ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - It's election day in New Jersey. Yup, you probably didn't know that, and most other voters will also forgo the polls. But there should still be a drip-drip-drip into voting booths all day long, as Republicans and Democrats cast their ballots in the primary elections. In total, there are 49 candidates vying for the party line for New Jersey's House seats. This is all just a precursor to the elections that really matter, when there is a really, really good chance for Democrats to grab some of House seats during the general election in November. Polls will be open all day, until 8 p.m. Join the Russians, who are watching it much closer than you.
OCEANPORT - Friday could be the long-awaited day, as the state Legislature is zipping through some laws that would finally allow sports betting in New Jersey. It looks like the rubber stamp could come as early as Thursday, after nine years of fighting in the courts. If Gov. Phil Murphy is quick with his pen, approving S2602/A4111, Monmouth Park could be accepting sports bets by this Friday, paving the way for a bustling weekend at the race track, suddenly infused with all this new action that would even impress your bookie.
ON THE BEACH - Just ban smoking from beaches already. Yet again, state lawmakers are pushing bills through the grinder to ban cigarettes, cigars, vapes, etc. from the public beaches, except for designated areas. There could be a final, glorious vote in the state Legislature by the end of the week, just in time for the summer tourism season. There's nothing worse than heading to the shore for the ocean breezes, only to be gagging on second-hand smoke from some knucklehead on the next blanket, who then carelessly flicks his ashes and stubs onto the sand where kids are trying to play. Get this guy's butt of the beach.
ON THE ROAD - Route 495, which connects the New Jersey Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel, is famously the most traffic-choked stretch of pavement east of Chicago, The New York Times reports. The stat is particularly relevant this summer, as workers will begin stripping it down and rebuilding it. An impending traffic nightmare? Oh, absolutely. It is going to be two years of mess, with state transportation officials saying congestion will be "much worse" beginning this summer. The Times says drivers already spend a combined 3.4 million hours a year trapped in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel, and that is when this 80-year-old bridge if fully "functional." Your future? Reading these signs: "PLAN ALT ROUTE."
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
PRESTON, Idaho - This teacher is one sick puppy. Or, better yet, this Idaho teacher is being charged with animal cruelty for feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of several shocked and disgusted students at Preston Junior High School. He is looking at six months in jail, after parents promptly complained to school officials. The turtle has since been euthanized as a non-native species, so there are really no winners here.
PHILADELPHIA - It wasn't long ago that sports champions would proudly go to the White House for the standard photo op, presenting a jersey to the smiling President, and giving their fans yet one more thing to cheer about. Now this win-win PR stunt is mired in controversy, with the President telling the Philadelphia Eagles that they are not welcome in the Rose Garden. So, what was once just a happy moment, is now a hard-core debate about patriotism and civil rights. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation of players who can actually stand Trump, and Trump - apparently now the arbiter of the definition of "patriotism" - only wants athletes at the White House who proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand over heart. Fine, but let's remember the White House is owned by us, not the Trump Organization. And there continues to be no discussion as to why players continue to protest and what can be done about it.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1907 that the automatic washer and dryer were introduced in America, the first step in the creation of the "appliance salesman."
WORD OF THE DAY
Fustigate - [FUSS-tə-gayt] - verb
Definition: To criticize severely
Example: I was thoroughly fustigated for reserving a table for eight, when there was 10 of us.
WEATHER IN A WORD