ONLINE - It's a downloadable gun, and law enforcement obviously wants none of it. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has dashed off a letter to a technology company that has step-by-step directions for how people can build their own gun with a basic 3-D printer. [Gasp.] Grewal says such directions are an obvious threat to public safety, as national gun safety groups are battling in a Texas court to keep these plans off the internet. The company, Defense Distributed, has created and posted digital plans for dozens of firearms and firearm parts, including the lower receiver for those AR-15 assault weapons used in recent mass shootings, NJ Spotlight reports. Defense Distributed actually argues that a downloadable gun is "in the public interest" - confirming we all live on different planets.
NEW BRUNSWICK - The great Garden State is rich with beaches,mountains and other beauty. But many have been quick to note, sadly, that we don't have an official state microbe. Luckily, that glaring injustice may soon end, with the state Senate voting unanimously yesterday to bestow that big honor on our dear, old friend "streptomyces griseus," TAPInto New Brunswick reports. That microbe was used in 1943 by Rutgers professors Albert Schatz and Dr. Selman Waksman to create streptomycin - the first antibiotic for tuberculosis. It saved millions of lives, prompted a 1952 Nobel Prize for Waksman and should now finally takes its rightful place as New Jersey's greatest all-time microbe. Now is the Assembly's turn to vote on the bill, officially deciding if it is pro- or anti-tuberculosis.
SHORT HILLS - Deep-pocketed Democrats with $2,700 to spare can shake hands and take selfies tonight with political heavy-hitter Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She's headlining a blue-chip fundraiser that former Edison Mayor Jun Choi is hosting at his dazzling new home here. Blue Jersey says Warren is stumping for Choi's pals, Andy Kim and Tom Malinowski, both in races for Republican-held congressional seats. Don't have an extra $2,700? No problem. Dems on a budget can still get through the front door for only $500. Just stay in the kitchen and stick with the watered-down Mojitos.
ON THE ROADS - Commuters have circled Aug. 10 on the calendar, the beginning of a 2 ½ year slog to upgrade the Route 495 viaduct leading into the Lincoln Tunnel. Yes, expect tons of dread, tons of congestion, and a bottleneck to end all bottlenecks. By Aug. 17, there will only be one lane of Route 495 open in each direction for months and months on end. A silver lining: the "express" bus lane will miraculously remain open as the entire bridge deck is replaced as part of a $90.3 million project expected to be done by the summer of 2021. Uh. Plan alternate routes.
KENILWORTH - Of no surprise to anyone, the local school board is bidding farewell to its now-famous pooperintendent - the guy who allegedly crapped each morning on the running track at Holmdel High School. School officials have accepted the resignation of Superintendent Thomas Tramaglini based on, um, "events" unrelated to his service for Kenilworth, NJ.com reports. He was charged in May with all the defecation, prompting the type of international news story that did not exactly focus on all the superb education in Kenilworth. Meanwhile, Tramaglini is looking forward to his day in court. Or, maybe behind the court, if nature should call.
READINGTON - Face it: See one hot air balloon and you've seen them all. But, watching a guy get fired from a 34-foot-long cannon to soar over a fully-inflated hot air balloon? Now, that's entertainment! To break a Guinness World Record, it's what David "The Bullet" Smith Jr. plans do this weekend as the 36th-annual New Jersey Festival of Ballooning returns to Solberg Airport. NJ.com says this human cannonball already holds a few world records, having been blasted over Ferris wheels, concert stages and even part of the Grand Canyon. With any luck, another planned Presidential trip to Bedminster - just 20 miles away - won't keep Smith (or hundreds of balloons) grounded.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ABILENE, Texas - An inmate on an outing in the back of a police carhad a memorable ride, somehow removing his cuffs, smashing the back window and climbing on top of the patrol car as it sped down the highway. Of course, someone took video of this crazy ride, as the deputy called in help to get this 31-year-old nut off the roof. For safety, the deputy did not stop the cruiser until help arrived, allowing for some good surfing for the inmate. He's now back in a cell, charged with escape and "unauthorized use of a motor vehicle." Really?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was on this day in 2014 that discount store Dollar Tree decided to buy rival Family Dollar for a dollar. Well, actually, no. More like $8.5 billion.
WORD OF THE DAY
Reticent - [RET-ə-sənt] - adjective
Definition: restrained in expression and appearance
Example: Sen. Cory Booker has certainly not been reticent in his opposition to the Supreme Court nominee.
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
a Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun