OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Town officials welcome tourists, who are happy to plunk down $5 for a small cup of ice cream. They are not as happy to host "The Make America Great Again" rally this Saturday on the boardwalk. Mayor Anthony Vaz, a Republican, originally denied the pro-Trump rally because of concerns it could get out of hand. But it was ultimately approved because of that damn First Amendment, with that inconvenient right of people to peacefully assemble. Vaz told NJ.com that he was concerned about violence, damage to property and all the expense that goes into extra police protection. But, under the law, is there really a choice?
SEASIDE HEIGHTS - When we think of Snooki of "Jersey Shore" fame, we obviously consider her a proactive, educated citizen, able to swiftly navigate the halls of Trenton to secure smart legislation that benefits the masses. Right? Um, sure. Anyway, she is considered the inspiration behind a state bill being heard in the Assembly today that would ensure no more than $10,000 in state money could be used to pay for commencement speakers at state universities. The bill was prompted after she "earned" $32,000 to speak at the Rutgers' commencement in 2011. No comment yet from Snooki, who is obviously poring over the bill and making careful, thoughtful edits.
ALPINE - It's the most expensive house in New Jersey, and it could be yours for just $48 million. The owner originally tried to sell the 30,000-square-foot, 12-bedroom, 19-bath mansion for $68 million in 2010, Bloomberg reports. But, seven years later, he has no takers. It costs about $400,000 a year to maintain the mega, mega-house, which we have yet to consider for purchase, and the owner is vowing to hold it for four or five more years, if he has to. Perhaps a Saudi prince will chopper in with a bag of gold, or a Trump can barter an agreement, in which the current owner can serve as U.S. President for a week.
STATEWIDE - The New Jersey Business and Industry Association reports that millennials are fleeing the state at the highest rate of any generation, prompting a daylong conference on Tuesday on what the heck to do about it. The state can do absolutely nothing, and just figure they'll all be begging to come back. Or, as the intrepid NJSpotlight suggests, we can make our public universities more affordable, build housing that millennials can actually afford, somehow control our property taxes or gentrify more of our aging cities. Or, we can just wait until Manhattan and Philly real estate is so outrageous that millennials have absolutely no choice but to grudgingly cross over the rivers. New state slogan: "New Jersey: There's No Other Option, Pal."
PATERSON - The ongoing saga of Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres drags on. Now, the City Council is planning a "no confidence" vote next Tuesday that may ask their embattled leader to leave. Since his indictment for alleged misconduct, conspiracy and theft, Torres has insisted he will not step down. And, the council's no-confidence vote can't force him. It's purely symbolic. Councilman Luis Velez suggests, at the very least, Torres should publicly apologize for the shame his charges brought to the city. Velez told the Paterson Press when people find out where he's from, he hears: "You're from Paterson? What a mess they have out there." Millennials, too, are not impressed.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - She will forever be known as "Skippy." A stray cat with her head stuck in a peanut butter jar was able to give birth to four kittens - "Peanut," "Butter," "Jelly" and "Honey." The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports a woman found the cat in distress and called animal control, which was able to cut the container off her head and help deliver the little kittens. Skippy, suffering from malnourishments and other ailments, was an absolute mess and needed to be put down, but not before delivering the kittens, now being cared for by volunteers.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1972 that Evel Knievel shattered 93 bones after jumping his bike over 35 cars. Sure, his body was mangled, with plenty of permanent damage. But, man, wasn't that cool?
WORD OF THE DAY
Throttlebottom - [Throt-l-bot-u-m] - noun
Definition: Harmless incompetent in public office.
Example: If Snooki wants to get something done in Trenton, she shouldn't bother with "Senator Throttlebottom."
WEATHER IN A WORD