NORTH CALDWELL - It looks like the mobsters are putting on the squeeze, with word that the "Tony Soprano House" is on the market for a "starting price" of $3.4 million in a neighborhood where homes typically sell for $1.5 million or so. Ya know, cuz people gotta get paid. Gotta problem widdat?
TRENTON - There's absolutely no surprise that a bill has zoomedunanimously through both houses of the state Legislature - without one dissenting vote - that would strip any public worker or elected officials of his/her pension if convicted of sexual misconduct while on duty. Of course, what lawmaker would vote against such a measure, especially with Assembly elections right around the corner? Pensions equaling tens of thousands of dollars a year, for decades, would vanish for those convicted of lewdness or sexual contact. It is now up to Gov. Phil Murphy to decide if the bill will become law, or if the punishment is just a little too harsh.
TRENTON - New Jersey is known for many things, like traffic, taxes and debt. But there is some good news in at least one of those areas, as NJ Spotlightreports the Garden State has trimmed its bonded debt by nearly $1 billion to $45.16 billion. (Say that last figure quickly - it doesn't sound as bad.) This "good news" is only the second time in the past decade in which New Jersey has managed to cut its bloated debt, yet we remain the fourth-most indebted state in the country. The bad news is "the improvement is likely to be short-lived" because of a new, exciting round of borrowing since the Treasury crunched the numbers. Perhaps you should see the latest budget trim as more a comb-over than a buzz-cut. Read it all in today's NJ Spotlight.
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - If your town doesn't have any meaningful primary elections, you probably have no clue that tomorrow is primary day. If, however, you live in one of the towns where local politicians are shredding each other to win the party line on the ballot, you can't wait for Wednesday morning to finally arrive. There are some super-local battles that have gotten completely out-of-hand, via wild mailers, manipulation of novice reporters and less-than-truthful social media, and are now in the final gasps of bloody campaigns. If you don't live in one of these places, enjoy the tranquility.
DOWN THE SHORE - Some people are determined to use an app for everything; they are the ones happily spending $1 or $2 more to buy a beach badge. NJ 101.5 reports about the latest, greatest app so that beachgoers don't have to be slightly inconvenienced and wait a minute or two to get on the beach. Just download the new app, put in your credit card information and then hop on the beaches in 16 or so shore towns that are now accepting the app. Because these people will likely spend the entire time on the beach staring at their phones, rather than the waves, it makes perfect sense. Others, meanwhile, will still opt to say "hi" to the kid selling badges and pin it on the old-fashioned away, sans the "convenience fee."
STATEWIDE - As we all flock back to the cities to experience "urban living," many more of us are choosing to live alone in tiny places. Marketers are taking notice: stores are now filled with smaller ovens, single-serving coffee makers and dorm-style fridges, as the Wall Street Journal reports that 28% of households comprise one person. That's a big jump from 1960, when only 13% of people lived alone, and likely were ostracized for doing so. (Tsk. Tsk.) So, now, there are cake mixes designed for individual use, giant toilet paper rolls because there is no one else to change them and luxurious closets designed for the single person with gobs of discretionary income. Let's assume there are also plenty more people talking to their cats and actually awaiting a response.
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - Dude, Where's My Speech? Apparently in West Virginia, where a principal is apologizing for stealing Ashton Kutcher's commencement address. The red-faced Parkersburg High School principal now says he should have cited the sources in his brilliant May 23 speech, but still claims the ideas are his own. Apparently this is "accidental plagiarism," if that is a thing. A graduate posted a video to Facebook that spliced the principal's speech with Kutcher's 2013 Nickelodeon Teen Choice Awards speech; it has since amassed more than 100,000 views. The principal is vowing to put the whole mess behind him, saying "Me and my family are the only ones being hurt here." Next up: grammar lessons.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It's sure nice to give a speech in honor of a long-time diplomat who has helped shape Israel. It's also nice to get paid $500,000 to do it, as former President Clinton hit paydirt on this day in 2013, in his tribute to former Israel President Shimon Peres.
WORD OF THE DAY
Logorrhea - [lahg-ə-REE-ə] - noun
Definition: Excessive, often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness.
Example: It seems the local candidate for office is smitten with chronic logorrhea.
WIT OF THE DAY
"Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see."
- Edgar Allan Poe
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun