OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
SAYREVILLE - The world is back on its axis this morning, with word that Bon Jovi is finally entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stoneannounced the big news this morning, noting Bon Jovi will be joining Dire Straits, the Moody Blues, the Cars and Nina Simone as the Class of '18, to be inducted April 14 in Cleveland. "It's a Christmas miracle," says Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan. "[We were] guys living the dream, getting on a bus with no guarantees in any way shape or form or anything." Have a nice day.
SCOTCH PLAINS - In other New Jersey music news, the state is bidding a sad farewell this morning to Smithereens lead singer Pat DiNizio, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2000. He died yesterday at age 62, his band announced. Just four days ago, DiNizio posted on social media that he was eager to get back on tour, continuing physical therapy for neck and back injures at his Victorian farmhouse in Scotch Plains. The perfect tribute: A video of the Smithereens performing at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick. Enjoy.
JACKSON - It appears the town council is ending its efforts to block a religious boundary, known as an eruv, from being attached to utility poles. Orthodox Jews were dug in for a fight, questioning what's the big deal to have PVC pipe on some utility poles to help observe their faith. The settlement, believed to be approved last night, goes like this: The town backs off; the lawsuit goes away. Jackson did stipulate that the utility companies still have to sign off because, after all, the poles are their property. Town officials noted the resolution would "prevent the further expenditure of exorbitant amounts of legal fees." Now, on to matters that bring the people together, not divide them.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - It was a red flag day in New Jersey's 11th congressional district when a deep-pocketed Republican donor turned his back on fellow Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. Media reports that Finn Wentworth, real estate investment titan and former co-chair of the Christie presidential campaign's finance team, will be siding with the Democrats in next year's fight, apparently ticked by Frelinghuysen's vote to repeal Obamacare and his support of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would essentially circumvent New Jersey's concealed carry gun laws. It is an exciting development for Democrats, who have been trying - and epically failing - to defeat this entrenched congressman for 20 years.
TRENTON - There is rarely a comment here about a person's color when it comes to landing a government job. But it seems terrifically noteworthy to say the Bergen County prosecutor, a Sikh, has been nominated for Attorney General. Many may recall the days after 9-11 in New Jersey, where members of the Sikh community were being targeted as "terrorists," prompting their worried leaders to retain us and others to educate the public about Sikh culture and traditions. We congratulate Gurbir Grewal and the entire Sikh community on this landmark moment - a huge step toward ending hate and intolerance.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BUFFALO - For many, these are tough times. Totally get it. But impersonating a cop to get a discount on your coffee at Starbucks? Really? City cops have busted a guy for flashing a bogus badge and gun Friday night, claiming he was a detective and asking for a price break on his double, half-caf, soy vanilla latte with low-fat whipped cream and extra rainbow sprinkles. Unclear if he got the discount, but he was then spotted trying to get into a Spot Coffee after closing, again, flashing that dumb badge, WIVB-TV reports. Police nabbed him carrying a BB gun, and threw a bunch of charges at him. Silver lining: Prison coffee is on the house.
SWEET HOME ALABAMA - There is plenty of post-poll punditry pertaining to Doug Jones' stunning upset over controversial Roy Moore for Alabama's junior seat in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Cory Booker probably summed it up best yesterday on the stump for Jones, saying "someone who's banned from the mall doesn't belong in the United States Senate." Sometimes your best political talking point is nothing more than your opponent being (an alleged) sex monster.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2010 that a 2,400-year-old bowl of soup was discovered near China's ancient capital of Xi'an. The fly, apparently, was long dead.
WORD OF THE DAY
Menorah - [/məˈnorə] - noun
Definition: An object that holds candles and is used in Jewish worship
Example: Mom cries every Hanukkah because her birthday cake uses so many more candles than the menorah.
WEATHER IN A WORD