STATEWIDE - Move along, Baby Boomers. That's the message of Generation X, as Rutgers researchers report that the Boomers are finally relinquishing the reigns of power in New Jersey and are now focused on retirement. RU Economist James Hughes is calling it "the greatest age structure transformation in population history," as the Boomers are leaving a significant void on the state's workforce, NJ 101.5 reports. Hughes is mourning the loss of institutional memory, of skills, and savvy built up over a lifetime. Not to worry, says Generation X, as it turns off the Sony Walkmans and casts aside its "Thriller" cassettes. We got this.

TRENTON - Probably the only fair way to update New Jersey's legislative districts is to wrest control from our entrenched incumbents. That could well be the shadow agenda of a group of lawyers and academics who've just released their "reform platform," NJ Spotlight reports. Just saying "lawyers and academics" could raise some eyebrows, but they've got some good ideas, like getting the public more involved, making the process more transparent, and adding three members to the redistricting commission so there would be no more need to rely on the senior justice of the state Supreme Court to break deadlocks. And they want these changes codified in the state constitution. Do they have a chance? Dunno. But to quote Woody Guthrie: "Politics is much too important to leave to professionals."

NEW BRUNSWICK - While we all have high hopes, yet again, for a strong football season at Rutgers, the bookies in Vegas don't seem that impressed with this year's squad. Odds have been set for the Big 10 this year, giving Rutgers a one in 100,000 chance of winning the conference championship. That means if you plunk down just $100 on RU, you will walk away with a tidy $100,000.  Not bad. Still, bookies seem a little more enthusiastic this year, even after the team managed only one victory last year against some lowly, unknown, out-of-conference opponent. Vegas thinks Rutgers will win three games this season. Hey, not bad.

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EDISON - When most think of the New Jersey Devils, there's high regard for the only professional sports team that is proudly, unapologetically "Jersey." And then there are the 5-year-old kiddies at a birthday party this weekend, who will forever link the Devils to the mascot who smashed himself through the storefront window. It was a parachute game gone very wrong at the Little Gym in Edison, where the mascot is all over social media shaking his head, after racing off from the parachute game and, for some reason, slamming himself right through the front window. There was then an odd silence, and, well, um... time for cake!

AVALON - The number-crunchers at the Asbury Park Press say the average home value in the state was $323,179 last year.  In the most heavily-taxed towns in the state, your property tax bill would be upwards of $24,000. But, surprisingly, in the tiny beach town of Avalon, you would just pay $1,500 in taxes. Wow! A hidden gem? Or is it just the fact you will never, ever find any property in Avalon for $323,179, unless it is two blades of wilted grass clinging to a speck of eroded topsoil.

MORRISTOWN - One pizza joint is doubling down on the popularity of pizza crust. Starting Thursday, Villa Italian Kitchen will offer wedge-shaped boxes of pizza crusts - only crusts - on its menu. A spokeswoman for the takeout chain tells the Daily Record: "We know the crust is everyone's favorite part of a pizza, so skipping straight to selling pizza crusts seemed like the perfect idea." Whether crunchy or doughy crusts, with some dipping sauce on the side, are really everyone's favorite has, however, sparked lots of social media chatter, some calling it "a dream come true," and others saying it's "a fiasco ... I toss the crusts outside for the birds to eat." 


AREA 51 - It started as a great joke on Facebook, but now the feds may be getting worried. There's 1.2 million people who have vowed to raid Area 51 as part of a Facebook event, saying "they can't stop all of us," as they plan to "see them aliens." But now the feds are wondering: What if people actually show up at the planned time and date, Sept. 20 at 3 a.m.? Area 51 is the super-secret U.S. Air Force base that has long been fabled as the site of aliens and conspiracy theories. "If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets," the page says, referencing the Japanese manga-inspired running style with arms outstretched backwards and heads forward. A pinned post on the page does attempt to cover some bases, reading, "Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet." Still, the event has gained plenty of attention, while the Air Force is discouraging people from storming the base.


Pure love was certainly in the air on this day in 1994, when blonde bombshell Anna Nicole Smith, 26, made a lifelong commitment to 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall II.


Widdershins [WID-ər-shinz] - adverb

Definition: In a backwards or counterclockwise direction; particularly in a magical spell/incantation

Example: The witch-in-training did her spell all wrong, committing widdershins.



"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."


- Bill Gates



A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun