ATLANTIC CITY – Dreams of loose slots, aged ribeyes and shaken martinis drive many high-rollers to the Borgata for a night of fuzzy memories. But some of these aspiring revelers are ending up 45 miles away, smack in the middle of an Ocean County wildlife preserve; the only thing on the menu is them. NJ 101.5 reports the Waze app is directing tourists into the dark of the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, rather than to the bright lights of the seashore resort. Not only do these wanna-be tourists get hopelessly lost, but their luxury cars are getting stuck in thick, wet sugar sand that is impossible for most vehicles to plow through. Jackson cops say they’ve had to help 10 cars in 10 days this month, as a wildlife area home to pick-up trucks is now sharing its rocky roads with BMWs. Waze vows the problem will be corrected before the first Porsche drowns in quicksand.
JERSEY CITY – No matter how many millennials and hipsters flee across the river to live here, this isn’t another New York borough. So, real New Jerseyans get really indignant when a foodie site like Eater.com names a Jersey City landmark like the White Mana Diner as “New York’s 8th best” burger joint. What! White Mana has been serving up its tasty little burgers (it boasts 3,000 per week) since 1946 at Tonnelle and Manhattan avenues. This misguided foodie site tries to explain away its mix-up, saying the flying saucer-shaped diner first opened at the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens (correct; that’s a NYC borough), but the whole building and its burger-flipping operation was later moved to Jersey City. Doesn’t count. It’s been in New Jersey for 74 flippin' years, pal.
PRINCETON – Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey has been “ranked the smartest state in the nation.” That’s not news; anyone will tell you that at, say, White Mana. But where did the governor get that stat? It appears he might have been fueled by a Safehome.org survey that decided to equate educational achievement and test scores with smartness. NJ Spotlight – which is always big on covering education – trawled through data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey trying to find the most educated town in the Garden State. Wanna know? Read the dateline, silly. And get smarter at NJ Spotlight.
PATERSON – ‘Bout time someone fixes the tarnished police force in the state’s third biggest city. Mayor Andre Sayegh is finally making changes: The city is equipping 150 patrol officers with body cameras before mid-March. That’s less than half the department’s 376 cops, but, hey, it’s a start. The Paterson Times says the city is paying a DC-based consultant $167,550 for a year-long, independent audit of police procedures, policies and training that will hopefully lead to real change. This was all announced days after a Paterson police sergeant became the eighth cop busted in an ongoing FBI corruption sting.
BRIEFING BREATHER: The Tree of Ténéré, in the Sahara Desert, was the most isolated tree on earth for more than 300 years. Despite being the only landmark of any kind for 300 miles in any direction, it was destroyed in 1973 by a drunk driver.
ATLANTIC CITY – When you think of hulking eyesores in New Jersey, could there be anything worse than the long-shuttered Trump Plaza? It was built at a time when very arrogant people assumed they owned the ocean, and those who reached the city via the Atlantic City Expressway could only get a glimpse of the surf if they paid dearly to stay in this massive, ugly structure that completely blocked beach access. Well, finally, city officials want the thing taken down. Mayor Marty Small is even calling it a priority. The decaying building is now owned by another greedy guy, Carl Icahn, who wants the state to pay for demolition. “My administration’s goal is to tear Trump Plaza down,” Small said. “That’s not accepted in any other city but Atlantic City. It’s an embarrassment, it’s blight on our skyline.” Keep up the fight, mayor.
MONTCLAIR – Your local Girl Scout may now be a national celebrity. Check closely on your next lip-smacking box of Lemon-UpsTM or Thin Mints®, which now feature two girls from Montclair who are part of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey. The pair – who just both happen to be from Montclair – were selected from thousands of applicants for the honor of gracing the cookie packages sold across the country. Another tasty tidbit: There’s now an app for your smartphone, showing the absolute closest location in which you can buy a box. For emergencies, of course.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
OWOSSO, MI – A local man bought a $43,170 couch. Well, not exactly. He bought a piece of junk from a Habitat for Humanity thrift store, which happened to have $43,170 stuffed in the cushions. The man was looking for a real low-budget piece of furniture for his basement mancave, and found this atrocious-looking thing. He hauled it back to his house, sat on it for a bit and then began wondering why the ottoman felt so darn firm. Bravely, he sent his daughter to investigate. She opened the cushion, finding a windfall of cash. Being a honest guy, the man reached back to Habitat for Humanity, who knew who donated the hideous furniture. Every penny was returned. Sadly, the man needed to keep the couch.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1880 that Memphis became the first city in American to separate its sewer and storm lines. Now, 140 years later, some cities in New Jersey – like Newark and Jersey City – hope to do the same, with a few billions dollars or so.
WORD OF THE DAY
Dauntless – [DAWNT-ləs] - adjective
Example: “With my dauntless perspective, we write a morning newsletter for 25,000 of our favorite New Jerseyans.”
WIT OF THE DAY
“The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect.”
― Warren Buffett
“Stock market at an all-time high! How are your 409(k)’s [sic] doing? 70% 80% 90% up. Only 50% up! What are you doing wrong?”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun