TRENTON – This isn’t the “Show-Me” state, so it's hardly a surprise that only two of our 119 lawmakers gave Gannett a peak at their federal and state tax returns. Among the Garden State’s cash-crops, we grow some double-or triple-dippers among our politicians with many public jobs. Because our state requires only skeletal financial disclosures, Gannett hoped to take a deeper dive, but got snubbed by nearly all state lawmakers. The exceptions were Sen. Troy Singleton and Sen. Linda Greenstein who let the reporters review five years’ worth of their tax returns. Singleton tells The Record he did it to give “the public a sense of confidence.” Greenstein says it was “a fair request” and an opportunity to be “open and accountable.” Perhaps other lawmakers would’ve been more accommodating if they knew the story would have legs.
ON THE ROOF – Okay, we are not the “Show Me” state... but how about the “Sunshine” State? New Jersey just hit a big solar-power milestone. Rooftop solar panels on houses and solar farms now generate more than three gigawatts of electricity per year, enough to power 405,000 homes. The Garden State’s solar installations now top 116,000, rivaling much sunnier places like Arizona, Florida and Nevada. It’s huge leap from the 4,900 solar installations here just a decade ago. BPU President Joseph Fiordaliso tells NJ 101.5 that we’re sixth in the nation with a growing solar industry that employs more than 7,000 people and is now a major economic player. Fiordaliso is clearly getting a charge out of this.
TOMS RIVER – More solar energy headlines, as this town’s Planning Board gave approval for what’s to become New Jersey’s biggest solar farm, able to power 4,000 more homes. Work could start next year to install 92,000 solar panels on a 166-acre section of Ciba-Geigy’s 1,350-acre former dye and resin plant where, from 1952–1996, tons of carcinogens got dumped. The Asbury Park Press says the new solar farm would not interfere with the ongoing Superfund groundwater cleanup, expected to drag on for three more decades. The new solar farm, built by a Paris-based energy firm, would far outstrip a 66-acre Belvidere facility, currently the state’s largest. It’s always great news when New Jersey can turn trash to cash.
EVESHAM – It takes chutzpah (or real stupidity) to slap more anti-Semitic leaflets on parked cars at shopping centers when cops are already hunting you down. But, that’s what police say a beefy, half-bald guy (with a bad comb-over) did again this week at the Marlton Crossing Shopping Center. Cops tell NJ101.5 they removed nearly a 100 anti-Jewish leaflets this jerk left on windshields. They believe he’s the same anti-Semite they've nabbed on security videos doing the same thing on Oct. 10 at a Route 73 movie theater and restaurant. If you see him, tell police. There’s a lot of talk about, besides his hairstyle.
TRENTON – Under a change authored by the Trump Administration, the salary threshold for workers eligible to receive overtime pay will rise on Jan. 1 to $35,568, an increase of about 50%. But a heck of a lot more New Jersey wage slaves would be eligible to receive overtime pay if Gov. Phil Murphy would just go along with a proposal from the liberal think tank, New Jersey Policy Perspective. According to NJ Spotlight, after doing the math, the think tank found that if the same federal overtime policies in place now had prevailed from the 1940s through the 1970s, the salary threshold for those eligible for “time and a half” would have increased to a very rosy $78,000 in 2024. And — here’s the most interesting bit — the governor could enact such a measure without legislative approval.
EAST ORANGE – More evidence that some judges don’t know when to shut up. This time it’s Municipal Court Judge Steven Brister, in trouble for telling a domestic violence suspect: “We get frustrated with women,” adding “you can’t come at them like you're Mike Tyson… treat them as if you’re holding a feather, just let them know you’re the man and you’re in control.” Wow! NJ.com says the state Supreme Court’s judicial conduct panel on Thursday deemed Brister’s remarks “inappropriate, disparaging to women and had the potential to create the appearance of a gender bias.” And, presuming hizzoner is married, his wife probably had a few more choice words for him too.
IN THE MEDIA
NEW BRUNSWICK – A fun, local, offbeat story from Time magazine you rarely see. We’ll let them tell it: “It all began on Rutgers' annual King Neptune Night, a seafood dinner extravaganza hosted by the school that Rutgers senior Matthew J. Lesiw says is when the dining halls probably get their most crowded all year. The next morning, when the dust from the Sept. 25 celebration had settled, students started to notice that someone had placed one of the cooked lobsters from the feast between two branches of a tree in front of Scott Hall, a building located on the school's main New Brunswick campus. As the days turned to weeks and the dead lobster was still hanging tough in its spot of honor, the crustacean's reputation swiftly began to grow ... Students started making what Daniel Han, a freshman who broke the story for Rutgers' official student newspaper The Daily Targum, describes as 'pilgrimages' to the lobster, presenting it with offerings like mozzarella sticks and taking photos of it. 'Tree Lobster,' as the shellfish became known, was even unofficially dubbed Lord Snipp on the Rutgers subreddit.”
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
NEW YORK – One well-endowed New Yorker found a clever way to raise awareness about breast cancer: secretly filming everyone on the street who was ogling her chest as they walked by. She installed a secret camera in one of the buttons of her low-cut top before walking through Manhattan, filming to see how many people took a cheeky glance at her cleavage, UNILAD reports. A quick look at the video showed one clear fact: New Yorkers – both women and men – couldn’t help themselves but to steal a glance, or two, or three. Her key message to fellow women: “Ladies, don’t forget to check out your own breasts too. Early detection saves lives.” And, also, with the growing concerns of colon cancer, men should “feel free to check out your own butts, too.”
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
The 1980s officially ended on this day in 2010, when Sony finally removed the Walkman from shelves.
WORD OF THE DAY
Deadwood – [DED-wəd] - noun
Definition: Unnecessary words; expendable verbiage
Example: Should we devote the next 500 or so words to explaining the definition of deadwood, or would that be deadwood? Or is this deadwood? Or how about this? You still there? …Hello?
WIT OF THE DAY
“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”
― James E. Faust
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful.”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun