TRENTON - After the Great Recession, New Jersey's rainy-day fund ran dry, prompting Gov. Phil Murphy to sign a fiscal '20 budget that earmarks $401 million to shore it up. Not too shabby. But, of course, the state should be doing a lot more. NJ Spotlight reports that the heavy-hitting Volcker Alliance suggests that states "that fail to maintain adequate reserves may face credit-rating downgrades and the uncertainty of implementing fiscal policies with little or no cushion for emergencies." Translation: Stash more cash in the state's rainy-day fund or it may quickly run dry again.
PATERSON - This city's big Peruvian population is none-too-pleased that their popular Heritage Day Parade, an annual event here since 1986, will deliberately detour around Paterson this coming Sunday. City officials refuse to issue a parade permit, claiming organizers still owe $18,000 for police overtime and cleanup costs from 2018. Organizers tell the Paterson Press that city fees are excessive; the city still owes them a $4,500 entry fee for last year's municipal float; and this vibrant event generates big bucks for city businesses. With no resolution in sight, this year's parade will go from Clifton to Passaic, where partying Peruvians have their splashy food and music festival at Pulaski Park. Plenty of money will still be spent... just not in Paterson.
WEST ORANGE - For Sen. Dick Codey, serving as an interim governorwas a not-too-shabby accomplishment. But for this huge basketball fan, the distinction pales in comparison with his latest accomplishment: steering a team of local boys to a national basketball championship. Codey was all smiles in Orlando on Friday, as West Orange beat up on a team from North Carolina, 59-53, to win the prestigious 14-and-under Boys AAU National Championship. Not a bad way for the state senator to spend the summer recess.
STATEWIDE - Hard to put general number-crunching into any context, but an apartment rental company is out with some stats about the average rents in New Jersey cities. Even with zero perspective, it is still noteworthy - and unsurprising - that Hoboken has the highest average rental costs in the state, at $3,506 a month, followed by Edgewater, at $3,194 a month. And also of no surprise is that the city with the lowest average rent is Camden, at $961 a month. And an interesting kernel: Irvington has had the highest annual rent increase, by 5.3% to $991. And another kernel, with no perspective, is that the slowest rent increase is Jersey City, where rents went up by 1.5%, to about $2,932 a month. Learn anything from any of this?
IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS
ALBERTA - The summer heat must be getting to the people of Alberta,with more than 1,000 Canadians voluntarily coming together on Sunday to simultaneously perform the dance moves to the mind-numbing children's song "Baby Shark." Assume there was plenty of dehydration under 90-degree skies, and then perhaps some hallucination, as all these people figured they could go down in history being part of the largest number ever dancing to one of the worst songs ever created by man or alien. Now the judges at the Guinness Book of World Records are pouring over the video tapes to ensure the counts, as the largest previous group of Baby Shark dancers was a pitiful 350, an easily-beatable record for people who have no hearing, no pride and apparently no shame.
BERKELEY, CA - This city won't have "policemen" or "manholes" anymore. Officials here are replacing all gender-centric words with neutral terms like "police officer" and "maintenance hole." They are also saying goodbye to "firemen" and "chairmen;" legal ads will no longer seek "craftsmen" or "manpower." Even pronouns like "he" and "she" will be replaced in municipal codes and ordinances with "they." And cops may still track down criminals, but forget about "manhunts." The councilman behind these gender-neutral changes tells the Daily Californian that all of those "male-centric terms are inaccurate and outdated... women and non-binary individuals are entitled to accurate city representation." Fine, but who is going to man this new mandate?
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
It was this day in 2017 that a Brigantine-based card player won a massive Texas Hold 'em tournament. The winnings? $8.1 million for this 25-year-old card player. To win, he had to best 120,995 entrants from around the world and 7,200 players who made the final rounds. Seems easier to win the lottery; and with a lot less effort.
WORD OF THE DAY
Highfalutin' [hye-fə-LOOT-ən] - adjective
Definition: Pompous, self-important or haughty
Example: What's up with that highfalutin' hold-em player?
WIT OF THE DAY
"You've got a lot of very, very smart people standing by waiting for somebody else to do the work. Not a recipe for long-term solvency in my opinion."
- Mike Rowe
WEATHER IN A WORD
THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun