The Jaffe Briefing Is going on Winter Break, returning Monday, March 5

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

 NEWARK - The Archdiocese of Newark is somehow making national news, after Cardinal Joseph Tobin sent out a tweet Wednesday that raised one or two eyebrows. Tobin tweeted "Nighty-night, baby. I love you," Hmm, people asked. Now who could that tweet be for? The archdiocese - now in full damage control - would like us all to calm the heck down, as the archbishop has eight younger sisters, and, according to a spokesman, "they're all his baby sisters." Tobin later deleted the tweet, figuring it could possibly be misinterpreted.

STATEWIDE - Apparently the way to fight opioid abuse in New Jersey is not to make a huge ad buy on television and radio, and then incessantly run commercials with the governor's face morning, noon and night. With a new governor in charge, there is now a new strategy to fight our alarming levels of addiction and overdose. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said the state will be beefing up its prescription monitoring program and create "Opioid Response Teams" to hopefully save more lives and steer users into treatment. The new tactic involves a hefty dose of coordination and communication. And apparently without the multi-million dollar PR campaign.

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AT THE WORKPLACE - The chatter around the workplace water cooler is pretty quiet these days because, apparently, no one is there. A new study reveals that the American workforce now has 57.3 million freelancers, who likely do their work in bunny slippers and pajamas, as opposed to business suits with coordinating attaché cases. The trend is growing so quickly that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027, completely changing what it means to "go to work." Great news for the local Panera Bread, with its glorious Wi-Fi and so-so coffee. Bad news for the guy who owns an office condo and can't find any tenant other than a nail salon.

SIX FEET UNDER - You really can't complain about that lousy freelance gig, when you consider the other options out there. Case in point is the cemetery worker in East Hanover who became trapped under an 800-pound concrete vault cover, pinning him in eternal rest. A slew of first responders and even public works employees frantically shoveled dirt from the top of the cover and then manually lifted it with straps, thereby exhuming the worker, the Record reports. Fortunately, he was only treated for minor injuries, but had plenty of complaints about this dead-end job. 

JERSEY CITY - Tonight you can experience the grisly side of Jersey City without having to pay a toll. Just sit back and flick on Netflix, which is premiering the latest Jersey cop drama today. It is called "Seven Seconds," a 10-episode binge-fest. Here's the plot: A white cop is behind the wheel of an SUV. He hits a 15-year-old black boy riding a bike. Then, there's the cover-up, the racial tensions, the newspaper stories, the mental breakdown of the boy's grieving mother and the "Search for Truth." It all goes down in the dark shadows of Lady Liberty, nowhere near the gleaming, super-scrubbed high-rises on the waterfront.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

THE CLASSROOM - In an alarming sign of the times, sales of bulletproof backpacks are through the roof. These backpacks, which looks like anything you can find at a Walmart in August, are lined with Kevlar and can sell for upwards of $500. Nervous parents are dropping the coin at such businesses as "Bullet Blocker" in Massachusetts, reporting a 30 percent jump in sales since the Feb. 14 mass shooting. These companies warn that no material can be 100 percent bulletproof, but their products can somehow stop a 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 9mm and .45 caliber hollow point ammunition. Excessive? Sadly not.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

What'chu talkin' 'bout, Mom? That was the question from Gary Colemen on this day in 1983, when the kid actor wins a $1.28 million lawsuit against his parents for "high fees."

WORD OF THE DAY

Fantasticate - [fan-TASS-ti-keyt] - verb

Definition: To make or render fantastic

Example: Hey, fantasticate the day!

WEATHER IN A WORD

Puddles