DOWN THE SHORE – Still enjoying that summer place in Lavallette, Long Branch or maybe LBI? Well, get out while you can. You can probably still find an unwitting buyer who hasn’t perused the latest issue of Science Magazine, with a study that says your waterfront get-away will ultimately be swimming with the fishes. A pair of Harvard and Stanford University scientists say shore dwellers “must move out of harm’s way” to escape rising sea levels. They say New Jersey is blowing millions of dollars fixing beach erosion and building better dunes, and it will all be for naught. Silver lining: Freehold’s downtown could really use an oceanfront.
TRENTON - The state is concocting a new model of funding solar projects, and some solar developers — in particular the ones who install residential systems — are getting hot under the collar. It’s easy to understand why. The penny-pinching people at the Board of Public Utilities want subsidies of between $10 and $30, down from today’s typical $230. But if solar credits are rolled back to that point, installers argue investors are not going to put their money in new projects. Some suggest they’ll take that money to neighboring states, effectively decimating the Garden State’s solar sector. It’s a serious issue for Gov. Phil Murphy & Co. About 45 percent of solar employment in the state comes from single-family deployments. If solar flees the state, Murphy doesn’t have a chance of making his 2050 goal of 100 percent clean energy, NJ Spotlight reports. Coal, anyone?
BACK TO SCHOOL – Notebooks? Check. No. 2 pencils? Got’ em. Bulletproof backpacks? Wait … what? As if your seventh grader’s math books aren’t heavy enough, now some New Jersey retailers are peddling bulletproof bookbags to panicky parents. The pitch is simple: Active shooters make it mandatory to buy these must-have school supplies. Backpacks, offered in fun neon and pastel kiddie colors, weigh about three pounds and go for $120. The deluxe ones will run you $300 and might repel a direct hit from a North Korean missile. Stores are also selling orange duck-&-cover ballistic blankets conveniently sized to fit in school lockers. We get it: Decent parents want their kids safe. And nothing says true love like armored bike helmets and Kevlar rompers, says retailers.
HARRINGTON PARK – And speaking of bulletproof, this is now New Jersey’s first school district to replace its classroom doors with bulletproof ones. At $2,500 a pop, this small Bergen County district is using its emergency funds to install 50 doors in its only K-8 school. The 150-pound steel doors have bullet-resistant windows and, locked from the inside, engage a dozen steel bars making them impregnable from the hallways. Superintendent Adam Fried tells ABC News “we're starting to add more militarization … to create a safe environment for learning.” Next on the district’s to-do list: Replacing all of the school’s outside doors. And, if the budget allows, a moat.
PATERSON – Good lawyers don’t come cheap, but taxpayers here have some good relief from City Hall’s legal expenses. The city cut its fees to outside law firms by 14 percent, shelling out a modest $1.45 million during Mayor Andre Sayegh’s first year. They chalk up the decrease to a frugal law director Sayegh hired. That director quit, after just a year, to seek a better-paying job with the city’s school district. So Sayegh replaced her with an attorney who the Paterson Times says got a state reprimand for misconduct in 2018, admitting to four ethics violations. Oh, well. No one is perfect. City officials insist the new law director will do just fine overseeing 27 outside law firms that handle a mountain of lawsuits, worker's comp cases and contract negotiations, as well as supervising whatever 12 in-house city lawyers do. Good to know lawyers are cheaper by the dozen.
WEST ORANGE – Is there too much recreation at the South Mountain Recreation Complex? Not at the moment, but NJ.com reports that local residents aren’t pleased that an acre is being taken from the adjacent, 2,000-acre reservation to expand the Turtle Back Zoo for an $8 million amphitheater, lights and video screens. The zoo, as many remember, was an itty-bitty operation that now just seems to grow and grow. And so does the entire complex, with ice skating, mini-golf, a waterfront, a restaurant and a bunch of other cool stuff. Essex County’s transformation of the site has been amazing; but local residents want to know: When is it enough?
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ABERYSTWYTH, WALES – You can drive with a Christmas tree on top of your car. Or maybe a kayak. But local police say you can’t drive with a car… on top of your car. A 51-year-old Wales man now tells the court that it may have not been the brightest thing he has ever done, caught on video driving his Volkswagen Passat with a beat-up Skoda Octavia strapped to its roof. He explained that he was only driving the car, on the car, for about 1,000 feet in an industrial area, but the magistrate still figured such a bonehead move could injure someone. The stupidity cost a $97 fine and $140 in court costs.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 1994 that the Cleveland Browns were the first professional team to score a two-point conversion, and then they likely didn’t score for the rest of the season.
WORD OF THE DAY
Coeval – [koh-EE-vəl] – adjective
Definition: Of the same or equal age
Example: Hey! My whiskey is coeval with yours!
WIT OF THE DAY
“Love is blind; friendship tries not to notice.”
- Otto von Bismarck
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
By Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun