STATEWIDE - It's called "take out," not "sit out." It seems that plenty of us knuckleheads are now bathing in the glorious spring sun as we wait for our curbside food to be thrown through the door. Cops are now spending more and more time dispersing people in front of local restaurants, where people are having a great time yakking it up while waiting for their number to be called. Under Gov. Phil Murphy's direction, the definition of take-out food is painfully simple: You take it. Then you get the hell out. Some restaurants have rightfully removed their outside benches and have made some effort to encourage social distancing, as people await their food. Yeah, it is all terrible. But that to-go meal you just ordered will taste a whole lot better at home than any stewed food served in an ICU.

ON TAP – And, speaking of taste: If you taste something different in your water in the coming months, it may be - wait for it – cool, refreshing water. New Jersey, the perpetual butt of jokes about our H2O and air, has done something remarkable. It passed some of the country’s toughest regulations governing the PFAS chemical family in the water, NJ Spotlight reports. Feel free to peruse Wikipedia until your eyes cross if you’re compelled to delve into the chemical family that includes PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid). But here’s all you need to know: The chemicals, once used in consumer products like nonstick cookware and flame-retardant fabrics, are linked to an array of health conditions including some cancers, immune system problems, ulcerative colitis and high cholesterol. And they’re found in water all over the Garden State, thanks to our industrial heritage. Job well done by the state Departmental of Environmental Protection, as you enjoy another tall glass of that crystal-clear, lip-smacking, PFAS-free, Jersey water.

NEW BRUNSWICK – The dark horse candidate in next month’s Board of Education election just happens to be a Ronald Reagan-adoring Latina and a great-grandmother who has run for president of Mexico, mayor of San Bernardino, Calif. and a post in the New Jersey State Assembly. TAPinto New Brunswick reports that Maria Concepción Powell remains undaunted in her quest for public office, even though she might get more double takes than votes in this Democratic stronghold. Powell said she grew up in California, where her parents were “very, very, very, how do I say it, crazy freaks with Ronald Reagan.” Let’s see if “Maria the Moderate” can finally find some electorate success on the banks of the old Raritan.

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BRIEFING BREATHER: Of all the words in the English language, the word “set” has the most definitions.

EAST BRUNSWICK – It’s risky for a first-time candidate to launch a run for Congress in the midst of a pandemic. Even more risky is challenging a 16-term powerhouse like Rep. Frank Pallone, who’s represented the 6th District since Reagan was president. But, blogger Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, known to scores of online followers as the brains behind MuslimGirl.com, vows to make history as the first Muslim woman to run for Congress from New Jersey. The 27-year-old Rutgers alum, who announced her Democratic primary candidacy Saturday on social media, pledged to run an “entirely digital campaign;” to push progressive change, and “represent the under-represented.” Within 48 hours, Al-Khatahtbeh got herself splashed all over Elle, InStyle, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Refinery29 and our statewide media, most stories making her out to be the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We assume the congressman is unimpressed.

GLOUCESTER TWP – “Sick and twisted” sums up a social media hoax falsely claiming that an 11-year veteran cop here has died from coronavirus. Worse, the officer’s wife was among the first people to come across her husband’s official police photo accompanying the phony post on the town’s Facebook page. Police Chief David Harkins tells NJ.Com that the officer is “doing just fine,” as are his other cops. “This appears to be a sick prank … it’s despicable someone would put a false story out about the death of police officer.” Finding the culprit has been tough. So, if anyone has a clue, this police department’s 130 officers would love to have a chat.

TRENTON - Not only are medical students instantly becoming doctors, law school graduates are now becoming lawyers. Apparently, the state needs more lawyers in this time of emergency. That's why Chief Justice Stuart Rabner signed an order that allows the Class of 2020 to begin practicing law before they pass the bar exam, NJ.com reports. The Chief Justice says there is a "continuing and growing need for legal services in many critical areas," and we need these new lawyers now. They will still need to pass the bar exam, when it is ultimately offered. But, for now, sue away.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

NEW ORLEANS – Unclear how you and your son are making the best of this pandemic. But one father and son duo has figured out how to do something other than play video games. They’ve created a coronavirus-inspired invention known as the “Social Distancing Circle” to keep others way the heck away. “It's a 6-foot social distance circle," the son explained to WGNO-TV, with his father clarifying that this contraption has a 12-foot diameter. “It’s comprised of a lot of pipes and a tarp. We stood in the middle and around it was everybody on the outside, basically.” The pair unveiled their invention in Lafreniere Park, where confused onlookers asked if they were attempting to fly a giant kite or erect an unusual trampoline.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1995 that the baseball exhibition season began late because of the strike. And they think they had problems.

WORD OF THE DAY

Maverick – [MAV-rik] – noun

Definition: An independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

Example: You know who was a maverick?

WIT OF THE DAY

“When you hold people up for ridicule, you have to take responsibility when other people act on it.”

- Jay Asher

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Advertising in the Failing New York Times is WAY down. Washington Post is not much better. I can’t say whether this is because they are Fake News sources of information, to a level that few can understand, or the Virus is just plain beating them up. Fake News is bad for America!”

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD: Pretty

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