EAST RUTHERFORD – One would think that NJ Transit would be eager to reduce the anticipated swell of road traffic going to the American Dream mall. After all, the whole goal of a rail and bus agency is to reduce the number of motorists jamming up our roads. Yet, NJ Transit wants to slap a surcharge on people taking a bus from Manhattan to the soon-to-open mega-mall. NJTV says its costs $7 for a one-way trip from the Port Authority to the Meadowlands to watch the Jets lose. Now, it will be introducing a “premium” bus service, hitting shoppers and employees with a $2 surcharge, each way, to “maintain a high quality level of service” and to “guarantee a positive rate of return.” OK, fair enough. But how many hourly mall workers can afford an $18 daily commute?

STATEWIDE – We thought astrophysicists knew everything about the great galactic yonder – until we learned, as far as those brainiacs are concerned, there are only four types of black holes: stellar, intermediate, supermassive, and miniature. Did nobody tell them about Jersey’s humongous (pension) black hole? They can get up to speed by reading today’s NJ Spotlight, which lists the top 10 payments by the state into the public-worker pension system. We’re talking billions. Because the state shorted its payments for so many years, the system has turned into a black hole, vaporizing billions. Who knows when – or if – it will be filled? Perhaps we ask the astrophysicists.

NORTH ARLINGTON – This town is to die for. So much so, there are 300,000 corpses in North Arlington in one form or another. NJ.com notes the tiny, 2.5-mile-aquare town has the largest cemetery in the state, Holy Cross, which gobbles up 208 acres of non-taxable property off Ridge Road, right in the downtown. That leaves the 16,000 people in town – who happen to be currently alive – to pay all the taxes, NJ.com reports. The property value of the cemetery is worth $187 million, which, if on the tax rolls, would generate some glorious income for this speck of a town, just 15 miles from Manhattan. Town officials note, however, that dead people don’t ask for anything, so there is really no cost to North Arlington to host a gargantuan cemetery. That said, some are left to wonder what would happen, if, just sayin’, Holy Cross was not there. As populations grow and available land is at a higher and higher premium, expect the same question to be popping up all over Jersey.

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STATEWIDE – New Jersey gets enough ridicule, thanks to image-trashing shows like “Jersey Shore,” “The Sopranos”’ and those six really spoiled housewives. But, New Jersey’s got many decent people doing pretty terrific stuff, as the Jaffe Briefing strives to highlight. So, it’s infuriating for some dumb New York-based website, Toptenz, to dub the state as “the armpit of America,” with a worst-hits list of our “stupid people doing stupid things.” Yawn. They dredge up, again, Jersey City’s brawling mall Easter Bunny; the dippy golf cart thief who tore up Trump National Golf Course; a perturbed customer who freed a rat inside a Newark McDonald’s; and Holmdel’s “pooperintendent.” Kudos to their “reporters” and their ability to use Google. Now how about a Top 10 list of awesome Jerseyans? Toptenz, for some reason, doesn’t seem interested.

EDISON — So let’s talk about the Edison High School wrestling coach who says Election Day civic duties should be about more than voting. Teacher Tom White wants Edison voters to help feed his community’s most needy people and families. White and his students are running a non-perishable food drive at poll places on Tuesday, Nov. 5 to benefit Hands of Hope Food Pantry at St. James Episcopal Church, in time for its Thanksgiving rush. White tells TAPinto that Election Day is a terrific time “to help the needy and simultaneously bring the community together.” He hopes food drives can become a regular feature on all future Election Days in Edison. Nearby towns, like Woodbridge, have been doing it for years and with plenty of success.

Photo: Edison High School

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

WASHINGTON DC – We know there are plenty of rats in the White House, and President Trump (who calls them “whistleblowers”) insists they get caught. There should also be some attention paid to mice, which apparently are infesting the White House briefing room. That’s the same place where those “corrupt correspondents” from the “fake media” get their daily dose of America’s worst reality show. NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander says a mouse “literally fell out of the ceiling” onto his lap last week, causing him and other reporters to scurry. Then, he dug up work orders dating to 2017 about – not just mice – but roach and ant infestations that continue to plague the 227-year-old “people’s house.” Apparently some bugs in the White House are actually bugs.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1996 that Bill Clinton meets Bob Dole in their first debate. Dole brings a pen.

WORD OF THE DAY

Agita – [AJ-ə-tə] - noun

Definition: A feeling of agitation or anxiety

Example: The top reason for my morning agita: The offensive line of the Giants.

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

On the Miss America pageant:

“They had a person who was extremely proud that a number of the women had become doctors. And I wasn't interested.”

WIT OF THE DAY

“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals.” 

― Michelle Obama

WEATHER IN A WORD

Mild

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun