STATEWIDE - Welcome to the Garden State! Well, that doesn't sound like news, but apparently it is. The governor has signed off on a bill that gives New Jersey an official "new" slogan: the "Garden State." Flashy, right? But, uh, hasn't the "Garden State" been on our license plates since the 1950s? And, says Politico, the nickname was coined 141 years ago. But, apparently, we needed an actual law - A-3437 - to designate the "Garden State" as our slogan. Lawmakers were a bit defensive, arguing the state has 9,701 farms, covering 715,057 acres. And New Jersey is a huge producer of cranberries, bell peppers, spinach, peaches, blueberries, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, apples, sweet corn, and snap beans. So, yeah, dammit, we are the Garden State. Officially.


BELMAR - It's called "beach spreading," and it's the latest thing illegal down the shore. Belmar is now considering a ban on people who take up too much beach, creating mini-cities for themselves with these giant tailgating tents that look more appropriate at Rutgers Stadium. NJ 101.5 reports a public hearing is set for next Tuesday to nail down a ban on tents more than 3 feet in height, width and depth during the summer. Also, let's assume, no sofas, power generators, hot plates or industrial-sized mechanical fans. But a nice beach umbrella is warmly welcomed.

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STATEWIDE - Let's celebrate a smart and shrewd move by state lawmakers, trying to reduce the number of smokers in public parks. Gov. Chris Christie has signed a law that allows municipalities to charge smokers civilly, not criminally, for breaking public smoking laws. The fine stays the same, at $200. But state officials think the local cops would be much more willing to slap fines on smokers if it didn't come with a criminal record and the threat of a 30-day jail sentence, which, all agree, is wee bit overboard.

STATEWIDE - Amazing we need a law for this, but it is now illegal to leave your pet outside in bad weather. The new state law bans heartless morons from chaining up their pets in bad weather for "extended periods" of time. Violators get slapped with fines, or would have to hand their pets over to people who actually care about them. So, if you are thinking of abandoning Rover in the backyard for the afternoon, check the thermometer. He can't be there if it is freezing or above 90 degrees. If you want to ignore your pet, it is officially suggested you win a carnival goldfish, which likely won't live past Thursday anyway.


BEDMINSTER - One of the many reasons we don't read the Hollywood Reporter, and choose to live as far away from Beverly Hills as geographically possible, is so we never meet the snotty, self-consumed "journalists" who write such garbage as "Tracking Ivanka Trump's Not-So-Glam New Jersey Summer Vacation." She is slammed for not going to Nantucket or the Hamptons. And there is this snarky "review" of Somerset County, with such gems as: "At the Bridgewater Commons local shopping center, Ivanka can scope out Lord & Taylor - one of the limited number of stores that still carries her clothing label." Ouch. Or, "the United States Golf Association Museum could be a good rainy day activity for the fam that can't get enough golf, apparently." Sassy. Or, "From the looks of her Instagram, Ivanka seems to be enjoying the balmy weather at the very least. She sported a strapless red floral dress by The Reformation ($248) whilst out on the course." Sweet Jeezus.



SAN FRANCISCO - Kudos to the investor who actually reads all the tiny print in those government auctions and sees the gems. Like the guy who bought the actual street in a compound of mansions in one of those most exclusive neighborhoods in San Francisco. The price? Just $90,000. How? It turns out the homeowners' association for Presidio Terrace failed to pay a $14-a-year property tax. So the city put the property up for auction for $994 to regain unpaid back taxes, penalties and interest. The investor gobbled it up for $90,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Meanwhile, residents are furious, arguing the city mistakenly sent the tax bill to the address of their accountant in the 1980s. The appeal is set for October.



It was on this day in 1974 that President Richard M. Nixon delivered a televised evening address, announcing he would be the first U.S. President to quit.  "By taking this action," he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, "I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America." Yup.



Mussitation- [muhs-i-TEY-shuh n] - noun

Definition: Muttering; mumbling; murmuring.

Example: Plenty of mussitation at Jets training camp in Florham Park