OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - From the "Don't-stick-your-nose-where-it-doesn't-belong" file: Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik has decided to meddle in the governor's race, warning New Jersey's 34,000 law enforcement officers that things "could get 10 times worse" for them under Phil Murphy. The Save Jersey blog notes that Kerik offers no reasons for his deep analysis in his latest social media post. Newark-born Kerik also seems a bit behind; the state's police and firefighters unions have already voiced support for Murphy.

STATEWIDE - Lawmakers are going after New Jersey's slumlords, famously known for completely ignoring their rental properties and forcing low-income people to live in crumbling, rat-infested squalor. Senators Jen Beck and Ron Rice have had it, with this dynamic duo visiting ramshackle apartments where little children and families are trying to make a life among rats, cockroaches, urine and other disgusting stuff. The senators - one a Democrat, the other a Republican - want the feds to hold back a portion of rent payments until these landlords finally wake up. If they refuse, the money will be used by tenants to make the repairs. Damn straight.​​​​​​​

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EAST BRUNSWICK - Mets fans freely bleed blue and orange, and that's perfectly fine for the blood bank. The New Jersey Blood Services will be handing out free Mets tickets to whomever rolls up his/her sleeves and generously gives to the cause. Mets fans can come to East Brunswick tomorrow and Jersey City on Saturday. Just another benefit of loving the Mets. It's unclear, but incredibly doubtful, if the blood bank will dare accept any Phillies blood. Better call and ask. 1-800-933-BLOOD.

HOT OFF THE PRESS - Introducing a new comic book superhero, who just happens to have Down syndrome. Meet Jonah, a teenager taunted by his classmates for being slow and nerdy... until he finds a meteor that gives him the power to subdue foes with superhuman strength, telekinesis and telepathy. This colorful superhero debuts in "Superb," a new comic book from Rider University professor Sheena Howard. She tells Newsworks the world needs more heroes, fictional and real, who overcome their disabilities and prejudice. She seems like the real hero.

NEWARK - Big changes are afoot in the West Ward, where Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark has earned an impressive $100,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation to launch a resident-driven planning program to improve neighborhoods. This is a prime example of how Habitat has evolved from building houses in Newark to helping build entire neighborhoods. Traditionally, the foundation adds to the initial planning grant with hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement strategies. Let's hope this is the start of something great for the West Ward.

IN THE MEDIA

NEW YORK - Remember Sarah Palin? You betcha. She is continuing her war against the New York Times, apparently ready to subpoena nearly two dozen reporters, editors and other workers in her publicity-seeking defamation suit. The New York Post says the former vice presidential candidate (insert shudder here) wants documents that might reveal, among other things, "negative feelings" against her. Shouldn't be hard to find.

JERSEY CITY -- All that useless New Jersey knowledge acquired over working in Garden State politics, government and/or media will finally pay off for a group of quiz nerds participating in NJSpotlight's Jersey Trivia contest tonight at AndCoWork in Jersey City. Tickets are still available to watch what will be tough competition between some seasoned veterans of New Jersey politics and some up-and-coming Millennials who think they know everything. The Jaffe Briefing will be represented at the contest with high hopes of bringing home top prize. 

 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

TONOPAH, NV - It's a $40-a-night, fleabag motel in the middle of nowhere. And it is infiltrated by clown figurines at every turn - even clown dolls dangling over the guest beds. And now the "Clown Motel" could be yours for less than $900,000, KLAS reports. Not clowning around here: If you are willing to live in a town of 2,478 people, and be stuck in a place with scary clowns at every weird and wacky turn, then this place is for you. Or Krusty.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was on this day in 2014 that dollar store Dollar Tree announced it would buy rival Family Dollar for $8.5 billion, showing that, yes, it's actually true, you can buy something for more than a dollar.

WORD OF THE DAY

Autarky - [AW-tahr-kee] - noun

Definition: The condition of self-sufficiency, especially economic, as applied to a nation.

Example: Trump Nation is the finest, strongest autarky. Believe me.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Eighty