OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
LODI - It has been a good week - because, somehow, we were able to use the term "Bada Bing" twice. This time, we are memorializing the strip club made famous in the Sopranos. The Bada Bing (known officially as Satin Dolls) was Tony's home away from home, which the state has now whacked. The Route 17 club has until Dec. 17 to close its doors, following a six-year state investigation into its owners. Apparently, the owners have been "criminally disqualified" from owning the Bada Bing, and (allegedly) involved with some associates employed by the waste removal industry. Nothing personal; it's just business.
STATEWIDE - Sure, there's a Wawa around the corner if you need a quart of milk. But if you happen to be looking for human breast milk, well, that's another matter. State officials say there are no human milk banks in New Jersey, but one may be coming to a neighborhood near you. The state Legislature is now trying to establish standards for the collection and distribution of human milk to hospitals, helping premature babies fight infections. New Jersey hospitals now put the squeeze on milk banks in neighboring states and are eager for the convenience of local lactation locations. But there needs to be guidelines, of course. And New Jersey - being New Jersey - is not going to let a new operation open without, of course, registration fees, rules, inspections, certifications and other red tape.
WINTER WONDERLAND? - New Jerseyans have become accustomed to balmy, 60-degree winters, so it's no surprise that breathless weathermen are issuing dire warnings of snow this weekend. The thing is, no one's expecting any meaningful amounts. With the National Weather Service warning of "up to a few inches" of light snow around the state, residents are likely to get riled by the hype. But, remember, it's not yet winter and there's still plenty of months for an actual "storm." In any case, better run out for a gallon of breast milk.
STATEWIDE - A liberal-leaning think tank believes New Jersey can reap an easy $450 million or so each year it if decides to close some loopholes that fatten large corporations. New Jersey Policy Perspective claims the state's "broken" tax system has cost taxpayers billions over the years, giving plenty of extra love to business. That's probably right, and the state has spent billions more on tax breaks and incentives for keeping business here, rather than there. The question is: Do you close a loophole, but then lose major employers to other states? Risk v. Reward has become a major debate point in tax policy, and can't be ignored in all the facts and figures.
MAPLEWOOD - Unclear what you expect when you put tons of goodies on your front porch for delivery people and expect wildlife to politely stay away. But a Maplewood woman appears stunned that a fat squirrel stole her gourmet chocolate and lip balm, as part of a lovely basket that she puts out for holiday delivery people each year, featuring candy, snacks, tissues and hand warmers. This year, she set up a surveillance camera to catch one varmint digging through the stash. "We now have our chocolate in a jar that requires opposable thumbs," she writes on her blog.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - The Buffalo Bills fan who became an international star last month for streaking naked across the field - and managing to gain more yards than the home team before security tackled him - has gotten a slap on the wrist. The 29-year-old football fan appeared in municipal court, fully clothed, where he received a $400 fine and 25 hours of community service for his, um, "appearance" during the Bills' 47-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 12. Fellow fans sprung to his defense, amazed at his physique and on-field ability, offering money for his defense. The Bills were not as impressed, however, banning him for a year.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
"Bring 'em Young!" shouts Brigham Young on this day in 1872, as the 71-year-old religious leader weds his 55th wife, Hannah Tapfield, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
WORD OF THE DAY
Dundrearies - [DUHN-dreer-eez] - plural noun
Definition: Long, full sideburns or muttonchop whiskers
Example: Did anyone have better dundrearies than Dennis Hopper?
WEATHER IN A WORD