TRENTON – Anyone with a teenager knows they can magically slumber way past noon. It will be rude awakening when school resumes in a few short weeks. But, for the lucky kids in five school districts, the bell won’t ring until after 8:30 a.m., giving the students some extra minutes of cherished, early-morning sleep. Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that requires the state to experiment with later start times in five yet-unnamed school districts. Perhaps these kids will perform better with more sleep. Or maybe they will just stay up even later, and still be zombies whenever the bell should ring. Students should be getting 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep on school nights; it is hard to see how slightly adjusting the start times with make that happen. We’re dealing with teens, after all.
ON THE ROAD – As you bump along a New Jersey road, and your axle flies out to the curb, you may wonder what’s going on with our transportation infrastructure. NJ Spotlight reports on an interesting stat: The Garden State spends more money maintaining and building roads than any other state in our region. That report is courtesy of Garden State Initiative — a right-leaning nonprofit – that says the state doesn’t have a centralized system of real planning and prioritization. It’s a valid point. The report notes if you drive into Newark from even 15 miles away, you’ve probably driving through six, maybe even seven, road jurisdictions, all with different ways of doing things. How do we get them all on the same page?
TRENTON – Mayor Reed Gusciora sure knows how to make a splash, jumping feet-first and fully-clothed into the city’s newly-reopened Hetzel Pool. He splashed around in the deep end with rec director Maria Richardson before a bunch of youngsters leaped in to help celebrate the $3.4 million restoration – just in time for the waning days of summer. The Trentonian says the North Olden Avenue pool got drained in 2013 for an overhaul that was hopelessly delayed. Gusciora finally got renovations underway last year, adding a spray park to the facility and finally using a $1.2 million project grant that gathered dust in city coffers for a decade. Glad to see the mayor dive in
OLD BRIDGE – This is the first town in New Jersey to wage a federal court fight against state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s edict banning local police from cooperating with deportation-zealous ICE agents. Republican-led Ocean County did the same thing a few weeks back, but it’s a more dubious distinction for Old Bridge, in the heart of staunchly Democratic Middlesex County. Of note: the town’s former Democratic chair, Councilman Mark Razzoli, is leading the challenge, siding with the council’s GOP majority. Razzoli tells the Home News Tribune that state policies which “ignore federal immigration laws (are) insane and anti-American,” adding that public safety trumps politics. Razzoli, a retired Jersey City cop, says Trenton should show “citizens the same concern they offer (to) illegal immigrants.”
NEWARK – Many are doing what they can to help city residents during this lead crisis, as 40,000 water filters handed out eight months ago have been proven faulty. It’s impossible to write about all the humanitarian efforts that are happening to bring in clean drinking water, so here’s just one example. Assemblyman Jamel Holley, who represents towns in neighboring Union County, is coordinating an effort for people to drop off cases of bottled water, to be brought to the neediest area of Newark. Donations can be made at the Elizabethport Presbyterian Center, 184 First St. in Elizabeth, and Heard AME Church, 310 E. 8th Ave. in Roselle. Call first, for drop-off times.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BANGKOK, THAILAND – It’s often been said: It’s good to be the king. But no one seems more pleased with himself at the moment than King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 67. In a lavish ceremony, in which he threw himself the bash to end all bashes, he elevated his 34-year-old mistress to become the “Official Concubine” of the kingdom. His proclamation was celebrated in front of all, including his fourth wife, Queen Suthida, a former flight attendant with Thai Airlines, who sat expressionless by his side. In Thailand, apparently it is not good to be queen.
CAYMAN ISLANDS – You can find one of McDonald’s 37,000 restaurants in 120 countries. There’s apparently one next to Guantanamo Bay prison, in the middle of the Negev Desert in Israel, beneath the Museum of Communism in Prague, and even inside an old grounded airplane in New Zealand. But where can’t you find one? In the Cayman Islands. That’s where you will find the proud MacDonald’s family restaurant, and, apparently, no McDonald’s. Could it be one of the only places on Earth, besides North Korea, to not serve a Big Mac?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1977 that professional soccer finally made a huge break-through in the U.S., as 77,691 fans pack Giants Stadium to witness the Cosmos pummel the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 8-3.
WORD OF THE DAY
Orgulous – [ORG-yə-ləs] - adjective
Example: I tend to adopt an orgulous air as I begin preparations to experience all that’s new at SHI Stadium.
WIT OF THE DAY
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colqohoun