LONG BRANCH – So, a beachfront mansion owner installs a bunch of off-putting amenities on his oceanfront beach: Six white canopies, wooden planters with palm trees, a professional-looking volleyball net, orange traffic cones and a sign reading “No Trespassing.” All this on a half-acre of sand in front of his glorious 11,000 square-foot-retreat. But the owner of this $17.4 million enclave claims none it was ever meant to discourage the public from enjoying that section of the beach. (Guffaw here). This friendly neighbor has since removed all that unfriendly stuff, which made the area look like his very own private club. But only after a heap of criticism from a beach access coalition, furious he would pull such a selfish stunt on a busy weekend at the Jersey Shore, where Long Branch beaches have been overrun by bathers trying to beat the heat. It’s been said before. It needs to be said again. Most oceanfront home owners do not “own” the shore. If the government has spent money to replenish the beach, like in Long Branch, then the beach is public. It’s a fact: No matter how much you don’t want outsiders on “your” beach.

TRENTON – The state’s finances don’t offer much to smile about in this era of COVID-19. And now a NJ Spotlight analysis of state treasury debt reports is an out-and-out killjoy, concluding that: “Already one of the nation’s most indebted states, New Jersey could do more than a decade’s worth of borrowing within a year under a new law…” That law, signed with speed by Gov. Phil Murphy, allows his administration to sell up to $9.9 billion worth of bonds to fund the budget during the pandemic — without having to ask for voter approval. “The grand total of all of New Jersey’s long-term obligations, both bonded and non-bonded, comes in at just under $218 billion” — or, about $24,500 for every man, woman and child currently living in the great and stunningly indebted State of New Jersey. And, for this brief moment, let’s not mention the federal deficit, which is reportedly nearing $3.0 trillion. Whoops, just did.

SOUTH AMBOY – With this pandemic hovering above us all, it’s hard to think about the near future. But that has not stopped any of the planning in this waterfront city, which has secured $5.3 million in federal funds to finally build a ferry that has been in the works for a couple of decades or so. It’s hard to imagine at the moment, but work will hopefully begin next year on this NYC-bound ferry hub, with a second-floor restaurant, adjacent to 1,875 luxury apartments under development, known as the “Manhattan Beach Club.” There continue to be plenty of exciting plans in South Amboy, primed to be a buzzing commuter hub. Just you wait.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

Boxer George Foreman, in 1994 at age 45, finally broke “Jersey Joe” Walcott’s 1951 record as the oldest heavyweight champion. Foreman’s record still stands.

CAMDEN – Boxing legend ‘Jersey Joe’ Walcott is being honored with his very own statue. And the timing could not be better. As statues of now-tarnished heroes are being marred by vandals and mothballed in other cities, Camden County freeholders commissioned this $185,000 tribute to Walcott (real name: Arnold Cream). Besides his boxing skill, the late pugilist has political juice. In 1951, at age 37, Wolcott became the oldest boxer to win the world heavyweight title. Then, after 24 years in the ring, 71 bouts and 51 wins, TAPInto Camden reports. Cream was elected county sheriff and served on the state Athletic Commission. His late wife, Riletta, was also a five-term county freeholder. When the boxer’s eight-foot bronze monument is finished next year, it will stand along the city’s waterfront. What a knockout.

TRENTON – Democrats in Mercer County are in disarray as party Chair Janice Mironov faces her first challenge for control from Ewing Councilman David Schroth. Mironov, also East Windsor’s longtime mayor, has led her party since 2018. But, Schroth tells the Trentonian she has made many Democrats “feel alienated and disenfranchised.” Mironov wants to settle this squabble next Tuesday with a virtual convention. Critics, including party powerbroker Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, want it delayed during the pandemic. But stalling could give Schroth, who threw down his gauntlet last week, more time to rally supporters. He already has Hughes in his corner, calling Schroth a “proven vote-getter” and “person of integrity.” Little wonder Mironov wants things settled quickly.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

STATEWIDE – Just because you are a kid, why can’t you also get a bailout? That, at least, is the thinking of Country Time Lemonade, which is offering cash payouts to young entrepreneurs who have seen their seasonal businesses wiped out due to COVID-19. Country Time is offering $100 checks to kids under the age of 14 who were knocked out of business. “We know this will be a rough summer for lemonade stands. And if the big guys are getting bailed out, why shouldn't we help the littlest entrepreneurs get the same treatment?" Country Time said, on its website. To apply, children need to write a few words about how they will spend the money, along with a photo of the sign they would have used on their abortive stands….y’know, to keep them honest and all. Applications must be submitted by Aug. 14 and, just like the federal government, expect extensions.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was this day in 1994 that OJ Simpson pleads “Absolutely 100% Not Guilty” of murder. Any questions?

WORD OF THE DAY

Inculcate – [in-KUL-kayt] – verb

Definition: To teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions 

Example: I have inculcated my puppy to pee outside, which works when he decides for us.

WIT OF THE DAY

“I was raised to be an independent woman, not the victim of anything.”

-Kamala Harris

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“What is wrong with Kamala Harris’s face?”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

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