OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - The last time a Democrat was serving in the state Legislature from the 39th District, we were playing "Skedoodle" before heading out to see "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Yep, we are talking 1981. But, perhaps because of a Trump backlash, we are now looking an an all-woman Democratic ticket looking to take over the district comprising 23 towns in northern Bergen and Passaic counties. The target is conservative Sen. Gerry Cardinale, elected nearly a dozen times, and the GOP Assembly members. Before you laugh hysterically at the Democrats' chances, remember this was the same part of the state that finally bounced crazy conservative Congressman Scott Garrett in favor of a Democrat.   

NEW BRUNSWICK- Rutgers University researchers continue to change the way we think, now saying it makes absolutely no difference the temperature of the water we use to wash our hands. We all remember Mom yelling, "Wash your hands! And use hot water!" to kill all the germs and other bacteria we unearthed in our backyard worm farm. Rutgers looked at 21 people who, over six months, washed their hands with water at a temperature of 60, 79 and 100 degrees after a high levels of a harmless bacteria was put on their hands. The results? Absolutely no difference.

Sign Up for E-News

BERNARDS - Finally a victory for the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge - finally allowed to build a mosque on a four-acre plot on Church Street. Not only was the town slapped down for this senseless fight that stretched back to December 2015, it also has to pay $1.5 million in damages and another $1.75 million in legal fees to local Muslims as part of a settlement announced by the U.S. Justice Department, which sued the town for rejecting the mosque, WNYCreports. Town leaders, now required to undergo training about discrimination, vow the decision had nothing to do with bias, and simply ruled on "accepted land use criteria." Great. Case closed.

BAYONNE - Wait. Case opened. The U.S. Justice Department is now eyeballing Bayonne, questioning if town leaders discriminated against local Muslims in rejecting an application to build a mosque, WNYC reports. The plan was to convert a warehouse into a mosque, which Bayonne officials claimed would cause parking issues and mess with buffer zones. As debate raged, residents circulated anti-mosque flyers with references to 9/11 and read violent passages from the Koran. Local Muslims - tired of worshipping in the basement of a church - sued the city, alleging discrimination. The feds are now overseeing the investigation.

TRENTON - The state is about to spend $13 million to tear down as many as 500 abandoned buildings in the capital city, adding 150 surveillance cameras and inspecting thousands of city street lights. Its all about getting rid of the hovels that quickly become crack dens, impeding revitalization and driving down real estate values to zero. City officials hope this investment prompts some new construction and hope in some of the worst neighborhoods in New Jersey. And perhaps we are seeing a pilot project that could help salvage streets in other beleaguered cities.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS 

HAMPSTEAD, N.H. - Do you want to be this guy? That's what the Hampstead Police Department is asking would-be potheads, sending out a press release and mug shot of a local man busted with bud in his car. The cops sent out the release yesterday as a "public service announcement," noting it is illegal to possess recreational marijuana in New Hampshire, "even if you only 'smoke it in Massachusetts."

THIS DAY IN HISTORY 

It was on this day in 2005 that one of the greatest secrets in Washington D.C was revealed: the identity of Deep Throat. Ending 30 years of rumor, Vanity Fair had the scoop, identifying Mark Felt, a former FBI assistant director, as the snitch in the Watergate scandal. 

  

WORD OF THE DAY 

Covfefe - [unclear] - unclear if noun, verb, adjective or something else 

Definition: No clue, but used by President Trump at 12:06 a.m. this morning in this tweet: "Despite the constant negative press covfefe," the tweet began. And that was that. 

Example: No one has a clue what covfefe means. (Did he mean "press coverage"?) Trump deleted the tweet, but then tweeted at 6:09 a.m.this morning: "Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!" 

WEATHER IN A WORD

Puddles