OCEAN CITY – Since Memorial Day, the Jersey Shore has been grinding back to life. Lines of sun-dazed tourists snake outside the doors of pizza parlors and seafood dives. Supermarket staff are locked in a perpetual battle of shelf restocking. Souvenir and clothing shop workers are hustling to fill a deluge of curbside pick-up orders. The common denominator here? Single-use plastic bags and containers are quickly overflowing trash bins and dumpsters. In Ocean City, Mayor Jay Gillian is a bit overwhelmed, saying “The city had anticipated an increased volume of trash due to the takeout-only restriction and to the greater number of people in town for early June.” But not to this degree. NJ Spotlight tries to dig to the bottom.

BELMAR – Of no surprise to anyone, a local hotspot opened up to a big party last weekend and, of no surprise to anyone, it was jam-packed with plenty of socializing and zero distancing. The mayor is rightfully ticked, saying he “read them the riot act Sunday morning,” NJ.com reports. Of course, videos surfaced of mask-free customers drinking and dancing in a packed tent on Saturday night. The bar is vowing many safety precautions, but the pressing question remains: If there are countless people barely 21 feeling mightily invincible and entitled, is there really any chance to control them? The answer is a hopeful yes, for their safety and ours. But as the summer rolls on, with restaurants able to open their inside doors beginning July 2, how can this revelry be truly controlled? 

MORRISTOWN – And yet another big shindig. This time, an outdoor beer garden with live music on Friday evening. Happy patrons were doing it the old-fashioned, post-pandemic way: No masks. Gathering in groups. Drinking. Talking. Laughing. (Gasp!) Photos of all this fun got quickly posted on social media. And that’s when town officials pulled the plug, revoking an outdoor dining license issued just days earlier to the Dehart Street bar hosting the event. The town’s business administrator tells Morristown Green she is “disappointed,” after spending hours reviewing social distancing rules with the pub owner: “There were so many people without masks. They weren’t social distancing. It (was) not safe for patrons or residents.” Y’know, our governor reads this stuff and he can shut these places down at any point. So, c’mon.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

So, why does the color blue dominate Facebook? Because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind.

BERNARDSVILLE – A printing blunder baffled hundreds of Republican voters whose mail-in ballots listed only Democrats who will run in July 7th's primary. Yikes! Misprinted ballots were sent to 500–700 of the town’s 2,400 registered Republicans, including GOP chair Karen Gardner. She tells NJ.com: “The slate of candidates were all Democrat, from Joe Biden down to dogcatcher, but in the upper right (corner) it clearly states it is a Republican ballot.” The red-faced Somerset County Clerk dismissed it as simply a case of “human error” at a very busy Verona printing firm the county recently hired. The printer, who also does ballots for six other counties, is now sending corrected versions to every registered Republican in town at – let’s assume – no extra charge.

NEW BRUNSWICK – Sigh. All we really, truly want is Big 10 football this fall. But it seems that whenever one college football player interacts with another one, in any way, someone ends up with COVID-19. Rutgers, of course, is never immune to anything. The team was welcomed back to campus just a week ago and – Boom – two players have this damn, stubborn virus. How do you prepare for a football season when everyone is in masks, gloves and repeatedly washing their hands? Kick-off in early September? We just don’t see it.

IN THE MEDIA

SECAUCUS – There was a New Jersey-based news show you never heard of: “Chasing News.” It ran on WWOR, a TV station you haven’t watched since Mets games were broadcast there in the 1990s. Anyway, we digress. Chasing News is now off the air, Politico notes, after an odd seven years when it attempted to be this hip, cool place to get your Jersey news, produced and presented by millennials (called “Chasers”) staring at their iPhones. Here’s what’s important: WWOR is required under its FCC license to cover New Jersey. Now, all it has is a show you also don’t watch: a 30-minute weekly thing called “New Jersey Now.” That doesn’t fill the FCC requirement by a longshot. But is there any interest in the Trump Administration demanding WWOR fulfill its requirement for more (fake) news coverage of New Jersey? Sad.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Some may consider a plastic flamingo to be the ideal lawn ornament. Hey, you do you. But authorities in Cambodia have serious concerns about one man’s choice to decorate the front of his house – using old land mines and other abandoned ordnance that still contains live explosives, the AP reports. Get this: He thought it was perfectly fine to string 30 unexploded munitions from trees and scatter them around his yard as “décor.” Apparently, the guy is a junk collector who spent plenty of time wandering around rice patties. The mines were collected from three decades of civil war that ended in the 1990s; no one ever bothered to deactivate then, creating an arsenal that could level many blocks of the great village of Phnom Penh. Fun Fact: there remains up to 6 million uncleared land mines in Cambodia. 

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1990 that cops found some marijuana at Chuck Berry’s home. What a scandal.

WORD OF THE DAY

Fraternize – [FRAT-er-nyze] – verb

Definition: To associate or mingle as brothers or on fraternal terms.

Example: Try not to fraternize too much at the bar, ok?

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Trump rally gives Fox News largest Saturday night audience in its history. Isn’t it amazing that virtually nobody in the Lamestream Media is reporting this rather major feat!”

- Donald J. Trump

WIT OF THE DAY

“It's not the size of the ship; it's the size of the waves.”

-Little Richard

WEATHER IN A WORD

Sweaty