STATEWIDE - You can eat outside as many restaurants as your stomach can stomach, but you won’t truly experience the true Jersey-experience until you can again enjoy our many glorious shopping malls. So, some great news. Life as we knew it is now resuming – nearly 30 malls across the state are eagerly swinging open their doors to the yearning masses in desperate need of summer flip-flops or some lame excuses for Father's Day gifts. Now, before you get too excited, the malls will not be fully open. That means no Auntie Anne's pretzel as you wander aimlessly from Big Sale! to Big Sale! But plenty of big-box retail is there for you, all of whom promise even bigger Big Sales!

STATEWIDE – Who hasn’t been buttonholed at some gathering by a “Solar Bore?” That’s the guy who insists on giving you the what’s-watt of all the money he’s saved since he put solar panels on his roof. Encounters with Solar Bores are a hazard of suburban living and should be banned. What’s equally apparent is all the solar installs in the Garden State are largely the province of corporate and educational entities and of those who live in well-heeled, sun-dappled suburbs. There’s been endless talk about extending solar programs, and their benefits, to low- and middle-income communities, but woefully little progress. NJ Spotlight reports on new concerted efforts to finally make it happen. No mention of whether it will be done without unleashing a new rash of Solar Bores.  

OCEAN CITY – We’ve heard it a million times by now: Crowds create COVID. Yet there is yet another petition on Change.org, courtesy of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, demanding more crowd-clinging businesses must open now. We are talking about the boardwalks in Cape May County, where nearly 1,000 people are demanding that Gov. Phil Murphy open the amusements and attractions now. They even have a hashtag: #ReleasetheFamilyFun. Sure, there’s no argument: These local businesses depend on soaking the summer tourists; every single one of these glorious days translates into opportunity lost. Petitioners claim the “health of Americans is of utmost importance,” but “we must also protect the jobs and businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.” That, it seems, risks the “heath of Americans” who are apparently “of utmost importance.”

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BRIEFING BREATHER

American animals raised for meat eat more than 30 million pounds of antibiotics a year.

TRENTON – A nice little story from the Record, reporting on how the state has spent nearly $11 million on attorneys to find about $11 million in wasteful spending. Mull that around a bit, as the newspaper reports the governor created a task force 18 months ago to investigate the state’s tax incentives. The lawyers – billing $10.6 million to date – are proud to note about $11 million in identified savings thus far. Much, much, much more savings are expected to be found, vows the state Economic Development Authority, as much as $550 million. Hopefully, that doesn’t match the attorneys’ final bill.

TRENTON – It’s getting a little stale now, but state lawmakers are still trying to figure out what to do about weed. Even with a governor who has been calling for legalization since the campaign trail, nothing has really changed. But state lawmakers are moving another bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, as it seems cops have more important things to do than to chase a joint or two. (Hey, that rhymes!) The measure, heading to the Assembly floor, lessens punishment for marijuana possession and broadens awareness of expungement relief. Fine. Good. Pass it. Go.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

ELK RAPIDS, MI – Unclear how much a case of beer costs at Short’s Brewing Co. But expect a hefty mark-up if you live in Atrim County, where the beer company is offering to deliver your suds by seaplane.  You live in the middle of nowhere, but you are a prime customer for this Northern Michigan beer company. According to the Traverse City Record-Eagle, the deliveries were inspired by the COVID-19 outbreak in March, prompting one resident to marvel over the arrival of the seaplane and described it as “a highlight of our summer, absolutely.” She added: “To see a seaplane come in right to your front step and deliver beer and hop off. I mean this was just phenomenal.” No problem, just don’t look at the bill.

WORD OF THE DAY

Bellwether – [BEL-WEH-ther] – noun

Definition: One that takes the lead or initiative 

Example: Is a solar bore a bellwether of the solar sales campaign?

WIT OF THE DAY

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” 

-Mark Twain

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Almost One Million people request tickets for the Saturday Night Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma!”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Gorgeous