OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - Two "Beachgate" bills sailed through the Assembly, ensuring future governors don't get special privileges over the rest of us poor schlubs. In Gov. Chris Christie's world, he believes he was entitled to a beach day with family and friends because it was planned for months, even though the rest of us may have been planning the same type of thing, but were banned because, well, we aren't the governor. And that is why there is traction for Assemblyman John McKeon's bill that would keep open state parks and historic areas for the first seven days of a shutdown. And there's another bill that would ban a governor from using the beach house in a state shutdown, courtesy of Assemblyman John Wisniewski.​​​​​​​

SAYREVILLE - If you want a cat in New Jersey, there are plenty of adoption centers that are piled to the ceiling with them. That's why it is so strange that two people apparently stole kittens for the Animal Rescue Force shelter over the weekend, NJ 101.5 reports. At one point, a woman apparently stuffed a kitten in her purse and then catapulted away. It looks as if the cat-nappers will be quickly found. There were surveillance cameras - as there are everywhere - as well as a witness with precise descriptions, noting what the pair was wearing, some identifiable tattoos, make and model of the get-away car and some other scratchy details.

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MONTCLAIR - OK, get ready for the catch:  A 112-year-old stately colonial in Montclair, featuring six bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, can be yours for the bargain basement price of $10. Did we mention a catch? Oh, yes. You will need to relocate the home to an address a quarter mile away. Think, with reconstruction, you are looking at another $200,000, NBC reports.  The house has gotta go by the end of the month, as an eight-lot subdivision is planned on the site.

JERSEY CITY - It had to be one tough case to defend, as a former head of a state agency that serves poor children is going to the slammer for ripping off $250,000, Philly.com reports. And it wasn't like Robert Mays was stealing the loot to, say, help pay the medical bills of a kid with leukemia. Rather, he bought a Maserati and a fur coat. Also, Mays gave himself a raise of nearly $60,000 after working at the Jersey City Child Development Center for just two months, faking the board of directors' minutes to make it look like his bump had been approved. On Monday, he was sentenced to 18 months, and must pay $257,418 in restitution. And no ride to jail in the Maserati.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

CAMBRIDGE, MA - First, you are escorted from the White House, barely settling into your desk before your career in public service is dead. Then, you discover you are also listed as dead in your alumni directory. Harvard Law School is offered an apology to Anthony Scaramucci - in the midst of a really bad week - after he was marked off as deceased. The directory was mailed out this week with an asterisk next to Scaramucci's name. Harvard Law can now confirm that, yes, the 1989 graduate is really beaten up, but still breathing, and corrections will be made in future editions of the directory. The next edition comes out in five years.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was on this day in 2010 that Hawaii's Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was added to the World Heritage List - a direct challenge for gift shop owners still figuring how to squeeze the name on a souvenir ashtray.

WORD OF THE DAY

Diminution - [dim-uh-NOO-shun] - noun

Definition: The act, process, or an instance of gradually decreasing or declining (i.e., in size or importance)

Example: It wasn't a diminution of power for Anthony Scaramucci, who was precipitously kicked to the curb.

WEATHER IN A WORD

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