CLARKSBORO – Months after “Popeye the Peacock” was shot and subsequently put to sleep, this stunned Gloucester County community is still grappling for answers, the Philly Inquirer reports. Popeye was the informal mascot of the town, showing up here and there. The friendly peacock travelled the countryside too, known in other places as Petey, Mikey, and/or Kevin. But then someone shot his leg in August and cops investigated. Yet the perpetrator remains at-large. Meanwhile, the town is still left to ask: Why? While everyone heals, a local woman and close friend of Popeye is moving along. She received the donation of a peacock and peahen named Adam and Eve, who have since moved onto her property. They won’t be allowed to roam until the shooter is found and fully prosecuted. Meanwhile, the fencing on their new pen is decorated with photographs and a memorial plaque that reads “Popeye: Forever in our hearts.”

AT THE POLLS – Hoping that taxpayers feel more charitable, or perhaps are more distracted with holiday hustle and bustle, three Central Jersey school districts are holding bond referenda today. Voters in Edison, Hillsborough and Dunellen are being asked to tack on more long-term debt for more classrooms and building repairs. The biggest bond issue would be in Edison, where that school board suggests a whopping $189.5 million worth of work at six of its 19 schools. Hillsborough voters are to decide on a $35.4 million spending package, while residents in teeny-tiny Dunellen are looking down the barrel at a $23.8 million project. Hopefully, between working and wrapping holiday gifts, 57 people may find some time to go and vote on debt their kids will ultimately be paying back.

STATEWIDE – It’s not so easy to make it easier for people to find out what their elected officials are up to. Roadblocks are getting tossed in the way of Sen. Loretta Weinberg’s bill to propel the Open Public Records Act into the digital age, which would give greater online access to many more public records. NewJerseyHills.com reports a growing number of towns are asking for a new state commission to scrutinize Weinberg’s bill, many adopting a resolution that the League of Municipalities and Municipal Clerks Association devised. They say too many local busybodies and gadflies already “misuse and abuse” OPRA. Weinberg responds that municipal clerks had two years to offer suggestions about her bill. And, she says, a study commission would “just add another layer of bureaucracy … and stand in the way of good reform(s).”

Sign Up for New Brunswick Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

BRIEFING BREATHER

Wikipedia has banned the Church of Scientology from editing any of its articles. Others banished from Wikipedia include:

  • US Congress
  • New York City Police
  • Overstock.com
  • University of California

BRICK – Maybe by the time the year 2195 rolls around, the town will finally recoup $941,350 bilked by a former building department employee. In months since the 54-year-old chiseler got released from prison, officials tell Shorebeat that – to date – she only repaid $5,400. At this rate, it will take 175 years for Brick to collect every dime. The woman pleaded guilty in 2017 to a seven-year insurance scam and then served just 10 months of a five-year jail sentence. A plea deal requires her to make full restitution. Facing a $1.1 million budget gap this year, Councilman Jim Fozman suggested to no avail that Brick demand faster repayment: “She has a boat, a half-million dollar home, and we’re sitting here on our hands.”

STATEWIDE – At New Jersey’s police academies, female recruits are flunking the fitness tests at far higher rates than their male counterparts. In 2017, 30% of women couldn’t cut it, compared with just 2% of male recruits. The answer, according to many of the Garden’s State’s female and male police officers is — do nothing. That’s not quite accurate: But they all insist that the worst thing to do would be to lower the bar, NJ Spotlight reports. Cops want to make it clear from the start what’s required of all recruits, women and men, and then coach them all to meet all requirements to protect and serve, equally.



IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

MIAMI BEACH, FL. – The tremendously odd piece of $120,000 art – a banana duct taped to the wall of a Florida art gallery – is no more. The banana was taken off the wall and eaten by a visitor, who was then immediately escorted from the Art Basel Miami Beach and slapped with charges of criminal mischief. The man – a self-described performance artist based in New York – took a moment to film his stunt for YouTube. The duct-taped banana, titled “The Comedian,” was the last remaining edition of the work after two other bananas sold for $120,000 each. But don’t be sad. You gotta figure the shelf life of this “art” was only another couple of days or so.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 2014 that “news aggregators” took a hit in Spain, where Google Newswas forced to shut down. The country deemed that companies that post the content of news organizations need to buy it first. (Assume there is no Jaffe Briefing bureau in Spain.)

WORD OF THE DAY

Daedal – [DEE-dəl] - adjective

Definition: adorned with many things

Example: I make daedal use of festive lighting to decorate my laptop for the holidays.

WIT OF THE DAY

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

― Confucius

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“A person who is very flat chested is very hard to be a 10.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Sixties

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