STATEWIDE – Top o’ the morning to ya, as we all figure out how to toast St. Patrick’s Day via what is already becoming a very tired term: “social distancing.” From Dublin to Dunellen, all the bars and restaurants are closed to the public today, as we are all very well aware. But that does not mean these businesses aren’t still able to provide corned beef and cabbage, just served up to you curbside with a smile. So, join us in celebrating the holiday by helping out one of your favorite tavern owners, who spends the entire year counting down to March 17 and wondering whatever the heck happened to the luck of the Irish.

STATEWIDE - We haven't broken curfew since we were 16 years old, so we thought we were safe. But now Gov. Phil Murphy wants us behind closed doors once again, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day, to help control the spread of coronavirus. Amazing to see our streets empty last night, with an eerie quiet. Even if we decided to go crazy and break the recommended curfew, there would be absolutely nowhere worthwhile to go. Rearranging the sock drawer, once again, is getting more and more titillating. Hey, anyone know the best way to rearrange a drawer of forks?

TRENTON – It takes a pandemic to get many New Jersey lawmakers to put aside their pet programs and peeves and get down to their real jobs: making things better for residents and businesses across the Garden State. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have stepped up, putting together bipartisan financial-relief packages to ease the burden on businesses, owners and employees who could lose everything to COVID-19. There are restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, nightclubs and concert venues — all shuttered indefinitely. And that’s just the short list. And maybe just the beginning. This is new territory for all of us. Another way to look at the newfound cooperation among pols is that, when the challenges arose, they rose to meet them. NJ Spotlight explains.

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BRIEFING BREATHER: “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” holds the Guinness word record as the hardest tongue twister.

STATEWIDE – As college students are now back home, getting crumbs all over the couch once again, parents need to be wondering: What’s going to happen with all that tuition, room and board that we are still paying? Great question. This is an awkward, unprecedented time and the higher education folks are still trying to figure it all out, as they extend spring break and move to online instruction.  Expect many wishy-washy replies about reimbursements  Meanwhile, other schools like Princeton, Ohio State, Amherst and Duke are already planning pro-rated reimbursements for unused room and board. Stay tuned.

JACKSON – The real ‘great adventure’ just might be getting to the amusement-safari park, as potentially thousands of more cars are coming soon to area roads. Going up on 300 acres next to Six Flags is a massive, $500 million sports-entertainment complex that also includes 500 new apartments and a pair of hotels. So far, the zoning board has OK’d eight restaurants and a gas station for the proposed Adventure Crossing complex. Area homeowners say their biggest worry are the apartments whose tenants will drive up the year-round traffic congestion, damaging the town’s quality of life. They tell the Asbury Park Press they’re upset the local officials have no plan to improve or widen local roads, or to insist that the developer do it. Jump on this roller coaster; the ride isn’t over yet.



IN THE MEDIA

STATEWIDE – Businesses are looking down the barrel at some frightening times. In response, TAPInto.net is waiving all fees through April 30 for anyone who wants to post press releases and event listings on the local news sites throughout the state. This is at least one solid way in which entities can continue reaching the masses, and then promoting it all on social media, without costing a cent.

Here’s what to do: Visit tapinto.net and click on Login/Register, create an account and then click on Submit Content. Choose Press Release/Announcement or Calendar Event Listing and fill out the form provided. When businesses submit press releases/announcements or calendar event listings, they can include copyright-free photos and embed shareable video. Pretty nifty.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

BOWIE, MD. – If you are worried your church is closed and have a burning desire to confess, fret no more. Some churches, such as the one at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, is offering convenient, drive–thru confessions. According to ChurchPOP.com, the priest sits in the parking lot during the hours in which he normally celebrates Mass, while a seminarian directs traffic. The priest makes sure to blindfold his face for those wishing to go “behind the screen.” Parishioners driving through are already being instructed not to order a Big Mac; that joke has already been told a few times.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

Crwth – [KROOTH] – noun

 

Definition: An ancient Celtic stringed instrument that is plucked or bowed

 

Example: I’m sitting home today, of course, drinking a Guinness while playing a little jig on my crwth.

WORD OF THE DAY

“I wish I were as good of a man as my son is.”

 

- Mario Cuomo

WIT OF THE DAY

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

Just had a very good tele-conference with Nation’s Governors. Went very well. Cuomo of New York has to do more.”

 

-Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD: Damp

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun