be from Newark, great. If not, then businesses are supposed to be penalized for it? Successful companies will always focus on providing the best service possible, which is why this proposal will have a nominal effect, other than to equip the mayor with a talking point.
ASBURY PARK - A brisk walk down Cookman Avenue on Saturday ended in front of "Catsbury Park," an eclectic place that is even eclectic when you try to peer through the windows. It's a new coffeehouse "coming soon" on this shopping strip of oddities, promising that 10 to 15 cats will be hanging around you as you sip your coffee and ponder all the eclecticness. You can pay extra to hang with the cats, or have a normal coffeehouse experience in the boring, "cat-free zone." It's all part of being non-profit and finding innovative ways to encourage adoptions. Two paws up for this cat's meow.
STATEWIDE - Hey, wanna buy a cow? State dairy experts say the price is udderly ridiculous, setting you back $12,500. But it is your price for entry into the state's $31 million dairy industry. NJ 101.5 took a moment to examine this little-known business that keeps the milk flowing to you and yours. There are now 58 dairy farms in the state, with some having as many as 100 cows. It's a tough business, as the cows need to be milked daily. So don't expect a day off, or Bessie will come and find you.
ON THE ROADS - As you speed to work at about 70 mph, with a hot coffee in one hand and a Dunkin' Donuts buttered bagel in the other, as you somehow switch gears as you are texting your pal and coordinating a three-way call with others, some State Police consider you to be a potential "distracted driver." And that means you will be the target of 189 police departments and law enforcement agencies in New Jersey joining the "U Drive, U Text, U Pay" enforcement campaign that began Saturday. New Jersey is set to dole out almost $1.2 million in federal funds to 189 towns to finance the April crackdown, as you will be specifically targeted until April 21. So, put down the coffee and bagel, drop the three-way call and don't text. Then, at least, you can only be pulled over for being an awful driver.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BOSTON - The next time you try to order a buttered bagel at Dunkin' Donuts - and the worker throws hot coffee in your face and runs away screaming - here is the reason. A Massachusetts man somehow was able to win a suit against two Dunkin' Donuts owners when he asked for butter on his bagel, but was given a substitute. The Boston Globe says the plaintiff's lawyer admits the case is "a minor thing," but decided to sue "to stop the practice of representing one thing and selling a different thing." No clue yet on the settlement terms, but assume a year of free coffee refills has been put on the table.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2015 that France decreed its models can be as fat as they want to be, outlawing the regulation for Body Mass Index "minimums" for a certain period of time before and during modeling jobs.
WORD OF THE DAY
Ignoble - [ig-NOH-bul] - adjective
Example: Lex Luthor has been keeping an eye on Superman's "Fortress of Solitude" a lot these days, as he devises his latest plan for world domination and other ignoble acts.
WEATHER IN A WORD