**The Jaffe Briefing Heads to the Beach on Monday, Returning After Labor Day**
OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
ON THE RAILS - Maybe we should just keep going with the "Summer of Hell," as NJ Transit seems to perform best in crisis. Politico reports the transit agency actually improved its performance to nearly 93 percent of trains arriving within six minutes of the scheduled time. Get this: less than 10 percent of the Manhattan-bound morning rush hour trains were late in July, compared to a dismal May, when more than half of the trains were late. Perhaps NJ Transit should just keep diverting trains out of congested Penn Station and keep them headed to Hoboken, where passengers can take ferries and actually get to work on time. All are praying for a "Fall of Hell."
STATEWIDE - Is now the time to buy a house in New Jersey? Tough to say, really. New Jersey has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation and a significant shortage of starter homes. NJ 101.5 reports home sales are up 7.7 percent from last June and the median sale price has crept up to $275,000. The big issue is with first-time homebuyers, who is competing against others for the beat-up, tiny Cape Cods on the low end of the market. That competition causes prices to increase, with maddening bidding wars over houses that should be torn down. And then, for home buyers unloading those Cape Cods, there are plenty of options for bigger homes, but do they want to make that jump? Big price tags, and the annual gift of outrageous property taxes. And what about those mansions? If you have the cash, it's a great time to make a deal. Plenty of inventory in the leafy 'burbs.
NEWARK - Enjoy the solitude of your beach chair, as the airwaves will be consumed next month with the federal corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez. Our senior senator is looking at big-time bribery and fraud counts, with the feds claiming he took gifts from a wealthy campaign donor to lobby for the donor's business interests. Menendez will stand trial with his pal, Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen. The jury gets picked August 21; prepare for opening statements on September 6.
BRADLEY BEACH - So, what attracts you to this iconic shore town?The sand? The surf? Add another amenity to the list, as Bradley Beach somehow has the fastest Internet download speeds in the nation, reports a website we've never heard of, BroadBandNow.com. This site says there are 13 towns in the state that made the Top 100 list. Other speedy towns in what is a very random list, in order: Hazlet, Ringoes, Beach Haven, Hasbrouck Heights and Lambertville.
E STREET - It's going to be a tougher ticket to get than a tour with Willy Wonka. There are only 38,000 seats available for Bruce Springsteen's solo show on Broadway, which begins Oct. 3. Tickets go on sale on August 30, and just assume they will be sold out immediately and are likely are already committed. Springsteen will do five shows a week through Nov. 26 at the 960-seat Walter Kerr Theatre. To attempt to accommodate the demand, we suggest a place a bit more intimate for the Springsteen crowd, like MetLife Stadium.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
QUEENS, NY - For all those young wide-eyed cherubs who silently pray every night that one day they could be the next Donald J. Trump, we offer some inspiration. Trump fans are invited to rent his boyhood home on Airbnb, a 1940s five-bedroom Tudor home that sleeps up to 20 people, Newsday reports. The experience will cost your family a mere $725 a night, and features a giant cutout of Trump in the living room. The listing calls the cutout "a great companion for watching Fox News late into the night." Yet assume the President thinks the house is a dump.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1989 that America was apparently clamoring for yet another nightmare, as "Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child" premiered.
WORD OF THE DAY
Ventifact: [VEN·ti·fact] - noun
Definition: A pebble or cobble that has been grooved and polished by erosive action of wind-driven sand.
Example: Some advice: A ventifact - no matter how it's packaged - is not a good wedding anniversary gift.
WEATHER IN A WORD