OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
HOBOKEN - You can pursue a career in law enforcement to serve and protect society. Or you can become a meter maid in Hoboken, and be required to issue at least one parking ticket every 20 minutes per shift, NJ 101.5 reports. Last year, Hoboken cops dashed off an impressive 144,335 parking tickets, almost three for every city resident. Should be a simple job to find scofflaws, based on the crunch of double parkers, expired meters and anything else that people do to try to squeeze the car somewhere. The Hoboken ticket ratio is much larger than that in nearby Jersey City, which has five times the population but only issued twice as many tickets per resident. Hoboken wrote up $5.18 million in parking fines last year. You are welcome here; your car is not.
TRENTON - A push to expand New Jersey's paid family leave is before the Senate today. There are great arguments, pro and con. Pro: Workers could get 12 weeks of paid leave, up from six weeks, at 90 percent of their pay, with a capped weekly benefit of $932. It could be for a whole bunch of reasons, like caring for a new baby or extended family. Very compassionate. Con: Taxes go up for all workers, who would fund this great perk with more payroll deductions. Businesses would feel a terrible crunch, trying to figure out how to plug gaps when workers suddenly disappear for three months at a clip. And there's always the issue of "retaliation" for employees who vanish, yet then wonder when the holiday bonus is coming.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Former state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver is suddenly finding friends she never knew she had, thrust into "frontrunner status" as Phil Murphy's potential running mate, NJ.com reports. Likely flooded with calls, emails and a fruit basket or two, Oliver must be enjoying her new-found designation, as Murphy is largely favored to win the governor's office in November. Oliver is a smart and careful choice: the first black female Assembly speaker who knows how to squeeze legislation through the grinder of Trenton politics.
BROOKLAWN - A local man - now on the lam for stealing potted plants and fleeing cops at 100 mph - will likely soon be arrested and have to explain to his cell mates while he'll be doing hard time. Perhaps the purple orchids were so spectacular that it was worth the risk for the 31-year-old Westville man, spotted stealing plants on Sunday and then leading cops on the high-speed chase, NJ.com reports. Brooklawn cops were smart to stop the chase on Route 130, as it obviously wasn't worth the risk to others. Cops will be sure to get him later.
IN THE MEDIA
ON YOUR DRIVEWAY - If you have scooped up a pamphlet on your driveway, and somehow recognized it as that formerly thick newspaper that has been faithfully delivered to your house for decades, don't fret too much about the poor guy who owns the struggling news operation. That's because the richest guy in New Jersey, according to Forbes, is Donald Newhouse with a $12 billion fortune that's "inherited and growing," the magazine reports. Newhouse, (actually, let's call him Mr. Newhouse), is the co-owner of Advance Publications, founded by his dad in 1922. Besides The Star-Ledger, The Jersey Journal and some other dailies, he also owns such glossy magazines as Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Newhouse was elevated to the top spot when hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper - who earned more than $6 billion (or so) from 2012 to 2015 - fled to Florida.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
HELSINKI - Norwegians are extremely proud of their penis-shaped rock formation, a popular tourist destination spot for local penile enthusiasts. So, there is no surprise that about $10,600 has been collected to re-erect the Trollpikken rock, which was vandalized. One supporter vowed to public broadcaster NRK that the cracked penis "will be rebuilt" with donated money. Cops are looking for tips; the culprit is facing hard time.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Nearly a dozen people cared on this day in 1975, when the ridiculously mismatched Sonny and Cher got divorced. Lawyers may or may not have changed their hit 1965 song to: "I Had You Babe."
WORD OF THE DAY
Argy-bargy - [ahr-jee-BAHR-jee] - noun
Definition: A lively discussion/argument, dispute
Example: Sitting on the beach yesterday, I overheard plenty of argy-bargy over at the next towel, with two goofballs arguing for an hour over the greatest Philadelphia Phillies team of all time. I had to move away. #LGM
WEATHER IN A WORD