Jaffe Morning Briefing

The Jaffe Briefing - March 19, 2018



TRENTON - New Jersey, one of the only employers who pays its workers for unused sick time, and then appears mystified when it struggles to balance its budget, may finally be capping sick-leave payouts.  The proposal, obviously unpopular with labor unions, has been discussed before, but not with traction. It is back in the mix again, to cap payouts to local government workers at $15,000 or whatever they've banked if they are above that number. It's all part of the latest effort to reign in costs, as media continually reports about retiring government workers reaping six-figure checks because they blessed enough to remain healthy.

JERSEY CITY - Well, that was fast. After Jersey City teachers hit the picket line Friday, prompting a half-day of school, it took 13 hours at the bargaining table yesterday to put an end to the quick strike. About 3,100 teachers returned to the classrooms this morning, ending an eight-month dispute. It's all being deemed as "fair and equitable," the Jersey Journal reports, although the contract details aren't being disclosed at the moment. But it looks like the teachers will be getting a boost in pay and some relief on skyrocketing health care costs, showing that organized labor can still pack a wallop when needed.

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BLAIRSTOWN - If you drank a lot of god-awful beer in college, and can still remember it, you never think much about the beer company behind it all. Yeah, it's just assumed to be a toxic brew of tap water and the cheapest grade of barley and hops permissible by Bangladeshi law. And so it is surprising to see the owners of Natural Light beer (Natty Light) stepping up to help one of its loyal fans. Ryan Campbell, a North Warren Regional High School graduate, is getting a $40,000 scholarship to pay off student loans from UNC. Campbell runs "Happiness is Camping," a summer camp in Hardwick for kids ages 6 to 15 who have cancer or siblings who are coping. "I did drink a lot of Natty Light," Campbell freely admitted to NJ.com. "And I never thought it would help me out in school, that's for sure."

TRENTON - Charities in New Jersey are wondering what's going to happen to the coffers this year, as Trump tax reform discourages generosity. That's because many less taxpayers will itemize deductions, giving them less reasons to donate to charity. Sen. Tom Kean has a solution, once again introducing legislation creating a state charitable deduction, like other states have done, preserving a safety net, NJ Spotlight reports. It makes plenty of sense to support the charitable sector, albeit a frustrating drain on state coffers. How many times does New Jersey have to take it on the chin from this President?

PENNINGTON - Count the son of one of New Jersey's favorite sons making a difference in protesting gun violence in schools. Jake Bongiovi, the 15-year-old son of New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi, is stepping out of the big shadow, helping organize roughly 400 students walk out of the Pennington School last week with the support of private school leaders. He told NJ.com that inaction was not an option: "It's happened too many times that we watch it...And we cannot let it go away this time." Meanwhile, students elsewhere are still facing consequences for walking out, with students from South Plainfield High School getting word from their principal that any student who "leaves the building will receive an appropriate consequence as outlined in the student handbook." (Translation: one day of in-school suspension.) But the kids' record will be expunged, at the written request of parents. How nice.


BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - Romanian courts have made their decision: Constantin Reliu is dead. That is, of course, despite the fact that he flew in from Turkey a few days ago after living there for more than 20 years. It seems that in his absence, his ex-wife had him declared dead, and the local court, which is apparently staffed by Dilbert characters, refused to overturn the decision because his request was filed "too late." So now he's facing a predicament straight out of Monty Python: trying to prove that he's alive. "I'm a living ghost," he told the AP last weekend. "I am officially dead, although I'm alive." Sorta like Kevin Spacey.


The news was a real Whopper on this day in 2012 when Wendy's surpassed Burger King as the second best-selling hamburger chain. Lesson learned: Never mess with a little red-haired girl in pigtails who owns a global empire.


Anent - [uh-NENT] - preposition

Definition: About, concerning

Example: I have a strong opinion anent Wendy's blouse.



Editor's Note:  Jaffe Communications is the franchisee/publisher of TAPinto New Brunswick.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018


PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018


PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 17, 2018


AT THE POLLING BOOTH - Guess what? New Jerseyans don't like the Trump tax plan. It's also not surprising that a potential voter revolt could flip all five of the state's Republican House seats, according to a new Monmouth University poll. NJ.com reports that the new federal tax bill disproportionately hurts taxpayers in New Jersey ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 16, 2018


TRENTON - As Gov. Phil Murphy was in Cleveland to celebrate his buddy, Jon Bon Jovi, who entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, the paperwork is piling up at the office. NJ.com is quick to note we are approaching the end of the first 100 days of the Murphy Administration and there are a gaggle of bills to sign or reject. Lots of ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 13, 2018


STATEWIDE - One would think Gov. Phil Murphy, as our powerful chief executive, would be paid among the highest of all state employees after, of course, the Rutgers head football coach. But the Asbury Park Press has revealed a startling fact: there are more than 1,060 government employees who earn more than the governor. Murphy makes a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 12, 2018


TRENTON - Senate President Steve Sweeney wants to teach the new governor who is really in charge of the Statehouse, blocking confirmation votes for at least two of Gov. Phil Murphy's Cabinet members. This smack down could delay the approval for at least two months for Lamont Repollet, the acting education commissioner, and Zakiya Smith Ellis, ...

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Arts & Entertainment

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.

High-Tech Gadgetry Fuels the 35th Anniversary of the World Series of Birding

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Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

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Spring Boutique in East Brunswick April 22nd

April 15, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK - Come and shop for Mother's Day, Father's Day and End-of-Year gifts for your favorite teachers & school staff. The Sisterhood of Temple B’nai Shalom will host its Spring Boutique on Sunday, April 22, 2018, from 9:45 am to 3:00 pm.  A variety of vendors will be participating.  Items available for shopping will include fashion jewelry, handbags, ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...