The Jaffe Briefing - March 22, 2018

99def88ac3490af00995_PhilMurphyBaseballHat.jpg
99def88ac3490af00995_PhilMurphyBaseballHat.jpg

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - It's been excruciating to write about snow; there's only so much you can blindly repeat without sounding like a 24-hour news channel. The final totals: 14 inches in the central and southern part of the state, and at least 5 inches in all northern counties. Yippee.  As of 6 a.m. this morning, the utility companies were reporting that 74,000 customers are without power, mostly in South Jersey. Lots of schools with delayed openings, just enough to screw with parents who actually need to get to work at some point.  But school officials share our frustration with this lingering winter and don't want to extend this school year any longer than absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, the first pitch at CitiField is just one week away. Free snowballs, while supplies last.

Sign Up for E-News

AT HOME - When the snow falls and people work from home, they still have rights. NJ 101.5 reports that workplace laws still apply. Mandelbaum Salsberg, a law firm, says you are still entitled to regular paid breaks, so opening a newly-arrived Amazon box does not constitute goofing off. You are also supposed to track your hours with the company, thus ensuring you are not working extra unpaid time at home. And if you slip and injure yourself, as you run to a ringing cell phone to take a work call? Yup, that's covered under your company's workers comp policy. There's lots of other boring, but important, stuff, like anything you work on still must comply with the company's privacy rules. The laptop should be password-protected, and not easily accessible by any kid passing through the kitchen.

TRENTON - No one every said Gov. Murphy was going to be fashion forward, but his approach to a state of emergency has New Jerseyans thinking he might be a bit cooler than once thought. While the state was dealing with another nor'easter, the governor's office sent out a tweet of the boss dealing with the snow, on the phone, with his baseball cap on backward. Whether or not this was legitimately cool is a question for another day. But it is in stark contrast to Gov. Chris Christie's Sandy-era tactical fleece or, as NJ.com reminds us, Gov. Christie Whitman's emergency attire that featured her wearing a baseball hat while wearing a hand-tailored pantsuit. No one ever looks to the New Jersey governor for fashion tips, thankfully, which is why a backwards cap is instantly newsworthy.

ON THE RAILS - The hope was the federal government would pay $15 billion or so for the much-needed construction of the Gateway Tunnel. The President vowed to give us nothing. So, the fact that $540 million may be included for the project in a proposed $1.3 trillion federal budget is some happy news. NJ.com reports that Gateway may also be eligible for some money in a $2.9 billion pot that the federal transportation department has established for infrastructure. It is a promising beginning, with hopes and prayers that Gateway funding can become a steady federal line item. The budget also includes a ridicolous $1.6 billion for the wall the Mexicans are apparently going to pay for. But, for the moment, let's just quietly rejoice about the $540 million, with crossed fingers.

TRENTON - Is the governor's state budget akin to a property tax hike?Kudos to NJ Spotlight for actually reading the proposed spending plan and being quick to note that this is the eighth consecutive year of flat funding to municipalities. So, with all the rising costs in towns, such as health insurance, contractual raises, etc., how does local government control property taxes?  Well, if you've checked out your tax bill lately, it is damn near impossible. The "municipal property-tax relief" line item remains at $1.4 billion, to be spread statewide. Some good news, however. The governor's budget gives a $283 million hike in school aid, around a 3 percent increase, which could perhaps help control school taxes.  But don't count on it.

ASBURY PARK - "Springsteen on Broadway" has become a tremendous ATM for the state's favorite son, who announced he is adding 81 more shows, to run until December 15. Springsteen has been doing his one-man gig since October, and it looks like he will be performing the show a total of 236 times on West 48th Street. The latest on Stubhub:  $600 for the cheapest Mezzanine seat; $4,000 for the front-row. Amazing how we have been kicking money to Springsteen and Billy Joel since the 1980s, and they remain the hottest ticket in NYC.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

CONCORD, N.H. - There's just so many catchy slogans you can concoct to urge people to buy lottery tickets. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission thought it struck gold with its "Luck Yeah!" campaign, but an outraged Republican thought "Luck Yeah!" was too similar to common phrase that begins with an F. Lottery officials defended the slogan, WMUR reports, noting that the word "luck" is a big part of selling lottery tickets and the campaign has been successful.  No matter, conservatives were outraged. So, now, the new slogan is "Win Time." WTF?

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1994 that the Dutch ambassador to the United States christens a new tulip, known as the "Hillary Clinton." It continually blooms, but is never picked.

WORD OF THE DAY

Lugubrious - [luh-GOOB-ree-uhss] - adjective

Definition: Mournful

Example: Don't expect me to speak in lugubrious tones that this winter is finally over.

WEATHER IN A WORD

Clearing

Editor's Note:  Jaffe Communications is the franchisee/publisher of TAPinto New Brunswick.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 24, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, New Jersey has really high taxes. And, yeah, it is super expensive to live here. So, yet another study is out, with the American Legislative Exchange Council ranking New Jersey second-to-last among states in economic performance and 46th in economic outlook, ROI-NJ reports. The study, called "Rich States, Poor ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 23, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - First, there was a turkey in every pot. Then there was the "Square Deal," the "New Deal" and now Sen. Cory Booker says it is time for government to offer a, uh, great deal: A job to anyone who wants one. He is proposing federal grants that would select 15 "local areas" in which adults could get a job at $15 an ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 17, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

AT THE POLLING BOOTH - Guess what? New Jerseyans don't like the Trump tax plan. It's also not surprising that a potential voter revolt could flip all five of the state's Republican House seats, according to a new Monmouth University poll. NJ.com reports that the new federal tax bill disproportionately hurts taxpayers in New Jersey ...

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.

OPINION

Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...