OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON - As Gov. Phil Murphy was in Cleveland to celebrate his buddy, Jon Bon Jovi, who entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, the paperwork is piling up at the office. NJ.com is quick to note we are approaching the end of the first 100 days of the Murphy Administration and there are a gaggle of bills to sign or reject. Lots of big stuff, actually, like equal pay for women and minorities, paid sick time for private workers, the out-of-network medical bill, nuclear subsidies to PSE&G, raises for judges and a bunch of other stuff the media has been writing about. Democrats in the state Legislature say they have done their part to support the new, progressive agenda, and now just need some decisions from the big guy, Yea or Nay.
TRENTON - Tax, tax, tax. And that seems perfectly fine for those who are interested in buying a gun in New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy wants to slip in an additional sales tax on the purchase of firearms as part of his proposed budget, fulfilling a campaign promise. NJ 101.5 reports this sales tax should pump $1.4 million into the state coffers. Not a ton of cash here, but it sends yet another message to potential gun owners that there are already plenty of firearms in New Jersey. You want it? Pay more for it.
NORTH BERGEN - She's the college-bound kid that parents dream about. Anna Rezk is the first student from Hudson County's High-Tech High School to ever get accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges with full-ride scholarships to each. Jeez. Even with her 5.63 GPA and an awesome 1,570 SAT score, the 18-year-old Bayonne resident actually applied to 20 universities, you know, to be on the safe side. Rezk immigrated to the U.S. with her parents from Egypt in 2013, shortly before dad died of pancreatic cancer. Now, this over-achiever has set her sights on curing cancer. Oh, and her college choice? She's thinking either Princeton or Brown.
JERSEY CITY - Strip a burlesque queen of her chance to perform and you're bound to get some bump 'n grind in return. Probably why saucy performer Lillian Bustle is back in the news this morning, trying to overhaul this city's four-decade-old obscenity law. City officials used it to block Bustle's March burlesque show at a local venue, as we reported last month, claiming it could be "unlawfully obscene." Bustle held a rally at City Hall to promote "artistic freedom" on Friday, telling the Jersey Journal that "Jersey City and burlesque are a good fit." She's also got support from two council members and even Mayor Steve Fulop seems sympathetic, calling his own legal department "very prude [sic]" in a tweet, saying: "For what it's worth I would have attended."
LONG BRANCH - Kudos who whoever designed the "Pallone for Mayor" signs in Long Branch. Visitors to the shore on Saturday for the glorious weather did a double-take, as it looked as if the long-time congressman was running for mayor. It's the same kelly green signs that the congressman uses. But then, if you look really, really close, you will see the itty-bitty name "John" right before "PALLONE FOR MAYOR." Councilman John Pallone is the congressman's brother, and is he trying to unseat entrenched incumbent, Adam Schneider. This two last squared off in 1994, with Schneider the victor in a bruising campaign. Clearly, with his choice of campaign signs, Councilman Pallone is hoping to jump on some of the electoral magic of his brother, now in his 15th term in the House.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
SHEFFIELD, Mass - The good people of Sheffield vow they are not a bunch of kooks. As such, they would like the massive, 5,000-pound memorial to an alleged 1969 UFO sighting taken down. Officials in this remote little town tell The Berkshire Eagle that this memorial sits in a right-of-way easement - the perfect excuse to get rid of it. This sounds perfectly fine with everyone except for one guy, Thom Reed, who tells the newspaper he was nine years old when the aliens arrived. He still recalls that "self-contained glow" that lit up the family car. Reed is threatening to sue town leaders if they mess with the monument - clearly concerned that the martians could return and demand to see it.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1738 that people stopped being thirsty, warmly welcoming the invention of the bottle opener.
WORD OF THE DAY
Veld - [VELT] - noun
Definition: A grassland, especially of southern Africa, usually with scattered shrubs or trees
Example: My backyard looks like a really wet veld.
WEATHER IN A WORD