STATEWIDE – It’s Opening Day! Sure, don’t expect any parades or cheers as you finally go out to lunch, but this is still a really big deal. “June 15th” has been circled on your calendar for a few days now, as we are all finally allowed to conduct many exciting “moderate risk activities.” And, if you have been living under a rock, you may ask: What exactly does that mean? Lots. Finally, child care is open so your kids can at last be elsewhere, you can eat outdoors at an actual restaurant and you can go shopping for “non-essential” stuff inside stores. Sure, there is still a lot of talk about the new phrases of this spring, like “social distancing” and “half capacity.” But, hey, this is a huge step forward, so enjoy the freedom.
STATEWIDE – God is happy, too. Finally, we were able to return to church, synagogue and the mosque over the weekend, after having the airtight excuse for weeks that these buildings are closed to worshippers. Well, services resumed over the weekend, with limits of 50 attendees, or 25% capacity, whichever is lower. This, too, is a good start, as houses of worship have taken a big-time hit in funding, especially at places where you pass the plate. Bringing back live Masses and other worship services, even if your priest is wearing a spit shield when he offers communion, is something the religious community is celebrating, as they all then head out to a restaurant.
STATEWIDE – And, of course, there has to be stuff to worry about, too. NJ 101.5 helps us with that, reporting that municipalities across New Jersey are bracing for tough revenue collections, as many property owners just don’t have the scratch to pay their quarterly property taxes. Towns are in a tough spot: They are starved for revenue, but still need to provide essential services that residents expect. The immediate solution: get as much of that federal COVID-19 money to dribble down to the state and the counties as quickly as possible, making sure there is still enough left for town coffers. In the interim, some towns are furloughing employees, while making sure they keep health insurance, so they will be ready for full-time service when the money eventually comes back. Hopefully, the solution doesn’t require even more borrowing.
An American urologist bought Napoleon’s penis for $40,000.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - With word that President Trump will be hosting a huge campaign rally in Tulsa on June 20 - with certain backlash from people who are trying to control the spread of this stubborn virus - we could be entering a whole new world of retail campaigning. The feds say the highest risk of contracting coronavirus is “large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.” So, that just happens to be campaign rallies, big-ticket fundraisers and, of course, the national political conventions that get widespread news coverage. So, if Trump and Joe Biden, as well as the down ticket, try to keep their supporters healthy, how do they secure voter support? Zoom fundraising? Social media videos? Even more of those dumbed-down campaign commercials? Like most things these days, it's all unclear.
STATEWIDE – We’ve now had about three months of this so-called “virtual learning” for our kids since the mayhem hit. And it’s been a big-time education… not least for parents on just what teachers have to do daily to keep our precious darlins’ focused. Now, schools are turning their attention to the possibility of reopening in the fall and trying to figure out how that’s going to work. But, first things first: What has worked so far in remote instruction? That’s the question NJ Spotlight and NJTV News posed in a roundtable (virtual, of course) that gathered a superintendent, parent and two teachers to compare notes. Curiously, none shared the secret of how to remove wads of gum from beneath the kitchen table. Or how to stop them from magically getting there in the first place.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
CINQUEFRONDI, ITALY – Ever dream of living in the southern region of Calabria? Ever dream of not getting COVID-19? If your answer is “yes” to those two questions, boy, is there an opportunity for you! This Italian village is trying to find people to buy a bunch of dilapidated homes, which likely haven’t been touched since bombings in World War II. So, if you promise to take over one of these homes in this COVID-free town, you can buy it for just a buck. CNN reports that “Operation Beauty” is designed to get someone, somewhere to take responsibility for abandoned homes – with a price lower than the Wendy’s value menu. The terms are extremely generous; all buyers just need to pay $280 for insurance each year until renovations are completed. And, if you don’t do the work within three years, you have to pay a fine of about $7,000 a year. What sticklers.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Mega-companies continued to gobble market share on this day in 2015, when the behemoth CVS paid $1.6 billion to take over the pharmacies and clinic businesses at another behemoth, Target.
WORD OF THE DAY
Minimus – [min-uh-muhs] – noun
Definition: A little finger or toe
Example: Anyone ever say you have a great minimus?
WIT OF THE DAY
“When the silent majority opens its mouth, it is usually to yawn.”
-Gerd de Ley
“The silent majority is stronger than ever!!!”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD