SHORT HILLS – Residents of this expensive enclave threw out everything they could, but it looks like a housing complex – with 12 affordable housing units – is coming to town. The Millburn council voted to squeeze a 62-unit complex, and medical offices, on the site of an abandoned gas station, over howls of protest. Hundreds of residents pulled out all the ammo they could, like arguing how such reckless development will kill the local flora and fauna in the adjacent bird sanctuary, or how all this extra traffic will create a super highway in the leafy neighborhood, threatening the lives of runners and walkers. The developer, who sued the town to force affordable housing onto the 1.5-acre site, was repeatedly shouted down during the Tuesday night meeting, the Record reports. In the end, great news for the developer who gets to somehow, magically squeeze 62 units on this postage stamp of property on Woodland Road. Meanwhile, town leaders must still figure where to build hundreds of more affordable housing units, as per the law, while somehow not getting thrown out of office.
TRENTON – With heat waves and heavy rains, you don’t have to travel far to observe the devastating effects of climate change. NJ Spotlight says all the unpredictable weather will only get worse. Scientists are now saying that climate change — if it continues to be ignored — will precipitate an unprecedented public-health crisis. Researchers analyzed 10 climate-sensitive events from 2012 and estimated health-related costs across the country totaled $10 billion (in 2018 dollars). Those costs can be pegged to some 900 deaths, 21,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 emergency-room visits. The research was released on the same day President Donald Trump announced plans to revoke a waiver that allows California to set more stringent standards for tailpipe emissions and clean-running cars than the federal government. Trump is quick to dismiss this growing mountain of research to be a hoax. You are a smart person. Who do you believe?
SCOTCH PLAINS – Will the Germans take over property owned by the Greeks? A German-owned supermarket chain has a lease to take over the property of Snuffy’s catering facility, owned by the Pantagis family, many of whom live in Greece. The redevelopment plan was shown at two of the township’s Downtown Redevelopment Committee meetings and covered by TAPinto Scotch Plains-Fanwood. Yet, after NJ.com, and the Courier News also covered the story, Snuffy’s Pantagis Renaissance proclaimed on its Facebook page: We are not closing!! News is grossly misreported. Town officials have seen this movie before. Several years ago, the owners of Bowcraft claimed the amusement park was not closing, even as it listed all of its rides on online auctions. Why the drama?
TRENTON – We’ve got some mighty microbes living in New Jersey’s marshy wetlands. A pair of Princeton University scientists think these itty-bitty guys are tough enough to trounce some long-lasting chemical compounds that seep into our soil, drinking water and, yep, even us. Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), dubbed “forever chemicals,” are often used in non-stick cooking pans and takeout containers. And they’re darn hard to eradicate. But, the researchers tell Environmental Science & Technology that New Jersey-based microbes they scooped out of muddy wetlands near Trenton are powerful enough to eat up nasty pollutants, even PFAS. Great; have at it.
IN THE MEDIA
AMONG US – Dan Aykroyd, the famous Ghostbuster, is coming clean about his serious belief that extraterrestrials regularly visit Earth. In a two-hour podcast on the Joe Rogan Experience, Aykroyd, 67, says he is a true believer in alien abductions, Bigfoot, and a bunch of apparitions living among us. The comedian, in all seriousness, says he’s seen UFOs three times and claims a ghost once slipped into his bed. But that may have been caused by spirits of a more distilled sort
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
SAN DIEGO – And speaking of UFOs, the U.S. Navy finally admits it has been tracking them from video footage its own fighter pilots captured since 2004. A Navy spokesman also tells the San Diego Union-Tribune three of its pilot videos got released by mistake to some hippy-dippy alien research group that posted them on social media. While the Navy says its got no explanation for the “unidentified aerial phenomena” (it won’t just call’em UFOs) that appear to maneuver at lightening-fast speeds, it says the aircrafts probably are not more strange visitors from beyond.
NORTH BLOOMFIELD, Ohio – It looks like the one Amish attorney who handles local drunks has finally landed his first case. Local cops caught an Amish buggy just before 1 a.m. on Sunday, with two Amish men throwing back a 12-pack of Michelob Ultra while riding in the back, blasting music from a stereo. The other occupants in the buggy hopped out and ran into the woods, leaving the cops to stop the horses on what can be described as a low-speed chase, WKBN reports. There were several bottles of booze found in this Amish party-on-wheels. The buggy was impounded and someone is caring for the horses, as deputies patiently await for a sheepish buggy owner to step forward to claim his possessions.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2017 that gubunatorial candidate Phil Murphy vowed to raise taxes by $1.3 billion, while his challenger, Kim Guadagno, claimed she would somehow slash the average tax bill by $800. Guess who won by a 14-point margin?
WORD OF THE DAY
Glabrous – [GLAY-brəs] - adjective
Definition: Having a surface without hairs or projections
Example: My, my, isn’t my cheek just perfectly glabrous today?
WIT OF THE DAY
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
- John Lennon
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun