OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
STATEWIDE - It is often said we must be nuts to live in New Jersey. Or, more precisely, one in five New Jerseyans has a "diagnosable mental disorder," says the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies. And, apparently, there is a chronic shortage of psychiatrists in the Garden State who can put us on the couch and ask about our mothers. NJ101.5 reports there is a growing demand for mental health services, but a lack of psychiatrists, especially in Warren, Cumberland, Salem and Cape May counties. A prime reason for the shortage: Psychiatrists are retiring in droves, and many care providers are going into other lines of work... And how does that make you feel?
WEST WINDSOR - C'mon, you gotta have a high school football team.But the state Department of Education is digging in its heels, refusing to let West Windsor-Plainsboro North merge its football team with West Windsor-Plainsboro South. So, North won't field a team this fall, to the detriment of the marching band, cheerleading squad, homecoming events, pep rallies and overall school spirit, says Sen. Shirley K. Turner. The senator says there should now be a state law allowing high schools within the same district to combine sports programs. Makes sense, but just imagine the super-teams that would be created in cities with plenty of kids to choose from. (Think Newark v. Millburn.)
ON THE ROAD - "Textalyzers" may soon be the hottest new gadget in every cop's arsenal. These handy-dandy devices would let police scan motorists' cellphones to see if texting contributed to an accident. There is now a renewed push for Sen. Richard Codey's year-old bill to allow cops to use the scanners and impose stiffer penalties for idiots (like us) who text and drive. No surprise, civil liberties advocates say textalyzers are a gross violation of basic privacy. An ACLU lawyer tells NJ.com: "It's an invasive search into a person's life without a warrant."
NEWARK - Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, the Archbishop of Newark, may be hoping for some heavenly intervention when he takes the stand today to explain why one of his schools, St. Theresa's in Kenilworth, expelled a girl after her father sued to have her play on the boys' basketball team, CBS reports. Diocesan lawyers say the public should not be expecting blockbuster testimony from Tobin, downplaying his appearance as limited in scope. This is one of those stories in which it would appear easy to slam what would appear to be a heartless, outdated diocese. But we suspect there is much more at play here.
TRENTON - Rivalries can sometimes go too far. Take, for instance, city cops who feel they got hosed because firefighters scooped up $1.1 million more in overtime than they did in the last fiscal year. The Trentonian says the city shelled out $3.5 million in overtime to firefighters, but just $2.4 million to police officers. One peeved policeman anonymously told the tabloid "police should be getting more OT," given the daily dangers they face, adding crime victims "should be really pissed too." Maybe these rivals could try competing for the lowest OT, not the highest.
IN THE MEDIA
IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR, AWAY - CBS reports NASA has posted a six-figure job for a "Planetary Protection Officer." Apparently, the space industry needs the right stuff to help thwart the spread of extraterrestrial life ("intentionally or unintentionally") on Earth and to outside solar systems. According to the job listing: "Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration." Whatever. The five-year gig has a reported salary guideline of $124,406 to $187,000 annually, with benefits. Mileage reimbursement should be a nice perk, especially when traveling to other galaxies for a meeting.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was on this day in 1977 that Radio Shack introduced the Tandy TRS-80 personal computer. Just 25 units were available, according to a press release, but thousands were ordered within weeks. By 1982, the TRS-80 was the hottest-selling PC - even outselling Apple five to one - with its "powerful" 4KB memory.
WORD OF THE DAY
Splenetic - [spli-NET-ik] - adjective
Definition: Marked by malevolence or spite
Example: What splenetic nutball came up with Trump's new immigration policy?
WEATHER IN A WORD