STATEWIDE - If you haven't noticed, it is summer. It is humid, it is sticky and that thing chewing on your arm happens to be a mosquito. State health officials are launching an awareness campaign for all those out there who may not know about this annoying flying insect, and how those bites can create more problems than the common itch, NJ 101.5 reports.  To show they are serious, state officials have even developed a clever hashtag for their campaign, "Fight the Bite NJ."   And they are offering helpful tips, like urging you to finally get rid of all the standing water in old tires, old pots and any other places where water puddles around your backyard, just begging for those crazy blood suckers to breed. This campaign is serious stuff, evident by the hashtag, and the fact that New Jersey saw its first case of West Nile virus in June.



STATEWIDE - There's some good backyard water, after all. And that is the glorious swimming pool, likely glistening in your neighbor's yard. But you are pool-less, and what can you do? Enter "Swimply," the Airbnb of swimming pools. Swimply is an online marketplace where pool owners can rent out their pools by the hour to pathetic, overheated people like yourself.  You can rent New Jersey pools by the hour, for parties or for yourself, by scrolling Swimply's listings. Assume hourly rentals as low as $20 on weekdays and up to $200 an hour for those big weekend parties. Sometimes, you can even use the grill, a lunch table, and the water slide, but bathroom access can be tricky. And remind Junior that the deep end is not an option.

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TRENTON - There's something very satisfying about New Jersey government pushing itself into the 21st century, especially when it creates more accurate financial projections and budget estimates. The Murphy administration has engineered a way to track sales of corporate tax credits.  Let NJ Spotlightexplain: The tax incentives that the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) awards some companies for meeting a hiring target, say, can be sold by that company to another. Monitoring those sales in real time gives the Treasury a much better view of the economic landscape, as opposed to waiting for paperwork to trickle in. Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Murphy continues to squabble with the state Legislature regarding the future of EDA tax incentives. Unfortunately, that issue is beyond the reach of technology. 


TRENTON - For the past 30 years, New Jersey has somehow chewed its way through life without the aid of a state dental director. But the fact is the Garden State is lagging in key metrics of oral health. For example, as NJ Spotlightreports, we rank 49th nationwide in terms of the percentage of population with access to fluoride-infused drinking water. Well, start enthusiastically clicking your dentures, folks, because we now have a dental director, Dr. Darwin K. Hayes, who will be expected to develop an oral-health plan for the state. Expect the taffy lobby to be outraged.



STATEWIDE - Not only do people go hungry across New Jersey, and around the world, it is commonly reported that 40% of the food in America is thrown out. That, alone, is nauseating. But all this lost food is also unnecessarily filling our landfills, serving as a permanent reminder of our outrageous waste. Princeton University, for example, generates more than 52 tons of food waste a year. The Legislature tried to solve this, reports, requiring large businesses, schools and organizations to separate decaying food from other garbage and then recycle it, perhaps by composting. But the bill's last-minute, permanent definition of "food waste facilities" includes landfills. Huh? When did landfilling become recycling?




TOKYO - Grapes usually last about two weeks on your counter, but that didn't stop a rich hotelier from spending $11,000 on a small bunch of them.  No typos here, as the 24 red grapes offered at auction fetched a fortune, making them the most expensive grapes ever. The "winner," who owns a chain of hot spring hotels, is now the proud owner of these quickly-ripening Ruby Roman grapes, prized for their high sugar content, low acidity and juiciness. Apparently, only 26,000 Ruby Roman grapes will be sold this year, none of which will be bagged with a twist tie at your local Shop-Rite.





It was this day in 2016 that thousands of people in Lucknow, India jostled for space, trying to plant 50 million trees over 24 hours, hoping to shatter a world record. As we all know, Pakistan held the record at 847,275, set in 2013. But the people of Lucknow brought in more than 800,000 students, lawmakers, government officials, housewives and volunteers to get their hands dirty. Every smidge of roadside, highway, rail track and forest tract became home to new samplings, as the record was shattered.




Malarkey [mə-LAR-kee] - noun

Definition: Meaningless or incorrect nonsense

Example: The glaring issue of food waste in New Jersey is no malarkey.





"What I need is someone who will make me do what I can."


- Ralph Waldo Emerson







A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive

by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun