OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

NEW BRUNSWICK - The governor has targeted The Hub City as the new hub for innovation and technology. Gov. Phil Murphy was in town yesterday to meet with city, business and Rutgers officials to chat about how all the ongoing downtown investment will be a magnet for scientific and technological innovation, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. The hubbub? There are 12 glorious acres, right at the train station that would be the focus for new residences, retail and research. It is all ideally situated, next to Johnson & Johnson, Rutgers University, the Northeast Corridor and a downtown that continues to transform and reinvent itself. This is all long-term planning stuff, the governor acknowledges, but no one can disagree that the potential is enormous.

NEWARK - Students attend county college to chase a dream, not to witness an ongoing soap opera. But the news around Essex County College these days has little to do with student success. The college is now eliminating 34 teaching positions for the fall, as its accrediting agency has the college on probation. There's plenty of finger-pointing at the administrative level, with allegations of wrongdoing, undermining authority, etc. Board of Trustees members are quitting, while students are fleeing for other schools, or perhaps figuring they may be better off without a degree from Essex County College. This school plays a critical community role, especially with students who see it as their only option. So, please, somebody do something.

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 TRENTON - It has been a week since the governor introduced his proposed fiscal '19 budget, with politicians and pundits still kicking the tires. It seems if you are the typical overtaxed New Jerseyan, you are going to be okay. Yeah, the sales tax would go up a little bit, hitting the middle class. But the real losers would be millionaires, some corporations, pot smokers and ride-sharing companies like Uber, the targets of new state tax. Republicans, of course, are howling, saying this is just another Democratic budget, fueled by new, crazy taxes. Hard to guess what the final budget will look like, as the Legislature does its tinkering, but the targets this year are the haves, not the have-nots.

TRENTON - As the 1950s are officially over, and women's contribution to the workforce has evolved from asking, "Cream or sugar, sir?", state lawmakers are now tackling the ongoing issue of wage inequality. A bill is now working its ways to the governor's desk, allowing women and minorities to sue for up to six years of back pay. That's significantly more than the federal rate, now allowing for just two year's worth of back pay. Also, damages that can be proven would be tripled, a super crunch for business owners. The final bill needs to magically strike a balance: Protect workers without killing jobs, or lowering salaries for the rest of the workforce.

BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP - There is still a cheap way to entertain yourself in New Jersey. Get off the couch and head on down to the former Bung's Tavern on Route 130, beginning April 25, to be an inaugural member of the "South Central Jersey Cornhole League." So far, about 70 people have joined the league, the Burlington County Times reports. It's all quite easy to participate in this, er, sport. Join 70 or so others to throw beanbags into holes. And it's only $25 to join, as well as a $10 fee for each "meeting." Plus, assume beer. And maybe a wing or two, as you get fresh air, make new friends and, uh, exercise.



IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

SOMEWHERE IN KANSAS - Unclear how this farmer got his cows to moooove.  But he somehow was able to wrangle 300 of them into the shape of "Hi," in an effort to greet the Tesla SpaceX rocket, reports The Haly Daily News. The farmer, a self-proclaimed "cow artist," first broke into the scene with a video showing him playing trombone for his cows and herding them into different "cow art" images. In his latest effort, he hoped to get his cows in formation at the same time a satellite was screeching by at 17,000 mph, taking photos. At 10:35 a.m. yesterday, the glorious shot was taken, marked on YouTube, with 142,000 views, to date.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1969 that President Richard Nixon vowed to end the Vietnam War by 1970. And why would he lie about a thing like that?

WORD OF THE DAY

Yegg - [YEG] - noun

Definition: Someone who breaks open a safe to steal

Example: Ocean's 11 was a great gang of cracked yeggs.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Spring? (Please?)