TRENTON – As the great philosopher Kermit the Frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.” To be accurate, the famously contemplative amphibian didn’t speak the words; rather, he warbled them. But what do you do for a second act when you’ve already been dubbed the “greenest governor in America”? That’s what some conservationists have designated Gov. Phil Murphy for his efforts to push New Jersey toward clean energy. Turns out it’s not easy coming up with new green plans when you’ve previously laid out a stack of them. According to a report in NJ Spotlight, there was little new on the environment in the State of the State address which Murphy delivered in Trenton yesterday. As Kermit would know, when you’re the greenest, you can’t get greener.
TRENTON – It’s a kinder, gentler state Legislature these days, willing to hand an additional $4.5 million to low-income families who can not even afford reduced prices on school lunches. No question that is a good investment, as the program covers the tab for 518,000 students eligible for price breaks on breakfast and lunch. Currently, these families only pay 1950s-era prices of 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch, yet – to the amazement of many us extremely fortunate souls – that cost is still a stretch for tens of thousands of families and neighbors who call New Jersey home.
TRENTON – If you’re pleased with a wacky governing body, enjoy a problem-plagued water utility, and love all those wailing police sirens, you must be downright giddy to live in Trenton. In fact, Trentonians have made it America’s sixth “happiest city.” Seriously. SeniorLiving.org says Trenton residents are officially happier than folks living in places like, say, Madison, WI, or San Jose, CA, or Cedar Rapids, IA, to name a few. Forgive our skepticism here. Perhaps, maybe, some well-meaning octogenarians at Seniorliving.org got all befuddled crunching tons of data about household incomes, affordability, joblessness and crime rates. Whatever the case, fact or fiction, this study is another valid reason to be skeptical about all those “best this” or “worst that” surveys, polls and studies.
BRIEFING BREATHER: The Internet grows at an annual rate of 314,000%.
WILDWOOD – Watch the tram car, please! And watch those escalating rates to ride it. City officials, responding to the $1 raise in the minimum wage that kicked in January 1, have promptly raised the fare on the tram by 50 cents, to $4. The non-profit that runs the tram cars say the mandated salary bump to $11 an hour will cost $50,000 this year and $250,000 by the time minimum wage hits $15 an hour, the Press of Atlantic City reports. Perhaps it will ultimately be cheaper to order an Uber to get from one side of the two-mile boardwalk to the other. One must also wonder how forced wage hikes will hit the rest of the boardwalk, where it already costs $5 for a small cup of custard (with one napkin.)
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
GOTHAM – Batman’s sidekick really was “The Boy Wonder” with many viewers' eyes glued to the superhero-size bulge in his tights from episode to episode. Actor Burt Ward, who famously played “Robin” in the 1966-68 “Batman” series, says the Catholic Legion of Decency made such a big fuss over his eye-popping package that network executives made him see a doctor to secure penile-reduction pills. Ward, now 74, got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last week, admitting to the New York Post that he only took those shrinkage pills for a few days. He feared they might prevent him from ever having kids. But something had to be done: there was growing concern that Ward would get more fan mail than co-star Adam West, who the Boy Wonder claims stuffed his Caped Crusader tights with a towel. Holy tell-all Batman! Pow! Splat!
STATEN ISLAND – One baseball team’s demise is another team’s marketing opportunity. Take this outrageous cheating scandal with the Houston Astros, with players nabbed for banging on dugout garbage cans in a scheme to steal pitching signs from the opposing team. In response, the Staten Island Yankees will be handing out mini-garbage cans to the first 500 fans at its Sept. 3 game against the Tri-City Valley Cats, the Class A affiliate of the disgraced Astros. Great tickets still available! Call 718-720-9265 to reserve your mini-garbage can today.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was on this day in 1559 that Queen Elizabeth I was crowned in Westminster Abbey. No, not the current queen. (We think.)
WORD OF THE DAY
Artifice – [AHR-tə-fəs] – noun
Definition: A clever or artful skill
Example: On the debate stage, you can’t replace authenticity with artifice.
WIT OF THE DAY
“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”
― Napoleon Bonaparte
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun