DOWN THE SHORE – The New York Times has this all-too-common move when it comes to its aloof coverage of New Jersey. It swoops in on an over-reported trend story, and writes it like it is the first time any of us heard about such “news.” Apparently, nothing happens officially in New Jersey until The New York Times deems it so. Anyway, why this rant? The newspaper of record reported this weekend that – get this – there is a lot of development going on these days in Long Branch and Asbury Park. What? Say it ain’t so! Yes, and apparently many New Yorkers are now “discovering” these two beach towns that – as everyone knows – have likely been serving New York tourists since Alexander Hamilton dipped his first patriotic toe in the Atlantic. With The New York Times recognizing this development trend in print, consider us officially informed.

NEW EGYPT – It started as a hunt for a cheap, sturdy pair of shoes. But when Susan Cook and Patrick Riordan quickly noticed the Payless shoe store was going out of business and was desperate to unload inventory, the couple had an idea: How about they buy every darn shoe in the place and donate it all to charity? The Philly Inquirer reports the Payless manager could not be more enthused, sick of working this dead-end job to unload all this stuff. Two hours, three receipts, and 247 pairs of shoes later, the couple left the Hamilton Marketplace Payless with the store’s entire stock, with the manager happily giving it all away at $1 a pair. The recipient? Womanspace, an agency in Lawrenceville, that helps families dealing with sexual and domestic violence.

WOODBURY – It was a booty call gone bad. A 29-year-old Blackwood woman showed up at a South Barber Street home expecting a lusty liaison. But the guy didn’t answer the door; apparently he had fallen asleep. So, cops tell, the jilted woman bought lighter fluid and matches from a nearby gas station, then allegedly set the man’s house ablaze with him in it. She also left him a slew of lovely texts, like: “You wasted my money to come out here … I hope you die.” The man managed to escape with a few second-degree burns. She faces attempted murder and arson charges in the Aug. 4 incident. Perhaps, her lawyers can try the hell-hath-no-fury defense.

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NORTH WILDWOOD – You’d think politicians’ kids know better than to get caught brawling outside a bar. Guess not. Cops say they broke up a 1:40 a.m. slugfest between the 25-year-old daughter of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and a local councilwoman’s 27-year-old daughter. Police gave no clue about the cause of the Aug. 11 scuffle along Olde New Jersey Avenue in this shore town’s nightclub district. NJ.Com says both women – one a party planner, the other a nurse – face stiff fines for their disorderly conduct. Too bad that, at their ages, mom and dad can’t ground them too.

NEW BRUNSWICK – You might also think judges know better than to wisecrack in court. Most do. But, oops, Middlesex County’s Assignment Judge Alberto Rivas is now the fourth judge since May to face judicial sanctions for snarky remarks. TAPInto New Brunswick says hizzonner told a woman who emailed nude snaps of herself to her married lover: “The only person you should send naked pictures to (is) Hugh Hefner. He’ll pay you $100,000 for their use.” The judge also said the litigious love-triangle was “baloney;” told the guy’s wife to divorce him “and take half his pension” and called her corrections officer hubby “a knucklehead.” The judge apologized, but still faces a stern gavel rap from the state Supreme Court.

OLD BRIDGE – A sudden (but not surprising) switch to the Republican Party for Councilman Mark Razzoli comes just days after the former local Democratic chair helped make this New Jersey’s first town to sue the state over a ban about cooperating with ICE agents. Razzoli, 47, has for years raised eyebrows in Democratic circles by blasting big-name Dems like Rep. Frank Pallone, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, even Gov. Phil Murphy. Now, Republican Razzoli tells Insidernj that he plans to run against Rep. Bonnie Watson-Coleman, calling her “a slacktivist” for “jumping on DC’s radical socialist bandwagon.” Switching parties, (or not), Democrats have likely been seeing red with this guy.



AT HOME – You can mark the beginning of fall in any way you choose, but serious autumn lovers already have a plan:  Being first in line to buy a “special edition” of Spam, marketed as “Pumpkin Spice,” on sale Sept. 23. Fry it, dice it, bake it, throw it on top of waffles, bake it into a muffin; it really doesn’t matter what the heck you choose to do with this mystery meat. That’s because there isn’t any “Pumpkin” in the “Pumpkin Spice.” Rather, it is your typical Spam pork, or whatever, mixed with cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg, apparently. And it is only available at the finest, exclusive retailer (Walmart) or through the Spam website. So enjoy your Spam-and-Waffle creation this fall, as you watch the crimson leaves gently fall, and thank us for the suggestion.



NORTH JERSEY – It was unclear who was watching Verizon Fios1 News, but PR people always appreciated the station for being around and actually showing up at events.  That will be no longer, coming this fall, as Fios will shutter its hyper-local station, ending its 10-year contract with Rye Brook's RNN and causing 150 more people in the news business to lose their jobs. It all goes dark on Nov. 16.



It was this day in 1988 that a youthful Dan Quayle was thrust into the limelight, representing a new generation of exciting conservatives, as the Republicans rubber stamped the “Bush-Quayle” ticket at their convention in New Orleans.



Slacktivist – [slak·tuh·vuhst] – noun

Definition: Term that combines “slacker” and “activist” to describe someone who exerts little effort or commitment in support of political or social causes.

Example: So, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman is now a slacktivist? That’s news to us.



“We must get the American public to look past the glitter, beyond the showmanship, to the reality, the hard substance of things. And we'll do it not so much with speeches that will bring people to their feet as with speeches that bring people to their senses.”

-Mario Cuomo





A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun