OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - One day, in the not-to-distant future, our descendants will study the climate change debate of the early 2000s. There will be stunned silence, as they read how so many non-believers destroyed the planet, as opposed to reigning in corporations globally that continue to spew pollution into the air to nudge up the stock price. And they will look at all the Republicans - who controlled the White House and Congress - who remained silent. And they will note who actually spoke up, like Rep. Frank LoBiondo, who introduced a resolution in Congress yesterday, urging his colleagues to finally admit climate change is real and poses a serious threat. On behalf of the congressman's great, great grandson - who we'll call "Frank" - thank you.  

TRENTON - Before there's a natural, authentic outpouring of grief, there needs to be more bureaucratic paperwork filed with the state. At least that's the thinking behind a proposed bill outlawing makeshift roadside memorials. Instead, grieving loved ones would be invited to participate in an exciting new "roadside memorial program," under the state Department of Transportation. Next of kin interested in a roadside memorial would need to fill out a detailed application, including the deceased's name, date and location of the accident, submit any police reports and other information. And, oh yeah, pay a fee. Then, as grievers grieve, they would wait 60 days for a response from the state, as it inspects the location and renders a decision about honoring the deceased. (Rejection letters should make for interesting reading.) And remember, those memorials could not be installed near highway ramps or permanent road signs. So, be careful where to have a car accident.

Sign Up for E-News

CALDWELL - Nothing says Happy 180th Birthday, Mr. President, like a Victorian-era White House Tea Social ... except, for maybe a few shots of Grover Cleveland's favorite Bourbon. Sadly, fresh tea, scones and finger sandwiches are the only items on the menu Saturday as local history buffs, in period costumes, celebrate the Caldwell native's birthday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. A reformer who fought corruption, patronage, and bossism, Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms, and with different First Ladies each time. Grover, you ol' dog.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Looks like Sen. Cory Booker is going Hollywood on us, accepting a top-flight talent agency's invite to hobnob with its A-list clients - actors, directors, producers. (Or, known in political circles as deep-pocket donors.) The talent agency's Friday roundtable is on healthcare, immigration and midterm elections, CBS News says. But, Booker's participation has absolutely nothing to do with any presidential aspirations because he insists he's not seeking the Oval Office in 2020. What's more likely - and we're just spitballing here - Booker is pitching a hot, new TV drama ... perhaps "T.J. Booker"?  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - With the primary elections for governor on June 6, it looks like a ho-hum cakewalk for frontrunners Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. Murphy is pounding his competitors on the Democratic side, with 23 percent of support, and it looks as if Guadagno can breeze to a win if comedian Joe Piscopo stays out of the race. What's amazing in this poll is the number of New Jerseyans who have no clue who Murphy is - 70 percent of them. And Guadagno, who has spent the past seven years or so criss-crossing the state, is somehow unknown to 63 percent of voters polled. Meanwhile, everyone has heard of "Bert" from Sesame Street, elevating him to the obvious front runner to replace Gov. Chris Christie. 

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

FLORIDA, Mass. - Need some binoculars? You won't find them at a gift shop in Massachusetts, which had two, 305-pound, coin-operated viewers sitting out front. Thieves figured a way to rip the cast iron binoculars off wooden posts and haul them away. The binoculars provided breathtaking views from the Mohawk Trail to those, of course, who had some spare change. Cops say the binoculars have some value as collectibles because so few are made. Maybe authorities will find them on Opening Day, when someone tries to drag them into the cheap seats at Fenway Park.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

Don't know anything about the wife of President William Howard Taft? Nor do we. But it was this day in 1912 that Helen Taft apparently planted the very first cherry tree in Washington, D.C. 

WORD OF THE DAY 

Decry - [dih-KRY] - verb 

Definition: To express strong disapproval  

Example: D.C. officials decried the planting of the cherry tree, hoping Mrs. Taft would have moved it closer to the street corner, as suggested. 

WEATHER IN A WORD 

Brrr