OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON - For the precious few still paying attention, it has been 100 days since Gov. Chris Christie announced there would be a new school funding formula within 100 days. NJ 101.5 notes there have been talks between the governor and legislators to get some stuff going, but it seems more like outlines, chit-chat and maybe a sketch or two on a cocktail napkin. Christie even vowed he would somehow act alone if the Legislature dragged its feet over these 100 days. When asked by reporters about that hard-and-fast 100-day deadline, no real specifics from the governor. Heads down. Thumbs up.
MANAHAWKIN - There are probably countless reasons why Kmart stores are shutting down across America, with 49 more of them now about to be boarded up. But here may be one reason for the chronic failure: Unbelievably bad timing. Just as people are getting ready to pack their cars and head to LBI, Kmart is announcing it is closing the store on Route 72 East in Manahawkin - the final place to get cheap suntan lotion, a beach chair and Pringles before you hit the island. The liquidation starts next week, with the place probably becoming a pop-up Halloween costume store by September. Couldn't they make it through summer?
MONTCLAIR - This Jaffe Briefing writer happens to be an alumnus of Montclair Kimberley Academy in Montclair, and has plenty of fond memories of Mr. Fleming, who coached track and taught fourth grade. He was a pretty special guy - winning the New York City Marathon twice (seriously) and keeping court in gym class with a remarkable combination of fairness, toughness, and generosity. Mr. Fleming died not long ago, and Essex County has honored him by dedicating a facility in Brookdale Park in Montclair, where he was a constant presence for young athletes. If you're ever in Montclair, stop by Brookdale Park and reflect, for a moment, about a true, proud native son of MKA.
ON THE ROADS - It looks like New Jersey motorists are embracing the opportunity to police each other, as the state announces its expanded #77 system is gaining speed. Here's how it works: You are driving along the highway and see some clown reading his texts at 80 mph. (Probably us.) So, assuming you are not driving yourself, you call #77 and are linked to the State Police, who then forward you to local cops so you can properly snitch. Since the program began two months ago to target distracted drivers, State Police have gotten more than 1,000 calls of people texting or being distracted in some other stupid way. In response, the State Police sent out more than 600 letters to surprised motorists, saying, "Hey, pal. Keep your eyes on the road."
HACKETTSTOWN - Well, on one hand, you gotta give credit to the kid who didn't want to be late for high school. But cops say the 16 year old still needs to face theft charges for stealing a bike to make it to school on time. The bike was ripped off at 7:50 a.m., from Hackettstown Middle School, and then taken about half-mile to the high school, NJ.com reports. Police are urging local students to take proper precautions to arrive to school on time - which does not include theft of a bike, skateboard, roller skates or hoverboard.
IN THE MEDIA
ON THE AIRWAVES - God bless those 24-hour cable news stations for their fair and balanced reporting. Case in point is the lede in this election coverage piece before Tuesday's primary, courtesy of Fox News: "A former Goldman Sachs executive who appeared to compare the Trump administration to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany during the 1920s won New Jersey's gubernatorial primary...."
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
PROVIDENCE, RI - Someone apparently forgot to bring a spreadsheet to an important meeting when the state Transportation Department finalized a $68.9 million contract to build, operate and maintain a truck-toll project, the Providence Journal reports. It was a surprise to many, as the state originally said it would cost $25 million over 10 years to set up tolls for 18-wheelers. But, uh, that excludes the actual cost for design and construction - details revealed after the contract was signed, sealed and delivered to an Austrian company.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1948 that the mid-life crisis was invented, as men got their first look at the very first Porsche.
WORD OF THE DAY
Catercorner - [KAT-ee-kor-ner - noun
Definition: In a diagonal or oblique position
Example: James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, will sit catercorner to his attorneys today.
WEATHER IN A WORD