TRENTON - Move over, "Real Housewives:" the best reality show in New Jersey is happening at the state's Schools Development Authority. In the latest episode of this ever-unfolding drama, Gov. Phil Murphy has fired 30 state workers, announced yesterday, after it was revealed that most shouldn't have been hired in the first place. Of the 30 given their walking papers, 27 of them were hired by a former CEO, who resigned in April after it was learned she filled the agency's job roster with family and friends, and then gave them preferential treatment over other workers in the office, NJ.com reports. Higher pay, better titles and new jobs were created for the CEO's pals, so how could the SDA possibly gain credibility without the governor cleaning house?
TRENTON - Clamping down on illegal guns in New Jersey has been a priority for Gov. Phil Murphy, thankfully. The governor has signed 11 new laws, appointed a "Gun Czar," and pledged to provide better data on "crime guns." An examination of that data from GUNstat reports is sobering. NJ Spotlight reports that in an average month in the Garden State, 82 people are shot; 14 of them fatally. And in an average month in the Garden State, law enforcement seizes or recovers 278 guns used to commit crime. Of the "crime guns" whose origins can be traced, about 40 percent have come from four states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. Find cold comfort in today's NJ Spotlight.
ATLANTIC CITY - Supposedly, we all must care that the Miss America pageant is fleeing New Jersey. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is no longer throwing millions at the pageant in subsidies for the big event to remain at Boardwalk Hall, and now it has found its new iconic home in beautiful, downtown Uncasville, CT. Besides once being home to a manufacturing plant that produced nuclear reactor fuel components, Uncasville also plays host to the Mohegan Sun casino, where the Miss America pageant will broadcast the big event on Dec. 19 on NBC. Are we supposed to be devastated? Is this like the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn? The Nets fleeing Newark? Or will anyone even notice when the pageant winner takes a ceremonial dip in the Oxoboro River, rather than the Atlantic Ocean?
ASBURY PARK - There is little doubt that the north end of the city's beachfront will ultimately be one of the most exclusive hamlets on the Jersey Shore. And how can we say that? Besides the fact that there are plans to build thousands of luxury high-rise units and a private club, the Manhattan-based developer is sweetening the pot even further: Agreeing to spend $8 million to build a wide wooden boardwalk from Convention Hall to the northern border at Loch Arbor. And the developer is eager to get going, expecting the four-block stretch to be open in time for next summer, NJ.com reports. There still needs to be some sign-off from the city and the state, but with private developers opening their wallets, obstacles tend to move themselves out of the way.
STATEWIDE - Luckily, for our lifetimes, we will never again have to witness Washington's hand-wringing over the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. CBS reports the Senate has overwhelmingly OK'd funding for the next 73 years, paying health care bills for thousands who were in the towers or rushed to save them. President Trump will sign the bill on Friday, with 9/11 first responders joining him for what is sure to be a well-orchestrated PR spectacle. This is one of those bills that should have quietly passed with little fanfare, as its intent is obvious, clear and right. Instead, get those cameras rolling. Take One.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
BROOKLYN - It's the end of an era on the corner of 11th Ave. and 18th St., where a 1971 Cadillac parked illegally for more than 25 years has finally been towed. More than two decades of rain, snow, alternate-side parking and even several filming permits didn't budge this clunker an inch, and it has become either a "local landmark" or an "eyesore," depending on who you ask. "It's a safety hazard," one neighbor griped to the New York Daily News. But the rust bucket has plenty of defenders: "That car is a staple in this community," said one longtime resident. "Those who gawk at it and want to get rid of it aren't real Brooklynites."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was a tough night for the Mets on this day in 1993 when Vince Coleman threw a cherry bomb at Dodger fans, injuring three, while pitcher Anthony Young lost again, a record 27 straight games.
WORD OF THE DAY
Festinate [FESS-tə-nayt] - verb
Definition: To hasten or speed up; to cause an event or action to happen sooner
Example: If all these drivers would just put down their damn phones and festinate, I may get to work this morning.
WIT OF THE DAY
|"A painting is worth a thousand confused art-gallery visitors."
- Ljupka Cvetanova
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun