** The Jaffe Briefing will be on Spring Break Beginning Tomorrow, April 5, Returning Monday, April 17 **
OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
STATEWIDE - The next time you throw a parking meter through a plate-glass window and then run down Main Street torching cars, it could cost you. Assemblyman Ron Dancer wants to ensure that rioters, not taxpayers, pay for damage incurred. The bill also increases jail time for rioting from 18 months to five years, and fines from $10,000 to $15,000. And once rioters reach $2,000 worth of damage, they will be held accountable. So, under pending law, you can only trash two televisions, a La-Z-Boy recliner and a clock radio.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - You need 1,000 valid signatures to run for governor of New Jersey. But why be so darn mediocre? Phil Murphy decided to bring a forklift yesterday to the election board, with documents containing a record-setting 43,032 signatures. That is almost triple the previous state record, held by Gov. Chris Christie, who was able to amass 14,835 signatures four years ago. Pointless? Yes. Torturous for the election workers who have to validate all these signatures? You bet. But it's all about sending the message that, yes, you are truly loved, adored and marching toward glorious victory.
PATERSON - Here is another "only in Paterson" story, which we will try to piece together. It looks like a 65-year-old guy from Newark died of natural causes. Then, it gets weird. On Friday, Paterson cops found the dead guy lying on Chamberlain Street, and that his gray Pontiac was used to dump the body there, NBC reports. Then, it gets weirder. Two days later, Paterson cops see the gray Pontiac zooming by on Broadway, and then learn one of the guys in the car had apparently dumped the body on Chamberlain Street, so he could easily make off with the gray Pontiac. What's worse: Dumping a body on a city street or dumping a body so you can steal a gray Pontiac?
STATEWIDE - New Jerseyans can't pump their own gas or eat a sandwich in a funeral home. But one of those decades-old rules may soon change, as neighboring New York is finally allowing food and drink for those bidding farewell to Great Aunt Sadie. Some members of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association say it is high time for the state to also consider lifting the ban, which was created at some point based on public health concerns. Apparently, your cup of coffee could have disastrous effects on the deceased. (Note: pithy sarcasm there.) In any case, Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin has been pushing for the ban to finally be repealed.
WEST BERLIN - What red-blooded kid hasn't stood mesmerized at a construction site wishing he or she could run those mighty yellow machines? Well, a little-known theme park in this Camden County town is a dream come true. Just reopened for the season, the park allows kiddies to whack bowling pins with a mini-digger, operate backhoes and drive drum-rollers. Diggerland USA has no merry-go-round or chairlift ride. Instead, it's got a "digger-go-round" and a 50-foot construction lift that spins riders on a telescoping hydraulic arm. Parents can get in on the fun, crushing old cars with an excavator and operating heavy equipment. Owner Ilya Girlya tells Bloomberg "driving a bulldozer is the closest you'll ever get to being invincible." Take that, Disney.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BEIJING - If you want millennials to buy a product, stick the face of an 86-year-old man on the label. No, really. Apparently that works in China, where cans of Cherry Coke will now feature the face of billionaire Warren Buffet. Rumor has it the octogenarian drinks five Cokes a day and, of course, owns tons of shares in the company. Coca-Cola asked if it can use his face for the can to sell even more soda. For a guy who earns $1 million or so every minute and owns nearly 10 percent of the company....Sure, why not?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2014 that the two largest cement companies - Holcim Ltd of Switzerland and Lafarge SA of France - merged. With all that cement, it wasn't really a problem.
WORD OF THE DAY
Brachiate - [BRAY-kee-ayt] - verb
Definition: To progress by swinging from hold to hold by the arms
Example: I can't remember the last time I brachiated along the monkey bars.
WEATHER IN A WORD