STATEWIDE – Hey, it’s Election Day! And – of no great surprise – voter turnout is expected to be tremendously low. That’s because the General Assembly tops the ticket. (Yawn) As most of our state legislators are long-term incumbents, they don’t prompt any stampede to the polls. Insiders of insiders of insiders are probably excited about this election, marking it officially as the last of five state legislative election cycles to be conducted under maps drawn from the 2010 census. That means legislative district boundaries will be redrawn after next year’s census to rebalance their populations, which is of enormous interest to political insiders jockeying for the most strategic boundaries for their political parties, battling it out for individual towns that have the propensity to swing one way over the other. So, capture the drama! Polls are open until 8 p.m.
JERSEY CITY – OK, want some election drama? We’ll give you some election drama, dammit. To do so, you need to dig really deep, into one municipal election, into one ballot question that many voters forget is there. Jersey City voters are slinging it out over Municipal Question 1, asking if Airbnb should be regulated. If approved, new rules would create an annual 60-day cap if the owner is not on site, while also preventing renters to serve as hosts. Current hosts would also have to obtain permits from the city. The issue pits residents who would lose income against residents who don’t want to live next to transients, often NYC tourists/revelers with no need to get up for work in the morning. Mayor Steven Fulop, for one, supports the regulation. Expect him to get an earful, no matter how the vote shakes out.
SOMERVILLE – Ya want even more drama? (Boy, you’re demanding.) OK. Let’s assume this is not more Russian election meddling. But somebody is using a dastardly “robocall scam” to mess with Somerset County’s elections today. For days now, registered voters in a number of towns have gotten automated calls claiming their polling places have changed. Not so! The town clerk in Bedminster – where a number of phony calls were reported – tells the Bedminster News this is “just to create confusion … it’s a very unfortunate sign of the times.” County officials strongly urge voters to simply check their sample ballot for their correct voting locations. So, say a rude “das vedanya” to those scammers. And, hey, why are you answering your landline anyway?
TRENTON – The number of New Jersey water systems where toxic PFAS chemicals were found surged by more than 11 times over the past year, largely because of a new mandate that requires utilities to report one of the chemicals the state now regulates. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says there are now 517 water systems, most of them small, where some of the chemicals were found in tap water or untreated ground water. Of the total, 470 were not reported the last time EWG gathered the data in February and March of this year. The chemicals have been linked to some cancers, immune system disorders, low birth weights, high cholesterol and other health problems. NJSpotlight has the story.
UNION TOWNSHIP – What the heck is with this Popeyes’ chicken sandwich? We hate to fuel the fire here, as there are about a billion places on the planet where you can get a piece of fried chicken on bread. But when the frenzy creates mega traffic jams on a major highway, we all need to ponder in shear wonder. The sandwich made its triumphant return to the fried chicken chain on Sunday, to the shear glee of the marketing department that created this pitch-perfect demand. RLS Metro Breaking News reported a long line of cars on Route 22 in Union Township for the sandwich, and a steady line at the counter of about 15 deep all day Sunday. Want to know what is great about this particular chicken sandwich? Get in line.
IN THE MEDIA
WEST LONG BRANCH – The fact that any newspaper reporter could amass $1 million is newsworthy enough. But what is truly amazing is that Linda Deutsch, a veteran Associated Press reporter and 1965 graduate of then-Monmouth College who built a legendary career in journalism, has given $1 million to now-Monmouth University as an endowed scholarship fund for aspiring journalists. You may recall the Pultizer-Prize winning Deutsch for her coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial and many other court cases that were ripe for Made-for-TV drama.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was on this day that Marty McFly was back in good ol' 1955.
WORD OF THE DAY
Ineffable - [in·EFF·ə·bəl] - adjective
Definition: Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words
Example: Check out the ineffable natural beauty of the Newark skyline.
WIT OF THE DAY
“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
― Winston Churchill
"She was favored to win, and she got schlonged."
- Donald J. Trump, on Hillary Clinton
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun