STATEWIDE – It’s hard to miss the smirk on some out-of-state faces when they hear New Jersey is the Garden State. They have no clue about our acres of rolling farmland and enchanting state parks. So, for the moment, let’s ignore that we’ve got more toxic waste sites than any other state (114) and a clear and present danger with our water systems. Newark grabbed well-deserved headlines with the high levels of lead in its water. And South Jersey appears riddled with toxic wells, often the last vestige of years of industrial chemicals leaching into its groundwater. The latest contaminated site: Bellmawr. That’s where a well that exceeded state limits for cancer-causing chemicals remained in service for a year. NJSpotlight offers the latest environmental concern, as you prepare to go pumpkin picking.
EAST RUTHERFORD – With the mega-mall’s first phase expected to open later this month, officials are now asking: Uh, what are we doing about traffic? It is jaw-dropping that a sensible traffic plan was not devised at the beginning of this long-delayed, 3-million-square-foot project, first concocted during the age of the caveman. The Wall Street Journal reports that transportation officials are admitting to this “innovation challenge” and may rely on private capital and construction firms to somehow save the day. There’s glorious talk of a monorail, aerial gondolas or a magnetically levitated train to cover the roughly seven-mile journey between NJ Transit’s Secaucus Junction and the mall. Fine, as long as New Jersey taxpayers are not on the hook to pay for any of this.
LITTLE EGG HARBOR – He spent four entire hours watching porn in his parked car outside a fast-food joint back in 2014. Then, he spent the past four years trying to overturn criminal convictions for his actions. A state appeals court finally told this 53-year-old Brigantine man to just let it go. NJ.com says the court this week rejected his claim about a right to privacy while using the restaurant’s WiFi to stream XXX content on a mobile device in a public parking lot. The court also upheld a five-day jail sentence and the one-year probation he completed long ago. Time to move on, and keep the streaming at home.
NEW BRUNSWICK – It’s tough to explore strange new worlds, or seek out new life and new civilizations without a warp-speed starship. But, Rutgers alien-hunter Nathan Yee is off to a good start. This professor of geomicrobiology and geochemistry is teaching the university’s first-ever astrobiology course, exploring the existence of extraterrestrial life and how Earthlings might finally detect it. A NASA-consultant, Yee tells Rutgers Today that our first contact won’t be with Vulcans or Klingons. Initial signs of alien life, he says, will probably be microbes small enough for a Petri dish. Yawn. Sounds like an engaging college class, but an unlikely sequel to Spaceballs.
IN THE SKY ABOVE – There’s more alien news this morning: For some reason, visitors from other planets are less likely to come to New Jersey than most other states. That’s what Satellite Internet claims after examining the number of reported UFO sightings per 100,000 people in each state. New Jersey ranks 42nd for visual alien contacts. States with the most sightings are Washington, Montana, Vermont, Alaska and Maine. Of course, we have some theories for Jersey’s low ranking:
- New Jersey’s light pollution makes UFOs harder to detect.
- Space travelers can’t figure out jughandles
- Aliens worry New Jerseyans actually taste like pork roll.
- ET doesn’t want to take Snooki back to her home planet.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
AT THE BAR – This senseless and expensive trade war has gotten personal. Today, the U.S. will be slapping $7.5 billion in tariffs on a whole slue of popular European Union goods beginning today, raising costs. Those goods include an extra heaping of mark-ups on such personal favorites as Scotch whisky and French wine. The tariffs are designed to counteract years of European loans and illegal subsidies to Airbus, and will likely prompt the EU to now levy tariffs on the U.S. over its aid to Boeing. Costs always get passed on to the end consumer, prompting your local bar to eventually charge $15 for an unimpressive glass of Johnny Red. (Sigh.) Please, please explain: How are we “winning” here?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1945 that Rutgers superstar Paul Robeson won the distinguished Spingarn Medal (a real gold medal) for his singing and acting achievements.
WORD OF THE DAY
Palliate – [PAL-ee-ayt] - verb
Definition: To cover by excuses and apologies
Example: That kid threw his damn Frisbee in my gutter again. Then – as I got my ladder for the umpteenth time – he offered me a rhetoric that palliated fears of ongoing occurrences.
WIT OF THE DAY
“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”
― Ronald Reagan
“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest - and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault.”
-Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun