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ASBURY PARK – Political writers at The Washington Post spend a lot of time these days at confetti-filled political rallies, and have drawn an interesting observation: The Democratic candidates prefer Springsteen songs as their theme music. Obviously, fellow Jersey guy Cory Booker is blasting the Boss ("Waitin' on a Sunny Day" and "The Ties that Bind"). Meanwhile, Michael F. Bennet is digging "The Rising," while Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden prefer "We Take Care of Our Own” to pump up the crowds and dislodge some donations. Pundits say it’s obvious why Bruce is so well played: Democrats need working-class Rust Belt voters and farms who have turned Republican red in the last few elections. Perhaps they are also trying to woo those who like Dancing in the Dark.

TRENTON – The state’s Economic Development Authority continues to take a pounding from Gov. Phil Murphy and assorted legislators for being overly generous with tax breaks to lure companies to the Garden State. It’s not just the size of subsidies that rankles; it’s the lousy return on investment that taxpayers are getting. Say the agency offers ACME Widget Co. a million bucks in tax breaks, as long as ACME creates 1,000 new jobs over the next five years. Time flies by and ACME has only created 100 jobs, but the EDA isn’t exactly keeping track. Now introduce Camden into the mix. The corporate brass of Subaru of America and American Water Works and other sizable companies that the EDA recently enticed into Camden have testified they would never have gone there without (wait for it) sizable tax subsidies. NJSpotlight sorts it all out.

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NEWARK – Many are breathing a sigh of relief that the water filters in Newark seem to be working to remove lead from the tap, at least according to the latest test.  But it remains frightening that this lead was pumping into peoples’ homes for years, unabated, and it remains unclear how long people will need to use filters before the service pipes are replaced. It also begs the question about the condition of individual water lines within Newark homes and when they will be replaced, if ever. Emergency funds from the feds are sorely needed. It has been said a million times, but it is worth repeating: Clean water is a right, not a privilege.

BELLEVILLE - Frustrated by the fact the state appears to be ignoring Belleville’s water concerns, Mayor Michael Melham says he is desperate for officials to pay attention to the township. So, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, the mayor is taking an unorthodox measure to secure at least one headline in this ongoing story: Erecting a big billboard on Route 21, demanding the state provide water filters and cartridges to Belleville, rather than spend $1 million on a campaign to teach Newark residents how to use them. He'll also launch an online petition drive, is this desperate attempt to finally get some attention to a glaring need that goes beyond Newark.

EAST RUTHERFORD – If you were excited to experience the full American Dream when the mega, mega-mall opens next month, you may need to wait a wee bit longer. The 3-million-square-foot behemoth will now be opening in “chapters.” So, on Day One, you can go to an indoor amusement park and an ice skating rink. Then, wait for the next chapter in November for a water park. December’s chapter is a snowboard and indoor skiing thing. If you want to buy, say, a shirt, at this mall, or get a bite to eat, you’ll be waiting until the spring for that chapter, in this story that continues to unfold. Silver lining: Traffic jams will also unfold in chapters.

EDISON – Let's be clear: They’re “action figures,” not dolls. And, anyone who’s fast with an auction paddle and has cold hard cash can own part of a “massive collection” of superhero and comic book memorabilia up for grabs at the New Jersey Convention Center & Expo Hall on Thursday. Auctioneer Joe Bodnar tells TAPinto New Brunswick that two truckloads of vintage and autographed collectibles are the lifetime accumulation of Minnesota siblings who hoped to open a store, but never did. Among items on the block are DC, Marvel and Disney figures, X-Men, Transformers, Indiana Jones, even a life-size Homer Simpson. Get there early, before Sheldon Cooper and his nerdy pals beat you to the big bang of the auction gavel.


NEW YORK – So a mensch, a meshuggeneh and a shmendrick all walk into Central Park this weekend. This whole mishpocheh was trying to learn Yiddish, and they all happened to be pet dogs.  A group dedicated to preserving the Yiddish language held a “Yiddish for Dogs” class, in which each canine was taught to sit on his tuches and stay. All went well, but it got a little hot. So, everyone started schvitzing, kvetching and then left for a nosh, maybe some tzimmes and lox, but no treif.


Thought it was absolutely nuts to buy gold at a record of $1,300 per ounce on this day in 2010? You are a financial genius. Eight years later, it is selling for $1,523 per ounce.


Glade – [GLAYD] – noun

Definition: An open space surrounded by woods

Example:  What a beautiful morning to hop around a glade and learn Yiddish.


“Smart people always choose comfort over luxury.” 

― Celso Cukierkorn



A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun