NEWARK – There seem to be more lawsuits than holiday cards this season in Newark, where NYC is now countersuing over its selfish and irresponsible homeless program. Apparently, NYC is fully protected under the U.S. Constitution to ship its most down-and-out citizens to another municipality, in another state, so they can become someone else’s problem. NYC lawyers, with straight faces, even argue that Newark is trying to “wall off” from this population that NYC is intentionally sending over the Hudson, dangling a year’s worth of rent paid up front. So far, at least 1,200 of the poorest New Yorkers have been dispatched to Newark, where they often live in squalor. Ticked-off Newark sued New York in federal court to force this temporary halt, outlawing the program. Now, NYC has countered. Your turn, Newark.

JERSEY CITY – With rising waves of hate, call it out when you see it. Mayor Steve Fulop has done just that, demanding a (add adjective here) school board trustee resign. According to Politico, Joan Terrell-Paige used Facebook to disparage “brutes in the Jewish community” in the wake of last week's shooting that targeted a nascent Hasidic Jewish community in a predominantly black neighborhood. But Terrell-Paige, who is African American, refuses to apologize or step down. Here’s her rationale: “Mr. Anderson and Ms. Graham went directly to the kosher supermarket,” Terrell-Paige said, referring to the two gun-wielding murderers. “I believe they knew they would come out in body bags. What is the message they were sending? Are we brave enough to explore the answer to their message? Are we brave enough to stop the assault on the Black communities of America?”… The chasm in our communities is beyond alarming.

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LAKEWOOD – The cops have some explaining to do, after jailing a middle school music teacher for three days after mistaking him for another guy with a similar name. The teacher’s ordeal began Oct. 21 when Lakewood cops pulled him over and informed him he was wanted on an outstanding arrest in Burlington County. It appears the teacher’s driver’s license photo was erroneously attached to the arrest warrant, NJ.com reports. Then it got weird, as the teacher was cuffed and hauled off to the Ocean County jail. He had to sacrifice his clothes and personal property, get his fingerprints taken and, of course, there was the extensive body search. Then, the 56-year-old music teacher was singing the blues for three days, sitting behind bars and suffering the brutality of pre-teen humiliation at Goetz Middle School when word got out. Repeatedly telling the cops they had the wrong guy didn’t make an impact, so now the teacher is planning to sue all the law enforcement agencies involved. Everyone: get your checkbooks out for this one.

MANCHESTER – In more news from the Ocean County jail, a 29-year-old man is sitting in there, charged with using a phone-spoof app to prank his neighbors. Police say a Martin Drive man allegedly used the app to hide his real phone number, making a bunch of fake calls about a Mockingbird Way home in the town’s Pine Ridge section. Police got fake reports about stabbings, drug deals and fires at the targeted residence. The Asbury Park Press says more phony calls were allegedly made for food deliveries, taxis and utility problems. Police traced the fictitious calls to the suspect’s home, arresting him on four counts of creating false public alarms. This guy; what a riot.

BRIEFING BREATHER: An average person will spend about 26 years asleep.

TRENTON – Small business owners may be getting a gift this holiday from Trenton lawmakers. Well, not so much a gift, but an opportunity to get some of their money back following federal tax “reform.” NJ Spotlight reports lawmakers are trying to restore a major tax benefit that small business owners lost, thanks to the recent capping of a federal write-off for state and local taxes. Before your eyes roll back into your head as you try to understand this, we will just bottom line it: New Jersey businesses could collectively save as much as $450 million annually without impacting state coffers. Want a much, much better explanation? Just read NJ Spotlight.

FRANKLIN TWP – A very bright 4-year-old girl is to be honored today by the cops and dispatchers who answered her 911 call for saving her mother’s life. The youngster phoned for help on Dec. 6, saying her mom was unconscious after falling. TAPinto Franklin says Officers Frank Mahon and Michael Case told the toddler, through her locked front door, how to open it. Then, as paramedics cared for mom, the cops say the girl fed breakfast to her three younger siblings, reassuring them “mommy was going to be okay.” Her mom is now home after a four-day hospital stay.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

BOISE, ID – A local guy just caught 67 tennis balls in 30 seconds while standing on a balance board. And what the heck have you been able to do? Balance a coffee, a bagel and a smartphone, as you switch gears on your car, while driving 75 mph through an EZPass? Well, that is pretty good, too. But let’s focus, for the moment, back on David Rush of Boise, who has broken more than 100 records to promote STEM education. He explains the key to catching all those balls is to keep the knees straight and alternate the hands with each catch. (You sure learn a lot of handy stuff here.)

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

“Damn it, Jim, I’m an actor, not a doctor,” proclaimed DeForest Kelly, who got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on this day in 1991 for famously portraying Dr. McCoy on Star Trek.

WORD OF THE DAY

Millefleur – [meel-FLƏR] – adjective

Definition: Having an all-over pattern of small flowers and plants

Example: My necktie collection comprises medieval tapestries and millefleur designs.

WIT OF THE DAY

“Tea, though ridiculed by those who are naturally coarse in their nervous sensibilities will always be the favorite beverage of the intellectual.”

― Thomas de Quincey

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Sun!

THE NEW 60
a Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun