NEWARK – If you are looking to get out of Newark – like really out of Newark – Air New Zealand has your solution. The airline will be launching its longest nonstop route next October, taking passengers more than 8,800 miles for a trip that could take nearly 18 hours. And with the chronic delays in Newark, well, plan plenty for extra travel time. It is still amazing that any contraption can stay up in the air that long, while serving up food, drinks and onboard entertainment through the entire journey. NJ.com says round-trip airfare will cost about $1,500, which seems like a bargain for a non-stop trip around the world.

TRENTON - Zero-emission vehicles are a mom-and-apple-pie issue. Everyone agrees they’re a great idea, yet all the pie in New Jersey isn’t going to get electric vehicles on the road any sooner. Not as long as range anxiety is rampant and charging stations are few and far between. And not as long as clean-and-green cars and pickups average about $15,000 more than, say, the typical SVU. The Murphy Administration has its sights on one piece of the puzzle: money. It’s dangling about $3 million in rebates for EV buyers. And some New Jersey utilities are talking to the BPU about deploying charging stations across the state. The hang-up here is that consumers are already on the hook to subsidize wind farms and nuclear power, NJSpotlight reports. Meanwhile, can Tesla please introduce a model that’s four on the floor?

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CLOSTER – A lucky Tenafly couple hit the ‘seafarer’s jackpot,’ finding a rare pearl in an oyster on their raw bar platter at a Schraalenburgh Road restaurant. Anton and Sheryl Schermer were dining at Stern & Bow on Sunday evening when Anton found the pea-size gem rolling round in his mouth after downing his fourth Kumamoto oyster, the Daily Voice reports. The Schermers generously gave it to owner Russell Stern, who plans to put their unusual find on display. Aw, shucks. Fun fact: Salty seadogs with too much time on their hands calculate the chance of finding an oyster pearl at 1-in-10,000.

PATERSON – Arrested, convicted and fired for corruption, yet seven rogue city cops still got paid a total of more than $25,000. Why? The city says it had no choice. Under the police union contract, disgraced cops still deserve payouts for their unused vacation and sick days, and accrued comp time. Never mind those guilty pleas for illegal shakedowns, drug deals and an assault, each of the ex-cops still got city checks ranging from $4,000 to $7,800. Police Chief Troy Oswald tells the Paterson Press the police contract should be changed so cops convicted of crimes forfeit those payouts. The union says “no way;” pocket money comes in handy at the prison commissary.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

ON TV – Apparently, all of us should hate Spongebob Squarepants. That, at least, is what a University of Washington professor is claiming, calling out the cartoon character for “racist, violent, colonial practices.” The professor claims that this lovable sponge, who lives in a fake underwater town known as Bikini Botton, is perpetuating the “violent and racist expulsion of indigenous peoples” from Bikini Atoli, a coral reef in the Marshall Islands consisting of 23 islands. It was used by the U.S. for nuclear testing through 1958 and, thus, the show “desensitizes viewers to the violence of settler colonialism.”

ON YOUR FEET – What would Jesus do? Let’s assume he would not be plunking down nearly $2,500 for a pair of Nikes that are tripped out to Biblical proportions. The newly-released shoes – called “Biblical MSCHF x INRI Air Max 97 Custom” – feature steel crucifixes on the laces and soles filled with holy water from the River Jordan. Meanwhile, the shoebox features a seal that is modified from the official Papal Seal, and an angel that is excerpted from Albrecht Durer’s 1514 engraving Melencolia I. So, you too, can walk on water – if you have the cash.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was on this day in 1974 that Billy Martin was named American League Manager of the Year, and it was also on this day in 1979 that he sucker-punched a marshmallow salesman.

WORD OF THE DAY

Mawkish – [MAW-kish] – adjective

Definition: Lacking flavor or having an unpleasant taste

Example: Hey, you believe people think my special chili is a bit mawkish?

WIT OF THE DAY

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.” 

― Michel de Montaigne

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“The show is ‘Trump.’ And it is sold-out performances everywhere.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Brilliant

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun