TRENTON – It’s the ‘Great Pumpkin’ tax debate, Charlie Brown! And it’s got lots of questions swirling around the state Department of Taxation today. The state says pumpkins used for eating are non-taxable, but people using pumpkins for decorations must pay sales tax. It’s prompted plenty of obvious questions on Twitter, like: If a squirrel eats my decorative pumpkin, do I then pay sales tax? What if this “food” is left on the front stoop, next to a scarecrow, until someone is ready to eat it? Is there “Pumpkin Police” enforcing compliance and what are the penalties? What happens if the seeds are used for food, and the pumpkin is used for decoration? Any new gourd laws that we need to know about? And, from us: Is there a half-tax for a half-assed law?
BOGOTA – The typical borough resident is now likely at work, chasing a paycheck. After all, there are property taxes to pay. That typical resident would surely be shaking her head about some ridiculousness from town hall, with a DPW worker suing the borough for $100,000 because he felt bullied by his boss at the funeral of a co-worker. The worker is claiming “public shame, humiliation, fear,” etc. after he claims the DPW superintendent mocked him in front of his co-workers over some silly misunderstanding. The plaintiff says he commented that the DPW trucks at the funeral “look great,” adding “My tax dollars at work.” His boss perceived it as a slight, apparently yelling, “How dare you bring up tax dollars? You should be ashamed of yourself.” It all descended from there with more dumbness, prompting the lawsuit, the Record reports. Now back to that typical resident, the only rational one in this story. She would likely suggest this DPW superintendent give a heartfelt apology, the DPW worker find a job where he feels more appreciated and taxpayers finally get a break from tit-for-tat nonsense.
STATEWIDE – The rule in politics is to never, ever compare a competitor to Hitler. It is just not possible that anyone, anywhere could be such an indescribable maniac, fueled by dreams of genocide and global dictatorship. Yet former Gov. Christie Whitman keeps trying to compare President Trump to one of the vilest people to ever walk the Earth. She doubled down on her claims with NBC News, saying “Hitler took a long time to get where he was and he had to do a lot of other things. Trump is going much faster. We are going down a dark hole and I really worry for the country.” Whitman admits there is a lot of shock value in her statements, but the goal is to wake people up. The former governor has an important message; she just needs other comparisons.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – It looks as if the Democratic incumbents for Assembly are steadily marching toward another victory, with less than three weeks until the election. They’ve raked in three times more cash than their Republican rivals, $11 million to $3.3 million. And even with both parties on a serious spending spree, already blowing through about half of what they took in, that still leaves Democrats with a cash advantage of about $5.3 million to Republicans’ $1.9 million, NJ Spotlight reports. True, the Dems have had an airtight lock on the state Legislature, and are hoping to grab six more Assembly seats come November. So far, candidates in three legislative districts have raised about $1 million or more. And candidates in the 21st District have blown through about $1 million, with both the GOP incumbents and Democratic challengers already running ads on cable TV. The big question may be: how much cash can they burn through by Election Day?
GREAT MEADOWS – New Jersey’s creepiest street is apparently Shades of Death Road in this tiny Warren County village. The rural two-lane road earned that dubious distinction from Homes.com, which also named a handful of bizarrely named byways in other states. NBC News says seven-mile long Shades of Death Road, near Jenny Jump State Forest, may have gotten its forbidding name because it was the scene of a several brutal murders in the 1900s. There is other local lore that early settlers regularly dumped the bodies of slain Native Americans into nearby Ghost Lake (yep, that’s really its name). Whatever the reason, it sounds like an eerie place for trick-or-treating: You’ve been warned.
JERSEY CITY – That wasn’t Bond … James Bond whisking around the Liberty Science Center in his classic “Thunderball” jetpack. Nope, it was 24-year-old entrepreneur Mariah Cain, piloting a one-person electric “Vertical Take-Off and Landing” hover-bike for Monday’s demonstration. Cain tells WPIX News that her small city-based company, Dragonair Aviation, hopes its Airboard 2.0 – gizmo that goes airborne on eight propellers – will win a $2 million grand prize in next February’s GoFly competition in San Francisco. The company’s creation is one of 40 finalists still in the running after besting 800 other inventors from 103 countries.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
LONDON – You find a guy’s wallet, and you want to return it. But there is no information in there, other than a bank account number. So this helpful stranger in London figured an ingenious way to connect the wallet with its owner. The good samaritan began making transfers of a penny at a time into the back account, each time placing a brief message in the memo line. The memo line had limited characters, so multiple transfers were needed to give the wallet owner his name and phone number. After four transfers, a connection was made.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Reconstruction after the Civil War continued on this day in 1978, when President Carter restored the U.S. citizenship of Jefferson Davis.
WORD OF THE DAY
Euphony – [YOO-fə-nee] – noun
Definition: A pleasing or sweet sound; especially the acoustic effect produced by words so formed or combined as to please the ear.
Example: We look forward to the euphony of the Presidential candidates in the upcoming months.
WIT OF THE DAY
“Humility is royalty without the crown.”
― Spencer W. Kimball
“My wife says I'm the biggest star in the world. But she might just be saying that because she's intelligent.”
-Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun