STATEWIDE - You can soon drop your kid off at child care as you get a haircut, shop for new shoes, then meet a friend for a lovely outdoor lunch to chat about what summer camp your little cherubs might attend. Just don't dare lift any barbells or swing any tennis rackets, okay? That’s the message from the governor's office, which has yet to say our state’s gyms and health clubs can finally reopen. As you can imagine, it has been three very long months for antsy gym owners, as well as their members who may have packed more than a few pounds sitting home, week after week, Oreo after Oreo. With bathing suit season now upon us, and a few abs that can really use some tone, flabby New Jersey cries out: When will the gyms reopen?
STATEWIDE – Remember when “flattening the curve” was all anyone could talk about? Then there was “sheltering in place.” As for “social distancing,” that’s so commonplace nowadays that even dribbling toddlers are jaded with the topic. We’re all using lingo that until a couple of months ago only came off the tongues of people with “ologist” in their title. Time for a new phrase to obsess over. And that would be “contact tracing,” a longstanding practice that epidemiologists use to control the spread of contagious conditions. In this case, New Jersey is going to deploy thousands of contact tracers to identify and track down those who have come in contact with someone with COVID-19, informing them of the risks and connecting them with a safe place to go into isolation. NJ Spotlight reports on just how Gov. Phil Murphy plans to rev up such a program. Cost? “Millions of dollars a week.” Now that’s one phrase we’re familiar with in Jersey.
BEDMINSTER – There were fleeting hopes President Trump forgot he owned a golf course in Somerset County. But, alas, after a glorious yearlong hiatus, he returns this weekend, with the country that’s more divisive than ever. So, area residents who enjoyed the peace and quiet will be dealing again with an unwanted Presidential visit that gobbles up local resources, closes down streets and requires the steady thump-thump-thump of helicopters in the closed air space. The FAA is already announcing flight restrictions over these leafy suburbs for Friday. NJ.com reports the Secret Service has rented $179,370 worth of golf carts from Trump for his visit (thank you, taxpayers) and you can assume hotel rooms at this club will sell at full rate (thanks, again!) Trump is expected to be back in Bedminster for a $250,000 per person fundraiser later this month, with taxpayers picking up the security tab, of course. Bedminster residents note that Trump has an absolutely lovely estate in Palm Beach, where, perhaps, he could spend the summer.
Most of the clocks in the movie “Pulp Fiction” are stuck on 4:20.
STATEWIDE – As most of us grapple with a stubborn pandemic, mounting government debt and racial injustice, owners of New Jersey’s grease trucks have another pressing concern: Single-use plastic containers. In fact, there is an op-ed from the New Jersey Food Truck Association – proving there’s an association for everything – arguing that state officials must embrace single-use containers for the sake of food trucks, as, apparently, there is no viable alternative to all that polystyrene piling up in landfills. The association says the real solution is to modernize the state’s recycling system to permanently reduce the amount of plastic used. And so, in the interim to this multi-year, mega-expensive solution, don’t mess with the grease trucks, ok?
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
KEWANEE, IL – It may be the most expensive library fine ever. A local woman found “Days and Deeds,” a book of children’s poems, in her mother’s house. It was due back at the Kewanee Public Library on April 19, 1955. The fine kept accumulating at two cents a day, until the daughter finally returned the book – 47 years later. Total cost: $345.14. Jaffe Briefing researchers hit the books to find a more expensive library fine. They failed miserably, but it was also learned that George Washington borrowed a book, “The Law of Nations” from the New York Library after he became president. This criminal never returned it, although his estate got around to getting it back to the library 221 years later. The fine, it appears, was waived.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It’s sure good to be an ex-president, says Bill Clinton, handed $500,000 on this day in 2013 for a speech honoring the late Israeli President Shimon Peres.
WORD OF THE DAY
Petrichor – [peˌtrīkôr] – noun
Definition: A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.
Example: Hey, did you grab a whiff of that petrichor early this morning?
WIT OF THE DAY
“Let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined.”
-Lyndon B. Johnson
“My Admin has done more for the Black Community than any President since Abraham Lincoln.”
- Donald J. Trump
WEATHER IN A WORD