OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE RAILS - Another commuting mess this morning, as the antiquated Portal Bridge got stuck in the "up" position at 4:22 a.m.  That caused a bunch of rush hour trains to be cancelled between Newark and Manhattan for four hours or so.  Both NJTransit and Amtrak riders were completely screwed. You may recall the proposed Gateway project calls for replacing this old bridge in Kearny, which opened for service November 27, 1910, when NYC's population was about half of what it is now. Perhaps, yet again, someone, somewhere may want to mention to the President that this Gateway project is kinda important. With a rusty bridge this old and so over-used, with 450 trains daily, spraying WD-40 is no longer a viable solution.

EAST RUTHERFORD - New Jersey is known for its class and quiet restraint. But expect none of that next year as WrestleMania 35 comes to MetLife Stadium, stirring up hysteria among pro wrestling fans around the state who live for the "sport." Citing anonymous sources, NJ.com reports that Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver will join New York Giants President John Mara and New York Jets President Neil Glat later this morning to make the big announcement as New Jersey prepares for its first WrestleMania since hosting the big show in Atlantic City in 1989 with some ringmaster named Trump. As Oliver talks up Wrestlemania, perhaps she will demonstrate some of the signature moves, like the "Rolling Single Leg Boston Crab," the "Ringpost Figure-Four Leglock" or the not-to-forget "Triple Jump Moonsault."  However, nothing beats Gov. Phil "The Moneybag" Murphy's game-ending "Top Rope Elbow Drop." Or, perhaps, someone will just throw a chair.

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JERSEY CITY - Irish teachers in Jersey City are likely getting an early start on the St. Patrick's Day celebrations, as their union declared a strike last night. Schools are running with early dismissals today, as 3,100 local teachers are hopefully flocking to some of the best Irish bars in the state to slam down some, um, corned beef. Expect plenty of "strategy meetings" at Healy's Tavern, O'Leary's Publik House, PJ Ryan's and, of course, The Hutton. Need more recommendations of Irish bars in Jersey City? Jeez. This list is endless. There's also Iron Monkey, Dorrian's Red Hand, Lucky 7, etc. etc. Stop by one of these pubs, grab a Guinness and toast a teacher.

SOMEWHERE ELSE - It is odd to have a governor quietly leave the state, but not to run for President. Gov. Phil Murphy is officially elsewhere through Sunday, joining the kiddies for their last few days of spring break. The R&R is at an undisclosed location, but not at Murphy's posh homes in Berlin or Italy, Politico reports. After proposing $1.7 billion in new taxes this week, it seems a good time for the governor to take a break as the local press picks apart his proposed budget.

PATERSON - The Silk City, and all the corruption wherein, is often the brunt of jokes, so let's celebrate the fact that it has been 90 days without a killing. The Paterson Press notes it is the longest lull in murders in more than nine years, something worthy of a local celebration. Paterson officials are also likely quick to note that cities like Newark, Camden and Trenton have seen an uptick in homicide lately. So...Ha!

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

SAN ANTONIO - For those who hate riding a thrill ride for, say, 4.5 seconds, this story sounds like hell on wheels. Riders on a Batman-themed roller coaster were trapped upside-down for 45 minutes on Tuesday when the ride jerked to a sudden halt at the local Six Flags. Apparently, a "safety sensor" went off, creating this completely unsafe situation, as the park's customers dangled perilously from the sky, begging for the real Batman to miraculously sweep in and save them from certain death. Eventually, the "safety sensor" was discharged and customers were gently returned to the ground, likely with enthusiastic kissing.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Beer sales were woefully low on this day in 1983 at the Cleveland Coliseum, when the visiting New Jersey Nets only managed to attract 1,814 fans to a Cavalier game.

WORD OF THE DAY

Lexicographer - [lek-suh-KAWH-gruh-fer] - noun

Definition: Author of a dictionary

Example: If this whole PR thing doesn't pan out, maybe I'll be a lexicographer.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Brrr