TRENTON - Let's make a deal. That's the word from the governor's office, with Gov. Phil Murphy offering the state Legislature some concessions to get the fiscal '19 state budget adopted by June 30. So, he says, how about we reduce the proposed corporate business tax? And how about we phase in that sales tax hike over the next two years? And, you know what? Because you people in the Legislature are so darn nice, whaddaya say we have just a "modest" tax increase to the state's millionaires? So whaddaya say? And - to sweeten the deal at this very moment only - how about we throw in... a new car!
ON THE RAILS - Apparently, time is still not of the essence for New Jersey Transit, seeking a two-year extension of a federal mandate to install emergency braking on its trains. NJ Transit was supposed to have this all in place by the end of the year, but - whoopsie - it looks as if that is just not going to happen in time. Less than 10 percent of the fleet of 440 locomotive has the latest safety systems, which also must be installed on tracks and radio towers, NJ 101.5 notes. Commuters must continue to wait, it seems, praying the big boss finally allows for telecommuting.
BAY HEAD - There's some moderately interesting news from former Gov. Chris Christie, for those who miss the daily reports of his life and fast times. First, it looks like the State Police will be stripping him of his security escort a few weeks earlier than planned. That's good; more money for the Gov. Phil Murphy budget. And it also looks like our former governor will be buying himself a lovely summer home in Bay Head for around $3 million or so. That should be great, too, until the first photo in his new beach chair goes viral.
JERSEY CITY - Bet it's been years since Steve Fulop plunked some change into a newspaper vending box. Like most of us, the good mayor probably relies on his handy smartphone for news. So, with little use for these things, Fulop declared war on newspaper boxes in May, ordering hundreds removed from city sidewalks. Tomorrow night, the City Council takes up new rules, requiring media outlets to buy city permits (ka-ching) and to keep their newspaper boxes clean, graffiti-free and well-stocked. The Jersey Journal says boxes would be banned in historic districts (like anywhere downtown), and prohibited near parking meters, bus stops, sidewalk gardens and benches - all likely places where someone may say, "Hey, a paper would be nice."
IN YOUR BACKYARD - Mosquitoes, like elephants, have long memories. Scientists now say New Jersey's unofficial "state bird" can remember whose blood is honey-sweet and whose tastes like Brussels sprouts. These insects apparently can also recall, for up to 24 hours, who tries to swat them at backyard barbecues. A recent Virginia Tech biochemistry study published in Current Biology - your issue is probably still in the mail - says mosquitoes can distinguish human body odors, but avoid even the most delicious-smelling humans who behave defensively. So feel free to smack away at those vindictive little buggers.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
SPRINGFIELD, MASS - Now, c'mon, how can we be writing about this again? You may fondly recall our issue on Monday, when we told you about some clown who piled all these school desks, cabinets and chairs in the back of his beat-up pick-up and then drove down Interstate 91. This guy has been pulled over, yet again. This time, he was in Chicopee, driving with what looked like an overgrown Chia Pet in the back of that same ridicolous clunker. This time, he was hauling piles of leafy branches. Cops posted a photo on Facebook, yet again, this time titled, "from the files of some who just do not get it..."
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1980 that the New Jersey State Police welcomed their first female Troopers - a graduating class of 30.
About 1,630 women took the written exam, 748 were invited to continue in the selection process and 116 were admitted to the academy after completing a physical test, medical evaluation and interviews. Just 30 of them made it through the academy in Sea Girt.
WORD OF THE DAY
Kaput - [kə-PUT] - adjective
Definition: Utterly finished, defeated or destroyed
Example: Frightened to type this before the All Star break, but are the Mets kaput?
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
a Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun