NEWARK – KISS came to Newark last night; our curious writers were there. Some takeaways: Fun, cheesy, loud and a real throwback to another era. KISS gives exactly what you expect: 1970s-era pyrotechnics, outrageous outfits, blood, and long solos to remind everyone they are real musicians. Some startling notes for the KISS Army: Paul Stanley still looks super cool, but must stop speaking. He sounds like the counter guy at a Jewish deli in Brooklyn. Gene Simmons looks as if he dropped in from a time machine in 1977, at a time when sticking out your tongue for 2 hours on stage seemed awesome. Now he’s just a 69-year-old man in demonic makeup waving his tongue at you. The other two guys in the band aren’t the originals, so no need to offer comment. The NYC band mentioned Newark at least 30 times, perhaps as a reminder they actually have a paying gig in Jersey. All told? KISS is iconic; it dominated the music scene 45 year ago. There’s no need for these guys to try so hard to be badass. Just play the tunes and let us sing along. Hey, works for Manilow.

COLTS NECK – A positively awful 74-cent tip on a $119 bill has now reached the state Legislature. Assemblyman Declan O' Scanlon tweeted about a guy dining at the Colts Neck Inn, showing a photo of the customer’s bill and his name. Some went to social media, questioning if it is the role of an assemblyman to publicly “out” bad tippers. O’Scanlon defended his actions in the Asbury Park Press: “It strikes me that the jerks of the world tend to count on people not knowing they’re jerks and maybe it’s time for that to change,” he said. “This guy didn’t just fail to tip, he wanted it to sting. He calculated this and gave her 74 cents to make it hurt. And it did, and I think it sucks.”

TOMS RIVER – Hey, it’s not KISS. But there’s video of a cop busting a move, now viral on social media. Showing kids how to do the “Cupid Shuffle” has turned Patrolman Michael Cassidy into a hometown celebrity and set off a tsunami of positive coverage for his 160-officer department. Cassidy tells FiOS1 News that he was glad he had a chance to “show the lighter side of (police officers)” at the town's National Night Out event in Shelter Cove Park. Cassidy says: “In uniform or not, (cops) are still fun-loving people. I saw a little girl who looked like she wanted to have fun. So, I danced with her … and it turned into something bigger.”

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TRENTON - A new law has slid quietly onto the books, much to the chagrin of business interests in the state. The measure allows towns up to three years to fully refund commercial property owners for successful appeals on their property taxes — when the judgment is more than $100,000. The existing 60-day deadline will remain in effect for residential property-tax judgments and for commercial property-tax judgments worth less than $100,000. “No fair!,” yells the legion of business lobbyists, asking why residential and commercial property owners aren’t getting a prompt refund of their own money. They’ve other problems with the law; NJSpotlight tells you all about it.

ON THE ROAD – Not a cop? Then, don’t flash a badge at a real one just to dodge traffic tickets. Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a law prohibiting the Port Authority, Highway Authority, NJ Transit and all county or local agencies from handing out spiffy courtesy badges to their commissioners or board appointees. Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling tells that he proposed the ban after a Port Authority commissioner got caught on video in a 2018 badge-flipping fight with Tenafly police. Like the rest of us, our appointed officials should just be polite, cooperative, or perhaps try crying or groveling, to avoid the ticket.


AUGSBURG, Germany – The locals sure need their sleep, which is being made near impossible by all the frisky hedgehogs who go bump in the night. The Guardianreports it has been a particularly raucous mating season in Augsburg, with city police being dispatched to a local grade school playground to break up a late night hedgehog tryst. The police report described “prickly intruders,” full of hissing, snarling, purring and all-out screaming. Often, the loud noises can appear human, prompting all this emergency response. But unlike most humans, this mating ritual can take hours and hours to complete, leading to sleepless nights until the end of sex season in mid-September, when hedgehogs finally collapse from exhaustion and wearily bum a cigarette.


It was this day in 2016 that you ran out to buy your new yacht, as Gov. Chris Christie slashed in half the sales tax on new boats. With all that savings, apparently many more people can now run out and buy the vessel of the dreams. But any boat owner will tell you that buying the thing is just the first step in a litany of expenses, such as the marina rental, endless fuel, the winter wrap and paying for all your mother-in-law’s on-board martinis.


Conversant – [kən-VƏR-sənt] - adjective


Definition: Having knowledge or experience


Example: Have you seen a Presidential candidate conversant in cutting spending?


“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”


- Albert Einstein