NEWARK – After several months and more than 1,000 suggestions, officials at Rutgers University-Newark finally unveiled the school's new mascot. And what manner of vicious beast or menacing mascot would come running onto the floor to greet basketball fans assembled under the Golden Dome? Try The Scarlet Raider, a baseball cap-wearing fox with limited facial expressions. Fans are cheering, but reviews on social media, like anything else, are mixed. One disappointed fan compared the Scarlet Raider to Alvin the Chipmunk. Another said it was the Car Fox. Only time will tell if marketers hired by Rutgers-Newark are crazy like a fox. Or just crazy.
HOBOKEN – Well, so much for the honor system that assumes people can rent and responsibly use e-scooters to tool around the city. Apparently, some folks just aren’t trustworthy. So, the city is spending $75,000 to hire a pair of “e-scooter enforcement officers” who’ll be on the lookout for anyone misusing or abusing 250 rental scooters that Lime deploys here. Hudson County View says hiring these professional scooter monitors comes after cops arrested three drunk scooter-riders since August. And other scooter-users have gotten tickets for whisking along busy sidewalks and in prohibited areas like parks, or for disobeying traffic signals.
NEWARK – There’s now more to do at the airport than drink beer and wait for your chronically-delayed plane to perhaps appear at the gate. TAPInto Newark is reporting on some spice, courtesy of the iPads that are scattered around Terminal C. You can soon pass the time sober, as you play tablet games that can be redeemed for points toward flights and food credits. The idea actually has to go before the City Council, as it requires a “redemption amusement license” for travelers to use the iPads to pay for food and drinks around the terminal. No cash is trading hands, just “points.” It all sounds good for travelers, who may finally have something interesting to do. Not so good for airport merchants, who want bored people to meander in and buy a $6 bottle of water.
TRENTON – When the “Blue Wave” tossed several congressional seats in New Jersey from Republican to Democratic hands last year, obeisance was paid to women-led grassroots groups that were central to that wave. But what do you know? In the legislative elections held this week, that grassroots power didn’t translate into a greater representation of women in the State House chambers. On the contrary, as NJ Spotlight reports, women lost out at the state level. When the state Assembly regroups in January, it will have a net loss of one woman, cutting the proportion of female representation in the Legislature to 30%. Time to start tossing and turning Trenton?
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Sen. Cory Booker is aggressive and eager, and apparently is also very generous. That’s according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which says he is blowing through more money on campaign staffer salaries, proportionally speaking, than any one else running for President these days. The report shows that Booker churned through $14 million as of Sept. 30, with $7.1 million of it going toward salaries. Other candidates have certainly spent more, but Booker is the only one to earmark more than half of his cash on salaries of field operatives in early primary and caucus states, NJ.com reports.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
MIAMI - An 81-year-old man and his two sons claim they've done the impossible: Figuring out how to make a car run without gas or electricity. Working in their garage under a shroud of secrecy over six years, the trio says they created a system that allows an engine to actually run on a mix of water and alcohol, with zero need for fossil fuels. This alternative fuel comprises a mix of 70% water and 30% alcohol, such as ethanol, to create a clean-burning fuel within a car engine's combustion chamber, the Jerusalem Post reports. What a game changer, but curious what your local mechanic thinks.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1988 that George Bush easily defeats Michael Dukakis for the Presidency. Never underestimate the ramifications of one awful, campaign photo.
WORD OF THE DAY
Mandarin – [MAN-drin] - adjective
Definition: Of, relating to, or typical of a public official in the Chinese Empire of any of nine superior grades.
Example: Can Elizabeth Warren’s voice attain a richly spun, mandarin quality?
WIT OF THE DAY
“I've been a Democrat, I've been a Republican, and I eventually became an independent because I don't believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership.”
― Michael Bloomberg
“Well, if I ever ran for office, I'd do better as a Democrat than as a Republican - and that's not because I'd be more liberal, because I'm conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.”
- Donald J. Trump, Playboy, March 1990
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun