OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE AIRWAVES - It's been PR gold for WFAN this week, as one of the most controversial governors in the nation generated reams of newspaper copy by appearing for "auditions." Some media actually made the effort to critique Gov. Chris Christie's sports analysis, as if that mattered, while others highlighted a glaring fact: How many people can tell their boss they are taking a paid vacation so they can pursue another job? That's what the governor did to the taxpayers of New Jersey this week, the latest display of arrogance by a guy who just no longer cares. Guess if we run for governor, and win, then we, too, are entitled to ignore the office.

PATERSON - Having his driver's license suspended 31 times does not necessarily mean Councilman Michael Jackson is a terrible driver. Nope, says Jackson, he just has trouble keeping up with payments for state Motor Vehicle Commission surcharges. So, there ya go. The councilman's driving record came to light in the Paterson Press after Jackson got ticketed following a July 5 car accident near the Great Falls. The councilman told the news site he hopes people don't get the wrong impression: "It's not like I'm driving around recklessly or irresponsibly. I'm a very careful driver." Just stay off the Paterson sidewalks.

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SALEM - Like a scene from "Back to the Future," area residents are now raising money to "Save the Clock Tower!" The city's clock sits atop the First Baptist Church along West Broadway, its four faces - each five feet in diameter - frozen in time for decades. A restoration expert tells the South Jersey Times that since the 1750s, locals relied on "this iconic clock to tell them when to work and worship." And, its bells heralded major national events dating back to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Contributions to the restoration fund are very welcome. Just beware of speeding DeLoreans, perhaps driven by a Paterson councilman.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - While Rep. Tom MacArthur has infuriated voters as an architect of the American Health Care Act, the widely unknown House Republican plan to replace Obamacare, it sure is good to bow before the king. The Observer reports MacArthur raked in more than $800,000 at a fundraiser with President Trump last month, as part of $1.13 million in cash raised for the second quarter. Every nickel will be needed as MacArthur is leading the Democrats' hit list for the midterm elections.

 

ON THE ROADS - If you are one of those people who think E-ZPass is just another way Big Brother controls your life, well, you may be right. There's a new Parkway exit in Sayreville that does not accept cash. That means, pal, either get with the E-ZPass program, finally, or pay a violation fee every time you whiz through this southbound exit. Turnpike officials tell NJ.com that it would have cost another $1 million to add an "exact change" lane to the toll plaza, so it was wiped out of the plan. That works well for the more than 80 percent of Parkway drivers who use E-ZPass. The others, well, are out of luck.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

CANBERRA, Australia - Well, oops. The deputy leader of the Australian Parliament is quickly ending his nine years of service with a sheepish apology. Scott Ludlam "learned" he is a resident of another country and obviously can't be a public servant in Australia. So, after being reelected three times and being paid millions in salary and expenses, Ludlam is telling the electorate that - gee, whiz - he is a full-fledged resident of New Zealand and is ineligible to be a member of the Senate (a post he's held since 2008).

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was on this day in 1988 that radio station WYHY offered $1 million to anyone who could provide information proving that Elvis was still alive.

WORD OF THE DAY

Expostulate - [ik-SPOS-chuh-leyt] - noun

Definition: To reason earnestly with someone against something that person intends to do or has done.

Example: I expostulated with him about the dangers of summertime, poolside tequila shots. 

WEATHER IN A WORD

Soaker