TRENTON - Controversy is brewing over proposed legislation that would allow public schools to dust off unused space to house child care centers for babies as young as six weeks old. The bill (A. 5066) goes before the Assembly Women and Children Committee tomorrow and has more leaks than a three-day-old diaper. There's plenty of unanswered questions, like: Why would taxpayers spend money to convert old, unused classrooms into modern-day facilities? What happens to the kiddies on days when school is closed? Why are taxpayer-funded public schools trying to compete against private centers? And why are lawmakers messing with an established industry that gainfully employs 87,000 people and pays a fortune in taxes to the state? These, and many other quandaries, will hopefully be addressed tomorrow.
NEW BRUNSWICK - The student-run newspaper at Rutgers-New Brunswick - proudly publishing since 1867 - is suddenly at a crossroads. Staff at The Daily Targum are getting a crash-course in the struggling newspaper business, following a student vote that asks if they would continue to fund the paper. The answer was No. It remains unclear what the next step will be, but all lovers of local journalism are bracing for the worst. The newspaper's publishing company has required approval of at least 25 percent of students since 1980, when the Targumwent independent and holds this special referendum every three years to receive continued student funding. The vote on Monday was the first time RU students shot down the referendum, creating a financial crisis for these young journalists and a newspaper that has been a steady student voice for 152 years.
NEW BRUNSWICK - Even teaching a full course load of three classesper semester, part-time lecturers at Rutgers University often earn little more than $31,000 a year. Teaching that full load means there's precious little time left for all the other important tasks, like reading papers, meeting with students, or finding a full-time gig with tenure. These adjuncts - 3,000-plus part-time faculty members - comprise 70 percent of the teaching staff at Rutgers and teach 30 percent of all courses. Finally, it looks like things are about to change. NJ Spotlight reports on the "groundbreaking" contract the part-timers have agreed with the university. Maybe now they'll see RU as an actual employer, rather than a stepping stone. Read it all in NJ Spotlight.
NEW BRUNSWICK - While it looks like all professors are getting raisesthese days at Rutgers - thanks to some hard-nosed negotiations - they need to be careful who they are celebrating with. No longer can they consider dating a student, even if that student happens to be a more-than-consensual adult. With all this #MeToo movement, university officials are banning relationships between professors and undergraduates, dating or whatever. NJ.com reports university officials are worried the professors are in a position of power and perhaps some relationships aren't as consensual as they should be. Unclear who will monitor all this, but sadly we shouldn't expect detailed coverage in the Daily Targum.
TRENTON - Unbelievable that we need a law against this, but common sense has never been the hallmark of the New Jersey driver. That's why it may soon be illegal to FaceTime others while you navigate our traffic-clogged streets at high speeds. NJ 101.5 reports legislation is moving along to ban video conferencing, video streaming and all other videoing, which obviously creates distracted drivers. This bill was introduced in March, after a dumb school bus driver was on the road, chatting away on FaceTime. One would have thought this ban would be covered under the law that prevents drivers from having a phone to the ear, but apparently not. Hopefully, this bill moves quickly, as distracted drivers have caused 800,000 accidents here between 2012 and 2016.
TRENTON - It seems there is no millionaire in New Jersey who wants his taxes raised more than Gov. Phil Murphy. Even though the state has hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpected tax collections this spring, the governor is still banging the drum to raise taxes on our wealthiest residents. The state Treasurer says this wheelbarrow of cash is lovely, but it is a one-time revenue source. To keep up a steady stream of money, the governor wants to hit the millionaires year after year, until they die in their McMansions or pack up the Range Rovers and flee the state.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - The key to political advertising: Get in frontof your voters. That's why a candidate for Parliament has shrewdly found an audience as the only politician running ads on a porn site. Joachim B. Olsen, an Olympic shot put silver medalist who has been a member of the Folketing for the center-right Liberal Alliance since 2011 (whatever all that means), posted an ad bearing the party logo and encouraging people to vote for him on one of the world's top adult websites, Pornhub. On his official Facebook profile, Olsen confirmed that he was responsible for the ad: "Yes, it's me on Pornhub." And, I encourage you to pull the lever.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1992 that the super discount chain Alexander's announced it was closing 11 stores, including some in New Jersey, prompting the question: Where else will we find bargain bins of $2.99 shoes?
WORD OF THE DAY
Nascent - [NAYSS-ənt] - adjective
Definition: Coming or having recently come into existence
Example: Now, who is ready to bet on the nascent star of the New Orleans Pelicans?
WIT OF THE DAY
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
- Jim Rohn
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun