TRENTON – The state’s economy, as we all know, has been decimated. That means more layoffs and furloughs, which are just going to put the good people of New Jersey deeper in debt. NJ Spotlight reports about some possible help, which blew through the Legislature in near-record time. Changes to the federal unemployment program make it possible for furloughed workers to file for benefits. And here’s the Jersey spin: Furlough a bunch of state employees (or government employees at any level — local, town or even school district), then put some of the brain trust in Trenton to work ensuring their claims are paid. The best part: Furloughed employees could end up earning more than their regular salaries, under government aid programs. So what’s the catch? The bill is sitting on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk, but he hasn’t indicated yet if he’s going to sign. Could you take a look at that, governor?

CLIFFSIDE PARK – Sure, we know that teens are really bored these days. But aiming a laser light at a NYPD helicopter flying over Harlem? Cliffside Park cops arrested a pair of knuckleheads, ages 16 and 17, accusing them of temporarily blinding pilots as they were tracking a suspect in Upper Manhattan around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday. The chopper turned around and was able to trace the laser pointers to Cecilia Place, the highest point in Cliffside Park. The kids were busted, charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and other high crimes, and sent home with their none-too-thrilled parents. Meanwhile, the FAA is vowing to investigate, reminding everyone that aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a federal crime and super, super dumb. Yet it seems a really popular thing, with 52 cases reported last year in New Jersey, NJ 101.5 reports.

STATEWIDE – Still craving this year’s batch of Girl Scout cookies? Well, it’s not too late. While the familiar sight of your friendly, local Girl Scout and her iconic cookies outside of your favorite stores have been sorely missed, there are some fleeting moments left to buy, through midnight this Sunday, via the Eat.Care.Share program. Customers can even ship grandma some cookies or donate packages to essential workers in our area who could really use a Thin Mint about now. And it doesn’t end there. Beginning June 8, the Girl Scouts will launch the Cookie Relief Fund, offering curbside pick-up at various council locations. Bring a friend to Tagalong.

Sign Up for New Brunswick Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

BRIEFING BREATHER

The New Yorker magazine has more subscribers in California than New York.

CAPE MAY – College students stuck home for the summer, and looking down the barrel at weeks of joblessness and boredom, may have a savior. Enter a new summer job at the shore: “Social Distancing Ambassador.” Cape May County, for one, is launching the “Six Feet Saves” campaign for its boardwalks and other high-volume areas, reminding people to keep apart. The ambassadors, clad in vests with the county seal, will be handing out some must-read literature and masks, as they nudge people apart. Sure, this may not be as fun as many other summer jobs, but it at least part of the gig does not include “hourly garbage removal.”

TOMS RIVER – Some upcoming graduates are taking a crash course in pre-law, filing a lawsuit to hold a traditional commencement ceremony. In their pleadings, three Toms River High School East seniors argue, on behalf of their classmates, that Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus ban violates their constitutional right to assemble. They argue this ban is “without any rational basis and reason … utterly arbitrary.” The Asbury Park Press says a talented young engineering student even drew a detailed diagram showing how all 350 graduating seniors could stay a “socially distant 7½-feet apart” on the school’s football field. It’s stapled to the lawsuit. If they succeed, it could make in-person graduations possible at other high schools too. No formal response yet from the state, but Rutgers Law School’s admissions office may be interested.

IN THE MEDIA

TRENTON - Councilwoman Robin Vaughn’s now-famous rant at a May 2 Council meeting featured sexually explicit language, homophobic slurs and government discourse so shocking that it left Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and others calling for her to step down. And now comes word the meeting-in-question may have been illegal. The Trentonian filed a civil-action complaint in Mercer County Superior Court, charging the city of failing to properly advertise its public meetings and failing to release the over-the-phone audio recordings.  Perhaps the councilwoman – who referred to the mayor as “a drug addict motherf–king pedophile,” will share some colorful comments about the lawsuit.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

MOSCOW – She made it through the Russian Revolution and Joseph Stalin, and now she has beaten coronavirus. Pelageya Poyarkova, a World War II widow forced to raise her daughter alone during the height of iron-clad Communism, was discharged Wednesday from the hospital on her 100th birthday. Clutching a bouquet of red roses, she is widely hailed as the first Russian centenarian to have fully recovered from the virus, which has killed more than 2,300 of her comrades, to date. “She turned out to be a tough old lady,” the hospital's acting director said, noting she poo-pooed the need for intensive care.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1992 that a section of Cruger Avenue in the Bronx was renamed “Regis Philbin Avenue,” prompting some people in this section of Cruger Avenue in the Bronx to ask, “Who is Regis Philbin?”

WORD OF THE DAY

Refulgence – [rih-FULL-junss] – noun

Definition:  A radiant or resplendent quality or state; brilliance

Example: I have a burgeoning refulgence of love for the Jersey Shore.

WIT OF THE DAY

“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”

-Mae West

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Good numbers coming out of States that are opening. America is getting its life back! Vaccine work is looking VERY promising, before end of year.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Summer!