OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON - We all love our government workers, who deserve to be comfortable in retirement. It's just this nagging problem of the state having the worst finances of any in the nation. And it is why we actually agree (gulp) with Gov. Chris Christie in his effort to limit the six-figure payouts to retirees for unused sick and vacation time. Christie is proposing that, going forward, unused time should be paid at the rate the worker was being paid when he or she banked it, NJ 101.5 reports. "If you didn't use a sick day 20 years ago when you were getting paid $50,000 a year," Christie says, "but now 20 years later you're getting paid $125,000, why should you get paid for the sick day from 20 years ago at the rate that you're earning today?" The argument makes sense. If a firefighter banks a sick day, and then one day is promoted to chief, why are taxpayers paying a ridiculously inflated rate?
AT THE WORKPLACE - It's an interesting time on the job, with four generations of workers - from Baby Boomers to Milennials - trying to understand one another. NJ 101.5 interviewed NJBIA's Michele Siekerka, who says the newest generation thinks companies should be about more than making money; they should have "a mission." Millennials want to bring their pets to work, chat at on-site cafes in their casual chic clothes, shoot hoops at the on-site basketball court, ponder the work in "brainstorming rooms" and figure out ways the company can be more philanthropic. All sounds absolutely wonderful and exciting. But the company's bean counters may have just one, small question: How does this company actually earn a profit?
PATERSON - Joey Torres is leaving the mayor's office like many other big-city politicians: in handcuffs. The former mayor pleaded guilty Friday for having city employees work on a family member's warehouse on the city's dime. There's a plea deal, as there often is, for the three-time mayor. Orange is the new black for Torres, who agreed to immediately resign, to no longer seek a public job and spend five years in the slammer.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - In likely the biggest gubernatorial news of the week, it has been confirmed that Teresa Giudice will not be running for governor. Some disreputable blog called Naughty Gossip reporting that the ex-con, Real Housewife was making a run, a certain promotion from being a reality star. But apparently another blog, called "Gossip Con" says the reporting, with unnamed sources, is woefully incorrect. Here is some of the bogus story: "She has a massive social media following to get her message out and she has a lot of good ideas about how to help her state. Plus, she isn't going to be shutting down any access to bridges. It's about time real people took back political power and after her stay in jail, Teresa isn't frightened of anyone." Again, apparently, lies. More proof that anyone can be a "reporter."
IN THE MEDIA
STATEWIDE - Tom Moran, the editorial page editor of The Star-Ledger, continues to slam the state's largest teachers' union. Check out his latest hit: "If you find a flat rock on a muddy riverbank, and flip it over, the slimy little critters that live underneath scurry away to hide in the muck, as if caught red-handed." He was talking about the leadership of the New Jersey Education Association, reporting on their "obscene" salaries and benefits. Moran wrote: "The top five officers earned an average of $764,000 in compensation in 2015. The big winner, apparently, was the executive director, Ed Richardson, who pulled in $1.2 million." Compare that with teachers, Moran suggests, who earn $70,000 on average, and pay about $900 of that in annual dues.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A bake sale took a whole new meaning at the University of New Mexico, where a nonprofit group charged students for goodies based on the color of their skin and ethnicity. This "Affirmative Action Bake Sale" on Thursday was just supposed to provoke thoughtful conversation with Asians and Whites paying more for the same cupcakes as Blacks and Hispanics. What this bake sale prompted, however, was widespread howling. There were students yelling, throwing cookies and breaking everything else on the table. So much for discussion.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1966 that 413 people showed up at Yankee Stadium to see the White Sox win, 4-1.
WORD OF THE DAY
Legerity - [luh-JAIR-uh-tee] - noun
Definition: Quickness of mind or body
Example: The briefing's lack of news value is counterbalanced by the writer's wit and legerity.
WEATHER IN A WORD