WOODBRIDGE – We all want to Save the Whales, fight climate change and magically remove the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. And, so it seems there’s very little space left in our activism to go after an aquarium set to open this fall. Yet, NJ.comreports, eight animal activists spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon outside the Woodbridge Center mall blasting this “interactive aquarium” that will teach generations of New Jerseyans about the magic of the sea life and why it should be protected. Apparently, the protesters are angry that the stingrays, sharks, turtles, lizards, snakes, etc. are being held “captive,” rather than roaming free in a predatory world where they are often gobbled instantaneously.  The activists vow to be back next Sunday to fight this “trafficking” and “imprisonment” on a site viewable from the local Red Lobster.

PALISADES PARK - It was a busy day in the borough clerk's office, so nobody got a lot of personal time. So, perhaps that is why the borough clerk chose to get married Thursday on her lunch break, maximizing efficiency. She married a local police officer, perhaps because of his strategic proximity to her office, and vows were exchanged in council chambers, which is also a close walk and limits time expenditure. The mayor performed the ceremony, another efficient move, while the borough administrator caught it all on his smartphone, another shrewd, cost-saving decision. The happy couple may plan to honeymoon in the Borough Hall parking lot, during the officer's afternoon shift break, based on availability, feasibility and the time continuum.

ELIZABETH – Ya gotta believe in these boys from Elmora, who manage to keep winning those youth baseball games. They are now on their way to the Little League World Series, after pounding the living heck out of some team from Rockland County, NY. Final score? 19-4. The Elmora Youth Little League team, which had 20 hits in that game, will be in Williamsport, Pa. on Friday to play a team from Oregon. Go, Elmora Troopers!

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TRENTON – In New Jersey, you can lease a Jaguar, a Mustang, a Ram or a Beetle. But, with the swift stroke of the governor’s pen, you can no longer lease a dog or cat. Gov. Phil Murphy says pet stores will no longer offer a rent-a-pet option, deeming the practice to be “predatory.” It never felt right, especially if you were surcharged for putting too many miles on your dog for all those walks around the block, or forgetting to rotate the tires on your cat. Seriously, though, many lawmakers complained that pet leasing was a great way for pet store owners to ultimately charge more money per animal, unfair to the consumer, and certainly unfair to a living, breathing thing that was treated more like a commodity. Fido was sorta, kinda in the family; while Whiskers was 88% part-owned. Just plain weird.

TRENTON – It might take a village to raise a child, but in New Jersey it takes cold, hard cash. For the 2017-2018 school year, the typical public school district spent nearly $16,000 to get the job done. That was just for teachers’ salaries, classroom supplies, administrative costs and other expenses common to all districts. When spending on busing, state pension and benefits payments — and other sundries — are taken into account, the cost - $21,866 – could make a down-payment on a house (at least somewhere). NJ Spotlight has done the math and mapped the spending, district by district. It’s been a real education.

PATERSON – Never mind all the whining that city officials do about chronic budget problems. In the Silk City, they are now scraping up $225,000 so nine council members can each hire their very own “confidential aide.” This is on top of $265,000 paid to the council’s five secretaries. So, forget those annual threats about layoffs, service cutbacks and cop shortages. Nope. Council members tell the Paterson Press they’d be much more efficient if they got help doing confidential stuff like fetching caffè lattes, photocopying and, oh yeah, returning constituent phone calls. Good thing Paterson got a whopping $33 million in state aid this year, its biggest budget bonanza ever. Perhaps, to save money, the city should ask Trenton if its got any extra aides milling about.

HAMILTON – Telling folks why their tax bills shot up might be helpful, even appreciated by homeowners, but it earned Mayor Kelly Yaede a harsh tongue-lashing from her most vocal political opponent. Visitors to Town Hall are being handed a “tax bill breakdown,” full of figures showing that Yaede’s numbers-crunchers lowered local taxes ever so slightly. It also shows the school board, fire districts and county government whacked ‘em with tax hikes. Council President Jeff Martin, who’s running for mayor this fall, bashed Yaede’s handout as a “political gimmick,” telling the Trentonian she wasn’t so forthcoming “the multiple times she proposed 5 percent tax increases.” Fine, but transparency has to start somewhere.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

PRIPYAT, Ukraine – Kindly sign the attached waiver before reading the next line. You can now buy vodka made near the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which will no longer be reactive in, say, 24,000 years. By no means is anyone recommending you run out and buy a bottle of ATOMIK, made from crops now grown in the ghost city near the infamous meltdown. Purveyors of this vodka swear their drink has no radioactivity as far as anyone can tell, or has lived to tell. They did admit just a smidge of, um, radioactivity in the grain, but then it all went away during the “normal distillation process.” Um, sure. Embrace the true spirit of nuclear-fallout, coming to a liquor store near you.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1986 that Don Baylor set a baseball record, hit by a pitch for the 25thtime in one season. When asked to comment, a battered Baylor wiped off some drool and said, “Uh, Mmm?"

WORD OF THE DAY

Whilom – [WYE-ləm] - adjective

Definition: Former

Example: Why say 'whilom' when you can just say 'former?'

WIT OF THE DAY

“Marriage…it’s not a word, it’s a sentence.”

 

- Rodney Dangerfield

WEATHER IN A WORD

Perfecto