STATEWIDE - Now, we know what’s going on here. And, hey, we don't blame you. But as New Jersey's economy steadily reopens, and the job market recuperates, will you keep needing those unemployment checks? That sticky issue is, well, particularly sticky because the feds have been giving out an extra $600 a week in benefits, allowing many people to earn more money by not working than holding down a job. Again, this is a no-judgment space, but our lawmakers in Washington need to quickly revisit this issue, as that bonus money expires at the end of next month, NJ.com reports. House Democrats want to keep the party going until January as part of a $3 trillion stimulus bill, while others in DC are having second thoughts, as the borrowing piles up. The argument is obvious: You can't get people back to work if they earn more by hanging home, in their favorite flip-flops. But we need a robust economy, with everyone pitching in. Perhaps there should be a one-time bonus for those who return to the workforce? Open to ideas here, people.

TRENTON – Not to be your Tuesday morning downer, but it’s still a little early to say we have this coronavirus thing licked. Still, the number of new cases — and fatalities — thankfully continues to diminish. And after three months battling COVID-19, New Jersey’s heroic health care workers have learned some hard-won lessons, NJ Spotlight reports. One has to do with the virus’s unpredictability. Some victims exhibit high fevers and coughing. Others suddenly have trouble breathing. And about a third have no darn symptoms at all. Another lesson: The future of telemedicine is here. It’s invaluable for diagnosing both COVID-19 and other ailments: Do patients head for the ER or their home medicine chest? And as the deadly shortage of PPE demonstrated, enough supplies need to be stockpiled for 90 days or more. Finally, and this may prove to be the most important lesson of all: Collaboration and cooperation among providers, health care systems and suppliers saves lives. Competition kills.

ATLANTIC CITY – Let’s crack open a few cold ones to toast Mayor Marty Small for finally letting us imbibe on the world’s most famous boardwalk. Starting Friday, public alcohol consumption from open containers is temporarily permissible within stumbling distance of bars and restaurants where it must be bought. Most businesses will offer outdoor seating for patrons to enjoy the sea breeze with a Bay Breeze, sure to attract a crowd. Small has been calling for open containers since he served on City Council. With a pen swish, he signed an executive order Monday doing so. But you cannot drag along cases of your favorite Jersey brews from home; you need to buy your suds from AC bars on the boardwalk, Gardner’s Basin or the Orange Loop. AC is the second resort town to relax public alcohol rules, behind North Wildwood. So, is this the Jersey Shore’s “new normal?” Let's discuss; without the need to bring in Snooki.

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BRIEFING BREATHER

There’s a Kwik-E-Mart outside of Garland, TX with 58 check-outs.

PATERSON – Some doctors did quite well running several COVID-19 testing sites for residents. And that’s got City Council members squawking about “exorbitant fees” and “mismanagement.” They’re upset that a Rochelle Park medical group soaked the city for $225 per patient, or 75 percent more than Medicare and Medicaid allows. The city just paid out $134,000 for a few weeks of work. The council is also miffed that City Hall switched diagnosticians three times without telling them. The Paterson Times says council members said the city’s first two diagnostic firms took too long, sometimes weeks, to return results to anxious residents. Mayor Andre Sayegh’s staff now has a new West New York diagnostic firm handling coronavirus test sites. And it is billing the federal government, not City Hall.

SEASIDE PARK – It wasn’t exactly a whale of a time for two fishermen, when a hungry humpback capsized their 25-foot boat. The men were a few dozen yards off D Street on Monday and swam safely to shore after the breaching whale flipped their boat. Bob Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, tells NJ.com that “the whale did what whales usually do (when) they’re looking for food, and they don’t pay attention.” He explains the fishermen were never in danger of ending up like Jonah, in the belly of the beast. Our crack research team has learned that the humpback’s diet is limited to small bait-size fish like krill, mackerel and menhaden.  Small fish, yes, but a whole lot of ‘em.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

COLOGNE, GERMANY – Museums, too, have been struggling through this pandemic. If you don’t have patrons, all you have are a lot of really empty rooms in very big buildings, with just some stuff of the walls.  In Germany, desperate museum operators have figured out a way to bring back the people, safely. They’ve taken over a parking garage at the Cologne Bonn Airport, creating a “drive-thru gallery” adorned with 300 works of art displayed on luggage carts. Just drive on through. You can’t get up close, of course, and likely you are not encouraged to create a traffic jam as you linger and stare. But at least you can enjoy some culture at this odd moment, as you crank up the tunes and hope to speed through the gift shop.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1991 that fitness guru Jack LaLanne, 76, is arrested for suspicion of driving drunk. On further investigation, it was learned he always acts that way.

WORD OF THE DAY

Dysania – [diss-AN-ya] – noun

Definition: Difficulty getting out of the bed in the morning

Example: For a Tuesday morning, boy, what a bout of dysania!

WIT OF THE DAY

“Dig up all the information you can, then go with your instincts.”

-Gen. Colin Powell

 

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

 

“Colin Powell, a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars, just announced he will be voting for another stiff, Sleepy Joe Biden.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Roasting