OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON - You certainly hear a lot of crap in the capital city. But city officials are more focused on the crap you see, launching a plan through March to strategically fight the crow feces regularly covering the streets. The Trentonianreports the city cops will be initiating very precise "crow dispersal activities." This includes pyrotechnics, lasers, spotlights, amplified recordings of crow distress calls and crow effigies. This impressive effort began Monday. Will it all work? The results, hopefully, should be obvious.
AT SCHOOL - At least five New Jersey districts are closing their doors tomorrow, so families can attend the mayhem, otherwise known as the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl parade. NJ.com reports that the districts, all well within Iggles Nation, chose to extend the school year by one day to give "students and staff a chance to celebrate the city's historic win" while other districts are surveying parents to find out how many lame students and staff actually intend to show up at school tomorrow. School officials were quickly realizing the schools had to close, as teachers were calling out like crazy to celebrate with 2 million other fans. All students will learn a critical lesson tomorrow: Professional sports trump everything.
STATEWIDE - The number of New Jerseyans taking the high-school equivalency test is dropping. Good news? According to The Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University, the answer is certainly "No," reports TAPInto New Brunswick. Many are declining to take the test, with numbers dropping nearly in half from 2013 to 2016. That's partly because the price jumped from $50 to $120 and the test is now computerized, requiring test-takers to go to one of 52 test centers in the state. Places like Atlantic and Cumberland counties, with a high number of high school drop-outs, only have one of these testing places, per county, creating more obstacles. The fact that 256,000 people are attempting to earn a living in New Jersey without a high school diploma is alarming and prompts an obvious challenge: How do we ensure people seek this absolutely necessary degree?
AT THE RECRUITING STATION - "You don't need to be straight to shoot straight." That was our mangled attempt at quoting former Sen. Barry Goldwater on the issue of gays in the military. That quote is relevant again today, as New Jersey is joining a federal lawsuit that challenges President Trump's proposed ban on transgender people serving in the military. There's 15 states pushing back on the policy, questioning constitutionality and screaming discrimination. Politico reports there is an estimated 150,000 veterans, active-duty service members and reservists who identify themselves as transgender. "We cannot allow President Trump's policies to keep brave, patriotic Americans from serving in our military," said Gov. Phil Murphy, stating the obvious and leaving us to shake our head as to why any patriotic American would be blocked from trying to defend our country.
IN THE MEDIA
TRENTON - NJ101.5's iron grip on the "Ask the Governor" call-in show is now over. Politico reports Gov. Phil Murphy will not be following in his predecessor's practice of monthly visits to NJ 101.5, where the hosts threw out easy grapefruit-sized questions and rarely challenged the answers, no matter how ludicrous. Instead, Murphy will be visiting News 12 New Jersey and public radio stations, mixing it up a bit. NJTV - a free, statewide station - does not appear to be part of the plan. It is a critical mistake, if true, as that broadcast station is consistently strong and respected.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
IN THE SACK - So, how is the leader of the free world in bed? Sorry if that question is a bit jarring, but it has become mainstream news following the now-famous quote from Presidential porn star, Stormy Daniels. She described Donald Trump as a guy with a "textbook generic performance." That prompted the New York Post to seek out second wife Marla Maples, snagged by a reporter at jury duty. That tabloid famously headlined a 1990 issue with Maples announcing Trump was the "best sex I ever had." Maples denied ever uttering that quote and wouldn't confirm it to be true, leaving us all to ponder.
SAN FRANCISCO - Finally, some 3,000 students of Trump Universityare seeing a return on their investment. Donald Trump promised millions, and millions is what they will get, after a federal appeals court upheld a lower court agreement. Trump will need to pay $25 million to settle all the lawsuits of his apparently fraudulent, so-called "university." As is the practice with the piles of previous court settlements, Trump admitted to no wrongdoing. Lawyers simply took out the checkbook, again. Congratulations to all the Trump U "graduates." You did it!
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1993 when the last interesting Pro Bowl was held, with the AFC narrowly defeating the NFC, 23-20 for "bragging rights." It was a pointless game, of course, but admittedly watchable.
WORD OF THE DAY
Blench - [BLENCH] - verb
Definition: To flinch
Example: As the government careens toward another shutdown, who will blench first?
WEATHER IN A WORD